Category Archives: Intentional Camera Movement – ICM

These photographs use a photographic technique called intentional camera movement.

Midnight Ballet at the Gesù — Montréal

Last week I went back to my roots.
I started re-doing some­thing that I haven’t done in quite a while because it’s dif­fi­cult and time con­sum­ing. It requires research, scout­ing, patience, a good game plan and did I men­tion patience?

For the first time in a while, I set up a con­cep­tual scene to be pho­tographed where I used  pro­fes­sional per­form­ers.  I’ve always been a huge fan of pho­tographs that tell or sug­gest sto­ries and when I want to make my story super-clear and the story involves peo­ple, once in a while I trade pos­ing for prints or as in this case, I sim­ply hire peo­ple.  I have been doing this on and off for close to two decades with dif­fer­ent sub­ject mat­ter and it gives me a huge thrill every time I do it. It gives you a lot more respon­si­bil­ity though and a lot more to focus on — and I get lost in it. In a good way.

This shoot was dif­fer­ent than pre­vi­ous shoots though because I used inten­tional cam­era move­ment to achieve the painterly effect you see here. I directed the per­form­ers to move in a way that suited this tech­nique at the Gesù Church/Theatre in Mon­treal. Each of these images was shot with a long shut­ter speed and very lit­tle post pro­cess­ing is done on these images. They are mostly cap­tured this way in cam­era. Please feel free to let me know which of these three images you pre­fer and if these types of pho­tographs ‘work’ for you.

 

Midnight Ballet in Montreal - Image I

Mid­night Bal­let in Mon­treal — Image I

Midnight Ballet in Montreal - Image II

Mid­night Bal­let in Mon­treal — Image II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Midnight Ballet in Montreal - Image III

Mid­night Bal­let in Mon­treal — Image III

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Our Lady of the Harbour’s Blessing

The Notre Dame de Bon­sec­ours Chapel is the old­est in Old Mon­treal. The orig­i­nal chapel that used to be there was built in the mid 1600’s. Only its foun­da­tion remains. The church  was rebuilt in the 1770’s and has gone through many ren­o­va­tions and much remod­el­ling since then.  It’s an absolutely gor­geous church both inside and out and you can actu­ally see the inside here. The front of the church faces St. Paul street and the back of the church faces the St. Lawrence River which is one of the rea­sons that the church is known as the Sailor’s Church.

The dec­o­ra­tions on the out­side of the church have enthralled Mon­treal­ers and tourists for a long while. The Vir­gin Mary Statue at the back of the church is enor­mous and incred­i­bly impres­sive. Mon­treal poet/singer Leonard Cohen referred to this statue in his song Suzanne as ‘our lady of the har­bour’ and I’ve taken the lib­erty of bor­row­ing a por­tion of that lyric as titles for these images.

Cam­era move­ment allowed me to cap­ture ‘Our lady’ as she blesses the sailors that she watches over. Here are 2 of my favourite images of her ‘bless­ings’. Which one do you prefer?

Our Lady of the Harbour

Our Lady of the Harbour

 

Our Lady of the Harbour ll

Our Lady of the Har­bour ll

 

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Ice Sculpture Abstractions — Toronto, Ontario

On Sat­ur­day Feb­ru­ary 26, 2012 I was lucky enough to be in Toronto, Ontario dur­ing the week­end when the Bloor-Yorkville Ice­fest was going on. The ice sculp­tures and sur­round­ing decor were sim­ply gor­geous, a fine art photographer’s wet dream I dare say. A friend of mine told me about the sculp­tures which were in a very pop­u­lar part of town where park­ing spots are as rare as flaw­less dia­monds. After look­ing for park­ing for 15 min­utes, I got fed up and almost left to shoot else­where. But I got trapped in a bumper to bumper traf­fic jam (a huge pet peeve) and it seemed like my only way out was a park­ing garage with a 15 dol­lar charge. Well thank­fully I just sighed and parked because it was by far the best 15 dol­lar invest­ment of my weekend.

The area was packed with peo­ple get­ting really close to the ice sculp­tures and packed with pissed off pho­tog­ra­phers who wanted to take unob­structed (peo­ple free) images of the ice-sculptures. As for myself, I was enthralled after the first frame. For me, the peo­ple added a level of abstrac­tion to the pho­tographs that made them much more inter­est­ing to my eye. They were unknow­ingly inter­act­ing with the ice sculp­tures for me.  I shot there for about 30 min­utes as dif­fer­ent peo­ple entered and exited the scene and I tried dif­fer­ent angles to get as much vari­ety as I could.

I’d like to thank the city of Toronto as well as the event’s spon­sors for putting on such a visu­ally awe­some event. Here are my 4 favourite pho­tos from the shoot.

Ice Abstraction I - Toronto Ontario

 

 

 

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Montréal en lumières — Montreal in lights festival

A cou­ple of weeks ago we had a fab­u­lous 10 day fes­ti­val in Mon­treal called Mon­treal in Lights — Mon­tréal en lumières and it was awe­some!! What a great way to break up the darker win­ter months with some much needed light.  As usual, the city of Mon­treal and the spon­sors of the event did a fan­tas­tic job. Rue Jeanne Mance and the Area around Place Des Arts turned into a lumi­nous zone that was fun for kids and adults alike. A well lit funky fer­ris wheel, a  huge slide that pul­sated with lights, per­form­ers wear­ing mir­rored boxes on their heads, loads of fire­places to warm up to, won­der­ful pro­jec­tions onto screens and build­ings; these were some of the main attrac­tions of the event. Every­one was smil­ing and hav­ing a blast at this FREE event. Thanks again Ville de Mon­tréal and sponsors!

Given that I live 5 min­utes from the event I was able to get there eas­ily on a cou­ple of sep­a­rate occa­sions. It was a great scene to pho­to­graph and there were pho­tog­ra­phers every­where. Here are a few of my favourite images from the event using inten­tional cam­era move­ment in order to get this painterly effect.

Montréal en lumières - Montreal in lights festival 2012 - Stairs and Ferris Wheel

Mon­tréal en lumières — Mon­treal in lights fes­ti­val 2012 — Stairs and Fer­ris Wheel

 

Montréal en lumières - Montreal in lights festival 2012 - Slide

Mon­tréal en lumières — Mon­treal in lights fes­ti­val 2012 — Slide

 

Montréal en lumières - Montreal in lights festival 2012 - Luminous Musical Wands

Mon­tréal en lumières — Mon­treal in lights fes­ti­val 2012 — Lumi­nous Musi­cal Wands

 

Montréal en lumières - Montreal in lights festival 2012 - Street Scene

Mon­tréal en lumières — Mon­treal in lights fes­ti­val 2012 — Street Scene

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Amarula Ice Bar — Le bar de glace Amarula — Montréal

A few weeks ago I went to have din­ner with some friends at the Pom­mery ice restau­rant in the brand new Snow Vil­lage in Mon­treal on Ile Sainte-Helene. The food was quite good but my butt was way cold even though I was wear­ing long under­wear. I rec­om­mend thick snow pants if you want to check out the restau­rant and have din­ner. Be pre­pared to spend some cash because it’s not cheap, but it IS quite an expe­ri­ence though and I do rec­om­mend it.

It’s the first year they put this sea­sonal vil­lage together and it’s made com­pletely of ice and snow. It includes a hotel, chapel, bar and restau­rant all made out of ice and snow — way cool if you like the cold. The icy sculp­tural decor is a really nice touch and the over­all com­bi­na­tion of ice, snow and light is a won­der­ful sen­sory expe­ri­ence. Because I went with friends I couldn’t take as many pic­tures as I wanted but we did take a good look around and the vil­lage is stun­ning. I hope to go back before the vil­lage melts and take some more shots.

Amarula Ice Bar Montreal -  Le bar de glace Amarula - Montréal

Amarula Ice Bar Mon­treal — Le bar de glace Amarula — Montréal
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Rideau Canal and Rink of Dreams — Ottawa Ontario, Canada

This past week­end I went to Ottawa Ontario, Canada’s cap­i­tal. I really enjoy vis­it­ing Ottawa as there’s always lots to see and the city is fairly easy to get around in. I went to visit some fam­ily and of course while I was there I was going to shoot the city at night. This week­end also hap­pened to be Win­ter­lude in Ottawa so there were lots of activ­i­ties and lots of pho­to­graphic opportunities.

As always, there’s way too much to shoot and never enough time to shoot it all. When this hap­pens, I have to make tough choices and this time I decided to focus on a clas­sic, and some­thing new. The clas­sic is the Rideau Canal which is the longest/largest skat­ing rink on planet Earth. It cuts through the down­town core of Ottawa and is close to 8 kilo­me­ters in length. It’s one of my favorite places to hang out in the win­ter­time in Ottawa.

Here are two images that are sim­i­lar — I’d be curi­ous to know which one peo­ple prefer.

This is the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Canada with the parliament buildings in the background

This is the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Canada with the par­lia­ment build­ings in the background

This next image high­lights the right side of the canal.

This angle highlights the right side of the canal with government buildings in the background

This angle high­lights the right side of the canal with gov­ern­ment build­ings in the background

 

After I shot the canal I went to Con­fed­er­a­tion Park to Catch part of  Win­ter­lude but I was stopped dead in my tracks by the FABULOUS lights of the new Rink of Dreams right next to City Hall. Skat­ing and Hockey are such a part of being Cana­dian and I just hung around the rink while par­ents and kids skated. I took some decent shots of peo­ple for a good 20 min­utes when some­thing mag­i­cal hap­pened. Every­one left the ice because the Zam­boni (ice clean­ing machine) had ice to clean.

As the Zam­boni started clean­ing the ice, the city’s reflec­tion in the ice became more and more promi­nent. I thought it added a cool layer to the scene so even though I nor­mally like peo­ple in my scenes — the empty rink really added some­thing for me. I could imag­ine par­ents and kids dream­ing about being skat­ing stars or hockey stars. Ottawa Rocks!

 

This image was taken at about 6:15 pm. I really dig the rink's colours, the city light reflections and of course, the Zamboni.

This image was taken at about 6:15 pm. I really dig the rink’s colours, the city light reflec­tions and of course, the Zamboni.

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