Friday, February 25, 2011

Sabina & Ranky Engagement @ Blue Mountain // Teaser

Two weeks ago, we and Alex had a session with Sabina and Ranky at Blue Mountain Ski Resort. To read more about the preparation work, click here. For the after-the-trip update, click here.

This is the first job that we used DSLR for video. Enjoy the teaser!!! Comments are always welcomed. We are working on improving the techniques in motion pictures capturing and video editing. Heads up, tomorrow morning we will head out for part 2 of the engagement session. Blue Mountain, again? No, we will go to Richmond Hill instead. Fingers crossed for good weather.

*Updated July 18, 2011*
Click here for the full version of the fusion video.

Cheers, Elsa.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Alison & Aaron Engagement // Teaser

Alex (my photographic partner) and I had an engagement session with this young couple two days ago. Alex did the majority of photos. And I was shooting mainly videos. I just want to quickly share what we have so far.

Overall, I am pleased with the result (thanks to Elsa's editing). I am able to realise many of my ideas during the session. Gotta work on panning the camera as the video is a bit rough. But I am getting better on manual focus. Once I receive Alex's photos, we can work on the full version.

*Updated November 10, 2011*
Click here for the full version of the fusion video.

Cheers, Gary.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Our First Wedding Slideshow with Video Clips

This is something we have planned for a while. And finally we have brought it to reality - capturing video clips and incorporating them into our video slideshow.

Previously, we have posted a Same Day Edit (SDE) version of the slideshow. And here is the full wedding day version with strategically placed video clips.

Do you like it? Let us know in the comment area.

Cheers, Gary.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Colour Correction for Photo Book - Part 2 of 2

To read part 1 of the story, click here.

Yesterday, we received the test prints back. And they turn out to be very close to what we expect. Let me explain:

When we sent in the colour corrected files for test prints, I put a 20% "discount" to the adjustment. For example, in the original print out, I think the red colour is 10 points too saturated. So the correction should be -10 points of saturation to desaturate the colour. However, I was afraid that I might have over-done the adjustment. So I reduced the adjustment by 20% and set it to -8 instead.

It turns out that my conservativeness is unnecessary. The colours on the test prints are in between those on the digital files and on the photo book. Specifically, the colours look more similar to the digital files. A full-strength colour adjustment should do the trick.

Now that we have got the colour sorted out, we can have them to reprint the sample photo book. And we are confident that our clients' photo book will have the colours we want.

I should note that for all the test prints, shipping, book reprint, my supplier does not charge me a thing. This is good customer service. It also makes the whole issue much more pleasant to handle. We definitely want to deal with them in the future.

Cheers, Gary.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Did We Survive?

We are homed safe and sound.

The drive to Blue Mountain was quite an adventure - in several occasions, the blowing snow caused white out and left us with absolutely ZERO visibility for several seconds. Fortunately we made it there safely. The wind was very strong; I would say it must be stronger than the 35km/h forecasted. It didn't take long for losing feeling to my toes and fingers. Even our trusty (but aged) tripod couldn't stand the cold - the plastic became brittle and snapped.

This is the first job that we used the new DSLR for video. And we got the chance to put our idea into practice. Overall, it was a memorable experience.

The sky was so blue... as if it's a warm summer afternoon...
Night view...

And the ski hill...

Cheers, Elsa.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Blue Mountain

We will be heading to Blue Mountain for a full-day engagement session tomorrow. Gary is packing our gears as I type. It is somewhat tricky. On one hand, we need to pack for the unexpected; on the other hand, we should pack light as we will be carrying the equipment around all the time.

The weather forecast call for strong NW wind (35km/h) in the afternoon. Aiya...

Cheers, Elsa.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Colour Correction for Photo Book - Part 1 of 2

Just as many photographers, we offer our clients photo enlargements with different mounting and framing options, flush mount albums, press-printed photo books and cards, etc. Before we can sell a product, we need to put together a sample to show our potential customers. Last December, we ordered a press-printed photo book from a new supplier. When we first received the book, everything looks good. High quality printing on premium coated paper. Sturdy binding. Great finishing on the hard cover. We were satisfied and felt that the quality is good enough to offer our clients.

As some of you may have experienced, what you see on the computer screen may not be the same as what you get from the print out. A few days later, when we compared the physical book with the digital files side by side, shockingly we found that certain colours are unacceptably off. Skin colour is way too "red" with a tint of yellow.



The first thing I did was to contact the supplier regarding the issue. Fortunately, they gave us a positive attitude on the situation (unlike a few other suppliers we came across). Long story short, they allowed us to test print a couple of pages after I adjusted the colours. So I did my best in photoshop and changed the colours which should approximately "counter-act" the colour shift from the print out.


Hopefully, the final result will be more close to the original.

Fingers crossed, Gary.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Anjali - Beauty Revealed

Late last year, we had an opportunity to do a quick and fun photo session with a lovely young lady, Anjali. She is a bit camera shy at the "very beginning" but after only a few shots, her expression comes naturally. It made our day when Anjali told us that she received a lot of positive comments after she posted the pictures on facebook.

We also did a few shots with her friend, Dimple. Too bad that they had to leave for another appointment. Otherwise, we could have take more photos of her. Let's hope we can picture more of Dimple next time.

Gary is still working on the final set of look which is Anjali in traditional Indian costume. Stay tuned.

Cheers, Elsa.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Video Editing

Gary is done touching up Selina and Michael's wedding day pictures and "patiently" waiting for me - the video clips. I have been spending most of the Sunday afternoon and tonight working on them but I am still not done yet!!! Welcome to the world of video editing...

Sleepy, Elsa.

Friday, February 4, 2011

What Are We Up To?

We are constantly finding ways to improve both our production and post-production skill and technique, keeping up with new trend and offering services/products that are innovative and different. Last year we introduced 3D imaging. This year we start offering fusion photography service.

As some of you may know, I usually assist Gary by carrying heavy equipment around, setting up lights, holding reflector/softbox, organizing group shots, etc. Going forward, I will be focusing more on taking motion picture. At this point, we are not offering full-blown cinematography service. Instead, we will incorporate video clips to the slideshows we have been offering our clients since last year.

We tested this concept out by taking behind-the-scene clips when we were doing the engagement session with Vivian and Thomas in May 2010. Back then, I used a 5-year-old handycam (wedding gift from my beloved brother). Despite the video quality is not as superior as the newer equipment, it captures how Vivian and Thomas were having fun while "working" hard - jumping down the fence and running towards the camera countless times. To see the video slideshow we put together, click here.

Last week I borrowed my dad's HD handycam to capture Selina and Michael's wedding. (We are still working on their full version video slideshow and should be able to share next week.) The video quality is better and I managed to capture some great video footage. However it doesn't have the desired "filmic-like" effect.

In order to economically create such an effect, Gary bought me a Nikon D7000. To solve the shaky hand-held problem, we initially bought the Steadicam Merlin but we ended up returning it and ordered a less expensive Halo Rig instead. We will see how it goes and decide if we will upgrade it to the Steadicam Merlin. There is this new set of gears (investment) to go with our video capturing mission: video DSLR, stablizer, monopod and head, microphone, sound recorder, etc. Next on our wish list is an external monitor.

I will be practicing and hope to get familiar with the new gears by the next photo shoot.

Cheers, Elsa.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Website Relaunch with New Design

Mission #1 (among many others) - accomplished. Recently we have been spending time redoing our website. Both FLASH and HTML (for ipad users) versions are completed. Please visit us at

Tell us if it is easy to navigate, what other contents you would like to see and get from our website.

In any event, for the most up-to-date information about us, the work we do and the life we live and breathe, please check out this blog regularly. We plan to post updates at least twice a week!!! Stay tuned for our next post.

Cheers, Elsa.