Welcome to Exposure. My blog about the scenes behind the scenes as a news photographer in Winnipeg.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Shooting some ducks...

To photograph ducks in their natural habitat, you have to be up early, and you have to be prepared to spend a long time kneeling in cold water. These are a couple of the things I learned at the Delta Marsh. It was my first time photographing waterfowl in the wild, and it didn't take me long to realize it is something that is very rewarding.  Fred Greenslade, from Delta Waterfowl, was kind enough to bring me along to learn the ropes. He had all the gear we needed, including the Chewbacca-esque ghillie suits we needed to wear to provide camouflage. 

Three factors came together to make perfect conditions for photographing ducks. The first two factors were sun and wind. The wind was gusting south-east, which meant the ducks would be landing facing towards the sun, which wasn't hiding behind any clouds. The third, and most important factor is that there were plenty of ducks around for us to shoot. 

There are lots of ducks now, because it is their peak migration season. Most of the birds here now use the marsh as a staging area, or a pit stop in the spring and fall as they travel all over. 

Fred compared photographing ducks with sports. The comparison proved to be true, as you are photographing a subject with which you have little or no control. All you can do is put yourself in the right position to get the photographs you are looking for. You quickly realize, however, that ducks travel a lot faster than any hockey or football player. Many of my photos were back focused as I tried to track the birds while they zig zagged over the marsh. 

To see more photos, check them out at Ducks at TrevorHagan.com

Monday 7 March 2011

I really did it this time..

Well for those of you who tuned in yesterday, you'll remember how I explained "old faithful." The photographers version of comfort food. Something we visit to fill the void of an empty schedule.

What I didn't tell you, is how I actually went and shot 2 of them. First, let me explain to you that Mondays are a traditionally thin newspaper. What that normally means, is that standup photos often don't even make it in. There just aren't that many photo spots to fill. Since I knew this, I figured that I would maybe have just one standup actually make it to your doorstep this morning. What I didn't account for, was how few assigned photos there really were. To put it simply, I screwed up.

What did I do? After getting down from the ice tower, I shot squirrels in my backyard. I used two emergency-situation standups, thinking that only 1 would make it in. Now I don't know what I'm gonna do next time there's a slow day. I'll give you a hint though, it'll likely be another animal.
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Sunday 6 March 2011

Frozen fingers

Sometimes during a shift, there just doesn't seem to be anything happening. When that's the case, it falls on us to find a photo. More often then not, that's easier said then done.
I have come to realize that we often fall back on locations we've been to in the past. These are places that are guaranteed to produce an image worthy of being in the paper.
Today, I hit one of these places; the climbing tower in st.boniface. I have shot a photo here in both of the previous two winters. A couple years ago, I was with Mike Deal, last year I actually got outfitted with a harness and ice picks of my own, and shot from 3/4 of the way up the tower. That is something that is more difficult then it sounds, because it involves forcing yourself to let go of the handles with both hands.
Today, I simply climbed up inside the tower and hung precariously over the edge. Climbing inside is a mission all in itself. The path is made up of old wooden ladders of various lengths and slippery wooden platforms. It's fun. Kind of like a jungle gym for adults. See the pic here: http://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/380*253/ice_02.jpg
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Friday 4 March 2011

The waiting game

This plays a big part in what we do. Right now, I am waiting for Minister Vic Toews to arrive at an event in the exchange district. Hurry up and wait. Don't want to risk being late, so instead I'm quite early.
Extra nerves today because I'm shooting for the Canadian Press.
So I arrive to an empty conference room, and pace around for a half hour.
Slowly, the rest of the regular media crew falls into place. That means it's almost go time.
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Tuesday 1 March 2011

Post 2

Somewhere in this combination of pages, I should be able to link all these things into one professional looking site. How come I'm struggling so much?
Maybe I can get a CreComm student to show me how. Come to think of it, I bet I could ask just about anyone born after 1995 to teach me how.
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

And it begins

Well, as my introductory blog post, I want to tell you about what I'm going through right now. I'm trying to embed this into my website, and I have absolutely no idea if I'm doing it correctly. If you've bothered to read this far, I want to reward you with a promise that it will only get better from here. Once this show is on the road, it will be heading in a good direction. Thank for joining.

10 minutes later and frustration mounts. I can't figure out how to configure this into my photoshelter page. How can a person who spends so much time on the computer be so bad at it?