Photo Updates

A Place I Love – Tyax Lodge

Tyax Resort adn Spa - Andrew Doran Photography

I just got the call I wait for every new year! For the past 9 years I have worked with TLH Heliskiing shooting advertising images, and take home memories for their guests.  TLH operates out of  Tyax Resort in the South Chilcotin Mountains of British Columbia, a place I have come to love winter and summer.  I will make the 5 hour drive on windy mountain back-roads many times in the next few months.  It’s an arduous task getting there, but the reward at the end of the road is so worth it!

A Long and Winding Road

Skate Skiing in the Callaghan-Andrew Doran PhotographyI’m looking forward to what the new year will bring. Twists and turns, challenges, up-hill battles, and cruisey downhill coasting. Skate Skiing is something new that I am doing to get outdoors and stay in shape. A quick shot from one of my trips to the Whistler Olympic Park Nordic Center in the Callaghan Valley near Whistler, BC

New Years Revolution – I’m not looking back

Over the years I found that how quickly time passes depends on what you are remembering.  A vacation can seem like it’s lasting forever, until you start thinking about how few days you have left before you head back to your daily grind. 2011 was a long and short year for me some things flew by, others dragged out. But I’m not looking back!

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Set Free – A Trail Running Video

I have been working in my spare time over the past few months to produce a trail running video with my perfect partner Kristie.  Trail running is her passion, and since imaging is mine, it made sense to do a project together.  I wanted to get out and experiment with some DSLR video since I picked up an awesome Nikon D7000.  It was a great learning experience, and we are quite proud of the result, my first start to finish DSLR HD video production.

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Bing is Beautiful – Live at Squamish Time Lapse

On the Labour Day weekend we shot a 56 hour time lapse at the Live at Squamish Music Festival for a TV commercial for Microsoft’s search engine Bing.  It is part of the Bing is Beautiful, and Bing and Decide campaigns.  Look for it during  your favourite regularly scheduled TV program.

We were responsible for shooting the time lapse sequence that runs in the background of the Bing concert commercial, plus a few of the concert shots in the “Photosynth” section of the ad.   More about how the shoot came together

Architecture Daily Blog – Great Buildings and Photography

I have been subscribing to the Arch Daily Blog for quite a while now, but they went way up in my good books today when they featured the Richmond Olympic Oval, the 2010 speed skating venue, including the photos I took for Cannon Design Architecture.  Kudos to Arch Daily for featuring the amazing Richmond Oval today, on the opening day of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.andrewdorancom-oval04Check out the Arch Daily blog post including photos by me, and other great photographers, and subscribe to their rss feed to get a little bit of architectural inspiration every day.  If you’re lucky enough to be in town for the Olympics,  go and check out this incredible building, or come and visit us in Vancouver after the 2010 craziness has subsided.

Busy is good – New Architectural Photography

It’s been a surprisingly busy January for me.  I’m not complaining, busy is good, especially at this time of the year, when it’s usually snoozeville around here architectural photography – wise.  With  2010 Olympic Games a few days away, believe it or not, I’m hoping for a bit of a rest.  You see, I live in Squamish, which is about exactly half way between Vancouver, and Whistler, so I pretty much have an Olympic frenzy on all sides.  That means that traffic will be chaos, and I will likely be better off staying at home to prevent a road-rage induced stroke.

I will probably spend a few days on the Olympic buses, visiting some of the Whistler Live! and Vancouver Live! venues, checking our the international pavilions and free concerts.  I can’t let the party completely pass me by, but I will likely spend most of the Olympics editing the architectural photography I have been shooting over the last month.  Then, when the 2010 chaos, and fun is over, breathe a sigh of relief, and get beck to work.

Some of my recent shoots have been Olympic related, I took photos for the Ontario Pavilion, and shot some hospitality spaces for Coca-Cola.  I have also been busy with a few other cool architecture projects including Tyax Wilderness Resort, and the Bank of Montreal.  I will post some details of all of my recent shoots soon (after the images have been delivered to the clients!)  but here are a few tidbits so you can see what I have been up to recently.

009Ontario House 2010 Olympic Pavilion – Hariri Pontarini Architects

_dsc9821Heli-Ski Chalet at Tyax Wilderness Resort

_dsc0618Olympic Hospitality space – Designed by Imagicorps

bmosampleBank of Montreal VancouverIredale Group Architects

More Photos and some Behind the Scenes coming soon!  GO CANADA GO!!!

2010 Olympic Oval up for World Building of the Year award

The Richmond Olympic Oval designed and built for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics has been short listed for the World Building of the Year Award, part of the 2009 World Architecture Festival Awards.

Cannon Design Architecture has leased my daylight long exposure images, along with a few others to be used in marketing and award applications.  It is fantastic to be a part of an application for such a prestigious award.

The 2010 Olympic Oval has already been honoured several times, including recognition from the Globe Foundation and World Green Building Council for projects that employ Green Building Practices, and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s 2009 Award of Excellence for Innovation in Architecture. The RAIC award is partly due to the use of more than a million board feet pine beetle kill lumber that forms the 100 meter span gluelam roof supports.  In addition to the RAIC and green building awards, the Richmond Olympic Oval was recently the recipient of the Sustainability Star award. Given by the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Organizing Committee (VANOC), which recognizes the innovative efforts Games partners and sponsors are taking to be sustainable.

The 2010 Olympic Oval is a spectacular building, and a marvel of modern construction  that blends function and aesthetics. If you can, get yourself to Richmond and take a look for yourself.

Hopefully we will see the Richmond Oval walk away with the World Building of the Year Award. (with an ever so little help from my photos)  😉

Expanding your style – Apply what you have learned

A while back I finally got a chance to get out and shoot with my 10 stop neutral density filter.  It allows me to take photos with 30 second – 2 minute long exposures in daylight.  you can see my first attempts in the original post here.

I bought this filter to experiment with, and to use for personal work, photos that might end up as art, or shots that might be just for me.  I had fun experimenting, and was pretty happy with the results.  I left the filter in my most used gear bag, and forgot about it for a while.

When my brother asked me for a ride to the Vancouver Airport a few weeks ago, I grabbed my gear, remembering that the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Speed Skating Oval had recently been completed near the airport, and was supposed to be a unique and spectacular building.  I thought I’d take a look at it after dropping my bro at YVR.  Great Architecture always intrigues me, that’s why I became an Architectural Photographer.  Sometimes I just go out and look at buildings, sometimes I photograph them for fun, even if it’s not a work assignment.  When I arrived at the Olympic Oval, the conditions could not have been better.  The light was in just the right place, still quite low in the sky, but with a bright daytime look.  The blue sky and clouds mirrored the brilliant colours of the ice blue architecture, accented with orange wooden beams for a dash of contrast.

In a case like this, I have to take photos, I don’t have a choice.  It’s like an addiction, looks…..soooo…..goood,……..must…..take……photos….!  It’s the same feeling that would compel a tourist to take 2 dozen shots of a beautiful sunset, even though each one looks just like the one before.  It just looks so good.

I took about 150 frames, wandering around, exploring angles, different lenses, from far and near, low and high.  I was just about to pack up and move on, when I remembered the 10 stop ND filter in my gear bag ( I use a Lowe Pro Photo Trekker in case you were wondering – Free plug for Lowe Pro cause their stuff is so good, and has a lifetime warranty)  It was a pretty windy day, so the clouds and trees were moving quickly, if I made a long exposure I would probably get a unique look to the architecture image. And did I?  Yes.

Now, I’m not the first to take a daylight long exposure of a building, and I won’t be the last.  But, what I did was add a technique to my photography style quiver.  I learned something new by experimenting, and applied it to my personal style.  I really love the results, they add an bit of artistic flair to a standard assignment result.  I will experiment more with the technique, and refine it, learn how to use it as a tool to provide my architectural clients with a better, more unique product.  I will definitely use it on assignments in the future, for the right clients.

The take away here? No matter what your discipline, your style is not static, it grows and evolves.  If you try something new, and it feels right, then go with it.  Experiment, learn, apply, repeat.


Experimental Photography – Getting Your Groove Back

Over the past few months, a lot of the well known blogging photographers like Chase Jarvis, David Hobby, Joe McNally, and Drew Gardner have been talking a lot about the value of shooting for yourself. Personal work is good for the soul.

Well, it happens that a few days ago I was in a real funk. I couldn’t get motivated to slog through the pile of office work I had stacked in my in-box, or the editing waiting for me in the depths of the hard drive. I find that times like these, when I ‘ not being very productive anyway are perfect times to get out an revive the creative juice flow by trying to shoot something new. My subject of choice is usually some type of abstract nature. The weather was lousy, gray and overcast with a little bit of rain. Not perfect landscape shoot weather, but then again, is there ever such a thing as perfect landscape weather? Suddenly I remembered the B+W 110 3.0 (10 stop Neutral Density filter) I bought months ago for shooting daylight long exposure photos. I have been meaning to try it out for ages, it’s still in the box. It’s just the type of thing that would lend itself to shooting on a less than perfect day. The filter would allow me to to take quite long exposures (2 minutes I discovered) which would blur the clouds, and water, while stationary objects remained sharp. All of a sudden, the funk was gone, replaced by creative excitement.

here are a couple of the results…

andrewdoran_com_EstuarySouth This is the Squamish Estuary, looking south towards the ocean

andrewdoran_com_Chief The same estuary area, looking east towards the Stawamus Chief, the second largest granite monolith in the world (Gibraltar is 1st)

I had planned to go to the old docks by the ocean too, but I got so into it at the estuary that I ran out of daylight. The sky even co-operated a bit, and opened some late in the day blue patches, providing me with some interesting cloud movement. Exposures were f22 @ 2 min.

No matter what your creative outlet is, taking some time to do something just for yourself always energizes. Write a poem, or a song, design you ultimate kitchen, paint, take some photos, whatever gets your mind going. After this little selfish outing, I came back to the office refreshed, and was able to tackle my work with enthusiasm. I also have a couple of new pieces that will likely end up on my wall.

Get out there and do something for yourself!