On February 1st Tracy and I headed down to Mexico to witness two of our best friends getting married. There were over 50 other guests who came down as well which made for an absolutely great trip. We met many new friends and also reunited with some old ones.
Our resort, the Ocean Turquesa, was just south of Cancun near a little town called Puerto Morelos. As you’ll see in the photos, the resort was beautiful and had everything that one could want. We were close to a lot of different activities so you were definitely not trapped on the resort property. We took a trip into the jungle to a little market/spa and into Puerto Morelos one day. We also went down to Playa Del Carmen which was about 45 minutes away and spent the morning along the shopping area and beach. Near the end of the week we visited a little zoo/sanctuary that was close to the resort called, Crococun Zoo.
Crococun Zoo, was set up as a refuge and breeding program for the crocodile population in the area because they are being forced out of their natural habitat by all of the resorts which are being built up and taking over the swamps and mangroves. Over time they became a refuge for all kinds of exotic pets which were confiscated by the authorities or given up by owners who didn’t realize that it might be hard to take care of a 16 metre (50′) python… They had a group of wild monkeys in the area as well who love to hang around because the tourists have food so they get a steady diet of fruit and vegetables.
The day before we headed home Tracy and I went for traditional Mayan massages at The Jungle Spa. On Sundays the property has a local market which we visited earlier in the week but they main business is a spa staffed by local Mayan women. The business was started by a woman from the US who wanted to give the local women a way to support themselves without having to work for one of the giant resorts (who only pay between three and seven dollars a day). 75% of the proceeds go directly to the women who provide the services which gives them a livable wage which they can support their families with. Tracy found out about this spa before we headed down and thought that we should give it a try. I’m so glad that we did as I’m sure I will never forget the experience. They have a style very similar to massage therapy that you would receive here in Canada. It was a little painful but so worth it as over the next couple of days you could feel everything loosen up.
We took advantage of the resort as much as possible as well, just relaxing by the pool, wandering the property, and catching up with friends we don’t get to see as much as we would like. Almost every night there was a group of us going for dinner or we would all meet up at the lobby bar and share some laughs and stories about our various adventures.
The wedding couldn’t have gone better; the weather cooperated nicely and the setting was gorgeous. After the ceremony Brad, Marie and I set off to take some portraits around the property. They asked me if I would do their portraits as they trusted me over the other options provided by the hotel. It was fun to spend time with them on their special day and I was more than happy to help out. Also a big thank you to Tara who took great photos of the ceremony while I was just standing around…
I would have loved to get this post and pictures posted sooner but the six weeks since returning have not been kind to me. I returned home with a case of salmonella poisoning which lasted for over two weeks and then just as I was feeling better I came down with shingles… which I’m still fighting. So editing and sorting photos took a little longer than expected. But the good news is they are all done and ready for viewing.
I broke the photos down into three galleries. As always there are few photos included here but the full gallery/slideshow can be seen with the links.
Hope you enjoy!
So, I’ve been a little lazy about getting on here and blogging. I just haven’t felt like it lately. Partially due to being sick for the last week and partially because I’m kinda just in a routine with nothing super interesting to report.
I did however get to spend time with my sister and mom yesterday for the afternoon. Jen is down visiting my parents for the week while she is on spring break so they took the day and came down to get in some shopping and also to see me. I took her through the data centre at work and showed her a little of what we are responsible for. I always like showing people through the data centre to give people a sense of the scale of computing that I do and to give a physical face to the magic that happens behind the scenes.
So we went for lunch and wandered downtown enjoying the day until it started raining. It was just nice to visit. I always wish I could spend more time with Jen and Chris, but given they are a two day drive away, it’s a little geographically restrictive. Oh well, they will be down in the summer for a visit again and we’ll get more time to hang out I’m sure.
Last weekend I finished processing my first wedding shoot. I was super excited to get the pictures done but the headcold took out my energy and made everything feel like it took twice as much effort. My friends were super happy and I am pretty proud of the results. Check out some of my favorites below. Also, I had some time before the wedding to wander around Hornell and shoot for about an hour, so I’ve got a few of those pictures too.
I have been shooting a lot more this last couple of weeks (need to process a bunch of pics before I can show them). I’ve found that keeping the camera out and handy encourages me to make some pics when I see it just sitting there, waiting to be used. I’ve been doing mostly indoor macro type stuff due to the weather but I know it’s supposed to turn around here anytime and be a nice spring so I expect to get outdoors shooting soon.
No big trips planned anytime soon but we are looking at going to the east coast in the summer for a couple of weeks. I’m sure I’ll find a few opportunities to make some pictures out there while exploring.
Hope things are good with you!
On December 3rd, 2011, our good friends Sarah and Kristian were married here at Craighdarroch Castle in Victoria. The venue is fantastic and the wedding was great. The ceremony was short and sweet with a small gathering of family and friends to celebrate the special occasion.
Kristian and Sarah had asked that I bring my camera along to the ceremony and share any photos that I made. Happily I shot for pretty much the entire night and had a great time doing it. The opportunity for getting people to pose for portraits is rare and it was a great opportunity to try some lighting techniques I’ve been working on.
After receiving my photos they were delighted and asked that I go with them to New York in March to photograph their second ceremony (Sarah’s family is all in New York state and not all could travel out for the first ceremony). I spent a lot of time thinking about their proposal because I’m quite nervous about potentially screwing up a very special occasion for close friends. You don’t want to be that guy who says “sure!” and then turn out work that just isn’t very good. I realized though, that I can’t really lose on this proposition because they already have photos they love and they want me to make more for them; win-win!
This is also an opportunity to test the “wedding photographer” waters some more and see if it’s something that I want to start doing more formally (I know that I’ve said in the past this isn’t something I wanted, but now I’m here considering it… time has a funny way of changing your mind).
So, in March I’ll be heading out east for a quick weekend jaunt. I’m really excited and looking forward to the adventure. The town is actually in up-state New York so I won’t get to see the Big Apple, the little place looks kinda neat from what I’ve seen online. With any luck, I’ll get some nice weather to wander around in while I’m there.
So here are some of my favorites, but you can see all 80 or so in the full gallery slideshow.
This will be a quick post here. I’m just putting up the pictures from a wedding we attended a couple weeks ago. Great wedding and really great people. It was a bit of a blast from the past because my connection is to the groom, Ryan, who I was in cadets with when we were kids.
He has maintained a strong connection to the cadet organization and as a result with many people from our respective pasts. There were people attending that I haven’t seen in over ten years and it was great to see them all.
The location was fantastic and the food was fantastic. They had pros shooting the wedding and I didn’t want to be the annoying guy with a camera so I was good and just took a few snaps.
Finally feeling better.
The nasal spray is working again, yay! I was starting to wonder if my body had gotten used to the spray and it wasn’t going to work anymore, but it seems to be doing the trick and I’m sleeping again. Took a bit but now I’m feeling normal… well as normal as ever haha.
Been a good week so far. I’m learning about Lightroom ton and finding new ways to interact with the software. As a result I’m playing around with my images a little here and there and finding pretty good result. The instructor has some great tips and tricks that are making life a little easier.
For the last year, or so, I’ve focused on “getting it right in-camera” and had been shooting JPG instead of RAW. After considerable research and time I’ve learned how the RAW format can help if you are going to be editing your photos with Photoshop or Lightroom. Simply put, the RAW format of a photo retains a significantly higher amount of data which means you have more room to play with settings of the photo before you see issues. For example, you can adjust the exposure of an image much more before you see negative effects from the adjustment. There is a lot more to the format difference but I’ll probably write a separate post about it later.
So after spending the better part of year working with the camera, I feel like I’m doing alright and I’m ready to start learning more about post processing. Learning a lot about Lightroom (and specifically about the settings in it for editing) has helped to make it feel less like work and much more enjoyable. There is so much depth to the program that I’m going to be learning for a long time, but thats a good thing… kinda like a new puzzle.
So I hope you like the images from this week. I spent a bunch of time on them this week and love a couple of them. Having been sleeping more and feeling better helps with all of this too. I actually feel like getting out shooting and spending time doing the post too.
This marks a new point in my ongoing development and I’m pretty excited about it. Growth is always good.