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Nikon S 14-30mm f/4 Lens Review

The Main, in downtown Squamish, a Kindred Construction project. David Buzzard Photography
The Main, in downtown Squamish, a Kindred Construction project. This was a good shoot to test the new Nikon S 14-30mm

I’ve been running my new Nikon S 14-30mm f/4 lens for a few months now, and thought I would share some examples and thoughts on this new and revolutionary lens.

I’ve been using the Nikon Z6 camera (check out my review) since last summer and so far I’m a huge fan of the Nikon mirrorless system. Over the last few years, a large part of my business has become photographing residential interiors for the tourist rental and real estate market here in Whistler and Squamish. I was using a Nikon AF-S 17-35mm lens that I bought in 1999, and while it’s a great lens for photojournalism and wedding photography, which was mostly what I was doing back in the day, it’s not that great for architectural work, and like most AF-S lenses, is less than a great fit with the Nikon Z6. When the Nikon S 14-30mm came on sale earlier this year, I picked one up.

Disclosure
As I said in my Nikon Z6 review, I’ve been a professional photographer for nearly 30 years and … Read the rest

Whistler Wears Masks

Whistler Councillor Arthur De Jong.
Whistler Councillor Arthur De Jong.

Last fall I was commissioned by the Whistler Municipality to do a series of portraits of local Whistler residents for an on-going campaign to promote Coronavirus mask wearing. Originally it was only supposed to be members of Whistler council, but it grew into over twenty different portraits of Whistler locals from all walks of life.

Vanessa Werner, Postpartum Doula & Breathwork Practitioner.
Vanessa Werner, Postpartum Doula & Breathwork Practitioner

Olympic free skier Yuki Tsubota
Olympic free skier Yuki Tsubota

The staff of the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre.
The staff of the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.

Maeve Jones.
Maeve Jones.

Jeanette Bruce, Program Coordinator at the Whistler Public Library.
Jeanette Bruce, Program Coordinator at the Whistler Public Library.

Kat Frew from Gibbons Whistler.
Kat Frew from Gibbons Whistler.

Behind the Scenes
The biggest issue with this project was that we couldn’t see most of the subject’s faces, so we really had to concentrate on the subject’s body language, especially the look in their eyes. I found that a smile really shows translates into the eyes. We were incredibly lucky to get really beautiful Whistler autumn weather, rather than the usual heavy rains.

All the photos were shot with a Nikon Z6 with an Nikon S 24-70 f/4 lens, and lit with a Godox AD600Pro portable studio strobe with a medium sized Chimera Softbox. I’ve moved completely to Nikon’s new mirrorless cameras and … Read the rest

Whistler Magazine Photography

Red Door Bistro executive chef RD Stewart plates up a dish of fennel pollen dusted cod medallions with baby shrimp, lemon risotto, green beans and tarragon beurre blanc.

Red Door Bistro executive chef RD Stewart plates up a dish of fennel pollen dusted cod medallions with baby shrimp, lemon risotto, green beans and tarragon beurre blanc.
Red Door Bistro executive chef RD Stewart plates up a dish of fennel pollen dusted cod medallions with baby shrimp, lemon risotto, green beans and tarragon beurre blanc. The Red Door is such a small restaurant that for the top photo, I had to stand in the kitchen to get far enough back.

For the last few years, I’ve been photographing the food section of the Whistler Magazine, which is the main resort magazine in Whistler that goes into all the hotel rooms in the resort. This year I ended up photographing the profiles section on Pemberton farmers, which was a really cool.

Pemberton farmers Simone McIsaac (in cap) and Sarah Stewart of Root Down Organic Farms.
Pemberton farmers Simone McIsaac (in cap) and Sarah Stewart of Root Down Organic Farms.

Northarm Farm owners Trish and Jordan Sturdy in a field of purple sprouting broccoli.
Northarm Farm owners Trish and Jordan Sturdy in a field of purple sprouting broccoli.

My wife and I headed to Pemberton last October (on my birthday, to boot) to do this story on local farms that supply fresh produce to Whistler restaurants, one of the reasons why we have so many acclaimed restaurants in Whistler. Pemberton is still covered in snow in March and April when we do the photography for the magazine, so we had to go up in the fall instead.… Read the rest

Nikon Z6 Review

Nikon Z6 Review – A professional take on Nikon’s new camera.

A first nations dancer performs with Canadian techno group A Tribe Called Red at the Squamish Constellation Festival. Photographed with the Nikon Z6 camera. David Buzzard Photography
A first nations dancer performs with the Canadian techno group A Tribe Called Red at the Squamish Constellation Festival. Photographed with the Nikon Z6 camera.

Overview
I’ll save everyone the of trouble of scrolling to the end of the review to get to the summary. I’ll say right off the start that Nikon has hit it out of the park with the Nikon Z6. While it’s not perfect, my only regret so far with the Nikon Z6 is that I didn’t buy two of them while they were on sale.

I’ve been a working photographer for nearly 30 years and I’ve used Nikon cameras throughout my career, which has been a mixture of newspaper photojournalism and commercial photography. Other than buying a lot of their products, I don’t have any professional relationship with Nikon. If I want to use one of their cameras, I have to go out and buy it. My main cameras for the last few years have been two Nikon D3s’s (that will tell you how disinclined I am to change out my equipment) for my newspaper work, along with a D800 for commercial photography. After … Read the rest

Godox AD200 Review

Squamish MMA fighter Jamey-Lyn Horth. Photographed with the Godox AD200
A portrait of Squamish MMA fighter Jamey-Lyn Horth shot for the Squamish Chief newspaper. I shot this about a day after I first got the Godox AD200. I decided I was going to see what it could do, so I set the power down to 1/16 sec and set the motor drive on my camera to 9 fps to get Jamey-Lyn at full peak action. This is about midway through a 10 shot burst and it’s still giving me the required power, which is really impressive. It also froze her in mid-air (and she was really moving), again, really impressive.

Introduction
For those not familiar with my work, I’m a professional photographer based in Whistler BC, Canada, but working extensively throughout the Vancouver and Squamish area. I started as a newspaper photographer at 16, and since 1991, I’ve been a full time professional photographer. I don’t have any other sources of income, my wife doesn’t have a high paying job, and I don’t have a trust fund or anything like that.

I’ve been using Nikon equipment throughout my career and have a box of Nikon flash equipment in my studio. I would say that easily two thirds of my work … Read the rest

Profiles of Excellence

All Cargo Express president Gilbert Chang. Richmond, BC.
All Cargo Express president Gilbert Chang. All Cargo is a Richmond company that specializes in shipping cars worldwide.

I do a lot of Vancouver Business Headshots as part of my business, so the the owners of the newspapers I work for, Glacier Media, asked me to do the photography for their magazine, Profiles of Excellence. I ended up spending the better part of November and December last year running around all over Vancouver shooting portraits for the project. It was a pretty cool job for me, that had me going from everything from financial service offices in downtown to shipping companies out in Richmond.

Here are some of favourite photos from the project.

Fairlane Collision & Auto Glass Autobody shop owner Evelyn Caleb.
Fairlane Collision & Auto Glass Autobody shop owner Evelyn Caleb.

OPAL by Element show suite.
OPAL by Element show suite.

Odlum Brown President and CEO Debra A. Hewson in their Vancouver office.
Odlum Brown President and CEO Debra A. Hewson in her Vancouver office.

Tech Stuff:
All Cargo Express president Gilbert Chang. Richmond, BC.
The Mustang in the container, ready for shipping.

With the photo of Gilbert Chang from All Cargo Express, I had taken several of portraits in their warehouse, but after that I went out to photograph some of the cars being loaded into shipping containers. On one of the shots, the flash didn’t fire, and I got this crazy … Read the rest

Squamish Business Portraits

Vancouver Business Headshots
Husband and wife co-owners Erin Copeland and Sean Tremblay of the Tall Tree Bakery, which won for Best Bakery.

I had a pretty interesting assignment the other day, photograph twenty business portraits to go with the Squamish Chief’s annual Reader’s Choice magazine. It’s a pretty big deal for the businesses, especially with so many new businesses in Squamish over the last few years. I only had three days to organize and photograph it all, and we were right in the middle of the wettest October ever recorded in Squamish, and if you know anything about Squamish, it’s that it’s already a really rainy place the best of times, which made it a pretty interesting couple of days of shooting.

I really wanted it to be more than a series of Squamish headshots, so I took a lot of effort to get a feel for the different businesses.

Chris Harper of OTP Performance.
Chris Harper of OTP Performance.

Chris from OTP is an old friend of mine. Twenty years ago when I was just starting out as a commercial photographer, and he was a young professional snowboarder, I took a photo of him that eventually ended up being used to represent cool snowboarders for the … Read the rest

Location Headshots

Vancouver Business Headshots
Nine of the twenty three business portraits I photographed for an international financial services company at their annual meeting in Whistler.

I received an interesting request for some Vancouver headshots the other day. It was from a financial services company who were having their annual meeting at the Hilton Hotel in Whistler. The company wanted a set of matching business portraits, or headshots, and since their executives were spread all over the world, Vancouver, Asia, England, I had to do the photography in the middle of their very busy annual meeting.

I set up my studio in an empty board room at the Hilton first thing that morning, as the first group was set to come down during the morning coffee break. In 20 minutes, I shot the first six portraits, or about one every three minutes for both a tight head and shoulders portrait and a 3/4 length relaxed business portrait. I photographed the last 17 portraits in about an hour over the lunch break.

For more of my headshot work, check out my business portrait page at http://www.media-centre.ca/headshots/

Tech Stuff
Vancouver Business Headshots
A quick view of my set up in the Whistler Hilton boardroom.

This was one of those jobs … Read the rest

Alta Bistro

The Alta Bistro at Whistler BC.  Vancouver food photographer David Buzzard
Baguettes with a Poolish Ferment at the Alta Bistro, photographed for the Pique Magazine’s Chef’s Choice Book, as well as the summer edition of Whistler the Magazine.

I do a lot photos for Whistler restaurants, and the Alta Bistro is one of my favourites. I’ve been there a few times over the last 18 months, the first time to do a portrait of owner Eric Griffith for the West Ender in Vancouver, then later we were there for a food shot to go with the Pique’s Chef’s Choice Recipe Book.

The Alta Bistro is know for it’s deep commitment to a sustainable farm to table menu, as well as having one of the best wine lists in town.

The Alta Bistro at Whistler BC.  Vancouver food photographer David Buzzard
Another view of the Baguettes with a Poolish Ferment dish we photographed for the Chef’s Choice, this time with the famous wall of preserves in the background.

Eric Griffith of The Alta Bistro at Whistler BC.  Vancouver food photographer David Buzzard
Eric Griffith in front of the wall of preserves that is such a dominating feature of the Alta Bistro. Several well known photographers have photographed him against the preserves, so it’s interesting to see the different versions. I shot this for a story the West Ender was doing on the Cornucopia festival in Whistler, … Read the rest

Executive House Shoot

High end Whistler house
I spend a lot of time shooting Vancouver house photos. I spent a busy day shooting this brand new executive Whistler house for CR Contracting, the builders of the house. There is some amazing timber framing, with entire tree trunks being used for the upright posts.

This first shot is the front entry, looking towards the kitchen and breakfast nook. One of the great features of this house are the three story high, floor to ceiling windows, but that also caused me huge problems, as it’s such a bright light source that almost everything in the room is silhouetted. To balance the light, I used a 640w/s strobe with a large softbox on the second floor landing to camera left to light the the centre and camera right posts, another 640w/s light on the floor to camera left aimed at the bar, and a third 640w/s light with a small softbox behind the post on camera left to light the kitchen.

Actually, the biggest problem with this shot was the $35,000 Steinway baby grand piano that was in the middle of the room and generally in the way of everything. I grabbed a couple of painters who were finishing … Read the rest