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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

2020 Whistler Magazine Photos

Whistler helicopter pilot Steve Gran
Whistler helicopter pilot Steve Gran
This was for a feature on Whistler residents who work in the film industry, including Blackcomb Aviation pilot Steve Gran who does a lot of flying for international film productions. I went up with him for an arial shoot where he was flying in close formation with another helicopter. It looked cool with the other helicopter, but Steve had his eyes glued to the other helicopter the whole time, so I couldn’t see his face. Once we were done with that, I asked him to fly over to a nearby glacier and put the helicopter into a steep banked turn so I could see the glacier out the window, and to look over my shoulder while he was doing it. I had the camera with a fisheye lens on in my right hand and was hitting the motor like crazy while I was holding on with my left hand to the seatbelt, as the g-force was pushing me nearly out the door. The sun beam through the back window was a happy accident.

The Whistler Magazine, which is the main Whistler resort magazine that goes into all the local hotel rooms, just won the … Read the rest

Strong Squamish Women

This was for story for the Squamish Chief on women who ride that ran in the international women’s day supplement. Since we shot the photo in early February, Kat Gina didn’t have her bike on the road and there was a ton of snow on the ground, she had to wheel the bike out onto her drive way where I lit her with the big Godox strobe.

Squamish councillor Jenna Stoner, at the Eagle Run in Brackendale. David Buzzard Photography
Squamish councillor Jenna Stoner at the Eagle Run viewpoint in Brackendale.

This was for a portrait to go with a feature on newly elected Squamish councillor Jenna Stoner and Squamish women who lead. I love the view of Squamish river from the big flood control dyke in Brackendale so asked her to meet me there for the photo. Because of Jenna’s schedule we had to shoot right at sunset, which made for some really nice evening light. I used a Godox flash to light her, but it was turned down really low so not to overpower the existing light.

Squamish Teen lifter 15 year old Tia Pascuzzi. David Buzzard Photography
Squamish Teen lifter 15 year old Tia Pascuzzi.

Squamish barbell co-owner Heather Bell. David Buzzard Photography
Squamish barbell co-owner Heather Bell.

Competitive lifter Tonya Motyka. David Buzzard Photography
Competitive lifter Tonya Motyka.

This was on a story about women power lifters who work out of local gym Squamish … 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

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

ThinkTank Shapeshifter v.2

London Trafalgar Square
A fellow lost tourist near Trafalgar Square. I took my ThinkTank Shapeshifter pack for a walk around London on a recent 10 hour layover.

A while back, I noticed a post on Facebook from ThinkTank asking for input on the new version two of their classic Shapeshifter camera pack. I’ve been carrying one around for the last four years on a pretty much daily basis, and although I really love it, there’s always a few things that pop up in daily use, so I sent them a full page letter of suggestions. Six months later, a prototype V.2 bag showed up on my doorstep with an invitation to tell them what I thought of it.

I have a bunch of ThinkTank products, including an Airport backpack that dwarves the diminutive Shapeshifter. The Shapeshifter is a totally different animal than pretty much any other camera backpack you’re going to find, from any manufacturer. Most packs are basically big bulky foam boxes with shiftable velcro dividers inside. They have fantastic protection for your gear, but they’re also really big and bulky The Shapeshifter is unpadded, except for neoprene rubber pouches for the gear. It’s designed to fit two pro cameras, a wide, … Read the rest