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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.

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

The 1990 Lillooet Lake Road Blockade

The 1990 Lillooet Lake Road blockade
A young first nations woman is arrested during the 1990 Lillooet Lake Road Blockade.

In November 1990, the RCMP moved in force to clear a road blockade on the Lillooet Lake Road (It’s now the part of Highway 99 through Mt. Currie) that members of the Mt. Currie Indian band had maintained for the previous four months. There had been a very high profile showdown between Canadian troops and Mohawk Indians during the 1990 Oka Crisis, and that caused long standing local land use issues in Mt. Currie to boil over in the summer of 1990. While the Oka Crisis was highly publicized and eventually settled relatively peacefully, the blockade in Mt. Currie was far from any urban centres and basically ignored by the media. After four months, the province acquired an injunction against the protestors and then an enforcement order, allowing the RCMP to clear the road.

Hundreds of Mt. Currie residents came out to maintain the roadblock, while several buses of RCMP officers arrived. While most of the protestors stood aside, 63 were eventually arrested. It would become Canada’s longest political road blockade.

While today this is kind of a forgotten incident, it really was the beginning of … 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

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.

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.

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

About a Local Profile

Photojournalist David Buzzard in Umlazi South Africa, 1996.
That’s me at work in the Umlazi Township, near Durban South Africa, circa 1996.

Squamish Chief reporter Jennifer Thuncher wrote this great profile on me for her ‘About a Local” column, so I thought I would share it here. I was ducking her on this for a while, as I’m actually pretty shy, but she did a great job. I thought it was important to mention some of the PTSD issues I dealt with after my time as a photographer in South Africa. It’s a common issue with journalists, and something that we as a profession tend not to deal wit that well.… Read the rest

Emerald and Alpine House Fires

Emerald Estates Fire
Whistler firefighters wait for water for their hoses as the house burns.
Saturday, I woke up suddenly at 6:30 in the morning. It took me a minute to realize that a fire truck had just gone past my bedroom with it’s lights and sirens going full blast. I jumped out of bed and tuned in my radio scanner to the fire department frequency, and found that there was a huge fire just around the corner from my house. Listening to radio scanners is a bit of an art, but that morning I could hear real alarm in the voices of the firefighters.

The temperature overnight had been below -20 degrees celsius, and it was still -17 or -18 outside. The nearby fire hydrants had frozen overnight, and the firefighters couldn’t get them to work. While they were dealing with the hydrants, I walked up to the side of the house. I met a friend of mine, fire captain Al Eaton, who was still waiting for water for his hose, and we just sat there for a minute watching the house burn. Another two fire fighters tried to get in through a side door, but the smoke in the house was … Read the rest