• Welcome to the Blog for Joel Yana Photography!

    My name is Joel Yana and I am a Lifestyle & Wedding photographer based out of Calgary. You can view a sample of my portfolio here.

    My main focus is on family lifestyle photography and new for 2011 I am now offering engagement sessions and wedding photography coverage.

    Check the blog frequently for updates and to view some of my recent work.

    Thanks for visiting. Enjoy!

Rider Nation – Calgary Newborn Photographer

This is Caden.  24 days old.

I chose this frame for its simplicity.  Newest member of the Rider Nation – Calgary Chapter.  Hands close to his heart and his team’s logo.  Looking up in the air, possibly imagining the day that he will get to attend a game at McMahon Stadium and cheer against the Stamps!

©2010 Joel Yana Photography

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High ISO: My Saviour! – Calgary Commercial Photographer

This post is for the photographers out there who visit my site from time to time.

Recently Meaghan asked me to do a very quick photo session to capture some images of the Absolute Dance team.  Apparently, trying to schedule 14 choreographers/dancers/instructors for a 1 hour shoot is like herding cats, and so the only time slot that worked was in the evening.  And…Meaghan wanted an outdoor image.  A month ago I thought to myself, “This shouldn’t be a problem if we can shoot during the golden hour (sorry that’s photog speak for just before sunset).  There should be plenty of light.”  Fast forward to the day of the shoot.  Rain.  Calgary has been getting a lot of rain this summer.  It stopped raining in the evening, but in its place were heavily overcast skies.  And once everyone was assembled, the sun had already set.  And I only had an hour to shoot these folks.  Yikes.  Made me wish I brought a couple of my studio strobes with me but there would be no time to set up and shoot.

5D Mark II to the rescue!  The first image was shot when it started to become very dark.  Ideally I would have shot at f8 or smaller to maximize depth of field but this would have necessitated using a slow shutter speed.  Given that these images were only going to be used for the web I decided to shoot wide open and take in as much ambient light possible.  I cranked up the ISO to 3200 which allowed me to shoot at 1/160, and I shot with the camera body mounted on my bombproof Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod to minimize camera shake.

The high ISO performance meant that I could capture a “usable” (that term is relative, especially if you plan to print images and the size of print) even without the use of flash.  The high ISO does introduce some noise to the image which I need to address in post, so for future low-light images I will use a stacking technique (take multiple exposures and overlay them using a PS script) to reduce noise and greatly improve image quality.  That said, this picture is a tad underexposed for my liking and definitely could have benefited from the use of some strobes.

Again, I would have preferred to have taken the image earlier on in the day but as a photog you need to work around your client’s schedule and make do.

©2010 Joel Yana Photography

Here’s a second version of the image, edited to address the exposure.  I created a second layer in Photoshop and increased exposure by 1.5 stops.  This improved the appearance of the foreground, but blew out the sky.  I removed the exposure adjustment to the sky and performed some dodging and burning and some touchups with the patch tool.  This approach works for a web-sized image, but I would much rather work with more light if the image was intended for printing at a much larger size.

©2010 Joel Yana Photography

We raced back to Meaghan and Erika’s studio to capture a few images in their infamous “orange room” – a tricky room from a white balance perspective with an abundance of overhead tungsten lights and a big orange wall (the entire room used to have orange walls but every wall except the amazing mural wall has been repainted a cream colour – more on the mural later).  This second image was shot with a 580EXII, bounced.

©2010 Joel Yana Photography

Meaghan and Erika’s staff were great to work with, especially given the limited amount of time and multiple locations.  The graffiti mural in the background is the work of talented Calgary artist David Brunning, aka The Kid Belo.  His art is posted prominently in many locations in Calgary.

Absolute Dance has overhauled their online presence (see site here and Facebook page here), has just kicked off their 2010/2010 dance year and are still taking registrations.  So if you have any aspiring dancers looking for a top notch facility, come down to Absolute Dance and register!

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Sunny Days – Calgary Children’s Photographer

If you are reading this and you live in Calgary, you’ll know what I mean when I say that Calgary’s weather as of late has been, well, awful!  But every once in awhile the skies open up and you get the chance to photograph a cute little munchkin like the one in this picture.  Tiana made my day!  More to come in the near future.

©2010 Joel Yana Photography

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Best Bang For Your Buck! – Canon 5D Mk II vs Fisher Price

Hi everyone!  It’s been awhile since I’ve posted on my site.  Well, I’m back and there will be some new posts of some recent shoots coming up soon.  Before I do so, I thought I’d offer up a personal post.

My 3 year old is coming to terms with my newfound career.  For awhile, all Aidan knew was that Daddy went to work “Town-town” to make money so that we could go to Disney.  But now he tells me that I no longer work Town-town and that I am a “Fur-Tographer” who makes pictures of people.  He’s recently learned how to take pictures using the family point & shoot camera, but his go to camera is his trusty Fisher Price toy camera.  The Holga toy camera has been trending with photogs as the latest cool thing to buy, but even these “toy” cameras cost between $40 to $60.  My son’s Fisher Price probably cost no more than $10, and as I thought about it, I’m sure that he has gotten more fun out of his camera than I have gotten out of my pro-spec camera:

  1. My Canon 5D Mk II and backup body cost me a few thousand.  Aidan’s Fisher Price cost next to nothing.
  2. My cams run on batteries that constantly need recharging.  Aidan’s camera needs no batteries.
  3. I had to invest in special lenses to get the types of images that I want (eg. shoot wide open, shoot ultrawide angle, shoot telephoto).  Aidan doesn’t need any special lenses.  His imagery is created with his imagination.
  4. Aidan never has to clean his built-in lens!
  5. Aidan doesn’t need to insure his camera!
  6. If he drops or breaks his camera, the cost to replace it is next to nothing.
  7. The Fisher Price doesn’t need memory cards.  The image capacity is endless.
  8. Aidan can shoot in extremely low-light conditions and the resulting images have no noise.  Puts the ISO 6400 capability of my 5D2 to shame.
  9. Aidan can shoot in the rain with no fear of damage to his camera.
  10. Aidan’s pictures never need any post-processing.  They are perfect SOOC.  So that’s why he has so much to time to play!!!

I’m relieved that Aidan doesn’t yet know how to blog.  Otherwise the pictures he could post would put his Daddy’s to shame.  I guess it’s true what they say – it’s not the camera, it’s the photographer.  And you know what they say about children – children have more fun.  So I think my takeaway is to approach my photography like a child – shoot without limits, and to use my imagination to its fullest.

I think I’m going to leave the Canons at home and use my son’s Fisher Price at my next shoot.  =)

© 2010 Joel Yana Photography

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Carson Sneak Peek – Calgary & Chestermere Newborn Photographer

CJ.  Tiny angel.  Big appetite!  We had a marathon session because little Miss Carson Jane decided to change her sleep schedule of late and eat and eat and eat.  A fed baby is a happy baby!!!

Here are a couple frames of Erika and Jeff’s precious sweetheart.

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