Sharing sunrise over the West River with new friends

Watching the sun rise over the West River, PEI.

Watching the sun rise over the West River, PEI.

For the past 5 days, I along with 40+ other photographers have been attending what might have been the best 5 day gathering and experience I’ve had the opprotunity to be part of. It became more of a summer camp with early mornings and very late nights, all at a location that was very personal. This barn/campfire combination was not your typical hotel conference room environment. I don’t think I got home any single night earlier than 1am.

When Dave asked me to take part and help demo and present, I was unsure and hesitant not knowing what value I could bring to the table. I got the feeling that several other presenters felt the same way. It can be a difficult thing to run a technical talk with a wide range of experience in the audience. Where is that balance between confusion and boredom?

Basecamp for Land and See and the home of Dave Brosha.

Basecamp for Land and See and the home of Dave Brosha.

I truly did not know what to expect with this event but have yet to hear a negative remark. I left feeling the impact and variety of topics we covered hit a home run. Strong emotions were highlighted from many talks about “why we do this” and very little talk about the latest camera models.

Measuring success is difficult but considering this years speakers are wanting to return as participants next year and many of this years participants have already registered for 2016 is an indication of what this now yearly event has already become.

Music under a setting sun with Pete MacDonald.

Music under a setting sun with Pete MacDonald.

It feels odd right now waking up and not rushing off to “the barn” on Dave’s property. Land and See 2015 is now a memory and a constant Facebook stream of images I’m having a hard time keeping up with.

2016 registration details will be available in the next day or two and I’ll get the website updated to reflect everything we’ll all be looking forward to in July 2016.

A demo from the talented Brooke Shaden

A demo from the talented Brooke Shaden

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July 14-18 Event

Flat Rock, Cavendish - © Stephen DesRoches

Playing in the waves during Dave’s 2014 PEI Workshop.

I’ve worked with Dave Brosha in the past during the production of his first ebook, we’ve traveled and photographed a bit in Banff together, and last summer during his cross country workshop tour, Dave invited me to attend his PEI stop to see what it was all about. Dave was a distant friend living in Canada’s north.

That all change only a few short weeks after that PEI workshop event when I received an email from Dave claiming he was selling his home in Yellowknife and moving his family to PEI. A task that he accomplished in less than 4 months. In a blink of an eye, Dave was now a neighbour.

But what happens when a photographer moves to PEI, buys a property with a large barn (now studio) and loves hosting workshops? Obviously to invite others over for a week long event to explore, teach and share stories. And that’s exactly what Dave is doing at his new home under the title Land and See. A new annual event for anyone interested in portraiture or landscape photography.

This event promises to be excellent and I’m excited for the speakers that have been invited to attend. I’ll will be one of those attending and leading the group to some great island locations. If you were ever looking for a push to visit PEI or were maybe interested in taking a class on landscape photography, this may be a good time to do so. Stop by landandseephoto.com for complete details and registration information.

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First Day of 2015

Another year comes to an end and it’s hard not to wonder where the time went. It feels like each passing year picks up speed and disappears faster than the previous. All at the same pace my desire to do more increases.

2014 was a year without travel. A first for me in over 10 years. It was a year close to home with a focus on our island’s coastal landscape and celebrations. 2014 was also the year we became first time parents. It has been an amazing roller coaster of a year to learn and adjust.

In common tradition, the following are 20 of my favourite images from the past 12 months.

Bubbling Springs Trail - © Stephen DesRoches

Bubbling Springs Trail, Stanhope, PEI

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Last Day of 2014

Twenty fourteen was a big year on Prince Edward Island. A year of celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference — an event that eventually led to Canadian Confederation. This is far from a complete summary of a busy year of events, activities and festivals but here are a few of my images representing how I saw PEI’s 2014 celebrations.

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Snow Season

Temperatures are dropping and the first true signs of winter and snow fall are showing in the forecast. The cold and frost covered windshield is not the best motivator to get out of a warm bed while it’s still dark outside and for many, the camera goes into hibernation until spring.

Some of the best photography advice I ever received was how to dress in layers for winter temperatures. MEC.ca describes it: “Layers allow you to build a tiny microclimate that surrounds your body and can be adapted to moisture, wind, temperature, and exertion.”

Wearing loose fitting outer layers will trap heat inside and provide better insulation. More importantly, wearing boots and mitts that are a size too big helps maintain heat by creating a warm air cushion around your feet/hands. Nothing ruins an adventure and focus faster than wet or cold feet.

I have over simplified this a bit but if you avoid cotton materials that absorbs moisture and wear an inner synthetic layer, a middle insulation layer and an outer wind/snow/rain layer, cold weather photography can become as pleasant as summer photography.

Many of my favourite images were created during mid winter freezing temperatures.

Charlottetown Winter Sunrise

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