My 2011 at a Glance- North Bay Photography and Video

Today I quickly scanned through my year in pictures, and if I talked about each of the shoots I had, this post would go on and on. Instead, I thought I'd just pick a few here and there and put together a random little collage of a few of the photos I was asked to take in 2011... Click on the image to get a closer look!


MUSIC VIDEO... Faye Blais "The Ways I Love You" - North Bay Cinematography

The first time I was introduced to Faye Blais and her music was at the Northern Ontario Music and Film Awards in 2010.  I watched the musical showcase the night before the awards, and she completely stood out from the rest of the performers (in a good way). Right away, I knew I'd want to work with her eventually, in some way.

The next night, at the awards after party (I had just accepted the award for Best Cinematographer, and she had won her award for Best Vocal Performance), we chatted a bit about how we should work on something together sometime, but with all kinds of work, and Faye's world travels, it didn't go any further than that.

Fast forward to a few years later, and we actually found a time that Faye was available in Sudbury, and I was also free for the day.  We talked a bit, agreed to shoot a music video, and started tossing around a few ideas... Things that would be possible to shoot in a day.

We started shooting, with a rough idea of what we were after, and as the day progressed, the four of us - myself, Faye, Kelly and Andrew (the star couple) ironed out the story in the video.

With everyone's schedules, arriving/leaving at different times, etc... we didn't have a whole lot of time to wrap everything up, so we had to be efficient.  At the end of it all, we spent about six hours, shooting in a few different locations.  I could have spent many more hours, looking at different angles, and shooting different styles, but for how quick we had to work, I'm really happy with the outcome.

Getting this done last minute, on the fly was pretty much the only way it was ever going to happen, so it's great that we were actually able to make it work.

Below is a screen capture, followed by the music video "The Ways I Love You"... Press the Play button and watch it!!!

You can also click on the HD button on the video to see it in High Definition, Click on the arrows symbol to view it full screen (best with HD mode clicked on), or Click on the Vimeo logo to view the video larger on that site.

Hope you enjoy it!


Check out "Small Town Girl"! - North Bay Video

I've talked a few times before about our "Small Town Girl" music video which was in the works over the summer, and I thought it might be time to post the finished product.

We wrapped shooting on the video a while back, and the final edit was done shortly after, but since Pam was going to be having a big show at the end of this month, it seemed like that would be a good time to give the video its official premiere. The show took place on Saturday, and everyone had a great time... aside from kind of faking it for the video,  this was the first time I actually had the chance to see Pam perform, so it was nice to sit back and enjoy the show (without a camera in my face). 

I've had the video posted on my website, which a few people might have seen, but I thought I'd wait until after Pam's show to start posting this all over the place.  We had a great time working on this, and I'm happy to share it with everyone. If you haven't already seen it (and even if you have, hah), please take a few minutes to watch it, and pass it along! Here it is, Pam Millar &  "Small Town Girl" ... next step, CMT! 


Sleepin' All Over The Place

I recently had the chance to take a quick trip across the country (and way north)  with friend and colleague Kevin Hoffman of Clark Marketing Communications. We were traveling to get some photos and video in quite a remote location. I can't say or show a whole lot of anything of what we were doing at this point, but what I've included below is a bit of a by-product of our little adventure. Our trip included 8 flights over the course of three days... travel to our destination went like clockwork, but on our way back, we did have some pretty long delays in a few airports.

As we waited for our last flight home, it somehow came up that it would be funny to get shots of Kevin with my phone, of him sleeping in various spots in the airport, and send them along to those at home waiting for us. Right away, we started walking around the airport, scoping out possible settings for our shots, and we got right down to business. The plan was to start with some slightly believable shots, then progress to some more goofy settings.

I spent years with a camera covering my face, looking at life through the lens just as a hobby, until photography quickly became a big part of my business. I couldn't be happier about this progression, but I rarely spend much time taking shots just for fun anymore. So this was a nice change from the usual, and I was actually having a hard time taking some of the shots because I was laughing and shaking (and crying) so much.

Kevin was great, getting right into it in any of the settings we spotted. Well, almost... I did suggest a shot of him sleeping on the bathroom counter, but that wasn't happening. It's ok, there's no way in hell I would ever lay down in any bathroom. That's just gross! A dude has to draw the line somewhere.

Of course, because we're both pretty artsy guys, I think we were happy to see that a few of the pictures we were getting were not only  a bit funny, but just really looked nice and interesting as stand alone shots too. 

Anyway, here's a look at what a couple of artistic goofs do at an airport when they have a few hours to kill... 


Go WILD! - North Bay Photography

Not too long ago, I went out and took pictures of a Nipissing Wild football game, and had a great time doing it.  There's a level of excitement with sports photography (especially contact sports) that you just don't get with other types of photo shoots. You have no idea what's going to happen, the tension is high, everyone is emotional, bodies are twisted and flying all over the place... it's great!

The best you can do is hope you're in a good spot to capture the action, and when something interesting does happen, make sure you don't miss the shot.

At this game, the Wild were playing Toronto's Junior Argos. I spent the first half of the match taking shots from the visitors' side, right next to their bench, listening to their insults about small town folk as they took a convincing lead on the Wild.

My time in the second half was spent on the other side with the home team, and it was great to be near them as they encouraged each other and completely took over the game. The wild came back and ended up winning 37-27. Things got pretty intense and I'm happy that I was able to capture a whole bunch of great action shots, and some nice emotional snapshots too.

Here's a look at a few of my photos from the game...


Be a part of our crowd!

You might already know that we've spent a few days here and there shooting a music video for Burk's Falls singer Pam Millar... well, on the afternoon of June 26th, we'll be shooting our last scene and we're looking to get as many participants as possible & really end this shoot (which has gone quite smoothly) on a high note. This last scene will take place in Burk's Falls, and Pam knows she'll be able to draw a good bunch of people there.

It would be a bit of a road trip for anyone interested in taking part, but the more people we can get involved the better, and it would be great to see some familiar faces in the crowd.

If you'd be into joining us for a few hours, send me a message, and I'll get you the details.


Through Jaden's eyes

On the weekend, Jaden (our daughter) was bored and asked me if we could go out and take pictures for a little while. It doesn't take much convincing to get me playing with a camera, so since she finally asked me to do something when we had some free time, we quickly got our things together and took off to see what we could capture. 

Jaden had showed a bit of interest in photography in the past, but she seemed to get frustrated with the limitations of using small point and shoot cameras, and got bored of it. This time, I figured I'd let her use my old 40D, with a 50mm 1.8 lens (a dirt cheap lens that is still one of my favorites). Armed with a tool that was much better than anything she had used before, it was nice to watch her doing her thing, and having fun with it.

We had a few locations in mind on our little adventure, but the rain started coming down not long after we left the house, so we had to change our plans.  She told me I was weird when I said we were going to a parking garage, but I told her that some of the most interesting things are in unlikely places. Being able to find beauty in a grubby setting, looking at things most people don't notice, that's part of the fun.  Still, she told me again that I'm pretty weird. I can't really argue that.

As soon as we got out of the car though, she started actually looking at everything, snapping away, and got a bunch of really good shots.

We were out for a few hours, and had a good time. Looking through her pictures at the end of the day, I was really impressed with what I saw, and she actually even managed to get a few decent shots of me! 

Here are a few of her shots, and I'll be posting a gallery with more of them on Facebook a little later...


Attending NOMFA, and more! - North Bay Music Video

The Northern Ontario Music and Film Awards & Conference took place this past weekend, and I had such a great time! I was nominated for Best Cinematographer again (won last year), and even though this year's award went to Nano Debassige and not yours truly, I'm so happy to have been a part of it all. 

Last year was my first time attending the event, and I was only able to make it there in time to take in a few panels, and quickly get ready for the awards ceremony. This year, I headed to Sudbury on Thursday, and really had the chance to get to know a lot of people. A few I had met last year, like Ryan La Via (who was a winner this year, yay!) & Faye Blais, and many I had never met, like Nano, Lee Chambers, Curtis Jensen, and many more.  They were all such nice people, and I look forward to our paths crossing again.

I also got the chance to spend time with Dennis Landry and some of the folks at MFM who put this all together, and they were all so great. It's quite a weekend they put on for us, and they do a lot for the film industry in the north. We really are quite lucky to have them around, so It was nice to spend time with them as regular people, and not just the organizers of the event.

Coming back from a weekend filled with so many creative and talented people, I'm feeling pretty inspired to get rolling on so many projects.  For starters, It's time for me to start editing "Missing" which we recently got in the can, and I'm looking forward to our next round of shooting on a music video with singer Pam Millar. With those projects, and many more on the horizon, 2011 is shaping up to be a pretty productive year. Now I just have to make sure to leave some time in there for my regular business too!

I'll talk more about the music video project and the awesome people involved pretty soon. Until then, here are a few screenshots of the first day of shooting with Pam... 


New Short... "MISSING" - North Bay Cinematography

OK, I need to take a quick time-out in this crazy day to post something about a new short we've got in the works.  I can't really say much about it because it is really going to be quite short, so any explanation would probably describe the entire thing, but I figured I'd put up a few screen captures.  With an afternoon of shooting behind us, I'm pretty excited about how this one's looking.  We just have an other hour or two to spend whenever we can get together again, and then it'll be on to editing, and on to planning the next film. I'll go into that one (which will be a longer project) some other time.  One film at a time.

Here are the screens...


FACES - North Bay Photography

I have fun taking pictures and video of just about everything, and I've especially enjoyed aerial work, and food photography I've done over the past few years. 

I have to say though, there's nothing that's quite as rewarding as taking shots of people. When your subject is a person, anything can happen. You can control the setting and lighting all you want, but if the person you're taking pictures of is insecure, not comfortable in front of the camera, or even worse very unhappy about having to have their picture taken, it can be a pretty big challenge to get good results.  

People can be pretty unpredictable, and that lack of control keeps things interesting. If all goes well, you get nice shots that make the person look great. If it goes really well and you have a little luck, you get a few shots that give you a closer look at a person, almost like a little sneak peek at their soul. That's what I'm after, and that's what has made me decide to start this new project.

I'd like to put together a collection of portraits, a book of faces, or maybe even a wall of faces. I guess it all depends how many people want to take part. I don't just want to get a group of clean, corporate looking head shots, but rather a bunch of portraits showing the real personal side of people.  An old mechanic covered in grease, an adrenaline junkie about to jump out of a plane, a widower talking about his lost love, a baker working in the kitchen, a burn victim showing her old scars, a couch potato sitting in front of the tv with chip crumbs on his face...  You get the idea. There isn't anything specific I'm looking for, just an honest look at all types of people, men and women, all ages 18 and up.

I don't have a whole lot of free time, so I have no idea how long this will take, or when I'll consider the project complete (if ever).  but I just thought I'd get the ball rolling.  

If you'd be interested in taking part in this project and being one of my faces, please click here to send me an email at faces@patrickgilbert.com, and tell me a little bit about yourself, just so I can have an idea of who you are and what makes you tick. This will help me with planning some shots. 

I'm really hoping to get a LOT of people involved in this, so please pass this along to anyone you can think of.  I can't pay anyone to take part, but at the very least, you will get a cool free picture out of it! 

I'm looking forward to getting this started! Here's a little look at a few faces I've had in front of my camera in the past (shots not a part of this new project)...


Not a Complete Waste - North Bay Photography

A little more than a year ago, I posted something about a bad day I was having. You can read that post here to refresh your memory.

I thought about that today for a few reasons...

1) I was editing some shots I took at the ski hill a few days ago (shots I wasn't able to get the miserable day of that post a year ago)

2) this also happened to be one of those days where things just aren't going well, except for the part about people pointing and laughing at me. Well, actually I'm sure that happened today too, just not to my face. hah.

So, as the day is close to being over, I thought I'd just wrap it up with one of the new ski hill shots. This wasn't the type of photo I went there to capture, though I did get a lot of what I needed, but it just happens to be one of the shots I like best. I guess the day wasn't a complete waste...


It's Jake Time Again! North Bay Photography

A little while back, I was happy to get the chance to take some more pictures of my buddy Jake Lacourse, who I've posted about before. 

The shots were for an ad, welcoming Jake back to Clarion Resort Pinewood Park, where he had started his career in hospitality years earlier. With him working there as the Director of Sales and Marketing, it will be interesting to see how the resort will change over the next few years.

I always have a good time taking pictures, and this was definitely no exception. It was hard to stop laughing long enough to snap some shots, but in the end everything worked out great, and we got what we needed. With life, kids, business, etc... it's hard to make time for socializing, so it's nice to sometimes be able to work, and catch up with an old friend at the same time. OK, maybe we're not all that old, but it does feel like it sometimes.

Here are a few of the shots, and the little ad I whipped up for the Nugget...


QR Code Fun!

I love this stuff!  If you haven't seen these around yet, I don't think it will be too long before you start seeing them pop up everywhere you look. 

The first time I saw one of these, I was in Toronto with Mike for the screening of Oliver Sherman. It was on a poster for another movie that was showing at TIFF, and we figured it had something to do with scanning with a mobile device, but that's about as far as we got with it.

A few days ago, I was about to open a bottle of wine, when I noticed one of these cool graphics on the back, and it also gave a web address to go to with your mobile to get a free reader. I loaded the free app right away, scanned the image, and was taken to a webpage describing that particular bottle of wine, giving tips on food pairings, etc... I texted Mike right away, he had just seen one on a restaurant menu and was actually talking about it when he got my message.

I love this technology, and though I don't really expect it to pick up locally until a lot of major products are using them (if ever), I still think it will be fun to experiment with the codes. Aside from being useful in marketing efforts, I could see these linking to instructions for assembling furniture, medication warnings etc...

Not only can you have the QR Code open a webpage when a mobile user scans it, you can also set it to send an email, save your Vcard info to their address book, send a text message, dial a phone number, or play a video.

I'm really looking forward to using a QR code in a print ad soon, and seeing how much response it generates, if any.

I'd really love to have a big ol' ad in the paper that has no other content but the QR code image, just to see if the curiosity would be enough to drive people to check it out. It could be a fun experiment.

Since I first posted this, I've been looking into so many more applications for these, and I think one of my favorites is to have a QR code on your clothing. The examples I've seen all seem to have a QR code linking to the clothing designer's website, but I'm sure it's also being used for many other purposes. Single people could have a personal dating profile that you link to when you scan the code on their back for example... of course we might all look like a bunch of goofs if we went around scanning random people's clothes. hah.

Oh, and of course it's not surprising that some people have had the codes permanently embedded on their bodies. Do an image search in google for "QR code tattoo", and see the results.

If you have a cel phone and would like to test out this technology, go to skuyou.com using your mobile, and you'll be provided with a link to a free reader for your particular phone. It's quick and easy.

Once you've got it, scan this image below and see what happens!  Ok, it's really not that suspenseful, but it's still fun. Try It!

When Life Hands You Lemons... And Limes & Oranges

This post is the result of nothing more than needing a break from the project I was working on. I wandered around the house for a minute, until a bunch of lemons caught my eye.

I just happened to have a sheet of plexiglass in the basement (a leftover piece of hardware from a movie set), so I put it down like a bridge between two chairs, placed one of my softboxes underneath it, one above, sliced up some citrus and had some fun.

I didn't spend a whole lot of time experimenting with different light levels and placement, but here are some of the results of my citrus break


The Forgotten Lego

This holiday season had me putting a lot of lego sets together, and making a little town for Tristan to play with.

We still have a little bin of my old blocks from when I was a kid, so I figured I'd use them to build some houses to match the new one Tristan got for christmas. My old legos have so much wear on them that the buildings I made look like they belong in the bad part of town.

Of course when we play with the legos (or do anything else really), I can't help myself, I have to at least take a few pictures with my phone. Here are a few I've taken over the last few weeks, and one older picture I took a few years back of a forgotten lego.

I was walking in an alleyway when I noticed this old, broken lego popping out of the dirt. It made me wonder how long it had been buried there in the sand, and what kind of creations it might have been a part of once upon a time. Nobody would have cared about, or even noticed one single block going missing I guess, but there was just something about this lone lego that seemed kind of sad.

Here's the forgotten lego, and a few other silly pictures...


The Old Shadow

With Jaden turning ten last month, I've been spending some time looking back through old pictures I've taken of her since she was born. I have a few favorites from the earlier days... one of those I posted not too long ago, and another one of them from a few years later is included below.

I took this shot not long after we moved to this street. I was walking to the park with Jaden, and noticed our huge shadows as we crossed the street. I always had a camera in my pocket since I got into digital photography, so I quickly pulled it out and snapped a few shots before we got to the other side.

The camera I was using back then (my first digital) was the Casio exilim ex-S2, a great little toy to start out with. At the size of a credit card, and barely 1/4 of an inch thick, it was perfect to carry around with me all the time. Looking at it now it's pretty funny, the display is about the size of a nickel, and it only shot 2mp without any ability to focus. Not a very high quality tool, but at the time, it was pretty impressive. I liked it enough to upgrade to newer exilim models in following years, right up to a 10mp credit card sized camera. Then I finally decided to make the jump to SLRs.

I definitely shot a lot of garbage with the ex-S2, but this is one simple image I still like.


A Tasty Trio - North Bay Food Photography

I figured I'd start the day with a few pictures of some little open faced sandwiches I made. I'm still trying to think of some new foods I can make to take shots of, and anytime I'm in a store like winners, I take a quick look around to see if there are interesting dishes or anything else I could use. Since I haven't really found anything different yet, I thought a little group of sandwiches might look tasty.

I think from here I'll move on to some colourful fruit or desserts. even though I don't really eat sweets, they do look nice. I'll see what I can come up with, but for now, here's the tasty trio...


Eyewhere - North Bay Photography & Web

Just recently, I wrapped up a website for a new and unique company in town, Eyewhere Mobile Optical. 

The company was started by Paul Kilfoyl, a licensed optician who decided to offer on location optical service. Rather than traveling to an optician's office to pick out frames, lenses, or to have your eyewear fixed, you can now call Paul and he'll come to you, fully equipped to meet your needs.

This service is especially useful for places like retirement homes where residents might not have easy access to transportation, or industrial facilities where several employees need to be equipped with prescription safety glasses.

I hadn't worked on this type of project before, so I was happy to be involved.  Paul's big focus with this company is excellent customer service. Building long lasting relationships with his clients is top priority, so it just made sense for his face to be right there when people visit his website. So, once I had the design of the site taken care of, it was time to get Paul's mug in front of the Canon.

As with the Judy shoot, we wanted to keep this one pretty simple, so Paul came over to my place, and with a few softboxes, the shot was taken in front of a bare wall in my office downstairs. Actually, the room was pretty much empty back then, not quite an office yet, and it has barely changed since. Maybe someday.

Here's one of the photos I took, as well as a look at the Eyewhere website design...