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Our Instagram Best Nine of 2017

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Our Instagram Best Nine of 2017

Well another year has passed us by, this year seemed to go really fast! It seemed like we were just getting to enjoy summer and along came fall and before we knew it Christmas was upon us. The New Year gives us an opportunity to reflect back on 2017 and as such, here are our top nine photos from our Instagram account (@twopointphotography).

#1 - Ashley & Ross' Engagement Session

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#2 - Molly & Steve's Engagement Session

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#3 - Jade's Newborn Session

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#4 - Karey & Kiel's Engagement Session

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#5 - Karey & Kiel's Engagement Session

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#6 - Ashley & Ross' Wedding

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#7 - Charlie's Newborn Session

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#8 - Ashley & Ross' Wedding

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#9 - Karey & Kiel's Engagement Session

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So there you have it! Our nine best Instagram photos from the 2017 year. We had an amazing year getting to meet more beautiful couples and precious little ones. We are excited for another year of amazing opportunities in the 2018 year. 

If you would like to see what your Top Nine Instagram photos are from 2017 you can check it out here | 2017bestnine.com 

Be sure to check us out social media, give us a like or a follow as we continue our amazing photography journey. 

Twitter | @TwoPointPhoto

Instagram | @TwoPointPhotography

Facebook | Two Point Photography

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Favourite YouTube Channels

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Favourite YouTube Channels

I wanted to make a list of my favourite YouTube channels that I go to for a source of inspiration, knowledge and entertainment. Previously I made a list of my favourite Instagram accounts, which you can find here, so I thought it would be a good time to share what I enjoy watching to maybe inspire you. 

Casey Neistat | 8,256,091 subscribers
I stumbled upon Casey Neistat because of his Snowboarding with the NYPD video (which you can see below) as it made the news around the world. Neistat isn’t so much a photographer as he is a vlogger and film maker, but what I find amazing about his content is his ability to be creative every single day. A short history on Neistat is that he started with next to nothing as a high school dropout moving to New York but began making movies. He made his first viral video in 2003, before it was easy to make a viral video on a platform like YouTube, called iPod’s Dirty Secret which criticized Apple about their battery life. After that and the success of another short film, Neistat was picked up by HBO to create a series before making more short films on YouTube including a 2011 short film about Bike Lanes before starting his daily vlog in 2015. He has also started his own video sharing app Beme, which was then sold to CNN for $25 million in 2016. He has most recently began Beme News which is a unique look at major events like Hurricane Harvey, the iPhone X battery test and open carry laws in Texas. Neistat even sent a crew to Calgary after the release of the Dunkirk movie to interview veteran Ken Sturdy who was at Dunkirk and was featured on Global News after he went to a local theatre to see the movie. 

Watching his videos gives new appreciation to capturing moments and working hard to create content everyday, even if he is an extreme example. I think he is organized chaos but it is addicting to watch him capture the mundane and everyday occurrences in his life, sprinkled with some pretty amazing moments. Each one of his daily vlogs are carefully edited and presented which shows that putting time and energy into your creative content will eventually pay off. Most of his content is created in New York, which his style and the city seem to go hand and hand in his success. 

Peter McKinnon | 1,371,593 subscribers
I want to say that the first time I checked out Peter McKinnon’s channel was because I was searching how to do something. McKinnon is a photographer/videographer that has seen a ridiculous growth in the last year or so of his channel, 1,000,000 subscribers in 9 months kind of ridiculous growth. Part of this massive growth is the combination of amazing photos, videos and instruction. Even amongst other phenomenal YouTube creators, McKinnon is seen as a top notch videographer, in fact he has recently been collaborating with Casey Neistat more often as well as some other great creators like food photograper Dennis The Prescott or fellow filmmaker/photographer Matti Haapoja

Like Neistat, it is refreshing to see how McKinnon puts pro level time and energy into something like a vlog or a two minute tutorial. One of the biggest takeaways I have had from watching his channel is to try and put that effort into free work to showcase your talents to potential clients down the road. Always energetic McKinnon makes it easy to follow along in his tutorials and often talks about the things he has done to go from being a guy holding down part time job after part time job to becoming a full-time photographer, filmmaker and YouTuber. He is also Canadian so, support local. 

Jared Polin (aka Fro Knows Photo) | 708,809 subscribers
The Fro was the first YouTube channel I can remember following along religiously and following along to try to pick up new and better ways to take photos. He is often a straight shooter regarding how he does things, how he feels others should do things and in his honest general opinions. Polin is in Philadelphia so there is a magnitude of things to be able to photograph corporate, landscapes, architecture and professional sports. All of which he has created tutorials on which include the camera equipment he is using, how he composes images, how he edits those images and how he delivers those images to clients. He has since evolved the channel to include more and more product reviews with regards to camera equipment as well as more photography news with things like a Fro Knows Podcast. 

Thomas Heaton | 176,447 subscribers
Located in England, Heaton is a calm and methodical landscape photographer that is a stark contrast to the likes of Neistat, McKinnon and Polin. I enjoy landscapes, you can check out my personal Instagram account, @kriskush1, and Heaton is a fantastic landscape photographer. His approach is all about planning and preparation for only a couple of photographs versus taking dozens of images and praying for one to work out. Often you will find Heaton explaining his settings as well as reasoning behind the composition of the image he is looking for with the occasional video in a 'how to' approach. His landscapes are often breathtaking with the England landscape, and seascape, the subject of most of his photos but like most successful photographers, you can find him all over the world. 

Adam Gibbs | 1,223 subscribers
Gibbs' YouTube channel is the most recent I have found and watch as much as I can. He is a landscape photographer who often visits local settings such as the Canadian Rockies as well as more recently the Vancouver area. Like Heaton, Gibbs plans, hikes and works for the right composition of an image or two before moving on. He seems to be incredibly particular in what he is looking for, as evident in one of his videos where he bypasses a shot in Johnston Canyon in the Banff National Park because he just wasn’t feeling it. Most people would still photograph the site because who knows when they will be back, but not Gibbs. It was the Jasper National Park videos that drew me to Gibbs’ channel as it would be amazing to be able to capture them in the manner he does. 

The Camera Store TV | 288,891 subscribers
These guys are out of Calgary and are heavy into the show and tell aspect of photography gear. I find their videos where they showcase a new piece of camera equipment to be incredibly well done as they will photograph subjects that the average person or photographer might be shooting and give you a recommendation on the gear. They cover both photography gear as well as videographer capabilities of the camera equipment that they are testing for a decent all round review. 

The Art of Photography (Ted Forbes) | 376,611 subscribers
Ted Forbes is the host of the Art of Photography which is an incredibly in-depth look at photography and the history associated with photography. You can instantly tell that Forbes is one of the brightest photographers around with a passion that is equal to that knowledge. Forbes has covered everything from film photography to new camera equipment impressions to motivation as a photographer to, as the name of his channel suggests, photography as an art form. Often Forbes will reference a photographer that makes you go “who?” but once you look up the photographer he is talking about or he shows you a piece of their work, you will more than likely recognize it. 

Something very cool you can find on his channel is his Photo Assignment project. The idea would be a series of assignments that would help you as a photographer maybe break out of a creative funk or just get to rethink how you compose an image. Very cool as every week a new assignment would be walked through by Forbes and he would share submissions by his viewers for the previous assignment building his community. 

Andrew Kearns | 88,861 subscribers
I used to watch Kearns' vlog daily as a source of entertainment more than anything. It was amazing to see this young fella roam freely across the Pacific Northwest area hiking and shooting throughout Washington and Oregon states primarily. His YouTube channel contained some great videos showcasing how he does what he does but it is mostly a daily vlog style channel, heavily influenced by Casey Neistat, where he takes you along on his journey. It is quite astonishing what a creative person who surrounds themselves with creative people can accomplish. 

Kearns hasn't posted a video since August 8, 2017 but he is still very active on his two Instagram accounts @andrewtkearns and @secondhand_kearns which he uses to document his journey. 

Thanks for checking out this blog post and it would be great to hear if you have any go to YouTube channels by commenting down below. 

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Hollywood Photography

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Hollywood Photography

Have you seen Kong: Skull Island yet? The 2017 movie follows an expedition to a mysterious island at the end of the Vietnam war. Not long after arriving on the island the expedition stirs things up which bring forth the mighty Kong to protect his home and most of the creatures that live there. 

This expedition is made up of researchers, scientists, military personnel, a tracker and a photographer. The photographer is portrayed by Brie Larson, who you will probably recognize from films like Scott Pilgrim vs the World, 21 Jump Street and Room, which she won a Best Actress Oscar for. In the special features from the Blu-Ray there is a small documentary about Larson's photography skills on set as described by director Jordan Vogt-Roberts.

The idea was to provide Larson with a working on screen camera, which was a ultra rare Leica KE-7A military issued camera from that Vietnam war time period. To make the role more authentic Vogt-Roberts made sure that film was in the camera and Larson had the freedom to shoot real photos while on set. Pretty cool. Not to mention the photos are terrific and the camera is one piece of photography gear that sees collectors paying over $20,000 for one. There is currently a 1972 Leica KE-7A camera on sale at the link in caption below for just over $21,000 CDN. 

Leica KE-7A 'US Army' from http://www.leicashop.com/vintage_en/leica/leica-m-cameras/ke-7a/leica-ke-7a-us-army-sku26817-1.html

Larson also had her own camera, an iconic Canon AE-1 with her, to take photos on set as well. While the Leica KE-7A is ultra rare and expensive, the Canon AE-1 is anything but. It was a mass produced camera by Canon between 1976-1984 (according to Wikipedia) and found its way into photographers hands across the globe. You can still find these iconic cameras for a couple hundred dollars with their bare bones simplicity and image quality being the key to their awesomeness. In a March 2017 USA Today article it mentions that it was Larson's own camera that she has had since high school. Here is a link to that story; https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2017/03/09/brie-larson-took-photos-while-shooting-kong-skull-island/98915482/

Photos by Brie Larson

Larson using a film camera on set was interesting to me because of the level of intimacy captured in the images while being able to shoot freely on set to be a more authentic character. In the USA Today article it is mentioned that she didn't develop the rolls of film for a few months. That excitement between shooting a roll of film and getting to see the prints in your hand is thrilling. There is something extremely gratifying to look at a print from a roll of film days, weeks, or months later. It is a feeling that shooting digital and getting instant viewing of that image just can't duplicate in my opinion. 

Just thought I would share as I thought it was pretty cool and being able to capture images on a movie that is being shot in locations like Oahu and Vietnam would be amazing.

Banner Photo from IMDB http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3731562/mediaviewer/rm2332110848

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Cold Weather Photography

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Cold Weather Photography

Winter has finally arrived. We all seem to wish for year long summer but the winter months offer some great and unique moments to capture. The Northern Lights will reach peak activity during the winter, the snow offers some amazing landscape and family photos and we still have a lot of outdoor activities to participate in. But the cold can complicate your plans on capturing the right photo. Here are some things you can do to help make sure the winter cold doesn't dampen your photo taking experience.

Dress Warm

It seems like it goes without saying but.......dress warm. You wouldn't want to miss a great moment of your kids playing outside in the snow, the Northern Lights dancing or a great finale to a New Years fireworks display because you got too cold. Gloves, touque, boots, socks and layers are essential for having to stand around and wait for that moment.

Backpack/Camera Bag

While the bag won't do a lot to prevent the cold from reaching your camera, it will help to make sure that it stays clean and out of the elements. Falling snow, thrown snow and setting your camera down in the who all mean that moisture will get to your camera. A bag will also free up your hands when there is some down time to warm them up. If you have a big enough jacket you can also try using a camera strap and keeping your camera warm and out of the elements under your jacket. If you are activity in your layers however go with the bag as keeping the camera in a warm humid setting under your jacket may lead to additional moisture on your camera.

Batteries

If you have a spare battery or two make sure they are fully charged prior to heading out and make sure you keep them warm. Cold weather will discharge your battery quickly as they get colder. A simple way to combat this is to keep the batteries in your pant pockets or in a pocket of an inside layer. Having your batteries lifeless before you get the shot you were looking for will be a huge disappointment. If you have exhausted a battery you may be able to warm that battery up and get a few more shots. If you are out looking at taking long exposure photos of the Northern Lights or video of that epic snowball fight, keep in mind that your battery will normally discharge quickly in these settings, the cold will simply make them drain even quicker.

Airtight Plastic Bag

You will need a plastic bag you can seal that is big enough for your camera and lens or a bag for camera body and a bag for your lens or lenses. The plastic bag will be a life saver for your camera gear coming in from the cold. While you are still in the cold, remove your memory card and battery and place the camera and lens into the airtight plastic bag. As the camera warms up, the condensation will form on the outside of the bag and not on the camera. This will take time so plan on having your camera and lens in a bag for a couple of hours. Electronics and moisture do not get along, a plastic bag could very well save your equipment.

Plastic and Glass

Take care in handling your camera gear while in the cold. Freezing temperatures can make plastic and glass more susceptible to cracking or breaking. So be careful to bump your lens or open a memory card or battery compartment door with too much force. 

Some other quick tips;

  • Don't blow on your lens or camera to remove any dust. This will just add moisture to your gear. Use a small brush or lens cloth to remove the dust.
  • If you are using a tripod with metal legs try to grab the tripod while wearing gloves and not a warm sweaty hand. If you are in the market for a tripod and envision yourself doing a lot of cold weather shooting look at purchasing a carbon fibre tripod. They are lightweight, durable and not metal.
  • While shooting in the night I've used a touque to cover the eye piece on the camera to avoid stray light potentially getting in and ruining a shot. A toque or scarf could also be used to keep falling snow off of a camera that isn't weather sealed. 

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Instagram Inspiration

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Instagram Inspiration

I have found Instagram to be a great source of inspiration for me since joining the social media platform in June 2015 (late to the party I know). Since they I feel like the way I envision, plan and shoot photos has drastically improved due to the constant stream of inspiration from photographers locally and across the globe. 

October 31, 2016 stats from https://www.instagram.com/press/

October 31, 2016 stats from https://www.instagram.com/press/

Instagram has a lot of users of which more than 500,000,0000 use the platform monthly and 300,000,000 are checking their feeds daily. The 95,000,000 photos and videos posted each and every day are liked 4,200,000,000 times! The amount of content that is out there is astonishing and includes photos/videos right from a mobile device all the way up to carefully edited photos of heavily curated accounts. 

With that amount of activity and that wide spectrum of users, it is quite easy to find inspiration and to see things that make you as a photographer (casual or professional) want to learn and continue to grow. 

In no particular order, here are some of the Instagram accounts that I find myself checking almost daily for new content. 

 

TRICIA VICTORIA | @triciavictoriaphotography | triciavictoriaphotography.com

In June 2010 Tricia was the photographer that my wife and I chose for our wedding. She was just starting out but had already shown what an immense talent in photography she had. Today her work gets routinely featured in some of the best wedding magazines in the industry and she is a part of the amazing We Three Workshops. Aside for the sheer beauty of her images and that amazing look - I am inspired by her path to success as a local photographer and how hard work pays off. 

 

I feel that the Travel Alberta account has the best of the best from across the province. They highlight and share photographers work to over 402,000 followers and they do so by picking some of the best photos. Mountains, prairies, cities, wild life and weather. I find myself looking at these images and saying "I've been there before, but I've never seen that look so good". Something that photographers all strive for when someone is looking at their work. 

 

CAREY NASH | @careynash | careynash.com

I can't say enough about how much I enjoy looking at Carey's work. The portraits, the landscapes, the style and the locations. Alway amazing backgrounds. While he doesn't solely post black and white images I think his black and white portraits are absolutely stunning. Another highly sought after local photographer who I admire greatly. 

 

ANDREW T KEARNS | @andrewtkearns | andrewtkearns.com

I actually first came across Andrew's work on YouTube as he has a daily VLOG about his life as a photographer and the journey that it takes him on in the Pacific North West area. I was hooked at his ability to push himself to be creative every day, specifically with the vlog. His work is amazing from his landscapes to his portraits in one of the nicest areas, the Seattle area, on planet Earth. 

 

The Junebug Weddings account description reads "empowering couples around the world with the inspiration and resources to create a celebration worthy of their love". I think it is bang on for what the account posts to over 268,000 followers. Amazing wedding photos from around the world in a style that I thoroughly enjoy. Looking though the account gives you a great sense of the creativity out there for weddings and the photographers behind those stunning images. 

 

As someone who gravitates towards the candid and photojournalistic approach to photography, Jenna's Instagram account is something I am envious of. She has beautiful images in a great high contrast style of her life. They are the little moments that happen to all of us but she captures them with such style that they make you push yourself as a photographer to capture those seemingly meaningless moments that turn into cherished memories. 

 

Edmonton and it's surrounding area is quite beautiful and a great account to get to experience the beauty and the photographers who take these images is YEGGERS. The YEGGERS account takes photos from photographers out shooting landmarks, weather and events in and around the city of Edmonton. A very cool thing that YEGGERS does is host Instameets. It is an opportunity to join a group of creative photographers and go for a photo walk. 

 

The Vancouver based Lululemon has a great account which combines their product, the people that use their product and the communities that these people are in. There is some fantastic photography throughout the account and it captures their product beautifully. Community events throughout the country get highlighted in the account as well. Locally, the Lululemon YEG account takes all of the great things the main account has and showcases Edmonton and the people in Edmonton who support Lululemon. 

 

Kara is a boudoir photographer based out of Austin, Texas who uses natural light to create amazing portraits. I find her work extremely natural with limited editing processes keeping the portraits simple and the women she photographs beautiful. Her account combines some great behind the scenes photos all in the same magnificent style. 

 

HAYLEY GARNETT | @th3littlestavenger

As a parent I find capturing my kids extremely joyful yet extremely hit and miss. Hayley's work seems to always be a hit through her candid shots of her family's adventures. She has an incredible style and the collection of images makes you feel a part of her family. Imagine her little ones being able to look back at all of the images when they are older and how great it will be. 

 

GETTY IMAGES SPORT | @gettysport | gettyimages.ca

Perhaps the gold standard in sports photography, Getty Images has photographers at sporting events across the world capturing the biggest moments and making lasting memories of those moments for fans. The best photography equipment in the world and some of the best sports photographers in the world leave us with awesome images.

 

Johany photographs the Canadian Football League (CFL) and sold everything she had to pursue a dream. In 2015 Johany started a journey that took her across the country shooting CFL games and putting together the Our League Our Country photo book which culminated at the 2015 Grey Cup. The book and her account showcases the CFL, the game of football and the fans who enjoy the Canadian game. 

 

JOHN ROBERTSON | @johnrobertsoncbc

I met John at a YEGGERS Instameet in 2015 and I have been addicted to his account ever since. John uses only his iPhone to capture the everyday sights of Edmonton and his life as a video journalist. It is inspiring to see someone use only a phone and their imagination to make awesome photos daily. 

 

CORY JOHNN | @coryjohnn | coryjohnn.com

I have been blown away by Cory's work since the first day that I joined Instagram. Cory was the first person to like one of my posts which caused me to to click on his name to see his work. Amazing landscapes with an awesome moody style to his images. Looking at his work instantly makes me want to pack up and head to the mountains. 

 

ANDY KENUTIS | @vikingsphotog

I am not a Minnesota Vikings fan but the work of team photographer Andy Kenutis is simply stunning. It is a great mixture of game action, big moments and behind the scenes looks at the players and the organization. His account is inspiring to me as both a sports fan and a photographer because he brings the players and fans close through his images. 

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A Roll Of Film

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A Roll Of Film

Last weekend I decided to finally take my dad's old film camera, a Minolta Maxxum 5xi which was made in 1992, mainly because of a mysterious roll of film still in the camera. A roll of film with sixteen exposures already taken out of the twenty four available. 

My dad passed away suddenly on June 28 2015 and my mom cannot remember the last time she saw him use the old film camera so knowing what was on the roll of film was a tantalizing mystery. This was by no means his first film camera as there are photo albums at my mom's house with pictures he took dating back to the 1960s. He had moved into the digital world like everyone else and had been using a Sony DSLR for as long as I can remember. Thinking about when this roll of film could have been placed in the camera and when the last shot was taken peaked the interest even more. 

Minolta Maxxum 5xi 35mm film camera with a AF 35-70mm f3.5 lens

Back in the summer of 2015, after he passed, I found the camera and noticed the film canister through the little view window but decided to leave it alone and packed it back up. Over the Thanksgiving weekend I finally decided to take the camera and see if I could get the film developed and share the images with family despite a part of me wanting to leave the film in the camera yet again. 

My previous experience with film involved point and shoot cameras and disposable cameras which my dad would make sure I took with me when I was a kid for road trips and field trips (including shooting an entire roll of film at the Royal Tyrel Museum with my finger over the flash in grade 3 or 4).

I decided it would be best if I finished the roll of film in the camera as I could hear my dad in my ear saying 'what are you doing? Don't waste that film, finish it off'. We decided to go to the park to take a few landscape shots to fill up the roll. I could not wait to drop off the film. 

The back of the Minolta Maxxium 5xi - no LCD screen to check your histogram or composition

On Thursday afternoon I dropped off the roll of film at the local London Drugs photo lab, one of only a few places to process film I was told. The wait between Thursday afternoon and Friday afternoon at 4:00pm was surprisingly exciting. In a world where we want and get things instantly it was refreshingly satisfying to slow things down and have to wait. As it turned out, I had to wait another day as a film processor at the photo lab went down and needed repairs. The extra wait did nothing to curtail the excitement. 

There it is, the highly anticipated roll of film - sixteen of those twenty four exposures are a complete mystery

When I got the envelope of photos I couldn't wait to open it. I had to see them and I had to see what the camera last saw and captured. Knowing my dad, I fully expected to find some pictures of family, perhaps his grandkids, and/or the farm.

Opening up the envelope and seeing the first few pictures I could not help but smile as I was looking at photos of family during Christmas, my youngest sister opening up birthday presents and an Easter egg hunt. It took me and my sisters a little while to try and figure out when these photos were taken and we think they span from Christmas 2006 through Easter 2007. Decade old photos finally get to be seen and all I can do is smile at them. They are by no means the best photos in the world. They won't be published or made into large prints and hung on a wall somewhere. But they are going to be something that our family will cherish forever. 

I am going to keep shooting the film camera, I even picked up a few rolls of film. I am thoroughly enjoying the process of shooting with a film camera gear, the re-educating myself on photography principles that sometimes get taken for granted when shooting digital and the thrill of not being able to see what you just shot is a little addicting. I have already caught myself taking a photo and moving to look at the back of the camera for a LCD screen that doesn't exist. Plus the sound of a film camera shutter click is.....so awesome!

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