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Canadian Press, Brooke Henderson, CP Women's Open

Covered a media availability at the CP Women's Open for Canadian Press yesterday. Brooke Henderson was the subject, a 20-year-old Canadian golf phenom. I wonder what it's like to have your own bobblehead...

If she does well...  COPYRIGHT CANADIAN PRESS 2018

If she does well...

COPYRIGHT CANADIAN PRESS 2018

If she doesn't do so well...  COPYRIGHT CANADIAN PRESS 2018

If she doesn't do so well...

COPYRIGHT CANADIAN PRESS 2018

Eat the shadow.

I. FEEL. THE POWER! (To balance outdoor light over a largish area.)

I. FEEL. THE POWER! (To balance outdoor light over a largish area.)

Got a new piece of gear. It's a reflector that throws light at a 45 degree spread forward. I combined the reflector with two Strobepro X200s, bare bulb. 1/200 at f11, full power, no grid. I used a wall in Cathedral neighbourhood as a testing ground. I'm pretty happy with the result. It wasn't a full sun day, a bit overcast, but my sense is that now I'll be able to balance the shadows on largish groups in bright sun.

Here's another test shot. Hmm, the tree is pretty shadowy.

Here's another test shot. Hmm, the tree is pretty shadowy.

Holy frijoli. I balanced the shadows of a  tree  in near full sun conditions.

Holy frijoli. I balanced the shadows of a tree in near full sun conditions.

I think it'll open up some new possibilities. All these images are just test shots, no edits. 

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Specialization

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Naked Bean is the best.

They give your dog water and treats. And these benches are great.

The process of concentrating on and becoming expert in a particular subject or skill

Lately, I've been thinking about how I do my photography business. I went fulltime freelance in February 2018. My intention (I hesitate to call it a "plan") has been to say yes to all the work I can get. Then, perhaps in a year or two, I'd be busy with clients, and then I'd start saying "yes" to the more enjoyable work, and "no" to the less fun stuff. So far, people seem to want me for event work. But I also was did a wedding, some commercial work for an association, and some editorial work for the University of Regina. I continue to take gigs from The Canadian Press: the money is shit, but the work is fun, and it's nice to see my friends and colleagues from the news media. Tonight, I'm going to make photos of a couple of Airbnb rooms for someone in my neighbourhood. Sounds good, right?

But a consequence of doing things this way - taking sporadic and varied types of photography work - is that I often feel like I'm not an expert in any particular area. Example: when I was in photojournalism, it was always the same area, and you get good at both the image-making part, and all the other parts around it: how to manage logistics, how to work *really* quickly, how to deal with different people, how to know what the editors want. Specialization = greater efficiency and greater quality. But constantly taking on unfamiliar organizations, their varied photographic and budgetary expectations, being good at different lighting styles: it stresses me out, and I feel like a constant amateur.

Maybe I should specialize?

My last three Leader-Post assignments

I felt pretty happy about my last day at the LP. The first job was to make a photo about a chess tournament. I've always wanted to try casting a shadow to help illustrate a theme, and the event's trophy let me do it. Had I more experience, I probably could have made the shadow sharper, but one does one's best.

REGINA, SASK : February 16, 2018 - Tom Boshoff, president of the Queen City Chess Club, in a ballroom of the Quality Inn. The club is hosting the Saskatchewan Chess Championship tonight and over the weekend. MICHAEL BELL / Regina Leader-Post. COPYRIGHT: REGINA LEADER-POST 2018.

REGINA, SASK : February 16, 2018 - Tom Boshoff, president of the Queen City Chess Club, in a ballroom of the Quality Inn. The club is hosting the Saskatchewan Chess Championship tonight and over the weekend. MICHAEL BELL / Regina Leader-Post. COPYRIGHT: REGINA LEADER-POST 2018.

Then it was off to the north end, where a grandpa made his grandkids an epic backyard ice rink.

REGINA, SASK : February 16, 2018 - Randy Durovick's grandchildren play hockey on his elaborate backyard hockey rink at his home. MICHAEL BELL / Regina Leader-Post. COPYRIGHT: REGINA LEADER-POST 2018.

REGINA, SASK : February 16, 2018 - Randy Durovick's grandchildren play hockey on his elaborate backyard hockey rink at his home. MICHAEL BELL / Regina Leader-Post. COPYRIGHT: REGINA LEADER-POST 2018.

By this time, it was getting late in the afternoon and close to deadline, but I wanted my last enterprise shot to be from downtown. After some false starts around the Cornwall Centre's main entrance, I saw a woman with pink hair, framed surprisingly well by the windows behind her. Luckily, some people came through the doors, I waited, and boom: a solid standalone photo. (Which didn't end up running in the paper, but I still really like it.)

REGINA, SASK : February 16, 2018 - Doron Giroux, center, checks her phone at the entrance of the Cornwall Centre. MICHAEL BELL / Regina Leader-Post. COPYRIGHT: REGINA LEADER-POST 2018.

REGINA, SASK : February 16, 2018 - Doron Giroux, center, checks her phone at the entrance of the Cornwall Centre. MICHAEL BELL / Regina Leader-Post. COPYRIGHT: REGINA LEADER-POST 2018.

I owe the Regina Leader-Post newsroom a lot. I'm going to miss my colleagues. I'm grateful to have found work I enjoy, and that suits me. I'm going to keep making pictures, just on my own now. If I can make it freelancing for as long as I was at the LP (nearly seven years), I'll consider it a huge success. :-)