Shadowing Ryan & Ruwan: The Perfect Frame

Posted by on September 17, 2011 at 12:22 am. No comments

You fascinate me. Yes, YOU. The one whose eyes are following this line of text across the computer screen.

I wasn’t always so curious. It was only later in life that I realized how intriguing each and every person I came across could be. No matter how much you’ve done or how much you’ve yet to do, you carry with you a world of mystery. That fascinates me.

Photos are much the same. Take Matthew Sinclair’s 2010 winning image for Best Photo Runner-Up. The theme was “Secret World.”

Theme 09: Secret World by Matthew Sinclair

What was your first impression? Do you think that’s what Matthew intended to convey? Was your reflex to imagine something warm and positive or did your mind wander into more eerie thoughts? Now you wanna know what was really on his mind, right? That’s the wonderful magic of photography. Like any other art form, it’s just there for each individual’s own unique interpretation. But the curiosity persists. If only you could tap into the artist’s psyche for just a wee peek…

Well, now you can! One of our 2010 marathoners took it upon himself (with our blessing of course) to document the 2011 cycle by tagging along with two of this year’s participants, both new to 12×12: Ryan Mah (#56) and Ruwan Fernando (#32). Thanks to Martin Chung’s shooting savvy, we now have for the first time a very rare behind-the-scenes look at the taking of those perfect frames. We hope you enjoy this series as much as we do!

If you want to see Ryan and Ruwan’s photographic results, check out Raw Talent 2011: The 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon Exhibit happening on Sunday September 25th, 2011 at PhotoHaus Gallery.

Click here to see the original blog post by Martin Chung.

Ryan and Ruwan’s Story, Part 1

Ryan and Ruwan’s Story, Part 2

Ryan and Ruwan’s Story, Part 3

Ryan and Ruwan’s Story, Part 4

Ryan and Ruwan’s Story, Part 5

A professional Vancouver photographer, Martin Chung took part in the 2010 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon as participant #52 and won an award for his interpretation of Theme 09: Vague.
Twitter: @martin_chung
Website: www.StudioImpossible.com

Raw Talent 2011: The 12×12 Exhibit

Posted by on September 15, 2011 at 11:42 am. No comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Vancouver, BC (September 15, 2011): For 12 hours on a sunny Saturday, 60 adventurous people roamed the streets of downtown Vancouver capturing their interpretations of 12 themes with only 12 exposures of 35mm film. To see what these photographers shot, along with those of the other marathoners, everyone is invited to help celebrate the art of film photography as the excitement of that day’s events is relived at the 3rd annual 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon Exhibit entitled “Raw Talent.”

RAW TALENT 2011: THE 12×12 VANCOUVER PHOTO MARATHON EXHIBIT
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 25TH, 2011 • 6 – 10 PM • FREE
PHOTOHAUS GALLERY AT VANCOUVER PHOTO WORKSHOPS: 14 WEST 7TH AVE, VANCOUVER

PLEASE RSVP BY CLICKING HERE

Returning marathoners may have been prepared to shoot “My Entry Number”* as their first theme, but when “+ Different Angle” was added to it, “The Usual Suspects”* knew they weren’t going to be let off that easy. However, “Human Nature”* thrives on the excitement of the unexpected and having a “Reliable”* camera was the key to realizing one’s “Greatest Wish”* to complete the 12-hour challenge. Pounding the pavement on a sizzling summer day can generate an interesting “Odour,”* but thankfully the delicious aromas of Urban Rush Cafe “Echo”ed* throughout home base and some nourishment soon propelled those who had been feeling creatively “Trapped”* to get back on the hunt. Few know the behind-the-scenes stories. Some may “Take it to the Grave.”* But one thing’s for sure. Many wished they could get a “Second Chance”* at snapping that perfect frame. To the organizers though, those images are “Not for Sale.”* Your “Expectation”* of the exhibit is undoubtedly high and you will not be disappointed.

Over 700 untouched photos will be on display and the winning prints announced. This year’s esteemed panel of judges include Urban Rush’s Fiona Forbes, Vancouver Photo Workshops instructor Syx Langemann, FotoMarathon (Copenhagen) organizer Samir Maktabi, and for a 12×12 first, a mystery judge whose identity will be revealed at the exhibit. Join in on Sunday September 25th as 60 marathoners regroup with nervous anticipation to find out how their images developed. You won’t want to miss this highly anticipated event!

-30-

For more information or to book an interview, please contact:

Angela Chih, Event Producer
e: Click here to submit an email
c: 778.388.3690

* The 12 themes – in sequence – randomly drawn during the 2011 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon on August 6th

Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Click here to watch a time-lapse video of Raw Talent 2010
Click here to watch a feature on the 2010 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon & Exhibit

2011 12×12 Recap

Posted by on August 10, 2011 at 3:32 pm. No comments

We thought about whipping up a post-12×12 account of the day’s events but then we began to receive some amazing blog posts from our marathoners and realized featuring them would be so much better! Thanks you guys, for making our job easier 😉

Simply click on the corresponding image or marathoner name to jump to the full blog post.

For more stories (past and present), check out the “A Marathoner’s Perspective” page. If you publish any posts yourself, make sure to let us know so we can add you to the list. We’re also linking any Flickr sets that you may have so send those links as well.

Enjoy!

“Oh, hello camera— have we met before? I apparently have no idea how you operate. I silently vow to teach myself better photography skills, and hope that my roll of film mysteriously goes missing during the developing process.”

Chrissy Davey #07

“Maybe it was the fatigue setting in, but the last few themes felt more and more challenging (I say ‘challenging’ but the words floating in my head were ‘ridiculous’ and ‘are you serious?!?’).”

Zachary Wong #52

“My highlights…3) Deciding to drink a pint (although…I am doubtful they were actual pints…) of beer every hour after noon to fuel the creativity. I like to think it helped. We’ll see how well it helped the camera shake later on in the night.”

Cara Grimshaw #16

“Last year we won the Audience’s Choice Best Series. So this year the pressure is on! Ayoe and I actually practiced our ‘secret technique’ on couple rolls of film just to make sure we can pull the technique off.”

Bob Lai #01

“…1 year later = 1 year wiser; You learn from your mistakes, you prepare. A few things I seemed to anticipate (like the ubiquitous first theme), and with the help of other fellow participants, some shots I couldn’t achieve (without)…”

Christian Bucad #02

 

 

 

 

“As a runner, the use of the word “marathon” in the event name seems fitting, and that was my mindset throughout the day. The mental aspect of finding an appropriate photo is compounded with the physical in terms of all the walking I did…”

Eric Bucad #11

“…how my marathoning unfolded.”

Michael Burns #57

Photography by Chance

Posted by on August 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm. No comments

Everyone preps for 12×12 differently, but have you ever considered not prepping at all? Here’s Valerie McTavish‘s take on how she would run the 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon

Get the perfect shot. In one hour. And then do it eleven more times. It can be daunting to receive a clue and then come up with a plan for that quintessential shot. So, why not throw the plan out the window and leave that shot to chance.

Here’s the deal. When you get an idea in your head, you become focused on that concept. You might run out to the spot where you think you can get the shot. You might spend some time walking around the shot or you might spend a whole bunch of time setting up the shot, getting the lighting just right. And while it might be a great looking photo full of witty irony or whatever you were going for, it might be missing something; magic.

If you look back at images captured during the last two 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathons – guaranteed the ones that will stand out are the ones that make you say, “wow, how’d they get that?” These shots are not staged. They are not pre-planned, they just happened. The one that comes to mind for me was from Aaron MacFarlane for the theme ‘Tie’ that captured a car and a person crossing a line on the road at exactly the same time. It’s perfectly serendipitous – I’d be surprised if that was staged. I find captured moments in many of the shots taken in last year’s marathon by Best Series runner-up Robert Fougere. And while I might not use the word ‘magic’ to describe his image of a dog doing his business, I have to say it was a clever and unexpected way to represent the theme ‘My Entry Number.’

Maybe you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like to leave things up to chance. Maybe you’re afraid that you might not complete the task in the time allotted or that the shot might not be perfect if you don’t have a plan. As one of the creators of Zufall (a tool that leaves adventure and travel to chance), I can assure you, something always comes up. The trick is to focus on the process or the journey, not on the end result. Be present in the moment, keep your eyes open and really look for that perfect picture to present itself. If you let go of the expectation of what that picture might look like and really focus on the theme, you’ll be amazed at the many creative ways that you can find the theme in the world around you.

Make no mistake, the marathon will still be a challenge, but if you throw away the plan and spend the day being aware of the beauty around you, you’ll be sure to not only have fun but get amazing shots that will make people wonder how you captured the magic. Happy Marathoning!

Valerie McTavish may not know where she’s going, but she always has fun getting there. One of the creators of the Zufall Adventures by Chance dice and the new mobile phone app (developed by Phil Wu, a 3-time 12×12 marathoner), she’s spent the last ten years finding adventure at the will of the dice.

You can follow her spontaneous randomness on twitter at @ZufallAdventure or read about her travels on the Zublog.

Six by Syx: Tip #6 Think of EVERYthing

Posted by on August 5, 2011 at 11:32 am. No comments

To help prepare you for the marathon, Vancouver Photo Workshops instructor and 2011 12×12 judge Syx Langemann offers up a 6-part series of tips and tricks to get you through Saturday August 6th.

SO…
Your camera is clean
Your bags are packed
You’ve read over the tips one last time (seriously, go read them over – they are fun and informative!)
You’re ready for this marathon
SO…what are you forgetting?

6. THINK OF EVERYTHING

Start with your camera bag. This is essential for the day. Make sure you have things like:

  • Your camera
  • Your lenses
  • Your flash
  • Your reflector
  • Maybe a light meter (if you don’t trust the one in your camera). Maybe pack a grey card to help with exposure
  • I’m not usually without my iPhone, and that is an assistant that is always needed. There is a ton of reference and help out there, much like this blog; you just need to search it out. Also for the meter and the grey card, there’s an app for that
  • Tripod – no app will replace that

Now that you are packed, unpacked and repacked. Take out all unnecessary items that will weigh you down as the 12 hour day drags on. Try to pack light, but not too light; you don’t want to leave anything important behind.

Plastic bags, oh yeah, don’t forget those. They are great for protecting your camera from the expected intermittent rain showers in Vancouver. Even in August…you never know. They are also great if you find yourself in a sketchy place where you need to kneel down or lay your shoulder on the ground. Sometimes great photographs come from different angles. Think outside of the box and think ahead.

Once you’ve packed your camera gear, then it’s time to think about yourself. This is where you need to concentrate. Seriously, for some of you (Morten), not having your morning coffee will ruin a day, so plan accordingly.

  • Shoes – your feet are going to be doing a lot of walking, make sure you have comfortable footwear. I’m not sure that flip-flops qualify, no matter how hot it is
  • Hat – protect yourself from the sun and the heat
  • Sunscreen – because summer finally arrived!
  • Dress in layers – there is a chance of it cooling down into the evening. You will be tired and hungry, don’t add cold to the mix
  • Music / audio book – it’s gonna be a long long day, you might as well be in your own little world. This is one of those things that is easily left behind, and it can really change your shooting mood!
  • Food / snacks / water – last time I checked, we all needed these to survive. Make sure you have $ in you pocket and plan your feedings. It’s a proven fact that hunger is the cause stupidity*. You’ll need to stay sharp if you plan on winning. This year, the organizers have set up the home base at Urban Rush Cafe which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner options in addition to the usual coffee shop fare so that you can concentrate on your shots and not where to get some grub. Check in often to fuel up and chat with everyone. You might just get your brilliant idea for the perfect shot after a creative pow-wow with your fellow marathoners

Above all, you all will most definitely need to bring:

  • A sense of humour
  • A sense of adventure
  • A sense of direction. Don’t get lost – there’s an app for that

The themes are released every hour on the hour. Don’t miss a theme. Don’t miss a frame. Don’t shoot out of order.

I wish you all the best of luck tomorrow, and I look forward to seeing all the images with the other judges!

*Not proven by anyone that I can reference online, but I know that at some point in my life my mother told me this was fact. “Come in from playing and eat, you stupid kids,” she’d say.

We hope you’ve enjoyed Six by Syx: 6 Essential 12×12 Survival Tips. If you have a question or comment, leave us a note below!

Known for his Classically Twisted Nudes that push the viewer to discover new views of beauty, Syx Langemann has been photographing his own unique world since 1993 and can be found at Vancouver Photo Workshops teaching students how to capture theirs.

Syx is also one of the judges of the 2011 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon.

Six by Syx: Tip #5 Tripods, Low Light Shooting & Fun with Your Flash

Posted by on August 3, 2011 at 1:34 pm. No comments

To help prepare you for the marathon, Vancouver Photo Workshops instructor and 2011 12×12 judge Syx Langemann offers up a 6-part series of tips and tricks to get you through Saturday August 6th.

This year, you will be faced with a later start time; therefore a later end time. As the sun goes down on the marathon, the doors open up to 2 hours of later shooting than the previous 12×12 cycles, and the fact is, you need to know how to handle less light to avoid blowing your other 10 exposures.

5. TRIPODS, LOW LIGHT SHOOTING & FUN WITH YOUR FLASH

During this year’s 12×12, you’ll be using 400 ISO film and this is locked in. Unlike DSLRs, if you are in need of exposure, ISO is not an option unless you change your film. Therefore, this is not an option to you. There are only two other tools available to you in order to ‘get light.’

1. APERTURE – and again, these values are functions of the lens. If you have a lens in your arsenal that opens up to 1.8 or better yet 1.4, this will offer you hand-held shooting options in lower light levels.

2. SHUTTER SPEED – the longer the duration of the exposure, the more exposure you will get, therefore the brighter the final image. If you are not able to gain light via the aperture of the lens, then you may need to slow the shutter speed down. The slower the shutter, the more chance there is for nasty camera shake to ruin your picture. Now, considering you’ll all be hanging out in a coffee shop all day long during the marathon, steady hands will not be on your side. The general rule of thumb to avoid camera shake while hand holding: 1/focal length of the lens (i.e. 1/100 for a 100mm, 1/50 for a 50mm). It is also suggested that you never dip below 1/30th of a second. Anything slower than this and camera shake is a guarantee.

If you have reached your limit in both of these areas, then there are a few tools that you may need to pack to help you out. One is a TRIPOD. Long exposures are reasonably easy to achieve with the aid of a tripod. We need to steady the camera so that it can shoot for longer periods than we can hand hold. Calculating the actual exposure values may seem a bit difficult, as the meter will not help when you are shooting in bulb mode. Click here for an online calculator that can help you to predict some of your exposure values.

You can get great effects just by using a longer shutter speed and a tripod. There are a lot of moving lights and people downtown. Don’t forget, the 12×12 falls on the finale of the Celebration of Lights. Point your camera toward moving traffic through the legs of pedestrians. Watch the lights around you and think about how they move. Thinking of your frame in terms of ‘seconds’ and not fractions of a second requires a different creative process. Think about how movement of things will be recorded by the camera, how the moving lights will draw lines in your frame. If this is the type of low light shooting you do, then consider how these lines affect your composition and the reading of your image.

You can also set you camera for a long shutter speed, 30 sec, a higher aperture, and run around with a flash light and create photos like the one that you see on the far left.

Go against the grain, hold the camera to intentionally give your photographs movement. This concept can be fun on its own, but can also be the foundation for another great low light technique. Move your camera and paint with the existing lights.

SLOW SHUTTER SYNC or SHUTTER DRAG is an effect that I really enjoy in my own photos. Mixing a flash with a slower shutter, allowing the ambient light to balance the exposure creates more pleasing low-light photographs. In fact, if you find yourself shooting inside anytime throughout the day, this tip may also apply to these situations. This technique requires some understanding of how to handle your specific flash. In fact, the more you know about your flash the better. FLASH EXPOSURE COMPENSATION is also useful, but its a bit beyond this blog entry.

During a shutter drag, the burst of light from the flash will freeze the motion of the subject it illuminates while the ambient light in the background of the image reveals the movement of the camera. This has a nice effect and is a great low light technique.

Have a question or comment? Leave us a note below.
I hope that one or more of this week’s tips will help you in the low-light portion of the 12×12. Stay tuned for the final tip this Friday!

Known for his Classically Twisted Nudes that push the viewer to discover new views of beauty, Syx Langemann has been photographing his own unique world since 1993 and can be found at Vancouver Photo Workshops teaching students how to capture theirs.

Syx is also one of the judges of the 2011 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon.

Meetup: Jul 30 • 1 – 4PM • Smiley’s Public House

Posted by on July 28, 2011 at 11:46 pm. No comments

Whether you’re a registered marathoner for this year’s cycle, a past marathoner, on the waitlist, interested in film photography, curious about 12×12, or just tagging along with a friend, come and join the fun!

Wouldn’t it be great to meet some of the marathoners that you’ll be running next to at the 2011 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon before the actual event on August 6th? To share tips, get advice from those who’ve done it before, size up one another? ;o) Well, we thought so! Exactly one week before this year’s cycle, we’re all going to gather at Smiley’s Public House, a stone’s throw from the Burrard Skytrain Station.

RSVP and we’ll have a name tag ready for you. See you all THIS Saturday!

Six by Syx: Tip #4 Exposure Compensation, Fill Flash & ND Filters

Posted by on July 27, 2011 at 1:59 pm. No comments

To help prepare you for the marathon, Vancouver Photo Workshops instructor and 2011 12×12 judge Syx Langemann offers up a 6-part series of tips and tricks to get you through Saturday August 6th.

Coming to a ‘correct’ exposure may not always be easy. However, if you follow last week’s tip, then you should at least end up with a photo. It may not be the prettiest photo you’ve ever created, but it’ll be something.

Creating a final photograph that is similar to what you envision in your mind’s eye is dependent on your exposure values. Finalizing these values requires an understanding of how these numbers effect your exposure, as well as how they affect the artistic properties of the photo.

In fact, we need to know them well enough to bully and push them around to get what we want via the exposure compensation button, and if that falls short, we may need a little extra help.

4. EXPOSURE COMPENSATION, FILL FLASH AND NEUTRAL DENSITY FILTERS

Film has a bit more latitude than our digital sensors. Therefore, having an exposure that is slightly on the ‘+’ side of ‘0’ or neutral isn’t bad. It essentially burns more information into the film. Some cameras may have an EXPOSURE COMPENSATION button, some don’t. If a button does exists, then you are able to lock in + or – values that apply to your meter and affect the exposure level of your photograph. Riding the line and/or slightly pushing your exposure can yield some great detail in your prints.

No matter how much exposure compensation or corrections we try to make in the camera, we cannot fix for the contrast in a scene without help from some form of bounce or an artificial light source. Essentially we need to fill in some of the shadows to reduce the contrast of the scene. This is known as FILL FLASH. Due to the great number of different camera types and flash types that are being used during this marathon, it is difficult to address any one specific system. However, the concept is the same from point-and-shoot to SLR. If the flash is attached to the camera and as long as it reads TTL -Through The Lens (thyristor flashes will also work), then the flash will emit only the intensity of light that the camera is asking for. Basically a TTL flash will output power based upon the camera Aperture setting. So popping my flash up will give me less contrast by filling in the darker area of the exposure. For more advanced flashes and cameras, you may also have a Flash Compensation Button that will decrease the flash by a few stops in order to leave some of the character of the shadow in the photograph.

If we decide to use flashes then we’ll have to understand a little about sync speeds. Sync speeds refer to the maximum shutter speed that you can use your camera when also using a flash. Most cameras drop the shutter speed to 1/200th of a second or so. Some sync at 1/60th of a second. These sync speeds are going to be a limiting factor when calculating exposure while using a flash. If you make the decision to use a flash to fill in the shadows of a scene, you need to be aware that the shift of your shutter speed may cause gross over-exposure. With the shutter speed slowing to allow for the flash to occur, the ambient light – bright sunlight, burns out the photograph.

A higher aperture would need to be used to balance this movement out, which then calls into question the power of your flash and the distance of your subject. Basically, things get quite a bit more difficult throwing your flash up on bright sunny days if you want to use lower aperture values or your subject is too far away.

This brings us to the last part of this tip which is NEUTRAL DENSITY FILTERS. These are filters that can be purchased to ‘subtract’ the amount of light entering the camera. The filters can be purchased in different increments from -1 stop to -10 stops. The use of these can help you control the bright sun coming into your camera, which in turn can offer you wider apertures for shallower DOF or longer shutter speeds to capture movement.

This week’s 3-part tip involves shooting in bright sunlight and some of the problems that we might face. Next week we’ll deal with low light and fun flash tricks.

Have a question or comment? Leave us a note below.
Click back next week when Syx shares Tip #5 & 6, the final tips before marathon day!!!

Known for his Classically Twisted Nudes that push the viewer to discover new views of beauty, Syx Langemann has been photographing his own unique world since 1993 and can be found at Vancouver Photo Workshops teaching students how to capture theirs.

Syx is also one of the judges of the 2011 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon.

Six by Syx: Tip #3 Exposure 101

Posted by on July 20, 2011 at 1:35 pm. One comment

To help prepare you for the marathon, Vancouver Photo Workshops instructor and 2011 12×12 judge Syx Langemann offers up a 6-part series of tips and tricks to get you through Saturday August 6th.

This is the third in our series, and this week we are going to talk about exposure. Exposure is the foundation from which any great photograph is constructed.

Once we have locked in the ISO of the film that we are using, the only two exposure tools available to us are the Aperture and the Shutter Speed. Let’s chat a little about each tool.

3. EXPOSURE 101

APERTURE refers to the size of the opening inside the lens. It controls the intensity of light that enters the camera. Technically, we can use this to help control the exposure values. By using a smaller hole in the lens we will need a longer shutter speed; the larger the hole in the lens, the shorter the shutter speed we need. Creatively speaking, aperture controls our Depth of Field. Depth of Field (DOF), relates to how much of the image is in focus from foreground to background. The lower the F-number, the larger the hole in the lens, therefore the shallower the DOF.

SHUTTER SPEED refers to how quickly the curtains open and close – how long the film is exposed to light. Based upon the ISO, the aperture and shutter speed are balanced to make a correct exposure. Shutter speed creatively controls motion in our picture. If the shutter speed moves fast it can stop motion, but this will require the correct aperture value to make a correct exposure. If the shutter moves slowly, the aperture can be ‘closed down’ (the F-number moved up) to correct the exposure.

When you are shooting your camera on a Program or Automatic mode, the camera is basing the exposure on the reflected light in the scene. It comes to the ‘best’ exposure value based upon an average grey to ensure the photograph is not over or under-exposed.

Our job is to balance the aperture and the shutter speed to get the picture we want, both in exposure value and in creative outcome. As long as we balance the numbers so that we can see a ‘0’ or ‘neutral’ exposure within the viewfinder, then we should have the correct exposure. However, we need to be aware of the combination of numbers that we are using to ensure that our photos are creatively successful. Again remember that a correct exposure is based upon an 18% grey. So as long as your scene contains both light and dark values, the camera should be judging the scene correctly. Look for this in your view finder:

By adjusting the aperture and the shutter speed, we will eventually come to a middle ground where the exposure should be correct.

So try this (you don’t even need to shoot the camera): Just move the camera around a scene from dark tones to light tones and watch your meter move. Then try to balance out the aperture and the shutter speed numbers so that the meter in your view finder is at ‘0.’ Then mentally trip your shutter. That should be a correctly exposed photograph.

Next time we will discuss a more advanced way of thinking about your exposure, but practice up, cause Tip #4 requires complete understanding of this one. See you next week.

Have a question or comment? Leave us a note below.
Click back next week when Syx shares Tip #4. You won’t wanna miss it! 

Known for his Classically Twisted Nudes that push the viewer to discover new views of beauty, Syx Langemann has been photographing his own unique world since 1993 and can be found at Vancouver Photo Workshops teaching students how to capture theirs.

Syx is also one of the judges of the 2011 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon.

2011 JUDGES

Posted by on July 18, 2011 at 1:47 am. No comments

Fiona Forbes
Co-host, ShawTV’s Urban Rush

Described by Hollywood guru Larry Moss as a woman with “chutzpah who reminds me of Lucille Ball,” Fiona co-hosts the award-winning entertainment talk show Urban Rush.

After being told by Regis Philbin that “You’ve got something kid!” she has gone on to receive accolades such as “Favourite TV Personality” and numerous other Reader’s Choice and Industry awards.

Fiona has done over 15,000 interviews with top names from the worlds of film, television, music, literature, sports and pop culture. Along the way Fiona has been schooled in politics from Arnold Schwarzenegger…music and hockey from Michael Buble…booty-pops from the Pussycat Dolls and learned to play the drums with GLEE’S Cory Montieth.

 

Syx Langemann
Instructor, Vancouver Photo Workshops

Syx has been creating arresting images and photographing his own unique world since 1993.

His models often find themselves in strange angular poses, gently contorting and twisting to fit with the frame. His Classically Twisted Nudes challenge the viewer to discover new ways of seeing beauty. This work has been exhibited at the Douglas Udell Gallery, used on the set of The “L” Word, and published in international magazine Skin Two as well as The Photo Fetish Anthologies 3 & 4.

He has worked with many different subjects over the years. Recent projects include: No Graffito & Once I Was a Camera which explores his own version of street photography and the formal construction of images.

 

Samir Maktabi
Co-organizer, FotoMarathon (Copenhagen)

The original and oldest of its kind, the Danish FotoMarathon, which runs both a 12-hour & a 24-hour version concurrently, held its 23rd iteration on August 27th, 2011.

Samir also manages Photomarathon.com – an umbrella site for all the photo marathons around the world that provides assistance to anyone interested in starting one. In January of this year, Samir helped organize the first ever photo marathon in the Middle East which took place in Cairo just weeks before the public uprising.

Samir calls himself a “serious amateur photographer” and has over 10 years of photography under his belt. He also blogs about his craft and teaches classes on model photography and other subjects.

 

MYSTERY JUDGE (Revealed 11.09.25): Dan Jackson
Freelance Photographer & 2-Time 12×12 Marathoner

A 1995 graduate of Emily Carr University of Art & Design’s photography department, Dan began his career working in editorial portraiture shooting local and int’l personalities.

After shooting over a hundred covers for publications in North America and Asia, he now works primarily in advertising and art direction. His background in fine art and art history remains the cornerstone of his picture making process and give his work an illustrative and painterly feel.

In 2000 he founded Studio 730 which operates as a commercial photo studio and exhibit space. Recently Dan began writing and illustrating a book based on his grad thesis and hosts an annual public exhibition and open house every June at Studio 730.

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