Blog

Visual Journalist Becomes an Archive

As many of you know, I have made a big change in my career over the last couple of years, and have shifted my business to commercial cinematography, and wedding photography/cinema.

Although I continue to work for editorial clients regularly, I will no longer be posting to Visual Journalist. I will leave the site active, but expect no new content. Hopefully the sites archives will help out up and coming journalists one way or another.

If you’d like to continue to follow my work, you can catch me at the following sites:

Wedding Photojournalism: www.brentfosterphotography.com
Cinema Work: www.brentfostercinema.com
Editorial: www.brentfoster.com
Blog: www.brentfosterphotography.com/blog

All the best!

-Brent


Is the 5d Mark III on it’s way?

Word on the street is Canon’s 5d Mark III will be a 26.4 megapixel, 4.9 fps, 102, 400 iso expandable shooting machine.
Please Canon, give us an XLR import, or two for audio, and I’m sold!


Greater latitude coming to EOS footage

Today, TECHNICOLOR & Canon USA announce that they’ve formed a strategic alliance to leverage Technicolor Color Science for Canon EOS DSLR Cameras.


New Promo Video for Brent Foster Photography

Check out the new promo video when you get a second. We just finished the edit, and are excited to launch it on the main Brent Foster Photography site.


Out my Window -A 360 Degree Project by The National Film Board of Canada


Huge congrats to Katerina Cizek and The National Film Board of Canada for an amazingly innovative project, Out My Window. A the project and a few words on it can be found on my personal web site, Brent Foster Photography


A Wedding Story

A little unconventional for me to be posting here, but multimedia nonetheless.
This is a piece shot and produced for Yasmine + Adam’s Wedding this past weekend near Toronto.
I used a glidecam 2000 on a smooth shooter vest with a Canon 5d Mark II to shoot the story.
Audio was recorded on a Zoom H4, and the video edited and colour corrected in Final Cut. Adam(the groom) did the animation at the start, and finish that appear beside my logo.
Check it out!

Yasmine + Adam HD Wedding Story , Ontario, 2010 from Brent Foster on Vimeo.

Accompanying stills and photo booth here:

http://www.brentfosterphotography.com/news/yasmineadam-first-look/

http://www.brentfosterphotography.com/news/photo-booth-from-yasmine-adams-wedding/


Launching my Studio’s site

I’ve recently launched a new site: Brent Foster Photography
There’s been a lot of emails coming my way, so I figured I’d post a little info here.

Wedding Photography, Portrait, Maternity, Pets, and Videography in Ontario

My plan is to launch the studio August 14, 2010 in my hometown, Wallaceburg, Ontario. Last summer I came home to work on a story for Canadian Geographic, and as time passed by, fell in love with a girl who I’ll be marrying October 2, 2010.
We plan to run the studio together in a 100 year old bank building…. Tammy’s custom stained glass work will take place in the basement, and the photography studio will be on the main floor. There will also be a gallery where I plan to feature local, national, and international photojournalism and multimedia.

Brent Foster Photography Studio

My main focus will be wedding photojournalism in Windsor, Ontario, London, Ontario, and in the area I am living as well as portrait, pet, and maternity work at the studio, and on location. This does not mean my career as a photojournalist is over. It does mean I am settling down a bit, and for the first year, will be mostly here, but when things are up and running I plan to continue to take trips, and work on stories important to my heart both in still photography, and multimedia. I will also remain a member of Bombay Flying Club. I am however, equally excited about entering a new realm of photography, and spending a lot of time with my new future wife, and amazing 3 year-old step daughter! Wish me luck!!!


Shifting Gears(sort of)


Sometimes life jumps right in the way of your plans, and that’s a good thing in my books.
A lot is changing for me these days, hence the slowness of blog postings here.
I’ve decided to return to my home town, set up a STUDIO serving Southwestern Ontario, and got engaged in the meantime!
A lot of this stems from coming home this past summer to work on a project on my hometown for Canadian Geographic (see previous posting) I’m really excited to become an integral of the community I grew up in.
My plan is to run the studio here in Canada, combine forces with my fiancée, and to continue to take trips to pursue multimedia and photojournalistic projects throughout the year. Apologies in advance if this blog comes to a bit of a lull for a while!

Best, Brent


My Hometown: Bearing Down and Getting By


This summer I spent two months documenting my hometown, Wallaceburg, Ontario, for Canadian Geographic. This month they are featuring the 9 page photo essay. See it HERE Thanks to all the residents who let me spend time photographing them. This is a lifelong project for me, and I feel it serves as a microcosm for all small towns.
You can also see a link to a photo club interview HERE


Prepping for the ipad…the future of magazines online?

Check this out… Thoughts?


Rwandan Mountain Gorillas


I have some time between classes, and an upcoming assignment in Nairobi, which allowed me to take a pretty magical hike yesterday.
I spent four hours or so on an amazing journey to see the mountain gorillas at Volcano National Park in Rwanda. It was truly one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced. Here are some images:

Mountain Gorillas, Rwanda – Images by Brent Foster


A Teachers Blog-Week 2

After two weeks together, the third year Journalism and Communications students, and I wrapped up our course at the National University of Rwanda.
I couldn’t be happier with the results.

The students came back with some surprisingly solid images given the fact this was the first experience shooting a photo essay, and using a camera for most of them.

On top of that using point and shoot cameras with 10 people to a camera provides it share of challenges, to say the least.

Here’s a look at some of the images they brought back from a great two weeks together. In three weeks I will start a new course in Kigali at the Great Lakes Media Center.


Students Pictures-National University of Rwanda – Images by 3rd Year Students


A bloody day in Kigali

The scene of the attack the next day


It sounded like a canon.
As I sat drinking a coffee and discussing my teaching experience at the University with my colleague we heard a thundering thud.
I knew it wasn’t a gunshot, but never would I have expected a bloody attack had occurred about a hundred yards from where I sat.
Bertha and I looked at each other. “What was that?,” she said. I replied saying I was confident it wasn’t shots fired, and the thought of an attack simply didn’t occur to me. Not in the Rwanda I know.
Bertha and I looked around, gauged the reaction, or lack thereof, of the others around us, finished our coffees, and left on motorcycle taxis.

It was only when our friend Sam arrived at the Rwanda Initiative house that we learned what had happened. At least two grenades were set off simultaneously, resulting in at least one person dead, and dozens injured.
No one knows who’s responsible for the attack. Rumors are circulating ranging from the arrival of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, racial tensions, and the upcoming elections.

As soon as I heard about the attack I grabbed my cameras and rushed back to the scene. I walked with Sam, Bertha, and another colleague, and we searched for the attacked areas, expecting police, people in distress, and news reporters.
There was nothing.
It wasn’t until we looked down at our feet in the area we thought was a scene of the attack, only to see they were covered in blood. We were standing literally on the site of the attack, and life went on around us like nothing had happened.


A teacher’s blog- Week 1


The first day wreaked of havoc from the beginning. I arrived into a tightly packed classroom of 71 students only to discover my fly was down. As I turned around to subtly pull it back up, I realized the zipper was broken. Great. Not only that, but the speakers, laptop, and everything I had prepared weren’t exactly going to work all to well in a brightly sun-lit classroom, with one plug.

Things turned around quickly though. We moved the class into a much larger room, found an extension cord, and started to project images and multimedia onto a white sheet. The rest of the week has been golden… sort of.

To give you a little background, I’m here in land of 1000 hills, otherwise known as Rwanda, teaching multimedia and online journalism. I’m currently at the National University of Rwanda in Butare, and following that, I’ll be at the Great Lakes Media Center in Kigali for three weeks.

I was brought here by Rwanda Initiative, a Canadian NGO that recruits teachers from all over, and brings them to Rwanda to teach.

So far, the biggest challenge has been supplies. I came with several cameras in tow, donated by the Toronto Star, but even combined with those, we have 7 working point and shoots for 71 journalism students… not exactly ideal.

At the University sits a box of old Nikon D1s that have been donated from media organizations all over the world …none of them are working.

So, we’re doing what we can. Groups of 10 are going out with one camera, and learning to build sequences, shooting wide, medium and tight, how to white balance, shoot environmental portraits, features, and photo essays. They’re
excited, and so am I. Each day, the pictures improve ten fold.

All in all, things have been great so far. The students are very attentive, and have learnt quickly to come to class on time after realizing I was serious about blocking the door with a desk at 8:35 each morning. Deadlines are deadlines:)


First Week


From World Press Photo’s web site:
In this audio slideshow, jury chair Ayperi Karabuda Ecer reflects on the progress of the contest after the first week of judging. She describes the process during the first round, a time when the whole World Press office is engaged in the judging. Additionally, this year included specialized juries that simultaneously judged the categories of Nature, Sports and Portraits while the rest of the jury focused on the categories within News & documentary.”


BFC Members featured in PDN, Feb.2010


Check out February’s issue of PDN to see a story my colleague Poul Madsen from Bombay Flying Club, and I are featured in called “Turning NGOs into Paying Clients”
The important thing I think to take away from this story is that you can do work that’s important, and helpful, but still need to survive in an industry that’s getting tougher by the day. I love working with NGOs, as I feel like the work produced can actually make a direct difference when working with them… something I often battle with when working for other clients.


The Story Beyond the Still


No idea what the prizes, etc, are for THIS, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a pretty damn cool final result.

From the site “Introducing the first user-generated HD Video Contest where photographers become filmmakers, and we all see beyond the still. To kick off the contest, Canon asked me to interpret what story I saw beyond the still, and to tell that story with the new Canon EOS 7D. My short film will be the first chapter of seven, each ending with a still photograph for the next aspiring filmmaker to interpret. Posing the question to everyone, what do you see beyond the still?

My short film will premiere on January 7th on Vimeo, and the contest will begin January 15th. I look forward to seeing what everyone creates! More info coming soon!”


Teaching in Rwanda

Kigali Street Scene, 2009


I’m really excited to be off to teach journalism for in Rwanda in February with Canadian NGO Rwanda Initiative. I had the opportunity to stay with them earlier this year when working on a story on the anniversary of the genocide, and have been looking for an excuse to return ever since…

From their website: “Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication, Canada’s premier journalism school, is spearheading this initiative to collaborate with its counterpart at the National University of Rwanda (NUR), in Butare.
The central aim is to address the shortage of journalism educators in Rwanda, to build capacity, to improve journalism standards in the country and to forge a partnership between the two universities.
In addition to providing the School of Journalism and Communication in Butare with consistent access to visiting teachers, the project has a major curriculum development and exchange component and also includes media-training workshops in Rwanda for working journalists, jointly organized by Carleton and NUR.”


Oh yeah, that’s why…

LaBelle
It’s so easy, especially these days to get caught up in the kind of camera, medium, software, etc, that you use to tell a story.
It’s much harder to remember why we do this in the first place. Every photographer, especially ones who plan to teach should watch THE LESSON, as well as the other chapters in the series. Kudos to Francis Gardler for putting this together. I know it’s the kick in the ass I needed.


Kickin it old school

Picture 2
This multimedia piece, Ted Baryluk’s Grocery, was created the year I was born…. 1982.
Check it out. Powerful story telling, simple narrative. Very effective.

Thanks to Colin Corneau for pointing this out.


Great video… wait a second?

Picture 2
Lucas Oleniuk is up to it again. Check out a recent piece that he and Randy Risling put together using stills.
If you’ve haven’t seen their work before, make sure to check this out as well.

A little update from Randy Risling: “Everything is done in FCP. Lucas was very organized on this one which made it an absolute pleasure to edit. Basically each timelapse was organized into folders. I would import that folder and then “nest” it right away. After nesting, I applied some motion to the nest which sort of creates an illusion that it’s running smoother than it actually is. If you watch back some of the interview shots you will notice a slight tracking from left to right with just a touch of zooming. I think it’s that smooth tracking that helps trick the eye.”


Highrise

Highrise
Really stoked to be shooting a portion of this giant project in Istanbul next week.
The project has more multimedia depth than most that I’ve seen in quite some time. Each story will have 6-10 mini-stories, all in a very cool platform. It will take the power of multimedia storytelling and use it to paint a landscape of this crazy world we live in.

From the site: “This is a *pre-site* for HIGHRISE, a multi-year, multi-media, collaborative documentary project about the human experience in global vertical suburbs. We will use the acclaimed interventionist and participatory approaches of the award-winning National Film Board of Canada’s Filmmaker-in-Residence (FIR) project. Our scale will be global, but rooted firmly in the FIR philosophy — putting people, process, creativity, collaboration, and innovation first.”

Check out the TRAILER


Randoms

A few images from travels throughout Thailand. Will update the album as the tour continues.

SE Asia – Images by Brent Foster


Travel Time

It’s time for a little backpacking adventure. At the end of this week, I am off on a journey to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Will be back in Delhi for an assignment at the start of December, but until then, expect infrequent updates of random pictures from the journey!

In the meantime, here’s a few images from our recent trip to Ethiopia for the NGO Hope For Children. We(Bombay Flying Club) will have a multimedia piece out sometime in December for the Danish NGO.


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:Hope For Children NGO Work – Images by Brent Foster