About Randy Vanderveen

 Grande Prairie Alberta photographer Randy Vanderveen is an award-winning photographer with two decades of experience. Editorial photography, commercial photography, institutional photography, aerial photography, documentary and humanitarian photography — whatever your photographic needs are in the Peace River Country of northwestern Alberta and northeastern British Columbia or beyond I can help. The right licensing package can make custom photography affordable and extremely effective whether you are a national corporation, a local business or a non-profit or NGO. I would like to sit down and talk with you about how I can meet your photographic needs. Call (780) 897- 6478 or email me for a quote on a job or licensing fees for photos. Feel free to check out the weekly Viewfinder blog.



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Entries in be different (2)


A Different Look

Here is some recent work where most of the photos have a different look or technique to draw in the viewer.

Photo; Randy Vanderveen A horse and rider streak past the fence at the Evergreen Park providing a look of speed — the result of a slow shutter speed and panning.

Photo Randy Vanderveen The first of two photographs of a grass hopper. This one takes advantage of its reflection in the windshield of a car. Photo Randy Vanderveen This second photo implies damage caused by grasshoppers as the insect had moved closer to a large area of the windshield damaged previously by a rock.

Photo Randy Vanderveen Taking a close up, like this prickly pear bloom, can give the photo a different point of view. Photo Randy Vanderveen The similar colors of a butterfly and tiger lily highlight this photo. Photo Randy Vanderveen Isolating the subject of your photo by changing the backgrround or your depth of field can draw the attention of your audience. Photo Randy Vanderveen Not all of your photographs have to be sharp from front to back. In this photo the shape of the pumpjack out of focus in the rear is enough to identify it. Photo Randy Vanderveen Finally humour is one way of catching your audience's attention.



Lessons from nature

Photo Randy Vanderveen, Grande Prairie, Alberta A baby American coot swims in Crystal Lake.

It is hard to believe it has been almost a week since I posted already. I have to say people that post to blogs on a daily basis definitely have to be dedicated to the process.

While I was out looking for photos this past week a couple of reminders came up as a result of the subjects I shot over the course of the week. First don't go out with pre-conceived ideas. (I am talking about photos for journalism, landscape or nature shots or just to exercise your eye and shutter finger— if you are shooting portraits, a wedding or even a commercial shot for an annual report you better have some notion of what you are going to shoot — that is what your clients are paying you for.) I know this from when I worked at the newspaper. It rarely works out. Either you have this great plan of how photos from an event should look and event ends up a dud or you are skeptical of how things will work out and they turn out fantastic.

The shot of the baby coot is an example of this. I actually went out to shoot swans — but they must have slept in. While not as cute as cygnets, the young coots are definitely eye-catching in their own ugly way. This stage doesn't last very long. A week from now they will be all grey and will have lost that wigged-out look.

Be adaptable when you go out taking photos. It makes things a lot less stressful.

Photo Randy Vanderveen, Grande Prairie. Alberta A line of goslings head out with an adult to feed in Crystal Lake. A second adult was following the young birds to keep everyone in line and safe.

Second don't always follow the leader. This is something that was drilled into me when in school and the geese reminded me of this. While it is great to converse with other photographers and compare notes if you get away from the others when shooting you will have a different angle on things. It may not be better but it will provide a different look to your photos than everyone else has.

This works when travelling too. Don't take the same photo from the same location as the post cards. Try a different angle of view, a different time of day, a different season of the year and even a different lens. Who knows maybe your "different view" will become the iconic view that people begin to remember over the usual photo.

Finally look around. While deer do this to remain safe from predators it never hurts to get in the habit as a photographer. Sometimes the best angle is behind you — the reaction to what is going on in front of you. Take your viewer away from the usual and give them something to remember.

Photo Randy Vanderveen, Grande Prairie, Alberta A mule deer surveys it surroundings while grazing in a canola field in full bloom east of Grande Prairie.