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 Grande Prairie (25)


Spring cleaning

It's been awhile since any new postings have gone up on my blog. Here is some recent work.

Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, AB 13-03-23 Hayley Prusko of the Smoky Lake Skating Club takes to the ice in the Preliminary Free Skate at the Grande Prairie Skating Club's 18th annual Peace Open Competition Saturday March 23 at the Coca Cola Centre.

Photo Randy Vanderveen near LaGlace, Alberta 13-03-23 Bison graze in a snow covered pasture in a region near LaGlace bearing the large mammal's name Buffalo Lake. Bison continues to be an alternative for livestock producers in the Peace Country.

 Photo Randy Vanderveen Bezanson, Alberta 13-04-09 This Canada goose couldn't be blamed for debating whether it got its return dates mixed up as it walks across the frozen surface of water in a field. With temperatures expected to rise — despite a forecast for a little more snow this weekend — hopefully spring is on its waPhoto Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta 13-04-09 A robin makes its way across the ice picking at cat tails for food Tuesday. The birds are often viewed as a sign of spring.Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta 13-03-30 Pre-Bout Xcessive Force Fighting Championships at the TEC Centre in Evergreen Park, Saturday, March 30. Gloves above and a fighter getting his hands taped below.

Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta 13-03-30 Pros Spencer Jebb battled Paulo Azambuja at the Xcessive Force Fighting Championships at the TEC Centre in Evergreen Park, Saturday, March 30. Azambuja, from Brazil won the fight with an arm bar.


A piece of the Peace

Photo Randy Vanderveen Bezanson, Alberta 12-10-31 An owl takes flight from a fence post along a rural road to check out its surroundings near Bezanson, Alberta Wednesday, October 31.



Photo Randy Vanderveen Bezanson, Alberta 12-11-07 A pair of coyotes nonchalantly stroll past wild elk and bison grazing in one of the pastures at the Adam Bison Ranch near Bezanson, Wednesday, Nov. 7. Coyotes are wary enough in most cases to stay back from the road and take to the lower area in an open field.Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta 12-11-06 A bull moose's long legs help it easily cross a fence as he heads over open fields and roads southwest of Grande Prairie Tuesday, Nov. 6. Motorists travelling rural roads and highways have to be aware of wildlife on the move especially in the hours around dawn and dusk.Photo Randy Vanderveen Bezanson, Alberta 12-10-31 Hoar frost provides a delicate covering to the strands of barb wire on a fence near Bezanson, Alberta Wednesday, October 31.Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta 12-11-02 Kelly O'Hallahan, Wolves guard, 9, charges past Karly Goertzen, Briercrest, 8, as she heads toward the basket. The Grande Prairie Lady Wolves battled the Briercrest College Clippers on the hardwood at GPRC Friday evening and defeated the visitors 62-50. O'Hallahan picked up the nod for Wolves player of the game.

Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta 12-11-03 St. Joe's Oleks Bobrovskyy unsuccesfully tries to hurdle a Peace River Pioneer tackler. The Celtics broke a 21 year Peace Bowl victory drought as they defeated the Peace River Pioneers 34-17 to win the Mighty Peace Football League Championship at Legion Field Saturday, Nov. 3. Both teams move onto their respective Provincial playoffs

Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta A drilling rig south of Grande PrairiePhoto Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta Evergreen Park

Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta An aerial photograph of the current Queen Elizabeth II Hospital and the construction site for the new hospital.


Different looks

Photo Randy Vanderveen, Grande Prairie, Alberta A farmer cuts down a hay crop west of the Grande Prairie airport.Last week I showed a couple of examples of how photos can look different by using a different lens.

This week there are two more examples of how to make photos stand out.

Above is a change of viewpoint. From above this field takes on an abstract look.

The second is example has two photos a before and after post-production. For editorial and documentary work the after photo is unusable because of the work done to it in post production like increasing the contrast and some heavy burning and dodging.

However for a print to hang on the wall the second looks much better.

Photo Randy Vanderveen, Grande Prairie, Alberta The before photo of a combine working in a field.Photo Randy Vanderveen, Grande Prairie, Alberta The after photo which has more pop and visual impact would not be submitted for editorial or documentary work. It is fine for a print on a wall.


Go Wide

Photo Randy Vanderveen, Grande Prairie, AB Work is underway on a new splash park, sponsored by the Grande Prairie Elks, in Muskoseepi Park.Making effective use of your equipment and varying the angle of view can make a big difference whether you are documenting a construction project like the two photos today or your child's birthday.

Try using a variety of lenses and points of view — after you have taken the safe shot. You don't want to miss the big moment in the lives of your family and friends.

The use of a fish eye lens in these two shots provides two totally different looks to the construction underway on a new spray park in Muskoseepi Park.

The top provides an ultra-wide angle view of the entire footpad of the project which is scheduled for completion next month and will open to the public next spring.

The bottom provides an exaggerated viewpoint. The shallow trench with conduit resembles a canyon. However, it is that unique perspective that draws in the viewer or reader.

Try something different with your photography — perhaps using a wide lens for something traditionally shot with a telephoto like sports and a telephoto for something that usually is shown in a wide perspective.

Not every photo will turn out but those that do will show a more creative side of your photography.

Photo Randy Vanderveen, Grande Prairie, Alberta A low angle with a fish eye lens makes a shallow trench resemble a canyon as work continues on the Elks sponsored splash park at Muskoseepi Park.


Lessons not learned

Friday night I was reminded of how the newspaper industry still has not picked up on the lessons it should have learned.

I shot a fire at a local condominium complex which resulted in at 50 people being homeless at least for the night and some for much longer.

As firefighting operations continued I returned home to file photos so that a newspaper website in Edmonton, Alberta could have photos of breaking news even prior to television stations if they decided to use any.Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada 12-07-27 Grande Prairie firefighters battle a condominium blaze at Haywood Court, a housing complex in the Patterson Place neighbourhood in south Grande Prairie shortly before 6 pm. Friday. Approximately 50 people living in the complex were homeless that night as a result of the blaze. For some and possibly all it will be much longer. The newspaper decided not to run with it, which as a professional photographer I understand. However, an industrial fire which happened around the same time as the Grande Prairie fire, checking the Edmonton media websites and talking to the contact at the paper resulted in several things striking me about newspapers. These were lessons I thought the newspaper industry would have learned.

1. My contact at the city desk said the photo might not run because of space. After years in the newspaper industry, I understand space constraints in a newspaper, especially when the photo like this is a narrow vertical one. However, just an observation, if you have a website that argument is kind of thrown out the proverbial window. If  as a newspaper you are moving to a stronger internet presence then make use of it. You need to be relevant and breaking news like an industrial fire is relevant (see point 2.)

2. If something timely is happening make use of your website for breaking news. That is one of the arguments for having a website. While the television stations in Edmonton had photos of the industrial fire on their websites at 6:30 pm, possibly sooner, it was after 9:30 before I could find any reference to there even being a fire in Edmonton on the newspaper sites. (In contrast staff at the Daily Herald-Tribune in Grande Prairie had a photo and news brief of the local fire on the paper's site  shortly after 7 pm.)

I realize editorial content does not mean revenue for a newspaper, radio or TV — advertising brings in the dollars.

However, there is also a direct correlation between the readership of the paper — the physical copy or the website — and revenue.

If readers don't see a paper as being relevant and timely they won't subscribe to it or read its website. If people aren't reading the paper, advertisers are not going to buy space for ads. Why would they? The inverse is also true. If your product is relevant and timely making it the go to place for news, advertisers will follow the readership. The readership reflects ad rates.

Newspapers — and the chains and stockholders that own and operate them— need to realize this. If you want a profitable investment don't gut the resources like staff. This diminishes your product and killing the goose that laid the golden egg.


Now that I have finished ranting, and on a much more important and urgent note, there are people in Grande Prairie who at the present are homeless. Both the Salvation Army and Red Cross step in in disastrous situations like this. Why not lend them a hand. The Sally Ann and Red Cross need money to operate and I am confident that any financial assistance you could provide them with will be welcomed and put to good use.

If you are reading this from outside the Grande Prairie area, your local Salvation Army and Red Cross or similar organizations could still use the financial help. Step up and help them and through them your neighbours out.