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 photo technique (8)


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.



Lights, action

Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie City street lights and vehicle lights appear to be an explosion in colour as the zoom of the camera lens is moved during a 20 second exposure.It may still be a week and a half away but on behalf of my wife Cheryl and myself "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."


Beyond the obvious

Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta A slow shutter speed and panning provides a different look to the sport of curling.I have mentioned before that it is important to go beyond the obvious when making interesting photos. Here is an example taken at the 2011 GP Car and Home Players' Championship, April 13 at the Crystal Centre, Grande Prairie, AB.

Curling is not often thought of as a high action sport, however, there obviously is some movement involved. Just a different look from the usual.


A time to plant


Photo Randy Vanderveen Fort Jacques, Haiti A Haitian man displays a handful of green pepper seeds before sowing them in his garden plot.

Sometimes you have to get right back to the beginning.

Farmers are aware of that as every spring the grain and oil seed crop needs to be resown. If you depend on the volunteer growth from the previous year, you will be harvesting more weeds than grain.

Photography is the same way.

You can't just keep doing the same thing the same way over and over again. You need to try new techniques and shoot new subjects to keep things fresh.

Sometimes that means going back to the basics — shooting manually, working on your camera technique rather than using Photoshop to fix things later in post production.

Most of my shooting is editorial anyway, so post production is restricted to cropping, colour correcting and cleaning up dust marks.

That doesn't mean my photography doesn't require work. In fact, I am very guilty of not always pushing myself to continually improve with every assignment. Something I have been working on over the past year.

It can mean taking workshops, trying something new, even once in awhile taking a risk artistically (not for editorial purposes) and using Photoshop for a certain look.

If I don't my work will become stagnant and boring.

However, there always has to be that foundation of solid photography underneath everything. The mantra for many these days is "I can fix it later in Photoshop", however, the photo will not stand on its own merits.

Why not take the time to start back with the basics and improve your photography from the ground up?

Here is my "artistic" view of the same photo. (Increased the edge sharpness, added a vignette and some contrast.)


Dog's eye view

Photo: Randy Vanderveen, Grande Prairie A pair of dogs in a northeast Grande Prairie neighbourhood check out their surroundings from a different viewpoint,Often time we get stuck in a rut, taking photos (or looking at life) from the same angle. Standing, horizontal frame etc.

Sometimes to get a better picture and/or a different outlook on life, we have to follow the lead of these dogs and try a different viewpoint.

I don't imagine these canine pals would see too much of their neighbourhood if they kept all four feet planted on the ground and looked out through the cracks in the fence.

By getting up they can survey the comings and goings of their neighbourhood despite still being kept in the backyard of their masters' home.

We need to look at things differently too. When we take photos we need to try different angles — high, worm's eye view— different lenses, different shutter speeds etc. to capture photos that are different from our colleagues and competitors.

But the same is true in our day to day life. I am sure you all know the saying "Put yourself in the other person's shoes." Well viewing things from the standpoint of someone else can make a huge difference in how we relate to others and what we allow to bother us.

I know often, in life, I am too focussed on me rather than on others.

This doesn't mean we have to agree with everything someone else says or does or be politically correct, however, even when we are correcting or offering criticism, if we put ourselves in the other person's shoes and see how we are presenting that message — is it done out of compassion and genuine concern or out of jealousy and pettiness or anger — we can help our message along.

This also applies in how we view the new year and our outlook. If we are traditionally pessimistic — why not get out of that rut and look at the positive. If we are overly optimistic — try and add a dose of reality to our viewpoint instead of being "Pollyannish" (I will let some of the younger readers Google that term to find out what I am referring to.