This was a proud and pretty stoked moment as I stood at the summit of Vinson Massif at 4,892m tightly gripping my Nikon flag in the high winds and -50 degree windchill conditions.
I just got back from a truly once-in-a-lifetime, three week experience photographing and climbing Vinson Massif – the highest peak in Antarctica and one of the World’s Seven Summits. This was part of the True Patriot Love Foundation expedition with 9 injured soldiers and 17 Canadian business leaders, led by world-class guides from Mountain Professionals and Yamnuska Mountain Adventures.
With the cold conditions, high elevation and the fact that we did not have any electricity while winter camping our way to the top, it was a very challenging shoot. I had to carry all my gear in a 105 litre Osprey Zenith Pack and pull a sled with a large duffel, food, etc. My Nikon D810, Nikon D4s and Nikon 1 J5 and the new AF-S Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8E ED VR lens, 50mm and 16mm fisheye came with me all the way to the summit!! My 70-200mm came up to high camp but I left it for weight and simplicity on summit day. I used 2 Lowepro Toploader Pro bags (Toploader Pro 70 AW II and Toploader Pro 75 AW II) to keep my cameras dry and protected and inserted hand warmers to ensure the cameras stayed warm. We were surrounded by crevices at all times so when we moved, we did so in teams all roped together. So I had the challenge of shooting while tethered to a rope and shooting while moving. That's where the Lowepro bags were a game changer and allowed me to have them at my side and access them at a blink of an eye, without having to stop the entire group and take off my pack to access my camera. I attached my Lowepro's using the shoulder harness and attaching them to my backpack belt loop to carry most of the weight at my hips. My Manfrotto Befree Carbon Fiber Tripod and Ball Head also outperformed my expectations and made bringing a tripod on such a weight-sensitive expedition a possibility. I also brought the very lightweight Manfrotto Offroad Series Tripod and Sticks to shoot stable video on the fly! I charged batteries with my Goal Zero Sherpa 100 Kit and brought a new super lightweight Apple Macbook and 2 - SSD drives for backup which allowed me to shoot a terabyte and a half on this trip!! Finally I kept warm with the incredible expedition Canada Goose jackets that felt like you were wearing a comfortable sleeping bag no matter how cold it got.
True Patriot Love Foundation (TPL) is a national charity that honours the sacrifices of members of the Canadian Armed Forces, veterans and their families in both times of peace and conflict. TPL funds unique programs and innovative research in the areas of family health and support, physical health and rehabilitation, mental health and wellbeing, and research and innovation. TPL is also committed to bridging the gap between military and civilian communities, hosting multinational symposiums and organizing ambitious global expeditions. Since 2009, True Patriot Love has committed more than $15.1 million to support military charities and research across Canada.
Summiting one of the World's Seven Summits and experiencing Antarctica was incredible, but even more amazing was witnessing and capturing the extraordinary people on this trip, the healing that took place for the soldiers and the bonding that happened between soldier and civilian as we all worked together to get to the top! I have come away from this forever changed and inspired, with a deep appreciation and respect for our Canadian soldiers and what they continue to do for us. I also come away with many new friends from this adventure, the business leaders, soldiers, guides and support were absolutely amazing individuals and it was an honour growing through this experience with all of them!
Included are a few teaser images. More to come soon at the Scotiabank Contact Festival and other Nikon and True Patriot Love Foundation venues.
Very Special thanks to Nikon, True Patriot Love Foundation, Lowepro, Manfrotto, Scotiabank, Canada Goose, LaSportiva, Osprey, Exped, Goal Zero and more for your incredible support to make this expedition a possibility.
The bigger the WHY, the smaller the HOW. If you want to be a better photographer, build confidence at any level, and capture images of excellence, then take time to shoot the things you love and are passionate about. Shoot what excites you, and use that energy to break through your own limitations, reach new levels of creativity within, and ultimately electrify your images. This secret ingredient, the intent or reason for shooting coupled with your own emotion towards the subject are often overlooked amiss all of the technical considerations. Those technical aspects can always be learned but creation flows from within. What drives your image?
Photographing a sport at the peak of the moment can be exhilarating, especially when you nail it, that’s just one of the many reasons its one of my favourite subjects to shoot. After shooting professional sports for many years I eventually realized that I could up my own photography game and get better images simply by changing my mindset. When I was shooting an event like World Cup Skiing or even the Winter Olympics I noticed that I would get better shots when shooting a Canadian versus an athlete from any other country every time. My technical ability was the same, but the only thing different was that it was more important to me to capture the Canadians. This importance or reason was my WHY. I have since been able to apply this knowledge as wisdom to allow more meaning in every shoot I do.
I find that most photographers also love to travel. When we are travelling, our senses are heightened because everything we experience is new and exciting. This is a great time to practice our skills, learn our camera and lenses inside-out and expand our toolbox by trying settings and photographic techniques we might not usually try. I love shooting faces and portraits of people I meet in different countries. Its amazing the bridges we can build and captivating images we can achieve just by asking a stranger if they would mind being photographed.
Shooting landscapes are also one of my passions. I love being in nature, slowing down life and taking the time to appreciate the beauty around us while from the perspective of my Nikon D800E (favourite landscape camera) and lens. If you have a macro lens, put it on next time your are in nature and see how your world changes instantly. Adjust your picture control settings and increase your in-camera saturation and sharpness to enhance the richness of your environment and adjust your white balance to add warmth or cool down your masterpiece.
Architecture or exquisite objects like high-end homes, sports cars or jets are also one of my favourite things to shoot. They are made with excellence and deserve to be captured in kind. I find that these subjects can be some of the most technical to shoot, but that also can make it the most fun. Challenging situations always push us outside of our comfort zone and succeed or not you will always expand and learn more tools in the process which will always make you a better photographer. I am constantly pushing my Nikon gear and new ideas to the limit and try to never shoot the subject the same way twice. Try experimenting with in-camera HDR, flash, different light shapers, painting with light with Speedlights or even flashlights, high ISO, multiple exposures, long exposures or whatever technique your imagination can dream.
Shooting a portrait can be a transformative experience, both for the photographer and subject. As a photographer we see the subject through our own perspective and filters, and then often create a story in our mind about it. Then we choose an appropriate lens, exposure, etc., and shape light to the subject to best tell that story we hold in our mind. Sometimes we even capture the essence of someone or freeze a moment of them being in such a beautiful way that when we reflect that image back to the subject we give them the gift of reminding them how amazing they are. Photographing someone is a wonderful gift and just having the positive intent that you want to make them feel beautiful can give your images huge meaning and make the HOW seem like a walk in the park.
Find your passion. Capture it with excellence and let that energy flow into all areas of your photography and to every subject you shoot. Make every shot count, with intention and purpose and your images will inspire!
By Kristian Bogner - Nikon Ambassador for Canada
Nikon Ambassador Kristian Bogner will take you on a visual journey by way of his most recent expedition to Nepal. He will share his inspiring imagery and deep passion for photography, while sharing insights and techniques on how to shoot with confidence and create captivating images on any global adventure.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/1"][vc_cta_button call_text="Register FREE for this Nikon Sponsored Lecture with Kristian Bogner
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Here are some of my favourite Olympic reaction shots where I captured the E-MOTION or "Energy In Motion" of the moment through photography.
When you look at these images, how do they make you feel?
Photography is an incredible art form in that it records the energy of the moment. Thats why when we look at a photograph we can feel some of that energy. We can relate to the subject and their experience.
One of my greatest all-time olympic moments was capturing Catriona LeMay Doan winning the gold medal for Canada at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake, Utah. It was really early on in my sports shooting career and I was actually shooting a commercial job in Utah at the time. My client had a place I could stay there and asked me if I would like to stay for the olympics. I said "YES"... and thats when my olympic journey really began!
The day of Catriona's race I was actually out shooting mogul skiing. I had heard that Catriona was in the finals and I decided to try to get to the venue which was very far away. I was told that it was impossible to make it there in time by several people, but I trusted my gut. I went anyway, even without a ticket to the event or accreditation. My positivity perservered and I was able to get to the venue in time and was even given a ticked by a coach I bumped into outside the arena.
During her two laps of the oval I got some of the best shots in the world of Catriona's win on my Nikon D1X (my first pro digital camera). During one of the laps I decided to take a risk and do a pan shot where I shot at a much longer shutter speed than normal and panned the camera perfectly to have Catriona sharp but give the background a motion blur. I got lucky with the red background and nailed the technique... the feeling was exhilarating!!
I am very proud to have been able to give Catriona the composite of images that I used in this feature which she hangs on her wall and many wonderful images for her book. When she retired from speed skating they printed a 16x20 foot print of my pan shot of her and unveiled it at the Olympic Oval in Calgary with a plaque under it with my name. I feel honoured to have been able to capture Catriona's gold medal win with excellence and be able to contribute to our Canadian athletes and the Olympics with my own talents.
I learned two important lessons here that have been transformative in my life:
• When the opportunity calls out to you ... always say YES!!!
• When you trust your gut and are willing to take a risk and just go for it, the payoff is always tremendous!
MISSISSAUGA, ON (August 20, 2013) – Nikon Canada Inc. today announced the Nikon Ambassador Program, a collective initiative dedicated to recognizing the most influential leaders in modern photography. In a rapidly changing industry, the significance of these admired photographers goes beyond the creation of inspiring imagery; this diverse group of individuals has shown a commitment to empowering photographers with knowledge, providing guidance for the imaging community and a mastery of technology and trends.
“We recognize that our business is constantly changing, and this world class program will help us identify the needs of the working professionals while honouring the best photographers of today," said Amanda Mohammed, Nikon Professional Services Manager, Nikon Canada Inc. “Our Nikon Ambassadors are the voice of the professional community and we highly regard their input and feedback. Their valuable insight will permit us to grow and evolve this segment of the business while inspiring others to pick up a camera and shoot."
Responsibilities of the Nikon Ambassador
The core idea behind the Ambassador Program is to create a mutually beneficial collective to help bolster the photo industry and individuals. While already considered mentors, the Ambassadors will use their experience to empower photographers through education and inspiration. Whether an enthusiast attending an interactive workshop or a seasoned pro learning new techniques, the shared experiences from these select individuals will apply to all levels of photographer. From shooting and managing a studio to social media and running a successful imaging business, the Ambassadors will help to empower a new generation of professionals with the tools and knowledge to succeed. Additionally, the Ambassadors will work directly with Nikon to communicate the needs of the evolving photo industry such as enhancements in workflow, service and even products.
To be selected as an Ambassador, a photographer must be considered among the most talented and influential visual artists working in the business today. This elite group consists of gifted, spirited storytellers who are admired for their passion, energy and commitment to their craft. The Ambassadors represent a vast array of backgrounds and shooting disciplines that reflect the breadth of professional photographers today; including wedding, portraiture, fashion, wildlife and adventure.
These artists have evolved with Nikon through the years. And, their careers represent a mastery of technology and trends that have had a positive impact on their business. As the realm of digital media continues to expand, these savvy, influential shooters have embraced digital capture and social media to help educate their fans, friends and followers as part of a community.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Photography is my Life. I am the third generation of pro photographers in my family, and ever since my earliest memories I have held a camera in my hands. My first Nikon was my Dad's Nikkormat, as I got older I would covet/borrow his F-801. I saved for years to buy my own Nikon F100, MB-15 vertical grip and 80-200mm sports lens and I never looked back. From Nikon scanners to my first digital camera – the Nikon D1X to now, I have been unwavering in my dedication to Nikon.
Why? Because I truly believe in Nikon, what they represent, and that they make the best photography gear on the planet. I feel that I have become part of the Nikon family over the years. It's not just the gear, but the people that make up the company and Nikon Professional Services who have enriched my life, given me pro support across the globe, and joined me on the most epic of shoots while truly inspiring me to take my photography higher. Last year I realized a dream come true when I was honoured by Nikon Canada to receive the very first Nikon D4 in the country. Over the last 10 years I have enjoyed an extraordinary partnership with Nikon Canada as keynote speaker at many of their largest events and as an ambassador of their brand and products. I have made it my passion and pleasure to push their gear to the absolute limit and join them in inspiring others about this wonderful art form – photography!
"I am very honoured to be chosen as a Nikon Ambassador for Canada and to be a part of this new exciting program. I feel truly privileged to be associated with Nikon over the past many years and I look forward to taking this journey to whole new level with such an exceptional group of fellow Nikon Ambassadors Worldwide."
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"A photograph captures the co-creation of energy between the photographer and subject at the moment the shutter is clicked. Part of the magic of a great photograph is how you feel at that moment. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure, a Nikon D4 purring in your hands feels pretty Awesome!!
If you want to capture this moment with excellence, then you have to be in it.
Play full, put your heart into it and I assure you your images will inspire. "
Nikon, At the Heart of the Image™, is the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology and is globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic equipment. Nikon Canada distributes consumer and professional digital SLR and HD-SLR cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and System Accessories; Nikon COOLPIX® compact digital cameras; 35mm film SLR cameras; Nikon software products and Nikon sports and recreational optics as well as the Nikon 1 advanced cameras with interchangeable lens system. In 2012, production of NIKKOR lenses surpassed 75 million, creating a new milestone in Nikon’s heritage of superior optics. At the heart of every Nikon camera is Nikon\'s exclusive EXPEED, EXPEED 2 or EXPEED 3 advanced digital image processing system technologies. All Nikon Canada products are sold through a network of Authorized Nikon Canada Dealers. For more information on Nikon Canada and its products and services or to find an Authorized Nikon Canada Dealer, visit www.nikon.ca.
For more information contact NPS Canada:
Nikon Canada Inc.
Join Kristian as he shares some of his most engaging expedition photography. This remarkable collection takes us on a journey from child soldiers in Africa to ancient Yogi caves near the Himalayas to distant mountain villages in Papua New Guinea and beyond. Kristian will expose for you the unique, quickly vanishing cultures and natural magnificence of places that have rarely been captured. Beyond the Photographic Expedition with Kristian Bogner was recorded entirely with the Nikon D5100 and D7000 cameras at the Drake Hotel in Toronto and this event was presented by Nikon as part of the 2011 Contact Festival.
www.canadaone.com | Competition in the photography business is fierce, yet where many struggle Kristian Bogner has excelled. He is living a life many dream of, travelling to exotic places, photographing famous people, capturing once-in-a-lifetime moments like Sydney Crosby's 2010 Olympic gold medal shot, all while being paid to do this exciting work. CanadaOne caught up with Kristian to uncover the keys to his success.