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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

Today the sun was shining on a cold afternoon in Canmore.  I grabbed my Nikon D750 and 70-200mm lens and went on a short nature hike.  I came across a frozen river and here are a few of my shots.  Its amazing, whenever I take the time to connect with nature, it's beauty reveals itself to the lens!  Something as simple as ice and snowflakes can make a wonderful subject.   I love the D750 for nature walks and shoots like this, its nimble, lightweight, has super clean ISO along with tons of detail.

National Geographic hosted a fun Photo Walk led by photographer Jimmy Chin in Banff as part of Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.  Here are a few of the shots I captured during the walk.  It was an inspiring week for me to see some of the great films, talk to a lot of the filmmakers, and attend some very exciting and informative workshops put on by National Geographic as well as connect with some of their great team.

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]Kristian wins top photographic award: Commercial Photographer of the Year for Alberta. This is the 5th time that he has won this prestigious award for Alberta. Kristian also won Best Industrial, Best Editorial, an Award of Excellence, 2 Awards of Merit and Best Image of the show with “All Work No Play,” an image he took this year in Nepal. The awards took place Saturday night in Edmonton.

Bogner is also a 3-time recipient of the Commercial Photographer of the Year for Canada award from the Professional Photographers of Canada Association and a multi award winner with other associations as well.

Photography is Bogner’s passion, he is proud to be a 3rd generation pro photographer, brand Ambassador for Nikon Canada and a Manfrotto Pro Photographer. Kristian shoots and lectures on photography across North America and also teaches a 2-day photo retreat called Photographic Rockstar which will be taking place in Canmore Nov. 29-30th and Toronto on Nov. 22-23rd.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_separator color="grey"][vc_column_text]

BOGNER’S 2014 COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR FOR ALBERTA WINNING ENTRY:

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"Inverted" - PRESS

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"All Work No Play" - EDITORIAL

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"Oil Rush" - Industrial

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"Left Hook" - Animal/Wildlife

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After I finished shooting a commercial shoot in Calgary yesterday I saw the most amazing lightning storm.  I found high ground and set up my Nikon D800E and Nikon D4s on two tripods shooting 20 - 30 sec exposures.  Here is one of my favs!  Sideways lightning with cool blue colours with the clouds above reflecting the warm street lights.

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NIKON LECTURE SERIES
at the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival
presents

Kristian Bogner: Capturing Spectacular Travel Images
A Photographic Adventure Through Nepal

Wednesday, May 21, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

St. Paul's Bloor Street - 227 Bloor St E., Toronto

 

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
Space Is Limited. " title="Register Here" target="_blank" color="btn-primary" icon="none" size="btn-large" position="cta_align_bottom" href="http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/kristian-bogner-capturing-spectacular-travel-images-tickets-11175214367"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

"I had the extreme pleasure of shooting World Champion and now Olympic Gold Medalist Marielle Thompson while backcountry skiing for a Nikon Canada shoot and then later a fashion shoot with her at my studio.  Marielle transformed in front of the camera and we ended up getting some amazing shots of her and her crystal globe!  A HUGE congratulations on your well deserved Olympic Gold in Sochi Marielle.  Looks like we have a new medal to shoot you with!!  Way to go!!!!!"

 

Congratulations Marielle on your Ski Cross Gold Medal in Sochi

When on a photo/video shoot for Nikon Canada called One Camera Two Perspectives, I had the opportunity to work with Marielle Thompson and her boyfriend and fellow Ski Cross Champion Tristan Tafel out in the backcountry for a ski shoot.  It was a crazy snow day, really tough wet conditions to shoot in but amazing deep snow. We had snowmobiles to tow the athletes around, had a blast and got some great shots!!

After the shoot I had Marielle and Tristan come to my studio for a what was to be a quick fashion shoot.... but as we started to get creative it evolved into something much more amazing.  I loved shooting Marielle with her Crystal Globe trophy and we co-created some really fun ideas.   One of which was to have Marielle's trophy reflect into her sunglasses as if she was peering into her Crystal Globe.  We used a purple and blue coloured gels on my lights to enhance the effect.  Tristan brought out some antique skiis and poles which made great props as well.   I have included a few of my favs of Marielle in this post!!

 

 

 

Check out More images and video from the Nikon Shoot Backcountry Shoot at:

One Camera Two Perspectives

Or Behind the Scenes Videos: Day 1 and Day 2

 

"Here are a few of my best images of Patrick Chan from from the Vancouver Olympics.  I am always amazed by the height and amplitude of his jumps.  In of the images he looks like he's flying!!  Congratulations on the Silver Medal at Sochi Patrick."

 

Visualize the Final Image before you Click

Like an Olympic athlete who visualizes their entire routine or event, I am a strong believer in visualizing the final image before you click the shutter. I see the image in a very final form, the look I want, including any treatments, filters or effects I may add in post processing.

I may even visualize the image cropped as it may appear in the final brochure, magazine or canvas fine art piece. I call this “shooting with the end result in mind” and I find that this gives me greater clarity that allows me to execute the shot more effectively, which translates into a much better final image. I look at it as “Excellence in, Excellence Out.”

Sometimes you need big lenses to get close enough to the action.  Shooting Olympic Halfpipe was one of those times for me... I was way up in the stands and used my AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm lens and sometimes an added teleconverter to capture these images.  It was fairly dark, even under the lights, so I had to shoot at  f/4.0 at 1/1600sec - ISO 4000 to freeze the action with my Nikon D3s.  I was really impressed how little grain I had at 4000 ISO.

Halfpipe is an exciting sport to shoot and I loved to use the lines on the pipe to create some illustrative looking imagery.  After Shaun White won the Gold Medal with his amazing runs I had to really hustle to get a decent vantage point to shoot him from while dealing with fans either trying to get close as well or leave the stadium.  There was a cool moment where he was talking to press and I couldn't get down there to him and I shouted out his name and he looked up and gave me a great reaction/celebration shot.  There is nothing like getting the athlete to look into the camera and recording that connection!!!  If you don't ask, you don't get...what a great moment!

I always tell my Photographic Rockstar - Photography Workshop Students "The Bigger the Why, The Smaller the How!"  When I know a Canadian is up, I raise my game as well, and always come up with my best shots of the day!  Why?  I believe its because I make the stakes in my mind bigger, I take the mindset that I must get the shot - that I have to create something incredible... and with that attitude I usually do!

 

One of the image I was most proud of at the Vancouver Olympics was this one, where I was able to capture the Canadian Bobsled perfectly over the Olympic rings.  If any of you have tried to shoot bobsled, and the sheer speed of it, you would understand that its a really hard shot to get... those sleds move FAST!!!  I had to shoot with a whopping 8000ISO on my Nikon D3s at f/4 at 1/3200sec to capture this moment in time.  Its so exciting that new advancements in photography equipment and high ISO capabilities have made these incredible shots possible today.

 

I was also extra honoured to be able to capture some images of my friend Chris Le Bihan at his bronze medal victory.  Way to go Chris!!

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