Tag Archives: Photography

This is East Van Volume 2 book cover

This is East Van 2

This is East Van 2 Photo Project Part Two
This is East Van 2

When I first submitted to the THIS IS EAST VAN project, (see previous blog post) I thought it was pretty cool. It was something that brought me back to why I love photography: it’s how I tell stories.

It turns out that lots of others liked the idea, too. THIS IS EAST VAN became a stunning book of photos by East Van community members; it conveys what East Vancouver means to them in a visually powerful format. Its success is reflected by its placement at many great Vancouver outlets, including the Vancouver Art Gallery.

If you missed out on being part of THIS IS EAST VAN, despair no more – they’re doing it again. Until September 15, you can submit your photos for inclusion in the upcoming THIS IS EAST VAN 2. (I love it when a good idea grows like that.) This time around TIEV has added the convenience of submitting via their website. And, they’re doing a film as well, so if you have video clips that show your East Van, have a look at the film guidelines, too.

As mentioned in an earlier post, there are few calls for submissions that I take the time to participate in. THIS IS EAST VAN (thanks Erin and Rob you guys rock) is one of the best that I have ever been involved with.

PS: East Vancouver is a community that I love and has fostered much of my growth in recent years. Partnering as a sponsor with the TIEV project is natural for my web design company 32spokes Web Design.

This is East Van Website Header

This is East Van

I have entered very few photo contest. I have submitted to even fewer “call’s for submissions”. I’d either disagreed with the terms of the submission or just have a lack of interest in the actual project.

Buskers of Commercial Drive
Buskers on The Drive

This was different…  This is East Vancouver. The neighbourhood I have lived in (abet somewhat part-time at the moment) for almost 3 years. The unique nature of the independent vibe and creative culture I found in East Vancouver and especially Commercial Drive really fed my soul and has given me a lot of food for thought ( It gave me a lot of great coffee as well).

So when I heard about the This is East Van call for submissions it peaked my interest and I checked out the site. My interest was completely captivated when I read it was two creative types (not unlike myself) who live and work in the community and that “with reckless abandonment” had an idea to make a book about a community they live in.

Saturday Morning Coffee at Prado Cafe
Saturday Morning

Well I don’t think I have ever submitted my photos fast then I have to this project. It was everything a community photography project should be and I am lucky enough to have three photos accepted into the book.

Flipping through the book as I wrote this post I see many photos that spark memories of an event or a time of the year. Other images are foreign, a part of the city I have yet to explore.

I think Erin Sinclair and Jason Uglanica have really done an amazing job on this project.

Where can I get this book you say?

Snow day at Salisbury Park in East Van
Snow Day

Also you can order the book online from the This is East Van website and I have been told on good authority that if you live in the community you might get the book hand delivered by either Erin or Jason themselves.

Will leave you with this teaser video from the This is East Van Website.

[vimeo clip_id=”22421674″ width=”600″]

A Nostalgic View

A high school friend named Jana Curll looked me up to do some photo reproduction of her art work.

Jana Curll Art Work Reproduction Shoot
A very basic studio set up in my living room.

Loosing contact as one does I never knew she was such an artist back in high school. Her work is amazing.

I on the other hand had to pull out the old Camera Gear and jury-rig up a studio in the living room to capture her work. It was the first time I had really shot something in over a year. It was fun to get back into the photo groove if only for a morning.

She is having a show at the Gumboot Garden Cafe for the month of July. I’d certainly check it out.

I then met up with another artist type friend. Dan Sullivan (better known as exploding Haggis) who in comparison I have only known for two years and we off to enjoy a bike ride around Gibsons.

I didn’t really start feeling old until I realized that it was Elphiphstone Secondary Grad Night and both myself and Jana graduated in the same gym some 15 years ago.

This is when I really started to feel old. Lucky Dan showed up. I asked if we could jet, before I break a hip and my false teeth fall out.

On the way home I felt the entire day from start to finish was comprised of my past and how easily you are reminded of it.

WordPress - Code Is Poetry

A WordPress Scene

When I first entered into web design from the world of the media– journalism and photography–the first course I had to take was on blogging. While I never had a blog and didn’t really want one, I wasn’t sure I wanted to take a course in essentially journalism, which was something I was really trying to distance myself from.

We love WordPress
Powered by WordPress

But I took the writing for the web course in stride and had to sign up for a WordPress.com account. I decided to write on coffee as it was close to home, easy to write about and a popular topic. My class only required me to write 12 posts, but after those 12 posts I saw the power of blogging and had 1,200 unique page views and a number of comments about the blog.

So I really started to take the WordPress blog seriously about that time and got a domain name and style that fit and the readership continued to grow. WordPress was growing right along with my own blog, the two seem to feed off each other (no pun intended).

When I started to see other blogs link to mine in some authority I knew I was on to something. So what to do? Well the first thing was to make the blog self hosted and, well, that was the hardest part. But, it was also important to keep the blog looking the same. I picked the Freshy theme by Julien De Luca as it was one of the 16 different themes available to WordPress.com users at the time. While I could make a change when I moved the blog why change? As it works for me and the readers seem to like it. (p.s. the theme I am using here is a highly customized Orange Coffee We now run a child theme of Twenty Thirteen called R2D2 )

Change is a good thing…I think…

While WordPress had designed a way to take your content with you when I moved it wasn’t that easy. I had three issues with my content moving:

• I wanted to keep my old Freshy theme and while it was still available for download it wasn’t optimized for WordPress 2.7
• My old content from WordPress 2.1 didn’t format that well into WordPress 2.7 So if I wanted to edit any of my old content I essentially had to re-align the entire post.
• All of media, pictures and video had to be manually copied from the WordPress.com site and uploaded to the new server while persevering the perma-links.

Yeah this totally wasn’t that easy and I would never suggest trying to do it this way…  I am sure there are easier ways to go about this but I just didn’t know how or my server at that time wasn’t allowing the import as it was suggested by the codex.

This Time – he shot video

Etana and Robert during video, Photo by Laia Prats, used with permission
Etana and Robert, Photo by Laia Prats, used with permission

Robert Caplin is someone I have only met once, you might say we run in the same circles just in different end of the continent. I first talked Robert when we were both member of the sportsshooter.com. What I learn about Robert back then was when does something he does it right. Big big or go go home. . . Well Robert always goes big. Like the time Robert entered to win a Jack Gruber autographed monopod cover from the Salt Lake City Olympics. Robert set his lawn on fire to spell Jack’s name. Yes, he did get the monopod cover, but anyone who goes to that length for a monopod cover, must be dedicated to photography, Caplin is and it shows. He now lives in New York city after graduating school and having internships with LA Times and NY Times. I have always been impressed with his work. He is a gifted individual with telling a story through the lens of his camera.

Game changing

When the Canon 5D MKII,(the one that shoots 1080p video) was released, we all saw what could be done with this new hybrid of the digital age in  Vincent Laforet’s Reverie. But he had helicopters, car mounts, lights, and some resources that most people just don’t have. No doubt it is an impressive camera when put into the hands of some one who is truly a master of the craft. I though Vincent’s video was truly ground breaking and game changing. I though How hard it would be to put something like that together with limited equipments funds and budgets.

Home Video

Caplin came through to answer this question for me. He and his sister produced quite the amazing video with the same Canon 5D MKII camera. He writes in a story for sportsshooter.com that all he used was four people and a iPhone to produce this video.

The production of the video consisted of four people in total:
• Myself as ‘the cameraman’
• Etana, as ‘the talent’
• My Step-Mom as ‘the help’
• My Girlfriend Laia as ‘the producer’

Robert Caplin

He also shot the entire video in natural light, and some fast lenses (aperature f2.8 or faster) and used a reflector on just one shot. This is where the future of the industry is going where stills and video mashing up into a one solid visual artist.


Did I meantion that Etana is just a high school student who wrote this song herself and is only 15 years old? I also showed this video to a friend of mine who though this video was shot by a recording studio on location with a large crew. She did get the vocals recorded in the studio and  then added some musical accompaniment to help fill out the song, but truly it was just a family affair.

Now we all don’t have New York based awarding winning photographers as brothers, who can put us in a music video in Time Square, but  but don’t let that dismay you! Why I am showcasing this amazing video because I don’t believe it is out of reach of any photographer with a little dedication.

You can also video the behind the scenes footage of the video on how they used that iPhone too, and true to form Caplin makes an appearance at the end which captures him quite well I think!!!

Beauty of Black & White

Way, way back, even before college, (in a millenium far, far away) I was heading down to Seattle to visit my cousin Art Wolfe and while I was down there a little thing called the WTO meeting occurred and the villagers were literally rioting in the streets. I saw some amazing photos from that day, but none more amazing than this award winning one by Andy Clark. I didn’t know who Andy Clark was at the time, but I soon would. Andy helped me in my early career, getting a few photos on the Reuters wire.


Blast through the next 7 years and I am having coffee with Andy, outside Reuters’ Vancouver office.  We chatted about my new career of web design, the internet and Andy mentioned that he never really had a website to call his own.

I had mentioned a content management system called Pixelpost, which was an open source and developed mainly by Europeans (how very haute couture) and wasn’t all that known in these parts.  I loved the slick user interface and I showed it to Andy and within moments I was contracted to do his website. Wow I thought, I am actually making Andy Clark’s website. This is the stuff dreams are made of. Or at least the direction I wanted to take my web design, knowing what most news photographers want in one.

And now the hard work

It took some recoding of the original source code and some help from Piotr Galas, one of the developers of Pixelpost, but six months after we had developed the concept, Andy had a categorized portfolio site he could update at his leisure. After a few tweaks and reviews from a few other sage photographers we launched the site on January 12th and the next day we had Rob Galbraith.com linking to the site.

The Result

Clarkfoto.ca had 2,000 visitors in just one day and blew through 10 gigs of bandwidth in a week.  This is a great start for a veteran photographer of the Canadian news industry, and visits have been steady 300 to 400 a week since, which makes Andy one pretty happy fellow.

“I was very pleased with how Robert took my somewhat hazy idea of what the website should look like and transformed it into to exactly what I was looking for….very nice job indeed”

Andy Clark

Andy also has a blog, which I bet he will muse about shooting cricket, leica lexicon, curling, etc. . .  but don’t listen to my bias opinion read it for yourself.

Apple Store Vancouver opens

I arrived with only minutes before the opening of the Apple Store Vancouver to see what I expected to see. Hordes of people (some already wearing Mac t-shirts) to enter into the opening of the new Apple Store. It is small in comparison to the new Boston Store but is similar in size to the Palo Alto Store I had seen years ago.

Apple Store Opening in Vancouver is met with great fan fair
Apple Store Opening in Vancouver is met with great fan fair
The Apple Store before the rush
The Apple Store before the rush
Yes this is the line up for the free T-shirt
Yes this is the line up for the free T-shirt
Yup the line goes out the door and around the corner
Yup the line goes out the door and around the corner

Over all I was impressed with the Apple Store and welcome it to Vancouver. It is sorely needed.

Here is a video of the opening

All photography is copyright ©2008 Robert Dall – all rights reserved – No reproduction of any form without expressed written permission.

Bill Reid Gallery Opens

Opening of Bill Reid Gallery
Opening of Bill Reid Gallery

During my internship at Creative Spirit Communications I was invited to the Bill Reid Gallery. I jumped at the chance to visit the new gallery and saw the progress of Mystic Messengers being elevated and hung on the wall. It was an amazing morning to witness such achievements and to be so close to such great art. I met Haida artist Jim Hart who was carving a totem pole for the opening of the gallery.

Although I never made it back to check out the progress of the the totem pole that was being carved, I was excited to attend the official opening on Thursday, May 8.

Location Location Location

The Bill Reid Gallery Opens up to the Public on Saturday, May 10 and is located at 639 Hornby Street.

This is one of the largest collections of work in such a cozy and welcoming space. It is nice to see a permanent home to one of our greatest residents.

All photography is copyright ©2008 Robert Dall – all rights reserved – No reproduction of any form without expressed written permission.

And We’re Live

It’s been a long road since my first website over six years ago. This site incorporates my previous life as a news photographer along with my new life as a web designer in interactive web environments.

My year of schooling is almost complete and the new robertdall.com incorporates a number of new features which all center around the human body. I hired professional dancer Caitlin Griffin and revisited a studio for the first time in three years.

Visual by Design

Web DesignWeb design has been a big passion of mine since I started to learn it. It is hard to think I barely knew what an FTP was six years ago. In this new web era it is all about what your message is and how you can manage your own content and life online, just in case you don’t want Facebook to do it for you.

Am I blogging?

Shots of EspressoYes, I have started a blog. Well, not one, but two, and with some help from the folks at WordPress, I have been able to update my content without having to code that all that server mobojumbo myself. On a whim I started a coffee blog for a class project, and a year later, and having had some 8,000 actual vistors, it is still going strong. I have also have started a flickr blog which shows excepts of my photographic life in Vancouver.

Pencil and PaperI found that when a client wants to make an impact with their brand you have to include all forms of communication which includes print. I also have an iPhone full of contacts in that can push your brand forward.

with regards

Robert Dall
Vancouver, Canada