Archive for the 'Photography' Category

Be Prepared: Fashion Sampler

August 21st, 2010 | Category: Fashion,Photography

We were approached for a gig by a newish client last week, seemed straight forward enough.  Show up, light and shoot one musician for a promotional campaign for a clothing line.  Usually I pack according to what I’m shooting, but because of minimal info, I panicked, and brought the whole arsenal of location lighting with me.  Upon arrival, my crew was greeted by a gaggle of models, MUA, video-documentarian, style team and the direction of the shoot had mushroomed from a one-subject promo, to the whole dang clothing line.  Good thing we had extra lighting.

For most of the shoot, I used four Speedlites with various Honl Photo light modifiers, but brought out a fifth for effect and some fill when the client wheeled a motorcycle on set.  For most of the shoot I had two strobes doing main/fill combo for subjects, one rim/hairlight, and one blasting hard shadows accross the graffiti wall.

The whole experience was massively unexpected, but I haven’t had this much fun with mixed-light in a while.  Be prepared!  Gigs don’t always go as planned, but I will never complain about a small shoot turning into a big shoot.  Go with the flow, and don’t be afraid to push out of your comfort zone–you never know what you’re capable of creating–but always take the moment to update contracts to reflect the unexpected changes!

The rest of the session, plus info on the new line from Parispolice, will be available soon.

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Bluesfest 2010 – Day 1 – Iron Maiden

July 11th, 2010 | Category: Music,Photography,The Scene

First day of Ottawa Bluesfest 2010. It’s a blistering mid-summer Tuesday in the capital city. A smog cloud thick as the smoke in a 70s bingo hall hovers over the grounds at Lebreton Flats. No one seems to mind.

There’s a bum frying an egg on the sidewalk.

“There are so many freaks that show up to an Iron Maiden show,” says a young punk in passing. “I’m sure I’m going to be the only one with a Maiden shirt on.”

The kid’s wrong about the shirts, right about the freaks.

Even heat peaking at nearly 40C is not enough to keep away idealists turned government employees who relish the two weeks of the year they get to unbutton the hardest button to button.

Seems inherently wrong for this many men to be wearing flip-flops and polo shirts tucked into cargo shorts (one dude even has a collar sticking out over his Maiden t) at a festival opening with a bill that includes Iron Maiden, Dream Theater and, err, Wayne Brady (who will smack a bitch!).

Under the Blacksheep Music & Comedy Tent, Bluesfest is hosting its first ever comedy show. Whether it’s te jokes or the room temperature – a few degrees cooler than in the sun – the tent is packed.

The Relationship Comedy Show seems an odd, albeit fitting, addition to the festival, almost like rehab after the electric Dream Theater set. The words of lead singer James LaBrie – “Let’s see those fuckin’ hands up Ottawa” – still rattle around the brain like the pea in a spray can as comedian Jim Breuer’s voice chimes in.

“I’ve had swamp ass since I got off the plane,” jokes Breuer, of Half Baked (“Who’s comin’ with me?”) fame, to an applauding crowd. “You guys just came here for the air conditioner,” he ads, taking a shot at the oldest of Canadian isms. “They got air in there, eh?”

Back outside, the sun has started to set and the metal heads have amassed. Black Maiden shirts now rival the ubiquitous three-piece polo-cargo-flip-flop ensembles of earlier.

It’s refreshing.

Just after 9:00 p.m. the band that most of the black clad and, no doubt, rubes have come to see, grace the MBNA stage to a deafening chant of “Maiden, Maiden, Maiden, Maiden!”

“Don’t eat the fuckin’ hot dogs, they’ll kill ya!” declares frontman Bruce Dickinson to the unconfirmed number of 20,000 strong before tearing into a set rife with everything from stage theatrics to shredding old-school guitar solos. “Any of you who are lost and thought you were coming to see a blues band, get a map.”

Meanwhile, at the Subway stage furthest from MBNA, the Kelp Records Review is in full swing. And blues is in abundance. There are at least 10 guys on stage – two drummers, three vocalist, four guitar players and a couple bassists.

Now there are 15.

While the crowd may be sparser than Maiden’s following, it is no less a dedicated audience. And with no black or collared shirts in sight, the review seems a fitting end to a blues fest dominated by heavy metal and comedy on opening day.


Originally posted on the Martyr Magazine Blog (Canada’s Alternative Press), this is one of the coolest collaborations Captivate has embarked on to date!!

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Pulp Friction – Tarantino Inspired Photography

May 10th, 2010 | Category: Photography

Cirque Noir keeps outdoing itself.  From Berlin, to the post-apocalypse, Ottawa’s bimonthly freak & fetish party moves onwards to the manic world of Quentin Tarantino.  For it’s third installment, Sunny Daze is tranforming The Collection, Mercury Lounge, and 56 into Jack Rabbit Slim’s (Pulp Fiction), The Titty Twister (From Dusk Till Dawn) and The House of Blue Leaves (Kill Bill vol 1).

Pulp Friction 68 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

We found a pretty fitting ‘Betty Sue’ wig online, and, with some ever handy props, transformed Bar 56 into a set for our Mrs Mia Wallace to prowl around on.

Pulp Friction 22 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

I used mostly hard light for this shoot, indulging myself with CTO gels.  I went a little overboard, layering red & blue to create red/purple/blue gradiented backlighting on the set.  Main strobe was midly diffused on a Honl Pro reflector with occasional modifiers/gels/random bits velcroed to it.  Always with the velcro.

Pulp Friction 47 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

My assistant on set for this shoot was a monopod Guantanamo-strapped (white zip-ties) to a mop handle, lodged in a mop-bucket (with water).  Cons: not voice-activated like my usual assistants.  Pros: has wheels, leaves floors sparkly.

Pulp Friction 34 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

I took a few liberties with the look of Mia Wallace for this shoot.  Although I adore the Uma Thurman’s getup for the twist contest with Travolta, the creative team agreed that the pants had to go.  We also had our subject strapped with an M9.  Even though she never uses a gun in the movie, the venerable Beretta was indeed on Pulp Fiction’s cover art, so it’s not too far fetched to have it in use…

Pulp Friction 37 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

More photos from the set after the jump!!  All photos © 2010 Alexander Vlad |

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Photoset: Sound Syndicate Studio Shoot

May 04th, 2010 | Category: Music,Photography

The studio is usually my last-choice refuge for photographic work.  I find things always degenerate into something that is purely a technical exercise, but the appeal of high-key photography for designers and promotional work is often essential.  I find I’m more at home connecting a subject with an environment, instead of being 100% creature focused, but when the creatures are as hilarious, varied and intesting as Sound Syndicate’s roster of producers, DJs and musicians…

Sound Syndicate 12 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad | Captivatethem.caSound Syndicate 78 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

Sound Syndicate 427 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

Sound Syndicate 175 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad | Captivatethem.caSound Syndicate 206 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad | Captivatethem.caSound Syndicate 252 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

Sound Syndicate 381 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad | Captivatethem.caSound Syndicate 383 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

Sound Syndicate 456 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad | Captivatethem.caSound Syndicate 336 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

BIGSTUFF | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

Sound Syndicate 137 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad | Captivatethem.caSound Syndicate 550 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

Sound Syndicate 302 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

DJ Jason Jesse | ©2010 Alexander Vlad | Captivatethem.caCreative Motherfucker | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

DJ Rick Laplante | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

Sound Syndicate 448 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad | Captivatethem.caSound Syndicate 151 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

Mike Emvee | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

Ian Durkin vs Gravity | ©2010 Alexander Vlad | Captivatethem.caDJ Frame | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

Acro | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

Sound Syndicate 549 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad | Captivatethem.caSound Syndicate 425 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

SS Management | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

and finally…

Sound Syndicate 192 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

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EVENT: Cirque Noir Apocalips

May 03rd, 2010 | Category: Photography,The Scene

Cirque Noir 10 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

Every so often duty calls upon me to shoot something weird and awesome.  It’s been a minute since I’ve photographed a kinky event, but Cirque Noir pulled it all out for their second installment: Apocalips!  Yes, a post-apocalytic themed night of dancing and always a great chance to use hard lighting.

Cirque Noir 14 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

Cirque Noir 33 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

Cirque Noir 84 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

No post-apocalyptic dress-up fetish party would be complete with Tank Girl themed burlesque show.  TANK GIRL!

Cirque Noir 63 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

Observe how Tank & Jet strap Water & Power Co. to a giant X and beat his ass (in the name of art).  Sublime.

Cirque Noir 72 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

Cirque Noir 49 | ©2010 Alexander Vlad |

More shots after the jump!

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Crosbyfication: The Album

April 26th, 2010 | Category: Music,News,Photography

Finally live!  The full-length LP from our brethren at Triple B Records, CROSBYFICATION, finally drops today.  For a limited time the full album is being given away for free!  Click here to score yourself some goodness.


Crosbyfication back cover

The Anticipated LP “Crosbyfication” is Here!!!  His 3rd Mixtape/LP Installment since “The Crosby Show” released last year. But this is an All Original Project coming From the Artist… His First Of Many To Come in the future.  More Information will surface all month about the project @ & through the social Networking sites… Google, Twitter, Myspace, Facebook, Blogs … Get Ready Folks, It’s Triple B, Best Of Both Borders…

* Photos & Design © 2010 Alexander Vlad ( *


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Enter: The Doom Boom (jib crane field test #1)

April 07th, 2010 | Category: News,Photography

Fellow humans, after months of secrecy in the skunkworks, we finally have a new toy to unveil.  This is Captivate’s home-brew jib crane, AKA The Doom Boom.

It’s a 25 foot, indoor/outdoor/all-weather balanced camera arm.  It assembles and unpacks without a single tool.  Robotic remote servos give you X/Y/Z movement of the camera plate from the base or anywhere in the area.  The counterweight fixture is adjustable and can easily be replaced with a cradle and rechargeable car battery with 2 110v outlets, enough to power laptops, chargers, LCDs and the stereo all day.

The Doom Boom was designed by Louis Tremblay, Daniel Tremblay and Alexander Vlad, and every major component was machined by Louis Tremblay.  After sufficient field testing and development, we have cunning plans for the future.

For the very first field test of The Doom Boom (mk1), we hit our local slopes to put the beast through as rough of a test as we could conceive.  After unpacking the jib (it can fit into a compact station wagon easily) we carried it half-way up the hill, found a suitable location, and started assembly.  All together, it took a mere 10 minutes to setup The Doom Boom, even on the mountainside with deep, wet snow and blowing wind to contend with.

After a full day of shooting stills and video with the Canon 5D and 7D, we packed it in.  Disassembly is a dream, once again, without a single tool.  Thankfully we scored a Skidoo for the trek back to the chalet, as the cold was starting to nibble a bit.  So much trial & error, and there were times where we felt like we were doing rowing drills.  Working as a team to track moving subjects, articulate the arm, spot the area, lens the shot, pull focus, monitor exposure, setting Pocket Wizard channels, keeping the beer stocked, and just repeating it all day was exhausting, but when we take this puppy out for serious commercial work, the practice will be worth it.  Thanks for looking!

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Metropole w/ Cashtro, DJ MES, Pakman & Oxyrotin

March 11th, 2010 | Category: Fashion,Music,Photography

In the highest penthouse in the tallest building in West Ottawa, we rocked a photoshoot for our favourite emcees Cashtro and Pakman. Along with DJ MES of Triple B Records and Oxyrotin clothing, we definitely made a night of it and sketched some serious plans for the future of the location.

Thanks for checking out the shots!  More to come, as always.  All images © 2010 Alexander Vlad  |

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The Fantastic Flow

February 18th, 2010 | Category: Music,Photography

Evenin’ folks.  Here’s a sneak peak on what I’m working on tomorrow.  Last night I photographed a kick-ass area band called The Fantastic Flow.  They first appeared on my radar when I met their frontman at a New Years party.  After the hangover cleared, the Flow had the chance to open for one of our favourites, Ko ( when he performed at Live Lounge (613) at the end of January.  The boys are gearing up to take on the best of the regional talent for Live 88.5′s The Big Money Shot, and I think they have an amazing chance at scoring some big dough.  To go along with their entry into the contest, they are putting out a self-titled EP (about bloody time) and gave us a shout to shoot and design their album cover.  The following is a really random assortment of shots, bound together by hard light, slow shutters, and green gels.  I’m excited to see how tomorrow’s effort will unify it all.

Thanks for lookin!  Check out The Fantastic Flow over on their MySpace, and check back over here soon to see the finished album art and snag some tunes.  All photography © 2010 by Alexander Vlad  |  Captivate Creative Studios.

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Shoot: Killa Hell

February 10th, 2010 | Category: Fashion,Photography

Today I pulled myself away from editing long enough to grab lunch and snap off a quick shoot with the amazing Killa Hell!

I’m also starting to take out my Canon 7D a lot more for location work, instead of the venerable 5D’s.  It’s an amazing cold-weather camera, and I love that I can easily negotiate it, even with thick gloves on.

I’d only shot 45 frames before the speedlites finally gave out, as I was blasting 1/2 and full power to compete with the sun.  As it turned out, our will to brave the cold pooched around the same time as the batteries, so we retreated to the car.

All photographs © Alexander Vlad 2010 |

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