This summer we did a combination marketing/special event photo shoot in Gulf Islands National Park and Reserve near Victoria, B.C. Parks Canada hosted a 2-day BioBlitz at Sidney Spit, and then we spent several days visiting some of the outer islands in the marine park.
Fritz Mueller Photo Blog
In August Fritz was invited by Parks Canada to photograph the week-long Sahtu Dene Knowledge Camp in the Saoyú-Ɂehdacho National Historic Site.
Saoyú and Ɂehdacho are two peninsulas at the western end of Great Bear Lake, a cultural landscape of significant spiritual and historic importance to the people of Délįne. At over 5,000 sq km it’s Canada’s largest national historic site – about the size of Prince Edward Island!
This was Fritz’s first trip to Nahanni, and what a trip it was. Parks Canada took a small team on a 10-day whirlwind tour to many of Nahanni’s great sites – Glacier Lake, Cirque of the Unclimbables, Rabbitkettle, tufa mounds, Virginia Falls – to refresh the park’s photo collection.
This summer Fritz was invited by Parks Canada to photograph one of the country’s newest park reserves. Officially established just a year ago, Naats’ihch’oh is an extensive wilderness adjacent and north of Nahanni National Park. The small crew spent a week exploring the park.
It’s always a good time in Dawson City! Parks Canada was looking to rejuvenate their image collection for the complex of national historic sites in the Klondike, and they invited Fritz for a 2-day power shoot this summer.
[by Fritz] Last April Air North called about a pretty unique shoot: “We’re hosting Yukon’s first-ever whisky tour, we’ve teamed up with Edible Canada, and we want this to look good!”
A couple of weeks later I was shoulder to shoulder with top chefs, food bloggers and whisky purveyors as they welcomed two dozen well-heeled visitors on their first Yukon culinary tour. The Yukon Whisky Dinner started with huskies and ended under the northern lights, with stops along the way to sample some of the Yukon’s finest fare. It was an impressive package of experience and tastes, and clearly things went well – Edible Canada is offering two Yukon tours next April.
See more from the Yukon Whisky Dinner shoot on our Facebook page
[by Fritz] Here in the North we’ve been enjoying an auroral peak over the past few years. From September to April, if skies are clear and geomagnetic activity is good, there’s a decent chance of seeing the northern lights. Over the past four winters I’ve been shooting the aurora around the circumpolar north, from Alaska to Norway, which is why I got an unusual call last March from a colleague in Vancouver.
Gyronimo Aerials is a production company that specializes in low level aerials. But this crew stands apart from all the drone upstarts out there – almost everyone on the Gyronimo team has a background in film production and cinematography. They’ve been around for awhile and they do beautiful work. Patrick had pitched an idea to their partners at DJI (the multinational drone manufacturer), and the company bought in.
They wanted to come north with some new technology and a Sony A7s to shoot aerials of the northern lights. This is the first time the aurora has been filmed in real-time from a UAV. Patrick used to live in the Yukon, and he knows you don’t just show up and decide to shoot the aurora. There are lots of variables, and it can be quite a chase. They also wanted to tell a story, so he also brought along a director to craft something more than a reel.
They scrambled north and we crisscrossed the Yukon – from the Dempster to Kluane to the South Klondike Highway – in search of dramatic locations and aurora pulses. I worked on this production as an assistant producer, but being in front of the camera was new for me. They were a great crew to work with, and I believe they nicely captured some of the experiences that I’ve had over the past few winters. You can also read about this shoot on the DJI blog
Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zTYn7vQmM8&feature=youtu.be
[by Teresa] If I was a sleddog, I know where I’d want to live: on an acreage near Tagish, Yukon, where I’d be fed stew and given massages and tucked into a cosy building on those frigid winter nights. It’s also the home of Normand Casavant and Karine Grenier, subjects of a documentary film being shot by Red Letter Films that follows veteran musher, Normand, as he prepares to race in the Yukon Quest.
The production company hired us to do a portrait shoot of Normand’s dogs. The portraits are under wraps until the race, but here are some of the behind-the-scenes shots from our day at Casaventures Kennels. It was overcast so we set up an outdoor studio right in the dogyard, and Karine worked with us all day as we shot portraits of their 30 dogs. Normand and Karine are lovely, and their dogs were fun to work with – it was one of the more delightful shoots we’ve done.
The Yukon Quest is a month away. The legendary 1000-mile dogsled race starts in Whitehorse on February 7. Good luck to Normand and the team – we’ll be at the start line watching!
[by Fritz] I’m fortunate to often shoot in our national parks system, trying to capture experiences, moments and landscapes that make people want to visit these special places. Working with Parks Canada has been one of the highlights of my decade as a photographer.
Recently Parks Canada put their photography services out to tender. It was a competitive process – required 10 years of professional experience and fairly rigorous technical and portfolio qualifications. Excited to be selected by Parks Canada as one of six photographers shooting in the national parks and heritage sites system over the next couple of years. And a few parks are already queueing up shoots for summer 2015.
With warm summer thoughts in mind, here’s a selection from a shoot in Ivvavik National Park last summer with the team from the Western Arctic Field Unit.
[Fritz] Testing our new MōVI gimbal for helicopter aerials. We used our MōVI in both single and dual operator modes and tested with two different helicopters: the Bell 206 and Robinson R44. We ended up flying on a very windy day – see flapping flags at 1:12. Aerial footage was shot in 4K with a Canon 1D C and a Canon CN-E 24mm lens using a Freefly MōVI M10 stabilizer. We haven’t done any post-stabilization of the footage but because it’s 4K warp stabilizer has lots of potential.
We learned a ton. Of course, after our flights I discovered the MoVI’s aerial setting – we shot in handheld. The safety line to the rig was crude, we need to work on that – appreciate any suggestions. We found that shooting aerials with the MōVI takes some practice but we’re excited about the potential. This rig makes it possible to get clean aerial footage at a fraction of the cost of other high-end setups.
A big thanks to Sam, Tyler and Delmar.
Camera + MōVI – Fritz Mueller Assistant Camera + MōVI – Tyler Kuhn, Sam Reimer and Teresa Earle Editor – Teresa Earle Music – ‘Here’ by Shadows on Stars under license from Audiosocket Pilot – Delmar Washington, Capital Helicopters
Filmed in Whitehorse, Yukon. Copyright Fritz Mueller Visuals, 2013