Posts Tagged ‘winter’

Winter and Whisky

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

[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

Drones and Aurora

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

[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

Yukon Quest “pup-arazzi” at Casavant Kennels

Friday, January 9th, 2015

[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!

 

 

 

Daisy’s Christmas

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

A short film about the spirit of Christmas. Happy holidays!

Daisy yearns to be included in holiday festivities with her family. But what she finds is more enduring…

Credits:

A film by Fritz Mueller and Teresa Earle
Story and editing – Teresa Earle
Camera – Fritz Mueller
Composer and sound designer – Jordy Walker
Daisy’s family – Robyn Mueller, Stella Mueller, Teresa Earle, Bill Earle
Thanks to Jayden Soroka

Filmed in Whitehorse, Yukon
copyright Fritz Mueller Photography 2012

 

Gear update: Cold cameras, warm fingers

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

[by Fritz] I’m a big fan of a fingerless glove made by Sportees that I depend on for winter photography – so much so that I blogged about it. Over the past year I’ve been doing lots of wintertime night photography. Cold hands have prompted me to further refine my glove system and I’m tickled with the results.

In deep cold I used to wear polypro liner gloves underneath the Sportees gloves, but polypro seems to transmit the cold, is slippery with lenses, gets smelly and hooks dry skin. Last winter I tried a pair of merino wool finger gloves made by Icebreaker, and they’re amazing. They don’t catch on dry skin, and they’re actually warm and pleasant to wear. I wouldn’t have thought that such a small item of clothing could make such a difference to my work, but photography is impossible without happy hands.

For anyone who spends a lot of time shooting in the cold, I strongly recommend this system: Icebreaker’s merino wool Glove Liners under Sportees’ Michie Dog Musher Gloves with chemical hand warmers tucked into the wrist pockets.

Let it snow! Lifestyle photo shoot at Coghlan Lake

Monday, March 21st, 2011

[by Fritz] Great to work with Tourism Yukon, Outside the Cube and Up North Adventures on a recent two-day winter photo shoot at Coghlan Lake, Yukon.

Winter photography: My favourite fingerless gloves

Monday, December 6th, 2010

[by Fritz] Shooting in the cold is hard on your hands. Most gloves are thick and bulky and don’t allow the finger dexterity to adjust small dials on camera equipment. And bare hands quickly become useless when holding cold metal equipment in freezing temperatures.

A couple of years ago Andrea Rodger introduced me to her technical glove that quickly became my favourite for cold weather shooting. I was spending a morning at Andrea’s Sportees Activewear in Whitehorse doing a photo shoot profiling successful Yukon businesses. I’d just finished a week of shooting in minus 30 and I was probably whining about my hands. I was pawing through baskets of gloves when Andrea quickly produced a pair of her Michie Dog Musher Gloves and told me I had to try them.

They’re as good as Andrea said they would be. They’re definitely warmer than regular fingerless gloves, and the design provides lots of flexibility for someone who needs to use their fingers. The glove is made of neoprene and has a little pocket over the wrist where you insert a hand warmer, those chemical heat packs sold by Canadian Tire, MEC and others (in cold weather I sometimes tape heat packs to my camera, to batteries etc). The pocket holds the heat pack right over the inside of your wrist, so it warms the blood as it moves into your hand. I use the Sportees gloves in winter, and I also use them for aerial shooting – when the door is off it can be really cold in the back of an airplane or helicopter.

The Adventures of Boots, Goldie and Propane Bear

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

[by Teresa]  Thanksgiving is behind us and Hallowe’en is ahead, and the forecast says a snowstorm is rolling in. I’m reminded of a mid-October blizzard two years ago at the Arctic Circle where I sat at the edge of a river with my friend Phil Timpany watching drowsy grizzly bears plodding up and downstream along the base of Bear Cave Mountain.

Phil – and his partner, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation – runs what may be the most unique bear viewing operation on the continent. Grizzlies congregate here in wintry conditions to feast on a late run of chum salmon before hibernation. Within an hour of arriving by helicopter at North Yukon’s Ni’iinlii Njik (Fishing Branch) Territorial Park, I was seated in the snow on the bank of the Fishing Branch River a few yards from a sow named Boots trailing young-of-the-year triplets. Soon after, Mrs. Tucker presented her one-year-old twins, and Goldie brought around her cocky two-year-old, a stinky teenager that would test our – and his mother’s – boundaries on several occasions. It takes a lot to stun me speechless, but that afternoon I had few words to voice how it felt to be in the company of bears.

Fritz spent a month shooting at Bear Cave Mountain the previous year, so I knew that a confined, quiet routine awaited me: walk to a viewing site, watch bears, return to the cabins for meals and sleep. Imagine my surprise to be awakened at 1am on my very first night by terrific banging and shuffling around my tiny cabin. The building trembled and I sensed that a bear – surely that’s what it was? – had leaned against the wall I was curled next to. The ruckus continued for an hour, and I cursed the last cup of tea I drank before bed. Making a midnight dash to the outhouse clearly wasn’t an option so a spare bottle provided relief.

Turns out a mystery bear paid a visit to camp that night. It was the first time in years one came onto the deck, and this rogue fellow did a bit of redecorating. The clatter was an empty propane tank that he pried loose and batted about like a bowling pin, and we found a few other items scattered among the trees. But Propane Bear never came back. I was thrilled when we were weathered in longer than what was supposed to be a very short stay. When the snow starts to fly, I think about this unruly young grizz playing on the deck as winter took hold. Season’s short and sometimes a young fella just needs to blow off a little steam before hibernation, right?

Read our story about Ni’iinlii Njik (Fishing Branch) Territorial Park and Bear Cave Mountain in Up Here magazine.

Linnea borealis froggilus

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

[by Teresa] Yesterday the girls and I found a wood frog in our front yard. It’s likely this fellow came from a pond teeming with frogs ten minutes down the trail from our house; in the spring we can hear the din from home. Not exactly a remarkable discovery until you think about where we live.

The Yukon isn’t the most hospitable place for amphibians; the wood frog (Rana sylvatica) is one of just a handful of amphibians that can survive our northern winters. This handsome little frog is the northernmost amphibian in North America, and it doesn’t just survive—it thrives in many ponds in the Yukon. Their story of adaptation is incredible; in winter their cells fill with glucose which acts like antifreeze, helping the wood frog survive as its body temperature drops well below freezing.

Watching the frog with the girls reminded me of a special photograph Fritz took at the pond four years ago this summer. In July 2006 I was hugely pregnant and barely getting off the sofa, and with just a couple of weeks to go I was keeping Fritz on a pretty short leash. He’d gone on a few quick trips in June, but by July I wanted him shooting well within cell phone range, and in Whitehorse that means not leaving city limits. No day trips to White Pass, no afternoons in a blind at Kluane. He found stuff to do and things to shoot, but it was frustrating to be stuck so close to home at the height of the northern summer.

One morning he headed to the pond and found loads of frogs and wildflowers—the twinflower (linnea borealis) was in bloom. We spoke a couple of times through the day; I’d had faint contractions and set up a doctor appointment for the next morning. Fritz was home by dinnertime, and that evening he showed me some of his day’s work. One series stopped me short: a pair of frogs flanking a twinflower.

Given that we were expecting twins—and I had basically started going into labour that day—I was struck by the symbolism of the shot. But Fritz had been so absorbed with shooting, the significance didn’t dawn on him till I pointed it out. That night he sent this photo out with a mock baby announcement to our families declaring our “hoppy” arrivals.