2022 in Review
It's that time again to look back and judge how we thrived in the "new normal"
Ange & David - SDRO GLOW Party
The Forgotten Valley
On Thursday June 9th, at the Champlain Trail Museum in my home town of Pembroke, we premiered our first short film - The Forgotten Valley - to an audience of 30 people. The feedback was incredible and you can read the full story on this blog post. We also entered the film into the Ottawa Canadian Film Festival, however, we failed to make the cut this year.
The Forgotten Valley takes a nostalgic look back at various landmarks in and around my hometown of Pembroke within Renfrew County. My goal for the video was to convey a sense of sadness for the way "progress" has pushed various businesses, industries, and skillsets into the pages of history, leaving important places forgotten and abandoned once their usefulness had expired. It's something that I personally contemplate often - what happens to our work once we're gone? Throughout the video, this question continually presents itself for the viewer to ponder, aided by the narrated story along with the visual evidence left behind by our early settlers. My take on the question is the theme that carries throughout the video - ultimately everything will return to nature and be forgotten.
The video is now available to view on YouTube, and I would love to hear your feedback!
Brent - the short film that just happened!
This just might be my best piece of work ever created, and it was completely unplanned, unscripted, and really just came out of nowhere! Our yearly family camping trip took us back to the Brent campsite in Algonquin Provincial Park. Filming our family camping trip is really nothing new to me, but this time an idea came to me - focus on the small details! What makes camping so enjoyable? Why is it so peaceful? What does slowing down look like?
With these themes directing me, I threw on my 85mm f/1.4 lens and started to crop in tight on the regular day to day tasks - cooking, dishes, swimming, fishing, wildlife, and of course, bonfires! Most shots were handheld using manual focus so I could pinpoint the exact focus location wanted without worrying about the autofocus searching around in some of the lowlight situations. Other shots were on a tripod, further emphasizing the stillness I was trying to achieve. I used my favorite color profile - CineTech - to give me the nostalgic film look.
The result is, in my opinion, the best piece of cinematic visual storytelling I have ever created. Each time I watch it, I'm instantly brought back to all the great memories I have of camping, even my childhood experiences. I will greatly cherish this film for many years to come.
We scaled back our event photography this year - a lot! In previous years, we went hard with capturing events in order to establish ourselves in the motorsports world. It was a reasonable strategic move given that we were new to the scene and needed to prove ourselves. It was a grueling pace early on, one that we knew we could not sustain for any reasonable length of time. In 2022, we made the conscious decision to scale back our event photography business and only focus on the Snowmobile Drag Racing Ontario organization. We always enjoy working with them, and they're only 1 hour away from our home.
In 2020, we covered the following events with the SDRO crew:
From the events we covered, we created three hi-action videos and a year end review video, available to view on our YouTube channel. All three videos were created using a Cannon R5 (thanks Mom!) with an EF to RF lens adapter. The R5 is an amazing camera when it comes to video capabilities - full frame 4K, 14.6 stops of dynamic range, and in-body image stabilization.
2023 Snowmobile Drag Racing Ontario Sled Calendar
Back again for the second year was our sled calendar for the SDRO organization. This year, we focused on vintage snowmobiles and welcomed back the models from the previous year, and brought in some new models that were interested in supporting our fundraiser. This year, we decided to support Fighting Blindness Canada, a charity that raises funds for vision research, an issue that is near to our family given our daughters struggle with vision loss.
Vintage snowmobiles, or anything vintage, is something I'm passionate about! Combining excellent examples of vintage sleds along with beautiful models, including Mrs. GLASSGLOWZ herself, yielded some amazing artwork that will be enjoyed by many. And since this was our second year working with some of the models, photoshoot day turned into a mini family reunion of sorts - a time to catch up with old friends and enjoy each others company.
Please consider supporting this fundraiser by purchasing a calendar, and stay tuned for what's in store for the 2024 edition!
Can you Still Make Money Online?
The short answer is "yes", but for us, it's not nearly as much as in previous years. If you recall from our yearly review last year, we had just started to upload our photos & videos to wirestock.io, a stock photo sales website. Well the results are in and they're not great...
Yup that's right, a whopping $20! Can't wait to cash that cheque in 😜
Results from YouTube are somewhat better - we at least broke the $1000 barrier thanks to a protest video that went somewhat viral (the big blip in the graph). Had it not been for that one video, we'd probably be sitting around the $700 mark for the year. Compared to the good old days back in 2018, views are still down but slightly higher than 2021.
We published 15 videos in 2022, a decent number all things considered. Most videos these days only seem to get around 1000 views, even the 74 Challenger Restoration videos, a series that would previously capture 100,000+ views per video. I've spoken to a few other YouTuber's and they have noticed a similar stagnation on their channels. I still believe that it's mostly due to content saturation and competing platforms like TikTok.
We shot a Wedding
It's not often we shoot weddings, but we'll always say yes for family and friends. We were asked by Kyle & Jacci, our friends we know through the SDRO events, if we could photograph their engagement and wedding. Jacci, being a descendent of Pinhey from Pinhey's Point, was able to get exclusive access to locations at the museum that were typically off bounds to the public. It was a beautiful day with the sun shining brightly on them. Congrats to the bride and groom!
Working on a Documentary
Arianne from SDRO and I have been talking about doing a full length feature documentary about the sled drags races for some time now. Well we finally got our act together and carved out some time to nail a story down and shoot some interviews. The basic plot of the documentary will focus on the struggles of one of the race teams, Winchester Auto Racing, and all the behind the scenes work involved in pulling off a race weekend. Most of the shooting is finished - now comes the hard part of stitching the videos together into an interesting story. Keep an eye out for this one in 2023!
What's in Store for 2023?
I'm working on another short film, similar in style to The Forgotten Valley. I plan on entering this video into another film festival - fingers crossed I make the cut this time!
Other than that, I'm really not sure what 2023 will bring. I'd like to finish the body work on the 74 Challenger this winter so I can paint it this summer or fall.
All in all, it was a great year once again, one that we're very proud of. Merry Christmas everyone, and all the best in 2023!