First courtroom sketches in 8 years — Brian Zinchuk Publishing

10 05 2016

From 2004-2008 I spent up to three days a week covering court for the Battlefords News-Optimist. During that time I did quite a bit of courtroom sketches. In junior high and high school I did a lot of sketching. For a brief period I dreamt of becoming a comic book artist. I drew the occasional […]

via First courtroom sketches in 8 years — Brian Zinchuk Publishing





First courtroom sketches in 8 years

10 05 2016

From 2004-2008 I spent up to three days a week covering court for the Battlefords News-Optimist. During that time I did quite a bit of courtroom sketches. In junior high and high school I did a lot of sketching. For a brief period I dreamt of becoming a comic book artist. I drew the occasional portraits of pretty girls, hoping they would notice me, but it didn’t get me anywhere.

Jump forward 10 years and I was sitting in court, trying to sort out several brothers of the same last name who were being prosecuted as the biggest cocaine dealers in town. I sketched out mugshots of each in my lined notebook, and we eventually printed these with the story. Soon sketching was a way to stay awake during boring proceedings. It also added an element to my court coverage that is rarely ever seen in smaller centres these days.

North Battleford Provincial Court was set up in a way that it was impossible to get photos of an accused coming in or out. Cameras are forbidden in Canadian courts, and for good reason. Thus, the only way to get an image of someone was to sketch them. And I was the only one around who did that. For some big cases, my sketches even made it to the national news (although TV stations were pretty stingy on what they would pay).

Recently a friend was prosecuting a case in Estevan, so I took some time to attend court and do a few sketches. These are the result. Not bad, given the most recent sketches in that sketchbook were dated 2007.

Here are a few from back then, when I was hitting my stride. You might recognize the guy in purple – Curtis Dagenais. He was convicted of killing two Mounties near Spiritwood. It actually occurred just a few miles from where I had photographed a wedding the previous summer. I had just started to experiment with colour. Nearly all my previous work had been in pencil, from 4H to 6B.





Photobooth at Ross LeBlanc’s 80th Birthday

9 05 2016

On April 30th I provided a photobooth for Ross LeBlanc’s 80th birthday.

Ross, who plays guitar in a band, was told he had to be at the Estevan Royal Canadian Legion to play for an anniversary. The Legion was filled to capacity with friends and family, some who had come a very long way.

After the surprise I shot a few family photos before the party really got underway. Then I fired up the photobooth and got a lot of great photos. It was probably the longest line I’ve ever had, and we were burning through them quickly, too. I think nearly all the nearly 300 people went through in a couple hours.

This photobooth was my third use of a green screen and it worked well. Out of the seven scenes you could choose, I added two custom ones for this event – a canola field and the Torquay elevator. (Ross has lived all his life near Oungre, his grand-daughter tells me). Other choices included the Las Vegas strip, Banff, a pier by the ocean, two palm trees scenes. (Thanks to Jon Gillies, Images by Gillies, for the pier shot and one of the palm trees. He travels more than I do.)

The entire gallery can be found here.

Photobooth sessions like this are a lot of fun for parties, be it weddings, Christmas parties, anniversaries or birthdays, apparently. Each group that goes through gets a 4×6 print to take home, and you get the digital files so you can see all the fun.

Drop me a line if you’re interested.





First canvas went to auction

29 01 2016

IMG_5303

Today was a big day for me. It’s the first time I’ve donated a canvas of my oilfield photography to a charitable cause. In this case it was the Estevan Sportsman’s Dinner in support of the Estevan Bruins Junior A hockey team.

IMG_5324

This is the first time I’ve produced this image. It was taken a year ago, on a very cold January day five miles northeast of Stoughton. There are three rigs in the centre, flanked by two HG pumpjacks. There was actually a fourth rig in the sequence, but it was across the road and there was no way to line up all four in this manner.

Three guesses who they were drilling for.

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I have another copy of this image that will be mounted and ready for sale this weekend. I also have similar canvases available at the Solar Art Gallery in the Estevan Shoppers Mall.

 

I can also do conventional photo prints up to 44 x 96 inches, canvases up to 36 x96 inches, and metal prints up to 36 x 48 inches. Four of these are currently being installed in a Calgary-based junior oil producer’s office.

If you would like to order a canvas print like this, please contact me. Here’s a gallery of some photos you might want to consider.

 





A Jedi with a camera

18 12 2015

For many years I’ve joked with friends and assistants about being a Jedi knight with a camera, powerful with the ways of the Force. After all, photography is all about light, and dark….

For a while there I even had an unofficial padawan, as it were, who has gone on to do great things. You can check out Josh’s website at www.getmyphoto.ca. (“When I left you, I was but the learner. Now I am the master…” Yes, I am that much of a nerd.)

Thus it’s entirely appropriate I bought some pre-roll advertising for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, when it plays at the Estevan Orpheum Theatre. The 20-second clip highlights several of my specialties, but not all.

If you’re looking for a professional photographer, you want someone who can handle any situation and come away with high quality, usable images. That can be commercial work in the oilfield, or grad portraits that stand out from the rest. As a news photographer first and foremost, I have to be adaptable to shoot just about anything in any situation or lighting condition.

Here are some of the areas I’ve built my skills in over the years:

Additionally, I’m in the process of developing:

  • Video
  • Drone aerial work (coming spring 2016, as soon as some federal regulations change)

I also offer high-end products you don’t see around here that often like

So is that being a Jedi with a camera? Maybe. But I wield my Nikons like a lightsaber.

If you have a project coming up and need images that will stand out, please contact me at 306-461-5599 or brian.zinchuk@sasktel.net. You can also check out my Facebook page.





12 Rigs of Christmas 2015: Day 12: Saskatchewan Oil & Gas Show Album

12 12 2015

Early in 2015 I was contacted by the Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show (a.k.a. Weyburn Oil Show) board to  prepare an album for them to present to some VIPs at the upcoming oil show. They wanted something that was representative of the industry, something that would be a “best of” sort of collection.

Wow, I was pretty honoured by that.

This is the album, as it was printed, minus the logo on the cover. Many of these have been printed as canvases up to five feet wide. My intention was for several of these to be included with a now-on-hold project that would have seen three of these printed as 10-foot canvases for a massive art installation.

000-Cover (Metal)

Album cover. Red Dog Drilling Rig 3, Northgate

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Vortex Drilling Rig 1, first hole, near Lake Alma

006-007

Stampede Drilling Rig 2, near North Portal

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Red Dog Drilling Rig 1 (insert: hammer – Stampede Drilling Rig 1, cable – Red Dog Rig 2)

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Stampede Drilling Rig 2 near Bienfait

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Independent Well Servicing, south of Oungre, (insert, left: Gilliss Casing Services, same location). Right, Excel Well Servicing, Stoughton)

014-015

Left, Betts Drilling Rig 1, first hole, near Northgate. Right, Red Dog Drilling, Rig 4, first hole, near Kisbey

016-017

Pumpjacks near Glen Ewen

018-019

Left: Fast Trucking Service moving Red Dog Drilling Rig 2, Estevan. Right, clockwise from top right: Betts Drilling Rig 1, first hole, Northgate; Vortex Drilling Rig 1, first hole, Lake Alma; Panther Drilling Rig 4, first hole, north of Estevan; Precision Drilling Rig 120, Macoun

020-021

Left, top to bottom: Vortex Drilling Rig 1, Panther Drilling Rig 4, Stampede Drilling Rig 1. Right: Red Dog Drilling Rig 4.

022-023

United Centrifuge, south of Weyburn

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Red Dog Drilling Rig 4, first hole, Kisbey, 360 degree panorama

026-027

Stampede Drilling Rig 2, North Portal

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Red Dog Drilling Rig 4, first hole, Kisbey

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Left: Stampede Drilling Rig 1, Browning. Right: Vortex Drilling Rig 1, first hole, Lake Alma

 

And this is what it looks like in book form.

I tried to spread the love around as much as I could, as well as include other aspects of the industry beyond drilling. However, since the vast majority of my work has been on drilling, that was the key ingredient.

It took quite a while to pick the best out of several years of work. I had about 240 files in my selects folder, and had to whittle it down from there. This video shows the selects that were considered.


 

The six albums were printed in Venice, Italy, as are all my albums. They had 3/16 aluminum covers and leather bindings. That’s my usual album design. In this case, the albums were 1/2 my usual size.

I had thought they would end up as keepsakes for the oilman of the year and hall of fame recipients. It turns out they had other plans. Imagine my surprise when Premier Brad Wall and Minister of Economy Bill Boyd were presented with these albums.

Weyburn Oil Show-7100

Premier Brad Wall, Minister of Economy Bill Boyd, Oil Show chair Del Mondor

Weyburn Oil Show-7112

Minister of Finance Kevin Doherty, left, Minister of Economy Bill Boyd

Weyburn Oil Show-7107

 

Other recipients included Deputy Premier Don McMorris and Minister of Health (and Weyburn MLA) Dustin Duncan. I believe Weyburn Mayor Deb Button got one as well.

 

Long-time oil show volunteer Ron Jeffery was also presented with one. After all his years of service, he deserved it.

After it was all over, I sat down with Ron and his wife and explained what each picture in the album was. They were quite happy, as was I. I was beaming ear-to-ear. It was definitely a highlight of my year.

 

If anyone is interested in a copy (minus the oil show logo), please contact me at brian.zinchuk@sasktel.net. This album had 30 pages, but I would likely add another 10 pages in a second edition.

These are not inexpensive items. They are made by one of the best album-makers in the world, and priced accordingly. But they are something you will cherish for a long time to come.

If you find yourself in these albums, be proud. There’s one sitting in the office of most of the power brokers in Regina.

 





12 Rigs of Christmas: Day 10: Stampede Rig 2

10 12 2015

On the tenth day of Christmas, the toolpush gave to me…  Stampede Drilling Rig 2.

I apologize for taking a few days hiatus on this 12 rigs project. I had to get a few things done over the past few days. It might be another couple days before I’m able to get the last two days posted.

Stampede Rig 2 has spent most of its career to date was working close to the U.S. border. Indeed, I think it has spent most of its career drilling withing a few miles of Mackenzie Meats.

For the video slideshow I had to pick a country song for Bill and Jackie, the crew that runs Stampede in Estevan. Turns out Bill would have liked some heavy metal. Oh well. Jackie’s still a cowgirl, as far as I know.

The Stampede Drilling Rig 2 gallery can be found here at Stampede Rig 2. This gallery has some of the most spectacular sunsets I’ve been able to get with a drilling rig. I read somewhere that when shooting sunsets, just when you think you’ve got your shot and are about to pack up, wait another 10-15 minutes. It’s true.

This series is special because some of them are when Rig 2 was working within just a few hundred metres of a working dragline. You might never see a rig and dragline so close again. It really says a lot about the Energy City.

If you’re looking for more rigs, check out the master drilling gallery here.

buy photos button smugmug

The time has passed for orders directly from the website, as they might not get her in time for Christmas. If you would like to order a print, please contact me directly at brian.zinchuk@sasktel.net. The prices will be similar to what you see listed. I can do paper prints and canvases here in Estevan, but the time is running out for Canvases.  a 14×18 (A common-sized frame you can get for a good price at Wal-Mart is $74 plus tax. It makes a nice, easy give for the oilpatch person in the family.

In case you’re wondering, I do a lot more than just drilling rigs. I’ve done a substantial amount of hotel and real estate photography, as well as general oilfield commercial photography. I’m one of the few, if not only, professional photographers in the area that has all their safety tickets and PPE to go on lease as required. As well, I also offer photobooth service complete with green screen.

What do you think of my 12 Rigs of Christmas? Put your thoughts in the comments on my Facebook page. Don’t forget to share, and scroll down to see the other Rigs of Christmas. If you recognize any of your buddies, please share.








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