12 Rigs of Christmas 2015: Day 1: Red Dog Rig 2

25 11 2015

On the first day of Christmas, the toolpush gave to me… Red Dog Drilling Rig 2.

Last year I posted 12 Rigs of Christmas, and it was a big hit. So here’s the 2015 version.

This rig was shot in 2013. I don’t often get a chance to photograph a rig move in progress, so this was a real treat. I was able to document the move almost in full, from loading in the laydown yard in Estevan to its drilling location north of Alameda. I had the GoPro mounted all over the place. If you’re a fan of Fast Trucking, you’ll see them in action here.

The Red Dog Rig 2 gallery can be found here Red Dog Rig 2.

If you’re looking for more rigs, check out the master drilling gallery here. You can find Red Dog Rig 1, Rig 3 and Rig 4 there as well.

buy photos button smugmug

For the next three days (Nov. 25-27) I am running a sale: 15% off all Red Dog Drilling prints. Includes Red Dog Rigs 1, 2, 3 and 4. Expires Nov. 27, 2015. (Discount does not include shipping). You can order canvases, metal prints (which are AWESOME) or even a coffee mug. The coupon code is: RedDog

Do you have a rig you’d like me to profile in my 12 days of Christmas? Put your requests in the comments on my Facebook page. Don’t forget to share.

Photobooth 2015 bookings available

25 11 2015

Looking to spice up your Christmas party this year? Didn’t get around to booking anything? How about a photobooth?

I’m taking last-minute bookings! My photobooth has been updated to include greenscreen technology. Now users can choose their backdrop – from the beaches of California, palm trees overhead, the mountains of Banff, a nice warm Christmas scene, or even your own shop! Perfect to thinking about somewhere other than a prairie winter, or to make jokes about work. Plenty of props are provided.

Scenes sample

Photos are printed out immediately, so everyone can take something home as a keepsake. Each print has your company logo put on it with some festive decoration. Finally, if you like, you can have a copy of the images to share on social media. Or, maybe you’ll just save that for next year’s slideshow…

Looking at print

There are plenty of open dates available between now and Christmas – even this weekend! So call me today at 306-461-5599 or email brian.zinchuk@sasktel.net.

Mercury sales staff 130627_202832



12 Rigs of Christmas: Day 7: Betts Drilling Rig 2

10 12 2014

Betts Drilling Rig 2 is the Day 7 rig of the 12 Rigs of Christmas. It was a beautiful summer day shortly after the then-new rig first went to work. I got some of Betts Rig 3 a few days later.

This was also the first rig where I tried out some unique perspectives.

Photos of this rig can be found here and here.

My other drilling rigs can be found here.

The photo lab suggested that all orders to Canada should be in by Dec. 8, or Monday. So if you would like a print of one of these pictures, please contact me directly at brian.zinchuk@sasktel.net. With a giant Epson 9900 printer the size of a love seat and weighing 340 lbs., I have the ability to do paper prints up to 16×20 ($75, need to be framed) or 16×32 here in Estevan, or canvas prints from 18×24 ($240), 24×36 ($500) to 36×96 ($1900). Canvas prints cost about $80 per square foot. Canvas prints especially take a fair bit of work, so you need to order early.

I also may be able to order other sizes of prints from my Canadian lab, but those would need to be ordered quickly.

Merry Christmas!

Dart Services Steel Reef Gas Plant

4 08 2014

Dart Services installed around 800 steel piles for the Steel Reef Gas Plant leading up to the long weekend in August. Here are some aerial shots and a bunch on the ground. The full gallery can be found here

Old Photo Restoration

27 09 2013

About once a year or so I get asked to restore an old photo(s). These are typically precious family heirlooms, with only one copy. One was a very large, extremely high resolution 8×20 print. They often have scratches, folds, discoloration, fading, and sometimes even parts (like people’s heads!) missing. In this case the set shown at the beginning of this video were third or fourth generation reproductions, with film negatives or prints only 1.5 inches square. I was able to print them 13×16 for 9×12 canvases. Check out the video. The gallery is here: http://galleries.zinchuk.ca/Retouch/Marg-Neitling/

Making an 8 foot by 2 foot canvas

4 07 2013

Bett Drilling 8ft canvas-2

I am in the process of making not one, but two, 8 x 2 foot canvases for some very special clients. Each will hang on the wall of their offices, and will not be missed.

This one is for Betts Drilling, of Carnduff. The shots are from Betts Rig 1, when it was on its first hole.

The first thing was the construction of the frame – a reinforced kiln-dried fir frame that should not warp. You can’t just use cheap spruce and hope for the best.

Next was editing. This print is 100 inches wide – wide enough to wrap around the 96 inch frame. Since it will be close enough for people to walk up to, it was printed at 200 dpi. That necessitated a 20,000 pixel wide image – which is, coincidentally, the largest image Photoshop can handle. (Bet you didn’t know that, did ya?)

The image is a collage of four images. Each had to be upsized, some as much as 320%, to match the resolution of the final output. Even four 12 megapixel photos need a boost when printing this large. They were shot before I got my Nikon D4, which is 16 megapixels. I am now understanding why Nikon put out the 36 megapixel D800. My next camera will have that sort of resolution for exactly this reason.

 36 inch wide canvas (29 inches printed) wide coming off the 44 inch Epson 9900 wide-format printer.

36 inch wide canvas (29 inches printed) wide coming off the 44 inch Epson 9900 wide-format printer.

Here you see the print coming off the massive, love-seat sized, 360 pound printer in my basement.

After some drying, it was time to apply the laminate.

Spraying not one, but two cans of museum-quality archival laminate onto the canvas in the garage. It sure dries a lot faster in this weather than at Christmas time.

Spraying not one, but two cans of museum-quality archival laminate onto the canvas in the garage. It sure dries a lot faster in this weather than at Christmas time.


And once again, more drying.

The metre stick provides perspective. This is drying after the archival laminate is applied.

The metre stick provides perspective. This is drying after the archival laminate is applied.

Next step, mounting tomorrow evening.


Jeremy Godfrey Grad

25 06 2013


I only had two grads this year. This is the second. I love the Godfrey family. Wendy was my daughter’s Brownies instructor. Robert’s Number News is amazing journalism for a 15 year old guy who decided to buy a camera one day. Mike coaches football, and they have bought several football photos off me in the past. Finally Jeremy, our grad here, was named Estevan’s male athlete of the year. We had to schedule the shoot during the week because he had a hockey tournament on the weekend. He also plays baseball and football.

At the end of the shoot, I pointed out, “We don’t really have any normal shots.”
Wendy said, “We’re not normal!”

On that note, I had to do a second version of the slide show. Let’s just say it has something to do with what he’s wearing.

You are able to find the full gallery here.

Turnbull Redi-Mix

9 06 2013

I haven’t been posting for a while, not because I had nothing to post, but rather, I’ve been so busy, I haven’t had time. Sleep? What’s that?

This is a shoot that was done this spring for Turnbull Redi-Mix and Turnbull Excavating. It was the grand opening of Turnbull’s new redi-mix plant. The company has grown so much over they years, they keep moving to larger locations. This one, on the east side of Estevan, should do for quite a while.

Here’s the video slideshow:

It can also be viewed on YouTube here.

The full gallery can be found here.

Sports Illustrated Photographers

12 03 2012

I’ve done a lot of sports photography over the years, and this is one of the best videos I’ve seen talking about it. Of course, it’s got the best photogs in the business explaining it. Check it out.



Got a nice email from Nikon today

18 01 2012

Today I received my notice from Nikon Professional Service today regarding their new D4 camera, announced Jan. 6:

“Priority delivery on new, and sometimes hard-to-get products, is one of the benefits of being an NPS member. As Nikon approaches the delivery date for the exciting new D4 FX-Format Digital SLR Camera, we would like to offer you expedited delivery through your favourite Canadian authorized dealer.”

Orders will be filled in the order requests are recieved. I had my request in within 10 minutes of getting the email, after I confirmed the order with Dons Photo in Regina. They had already written me down for one last August.

This is the primary reason why I wanted to get my Nikon Professional Service membership. It would give me first dibs on the new D4 when it came out.

The things the D4 can do will really open up new horizons. It can do things I would have never even dreamed of eight years ago, when I got my first digital camera. I can’t wait. Delivery is expected the second half of February.

Check it out here:

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