Mount Diablo Engagement Shoot. Green!

Recently, I hopped in the car with Cameron & Holley and headed up the steep winding roads of Mount Diablo here in the East Bay Area (the Danville side). The torrential, drought-relieving rains had subsided for a few days so we figured it was the best time to get their engagement photos done while we had a few hours of sunshine.

Man, was it a nice day to head up the hill! The sheer amount of the color green was almost overwhelming. I mean look at this! The grass looks like it would be straight out of Breath of the Wild (that new Legend of Zelda game for the Nintendo Switch, if you hadn’t heard of it):

Just a quick landscape shot on Mount Diablo while doing an engagement shoot. Look at that green!

We had a fun couple of hours just snaking the hills and finding some good spots to snap some images, eventually coming down the other side of the mountain into Walnut Creek. I keep forgetting all this awesome open space is right in my own backyard. I hadn’t been up there in years.

Cameron & Holley.
lancasterphoto.net
Cameron & Holley.
lancasterphoto.net
Cameron & Holley.
lancasterphoto.net
Cameron & Holley. lancasterphoto.net

Europe Vacation and Photography Trip: Venice, Prague, Edinburgh, London

Once the 2016 wedding season was wrapped up, I focused my time and energy on family and the holidays. Once New Year’s Eve was done, I hopped a plane in San Francisco and headed off to Venice, Italy. The first stop on our Venice – Prague – Edinburgh – London trip.

Naturally I had some photo work to do while I was out there, and came back with some pretty great images. Have a look!

Venice evening.
St. Mark’s Square flooded during high tide.
Snowy St. Mark’s Square in Venice. January 2017.
This wedding shoot was happening in the melting snow, so naturally I jumped in for a few shots.
This father and son with a seaside rollercoaster to themselves, overlooking the islands near Venice.
Late afternoon.
The flooded crypt below San Zaccaria church.

After a few days, we grabbed a water taxi back to the airport (as my wedding assistant George is demonstrating in this photo):

…and we jetted off to Prague, in the Czech Republic. It was quite chilly there, and I spent most of my photography time with a scarf wrapped over my face so I could keep the feeling in it.

Old Town Square, Prague.
Prague Sunset.
The view from our Apartment balcony.
Prague’s Astronomical Clock. 600 years old and still ticking. With 80% of its original parts.
Basilica of St. Peter in Vyšehrad
Old Jewish Cemetery. Pretty sobering place.
St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague Castle.

A handful of cold days here and next stop was up to Edinburgh in Scotland. Castles galore! And fog. Lots of fog.

Edinburgh, Scotland at night.
Edinburgh night traffic.
Blackness Castle in Linlithgow. Our GPS said we had arrived at our destination, but our eyes said otherwise.
Blackness Castle on the sea. Linlithgow, Scotland.
My cinematographer brother, enjoying the beautiful view from Stirling Castle. No, I didn’t photoshop anything out. That was the view.
Craigmillar Castle was our favorite. Easy to get lost in, and reminded us of Legend of Zelda. Lots of floors, lots of rooms, and lots of bombable-looking walls and doors.
Craigmillar Castle
…and lots of tight windy staircases to make you claustrophobic.

That evening, after much castle-ing, we headed to Glasgow to catch my buddy Kevin singing with his band Candlebox. You might know them best from their 1993 hit “Far Behind”. Great show… snapped some photos there and met up for a drink afterword:

Candlebox performing at G2 (The Garage) in Glasgow, Scotland.

On our last day we hit Edinburgh Castle, and I think it was the right choice. The fog lifted a bit and we got some great sunset opportunities while up on the hill.

Edinburgh Castle

One more quick EasyJet flight and we were in London. I think this was my 4th time there, but I always love coming back. I didn’t bother with as many photos this time.

Marching. Buckingham Palace, London.
Tower of London at night.
Tower Bridge at night
London Financial Skyline
Westminster
This bird. I think this was before I slipped and fell through the ice in Hyde Park.

That was a long post! If you made it this far, congratulations. Just a glimpse of what I like to do when I’m not seeing you wonderful people at weddings. Looking forward to meeting you guys (or seeing some of you again) very soon! Shoot me a message.

 

Summer Weddings, Fall Weddings, Bookings Starting!

It’s been an interesting year, weather-wise. Now on the downhill slope toward October, it’s been hotter than it was all summer. I think brides and grooms have noticed that here in California, which would make sense why more and more of my couples book me for weddings in the Fall months. It’s still warm!

What have you guys been up to? We’ve been having a ton of fun this year, snapping away and making a bunch of fun stuff happen. Here are a few of our favorite photos since we last talked:

Elliston Vineyards in Sunol, CA. Photo by Clay Lancaster.
Elliston Vineyards in Sunol, CA. Photo by Clay Lancaster.
Elliston Vineyards in Sunol, CA. Photo by Clay Lancaster.
Elliston Vineyards in Sunol, CA. Photo by Clay Lancaster.
The Gardens at Heather Farms. Walnut Creek, CA.
The Gardens at Heather Farms. Walnut Creek, CA.
img_95Private Residence. Walnut Creek, CA.04
Private Residence. Walnut Creek, CA.
Wente Vineyards. Livermore, CA.
Wente Vineyards. Livermore, CA.
Wente Vineyards. Livermore, CA.
Wente Vineyards. Livermore, CA.

On a non-wedding note, I got to spend some time shooting photos with the band We Are Scientists while they were hot on the heels of a Jimmy Kimmel performance. Then I headed down to Mountain View to get some shots of Heart at Shoreline. Nancy and Ann Wilson were nothing short of amazing. As always:

Lancaster Photography on Social Media!

Happy New Year everyone! We at Lancaster Photography are excited to get rolling, and we’re very much looking forward to photographing all your weddings, engagement shoots, family sessions, and various events in 2016.

It’s rainy here in Walnut Creek (which I love), so I figured I’d use the indoor time to call some attention to our two main social media outlets.

You can find our wedding photography work and updates on Facebook and our new wedding-only Instagram account.

And, of course, our regular website home page: Lancaster Photography | San Francisco Bay Area | Walnut Creek

…oh and we have a couple of January discounts going on! Book soon and save some money.

LP Engagement Ad1 LP Wedding Ad1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wishing everyone a happy 2016, and we can’t wait to see you guys in the coming year!

-Clay

 

Paris: Finally Finished (fingers crossed)

Eiffel Tower from the Trocadéro. Photo by Clay Lancaster
Eiffel Tower from the Trocadéro. Photo by Clay Lancaster

Hello hello.

We’ve had a fairly busy last 10 days, and after this evening I should comfortably be able to say that the Paris portion of the film is in the can (which is like 90% of it).

The ending was re-written and a B-story was added. Our first few days were spent re-shooting the ending with our lead actress, as she had another project to get to. I flew from San Francisco to New Jersey, then New Jersey to Paris… hopped on the RER train into Gentilly, met up with everyone here at the studio, had about 30 minutes to get settled, then we started rolling.

 

Straight off the airplane, filming a scene in Paris before the rain hit.
Straight off the airplane, filming a scene in Paris before the rain hit.
The remainder of the week we worked with our lead actor/writer (as well as a new actress) on the new side story. It was challenging.

A big problem with not having much of a budget is that we have to shoot where we can shoot. That means spending hours on crowded riverbanks – take after take – trying to avoid loud boats, loud people, rain, onlookers, lighting issues, potential security issues, etc.

One of our scenes took about 8 hours to wrap. The scene is only about 5 minutes long.

This scene is about 4 seconds long. Yet we needed 5 takes. I labeled the slate accordingly.
This scene is about 4 seconds long. Yet we needed 5 takes. I labeled the slate accordingly.

The majority of our people are now gone, leaving Keith and me here in this art studio on our own. We spent the last day and a half doing some much-needed sleeping in, some pub-drinking, some bicycle riding through the city, some wine drinking, some photography, and some Formula 1 race-watching. After our mini pizzas come out of the oven, we’re gonna jump on the Metro with the RED camera and go film some establishing b-roll. Then tonight we pack up, and jet back to San Francisco tomorrow morning.

Band photo. Actually it's our lead actor (left), cinematographer (my brother, center), and audio (me, right).
Band photo. Actually it’s our lead actor (left), cinematographer (my brother, center), and audio (me, right).

It’s been a blast. At the start of 2013, I surely didn’t see myself going to Paris this year… and definitely didn’t see myself going twice. Now it has become a running joke that we’ll all just be right back here in a another few months to film something else.

To my clients who have been patiently waiting on their wedding photos, thank you! I’ll have them to you soon.

Enjoy some of these photos, and I’ll see you guys back in the States in a couple of days.

-Clay

Out and about in Paris at night, during Nuit Blanche. Photo by Clay Lancaster
Out and about in Paris at night, during Nuit Blanche. Photo by Clay Lancaster
Night Filming near Notre Dame. Paris, France.
Night Filming near Notre Dame. Paris, France.
Keith and Kevin discuss... something.
Keith and Kevin discuss… something.
This time Kevin brought a remote-controlled quad-copter for arial shots. We crashed it a lot.
This time Kevin brought a remote-controlled quad-copter for arial shots. We crashed it a lot.

…like this:

Sunrise shot from the Trocadero
Sunrise shot from the Trocadero
My skeletal roommate. He watched me while I sleep across the room. Good guy.
My skeletal roommate. He watched me while I sleep across the room. Good guy.
Awkward filming moment. Barbara, Kevin, and... me (technically) in the back.
Awkward filming moment. Barbara, Kevin, and… me (technically) in the back.