Dead in Six Days: The Story of Baby Delonna Sullivan

Posted by ryanjackson on Nov 26, 2013 in photos

Four-month-old Delonna Sullivan died in foster care six days after she was taken away. Meanwhile while her mother fought the legitimacy of her capture in the first place. Video by Ryan Jackson, edmontonjournal.com  Read the full story

Check out the Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald’s investigative series on the foster care system in Alberta.

 

WARBURG, ALTA.: JULY,26, 2013: — Jamie Sullivan poses for a photo in her bedroom in her home near Warburg, Alta.  on July 26, 2013.  (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Jamie Sullivan poses for a photo in her bedroom in her home near Warburg, Alta. on July 26, 2013. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

WARBURG, ALTA.: JULY,26, 2013: — Jamie Sullivan poses for a photo in her bedroom in her home near Warburg, Alta.  on July 26, 2013.  (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Jamie Sullivan poses for a photo in her bedroom in her home near Warburg, Alta. on July 26, 2013. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

WARBURG, ALTA.: JULY,26, 2013: — Marilyn Koren and her daughter Jamie Sullivan pose for a photo at the gravesite of Jamie's daughter Delonna Sullivan near Warburg, Alta.  on July 26, 2013.  (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Marilyn Koren and her daughter Jamie Sullivan pose for a photo at the gravesite of Jamie’s daughter Delonna Sullivan near Warburg, Alta. on July 26, 2013. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

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The Oilsands Project

Posted by ryanjackson on Nov 16, 2013 in oilsands, photos, video

2013 was the year of Oilsands for me and the Edmonton Journal. Our Editor in Chief asked us to pitch a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) and I pitched that the Journal produce a truly in-depth series on the Oilsands.  I was fortunate to go up to northern Alberta three times during the summer with one trip taking me up to Fort Chipewyan for my third time.

I worked with various reporters and editors on the project and it truly was a BHAG.

You can check out the whole six-week series at edmontonjournal.com/oilsands. It covers the history, economics, environment, family issues, politics and future issues.

I’m was very fortunate to be given so much time to work on the project and the best compliment given to it was that it is the most balanced look at the oilsands you can find.

Bellow are some of my favorite photos and videos I produced for the series.

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.:   JUNE,19, 2013:  A Welcome to Fort McMurray sign stands on the side of Highway 63 on the south end of Fort McMurray, Alta. on June 19, 2013. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.: JUNE,19, 2013: A Welcome to Fort McMurray sign stands on the side of Highway 63 on the south end of Fort McMurray, Alta. on June 19, 2013. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

The Oilsands: Huge risks, Giant Rewards

This is the main video of the series. If you only watch one of my videos from this series then check out this one.

This video introduces what’s at stake in one of the world’s largest industrial projects.Explore the Edmonton Journal’s in-depth series on the Oilsands at: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/oilsands

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.:      JUNE, 18, 2013: — An aerial view of Syncrude's oilsands upgrading facility north of Fort McMurray, Alta. on June 18, 2013. The plant converts bitumen which is extracted from oilsands into synthetic crude oil which is then piped to southern refineries. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.: JUNE, 18, 2013: — An aerial view of Syncrude’s oilsands upgrading facility north of Fort McMurray, Alta. on June 18, 2013. The plant converts bitumen which is extracted from oilsands into synthetic crude oil which is then piped to southern refineries. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Oilsands Green House Gas Issues

The growing CO2 emissions from Alberta’s oilsands are effectively cancelling out reductions made in other sectors of Canada’s economy. Video by Ryan Jackson, edmontonjournal.com

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Muskeg near Fort Chipewyan, Alberta.

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.: JUNE, 18, 2013:  An aerial view Suncor's Millennium Mine oilsands operation north of Fort McMurray, Alta. on June 18, 2013. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.: JUNE, 18, 2013: An aerial view Suncor’s Millennium Mine oilsands operation north of Fort McMurray, Alta. on June 18, 2013. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

Oilsands Tailings Ponds a Growing Problem

The tailings ponds created by Alberta’s oilsands mining have tripled in size since 2005 and are predicted to grow another 40 percent. Video by Ryan Jackson, edmontonjournal.com

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.: JUNE, 18, 2013:  An aerial view Suncor's base plant oilsands upgrading facility next to their oilsands mining operations north of Fort McMurray, Alta. on June 18, 2013. Syncrude can be seen in the distance at the top right.  The base plant separates bitumen from the nearly 500,000 tons of oilsands it receives per day and turns it into Synthetic crude. It also processes bitumen from Suncor's McKay River and Firebag steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) oilsands operations in the area. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.: JUNE, 18, 2013: An aerial view Suncor’s base plant oilsands upgrading facility next to their oilsands mining operations north of Fort McMurray, Alta. on June 18, 2013. Syncrude can be seen in the distance at the top right. The base plant separates bitumen from the nearly 500,000 tons of oilsands it receives per day and turns it into Synthetic crude. It also processes bitumen from Suncor’s McKay River and Firebag steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) oilsands operations in the area. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.:      JUNE, 18, 2013: — An aerial view of Syncrude's North Mine oilsands mining operation north of Fort McMurray, Alta. on June 18, 2013. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.: JUNE, 18, 2013: — An aerial view of Syncrude’s North Mine oilsands mining operation north of Fort McMurray, Alta. on June 18, 2013. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT MCKAY, ALTA.:      JUNE, 18, 2013: — An aerial view of Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL) oilsands mining operation near Fort McKay, Alta. on June 18, 2013. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT MCKAY, ALTA.: JUNE, 18, 2013: — An aerial view of Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL) oilsands mining operation near Fort McKay, Alta. on June 18, 2013. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.:      JUNE, 18, 2013: — An aerial view of Kearl Oilsands Project which is owned by Imperial Oil and ExxonMobile Canada north of Fort McMurray, Alta. on June 18, 2013. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.: JUNE, 18, 2013: — An aerial view of Kearl Oilsands Project which is owned by Imperial Oil and ExxonMobile Canada north of Fort McMurray, Alta. on June 18, 2013. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.:      JUNE, 18, 2013: — An aerial view of Suncor's Firebag steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) in-situ oilsands project north of Fort McMurray, Alta. on June 18, 2013. The process uses natural gas and water to create steam which is then piped into the ground to separate bitumen from oilsand deposits. The bitumen is then pumped up and sent to Suncor's base plant to be upgraded into synthetic crude.  (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.: JUNE, 18, 2013: — An aerial view of Suncor’s Firebag steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) in-situ oilsands project north of Fort McMurray, Alta. on June 18, 2013. The process uses natural gas and water to create steam which is then piped into the ground to separate bitumen from oilsand deposits. The bitumen is then pumped up and sent to Suncor’s base plant to be upgraded into synthetic crude. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.: June, 20, 2013:   A panoramic view of the heavy hauler maintenance shop which services all millennium mine equipment at Suncor's base plant oilsands operation north of Fort McMurray, Alta. on June 20, 2013. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal) This image was created by stitching multiple pictures together.

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.: June, 20, 2013: A panoramic view of the heavy hauler maintenance shop which services all millennium mine equipment at Suncor’s base plant oilsands operation north of Fort McMurray, Alta. on June 20, 2013. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal) This image was created by stitching multiple pictures together.

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.:      JUNE, 20, 2013: — An aerial view of Highway 63 just north of Fort McMurray, Alta. on June 20, 2013. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.: JUNE, 20, 2013: — An aerial view of Highway 63 just north of Fort McMurray, Alta. on June 20, 2013. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

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Editor Mark Suits recording the voice overs for all my videos. He has a golden voice.

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 7, 2013: —Roadside marker crosses Tanya Zwaan and Ione Curr who died on December 13, 2010 along Highway 63 in northern Alberta, 92.2 km south of Fort McMurray, Alta. on September 7, 2013. More than 170 people have died on Highway 63 in the last 10 years. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 7, 2013: —Roadside marker crosses Tanya Zwaan and Ione Curr who died on December 13, 2010 along Highway 63 in northern Alberta, 92.2 km south of Fort McMurray, Alta. on September 7, 2013. More than 170 people have died on Highway 63 in the last 10 years. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

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EDMONTON, ALTA.: JULY, 31, 2011: — An aerial view of the Imperial Oil Strathcona refinery with the Kinder Morgan and Enbridge oil terminals in the foreground and the Edmonton skyline in the background on July 31, 2011. The area is part of Alberta's Industrial Heartland. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

EDMONTON, ALTA.: JULY, 31, 2011: — An aerial view of the Imperial Oil Strathcona refinery with the Kinder Morgan and Enbridge oil terminals in the foreground and the Edmonton skyline in the background on July 31, 2011. The area is part of Alberta’s Industrial Heartland. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT SASKATCHEWAN, ALTA.: OCTOBER, 4, 2013: —An aerial view of Alberta's Industrial Heartland, just north of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. with the Shell Scotford plant in the foreground on October 4, 2013. The industrial heartland is Canada's largest hydrocarbon processing centre. 75% of all motor fuel used in western Canada comes from this region. Dozens of oil refineries, chemical manufactures and fertilizer plants are all fed from Alberta's various oilsands, conversional oil and natural gas companies in northern Alberta.   (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT SASKATCHEWAN, ALTA.: OCTOBER, 4, 2013: —An aerial view of Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, just north of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. with the Shell Scotford plant in the foreground on October 4, 2013. The industrial heartland is Canada’s largest hydrocarbon processing centre. 75% of all motor fuel used in western Canada comes from this region. Dozens of oil refineries, chemical manufactures and fertilizer plants are all fed from Alberta’s various oilsands, conversional oil and natural gas companies in northern Alberta. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

EDMONTON, ALTA.: OCTOBER,28, 2013: —A plume of yellow sulfur coloured smoke billows from the Suncor Energy refinery in Edmonton, Alta. around 2:52pm on September 28, 2013. The refinery is part of Alberta's Industrial Heartland.  (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

EDMONTON, ALTA.: OCTOBER,28, 2013: —A plume of yellow sulfur coloured smoke billows from the Suncor Energy refinery in Edmonton, Alta. around 2:52pm on September 28, 2013. The refinery is part of Alberta’s Industrial Heartland. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

EDMONTON, ALTA.:      MAY, 11, 2013: —The Tripp family (left to right). Ethan, 22, Rebecca, 18, Teague, 24, Fiona Styles-Tripp and Stan pose for a photo at the front steps of their Edmonton home on May 11, 2013. The family has had to manage over the years with a father who commutes back and forth from the oilsands in Fort McMurray. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

EDMONTON, ALTA.: MAY, 11, 2013: —The Tripp family (left to right). Ethan, 22, Rebecca, 18, Teague, 24, Fiona Styles-Tripp and Stan pose for a photo at the front steps of their Edmonton home on May 11, 2013. The family has had to manage over the years with a father who commutes back and forth from the oilsands in Fort McMurray. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

ST. ALBERT, ALTA.:      JUNE, 4, 2013: —Heather Fredeen tends to her one-year-old daughter Jordyn in her home in St. Albert, Alta. on June 4, 2013. Her husband Cory is a welder for an oilsands mine in Fort McMurray and commutes back and forth to St. Albert. which is just north of Edmonton. Despite the stresses of working six days on six days off, the family prefers the commute rather than living in Fort McMurray.   (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

ST. ALBERT, ALTA.: JUNE, 4, 2013: —Heather Fredeen tends to her one-year-old daughter Jordyn in her home in St. Albert, Alta. on June 4, 2013. Her husband Cory is a welder for an oilsands mine in Fort McMurray and commutes back and forth to St. Albert. which is just north of Edmonton. Despite the stresses of working six days on six days off, the family prefers the commute rather than living in Fort McMurray. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 9, 2013:   Dr. John O'Connor poses for a photo outside the hospital in Fort McMurray, Alta. on September 9, 2013. O'Connor has spent years as a physician for the northern communities of Fort McMurray, Fort McKay and Fort Chipewyan. He has been fighting to get proper cancer studies done on the residents of Fort Chipewyan who have higher than expected rates of rare cancers. The debate has been whether the cancers are caused by pollution from the oilsands industry or other unrelated factors. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT MCMURRAY, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 9, 2013: Dr. John O’Connor poses for a photo outside the hospital in Fort McMurray, Alta. on September 9, 2013. O’Connor has spent years as a physician for the northern communities of Fort McMurray, Fort McKay and Fort Chipewyan. He has been fighting to get proper cancer studies done on the residents of Fort Chipewyan who have higher than expected rates of rare cancers. The debate has been whether the cancers are caused by pollution from the oilsands industry or other unrelated factors. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

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Interviewing John O’Connor. Two LED lights.

FORT MCKAY, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 25, 2013:  Fort McKay First Nation Chief Jim Boucher poses for a photo in his office in Fort McKay, Alta. on September 25, 2013. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT MCKAY, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 25, 2013: Fort McKay First Nation Chief Jim Boucher poses for a photo in his office in Fort McKay, Alta. on September 25, 2013. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

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Shooting setup for Chief Jim Boucher. I wanted to show his beautiful office. One large LED light helped balance the window behind him.

 

FORT CHIPEWYAN, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 11, 2013:  An aerial view of boreal forrest, muskeg and the Athabasca River delta system near Fort Chipewyan, Alta. on September 11, 2013..  (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT CHIPEWYAN, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 11, 2013: An aerial view of boreal forest, muskeg and the Athabasca River delta system near Fort Chipewyan, Alta. on September 11, 2013.. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT CHIPEWYAN, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 11, 2013:  Fishing boats in Lake Athabasca on the shores of Fort Chipewyan, Alta. on September 11, 2013.  Established in 1788, Fort Chipewyan is the oldest settlement in Alberta.  (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT CHIPEWYAN, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 11, 2013: Fishing boats in Lake Athabasca on the shores of Fort Chipewyan, Alta. on September 11, 2013. Established in 1788, Fort Chipewyan is the oldest settlement in Alberta. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

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Interviewing Alice Rigney. The sun was going down so I added two small LED lights for fill.

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Photographing Raymond. Unfortunately I got my 5D Mark-III wet and it short circuited it. Still shoots video but won’t take stills now.

FORT CHIPEWYAN, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 12, 2013:  Metis commercial fisherman and trapper Raymond Ladouceur poses for a photo on Lake Athabasca in Fort Chipewyan, Alta. on September 12, 2013. Ladouceur says he has seen big changes in Lake Athabasca over the years caused by oilsands industry. He has also lost several family members and friends to cancer which he believes is caused by industrial pollution.  (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT CHIPEWYAN, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 12, 2013: Metis commercial fisherman and trapper Raymond Ladouceur poses for a photo on Lake Athabasca in Fort Chipewyan, Alta. on September 12, 2013. Ladouceur says he has seen big changes in Lake Athabasca over the years caused by oilsands industry. He has also lost several family members and friends to cancer which he believes is caused by industrial pollution. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT CHIPEWYAN, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 12, 2013:  Metis commercial fisherman and trapper Raymond Ladouceur poses for a photo on Lake Athabasca in Fort Chipewyan, Alta. on September 12, 2013. Ladouceur says he has seen big changes in Lake Athabasca over the years caused by oilsands industry. He has also lost several family members and friends to cancer which he believes is caused by industrial pollution.  (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT CHIPEWYAN, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 12, 2013: Metis commercial fisherman and trapper Raymond Ladouceur poses for a photo on Lake Athabasca in Fort Chipewyan, Alta. on September 12, 2013. Ladouceur says he has seen big changes in Lake Athabasca over the years caused by oilsands industry. He has also lost several family members and friends to cancer which he believes is caused by industrial pollution. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

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Catching a boat ride with Raymond and reporter Marty.

FORT CHIPEWYAN, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 12, 2013:  Fort Chipewyan residents walk down MacKenzie Ave. in Fort Chipewyan, Alta. on September 12, 2013.  Established in 1788, Fort Chipewyan is the oldest settlement in Alberta.  (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT CHIPEWYAN, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 12, 2013: Fort Chipewyan residents walk down MacKenzie Ave. in Fort Chipewyan, Alta. on September 12, 2013. Established in 1788, Fort Chipewyan is the oldest settlement in Alberta. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT CHIPEWYAN, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 12, 2013:  Hundreds of crosses and grave markers with dates spanning centuries in the cemetery in Fort Chipewyan, Alta. on September 12, 2013.  Established in 1788, Fort Chipewyan is the oldest settlement in Alberta.  (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT CHIPEWYAN, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 12, 2013: Hundreds of crosses and grave markers with dates spanning centuries in the cemetery in Fort Chipewyan, Alta. on September 12, 2013. Established in 1788, Fort Chipewyan is the oldest settlement in Alberta. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT CHIPEWYAN, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 13, 2013: A tarp is raised over a teepee holding wild elk meat during a dry meat making workshop in Fort Chipewyan, Alta. on September 13, 2013.  The workshop was put on by the ACFN to teach residents aboriginal traditions.  Established in 1788, Fort Chipewyan is the oldest settlement in Alberta.  (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT CHIPEWYAN, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 13, 2013: A tarp is raised over a teepee holding wild elk meat during a dry meat making workshop in Fort Chipewyan, Alta. on September 13, 2013. The workshop was put on by the ACFN to teach residents aboriginal traditions. Established in 1788, Fort Chipewyan is the oldest settlement in Alberta. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT CHIPEWYAN, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 13, 2013: Ten-month old Rayelle Marcel sleeps while his mother Raylene Gibot cuts elk meat during a dry meat making workshop in Fort Chipewyan, Alta. on September 13, 2013.  The workshop was put on by the ACFN to teach residents aboriginal traditions.  Established in 1788, Fort Chipewyan is the oldest settlement in Alberta.  (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT CHIPEWYAN, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 13, 2013: Ten-month old Rayelle Marcel sleeps while his mother Raylene Gibot cuts elk meat during a dry meat making workshop in Fort Chipewyan, Alta. on September 13, 2013. The workshop was put on by the ACFN to teach residents aboriginal traditions. Established in 1788, Fort Chipewyan is the oldest settlement in Alberta. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

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Me eating a moose burger in Fort Chipewyan.

FORT CHIPEWYAN, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 13, 2013: A sunset aerial view of Edward's Lake and First Lake south of Fort Chipewyan in the boreal forest and muskeg or northern Alberta on September 13, 2013.   (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT CHIPEWYAN, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 13, 2013: A sunset aerial view of Edward’s Lake and First Lake south of Fort Chipewyan in the boreal forest and muskeg or northern Alberta on September 13, 2013. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

FORT CHIPEWYAN, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 13, 2013: Northern lights fill the sky over monument hill in Fort Chipewyan, Alta. on September 13, 2013.     Established in 1788, Fort Chipewyan is the oldest settlement in Alberta.  (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)  Note this picture was corrected for fisheye lens distortion to keep the horizon straight as it appeared in real life.

FORT CHIPEWYAN, ALTA.: SEPTEMBER, 13, 2013: Northern lights fill the sky over monument hill in Fort Chipewyan, Alta. on September 13, 2013. Established in 1788, Fort Chipewyan is the oldest settlement in Alberta. (Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal)

First Nations dilemma of working in the Oilsands

This was my second favorite video of the series. It will help you understand First Nations concerns about the oilsands and the battle they face between the need for employment and maintaining traditional ways of life.

First nations people in northern Alberta are torn between the loss of their traditional lifestyles and the need for employment in a region where the only remaining employment is an industry that is changing them. Video by Ryan Jackson, edmontonjournal.com

 

You can check out the whole six-week series at edmontonjournal.com/oilsands

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Interactive 360 Virtual Tour of Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose

Posted by ryanjackson on Aug 5, 2013 in 360 Panoramas, 360 Video, Interactive, photos

I’ve covered the Big Valley Jamboree several, times, now, and this year I wanted to create a virtual tour that showed how BVJ is more than just music. There’s partying, bull riding, music workshops, more partying, and of course country music.

I shot several still image panoramas with my Canon 5D-Mark III and the handy dandy Canon 8-15mmL fish eye lens.

I also shot two 360 videos using six GoPro Hero cameras on a stick.   Everything was stitched together using PTgui and I used KrPano as the viewer.

Click here to watch the virtual tour. Click the right and left arrows to go to the next panorama.  If you click on the little globe button you can see a map of the area with dots.

Big Valley Jamboree 360 Virtual Tour

The more I do these, the easier they get. I literally put this together in one day. So much cooler than just a photo gallery.

Speaking of photo gallery. Here’s a photo gallery of Big Valley Jamboree 2013 too!

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How to add timecode to RAW video from Canon 5D Mark-III with Magic Lantern Hack

Posted by ryanjackson on Jul 4, 2013 in photos, Shot-by-Shot Explanation, training, video

I’ve been shooting RAW video with my Canon 5D Mark-III for a long term project and it’s simply otherworldly.

If you haven’t heard of this yet, the Magic Lantern firmware hack for Canon cameras allows you to shoot 24 1080p raw pictures per second now. Think of it as a continuous 24fps burst mode of raw pictures.
You batch convert those raw pictures into TIFF files and then change the image sequences into super-duper high quality video. Your Canon DSLR can now hold a candle to the RED camera or Black Magic Cinema camera. (Minus the professional workflow of course).

You have the same quality, dynamic range, colour control and exposure latitude as normal RAW still photos but with video!
The only downsides are file size (90MB/sec!), the need for expensive 1000X CF cards and processing time.

A hidden downside is the lack of timecode and metadata for your processed video.

Here you can see how the .mov file created by the raw2dng app has a file creation date different than the original video.

Here you can see how the .mov file created by the raw2dng app has a file creation date different than the original video. I shot the RAW video at 8:42pm on June 20th but the ProRes video file wasn’t created until July 4th so it will be out of order in Final Cut Pro.

 

If you import a video file created by raw2dng the video lacks timecode and therefor will be arranged by the wrong time.

If you import a video file created by raw2dng into FCPX, the video lacks timecode and therefor will be arranged by the wrong time in your event browser.  FCPX is all about metadata and you don’t want the video times to be wrong when working on a long-term project.

So here is my current workflow….

Step #1

Delete the preview .mov file created by raw2dng and convert your .dng files into TIFs using Photoshop. You will now have a folder full of .dng and .tif files.

Delete the preview .mov file created by raw2dng and convert your .dng files into TIFs using Photoshop. You will now have a folder full of .dng and .tif files.

Step #2

I've written a simple Applescript that will batch convert folders with TIFF files into 1080p24 ProRes422HQ video.

I’ve written a simple Applescript that will batch convert folders with TIFF files into 1080p24 ProRes422HQ video. It is included in the .zip file at the bottom of this post. If you just use the .mov files created by raw2dng then skip to Step #3.

The file creation date of our video file is different than the original RAW file.

The file creation date of our video file is different than the original RAW file.

Step #3

Run my other Applescript which changes the file creation date of the new .mov files to match the .RAW files of the same name. This works for batch folders.

Run my other Applescript which changes the file creation date of the new .mov files to match the .RAW files of the same name. This works for batch folders. You can find the script at the bottom of this post.

 

Now the .mov file creation date matches the original .RAW file. The video file still lacks timecode though.

Now the .mov file creation date matches the original .RAW file.
The video file still lacks timecode though.

Step #4

Get the QTchange app for Mac. The demo allows you to do 8 files at a time or you can buy it for only $25 which isn't bad. QTchange will add a timecode to the video files based on the file creation date that we set earlier.

Get the QTchange app for Mac. The demo allows you to do 8 files at a time or you can buy it for only $25 which is well priced.
QTchange will add a timecode to the video files based on the file creation date that we set earlier.

Now when we import our converted video files the date and timecode are correct!

Now when we import our converted video files the date and timecode are correct!

 

I’ve put the Applescripts used in this tutorial into a zip file you can download here.  Feel free to share with credit.

The TIFF to ProRes422HQ script will need to be modified before you run it on your computer. Launch the AppleScript Editor app on your mac and open the file. Change the file path of the “.set” settings file to match the location on your hard drive. There is also a small Applescript to create a new settings file if you don’t want ProRes.

I couldn’t have done this without the fantastic resources of MacScripter and the Apple Forums.  Enjoy!

 

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Building the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway in the Arctic

Posted by ryanjackson on Jun 10, 2013 in photos
NWT Inuvik to Tuk FP story -  Grizzly bears playon a frozen lake on the Arctic tundra just outside of Tuktoyaktuk, NWT. Photo: Ryan Jackson. June 10, 2013. Financial Post

Grizzly bears play on a frozen lake on the Arctic tundra just outside of Tuktoyaktuk, NWT. Photo: Ryan Jackson. June 10, 2013. Financial Post

NWT Inuvik to Tuk FP story -  Aerial shot of a collapsed pingo on the Arctic tundra. Pingoes are large mounds of earth that cover a core of ice. Tuktoyaktuk, NWT. Photo: Ryan Jackson. June 10, 2013. Financial Post

Aerial shot of a collapsed pingo on the Arctic tundra. Pingoes are large mounds of earth that cover a core of ice. Tuktoyaktuk, NWT. Photo: Ryan Jackson. June 10, 2013. Financial Post

NWT Inuvik to Tuk FP story -  Aerial shot of the houses  in the hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk, NWT. Photo: Ryan Jackson. June 10, 2013. Financial Post

Aerial shot of the houses in the hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk, NWT. Photo: Ryan Jackson. June 10, 2013. Financial Post

NWT Inuvik to Tuk FP story -  An excavator pushes mounds of earth during the first phase of construction of the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk highway. Tuktoyaktuk, NWT. Photo: Ryan Jackson. June 10, 2013. Financial Post

An excavator pushes mounds of earth during the first phase of construction of the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk highway. Tuktoyaktuk, NWT. Photo: Ryan Jackson.  June 10, 2013. Financial Post

NWT Inuvik to Tuk FP story -  The sun sits on the horizon during 24 hours of daylight over the Mackenzie River. Inuvik NWT. Photo: Ryan Jackson. June 11, 2013. Financial Post

The sun sits on the horizon during 24 hours of daylight over the Mackenzie River. Inuvik NWT. Photo: Ryan Jackson.  June 11, 2013.  Financial Post

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I went to Tuktoyaktuk with Financial Post reporter Jeff Lewis and Postmedia head of video Andeep Singh who was the producer.

In June I got the cool assignment of flying up to Inuvik in the North West Territories to film a story for the Financial Post (owned by the same company that owns the Edmonton Journal) about a new highway being built from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk on the Arctic Coast.

You can read the story and see the videos I shot:? Northern Promise: Arctic road to prosperity paved with obstacles.

Basically the only way to get to Tuktoyaktuk is by ice road, airplane or arctic sea. Building a real road to the hamlet would help lower food prices and could also potentially bring new jobs from oil and gas development.

It’s the kind of story that seems boring (it’s just a gravel road) but it can have a tremendous benefit to the people that live there and Canada if it results in more oil and gas production.

I can’t embed the videos in my blog unfortunately so you’ll have to see them here.

Usually I work by myself or with one reporter which means I have to juggle a lot of things at once.? It was great shooting as a three-person team for this story because I could focus more on the visuals, sound and and quality while Andeep could focus on the logistics and shot list and Jeff could focus on the story and interviews. I wish it could always be this way!

One of the coolest things about this trip was that they have 24-hour sunlight in June. At 3-am the sun is still high in the sky!

Here are a few behind the scenes photos:

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Here I am mounting suction cups in a helicopter for my DIY spinning gyro stabilizer.

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Balancing my Panasonic GH3 on my DIY gyro stabilizer.

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The hotels in Inuvik were sold out so we lodged in this floating work camp barge. When more workers are needed somewhere else, the whole thing can float away.

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Inuvik has the world’s most northern greenhouse.
You can watch a cute video we did about it here.

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I experimented with a new shooting rig for this trip.
I bought a DSLR cage on eBay and used it to keep my Canon 5D3, Beachtech audio mixer, accessories and 7″ Ikan monitor all together.
The rig is really heavy but that’s a good thing because it reduces shake. But now I need a bigger video tripod head!
I’ve since removed the 7″ monitor and replaced it with a bag to hold my wireless mics and I have my Panasonic GH3 on the rig now instead of my Canon 5D3.

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Here’s our first interview. I used the nice green paining as a background. To keep travel weight down I just packed a magic arm to hold my LED lights instead of a flash stand. There’s always a chair somewhere.

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This was the first of three interviews we did in the same room. We moved chairs around to give ourselves more room. This room was great because the walls were all painted different colours. This interview had a green background.

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The 7″ monitor really helped with checking focus and framing.
Though I prefer just using focus peaking with the Magic Lantern firmware hack on my Canon 5D3 now.

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For this interview I used the same green wall but moved further away from it so that it would be a darker green because there was less light falling on it.

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24-hour sunlight. This picture was taken at 11:38 PM !!!

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24-hour sunlight. This picture was taken at 2:11 AM !!!

 

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Building a DIY Spinning Gyro Stabilizer for Aerial Video

Posted by ryanjackson on Jun 9, 2013 in DIY

This summer I had a bunch of projects that required several hours of filming aerial video and photos. I wanted to get the smoothest possible video at an affordable price.

I knew I would use my Panasonic GH3 camera for a lot of the aerial video because it shoots 1080p60 at 50Mbits which would let me do a lot of slow motion.

A lot of great technology has become affordable lately for stabilizing your video camera.

There are two ways to stabilize your camera in a moving car or airplane. One is to use what I would call a robotic stabilizer with motors that counter move your camera to reduce shake.

Basically, if you turn your camera left, the motors will turn right to compensate.

The the gimbal system FreeFly MoVi made a lot of jaws drop when it was announced last year. Many similar and cheaper gyros and gimbals have also come on the market for smaller video cameras.

I plan to either buy or build one of these some day but for the time being I decided to build a more old fashioned stabilizer using spinning gyros.

The spinning gyro stabilizer has been around for years and is commercially made by Kenyon Labs. These are also known as gyros since there is a large spinning gyroscope inside which resists moving because it is spinning so fast.  They are expensive but work very well.

I wanted to try building my own version of the spinning gyro for fun.
I found this blog post about using toy gyroscopes to make a DIY camera stabilizer.  The gyros are small but they spin at 12,000 rpm so they resist movement pretty good.
I ordered four of the gyros for about $400 and bought a small Pelican case to hold them and dampen the sound of the motors.
I used aluminum L tubing, tape and a lot of zip ties to hold everything in place.

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A cheap 4-way macro slider from eBay would allow me to move the camera forwards, backwards or side to side for balance.

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Heavy duty suction cups from Princess Auto allowed me to mount the whole apparatus to the sunroof in my SUV.

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Here I am mounting it in a helicopter to do aerial video for this story

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Here I am using it in a truck. It worked really well for stabilizing the camera while driving.

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The result?… Since I’ve never used a real commercial motorized or spinning disk gyro I can’t really compare but I would say that the gyros did stabilize my light weight Panasonic GH3 more than if I was just hand holding it.

However for the price ($450+) of building the device, and the hassle of mounting the rig in an airplane I think I would rather rent a Kenyon Labs or Freefly Movi next time. My DIY solution was certainly better than nothing but didn’t make a huge night and day difference like I had hoped. Maybe night and sunrise.

Here you can see the ridiculous way I had to mount the rig in a Cessna airplane. Not super practical.

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I also found there were other things that made a bigger difference in the smoothness of aerial footage.  One big issue I had with my footage was rolling shutter also known as the “jello effect” when I zoomed in a lot with my GH3 and 14-140 IS kit lens.  The footage looked great at wide angles but when I zoomed in a lot, the micro vibrations of the airplane (and probably the gyros too) made the video unwatchable.

Any digital camera with a CMOS sensor will have this problem unfortunately. Way more expensive cameras have global shutters that don’t jello.

Also weather and time of day (heat) will dramatically effect the smoothness of your footage because of turbulence. I flew in small Cessna airplanes for $250/hour but was only able to get a few minutes of rock solid footage. The rest was bumpy garbage.   A helicopter costs more than $2000/hour but you can be way more productive and smooth in a helicopter compared to a Cessna.

One last thing. I edit in Final Cut Pro X and although it has a digital video stabilizer filter built-in, there is a way better filter called Lock and Load. For $99 it is worth every penny. Not only does it stabilizer better but it is also way faster at rendering.

Can you tell the difference?  About 2/3 of the footage in this video was shot with a Panasonic GH3 on my gyro stabilizer and 1/3 was shot handheld with a Canon 5D Mark-III shooting RAW video and a Zacuto loupe pressed against my face.  It was all shot in small Cessna airplanes which are super bumpy and rough to fly in hence wanting the stabilizer.

 

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Photographing the Grand Canyon

Posted by ryanjackson on May 17, 2013 in photos, Ryan's Life

A bunch of my friends, including myself, turned 30 this year so we planned a group trip to Vegas in May.
We wanted to do more than just party on the strip so we decided to spend a day hiking the Grand Canyon.

We rented a big SUV for the drive. It should have only taken us four hours to drive from Vegas to the Grand Canyon but we got lost several times and it ended up taking eight hours!
None of us had data on our iPhones because of expensive roaming charges so we couldn’t use Google Maps to direct us.
The lesson we learned is to buy a real paper map whenever you are traveling and also to get a Pay as you Go Wi-Fi travel hub

Here are some of my favorite photos of the Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon.  This is a great intermediate trail with lots of beautiful scenery that you can easily do in one day.

All shot with a Panasonic GH3 and kit lens which is a great travel camera.

I shot five different bracketed exposures and then blended the five pictures together using PhotoMatix Pro to make HDR images with a more saturated and intense look.
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Pictures can’t truly capture the Grand Canyon. You have to see it for yourself!

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Behind the scenes of “New Life for Old Curling Broom” film for 2013 Brier

Posted by ryanjackson on Feb 28, 2013 in photos, video

What happens when old corn brooms are replaced by newer brushes?
Journal videographer Ryan Jackson created a short film about one such broom for the 2013 Brier.

This whole thing was shot in only four hours! I used my hacked Panasonic GH2 cameras with Canon 24 f1.4L. 50 1.2L, 70-200 2.8L, and Olympus 7-14mm f4 lenses.

What happens when old corn brooms are replaced by newer brushes? Journal videographer Ryan Jackson created a short film about one such broom for the 2013 Brier.  To find out the fate of our old curling broom go to http://www.edmontonjournal.com/broom

What happens when old corn brooms are replaced by newer brushes?
Journal videographer Ryan Jackson created a short film about one such broom for the 2013 Brier.
To find out the fate of our old curling broom go to http://www.edmontonjournal.com/broom

All the volunteers showed up at 8-a.m. and had no idea what the script or anything was. I played them a rough cut video I made from the storyboard and we started curling!

All the volunteers showed up at 8-a.m. and had no idea what the script or anything was. I played them a rough cut video I made from the storyboard and we started curling!

Here is my original storyboard. I had thought it would be cool to have the rocks talking and picking on the broom but then I decided that talking rocks would be confusing so I just used music.I spent hours writing and re-writing the script to make it as simple and manageable as possible.  It's way easier to fix your script before you shoot than after!

Here is my original storyboard. I had thought it would be cool to have the rocks talking and picking on the broom but then I decided that talking rocks would be confusing so I just used music.
I spent hours writing and re-writing the script to make it as simple and manageable as possible.
It’s way easier to fix your script before you shoot than after!

This was the final shot of the day. I used gaffers tape to mask my 7" monitor to 2.35:1 aspect ratio to help with framing.

This was the final shot of the day. I used gaffers tape to mask my 7″ monitor to 2.35:1 aspect ratio to help with framing.

Jason Franson was helping me for the shoot and took this photo of me filming Carleigh Johnson with the broom.  I was able to pull the scene off with only two 500-LED light panels and one small 160-LED light panel to the right.

Jason Franson was helping me for the shoot and took this photo of me filming Carleigh Johnson with the broom. I was able to pull the scene off with only two 500-LED light panels and one small 160-LED light panel to the right.

 

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Timelapse video of Rexall Place transforming from Oilers ice to 2013 Brier curling rink

Posted by ryanjackson on Feb 27, 2013 in timelapse, video

Transition from an NHL hockey game to a curling match. Journal photographer Ryan Jackson took over 30,000 still images of Rexall Place from the beginning of the Oilers game on Saturday Feb. 23 till Tuesday Feb 26. for the 2013 Brier.

I used a Canon 1D-Mark III with an 8-15mm f4L lens @ 15mm. I filled two 32GB cards with 30,000 pictures taken every 10-seconds over four days.

I used a Canon 1D-Mark III with an 8-15mm f4L lens @ 15mm. I filled two 32GB cards with 30,000 pictures taken every 10-seconds over four days.

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Interactive view of Princess Diana’s Tiara

Posted by ryanjackson on Feb 4, 2013 in 360 Panoramas, photos

To help promote the Princess Diana exhibit going on at West Edmonton Mall , Lucas Timmons and I photographed her Tiara and made an interactive 360-degree gallery.

I shot 36 pictures straight on and 36 pictures at a 45-degree angle using a motorized turntable.

Lucas then put the images together into an interactive spinning player using the very cool and lighweight jQuery Reel.

For a 360-degree view of Princess Diana's tiara go to http://www.edmontonjournal.com/life/diana-celebration/tiara/index.html

For a 360-degree view of Princess Diana’s tiara go to http://www.edmontonjournal.com/life/diana-celebration/tiara/index.html

I used a spinning serving tray from Ikea and covered it in black tape. I then used a small continuous servo motor http://www.phidgets.com/products.php?category=22&product_id=3202_0 connected to a Phidget server controller http://www.phidgets.com/products.php?category=11&product_id=1061_1 and my laptop. I timed the servo so it would turn the table 10-degrees, wait 5-seconds for me to take a picture , turn 10-degrees, wait 5-seconds for me to take a picture, etc. for 360-degrees.

I used a spinning serving tray from Ikea and covered it in black tape.
I then used a small continuous servo motor connected to a Phidget server controller and my laptop.
I timed the servo so it would turn the table 10-degrees, wait 5-seconds for me to take a picture , turn 10-degrees, wait 5-seconds for me to take a picture, etc. for 360-degrees.

The little tire is from an old Meccano set.

The little tire is from an old Meccano set.

Here's Lucas Timmons smiling politely.

Here’s Lucas Timmons smiling politely. I used one 24×36 soft box as my main light and two lights with grids behind to make the tiara sparkle.

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