Montenegro mellow | Travel Photography by Evan Mitsui

Tying the Montenegran flag onto the MacGreggor 26

“Can we sail this boat into the Adriatic?”, I asked. “No, I don’t trust it. This is a bay boat”, captain Boris answered. Our 26-foot MacGreggor motor-sailor planed over the wind-rippled surface of the Bay of Kotor. Tacking into the wind, the main sail shifting from port to starboard, our heads ducking out of the path of the boom as Boris worked the lines.

Our captain, doing his best not to go down with the ship while sailing on the Bay of Kotor.

Bull-like and tanned, Captain Boris’ white polo shirt covered a beer-keg stomach, his face shaded under a captains hat given to him by a Lake Michigan tanker pilot. Born and raised in the hamlet of Strp – a cluster of 20 or so ancient homes perched on the steep shores of Kotor Bay, Montenegro – our captain, operating on generations of hand-me-down local’s knowledge, shifted the sails at just the right time, filling the canvas with warm, early afternoon air pouring down the steep mountains rimming the bay, the sailboat angling back towards the dock.

This is stop two of a two-week whirlwind tour of Europe – my first venture into the Old Country – and the longest period we’ll have in one spot. Five days at the ‘Montenegro house’, the summer getaway belonging to my girlfriend’s father, whom I met for the first time at the tiny Podgorica airport a day prior… but that’s another story altogether. (The key points are, he is a former Russian soldier and I am still alive… We drank wine from a barrel and I didn’t crash his yacht. Things went well, I’d say).

So good. The opening course of yet another amazing Montenegro meal.

Montenegro is dream of a place. Walking down the centuries-old cobble stones of the walled city of Kotor is like dropping in on an HBO special on Rome or perhaps an episode of The Game of Thrones (which was shot just down the road in Dubrovnik, Croatia). The central church in Kotor is 1200 years old. The night club just around the corner is significantly younger, but given the Mediterranean climate and general vacation-vibe, its not hard to picture Romans boozing and wenching while their trimarines bobbed in the bay just outside the city’s walls.

And the food. Amongst the freshest and best tasting I’ve had the pleasure of gorging on. Squid stuffed with mussels wrapped in cured meats = mega awesome. Four star meals on a two-star budget. The wine is even tasty to boot and everything is local. The local delicacy is Black Risotto, which is a kind of seafood salad where the arborio rice is dyed black from squid ink. Our hosts made theirs with bits of calamari and mussels. That alone is worth the flight (which isn’t much from any of the major Western European airports and even less if you’re coming from Moscow, which is less than three hours away, which makes Montenegro a go-to for vacationing Moskovites).

For the rest of the Euro Trip photos, check out these links to Flickr sets from each city we visited, roughly in the order we hit them. First was Paris, then Montenegro, Vienna (and Frankfurt) and Prague.

Along with being an amazing trip, this was my first crack at using my new Fuji X100 – one of the growing number of micro-4/3rds style cameras cropping up. It was a dream to use and its 35mm equivalent, f2 lens is ultra sharp. Sweet retro body style and leather case make it a pretty slick travel companion as well.




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Perth, Ontario Wedding Photography by Evan Mitsui | Andrea + Scott

Andrea and Scott enjoy a sundown smooch in Perth, Ontario.

Andrea and Scott’s was the first wedding I’ve photographed in Ontario since moving to Toronto just over a year ago. It was great to take a four hour drive to Perth instead of a flight to Vancouver, where the bulk of my wedding work still goes down. It was also a great opportunity to checkout the quaint little Ontario town which proved to be an ideal location for a summertime wedding.

Code’s Mill Inn housed the wedding party and the park just out back held the ceremony – white chairs and a piper – while Andrea and her bridesmaids walked the grass. Elegant and understated, the tall willow trees lining the river running through the park provided welcome shade from a baking hot sun.

The beautiful summer sky made for a great backdrop and I tried to shoot directly against it, bringing up the subjects (i.e. Andrea and Scott and their wonderfully inviting family members) with off-camera speedlights set on lightstands or clamped to the backs of chairs.

My amazing girlfriend, peach that she is, was good enough to help with the lights and wrangling guests into position for portraits. And Andrea and Scott were kind enough to seat us both for dinner and invite us to brunch at an aunt’s nearby cottage the day after the wedding.

It was a fantastic day and I hope A & S are as happy with their pictures as I was to take them.

From here, I’ll let the pictures do the talking. Enjoy.


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Toronto engagement photos | Adrian + Liz Lakeshore love birds

Ice cream time.

Took advantage of a welcome break in the weather to shoot these engagement photos down on the Lakeshore. Brilliant day and a great chance to meet my friend and fellow CBC’er, Adrian Ma’s lovely fiancee, Liz.

Another first… this was my first engagement shoot in Toronto after moving from Vancouver about this time last year for my day job on the CBC Photo desk! Where, not-so-coincidentally, I met Adrian, who can be found with his nose buried in a yet-to-be released paper back over at CBC Books.

I’ll keep this one short as we’ll catch up with Adrian and Liz again in October, when we’ll connect again for their wedding!

For now, congrats you two! And now, the photos! Or, if you’re lighting inclined… a bit about how I shot these follows.

—-Warning: Photo Tech babble—-

Also, this was my first ‘pro’ shoot with the new FujiX100 – a camera I bought with travel in mind. One of its many nifty features is a leaf shutter, which allows for some pretty fancy high-speed sync potential with external flashes, which is how I lit most of these shots… the up-side being nice exposures in noon-day sun that would require a lot more battery umpf than my Nikon speedlights can offer up, save for recycle-time-sucking full-power blasts. The dSLR’s most shooters are packing these days tend to sync normally up to about 1/250th of a second, which just isn’t quite fast enough to render a nice background from a vast lake reflecting untold gazillions of sensor-nuking particles of light…

I’m pretty happy with the results and, to boot, these were all shot in jpg only (the X100 is RAW capable, I just wanted to see what we’d get straight outta camera).




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Three Seasons and the Move | Shooting in the dark with theX100s » blog | evan mitsui dot com - […] Three Seasons and the Move Thursday night at Clinton’s. The band – whom I met at a wedding I photographed last summer for a mutual friend (and occasional band member) – asked to use a […]

#Jan25 Portraits from Egypt’s Revolution | CBC Photojournalism

The view from my hotel room

Overlooking the Nile from my hotel room in Garden City, on the edge of Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo.

January 2012 was a busy month, not the least because of the amazing opportunity I had to travel to Cairo, Egypt for the CBC’s online coverage of the Arab Spring anniversary on the 25th – which coincidentally was the first overseas assignment for our fledgling CBC Photo desk, a huge honour, IMHO. During my ten days in Egypt I had the pleasure of working with veteran foreign correspondent Margaret Evans. Our assignment was to produce a series of ‘audio/visual portraits’ – a look at life in Egypt a year after the January 25, 2011 overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. The largely youth-led revolution ended nearly three decades of Mubarak-rule over Egypt and ended after peaceful protests turned deadly violent. The revolution is referred to collectively in the Twitter-verse as #Jan25.

Margaret Evans at work in Egypt

Margaret running an interview in just another dingy room in God-knows-where

Margaret – who’d self identify as a radio reporter – and I combined our strengths (mine being making the pictures and getting coffee) and produced four multimedia pieces that launched the CBC’s online coverage in the days leading up to the revolution’s anniversary on Jan. 25, 2012.

I thought what I’d do is breakdown the pieces – my story behind the story, as it were – here on the blog. This first post then focuses on a portrait-driven interactive our code-guru’s back at the plant crafted. All I did was shoot the pics and write the cutlines.

For the portraits to come together, Margaret, who’d had our fixer (his picture is included in the gallery below) line up a few interviews with prominent figures in the revolt ahead of our arrival, would gather her audio and run the interview, then I’d quickly scope our location for a suitable place to shoot. Over the course of the 10 days we had together on the ground, I worked an often run-and-gun style portrait into the schedule so, by the time we were ready to pull out, there would be a collection of images from which to build the interactive. Included here are a few of my favourites. To see them all, head to the interactive: CBC’s Faces of the Egyptian Revolution. From here, I’ll let the photos and their cutlines do the talking.

For detailed cutlines and some more pictures from the trip, check out my Flickr Set embedded at the bottom of the post.

The retired general now works as a labour organizer
Talaat MussalamSheikh Mazhar ShahinSaadawi lives in a highrisse building to avoid being identified on the streetsOutspoken and persecutedTaking fiveOur fixer in CairoBahalwn ran in the local election but did not winTrade unionist and business ownerEgyptian trade unionist facing arrested during revolution crack down
EteweyUnionist expelled during the revolutionUnionist expelled during the revolutionPhotographed in CairoSamira Ibrahim, suing the military for virginity testThe view from my hotel roomMargaret Evans at work in Egypt

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Kootenay Ski Photography | Panorama + RK Heliski


Just got some great news, looks like Ski Canada Magazine ran a feature article using shots from this trip in their January 2012 edition! Woot. Check out Welcome Home at Panorama. Thanks Ski Can!

—February 2, 2011—-

Winter is back and the La Nina effect is in full swing on the coast. It’ll be a few weeks until I get my first turns of the year (not much in the way of snow out here in Toronto at the moment), but I’ll be back in B.C. for the ‘hols in December. ‘Till then, here is a little ski stoke from last season. Winter! We missed you.



Into the deep with RK Heli


Panorama – Dumping in the doughnut hole

Its been two weeks since I returned from Panorama and RK Heli Skiing and I think my toes have just thawed out. 10 days in ski boots (some of which at -30 C, hanging out the open door of a helicopter) have turned my big toes black with a touch of frost bite… but I’m not complaining! Its a small price to pay for this amazing gig. Our timing couldn’t have been better too with our arrival in Panorama, B.C. lining up with a storm that dumped what one old timer called the best snow in 20 years smack dab in the middle of ‘The Doughnut’.

‘The doughnut?’, you ask. Hit the jump to dive in deep.

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A winters worth | B.C. backcountry ski photography » Freestylephotoblog - […] year, 2011 also marked my first days heliskiing. Here is where you can see those shots from RK Heli. But, while awesome in its own right, touring for your turns is its own kinda magic. You can talk […]

The road to paradise | Jumbo Wild story in KMC magazine » blog | evan mitsui dot com - […] April I got the chance to revisit a spot I’d been to once before, on a very different assignment, and have felt drawn to ever since. By this point, news of Jumbo Glacier Resort’s long, […]