Google+ Followers

I'm now selling my photos!!!

I now host galleries of my favorite photos @ Feel free to surf over there to see photo's that may have drifted into the darkest reaches of the archives here on Blogspot.

I also have begun selling my photographs when requested, I can handle most sizes and finishes either locally or via my on-line printing service.

Thanks for looking!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

On The Rocks.

That was the phrase going through my mind Friday night. It may have been the cold, it may have been that there was a lot of bare rock that I was looking at. All I know is it was kind of annoying really.

So, I went to my usual favorite place, Goblin Valley State Park last Friday. I know I need to branch out, but I keep telling people about it and they want me to take them there. My bad I guess. I was worried that it would be cloudy, as it was cloudy in Salt Lake but the night was pretty much clear as a bell. No moon until later so it was a nice night for Milky Way shots.

On a technical note: ISO 3200 is a starting point with your lens wide open and 30s exposure, beyond that, you just have to play with it and look at your histograms closely. And a really steady tripod.

Two airplanes and the Milky Way in the sky, lit up tent in the foreground. Works for me!

I am not a huge selfie fan, but I hardly think this is your usual selfie. I was trying to stay warm more than anything else really.

For these next three I did something interesting, I went from a 8mm Fisheye with 180 degrees of view from corner to corner, to a 17mm lens wide open at f2.8, and, with this shot up to 6400 ISO I got a lot more noise AND a lot more star activity in the sky.

Going back to 3200 ISO I started working on my light painting technique. Using a simple headlamp, a Black Diamond Storm if you care to know. My first attempts put WAY too much light on the rocks, a nice problem to have.  Eventually I figured it out, of this framing, this was the best.

Now this was quite a bit more difficult, if you noticed above the rocks are not as well lit as below, which is OK, the problem becomes getting the sky looking right and the rocks the right color. I solved this by creating two layers in photoshop and color balancing the top layer correctly for the  rocks, then making the under layer correct for the sky. I then erased the sky from the top layer leaving only the foreground rocks (not as easy as it sounds) and then flattened them down. Leaving me with this. I am excited to try to print this and see how it looks. Could be a good one!

Early the next morning, I woke to frost on the INSIDE of the windshield, and the light just staining the sky to the east. The temp was in the mid to upper 20's F, and I am prepared enough to be able to shoot in those temps. In fact I was too hot by the time I hiked down to the valley of the goblins! Nice problem to have if you ask me.

While hiking down my old friends the "Three Sisters" were standing vigil off the side of the road. Took a picture to say "Hi!" and kept on hiking so I could be set up for first light.

This would work better as a sunset shot, I had to work the HDR route to get the sky and foreground to talk to each other. Loved the frost and snowy spots.

Moving back up I began to search for the perfect first light shot. This is one composition I really liked, but I began to realize that a butte was going to mess with my light. sigh.

Moving up higher, Molly's Castle was starting to get light so I quickly set up for it, REALLY liked it.

Turning around and moving 30ft I set up for "The Shot" I have wanted to get the Iconographic shot the epitomizes Goblin Valley. I think this is close, I again had to go the 5 shot bracket and HDR technique to get the light balanced properly. I think I avoided the really outre HDR look, and kept it natural. What do you think?

Thanks again for coming to look, enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Old Friends.

Every so often there is a convergence of some ineffable and unknown factors that creates something wonderful. Peanut Butter and Chocolate. Ferrari's and twisty mountain roads. Hot Cocoa and crisp fall mornings. For me it is my Pentax SMC 24mm f2.8 lens and my Pentax K200d camera. They combine in some way to create photos that speak to me. The focal length frames up just right for me eye on APS-C and the sensor creates pleasing colors. Now neither are up to current spec, the mirror on the K200 is a bit clanky, especially compared with my K5, & the resolution is only 10MP, but I can live with that. I am willing to carry the K200 with me in my backpack on a daily basis and with the 24mm it makes a nice fairly lightweight and unobtrusive combo. Which means it is ready to go at the drop of a hat.

On successive Mondays I just HAD to take a few moments and take some photos, that is my decompression time. Plus great clouds on crisp fall afternoons make photography even more tempting. I see this flag every time I work at the University and walk back to the light rail. I wanted to put the sun behind the flag but would have been standing in a tree. Played with black and white and desaturating all but the flag, but it didn't work.

Some buildings are just wrong, design, execution, detail. In some (many) ways this is that: just plain wrong. It doesn't fit with the older buildings next to it. No graceful curves, just cubist lines and mirrored sides. Yet... beauty can be found even in things you don't like.

The contrast between organic and inorganic, straight lines and chaotic curves.

Is it a jarring monument to modern design, a sharp edged chisel jammed into the sky, or is it an accent, a foil, that emphasizes the differences enhancing both in the process?

Maybe both, or none.

I feel a photo essay coming on spending a day comparing and contrasting the old with the new...

It is a nice place for a selfie though.

Monday, November 3, 2014

One Fine Day!

So... one of my best friends has a daughter who asked me to take some photos of her, her date and 3 more couples at a local high school dance being held at the State Capitol Building. Never one to turn down a chance to make a quick buck I agreed. You will however not see those photos here, I haven't asked if I can use them for publicity purposes and that could get me in trouble. What you get here is the photos I took before and after, why because that is more fun. I really don't like people photography that much, I am far too critical to feel relaxed doing that kind of stuff.

Yeah a flower photo, I don't really post that many so you can no roll your eyes and label me an amateur just because I took a pic of a flower... just to kinda get warmed up.

I had about an hour after I got off work and before the paying customers arrived. So I took off my shoes and socks and waded into the pool to play with my favorite perspective and see if I could come up with something interesting. I had to stitch two photos together to get it all in. I think I may have gotten a little too close. This is still my best shot I think. 

During the shoot the light became, more than somewhat awesome, so I snapped off a quick shot, this was taken with my 28mm f3.5, which was a perfect lens for the work of taking group pictures without wide angle distortion. 

After it was all said and shot I just HAD to try to capture the light. I really do like this building. A. Lot.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Missed a few.....

Occasionally I troll back through the archives to see if I have missed processing anything. Found some. These were taken with my older 10MP K200d and my really old Pentax SMC 135mm f2.5 lens. This is actually a really REALLY killer combo. The photo below is heavily cropped, it is sharp. Really sharp, at 100% Love this lens, I really do!

Gone on a Walk About

I really need to make the time for photography nowdays. It used to come easier, but life intrudes constantly. Anyway, I decided to get crazy to spark some madness and took a single prime (non-zoom) lens with me to work last Monday and do some walking between light rail stops on my way home. The madness part was the focal length: 300mm. This is not a common FL for general photography I agree, but like I said, I was trying to spark some madness to get my creative juices flowing. It is a highly restrictive field of view on APS-C cameras and takes extra care to avoid blurriness from hand holding. Because I am just not going to take my tripod too. That is too crazy for a wandering kind of day. I was both frustrated and inspired by that cramping of my style, I definitely liked some of my shots, and really didn't like a lot of them too.

Shadows are a favorite subject, and shooting in the late afternoon makes shadows easy to find. This detail of the chain on a fire hydrant spoke to me of everyday objects that become extra-ordinary in the right circumstances. Integral to the safety of the public every few years, and mysterious in the afternoon light.

I have always been drawn to patterns and order. Sometimes having something different irritates me to no end, other times it is a delightful accent. Often the thing that is different brings the counterpoint  that simultaneously enhances the beauty of the orderly pattern and is beautiful in its own right.

The progression from health to decay and death is a natural one, repeated seasonally, yearly and over generations and lifetimes. I have had an image in my mind I need to photograph one day of the hands of a baby, a mother & an.... more mature mother. Birth, vital life & gentle fading away in one photo, black and white, dramatically lit. Until then, this captures that concept in another type of subject. The fading of brilliant green into yellow then dead brown without the full leaf capturing the potential of a golden moment.

Old buildings present endless opportunities for things to become more beautiful as they age. I kind of wish they had left this cornerstone unpainted. But, then it would have been less interesting.

Again, shadows rear their head, the texture of the ageing plywood is what attracted me the most. Patterns, unseen objects casting shadows, textures.

Ah, an old friend, I have taken several shots down the length of this street towards this building, I really like the compression I am getting from the longer focal length. May need to try on a colder day, at full resolution you can see how heat shimmer blurred the capitol building.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Looking for Aurora Borealis! (But coming up empty...)

A couple of weeks ago I went looking for the Aurora Borealis that were supposed to be widespread and at much further south latitudes than almost ever seen before. Nope, they were a no show. BUT I did take the opportunity while I was out there to shoot the Milky Way, I really had not gotten shots of the Milky Way before that I really liked. Now I can say I am getting closer!

On a technical note, there are a few things you need to do to prepare for this type of thing:

1) Get a really steady, solid, rock solid, thermonuclear proof Tripod & Head combination. 30 second exposures at high ISO are demanding, your support should be helping not hurting.

2) A Headlight that has a red setting so you don't destroy your night vision helps you a LOT!

3) Knowing where your lens focuses at infinity helps to make your shots sharp. Most of the time you will be shooting wide open or barely stopped down. Correct focus is critical.

4) Get a cable release with a timer and use the bulb setting on your camera AND learn how to use it.

So, technical info: I was shooting at ISO 3200 for most of these shots, f4-4.5 for my aperture and 30 second exposures. Cable release in bulb mode, or manual, depending on the shot. With the 2 second timer (Mirror Lock Up Mode) engaged to reduce vibration. I also only extended my first (larger) section of my tripod legs to make it more stable. I have had some shots ruined from having it set too high and getting a little shifting.

The hardest part of this was aiming the lens, you really cannot see the Milky Way through the viewfinder, putting a little bit of landscape in the frame and lighting it with a flashlight can help you set things up. Sometimes you just have to guess. It also helps to remember to stay out of the frame. On this first shot you can see my profile on the lower left edge where I stood for part of the exposure. sigh...

I have really wanted to take a cool selfie, not just the dorky ones people do with their cell phones. This is a start.

I am now facing East towards the rising Moon. There is still some Milky Way in the frame and some clouds for drama. The white balance part of the equation was hard trying to make the sky look nice without making the clouds look mongo funky.

As an experiment I liked this, don't think it is saleable, but I like the richness of the color.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Labor Day Morning: Rio Grande Depot, Salt Lake City

I normally don't drive when I work uptown, I would much rather ride the train. UNfortunately on labor day, certain groups of people tend to NOT want to work, even when us healthcare workers still need to be there. Have to say that despite the myriad pluses to my career as a PT, working holidays and weekends is a bit of a downer. I mean, REALLY, can't you people stop getting sick or needing surgery for a weekend so we can just shut the place down and take a week off? sigh....

Where was I? Oh yeah, I had to drive to work so I left early and took my camera and tripod. Challenges ensued, were overcome and pictures taken. See below for the shots I liked.

This shot was a LOT tougher than you might think, really had to pick the right exposure to not blow the sign out, and then bring up the shadows like a madman. Sorta like it, a lot!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Up in the Mountains!

Not sure what it is but droplets of water collecting on things just please me. Hiking with my brother last month I saw these leaves and HAD to stop and take a few shots. Only had my Sigma 17-70 not my macro lens, but I still like what I got. The first one is my favorite, and I spent the most time on it.

My bro.

The skies were kinda nice too!

Oregon Coast!!!!

No place like the Oregon Coast. Lovely scenery and always a LOT cooler than inland.

These trees were right off the path at Hug Point south of Cannon Beach. I (again) had never been there though we had driven past it before. This first shot was edited in camera, the only post processing was adding the frames and watermarks.

This one I messed with in Photoshop, trying to bring up the shadows as much as possible. Kinda think I like the first one....

Desultory shots of Canon Beach, really glad the fog burned off AFTER the two shots above.

Driving back in to Hillsboro I spotted a nice little open space under the trees, I jumped out and shot a bit, but lacking tripod it was hard....