Monday, May 31, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: Amanda, in Front of the Window

Lou O'Bedlam's photos are breathtaking--so many that are so good, it's difficult to choose the best to represent his work. Check out his photo stream and decide for yourself. I love this one because it's both perfectly framed and lit, and because the pose, the pensive look over the shoulder, the hands protectively folded over the breast, give Amanda a vulnerable beauty that is highly compelling. O'Bedlam has captured a deeply soulful moment in this beautiful portrait.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Willis

Willis, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
Uncle Willis at his home near Kidron, Ohio. Sometimes the best candid photos are the ones where the subject doesn't know he's being photographed. In this case, I shot with the camera in my lap, using my brand new wide angle lense, and got lucky (back in the days before the instant feedback of a digital camera!). I like the inclusion of my feet in the foreground, too, which, to me, gives the photo an intimate feel.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Photo of the Day: Twilight

Twilight, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
The storm coming in was so dark and brooding, and so beautiful, that I had to get some pictures of it, even though it was well past the time when there was enough light for photos. This was a longish exposure, stopped down further to emphasize the brooding clouds, shot RAW and later converted to black and white. I love the ominous effect in produced.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: H I G H K E Y P O R T R A I T

H I G H K E Y P O R T R A I T, originally uploaded by manganite.
Thomas Lottermoser takes gorgeous photos that would make a perfect master class in lighting the nude. Seriously--I think you could spend a very productive week recreating the best of his photos, figuring out how he lit them, and by the end of the week you'd be a master at lighting the human figure. This one's a bit of an anomaly, actually, in that the lighting is very direct and high key; but it shares, with Lottermoser's other photos, a mastery of line and pose. Check out the rest of his collection; they're great portraits.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Opening Weekend

Opening Weekend, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
Opening weekend last year, Daniel wanted to try his hand at fishing. So, a good friend of ours volunteered to take him out and show him the ropes, since I'm not much of an angler myself. He had a great time, and caught his limit! Thanks, Petrina, for sharing your expertise and giving Daniel an experience he'll long remember. I shot this photo from across the pond, loving the reflections in the still water.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Photo of the Day: Easter egg artist

Easter egg artist, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
We dyed Easter eggs in our hotel room in Cannon Beach. Here, David works his artistry on one of the eggs. I bounced the flash off the ceiling and wall to the right to give the photo a soft natural light.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: Film

Film, originally uploaded by [ e ll a ].
"Ella" doesn't have many photos on Flickr, but I definitely like this one. Simple, starkly lit from the side, a little too close, making the photo feel almost uncomfortably intimate, the eyes lit by some inner thought... it's unnervingly captivating. The slightly grainy, slightly scratched appearance, presumably because it's on "film" rather than digital, somehow only adds to overall feel of captured intimacy.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Rascher wedding

Rascher wedding, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
In May 1992, my friend Jeanne and I attended a wedding of two of her friends near Springfield Illinois. I captured this great shot of them kissing, using a softening filter.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Photo of the Day: Trinity

Trinity, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
We dyed Easter Eggs on March 30, in our hotel room at Cannon Beach. Of all the photos I took of the event, I like this one the best: a sill life study of eggs in a bowl. Sometimes it's the simple things that are most beautiful!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: lisa

lisa, originally uploaded by dopamineharper.
I have no idea who "dopanine harper" is, or even if it's a "he" or a "she." Whoever it is, her (because I think it's a her) photos are fascinating, unique perspectives, captured moments. This one's my favorite: a solitary, reflective moment perfectly preserved in black and white, lit by natural lighting.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Congratulations, old friend

I shot this photo at a reception honoring friends of ours who were celebrating their 50th anniversary. I love the over-the-shoulder perspective, and the way the light shines both on the face of Mr. Bewley, and out from it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Photo of the Day: She looks like her mother

I'm struck by how much Kiley is beginning to look like her mother. I took this photo on the beach at Cannon Beach, as the wind ruffled her hair and the stung her fair complexion. I also like the faraway look in her eyes as she looks out to sea. What you don't see, of course, are her hands buried in the sand and mud!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Guest Portrait of the Day: Marina

Marina, originally uploaded by Oleg Igorin.
Like all of Igorin's photos, this one is very carefully lit in a studio setting. It's hardly a candid photo. Yet he's managed to capture some of the soul behind the eyes, even in this controlled environment. It's reflected in the slightly too wide eyes, the slightly parted lips, the flex in the neck muscles, and it's beautiful.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Angela

Angela, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
Angela was one of my closest friends in the spring of 1994. She was attending classes at Oregon State University, but was originally from the Dominican Republic. Here, she surveys the shattered landscape at Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. The bleak setting of seemingly endless devastation serves as a fascinating backdrop for this photo.

This photo is in honor of today's 30th anniversary of the most devastating eruption of Mt. St. Helens in recent history, on May 18, 1980.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Photo of the Day: The waters rose and covered the mountains

On the afternoon of March 30, the high tide at Cannon Beach reached its highest level in a month on either side--possibly even higher, since it was driven further by high surf from storms sweeping down from Alaska. This is the view from our hotel balcony, looking south. Not technically an extraordinary photo, but I love the way the whole earth looks like it's covered by water, an effect enhanced by the curvature of the horizon caused by my wide angle lens.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: Benoit P

, originally uploaded by Benoit.P.
Benoit takes a lot of portraits, and most of them look like they're of people he just happened to pass on the street. "Excuse me, sir, miss, would you mind if I took your picture?" I wonder what the story was with this one, a young woman underdressed in the rain. How did he get her to stop a minute longer so he could take her photo? Maybe the look on her face is resignation: I'm already soaked, what's another moment? The result is deeply compelling: a portrait of a passing soul.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Judging in good company

A few weeks ago, Jay Satz, the regional vice president of the Student Conservation Association, asked me if I would consider being a judge for their annual photo contest. "One of the other judges is Ken Burns," he said.

I looked at him, waiting for the punch line, and when it didn't come, I sputtered, really? You want me to judge photos alongside Ken Burns, as if I were anywhere close to his caliber in anything regarding visual communication? "We really like your photos," he said. "Your photos have been very good for SCA."

It's true, I take a lot of pictures in the course of my job as Volunteer Program Manager at Mount Rainier National Park. I believe in the power of photos to tell compelling stories. Many of those images have been of SCA interns and crews working in the field, or of volunteer groups being led by SCA crew leaders.  But Ken Burns?

Well, the photo contest is set to go public in a few days, and I'm listed as one of the judges, first in the list due to the luck of the alphabet. Other judges include Katy Barnes, staff photographer at the Concord Monitor and an SCA alumn; Dan Eldridge, professional photographer and also an SCA alumn; Jay Heinrichs, editor of Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine; and of course Ken Burns, filmmaker at Florentine Films, ten-time Emmy Award winner, two-time Oscar nominee, and recipient of twenty honorary degrees. I figure they needed a good cross-section of talent to do the judging, and thus needed someone to balance all that talent!

You can judge for yourself whether I'm being overly humble. But I definitely feel humbled. Nevertheless, I'm eagerly looking forward to seeing the photos. The contest will be open to submissions through July 11, so log on and send yours in! And as I'm judging your photos, feel free to judge mine. Some of my best are here in this blog. Your comments and feedback are welcome, and may help me, someday, to feel comfortable on the same page as one of "the most influential documentary makers" of all time.

Archive Photo of the Day: Swimsuit Model

Swimsuit Model, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
The title, of course, is tongue in cheek, as Katie is only, what, about nine years old. But she's clearly having a good time at her July 4th birthday party, playing in the slip-'n'-slide, with her carefully braided hair beginning to come undone.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Photo of the Day: Snow and Sun

Snow and Sun, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
We went snowshoeing in March, on what turned out to be a gorgeous day at Mount Rainier National Park. I snapped this photo of David playing in the snow above the parking lot, with the Tatoosh Range in the background framed by old subalpine firs.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: she had a phobia of strangers

she had a phobia of strangers, originally uploaded by holly.skye.
Holly Skye is another of many photographers whose photos seem, to me, overly staged and "artistic." In my humble opinion, the ones that are most beautiful and affecting are those like this one that achieve that artistic transcendance by working with a natural subject, without the artifice of props and staged drama. The nearly monochrome look of this one, the haunting look in the woman's eyes, the passive cat whose attention is clearly elsewhere... it all combines to make this a very intriguing photo.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day; sugarbush

sugarbush, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
I took this photo on a gorgous spring day in 1991 at the Merry Lea Environmental Center's sugarbush near Fort Wayne, Indiana. I like the repetition in the composition, with trees disappearing into the distance in gradually smaller sizes, and the simple color scheme. Scanned from a photographic slide.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Photo of the Day: Ready for the Recital

Ready for the Recital, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
In March, Daniel participated in a piano recital at our local hardware store (you've got to love small towns!). He wanted to dress up for his performance, and though the tie was uncomfortable, he kept it on through the whole event. And he sure looked good! This was a semi-posed shot: posed in the sense that I told him to pose, semi in the sense that I took the picture before he knew I was going to.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: Lagunas y pausas

Lagunas y pausas, originally uploaded by ibán ramón.
A simple shot, by Ibán Ramón, but so nicely composed. I love these portraits from an unexpected angle; and as you surely know by now, I love the ones where the subject isn't looking directly into the camera and smiling like a Cheshire Cat. This one, you wonder what she's thinking, what's behind those eyes, causing the soul to shine through.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Mothers against Multiple Sclerosis

Mom at Pioneer Square in the spring of 2009, participating in the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's awareness walk on behalf of my sister and people like her who struggle with MS every day.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Photo of the Day: Cannon Beach Sunset (Series 4)

Anoter from my series of a stunning sunset on Cannon Beach at the end of March. This photo captures the sunset at its most transcendent, as the sun was about to sink into the clouds on the horizon and the rocks in the foreground were starkly silhouetted, even as the clouds were rimmed with light.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: Sofia, 21 years old, student and photographer

George Worst has some of the (forgive me) best portrait photography, though I think sometimes he tries too hard, dressing people up in costumes and photographing them making odd expressions. Sometime it works, making a photo look whimsical, but mostly it just looks awkward to me. This photo, by contrast, is simple, elegant, and exceptionally beautiful.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Archive photo of the day: sugarbush group

sugarbush group, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
A school group arrives at the Merry Lea Environmental Center's sugarbush near Fort Wayne, Indiana, led by Dr. Larry Yoder. I love the composition of this photo, framed by the trees and disappearing into the blurred background, with a sense of action and excitement in the stance of the participants. Scanned from a photographic slide captured in autumn 1991.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Photo of the Day: Cannon Beach Sunset (Series 3)

Another from my series of photos from Canon Beach in late March. What I love about this photo is the saturated colors, from the sun to its reflection in the clouds and sky.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: Day 9 - Holding On

Day 9 - Holding On, originally uploaded by Ivan Makarov.
Ivan Makarov does gorgeous things with light, pattern, and color. But the photos I like best are his intimate photos of kids and babies, and none more than this one. Two hands--nothing more--and yet the photo conveys so much more than that.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Skunk

Skunk, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
Skunk is the beloved pet of one of our best friends. She's quite shy (the cat, not the friend!) and was watching me intently as I took her picture. I especially like how, if you blow the picture up, you can actually see my reflection in the eyes of the cat.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Photo of the Day: Cannon Beach Sunset (Series 2)

This was, to put it mildly, an extraordinary sunset. I took so many photos, most of them in "RAW" format, which I could then adjust to better resemble the actual light I witnessed. What I love about this photo, in particular, is the gorgeous, full-camera palet of light, from the clouds at the top to their irridescent reflection in the wet sand of the foreground.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: valerie en enouk

valerie en anouk, originally uploaded by soleá.
Many of Carmen Gonzalez's photos are high key, washed out, lit in ethereal light. Sometimes that works for me, sometimes it doesn't. This one's an anomaly, actually, in her body of work: a naturalistic photo. But like all of her photos, the expression reflects a deep inner reflectiveness. There's always something going on behind the eyes of her subjects.