Thursday, September 30, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Meg and child

Meg and child, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
Meg is the wife of a very good friend (and a good friend in her own right, too). We were at a party, and someone handed her a baby. Who wouldn't just melt in such a situation? This one's my favorite of several I took.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Photo of the Day: The embers in her eyes

The embers in her eyes, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
This has to be one of my favorite photos of the year so far, and I knew as soon as I snapped the picture that it would be. The glowing ember, lighting Megan's lips and lower face, reflected in her eyes, and offset by her red hair, all make this a photo I'm really proud of.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: Julie_004

Julie_004, originally uploaded by patofoto.
The best photos show not only the form of the person but also something of the person's soul. In this regard, Patricio Suarez makes gorgeous photographs, images that beautifully capture the shape of a woman's body, the expression on a friend's face, but also capture a profound sense of emotion and mood.

Monday, September 27, 2010

It's photo contest season!

Seems like there are several photo contests all coming due at the same time here at the end of September and beginning of October. I've spent the past couple of days gathering entries for five of them--mostly for nothing more than the minor fame of being selected as a winning entry, though the Canon photo contest could win me an EOS Rebel 5D. That would be great!

Here are my entries:

Popular Photography's Photo of the Month
September's challenge is "landscapes captured by compact cameras." These, then are from my archives. Five entries are permitted. The winner gets $100 and their photo printed in the magazine:

P8030057 Rainier vista (50) Winter vista Joshua Tree National Park Sunset Silhouette

Diversity Days
Two entries are permitted for the Department of the Interior's "Diversity Days" photo contest, open to all DOI employees. The winner gets published and congratulated:

Junior Ranger The Mountain in his mind's eye

Costco International Photo Contest
Only one entry is permitted, in the category "give us your best shot." First prize is a $2500 Costco cash card and a 40x60 enlargement of your photo. I had a lot of fun choosing the one image that best fit this theme, considering and discarding, for example, a photo of one of David's track teammates throwing a shot put. Here's the one I settled on:

Before the mark

Washington Trails Association's Northwest Exposure photo contest
WTA looks for photos in five different categories, in which you can enter one photo apiece. The grand prize winner gets published on the magazine cover, and the runners up get published inside and receive gifts from the contest sponsors. Here are my entries in, respectively, the categories of Wild Landscapes, Flora & Fauna, Hikers in Action, Families on Trail, and Offbeat:

IMG_2821_2 Marmot on the Skyline Trail (10) Skyline Big mountain, small world The Mountain in his mind's eye

Canon Photography in the Parks
This is the big one. Ten entries are permitted, from national, state, and local parks throughout the U.S. The two grand prize winners receive Canon EOS 5D Mark II cameras, and the two second prize winners get 7Ds, none too shabby either. I submitted ten entries and three were rejected because they contained "representations of a person or persons," something I'd missed in the official rules apparently. Fortunately I still had time to submit substitutions. Here are my ten entries:

Marmot on the Skyline Trail Lights in the heavens Still Life at Fort Vancouver Longmire at Night Light and Spray Magenta and Indigo Crater Lake Rogue Capitol at Night columns Keet Seel 2

There's one contest yet to enter: the National Public Lands Day photo contest. I took some good shots this past Saturday, so I just need to decide which ones to enter--and then track down the permission forms necessary for doing so.

Wish me luck!

Archive Photo of the Day: David, 1 day old

David, 1 day old, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
My oldest son, David, about 24 hours old--the beginning of thousands of photos I've now taken of the little man! I love this photo simply for its simplicty--the tiny foot, his mother's hand, the receiving blanket and IV bandage.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Photo of the Day: Beach house

Beach house, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
I had a lot of fun photographing this old house along the Washington coast near Long Beach. I shot RAW, so I'd captured lots of detail and would have lots of options for manipulating the photo back at the computer. I played around with lots of different degrees of color saturation, from complete black and white to vibrant color, and in the end, settled on this desaturated image with just a hint of color. With too much color, the house disappears in a jumble of distracting tones; in black and white, it disappears into the framing thicket. A hint of color sets the gray and white house apart from the green brambles in front, and mirrors the derelict nature of the house itself. I'm pleased with the effect.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: My World

My World, originally uploaded by Mike Lanzetta.
I'm fascinated by Mike Lanzetta's photography. Most of it is taken in and around Detroit, much of it features images of decaying landscapes and gothic architecture, most of it is highly atmospheric and textured with color, and all of it is extremely well-crafted. I had trouble deciding which image to feature, but in the end I chose this one for its surreil mix of urban landscape and red-dressed, barefoot model. One more interesting tidbit: the website listed on Lanzetta's profile page reveals him to be, in "real life," a Michigan orthodontist!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: National Public Lands Day

I took this photo on National Public Lands Day in 2008 at the Bench Lake trailhead in Mount Rainier National Park. The young woman pictured was from West Africa--I forget where exactly--and was visiting friends who had come up for the project day. I submitted this photo to the NPLD Photo Contest, where it won me a large basket of goodies from Aveeno! The picture was also featured on the NPLD website (still is, in fact, among the rotating photos in the masthead) and the 2009 NPLD brochure, in cropped form.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Photo of the Day: Megan

Megan, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
Here's another photo of Megan at Klipsan Beach. This is, believe it or not, a candid, unposed portrait. I love the way the cloudy sky brings out the color in her face and hair, and the way Megan's hair frames her face.

Here are two other candid portraits from the same set that I like equally well:

IMG_0968, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.

IMG_0967_edited, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: "Ashes to Ashes"

I really like Mark Velasquez's photos. They are, by and large, posed and staged, yet they are incredibly captivating. These are not photos you just glance at and move on; there is almost always something about them that commands a long, second look. The narrative attached to the phtos is worth reading, too: this one is of a young woman battling Lyme disease and other challenges.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Grandpa Frank

Grandpa Frank, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
Grandpa Frank, still tilling the fields at age 81. Kelli and I visited him at his home in the country while visiting from Florida, where we were living at the time, and were impressed to find Grandpa still out working the fields just as he'd done for decades. He began his work life at age 15 as a lumberjack and never slowed down; in fact, he continued to work on the farm for several years after this photo. Even then, he would more likely be found working in his garage shop than anywhere else, right up until his death in 2007. This photo, on a beautifl autumn day when the light was as golden as the fields, perfectly captures the spirit of an amazing man.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Photo of the Day: Rachel on the beach

Rachel on the beach, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
Watching Rachel walk down the beach with the gulls scattering in front of her, I couldn't resist snapping a photograph, even though she was well beyond the reach of my lens. Back at the computer, I discovered to my delight that, cropped down, the distant image turns into a fantastic panorama, with the brown sand blending into the gray sky in the distance, with the cars driving along the beach in the distance adding to the surreal setting, and in the middle of it all, the figure of Rachel.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: Alla Photography

, originally uploaded by koallka.
"Koallka" is a Melbourne-based photographer who specializes in wedding and child photography. She does a great job with her photos; this one is my favorite. I love the perfectly serious expression on the child's face, and the color pallet of the hat and backdrop that perfectly matches the color of her eyes!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Steven Curtis Chapman onstage at the PuyallupFair

We went to see Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith at the Western Washington State Fair in 2008, and WHAT an awesome concert it was. I also managed to get some AMAZING photographs, despite the dark and the distance (we were about two thirds of the way back on ground level). This is my favorite of the set. Here are two others I really like:

IMG_1966, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Photo of the Day: Megan: on the beach

Megan: on the beach, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
I snapped this photo near Long Beach, Washington during a two-day visit to the coast with good friends. I've photographed Megan before, but now, at age 16, she's really coming ino her own as a beautiful young woman, with a natural grace and composure beyond her years. The day was cloudy and cool, which just adds to the saturation of color; and I love the frothy waves and foreground reflection as well.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: Beautiful Himba girl

IMG_7605, originally uploaded by kenny_cakes.
John Kenny's photos of traditional African men and women are simply beautiful. Perfectly lit, they capture the grace and dignity of their subjects. Visit Kenny's photo sites on Flickr and the World Wide Web for more of his impressive collection of photography, both black and white and in color.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Rune Lamp

Rune Lamp, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
A still life from one of the cabins of the Rune Hill Retreat Center in New York, where Kelli and I visited in October of 1995. This is one of my earliest successful attempts at still life: that is, a photo meant to convey a minimalist sense of mood through color and shape as much as to record an actual history. I took the photo in the morning, as the sun streamed in through the windows of the cabin, after a perfectly wonderful night with the woman I love.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Photo of the Day: Junior Ranger

Junior Ranger, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
This young lady is going to make a very attractive National Park Ranger someday, with those bright eyes and winning smile! She's already a Junior Ranger and a participant in Mount Rainier's Camping Adventures with My Parents program. She found my ranger hat left unattended on the picnic bench and tried it on, and I was lucky enough to be nearby with my camera at the ready!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: Bellies 2

As I keep saying, I'm a sucker for pregnancy photos. I love the craft in this one by Karen Williams: the couple, the belly, the combination of black-and-white and desaturated color. The full-color version is a good photo in its own right, yet this one is, in my opinion, superior.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Jim and Cindy

Jim and Cindy, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
I took this photo while Kelli and I waited for a concert to begin withour good friends Jim and Cindy Greetham. The bright lights of the stadium, with the deep blue of a cloudy dusk behind them, made for magnificent lighting in a spontaneous portrait.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Photo of the Day: No such thing as a bad hair day

One of our favorite places to visit with Mount Rainier National Park's Camping Adventures with My Parents (CAMP) program is Narada Falls--especially on a hot day, when the mist from the waterfall drifting out over the viewpoint gives you an exquisite opportunity to cool off. In fact, the hardest part about this spot is getting good pictures without the camera lens disappearing into a cloud of distorting water droplets! I had already been down to the lower viewpoint, then returned to the upper viewpoint and dried off my camera lens, when this young woman walked up, drenched from the spray and playing absently with her wildly disarrayed hair. No posing here: I saw the shot and snapped it, capturing a great experience in mid-moment.

While we're at Narada Falls, here's another shot at the viewpoint, taken two weeks later with another CAMP group, this time of Outreach Intern Hilary Gaddis of the Student Conservation Association.

Hilary at Narada Falls
IMG_0376_adjusted_1, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: Jo, 38 1/2 weeks pregnant

Jo, 38 1/2 weeks pregnant, originally uploaded by jezm2000.
If you've followed this blog for long, you know by now that I'm a sucker for a good pregnancy photo. I love this one by a photographer named Jeremy in London, of his wife as she approached delivery of their second child. It's low key and perfecty framed, with the enormous belly reaching out into the empty space on the left side of the frame; demurely posed with the right hand over the breast, and the ring prominent on the left hand, the two arms framing the belly.

I debated whether to post this picture or thebeatiful portrait Jeremy took of mother and child just after the birth; ultimately, I decided to post both! Above is the before photo, now here's after:

Happy mum, originally uploaded by jezm2000.