Sunday, October 31, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: Pretending to be vulnerable

Pretending to be vulnerable, originally uploaded by Sol Lang.
Sol Lang is, hands down, one of my favorite photographers. He shoots primarily fine art nudes, so he's not someone to explore if you suffer from dermaphobia. But within that genre, he creates some absolutely beautiful work. The women are usually gorgeous, yes, but the ones I like best are the ones that also convey feeling, emotion, vulnerability, that see in the unclad human body not just physical beautiful but emotional resonance as well. They may be proud, maternal, self-possessed, playful, innocent, or sensual, but they are always compelling.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Lightning over Mount Rainier

The night before Independence Day a few years ago, nature entertained us with its own fireworks show, including lightning over Mount Rainier east of town. I took this photo from my front yard, with a long exposure on a tripod. This was the best of several photos I captured; I could have gotten even better images if I had been willing to take the risk, because the lightning increased after I got this picture, but the storm also moved overhead and I didn't want to get struck myself!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Photo of the Day: Oooooh!!!

Oooooh!!!, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
Walking along the beach in Nehalem Bay State Park, we came across this carcass of a dear half-buried in the sand. There's an eerie beauty about animal skeletons--something stark and elemental--but that doesn't make them any less icky for 12-year-olds! Stephanie spotted the carcass just as I raised my camera, and I was able to capture her first reaction. I had fun converting this to half color, half black-and-white; I didn't really think it through at the time, but now I wonder if, subconsciously, I was separating the living from the dead. Whatever the reason, on a visceral level, it works, at least for me.

The skeleton on its own:
IMG_1645_bw_2, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: luiza

luiza, originally uploaded by geonikon (very busy).
First of all, I love George Boicu-Budu's screen name, "geonikon (very busy)." I wonder about the story behind that parenthetical addition, and how it ended up as a permanent commentary in his name! Beyond that, though, it's clear that Boicu is a brilliant painter of light. He has photos of both people and landscapes, the common thread of which is that all are absolutely gorgeous. Check out his picture of "golden grass" to see what I mean! Ultimately, I chose this portrait as my favorite because, frankly, I just love portraits, not because it's necessarily the most representative of his pictures. I like the tight framing of this picture, the hair half hiding the eye, the splash of green and white blurred in the background. And the caption noting "portrait at -15 °C :)".

And, I can't resist throwing in another one for good measure, another portrait in perfect light:

a fine observer, originally uploaded by geonikon (very busy).

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Crater Lake morning in snow

The winter of 1999, with us having just moved to Crater Lake National Park from Everglades National Park in Florida, was one of the snowiest on record. We had 16 feet of snow on the ground around our home, and there were many days that winter when the road to Rim Village was closed to the public. I took this photo soon after we arrived, as I explored and oriented to the new park; there were no visitors around, as the road wasn't open to the public yet, just a couple of park employees checking out the whopping overnight snowfall and planning their plowing efforts. I love the dramatic lighting, with sun breaking through the fog and mist and the unbroken hill of snow in the foreground.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Photo of the Day: Say cheese!

Say cheese!, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
This photo originally began as a take-off on the logo on Jessica's shirt, since we were visiting the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Once there, however, we saw an amateur photo contest advertised, and staged this photograph to take advantage of the combination of Jessica's shirt, her ice cream cone, and of course, her cute face! I shot the photo close up with my lens at wide angle, to add a little more distortion and foreshortening to add interest to the picture. I'm pleased with the result. Say cheese!

Here's the concept photo that started it all:

IMG_1730_adjusted_1, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: buiu

, originally uploaded by buiu.
Almost all of Thiago Ramos's Flickr photos appear to be pictures he's taken of strangers on city streets, which really intrigues me. I'm much too timid to do such a thing--at least openly--though there have been many, many times when I've seen someone passing by that I would have loved to take a picture of. Some people, at some times, just wear their souls on their sleeves, and it's so compelling for a photographer, especially when it comes with the serendipity of great light. I imagine Ramos walking up to a woman like this and saying, "I'm a photographer, can I take your picture? I just need three minutes of your time," and then snapping away and moving on, with a captured fragment of light and time as a memento.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Ring of fire

Ring of fire, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
Every year, I have a lot of fun experimenting with fireworks photography. It's so hard to get the exposure just right, and you only have about half an hour to work before waiting another year for a chance to practice again! so I'm very pleased with how this one came out: a combination of a nicely-timed long exposure with a flash to capture the movement of the sparkler. I love that it makes a complete ring, with sparks flying off it all over the place, and I love that the ring disappears behind Daniel's body, even though that must have, in some fashion, been recorded by the long exposure. All in all, a lucky shot that nevertheless was the product of a lot of effort and planning!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


While visiting Oceanside in mid-August, I spotted this mother and daughter looking at the array of signs at the entrance to the beach. Something in their posture--specifically, the mirrored placement of their hands--captured my attention and my imagination, and I quickly snapped a photo before (inevitably) their position changed a moment later. I experimented with this one in color, but it just seemed too cluttered; black and white draws the focus to the human subjects better.

Here's the same photo with a little less contrast. I think I like the higher contrast one featured here better.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: Those rainy hot evenings

Those rainy hot evenings, originally uploaded by Yubai K.
When you take photographs, it's all about the light. That's why I love this photo so much... it doesn't have a beautiful model in it, or a child with a gleam in her eye, but somehow, this photo captures the spirit of a place--in this case, Taipei--just as surely. And that's precisely the goal of photographer Yubai K:

"Living in Taipei, I'm trying hard to translate my vision of the city and its people, my perception of urban realities and atmospheres shaped by the buildings, the streets and most of it, the beauty of all kind of lights..."

I think he's succeeded. This photo has such a beautiful noirish feel to it. It also reminds me of the city streets in the movie Bladerunner, with the oriental streetfronts, umbrellas, and ubiquitous rain, though without the crowds and garbage. In this case, a more utopian than dystopian urban vision.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: David243 sleeping at Disney

In February 1999, we stopped at Disney World for three days of vacation on our way out of Florida to move to Oregon. After a full day of activity, which David, of course, enjoyed with wide-eyed wonder, he finally fell asleep in the stroller, unable to keep his eyes open any longer. I don't remember for sure, but I must have found someplace to prop my camera for this picture, as the foreground is just too still to have been hand-held. I love the contrast of David sacked out in the foreground with the frenetic activity still passing by in a blur in the background. This photo is pre-digital; today, I would have taken several photos, experimenting with different time settings to get just the right amount of blur. Still, it's pretty good for a one-shot experiment!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Photo of the Day: Jessica

Jessica, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
My neice Jessica (whose photos were featured on this blog a few months back) has become an avid photographer, carrying her camera, like me, everywhere she goes. I snapped this picture of the picture-maker on the beach in Oceanside, Oregon; I love the big grin on her face, made even wider by my wide angle lens, the light in her hair, and the little heart ring perfectly positioned on her thumb, which mirrors her personality so perfectly.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: A.

A., originally uploaded by Ute A..
I really like the photographs of "Ute A." Some are black and white, some color, but all of them have a delightfully irreverent feel to them, as if both photographer and subject were having a lot of fun. That's the way I like to take pictures, too--it's fun to try to capture something a little more than just the appearance of someone, but a bit of their soul as well.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Aubrey

Aubrey, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
Actually, it was Aubrey's sister's birthday, but she was by far the cutest one at the party! I spent ten minutes snapping pictures of her as she played on the porch, keeping a careful eye on me as I snapped photo after photo. And what beautiful eyes! After a while she started mugging for the camera, and those pictures are cute too, but in my opinion the best is this one, those big soulful eyes looking straight into the camera, as the camera looks back into the depths of her soul.

It looks great in black and white, too.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Photo of the Day: Sand shrimp

Sand shrimp, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
Here's a great picture from Nehalem Bay State Park of what I think is a "sand shrimp"; please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong! Whatever the little fellow is (only about an inch in length, plus antennae), it sat perfectly still while I zeroed in on it with the macro setting on my zoom lens. It's a beautiful little critter, in an odd sort of way.

I had two good opportunities for closeups this month. Here's a picture from a week earlier than the sand shrimp, of a collection (flock? herd?) of newly-hatched spiders on the door of a bathroom in Cougar Rock Campground at Mount Rainier National Park. If this keeps up, I'm going to need to get a decent dedicated macro lens.

IMG_2037_1, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: Marby 003

Marby 003, originally uploaded by faithrclark.
Faith Clark is a self-described "proud mommy of two boys," a "stay at home mom" with an SLR who takes photos for the fun of it. You'd never know it from her pictures, though, which look like the work of a professional portrait photographer. Her photos of family and friends is inspiring, and I love the spirit she's able to capture in the faces of young subjects like this one, perched primly on the steps in her bare feet.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: David with water hose

David with water hose, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
As a father, of course, my favorite pictures of David, as he grew up, are those that show him playing happily with a big smile on his face. At the same time, there are occasionally photos in the collection that show a more richly-layered set of emotions, and that show hints of the complex and mature personality he has today. I love this photo for that reason, as David played by himself among a coil of hose at his grandparents' house in Albany, Oregon.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Photo of the Day: Suspension of gravity

Suspension of gravity, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
This is a habit of David's--I have other pictures like this one from other trips to the Ocean--but this has to be one of the best examples I've captured of his exulant reaction to playing in the surf. It's all about timing, and hoping that the light is good when the moment comes, and then, if you're lucky, a little artisty thrown in with the framing of the shot.

Here's another shot from the same set:

IMG_1595_adjusted_1, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: *naturel*

*naturel*, originally uploaded by Saskia-Photography.
Saskia Volders is an 18-year-old photographer in Belgium whose photographs have a raw intensity that, I've found, is often associated with young portraitists. She uses that intensity to great effect in her photography, even something as simple and understated as this self-portrait: the colors are soft, the lips slightly parted, the tiny heart pendant perfectly placed, and yet the direct gaze from her slightly turned head, and the heavy shadow on the side of her face, make it look as though she's looking right out of the screen at you.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Time Machine

Time Machine, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
What wonderful things are cardboard boxes! I don't even remember what this box was originally meant for, but once Daniel got ahold of it, it became a time machine for him and his brother to use to travel to distant lands past and future. I snapped this photo by reaching under the box, site unseen, and aiming blind. It captured a candid image of Daniel mid-imagination, on his way to who-knows-when!

Here are two other photos in this series you might enjoy:

IMG_0146, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.

IMG_0155, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bonus Photo: Aubrey hiiigh key

Aubrey hiiigh key, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
I created this image purely by accident, as I was playing around with color levels on another photograph I was converting to black and white. I think the effect is striking and beautiful, though Kelli thinks it's unsettling. What do you think?

Here's the original photo.

Photo of the Day: Driftwood study: Nehalem Bay State Park

I came across this piece of driftwood sticking out of the sand in Nehalem Bay State Park, and something about it struck me as an interesting subject for a photograph. It was the contrasting tones of light and dark that interested me most, so I took the picture in black and white, and also in color RAW so I could adjust it more carefully in the conversion process; the RAW image turned out much better, so that's what you see here.

Here's another photo study from the same walk on the beach. I had some fun with the color in this one, bumping up the saturation of color on the beautiful shell, while turning the sand black-and-white.

IMG_1611_edited_1, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: Sapo Essay

, originally uploaded by Sapo Essay.
I like Alessandro Saponi's photographs. They're fantastical, involving circus performers, dancers, burlesque, costumes, and yet everything is tangible, real, full of light. They're the kind of images that make you look long and hard, with so much subtext to them behind the initial first reaction. This photo is a good example--half candid, half portrait, half performance, adding up to more than a whole.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: David165

david165 high res, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
This is one of my favorite pictures of David, as he was growing up his first year in Homestead, Florida. I think he must of been about 6 or 8 months old, and SUCH a happy child. The lighting was just right for this photo, with a combination of ambient light from the window to his left and (it looks like) fill flash from the camera. I've wondered for years about that yellow tinge on his nose--what had he gotten into to give it that color?!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Photo of the Day: Brothers

Brothers, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
We spent a couple of days camping at Nehalem State Park, on the Oregon coast, in August with my sister and her family. It was cloudy, even drizzly, almost the entire time we were there, with the sun finally coming out on the last day of our trip. Even so, the photos from the cloudy days are better--more vivid, less contrasty--than the ones in sunlight. This is one of my favorites from the set, of David and Daniel fooling around on the beach; I love it precisely because it's not quite posed, with David moving in for the picture and Daniel reacting, in perfect independent Daniel form, to say "not so close, Big Brother!"

It's definitely superior to the posed photo a moment later:

IMG_1542_adjusted_1, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: Keena and mommy and baby in tummy

I like Rob Mulligan's photography, a combination of studio style portraits and everyday photos; it's similar to my own style of photography, and it's so good! This is one of my favorites, of Mulligan's first daughter and wife, who is several months pregnant with their second child. There are several great images in this series, both color and black and white, but I like this one best because the light so beautifully caresses the mother's expanding tummy, and because the expression on Keena's face is so candid and tender. I wonder if she was directed to this pose, or just came to it naturally.

I really appreciate Mulligan's lighting descriptions; it helps me to visualize how the photo was crafted, and gives me a sense for how to repeate it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Big Wide World

Big Wide World, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
Catching a portrait of the baby looking over her mother's shoulder (or her aunt's, in this case) is a classic pose. To my delight, the little one responded with such a look of wide-eyed attention that you could practically see the whole expanse of her world stretching ahead of her, reflected in those big, beautiful eyes!

Here's another classic baby pose that turned out very nicely, but less transcendently.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Photo of the Day: Daddy's girl

Daddy's girl, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
In mid-August, I attended my 20th High School Reunion in Albany, Oregon. Sunday's event was a family picnic at Timber Linn Park, which provided lots of great opportunities to photograph old friends as they showed up with their kids. Mike Ostrum was a friend of mine from school who now lives in Dallas with his family; his grand entrance was with his daughter on his shoulders, showing the proper priorities for a dad! I love the happy, easy-going expression on her face, knowing she's right where she belongs, so much that it makes a great picture in spite of the head in the way in the foreground.

Here's the posed picture I took a few moments later. I still think I like the unposed one better:

IMG_1808_adjusted_1, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: Zinnia

Zinnia, originally uploaded by Rebecca Nathan.
Rebecca Nathan's photos tend to be dreamy, fairy tale photos, full of visual allusions to sprites flitting in ghostly form around the forest. My reaction to most of this is ambivalent; I know a lot of people like it, but it doesn't do much for me. I prefer my photo subjects solid and substantial, as in this photo, which still, in my opinion, has a powerful fairy tale feel to it. I love the use of dark light and color to set the mood--the brown gives it an ancient feel, and the muted red of the flower and bra, along with the turned face, for me, give it a sense of romanticism that is just a little bit off. It's personal preference, but I also like that the model has hairy arms, earthy, not smoothly shaved like a mannequin. Interestingly, Nathan's own comment is "I can't decide if I like this or not." I'm not so conflicted -- I love this photo.

Update: this photo is no longer available to share. Click on the image box above to see it in its original context on flickr.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: David87

David87, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
One of the fun things about taking pictures is looking for unique perspectives on common sights. My interest in photography--and especially in taking pictures of people--really skyrocketed with the birth of my son David, and this is one of the first of his pictures that really shows that alternative perspective, looking at his face from under his safety bar, with his bare feet sticking out, rather than from above as would be more traditional. It's an amateur photo, but I like it!

Here's another photo of David from the same time period--more traditional, but I love the look of pure joy on his face. What could be more motivating to an aspiring photographer?
david92, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Photo of the Day: It's all about attitude

It's all about attitude, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
This young man was part of our fourth Camping Adventures with My Parents program of 2010 at Mount Rainier National Park. He loved having his picture taken, and he's posing the same way in each photo: arms crossed, chin up, a proud young man. He earned the attitude, too: the pin on his lapel is for volunteering to help out around the campsite, cleaning dishes, picking up trash, even helping to cook the evening meal. This is my favorite photo of him, because of the great contrast between his bright coat and dark skin and the muted colors of Deadhorse Creek in the fog behind him.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: The rest of the family

Kelli_0706_1, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
I thought it would be fun to feature, as "guest photographers," the efforts of the rest of my immediate family. I was inspired to do so by this photo Kelli took of David at Drift Creek Camp this summer; it's one of my favorite pictures of the year, and it captures David's can-do spirit so well. It's a pretty good picture, too, despite the fact that I'm the only one in the family who uses a fancy SLR to take pictures with.

While we're showcasing Kelli's photos, here's one she took of me at Nehalem Bay State Park in August:

Kelli_1032_adjusted, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.

Daniel, meanwhile, has shown an interest in taking pictures now and then, and while he has his share of blurred pictures of Lego figures, he also occasionally comes up with a truly good photo--again, despite working with a very simple and basic camera. Here's my favorite from this summer:

David, by contrast, shows little interest in photography, though he'll take shots now and then to record events of interest to him. His medium is mostly cartooning--and he's very clever at it. Here's one of my favorites from the past year:

Page60_ComicBoy0069, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.