Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: Lesley y Martín_Perico Dominguez

Perico Dominguez doesn't specialize in maternity photos, but he does take a lot of pictures of his wife. That's her in this photo (here's another image from the same set), and it's a striking and beautiful portrait. The nude form creates such strong lines and curves -- especially with a pregnant model -- and Dominguez has emphasized this to great effect with the strong side lighting. I'd guess that he also has a little fill light to the photographer's right to kee the face from getting too deeply shadowed. It makes a magnificent image. I look forward to the photos of mother and son.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Self-portrait at Camp

Self-portrait at Camp, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
Nothing tests an SLR's automatic exposure and focus better than a self-portrait. You can't see what you're getting until you look at the results on the teeny screen behind the camera, and even then, you don't truly know what you've got till it's on your computer. That's why I'm so pleased with this image--not only does it have near-perfect composition, it's also exposed and focused perfectly. Beyond that, I love the expressions on everyone's faces. Often, when there's a person behind the camera, people give you an odd, stilted expression that is presumably their interpretation of what they ought to look like in a picture. When it's just a camera, people sometimes give you a truer, more natural smile. (I find this to be true when a child is holding the camera, too.) This picture happens to be of Daniel and a friend of his with me at the "Parent and Me" weekend at Drift Creek Camp.

Self-portraits are kind of a common theme in my photography. A quick count shows more than a hundred in my photostream, and counting... Here's one of my favorites.

IMG_6760, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Photo of the Day: Jeff

Jeff, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
I snapped this photo of Jeff Antonellis-Lapp, a professor from Evergreen State College, as he was wrapping up a ten-day service-learning project at Mount Rainier National Park with more than 40 students. They had all just finished a volunteer project in the Longmire Campground, which I photographed; I had the camera around my neck, and the lighting looked great, so I raised the camera and fired off a picture. It's nothing fancy, but I like the result!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: savta tova

Israeli photographer Nir Arieli clearly has a love for capturing the humanity of people on film. This photo is part of a project to photograph elderly subjects, perhaps at a retirement home; other sets collect portraits of veterans, dancers, gay couples, and transgendered friends. (Here are two others I especially like.) All are recorded faithfully with an eye not only for beautiful lighting, but also for showing some of the inner light that animates them.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Snow and clouds

Snow and clouds, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
It may be hard to believe, but this photo was taken in September. We had a very late spring and early autumn at Crater Lake National Park in 1999, so by October we already had a healthy accumulation along the West Rim. I took this photo from a pullout on one of those magnificent fall days when the sky is as blue as the lake. I like the way the cirrus clouds in the background halo the subalpine firs along the rim.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Photo of the Day: Never too young to help

Never too young to help, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
This picture is proof that you're never too young to help out. I took this photo on National Public Lands Day, September 25, 2010, when more than a hundred volunteers participated in trail maintenance and native planting at Mount Rainier National Park. This young lady was helping her mother at Paradise, handing her containers of plants as she needed them, and taking the empties when she was done. She was so cute! The lighting was challenging (I could have used an assistant with a reflector), but I didn't want to interfere with the truth of the scene by moving everyone around, so I just shot RAW and took lots of pictures. This is my favorite.

Here's another. I love the dirt around her mouth. This girl really "got into" her job!

IMG_3072, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: tattoos

tattoos, originally uploaded by mododorico.
Andrea Ghigliazza shoots fairly traditional portraits -- by which I mean solid backdrops, studio lighting -- but she's perfect evidence that that doesn't need to mean uncreative. She does a great job of capturing the spirit of her subjects as well as the beauty of their bodies. I especially like this tattooed model -- here's another slightly less modest pose (the ear ring is also a nice touch) -- because while I have no interest in getting tattos on my own skin, I find them fascinating on others, and Ghigliazza does a good job of showing them in this portrait. Here's another portrait I like, with a similar pose but different model.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Last day of camp

Last day of camp, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
In June 2008, I spent a few days at Drift Creek Camp with my son Daniel on their "parent and me" weekend. I snapped this photo super-spontaneously -- I just happened to be walking by, saw the camp director and his son sitting in the lodge, and took a quick picture. They had just enough time to give me a quick smile, but not enough time to get self-conscious about it -- perfect! I love the touseled hair, the dirty jeans, the slight off-balance composure of the picture as I intuitively stooped to take the picture from a low angle -- it all works for this shot.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Photo of the Day: Mountain rescue... with a tray of native plants

On National Public Lands Day, September 25, 2010, one hundred two volunteers participated in trail work and native planting at Mount Rainier National Park. I showed up at Paradise in the early afternoon, and was snapping candid shots when volunteer Karen Laing offered to pose for me. She grabbed a tray of plants, I asked her to look up at the Mountain, the sun caught her hat, and the result was this great photo! It's one of three photos I entered in the National Public Lands Day photo contest.

I like the next photo of her even better -- so often, the shot right after they think you're done taking pictures is the best one! -- but she looked down at me, so I lost the reflection of the Mountain in her glasses.

IMG_3063, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: Untitled-10

Untitled-10, originally uploaded by Kirill Arsenjev.
I love the portrait photography of Kirill Arsenjev! As a collection, they tend to be simply lit, with the subject looking directly at the camera--or directly through the camera to the viewer. There's a candor about them that I love. In addition to the one shown, here's another two that I really like -- and a third in a completely different style that I also find very beautiful.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Shelby Swimming at Cleetwood

This is unquestionably one of my favorite photos, of our friend Shelby leaping off the rocks into Crater Lake in the late afternoon from Cleetwood Cove. The light is so beautiful, the lake is so blue, and Shelby hangs perpetually suspended in time above it all.

Friday, November 19, 2010

WTA volunteer on the Glacier Basin Trail

On National Public Lands Day, September 25, 2010, one hundred two volunteers helped out by planting plants and building trails at Mount Rainier National Park. The trail work was all along the Glacier Basin Trail, wiped out by flooding in November of 2006, where a trail reroute is finally nearing completion after three years of effort with major help from volunteers, much of it through the Washington Trails Association (WTA). This photo of Alan Walker is my favorite photo of the action: relatively sharp focus and good depth of field, despite the dim light, yet with movement on the pulaski. It's one of three photos I entered in the National Public Lands Day photo contest.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: Tomorrow

Tomorrow, originally uploaded by Katsoulis.
I love maternity portraits... but this one, especially, caught my eye. The pose, in profile, is familiar, but the facial expression is totally arresting. The textured look of the picture, and the large dark space on the left-hand side of the frame, all add to the sense of gravitas. This is -- no pun intended -- a brilliantly conceived photograph.

Jennifer and Gregory Katsoulis have many other equally beautiful but more traditional photographs in their collection, too, including this beautiful shot, and this one, which is similar to a recent portrait of my own I'll be sharing next month. But I have to also point you to this image, which beautifully makes the maternity portrait look like a painting on canvas. I love the Katsoulis's work.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Eyes on the meadows, all covered in snow

Greg Carstens is one of our dedicated volunteers at Mount Rainier National Park. I took this picture of him at the annual Meadow Rover training, which, clearly, took place in 2008 before the meadows had melted out from the snow! I love the grizzled beard, perfect reflection, prominent volunteer patch, and perfect depth of field in this shot -- not to mention that gorgeous blue sky.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Photo of the Day: Moon over the Ferris Wheel

We visited the Puyallup Fair on September 20, and while David and Daniel and Kelli rode the ferris wheel, I took pictures. I got a lot of cool pictures of the lights going around, experimenting with various lengths of exposure. Afterward, noticed the almost-full moon in the sky, and the seed of an idea was born. Yes, this is a composite image; but I did take both of the photographs, and stitched them together in Photo Elements. It makes quite a dramatic image!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: me.

me., originally uploaded by andaria.
Nina K. Sundberg is one of those photographers--so common if you look through many collections of pictures--for whom a simple photograph, artfully composed, usually isn't enough to satisfy the photographer's creative urge. Most of her photos rely on dreamy atmospherics or unusual color composition to make them "artistic." Predictably, the photos I like best, myself, are the shots like this one, straightforward, yet in that photographic perfection, layers of emotion and meaning that go well beyond the surface.

Here's another of Sundberg's photographs that illustrates this principle even better. On the surface, it's simply an unedited capture of a scene involving a person and a room. And yet the composition and pose create dimensions of meaning one can only guess at, especially with the ambiguous title of the photo, "ambitions." That's what makes a great photograph, for me, more than any fancy processing.

ambitions, originally uploaded by andaria.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Pumice Desert

Pumice Desert, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
The Pumice Desert, in Crater Lake National Park, is one of the most austere landscapes you can find. For 7,700 years this place has resisted encroachment by the forest, sustained by a 300-foot-deep layer of volcanic pumice that wicks any moisture away from the surface. Only the hardiest of grasses and knotweed grow in this dry environment--and turn yellow and red, respectively, at the onset of first frost (usually late August at this elevation). It makes for beautiful scenery.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Photo of the Day: Riding the sky tram

Riding the sky tram, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
One of our favorite rides at the Puyallup Fair is the sky tram. I wish the windows opened at least wide enough to stick a camera lens out for aerial shots of the fairgrounds! Still, it's a great mini studio for snapping shots of your fellow passenger with the bright lights and colors of the fair in the background.

And I love hoods for the great shadows they create to frame a handsome face like David's.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: Do Stars Feel Blue ?

Do Stars Feel Blue ?, originally uploaded by AnyMotion.
Having taken a few flower photographs myself, I can appreciate the challenge of getting every part of the flower in focus, sharp, vibrant, and standing out from the background. So I'm impressed with the photography of Achim Mittler, and curious about his technique. Does he use a tripod? (Almost certain.) Does he create a black background using a black cloth? (Probably.) Does he have to wait, sometimes, until the wind dies down, to get just the right shot? Does he use a ring flash to get perfect lighting? However he does it, the results are magnificent.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Dancing in the dusk

Dancing in the dusk, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
This was one of those shots where you press the shutter and hope for the best, and I'm very pleased with the result! We were all gathered to watch the annual fireworks display behind the Elementary School, it was growing dark, the kids were excited and restless, and stopping the motion with a camera not known for low-light photography is a bit of a cahllenge. I love that I managed to get realistic skin tone, beautiful evening color, and a light in Kiley's eyes, all in the same shot.

Here's another shot I like from the same evening. For this one, David helpfully held still for me!

IMG_3498, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Photo of the Day: Backward glance

Backward glance, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
At the Puyallup Fair, Kelli and the boys bought passes that allowed them to ride as many rides as they wanted, and to play one of the games. This was one of those silly games where you have to work your lever faster than any of your competitors in order to make your "horse" cross a finish line first. What caught my attention more than the game itself was the colors and lights reflected in the cracked mirror hanging overhead. I snapped this photo of Daniel just after Kelli had won the prize stuffed pig!

(Here are the first two photos in the sequence.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: a_004

a_004, originally uploaded by fran_la.
Face painting is a technique that walks a fine line, in my book, between interesting and pretentious. A lot of the time, I look at a painted face, scowling in a typical "fashion photography" pose, and it seems like simply a failed attempt to make an uninteresting portrait look more clever. Franziska Laue succeeds more often than most, in part because her best face painting (in my opinion) doesn't try to alter the face so much as enhance it. This set is a great example. The pose itself is awesome--even without added color, the upward angle of the camera, the strong jaw, the set of the mouth, the brilliant blue eyes would be beautiful. But in this case, the blue tone on the cheek and temple, matching the eyes and necklace, make this an extraordinary image. I'd love to get shots like this.

Here are two others in the same series:

a_003, originally uploaded by fran_la.

a_001, originally uploaded by fran_la.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Indian Henry's Pond

Indian Henrys Pond, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
For many years, this was my favorite photograph, not just for the fantastic image itself but for the experience behind it. Kelli and I went hiking to Indian Henry's Hunting Ground in Mount Rainier National Park in September of 1999, a summer following an extremely heavy snow winter. In a month when usually the final bloom is fading from the last flowers, there were avalanche lilies blooming in places on the high meadows. I've never seen a September day so gorgeous. I took this image using slide film across the little tarn in front of the backcountry patrol cabin.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Photo of the Day: The Plunge

The Plunge, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
This photo is pure fun. I was actually practicing in preparation to capture an image of Kelli and Daniel coming down this same roller coaster, but I love the look I got on this child's face. Just for fun, I cropped the photo tightly and then rotated it slightly to add to the already vertiginous feel of it. Great photography? Maybe not, but I had fun with it!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: The Cutest Little Astronaut!

The Cutest Little Astronaut!, originally uploaded by WisteriaLane.
When it comes to portraits, I'm a sucker for beautiful eyes. So how could I resist the photography of "Wisteria Lane," whoever she is? She takes adorable photographs of children--check out this one of a sweet young redhead, or this one of wide-eyed Tanner (the same model as this photo) on a swingset. When I saw this one, though, I knew it would be the one to represent Wisteria's collection. It is so whimsical in such a wonder-ful, non-ironic way! So much photography I see is so full of forced irony, it's great to see someone so successful at capturing the straightforward light in the eyes of a child.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: Brianna

Brianna, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
Father's Day, 2008, at the home of my brother-in-law; I captured this great shot of his niece playing on the play set in the back yard. I took lots of pictures that day, but this one's the best for its perfect framing, its nice light, and the spontaneous look I managed to catch on Brianna's face. And no, you can't see me in the reflection of her glasses, though I think that's my son David playing in the distance!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Photo of the Day: Light and Symmetry

Light and Symmetry, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
I hiked with friends up to Glacier Basin on a cloudy, drizzly day and, as always, marveled at the beauty of one of my favorite plants, the lupines along the trail. They are remarkably designed, with fine hairs covering every surface, perfect for trapping every hint of moisture out of the mist, and with leaves cupped delicately to channel that moisture down to the cent of the whorl of leaves, where it will seep down along the stem to the roots. I've taken plenty of pictures of this plant in color, but the symmetry and detail show up even more beautifully in black and white.

Just for fun, here's another one I like from the same trip.

IMG_2647_bw_1, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Guest Photo of the Day: saving water...

saving water..., originally uploaded by subabu2002.
Suresh Babu takes beautiful photographs of people in his native India. In fact, I was hard pressed to choose the photo I liked the most: the little girl, laughing at the beads she's playing with? Another child, with a grin to light up the sky? Or a third, with a face far older than her apparent five years, yet with a dignity that belies her poverty? The last, especially, tempted me, but in the end, this one just seemed to capture a moment of pure being, with the drop of water poised perfectly between faucet and upturned face.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Archive Photo of the Day: capitol dome

capitol dome, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
Back in 1998, I spent a week in Washington D.C. attending Park Service training in government affairs at Georgetown University and the Department of the Interior. We had some time to explore--not enough, of course, but enough to take this picture inside the U.S. Capitol. I imagine thousands of people have taken this same shot, but still, I'm fond of it for its beautiful symmetry and monochromatic color.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Photo of the Day: Svenja

Svenja, originally uploaded by The Bacher Family.
We drove up to Maple Valley in September to watch my neice Jessica run in a cross country invitational meet. My parents brought with them Svenja Trapp, who's part of a program at our church called Service Adventure. She has a pretty face, and I was very pleased to capture this snapshot of her as we were gathered after the meet was over.