Saturday, December 31, 2011
I've been taking photo classes every two weeks in Puyallup, looking at all kinds of aspects of photography: light, contrast, shadow, color, composition, pose, etc. One of the most interesting classes was a fine art class in October. The model, Elizabeth, was beautiful, with a classic figure that she looked great on this faux-marble bench. The high contrast black and white really looks good here, and I especially love the contrast between her smooth skin and the wonderful textures and highlights visible in her hair. I love her pose, too, curled up onto the bench with her bare toes, one arm up, the other resting demurely on her breast. It all just works.
Friday, December 30, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Here's another image I also love, from the same morning:
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Somehow I don't think I got the right direction..., a photo by climbear on Flickr.
Monday, December 26, 2011
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
A photo group I belong to has a daily challenge. Usually, I'm too busy to come up with something on a given day, but once in a while I feel inspired and end up creating something that's fun and surprising even to myself. This particular day the challenge was "ugly." Well, I thought, what can I take a picture of that would be "ugly," without offending the one being labled ugly? I know, I'll take a self-portrait! So before I showered or shaved, I set up the camera on a tripod next to a window for strong natural side lighting. Then I took a series of photos with the nastiest expressions I could muster. This was my favorite. What I love about it most is the sharp focus on my right eye, right in the center of the frame (even though my face is positioned in classic thirds).
Merry Christmas -- bah, humbug!
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Here's another one from the same set I really like. And these shots look great in black and white, too.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Sometimes, a zoom lens just won't do.
In my collection of lenses, I have two "prime" lenses. Primes are the opposite of zooms: they have only one focal length, in my case, 50 and 85mm. If you want to get closer to the subject, you can't turn the lens ring, you have to physically move closer. But the tradeoff is three-fold: first, prime lenses collect a lot more light than zoom lenses can, so you can shoot in significantly dimmer light. Second, the better light capacity means you can use natural light more than camera flash, with all of its challenges and limitations. And finally, prime lenses usually allow you shoot at significantly wider apertures, meaning you can use shallower depths of field. This allows you to focus on a particular spot and have everything else around it disappear into beautiful out-of-focus "bokeh." It's a great tool for photographic composition.
This image was made with a flash, not natural light, but I was able to use less flash and still captured a lot of the background context of the image than I would have been able to without my prime (50mm) lens. The wide aperture (f/2.8) also allowed me to get this young couple in perfect focus while the rest of the party-goers disappeared into the background.
Here's another example. In this image, the use of a narrow depth of field immediately pulls the eye to the bud of this Devil's Club plant at Mount Rainier National Park, and the fine detail of the spider web attached to it, and the ring of spines around it, despite its position off-center in the photo. I also shot this at an ISO of 320, allowing me to capture more detail with less digital noise than I'd be able to (at least with natural light) if I'd been using a "slower" lens.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Here's another angle I like a lot, mostly because of the "bokeh" -- the out of focus lights in the foreground:
Monday, December 12, 2011
I always know it's a good photo when my first reaction is "I want to do that!" ...and I start scheming how to make it happen!
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Relentless Force - Svínafellsjökull Glacier in Skaftafell, Iceland, originally uploaded by orvaratli.
Friday, December 2, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Well, as it turns out, the answer to that question is: KIDS! This young lady had the time of her life playing in the mud around her tent, helping to redirect the flow of rainwater around the tent rather than under it. Her parents, to their credit, didn't panic in the wet weather, either. "We brought dry clothes," they said mildly. "It's part of the experience."
I captured this image with a fill flash, and I'm really pleased by the bright colors and high contrast that resulted, with the tent in the background just a little darker, less bright, and out of focus.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Here's another version of the portrait I like just as well. In this case, the highlight behind Jack's head is centered behind the darker side of his face, creating more contrast. He's tured a bit more toward me, and I shot from a higher angle, giving a completely different energy to the shot. This one also has more contrast, because instead of a second light, we used a reflector on the darker side of the face.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
I took this photo in October in 2008, as Mount Rainier enjoyed its first dusting of snow on the upper ridges, and the huckleberries and heathers in the subalpine meadows were turning orange and crimson in the frosty mornings. By November, these same meadows are buried under five feet of rapidly accumulating snow, and the smaller trees are already beginning to disappear. They'll remain buried, in a typical year, for seven months, and in some years eight. But first, they add a beautiful evergreen color to the vivid landscape, below the great Mountain floating on its misty cloud of fog.
This is usually a morning image, by the way, the Mountain making an appearance as the clouds burn off, but in this case it was late afternoon, as you can tell by the shadows, before the fog finally cleared, giving the landscape a warmer and softer hue than you'd see at sunrise.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Here's the fully-flagged photo. I do like the separation it provides from the background, but I think the expression and catchlights are better in the first image:
And, for good measure, one with a smile. What do you think? Is the smile better than the more thoughtful look above?