Thursday, May 31, 2012
In this case, Kelsey added to her attractiveness (from a photographic standpoint) by wearing a bright shirt that adds a nice splash of color to the picture, and by getting a temporary "walk ms" tatoo on her cheek to set the context of the photo. Frame the image tightly, use a shallow depth of field, and get lucky with a short enough exposure to freeze the action on the bumpy bus ride, and voila, a beautiful portrait!
Here's a similar portrait, under similar conditions, of my mother -- in this case, on the bus ride to the walk in the morning light.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Mirrored sunglasses are an endless source of inspiration for photographers! This is at the annual MS Walk in Portland, Oregon, and features the self-portrait of not one but two photographers in my sister-in-law's glasses. I'll leave you to guess which photographer took this picture!
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Here's the other flag-wielder -- I think the color is better in the first image, but I love the two flags in this one.
Monday, May 28, 2012
Here's a closeup of the image:
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Saturday, May 26, 2012
At the wreck of the Peter Iredale on the beach at Fort Stevens State Park, I noticed that if you positioned yourself just right, the afternoon sun would make a nice starburst as it shown through a hole in the rusting hulk of the old ship. The key was to find the smallest hole possible, then to position your camera just right, and to frame the rest of the image in an interesting way as a silhouette against the bright sky. Even then, I encountered a great deal of variation in the quality of the starburst and the amount of lens flare around it. I think this one's my favorite, because the starburst is the most perfect in quality, and the hulk of the old ship forms an interesting pattern of intersecting iron ribs. Which one do you like best?
Friday, May 25, 2012
From David's last track meet of the season yesterday.
The action at a race passes so quickly that the best you can do is to compose a picture in your mind, frame the image as it speeds toward you, fire off half a dozen shots, and hope that one of them captures the moment you want. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't; and sometimes the camera captures a moment you weren't even looking for. Such was the case here.
My intention was to catch the handoff of the baton. But I instantly fell in love with this frame showing the moment just after the handoff. I've done nothing to edit the composition or crop of the image, only corrected the exposure slightly. And I never would have intentionally framed the picture this way, with the runner almost off the edge of the image and his eyes cropped anonymously off the top, with only the hand of the other runner visible on the other side. And yet, put together this way, it works. It takes the focus of the image away from the individuals and onto the act itself.
The caption is David's, who came up with it as soon as he saw the image.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
On a similar theme, here's a nearby grove of pussy willows.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Monday, May 21, 2012
Here's one of Daniel, looking the other way, with the light on his face:
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Saturday, May 19, 2012
There's something about confronting the vast ocean that is psychologically powerful. Nothing else on Earth -- even our highest mountains -- is as endlessly large in comparison to our small selves. I think that's one of the things I love about it so much.
It also makes for great pictures. This one's at Fort Stevens State Park, where Daniel and I spent Spring Break this year. The ocean was churned by a storm and in full froth as it crashed into the beach. The morning light was beautiful, and Daniel's tie-dye sweatshirt made a great counterpoint to the monochromatic waves. Add a reflection in the water, and pull it all in tight with a long lens, and I love the result: a child facing the wilderness of the world.
Friday, May 18, 2012
Daniel still doesn't take a lot of pictures, but when he does, he shows a good eye for composition. Sometimes I help out by adjusting the crop or straightening lines, but I do that for my own pictures, too -- the most important thing is seeing the picture, and that he is doing with increasing reliability. He's also begun asking me for feedback when we get the pictures onto the computer. "Why do you like this picture?" "I like this one better than that one -- what do you think?" This allows me to talk about composition, line, depth, and all the other things that go into making a good photograph. He'll be fun to watch.
Here's another photo from the Astoria Column -- this one, inside. Daniel liked the geometry of this one too, but didn't like the foot visible on the top of the stair. I think it humanizes the photo and draws the viewer into it. What do you think?
This one's at Fort Stevens. I like the way the composition of the photo draws your eye into it.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
I love it when my "models" play around and show their personalities in front of hte camera!
This one's slightly blurred, but it's so spontaneous that I love it anyway:
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Monday, May 14, 2012
Sunday, May 13, 2012
For this Mother's Day, a beautiful photo by the mother in our family.
Of all the pictures Kelli took during her trip to Washington DC with David's 8th Grade class, this is the one that resonates with us most deeply. A simple image of David t the Korean War Veteran's Memorial, on the one rainy day of the trip -- and this memorial is so appropriate in the rain, with the statues of soldiers slogging through the fields in their rain gear, and the reflections etched into the wall supplemented by the reflections of wet granite. Add an array of colorful red, white, and blue umbrellas and clothing; and a young man -- only a few years younger than the soldiers memorialized in the monument -- connecting with our history both physically and symbolically; and a pair of converging lines drawing your eye into the picture; and it's a powerful image. Good job, sweetheart -- great photo.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Kids are so much fun to photograph, especially when they're willing to ham it up for the camera! About half my photos from this session ended up being of Kate or including Kate in the picture. That hat made it tough to get the light right without shadows on the face, but her self-confident smile more than made up for it!
Here's one with her mom:
Friday, May 11, 2012
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Monday, May 7, 2012
At Lee Taylor's "Island Party" at Longmire, her send-off to her new position as superintendent of San Juan Island National Historical Park, everyone wanted to pose with the island-themed props. This float made a great frame for young Kate as she posed between her mother, Lee Snook, and her friend, Lee Taylor.
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Friday, May 4, 2012
Looking down from the viewpoint on the east end of the Nisqually Canyon on Highway 7, you can see an eagle's nest perched high at the top of a dead tree, ensconced in a circlet of three spires like a tripartite version of Orthanc. On summer days you can often see bald eagles in and around the nest. The tree, tall as it is, tops out below the viewpoint by at least a hundred feet, so in the typical flat lighting of mid-day it disappears into the surrounding forest and is hard to see. This particular day, the evening sun highlighted the tree and its aerial platform, even as the spring rain poured down around it. The combination of rain and sun made a splendid picture. The only one around to see it was me -- and now, thanks to the wonders of digital photography, you.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
It was pouring rain as I drove through the Nisqually Canyon on my way home from work. I pulled over at a viewpoint on the west end of the canyon, along Highway 7, and the clouds and mist and fog moving in and out of the trees in the distance created an awesome layered effect. It was still raining, so I used the car as a shelter from which to photograph the scenery. I just love the sense of depth the clouds give to this image, with one layer in front of another, fading away into the distance.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
As a first test of my brand new studio lights, I set them up in my living room and shot a set of pictures of my son David. I only shot half a dozen images, and didn't work very hard at coming up with perfect lighting -- that's a challenge (and a self-lesson) for another day. Still, I'm pleased with the quality of the light. I especially liked this particular image, but unfortunately it showed every blemish on David's adolescent face all too well. So, I spent some time with a clone brush. Another lesson! And worth it, in return for David's generosity in posing for me!
I obviously have some things yet to learn about lighting and airbrushing. But in the meantime, I'm really pleased with this portrait of my son.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Yes, it's graffiti. In fact, most of the time I drive past this on my way to and from work and hardly take notice. It's faded and covered in dust from the road, and the view out over the canyon in the other direction is so much more appealing. But this particular day in the pouring rain the colors just jumped out at me, so vibrant on the red rock, and it made an otherwise ugly defacement... a little less ugly, in a neo-modernist or pseudo-anarchic or Jackson-Pollock or something-or-other kind of way. Anyway, it's fun to take an unusual subject and play with color and framing and see if there's a way to capture something artistic about it. I'm pleased with the way this one turned out; the balance of colors and tones just feels right to me.
Here's another I like just as well -- I especially like the broad expanse of rock with the blue heart at the top.