Friday, June 29, 2012
In my opinion, the rugged Tatoosh Range, south across the parking lot from Paradise, is at least as beautiful as the singular volcano to the north. This is especially true in winter, when the sun comes out over the fresh snow. The light on Lane Peak is gorgeous.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
This might also be a good point to mention that, as a photographer, I try not to insert any of my own biases or prejudices into my pictures. I'm personally more interested in capturing the emotion that exists among the subjects of my photography than interjecting my own. And if the people whose images I'm capturing are aware of my presence, I want them to accept me as a sympathetic observer, not an antagonistic one. These young men are celebrating life, and that's enough for me.
Here are a few more such favorites:
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Thank you to everyone for the suggestions about how to crop this image! In some ways I still do like the original image, because it shows more of teh context of the picture, but there's something to be said for removing context and just focusing on the concept itself, in this case, flight. It really does look like this fellow has taken flight over Seattle.
Monday, June 25, 2012
I was in Seatte for the Gay Pride Parade, walking around watching everyone get set up for the festivities. These guys were practicing on their trampoline, and I shot a few frames from behind, looking up at the sky, trying to catch them in mid air, with some success. The spotter in front of the trampoline, at the back of the pickup pulling the float, saw me taking pictures and said "hey, come up here, the view is better!" It indeed was, with better skyscrapers behind the jumper, and from that angle they were facing me. I took several pictures and then they asked to see them -- "that's your payment for coming up here," they said. I couldn't believe how good this looked in the camera, and am even more pleased to see how well it looks on the computer screen! Too bad it wasn't a bluer sky, but who am I to complain? It still captures the buoyant mood of the day.
Friday, June 22, 2012
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Better to go hiking, folks, and see the real wildlife in its natural state, glimpsed fleetingly as it darts through the shadows of the forest, rather than begging for scraps under the picnic table.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Sometimes the most important thing about photography is that it's fun. Making good pictures is hard work, yes, but sometimes it's best to just let the right brain take over and not question the crazy tangent it's taking you down. This was a shot I put together literally without thinking about it very much, and right after I set it up someone almost stepped on my sunglasses so I didn't even have time to fret over getting it just right. One shot and done -- and when I sorted through the images at the end of the day, here was this wonderful little surprise waiting for me at the end of the set!
So, yes, that's my responsible, uniformed left brain reflected in the glasses, perfectly backlit by the sun; and that's my impish, creative right brain shadowed on the ground smiling back at it!
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
When I took this picture, one of my coworkers called it my "signature image." And indeed, I have to admit having a fascination with reflective surfaces of any kind, and especially sunglasses! But how can you resist pretty face, a cool ranger stetson, and the reflected image of one of the most majestic mountains in North America?
Monday, June 18, 2012
There's really no way to fully appreciate the detail in this image but to blow it up as large as your monitor permits. Turn your screen sideways if you have to!
Sunday, June 17, 2012
I did learn one thing in this process, and that is to leave more room along the edges of the images than you normally would, so that the stitched images extend far enough out to allow for a good crop. In this image, for example, the rangers at the op of the frame are just a little bit more to the left than the ranger at the bottom of the rope, so unconsciously I shifted my composition a little bit to the left when I took the upper image. If I had not framed that image so tightly, I would have avoided the slight black triangle of missing information in the upper right of the stitched panorama--something I was forced to leave in the picture, lest I crop out part of the action at the bottom of the frame.
Here's another, longer panorama to enjoy:
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Friday, June 15, 2012
Thursday, June 14, 2012
I'm not entirely happy with the lighting of this image, but I do like the composition. As I was photographing our climbing rangers preparing for a second practice rescue over the edge of the canyon, this particular ranger walked over to the cliff and spent a long moment looking down at the river 80 feet below. It was a quiet moment before the frenetic energy of rope rescue began again, and I was pleased to be in a position to capture it, with the gear layed out in the foreground and the rope angling up to the climber.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Climbing rangers always look so rugged. It's not so much their wild hair and Gortex-heavy clothing, though most of them qualify in both regards, or even the extreme gear (helmets, carabiners, glacier boots) they wear as comfortably as you or I wear tennis shoes. Mostly it's the look in their eyes: that attitude that a howling blizzard is a minor inconvenience, a 14,000 foot mountain a mere walk in the park, a deeply crevassed glacier on an active volcano the daily commute, and the rescue of an injured climber in the midst of all three merely a day's work.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
I recently came across some Polar Panoramic images here on Flickr and was astonished to discover how simple they are to create in Photoshop (or, in my case, Photoshop Elements). Of course, I immediately had to try my own hand at it! Also of course, it's a lot harder to make a good polar panorama. Not every image works well, even those you might at first think would be a perfect candidate. I finally hit on a good one with this image, taken last fall on my way to work. I took some experimenting to get the right settings, and then for good measure I removed the distracting background and replaced it with a clear blue sky. A real planet, though, would be hanging in space, not in the sky, so I looked through my collection of cool astronomical images till I found this one to superimpose my "planet" on.
I love the result -- an eternal cycle of hunter and hunted, revolving slowly under the hooves of the Lakota warriors in the vast and endless starlight of space.
This image is featured on my photo blog, blog.thelightisall.com, on June 12, 2012; and on my website at thelightisall.com.
Monday, June 11, 2012
On this particular day, I was out shooting photos of our rangers conducting rope rescue training near Christine Falls. Between squalls of a spring blizzard, the clouds parted briefly, providing a spectacular view of the craggy summit of Eagle Peak across the Nisqually River canyon, dusted with fresh snow.
For those who know the landscape, that's Ricksecker Point in the mid-left, in my opinion one of the most spectacular viewpoints in the park.
This image is featured on my photo blog, blog.thelightisall.com, on June 11, 2012, and on my website, thelightisall.com. It was featured on Flickr's "Explore" at #158 on June 12, 2012.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
I got a call at my office on the 4th of May. It was Glenn Kessler, one of our climbing program supervisors, asking if I'd like to come out and photograph their team conducting a rope rescue session. I had a lot of work to do, but how can you turn down such an opportunity? There's nothing cooler than photographing rangers at work in the beautiful, vertical terrain of Mount Rainier National Park. As it turned out, it was even more interesting than that, as most of the training occurred in the midst of a spring snowstorm. I set up my camera on the far side of the canyon and shot through the snow, which gave the images an even more dramatic and atmospheric look than they would have had otherwise.
Saturday, June 9, 2012
I spotted this spectator at a Middle School track meet, and loved the simplicity of the image -- the girl sitting alone on the bleachers, watching the distant action. I also love the effect my zoom lens and wide aperture had on the image, causing the steps to quickly blur into abstraction behind her and isolating her within her surroundings. Throw in a nice balance of color -- blue steps, blue shirt, blue umbrella, blue eyes, and then those red shoes throw in for a splash of contrast -- and the subtle lighting on her face and hair, and I'm both pleased with the result and happy I was able to capture this magical moment before, a second later, she stood up and moved away.
Friday, June 8, 2012
In this case, that subject is one of our Middle School runners waiting for the starting gun at the beginning of his relay race. There's lots of action going on in the background and all around him, but he's a point of stillness in the middle of it all, poised, ready to spring into action at the sound of the pistol.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Another in our series of Eatonville Middle School track photos. I love this image because the runner looks so athletic! You can just feel the efficient power of his stride. His stance is perfect, the muscles on his arms stand out, the expression on his face is one of focus and determination... and, dare I say, joy? He's clearly happy to be there, competing on the open track with no competitors anywhere near him.
This relay team, by the way, just set the school record in the 4x100 at the District Meet this week.
Here's another image I like from the same meet:
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Here's a more traditionally-framed image than the last one, but one that still shows a strong sense of action. All of the subjects in the image are caught off balance, leaning forward in ways that are possible only in a frozen moment of action. The curved lines of the track add to this sense of motion, and the converging, out of focus lines (and runners) in the background give the image a sense of depth.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Monday, June 4, 2012
Sunday, June 3, 2012
At the Eatonville Middle School track meet versus Pioneer, I caught a few images of Logan Moose doing the long jump. Just for fun, I thought I'd take one set of images with the camera held diagonally, to see if I could emphasize the idea of him soaring above the earth. That unaltered image can be seen here, in its original angled form. But what really looked cool to me was this image, with the image rotated back to horizontal and the world tilted correspondingly.
The quote is from the famous poem by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.:
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air....
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent lifting mind I have trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
- Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
Saturday, June 2, 2012
After the annual MS Walk in Portland, our tradition is to go for lunch at the local Old Spaghetti Factory. This year we scored pair of big tables by the windows overlooking the Willamette River, on the second floor of the restaurant: a bit dim, but otherwise great light for photos! Here's my father, waiting for the dinner order at the head of the table, his own camera sitting on the window ledge behind him.