Friday, November 30, 2012

Photo of the day: Mushroom in the grass

As I passed this cute little mushroom along the walk, I did a double-take and thought, I wonder how hard it would be to capture that on film among the grass...? My son Daniel waited patiently while I maneuvered the camera into the right position, shooting with manual focus and live view. I love the way the raindrops on the blades of grass turn into little sparkling jewels.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Photo of the day: Flutist II

Flutist II by The Bacher Family
Flutist II, a photo by The Bacher Family on Flickr.
"Would you like me to pose with my flute?"

A good photographer never turns down such an offer! Of course, if you want a picture with your flute, I'll photograph you with your flute, and a big proud grin on your face!

Meet Katie, 6th grade flutist.

Flutist

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Photo of the day: Aubrey at Smallwood Park

Aubrey, photographed at Smallwood Park in Eatonville, Washington.

Here's a few more of Aubrey from the indoor portion of our photo session:

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Photo of the day: Smallwood Park, bigleaf maple

Katie and Aubrey at Smallwood Park, with bigleaf maple leaves!

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Here's Aubrey and Katie again, this time in their front yard. The portrait with toadstools didn't turn out as cool as I thought it might, but the girls still look great!

Aubrey and Katie and toadstools

Monday, November 26, 2012

Photo of the day: Falling leaves

Falling leaves by The Bacher Family
Falling leaves, a photo by The Bacher Family on Flickr.
Here again is an idea inspired by the kids! They wanted to scoop up big handfuls of leaves, so I said "go ahead and do it, and everybody throw them up in the air at the same time!" It took about three tries to get it just right -- for one thing, when the leaves fall too far, there's always one in front of somebody's face -- and it took some experimentation to get the shutter speed right. But the end result is awesome!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Photo of the day: Autumn at Smallwood II

As much as I enjoyed photographing the Meadows family in their home, the images we captured at Smallwood Park were even better. It was just so much fun to play in the leaves, to incorporate all the colors into the photos, to have the natural light and open space to work with! I especially liked the big maple leaf Aubrey picked up along the way -- her parents' first reaction was to make her put it down, but I saw it as a unifying element in the image, tying the people with their setting. It also gave Aubrey something to do with her hands.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm going to be away from the computer for a few days. Photos of the day will continue when I return. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Photo of the day: Rings

Rings by The Bacher Family
Rings, a photo by The Bacher Family on Flickr.
OK, it's not a "portrait." And yet, this is one of my favorite photos from my portrait session with Dave and Lacey! There's something about a simple image that is compelling in its own way, removed from the clutter of a more complex photo. Here, the image boils down to its essential elements: the two hands, the two rings, the obvious familiarity in their juxtaposition. The bright skin contrasts with the dark clothing beneath, focusing the attention of the view. And, it's different from what you usually see in a portrait session. It's not likely to be the image the clients choose for their living room wall, but it makes the artist in the photographer happy!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Photo of the day: Junior Science

Junior Science by The Bacher Family
Junior Science, a photo by The Bacher Family on Flickr.
Here again are Junior Scientists from Columbia Crest Elementary School at work along the Nisqually River. There's something about goggles (or lab coats) and white gloves that just makes anything look official! Of course, these kids took their job seriously--it wasn't just the appearance of good science, but the real thing, and when something got spilled or contaminated, they went back and started over, and got it right.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Photo of the day: Science in action

Science in action by The Bacher Family
Science in action, a photo by The Bacher Family on Flickr.
For the second year (that I've been part of), the Columbia Crest Elementary "Summit" program hiked down to the Nisqually River to do water testing in October. We had beautiful autumn weather -- too beautiful, in some ways, as we were swarmed by yellow jackets every few minutes. Nobody got stung, but it kept the young scientists pretty nervous. Still, we got some good science done, monitoring oxygenation, colliform content, pH, and other characteristics of the river that flows down off the adjacent Mount Rainier volcano.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Photo of the day: Campground Volunteers

Last volunteer project of the season: taking down the Longmire Campground and preparing it for winter. This year, the work was done by students from The Evergreen State College, whose professor Jeff Antonelis-Lapp is pictured on the left, under the supervision of Jean and Harry Millan, who's pictured on the right. This is proof that volunteer work can be fun!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Photo of the day: Fire on the mountain

Fire on the mountain by The Bacher Family
Fire on the mountain, a photo by The Bacher Family on Flickr.
In late September, western Washington suffered under smoke from forest fires around Mount Adams and Ellensburg. One side effect was spectacular sunsets and sunrises as the light diffused through the particulates in the air. This is a sunrise from our home in Eatonville, looking out over the foothills toward Mount Rainier. I cropped it as if it were a panorama shot; in reality, it just removes the street lamps and RVs in the foreground!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Photo of the day: Autumn tennis

Autumn tennis by The Bacher Family
Autumn tennis, a photo by The Bacher Family on Flickr.
For one of David's last tennis matches of the season, he ended up on the northwest court, for which one of the only clear viewing locations (i.e. without a chainlink fence in front of the camera) was by laying down on the ground and shooting up through a small hole at the bottom of the fence! Fortunately this created an interesting angle for photos, and put the gorgeous fall colors in the background. It made the lighting challenging, but still I'm pleased with the way this one came out. It shows the color, light, and action of the day.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Photo of the day: Tennis akimbo

Tennis akimbo by The Bacher Family
Tennis akimbo, a photo by The Bacher Family on Flickr.
David's tennis doubles partner had such a flamboyant style when he returned a volley. Every time, he would swing all the way across his body, and most of the time come up on one leg or the other as well. Of course I had to capture that on camera!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Photo of the day: Kinetic angles

Kinetic angles by The Bacher Family
Kinetic angles, a photo by The Bacher Family on Flickr.
This was originally a horizontal image, which after the fact I decided would look better as a vertical crop. It tightens the focus onto the action elements in the image, with my son David coming straight at the ball visible just above him. (I'm not sure whether this is pre-volley or post.) I love the look of captured action, with all angles of the body at mid-movement extension. The contrast with the standing player in the background only emphasizes David's motion!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Photo of the day: Love - Love Service

Love - Love Service by The Bacher Family
Love - Love Service, a photo by The Bacher Family on Flickr.
My son David, serving up for a doubles match of JV Tennis at Eatonville High School.

It's purely coincidental based on where I had to stand to take these pictures, but I love the backlighting on the skin and the ball.

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Photo of the day: Shadow play

Shadow play by The Bacher Family
Shadow play, a photo by The Bacher Family on Flickr.

As I played with shadows at the tennis court, this quickly became one of my favorite images: Dorian poised ready for the serve, his shadow doppleganger looming in the foreground. Set in an otherwise empty frame, it makes the scene look larger than life.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Photo of the day: Leaping shadows

Leaping shadows by The Bacher Family
Leaping shadows, a photo by The Bacher Family on Flickr.
OK, so before this photo and a few like it, I had never taken pictures at a tennis match before. To add complication to the task, David drew the corner court in which it was most difficult to get a clear and unobstructed view of the action without fencing in the foreground. I had to stand on a railing on my tiptoes to get the camera over the fence. But I absolutely loved the evening shadows and the way they mirrored the action. I did learn, from this set, that I needed to set a faster shutter speed; I wish I had stopped the action better in this photo. But it's still a shot I'm proud of.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Photo of the day: Asters and honey bees

When your wife comes to you and says "you have to come out and take pictures of this," it's a good idea to listen! In this case, our aster garden was literally buzzing with bees. Mostly honey bees, but a few bumbles as well, and an occasional odd moth. You could stand still and listen and the air just thrummed with the sound of their wings. I took some videos as well, which are better for getting a sense of the sheer numbers of bees -- hundreds, probably. In a photo, though, it's better to focus on the singular. It's tough to capture a tiny insect that's constantly moving, so I took a whole series of photos, looking for the angles and settings that also gave a sense for the context of the image, the afternoon light, the sea of purple. This one's my favorite.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Photo of the day: Praying mantis

Praying mantis by The Bacher Family
Praying mantis, a photo by The Bacher Family on Flickr.
This little fellow showed up on our outside window screen in mid-September. It's only the second praying mantis we've seen at our house in almost ten years here, the last one being more than nine years ago. But they are such fascinating critters! I circled her with the camera, taking shots from every angle I could think of, as she watched me like a... well, like a praying mantis. But she didn't fly away, and when I had every shot I could think of, I gave her her peace. When I returned ten minutes later, she was gone.

I't's hard to see scale in this photo, so, for the record, she was about 2 1/2 inches long.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Photo of the day: Imp

Imp by The Bacher Family
Imp, a photo by The Bacher Family on Flickr.
Sometimes you just happen on an amazing shot. This one was up at Paradise, where a small section of space behind the visitor center had been cordoned off to keep people out of a pile of dirt and gravel being used for a maintenance project. A clever father had put his son behind the fence to play in the dirt and to keep him contained. My trick was to capture the image with the eyes and smile visible, in the two seconds the child afforded me to do so before he went back to his digging!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Rangers on the trail

Rangers on the trail by The Bacher Family
Rangers on the trail, a photo by The Bacher Family on Flickr.
On any given day at Mount Rainier National Park, there's an impressive chance that you might cross paths (so to speak) with one of our park rangers working with a school group. In many cases -- like this one -- this may be the very first time the kids have visited a National Park, and the experience we provide for them is an important first step toward their decision to be environmentally aware citizens and even, perhaps, park rangers themselves!

This photo is on the Myrtle Falls section of the Skyline Trail. I love the fall colors just beginning to appear, the detail visible in the mountain, and the trail leading the eye into the distance.

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Photo of the day: Ranger Ed Lawler

Ranger Ed Lawler by The Bacher Family
Ranger Ed Lawler, a photo by The Bacher Family on Flickr.
Along with trail maintenance, our volunteers on National Public Lands Day invested time and sweat into a revegetation project at the old Sunrise Campground. Ranger Ed Lawler was one of the crew leads on the project. Here, he's in his element: in full uniform, keys and radio on his belt, gloves and a trowel in his hands, surrounded by plants and wheelbarrows.

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Photo of the day: Restoration volunteers

A team of volunteers works to restore the old Sunrise Campground to its native meadow vegetation. This is a project we've been working on for years, and it'll be many more before it's finished. But when it is, you'll never know that once people camped and parked their cars right in the middle of one of Mount Rainier National Park's most sensitive and pristine ecosystems!