Jan 31, 2010

Veiled Love

J. and M. were easy: they were so no enamored with one another that I just pointed the camera and shot...and told them to put the veil over their heads, and put them on the right background, and got down on the floor to shoot, and set the aperture wide so that just edge of their faces would be in focus, and got the wrinkles in the veil just so, and zoomed in tight to maximize the camera sensor, and processed it just right, including crafting just the right sepia combination. Easy.

Nikon D90, 70-200mm lens @ 170mm, f/2.8, 1/60s, ISO 500, inside the Boise Capitol Building.


A Capital Experience

Boy, what a weekend! We shot a wedding Friday, followed by another on Saturday...in Boise! Between the driving and the shooting we are exhausted.

We really enjoyed the shoots, however, and I'll get a couple of posts together and share some of the images with you. For today, though, please enjoy this image of the Capitol building in Boise. It has recently been renovated and it is truly a remarkable building, inside and out. I recommend checking it out next time you are up that direction.

Nikon D90, 12-24mm lens @ 24mm, f/4.0, 1/250s, ISO 100.


Jan 28, 2010

Flower Friday

This image was made while shooting with my class at The Studio. Thanks to Fred's Flowers for providing the subjects.

Nikon D90, 85mm, f/1.8, 1/1000s, ISO 200.

Jan 26, 2010


I meet lots of people. I met the Maestro here at the Gardener's Market in Logan last summer. We've collaborated on a few different projects (like this one, and this one, too) and it's always a pleasure to work with him. He's involved in lots of different projects, and currently teaches at a local high school. This was shot during a workshop with the Cache Valley Photographers.

I was using a very long lens capable of a 300mm focal length, which makes flattering portraits. The longer a lens, the more compressed people's features appear. This means that noses look less prominent, and proportions look better all over. I had set up one of my SB-600's in a small softbox with a grid to really focus the light while softening it at the same time. In the end, though, it's the subject himself that makes the picture worth viewing. Maestro's expression says volumes to me from the eyebrows to the irises.

Nikon D90, 70-300mm lens @ 220mm, f/5.3, 1/160s, ISO 200, SB-600 in Cheetah Stand softbox.


Jan 24, 2010

For Judy II

Nikon D90, 70-200mm lens @ 155 and 200mm, f/2.8, 1/160s and 1/320s, ISO 320.


Coming Untied

There is a thing for every person, an object, which brings to the surface a portion of that person's true character. Young boys have a few predictable articles that facilitate this. String will now accompany me on every shoot.

Come on in, but only if you're prepared to come completely unwound...

Nikon D90, 70-200mm lens, f/2.8, 1/50s to 1/100s, ISO 320. All available light, imported string.


Jan 22, 2010

Flower Friday

In my photography class this week, I told my students that when shooting flowers, they should always try to get a different point of view than the straight down view that we always see when passing a flower on the sidewalk. I'm always giving them rules to follow, with several good cases why they should follow it.

So much for rules.

Nikon D90, 18-200mm VR lens @ 200mm, f/9.0, 1/80s, ISO 200. Racking the lens out to it's longest focal length and standing close to the subject still allows a fairly shallow depth of field, even though the aperture is fairly wide at f/9.0. Also, this lens suffers from lens creep very badly; that is, when it's pointing downward gravity always extends it to it's longest focal length if left unchecked. Not bad when you're breaking rules, anyway.


Jan 18, 2010

A Bouquet's Worth

I couldn't resist some more of these. It's also a sneek peek for Mom and Dad, and maybe they'll share some of these images of little L. with family members, too. I love that everyone can view pictures from anywhere in the world. It wasn't long ago that I was squished on the couch with my grandma and aunts, turning the thick cellophane covered pages of a creme colored photo album. Man, the web is much more comfortable, and grandma doesn't have to wait for me to come by to see my images. My grandma even has one of those keychains with a mini digital photo frame on it--she can show you her Alaska pictures at the super market!

Pick your way in here...

All shot at The Studio.


Cold Train Runnin'

It's been cold here in Northern Utah. The fog has been heavy each day, coating all surfaces with a thickening layer of rime. I thought it would be interesting to try to capture it, but it is an extremely elusive subject. The best I've come up with so far is this image of the tracks. I know the title isn't precise, but altering lyrics has always been a habit of mine.

Nikon D90, 70-200mm lens @ 86mm, f/3.2, 1/320s, ISO 200.


Jan 16, 2010

Flower Girl

As we were doing this shoot, the sun finally came out after a long, smoggy/foggy week. You know that Cowsills song?

Nikon D90, 70-200mm lens @ 78mm, f/4.0, 1/100s, ISO 200, continuous daylight balanced florescent lights. Shot at The Studio.


Jan 15, 2010

Flower Friday

Nikon D90, 10-20mm lens @ 20mm, f/5.6, 1/200s, ISO 640.


Not-such-a-Flower Friday

Sorry, but Flower Friday is running a little late, today. In the meantime, you'll have to put up with this self portrait made on the steps of the capitol building in Little Rock, AR last week.

This image was made at nighttime, and was totally dependent on two things: tons of lights around the building, and the timer on my camera. I set the camera on the balustrade by the steps and turned on the timer--then ran for my spot. It was so dark that my camera was having trouble focusing, so it took a few tries to get myself into the focal plane. If I'd been thinking more clearly (it was cold) I would have set the timer so that it took multiple shots, as well, in order to catch the least blurry image. Now, the lights around the capitol were huge something-vapor bulbs and their color had to be accounted for using my white balance adjustments.

When you're a people picture maker, and there're no people out, you may have to lower your standards...

Nikon D90, 50mm lens, f/2.8, 1/2s, ISO 250. And hold still.


Jan 13, 2010

Good Neighbors

I love dogs. I just don't want one of my own. I honestly don't have time or the right lifestyle to be able to care for one properly. So, I just enjoy other people's dogs. Like Haleigh. She's very kind, and she's friendly, but timid. She and her owners are good friends, and good neighbors: they always clean up after her. It's such a nice thing to have considerate neighbors. Too bad they moved...

Nikon D90, 85mm lens, f/3.2, 1/250s, ISO 100, -2/3 EV. In the conversion to black and white, I increased the contrast of the overall image, and brightened the oranges and reds in Haleigh's coat to increase the contrast a little more; I like the way it makes her coat appear almost two-tone. I also sharpened her eyes--if it looks good on people, why not dogs, too?


Jan 10, 2010

Cardinal Memories

I was walking down the street to catch the bus when I heard a clear and simple call from a bird. Unlike many other bird calls that are comprised of two sounds at once, this one seemed simple enough for a person to accurately imitate it. So I did. I looked up and on the street lamp there was a bright red cardinal singing his heart out. He and I played tag with the call for a few moments--then the bus driver was honking, and I was running. He probably made some kind of completely inappropriate remark, and then let me sit on the engine cover and open the door for other kids. I was eight, and I lived in Northern Florida: seat belts were still not law, and politically correct was not only unheard of, but it probably still hasn't been in that neighborhood. So, I worked the door mechanism, and whistled my Cardinal Call. I still know it.

When I saw these guys at Pinnacle Mountain I remembered that day. We don't have Cardinals here in Utah, with the bright red on the males and muted colors of the females. We also don't have whatever this other guy is. Anyone care to venture and identify him?

I promise, it was the wind ruffling his feathers, not the photographer.


Jan 9, 2010

Pinnacles of Arkansas

I visited two of Little Rock's tallest landmarks, today. One is the Metropolitan Tower, 45 stories tall. It sits downtown, and is the tallest building in Arkansas. The other is Pinnacle Mountain, and Pinnacle Mountain State Park. At just over one thousand feet, it's not the tallest mountain in Arkansas, just the most prominent in the area. It rises more than 700 feet with nearly sheer faces on two sides. After the Park, I kept driving and found some other interesting subjects.

For more rural Arkansas, click here...



EJ's is a tasty little cafe downtown Little Rock Arkansas. Here's the ceiling. It really was that color.

Nikon D90, 50 mm lens, f/4.0, 1/40s, ISO 200

Jan 3, 2010


One more from yesterday's workshop with the CVP. You may remember some of Teri Sorensen's Work from the Gallery Walk hosted at The Studio a few weeks ago. Well, I can tell you she is as almost as a good a model as she is a photographer. Just look at those blue eyes! (not photoshopped, by the way)

Nikon D90, 70-200mm lens @ 155mm, f/5.0, 1/125s, ISO 100, one SB-800 from camera left with a 1/4 cut CTO gel, one bare SB-600 from camera right. That slight warming gel really does it's job well: these were overcast conditions with nasty blue light everywhere, but here we have Teri standing in the one ray of sunshine on the block.


An Afternoon Out

Took a little drive with Gary Bird this afternoon. Sometimes one just needs to get out and make some pictures--even if it is 10 below freezing and there is a terrible haze settled into the Cache Valley.

We were hoping to make some landscape shots in Mt. Sterling, but the haze detered us. Instead we stayed on the road to Paradise to see what we could find. Evidently, these folks were doing the same thing; only they were prepared to dig it up when they found it.

Click here to follow us down the road to see what we found...

While in Paradise, we stopped at a beach to watch the sunset...

Then jumped back into the car for some rural snowscapes.

These irrigation lines are well photographed in every state around the West. Therefore, our challenge was to find a new angle, a new perspective, a different view that hadn't been done before.

But that's pretty much impossible. We walked away with more of the same images that are filling up every photographer's hard drive and negative sleeves from California to Nebraska and beyond. But this time it's our hard drives, and that makes all the difference. A cold winter's afternoon outing isn't really about the images made (when we want images, we go out on even colder winter mornings).


Jan 2, 2010

Passersby IV

This morning, the Cache Valley Photographers had a little workshop to gain more experience and understanding while shooting in snow. We learned a little about Ansel Adams' Zone System and how to use our cameras' data to create better images on site. It was a lot of fun, actually, and we had a good time shooting each other; but you know me--I love to catch the passersby, too.

This pup and his lady were a treat. They were walking around waiting for someone, and we got several opportunities to try and catch some of their story. I love the casual stance of the woman as she chats with another person and the dog's apparently bored expression.

This next fellow was intently walking down the street, and around the corner; returning home from shoveling the walk at the church? taking care of his friend's walks, perhaps? just finished with his walks and on his way to...?

Niko D90, 70-200mm lens @ 200mm, f/2.8, 1/500s & ISO 200, 1/320s & ISO 200 respectively.

Jan 1, 2010

Flower Friday

With a winter storm warning in effect until tomorrow afternoon here in Northern Utah, I thought this warm specimen was most appropriate. I have a black and white rendition of the same that I may prefer, but cold monotone winter days call for rich vibrant colors. Here's to a Happy New Year, and wishing global warming would catch on around here...

Nikon D90, 85mm lens, f/1.8, 1/160s, ISO 320.