Oct 28, 2011

Homeward Bound

J. is an old friend. My wife and I often go listen to her perform--singing and playing guitar, with a bit of yuke thrown in now and again. Always a pleasure.

Well, she stopped by the other evening to bring some friends to see the Thatcher-Young Mansion (my home away from home) and we happened to be holding a photography class. Ever the good sport, J. acquiesced to a few frames.

Nikon D700, 85mm f/1.8 lens, f/2.5, 1/400s, ISO 400.

Oct 20, 2011

Morning Has Broken

You know that Cat Steven's song? I love the last lines, speaking about morning as God's recreation. That's we did this morning--recreated in the Dawn.

Nikon D700, 14-24mm f/2.8 lens @ 20mm, f/5.6, 1/250s, ISO 400.
K. is a great friend to come out this cold morning and dance down the trail (barefoot in the freezing cold). She and her sister, Andrea have done this twice this week. Andrea is a phenomenal hair stylist and I always enjoy the creations she comes up with. Look her up at K Salon in Logan and I know you'll be impressed, too.

Oct 19, 2011


Nikon D7000, 85mm f/1.8 lens, f/4, 1/40s, ISO 400.

I was working with one of my students, walking about USU meeting new friends and making on the spot portraits with them, when Kenny happened along. I spotted him at once--see, he was wearing a fedora, and I have a weak spot for those fine hats (have you seen my logo?).

So, we made a few frames on the sidewalk with Kenny, and he had some great looks and good confidence in front of the lens. I invited him to the Mansion for another class I was teaching on flash photography. Again, great looks and a good time.

Nikon D7000, 85mm f/1.8 lens, f/4, 1/125s, ISO 200.

Nikon D7000, 85mm f/1.8 lens, f/4, 1/125s, ISO 200.

Oct 13, 2011

Jobs Project

So, Steve Jobs passed away last week. I don't know the man, and I don't whether he was a good man--I don't know if he spent his money on humanitarian projects or if he built himself a castle with genuine leprechauns in the basement. I don't know.

I do know that he put apple computers in Mary Esther Elementary in Mary Esther florida where I went to school. I do know that I survived Mrs. Meyer's (bless her heart) third grade class because I got to play to Oregon Trail  and Odell Lake on said computers. It was a goal to work toward--my five minutes of free time on the computer. I suppose we did other stuff with the computers, too, but for those times I thank Mr. Job's for his efforts.

Besides making computing possible for me, he also ruined my life by making sure that I can be connected to everybody all the time. How's a guy supposed to get a break when he can check facebook and emails and text messages on an iPad anywhere in the world? Sheesh.

Jobs' favorite portrait was the one that is currently the landing page for apple.com. That portrait was made by Albert Watson, who has apparently worked with many celebrities (his work is incredible, but it's also not for general audiences; view with awareness). Well, in tribute to Mr. Jobs, I'm doing a project based on this portrait. View the complete project here as it grows, and please come in and allow me to make a portrait of you in this manner, as well. It literally takes 20 seconds, and we'll have you in and out with a fun portrait. I hope to see you soon...

Nikon D700, 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens @ 170mm, f/6.3, 1/250s, ISO 200.

Oct 10, 2011

Eyes to Die For...

Nikon D7000, Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 lens, f/4.5, 1/400s, ISO 400.
Those eyes are enough to make you want one. Well, almost.

Found this fellow at the Gardener's Market in Salt Lake. I was thinking to myself, "Climbing rope? that's maybe overkill--he's such a little guy...." That was right before this little lab flew six feet into the air and covered the passersby's faces in slobbery kisses. I'm thinking a less dynamic tether--6 gauge linked chain, perhaps? 

Alabama BBQ

Met this fellow at the Gardener's Market in Salt Lake yesterday. Best barbeque I've had! you should look him up--he can prepare your meal for Thanksgiving and Christmas! Naturally, I was drawn in by his hat, but I lingered for the smell.

Marcus Dean's Smoke House Catering: 435-654-0254
Nikon D7000, Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 lens, f/2.8, 1/1600s, ISO 400.
He was good enough to work with me as I adjusted myself to using the Zeiss lens. These are legendary lenses that are rumored to produce the sharpest images with incredible resolution. Well, I talked the Zeiss representative into letting me borrow this one for the photo walk I arranged during Digitalfest at Pictureline this weekend. The thing is, as sharp (and expensive!) as these lenses are, they do not have autofocus for Canons and Nikons! (Sony owners have a little more luck--they auto focus on their bodies). Honestly, I haven't used manual focus lenses regularly since I was in High School, and I really never made any portraits. It was a bit of a trick, especially with this shallow depth of field, to get the important stuff looking sharp. And wouldn't you know it, just as I was getting pretty good at it, I had to return the lens! But, I finagled another one and made the skating pictures you see below. Pretty fun day shooting!

Oct 9, 2011

High Flight

Nikon D7000, Zeiss 18mm f/2 lens, f8, 1/2500s, ISO 400.
I have a scar on my left arm. I also have scars on my knees, and all the way down my right foot. However, only the scar on my left arm came from skate boarding. I was 8, and my older brother had a board (which he ruined a leg on himself) and all I did was ride it down the neighbor's driveway; on my stomach. Anyway, got the bottom and the board stopped, but I didn't. 

Seems like there's an entrance fee to sport's like this--a cost to prove you're worthy. I didn't pay it. I didn't get back on and learn to ride. You know that saying about getting back on the horse? Well, this wasn't the horse for me.

There are lots of ways to fly, but the adventure gods don't let just anybody in the club. They have to be sure that the applicants are diligent, worthy to enjoy the free of the sky. I didn't continue with skating, but I found flight on a few other avenues. If you haven't found a means to fly for yourself, you're missing out. I'm thinking that it's never too late to find flight. At least, I hope that's the case; I hope I can find it again myself.

These four fellows really fly. Their passion and commitment is quite obvious, and it was a pleasure watching them worship in the temple of flight. I particularly appreciated their skill as I lay below...

Nikon D7000, Zeiss 18mm f/2 lens, f/8, 1/2500s, ISO 400.
Nikon D7000, Zeiss 18mm f/2 lens, f8, 1/2500s, ISO 400.
Nikon D7000, Zeiss 18mm f/2 lens, f8, 1/2500s, ISO 400.

Oct 6, 2011

Fortunate Meeting

I was just thinking to myself, "I need a baby to try this look on..." and low and behold, W. & W. were introduced to me with their little J. Sure had fun making pictures with them in a hurry this morning!

Nikon D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens @ 110mm, f/5.6, 1/250s, ISO 640.

Oct 4, 2011

There Goes Another One...

B. has been a friend of mine for a while now--comes to all kinds of photo club events, and has really made incredible images lately--you should see his work from a recent trip to China. Well, this week he got a new tool and he dropped by to share it with me. A new Nikon DSLR. It's over. He's hooked. 

We made a few frames, trading places in front of the lens, messing around with lights. Pretty fun. You've gotta break these things in.

Nikon D700, 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens, f/5.6, 1/200s, ISO 400.

Oct 2, 2011

Photo Walking

Yesterday was Scott Kelby's Fourth Annual World Wide Photo Walk. As always, it was a blast. Our local chapter got together and roamed the USU campus making pictures of whatever oddball stuff we could find. In speaking of oddballs, K. was one of the participants, and was good enough to almost hold still long enough for me to make a few frames. It's great people like K. who make these activities and all the fun things we do in the Cache Valley Photographers worth it.

Nikon D700, 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens @ 125mm, f/5.6, 1/500s, ISO 200.
Also made this funky one, finished it using HDR Efex Pro from Nik software (trial version--but I like it!)

Nikon D700, 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens @ 28mm, f/4.5, ISO 200.


Nikon D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II lens @ 75mm, f/11, ISO 200.

Seems like the whole valley drove up the canyon this afternoon to view the leaves. They are in full color at Tony Grove, and creeping down the canyons daily, like a shag carpet--out with the green, in with the orange!

There's a special grandeur to the changing of the leaves--like the world is putting on it's best clothes before death. Have you seen that movie, "Get Low"? Like this is the party of the year, and it's time to dress up for it. 

Nikon D700, 300mm f/4 lens, f/8, 1/15s, ISO 200.

So, we oblige. I called up the Cache Valley Paparazzi on Friday and invited them all to come with me on Saturday morning for the red carpet opening of Autumn up the Canyon. We tossed around where to attend, as if J. Lo and Lady Gaga were both throwing galas and we had to choose which one. We thought of heading to the Temple Fork road with it's high vantages, but Steve scouted that beforehand and noted that there was a distinct lack of red maples; we decided the place to be was Tony's.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II lens @ 70mm, f/16, 1/125s, ISO 640.

A herd of photogs appeared for the show, and it was well worth awaking at 5:00am. That first image was one of the very ones I made. I like to begin shooting well before the sun is up because the colors are very rich and the sky is not yet bright so there is not too much contrast between light and dark, which means that you can capture detail in both the sky and the landscape. And anyway, I'm already up, so I may as well shoot!

Nikon D700, 300mm f/4 lens, f8, 1/100s, ISO 200.
It never ceases to amaze me how much fun it is to make pictures of this kind of majesty. The colors, the clouds, the light, the hills themselves--it's all quite stunning. This kind of experience reminds of how much I love travel photography. I love creating images that show some of the soul of a place, the things that locals rave about--the things they are proud of in their home. Tony Grove is just such a place to the residents of Cache Valley. Everyone always goes on about how beautiful it is, at every season, and they spend weekends there and hundreds of people use it for snowmobiling each winter. Well, this was my first trip to that particular spot, and it really is lovely.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II lens @112mm, f/8, 1/160s, ISO 200.
So, this great place has been in my backyard while I've been traveling to Dubai, Korea, and St. Louis, etc. and relishing the pictures I made in those great places. The lesson for me, then, is that I can create great travel photographs right in the place where I live! I don't need to travel around the world to find great locales loaded with culture and interest.

Anyone want to join us for our Caribbean cruise this winter?

Nikon D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II lens @160mm, f/8, 1/320s, ISO 200.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, f/2.8 VR II lens @ 145mm, f/8, ISO 200.