Sep 30, 2013

Damsels Wanted! Have Hero, Will Travel

I gotta admit, this song has been running through my mind while I've been finishing this image; it's good to be I can get a different song in there. Making pictures with these kids was so much fun, and then drawing my monster in was a whole other fun thing to do. I can't wait to do it some more!

Tryon Creek State Park in Southwest Portland/Lake Oswego is a wonderful place to make pictures.

Sep 28, 2013


It's just what I needed. A relief. A pleasure, really. I got to photograph F. and her new little L., today. She's just a month old, but look at all that hair. Thanks a bunch for a fun time making pictures, F.

Nikon D800, 105mm f/2.8 VR Macro lens, f/8, 1/200s, ISO 100.
Technical stuff. We made this picture on the side while making portraits for the Portland Urgent Care clinic where F. works. Effectively, that means I had the lights setup in a specific manner that helps ensure the portraits are all similar, which means I couldn't easily move it to make a piece of art for mother and daughter. 

I had a black backdrop, a small octabox up front, and a barebulb strobe with a reflector in the back. Without changing my light settings, I brought F. a little closer to the octa to wrap her and baby in a softer light (the closer, the softer). We made several frames here, but this was my favorite, shot with me on a chair so I could see from a little above.

Sep 12, 2013

Brothers Walking

Nikon D800, 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens @135mm, f/5.6, 1/125, ISO 1600.
I was fortunate enough to attend Photoshop world in Las Vegas last week, and also to lead a photowalk with a bunch of terrific photogs. Lemme tell you, Vegas is different from Lake Oswego, but photography is the same everywhere. It was 100 degrees at night and all we could do was keep walking and shooting. It was a blast.

As we walked, I noticed this bright, soft light shining on R.'s face, so I begged a portrait of him. He was a little reluctant, but incredibly patient as we waited for the huge sign overhead to cycle through different ads and different colors of light. I love happening on this kind of thing, and I love that R. let me make a portrait with him.

R.'s brother, R., was also along on the walk, the two of them visiting from New York. There's this wonderfully lit stairwell we passed, and I just had to have a portrait with R. Funny thing is, as we made a few frames we gathered quite a crowd of international tourists. Apparently, R. resembles one of Bob Marley's sons who lives in Vegas. Who knew?

Nikon D800, 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens @112mm, f/5.6, 1/80s, ISO 1600.
Walking The Strip at night shows all the lights of Vegas, and it's really fun to see. However, most of those lights are not the best for portrait lighting. In situations like this I search for light to make my subjects stand out, and that often means the portrait will be a few highlights on a black field. I like that. It fits my mood. High ISO's are my salvation when photowalking at night.

Sep 11, 2013

Patriot's Day

I was in Taiwan, and I was a missionary. My co-worker told me he heard something about a plane crashing into the white house, and, thinking it was probably a Cessna of course, we went to sleep. When we awoke the next morning and walked out of the elevator to go to work, our doorman stopped us and showed us the small TV on his desk, and told us about the jetliners, and the Twin Towers, and the Pentagon. He said to be careful out there today, and to watch out for guys with big beards, and to know that all the Taiwanese people would be watching out for us. We were stunned, and a little incredulous and not really understanding the impact of everything: half a world away and spoken in Mandarin the whole thing was kinda cinematic and unreal. Still, it was good to know that we had friends even so far away, and that things would be okay. We had threats made against us, and some terrorist scares, but we came through alright. After two years away, I returned home a month or so later and my mom was so frustrated she couldn't come down the terminal to meet me. It's a new world since then, and we've all been impacted.

I'm thankful that while I was being taken care of in Taiwan, there were courageous people taking care of everyone here at home, too.

Nikon D90, 12-24mm f/4 lens @ 12mm, f/5.6, 1/100s, ISO 320. 
I made this picture in front of Engine Company 69 in Manhattan a few years ago while photowalking on my own.