Monday, January 31, 2011

2011, Day 031 - The yards

As the sun was setting this evening and the clouds started to darken I grabbed by camera and ran out the door. There is something about industrial areas that are so interesting, I think it is because they're off limits and filled with giant skeletal machines.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
21mm, f4, HDR of 0.3, 0.8, 2, 5 and 13 sec @ 400 ISO

Sunday, January 30, 2011

2011, Day 030 - Prayer

Sunday is a day of reflection and being agnostic I thought about what this year holds for my photographic future rather than what some deity has planned for me. The big concern is my sister's wedding. It's portraiture which I had a reasonable handle on; part of my Portrait of Portland project is meant to help me work on honing my portraiture. The biggest challenge is that the wedding is taking place indoors, so low light, in the middle of a California summer, hot light, in the later afternoon, high angle, so shadows are going to be a problem as are small powerful light sources (read: windows). I am going to have to compensate and for that task I believe some additional tools will be necessary and possible an assistant/lighting monkey...

Until then I present to you another photographic reworking from my travels. This is the interior of Man Mo Temple on Hong Kong Island. I love the spiraling incense hanging from the ceiling, the smoky interior and the crowds of people that somehow fade into the background.

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 17-40/f4L
24mm, f4, 1/30 sec @ 1600 ISO

Saturday, January 29, 2011

2011, Day 029 - Nightlife

It's Saturday night and instead of going out I am decided to revisit the nightlife I discovered with my sister during our first night in Hong Kong.

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 35/f1.4L
35mm, f1.4, 1/200 sec @ 400 ISO

Friday, January 28, 2011

2011, Day 028 - Readin'

I love orange, it's such a great warm vibrant color so when I saw this woman waiting for her bus on a gloomy overcast morning I took think picture. I think the pen to the mouth makes her look contemplative...

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f5.6, 1/320 sec @ 200 ISO

Thursday, January 27, 2011

2011, Day 027 - Glowing woods

Another evening walk in Sellwood this time in Sellwood Park. I love the glow of the lights in the trees giving warmth and depth.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24/f1.4L Mark II
24mm, f1.4, 3.2 sec @ 400 ISO

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

2011, Day 026 - The docks

I took a walk this evening along the Willamette River at Sellwood Riverfront Park and found that a blanket of fog was already beginning it's slow descent and tomorrow I am sure that the city will be reduced to ghostly shapes until the sun burns it off. Normally I don't see any boats moored at the dock in the park but tonight there were two but I liked the sailboat best.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24/f1.4L Mark II
24mm, f1.4, 1/3 sec @ 400 ISO

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2011, Day 025 - Tristan

With this post I am officially kicking off my "Portrait of Portland" series. This is such a tremendously diverse community made up of a people who share an independence of spirit, an appreciation of community and an offbeat sense of humor.

I start with Tristan whose lunch I interrupted to take his portrait. He's recently returned to Portland from New Mexico after a fifteen year hiatus. I'm sure that so much has changed but Portland's basic identity should be comfortably familiar. This is a town that people love and hate in equal measure but whose reputation keeping bringing people back and luring in new Portlandians.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f4, 1/640 sec @ 400 ISO

Monday, January 24, 2011

2011, Day 024 - Electrician needed

I take you back in time to 2009 and my trip to China. This photo was taken on our last day in Zhuhai from the car window as we ran a few last minute errands before Aunt Nancy took us to the ferry terminal. Yup, we rode gangster class to China from Hong Kong but slummed it on the way back. I don't know if there was a reason why but I remember the ferry being quite cramped and thinking that the exclusive gangster lounge might be nice since we had it all to ourselves on the way over. Oh well...

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-70/f2.8L
42mm, f2.8, 1/320 sec @ 800 ISO

Sunday, January 23, 2011

2011, Day 023 - Stonemason

My neighbors are having their retaining wall rebuild, gone is the concrete and in its place dry-stacked stone. As I walked past this morning with the dogs I noticed that work was continuing through the weekend so I introduced myself and asked to take a photo.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24-70/f2.8L
70mm, f4, 1/100 sec @ 200 ISO

Saturday, January 22, 2011

2011, Day 022 - Scowl

I love this photo not because it is a genuine reflection of the subject but because it conveys a mood. After having an afternoon snack with Deanna I asked her to stand for a portrait. Initially she was smiling and being her normal effervescent self and I interjected a little direction. "Look serious" was my request and this is the grumpy serious scowl I got. It's awesome!

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24-70/f2.8L
50mm, f2.8, 1/250 sec @ 400 ISO

Friday, January 21, 2011

2011, Day 021 - Pompadour

This is the last of my dog show photos. The poodles are so patient, most of them sleep through their grooming, or at least the first part but they have to stand for the finishing touches. This big guy was napping but woke up long enough to have his picture taken.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f2.8, 1/320 sec @ 800 ISO

Thursday, January 20, 2011

2011, Day 20 - Howl

More from yesterday's shoot at the dog show. I loved this husky, she was looking so miserable on the groom table waiting for someone to come back and finish their handiwork. When I was walking by her tail started to wag so I stopped to take a couple pictures. It would have been nice to interact with her more but you dare not touch any of the dogs without permission as their groom can take the better part of the day.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f2.8, 1/80 sec @ 800 ISO

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

2011, Day 019 - Princess

Today was the first day of the Rose City Classic Dog Show and my friends Stacey and Debbie alway attend. I find it is just as interesting to watch the people as it is to watch the dogs and, interestingly, the latter are frequently better socialized.

There will be more photos to come but for now, while my entire photo archive is backed up to my new RAID array I leave you with this.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f2.8, 1/320 sec @ 1600 ISO

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2011, Day 018 - Dario

Yesterday was a lot of fun, I got a chance to catch up with my friend Choy about my recent trip to Thailand and then I had lunch and a movie with my former roommate and friend Dario. We ended up seeing the remake of True Grit and I urge you all to see it, one of the best movies I've seen in a long time...

Anywho, it's a new week so I tried to get Dario to sit still for a photo. He has a hard time suppressing laughter when there is a camera pointed in his direction so my first attempts weren't great but this one taken in low light indoors I like.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24-70/f2.8L
57mm, f2.8, 1/40 sec @ 2500 ISO

Monday, January 17, 2011

2011, Day 017 - Fishmonger

Back to China! On the eve of Chinese New Year we went to one of the markets where Laura and I explored whilst Aunt Nancy went in search of something, I can't remember but I believe that we didn't even know at the time. Anywho, amongst the peddlers was a fishmonger cleaning a fish for a waiting customer. How can you know if your food is fresh is you don't witness it being slaughtered?

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-70/f2.8L
52mm, f2.8, 1/125 sec @ 200 ISO

Sunday, January 16, 2011

2011, Day 016 - Johan in love

I'm still working on my weekly portrait project and seeing as my friend Rachel came by to visit last night I coerced her into being my model and during the shoot Johan feel in love. That's right, Rachel has a new boyfriend, or at least that's what he thinks.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24-70/f2.8L
52mm, f5.6, 1/60 sec @ 200 ISO

Saturday, January 15, 2011

2011, Day 015 - Family

As proof of my earlier statement, this was the scene that greeted us outside the Yen family shine in my grandfather's village. Yes, that is smoking and gambling but one the positive side the gentleman on the left in the black leather jacket was the one that took us to the house where Grandpa grew up and showed us the important sights in the village. This is the stock the Yens come from and I rather like it...

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 135/f2L
135mm, f4, 1/100 sec @ 400 ISO

Friday, January 14, 2011

2011, Day 014 - Carting

I went out for a culinary adventure this evening and decided to check out some of the food carts on Hawthorne.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24/f1.4L Mark II
24mm, f11, 13 sec @ 100 ISO

Thursday, January 13, 2011

2011, Day 013 - Snow and silver

One of my favorite shots from last year was taken with my friend Terri at Silver Falls State Park. There is something that is magical about that place so when I awoke at an obscenely early hour on Monday morning I got the dogs taken care of and I headed out the door stopping in downtown Silverton briefly before heading to the park. As I made my way south the elevation rose and there was a thin blanket of snow on the ground. I was thrilled because I hoped to get a picture of the falls in nature's monochrome.

Ultimately there wasn't that much snow on the ground but that was probably for the best because there are some rather steep stairs and if there was any more snow and ice I don't think I would have been able to make it down to the falls. Nevertheless, I present winter at Silver Falls.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f16, masked layers of 1 and 2.5 sec @ 200 ISO

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

2011, Day 012 - Cones of scent

I love the effect of all the incense spirals in this communal shrine in my grandfather's village. There are three shrines that belong to the founding members of the community including one for my family. Not surprisingly our family shrine was in the greatest state of disrepair with men outside playing cards and dice, it seems rather fitting given my grandfather's personality.

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 17-40/f4L
21mm, f4, 1/25 sec @ 3200 ISO

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2011, Day 011 - Wedged

Continuing with China and the village where my grandfather was born, this is the tail end of a trash collection vehicle that required us to huddle in the doorway of the houses lining the alley to make room for its passage.

Thank goodness for the usability of Canon's 5D Mark II at high ISO. This is one of those shots taken immediately after coming back out into the light from a dimly lit building where I forgot to lower the ISO. It's slightly grainy at 100% but still completely acceptable.

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 135/f2L
135mm, f2, 1/8000 sec @ 1600 ISO

Monday, January 10, 2011

2011, Day 010 - Ghost of the Shadow Gang

Another evening outing and this time a little gem. I like the movement of a person in a long exposure and this kind gentleman just happened to be making use of the footbridge as I took this exposure.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24/f1.4L Mark II
24mm, f4, 6 sec @ 200 ISO

Sunday, January 9, 2011

2011, Day 009 - Hailey

Part of this year's resolution is to take more portraits and to that end I asked my friend Hailey for a quick informal shot after we had lunch yesterday. Yeah, I know, it isn't moody or gritty but I still like it because it captures her well.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24/f1.4L Mark II
24mm, f1.4, 1/1000 sec @ 200 ISO

Saturday, January 8, 2011

2011, Day 008 - Top ten of 2010

Two thousand and ten was a great year, photographically speaking. The 365 challenge helped me to hone my skills and identify my weaknesses. Below are the highlights of the year.

Furthering the spirit of the Pacific Northwest by getting outside whenever the clouds broke enough to let a few rays of sunlight through.

Exploring the garden with a macro lens.

Spending time with friends at Oregon's state parks.

Braving freezing temperatures in the Columbia River Gorge.

Running further afield into Washington State in pursuit of photographic bargains.

Lurking under Portland's bridges to get interesting night time shots.

Recruiting soldiers on the beaches Koh Lanta in Thailand.

Exploring the remains of Thailand's former seats of power.

Being blessed by monks.

Watching the joy of others.

2011, Day 007 - Light at the end...

While I am no longer jet-lagged I either have a touch of the flu or am developing agoraphobia because I've been unable to leave the house unless absolutely necessary for the last few days. I think it is the former as my sister Laura had the flu when I was in California and now I'm tired, achy and all around gross.

However, this evening, when I woke up from the last nap of the day (you know, the one that immediately precedes bedtime) I decided that I needed some new material so with the help of Google Maps I went out towards the rail yard. Unfortunately it was already quite late and the tracks were not well illuminated but the wooden frame bridge made for an interesting subject and the floodlight in the background really helped to make it special.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24/f1.4L Mark II
24mm, f2, 2.5 sec @ 200 ISO

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24/f1.4L Mark II
24mm, f1.4, 1.3 sec @ 200 ISO

Thursday, January 6, 2011

2011, Day 006 - Flight

Another photo from my trip to China. This photograph was taken at the village were my grandfather grew up in one of the narrow alleys between homes and shows one of my guides and occasional shadows fleeing back to the safety of her home after the novelty of my visit wore off.

In re-processing this file I tweaked the colors, adjusted the histogram, applied a little vignetting and sharpened the results.

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 135/f2L
135mm, f4, 1/200 sec @ 100 ISO

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2011, Day 005 - Aftermath

I was going through some of my photos from China taken about two years ago and decided this one could use a little more attention. I wanted to increase the contrast and desaturate the colors to make it look moodier and a little bit dirtier. There are a number of little elements that I like in this photo; the rope reflected in the puddle, the scattering of bones like this is some ferocious beast in its layer and the wet feet and dirty coat of the dog.

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-70/f2.8L
70mm, f4, 1/2500 sec @ 400 ISO

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011, Day 004 - Entrepreneurial spirit

As I noted a few days ago, part of this year's mandate is to work on past photos in order to try to get the most out of them. Today's posting is a photograph I took on my first day in Bangkok about three and a half weeks ago. After wading through crowds of tourists, many in the process of relatively harmless scams, we broke into a small park that borders the Chao Phraya river. Along the south side of the park were these shops with residences above and people working industriously at setting up their stalls and carts.

A park near the office of the Department of Internal Trade, Bangkok.
Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f5.6, 1/250 sec @ 200 ISO

2011, Day 003 - Sundial at night

And goodbye California. The continuing saga of jet lag had me up at a little after three o'clock this morning so I decided to get the car packed and head back to Portland. On my way through Redding in the early hours I decided to stop and check out their Sundial Bridge. Fortunately it was indeed illuminated and the fog rising off the river gave a cool effect.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f4, 15 sec @ 400 ISO

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f2.8, 2 sec @ 400 ISO

2011, Day 002 - Mr. Bucket

Yes, yes, I'm already slower at keeping this blog updated than I was last year but I did spend all day today driving from California to Oregon and yesterday, well, I wanted to spend with my family so I had other priorities. And thus I present to you again Charlie, my little sister's muppet of a dog.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24/f1.4L Mark II
24mm, f1.4, 1/50 sec @ 1600 ISO

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011, Day 001 - Old Sacramento

Jet lag is still torturing me so I went out early into Old Sacramento and this is the picture I like best.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
26mm, f8, HDR of 1/50, 1/20, 1/8 and 0.3 sec @ 200 ISO

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010, Day 364 - Begin again

Now that's I'm back in the country my blog reverts back to my photographic journal instead of the travelogue it has been for the past three weeks. Unfortunately, due to the magic of the international date line, I am a day short because in twenty-four hours the date changed from December 10th to the 12th so the 11th disappear. Oh well, there have been tons of pictures to make up for the lost day!

It has been a remarkable year for me as a photographer. When my friend Terri threw down the gauntlet a couple days before New Years over a year ago and I agreed to accept her photo-a-day challenge I had little idea what was in store for me. At the time I thought I was a pretty good photographer but in the course of the last 365 days I've learned so much and discovered many things that I hope to learn in the coming year. I owe a debt of gratitude to so many people for tolerating my roadside stops, for sharing their knowledge, for giving me encouragement, for their positive and constructive feedback. Thank you all, it has been a wonderful year and I am excited to start a new one with the promise of so much more.

I think that this blog will change for 2011. Last year I gained so much and I discovered so many interesting things in Portland from my photo-a-day but I don't know that I want to continue in the same vein. It goes without saying that I will carry a camera around with me all the time, it has become habit and I find that when I don't I miss opportunities, but I suspect that I won't be posting every day. One of my frustrations over the last year was posting images I wasn't really happy with but doing it anyway because I needed a photo and I certainly won't be doing that. Instead I may post photos from a single shoot over multiple days because for 2011 I really want to learn more of the ins and outs of Photoshop.

Furthermore, I am going to review a lot of the photos that I took last year, especially those taken while traveling. In the rush to get photos, sometimes dozens of them, posted I often feel that I am not doing them justice with my quick processing. Don't be surprised if you see images that look familiar because some of them you've probably seen before but in another form.

Thank you to everyone who reads my blog and shares it with others, I only hope that you have gained a small fraction of the benefits that I've enjoyed from this project.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24/f1.4L Mark II
24mm, f4, 0.8 sec @ 1oo ISO

2010, Day 363 - Point A to B

That's it, the end of my adventures in Thailand. This morning we were picked up by an slightly insane man who drove 90 kph through Bangkok to the freeways where he drove at 140 kph and managed to make a twenty minute drive out of what should have taken a half hour or more.

We flew from Bangkok's quite excellent and slightly mall-like Suvarnabhumi Airport to Tokyo Narita and then on to San Francisco where I took BART to Richmond and from there was driven back to my parent's house by my sister Laura and my mother. I will probably stay in California for a few days to recover from my jet-lag and celebrate New Years.

The end of the terminal at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport.

The room of shame at Narita, also known as the "Smoking Lounge" with a built-in pixelation bar to protect the privacy of the afflicted.

BART, almost done with hours and hours of travel.