Wednesday, August 31, 2011

2011, Day 243 - Span

This is a north-looking view of the St. Johns Bridge that connects North Portland to the West Hills and Forest Park.  I took this photo last week with my friend Terri and waded into water past my knees and partially submerged my tripod to get this photo with the old dock timbers rotting away in the river.  Initially this was meant to be a color photo but as I layered the different exposures I found myself wanting a cool tone when in fact it was a warm morning that burnt off the early cloud cover.  I hope you enjoy the finished product, I am quite pleased with myself at the moment.

Canon 1Ds Mark II, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f22, masked layers of 1/5, 0.3, 0.8, and 3.2 sec @ 100 ISO

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

2011, Day 242 - Bathing

We've had more overcast weather and light sprinkles so when I found this fly taking a shower of a dahlia I decided to capture the moment.  Can you see the little drops of water collecting on his hairs?  As I watched he did indeed bathe but I thought to allow him some dignity.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f5.6, 1/160 sec @ 400 ISO

Monday, August 29, 2011

2011, Day 241 - Halo

I took a walk through one of the community gardens this morning in the light and refreshing summer sprinkle.  Everything is late this year but the upshot it that the flowers are still in full bloom and this zinnia caught my eye.  That golden halo of florets looks like some sort of treasure nestles in a pillow supported by a flower.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f5.6, 1/160 sec @ 400 ISO

Sunday, August 28, 2011

2011, Day 240 - Crouching

Apparently it is "Spider Sunday" and, determined to participate, I grabbed my favorite macro setup and delved into the back garden.  Doesn't that sound grand?  A back garden?  Well, in truth it is about twelve feet long by twenty-five feet wide so with the planting it is really little more than a courtyard but the spider hatch was late this year so there are many little guys out now trying to gorge themselves before it gets cold at night.

My oak-leaf hydrangea seems to have started flowering for the second time this year (or maybe there are just late blooms) but the flowers are quite small and this sider is even smaller, perhaps as long as a grain of rice.  Despite his diminutive size he quickly took on a defensive posture when I accidentally nudged the flowers.  That's right, no retreat here, this guy was ready for a fight!

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f8, 1/100 sec @ 200 ISO

Saturday, August 27, 2011

2011, Day 239 - Reaching

Who doesn't enjoy pictures of flowers?  Their vibrance attracts the eye and transience demands appreciation while they last.  This point of view is one of my favorites when photographing flowers, the perspective is one we don't often get to enjoy.  If plants were castles then the flowers are their towers reaching towards the sun and proclaiming their glory while ensuring a secure future.  Plus, to get this angle I had to lay in the grass and what could be more evocative of summer than lounging in the grass and soaking up the warming rays of the sun?

Canon 1Ds Mark II, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
35mm, f11, 1/320 sec @ 250 ISO

Friday, August 26, 2011

2011, Day 238 - Feeding on the sun

This morning my friend Terri came up bright and early from Salem to go out and play with me.  I can hardly believe we're at the end of August already and our pact to get together monthly to go shooting has been obliterated by busy schedules.  Last time we met up it was to take pictures of butterflies down towards Salem so today we went out to Sauvie Island to take pictures of flowers.

The sunflowers are is full bloom though there are some plants that are still budding.  While much of the nation has had a hot summer ours in the Pacific Northwest has been cool and it didn't start until almost July (with it starting in earnest only last week).  Don't get me wrong, I love a mild summer and have enjoyed this summer immensely but it means that the crops are all off, the sunflowers included.

As I moved through the field it was obvious that there were all kinds of birds feeding on the seeds.  The darted in and out of the rows causing the flowers to dance and sway as they landed and then returned to the air.  I walked slowly and waited for what seemed like forever to someone with the attention span of a five year-old and this is what I was rewarded with.  I will acknowledge that in terms of wildlife photography is may not be the most dramatic image but I am proud of it and hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Canon 1Ds Mark II, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS MarkII
185mm, f8, 1/1000 sec @ 250 ISO

Thursday, August 25, 2011

2011, Day 237 - Gritty shoreline

Yesterday I was cleaning the filter for my aquarium and because it it is a bulky contraption I put the components in an old enamel wash basin.  Apparently I forgot to clean out the basin when I finished and the debris that leaked out pooled on the ancient scratched enamel and left a ring of grime.  Yes, it is kind of gross because much of this is probably fish excrement but the effect is nice nonetheless...

Canon 1Ds Mark II, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f4, 1/80 sec @ 320 ISO

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

2011, Day 236 - Licorice

Between appointments I rediscovered a large fennel plant in blossom.  It has lost most of its fragrance but the bees are crawling all over the flowers in an orgy of pollination.  Given that I find insects fascinating I had to stop and take some pictures.  I've had a long day but this is the one that jumped out at me in my sleep-deprived state as my favorite.  Presenting the European honey bee, enjoy...

Canon 1Ds Mark II, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f4.5, 1/250 sec @ 320 ISO

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2011, Day 235 - Umbrellas

I took this picture a couple of days ago, it was on impulse, I almost always have my camera with me.  It was the first day this summer the temperature passed the 90 degree mark and it struck me that this iridescent fly was lounging in the warmth under the umbrella-like shade of the hydrangea flowers.

Canon 1Ds Mark II, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f8, 1/640 sec @ 200 ISO

Monday, August 22, 2011

2011, Day 234 - Aqueous market

One of Thailand's iconic images is their numerous floating markets.  On our second day in Bangkok we took a trip out to visit one in person.  Sadly, like so many other places that tourists flock to see, it was obvious that locals did their shopping elsewhere to avoid the crowds.  Nevertheless the network of waterways wound through farms, narrow canals, past temples and through numerous stalls.  We purchased a few pieces of fresh fruit and enjoyed the refreshing breeze that the canals afforded before returning to the chaos and congestion that is Bangkok.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24-70/f2.8L
52mm, f4, 1/320 sec @ 400 ISO

Sunday, August 21, 2011

2011, Day 233 - Royal temple

This is a massive doorway into one of the temples of the Grand Palace in Bangkok.  I love the exquisite friezes, the intricate tile work and the rich colors.  It was stifling hot in Bangkok and the heat was made worse because we were required to wear long trousers on the palace grounds.  While I don't regret going there I think if I were asked about what to see in Bangkok on a limited timeframe I would give the palace a miss, it is beautiful but are so many other interesting sights in this bustling city that I think are more exciting.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f2.8, 1/60 sec @ 400 ISO

Saturday, August 20, 2011

2011, Day 232 - Peckish

Do you ever get up in the morning and ask yourself, "Where am I going to go that has a selection of dried squid in bulk?"  If you do then your next trip should include a stop in Bangkok!  Idle curiosity hasn't been able to get me to explore how one uses dried squid but at moments like these I am sorely tempted to find out.  The only thing holding me back is a slight dread at finding out, if there is something that I eat that has dried squid in it I may choose to forego it, kind of like with hotdogs.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
35mm, f5.6, 1/60 sec @ 200 ISO

2011, Day 231 - Seesaw

The photo of the silver Subaru is one of the best wide angle pans I have from yesterday's racing.  The problem is that if you are continuously focusing on a single point, let's say the door mirror, from a relatively short distance both the front and back of the car are going to be out of focus because they are not moving in the same manner the mirror.  Think of the car as a board and the focus point as a axis, like a seesaw.  Both ends of the board can and will move while the point at the axis, our door mirror, are stationary relative to either end. This is the problem with wide angle panning...

To issue is illustrated fairly well in the photo of the black Lotus (how sinister).

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
35mm, f16, 1/60 sec @ 200 ISO

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
35mm, f16, 1/60 sec @ 200 ISO

Friday, August 19, 2011

2011, Day 230 - Doppler effect

Nnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.  That was my morning, spent with my friend Rinda at Portland International Raceway taking pictures of racing.  As a bit of a car nut it was fun seeing what people were driving.  There were a lot of cars from Lotus, a Ford GT40, some insane Subarus, a couple older Porsches and even Godzilla (a trio of Nissan GT-Rs).  This was a fantastic opportunity to work on my panning skills and there were some fun photos then with a wide angle lens while panning.  The problem with panning using a short lens is that you have an incredibly small area in focus and the rest blurs as it moves in space while you track that single point.

Below is the Ford GT40 taken with a telephoto lens.  I like the slightly gritty look and the blur of the background thus it is my featured image today.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II
135mm, f16, 1/60 sec @ 200 ISO

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

2011, Day 229 - Alms

I finished editing my photos from my travels in 2009 so now I am moving on to my photos from Thailand last year.  Where better to start than Wat Pho, the temple that houses the Reclining Buddha?  I will get to the statue in a later post (or you can look back through the archives), this is the view behind the Buddha where there are kettles along the wall for donations.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
34mm, f2.8, 1/640 sec @ 400 ISO

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

2011, Day 228 - Pirate's companion

Another parrot portrait, this time of a macaw.  I will readily admit that these birds are a little intimidating, not only are they large but they have beaks that exert enough force to open the toughest nuts so taking off a finger or two would be a breeze.  Add to that their propensity to be a little mouthy and to have strong feelings about people, both positive and negative, and you have a recipe for a hand like a shop teacher.  However, none of that detracts from the beauty of these animals.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f2.8, 1/60 sec @ 640 ISO

Monday, August 15, 2011

2011, Day 227 - Crown

I was watching a documentary about ants the other day and it reminded me they are relatives to bees, they are all members of the order hymenoptera.  As I watched this bee I noticed how methodical he was, walking around and around the flower harvesting pollen.  That kind of precision reminds me of ants leaving their pheromone trail so that others can follow them to a newly discovered food source.  Nothing will go to waste, they are ordered and precise, kind of like Germans of the insect world...

Canon 1Ds Mark II, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f5.6, 1/400 sec @ 200 ISO

Sunday, August 14, 2011

2011, Day 226 - Leap of faith

Tonight I share with you some of the photos from yesterday's Dock Dogs competition.  Most of the competitors are water-loving sporting breed like labs but there was a German shepherd, a German short-haired pointer and a couple whippets.  Each dog jumps differently which makes photographing the competition difficult; some jump high others will jump straight out and still more just seem to fall into the water below.  After their run each dog is so excited with their performance it doesn't matter if the jumped a measly seven feet or an amazing twenty-four feet, all the dogs are pleased that they got to play.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24-70/f2.8L
40mm, f6.3, 1/800 sec @ 640 ISO

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II
200mm, f6.3, 1/800 sec @ 640 ISO

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II
200mm, f6.3, 1/800 sec @ 640 ISO

Saturday, August 13, 2011

2011, Day 225 - Chatterbox

Saturday ended up being a bit of an adventure.  I took some photos are the Dock Dogs competition, went with my friend Julie to get parrot supplies, had lunch, worked, napped, worked some more and now I am working on the day's pictures.  Due to the large number of photos from Dock Dogs I am going to hold off until tomorrow and instead share a picture of an African grey parrot.

These remarkable birds are considered amongst the most intelligent animals on the planets.  Some have equated their intelligence with that of dolphins and chimps.  They have also been observed solving basic problems and are renown for the ability to mimic noises and human speech.  Their language abilities are remarkable and some have recorded vocabularies of almost a thousand words.

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

Friday, August 12, 2011

2011, Day 224 - Iconic Bali

This photo was taken on the last day we spent in Bali.  Our final stop was the famous Tanah Lot temple, one of seven temples dedicated to the sea.  This one is reputed to be protected from evil spirits by deadly sea snakes.

Tanah Lot's continued existence is thanks in part to a loan made by the Japanese government to Indonesia in the early 80s.  The rock structure was so badly eroded that the temple became unsafe and was in significant structural peril.  Fortunately this incredible icon of Hinduism in Bali was preserved along with numerous other sites of cultural significance with the aid of the Japanese.

Laura, my sister and traveling companion, thought it fitting that it was overcast and rainy on our last day in Bali, she said that the island was crying at our impending departure.  Somehow I doubt we had anywhere near the impact on Bali that Bali had on us but it is a nice thought, I wonder what the weather would be like if I were to visit again.  I hope sunny and warm (Bali is always welcoming).

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-70/f2.8L
34mm, f2.8, 1/500 sec @ 100 ISO

Thursday, August 11, 2011

2011, Day 223 - Riverside

Tonight's picture is a good reason why we need to try new things.  This is another long exposure, three and a half minutes long, and one of the effects of a long exposure I was not aware of is that the light sources have that star effect.  The longer the exposure the longer the arms of the stars.  That big star in the upper left is actually the moon, it caused some flare but I kept it, I like the authenticity and given that the moon doesn't look like the moon it doesn't really matter.  It was a fun experiment and now I have my eye on a 10-stop neutral density filter for some long exposure fun during the day.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
18mm, f22, 3 minutes 32 seconds @ 200 ISO

2011, Day 222 - Nocturnal adventures

I've been enjoying all the inspiration that Google+ has been providing and one of the things I've been dying to try is long exposures.  The silky water, the starbursts of light, the way that stray cars, people and other objects make little impact on the final image; these are the things that make long exposures so different.

So I picked up a remote release and, using my phone's stopwatch, I've been playing down by the river.  Fortunately I had Rachel with me to provide protection from all the scary people roaming Portland (actually I feel totally safe after dark).

I wasn't the only one with this idea, as Rachel and I were waiting out a long exposure a couple more folks with camera and tripods came along.  Company is always welcome, too bad we didn't exchange information, I would be interested to see what kind of images they took home.  Oh well, next time I will volunteer mine and see if they reciprocate...

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f13, 65 sec @ 200 ISO

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

2011, Day 221 - Harvest

RAW saves the day!  I always shoot in RAW as a kind of insurance, it gives me more control over the image and allows me to save improper exposures.  This is a perfect example, the EXIF information clearly shows that I had the camera set to shoot in a much different environment and as a result this image came out too bright, I maxed out the shutter speed.  However, with a little work in Photoshop I have an image I really like with great color and contrast.  This is my favorite photograph of work in the rice fields from this trip to Asia so it makes me happy I've made the commitment in time and energy to shoot RAW.

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS
70mm, f2.8, 1/8000 sec @ 800 ISO

Monday, August 8, 2011

2011, Day 220 - Not-macro

Another not-macro photo from my 24mm adventure.  Honestly it is more of a 31.2mm adventure with the APS-H sensor on my camera and it still doesn't meet the defined magnification ratio to be a macro photo but it is a close-up image.  I like that with a wider angle lens you get more of the context of the setting, you can see that there are more flowers and heavy vegetation in the background.  Macro photography is great because you can isolate the details but sometimes those details need context.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24/f1.4L Mark II
24mm, f4, 1/160 sec @ 200 ISO

Sunday, August 7, 2011

2011, Day 219 - Coupled

This is probably my favorite portrait from my sister's wedding shoot.  I love the light, the simplicity of the setting and their body language.  They're really looking at nothing but I like how it looks like they're surveying their future as a couple.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 50/f1.2L
50mm, f2.8, 1/1000 sec @ 640 ISO

Saturday, August 6, 2011

2011, Day 218 - Tasty

It's Saturday and it's summer so that means BBQ!  I went out this morning with my buddy Stacey to get stuff for the grilled fish tacos we were planning to make this afternoon.  We got fresh tortillas, sole caught this morning, organic cilantro, tomatoes, cucumbers and more at the Hollywood Farmer's Market.

As I was getting ready to leave this morning I had my Canon 24-70/f2.8L on my camera and decided to switch it out for my Canon 24/f1.4L Mark II.  I love that lens but I feel like it gets underused in my day-to-day life.  Walking around with a prime is a different experience but you quickly remember how to work around the lack of zoom and the minimum focusing distance is quite close so you can compensate by getting closer and embracing the distortion that comes when objects are near the camera at this wide focal length.  I had a lot of fun, maybe tomorrow I will post a couple one of the wide angle flower shots I took...

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24/f1.4L Mark II
24mm, f2.8, 1/640 sec @ 200 ISO

Friday, August 5, 2011

2011, Day 217 - Fingers

More flowers!  I know, I post a lot of flowers but I love all the little details and one of my favorite things about this particular specimen are the three fingers at the end of each petal reaching for the sun.

Canon 1Ds Mark II, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f8, 1/500 sec @ 200 ISO

Thursday, August 4, 2011

2011, Day 216 - Ballroom

My sister Stacey's wedding was held in the ballroom of the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.  Originally the Crocker was a phenomenal mansion and being used as a museum it has been cared for meticulously.  In the photo below Joe is reading his vows to Stacey, they were great, maybe I will share them when I am given copies.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f2.8, 1/50 sec @ 2000 ISO

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

2011, Day 215 - Bunny kiss

Another photo from my sister's wedding.  This isn't the actual kiss, unfortunately, but they were getting a little giddy before the ceremony and were willing to oblige my request for the irreverent.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 85/f1.2L Mark II
85mm, f1.8, 1/100 sec @ 1250 ISO

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

2011, Day 214 - Industry

A few weeks ago when traffic got bad I took an exit and cut through the country to bypass the congestion.  As I drove through Oregon City I saw this factory and, not for the first time, I made a mental note to return one evening with camera in hand.  Yesterday morning I occurred to me that my friend Julie had the day off and I asked her if she was interested in coming with me since it isn't far from her home.  She agreed and in the course of chatting we decided to invite another photographer so make a group out of it.  We had a lot of fun waiting for the sun to fully set (these were taken at 9:30 and you can still see the light from the sky reflected in the water).

I'm not sure if this is part of the Blue Heron Paper factory but I suspect that is the case.  The more I look at this photo the more fascinated I am by elements like the railroad tracks that lead into the factory, the large pipes that dive into the river, the tunnels that look like some sort of subterranean access.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24-70/f2.8L
35mm, f2.8, HDR of 0.8, 2, 5, 13, and 30 sec @ 640 ISO

Monday, August 1, 2011

2011, Day 213 - Bees in space

I've seen a number of images made in lavender fields recently and although most of those were of brides I decided that I've had enough of them for the moment as I wade through wedding pictures and opted for bees in flight.

Canon 1Ds Mark II, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f4, 1/2000 sec @ 200 ISO

Canon 1Ds Mark II, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f4, 1/2500 sec @ 200 ISO