Monday, October 31, 2011

2011, Day 304 - Bright blades

I took this photograph along the trail by Dutchman Flat, part of the Cascade Lakes Scenic Highway.  It was still early in the morning, our first stop of the day, and I liked the way the morning light hit the grasses and colors, the blue sky, the green trees, the vibrant orange of the tips of the grass transitioning into a yellowed green as the nights get colder.  We knew at the time that we were fortunate, the weather was perfect during our long weekend in Bend.  The nights were chilly but the days were ideal in their coolness because it made hiking that much more invigorating!

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
17mm, f4, 1/640 sec @ 320 ISO

Sunday, October 30, 2011

2011, Day 303 - Twilight portrait

Every few weeks from friends and I make a meal at one of the local homeless shelters.  The one we volunteer at requires all residents to be sober and they get job training and employment assistance.  On an average night there are about eighty men (it is an all-male shelter) and tonight was our night to cook. Not only do we make the meal but we plan it as well and with fall here it was homemade split-pea soup with ham, grilled cheese sandwiches, apples and homemade cookies.  I am a fiend on the griddle :)

Afterwards I went down to the waterfront.  I've been meaning to go back for weeks because the spiders have made their webs right along the lights that are under the guardrail.  It attracts all kinds of insects so these guys eat exceptionally well.  And with Halloween being tomorrow I thought they would make ideal subjects!

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f8, 1/40 sec @ 640 ISO

Saturday, October 29, 2011

2011, Day 302 - Towering

Sometimes we are so busy looking where we're going that we fail to see what is around us.  Even photographers, that strange breed of person, whose success depends of observation and perspective can be guilty of this failing.  This is one of my favorite perspectives, we walk through woods and around trees, we're used to seeing them from a distance but the most spectacular vantage point may be laying in the sweet smelling litter of pine needles with the cool refreshing air of the shade and our heads cradled in the roots of a giant that watches over us benevolently.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f4, 1/125 sec @ 320 ISO

Friday, October 28, 2011

2011, Day 301 - Oly

Today I had the pleasure of visiting my friend Karen and playing with her gorgeous five week old puppies.  I feel like I've been assaulted by cute and my favorite in the litter is Oly.  He reminds me of my greyhound Johann who is a terrible slut.  When new people come over he falls to the ground and rolls on his back for a belly run and Oly is much the same.  I was holding him in my lap and he rolled onto his back and lay for quite a while happy to have his belly rubbed.  I actually had to deposit him on the ground to get rid of him!

I told Karen that I would bring my gear and we would take puppy photos for her to share and this is one of them, by far my favorite, but I think I'm biased :)

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24-70/f2.8L
34mm, f11, 1/160 sec @ 200 ISO

Thursday, October 27, 2011

2011, Day 300 - Dwindling

Some days come and go with little fanfare, especially here in Oregon.  The think blanket of clouds hides the arrival of the sun except for the gradual lightening of the day and it departs with the same anonymity but some days the clouds and the sun work together to give you a little treat, to remind you to slow down and take note.  This was taken at the end of our hike and is rather underexposed, we were in the home stretch and I was racing back to the car to get a better view of the sunset from a field just across the highway.  In the end we made it and it concluded and exciting and exhausting day.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f6.3, 0.4 sec @ 320 ISO

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

2011, Day 299 - Morning fog

I love the color of the light that you can see peaking out from behind the trees.  The truth is that this photo was taken in the evening on our hike back from Green Lake outside of Bend and the fog was a little addition in post but I like how it looks especially given that the past few days I've awaken to find Portland blanketed in misty fog.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
23mm, f16, merged layers of 2.5, 10, and 20 sec @ 125 ISO

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

2011, Day 298 - Scorched

On our way to Bend one of the numerous stops I requested was alongside the highway where there were obvious signs of a fire.  We passed sections of burnt shrubs and grasses, even some stands of long-dead trees that were burn to twisted wrecks reaching for the sky.  Unfortunately most of the land surrounding the highway is either private property or part of a reservation and being a law-abiding person I decided not to tempt fate.  This poor little bush lost its life to the flames but is now immortalized on digital film.

I played with the saturation of the sky, I wanted to show the contrast between the heavy orange clay earth and the richness of the skies.

Canon 1Ds Mark II, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
29mm, f5.6, 1/2000 sec @ 200 ISO

Monday, October 24, 2011

2011, Day 297 - Treacherous

One of the most iconic modes of transportation in southeast Asia is the tuk tuk.  These precarious three wheeled taxis are everywhere and their gurgling whine can be heard in every metropolitan area.  This is a typical street in Chiang Mai but right now much of Thailand is covered in water.  The flooding there has been the worst they've seen in fifty years.  Please keep the Thai people in your thoughts and, if you can, give anything you can spare to one of the countless aid groups helping the people eke by until the waters recede.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24-70/f2.8L
70mm, f4, 1/500 sec @ 200 ISO

Sunday, October 23, 2011

2011, Day 296 - Delectable

I really like the idea of daily shopping.  To most Americans it sounds like a hassle but if you only but a day's worth of food at a time everything you eat will be both fresh and ripe.  To sustain such a habit would require that the food come from close by so it would be local and seasonable.  Fall is my favorite time of year because the apples are at their peak and the fall vegetables are some of my favorites; there are so many types of excellent squash and such a variety of ways to prepare it!

This is another installment of my photos from Thailand; one of the many markets I visited this one is in Chiang Mai.  I like how you can see the bustle of the market in the background but the produce vendor in the foreground is taking a break and enjoying a cup of tea.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24-70/f2.8L
64mm, f2.8, 1/125 sec @ 400 ISO

Saturday, October 22, 2011

2011, Day 295 - Boundary

On our way home from central Oregon we stopped at Mill Creek.  The land surrounding the highway all belongs to the Warm Springs tribe and as such it is under the jurisdiction of tribal law.  They make it very clear where their lands start, going so far as to put a caution sign on this rather weathered looking tree.  It was an ideal day for travel, all the clement weather of the weekend was nowhere in sight so none of us felt like we were missing out on anything.  It was a great trip, I forget that when you travel east you quickly leave lush temperate rainforest for scrubby high desert.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f11, merged layers of 1/60 and 1/15 sec @ 100 ISO

Friday, October 21, 2011

2011, Day 294 - Latourell Falls

At almost 250 feet high Latourell Falls is a small but impressive landmark.  The geometric rock formations are really interesting, they remind me of a hornet's nest.  To capture this image I had to stand knee deep in frigid water but I really like the sense of motion in the water and the perspective of being right in the stream.  Art is pain, right?

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f11, 10 sec @ 100 ISO

Thursday, October 20, 2011

2011, Day 293 - Not all still waters

If you're on Google+ you might recognize this photo, I posted a behind-the-scenes image on Saturday.  This is Little Lava Lake, the source of the Deschutes River and despite being 130 acres it only reaches a depth of twenty feet.  Instead of eating lunch I ignored my friends in order to take this photo, fortunately they were distracted by the remains of the summer mosquitos so despite the delay I was able to get plenty to eat.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f22, merged layers of 2.5 and 10 sec @ 100 ISO

2011, Day 292 - Weathered

Desolation and alpine beauty surround Broken Top, an extinct volcano nestled amongst the Three Sisters.  Even though there is snow still clinging to the slopes and it is October the weather was relatively clement but there is little to shield you from the biting winds when they pick up.  I love how it ages the scattered debris, smooths it over time and keeps the grasses dotting the valley between these volcanic slopes.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f8, 1/60 sec @ 400 ISO

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

2011, Day 291 - Todd Lake

Across the highway from the Green Lake trailhead is an open field that surrounds Todd Lake.  We had hoped to time our hike so that there might be a decent sunset at Green Lake but because of the where the trail deposited us there would not have a good angle to see the sun go down so we rested there briefly but as we got back to the trailhead the sun was giving a rather spectacular display.

This is fourteen shots total with two exposures for each frame to capture details in the foreground and the skies.  Each frame was blended together and then the seven resulting images were stitched together.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
17mm, f4, merged layers of 1 and 4 seconds @ 320 ISO

2011, Day 290 - Tears of charity

This is a view of the valley that is home to Green Lake.  On the left is Charity, also known as South Sister, and at her summit is a crater lake called Teardrop Pool.  The youngest of the three sisters, Charity watches over this valley and enthusiasts who pass through to relax along the edge of the lake and enjoy its' azure waters.

To reach this point we had to hike about four-and-a-half miles and while the terrain was not steep there was an incline almost the entire way.  When you add stops for me to take pictures it does take some time, the better part of a half day in and out.  I took the series of photos that make up this panorama as we were departing.  The tufts of orange-yellow grasses, the rolling trail, the glimpse of Green Lake and Mount Charity all made for a breathtaking sight.  My hope is that you can feel a little bit of a grandeur that I felt when I crested the rise and first took in this alpine treasure.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
27mm, f11, 1.6 sec @ 100 ISO

Sunday, October 16, 2011

2011, Day 289 - Tangled

The Three Sisters are inactive volcanoes and evidence of their violent history is littered for miles around their lofty perches.  There is glass-like rock reflecting the sun and then there is the dark porous rock that seems to absorb all light.  It is interesting that such different mineral forms are the result of the same event.  This image is one that underscores contrast with rich texture and that is what immediately drew my eye.  When I was reviewing my photographs I initially regretted my failure to style the scene by removing the grass seeds but the more I thought about it the more I liked them.  They show how life will reemerge in desolate areas.  Dust and soil will collect in the divots of these rocks and eventually grasses will grown on their craggy surfaces eventually hiding their foundation and leaving mounds where once piles of volcanic rock once stood.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
27mm, f5.6, 1/60 sec @ 320 ISO

Saturday, October 15, 2011

2011, Day 288 - Stormy silence

We awoke in Bend to cloudy skies that came and went throughout the day.  One of our last stops was at Crane Prairie reservoir, while there are campsites, gas pumps, a lodge and docks for sail boats it was almost deserted.  We took a moment to walk out on the empty dock to enjoy the mild weather and the gathering clouds.  There is nothing so lonely as an abandoned summer resort...

I have to give the nod to Singh-Ray, their Vari-ND and multiple long exposures where used to create this photograph.  The look I wanted was one of calm so silky smooth water was essential.  Even though it was cloudy and overcast I needed to slow the camera down by about six stops to get the look I wanted.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f16, 3.2 sec @ 100 ISO

Friday, October 14, 2011

2011, Day 287 - High flow

Today we made the short drive to the Green Lake trailhead.  The trail hugs a fast moving stream with a number of small waterfalls.  It was about four-and-a-half mile hike each way and although it was uphill most of the way out it was a gentle incline and made the hike back to the trailhead quite leisurely.  This was one of the last photos of the day, there are a couple panoramas that look promising but those will have to wait until I get home when I will have more time and the beast to edit photos on; until then, enjoy!

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
17mm, f9, 3.2 sec @ 160 ISO

Thursday, October 13, 2011

2011, Day 286 - Celebrate

Road trip!  Today is my friend Stacey's birthday and to celebrate we grabbed his wife and headed out to central Oregon.  I made them stop a few times so I could take pictures along the way essentially hijacking Stacey's birthday.  Fortunately they're used to my photographic demands so took it all in stride.

Our planned stop was at Smith Rock State Park.  This was my second visit to this awesome natural area.  The first time there were only a few other people but today the park was busy with climbers all over the rock formations.  It was really amazing to watch those guys, some moved up the rocks with speed that seemed almost unnatural, like watching Spiderman out in nature.

We check into out hotel in the mid-afternoon and made an exceptional dinner.  Ceasar salad with smoked salmon, feta, tomatoes, cucumber, and home-made croutons.  Happy, full and tired I think we're going to call it an early night.

Canon 1Ds Mark II, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
17mm, f5.6, 1/800 sec @ 200 ISO

Canon 1Ds Mark II, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II
200mm, f5.6, 1/500 sec @ 200 ISO

2011, Day 285 - Loneliness

With a bit of traveling planned for the next few days I had to take my dogs to a kennel to be boarded.  It is just past midnight here and the house is so quiet, I have't had dogs pestering, letting me know they want to go for a walk, begging for attention while I work on photos.  I've been so productive and you know what?  I kind of hate it...  Every time I get ready for a trip I regret the decision to go because I will miss my dogs.  Sad because it is only for a couple of days but there you have it.  The only way it could be worse is if you took my camera too.

I hope to have some great shots to share with you over the next few days.  Supposedly I will have internet access so here's hoping!

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24-70/f2.8L
57mm, f5.6, 1/200 sec @ 320 ISO

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

2011, Day 284 - Patched

Sometimes simplicity is best, you appreciate what there is to see and you look at the subject in a different light.  In this instead of a wall, window and sidewalk I see safety glass with inlaid wire, the mesh covering a broken pane, streaks of oxidation, cracks in the stucco, scraggy weeds and a host of other bits of texture and color, muted to be sure but there if you look.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II
100mm, f4, 1/400 sec @ 320 ISO

Monday, October 10, 2011

2011, Day 283 - Feeling crabby

It's Monday and we're getting the worst kind of rain, the type that alternates between a light mist and a deluge without warning.  To make matters worse my dogs are used to walks in order to answer the call of nature so I get caught in the downpours when I am blocks from home so even if I move quickly I almost certain to be soaked by the time we get to the house.  Oh well, it is the price we pay for some of the most majestic scenery in the country.

In honor of #MacroMonday and my current crabbiness about being wet I decided to revisit a picture of one of the crabs found on a beach in Koh Lanta.  These little guys are tiny and fast so you have to move slowly and be a little bit patient to capture them on digital film.  At the time I was creating an army of followers to conquer Thailand; it was composed of crabs, fish, cats and geckos.  They would never have seen us coming but there wasn't enough time to bring my plan to fruition.  Oh well, next time I'm in Thailand I might call my generals back into active duty :)

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f5.6, 1/1000 sec @ 200 ISO

Sunday, October 9, 2011

2011, Day 282 - Fleeing Portland

Today was the 40th annual Portland Marathon and my mad friend Debbie ran it again.  I say mad because in two weeks she is running another marathon.  While I admire her athleticism I am not a glutton for that kind of punishment.

I met up with her husband this morning and drove him to the eighteen mile marker to join her for the last leg.  The upshot was that I had a great view of the runners crossing the St. John's Bridge and the fog-shrouded hills of Forest Park behind.  It was a typical Portland Marathon; cool and wet but with unhindered enthusiasm.  Congratulations to all the runners!

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II
135mm, f5.6, 1/320 sec @ 250 ISO

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II
200mm, f3.2, 1/1000 sec @ 250 ISO

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II
200mm, f4.5, 1/500 sec @ 320 ISO

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II
200mm, f4.5, 1/250 sec @ 320 ISO

Saturday, October 8, 2011

2011, Day 281 - Schmeethan

This goofy puppy is Ethan, he's a future show dog hence the taped ears.  He runs around like a maniac banging his antenna into everything while wiggling and leaping.  It wasn't easy getting him to slow down long enough to take a picture and even when he did there was a lot of motion blur but in this he looks almost like the champion that is his destiny.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24-70/f2.8L
24mm, f2.8, 1/1250 sec @ 800 ISO

Friday, October 7, 2011

2011, Day 280 - Reminiscing

I took this photo a week ago when summer hadn't completely abandoned us yet.  At the time I liked it, the contrast between the freeway, the grass and the sky but with the benefit of a week's worth of rain and cool weather I have definitely raised my opinion.  It has been so cold that I've had to turn the heat on and I still have three big dogs cuddled up with my at night to rob me of my warmth, like big hairy heat vampires.  What I wouldn't give for an Indian summer.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
25mm, f5.6, 1/3200 sec @ 320 ISO

Thursday, October 6, 2011

2011, Day 279 - Pano-set

I went out to play with a new toy this evening, my new Singh-Ray Vari-ND neutral density filter.  It is a tool that I am a little unaccustomed to but I like the results I achieved.  Because the sun was setting and I was taking exposures that were a minute and a half each it is noticeably darker on the left than on the right but I like the effect, like the beauty of the city at night is juxtaposed with the industrial gloom of the freeway.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f14, 90 seconds @ 100 ISO

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

2011, Day 278 - Feline royalty

This is Elvis and despite his name he didn't have much of the King in terms of personality.  He wasn't a talker or an eater nor did he shake his pelvis in a manner that might make a person swoon.  Despite those apparent shortcomings he was happy to greet me and tried to climb onto my shoulder for a ride while nuzzling my face.  It is a bit disconcerting to have an animal you don't know rubbing against your beard but it is surprising how often it happens.  Maybe the other bearded people can chime in...  Otherwise mine in magical; actually I am sure it is magical, it hypnotizes animals.  Seriously...

Canon 1Ds Mark II, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f4, 1/500 sec @ 250 ISO

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

2011, Day 277 - Scavenge

I was thinking back through photos I've taken and there was a series of birds of prey that I quite enjoyed.  They were taken over three years ago at the Oregon Zoo while it was undergoing renovations.  During that time none of the raptors were on display but they were brought out be handlers every day at 11:30 so that people could see them.  It took a little digging through the archive to find the photographs I sought but as you can see it was a successful search.

I like this photo, the body language of the vulture is great and there was a nice dark backdrop that was easily enhanced to really highlight the bird.  One of the big surprises, apart from my vastly improved processing skills, is that this photo was taken on the now venerable Canon 1Ds Mark II at 800 ISO.  Now to normal people that probably means very little but for photo nerds like myself I have to admit to being impressed.  The noise is very well controlled and the image is tack sharp.  It's funny to think that since 2008 I've had a 1D Mark III, a 5D Mark II, a 1Ds Mark III and a 1D Mark IV; all have served me well and I still have the 1D Mark IV but I sold all the rest including my original 1Ds Mark II but I have since purchased another and I would be hard pressed to let it go for a second time.

Canon 1Ds Mark II, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS
200mm, f4, 1/500 sec @ 800 ISO

Monday, October 3, 2011

2011, Day 276 - Sanctuary

Life looks so different when you allow the big picture to be broken upinto little details.  I found this wasp seeking shelter in a dahlia just as the rain was starting to abate and it reminded me of so many people, waiting for a break in the weather before returning to their daily tasks; the difference being we can still get around at a normal pace while being rained on because we don't have wings to become sodden with precipitation.

Canon 1Ds Mark II, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f5.6, 1/160 sec @ 320 ISO

2011, Day 275 - Improvisation

This was taken on our first evening in Chiang Mai.  We went to one of the night markets to explore and in an out-of-the-way corner there were a number of stalls and carts that seemed a little isolated.  The lights were like a beacon so I went over to see what they had to offer and found these women illuminated by the bare bulbs hanging from wired cobbled together with electrical tape.  Not the most refined solution but certainly effective...

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24-70/f2.8L
68mm, f2.8, 1/400 sec @ 400 ISO

Saturday, October 1, 2011

2011, Day 274 - Whisps

Some evening you can see a sunset coming and can't quite move fast enough.  The window of opportunity for a long exposure to capture a sunset is measured in minutes, the light changes so quickly that if you aren't ready you end up relying more on luck to get a good exposure; planning always helps but only when the conditions cooperate.

I took this earlier in the week, I had to pick up a friend to run an errand and even though we were set to be early I begged her indulgence to stop and take a few pictures of the skyline as the sun drifted lower and highlighted the amazing clouds.  I never get tired of looking at the Hawthorne Bridge and I like how this vantage point has the counter-weights for the drawbridge framing the office building in the distance.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
35mm, f16, 20 sec @ 200 ISO

2011, Day 273 - Nobility

Today, between numerous errands and hours of running around I stopped off to visit my friends Karen and Paul.  They're nutty dog people (you know, the best kind of people) and I got to be mauled all their goofy pups.  Pictured in Frankie, he's about nine months old still very much a puppy.  He and his siblings are constantly falling off the sofa when the stretch and climbing into any available laps.  Like most puppies his brain hasn't really come in yet so Frankie can often be found in some awkward position that he has fallen into and can't quite muster the energy to extract himself from.  The clouds today were so amazing and I though that, despite the little tongue sticking out, he looked deceptively dignified.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f5.6, 1/2000 @ 200 ISO