Saturday, June 30, 2012

2012, Day 182 - Fuzzy friends

I know that bird in flight are hard for photographers to capture but insects in flight are so much harder.  It is difficult to track such a small subject which means you have to be really close to them and it is made all the more difficult because they don't move fluidly like birds tend to.  The weave back and forth, up and down, dart in and out of cover.  It can be frustrating so this image is a triumph.  I chased bees around for quite a while watching and waiting, trying to anticipate their movement and I finally caught this little booger.  I like how the fuzziness of the bee is echoed on the flower, they make nice companions.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f5.6, 1/1600 sec @ 320 ISO

2012, Day 181 - Circling sharks

Now that it is summer tis the season for romping with puppies.  The little monsters have so much energy so it is a joy to watch them play themselves to exhaustion.  These sweet sisters look like they're going to chew each other's legs off but I assure you that they're having a grand time.  Still, those needle-like teeth make me cringe, those suckers hurt!

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105/f4L IS
105mm, f5.6, 1/2500 sec @ 320 ISO

Friday, June 29, 2012

2012, Day 180 - I keep on falling

Silver Falls is one of those places that you never tire of visiting.  It epitomizes the wilderness of the Pacific NW with its lush vegetation, mossy trees, cool air, and utter tranquility.  Despite the number of times I've been it never loses its allure and manages to seem isolated while being just a short drive from Portland.  Many of the trails shadow moving water that provides a soothing backdrop to the sounds of birds and the rustle of wind through the trees.  Silver Falls is the primary reason I bought a two year state parks pass, it is one of many that are easily accessible and absolutely breathtaking.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f10, merged layers of 2, 4, and 8 sec @ 100 ISO

Thursday, June 28, 2012

2012, Day 179 - Squishy center

I tried processing this image a number of different ways and this is what I settled on.  I like how the flowers look like sea anemones, they look soft and pillowy and it makes me wish I were microscopic so I could jump up and down in the center of my imagined flower anemone hybrid.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f8, 1/320 sec @ 400 ISO

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

2012, Day 178 - Raindrops on...

Not roses in this case.  The nice thing about summer storms is that we get this effect completely naturally.  I suppose I could carry a spray bottle with me when I go out to take flower pictures but it really never occurs to me and I am loath to carry more than I already do.  Yes, I am that guy who is always wearing a backpack because even though there are great lenses out there that cover a lot of what I like to shoot I really love my macro so I always carry at least two lenses and recently at least five filters plus remotes, memory cards, microfiber cloths, a blower and an assortment of other odds and ends.

It was a pleasant surprise, that brief storm that washed everything clean.  The air smelled a little cleaner and the dust completely settled not to mention the instant abatement of my allergy-induced congestion.  I know many in the Pacific NW are complaining about the lack of summer weather but last year we had a wonderful mild fall that was simply glorious so if we get that again this year it will be worth putting  up with a little more precipitation.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f11, 1/500 sec @ 320 ISO

Monday, June 25, 2012

2012, Day 177 - The silken inquisition

This is Rosie, she is almost eight weeks old and I had the great joy of romping through the wildflowers with her and her two sisters over the weekend.  I took many pictures of them playing but I really like getting down on their level and letting them investigate the camera.  Some of them are fascinated by the clicking and whirring noises it makes while others find it disconcerting.  Rosie has a strong streak of curiosity and left nose prints all over the front element.  There is nothing quite like getting a kiss right on the glass :)

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105/f4L IS
24mm, f5.6, 1/800 sec @ 320 ISO

Sunday, June 24, 2012

2012, Day 176 - Knee deep

This afternoon I had the pleasure of visiting a really amazing private garden.  The owner has been working on it for decades and the whole design is centered around enormous rock formations that she has created in the yard of her hillside home.  It covers acres and is heavily planted with natives and carefully selected non-natives.  Along one side of a large pond I found this flowering vine growing along the riparian verge.  Under other circumstances I might not have stopped for a picture but the sun broke through the clouds and hit it just right...

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f8, 1/800 sec @ 320 ISO

Saturday, June 23, 2012

2012, Day 175 - One big mess

It's Frankie!  Yup, my sweet ridiculous boy raced last weekend and he was all over the place.  I had wrongly reasoned that because he hadn't been out for a good hard run in a while that he would have a great store of energy that would help him win.  Well, I was part right, he had a lot of energy but I forget sometimes that he is still very much a puppy and the big dope played more than raced.  That's to say he chased well but he wasn't running to win.  Oh well, he had a great time and that's what really matters.

Oh, funny anecdote, the next morning I had to drag him out with the other dogs because he was exhausted from the previous day's events.  On our walk, towards the end, he stuck his nose into a fern and started sniffing.  After a minute of spacing out I looked at him and noticed that he was standing awfully still so I called his name.  No answer.  So I gave the leash a little tug and he practically jumped out of his skin.  Yup, he fell asleep on his feet with his head in a fern :)

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II
200mm, f8, 1/1000 sec @ 400 ISO

Friday, June 22, 2012

2012, Day 174 - Beyond a trickle

Today I felt like a return to nature.  Recently there have been a lot of flower shots but I wanted something wild so I went back through my archive to the photos taken at Panther Creek.  Initially this photo wasn't a top pick but the more I looked at it the more I liked it.  So into Photoshop it went and this is the result.  I like the misty foggy effect of the moving water obtained through a long exposure.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
32mm, f22, 30 sec @ 100 ISO

Thursday, June 21, 2012

2012, Day 173 - Isolation

This afternoon we had some great clouds rolling in so I took a diversion off the freeway to a farmstead that I have driven past a number of time.  Since I last visited it has been put up for sale but the sign is weathered and there are few indicators of life around the farm even though the grass looks to have been cut recently.  Something about reminds me of the old west, I think it is the weathered siding.  But the trees, the clouds, and the grass all provide nice points of contrast.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105/f4L IS
45mm, f11, 1/100 sec @ 100 ISO

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

2012, Day 172 - Toothy

Evolution is a strange beast.  Why is it that cacti have spines?  To keep predators from their rich  reservoirs of water presumably.  Why then do some lack such protection?  Do they have a bitter taste?  Perhaps they harbor a vicious guest within their folds.  A territorial arachnid or a jealous bird possibly.  Then you look at plants like the one pictured.  New growth starts small at the center and as it ages is pushed further away until it eventually withers at the ground.  It is a striking similarity to the teeth of sharks that are produced ad infinitum and constantly grow from the inside out, shedding with time and being replaced by new sharp pristine teeth.  It is reassuring to know that evolution recycles good ideas too...

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f8, 1/400 sec @ 400 ISO

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

2012, Day 171 - Stranded

This is a photo was taken over the weekend on  our single day of good weather.  I say "good weather" but I can't bring myself to like it.  There were great clouds and the sun was shining, that part was nice, but it was too warm when you couple the heat with the humidity.  It was the kind of heat where you sweat just walking in the sun.  Fortunately there was a bit of a breeze and the shade provided great relief.

It was Brian Matiash who drew my attention to the sign.  Beaten and weathered it looks like it hasn't been used in years but it looked incredible against the texture of the sky.  I looks nice in color but I think I like it better in almost black and white.  There is a trace of color that I like but not so much as to be instantly noticeable.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105/f4L IS
24mm, f8, 1/640 sec @ 200 ISO

Monday, June 18, 2012

2012, Day 170 - Sunny heart

I was walking past a house only a few blocks from my own with the dogs this morning and I noticed these flowers in bloom.  They are large, maybe five inches across, and have the look of a large poppy but I am not certain that is what they are.  Some of the forms are quite similar but the colors are different.  Something like those of an egg cooked sunny-side up.  I love the crinkled leaves, the dusting of pollen on the petals, the rich golden color.  It is a visual treat.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f8, 1/200 sec @ 320 ISO

Sunday, June 17, 2012

2012, Day 169 - Surge

Today was Frankie's second official race meet and he was really excited to be there!  When I took him out of the truck he danced around in circles, wanted to play with every dog he saw, and way a general nutcase.  It has been a few weeks since he has had the opportunity to get out and really stretch his legs and I knew he would be thrilled to run.  Unfortunately all he really wanted to do was play so he chased well but had no desire to win.  Oh well, he doesn't have to be good, he just has to have fun!

Pictured below is Frankie's uncle Bados in the four jacket, his uncle Cayman in the three jacket, his second cousin-ish Garis in the two jacket, and barely visible at all Garis' sister Temora in the one jacket.  I like that only Bados is touching the ground as they all surge forward trying to edge the others out of the lead.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II
200mm, f6.3, 1/1000 sec @ 400 ISO

Saturday, June 16, 2012

2012, Day 168 - Busy as a...

Bee!  That reminds me of that youtube video of Oprah giving away bees (  Anywho, this photo was taken today on a photo walk along Alberta during the heat of the day.  Despite less than an hour of walking I was much relieved to get back to the car where I could bask in airconditioning!

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f8, 1/400 sec @ 200 ISO

Friday, June 15, 2012

2012, Day 167 - Cupped

Yesterday I took a walk through one of my favorite neighborhoods.  Everyone appears to have a green thumb and their gardens are so lush and vibrant.  It was early afternoon and the angle of the light was really not ideal which meant that I needed to find creative angles.  This shot jumped out at me because there was a section where the petals were hanging out of the way like a window into the heart of the flower.  It was really quite beautiful and the hard light made most of the background disappear.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f8, 1/250 sec @ 400 ISO

Thursday, June 14, 2012

2012, Day 166 - Miles to go

I was reflecting on photography yesterday in the company of Brian Matiash.  One of the things that has always drawn me to photography is the opportunity to capture an experience in a image or a series of images.  He had just returned from a trip to California and a stop off at Yosemite and made mention of the familiarity of the scenes.  So many people travel there and take photographs that they end up sharing with the world it seems like we've all seen it before, but have we really?

The goal of photography is to try to communicate a place and you can trigger so much more than vision with an image.  You can create a mood, give a sense of scale, evoke another time, communicate the feeling of a season, the cold or heat, the sounds and smells if only your audience allows themselves a moment to become absorbed.  We all perceive things differently and maybe our perspectives are similar but we all have our own twists and emphases.  If your photography is for yourself then no one else can capture your feelings and it makes your work unique even if it is only to yourself.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f8, 1/1000 sec @ 400 ISO

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

2012, Day 165 - Out of sync

It's funny how life takes its time depending on circumstances.  I remember a girl I went to elementary school with, Stacey Stocker.  She towered above us all and was the tallest kid is class through sixth grade.  In junior high so many of us started to grow and by the time we graduated from high school Stacey was one of the shortest people to walk.

Plants are much the same.  The dogwood tree in my front yard is in full bloom while most other trees have lost all their blossoms.  My mock oranges are filling the air with their sweet citrus blossom scent and these little yellow flowers are just beginning to open.  We've see so many of the plants bloom already that sometimes we forget that there is still so much left to come, to celebrate, to look forward to.  The early bloomers aren't always the most spectacular although to be fair Stacey Stocker was always a kind and friendly person so I suspect she hasn't gone off her bloom.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f5.6, 1/1600 sec @ 320 ISO

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

2012, Day 164 - Cooked

Last night I was coming back into the house after walking the dogs for one last time and I spied this little fellow in my frying pan.  My first thought was "What a stupid place to relax" and then I thought "Ohh, I should get my camera."  His coloration was great, rather vibrant for a moth, so I sprinted up the stairs, switched lenses and ran back down to the kitchen.  I carefully moved my winged friend to the dining room where the strobes are set up and took a few pictures.  He looks so fuzzy and cuddly in this photo so I named his Harold.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f11, 1/160 sec @ 200 ISO

Monday, June 11, 2012

2012, Day 163 - Spin spin spin

Another from my photo walk from a couple nights ago.  Everyone loves the spinning lights but they all want to get so close and I like a litte context.  So you can see a number of photographers standing by the railing, waiting for the ferris wheel to start again.  I like the buildings in the background, the heavy texture of the sidewalk, and the glow of the street lamps.  For this photo I decided to try to make the entire scene a little dingy so I added an orange/brown cast to everything and then masked out the lights of the ferris wheel.  I wanted them vibrant in contrast to the rest of the image like an oasis of happiness.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105/f4L IS
67mm, f5.6, 2 sec @ 100 ISO

Sunday, June 10, 2012

2012, Day 162 - Reacquainted

Last night I had the pleasure of taking a photo walk with Garrison Hullinger, noted designer and friend of many years.  He has said on more than one occasion that he wanted to spend some time behind the lens and get reacquainted with photography.  Unfortunately his schedule is such that he has little free time but we managed a little waterfront walk last night.

It was a brisk evening and you could hear the sounds of the bands on the waterfront playing for the Rose Festival.  Why is it that music at these kinds of events always sound the same?  Kind of like at the state fair...  Anyway, I shot five bracketed shots knowing that some details would be easily lost.  I needed one exposure just for the freeway along the left side but decided to allow the reflection in the water to get blown out to serve as a visual anchor.  Then I had to recover some of the details in the sky and the water while keeping the rich contrast on the buildings and bridges.  The result is iconic Portland, I love this city!

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105/f4L IS
24mm, f5.6, merged layers of 8, 15, and 30 sec @ 200 ISO

Saturday, June 9, 2012

2012, Day 161 - I'm a laaaady!

Some days I miss the outrageousness of Little Britain; Matt Lucas and David Walliams are comic geniuses.  Sadly the series ended some time ago and they went on to create Come Fly with Me which was funny but not quite as outlandish as their previous television endeavors.

Today's photo features one of my favorite subjects, a ladybug.  They have so much meaning for me because, decades ago, my grandmother wrote me a letter telling me she wished she was a ladybug so she could sit on my shoulder and share my adventures.  In the years since her passing when I see a ladybug I get a little burst of happiness because, for a moment, she is with me in spirit.  So yesterday I got to catch up with my grandmother as I took this picture.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f8, 1/125 sec @ 320 ISO

Friday, June 8, 2012

2012, Day 160 - Call me honey

Although I found no four-leafed clovers I did come across this lovely clover blossom yesterday.  It made its home in a think carpet of moss and those little white out-of-focus spots in the background are the flowers of the blooming moss itself.  I live the delicate florets of the clovers but more than that I like the honey that the bees from this prolific flower.  That rich golden syrup drizzled on cornbread or in oatmeal or soothing the throat with a little lemon.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f4, 1/640 sec @ 320 ISO

Thursday, June 7, 2012

2012, Day 159 - Painted to the skies

It has been six years since Taylor Electric burned to a shell and it has sat derelict ever since.  This afternoon the clouds broke and the had glimpses of blue throughout the day.  As the sun was getting heavy in the sky I returned with Brian Matiash to our favorite location to mix reflections, graffiti, and clouds into a single image.  The sky was so spectacular in this image that I couldn't wait to run it through a little Photoshop magic to share with you.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105/f4L IS
32mm, f5.6, merged layers of 1/400 and 1/25 sec @ 320 ISO

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

2012, Day 158 - Hostility

I thought, when I saw this, that it was some kind of ornamental artichoke but when you look down at the leaves it was clearly something else.  The broad leaves with their slightly silver coating were obviously those of a hosta.  This is the stalk that supports the flowers that are soon to emerge, they will appear between the leaves and are small and white and rather unspectacular.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f5.6, 1/320 sec @ 320 ISO

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

2012, Day 157 - Plink plink plink

You know summer has arrived when you hear the insistent plink plink plink of a fly bumping into the window has it tries to escape.  In the background you hear the hum of the fan as it swings back and forth trying to disperse some of the heat while relaxing with a good book and a cool drink next to you.  The glass beads with sweat matching that on your forehead and as you take a sip to ease the warmth a couple drops of condensation roll off the bottom and soak into your shirt.  Again, you hear the plink plink plink of the fly and think that, maybe, you should open the window just a little bit wide and help it find freedom, maybe...

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

Monday, June 4, 2012

2012, Day 156 - Bzzzzz

Yay, the bees are back!  Although it was overcast all day today and it rained heavily this evening the bees were busy investigating the lavender this afternoon.  I find watching them as relaxing as watching fish in an aquarium as they systematically move from flower to flower checking for any missed pollen.  One would think that they would have evolved some way to indicate which flowers had already been visited so as to maximize their efforts but the come, one after another, checking and rechecking.  Sometimes their industry makes me feel guilty for my own lack of productivity but today was not one of those days!

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f5.6, 1/100 sec @ 320 ISO

Sunday, June 3, 2012

2012, Day 155 - It's your funeral

The more time that passes the greater the detail of the graffiti in one of my favorite urban exploration spots.  It grows every time I return more vibrant that before like a field in spring as the flowers begin to bloom except that this is born of neglect and human ingenuity.

Yesterday I went after two photo walks with Brian Matiash, Nicole Young, Karen Hutton, Jacob Lucas, Katelyn McCallum, Ryan Wilson, Brian Bonham, Ricardo Lagos, Lars Gustafson, and others I am sure I am forgetting.  Although we had been out shoot for hours this kind of location gives you a second wind.  As you explore (or become reacquainted) the possibilities unfold in front of you and being so spoiled for choice you almost have to stop and catch your breath before planning your plan of attack.  So we explored this burnt out warehouse for about an hour, pressuring each other into modeling, plotting photo bombs and just plain having a good time.  Sometimes it is good to be reminded not to take ourselves too seriously and just have fun!

Sony NEX-7, Sony 18-55/3.5-5.6 OSS
18mm, f5.6, 1/100 sec @ 400 ISO

Saturday, June 2, 2012

2012, Day 154 - Hitched

On this morning's photo walk with the incomparable Karen Hutton we made our way through Old Town towards Portland's Saturday Market.  It was a great walk, I got to catch up with a number of people and see some areas of Portland I rarely explore.  Armed with my 100mm macro as my only lens I saw these bikes locked up in front of this great architectural background and took this shot.  I like the simplicity and the clean lines, it looks like a European street scene but this is indeed Portland.

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

Friday, June 1, 2012

2012, Day 153 - Venereal flowers

What an awful title but I blame Jeremy Clarkson.  He repeatedly called clematis chlamydia and now that immediately comes to mind...

These are the blooms of an evergreen clematis, at its peak it is more flower than plant and each flower is seven-petaled perfection.  This example calls a greenhouse home though it would no doubt thrive in our temperate climate.

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