Tuesday, July 31, 2012

2012, Day 213 - Memories of winter

The forecast is calling for an increase in the daily highs and that is not something that I welcome.  I've enjoyed our mild summer with cool mornings and don't care to see the temperature spike to the nineties.  Instead I will happily reflect on the winter weather, the bare trees, the cool breezes, the crocuses peeking out from the leaf litter.  There is a calmness about winter, people stay in their homes while the earth slumbers and those of us outside get a little more privacy.  The nights are quiet as people seek out of warmth of their homes instead of late night adventures and peace blankets my neighborhood more often than snow.  I am looking forward to another quiet winter.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f4, 1/200 sec @ 250 ISO

Monday, July 30, 2012

2012, Day 212 - Fading

The heat is coming...  We have enjoyed a nice cool summer so far in Portland; the mornings have been brisk and that afternoons warm.  It has been ideal but I understand that the heat is coming and some of the flowers are already showing signs of exposure.  Soon the grass will start to fade and the petals will drop and for months there will be nothing to look forward to until the cool nights come again and the first maples start to show a hint of yellow...

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f8, 1/500 sec @ 320 ISO

Sunday, July 29, 2012

2012, Day 211 - Small shadows

And today, a pretty flower.  Nothing remarkable, I just like the way the light caught it and decided to capture the moment.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f9, 1/80 sec @ 320 ISO

Saturday, July 28, 2012

2012, Day 210 - Flare

A couple days ago I was taking a walk with my friend Rachel to get some frozen yogurt.  The sun was high in the sky and its rays were hot on your skin, it felt oppressive despite being only a hair over eighty degrees.  As we walked the afternoon light illuminated plants in the most stunning way so I stopped for a few pictures.

I like the warmth in the tone of this image and the bokeh (out of focus areas) is delightful.  The webs crisscrossing the leaflets.  A greater depth of field would have ruined the bokeh but more of the frond would have been in focus.  It was a tough decision and I bracketed the aperture but this is the one I like best.  I supposed I could have done some focus stacking but it would have required a tripod which I didn't have...

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f4, 1/500 sec @ 320 ISO

Friday, July 27, 2012

2012, Day 209 - Climbing the mountain

I like the tiny little beetle wading through the tiny petals of this daisy as if transecting a jungle.  My imagination wanders and I start dreaming what it must be like to be so small, how the world must look and I think it must be ever more wondrous.  Flowers would be massive things, their scent overpowering, their vibrance magnified and their fleeting beauty all the more obvious.  Adventure would be on a grander scale and, of course, if I were like so many insects I would have the gift of flight.  It would be amazing but until someone invents a jet pack and a shrink ray I will just have to explore the world through my macro lens.

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

Thursday, July 26, 2012

2012, Day 208 - Eating Sand

I have been saving this picture to share.  Why I have been saving it I have no idea, I just liked it but there were others that I wanted to process first.  I like shooting dogs from a low vantage point with a wide angle lens; I suspect it is because it looks how I expect a dog sees the world, plus the distortion is fun!

In this photo Nike is lunging at Sand to try to get him to play.  Sand is aptly named, he is very adaptable and it takes some work to get him going so Nike had to pester him for a while before he mustered the energy to play.  Unfortunately for Nike Sand is built like a freight train and, despite his size, is really athletic.  It's a good thing that Sand is so tolerant because although he gets his own back with Nike he never truly clobbers him even though Nike often deserves it.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105/f4L IS
24mm, f4, 1/1600 sec @ 320 ISO

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

2012, Day 207 - Down the Dell

Another view of Shepperds Dell.  I processed this image a little differently and went for cooler tones this time around.  The contrast was boosted which I liked in this case because there are large dark rocks in the foreground to frame the water and provide a visual anchor.  The cool tones make the lush scene a little more refreshing, it was and I like that it conveys that feeling.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon  24-105/f4L IS
24mm, f8, merged layers of 0.6, 4, and 8 sec @ 100 ISO
Lee 0.9 soft grad and 0.6 soft grad upside down

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

2012, Day 206 - A little taste

Bugs have the weirdest mouth parts.  It reminds me of the gruesome monsters from Alien and their little baby mouth inside another mouth.  We live with them day in and day out never really seeing their amazing complex anatomies, just shooing them away.  Sometimes it is nice to stop and really look, even if it is kind of gross.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f5.6, 1/1000 sec @ 400 ISO

Monday, July 23, 2012

2012, Day 205 - Stranded bee

One of the things I like about the warm weather is the plethora of scents in the air.  Right now the fennel is in bloom and the bees are crazy for the sweet pollen on the tiny buds.  This particular patch of fennel has some tall ornamental grasses growing behind it and I though the arcs they formed in the background framed this bee very nicely.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f5.6, 1/125 sec @ 400 ISO

Sunday, July 22, 2012

2012, Day 204 - A little nosh

This photo was from yesterday's adventures with the Matiash duo at Portland's Saturday Market.  It is a complete candid, I didn't want anything unnatural or forced.  There are things I don't like about it but more that I do like.  The texture and colors of the backdrop are great, subject is completely at ease and the strong light adds great depth to the shadows.  What I don't like is the composition, it isn't quite what I wanted, and the strong light has left deep shadows on his face.  As I said, I like more than I don't like and it is a perfect representation of Portland :)

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

Saturday, July 21, 2012

2012, Day 203 - Waterfall waltz

Today I had the pleasure of an adventure with Brian Matiash and his sister Greta.  Although Greta has been to Portland before her previous trip was rather hurried and just after Brian arrived so this time she was treated to a more scenic experience.  First we went to the Saturday Market to browse the stalls of local artists and test our resolve to resist the temptation of mouth-watering smells permeating the air from the food stalls.  The level of talent and creativity in Portland never ceases to amaze me and the appetite for local arts and crafts is apparent by the massive crowds that descend on the market every weekend.

After a brief intermission to allow Brian to pretty himself up we ran out the the Gorge.  Since it was already early afternoon and Greta was still feeling the effects of jet lag it was the abbreviated version.  East on the Historic Columbia River Highway starting at the Women's Forum to Vista House, from there to Shepperds Dell and the directly to Multnomah Falls.  The beautiful weather brought out the crowds but Shepperds Dell was a breath of fresh air.  Not only were there very few people there but cool air cascaded down the falls and the refreshing breeze just washed over you in a wave.  It was nice and invigorating, plus I got this shot.

The woods and upper part of the falls was hot compared to the lower falls so I used a three stop graduated neutral density filter to cut the light but then the image felt out of balance so I employed a two stop graduated neutral density filter upside down to balance the exposure at the bottom.  It framed the scene with a little filter-induced vignetting really nicely and I was able to get great movement in the water.  I would like to think that the results justified my wet feet :)

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105/f4L IS
24mm, f16, merged layers of 1/2 and 2 sec @ 100 ISO
Lee 0.9 soft grad and 0.6 soft grad upside down

Friday, July 20, 2012

2012, Day 202 - Siblings

It's Friday and I am eagerly awaiting the weekend.  This week has been busy; night after night I stay up late trying to get ahead so the following day won't be so crazy and quickly the next day spirals out of control.  Not that I haven't been able to keep on top of things but I have most certainly been burning the candle from both ends.

Add to that a rash of violence throughout the country and multiple friends with sick dogs and I think today need a pick-me-up photo.  Not my dogs but who can resist puppies playing.  That's Eddie on the ground getting ready for his sister Randi to pounce on him while Aunt Jewel looks on.  Those two are best friends and play with each other constantly.  At a couple months shy of their first birthday these two like to remind everyone what puppy energy looks like!  I wish I had puppy energy :)

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105/f4L IS
105mm, f4, 1/800 sec @ 320 ISO

Thursday, July 19, 2012

2012, Day 201 - Ferocious

All those teeth belong to Sand, Frankie's brother.  He's playing with Nike, the pup with endless energy.  What you need to know is that for about ten minutes before I took this picture Nike was gnawing on Sand's neck while Sand just stood there ignoring him.  Finally, after repeated attempts, Nike got Sand to wrestle with him.  Frankie and his siblings are so patient that even when provoked and pestered they are good natured in their play.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105/f4L IS
105mm, f4, 1/3200 sec @ 320 ISO

2012, Day 200 - Loving butts

Elephants are ubiquitous in Thailand but many are mistreated and when they act out there are few options available but in the mountains outside of Chiang Mai there exists a sanctuary for these amazing animals where they are care for and the scars, both physical and emotional, are allowed to heal.  Some are able to move beyond their pasts while others still act out.  One killed two handlers on different occasions while she was still being used in logging and she still has quite a temper.

Despite all their sometimes checkered pasts they get amazing care.  All are fed multiple times per day, they get bathed daily, some are permitted to form their own family groups, and all get access to veterinary care.  It is amazing the kind of gentleness they are capable of in spite of their frequent mistreatment.

These two emerged from the small river soaking wet and immediately made for the soft dirt to throw over their bodies for protection from the sun.  Well coated, they began rubbing their heads against each other with great affection.  It is sad that elephants are still mistreated throughout the world when they have an emotional range so similar to our own and equally apparent.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24-70/f2.8L
48mm, 5.6, 1/500 @ 400 ISO

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

2012, Day 199 - Solitude

This was, I think, my favorite temple in Thailand.  My friends and I had been out to dinner after a long day and we were walking back to find transportation to our hotel when we saw a sky lantern rising into the air.  That sight captured our attention and we began to walk faster in the hope of finding its point or origin.  We wound through side streets and alleys until we came upon this temple.  There were perhaps a dozen people gathered and a few with more sky lanterns yet to be released.  I remember the night air having a slight crispness to it and being utterly enchanted by the temples and grounds.  It was a magical experience...

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24/f1.4L Mark II
24mm, f1.4, 1/100 sec @ 1000 ISO

Monday, July 16, 2012

2012, Day 198 - Bustle

I was going through my Lightroom catalog this evening reliving my trip to Thailand and I noticed this photo had never been processed.  I don't know why but I suppose at the time I didn't really like it but I thought I would give it a go this evening and I quite like it.  The colors, the vibrance, the unadulterated sky, it just works.  Plus the building on the right provides a visual anchor by being lighter in color than those surrounding.  Even the distortion allows the view to gain some additional measure of perspective.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24/f1.4L Mark II
24mm, f1.4, 1/25 sec @ 1250 ISO

Sunday, July 15, 2012

2012, Day 197 - Crotch shot!

I love Portland at night.  This shot was taken near the rail yard in North Portland where I-5 and I-405 meet. The cloud formations were great and you can almost feel the crispness of the air.  Despite the sounds of traffic it was almost relaxing...

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 17-40/f4L
17mm, f5.6, 10 sec @ 320 ISO

Saturday, July 14, 2012

2012, Day 196 - New again

Tonight I tried something new.  Adobe has released a host of new features in Photoshop CS6 and Oil Paint was one I had not yet tried.  I like how it smooths out the tones while adding a bit of texture.  There is a evenness in the effect that I like, the texture is softened while the lines stay sharp.  It is pleasing although I suspect it is not a tool that will get frequent use.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f5.6, 1/1000 sec @ 250 ISO

Friday, July 13, 2012

2012, Day 195 - Nesting in petals

This morning I awoke to an overcast sky and cool weather, it was refreshing!  While walking the dogs I noticed a number of bumble bees still resting in flowers and this guy seems to have picked the best spot of all nestled in a fragrant tea rose.  While artificial scents can be cloying and overpowering the real thing is rarely so and he has the extra protection of thorns and a flower hidden in the protective branches hiding him from peckish birds.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f5.6, 1/320 sec @ 250 ISO

2012, Day 194 - Cheapness

When I was in college I took a class in landscape architecture and one of the things that we covered was the invention of barbed wire.  It was introduced as an inexpensive way to keep cattle contained and was introduced with a dramatic display where a small herd was put in a barbed wire pen and whipped into a panic.  None of the cattle escaped and their injuries were minimal and thus large scale ranching became much more affordable and the landscape of the American west was forever changed.

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

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

2012, Day 193 - Who's the loser now?

Although I shared it in the comments of a previous post, Frankie had a great weekend!  Friday he tried his hand at being a show dog.  It didn't go well, fourth out of four in his class; I guess that blue eye is a big enough fault to relegate him to the bottom.

Saturday was better, he got to run but the competition was a little tough for him.  Sometimes I forget that Frankie is still a puppy.  Of the youngsters he did relatively well but that still left him tenth out of seventeen.  Still, running is more fun than showing and he was totally pooped when we got home.

Sunday, that was Frankie's day to shine because he went lure coursing for the first time ever.  Let's face it, Frankie is a skinny boy, even compared to other pointy dogs.  Being so finely built he doesn't have a lot of early speed, Frankie is built for distance and that lightweight body is great for turning so lure coursing suited him much better.  Saturday's straight racing was dominated by the veterans but lure coursing went to the pups.  Frankie's half-brother D'Artagnan (born the same day no less) was a mess on Saturday but Sunday he came in first running a clean course and blowing away the competition.  Second was a four-way tie between Frankie, his sister Sky, his uncle Bados, and best friend Nike.  The only one over two years old in the group was Bados.  In the runoff between these four he was beat out by Nike and Bados but came out ahead of Sky; that means he took fourth place!

I don't know that we will try to show the silly boy anymore but he certainly is going to keep racing.  Frankie loves to run but he's not in to roughhousing so racing is perfect for him.  I guess Allagante White Lightning is an appropriate name for him after all!

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II
200mm, f7.1, 1/1000 sec @ 320 ISO

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

2012, Day 192 - Chowlee

I've been spending the last few days with my family and while my dogs didn't get to come my sister Laura was able to bring her dog Charlie.  He's such a happy guy and the way he moves reminds me of a puppet like a Fraggle.  It's not the same as having my dogs here but it is fun to have him around nonetheless.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f2.8, 1/40 sec @ 640 ISO

Monday, July 9, 2012

2012, Day 191 - Riveted for your pleasure

It's hot here in the south, well, southern Oregon...  It has been in the 90s and I find my comfort rapidly diminishing when the temperatures pass 70 degrees.  So this morning I awoke to find the rest of my vacationing companions (i.e. my family) fast asleep so after I completed my morning ablutions I decided to head out and after a while I found myself in historic downtown Jacksonville.  It is a charming town with an incredible main street of well preserved historic buildings.  Fortunately it was early so there weren't many people about and that makes for good picture taking conditions but unfortunately it was early so nothing was open.  Oh well, I will take the former over the latter.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105/f4L IS
45mm, f5.6, 1/2500 sec @ 250 ISO

Sunday, July 8, 2012

2012, Day 190 - Dancing

There is nothing that signals the start of summer so clearly as the bobbing heads of white and yellow in the fields.  They dance in the breezes that bring us respite from the year and make an otherwise dull landscape look so much more lively.  I love watching the wheat fields surging in the wind but the wildflowers are just as beautiful, it is like looking at a reef with coral and anemones waving in the swells as the tide changes.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f8, 1/1000 sec @ 250 ISO

Saturday, July 7, 2012

2012, Day 189 - Dust yourself off

Another racing day for Frankie and this time he had the opportunity to work out his excitement days before the main event.  The difference was noticeable, he ran much better and was less distracted by all his friends.

He was in the first race of the day with the other novice dogs and while other siblings played he went straight for the lure.  With the chaos of play on the field he almost caught the lure and took a dive but got right back up and went on to finish the race well ahead of the rest of the field.

That win was probably not a great thing because in the next program he was up against some really fast and experienced dogs.  Still, he ran hard and made a good showing of himself despite bringing up the rear.  All he really knows is that he had a great time playing with his buddies and even though he had a grass stain on the side of his face within seconds of starting the first race he was eager to get back out there and run!

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II
200mm, f7.1, 1/1000 sec @ 200 ISO

Friday, July 6, 2012

2012, Day 188 - Need a fix

I love vintage signage.  There is something so wholesome about it and although this sign is not old it has many of the elements that one associates with that aesthetic.  Bold colors, sharp lines, clean text, it is elegant in its simplicity.  Plus the orange of the coffee cup against the blue sky makes for a great contrast!

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105/f4L IS
28mm, f8, 1/1000 sec @ 200 ISO

2012, Day 187 - Evening bustle

The warm weather seems to be settling on the Pacific NW now and the forecast promises weather that is consistently warm and free of rain.  I am not a warm weather kind of person, it is part of the reason I fled from California to the coolness and rain of Portland ten years ago.  Still, having grown up in California, there is something that I love about cool summer evenings.  They provide respite from the heat of the day and the world looks so different as most of the city slumbers.  It also feels naughty being up so late and walking the dogs.  I love that calmness, the relative stillness of the late night.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
21mm, f8, 1/6 sec @ 640 ISO

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

2012, Day 186 - Flash of agony

The 4th of July is a holiday whose celebrations I cannot fathom.  I understand celebrating our independence but the way we do it is riddled with contradiction.  All week I've been reading stories about people losing fingers, being blinded, taking trips to the emergency room all to blow up a little bit of our country.  And then there are the people responsible for fighting to protect our interests.  It doesn't matter what your political beliefs are, there can be no doubt that we should honor the people who risk their lives to protect ours and some come back bearing emotional scars that are ripped open again by fireworks .  While I love the sight of fireworks I could live without them to protect the young, the scarred and the stupid.

Canon 1Ds Mark III, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
27mm, f5.6, 1.6 sec @ 250 ISO

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

2012, Day 185 - Hearts of silver and gold

These days we are besieged.  There are so many people and things that want our attention.  Our phones and computers constantly flash alerts telling us we have a message or an appointment or a phone call.  Moments of silence are rare and that's where photography enters my life.  It allows me to capture a moment of calm and as I process the file in Photoshop I stop to consider my composition, the colors, the subject and I start seeing the parts.  Intuition and deliberation come together as I try one thing and then another in an attempt to illicit the response I am looking for from the viewer.  It isn't the same as spending time in a chemical darkroom but it is cleaner, easier and the gratification comes just a little bit faster so I can respond sooner to the notifications on my phone.

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f5.6, 1/320 sec @ 500 ISO

Monday, July 2, 2012

2012, Day 184 - Farewell rain

Today is the last day of clouds in the forecast and I am sad to say that I think summer may officially be here. The temperatures are set to rise into the 80s and while that may seem cool to the rest of the country I can assure you that for those of us here it will feel sweltering.  Oh well, I guess it is time for fireworks, BBQs, watermelon, berries, the drone of fans all night long and early walks to beat the heat.

Canon 1Ds Mark II, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100, f5.6, 1/125 sec @ 400 ISO

Sunday, July 1, 2012

2012, Day 183 - Dances with butterflies

It's been all about the dogs this week and today was no exception.  I took Frankie out for a play date because he's been a little nutty this week and I thought he needed to work off some excess energy.  Unfortunately we awoke to rain this morning so we had to wait for it to stop for a few hours so the ground could dry out a bit.

A little before noon we arrived and were greeted by a chorus of barks and howls.  Frankie was a little overwhelmed at first but as he started to recognize all his old friend he got excited.  We had a great time visiting and playing.  One of the most entertaining dogs was Randi.  She and her brother Eddie are both nuts and they spent much of the time walking through the tall grass to flush out moths and butterflies and when they took off the two of them jumped through the air like fish trying to catch their prey.  It was great fun, pictured below is Randi and if you look under her chin you can see a small moth, apparently she misjudged her lunge...

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II
130mm, f5.6, 1/800 sec @ 500 ISO