Sunday, March 31, 2013

2013, Day 89 - Carnage

I know for many this is a difficult image to stomach.  Frogs skinned and ready for cooking laid out in one of the many markets throughout Phnom Penh.  It is the cost of eating truly fresh food that you cannot help but know where it comes from.  I have another picture that I won't share of frogs for sale.  They had been skinned but were still alive; moving and breathing.  Bon appetit!

Canon 1D X, Canon 24-70/f2.8L Mark II
70mm, f2.8, 1/3200 sec @ 640 ISO

Saturday, March 30, 2013

2013, Day 88 - Lost shadow

After a hiatus we return to Cambodia.  I took this picture from a tuk tuk as we were making our way to the cooking class.  I liked the simplicity of the scene and I think that the fact that he was smoking somehow added to it.  The harsh light, the distinct shadow, the simple background, and the fact that the wall changes almost exactly where his shirt meets his trousers almost looks contrived.  The joy of happy accidents...

Canon 1D X, Canon 24-70/f2.8L Mark II
70mm, f3.5, 1/8000 sec @ 320 ISO

Friday, March 29, 2013

2013, Day 87 - Solitude

Another jellyfish from the Portland Aquarium.  While all the other jellyfish were grouped together this one seemed to like to be out of the crowd.  Maybe it is the black sheep of the group.  Either way I appreciated its independence because it allowed me to get this picture...

Canon 7D, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f2.8, 1/400 sec @ 640 ISO

Thursday, March 28, 2013

2013, Day 86 - Running shoes

This handsome lad is Nike.  He is one of Frankie's favorite playmates when he visits his Aunt Karen.  Nike is such a sweet goofy boy who has springs in his legs.  Not only good looking, Nike is smart too. He can run a nice clean race, pass between other dogs and knows that if he hugs the rail he can get ahead of the competition.  Maybe Frankie will pick up a few tricks from Nike and actually try when he goes racing; Nike has fun and races well, imagine that...

Canon 1D X, Canon 24-70/f2.8L Mark II
31mm, f8, 1/200 sec @ 320 ISO

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

2013, Day 85 - Shouting

I took this picture a week and a half ago of the silkens racing.  Normally they are so majestic but if you look at Dove, the dog in the red number one jacket, you can see that he is barking.  Yup, he thinks if he acts like an emergency vehicle all the other dogs will get out of his way.  Oddly, it works more often than not.  He isn't the fastest dog out there but he is consistent and has a great time.  He's also better than Frankie but it doesn't take a lot to beat my little guy.  Frank is just out there to have fun and he does :)

Canon 1D X, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II
200mm, f5.6, 1/1000 sec @ 400 ISO

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

2013, Day 84 - Riot

This is a wild colored cosmo that I saw over the weekend at one of the local nurseries.  It was a riot of colors so  I thought I would be worth a little extra attention.  Right now I am trying to plan what to do with my barren front yard.  Ideas are beginning to coalesce but it will take time and energy to see it through.

Canon 7D, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f5.6, 1/125 sec @ 320 ISO

Monday, March 25, 2013

2013, Day 83 - Big cat

I like this picture not because it is technically great but because of the moment it captures.  This lionfish is stretching out its mouthparts, something that you would normally only see when they are feeding as it swallows its prey whole.  Lionfish are voracious predators and their poisonous rays are very effective defense mechanisms.  Only a small number of fish pose a threat to the lionfish and even they prefer other targets when they can find them.

Canon 7D, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f2.8, 1/200 sec @ 1000 ISO

Sunday, March 24, 2013

2013, Day 82 - Must be jam

Everyone loves a good photograph of jellyfish.  I am not sure why this is, maybe it is because they look like ethereal flying mushrooms or that their undulating acrobatics are hypnotic but they are always fun.

I had the pleasure of going to the Portland Aquarium, a small private facility that is actually in Milwaukie.  Honestly, it isn't great, they have it set up with a lot of touch pools which is great for kids but not for the animals.  It is small but most of it looks well maintained and only a few animals showed signs of stress.  Still, it wouldn't be high on my list of things to do again but I went with two three year-olds and their parents plus my mom who is in town for the weekend.  The excitement of children helps to bolster a somewhat lackluster experience.

Canon 7D, Canon 100f2.8L IS
100mm, f2.8, 1/1000 sec @ 640 ISO

Saturday, March 23, 2013

2013, Day 81 - Folded

This image was originally a bright orange-red anemone that I stumbled across.  While it was beautiful and vibrant in color what I like best is the structure so black and white processing seemed the natural choice.  I guess spring is here, we've already had the sporadic showers that catch you completely off guard.  This is the part of the year I dislike the most because I constantly get soaked while walking the dogs because the sun can shine and it can be pouring rain at the same time!

Canon 7D, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f5.6, 1/80 sec @ 320 ISO

Friday, March 22, 2013

2013, Day 81 - Fading glory

Camelias are such beautiful flowers and the trees put on such a spectacular display when in bloom.  The sheer density of blossoms can be staggering and the white flowers look especially nice against the rich glossy green leaves.  Sadly they also make a tremendous mess.  When the flowers go off their peak the drop and quickly yellow.  As they rot the flowers become a kind of slick rust colored muck and it looks disgusting.  Of well, most of us aren't going to leave a beautiful corpse when we die...

Canon 7D, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f4, 1/500 sec @ 320 ISO

Thursday, March 21, 2013

2013, Day 80 - Explosion

When I see small flowers like these clustered together they look to me like little explosions of color bursting free from the earth.  It is as if they are coming to celebrate spring even if it has been cold and windy lately.  They're like little treats, reminders that winter will soon be gone and as the days lengthen the temperature will rise.

Canon 7D, 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f4, 1/640 sec @ 320 ISO

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

2013, Day 79 - Sitting pretty

Today I went over to my friend Karen's place because she wanted some updated pictures of her dogs.  For so many of us they are members of the family but we forget that they don't share our longevity.  That makes it so important to take pictures regularly.  This pretty lady is Randi and she was one of our first models.  I think she did really well with all the strobes flashing and we ended up with a number of good pictures but this is my favorite because she looks so regal.

Canon 1D X, Canon 24-70/f2.8L Mark II
28mm, f8, 1/200 sec @ 320 ISO

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

2013, Day 78 - Fluid

I don't know why but these star magnolias are my favorite flowers.  I love the slight blush of peach towards the center, the slight wave in the petals, the clean lines and simplicity.  That they last such a short amount of time makes them that much more covetous.  These blossoms are short lived but amazing and I smile every time I walk past the tree.

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

Monday, March 18, 2013

2013, Day 77 - Surging Sand

I love this picture.  It's hard to believe that the dog in the number two jacket is Frankie's brother.  You can see Frankie in the background in the number one jacket; the two of the are built so differently.  Frankie is lean and leggy but Sand is built like a freight train and he can really move.  Sand has a huge reserve of speed and he can power his extra bulk forward.  Randi, in the number three jacket, ran really well and ran smart but she lacks Sand's power.  Still, Sand and Randi took the trace seriously and Frankie bounced around the track with enthusiasm but wasn't really racing.  Oh well, at least he's pretty :)

Canon 1D X, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II
200mm, f4.5, 1/1000 sec @ 400 ISO

Sunday, March 17, 2013

2013, Day 76 - Magic monkey

Today was the first day of racing this year and both Frankie and I were very excited.  When we arrived he bounced happily and greeted all his old friends and made a bunch of new ones.  Unfortunately his enthusiasm was not matched by his ability.  To put it succinctly, he was a hot mess.  Instead of keeping his head down Frankie bounced around the track.  I think he was more interested in putting on a show than in the competition but as he walked to the starting boxes for each race he was so excited.  The funny thing is I love him all the more for having so much fun despite the fact that he didn't just lose each race, he came in dead last.  Right now he is totally passed out, exhausted from all the fun he had today :)

Canon 1D X, Canon 70-200/f2.8L IS Mark II
155mm, f8, 1/1000 sec @ 400 ISO

Saturday, March 16, 2013

2013, Day 75 - Irresistible

Tomorrow Frankie gets to show everyone what he's got on the oval when he goes racing!  It is the first race of the year and I am excited; Frankie will be too when we arrive, the trick is not letting him get tired before runs.

This little lady is Mocha, again.  There is something about this girl that I just adore.  It's a good thing that she already has a home otherwise I don't think I could resist!

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24-70/f2.8L Mark II
59mm, f11, 1/250 sec @ 200 ISO

Friday, March 15, 2013

2013, Day 74 - Pearl

When I went out this morning to walk t he dogs I had a wonderful surprise waiting for me.  The start magnolia is in bloom.  I had noticed the buds beginning to open a couple of days ago and one or two flowers began to bloom yesterday but overnight it really came to life.  The tree is covered in these delicate blossoms and, sadly, they don't last long.  Rain will damage the delicate petals and winds will tear off ragged chunks.  In a couple of weeks the will be well past their prime and a week after that they will be gone.  So I grabbed a ladder to get the best angles and took a load of pictures to remember them in their absence.

Canon 1D X, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f4.5, 1/500 sec @ 200 ISO

Thursday, March 14, 2013

2013, Day 73 - Half alert

I admit I am on a kick with dogs.  Mine and others but my boys need love too.  Stubbs is the old man of the house and age is quickly catching up with him.  Our walks are shorter because of his arthritis and although he still plays it lacks the bull-in-a-china-shop enthusiasm that he used to possess.  Still, he has his moments and his affection remains undiminished.  Here is is laying in bed with a strand of LED lights behind him, they almost look like thought bubbles in a comic strip.  I wonder what he was thinking...

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 50/f1.2L
50mm, f1.4, 1/80 sec @ 1000 ISO

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

2013, Day 72 - Beast!

Oh sweet Hubert!  He is getting older and, mostly, better.  His beautiful blue coat is now flecked with white but he remains as goofy as ever.  Even when he is a pain in the ass he is sweet about it.

I was playing with a ringflash this afternoon to see how it would act.  You can see the donut of light reflected in his eye and while I was tempted to edit it out I decided to leave it although I might edit it in the future to make it a solid white dot.  This shot was taken with an octabox camera left to provide fill.  I love an excuse to take pictures of my boys :)

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

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

2013, Day 71 - Angelic

Sweet Shelby isn't as much a lover as her sister Mocha.  She is an explorer and at just six weeks she's ready to take on all life has to offer.  When the pups were moved from their private room to a luxurious pen near all the other adults it was Shelby who walked up without a hint of hesitation.  Her tail was wagging furiously and she tried to taste her uncle Taj's nose as her came to visit.  Most of the adults had not met the puppies yet and were very curious but the whole litter followed Shelby's lead and met them all through the safety of the pen.  Right now they are still to small and fragile to get play time with the big kids but it will come soon enough...

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24-70/f2.8L Mark II
70mm, f11, 1/250 sec @ 200 ISO

Monday, March 11, 2013

2013, Day 70 - Miniature jungle

The slow warming of the days, despite the rain, is turning the city green.  Even the moss is showing additional signs of life, little patches are becoming lush carpets.  They are like tiny emerald jungles.

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

Sunday, March 10, 2013

2013, Day 69 - Innocence

This afternoon I was again able to experience one of the fundamental joys of life, puppy time!  My friend Karen has a litter of beautiful puppies and at six weeks old they see the world as the staging ground for adventure.  Even when we sat them down for portraits they found their confidence quickly.  The big strobe is a lot to take in but after a couple pops it didn't bother them at all and their little tails just wouldn't stop.  So I knelt in front of the makeshift studio as three puppies jumped all over me, attacked my feet, and vied for my attention while their sibling took center stage.

This little angel is Mocha.  They are all adorable but she is my favorite.  Her only goal in life is to cuddle and she is just so sweet.  It was tempting to try to sneak her out in my backpack...

Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 24-70/f2.8L Mark II
70mm, f11, 1/250 sec @ 200 ISO

Saturday, March 9, 2013

2013, Day 68 - Amphibious memories

One of the things I liked about the temples around Siem Reap was all the life.  Especially the frogs.  There were hundreds of little frogs hiding in tall grass or in the leaf litter.  They were hard to notice but as you took a step it was like shuffling your feet through leaves, a cascade of frogs would leap from the ground avoiding your step.

When you are in an environment as awe inspiring as the temples of Angkor it is easy to miss the details.  The larger picture is so enchanting that you get distracted and, as a photographer, I often found I had a wide angle lens mounted.  But I kept my macro handy and below is one of the little devils.

Frogs remind me of my childhood.  I get up near a creek and in the summers my friends and I would go catch frogs, crayfish, and snakes.  We spent hours along the muddy bank and often came home only to hose off in the driveway or backyard.  It was always an adventure and the mud made it that much more fun for us.

Canon 1D X, Canon 100/f2.8L IS
100mm, f4, 1/125 sec @ 800 ISO

Friday, March 8, 2013

2013, Day 67 - Persimmon seller

I took this on an early morning walk through the market.  It was crowded but still cool in the shade and the sweet scent of fruit was almost strong enough to overpower the smell coming from the nearby meat vendors.  Women sat in groups peeling jackfruit and chatting or eating breakfast as I passed.  As I made my was through the market the persimmons caught my eye so I stopped to take a picture.  I didn't buy any as we were only staying in Cambodia for another day and I had already purchased mangosteens and jackfruit.

Canon 1D X, Canon 50/f1.2L
50mm, f2, 1/160 sec @ 160 ISO

Thursday, March 7, 2013

2013, Day 66 - Measuring

I saw this woman carefully pouring dry goods into small plastic bags from a couple stalls away while exploring the Russian Market.  She was concentrating so intently on her task I couldn't help but take her picture.  Normally I would ask permission before taking a picture but doing so would have ruined the moment so I took this picture and caught her attention before taking a second less interesting picture.  That way I felt that I had her permission for the prior photo even if it was given after the fact.

Canon 1D X, Canon 24-70/f2.8L Mark II
70mm, f4, 1/125 sec @ 8000 ISO

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

2013, Day 65 - Edifice

This is one of the stupas at Phnom Sampeau, the grim site of Battambang's killing caves.  I am often amazed how the Khmer Rouge turned so many places of startling beauty into places of mass murder.  It is as if they wanted to destroy all the beauty in their country, to drown out the magic with sorrow.  Ultimately it didn't work but along the way the destroyed countless lives; nevertheless the spirit of the Cambodian people endures and the country is recovering.

Canon 1D X, Canon 24-70/f2.8L Mark II
28mm, f4, 1/2000 sec @ 100 ISO

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

2013, Day 64 - Central rubble

The Temple of the Holy Sword, Preah Khan, is a sprawling compound.  Thought to have housed over one hundred thousand, today it is one of the best known jungle temples.  It is composed of a series of rectangular structures attached by covered walkways and broken up by courtyards.

I wish I had asked about the stones in the center of this open area.  Was this once another structure?  Perhaps a raised platform where offerings were made or where scholars taught their student.  Preah Khan wasn't just a temple, it was a city and a university, it was a placed of artistic instruction and the home of a cache of gold and gems.  For as much as we know there are still many questions that have no satisfactory answers.

Canon 1D X, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f8, merged layers of 1/40 and 1/10 sec @ 100 ISO

Monday, March 4, 2013

2013, Day 63 - Painted morning

We awoke on our first full day in Siem Reap and stopped immediately for the sunrise at Angkor Thom.  Although we had visited the temple the night before it was a much different experience in the early morning.  The quality of the light was different but, more interestingly, we saw monks making their rounds to clean.  Specks of saffron would emerge from between trees or from behind a crumbling wall. They seemed to comes from nowhere making no noise and working diligently.  It was beautiful almost otherworldly but those kind of experiences seem almost common in Cambodia.

Canon 1D X, Canon 24-70/f2.8L Mark II
30mm, f8, merged layers of 1/5 and 1.6 sec @ 100 ISO

Sunday, March 3, 2013

2013, Day 62 - Chill

While taking a walk through the countryside with Francene and Araceli, I espied this cat watching us.  It was a warm afternoon and there was some cloud cover than only intensified the humidity.  All living things with sense were relaxing and waiting for the worst of it to pass except for the three of us.  To be fair, Araceli didn't really want to go on the walk, she just didn't want to be left out.  I think Mister Kitty was judging us as we wandered past and I can't deny I was a little envious of his comfortable perch.

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

Saturday, March 2, 2013

2013, Day 61 - Building 3

This is one of the large sheds were salt, once dried, is stored.  They are packed, literally, to the rafters and in the afternoon sun are like ovens.  Yet men toil away inside bagging and weighing salt to be sent all over the world.  When this picture was taken it was almost time to harvest the rice and the only work being done on the fields was maintenance.  Once the harvest was completed the farmers would have sent to work on the salt fields and soon the daytime highs would rise and salt production would be enormous.

Canon 1D X, Canon 24-70/f2.8L Mark II
24mm, f2.8, 1/5000 sec @ 100 ISO

Friday, March 1, 2013

2013, Day 60 - Frankie Friday

Today is a big day, it was a little over a year ago that Frankie came to live with me and today is his second birthday!  Yup, the little monkey is two years old today.  The last year with him has been a lot of fun; he has learned that he loves to race, how to bounce over and under the greyhounds, been to California, been car sick, and most of all, he has learned how to charm anyone in seconds and I am probably the biggest sucker of them all.  Frankie is a wonderful guy, he is sweet, gentle, intelligent, and affectionate.  The greyhounds think he is a cross between a giant toy and their baby brother so they love to play with him and are a little protective of him.

To celebrate all the dogs had a home cooked stew of turkey, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, apples, mustard greens, and peas.  Frankie thinks I am the best cook in the world because my normally picky boy loves his stew.  Even the fancy canned dog food has nothing on my cooking.

Happy birthday you little monkey!

Canon 1D X, Canon 24-70/f2.8L Mark II
50mm, f11, 1/200 sec @ 100 ISO