Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 424 - Candy cane tulips

ISO 400, 100mm, f/20, 1/50 sec

I couldn't let the tulips I received last week go without a drop session.

I set up the drops on one of the white tulips with a red and white one as the reflection. I hand-held a speedlite pointing it at the red and white just barely kissing the white tulip.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 423 - Rainbow water

ISO 100, 35mm, f/9.0, 30.0 sec

Day 423 - Rainbow water

This was my last image last night before we exited the Esplanade and headed back to Salem.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 422 - 32 days

ISO 100, 22mm, f/14, 30.0 sec

I was jonesing. It has been 32 days since my last sparkly twilight shot. I'm not going to lie. I've been irritable, depressed, just downright moody. Every photo I took just looked like crap. I had lost my mojo.

We had mentioned going up to Portland this evening for skyline shot, but it never got above 34 frickin' degrees. Staying home and pouting made so much more sense and was so much warmer. I had work to do, a house to clean and nearly two bazillion of crappy photos to process.

However Karen had the call of Ethiopian cuisine and the strong desire to remove me from my funk, she nearly drug me out of the house. In fact, I think she was ready to hire a team of white horses.

I feel much better now. Full tummy and a sparkly twilight.

Note to self, days are getting longer, get off of your butt and go shoot.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 421 - Thank you

ISO 640, 200mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec

A grueling week. A rushed project out the door one day early. Tulips that say thank you.

It was a good week.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 420 - Heritage

ISO 3200, 125mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec

During last weeks portrait class, we had a guest from the Lakota Sioux tribe. I wish I could remember his name, but his a grandson of Chief Red Cloud. He is wearing a replica of a garment that Chief Red Cloud wore.


Although he was very serious about his heritage, including a smudging before the portrait shoot, clearly he had a playful side.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 419 - Still hoping

ISO 100, 24mm, f/20, 1/60 sec.

For a week now weather.com has been talking about a wintery weather system coming through. Cold, snow... maybe even enough to give a snow day at work.

I've watched closely, the forecast has held. When I got home after work I stepped out into the back yard and took this picture.

Ya, it's bloody cold, but look at those skies. I think weather.com is just messing with my head.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 418 - Promising

ISO 320, 27mm, f/22, 1/10 sec

I had high hopes for a much more vivid sunset, kind of like wishing for more hours in the day.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 417 - Blue neon

ISO 100, 100mm macro, f/22, 1/80 sec


I switched up my set-up tonight while I was shooting smoke.

I place a speed light on both sides of the smoke. It gave it a great neon glow.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 416 - Summer sunrise

ISO 100, 67mm, f/22, 1/160 sec


We were on a field trip in August when we pulled off of the highway to watch the sunrise over the river.

We were at a local park in Corvallis. I'm guessing all of the haze must have been from forest fires.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 415 - Dog friendly

ISO 100, 28mm, f/4.5, 1/100 sec

I swear Portland must be the most dog-friendly city anywhere.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 414 - Portrait of Alan

ISO 800, 27mm, f/4.0, 1/60 sec

Our assignment this week for portrait photography was to create an image of someone we respect and treasure.

The very first person I thought of was Alan. He was responsible for giving me my job at the college almost 11 years ago and then he retired just two short years later. He is kind and gentle and someone that I have always looked up to.

Alan and his little dog Maggie live in Portland, about an hour from my home. We picked the time and I took a vacation day so that I could go up to Portland and not feel rushed. My arrival time was set for 8 am.

It was an early day for us, we were up at 4 am. Since I love the evening skyline of Portland, I thought I would get there early and take advantage of some shooting time in the early morning. Despite all of the rain we've gotten this week, the morning looked promising.

As I crossed the river, I plotted my course of shooting in my head. I parked my car, put on my warm clothing and opened the back door to get my camera and tripod. Or not.

Yup, in my blond, senior moment this morning I walked out of the house without my camera. Tripod, light stands and light modifiers were all loaded, but no camera.

I didn't panic, but I was pretty happy I had gotten up there as early as I did. Drove the 60 miles home got my camera and drove back up.

I never even used any of my other equipment, I just used the available light from the window.

Sheesh.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 413 - Nearly baby season

ISO 100, 200mm, f/6.3, 1/250 sec

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 412 - Neither rain nor hail...

ISO 100, 24mm, f/11, 1/8 sec.

nor sleet nor snow will make me forget that spring is just around the corner.

Our weather was a complete mixed bag today not to mention the flipping cold. We had sun, rain, hail and snow.

I dug deep into the archives to take me to a sunnier, warmer day.

I took this photo on March 14, 2010. The state capitol is beautiful when the cherry trees are in full bloom.

This image of the capitol was a slightly underexposed image that I tweaked in Lightroom tonight. I was quite pleased the results especially when I compared it to the HDR photo below.

ISO 100, 24mm, f/11, HDR 0.5, 1/8, 1/30 sec.

When I took the image last year, I bracketed the photos so that I could run it through an HDR filter. This was my finished product.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 411 - Minature roses, a re-run

ISO 100, 100mm macro, f/20, 20 sec

I had a few questions from my miniature roses last night and I thought I would re-shoot with the primroses so that you could see what I did.

It is the same set up, different settings for my final selection.

My trusty iPhone

I set up on the kitchen counter with the original 1950's flourescent lighting as my only light source (I'm having a few lazy moments here.)

Camera is on a tripod and I am using my beloved 100mm macro lens. I have the new IS version now, but before this I had the original non-IS and it was just as good as this one. I've seen it on Craigslist recently for anywhere from $375 to $450. Very much worth the investment if you ask me.

I am using the bud of an orchid that is taking it's sweet time to bloom to hold the water drops. I spray it with a fine mist of water until they start to collect along the bottom of the bud. This can take an amazing amount of patience since they frequently drop off before collecting.

Lining them up so that they are parallel to the lens is the biggest challenge and I set them about six inches in front of the lens, as close as I can get and still focus.

I placed the reflected flowers about two feet behind the drops and slightly lower.

My aperture is f/32 so that I have the most depth of focus and since I am using ambient lighting (the kitchen lights) my shutter speed is 30 sec. I manually focus on the water drops, another challenge by itself.

Any movement in the house can cause movement in the drops, so everyone (dogs included) are ordered to sit still and not breath.

It's a very easy set-up, just remember no caffeine and bring on the patience.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 410 - Miniature roses

ISO 100, 100mm macro, f/32, 25.0 sec

My roses have opened beautifully today and I thought I would see what they looked like as miniature roses.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 409 - Happy Valentine's Day

ISO 100, 100mm macro, f/25, 1/160 sec

Although these roses were orange when they arrived, I'm feeling rather nostalgic about love and romance.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 408 - Warm up

ISO 1600, 85mm, f/2.8, 1/800 sec

I spent some time during the warm-ups last night trying to find the most efficient settings.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 407 - The game

ISO 1600, 90 mm, f/2.8, 1/800 sec

Home game tonight on the basketball court.

Like most sports, I don't know much about basketball. From my grade school gym days I remember double dribble, traveling and two points.

Our guys are the Chemeketa Storm, the white team. And yes, they won.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 406 - Walking path

ISO 100, 24mm, f/18, 30.0 sec

There is a walking path that runs along side the Willamette River at the riverfront park.

Since it is so well lit, it is a fairly safe place to walk in the evening. As spring gets closer, I suspect there will be a lot more people out and about.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 405 - Secrets

ISO 400, 67mm, f/5.6, 262.0 sec

I'm still digging through photos from our vacation in December 2009.

During the Grand Canyon blizzard, we met a couple from California. We were talking over dinner when they said that California had a best kept secret.

They told us if we really wanted to visit some place beautiful, we should go to Death Valley. Since our "not so set in stone plans" had been de-railed by weather, the next morning we got up, saw more snow falling and headed west.

Death Valley was amazing. Every one should visit it at least once, in the winter.

The skies were so clear our first night there. Since most of my nights are within city limits, I was amazed at the millions of stars in the sky.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 404 - Missing, one Grand Canyon

ISO 100, 67mm, f/11, 1/320 sec

Last year we went to Arizona for vacation. Oddly, I never connected Arizona, snow and December. I looked forward to the Grand Canyon since I had never been there. We arrived in a blizzard, I still haven't seen it.

I remember being so disappointed because the canyon was completely under cloud cover. I hardly spent any time from the photos that day.

A couple of week's ago Scott Kelby wrote a blog about re-visiting old photos. I opened up the Grand Canyon folder tonight.

I've learned so much in the last year. I wish I knew then what I know now. I looked over the photos, there were some that I really liked. And let's face it, how many people never get to see the Grand Canyon even if they are standing at the edge?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 403 - Yesterday's rose

ISO 100, 100mm, f/25, 1/125 sec

The flowers my daughter sent me two weeks ago are almost past their prime. The rose called out for one more image.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 402

ISO 200, 105mm, f/4.0, 1/800 sec

Day 402 - Portrait of a skinny dog

Yup, this is just my hunka, hunka hound dog, Flocko. My bedmate, my cover thief, my friend.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 401

ISO 400, 160 mm, f/4.0, 1/200 sec

Day 401 - Baby elephant walk

We went to the zoo for the first time in probably 16 years today. It was cool and overcast and not many animals were out to play.

The baby is Samudra, nearly 2.5 years old, born at the Oregon Zoo.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 400

ISO 100, 32mm, f/14, 30.0 sec

Day 400 - Summer memories

Just when I think I have just about hit every angle around the riverfront, another one crops up.

This is the eastbound bridge across the river from the east bank.

This time of day always takes me back to my childhood. I don't know why, but this has got to be the best part of every day.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 399

ISO 1600, 30mm, f/5.6, 1/40 sec

Day 399 - The chillins'

Class tonight, so I'm puttin' up a couple of out takes from Saturday night with the girls.

ISO 100, 25mm, f/4.0, 1/80 sec

Someday, I will get a handle on this whole flash thing, I just know I will.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 398

ISO 100, 24mm, f/22, 0.5 sec

Day 398 - Clouded reflections

Sad to say, this is Salem's unusual weather. It is getting incredibly cold at night, but almost 50° and sunny by day.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 397

ISO 100, 45mm, f/14, 30.0 sec

Day 397 - The dock

This is from last week when I was down at the riverfront.

I've looked back at this dock many times and enjoyed the reflection in the water.