Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Serenity Base

Houston, this is Serenity Base, over. <kshhht beep>

Roger Serenity, how's the checklist? Over.<kshhht beep>

Houston, we are go for return to orbit burn. Over.<kshhht beep>

Well, that's what I imagined when I spotted this little guy tonight. He does a good job of ironing out the kinks and wrinkles in sore backs - why not fly to the moon and back too?

Shot with 50mm at f4, 1/100th, iso 400 with a single 430EX and diy grid.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Special Occasion

It's a wonderful thing, recognizing a special occasion.

Today is the anniversary of marriage to my sweetie and I can't believe how quickly the time has passed. I guess it's only going to accelerate from here on out.

So, here I am picking out the freshest roses to bring home...

Shot with 50mm at f4, 1/160th, iso 100 with a single 430EX gelled with a full CTO...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Life is Good!

It was my turn to pick this weeks theme and I came up with: "Life is Good!"

And, what could be better than ice cream out with your sweetie?

Shot with a 50mm lens at 1/30th, f5.6, iso 200 on a tripod. A single 430EX overhead aimed with a diy grid spot provided the light.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I Think I Wanna, Dance Now...

It's Saturday Night after all. Time to take mah 'lil darlin down to the dance hall and give 'er a spin.

Shot with 85mm at f5.6, 1/250th, iso 1600?! Two 430EX flashes with home made gridspots lighting the dance floor.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tweet! Volleyball!

So much fun to watch my daughter smack the ball over the net. She had quite a run this afternoon - one serve after the other that the other team failed to answer. Woot!

Shot with 85mm lens wide open at f1.8, 1/100th, iso 400, 580EX on camera bouncing off the white ceiling.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Real Project

I had a "real" project today, one that had a basic brief to it.

"We need a photo of our store that includes customers & staff interacting and shows our unique decor & branding".

If you happen through Whatcom County, stop into one of the Woods Coffee locations - they really have a good thing going. (And some of the other photos on their site are mine too)

I only had about half an hour to work, and the interior behind the counter was a couple stops darker than the customer side, so I had to get busy with my strobist tools. I won't tell you where the light is, I'm hoping I got away with a photo that doesn't look flashed.

Shot at 32mm, f8, 1/30th, iso 250 - one 430EX in a shoot through umbrella.

Over the Hill

Over the Hill?!

Ok, I turned 50 on the 24th. Many people helped me celebrate - thank you all so much. When I got home my kids had arranged all these ducks for me - reminiscent of Tim's post.

Interesting that the first time I failed to post my daily photo happens to be the day "over the hill" from my 50th birthday.

Sigh, it was gonna happen eventually I guess...

Shot at 18mm, f8, 1/60th, iso 100 - 580EX on camera with stofen, two 430EX flashes in the frame.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Noisy Little Fella

We woke this morning to the birds making all manner of noises outside our window. What a wonderful way to start the day. The most distinctive of the bunch was this big guy - whom I attempted to enshrine with my camera.

Gonna need a longer lens. Honey, where's my credit card?!

Shot at 200mm, f4, 1/60th, iso 200.

Monday, March 23, 2009


My sweetie took a day off work (she insisted that I do the same) and arranged for a night away from home.

We had:

A leisurely drive to a little seaside town.

A very fine meal.

A quiet evening with good books and no neighbors.

A little uninterupted time.

A sleep like a baby.

A last taste of 49.


Shot from our balcony at 17mm, f4, 4 seconds, iso 400 - firmly held to the railing (no tripod was packed for this trip)

Sunday, March 22, 2009


It was Tim's turn to come up with the theme - he choose Symmetry - thanks Tim.

When he'd suggested the idea I was excited to hear it. What a good idea I thought. He let us know earlier in the week so we'd have time to play with it. Which means it's doomed to failure if you're a guy like me that works best under pressure. I had all kinds of ideas, mostly involving water, that I'd hoped to make something of on the weekend.

Didn't happen. Life got in the way.

Then again, sometimes what you are looking for is right in front of you. Like my glasses that I can't find when they're sitting on top of my head.

I was in Church today following up on a photo assignment. While there I listened in on Pastor Bob and saw the symmetry of his stage self and his screen self.

Shot at 200mm, f2.8, 1/80th, iso 400 under the stage lighting at Cornwall Church.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Put Down the Ducky

Somehow the "Put Down the Ducky" song popped into my head today. I don't know where it came from. Divine intervention? Neutrino passing through my brain? Who knows?

All I know is it is a classic. Oh sorry, is it stuck in your head now?

Shot with a 50mm lens at f13, 1/250th, iso 100, AB800 overhead in a softbox at 1/4 power.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Abstract 'Yak

My longtime buddy & I visited the local builder of kayaks and canoes today. There were some definite kid in a candy store moments. I loved the variations of color and design that go into these boats. Apparently they produce 100,000 boats a year right here in our little county.

So, here's an abstract view of one up close and personal...

Shot at 85mm, f2, 1/125th, iso 100, with a 430EX on camera bounced off the ceiling.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Splash of Flavor

Amazing what you can do with a little fruit, a glass of water and some strobes. I had more fun tonight. I felt like a little kid fooling around in the sandbox with a garden hose. So much so that I'm afraid I may have disturbed my daughter's studies with my giggling.

I think it's time for my bath. Now where did I leave my ducky...

Shot with 50mm at f7.1, 1/125th, iso 100, using three strobes - one gelled 'canary' for the background.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ready. Set. Spring!

We're nearly to the Vernal Equinox. Yippee! For such an occasion, one should have the bicycle tuned, ready and raring to go. Pump the tires. Lube the chain. Scrub last year's crust off the derailleur. Get out the shorts and see if they fit.

Phew. That's a lot to do. I think I'll go sit in the BarcaLounger...

Shot with 50mm at f2, 1/125th, iso 100 - 580EX through an umbrella at 1/32nd power.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Off the Grid

Ripped from the headlines:

Man mistakenly replaces faulty garbage disposal with nuclear reactor.

"It looked different than the one I took out, but I just figured the manufacturer had made some improvements". The man said he was quite happy with the result when he made his discovery. "I can power every appliance in the kitchen with this thing, and I don't blow no fuses doing it." The local home improvement store where he purchased the reactor could not be reached for comment.

Inspired by The Onion.

Two exposures, both at 32mm, f4, iso 200. Glow of the toaster captured a 1/4 second, the nuke captured at 1/60th.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Foto Fellas

I'm blessed to be able to spend some time with a group of people that share a love of photography. We gather now and then (irregularly as Clint put it) to swap stories & ideas, laugh with, and learn from, each other.

Amy was the token female there, though she's not usually relagated to that position as other women photogs also make their appearances on occasion too.

Aaron was there to add his own sense of humor and share his excitement for impending fatherhood (Megs has a 'kid' on the way, and she stayed home tonight).

So, tonight's photo is a reminder of a wonderful evening that went beyond the allotted time. We knew that because Martin's wife called to tell him goodnight, prompting us all to check our watches.

While we had good conversation, it was really all about the food. Note: these people all like to be behind the camera...

Shot at 17mm, f2.8, 1/40th, iso 800 under Clint's horrid halogen lights.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I woke this morning knowing exactly what I wanted to make a photo of today. We've had a bit of wet weather again, and I thought I'd go lie down by the edge of a pond and record raindrops hitting the surface. I finished my chores for the day and announced my intention to anyone within earshot. At nearly that moment it stopped raining.

It's a gift, really.

When I was learning, with friends of mine, how to fly model helicopters, we would complain about any weather that wasn't absolutely calm. We wanted no outside influences on our contraptions that would upset the delicate dance in the air. We used to joke about buying a sailboat so the wind would die and we could go flying.

So, my photo idea was gone with the weather. I should learn to keep my mouth shut.

My youngest has been wanting to see The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, so we rented it tonight and watched as a family. It left us all in tears, reminding me why I like science fiction movies like Aliens - those monsters aren't real. And it left me with another idea: make a small tribute to all the people who have lost so much in the hate of the world. A small something to recognize the fragility of life and the hope we must all share for a light in the darkness.

Shot with 50mm at f4, 1/30, iso 100 - using a single 430EX gelled with a CTO and aimed with a diy grid.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Need for Speed

This week's theme is "Motion", thanks Lance.

So, I figured out how to clamp my 20D to the frame of the bike and off I went peddling frantically down the street trying for some semblance of speed.

//Edit: I got a request for a setup shot, so here's a photo of the Bogen Superclamp and Pan&Tilt head combo that did the trick.

Shot at 17mm, 1/10th, f22, iso 100.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Caught in the Act!

I figured out how to use my wireless flash trigger to click the camera shutter. Being a geek, that's cool all by itself. Thinking about how to make use of this capability was a little more challenging. The only willing subjects I could turn up were me, myself, and I. That, and nobody else was stirring in our household anyway.

Shot at 20mm, 1/200th, f8, iso 200 - Alien Bee 800 camera right at 1/4 power with 20 degree grid and 430EX on camera left at 1/16th

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Poking around in the dishwater tonight I found out (again) that different fluids do interesting things when mixed together.

I say again because I'm reminded of a wise comment from a good friend of mine a while ago. I'd said something like: I keep learning that... to which he replied: No, you keep finding out...

Mayhaps I'm a bit thick and need a good conk on the head to actually learn something.

Water & oil shot in a glass baking pan lit on either side with 430EXs at 1/64th - 1/125th, f6.3, iso 100 using a 50mm lens with 25mm extension tube.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Inky Lake

When I'm feeling empty, going to the lake seems to take the edge off. A little.

Tonight under the full moon was one of those nights to experiment. I set the camera on a tripod for a long exposure and let the timer open the shutter. While it was counting down I walked along the beach a bit and fired my flash in hand a couple of times out over the water when I heard the shutter open.

I think that's what is so appealing about the lake - at times it's quiet enough to hear the shutter open and close from down the beach...

Shot at 50mm, f9, 20 seconds, iso 400 - 580EX at full power, two pops.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sinister Moon

As lovely as it can be, tonight's moon was more than a little ominous. I was in the middle of the city when I spotted it. Had I been alone on a walk through the park, I think I might've quickend my step just a wee bit.

Shot at 200mm, f2.8, 1/25th sec, iso 400 - handheld.

Monday, March 9, 2009


This shot represents a common theme in my wife's classroom.

Get the books out.

Exercise the imagination.

Travel to far-off lands.

Learn something new.

The little guy was a gift from someone who recognized her gift of teaching reading.

I just wonder what good book he's got there, he hasn't been able to put it down for years...

Shot with 85mm at f2.8, 1/200th, iso 100 with two speedlights. One bounced off the ceiling as the primary source at full power and another with a DIY gridspot at 1/64th to provide the shadow.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


It was my turn to provide the theme this Sunday and I chose "Alone".

I don't (yet) know what it's like to be without a home. I do remember what it's like to wonder how the bills are going to get paid, and if there'll be enough left over for food at the end of the month. I am aware of how isolated we can be from each other in the same room, or even an elevator. I remember middle school and high school and how it felt to be left out. I can imagine what it might be like to be down and out and have the world pass me by without a glance.

Even so, I have no real concept of what it must be like to be on the street and I doubt this collage even gets close...

Shot multiple images at 17mm, 1/5th sec, f11, iso 1600 - sitting on the cold, hard pavement.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fork? Take It!

Yogi Berra said: "When you come to a fork in the road, Take it". Well, on my walk home this afternoon, I came to point where I had a choice to make: straight route home, or scenic route?

I chose the scenic route this time...

Shot with 17-35 tamron at 21mm, f8, 1/400th, iso 400 - cloudy skies overhead.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ding Dong - Cookies!

It's that time of year and the Girl Scouts are out selling cookies again. They knock on the door and ask you to support them and how could you refuse? So, you buy four boxes when one would do. And the next day too when the next troop comes through - my wife is a teacher and all the kids know she'll buy some.

Well, I thought I'd make something of all the extras we have around the house now. Tim has been doing an interesting experiment with a Twinkie that thought I might do a variation on.

I found a quiet, usually undisturbed corner of the kitchen where I'm going to leave these cookies and see if their preservatives are as potent as those used in Twinkies.

I'll post again when time passes and we can see if ... hey!

Shot at 50mm, f5.6, 1/125th, iso 100 - with a single 430ex bounced off the ceiling.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Backyard Glow

My wife has a collection of various lighting things around the outside of our house, all powered by batteries and recharged by the sun. Some cast a soft glow near the driveway, others hang like a constellation from the trees in the back yard. I wondered how well their meager glow would record, which resulted in today's photo.

Shot at 200mm, 1/10th second, f2.8, iso 400, on a tripod.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The New Fore!

I happened upon a few intrepid souls out taking advantage of the weather today playing Frisbee Golf. I didn't hear the word fore being hollered, though I suspect some other warning might have been in the offing had I wandered blindly across the coarse.

I think I'm gonna hafta try this game...

Shot with a 70-200 zoom at 165mm, 1/60th, f4, iso 400, in the shade. Aren't Image Stabilized lenses grand?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Don't See These Anymore

Not many playgrounds around that still have a merry-go-round. I'm guessing a few kids hadn't yet got a good grasp on physics (or the hand rails) and found out the hard way. Next thing you know some over-protective parent (like me) gets involved and the thing is in the dustbin of history.

With no one else at the park today to see me crash, I climbed on for a short dizzy spell to see what I'd been missing. I decided that I'm happier watching it spin as a bystander.

Shot at 17mm, f22, 1/3 sec, iso 100 with a 0.9 (3-stop) ND filter.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Bare Trees

I took a walk across the street to the park today hoping, again, to lower my BP - this walk being more about state of mind than strenuous exercise. While there I chanced to look up into the bare limbs of some large trees lining the driveway into the park. It was hard to tell from this angle whether or not the branches reached all the way to the clouds.

Shot at 17mm, 1/250th, f5.6, iso 400 - lying flat on my back staring straight up into the sky all the while listening for oncoming traffic.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Mental Health Food

Today's theme is "Different perspective" - thanks Tim.

Shot at 17mm, f5.6, 1/6th, iso 400 - under the kitchen lights.