Tuesday, June 30, 2009

On The Boardwalk

I love boardwalks.

My first experience on a boardwalk was on Douglas Island across the Gastineau Channel from Juneau Alaska. I was 6 years old when my parents took my brother and I on a walk along a trail that was partly built of wood. Along this trail I encountered my first smell of Skunk Cabbage, a smell that to this day takes me right back to that magical boardwalk.

Today my sweetie & I tried to kayak from the boat launch out onto Tennant Lake but we were turned back by the ginormous water lillies. Loading the yaks back onto the car we walked the trail out onto the boardwalk instead.

Shot with 12-24 at 12mm, f11, 1/15th iso 200.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Deserving a Paddling

We got out on the lake tonight for a good round of paddling. Here's my sweetie thinking I might be zigging when I should be zagging. It would not be a good thing to run into each other and roll one of us over for a thorough dunking.

Shot with a Canon A510, set on P for "Professional" mode, safely encased in a water housing.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


The theme for this weekend is 'Ending'. The idea came from a good friend who's mother lost her battle with lung cancer this week and went to be with Papa.

For us the struggle continues as we look for value and meaning to our days. Today was a day of exploration - looking for ways to convey the main idea, that this too shall pass.

My sweetie & I rode our bikes along the Padilla Bay Shore Trail at low tide. The breeze off the mud flats told an aromatic tale that we typically take to mean decay. It is also the smell of abundant life squirming away in the nutrient rich mud. Ducks, eagles, herons, raccoons and fish all live on the smaller plants and animals crawling the saltwater and muck. We read on a shoreline sign that each square yard of mud contains several teeming pounds of microscopic critters.

Who would have thought that so much life would be here?

Shot with 12-24 at 12mm, f16, 1/100th, iso 100 under the hot afternoon sun.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Tune Up

Just trying for a different angle on the church band during practice this afternoon.

Shot with 85mm at f2, 1/25th, iso 200 under the stage lights.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Makeshift Anchor

We took a family with four small children to Turn Island today.

It was a lot of work:

A full hour drive to the ferry in Anacortes.

A little over an hour ferry ride.

An hour including walk to the boat and eat lunch before leaving the dock.

A half hour transit to Turn Island.

Three rowboat trips to get everyone ashore.

(Remember we have to do the reverse to get home)

Time on the beach: Priceless.

Sometimes the travel is just as much fun as the destination.
This rock was there to make sure we had a dingy to return to...

Shot in mid-day sunlight with 70-200 at 105mm, f8, 1/400th, iso 100 (Hey! - sunny 16 rule)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Take Luck!

We took the family to see Brian Regan tonight. Man, do my cheeks hurt. We can't forget that opening for Brian was Kermit Apio, from our neighborhood Seattle too.

Ahh, to just go and laugh was such fun...

Shot with Canon G7.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Workin' the Dirt

I've always wanted to drive some big muscular machine to dig in the dirt.

When I was about 6 years old, my dad took me along for a trip to the garbage dump. There we saw a great big caterpillar bulldozer pushing trash and mud around. The operator must have noticed the gleam in my eye because he invited me up to the drivers seat. Wow! Was I in heaven. The rumble of the diesel engine and the clank of the tracks was wonderful music that day.

Since then, I've driven a train locomotive, a couple of forklifts, semi-trucks, and various garden tractors.

Nothing comes close to that big 'ole cat when I was a kid though...

This one shot with 50mm 1.4 at f2.8, 1/40th, iso 100, lit with a 580EX & shoot through umbrella and a 430EX with grid.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tech Monkey

Here is where the money comes from.

Nattering away on this little keyboard all week long, and at the end of it: a paycheck. Sometimes I feel blessed. I can work in my pajamas. The commute is a breeze. I no longer have to operate a shovel and my calluses are mostly gone.

Other times I feel like, given enough time, a bunch of chimpanzees could do it.

Shot with 50m 1.4 at f2.8, 1/40th, iso 100, lit by a 580EX in a shoot-thru umbrella and a 430EX in a grid spot.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dead Presidents

A pile of coins and a counter top.

One of the coins is not US.

Shot with 30mm at f1.4, 1/25th, iso 200.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Marriage on the Briny

Another wedding today! Yippee!

This one a little closer to home.

My little brother married his long-time sweetheart with a simple ceremony on one of their favorite little islands. The weather cooperated, the food was fine, and the mood was jubilant.

Shot with 70-200 at 125mm, f2.8, 1/1250th, iso 100, in the afternoon sunlight.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Wedding Day

These two got married today - congratulations!

I don't want to give away anything before they get to see the photos, so I chose this shot that keeps you guessing on who the blessed couple is.

Shot with 85mm at f2, 1/800th, iso 100, lit by the big soft box in the sky.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cast Away

Walking the south bay trail with my sweetie this afternoon, we happened across this rose that had been separated from the family shrub and left alone in the middle of the path. Everyone I saw walking or riding the trail altered their trajectory just enough to avoid crushing it.

Shot with 85, at f2, 1/1600th, iso 200.

Angry Lights

There are times when wrangling my lighting to what I have in mind leaves me a little worn out. I try to tease, cajole, beg, threaten and bribe the light to where I want it and then, when I've just about given up - it works.

Saturday is a wedding day, so I'm going to try to appease the cantankerous beast before then...

Shot at 17mm, f11, 1/250th, iso 100, with two 430EX in umbrella eyes and one 580EX in the soft box mouth.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fresh Outa' Idears

I'm in need of some photos ideas that can be had for a click. You know, simple snaps that are not too big of a production. Something that can be captured in a blink and let me go back to my crazily overloaded daily life.

Can't think of any right now. Maybe I should peruse some flickr streams and see what creative people are doing.

Maybe my schedule is booked a little too tight...

Shot with 30mm at 1.4, 1/80th, iso 200, lit by the bedside lamp and the glow of the monitor.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

They Grow Too Fast!

My youngest is finishing out her 8th year in school. Tonight was the 'Tea' and dance which provided the opportunity to dress up and have fun with her BFFs.

Shot with 17-35 at 20mm, f5.6, 1/5th, iso 200, with a 580EX in an umbrella at 1/2 and a 430EX behind at 1/4 power.

Monday, June 15, 2009


These colorful little pots have made the rounds recently to brighten up a number of springtime celebrations, starting with our daughter's graduation from high school.

Now, they add a touch of color to different parts of the house, both inside and out.

I'm afraid the flowers may outgrow the pot and, like a hermit crab, will need to move on to larger digs...

Shot with 50mm 1.4 at f6.3, 1/250th, iso 100, lit by a single 580EX with a 430EX lighting the blinds in the background.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sanguine Shoreline

Down by the bay again, this time on a walk with my sweetie. Funny how the company one keeps can greatly alter the mood of a place. Tonight the place felt comforting, as described by too many adjectives to recite here. We walked the path talking about how our histories overlapped before we knew it, where we were back when, and what was impressed on our individual memories from those days. How nice to re-discover that a place could pull out such affirmative moments in our busy lives.

As the weekend theme is 'post-processing effects' (thanks Tim) I thought I should actually open up Photoshop and see what's in the box. This photo was a single shot processed 3 times at -2, 0, +2 stops and merged as an HDR with Photomatix and then turned into a painting using a Photoshop 'Palette Knife' filter.

Shot at 12mm, f8, 1/500th, iso 100.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

On Your Mark...

Middle School Challenge Run was today.

Hundreds of kids showed up to run around Whatcom Falls Park. Many of the 6th to 8th graders also had their parents to run along with them. It was a great day - beautiful weather, beautiful park, and plenty of energy to go around.

I should get out of the way, objects in lens are often closer than they appear...

Shot with 70-200 at 90mm, f3.2, 1/125th, iso 200. Could have used an ND grad to even things out.

Friday, June 12, 2009

End of the Day

We've been having the most amazing orange sunsets for the last few days.

Must be something in the air...

Shot with 70-200 at 150mm, f5.6, 1/400th, iso 100.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Field Trip!

I thumbed a ride on a tour bus to Experience Music Project in the Seattle Center with my daughter's orchestra class today. It was a hoot - I can still play 'Smoke on the Water' and nothing else.

I won't be quiting my day job anytime soon...

Shot at 12mm, f16, 1/125th, iso 100.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Look at Little Sister

Sometimes it can be lonely in the shadow of the older sibling. They get to do things that age allows while the younger one has to grow a little first. Others look in from the outside and praise the accomplishments of the older, while the younger waits quietly for a turn in the limelight.

I love what the older one has done here, but I'm betting the younger will to continue to amaze me in her time too...

Shot with 85mm lens on 25mm extension tube, f2.8, 1/640th, iso 400, hand held in the evening shade of the garden.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


We have leftovers. Lot's of it.

We bought a lot of food for Kate's grad party to be sure to feed all the folks we hoped would share in our celebration. Needless to say, we bought a little too much. Even after sending plates home with people we still have a full fridge, freezer, and a couple of camp coolers too.

I'm also gaining a little weight back now...

Shot at 12mm, f4, 1/25th, iso 400 lit by the window and the little light in the fridge.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Loosen Up...

It can be intimidating to have someone pointing a ginormous camera with a humongous lens attached to it - especially when there is time pressure and the guy behind the camera is a little bit scary.

That's how it was today when a group of us photog types got together with some volunteer models to practice our stuff.

However, Mom knew just what to to to get shy son to loosen up a little bit. Say something sly about bodily noises I 'm guessing. Had it been me at that age, I'm sure that's what would'a cracked me up like that.

The gig was this:

Eight photographers (some of us 'budding', some established professionals) gathered together to see how each of us works with a situation. We had:

1. A maternity shoot with mom, dad, son, & sister in the oven.

2. A young engaged couple.

3. A real estate professional after some head shots.

We broke the photogs into groups and put each one in the hot seat to shoot the situation for 15 minutes. Then the groups rotated to the next situation and another photog in the group was put on the spot.

15 minutes is not much time. Note to self: This is hard. I didn't have much to offer the family when this was over. I'm hopeful I 'loosened the lid on the jar' for the next photographer to get something good.

As I said, the models were volunteers - a big THANK YOU for their willingness.

Shot in the window light of Clinton James studio with 12-24 (what was I thinking?!) at 24mm, f4, 1/25th, iso 400. There was a flash available, but I didn't take the time to set it up.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Summer Paddle

Some of the family is here for the weekend to share my daughter's graduation from high school.

While here, we tried to keep the activities flowing to, you know, get them to sleep at night. Isn't that what you did with kids and pets? Run them hard all day long so they get to bed at night?

I've also heard that when kids are cranky, put them in water.

So, that's what we did today - collected a pile of little boats and spent some time on the lake.

Shot with 70-200 at the long end, f2.8, 1/1000th, iso 100, with a circular polarizing filter in the afternoon sunlight.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

No Matter How Old

My little baby girl had some fine moments today:

Up early to do another round of qualifying for fair on horseback and came home with 4 blue ribbons!

This afternoon she went through graduation from high school!

And tonight she celebrates with her classmates on a mystery tour.

It seems like just the other day we brought this little bundle home from the hospital. And here she is taking another step toward her own life.

No matter how old you get, you'll always be my baby...

Shot at 17mm, f2.8, 1/25th, iso 400 in the last light of the day.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Time for the gray splinters to come off the handrails around the back porch. As the wood has aged (without a finish on it) the furrows have deepend as the cedar readies itself for retribution against those who cut it into lumber.

Slide your hand on this old plank and feel the wrath...

Shot with 30mm at f1.4, 1/250th, iso 100, in the early evening shade.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Play Time!

End of the year, just before all the grads head off to seek fortunes. But, before they're set free there's one last stage production to deliver.

Interesting that the boys played the female characters and the girls played the male. Is that a Shakespeare thing?

Shot with 85mm at f2, 1/50th, iso 400, handheld under the meager old-school stage lighting.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Left, Left, Left Right Left

Do trees march? Or is that a skill reserved for Ents? These trees in the cemetery, down the street from us, looked to me to be on patrol tonight, shepherding souls to greener pastures.

Shot with 70-200 at 130mm, f8, 1/25th, iso 100 in the last sunshine of the day.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Arrivals

The new babies have popped out of their seeds, here on the window sill.

Little bitty things that will tower over us in a few weeks time as they reach Sun Flower adulthood. Can't wait for their full glory and a little summer shower to capture them in.

Shot with 50mm at 1/20th, f1.6, iso 400 under the kitchen lights.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Project 42

Another one to check off the long list of things to do - tile in the kitchen window. Now my sweetie can put all the flowers and other growing things on a firm and tidy surface.

Shot with 30mm at f2.5, 1/40th, iso 400, under the kitchen lights.