Friday, July 31, 2009

Serious Work

Making pictures, taking snaps, or creating images. It doesn't matter what you call it, you just need to be in the right frame of mind when you do it. If you can't take it seriously, find something else to do.

Here's Jim showing the proper frame of mind of the 'arteest'...

Shot with 5D & 70-200 at 150mm, f2.8, 1/30th, iso 100

Brand Placement

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's all about getting your name out there. In neon.

This is the Oakland - San Francisco Bay Bridge at night with the typical veil of fog to soften the light just a little.

I had some air miles saved up and got a free ticket to the city - why not use it? So, I'm here chasing around with my brother-in-law, each of us with camera in hand. He's always wanted to shoot pictures of this bridge, so we scouted around tonight to check it out.

Oh, and the brand placement? It's all about the coffee...

Shot with 5D & 70-200 at 150mm, f11, 10 seconds, iso 100.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Creepy Crawly

Spotted this little weaver lying in wait in the garden. It reminded me of my days in high school when I'd let my brother walk up the driveway first to clear the path of webs. Coarse, I was the taller of the two then...

Shot with 40D & 85mm on extension tube at f5.6, 1/50th, iso 100.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

On Your Mark...

Liquid cooling is a technology that's as old as summer. Turn up the heat and we seem to gravitate toward the nearest water. Kids have been leaping off the boardwalk all week long and my sweetie & I finally got out to witness it with a camera in hand.

I couldn't make up my mind tonight on which shot I like best. One has more sunshine, and the other more participants.

Both shot with a 5D & 70-200 at 145~150mm, f11, 1/320th, iso 100.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ahhh. Summer.

Maybe that should be: 'Arrgggh! Summer!'

For those of us out on the roads with schedules to keep, summer can mean a little competition for a place on the tarmac - especially when there are construction projects to complete.

It all adds up to a crowd wanting to go when they can't. Add a little heat to make it simmer and hope it doesn't boil over...

Shot with 5D & 70-200 at 200mm, f16, 1/50th, iso 200 in the afternoon heat.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sun Duel

Lance & I spent some time at the beach today messing about with an Alien Bee B800 to see if we could challenge the sun to a duel. We thought about getting closer to the water, but two 50' extension cords were all we could muster. We could have waited a few more minutes and the tide would have helped out. There's nothing more exciting than 120 volts and large capacitors mixed with a pinch of salt water.

It just might be time for battery power...

Shot with a 5D & 17-35 at 17mm, f16, 1/200th, iso 100, and the b800 set to full power.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Rain Music

Bellingham has outdoor music in a variety of places around town during the summer. Tonight it was at the Village Green and there were people around to take it in even in the thunder showers that passed through.

There were even tables set up around the perimeter for people to enjoy the music with a bite to eat...

Shot with 5D & 70-200 at 153mm, f8, 1/15th sec, iso 1250 as the light faded from the day.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Odd Shoes

Are you missing a shoe? I found a spot where the missing mate is hanging awaiting rescue...

Shot with 5D & 70-200 at 160mm, f2.8, 1/250th, iso 100, about an hour before sundown.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Shuttered Antiques

My friend John & I wandered around Old Town Bellingham this morning with cameras in hand cruising for snaps after having breakfast at the Old Town Cafe.

This part of town is going though the lifecycle changes that all towns seem to wrestle with at some point. A series of second-hand stores lined the street on both sides for a couple of blocks, now all closed up and empty. The paint is peeling and the windows have cracks.

I'm sure there are stories buried in the old walls that we'll all miss out on when the block get's razed for some new replacement...

Shot with 5D & 85 1.8 at f2, 1/1600th, iso 100.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Looking for Cool

It's summer here.

After a full day of berry picking, one needs to find somewhere, or something, cool to bring the body temperature down just a wee bit. So, we stopped at the park after my daughter and her BFF got off work and did a little stroll in the stream bed.

Shot with 40D at 200mm, f2.8, 1/100th, iso 100 in the shade of the overhanging trees.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One if by Land...

And two if by sidewalk?

Not sure this little light would serve to warn anyone that the redcoats were coming. They do add a little cheer to the front yard and, perhaps, provide enough glow for the cat to find her way home...

Shot with 5D & 17-35 at 17mm, f4, 1/6th, iso 800, handheld with my elbows planted in the dirt.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Aim High!

We have ligtoff!

Today is the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon. As a kid I was captivated by everything NASA was doing to get into space. I built all the models. I watched all the news casts.

So, here's my meager attempt to honor the hard work and imagination that made it all possible.

Shot with 40D & 12-24 at 13mm, f5.6, 1/40th, iso 100, with an AB 800 in a grid camera right lighting the astronaut and a 580EX with a gobo to light the space ship in our backyard.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Juice Delivery

We were on a drive home from a good friends home, when we came around the corner and saw this.

Hard to know if that glow is where the generating is being done...

Shot with 40D, 17-35 zoom at 35mm, f5.6, 1/20th, iso 100, handheld.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I participated in the Worldwide Photowalk today that my brother organized on the Island of San Juan.

The light was a little harsh, but we're learning to deal with that, aren't we? Besides, who in the right mind would complain about a beautiful day outside, no matter what the excuse.

We wandered for a couple of hours, and then remembered (too late) that we wanted a group photo. Too late, because three of the walkers had already hopped on the ferry to Orcas. Shucks.

Anyway, we each took turns at shooting the remainder of the group in the polish of this restored taxi.

Shot with a 5D & 70-200 at 200mm, f9, 1/100th, under the big 'ole hot light in the sky.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Monkey Bars

Go ahead, call the blog police. This posting says July 17, but I took the photo around 6:00 AM in the 18th. Does it count that I never went to bed? Yeah, that's a lie. I just didn't get anything worth posting in the 17th.

Sue me...

Shot with a 5D, 50mm, f8, 1/125th, iso 100 - early in the morning. Honest.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I'm trying to glean as much as I can from the masters of the art. In that pursuit, I sometimes get in over my head and run out of

Shot with 5D and 50mm 1.4 at f6.3, 1/15th, iso 400, lit by the lamp and a little fill bounce off the ceiling with a 1/4 CTO.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

36x24 vs 22x14

So I've now got a 'full frame' camera to play with and I got to wondering: is that a good thing?

I'm not sure if this is the right subject, or even the right way to make a determination, but it was kinda fun anyway.

Both of these shots used the same lens and the same manual exposure settings.

One shot with a 5D - 36mm x 24mm sensor and the other with a 40D - 22.2mm x 14.8mm. The resulting images were sized to the same 518 x 777 pixel dimensions in Photoshop Elements.

Both using a 50mm at f1.4, 1/1000th, iso 100 in the early evening shade.
I'm thinking the jury is still out on this one...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sittin' on a Dock...

...of the Bay, watchin' the tide roll away.

Shot with a 5D and 50mm 1.4 at f5.6, 1/10th, iso 400, 580EX with grid spot camera left lighting the face, 430EX in a shoot through umbrella camera right.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pickin 'Em Up & Puttin 'Em Down

That's what my friend, the former crane operator, used to say when asked what he'd been doing that day.

This crane has been pressed into service in the construction of a new bridge on Guide Meridian over the Nooksack River. With all the parts lying out on the ground, it looks as though someone dropped off a pre-fab bridge kit.

I tried, but I didn't find the construction manual...

Shot with 5d and 85mm 1.8 at f8, 1/250th, iso 400.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Camera? Check.

The well-stocked camera bag is full of all things photographic.

Trusted camera? Check.
Backup camera (or two)? Check.
Wide lenses? Check.
Long lenses? Check.
Prime lenses for low light? Check.
Spare lenses in case you drop one in the fountain? Check.
Flashes? Check.
Flash Triggers? Check.
Extra Batteries? Check.
Plenty of compact flash cards? Check.
Film for the film camera? (what's that?) Check.
Breath mints? Check.
Readers for the failing eyesight? Hmmm. Oh, right here on my head - uh, check.

And, if it's a full day on your feet at a wedding with no breaks be sure to bring the vitamin-I...

Shot with 5D & 50mm at f1.4, 1/60th, iso 400 under the living room lights.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I got another chance to learn something about wedding photography while 2nd shooting for Amy Parsons again today.

Note to self: Bright sun is harsh. Do everything you can to get out of it...

Shot with 70-200 at f2.8, 1/200th, iso 200 in the shade.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Work It!

We rode the ferry today with a my daughter and a couple of her friends. Since I'm trying to get better with balancing flash and bright sun, I asked them to step out onto the deck and let me practice.

Naturally, they can't do 'relaxed'...

Shot with 85mm at f9, 1/200th, iso 100, using a 580EX on camera to drive a 430EX (in E-TTL mode) held out as far as I can reach in my left hand.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Three Musketeers

Full Frame! Woot! I got a new toy* today and it has a bigger sensor in it! So, I had to try it out right away.

Here's my first born practicing tonight with her Drill Team in the late evening light.

Shot with 70-200 at the long end, f2.8, 1/80th, iso 800, hand held.

* New to me - I found a good deal on a used 5D. So, it's time to sell my good old 20D and 30D.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Indoor Growth

My sweetie has been out digging in the dirt again. And just like before, something that started as a seed popped up into something more. Here are the clippings dipped in water and viewed from another angle...

Shot with 85mm 1.8 at f4, 1/15th, iso 400 lit by the table lamp.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Walking out in the rain tonight, as I was 'cruising for snaps', the light levels got low enough that I couldn't actually see the rain without a little help.

So, I went looking for, and eventually found, some 'available' light...

Shot handheld with 85mm 1.8 at f4, 1/160th, iso 400.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Uncle Bob

So there I was, the hired gun, prepared to shoot the first kiss and as the minister said the words "you may now kiss..." Uncle Bob stepped into the aisle with his Coolpix.

It's a good thing the 'gun' in my hand only shoots photos...

Shot with 50mm 1.4 at f2, 1/125th, iso 100, using two 430EX flashes driven by a 580EX on camera in the automagical E-TTL mode with groups A & B and ratios and FEC too. One 430 in a grid spot for the Bride & Groom and one 430 bounced off the ceiling. Still trying to figure out flash that is not in manual mode.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Cajun Style

The theme this weekend is 'Traditions' - thanks Tim.

Why do we have traditions? I'll tell you. I don't know - ask Tevye.

One of our re-occuring activities is to have dad burn something for dinner out on the grill. I say 'something' because very often no one can recognize what it is in it's ready-to-eat form.

Five times out of ten, we'll generously call it 'blackened' - like we meant to do it Cajun Style. Other times it'll have this mysterious coating of white powder that diminishes the flavor some, but leaves the house intact...

Shot with 17-35 at 35mm, f8, 1/250th, iso 100, with one AB800 in a softbox right over the camera set to 1/4, and two speedlights either side of the uh, 'Chef', for rim light - set to 1/4 power.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Celestial Salvo

Plenty of BOOM going on around here.

The local grocery chain sponsored the 'official' show downtown, here doing it's best to out shine the moon.

Shot with 70-200 at 70mm, f4, 1/10th, iso 200.

Friday, July 3, 2009


We spent the day in White Rock and Vancouver British Columbia today.

We had fine fish & chips wrapped in newspaper as the Brits do and then walked out onto the pier in White Rock.

Next, we wound our way to Vancouver to wander among the vendors on Granville Island. While messing about on the seawall, my sweetie struck up a conversation with some fellow tourists who handed her their camera for a quick record of their trip.

Here's me Bonnie Lass composing the photograph just so...

Shot with 12-24 at 20mm, f7.1, 1/125th, iso 100, in the afternoon sunshine.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Man & Machine

We went paddling in the kayaks again tonight. That makes it nearly every night this week.

I thought I'd spare my two fans from yet another photo of boats. Instead, this is me about to clean up after tracking much of the beach into the house with me.

You think I'd learn, huh?

Shot with 12-24 at 12mm, f8, 1/15th, iso 400 using two flashes - one just out of view camera right in a silver umbrella and one camera left bare zoommed to 105 aimed at my head. Both lights had CTO gels and I monkeyed with the white alance in Canon DPP.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Surprise Package

Good things come in small packages, as they say. (Who are 'they' anyway?)

This resulted from messing about in the kitchen with an eggshell and some jewelry. I tried different lighting including two strobes on either side, but this got me the look I was after with a 580EX flash mounted right on the camera.

Shot with 50mm 1.4 at f4, 1/100th, iso 100, lit by one flash with a smidgen of bounce off a white card at the top of frame.