Category Archives: PhotoBlog

The 4th, from my house.

tamarack_fireworks

Fireworks in my neighborhood.

I happen to really love shooting fireworks (both meanings). I’m not the only one; this photo is a preview of what my neighborhood will look like tonight. As a rule, we Idahoans LOVE our country and LOVE our fireworks. Did I mention that every single firework you see in this picture is Illegal in the State of Idaho?  I guess I didn’t, but that’s a discussion for a later time…

This was taken 3 years ago, We hadn’t been in our new house for very long and the only organized fireworks display I was shooting that year had been the night before. So we had a nice quiet 4th at home. Until sunset, when thousands of dollars of sparkly gunpowder was propelled en masse toward the heavens. Our quiet suburbia outskirts neighborhood lit up in a display that trumps most cities.

My dog? HATES fireworks.  He was a nervous wreck all night as the house shook every few seconds with each new mortar explosion, this continued from dark (about 10:30pm) to about 1:30am. He wasn’t a happy camper. To be fair, I wasn’t either when mortars were still going off every few minutes at 2am…

So tonight, like many Fourth of July nights, we’re headed to the hills for some peaceful, quiet, astrophotography. Happy 4th!

Urban Abstract

Three other photographers and myself got together today for a photo walk downtown, a chance to catch up with each other and take a photo or two in the process. This photo was one of results of the random meandering.

Winter Waterfall

In the wide variety of things I photograph, waterfalls rank pretty high on my favorites list. I also love winter and shooting black and white winter landscapes so it doesn’t get much better than a wintry waterfall scene. We headed up to one of my favorite (and sadly one of few) waterfalls in the area, Jump Creek Falls. This place is usually too busy for my tastes as it is a popular swimming hole where folks jump off the cliff all the time, thus the name. To many people, to much trash (by out west standards, saw one beer can) to many native paintings on the rocks, recent natives…. i.e. graffiti. But add six inches of snow and it’s a great place to go.

Beach Night Glow

Voted

Rain Forest Mushrooms

Another shot from some of my work on the Washington Coast – more info in the Ruby Beach Sunset post.

Ruby Sunset

Sunset from Ruby Beach

Sunset from Ruby Beach

We spent a few days last week shooting in Washington’s Temperate Rainforests and as you can see, spent time on the beach. We had been planning this trip for a couple months, hadn’t been to the Washington coast in many years and I wanted to get out of the mountains and spend some time in a place that knows what rain is. Since we spent time in my old home, the Smoky Mountains, earlier this year – we opted for the west coast.

We only had a few days and couldn’t come close to spending time everywhere on my shoot list – rather it was a quick whirlwind trip to reacquaint myself with the area and ultimately so we can make notes and plan an extended trip next spring. It really was a whirlwind tour though – we visited Neah Bay, Cape Flattery (most NW point in the 48 states), Ruby and Rialto Beaches (my two favs), Hoh and Quinault Rainforest and stayed on the beach at Kalaloch Lodge. We almost spent a night at the Quinault Lodge in the rainforest, but I’m glad we didn’t, they were hosting a photography workshop – that would have been annoying. The trip was 99% work and I was so amazingly tired after getting back – but it was nice to be in the land of humidity and more importantly, fresh  clam chowder. We’ve got our notes and an extended trip to Washington Coast will absolutely be on the calendar next year.

I will be posting a few photos from the trip here on my photoblog, and in the near future there will be section from this trip on my print gallery.

Mackie Mixer

I spent last weekend in a sound room/studio that I designed and put together years ago. I used to do sound work all the time, but not so much anymore — Still love it and get asked for help or answer questions on occasion, but I haven’t spent more than a few minutes behind a mixer in several years. Last Friday and Saturday I did and quickly remembered how much fun it is. During a lunch break though, I had a few minutes to take this shot, one I’ve had on my list for almost a year. This shot is of a Mackie sound mixer, one of my favorite boards. I’m not sure when I fell in love with Mackie products, but at some point I did and since then it’s the only brand I’ll happily recommend. Sure, there are other good brands, but there is just something about these boards I really, really like. I recommend them, cause if I ever end up at your venue or studio to help you, I want to run a Mackie. The brand doesn’t matter so much for this shot, in fact, their logo is in about the worst place (photographically speaking) you could put it.

For Photogs out there
I only had my camera backpack with me which just has a few essentials (7D, XSI, 35mm Body, 70-200mm/f4, 50m/f1.8, 10-24mm, 17-55mm, 430exII) — my lighting kit was a few miles across town and my tripod was out in my truck – I only had five minutes. I took a couple test shots at 50mm/f2.8 to get the angle and at a way to high iso I got a warm area in the shot from the goose-neck lamp. I pulled out the one flash I did have, the 430exII, and held it camera left. This blew away what little ambient & warmth I had so I had chose to gel the flash. Actually I needed warmth on the back of the board where the goose-neck lamp is, while maintaining natural color on the foreground faders. With one flash and zero ambient, I had little options. So I pulled out the gels, turned the flash head vertical and put a red gel on top to cover the background. Wasn’t quite the color mix I was going for so I added a CTB gel on the bottom, with a bit of overlap. With this I was able to get the deep color I was looking for and after a couple shots got the flash in the right spot (everything was handheld btw). I had about three minutes in this from start to finish before the folks started coming back for the afternoon session.

260 Horses

[flickr]photo:4983897026[/flickr]

A sample from a shoot I did last night. According to the owner its a “2007 Subaru Impreza WRX TR, STP Cold Air intake, STI & STP Strut tower braces, and an after market catback system.”

The wind wasn’t helping at all, light stands are hard to keep vertical in 20mph winds, had sandbags on them, but umbrellas have an amazing ability to catch wind. Looking forward to the next time I get a call to shoot a car — I have some a couple location ideas that might be a challenge.

Morning Launch

Sunrise at the Sprint of Boise 2010 Balloon Festival.

Today and tomorrow I’m shooting the Spirit of Boise 2010 Balloon Festival, the winds didn’t cooperate this morning for my original plan, maybe tomorrow.