Friday, April 30, 2010

Is it Wine Time? Creating a Stock Shot

This afternoon I worked on domestic chores around the house and then I worked on putting together a stock image that can be used in the wine or tourism industry. What I had in mind was a dark rich colored red wine being poured into a wine glass on a rough old wooden table.

I had the table out in the garage ready for use. It is a table top made from pallet pieces that is rough and aged. Perfect for this creation. Next I needed about four wine glasses so I could switch from one glass to the next and not have to stop and empty the glass each time I wanted to shoot. That was easy, a quick trip to the cabinet solved that. Same for the wine I just grabbed an open bottle of red from Beringer from the counter top. I also needed a funnel for refilling the bottle and a pitcher to easily dump glasses into. All easily found in the kitchen cupboards

For the set up I started with a sky blue background but I quickly realized it wasn't going to fit the dark rich mood that I was looking for so I switched to black. Just a simple piece of black tagboard placed about three feet back from the whole set up.

For my lights I used one spotted snoot on the side of the glass itself and I lit up the rest of the table from the other side with a highly diffused wider light that was flagged to keep it off of the backdrop. I shot and poured about ten glasses. Futzing around with the lighting ratios until i got what i was looking for. A fine glass of wine.

God's blessings to all,


Not What I Expected

I finally managed to set aside some time today to try and create a photo I've had in my mind. I'd like to create a flower poster with a bouquet of flowers in the center and around the edges have individual images of the flowers that make up the bouquet. The problem was that when I went to the local supermarket this morning all the flowers either looked pretty bad or they were way out of the budget I had in mind for this image. So I walked out of the store feeling well lackluster.
On my way home I stopped off at my Mom's house to help her with a minor computer problem. Lo and behold she gave me a single tulip to take home and give to Lenore.

So I set up a sweep and diffused a couple of studio lights and I photographed the tulip with six different backgrounds. I don't think I'm there yet as far as what I have in envisioned my mind. But, I'm getting there and that's all part of the journey. I hope your journies in life are going along as well.

God bless,


Thursday, April 29, 2010

One of Those Days

Yes, today was one of those days. What I had planned and God had planned differed. I wanted to go home after my work out and work some more on some flower images. God wanted me to take my Mom to her appointment at the hospital. Which I gladly did. I got to have a good talk with my Mom along the way and she gave me a good book to read. It was called "Outerlies" pretty fascinating book. I read part of it while waiting for my Mom and I'll be next in line when she finishes it.

On the way home we got into a great discussion why a compassionate loving God allows pain in this world. I am of the view that God gave mankind free will and that we are free to use it. God still loves us in that all we have to do to have an eternity of peace and love with him is to repent our sins and turn our lives over to Christ. For in the bible it states. "For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son that the world could be saved. Whoever believes in him shall have eternal life in heaven with him."

The afternoon came quickly and I thought I would create some great flower pics then. Wrong! I needed to cut enough onions,radishes and Cilantro for a hundred tacos to be served as a fundraiser for my daughter Annikas 8th grade field trip. As you can well imagine it that took me a good portion of the afternoon to chop that much stuff. When I was done all I wanted to do was to take a shower to wash the smell of onions off of me.

By that time dinner time had rolled around and Jay and I made homeade Chili while Lenore and Annika went to the schools open house and served tacos.

Finally at ten o'clock tonight I reset up my lights and shot a few flower shots. Hopefully tomorrow I can finish off a few more.

God's precious light and love to all,


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Random Acts of Photography or Waiting for a Ride

Today started off like any typical morning except for the fact that we needed to drop off my car to have the front end aligned at a local mechanics shop. This act threw a monkey wrench into the normal workings of the drop off system for our children so a few changes were made to make everything work out and have everyone be on time. In short I had to drop off my son Jay and then wait at the mechanics shop for awhile until Lenore came to pick me up.

What this created was a time for me to sit in front of the auto shop. I'm just sitting there waiting and then the thought came to me What can I photograph around here? Not much in the way of scenics and it's cloudy and a few rainshowers are coming down. Hmmn.. that old tin building has always interested me. What do they use it for anyway? Anyway a bit of creativity hit me and between rain showers I created a few light industrial images of things close by the car in the parking lot of Cal's Garage.

Now it is onto a few domestic projects around the house and hopefully some indoor flower images that I have been planning in my mind. Besides it's been snowing off and on all morning since I got home from the gym from being beaten up by the trainer.

Sincerely and God bless,


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Surfing Continues

Spent another large block of time going through editing surfing images from Steamer's Lane in Santa Cruz, California. It's amazing sometimes how much more time can be spent in the office working than out in the field creating images. As you can probably guess I'd much rather like being out on the cliffs photographing surfers than staring at a screen full of them. In any case here are a few more for you to enjoy. Comments are really appreciated.

God's bless,


Monday, April 26, 2010

Surfing Heaven

I spent part of this evening going through and editing some more of the surfing images. Man you can sure go through the CF cards doing action photography like bike racing and surfing. More with surfing than with biking I would say. Wooo hoo! Click,,click,click!

So here are some of the results from Steamer's Lane in Santa Cruz. it is an awesome place for ground based surf photography because you can get relatively close to the surfers and when they surf into the cove they surf right past you.

God's blessings to all,


Playing with Glass

A while back I read a tutorial on photographing glass in a way that I haven't ever tried before. So I took a couple of screen shots on how it was done and then saved a copy of it to my desk top for a future attempt. So today I beat myself up at the gym and then went to the Dollar Tree to find a cheap glass vase I could try a modified version of the technique on.

When I got home I set up a white tagboard sweep inside of my light/product photo box. Then I placed two black tagboard flags on the insides of the box to absorb light and give definition to the sides of the vase. The next step was to set up two AB 1600 studio lights on the outsides of the box facing toward the back of the sweep. The idea here was to bounce diffused light off of the backk of the sweep through the vase.

Overall I was really happy with the results. Normally I directly light the glass with diffuse light and it doesn't have quite as much defintion.Using this method the black flagging on the sides really gave the vase more definition. It is something that I'm going to add to my quiver of tools to use when lighting projects in the future.

God's blessings to all,


Friday, April 23, 2010

Layers of Life

This morning I'm exhausted and my eyes feel tired too. To much image processing on the computer. Next on the agenda is to go to the gym and go beat myself into a little better shape. This morning when I got up the first thing I did was to look out my bedroom window and there it was an image waiting to be taken. So I grabbed my camera and a big telephoto lens. I plopped a pillow on the window ledge and laid the camera on it and composed away. So here it is. The Layers of Life.

The image is how I feel today. I have to peel away the layers to get at what is really important in life. My love of the Lord and my family and then the rest of all the other things. I've been too busy photographing and not peeling away the layers of the less important things in life.

God's light and love to all,


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Celebrating Earth Day Without Knowing It

Today was a glorious sunny day and I celebrated "Earth Day" without even knowing it. Well that's not quite true. For a good part of it anyway. My niece called and told me that she would like to meet us in the City for lunch as she had a job interview there today.I readily agreed as I enjoy an outing to San FRancisco to see the sights and play tourist once in awhile. So when I checked Google Maps to see where she wanted to meet us I noticed that the restaurant was located in the ferry building. Hmnn... I thought to myself. Why not just drive down and take the ferry and avoid the hassles of driving in the city and trying to find parking.

So that's what we did. In chatting away to a woman on the ferry she commented that she was honoring "Earth Day " today by taking the ferry. Oh, that's right I remembered. Today is Earth Day and that's what I'm doing too! Though I hadn't put a heck of a lot of thought into it. Duh!

In any case the day was beautiful and the bay was flat. We saw all kinds of boats. When we arrived at the ferry building we had plenty of time to walk around and look at all the shops and produce being sold at the Ferry Building. We even saw a cellist being filmed by a film crew for what I'm not sure. Let me know if it's someone famous.

Lunch with my niece was wonderful and we caught up with what is going on in her life. Then we caught the return ferry with the afternoon commuters and headed home. It was the end to a wonderful day.

Sincerely and God bless,


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mad Mix of Images or A Trip Report

How does a mixture of wild animals,crazy people and good food sound? After my trip to Monterey for five days it sounds pretty good. For my trip included all of that and more. Monterey for those of you not from California is located on Monterey Bay on the beautiful Central coast of California. It is close to quaint Carmel by the Sea the supposed artists colony and Paciific Grove where one of the large Monarch Colonies hang out there in the winter. It is also home to Pebble Beach for golfing and the famous Seventeen Mile Drive and the trademarked cypress tree. It is also fairly close to Santa Cruz being only about 40 minutes south of there. It is a little more a five hour drive south from Willits where I live. Quite the drive if you make it during rush hour from the Bay area!

Luckily for me Lady Lenore had to attend a Speech Pathology Conference in Monterey for four days. With some shuffling and a lot of help from friends and one very special Grandma Betty Lenore and I were able to spend five days down there. We had a great stay in the venerable old Monterey Hotel on Alvarado Street near Fisherman's Wharf. Lenore was mostly busy with the conference which gave me plety of free time to do some photography. In our times together for meals we got to dine in some mighty fine restaurants . We had German,Lebanese,Thai,Mexican and California Cuisine with a mix of American food thrown in. We decided the best meal of all was Casanovas for lunch in Carmel. It was absolutely perfect. I highly recommend it. Maybe they will thrown in a free dinner to me for that one. Hint hint.

So over the course of five days I made two trips to Santa Cruz to photograph the surfers at Steamers Lane. It is an absolutely superb place to photograph surfers. Late evening was the best. While there I met a photographer by the name of Jerry Miller that photographs there all the time. He shoots a wide variety of sports including climbers in Yosemite though he is strictly ground based on that one.


The Sea Otter Classic a major west coast bicycle event was going on at Laguna Seca Raceway and other locales. So there was a lot to photograph around that event.There were criterions and BMX races and my favorite the side by side downhill slalom. The races held on the track itself were difficult to photograph due to lack of access as it is set up for car racing.They need to work on that one for the spectators as well as photographers

I also took images at a car show right in front of my hotel. There were some beautiful cars from the local area with a few out of town cars thrown in for good measure. I didn't know that some low riders can be parked on the ground! There was even a Shelby Cobra that I wouldn't have minded taking out for a test drive.

Along the way I also shot images of a mix of Sea Otters, Sea Lions,Habor Seals and even California Ground Squirrels. I even got to see some otter researchers observing the Sea Otters in Moss Landing. Which would be best as an early evening shoot. Overall a pretty nice trip.

God's light and love to all,