This July 4th was very special. Our wonderful mayor, Dan Pike (vote for him!) invited a whole bunch of people up to the top of the Bellingham Herald’s buildiong to watch the fireworks. This vantage point afforded some great shots of the town…
…but mostly, of course, it was about the fireworks.
And the music.
And the wonderful food.
And the free beer from Bounday Bay !
You can see the full set here.
Back in 2007 myself and my friend a Kevin took a trip to New York in December. It was cold and rainy with interludes of snow and hail. Nonetheless, I took a lot of photographs. In the last few days I decided to revisit the raw images to see whether three extra years of experience in postprocessing would lead to a fresh interpretation of the shots. I am very pleased that I did as I do indeed think that I have brought a new perspective to the shots. Below are just three but you can see many more by clicking here.
The first shoot at the new studio and the biggest shoot of my career to date.
I was approached by Toni & Guy hairdressing here in Bellingham and asked to photograph models for 85 hairdressing Students so they could enter nationwide competitions to show off their hairdressing skills.
This led to four six hour days of shooting, 3300 photographs and a whopping total of 64 GB of data to be worked through.
The studio on Ohio Street has worked out to be a great boon. I was sorry to leave Prospect Street but have certainly learned to look forward not back as this place is even better! There is plenty of room for models to change, to make up etc. and Ryan has been able to give me access to some of the best lighting equipment I’ve ever used.
So after four exhausting days I am now beginning the process of working up the resultant images which I hope will bring success to the students. Below are a few examples of when I have done so far.
This took the longest time in post processing!
Currently my favorite image of the shoot!
Sometimes it is good just to get away to somewhere new where it you can see the landscape with fresh eyes. Sometimes it is good just to have some time to do some creative work to keep yourself fresh. Sometimes it is good to go to supermarkets and eat fried chicken and salad!
My good friend Clint and I decided to take a one-day road trip and see how many different subjects we could photograph in one day.
The first place we stopped was along Chuckanut Drive where we scrambled down a muddy path and found this delightful waterfall scene. Clint had brought along some neutral density filters which allowed him to shoot long exposures in bright sunlight. I had nothing so fancy and yet, by using F-22 along with multiple exposures and some crazy HDR developing I was able to get these rather nice images.
Next we headed off to the wilds of Skagit and the wonderful Tulip Festival. I always enjoy this event although he gets harder and harder to create anything new or fresh there. Here are my offerings you’ll have to decide for yourself if you think they are worthwhile!
After Deception Pass we discovered what may have been a dock at one time. I don’t know what happened to it but it is certainly photogenic now! I love photographing places like this although in this instance I think Clint did rather better.
Finally as night fell the went back towards Anacortes. and photographed for the refinery there. This was a very tricky image in terms of post processing but I’m quite pleased with the result.
And just another, more abstract image of the refinery from a little earlier in the day.
All in all a wonderful and fruitful day out.
This post will most likely be made up mostly of images. Nothing very new there! I definitely see myself much more as a photographer than a writer.
Anyway, about a year ago I started to see images that were startling both in their style as well as in the level of detail visible. Both the highlights and shadows contained information that was used to seeing images which contain far more pure blacks and whites. This style was known as HDR which stands for high dynamic range. In order to produce an HDR image one must take several photographs at a range of exposures. So one might start with an image which the camera says is very underexposed and then another that is somewhat underexposed and so on until one has five images.
These five images are then taken in to a program dedicated to producing HDR images. The one I use is called Photomatix. This blends all five images and produces an image similar to the photographs on these pages. This image is then saved and taken into Photoshop to be finished off and refined.
I have spent the last two months working on my technique with landscapes however landscapes seem to be very popular where as I have seen very few portraits using the technique And I would like to produce more portraits in HDR as I think it works very well. What do you think?
Avery is a delightful young man of only seven months. I can’t describe how easy it was to photograph him. He smiles, he giggles, he looks at me and loves the camera.
I did have a realisation whilst doing this shoot though and that is that I need to make up a few small sets of toys, one for each age group. Probably should be classic items such as Crayola crayons, wooden trains and so on. This shoot really worked but, had Avery been less excited about being in front of the camera some distractions might have been a good thing.
When I say I had nothing I am not actually telling the truth. In the foreground here we see Squirrel who was one of my favourites when I was a nipper. Avery showed about as much interest in Squirrel as my daughter Ally did i.e. none. Ahh well, never mind, Squirrel, I still love you.
I also improvised with my hat.
And finally this, the classic baby shot. Lovely!
If you look closely you will see that Avery’s skin is amazingly flawless. Now far be it from me to say that a babys skin is not actually flawless but…well, they ain’t, especially in winter. So what’s a photographer to do? Well, I have to thank Clint for turning me on to Portrait Professional which is my latest software acquisition. Perhaps I shouldn’t be giving away the tools of the trade but boy, does this program work miracles and take the effort out of producing perfect faces every time!
Well, I think wedding season is over for 2010 and it was a great season with a lot of wonderful memories. I have just a couple more to blog about and I’ll do one this week and one next. First we had Nick and Tara who some of you may remember I photographed earlier in the year for their engagement.
I won’t pretend that the Lairmont Manor is an easy place to shoot. it isn’t! It is very beautiful but it is full of dark wood and dark corners out of which blurry photos may jump without warning. Nonetheless, I think we got some lovely shots.
The happy bride
One of the formal portraits
Another formal image
Yet another formal image.
And, typical of me, lots of children!
I had the pleasure of shooting my first Bar Mitzvah the other day. I arrived at the Synagogue as the ceremony was still going on and stood just outside the door shooting into the temple until roundly told off by a six year old who informed me that that was forbidden. Roundly chastised I duly waited until afterwards and began to shoot. My Metz flash, combined with the light from the beautiful windows behind seem to have done a good job of capturing the spirit of the place.
At the Ceremony 1
At the cermoney 2
After the ceremony I went home for a few hours before going out to a beautiful golf club in the evening to capture a wild and fun party.
Fun fun fun!
It was a wonderful evening with plenty of food and drink and a great atmosphere mixing the traditional with the new.
The tradition of light
I just loved that there were so many kids there. I love to photograph kids!
Tobias and his buds!
People made good use of the gifts!
All in all a wonderful day!
I’ve decided the time has come for me to polish up on my nocturnal skills and so, on a hot hot HOT day, Lola and I went down to Seattle and I left her in a pub called, if I remember correctly, the Six Arms and wandered off and these two images are what I came up with.
Seattle skyline and I5 by night
I’ve decided that, in my personal shoots, I want to try to slow down and reduce the number of shots that I take home. Too often I rush about and attempt to get 20 or 30 shots when really two or three is all I end up using because haste has led to a lack of quality. Film had a way of slowing us down but of course, film is long behind us and my 8gb card allows some 333 images and so it’s easy to get carried away.
The Dirt Vs the Bright Light
Such a bouquet as this there never was!
Ahh, have I mentioned before how much I love a good wedding? Well, I do. And I sometimes think that the best wedding of all is the one held at the home. And so it was with Chris and Crystal. What a wonderful home it was, too. Out in the wilds of Ferndale with the woods surrounding and deer peeping on.
The couple were so clearly in love and that always leads to some wonderful images.Lola and I were there for five hours and during that time I racked up some 640 images. A first sweep got that down to only 430! It’s been very hard to choose from these as the whole party were such fun and kept asking for more and more exciting and amusing images. They certainly had some imaginations!