Sunday, May 31, 2009

Oceanside pier at sunset

We don't normally have Oregon coast caliber sunsets here in Southern Cal. due to lack of clouds, so this was one of note.  Two images taken within 12 minutes of each other.

1/3 second  at f/22 ISO 50
16 seconds at f/11 ISO 50

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Memory Lane

A couple weeks ago, Kim and I picked up our Great Aunt and Uncle from San Diego to take them back up to Hollywood for a trip down memory lane.  Hollywood is where they met and married in the early fifties, bought a parcel of land above the Sunset strip in the hills and built a home.  Uncle Bobby’s normally bright blue eyes were visibly more vibrant as we drove up the windy narrow road to where their house was.  I asked him how he felt, to which his response ‘exhilarated’ came concisely and without delay!  Their house was still standing, constructed soundly by Uncle Bobby’s own hands over fifty years ago, now directly above the Chateau Marmont.  They sold that house in the fifties for $3,500, a subject that always makes them shake their heads slightly and smile. 

Afterward, we made our way to The Apple Pan, an old-time diner Uncle Bobby had frequented since close to it’s opening in ’47.  A place who’s reputation has been famously solidified by hard work, customer relations and a dogged resistance to selling out as evidenced by it’s original structure, a converted house, now surrounded by a giant mall and large commercial buildings.  For a moment at that counter, I shared in Bobby’s reclaimed youth, and felt fifty years younger myself.  

Back to the Oregon coast!

Similar to our adventurous predecessors Lewis and Clark before us, Kim and James, and later joined by our buddy Jeremey, set out on our own voyage of obligation and discovery. Once the obligatory weddings were out of the way, we had two days and two sunsets left for our discovery! Unlike the undaunted daring duo, our exploration was not for a nation, but rather only for ourselves, in a place that is quickly gaining a very special place in my heart, the Oregon coast. I think Lewis and Clark would be proud--take into account that we had Kimmer and they only had Sacajawea, we may have actually outdone them! Although, after our power inverter broke in our car, and we had to find outdoor plug-ins to power our cell phones, laptops and camera batteries, they very well might have been ashamed of us!! But our story still has Kimmer!  

Finally, cool clouds!

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Ugliest two-headed man ever!

Lucy, the most beautiful-ugly dog in the world!  Our little trailer hitch head.

15 minute exposure in the dark.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

First shoot with the 5D Mark II

I sat down before this shoot with the Mark II's manual, made some custom function changes, familiarized myself with some of its unique characteristics and became friends with my new camera.  There's a certain relationship between camera and photographer, similar to the way some name their vehicle or boat.  I don't name my cameras and I'm not an equipment snob, they're simply tools.  But as with any good relationship you have to indeed, enjoy each others company and establish clear lines of communication!

             Click the above image to view a larger example of the Mark II's resolution (no photoshop).

Speaking of not being an equipment snob, I've only recently installed CS3 although I've had it for quite some time.  Among its many improved features, black and white conversion is much more intuitive than CS1.

Bother me tomorrow, today I pack no sorrow

Zion National Park is a wondrous place to get lost.  It showcases a fantastic array of geological spectacles, is visually stunning and has the aura of being in a fairy tale.  Two days and and one sunset was not nearly enough, even though 'The Narrows' were closed (the primary subject I wanted to photograph)!  

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

James and Kim's Fantastic Yosemite Adventure!

~Cue the scratchy record player and as the gramophone churns the plinking of the old-time piano from slow motion up to normal speed there you will find James and Kim driving up historic route 395 in-between California's (narrator takes care to pronounce Californ-ee-ah's) most impressive peaks! Just for fun? 120 years late to a gold rush? Yes on both accounts and because it's closer than Monument Valley! Why is James driving so fast?! Oh no! The projector reel's stuck in fast forward! Fully stocked with bologna, Kraft singles, Wonder bread, RC cola and wine, their trusty Nissan stagecoach delivers our hero and heroine to their place of sanctuary, far away from the bustle of the metropolis below!

This image was taken directly below Bridalveil falls and is a compilation of three images taken in (very quick) succession, after which I covered my camera with a rain jacket.  I however, was PUMMELED with a wave of water that was MUCH stronger than expected and instantaneously dropped me to my knees!  If you’re ever in need of a sobering realization of the power of God, there are a number of ways of doing it, one of which is to stand underneath Bridalveil Falls while it’s running.  Just be sure to protect the camera and make sure you get the shot in as few takes as possible.

Cheap nightly rates

Salton Sea Salutations

The Salton sea always has a way of making you feel fortunate once you've returned home alive.  Maybe that's why most people you mention the sea to have either A) never been there, or B) never even heard of it!  And it's understandable (kind of), it's earned its reputation, but we've found it also to be a refuge, not only for 80% of the aviary population migrating between North and South America, but for ourselves (especially in the winter)!  All the elements there seem to be on the fringe, which is what fascinates me I think.  It's normally very hot, throughout history has either been a desert or flooded, is extremely beautiful in a haunting way, it's history fascinating and not least of all, seems to attract some of THE most interesting people you'll ever meet!  Some of whom go out of their way to visit with you like Leonard Knight, creator of Salvation Mountain, while others sport signs that say "TRESSPASSERS WILL BE SHOT" and MEAN it, 'a la Salton Sea, the movie.  We met some of each, luckily, most from the former camp.  

       Salvation Mountain 

First time to Oregon (with a camera)

The one time I truly look forward to inclement weather, or at least dramatic clouds, is when I need them for imagery.  I had a day and two sunsets at the Oregon coast in April of '08 and although a few clouds meandered by, I do believe they were lost.  I enjoyed record breaking temperatures in the 80's, deserted beaches, but when it came to my final sunset, cloudless skies.  Time to get creative! 


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