Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The risks I take for you

Standing on a slippery ledge, inches away from an icy death, just to get the perfect shot.

I'm kidding of course, I'm safely ensconced behind a wood railing. I'd nevre do something dangerous for a shot, well not and post about it anyway ;-)

This shot has a little post-processing done (I increased the contrast a bit) but not much.

Another view of the riverline

I was most pleased being able to wander about without other people or cars in the way. It was quiet and the snow muffled any sounds. The sun was at the right angle to bring out the shadows and the snow added just the right contrast.
I should have also brought my dSLR, but you can't remember to pack everything. Last time I was here I had the wrong lens (50mm, not wide enough) but this time around the 17-35mm was perfect.

Not a Church

But it sure looks like one. I think the sign nearby mentioned it was designed by a guy who normally did churches, so it all makes sense.

Would love to get inside and shoot some, but it's all locked up.

Movie set

This would make a good location for a horror film. Something involving Alice Cooper, clowns and Bruce Campbell.
Okay maybe not but I still like the pic.


It's hard for me to imagine where the river might once have been, especially one large enough to allow riverboats and ferrys through as you can see the river here is barely five feet wide.
Not sure what the white building in the background is, but it is well chained off.


This is the back, or possibly front of the building, depending on how you look at it. The river was once large enough to allow ferry boats to pass through on both sides and deliver people for dances. You can just see the second story arched windows where the dance floor is/used to be.
The square building in the far back is the modern pump house addition, and is still in use.

Photography is like a box of chocolates-

-when dealing with a 1-hour developing store.
My state got a bit of snow over the weekend and I got a chance to get out and capture some of it after the skies had cleared.

This is an old pump house, dating back to the Civil War times, and although no longer in use, it's still in pretty good shape. Perfect for b/w film work, which of course is done with my weapon of choice the Nikon f4s, loaded with Kodak BW400CN film. As I've mentioned before, the film is C41, so it can be processed by a colour lab, even though it's technically Black and White film. However, it picks up colour artifacts during the developing so typically you get a nice sepia tone to the results and it's very flattering for portrait work.

This time around, however the images were too heavily tilted towards the red spectrum, giving them a weird near-infrared/HDR look. I've toned it down a bit, but not completely removed it (the sky looks cooler with a little red in it) and of course presenting them here for your approval.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Working again with Medium Format (120) Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) cameras for a little change. The camera I am using here is a Mamiya C220 with a 105mm lens. Film was Fuji Neopan400 film. Faster than I wanted for outside work, but all the camera shop had. The setting was a local university.
All the same, I think it turned out well. I have two more developed rolls waiting to be picked up (sadly, I've seen both and the developing place messed up the one I was most hoping would turn out)
I wouldn't mind a digital back for the Mamiya, anyone got a spare $50,000 they're not using?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


This is an eyelash viper (Bothriechis schlegelii) that I took for a project for my son. This image was taken with what is widely regarded as the worst modern autofocus lens ever made, the Tamron 70-300mm 'macro'.
This is my only autofocus macro lens, it's not true macro per se, but given the venomous nature of my subject, I didn't want to break out my manual focus macro lens and get real close. In fact I shot this image from about 4 feet away, whereas the manual macro I'd be about 4 inches away, well within striking range.
The Tamron lens was given to me free (I almost junked it) and is apparently the only one they ever made which didn't suffer from chromatic abberation or horrendous softness. Hey, a pretty sharp image for a free lens.
Anyway, this eyelash viper is a baby, only about 6" (at most) in length and was kind enough to suffer through flash photography without moving so much as a muscle. Special thanks go to the owners for graciously allowing me to photograph him (or her, I didn't ask)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Night Everlasting

The lake in the lower right was partially frozen, reflecting the dying light nicely. By this point in time the landscape was completely dark, with only the faintest light showing through the clouds. I like the contrasts.

Now, with houses

A different road, but with a great vantage point for the setting sun.


More examples of what I found as the sun was setting. Again, large file.

Dusk and Her Embrace

On the way back to where I was staying, I found a turnoff from the main road that allowed me to capture the sun as it was going down.
Despite the freezing cold weather and wind (ah the things I do for my readers) I was able to capture some beautiful sunsets.
These images are very large, and in no order whatsoever.

Different View

There were several vantage points to view the falls, this was taken from the lower vantage point.
Also, this was taken after a snowy day, so the water was less pristine in colour than usual.

Oh Sunny Day

Most of the time there the sky was overcast (it was getting ready to snow) but on occasion the sun would peak through and give me a chance for a shot full of contrast, as seen here.
The walkway was heavily set in the shade so there was a fair number of shots with low shutter speeds (tenths of a second) giving the water a fluffly look. But for one very special reader I have attempted to freeze-frame the falls.

Blackwater Falls

Also nearby was the Blackwater Falls park with some really nice waterfalls and general landscaping of the area. You can't get close to the falls (without breaking the law, or getting some permission) but the areas you could get were definitely set up with a photographer in mind.
This was a digital colour image, toned down (I took my Nikon F4s film camera along as well, those images are still being developed) for a look more suitable for the overcast day.
Caution for those on dial-up, the clickable images are BIG.


So I had a chance to get away for a bit, and landed in West Virginia for some photography, snow and waterfalls. Lots of wonderful old buildings to photograph and this barnhouse was top of the list (also happened to be nearby where I was staying, but that totally didn't enter in to the equation!)
Afternoon sun, perfect blue sky and one shot was all I needed to nail it.
Despite the frigid weather, the D1x never even hiccuped. Love that camera!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

And what waterfall would be complete without...

A shrubbery!
According to a sign there, the water can rise over the rocks and again up to 10 feet over the mainland. Pretty impressive, here of course it's very low, low enough for shrubs to grow.


I read up a bit on how to shoot waterfalls before heading out there, and with such a nice day, most of the morning/early afternoon shots were less than impressive. I had to wait until the sun went behind the trees to get the really good depth and time images.

Yet Even More!

Despite the limited access to the water (danger signs posted everywhere) I managed to get the fall colours in with the waterfall.
I've been to more breathtaking waterfalls (Niagara Falls) but none closer. I enjoyed it fully.


I had a polarizer I added to my lens for this shot. I wanted to bring out the clouds against the blue sky. It darkened the rocks a little more than I would have liked, but it's a fair tradeoff.
Great Falls again, looking downstream.

Great Falls

Went out to Great Falls recently for a photoshoot. The weather was perfect for a fall day and the water was moving fast. Perfect for those moving water shots.
The place is very crowded and not really built to be human accessible beyond the expected areas, but we photographers manage ;-)

Sunday, October 31, 2010


This zombie reminds me of the replicant Pris from the movie 'Blade Runner' an interesting, if ultimately uneven, film.
There were a number of zombies with multi-coloured hair that I suspect weren't dye jobs for the walk, but worn daily. More power to them :)

Stalking the Sky

Most zombies go after brains, though that particular legend came only after the comedy zombie film "Return of the Living Dead." In Romero's films, zombies went after anything that was breathing and ate all parts.
The zombie pictured here, for example, seemed to be after the sky. More maybe the sun.
Or perhaps she was just happy to see the sun again after many years of being underground.

Happy Halloween!

The dead have risen and are running for Congress! Just kidding, the dead are already running this country. The local trendy shopping area hosted a Zombie Walk the other day and I was fortunate enough to get some great shots.
Makeup ranged from full-blown facial props to simple whiteface and red lips, but they were all great and got into their roles.
A nice sunny day helped too. So enjoy the living dead, from the safety of your own home!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Saying hello!

Looking at the stats for this journal, I see I've had hits from all around the world, so I feel I should say "Hello!" to all my visitors, and offer you a Fall shot from my neighborhood (well, more or less my neighborhood)
Played with a polarizer on my 50mm lens and toned down the greens (they were a tad too much IMO) otherwise as you see it.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fun with logos

So I thought it would be fun to shoot people through a large sign, but as I lined up for the shot, I realized the background behind the people was far too busy and distracting, so I played around with various angles until I found one that was most pleasing (to me anyway)

So what do you call them?

From a gaggle of Russian musicians in traditional clothes.
No, wait...
From a group of...
From a mob of,
...heck, what do you call a bunch of Russians anyway?

The colours, the colours

The music festival was well planned and laid out, plenty of parking nearby for scooters and bikes.
I liked the colour contrast between the helmet and the scooter, the grass and the sky.

Scenes from a multiverse

So rather than try and capture musicians in less than stellar light, I moved about the festival to see what could catch my eye.
Photographing people and being discrete about it is difficult when you lug around a monster camera like the D1x, and throw on a 300mm lens to boot.

A music fest

Recently the city I live in had a huge music festival. Bright sunny day so naturally I left my flash gear at home, which of course proved to be a mistake as all the musicians were under tents, cutting the available light to nearly nothing.
Well if in doubt, get close and open up the lens. Next time I'll bring the flash.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A bit of History

You are looking at a bit of history here, it's an Arado AR 234, the world's first jet-powered bomber.
Again, fiddled with the lighting as the ambient light was all over the place.
Handheld as there was nowhere to brace nor bring a tripod, so apologies if it's a tad blurry.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fun with Distortion

The most famous commercial jet ever, as taken through a 10mm ultra-wide lens, which lengthens the fuselage and shortens the wings, creating something akin to the orbiter from 2001 a Space Odyssey.

Cold War

Relics of the Cold War. A MiG 15, and in the left side background, the tail of Corsair/Crusader.
I muted the colours somewhat, as the light coming in from the windows was distracting.
Apparently this was a gift of the Soviet Union, as opposed to something captured, makes sense as it is in good shape.

Monday, September 27, 2010

To boldly go

If my memory of history is correct, the space shuttle Enterprise (pictured here) was so named from a massive write-in from Star Trek fans, as it was originally to be named something else.
The shuttle is currently parked at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum (no, I don't know how to pronounce his name, it's Hungarian so for all I know it's pronounced "Pickled Mouse")
In any case, it's difficult to capture such a huge vehicle in all its glory, especially with massive crowds around, but I did the best I could.
Can you believe the people at the museum don't allow photographers inside the shuttle? Totally rude ;-)


Actually it's seapurses, aka skate eggs. From my trip. I have several more shots from my trip, but the next set will be from another trip I made, which was far more interesting.

Monday, September 20, 2010


So I realize it's still easier to load images here and talk about them than on my main website, so here is a recent one, a nice contrast to the one just below it I think.
Beach scene, just as the sun is setting behind me (and partially obscured by the dunes) and the moon is rising. The Atlantic Ocean is rougher than normal (apparently) because there is a hurricane forming 'out there' making a mess of things.
Shot with my 17-35mm lens, which is now my de-facto lens for landscape shots, and my beloved Nikon D1x.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Caught at sunset on July 4th. Trusty D1x, braced on the railing of the ship I was on. Got it just right I think.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

And now, the news!

For those of you following my journal, you know my posts are somewhat sporadic. I've set up a proper site for my photography work,

As with most sites on the web, it's not finished, and it's not quite what I want (the web designer and I are currently having a disagreement) but it's up there and oddly, the third hit already on Bing.

I'm nowhere on Google's ranking, but then I didn't expect to be, why I'm already on Bing I'll never know, but that's okay, for the dozen or so people that DO use Bing, I'm easily found :)

BTW, this pic to the left is yours truly. Good self-portrait photography is difficult.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Test Run

I was given a Nikon D1 for the pocket change in my couch. Worn, battered and unloved I took it in and cleaned it up, smoothed over the worn spots with gentle paints, brushed away the dirt and took it out to run it through a field test.
Okay, that's all very marshmellodramatic but the D1 is a piece of history, and the images it can still take, are very nice.
For example, the one just to the left of this text. Taken on a stormy day on my way to a client's office.
I think I will not be keeping it (after all, the D1x is superiour is almost every way) but I will make sure it goes to a good home.
If you want it, let me know.


Give in to what you cannot fight, walk among us!
Sorry, just in a Misfits mood. Captured (heh heh) this little guy in the wilds of Colorado. Sorry I've not updated this site sooner, but I've been working on my new site and been a tad behind in stuff (so what else is new?)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stopping the motion

Waterfalls shot, a wider view than the last one. With the sun behind the trees, and some clouds overhead I couldn't quite stop the motion of the falls, but overall I think this shot turned out well.

Alternative View

I'm running out of things to say about the beauty of Colorado, so I'll let the images speak for themselves.

Wild Wild Life

Lots of wildlife (no, not fratboys) casually sauntering around Colorado, including foxes, rabbits, sheep and deer.
This doe was untroubled by me getting really close, and as such, I got some great shots of her feeding.


Not from a park or a monument, just caught driving from one place to another. Once again the colours make the image (plus the lone tree in the upper right)


This was the last shot I took on a Compact Flash card. I changed cards and continued to shoot in the area (including caputing a heavy oncoming storm) but somehow in the process of transferring the files from CF to DVD, I'd lost that set.
A bummer as I was looking forward to seeing them, but that's the way it goes sometimes.
I think the skull is from a fox, I saw quite a few foxes out that way, but I don't really know.

Not Pointy!

I don't recall where I took this, Colorado National Monument I think, but a nice landscape with great sky ties it together I think.


The sky really makes this image. After a while I'd gotten used to seeing rocks jutting from the landscape everywhere I went and trying to capture them in new or interesting ways was taxing. But when the clouds rolled in suddenly everything came together (cue Beatles music)

Up close and personal

Not taken with a true macro, but rather taken with a 17-35mm lens at the closest focual point. I liked how the background turned out.


What I loved about Colorado was the contrasts in nature, as seen here, massive mountains, miles of flat area, then massive mountains again. Coupled with dramatic skies, and you've got a pretty good picture.