Saturday, March 29, 2008

Dr. Seuss Night

The other night was Dr. Seuss night at Savannah's school. They put on a fun show with singing and reading in the library. Savannah had an important part. She was both One Fish and Two Fish (Red Fish and Blue Fish was on the other side). Here are a few pics from the night.
I felt so discriminated against

Savannah, just before we left the house.

The big moment!

Savannah and her super fun teacher Ms. Halverson.
What better way to celebrate a successful show than ice cream!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pink, Pink and More Pink!

Can anybody guess what Savannah's favorite color is? Lea spent several days painting Savannah's room this week. For those of you thinking to yourselves.."What kind of monster lets his wife paint a room without helping?" Think put it delicately, Lea likes painting to be done a certain way. She takes it very seriously and I must admit, she does a great job. Who am I to stop her? That reminds me though, I need to let her know it's time for the lawn to be mowed next time we have a sunny day.

The cool thing about this paint job is it made for some good stock photo's. Here are a couple and the last is the lucky kid in her newly decorated room. You can see, she loves horses too.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My crazy cat Jasmine

I've been playing with lighting quite a bit the past few weeks. Especially since I've purchased my new Pocket Wizards to fire my flashes and strobes remotely. Tonight I was setting up to shoot some wine glasses when the meanest cat in the West Jasmine plunked herself down on the carpet next to me. I stuck a flash under her chin at a low power and fired away. The interesting thing about these shots is they were taken in a fully lit room. I've always wanted to show how vibrant green her eyes are in a photo. I think I've done it this time.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone!

The girls woke up very early this morning...very early. They were excited to see that the Easter Bunny had paid a visit to the house. He hid some baskets loaded with toys and candy and they were very excited. There's nothing quite like watching two small children gobbling solid chocolate bunnies at 7:00 in the morning. By 7:30 they were bouncing off the walls! I might try that instead of coffee in the future. They were seriously pumped.

We went to Church at the Four Square New Life Center in Everett where my friend Pastor Nate Poetzl along with I am sure a huge number of people put together quite an exciting service as always with a powerful message. Church is always a bit of a concert but today that had a full on orchestra pit blasting the tunes with the three main performers singing like I have never heard them before!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Terry Lang

Here are a few pics of my buddy Terry. Terry works at the Kit's Camera Store inside the Alderwood Mall. Conveniently, this store is located next to the mailbox I walk to nearly every day. Kit's is the store I bought my 1D Mark III through. When no one else could get their hands on the camera, Terry Lang came through. He's been a photographer just shy of 125 years now. His first camera body you may have seen on the Flintstones when Fred would press the shutter and inside a little bird would stick his thumb out the lens to calibrate his eye before he started rapidly chiseling the image onto a slab of granite. I may be exaggerating a bit, but he has been a photographer longer than anyone I know. For 40 years he proudly served the United States Navy as a photographer. It all ended one hot summer night June 17, 1972 when he was walking the halls with his buddy Frank Wills who was moonlighting as a security guard at the Watergate Hotel. Terry, then know as Tony snapped some very incriminating photographs when they discovered a burglary taking place. These photo's proved that Richard Nixon wasn't behind the Watergate Scandal, it was in fact a then 35 year old George W. Bush not committing the political burglary everyone thought took place, ultimately leading to the impeachment of President Nixon. Instead, it was a young "Georgie" as he was know as back then sneaking back into the room hoping to find his favorite stuffed animal "scrunchy". One thing led to another, Tony had to change his name to Terry and move out to Seattle. Turns out "Georgie" didn't want anyone to know about "scrunchy." The photo's are buried in a "safe place" Terry says. When asked about the location the response is always the same..."I could tell you, but then I would have to kill you." Always in the same morose tone with the humorless look in his military eyes. When he says it, you believe him.

OK, that may be a bit embelished (everyone knows Georgie's favorite teddy bear is named Fluffy). Sounded good though right? Terry was a Navy photographer for 40 years. He put together a web page where you can see some of his photographs from his Navy days as well as his current photographs. One thing I really like about Terry is his good taste in cameras. Terry is a Canon man as am I. We Canon shooters need to stick together.

Probably my favorite shot of his is the Parthenon in Athens shot in 1968 and digitally scanned recently. Check out the outfits on the tourists. If they don't date the photo I don't know what will.

Terry also teaches a photography class at a local community college. He's giving a seminar soon but I forget the details. I know he checks this blog every now and then so maybe he'll leave a comment plugging it.

Y'all know I love the comments right? Keep em coming :)

Thanks for letting me rib you a little bit Terry! I enjoy our talks!


Friday, March 14, 2008

Tonight was a great annual Fundraiser dinner put together by the amazing staff at the Woodland Park Zoo. It is no great secret that I love the Zoo and I love to photograph at the Zoo. This evening I was invited to photograph the event at the Sheraton Hotel in Downtown Seattle. The guest speakers were Chris and Martin Kratt aka the Kratt Brothers. They were amazing speakers filled with fun stories of their many adventures including Tazmanian Devils invading their camp assuming they were dead carcasses, dozens of Lions in Africa surrounding their jeep in the middle of the night discovered only by the hair standing on the back of their necks inspiring a flashlight to be illuminated. They were funny, articulate and to me defined persistence. They started with a vision and have turned that vision into world fame and tremendous success. I was honored to photograph them and had a great time rubbing elbows with Seattle's finest including Mike Holmgren's heir apprentice as Seattle Seahawks Head Coach
Jim Mora who will take over the team for the 2009 season. There are a million details I could go into right now but it is seriously late/early and I have to work in a few hours :(


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dramatic Lighting

Woohooo!! I finally figured out how to make my photo's bigger on blogger!

I've been playing around with different light techniques using a combination of studio strobes and reflectors. I found my favorite reflector doesn't reflect light, it's black and it absorbs the light. For the brighter shots I used a reflector that does reflect rather than absorb. It's a blend of Gold and Silver and creates nice skin tones. For the shots with the dramatic shadows I placed a strobe with a large soft box just inches from the right side of the face with the black reflector inches from the left. I really like the effect quite a bit. The wrinkled old man is my Dad who stopped by to torment the Grandkids for a little while. Little did he know he was in for an hour long photo session :) Your welcome for Photoshopping out most of the wrinkles Dad!

As always, I love to get comments on the blog and would really like to know what you think of these images.



I like how dark this one is.
This time I used a gold and silver blended reflector with one soft box.
Dang! That is a seriously good looking woman!

My little Angel

Is this girl going to be a model or what?
Scary Looking Dude eh?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ed Pierce Seminar

Here is a quick photo I grabbed of world famous Portrait Photographer Ed Pierce at his seminar in Seattle on Sunday. This guy has got it going on. He is an energetic, charismatic speaker and that guy is pimped out with sponsors everywhere you look! He was so good about integrating his sponsors in his message that you really wanted to go and buy what he was selling. Luckily, I already had most of it. I was so happy to see a familiar face at the seminar. My friend who happens to be a great photographer Brett Percival was there too. While we were chatting Ed came up to us and we had a brief chat about his tour. We learned he is hitting 68 cities in the US sharing his expertise with thousands of photographers and selling a boat load of DVD's and photo gadgets. I couldn't help myself and did buy one of his calibration targets. All you Bride's and Groom's I'm about to shoot can thank Ed for the big grey target I'm going to put in front of you during our portrait sessions :)

It was an interesting seminar. We were pretty far back in what he called a "Bowling Alley" hotel ballroom so we missed a bit. One of the things I thought was interesting was he asked for a show of hands how many photographers shot digital. 442 arms shot in the air. Then he asked how many only shot film..8 lonely hands tentatively lifted their arms. 8 out of 450! That is a staggering figure. I just couldn't believe way were there 8 people still shooting with film..what the heck are those guys thinking? :)

I did pick up some cool tips and tricks. I've been playing with my studio lights the last couple of weeks and I'm going to post some of the results shortly. The seminar gave me some new ideas too.

Something else that appealed to me...Ed told Brett and I he printed off the large prints you see in the photo of the hotel lobby in one day. About 14 minutes each print. These things are huge! The quality was amazing. I might just have to pick up one of those Canon Prograf 8100 printers
some day :) Lea would be thrilled with that purchase I'm sure!

Have a good one!