Thursday, August 28, 2014


Resident Anna's Hummingbird

Sometimes a sharply focused subject is just the wrong composition. This shot was taken later in the evening, so the light was low. I kept the ISO low since the finished photo would probably cropped at least 60%. Preserving resolution was a priority. However, the lag time for the remote turned out to work nicely in my favor. Here is our resident Anna's hummingbird swooping down towards a freshly-filled feeder.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Perfect Angle

Grumman F7F Tigercat

Sometimes, lining up a shot of a rare and fast moving subject takes a lot of patience. In this case it took about a year. These planes get aloft only a handful of times a year which makes this challenging enough. For these events, I usually stake out a patch of ground on the west side of Paine Field since the flying starts around noon. The pilots do an excellent job of lining up several passes of opposing banks, so we can get as many profile photos as possible. Yet, no matter how good the gear, it's all about the quality and angle of the light and no amount of post-processing can turn a bad photo into a good one.

Grumman F7F Tigercat

Inject a bit of patience and the opportunity comes once again. To underscore the importance of light, the top photo was taken with a DSLR which, in my opinion, is still the best option for motorsports photography of all types. The bottom photo was taken with a mirrorless camera, which has a few challenges with motorsports photography. After 2 passes, and lots of bad photos at 10fps, I reverted to getting just one good shot like I was forced to do back in the days of film. Patience, and a bit of skill.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Lavender and Rye

Still life

An opportunistic front yard floral arrangement. Kodak Portra 160, 1/400th sec., f/4.5

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Take No Take Out

Closed and framed take-out window

Once a take-out window for a small cafe, it's now boarded up. Graffiti is still visible through the brown paint. One of the shop owners built the frame and has invited a local artist to fill the frame with something more appealing than a faded eyesore.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Garden Shuriken

Spiral trellis

This always appears to be such a dangerous flower. The bees love it, European honey bees in particular. Though not quite a golden ratio, the trellis supporting part of the plant makes a nice frame for the sharpness of the blossom.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Uncomfortably Seats 23

V-22 Osprey

The Marines landed at The Museum of Flight at Boeing field for Seafair. Here's fish-eye shot of a V-22 Osprey cargo bay. The majority of this craft is carbon fiber and since this is a military aircraft, all humane conveniences (like sound insulation) are non-existent. It was interesting to see how many different compositions of carbon fiber were used in the hull, and even amusing to see the fiber stitch-work in some of the panels.

This was a perfect opportunity to use the Olympus 9mm fish-eye body cap lens. I had it mounted on an E-PM2 which turned out to be a great combination creating a very wide-angle snapshot camera. A few people beside me were quite disappointed with their phone camera results, but I caught what I wanted.

Golden Hour Maple Leaf

Late evening light behind the Japanese maple

The golden hour(s), the parts of the day just after sunrise and before sunset are when sunlight is the warmest color. The warmer tones are much easier to see in contrast with cooler light found in partial shade. I particularly like the gradual effect on this maple leaf where the golden hour changes one part of this blade into amber.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

6x7 Film

It's been a while since I used film, almost 3 years if I can trust my notes. I was sorting through more boxes and found a fistful of rolls of 220 color negative film. On the weekend, I took the old RZ out of mothballs, cleaned it up and discovered the battery had finally died. The battery in the Gossen was also dead. Film speeds were 100 and 160, the only mechanical shutter speed is 1/400th of a second and the fastest lens I have is f/4.5. Thankfully there was plenty of sunshine and I found a really nice light meter app for my phone. I invaded the garden and found some more suitable victims ..

All shots are at f/5.6, 1/400th, Portra 160, +1/2EV close focus compensation, 180mm f/4.5

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fragrant Finnials

Spike lavender holding up a fence

Spike lavender blossoms appear to be decorative finnials propping up this sturdy, metal fence.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Lava Flow Leaf

Back lighting through a leaf.

The sunlight was peeking through the slots in the fence and back light a slice of this leaf. The texture and light appeared to create a tiny lava flow and caught my attention right away. Timing was everything since this effect lasted only a few minutes in the evening.