Month: June 2015

When the Plan becomes De-Planned

My photo excursions are almost always planned and I have a goal of what I want to shoot. This week I had some ‘Planned’ outings with definite goals but they just didn’t happen as expected. When your plans get changed, find the alternate shot.

We went to the Tigard Balloon Festival on Sunday, arrived early and waited for the “Show”. Alas weather interfered and no flights. But no worries, a couple of inflates, some great light and an early morning walk around the carnival brought a plethora of other compositions.

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I love car shows and recently visited a local favorite. I didn’t find a lot of the older hotrods so I turned my focus to the rich colors and lines of some newer models.

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And the most challenging for this week was the Lincoln City Kite Festival. A quick afternoon trip to the beach with a billion others and there was no wind to be found. You would of thought with all that breathing there would have been a little wind. Anyway, it left us wanting… We grabbed a couple shots off the beach and ran up the coast and checked out the local driftwood, a low tide and some grass at a pier.

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These were great options to the “Plan”

Roses Are Red and Other Colors Too

Summer brings many blooms and blossoms and Portland’s Rose Garden is exception.  First recommendation is to go shooting either early in the day or late afternoon. Second, take a reflector to provide shade cover to reduce the summer’s harsh sunlight.

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I like to expose for the highlights. This helps saturate the colors and reduce the background clutter. Sometimes including a bit of the surrounding leaves can help by adding an accent to the subject flower.

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Don’t be afraid to experiment with black & white processing too. The B&W tones can add a fresh look to an old friend.

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Try compositions that include foreground & background colors.  In this shot I captured the sun spotlight on the center of the rose and some very interesting colors for the foreground & background.

For more samples you can check them out here…

The Milky Way Beckons

We took the opportunity to capture some late night skies near the Columbia River Gorge recently, It’s always fun to get out late at night and view the magnificent star-scapes from beyond!  For the best results search out areas with little or no light pollution and be sure to get out when there is no moon. There are many ways to go at it, but I like to use a wide angle lens and shoot wide open.  Generally my shutter speed is 20-25 seconds and I adjust the ISO starting at 3200.CC2_4851

Shot at sunset approximately 9:30 pm, and capturing the Deschutes River in the foreground



Shot 2 hrs later, about 11:30 looking towards a backlit hillside, and again we see the Deschutes River in the foreground.


And finally around midnight the Milky Way begins to appear over the horizon, and we reap the rewards of a midnight train painting the hillside.



It’s Car Show Season

It’s that time of year, when all of the classics and treasures come out of the garages for the summer months.  I love the colors, lines and textures of these classic hot rods and collector cars.  We each see them a little different, and that is OK! I like to shoot the deep rich colors and focus on some of the details of the cars.

My exposures values can be all over the meter, but I will usually shoot wide open and expose for the highlights.  Look for some different composition angles as you approach the car, such as down low or off center. And try to get some other color in the background (like another car) to help accent and isolate your subject.

Be very patient as there will be a billion other car lovers and photographers doing the same thing you are doing.

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Look inside the window for nostalgia and interesting perspectives

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Shoot with a little bit of an angle to give some dynamic motion to your composition

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Chrome rocks!