Category Archives: Photography

(Not) Shooting the Perseids


So this past Friday, I went up with some friends to Rattlesnake Lake off exit 32 on I-90.  It was a lot of fun, and we laughed and talked and drank good wine.  It was a lovely time.  I shot a lot of photos, but didn’t catch any meteoroids.  The moon was too full and bright, and there just weren’t that many.  I saw about 10 trails in the sky, which was quite pleasant.   Here are some photos I did shoot.  Funny thing about the full moon… It’s a lot like the full sun. ;)

Specifically, 30 sec @ f/5.6, ISO 200 looks like a daytime exposure.  It’s pretty awesome to have images that look like daytime shots with star trails in the backgrounds!

One thing that I realized about this trip was that I was lacking a good release for my D700.  Fortunately, a quick trip over to Amazon and my Prime membership means that next time, that won’t be a problem for me.

Until next time…

Flash Bus, and Shooting Work

Waiting in the WindowSo on Friday, I attended the launch of the Flash Bus talk series by Joe McNally and David Hobby.  It was awesome.  Both of these presenters do a fantastic job of getting their points across in a clear and concise way.  Even as an experienced shooter, I got a lot out of the experience.  Watching them work with subjects and coax out awesome photographers was great.

So afterwards, I was inspired to go out and do some environmental portraits.  Near my studio is a lot of excellent brickwork and old, cool buildings.  These buildings make great locations for doing a shoot.  The shot to the left was done with two speedlights: a SB800 through an umbrella for fill, and a SB900 camera left for key.  This was a fun set to do.

The other shot I did was with my friend H at Golden Gardens park.  This is one of my favorite places to go, and to shoot at.  There’s lots of cool variety to see; train tracks, trails, beach with sand, with cobbles.  Lots of fantastic imagery to pick from.  We went there Monday afternoon, around 5PM.  It was a windy and rainy day, so the shooting was challenging.  The wind LOVES to grab hold of a shoot-through umbrella and carry it away. 

This shot (at right) was done with a single bare SB900 on a lightstand held down into the cobbles with rocks.  It was done in aperture priority mode with -1 EV exposure compensation to get nice colors out of the fading sunset through the dark and stormy clouds.  The wind was fun, but did present some difficulties, including the heart stopper of having your flash fall over onto the rocks.

Fun stuff!

Art Walk – Portraits and Making Use of the Opportunity

March Art Walk Participants

For Art Walk these last two months, I’ve been doing a portrait special, and I’ve found it to be a very worthwhile and good way to use the flow of traffic through my space to create more art, and to support creating more art.   It’s also been an excellent experience for networking with more people, and for practicing with all sorts of individuals.

So that end, I’m going to continue to do this, and to experiment with the lighting, background, and all sorts of the details that pertain to doing this.   Next month, for April’s art walk, I hope to get a nice red backdrop to use.

In any case, click on the image to visit my flickr profile for larger images in this set.  Lots of fun was had with this, and I’m very happy with the results.

Art Walk – Making public time in the studio work for me.

Click for the whole set.
Click for the whole set.

So this past First Thursday Art Walk, I had my studio space in 619 Western open.  Per usual, I put some work up on the walls for people to look at, and had the artist statement up.  All the usual things.  But this time, I did something different.  Since my studio space is a working studio space, not a gallery, I decided to hold a portrait special for walk-ins during Art Walk.  What I did was I had set up the lights and had a pre-designed lighting plan for the evening.  I asked people who seemed like they might be interested (which basically meant most people) if they were interested in having their picture taken.  Sign here, give me your email and five dollars.  Thanks.  Okay, stand on the X.  Click.  click.  Click click click.  Lots of images taken.  Some people paid more to get more photos because they had a great time and wanted more than just one image.

It worked really well.   All told, I had plenty of participants, and shot many frames.  A few times, I even had a line.  That was awesome.

So what gets me about this is that this project is in line with how I like to do the photography thing: showing people themselves in the moment.  I had some of those occur.  Much fun.  I’m thinking that I’ll likely do this again next month.   Also, more work will be up on the walls.  Good times.

So if you participated in this, what do you think?  Did you have fun?

-Gabriel

SeaCompression 8

I had a great night at SeaCompression 8 – Metropolis Now.  SeaComp is the local burner decompression party put on by Ignition Northwest that follows the yearly Burn.   This year’s theme is a bit of a play on what’s intended for BurningMan’s theme next year — Metropolis. 

At any rate, there were many wonderfully dressed people at SeaCompression, and I had a great time photographing them.  I also had a great time running into friends that I haven’t seen in too long.   My set of images from the event is up on flickr, here’s the link.

I volunteered to work a shift of Door for the event; this process consisted of taking people’s money/tickets, and giving them a wrist band.  That was fun, and it provided a great opportunity to say hello (which I did about a hundred and fifty times.)  The greeter shift passed quickly, and was greatly enjoyable. 

My wife attended the event for the first time, and she had a great time.  She dressed up as a punkish version of herself, complete with a crazy-wonderful purple and black wig, and silver goggles.  She met many people, and said she was glad to attend.  I was also glad she attended, because I love my burner community, and want her to enjoy it, too.   So that’s cool.  We’re going to be going to the playa this summer together, and that should be a blast.

The job done by Suspended Animation, a theme camp that ties people up and suspends them, was very nice.  They lit their subjects beautifully, and clearly showed great skill and concern during their performances.  I enjoyed their performances, and look forward to future events.

There were many other wonderful things to see:  The Black Rock City Cinemas, showing videos from participants of previous years of Burning Man; The dance stages were full and replete of Untz and the cacophony of chest-thumpingly loud dance techno music blaring across the room; and the fire spinners, doing what they love.

SeaCompression was a hell of a party, and I look forward to next time.   I heard it was better next year. ;)

Thoughts from MySQL Conf, Oracle’s Acquisition of Sun, and Meeting New People

I attended MySQL Conf, and it’s been an neat conference.  The most surprising thing was the news was the purchase of Sun by Oracle.  This sounds to me like a play for a solid vertically integrated market for Oracle.  I can appreciate that — they get Sun’s hardware and OS skills, they bring their own DB services to the table, and they get a lot of community with MySQL.

Lots of people have spoken about their fears that Oracle will suffocate MySQL, but I don’t think they’ll do that.  I think that Oracle realizes how centrally important to the web community that MySQL is.  I do think they’ll try to sell Oracle to high-volume MySQL sites, and that makes sense.  And I think they’ll continue MySQL to bring DB share under the Oracle roof.

MySQL is hugely popular, it wouldn’t make any sense to throw away that good will.

Other things from the conference have been that I’ve run into people I haven’t seen in a while, and I’m learning things.

One of the most interesting talks I went to was Rockyou’s talk about how they built their federated platform for supporting their Facebook applications.    Very neat to see their approach, especially since we’re buidling our own sort of Facebook applications, specifically Bejeweled Blitz.   Good times.

I met the photographer called Julian Cash, a very nice guy located in San Francisco.  He did a light painting portrait of me, which was fun.   We talked about various things for a while, and he talked to me about his project that he’s working on.  More to come later.

Today is the last day.  Things are winding down, and I’m preparing to go home.

Northwest Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention (Norwescon) Shoot

KR-2This past weekend was Norwescon, a sci-fi/fantasy convention.  It was awesome.   I put on a shoot for free out of my room, and I got a good turnout, and I had a lot of fun.  It was a good experience, and good practice.  Next year, I know some things I’ll do better.

I got a lot of good feedback, and pleased participants.  Woohoo.

I think it’s important to do things like this to give back to the community — to let people come if they want to have a photo made, and share in a creative process.  The best photos were those when the subject played along, and had ideas about what to do.  I like it when it’s a collaborative project.

Anyway, enjoy.  Click the image for the flickr.

-Gabriel

The Long Winter

Looking for the LightIt’s been a long time since I’ve updated this thing. Lots of changes, some photos. Good times. ;)

Christmas has come and gone, thank goodness. The holidays aren’t for me. Winter is over, and I’m glad. But it’s been too long without updating. Without creating. Without feeling good about things. It’s time for that to stop, and for things to get back on track.

So, I’ve got some things cooking that’ll be good. I have a strong lead on a show in the summer (more to follow later), some leads on good ideas/concepts to push myself, and I’m biking to work now. 11 miles in the morning is good fun.

But where to go from here, that’s the thing. I have ideas, but to make them real…