Monday, January 31, 2011

Something to wet your appetite.....

just a little morsel from todays session, full post and write up tomorrow. For now im exhausted and i hurt my knee really bad so im in a bit of pain........but it was soo worth it :) Enjoy!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Waimea Series.....

in the last 5 years or so my wife and i have returned to Kauai many times, Kauai is known as the Garden Isle and it lives up to its name. The island has many beautiful vistas with clear ocean water and lush green backdrops. While i do photograph many of these things i dont always gravitate to the usual. Take for example and presented for your consideration Waimea Pier on the island of Kauai. This area of the island is very dry in comparison to Hanalei on the north shore, the water in the ocean is murky and brown from the nearby river runoff and it leaves you covered in this fine silt that really just feels gross. To get to it you have to drive through Hanapepe and part of Waimea, these 2 places have old run down buildings and most people including myself in the 1st few years would tend to pass it by on their way to much prettier locales such as Waimea Canyon or the Kalalau Valley lookout. In this place of old run down building thought there is beauty, you have to look for it but stay long enough and youll find it. The pier is old, run down and not much to look at. Be there at sunset though and this place comes to life, the skies light up and big beautiful clouds reflect its many hues. The golden light of the setting sun brings out so much character in the old peir, its warm brown tones really shine in these conditions and the sight of people fishing at the end of it transports you to much simpler times where the stresses of our modern life seem to fade away. For photographers this time is a mad dash to get as much as possible and try out different compositions for when the sun begins its decent into the horizon the light changes dramatically and fast. The show never stops there though as after the sun disappears the last remnants of its lingering light still caresses the sky and gives off phenomenal colors.n If you are lucky enough to be there during a full moon then you are in for a beautiful treat, the last few wisps of light hang in the sky and just as everything begins to go dark you look behind you and see a magnificent moon begin its ascension and what really brings it all together is the gorgeous reflection that only the dark wet sand can provide. I suppose my reason for doing this post is to show the importance of looking further than whats on the surface, many times we will pass on to the next thing because it is visibly beautiful and we dont have to work hard to get that reward. There are some real gems though if we can slow down and look beyond what we are just seeing, it is unfortunate that on our way to see beautiful things we pass along many beautiful things to enjoy.For photographer i just want to stress the importance of visiting places you have been to before, no one place is exactly the same everyday. when you are there shooting stretch yourself to see and try other compositions but also to stay past what most people would consider to be the "main event" many times you will walk away with nothing......but once in a while youll be happy you stayed :) Enjoy!

These 1st three were taken 2 years ago on my 1st visit to Waimea Pier

These next three were taken the following year and i was lucky enough to be there during a full moon

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ahh the little things.....

Those who are close to us know by now that my mom is currently living with us, Jen and i had talked about having her live with us for a while. After much prayer and thinking through things we had decided that it wasnt the time to do so, a few months ago her situation changed and we decided that it was time to offer up our place. The story and reasons as to how this all came about are numerous but we would be here fore ever. Most people when they hear about the whole thing have one universal question "hows that working out for you?" Honestly i have to say that everything is going great! My mom and i have always had a precarious relationship, and we have always butted heads because of our differing points of view. It doesnt help that we are both incredibly stubborn and i am very outspoken on my points of view, but in recent years there has been an effort on both sides to appreciate one another and so far we have reached a point of equilibrium. The other inevitable question is directed towards jen since shes now living with her mother in law and the stereotype is that such a situation would be terrible. Jen has LOVED having her here and they get a long really well, and my mom loves to help out with everything that she can. So all of that to get to my point, but really i couldnt do this without giving you some backstory. One of the great things that has come with my mom living with us is having my sister and her family around. I love my sister a great deal, i appreciate her honesty and bluntness but more than anything i see everything that she has been through and how hard shes had to fight to get were she is now. Since my mom moved in shes been coming over every week and we all hang out and have dinner together, more than anything though i love to see my little nephew and see him grown up. I must admit that i LOVE being an uncle and having him around more puts in the "spoiling"mindset and like to find little things to get him for when he comes over. It also prepares me for when we have our own kids, this year is jen and mines last hoorah before we have kids of our own. Yesterday my sister came over and had to leave with my mom shortly after, this was the 1st time that my nephew Gio said "can i stay with Tio?" i will admit that i loved hearing that. So hearing that i put work aside for a little while and we went out to the field to let the dogs run around and let Gio explore. I loved seeing how smart and curious he is, looking for bugs and running around and enjoying playing with the dogs. We were there for a couple of hours, of course i brought the camera with me and loved taking some photos. By far it was the best afternoon i have had in a while. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Another perfect afternoon....

The Lord continues to grace SoCal with warm days right smack in the middle of winter, while the rest of the country freezes here we sit in perfect beach weather. We continue to have our own little slice of paradise and its right in our back yards, i continue my journey to grow as a photographer. Trying to go out as much as i possibly can and not go to my typical spots such as the beach or a field or something else i typically gravitate to. It doesnt come without its challenges though, theres work that needs to be done and i have to think a head of time to think through where i want to be and at what time. Along with that i have found it difficult to break myself of shooting all digital files, i have been using my film camera and continue to work through that roll i loaded last week. Its difficult though when you are used to the incredible convenience of digital, i have also found it difficult to keep myself to just 36 exposures, although i will say that because of shooting film i have slowed down considerably and am thinking through every photo i take. This i am incredibly grateful for, the process has been a lot of fun for me but has its moments of frustration (mostly with myself) but i continue to grow and work on getting better. Here are a few from yesterdays outing. Enjoy!

oh and for those who are curious i shot 63 digital files, its almost 2 rolls. While its over my 36 shot limit it is still a lot lower than what i usually came back with. So its progress albeit slow, but i continue to be hopeful that i will be able to stray within my limit in the very near future.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Literally just happened

Well not JUST happened but like 30 minutes ago, i went out to get the mail and found something to photograph in my front yard. The beauty of photography, even going out to check the mail can be an adventure :) ENJOY!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Appreciating what i have....

I love to travel, right now we are in the planning stages for our big trip to Australia at the end of this year. Sometimes though my desire to travel to faraway lands consumes me and i stop seeing the incredible beauty thats right in my own backyard. Its really easy to see faraway exotic places as beautiful but we easily lose sight of the beauty that we are treated to every day. In these 80 degree days in the middle of winter and while the rest of the country is either being rained on or being turned into an ice cube i hope that we can take a look at the things around us and take in the incredible beauty that we are fortunate enough to have. These images are taken all over carlsbad, some of them are old files that for one reason or another i really didnt know what to do with them before. Years of shooting brings experience and growth and you learn new techniques to edit photos and i now have many more tools to bring out the best in these photos. Ill keep posting some more pictures to this post so keep your eyes open. For now enjoy these!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Working on the basics....

Yesterday i posted on Facebook that i was going to work on challenging myself and further my growth as a photographer. Oddly enough what i have chosen to do in order to challenge myself is to start shooting film again. The digital age has brought along some incredible things to the world of photography and has given us an incredible amount of latitude and control over our images. One thing that i do believe has been lost along the way though is the discipline of making images, it has long been said that good photographers know when not to take images. this knowledge comes with years of practice, studying light and composition and enormous sacrifice. I say sacrifice because photography really does take a great deal of sacrifice in time, energy and and of course money. The saying above really does hold great truth though, i think that it takes great discipline and patience to keep yourself from taking pictures of everything you see. Film really does bring about this discipline. Why? Well if you think about it there are a lot of factors to keep in mind when shooting film, you have to think what kind of film youre going to be shooting as different brands and ISO's react differently. Cost, professional films are expensive not just at the front end but to develop and print as well. Then theres the fact that you only have 36 exposures to work with, when you take these things into account you begin to think about every picture differently. The questions must be asked: Why did this scene catch my eye? How do i compose this? Is it really worth taking a photo? These things serve to slow you down and think through what you are doing and most of the time you find that what youre looking at really isnt worth photographing. Dont get me wrong, i am not opposed to digital cameras at all, i have used them for many many years and love all of the great innovations that they bring. The discipline of photography though has been lost in many ways, we have the ability to manipulate our images like never before and so fall prey to the mindset of "ill fix it later". Not only that but memory cards can hold hundreds of pictures at the highest resolution now, its easy to fill up card after card and become what one of my good friends calls the "spray and pray photographer". I know that this may all sound like a rant, or that i am judging other photographer but i assure you it is not. These are just my own opinions, i have my own journey as a photographer and everyone else has theirs. As a photographer though i have an obligation to continually study my craft, look at what i am doing, reevaluate and search for ways to improve. Right now i feel that i am undisciplined in my craft, i find my images lacking, and know that i can do better. So i choose to challenge myself and get myself back to a place where every image counts and find that discipline that shooting film brought. So the challenge for myself is this:

Go out a minimum of 3 days a week
Limit myself to 36 digital images
Shoot at least 10 frames on film and write everything down

i went out yesterday for the sunset at Cardiff and had an incredible time, the methodical process of taking out the light meter taking reading, composing, shooting and writing down settings was very therapeutic......not to mention the sound of the motor advancing film really took me back. In hindsight i probably would have chosen a different film though as i like to shoot long exposures and Velvia 50 has horrible reciprocity issues at exposures longer than 4 seconds, of course i didnt figure this out until after i loaded the film and decided to look at the chart in the box. Oh well, next time ill put more thought into it. So there you have it, thats were im at. If youve made this far then i thank you, i know its not easy reading through my posts and i talk A LOT. So to reward you here some images from yesterday, these are all digital images as soon as i finish this roll ill scan them in and post them. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cant wait to be back here again..

Our trip to the islands is scheduled for having a hard time making it till then.