Saturday, April 28, 2007

Oregon Sky

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Anhinga bird

I found this guy in the Everglades, he wasn't scared of humans at all so I took advantage of the fact that I could get so close. His eyes were his only good feature really, the rest of him was pretty ugly.

Here is some of the technical details and what I think about before I take the pic, if your interested...
Shoot low angle so I can keep a bright (not black) background. Use 70-200 lens at a big aperture (small number) to zoom in and keep the background fuzzy and non distracting. Use a Canon 11mm extension tube with the lens to focus closer. Throw on my Canon 580 EX flash to fill in shadows and make the color pop, but keep the power down so it's just a fill and not a key light. Aim the light up and pull out the white card so it's bounced light, which is softer and less harsh than a direct light. Take a few shots, check exposure by chimping, then for my big secret... Wave a hand around, make loud monkey noises, and be disrupting as I possibly can to the bird, so he looks a bit engaged and not lethargic in the final shot.
Seriously... :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Phase 3 - Hood River, Oregon

Were now in Phase 3 of our month away from home. Last night we flew into Portland, Oregon and are visiting my parents in my hometown of Hood River, Oregon until we fly back to San Diego on May 3rd. Hood River is one of the most beautiful places in the country, I love it here!

Yesterday we flew out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida at about 5PM, and we weren't sure what do do with our time before the flight, so I decided to set the alarm for 6AM and head down to the Everglades again, to try and see more of the park. Haha, well, we did see a lot but we still only made it about 5 miles into the park because we stopped and hiked and took so many photos! I'm glad we made it down there though, we saw countless amounts of alligators, birds, fish, turtles, and even another venomous snake! Well, were not quite sure what kind of snake it is... Here is a pic, anyone know what kind that is?

We are shooting an engagement session on Friday, and then a wedding on Saturday, so were definitely looking forward to those!

I've got a lot of catching up to do on the blog... I've got 2,697 photos in my folder from the past 13 days, and thats even with the rejects edited out! Here is a screenshot.

And I'm not a fan of posts without at least one pretty picture, so here is a random shot from Florida.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Just call me Blaine "Crocodile Hunter 2" Franger

The highlight of our day in Everglades National Park was a little critter that I caught. Bethany and I were passing by a swampy area on a trail, and she spotted a nice sized alligator on the other side of the swamp, about 50 feet away. I'd say it was 12-13 feet long. Big guy. He wasn't moving or anything, just chillin, probably sleeping or something. So as we were checking it out, we noticed these little things swimming around in the water, and took a closer look to find out they were baby alligators! Soooo cool. A couple of them were on the shore, just a few feet off the path. I really wanted to photograph one, so I snuck up and gently grabbed him. When I had him in my hands, I couldn't believe I actually got him. I don't think too many things are cute, but dang, this little guy was the cutest thing I have ever seen. I wanted to bring him home and raise him till he's huge, but I don't think he would dig San Diego too much. Haha.
So as I was photographing him, Bethany was kinda stressing that alligators are like bears, and the mom was going to come attack us to get her baby back. So she kept an eye on the big guy while I took the photos, haha. The mom didn't mind having her kids portrait taken though, and I returned him right back to the swamp when his portrait session was wrapped.

So here are a few of the photos, isn't he the coolest looking creature ever!?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

I'm way behind...

I've been shooting A BUNCH recently, it's been so fun! But I am really behind on doing blog stuff... so I'll try and catch up soon!

Today we drove to Biscayne National Park but realized when we got there that it's basically an underwater national park... so you need a boat to see anything. We had all our snorkeling stuff, but no boat, so we'll go back later when I have a boat because the diving looks incredible!

After Biscayne we cruised a bit more south to Everglades National Park, wow, that place is awesome! It's funny because we were stopping so many places and seeing so much stuff we only made it about 5 miles into the park before it got too dark to see anything. But we did have time for a little hike which we got up close and personal with a bunch of wildlife including alligators, toads, a ton of different types of birds, and even a super venomous coral snake!

So, with that said I have a bunch of editing to do so I can put up some photos. For now, here is a fun snap of my shadow as I'm standing on top of our rental car.

Back from our cruise...

We are back from our Carnival cruise on the 855 foot Fascination! It was an incredible time! I ate so much, I'm still recovering from the damage. We went all the way down to Cozumel Mexico and enjoyed the warm water with 100 foot visibility!

I'll definitely post more photos soon, but here is one for now. I took it right after enjoying a couple beers with Bethany in Cozumel. I didn't have my tripod with me, so I just hopped down on some rocks in the water and set the camera down for a 10 sec exposure. So I didn't really have any control of the composition, but it's all good.

Were gonna cruise down to the Everglades now and check it out...

More coming soon!

Saturday, April 14, 2007


So Bethany and I are in Florida right now on a little vacation/shooting trip... it's been fun and super relaxing so far. I love the warm weather. Last night was the last night we stayed at her families condo on the water, and this coming week is going to be interesting.... Bethany's grandma bought us a wedding gift (almost 2 years ago) that is a Ramada vacation package thing. If you know anything about Ramada, you know it's like trying to be upscale like the Marriot but it's just not quite there... It's actually like pretty ghetto. haha. So on Monday we are leaving for this 4 day Carnival cruise down to Cozumel Mexico. Touristy Florida vacations aren't exactly our style, but we can have fun doing just about anything so we are in for an adventure...

Here are a couple photos from last night, I'll try and update more when I get a chance.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

what the!?

Today I was testing out my newly finished toy I got from Erik at Del Mar Housing Projects. It's for my underwater camera housing, but it is a different port that is HUGE, and I can use my fisheye lens in it. The purpose is so I can take split image underwater / above surface photos like this. So I hopped in a pool today to test it out for the first time. I was alone so I had to test it on myself, and as you can see, I got a bit carried away. Haha.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Leavin on a jet plane!

Be back home May 3rd...

More details and posts coming soon!


It's 4AM and I just got to a stopping point in my next stock submission. I have 52 photos left to do, but I'm not sure if I'm gonna attack those before I leave for a little vacation trip thing tonight at 11PM...

I'm a Mac nerd so I thought I'd share a screenshot.

Monday, April 09, 2007

California Poppy

Uncle Rico's Van (The Real Deal)

I recently came across this image because UpperCut wants to put it on the site...
This is Uncle Rico's van, the real deal. Bethany and I spotted it as we were cruising through Preston, Idaho last summer. I took a bunch of photos of the van and random stuff in Preston that all had to do with Napoleon Dynamite. Check out the old post HERE

Friday, April 06, 2007

Weird cactus photos. Love it or hate it?

I took these photos on the way back from Palm Springs a couple days ago. I was not trying to make images that had any hidden meanings or weird crap like that... Just wanted to get something semi-abstract and cool looking.

I can't decide if I love them or hate them. What do you think??? Honesty is much appreciated!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Palm Springs Vista Point

I took this shot last night on my way to Palm Springs. It was such a beautiful night... very warm with a full moon. I was in shorts, t-shirt, and flip-flops at the top of this mountain pass, shooting for hours. So while I was shooting I very unintentionally discovered that this is the popular spot for couples to hang out and watch the view... and ummm.... well... to keep the blog PG rated lets just say there was more than a few "shaking cars" up there. Haha.

Anyway, I saw something that always makes me laugh to myself a little bit... A woman with her "precious rose" colored powershot
camera attempting to take a photo of the view. Because of the full moon, everything is so visible to the eyes and you just assume that your little point & camera will take a photo just like you see it. Only if that was the case.... everyone would be a professional photographer! So she took shot after shot, trying to power up the flash, change her angle, move closer to the edge of the cliff... all that to have every picture turn out 99% BLACK! I almost helped her... but that would have been super weird to have some photo guy armed with a $5,000 camera and tripod come up to you attempt to explain how photography works and how she will never get the shot with her precious rose powershot. Haha. Maybe next time? Just for the fun of it, I took a shot with my canon elph powershot too see how it would turn out.

What do you think??? :)

I gotta stop rambling and get to work now... Today I'm assisting a Golf Digest photographer on a shoot with pro golfer Annika Sörenstam. Should be fun!