I have been working on a series for a few years, where I juxtapose the human figure against architectural shapes and forms. Last week we were in the studio experimenting with a new camera system. Unfortunately the system did not work the way it was supposed to. But we ended up capturing some wonderful shots. FYI – that’s a model, not me. For those people who may be getting confused…..
Years ago, I used to grab my camera and go out in the early mornings or late afternoons with a friend of mine, Ron Shirley. We might go to the mountains or ocean, or we might go to the inner city. We would make the trips to do what we referred to as “Exercising the Eye”. Which basically meant that we did not set out to capture any particular image, only to look for the beauty in the world and see how to photograph it in our own style.
What was so interesting about these jaunts is that Ron and I could be at the same place, the same time, even using the same camera and lenses, but come up with totally different images. Through these exercises, Ron taught me to look at things differently. Hopefully it had a similar result for him.
These days, with the ease of use and wonderful quality of the phone cameras, it’s much simpler to try to bring a scene to life. in the hopes that others may share in what I saw. My buddy Ron, ( A talented and technically excellent photographer), passed away a year ago. But I will keep with me the memories of our adventures, and what we learned from each other. And I will continue to practice and use the insights gained from “Exercising the Eye”.
That being said, here are a few, very recent images that were shots while I was just out on the road, on an adventure with the kids, or just walking the local streets.
I just completed doing a demo on retouching, using a shot I took a couple years ago. These days, it’s a requirement to be knowledgeable in retouching if you want to be a commercial photographer. I don’t do all of the retouching myself for commercial projects. Not that I do not know how, it’s more a matter of not always having the free time. But since basically ever shots you see in a magazine or even social media, has been retouched, it’s a necessary skill. None-The_less, I am pretty happy with the results.
And yes, I guess I am partially to blame for men having too high of expectations. But it’s my job. Darn it!
Located about 6 miles south of Marysville, Ca, the Arboga Assembly Center Memorial was a WWll Japanese detention campsite. The original center opened on May 8, 1942, holding 2,465 Americans of Japanese descend before its closing on June 29. The inmates then were transferred to the more permanent and isolated interment camp at Tule Lake. Many Japanese-Americans never recovered their belongings or reconnected with their families. And most lost their livelihood and had to start over. I like to look at the bright side of things, and hope we have learned form history. Unfortunately, I see many similarities in what is happening in the world today, as people become socially prosecuted, shunned and canceled, simply because of their race, religion or even political beliefs.
I set out to share these shots with the hope of capturing the moving effect it has had on me. The video was entirely shot with a drone, and I believe that the imperfect movements helped to reflect the emotional impact of the site. I chose to give the photographs an aged and tactile feel, emphasizing their historical significance. I plan to capture a fuller rendition of this experience once the memorial is completed later in 2021.
The site was very moving to me. So I tried to delve into what I experienced and express the same emotions in the video and shots that I felt when viewing the site and recalling it’s history. The video was entirely shot with a drone. All of te images were worked to try and give them a more aged, tactile feel.
I shot these images in late November, in Marysville CA. Marysville is a small town, north of Sacramento, that I have fallen in love with. It was almost chosen as the state capitol. And was once a destination for politicians and B&W film stars. The people are down to earth and friendly, and the hamlet is surrounded by two rivers and farmlands. It’s America at its best. IMHO
St Joseph’s Church was built 165 years ago, making it one of the oldest churches, (not including missions), in California. Renovations were completed in early November, including an all new steeple. Because the final project is so beautiful, and as a donation to the town and church, I shot images at various angles, various times of day, and using various techniques.
As I understand it, the shots have been the most shared images on the Marysville Facebook page.
I am really having a lot of fun playing with my new Mavic Mini drone these days. It’s so small and compact, hence easy to carry with me on any trip. It is true that the quality doesn’t match the Mavic Pro 2, but these shots are just for fun, to show the beauty of the world from different angles than a camera on the ground. Like flying around flocks of birds. This was shot in a rice field in northern California.
I plan to shoot more bridge shots because there are several around the SF Delta that are interesting. If you know of any, please let me know. It’s just a fun thing for me to do and train my drone skills. I wake up before sunrise, find a spot in the cold, get pooped on by seagulls, or splashed on by fish, or honked at and nearly run over by semi’s. And let’s not forget getting kicked out by the occasional ranger or local PD. Fun stuff. But seriously, let me know of any cool bridges.
It’s nice to just get away. Lucky for me, beautiful Carmel is less than a two hour drive away. And even though the recent fires still fill the skies with smoke, the sunset and ocean waves always makes for a soothing and picturesque escape. Only one of the stills was shots with the Nikon. The others were from the iphone. Can you tell which one is which?
I saw this couple relaxing and couldn’t resists capturing the image.
Actually, the couple above shot this photo of me without me being aware. Kind of funny that we both shot each other. I made friends, and we traded images.
Basic drone shots of the Basilica was also something I could not resist.
This video was shot on an iphone. Believe it or not. Nothing special, just relaxing. But amazing quality from a phone.
This video shows just how devastating the recent California fires have been. It was shoot more than a month ago, about August 28th. With the help of a few friends, I was able to view the destructive force of mother nature. It’s truly saddening for someone who enjoys the outdoors as much as I do.
The SCU Lightning Complex fire is not even the largest that has taken place in California this year. 2020 is the worse year in history for wild fires in the state. By far.
I enjoy shooting people. But sometimes, when I am on location, I find other objects so interesting that I feel compelled to shoot them. Maybe I can used them as a background or something interesting as part of a future creation. For me, if I see something cool looking, I just want to shoot it. Even without the person that is supposed to be in the shot. These images were from a 2 day location video shoot.
The quality of shots that can be captured by using the iphone never ceases to amaze me. These images were shot this morning on a hike at the Fremont estuary. I did enhance them via photoshop, but still, pretty impressive.
When you are the parent of an autistic child, you get used to some unusual requests. While most parents of teens who are graduating High School will hear desires for Disneyland trips, or even cars. Matthew wanted to ride elevators and the tram in Denver. That’s right, DENVER.
I have been visiting a small town called Marysville for about a year and a half. It’s a wonderful area with good ol’ down to earth people. The weather was a bit warm this trip, but it sure made from great sunsets.