"Beauty is a kind of mystery, which is why it cannot be grasped adequately through the intellect." Soetsu Yanagi

Friday, July 25, 2014

EARLY MORNING PHOTON CATCHER

I took a walk through the local bog this morning. Got out there around 8am. Today is
supposed to be in the  high 90's so I thought early morning...cooler...better.
That said, it was inching toward 80.
 
I was specifically looking for photon catchers. Photons are those
wavy/particles Einstein theory kind of things that smack into our planet
at several tons a second...all from 93 million miles away.
 
 
A good way to photograph them is to find little transparent screens like
leaves where the photons are projecting their energies.

 
The thicker the thicket the more diversity you have in photon landings.
 

 
Generally I see these spider traps on the ground. This one was about four feet
up set between some branches. This guy must have a different palate. 
 
Thanks for stopping by.
 
Exploded elephant garlic plants. 




Wednesday, July 23, 2014

BEHIND THE CABBAGE

OK, here is what had to happen to make yesterday's image.
 
I wanted the background to be wood maybe like a barn or a shed. Fortunately a neighbor took apart what looks like an old dresser and put the boards on the curbside for trash pickup. I grabbed several planks. This was about a month ago. I cut the planks to a working size, cut some 1 bys and nailed those together.
 
Vintage wooden background resting on shooting table held in place with a c-stand.


The night before I worked out the arrangement on paper. It never comes out
exactly but it's a great way to create a path to follow. 
 
Here's the set-up. There's just one light, the 300watt fresnel on the left side. Because of the low ISO the light coming from the blinds is neglible. There's a sheet of Lee 250 diffusion hanging on another c-stand. This is spreading the light over the entire set. There's a small piece of tape on
the fourth plank down left - this marks center frame.

              I've highlighted the fresnel here. The barn doors are squared off to prevent spillage.


 
On the right side is a 24"x36" white foamcore sprayed with several stripes of gold paint to
add just a hint of warmth. There's a 10x36 reflector with Rosco silver to give it a front pop. 
The only issue I had with exposure is the egg beater being silver was overexposing so
I gave it a healthy spraying of Aqua-Net hair spray to cut the reflection. If you look
closely there's a red push pin at the top plank with twine running across to the left side.
This marks the top of the frame.  

And viola!! ----

 
Camera: Nikon D7000 with the 50mm lens filter removed. Camera on a tripod set to Mirror-Up. Shutter tripped with cable release. Camera in manual - I played around with settings and came up with ISO 250 @ f5, ss 1/13th. Picture mode was neutral  in order to open up shadows. Post production - image was desaturaed in Alien Skin and then color restored with Vibrance all the way to the right 100%. By desaturating I preserved a lot of detail in the shadows. I also burned in a little local vignetting. White balance was set to auto.

An aside for cinephiles- the red glass jar in the bottom left of frame is a nod to the Japanese
film director Ozu. If you're familiar with his work you'll recognize the tribute.

The actual set up and shoot took about two hours. And the organic carrots made a great snack.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

CABBAGE STILL LIFE

                                                                 ©2014 Andy deBruyn
 
One of my favorite things to do photographically is create still lifes. I've been working on this one a while. Collecting the different items, planning the arrangement and lighting.
Tomorrow I'll post a behind the scene...the anatomy of this image.
Thanks for stopping by.
Click image for bigger.
All my images are copyrighted - for a print or usage fees, please email me at

Saturday, July 19, 2014

ASSIGNMENT - EXTREME FLAG FOOTBALL

 
Yesterday my assignment was to cover the Extreme Flag Football/Heads Up kids camp.
It poured heavily during the night but the rain stopped and held off in the morning until camp was over. Whew! Saw lots of action, great sportsmanship and some pretty excited youngsters.
 
Boys run through jumping obstacle course.
 
J.D. Swearinger - Houston Texans (NFL) safety.
 
Oh yeah, Extreme Flag Football is endorsed by the Houston Texans.
Several of the players showed up for support and to teach.

                                        Chad Hester, president of Extreme Flag Football and JD.

                                            JD demonstrates how to fly through the air.

                                                         Some of the boys try to fly too.

Caitlyn from the Texans cheerleaders squad shows some young hopefuls the moves.
 
The pros talk shop with the girls..."What's it like being a famous cheerleader?" 

Toro signs autographs for the fans.

Techy stuff - I used two cameras. One with an 18-135mm lens, camera set to aperture priority, the
other lens was a 28-80mm with camera to P mode. Without looking at the EXIF file I can't tell
which camera shot what.
Stealing a catch phrase from Mr. DuChemin - "Gear is good - vision is better" As I always tell my
students - don't worry about the camera or brand, all of today's cameras are capable of taking
great images. Learn the basics - practice the basics. Shoot from the heart.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, July 14, 2014

EARLY START

Pump you up.
 
Went for a fresh air early morning 7:30am walk...got out before the predicted temps go north of ninety. Supposed to hit 100 today. Down by the reservoir there was a pleasant
breeze skimming across the water complimenting the seventy degrees.  

This flower had it's time and now dark and dry the pods have opened,
seeds wait for the wind to assist the recycle. I was laying flat on my
stomach for this shot.

Along for the walk I had two cameras. The posted shots taken with the
D80.  Bottom image of the D7000 pointed at a button bush waiting
for a bee or butterfly to light. Sadly, neither showed up before I started
to feel the rising heat.  It's not clear in the picture but
there's a cable release ready for pre-focused action. 
 
Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, July 11, 2014

BUTTERFLIES AND MELONS

 
Yesterday was one of those days. Heavy cloud coverage producing a very soft but strong light. Yet the sun behind the clouds wasn't going to go unnoticed so you could still feel this intense heat through the clouds. There was some rainfall on Thursday so mix all those things up and you've got one hot sticky humid day. Mugginess meter up high.
That said, I think when you have days like that it causes the vegetation to sweat producing stronger nectar- like odors which attracts all sorts of flying thingies.

 
Like this guy here. His wings were fluttering a mile a minute and didn't cease even
when stopping to sip some juice. I had to crank my shutter speed to 250th and plus to get any kind of stoppage without sacrificing my f stop. So the butterfly's a bit soft but he didn't hang around...gave me all of 10 seconds, if that. I'm not an expert but maybe the wings were going ballistic to keep it cool.
 
 
Kept the ISO at 200 and used a monopod to keep the camera as steady as I could.
 
Wild melons.

 Shot mostly in manual mode dialing in my preferred stops and speeds.
 
 
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

MEMORY THINKING ITS THOUGHTS

                                                                                                                             ©2014 Andy deBruyn


"For after all, what can memory actually do, the poor thing? It is only capable of retaining a paltry little scrap of the past, and no one knows why just this scrap and not some other one, since in each of us the choice occurs mysteriously, outside our will or our interests. We won’t understand a thing about human life if we persist in avoiding the most obvious fact: that a reality no longer is what it was when it was; it cannot be reconstructed. Even the most voluminous archives cannot help.”
Milan Kundera, from Ignorance (Harper, 2002)

Thanks for stopping by and thinking about memory.