"For the artist communication with nature remains the most essential condition. The artist is human, himself nature, part of nature within natural space." Paul Klee

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Notion of Image

"In this language of images, one must lose completely the notion of image. The images must
exclude the idea of image." Robert Bresson

Friday, February 22, 2013

Hand Held Meter?

Someone asked me recently if I used a hand held meter when I do portraits to which I answered yes and then went through a brief description of what I do.  And it is brief. I have found over the years that a starting point has developed. That is: I put the strobe head or flash at about 1/4 power, set the camera to ISO 200, f5.6 at 1/125th of a second and usually I'm pretty much in the ballpark. If I meter at this point that's about where it falls. Since I want to keep the f stop, I'll adjust the flash head up a bit or push the shutter speed up...whatever is necessary to keep 5.6 (altho' I have also used f8).
For this shot I just moved the shutter to 1/180 and that was it.
This set up is just a strobe into a soft silver reflector umbrella - the umbrella is almost straight on and over his head. 
I lightened a little under the hat - just a smidge...otherwise this is pretty much from the camera.

This is an image from a walk today. I only took about 25 pix which didn't do much for me. This one is almost at the end before I got to the car. I don't know...sometimes nature presents itself with just the right light and the right patterns. Of course, that's from a biased eye.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Electric Colors

Nothing much to post today. Kinda rainy...kinda gloomy...thought I'd post some color.

An image from a recent outing to the carnival.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Chapel Dulcinea

My wife and I will be attending a family wedding this spring at Chapel Dulcinea in Austin. We've never been there and heard it was a lovely place. It is located on the campus of Wizard Academy. We decided we would take a trip out there (near Dripping Springs) and check it out.
A very beautiful setting...should be wonderful in a couple of months with lots of flowers. Even without the color we had a nice quiet walk around the property. Lots of benches and rest areas.
Here are several snaps from our outing. Many things to see.  There was an old Chevy, a very new Crossfire (being contemplated by Rodin's The Thinker)
a ferocious lion, and an abundance of wonderful sculptures to behold. Some really nice architecture, too.

Rodin's Back.
Tech Specs: I kept the camera in P mode with white balance set to auto. When we first got there it was rather cloudy so the ISO was 400, after a while the clouds started to part and I changed it to 250. Most of the shutter speeds were around 200 with f stops of 6.7 to 8.
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Friday, February 15, 2013

Wazzup Cool Daddy-O?

So here is the other Dan Electro guitar pedal the Daddy O. This is a distortion pedal. For those of you who aren't sure what that is...when you plug a guitar through this unit you get a very fuzzy sound depending on how you set the little knobs at the top.  Probably every guitar player on the planet has a distortion pedal of some kind and/or brand.  
Tech wise everything is the same as yesterday except I set the camera to P mode. ISO 100,
f5 at 1/30th of a second. WB set to auto.

This is the set up sans camera. All natural light coming in through the window. Bouncing light back into the subject with silver reflectors. There is one gold reflector on the top. What you see in the picture is the backs of the reflectors which is Rosco silver material taped or glued to foamcore. If you look closely at the window you can see the left side glass is bare but the right side is frosted. A very inexpensive frosted shower curtain softens the incoming light. I use the blinds like barndoors to control the intensity of light.

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Echo Echo

This is the Dan Electro Echo pedal for guitar. I've always loved the retro look of these units. I have another unit I may try tomorrow if the light is right because I used natural window light only and that was early this morning. Plus a couple of strategically placed silver reflectors for front fill.

Tech specs: Shot with the Nikkor oddball  silver 28-80mm f3.3 lens. Aperture priority f8, ISO 100, shutter speed 1/10th. Camera was on a tripod and the shutter was tripped using the timer. White balance on auto.
Softened and warmed in Alien Skin.

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Hand Shot In Taylor

I was meandering around Taylor this morning looking for inspiration - perhaps coming upon something that would capture my visual curiosity. Well, that never really happened, at least nothing that I would take the time and resources to print. 
However, I did come across an Isotto Fraschini sitting in front of the local garage. IF was founded sometime around 1904/05 and specialized in things like motor boat and trolley car engines but they also made cars...by hand. The Isotto Fraschini was a hand built car for obviously a select clientele with deep pockets.  What this one was doing in Taylor, I've no idea.   The car was parked under the port sandwiched between an old VW van and a corvette so I couldn't really get a decent shot of it. But I think the hood ornament was probably worth the time it took with my back up against the VW.
Now folks...that's a hood ornament.
There was a pretty heavy drizzle happening otherwise it might have been more in the open. It was a pretty nifty thing to look at anyway.

Probably worth more than my house.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Like a Vintage Magazine Cover

I was browsing through some past portrait work and found this one of Lisa which I had not previously posted. This photo session was two years ago and I posted several pics from this session. This one caught my attention. I think it's mostly the eyes. They remind me of Elizabeth Taylor's  eyes. (dating myself) And the pose (slightly under with that faraway look ) reminded me of those old "Photoplay" covers. (dating myself again)  "Photoplay" was one of the early film fan magazines along with "Modern Screen". Both have long been put to rest.  There's also something about the colors that triggered a memory - it was only then that I googled "Photoplay" and looked at the images and said to myself...

Anyway, we shot this around high noon in downtown Austin using one zoomed flash on a C-stand that was about ten feet away.  The wind was whipping up the alley and spraying dust and dirt around and Lisa was pretty much the solid trouper. I've done several shoots with her and she is always up for whatever I throw her way.  Great sport...fun to work with...just a swell gal.  (oops dating myself again)

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Four More from Austin Trek

OK, so here are four more images from yesterday's trek through Austin. Actually my path went from the Parmer Event Center across the Drake Bridge a couple of big right angles around first second and third and then back to the PEC.

I know the one of city hall is missing the "A" from Austin but if I went back a little wider it resulted in a completely different frame which I didn't like. So I sacrificed the "A" for art. Framing in photography is an expansion or contraction of millimeters and even one millimeter changes the entire feel of the frame.

The last frame is the soon to be razed City of Austin Power Plant. I know this is kind of a stretch but as I walked up to it the stacks had this roman or greek column look. The Pantheon's it's not...but it's a classic
historical structure in Austin.

Click image for bigger and slides.

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All images ©2013 Andy deBruyn. Please respect copyright laws.