"You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being it is possible to have real communication with the earth, which is the highest form of prayer." Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, June 30, 2013

A NEW IMAGE FROM LAST WEEK

                                                                                                                  ©2013 Andy deBruyn

Another image from last week's San Gabriel trip. It looks like one I posted last week but this is actually a different click. Last week's photo was image #48 this is #49. It was a cloudy day but the clouds were in big puffy chunks and were scudding causing rapid shadow changes.  Image 48 had more cloud coverage but a second later the clouds drifted enough for the sun to hit the west bank on the right and give me more details in the trees.  With the sun coming in from the left (east) I believe we are looking almost due north.

I've been using Michael Frye's post production methods from his book, "Digital Landscape Photography". A good one to use if you're into landscapes. This image is the result of using curves in the l-a-b space in selected areas.


This is a new image from last week's "contact sheet".

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A TOFU KIND OF DAY


Yesterday I had some real hankering for tofu. No particular reason just felt like a tofu kinda day.
So I went down to the local grocery store and purchase some hard firm tofu, a nice portabello mushroom, and a bit of pickled ginger. Sauteed the tofu and shroom on a grill in grapeseed oil and voila! there's lunch.

There was already a black cloth on my shooting table. I lit this with two different lights, a flash and a continous incandescent.  Key light was my Nikon flash at 1/16th power in a Lumiquest III shooting almost straight down from about a foot away and an ARRI 150w Pepper Fresnel fitted with full blue coming in from the left side raking that side and scooting across the top. White balance set to sun for a pinch of warmth.

Camera: Nikon D7K with the 35mm lens (50 full frame), manual setting, ISO 160, 1/50 @ f8, on a tripod with timer.

Didn't take too long cuz I was hungry by then.  Yummers.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

NIGHT GRASS

 
 
Savannah grasses bending in the wind. Late at night. High vapor sodium light. Camera is on a tripod set to ISO 800, half a second at f4.2. White balance set to sodium vapor. Image straight from camera.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

LOST BABY BLUE


This baby blue pickup truck lies at the bottom of a vertical cliff on the banks of the San Gabriel.
 I can only assume it fell more than a hundred feet from the bridge 50 feet to the right.  It was there two years ago when I first started photographing along this stretch of the river. Back then the leaves displayed the colors of fall. (see below) I had a very weird vibe when I first saw it...the vibe doesn't transfer very well to 2D but it sure got the hairs on the back of my neck all prickly. It may have been the early morning light and the light mist in the air. It kind of creeped up into my vision.

                                                              Here's a shot from 2011.


Here's a pic of the bridge where these images were taken. I usually hike either a half a mile or so north and south of the bridge.

It's a rough area to get to but the variety of vegetation, fauna, and the rock formations are pretty spectacular. Last week I found a real nice fossil of a clam shell that was almost the entire creature.  
 
Note: I always make sure my cell phone is well charged before I venture down here.
 
Thanks for stopping by.
Another fall image from my November 2011 trek.

Friday, June 21, 2013

RIVER BANK REDUX





Three more from yesterday's slippery slope trek to the banks of the San Gabriel. These are detail shots as opposed to the wider landscape vista type shot.

I was down on the banks for about 2 and half hours and have roughly a dozen or so keeper photographs. Not a bad fishin' trip.


Thanks for stopping by.





                                                                                                             All images ©2013 Andy deBruyn
                                                                                 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

ON THE BANKS OF THE SAN GABRIEL RIVER









                                            All images ©2013 Andy deBruyn
 
This morning I went to the banks of the San Gabriel River in Georgetown. The last time I went to this particular area was about two years ago and it was in the fall, October/November time frame.  It's on route 29 east off of 35 north.

The banks are down about 150 feet of steep 40-50 degree embankments covered in thickets of trees, boulders, bushes, and an occassional rusted shopping cart. Fortunately, this 100 plus feet of heavy top and under growth prevent junk from falling into the river. It all gets caught up near the street. But it is a precarious struggle to get to the bottom. Not for street shoes. And not for a quick photo shoot. I wandered the banks for two and a half hours. Started at 8:30am and by 11 the sun had come up over the embankments and the cool morning spotted light was gone.

Since I was going to carry a full size tripod I went with just the camera (Nikon D7000) and the 18-135mm lens. I'm still amazed at how sharp this zoom is. It's my work horse. The lens was fitted with a Hoya polarizer. All shots were on the tripod. Sometimes I used the timer to trip the shutter.  ISO was set to 100. Because of the polarizer and shaded light some shutter speeds were 1/10th of a second hence the tripod.

How did I get some of those shots looking right up the river, shallow as it was? I was standing in ankle deep water. I could have went deeper but decided trying that with a tripod wouldn't have been too wise despite the fact that this camera is supposed to have  waterproof seals. The walk back to the car was a slosh fest.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Tuesday Mix

 
I took some photos this morning after the rain but haven't had time to select or process any. Posted here are several older shots that I came across yesterday. I was cleaning out some files and found some of interest.  These are all from a file labelled "Family" so they are peripheral shots from
family outings.
 
A design in rebar from a construction site.

                                                 Construction site again.

  A bench at the Neill-Cochran House Museum in Austin.
 
Sculpture on the Texas State Campus, San Marcos.
 

                                           Wall in San Marcos. Or a drip painting from the 60's.

                                Main room at the Austin Museum of Art-Laguna Gloria.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

GOLDEN ROSE

                              ©2013 Andy deBruyn
 
 
I made this image yesterday morning. Made it before the posted Two Bean Salad shot. Since I was having my coffee about that time I guess you could say this was my breakfast shot and the salad was lunch.
 
My wife and I went 'tiquing' a couple of days ago hence the inspiration. She likes to hunt for furnishing ideas and I like to peruse the shops for vintage photos, posters, and postcards. Most of these designs around the early 1900's seemed to include flowers in one way or another.  I'm sure the colors of the old postcards were vibrant in their day but time has caused them to fade which I think adds to their allure and which I tried to capture.  We have this sense of looking back and feel this aura of romanticism. Of course, most things seen through the tunnel of time don a veil of romanticism. Distance is romantic. 
 
We imagine stories, myths, images, visions, dreams from the past on a mist hidden screen and in thinly disguised echoes.   

Sink me chaps!  I wax nostalgic. Probably enough said.

"Golden rose, the color of a dream I had
Not too long ago.
A misty blue and the lilac too.
Never to grow old."

from the song "A Rainy Day Wish" by Jimi Hendrix.

Hope you're enjoying the summer. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, June 14, 2013

TWO BEAN SALAD

 
I had so much fun with the last post, putting together stuffed eggplant and then dining on my hero shot that I had to do it again. This time for some reason a three bean salad came to mind. Probably because it's so hot outside and I was thinking of a cool summer dish. After adding  various ingredients to the dish in my head, I decided that three beans were too much and deleted one.

Here are the ingredients as seen in the image: butter beans and kidney beans, cucumber, sliced tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, and red onion. I mixed it all together with red wine vinegar, evoo, oregano, salt and pepper. Pretty yummious lunch.

Photo part: Nikon D7K with a 50mm lens. ISO 100, manual mode gave me an aperture of f8 at 1/200th of a second, exposure compensation -0.03. Light was mostly from the window with a small pop from an overhead flash through a Lumiquest III, set to just 1/8th power. Because of the mix lighting I did a tiny bit of color correction in P/S.


  Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

STUFFED EGGPLANT

                                                                  ©2013 Andy deBruyn

Today I got to do two of my favorite things, cook,  take pictures, and eat. Oops, that's three things. OK, so I ate the photographic subject. But I also cooked it.  And I enjoyed every bit of the whole process.

Eggplant is right up there at the top of my list of yummy things on this planet. This dish is Stuffed Eggplant. There are hundreds of variations on the internet. But the way I cooked it was pretty simple and quick. 

Slice the eggplant in half, scoop out the pulp. Chop up the pulp along with onions, garlic, and basil.  Heat some extra virgin olive in a pan, add Italian sausage and diced tomates,  then saute everything until it looks and smells marvelous. While that's cooking I parboiled the eggplant canoes for four minutes. Scooped the sausage mix into the shells - put it in an oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Top it with shaved parmigiano. Ate it with a chilled Chenin Blanc.
Heaven on earth.

The photograph was lit with a Westcott 45" white shoot thru umbrella using the SB600 flash on full power. Fill was provided by a Rosco Silver Reflector panel. I tried a variety of ISO settings starting with ISO 200 then went to 100 and finally settled on 160. Camera on manual mode, f7.1 at 1/125th of a second, hand held.  Nikkor 50mm lens (making it 75mm DX) on a Nikon D7000. Filter on the lens was an Nikon NC.




Umbrella straight overhead, silver reflector off to the right side. Back light provided by a little day fill through a frosty shower curtain.   I tried the bottle of Olive Oil in the shot but decided  it got in the way.
Click image for bigger.
Thanks for stopping by.
 




Monday, June 10, 2013

BUTTONBUSH






In the past several days the Buttonbushes started blooming. They will continue to bloom thru September depending on their proximity to water and other environmental factors.  The ones pictured here are at the Brushy Creek Reservoir, east of Parmer.

The Buttonbush, also known as the Western Head Flower, is a great butterfly magnet. I tried to photograph one of the butterflies having supper but they're pretty skittery and jumpy and don't seem to like it when something rather large gets close. So the top shot is a bit out of focus but I will try again. I've always had better luck shooting butter and dragon flies in the cooler mornings. These images were taken in the late afternoon when the sun was about to set. The morning light will be coming from the opposite direction and may be a bit of a camera placement issue seeing that on the other side there's about three feet of water. Wading boots would be in order, if I had a pair.

Click image for bigger and detail.
Thanks for stopping by.

  A little wobbly on focus but check out the stained glass window look of his underwing.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

BUZZ OFF





Now turkey buzzards look freakishly pre-historic in my opinion...along with lizards and other creatures that have been minaturized over the millenium. I suppose these guys had 16 foot wingspans at one time. And would probably have had me for lunch.

I've posted three shots from this morning's walk thru Brushy Creek Sport Park. Now if you've taken my photo class you know I've always taught "you don't have to go very far to take interesting pictures." The last place I'd want to take pictures in in Yosemite or Yellowstone. I mean, there's already a bazillion photos taken by the gazzillion people who trek there.  I'd probably end up taking a copy of a copy of a copy.

Also if you've taken my class you can see that in the first photo I've framed that puppy right at nodal four. He then rocked back on his legs - took flight (I was ready) then landed and twisted around in full plumage. No he ain't pretty but the pics are kinda cool.

Hope you're enjoying the weather. Thanks for stopping by.

"Hey, Lou you scout east, I'll look west." "Yo Vinnie, howza 'bout the guy down there pointing the black thing at us?" "Yuck, doesn't look very tasty! But hey go for it, each to his own "

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

THINK TOO MUCH NO




A couple of images from this morning's walk. It was 77 outside, my favorite all time temperature.
I took the camera along to see what I could see.  Didn't want to think too much, set the camera mode to P, ISO 100 and Picture Control to Landscape. Landscape setting boosts colors a bit with a bias toward the green wavelengths. Not quite as juiced as when set to Vivid which boosts the full spectrum. The top picture was f4.2 @ 1/200th sec, the bottom was f10 @ 1/250th sec with front fill provided by the pop up flash on the camera set to full strength.

There is no post processing other than a web resize. These are straight from the camera settings.

Thanks for stopping by...take a walk.

Monday, June 3, 2013

PERCOLATING



Well, this week I will be donning my thinking cap and engaging the old grey matter. Which means I'll be studying. I need to go back to some basic studies of composition, form, line, shape, and all that good stuff. Not for any other reason than to brush away some collected cobwebs and refresh the optical muscle and re-invigorate the visual channels.

I have a couple of projects percolating, one is a portrait project and then a couple of tabletops are on the burners. Sometimes these take a while as for instance the portrait project will require a particular kind of costume that I am researching and I will need to acquire the material, cast the shot, and customize the costume for my actor.

In the meantime, posted today is a photo I took a couple of years ago out at Bee Caves Creek.

Thanks for stopping by.