"Yea, all which it inherit - shall dissolve, and like this insubstantial pageant faded, leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff as dreams are made on - and our little life is rounded with a sleep." Tempest Act 4 William Shakespeare

Thursday, October 31, 2013

PORTRAITS 2013

I took a lot of images of people this year and here are some of my favorites. Family, friends,
people I just met, people I don't even know. I had to include my favorite coffee mug. I appreciate everyone who stood before my lens. Thank you.
 













Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, October 25, 2013

SNAGGING THE SUN



One of my sons, Derek, asked if I'd take some images of him in order to update his social media sites. Now I'm of an age where I'm familiar with facebook and have an unused twitter account. That's about the extent of my social media reach. Oh, wait, this blog counts, doesn't it? But I'm not sure about all those other little icons I see around and my cell phone is 8 years old. It's a Cingular!

Anyway, he wanted a fairly clean head shot and a 3/4 view. I had a window of about an hour before other duties would kick in, my studio lights weren't set up - so I need to be quickly put a kit together.

I said let's go up the road three blocks where there's a very under used underground pedestrian tunnel.
Used more by taggers than anyone else

 I knew parts of the walls were either white or grey, the ceiling was white, and there were sporadic hits of graffiti that the city washes over every couple months only to be someone's canvas for "spray paint art" again.

I grabbed a silver reflector and one flash. The Lowell reflector is highly polished and acts like a mirror. It also has a swivel attachment on the back side. I put that on the end of a C-stand, placing it outside the tunnel and snagging some hot sun and firing it back into the tunnel raking the ceiling and the top corner. This provided a nice soft key. The flash was placed off to the right for some fill and edging. Flash was set to 1/16th power.

Tech specs;
The top head shot is ISO 200, f2.5, 1/250th of a second with -0.3 exposure comp to protect the skin.
The bottom more urban image is ISO 200, f2, 1/250th with comp of -0.7. Camera was in manual mode, auto focus was off, I focused manually. WB was sunlight.

Thanks for stopping by. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A FENCE! YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING!!

                              ©2010 Andy deBruyn
 
It's the end of October and I was looking at some past "ends" of October - maybe for inspiration or to give me a place to revisit and try another approach, photographically, that is.
 
The posted image is one I took on Oct 31, 2010 on Bee Caves Creek. This little gulley was visible from the road so I stopped and ended up spending about 2 hours shooting it from different angles and playing with the changing of the sun's rays.
 
Last year I went back there for a revisit - the "owner" of the land had erected a giant fence, giant like 10 feet tall and black as all get out. The kind of fence you see around an electrical plant. Not only was it brutally ugly but this gulley was now only visible through this fence. No more access. No more pristine views. Felt like a zoo. Sad.  
 
If anything it rekindles my wandering spirit to go out there and find other idyllic views. And if you're the land owner I promise to leave it just the way I found it. Pristine. Honest. I mean, I'm only a photographer. 
 
Click image for bigger.
Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

COLOR VS BLACK AND WHITE


 
I've been trying to make selections and reorganize my files because I'm starting to have too many - it's taking me too long to locate any specific file.
 
Today I found this shot from June of 2011 - which I've always liked - it was one of those images I made on the way to another pre-selected spot. I paused and looked down and saw this swirl of color. I snapped it and went on. I forgot about it until I checked my contact sheet the next day.
 
So here I am revisting the image and wanted to see what it looked like in black and white. I'm posting it with the original shot.  Muh, I like both. Need to find a nice paper to print the B&W on.

Tech specs: Nikon D80 with the 18-135mm lens set to 32mm, f6.3 @1/160th, ISO 100.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, October 21, 2013

IF I WAS A PAINTER



 All images ©2013 Andy deBruyn
 
Went out for my daily nature walk this morning. Because there was a thick heavy overcast, the daylight was soft, smooth, and wrappy allowing for these images posted here. 
 
If there was a bright sun this heather, thistle, and milkweed would have been too contrasty to expose uniformly - sections would have been overlit while others in deep shade.  
 
From the top:  ISO 400 1/50th,  ISO 400 1/200th,  ISO 800 1/500th. All shot with a 35mm lens DX, aperture priority set to f7.1 and using a hand held French Cokin polarizer.
 
Click image for bigger.
Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

TREE FORMS AND SHROOMS

 
 
It was a rainy drizzly day. You've heard me say it before on this blog when it's raining I'm out there looking for images. I love the dark wet look of the woods and I also like the overall atmospheric colorations because it's unpredictable..and a bit challenging.  You have to find just the right color temperature. When shooting under a canopy of trees a digital sensor tends to pump up the magenta to compensate for the overall greeness. That's on a regular day, add the blueness of misty water hanging in the air and the camera firmware goes wonky.  I usually remove some of the magenta in post but also in this case I had to compensate for the blue tinting.  
 
 
Brushy Creek Sports Park - a section I haven't checked out before. 

Tree forms. The ground dirt has eroded away but the branches still go searching for water.

Tree forms. A tree grasps the earth with all it's might.

Yowzer, a waterfall! All three feet of it. OK, it's not Yosemite but
hey we're in Cedar Park.

A shroom cup catches the rain.

This one had a little sign that said, "Eat Me" but I thought...yeah right, I know what happened to Alice.

Click images for bigger and slides.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, October 11, 2013

DAWN RAINES



Well, this week was pretty special. I had the pleasure of spending some time with five sculptors, each of them extremely talented and so gracious with their time. I really did enjoy the experience and was honored to photograph them.
The pictures posted here are from this morning's shoot with Dawn Raines, who is a Shop Technician at Austin Community College's Welding Technology Department - and all around wonderful blacksmith and sculptress to boot. Her piece for the Sculpture Garden is exquisite.
 If you check the ACC website/Welding Tech Dept you can see a gallery of her works.

If you noticed, I didn't post any of the actual sculptures on my blog. I really would like people to come out and see the real thing at the Cedar Park Sculture Garden which will have it's Grand Opening October 19th. If you can't make it then stop by anytime in the future. The garden is located at the Rec Center on Main Street.

Photographs of 3D sculptures always look like 2D catalog shots to me and I wasn't shooting a catalog.  I wanted to capture the essence of the artist. Each artist presented me with their own unique aura and vibe - hopefully I did them justice.

Tech specs: Nikon D7000 at ISO 800. I used an AlienBee AB800 with a 10 degree grid for the key light, a SB600 for backlighting and edge work., an ARRI 300W tungsten for fill and floor.  I used the same Nikkor 35mm (DX) 50mm (FF) on all the artists to keep the look and feel close. Pretty much the same lights too.

A big shout goes out to Dan, Cat, Helene, Cindy, and Dawn - thank you all.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

PIECES OF GLASS AND BRANCHES

 
Continuuing my portraits of artists this week I am posting two new images. Above in lovely pink is
Helene Gabrielle who works in mosaic. I think that's the way you say it. She's a mosaic-ist?

Anyway, Helene makes stunning use of bits of colored glass and tiles to form these beautiful works of art.  Definately a must see.

If you would like to see her piece that is slated for the Cedar Park Sculpture Garden, I hope you drop by on the 19th for the grand opening. Festivities start at 5:00pm.

Cindy DeBold is an artist who works with different types of materials. The Sculpture Garden will feature two of her works. One is a delicate sculpture of a little girl standing on one leg daintily poised in the space she inhabits.
 
Another piece is a branch of a tree that's been cleaned, polished, and painted in bright colors.  It's hard to describe and photographing it wouldn't do it justice. Photographing any work of art, especially something that occupies 3 dimensional space, is a poor substitute for seeing the real thing. So again, please put the 19th on your calendar.
 
Lighting info: Helene is lit with one Chimera softbox with gridded diffusion on camera right, a 300W ARRI for the hair, and a silver reflector about 20 feet away on the left snagging the sun from around the corner of the house and pointed at the plant behind her.
For Cindy, I just placed her on the steps with backlighting from early morning sun putting little hits of light on the steps and the same Chimera softbox camera right front.
 
Thanks for stopping by. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

DAN POGUE, SCULPTOR

 
Following yesterday's post of sculptress Cat Quintanilla, here's Dan Pogue overseeing the installation of his beautiful piece "Mystic Flight" around noon today.

Earlier in the day, I had the chance to meet with Dan at his studio located on FM1431 near Marble Falls.
I did a little setup here for his portrait.

 
Camera Techyness on this one: Dan is lit by a small Chimera with a gridded diffuser on the left and window light on the right. The Chimera was fitted with an SB600 so it closely matches the daylight coming in from the right.
 
I turned off the lights in the room behind Dan and then lit the horse with one 300W ARRI fresnel with the barn doors pushed in on the horse only. The tungsten light retains it's 3200Kelvin temp so we get both the blue and the orange ends of the spectrum.
 
Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, October 7, 2013

CAT THE STONE CARVER



 
For the past three years I have been on the Public Arts Board for Cedar Park. My first experience with city machinations, rules, ordinances, and long term patience. Basically, the first two years was writing the standard operating procedure that the city can use for future art projects.
 
The PAB's first offering is the Cedar Park Sculpture Garden which will have it's grand opening October 19, from 5pm to 7pm. So if you can make...swell! It's gonna be a big success, I'm sure.
 
As an added perk, I am privileged to work with these great artists and take their portraits. I do hope I serve them well.
The above images are of Cat Quinanilla, a wonderul carver working in a variety of stones. I got to spend some time with her this morning and here are the resulting images. 
 
 See her work at: stonecarvercat.com
 
I plan to do some additional portrait work this week. Looking forward to working with some splendid craftsmen.
 
Photo specs: Nikon D7000 using just one prime lens, the 35mm and the lowest native ISO of 100. The top pics are on program mode. The bottom is manual. One light: an SB600 on low power thru a small Chimera softbox with gridded diffusion. One lens, one light - it's the way to go.
 
Thanks for stopping by. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

MY FIRST DIGITAL PORTRAIT



 
The history of digital photography is fairly brief. Nothing really came out that was decent enough for professional photographers to embrace until 2001 - 2002 time frame. And we're talking about 2 megapixels here. But I was an old stick in the mud because I was one of those photographers who came kicking and screaming into the digital world. I'd been shooting film for 30 years, was comfortable with it, and I couldn't imagine that my images would end up on a piece of plastic about the size of a postage stamp. No way. (SD card)
 
  I bought my first digital DSLR in 2008, a Nikon D80 which I still have and use occassionally. It's only been to Nikon repair once. In contrast, my Olympus OM-1 which I've had for about 35 plus years has never seen the doctor and still works great.  Technology--aw fooie!
 
Anyway, these are my first portrait images from 2008.  Hillary was a co-worker at the time. Beautiful red hair, great blue-green eyes..perfect for my first foray with ones and zeroes. I asked her if she would pose for me..and she bravely agreed.   My working knowledge of a digtial camera at the time was pretty much...questions?? check the manual.  I changed the shots up a bit with some in full sun and some in open shade. Played around with the flash/sun a bit. A slippery uphill climb on the learning curve to be sure. 
 
Some new portrait work this month - hopefully I'm higher up the hill.
Thanks, Hillary!
 
and thank you for stopping by.