"In the still water of the fountains one saw the splash of human faces, ignited by these gold and scarlet stars as they rose hissing into heaven like thirsty swans." from Justine by Lawrence Durrell.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

SAME OLD OH HUM

Forty eight hours til 2015. What can I expect of myself for the new year? Well, more of the same.
I will continue to try and improve my craft with my favorite subjects.
  

TABLE TOPS

 PORTRAITS

                                                                      LANDSCAPES

Again, I want to thank everyone who takes time out of their busy day to stop by. 
Since starting this blog I've had 34,894 hits as of today. Not anyway near the big boys but I'm thrilled at my numbers. 

I've read that I could quadruple my hits if I talked about camera gear. Well, sorry that's not going to happen...I'll let the "big boys" take care of buying new gear as it comes out and blather about pixel this pixel that.

Me? equipment has never really mattered.  From reviewing my pix over the years, I've made the same kind of images whether it was an Olympus OM-1, a Pentax Spotmatic, a Nikon FM, 2 1/4 Yashica, 4x5 Linhof...not too mention my video works. My technique of framing/composition has stayed pretty much the same...the classic "rules" have always applied. My color interpretations have been from my visual gut - if I like it - I print it.

Don't know if I'll get to anything tomorrow but you all have a wonderful New Year's Eve and best wishes for the coming year.


All images ©2014 Andy deBruyn

If you are interested in purchasing a print please email me at unbutin@yahoo.com. That's goes
for portrait session info as well.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

WORKS IN PROGRESS

                                                                                                                              ©2014 Andy deBruyn


I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with family and friends.

With the holiday frenzies I haven't been able to shoot a lot - still working on that tabletop tho'...a couple of ideas actually.

I have one background painting finished and I have been playing  around with the lighting...from left...from right...from underneath....a work in progress.

Well, continue to breathe in the holiday spirits...

Thanks for stopping by.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL

                                                              Heritage Oak                              ©2012-2014 Andy deBruyn


This is going to be a busy week. Don't know if I'll get around to anything new...although I've been designing a new tabletop this past week. I just finished putting the finishing touches on the background. That alone took two days. I plan to complete the project before year's end.
If you've stopped by even once this year - thanks a lot!!

Happy Holidays to all!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

SKIES AND CLOUDS


A selection of images from the past several years where the sky and the clouds
are the story.





All images ©2014 Andy deBruyn

Click top image to slide show.

Thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

APPLES IN BASKET



 
 
APPLES IN BASKET
This morning's tabletop project harks back to early twentieth century still lifes. 
 
 
 
 Behing the Curtain
  There are four lights on this set. Looking at this image starting at the top left: a silver scoop light with a daylight corrected lamp lights the baby's breath and background canvas which I painted yesterday specifically for this shoot. Below the scoop is an Arri 150 barndoored to hit the front of the table and the lower part of the basket plus it hits the twelve inch silver reflector on the other side.
On the right top is an Arri 300 watt hitting piece of foamcore just resting on the top of the set for overall lighting. What's not in the picture is another small Arri about five feet to image right fitted with a snoot lighting just the hydrangea.

Another look at the Arri 300 which is producing a top light bounced into foamcore.
There's a small silver strip to bounce light back into the basket and another piece of foamcore behind that which I sprayed with a wee bit of gold to certain spots to add warmth to the right side. Excluding painting the canvas yesterday the whole project took about three and a half hours including a bit of touch up in post.
 
Camera stuff - Nikon D7000 on a tripod tripped with cable release, 50mm Nikkor lens with UV filter removed, ISO 400, aperture priority at f3.2, 1/160th ss, exp comp -1.3. white balance auto. Focus was done in live view with a hood monitor.

I got so involved I forgot lunch....off to the kitchen. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, December 12, 2014

BLACK AND WHITE


I love black and white photos. I shot Kodak Tri-X and Plus-X films for thirty years with each one having it's own special look. Among most photographers Tri-X is and always will be the reigning king of black and white films. I developed my own films so it was easy to control contrast range, gamma curves, shadows and highlights. 



With digital it's not quite the same look (if you're picky) but it has it's own appeal and looks pretty darn good if you tweak it carefully. There's no right way just what looks good to you.  


I shoot the original file in color mode even if I know I'm going to de-saturate to black and white in post. Sometimes the camera will interpret the colors different than I'm seeing them and a happy accident will occur and I'll keep that image in color,


Once I have my file in Photoshop, I switched the mode to Monochrome or Greyscale and
then tweak using just 2 tools, Highlight/Shadows and Curves.


There's no special method or path - each image is different and I go with my visual gut. 


For those of you familiar with black and white developing; the  Highlights/Shadows tool is like manipulating developer temperatures and N+/- contractions while the Curves box is like fine tuning the H&D curve in real time. Which is probably the coolest thing digital has added to the black and white process.

Click images for bigger.

Thank for stopping by.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

TABLETOPS REVIEW



 In a recent post I selected 12 of my favorite shots of the past year. Of course, when I look at some of the other "nominees" I think "why didn't I pick that one?" Oh, well. Just keep shooting Andy and don't think about it.

I also shot about ten tabletops - that's where I start with a bare photo table and then design, stage, and photograph the results. Here are several of those attempts.


 







I love putting these things together - looking anxiously forward to 2015 and try some new ideas.

Thanks for stopping by. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

SCENE AT DUSK




The Park and Ride at dusk. A scene lit and ready for the actors.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, December 8, 2014

BEHIND THE SCENES OF PIZZA

I forgot I had taken a "behind the scenes" shot of  the pizza pic with another camera.



Here's the lighting set up for the pizza shot.

On the left - Alien Bee flash into silver umbrella plus uncorrected ARRI for warm fill. That's the
blue and silver unit attached to the table with a gaffer's clamp known as a Cardelini.

On the right - a Nikon SB600 flash through the satin umbrella.

Camera on a tripod - shutter tripped with cable and mirror up position. You can see the remote
wireless trigger unit on top of camera.

The only hand made prop is the red and white "tablecloth" which is made from a piece of white copy paper.  I penciled in squares using a ruler and then hand painted each square with red acrylic paint.
Took about 10 minutes. Another half an hour to dry.  Masking tape was used to hold down the curling paper.

You can also see three small white canvas bags...those hold barn doors, wire scrims, and gel holders for the lights.

Again, the shot.


Thanks for stopping by.

PIZZA FOR LUNCH



Sometimes for lunch I'll make these little eight inch personal pizzas with some goodies on top. Goes great with chilled ice tea.

I buy those ready made pizza crusts by Mama Mary's. Slather on some oil and pizza sauce, top with mushrooms, red onions, kalamata olives, zucchini, a couple of thin slices of ham and bada bing!
Well, before the bada bing, it goes in the 425 oven for 8 minutes.

Photo taken with the Nikon D7000 with the 50mm lens in manual mode at f.56, ISO 100, ss 1/125th.

Lighting is an Alien Bee 800 fired into a silver umbrella just left of frame set to 1/8th power. SB600 flash on a shoot through umbrella from the right set to 1/16th +7 power. And an uncorrected ARRI fresnel warming up the left side from about 7 to 12 o'clock. Auto white balance.

And my usual method of using a tripod and mirror-up-shutter-trip with a cable. Other than a little sharpening in post pretty much from camera.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A PHOTOGRAPHER'S DOZEN

Here we are in December after 146 posts and many many images later. It's time for me to pick some of my favorites of the year which I always find difficult for one reason or another. For example, for February I selected an image from our Disneyland trip not because it's such a great image but because it does what a photograph can do and that's bring back memories.  The family did have a great time in the Magic Kingdom. I picked one image from each month.

You can click the first image and then scroll through.


January 2014

February 2014
  
March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

August 2014

September 2014

October 2014

November 2014



December 2013

I haven't really done anything this December...yet. So the December image is from last year.


Thanks for stopping by.

All images ©2014 Andy deBruyn

Sunday, November 30, 2014

FINDING TREASURES IN MY PORTRAIT FOLDERS


I hope everyone had a grand time with their families this Thanksgiving and there was lots of sharing fun, food, and frolics.

I've been transferring files around between a couple of computers and when I do that I get sidetracked and waylaid seeing a folder that makes me wonder if I did that series of images justice, did I pick the best ones, did I overlook anything?? Think I'll check it out.

Here's two images from a photo session with Sami from the beginning of last year. These images were untouched, left in the drawer sorta speak. In other words, I selected other images over these to post and print.
   

© 2013 Andy deBruyn

Both images were made toward the end of the session. The camera was the Nikon D7000  with the 18-135mm lens around 110mm. Handheld in manual mode with ISO 400, aperture set to f5.6.
Lighting was from a flash pointing into a silver umbrella. There was also a remote back flash about ten feet to image left.  

©2013 Andy deBruyn

Here you can see both the effect from the umbrella and the nice profile rim light from the
flash placed about ten feet away. Both triggered with wireless remotes.



© 2014 Andy deBruyn

This black and white image of Maria is from about a month ago. Another one I didn't process at the time. I love the Mona Lisa smile. I think I moved past it because the wind had kicked up and was blowing her hair a bit. I like it because the twirling hair is a shade unnatural.  

Portraits of people - my favorite subject to capture. 

Thanks for stopping by. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL

Happy Holidays - Enjoy the fall colors on parade
 

 
Hug each other 
 
 
 
©2014 All images Andy deBruyn
 
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

LANDSCAPES FROM HILL COUNTRY

 
I mentioned in a previous posting how much I liked the 19th century landscape painters Corot (French) and Constable (English).  See below for the Hudson River School examples.
 
 Posted here are some of my attempts to emulate their style.
 
 The hill country lends itself particularly well to this structure.
 
 
The effect works best when the sun is coming from a ninety degree angle to your position.
In this case it's the late afternoon sun after a heavy downpour.

 
 ©2014 Andy deBruyn
 

 
Obviously not a landscape but I thought the shape and directions of the drying leaves was pretty cool. Has almost an insect like feel to it.

I shot all the images last Friday after the downpour in aperture priority of f5.6 -- which is darn sharp on the Nikkor 50mm f1.8.
ISO 200.

Click images for bigger.

Below are some images from artists that are considered in the Hudson River School. A year ago the Blanton Museum in Austin had a HRS exhibit...about 200 paintings were on display. I went twice and the first time spent 3 hours sitting and sketching some of my favorites.

Thanks for stopping by.


Worthington Whittredge

Thomas Cole

Asher Brown Durand
 
Thanks for stopping by.
 
©2014 Andy deBruyn