"Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time's relentless melt." Susan Sontag

Monday, June 30, 2014

QUARTET OF JULYs

 
Yes it has been one week since my last post- and I'm feeling out of sorts. I do not like to
post things weekly - I would rather post things daily but that's just not possible
with my schedule, the weather, and the what nots.
My camera is usually with me and yes I did take about 50 snaps this past week but nothing
that I would post. Ugh and yuck. Inspiration nil.
 
Maybe if I visit the local museum I can get recharged. Or perhaps watch
a Fellini movie like Juliet of the Spirits...yup that's the ticket.
 
Anywho,
I went back and picked one shot from each July of the last four years.
Not any particular theme or pattern.
 
So with that,  I need to do some
visual stretches, jumping jacks, situps, and knee bends. 
 
 
July 2010
 

                                                                         July 2011

July 2012

July 2013

Oh, muse where is you?

thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

JIMI HENDRIX AND THE LITTLE GIRL

                                                             ©Andy deBruyn 1968
 
I made this image from a small coffee bar not far from my apartment in Verona, Italy in 1968. The littel girl in the photo must be in her early fifties now. I was just sipping my morning cappucio' - I must have looked somewhat interesting (or strange) with my long hair (fashionable at the time ya know) and a camera hanging around my neck.
This was taken with a Voitglander camera, don't remember the model number but it had a fixed 50mm lens. 
 
Giving a look at some of my old negatives. Maybe print some more in the coming days.
It's kind of amazing that I can still print something from forty some years ago.
These things tend to launch one into memories.....
 
 
Jimi Hendrix at the Piper Club in Milan Italy, 1968
 
The photo certainly isn't perfect but the camera was antique by today's standards. There weren't any exposure controls on this model so it was up to the film stock to hold everything together. Shot with Kodak Plus X Pan ISO 125 - pretty slow for what I was doing.  Dark club lights, hot spots on the performers, contrast like crazy...still glad to have the memories.
 
BTW- Kodak Tri-X film which was ISO 400 and would have helped tremendously was only released nine years prior and was difficult to come by in Italy at the time.  
 
Have I been shooting for a while?...I guess so and oh yeah,  Jimi played pretty darn good, too. 
 
Thanks for stopping by. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

RANDOM STUFF WHILE DRIVING AROUND



 
Here are some imags from over the weekend. I usually have my camera with me. I'm a big proponent of don't leave home without it. These are just some random shots. If I see something interesting I'll  stop and walk around-check it out-sometimes I'll take a shot but then sometimes it looked more interesting from inside my truck with sunglasses on. Back in the truck, carry on.
  
But I did like the color schemes. The middle shot has both the top and bottom de-focused from a program in camera. The orange truck shot would have had a totally different feel if the fence wasn't brand new.
 
Click images for bigger.
 
 
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

OVERLOOKED VS UNDERLOOKED

                                                                         ©2013 Andy deBruyn

This image is from a shoot I did with Sami last year.  Together we chose about 6 shots to print and publish which I did. Today I was revisting that session and this one grab my attention. (this time)
I think the english word is overlooked but somehow it seems the better word would be underlooked, meaning I didn't look at it long enough. Anywho, sematics aside, here it is in glorious black and white which I felt did the image justice given Sami's particularly beguiling look.

Shot with the D7000 with a 100mm lens focal length at ISO 400, handheld at 1/200th @ f5.6. Lighting is a fourteen inch beauty dish just out of frame at the top of the picture and a small focused
strobe from about six feet behind on the right.

THUR EVE UPDATE - I wasn't satisfied with the hair especially on the right so I reworked it
and added a slight blu tint. Sometimes you can just work images over and over and go nowhere
new. But I think I'll sign off on this one....for the time being. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

APHELANDRA SQUARROSA


 
I took home a new Zebra Plant (Aphelandra Squarrosa) today. Immediately I had to take it's portrait.
The yellow was quite stunning but what I really like are the veiny leaves. Rich and shiny in dark green with thick green/white veins. The top image is the main flower and the bottom one shows the leaves.
 
The set up was quick and simple. Placed a card table outside under one of the trees.
The card table is light blue so I covered it with a piece of white foam core. This added an under light.
The main illumination is coming from filtered sunlight further softened with a 24x36 inch panel of China Silk. The silk spreads the light over the subject and gives it a soft rounded look.
I used the D7000 with the 18-135mm lens extended out as far as possible. ISO 100, camera
is P mode, image in Normal with -1 saturation. (this is so I can add satch in post). Camera
is on a tripod shooting in the mirror up position using a cable release.
 It was a bit breezy so I just stood there release in hand waiting for the breeze to quiet down as much as possible.

This was around lunchtime. I just made a chicken salad sandwich using slices of a fresh yellow
heirloom. With a cold glass of iced tea. Yummersville.

 
These are some fresh vegetables a friend gave us from his garden. I took the veggies outside
and tried to shoot them on the table but it didn't come out quite right. They actually
looked much better just sitting in soft light on the kitchen table. Simple, let the camera
do most of the work. Still used a tripod tho'. A tripod takes a minute to set up but it
insures crisper images.  
 
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

GODZILLA HE ONE UGLY DUDE

                                                               ©2014 Andy deBruyn
 
OK back from the big DFW. Didn't really accomplish much photo wise. It was mostly a family "let's get together" kind of weekend.

I have  a couple of projects that I am working on - actually have ink/pencil sketches done. Just need to collect some material both organic and inorganic.

A couple of my boys took me to the movies to see Godzilla for Father's Day. Normally that's not my kind of movie but I really thought it was awesome. Since I don't see a lot of movies like that I don't have anything to compare it to...but I was entertained for two hours. There were many locked down shots but also some hand held which gave it a nice mix. That Godzilla he one ugly dude.

When I went back home I look up the movie on the American Cinematographers website and found an interview with both the director and cinematographer. Godzilla was shot with an ARRI Alexa video camera. Things sure have changed.

I did read about one lighting setup which the DP (director of photography) used  a combo gel pack of 1/4 Plus Green and 1/2 CTB on tungsten instruments.  I liked that scene a lot so I'm gonna put that same pack together and do some experimenting.  See what happens.

click image for big...like Godzilla.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

RED ON BLACK

 
Goin' north to DFW for a couple of days. Hope to post some new images this
weekend depending on how the editing goes.
 
Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, June 9, 2014

SEEING SEAWORLD

 
This weekend we went to SeaWorld in San Antonio. A great time was had by all. The weather was hot (80'S) but not that hot (90's) and there was a decent wind to cool you off.
 
I took lots of pictures, mostly family vacation kind of stuff, boys getting wet on the water rides, fountains, flamingoes, penguins, seals, sea lions, sharks, and of course Shamu.
But I kept my eye open for some other interesting subjects to post. Here are a few.
 
A face in the crowd.

Architectural squareness, triangleness, and a column.

Backlit water ride tracks.

Fragmented light.

One of those rides that turn you upside down. Not me, tho'.


A Edward Hopper kinda look. And I mean, kinda.

This flower was just intense in the orange/red and against that blue/black background it just popped out at me. This image is directly from camera, no post, just web sized. 
 
And BTW, I was shooting with my older D80 with Nikon's cheapest lens, the 28-80mm f3.3. Sold originally for around 99 dollars.  I paid about 30 for it on craigslist.
 
 
OK, ok, one of Shamu - just becuz he deserves it. After all,
the guy's gotta work for a living. Or is Shamu a girl?
Guess I wasn't listening to the live commentator.
 
Second BTW, the top out of focus shot was intentional. It plays into the crowd
just being a blur after a while.
 
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A VINTAGE LOOK


This is another image from this morning's group. I really like this one...didn't process it on the first run thru. I noticed it this evening on a second look see.

The image was taken with the Nikkor 135mm f3.5 lens. Each lens is like using a different brush and each production line as it's own look and feel. This lens is pretty low contrast - not as snappy as some of the modern lenses. Therefore, the image tends to "lie" flatter.

I bought the lens on line, either craigslist or ebay, don't remember. My research says it was probably made around 1977 making it 37 years old. Since it doesn't speak digital one must set the camera manually. I had this mounted on a DSLR Nikon D7000. With a tripod and cable release.

ISO 400, f4 @ 1/1600th of a second with -0.3 exposure compensation.

As I mentioned in my last post, I pulled this lens off the back of the shelf. Haven't used it much but
my thinking is that I will be going to it more in the future.

Thanks for stopping by.

SHOOTING WITH OLD LENSES

 
What!!! more flowers!!! I know the past several posts have been floral centric. Whadja gonna do? 
We're not going to have these flowers for very long. The bluebonnets came and
went. As soon as the temperature starts to hit those high 90's and plus - everything is gonna go brown and dusty. The most colorful disappear until fall.
 
 
The top image was taken with my vintage Nikkor 50.  For the middle and bottom
I pulled out a vintage Nikkor 135mm f3.5.  The 135 was up on a back shelf
and hasn't seen much work in the past year so I though I give it a spin.
 
 
If you compare the bottom two with the top image you can see that the 135 is slightly
softer and even more painterly than the 50mm. 
 
It was socked in cloudy this morning so I set the camera to ISO 400. From the top:
1. f2  1/640th    2. f4  1/500th   3. f3.5  1/5000th (the sun may have popped out
momentarily for this one.) 

I like the effect the bottom image has - if you look at it enough - the colors/subjects move toward you then back and so on...kind of a push/pull visual effect. It may not be that apparent this size but when
seen at 8.5x11 it's very evident.  The result of two opposing ends of the spectrum-long waves/short waves. A good optic nerve work out.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

XCU's

 
XCU as in extreme close up. In this series of images I was concentrating on form.
Forms first then color second. Also paying attention to the negative space as well.

 
I used an X2 Tele converter on a Nikkor 35mm lens. For most of the shots the aperture was
set to F2.8. Because of the added converter I was using the camera in manual mode. 

 
Wasn't happy with the auto white balance so I set it manually to 5600K.

 
In my last post focus was critical - here focus wasn't an issue. I wasn't looking
to be botanically correct - I wanted to capture the shapes and colors and pure design.  

 
The light is from the setting sun.

 
I used the bokeh as part of the overall design of the shots.  This helped
to isolate and enhance their shapes.

 
 
The flowers were in pots so it was easy to spin them until I saw the maximum sculpting effects.
Camera was the Nikon D80 with picture setting on Vivid. ISO 100. Hand held.
 
 
All images ©2014 Andy deBruyn
Thanks for stopping by. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

SOFT LIGHT OPEN SHADE


 
These images were taken in the backyard around 9 this morning. The sky was overcast, it was soft  but bright. I took advantage of some open shade under some trees so the lighting was not only soft but equal from all sides. That's the only light here - all available.
To make sure I was getting the images as sharp as possible the camera was on a tripod. The shutter was tripped with a cable plus I had to mirror up setting.   
That means I push the button once the mirror goes up wait a second push it again the shutter fires.
This produces the minimum amount of shake. 
There was a slight breeze so once the mirror was up I waited til it was calm.
 
The lens was my favorite, the 40 yr old Nikkor 50mm f1.4, so everything was set manually
including focus.
 
I set up an ordinary card table under the trees and cover it with black cloth. I pulled two plants from the house and this bottom one from a planter on the front porch.

 
 
Click images for bigger.
All images ©2014 Andy deBruyn
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

HELLO JUNE! HOWDY COFFEE!

                                                              ©2013 Andy deBruyn
 
Well, yesterday I said goodbye to May so today in turn I'll say hello to June. I thought I'd start June how I start each morning...with some fine coffee.  Pictured here is my favorite coffee cup ever in the whole world - a Dansk, the style is Kyra.
 
It's been my wake up buddy now for about five years. Holds twelve ounces of coffee. I always use the French Press to make my coffee and my favorite beans have been either Yirgacheffe or Sumatra.
 
I used to buy my beans green and roast them myself but that got to be rather tedious - now I just buy roasted whole beans locally, grind them at the last minute, and pull the hot water before it breaks boil.
When the bubbles are just about to start dancing - that's the time to pour the water in the carafe.
 
Do I drink coffee all day? No. That's my one cup in the morning. Some days around 2:30 to 3:00 I might enjoy a shot of espresso. But that's about my intake for the day.  I guess Bach and I 
are on the same page when it comes to some fine steamin' java.
 
 
THE COFFEE CANTATA
 
Mm! how sweet the coffee tastes
more delicious than a thousand kisses,
mellower than a muscatel wine.
 
Coffee, coffee I must have
and if someone wishes to give me a treat
ah! then pour me out some coffee.
 
 
Music by JS Bach, Libretto by Christian Friedrich Henrici.
Nice work, guys!!
 
Thanks for stopping by.