"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

Sunday, November 30, 2014


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. 

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Happy Holidays - Enjoy the fall colors on parade

Hug each other 
©2014 All images Andy deBruyn
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Sunday, November 23, 2014


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.

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Worthington Whittredge

Thomas Cole

Asher Brown Durand
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©2014 Andy deBruyn

Thursday, November 20, 2014


This is an image from my San Gabriel River trek on Wednesday. An extreme close up of a leaf that was obviously a meal or several meals for some hungry little critters.

I love abstract expressionism and I've tried my hand at painting some abstracts, mostly acrylics on canvas. I think I was somewhat successful but finding these abstract bizarre patterns in nature as been more satisfying. A draftsman I'm not. But the camera allows me the opportunity to explore shapes, colors, patterns that I would otherwise not be able to reproduce manually.

The above image was taken with the Nikon D7000 with a 50mm lens fitted with a +4 close up filter. The camera was on my tripod and the shutter tripped with a slight delay to avoid shake as much as possible. It was a pretty breezy morning and I waited for the wind to die down a bit snapping images quickly before another draft came through. I was down in a very steep gulley making a perfect tunnel for the gusts of wind.

ISO 200, f11, 1/160th of a second.

Click image for bigger.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014


©2009-2014 Andy deBruyn
Looking through some archived files I found some..experiments? Can't remember exactly what I was trying to achieve here. I just took some dried flowers arranged them on a flat surface and used a raking light from the left. Made five years ago with a Nikon D80 with the 18-135mm lens set at 52mm. ISO 200,
f5 at 1/100th ss.

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This morning down by the South San Gabriel River

         Under the bridge on University.

The sun was at the right angle so a circular polarizer
worked really well.    

Note the division of thirds on this image on the right and the size of the sky equals the size of the rock below.
My motto - No cropping - Get it in camera.

Yours truly above that with trusty tripod in tow.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014


                                                                                                                             ©2014 Andy deBruyn

As I was walking down to the pond I saw this small area in front of me, probably no more than a couple of feet in either direction...an explosion of color, form and light, begging not to be forgotten.
A symphony to see.

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Monday, November 17, 2014


                                                                                                ©2014 Andy deBruyn

I see patterns and tonalities in nature all the time. It's just how my eye is wired. And I use the singular because I think it's the inner eye too. A lot of it may have to do with my love of 17th and 18th century landscape painters, especially Corot and Constable.

And the Hudson River School painters have definitely altered the way I perceive nature.

In the HRS, nature always looms large, overpowering, and man is just a small object placed somewhere in the landscape. As a peasant, as an observer.

Favorites include, Washington Allston, Thomas Cole, Frederic Edwin Church, and Arthur Brown Durand.

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Sunday, November 16, 2014


Winter sets her scenes and is about to direct the turn of the seasons. 

Images taken with Nikon D7000 set on a tripod and tripped using 2 sec timer. ISO 100.
Aperture priority between f11 and f16.

©2014 Andy deBruyn
Click image for bigger.
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Thursday, November 13, 2014


©2008-2014 Andy deBruyn

The temperatures are dropping big time. It's pretty dang chilly outside - not very conducive to outdoor shooting. But I will go...out there...I just have to build up some...some what? Don't know
but at some point I will just dress up in multiple layers thermals and all, grab a camera and go find
something cold to photograph.

The neon Jackson Pollock shaky wobbly long exposure image posted here are lights on my Christmas tree. An image from 2008. I do not  have this year's tree up yet - in about three weeks. Good grief!
Thanks for stopping by. Temperature at this moment 31 degrees and falling.


©2014 Andy deBruyn
I recently published several images from this shoot with Maria. Usually I scan my contact sheet and make my initial selects which is what I first publish. Then I wait awhile - not any specific amount of time - but I will go back and visit a contact sheet maybe a few weeks later and see if there's anything of interest I overlooked.  This shot, somehow, I overlooked. I like this image a lot. Classic.

Technical stuff for those interested. Shot handheld with a Nikon D7000 fitted with the 50mm making
it essentially a 75mm on a cropped sensor. The ISO was 100, camera in manual mode with auto white balance. I kept the f stop at f5.6, the shutter speed 1/160th. Looking at the image, key light from the right is flash shooting thru a 45" Westcott Satin Umbrella. Flash is in manual set to 85mm
for a more concentrated pattern. The overall light is just open shade.
In post, I isolated Maria and made the background more painterly while keeping the subject photographic.

Click image for bigger.
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014


©2014 Andy deBruyn
Here is another image from yesterday morning's walk about. I really love the palette here. The green/yellow blend coming from a slow leeching of chlorophyll gives this
an unworldly hue. Naming this yellow/green doesn't do it justice. It's one of those
colors I can't get from a tube of paint. The perfect mix would take me forever.
Most of yesterday's images were run thru Photoshop to tweak color and edge sharpness.
I spend about 2 to 3 minutes with each image and that's it. Then I web size and publish.
A lot of the younger photographers love to sit in front of their computers and tweak the holy heck out of their images. I've read some photogs blog where they've spent days (days?) tweaking just one image.
I grew up in a world without computers and I really don't like them that much. The last thing I want to do is sit in front of back lit images for a long time. I think my burn out point is about
a half an hour. Then I need to get up and go look at the sky or check my basil in the backyard.
Now to the methodology - a digital camera is basically a light sensitive computer. There's literally hundreds of tweaks you can perform in camera. That's where I do most of my putzing with
settings and calibrations...in camera. Like on yesterday's walk - I would take an image,
preview the lcd and then reset tweaks - color, saturation, hue, sharpness, white balance, re- adjust  RGB channels. Not that the lcd in back of the camera is a great point of reference but I've done it enough I know what to expect when I get back to the office. I'd rather putz and tweak standing in a field of grass and grain, warmed by the sun, chilled by a slight breeze, then sit in front of a monitor.
The image above is straight from camera, all I did was resize for this post. I didn't want to lose
that hue of green. Of course, it will probably look different on your monitor. Another
reason I don't trust this technology. Nothing like getting an image to your liking and
printing it on a beautifully textured paper and then holding it in your hand without the
need to turn on an appliance to view it.
My two lira.
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Monday, November 10, 2014


I experienced splashes of November colors on this morning's walk.
November sunlight is crisp and clear.

                                                         The leaves are light catchers.

All images were taken with the 35mm lens on the D7000. ISO set to 100. I used aperture priority with settings between f5.6 and f8 depending. The two middle images were made with the +4 close up lens  and a tripod was used.
All images ©2014 Andy deBruyn
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"When people ask what equipment I use - I tell them my eyes."

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Yesterday I had a delightful time photographing GiGi who is a multi media artist with keen interests in a wide spectrum of artistic arenas.   

While Gigi worked on a current project we talked about art and ah more art....

One of GiGi's fantastic sculptures, entitled Catch Me If You Can,  is on display at the Cedar Park Sculpture Garden. Next time you're over by the Rec Center, I suggest you check it out...and very closely I may add....there's more there than meets the quiet eye.

To learn more about GiGi, her art, her projects, her vision, go to: gigimiller.com

                                    Like Alice, this artist will always be "Curiouser and curiouser"

My sincere thanks to GiGi for her time and conversation.

Techie note: color palette for these fotos was achieved in tungsten set camera with full CTO over bounced flash.

All images ©2014 Andy deBruyn
The phrase "Curiouser and curiouser" by Lewis Carroll
Click image for bigger.
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Tuesday, November 4, 2014


 Prickly decay.
Several images from this morning's walk. It had rain earlier so everything was wet. Ten minutes after
getting home another downpour.

Delicate designs of nature.

I used a tripod on the top three with a 2 second delay on the shutter. 
                                       ISO 400. A +2 close up filter on the 50mm lens.

Here the +2 removed. ISO 800 handheld.
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I will be busy today prepping for tomorrow's shoot but thought I'd pass this along as I find it fascinating.


Images of lakes or past lakes on Saturn's Titan moon. If there's water or was water...that means life.
....of some sort.

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Monday, November 3, 2014


Hail hail November. In previous posts, I've talked about how much I love the light in November. Well, it's here. Sorta. Not quite. I'm just going to wait and watch and let the light de-chlorophyllate.
Is de-chlorophyllate a word? It sounds exactly what I'm trying to say about the November colors so I'll go with it. Hey, if Mr. Sammy Beckett can make up words....

A couple more portrait sessions coming up this month.

Thanks for stopping by. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014


I recently had the pleasure of photographing Maria for her portfolio. I planned the shoot for as early as possible - in this case 10am, to take advantage of my favorite sun position. I pre-scouted the location a few days ahead and took some sample shots to check backgrounds. 

I brought two cameras - one with a 50mm prime, the other with a zoom. I ended up using the prime for the shoot because it was giving me what I wanted as far as perspective and depth of field. 
Camera was in manual mode for complete control.
After two years of shooting and experimenting with the Nikon D7000 I have developed a custom
internal setting to my liking so that most of my global parameters are printed to the SC card. 
This allows me to perform local tweaks in Photoshop very quickly. The tweaks usually
involve the background as my camera settings are tuned for people shots. 

Lighting for the entire shoot was the SB600 fired through a 45" Wescott Optical white satin umbrella
tripped remotely with wireless modules. Most of the time the umbrella was on a Matthews heavy duty stand secured with sandbags...except the bottom shot in which I am firing the camera in my right hand and hand holding the umbrella setup in my left. Also in use was a
Lowell silver reflector for kick.
ISO was 100 throughout with WB in Auto.
Shutter speeds and aperture from top; 1/160 f4.5, 1/160 f5, 1/160th f5.6, 1/200 f4.5.
My sincere thanks to Maria for being such a splendid subject, good sport, and having the patience for
putting up with a fussy photog like me. Mille grazie for a great shoot!
All photos ©2014 Andy deBruyn
Thanks for stopping by.