"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

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


This is an image from yesterdays walk. An artist sharing a vision with passerbys left this sketch of
Vandria The Oak Fairie who evidently, according to the artist, lives in one of the trees under the bridge.

So if you're hiking through Brushy Creek Sports Park and cross over any bridges look for Vandria.
...and approach her quietly as per instructions. She is very shy.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, March 30, 2015


I went walking this morning looking for the first signs of spring. There's a little bit here and there but nothing of note. There's some bluebonnets (I'm so over taking pix of bluebonnets) but they're rather wimpy looking. The best month for flower pix is May just around the corner. 

Now mind you, not that turkey buzzards are all that photogenic. They're certainly not bald eagles.
But when the opportunity presents itself.

I was walking in a field and passed this discarded rusty cistern or large barrel affair. The bird was down inside sleeping or something. When I walked by he got spooked and jumped up making me jump.
This image is taken with a 50mm lens so I am literally about three feet from this old bird. I was so close I could hear him breathing heavily. And he's a pretty good size. Didn't take flight right away in fact we had a dialogue going. I don't think he understood what I was saying. He just flinched every time I clicked the shutter. After a couple of minutes he realized I wasn't roadkill and flew away.
Click image for bigger.

Thanks for stopping by.  

Friday, March 27, 2015


                                                                                                                            ©2015 Andy deBruyn

Posting one of the projects that moved to the front burner this week. I love creating these tabletop tableaus because it requires using several craft techniques.

I hand built the steam punkish background using some found metal parts. Some hot glue, several coats of paint, gold, black, and copper. Took about three days to complete to allow for drying times.

Tech Specs: Nikon D7000 with 35mm lens with the UV filter removed. Camera on a tripod, set to mirror up and tripped with a cable release. ISO 100, aperture priority at f3.2 for 1/2 second. I tried several f stops to see which one blurred the background the way I wanted it. Used zoomed live mode for focus.

The shoot took about two hours for set up and tear down. What you see is no longer there.

For lighting I had two ARRI 150watt Fresnels, one on either side both fitted with double scrims. The one on the left is barndoored and the one on the right has a snoot that scoots the lightbeam across the peppers and into the melon. And there's a bit of ambient created by the hot lights bouncing off the walls.

Post effect courtesy of Alien Skin.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Went to the Blanton Museum this morning to see the exhibit of Ralph Eugene Meatyard. REM was a photographer whose work I was made aware of back in photo school, The Art Institute of Boston, ('75)

The Blanton in cooperation with the Harry Ransom Center Collection has 50 or so of his images on display March 7 -June 21, 2015.

Don't know if you'd be interested in Mr. Meatyard's visual sense of things. Requires a certain taste.
You can google his name and search his images to see his "Wildly Strange" view on life.

He was one of the many photographer/artists that I studied way back when and I was interested in seeing his actual prints. I'm glad I went because the black and white images were great to experience.

As I've written before, The Blanton is free on Thursdays - validate your parking stub inside, pay four dollars and stay all day. What a deal.

The parking lot was jammed all the way to the top final open to the sky level. Image above taken near my car. Beautiful day btw.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


A student emailed me regarding the cameras used in my last post. So I'm just posting an image of the two film cameras I use occasionally. I only use the Bronica when I'm flush with cash and that's not very often.

Camera on the left is the Bronica ETR-S with the 75mm lens and 120mm film back and on the right is the Nikon FM with the Nikkor 50mm on board. This is the same 50 (nifty-fifty!) I place on my digital cameras, too. Nikon lenses are all forward compatible. At least, in my experience.

Photo taken with the Nikon D80 and Nikkor 50mm, f.18.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Sunday evening, getting ready for the week. A couple of projects up my sleeve. Checking some files and setting up new folders I found some images shot just in the last couple of years with film.
The first three were made with a Nikon FM 35mm/fully manual camera with the Nikkor 50mm f1.4 lens.
The orange cast is from a western sunset to the left.

I lightened up the top two just a squinch for the web.
This tree silhouette below was just resized. 

As you can see the color saturation is just outrageous. None of this pushing saturation later in Photoshop.
The bottom two where shot with a Bronica  ETR-S with a 120mm back and fitted with the Zenzanon EII 75mm f2.8 lens.

 These last two required a tiny shift away from magenta...probably the lens. There's still a tiny bit visible. The 35mm was loaded with Fujichrome Velvia ISO 100 transparency film with the lens clean, no filters. For the Bronica,  I used 120mm Fuji Color Velvia also but the print stock. By the way and FYI, the Bronica only shoots 12 shots per roll so most of the images on the strip were one shot- one chance, measured with a hand held light meter, the Sekonic L-508 Cine Zoom Master. Of course I could have bracketed but just think you bracket one over + one under and you only have four images per roll! Film stock, shipping, developing, and scanning is about 40 dollars a roll! Not very cost effective.

And no looking at the back of the camera to see what the picture looked like. No Chimping!!
Nope, had to wait until the film got back from ncps (North Coast Photographic Services) in Carlsbad, California. ncps developed and scanned the film and dropped everything on a CD.
In the last shot of Stefan, you can see how the film held the bright window curtain with a beautiful creamy tone and detail. A digital sensor would have given me an exposure problem by blowing that out. There's even some shadow detail under the desk left.
I'd probably shoot more with the Bronica since I like the squarish format but the 120mm film and developing/scanning is expensive and the camera is  heavy to boot- can't imagine lugging that thing around all day.
Thanks for stopping by. 


I have a couple of ideas that have come off half burn and are ready to be transferred to the front burners. Probably this week if the stars align. 
In the meantime, here are some abstracts (?) from the files. 

Don't know if it's academically proper to call them abstracts...doesn't matter, I think they're pretty cool.

Thank for stopping by.

Thursday, March 19, 2015


I made this image about four years ago but never did any post work with it. I was redesigning my Photoshop work space and needed an image to set everything up so I just grabbed an unedited shot to work with, test the new arrangement and give the options a try. Reached for something more cinematic.

Not totally satisfied so this is a work in progess. Speaking of my work space, that is.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


                                                                                                                       ©2015 Andy deBruyn

This image was shot this evening while waiting for what I thought was going to be a great sunset.
Well, that didn't happen, dark clouds dropped in and lay on the horizon thick and heavy.

I knew the Metro Rail was going to go by soon so I waited around for it's arrival. The two blue striped bike riders just happened to pedal into the shot and as luck would have it they were wearing something that actually adds nicely to the scene.

Shot handheld with the Nikon D7000 with filter removed. Shot in RAW, converted to jpeg with in - camera processing. A couple of further tweaks in post. Camera was set to shutter priority of 1/30th of a second so the train would blur a bit, ISO in auto mode chose 320 @ f3.8. Lens set at 24mm.

Thanks for stopping by.  

Monday, March 16, 2015


"The light of memory, or rather the light that memory lends to things, is the palest light of all. I am not quite sure whether I am dreaming or remembering, whether I have lived my life or dreamed it. Just as dreams do, memory makes me profoundly aware of the unreality, the evanescence of the world, a fleeting image in the moving water."   Eugene Ionesco

All images ©Andy deBruyn

Saturday, March 14, 2015

3.14.15926535 etc etc etc and so on.....

It's 3.14.15 today...so Happy Pi Day.


Just an abstract reminder to everyone...don't forget to get a piece of PI.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, March 13, 2015


This is a brand new church that's about a half a mile from my house. The groundskeepers were out in back finishing up the landscaping. The first service hasn't even been held yet. I won't mention the denomination because I don't like pushing any religious buttons. Everybody can believe whatever suits them best as far as I'm concerned. But I was really enjoying the puffy white clouds as I drove around today. Since it's been heavily overcast the past two weeks the puffy whites and deep blue sky were a visual treat.  

I actually wanted to just take snaps of the clouds but needed something else to anchor the picture. The church with it's brand new out of the box look fit the bill.

The images are straight from camera, all I did was reduce the size for the web. The ISO, white balance and sharpening were all done in camera. I did use a circular polarizer to get the clouds to pop. I removed the UV filter before attaching the polarizer to eliminate the extra air-to-glass.  Handheld at ISO 100 in program mode the shutter speed was 1/160th.

All images on this blog  ©Andy deBruyn 
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Five more black and white conversions using various tones and densities.

All images © 2015 Andy deBruyn

Thanks for stopping by.


Last week I spent some time scanning some old black and white negatives of mine, mostly Tri-X and Plus-X with a couple of Ilfords thrown in. For me, black and white is still very much meaningful, prevalent, and I just love it.

So I took some of my recent digtial files and searched for images that I thought would be fun to convert from the original color digital files into black and white. I'm not endorsing any particular software but there are a number of them on the market, Topaz, Nik Silver Efex, and DxO to mention three. 

One thing I noticed was some images look super in b&w while others tend to suffer, look flat, and render better in color.

I kept the transfers mostly classical, zone system type black and white except with the image of Monica on the bottom which is a combination of gold and selenium toning.

I'm on a roll so I'll be doing some more conversions today looking at the various selenium selections available. In film days, selenium toning was very popular and done by adding the undiluted selenium liquid to your wash using a variety of ratios for different patinas. 

With packaged conversion programs you only have the five or six selenium options available in the presets but then of course you can take the image over to Photoshop and further paint.

All images ©2015 Andy deBruyn

Click top image for slides.

Thanks for stopping by.  

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


It's been one gray day after another - for what about a week? Longer? While waiting for the sun to reappear I dug back deep into my files for something colorful and cheery.

Here's a field of bluebonnets I took about five years ago. I loved the way the sunlight was coming through the trees and producing this mottled effect. Reminded me so much of light patterns by Monet or Renoir.  The dutch angle gave the effect a little more briskness.

Image was shot with the D80 at ISO 400 with -0.7 exp comp, f6.3 @ 1/160th ss with +6 in camera saturation. Handheld.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


These band pix are 44 years apart! The top two I took in 1968 in Verona, Italy.
For the life of me, I can't remember the name of the band.

The bottom three are The Penny Dreadfuls taken in 2012. 

Seems like some things never change except maybe the music.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, March 5, 2015


I have youth baseball shoots this weekend. Since it's headshots and team shots we can shoot  indoors and don't have to worry about the weather. And speaking of the weather, these thirty degree temps are sure crimping my outdoor nature walks.

My stay-current image inventory is looking a little bit thin at the moment.

Hopefully next week will be warmer and I'll get to do a little hiking and find some nice landscapes.

Stay frosty but keep toasty.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


The wand is nestled in it's cradle idle, the sign stored behind the walls. What's this world coming to when you can't even keep a self-wash viable?

It was a drab day and I felt drabby.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, March 2, 2015


Darn it and gawrsh darn gummit, I for one sure do miss film. I guess I got to thinking about it when I mentioned it in yesterday's post. I'd love to work with film again but it's: too cumbersome with huge enlargers, lots of table space for developer baths, and then there's the issue of the chemistry. Probably wasn't that good for the environment. 
But it has a look that I love. Fortunately, I have thousands of negatives from past years that I can appreciate over and over. I don't think they render their best here on the internet...printed on the appropriate paper - you can't beat it. I'm getting used to this digital look but boy the old way sure made for yummy images. Here's some random shots with info that I can remember.  

Publicity shot for The Odd Couple - city of Fremont's Little Theatre

It's yours truly with a self portrait. Now a couple of things here, one: I've got black hair! and two I'm shooting with a Pentax Spotmatic 35mm with the Takumar 50mm f1.8 lens. Bought that when I was in the army overseas.

OK, move Mom into the shot. Taken somewhere in Pennsylvania as we traveled across country.
Believe this was a Howard Johnson's motel. Circa 1976.

A picture of my wife taken in Napa California. I don't think the web does this
justice at all. But presented properly it looks very painterly and gorgeously soft.. Something that today requires some shenanigans with Photoshop. 1989/90ish.

Esmeralda and Sneakers probably around 1983. Love the shaft of light.

                        Caught mom in a pensive mood at the restaurant. Taken at the HoJo's above.

OK a little nostalgia today. But I will continue to dig deep in my archives for other filmic treasures.
I'm tempted to start shooting film again but there's buying the film, shipping to a lab and having it scanned and the cost. Gawrsh darn gummit.

Thanks for stopping by.
A friend, Kathleen with Tex in hills above the San Francsisco bay.