"For art to exist, for any sort of aesthetic activity or perception to exist, a certain physiological precondition is indispensable: intoxication." Friedrich Nietzsche

Saturday, June 27, 2015

OUT OF NOWHERE

So it's rather nice outside...kinda muggy but tolerable...la dee dah...then pachooie!! it starts to downpour like a sonofagun!! streets get flooded, rain gutters can't handle the deluge, cars going by cause waves of torrential sheets and walls of H2O ...
then poof..all gone...back to la dee dah.

My begonias and hydrangeas on the front porch got soaked. That's a good thing.

Grabbed my D80 before the sun decided to sneak back behind what clouds were left.  






I used a 50mm lens with stacked close up filters +1 and the +2. I tried the 4 but it was too intense.

All images ©2015 Andy deBruyn
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Friday, June 26, 2015

FAVORITES OF APRIL THRU JUNE

I am posting several of my favorite images from the second quarter, April thru June, 2015.

Haley from her senior picture session

                                                              San Francisco Bay Bridge

                                                           Stanford Memorial Church

Luthier at Colling Guitars

                                                                  Stanford University

                                                                         Calla Lily

                                                      Flower wind blown in the rain

                                                      Sunrise at Brushy Creek Park

All images ©2015 Andy deBruyn   Click for bigger.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

MORNING IMAGES WITH AN OLDER DIGITAL CAMERA



Some images I made this morning while having my espresso. Two espressos in a row will do that to you.  I just liked the patterns set up by the morning sun streaming through the blinds.


Took these with a Nikon D70. (digital camera debuted in 2004 for a list price of  $999. You can find them in good condition today for around $125.)  Lens is a 40 year old Nikkor 50mm. I use this lens a lot - I love the way it paints the light in the sensor.

BTW - The D70 uses a CCD sensor instead of the currently popular CMOS that's in most cameras today, except for a few point and shoots. The CCD has a completely different look and feel than a CMOS chip. I personally prefer it for portraits.


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IMAGES FROM STICKS


This morning I was transferring some older files that I've kept on USB sticks. The images posted
here are from 2009. It's always interesting to see what subjects I was choosing and the different techniques used to finish the image. There's a couple of other sticks that I haven't even looked
at yet.




                                                              Click images for bigger.


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                                                                                          ©2009-2015Andy deBruyn

Friday, June 19, 2015

SLOW AND WET IT WAS

It has been one slow week for me. Photography wise and everything wise. Lots of rain kept me indoors and when I did venture out I just couldn't find the muse. Granted with the heavy rain fall
and hot temps it's been downright muggy and unpleasant. I actually fired off some shots but they really didn't do much for me.

Anywho, here's several images from older files. I've published images from these sessions before  but not these particular frames. 








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Friday, June 12, 2015

BEHIND THE LILY

                                                               ©2015 Andy deBruyn

OK, so here's another treatment of yesterday's image of my new Calla Lily. I warmed the image up considerably using an Alien Skin plug-in.

The picture looks easy as in "oh, just point and shoot." But there's a little more going on than that.


Here's the set-up. To the left is the dinner room window with a 2 o'clock afternoon sun coming in.
Sorry bout the blue flowers in the back the Calla is in the green pot.
Anyway, in order to get the Lily evenly lit I used a 10x24 silver reflector on the right side pushing light back into the plant. I also hand held a 22" gold reflector when I took the picture.

The black strip is something called a finger. It comes from a kit called, "Dots and Fingers".
They're a collection of small rectangle, square, and round light modifiers calibrated to eliminate light in certain parts of the subject. Here I was using a 12" double net to bring the light down on just the white lily. Everything else was fine except the lily was overexposing and clipping. Using just this strip to diffuse the light in the thin vertical area helped even out the lighting.
I also used the small 2" dot to eliminate a small area that was still clipping.   


Here are the light modifiers I used to make this image. The black finger is being held by an ARRI holder that mounts on any stand. It is made of a flexible material so I can bend/tweak it to fit the exact location of a light "fix".  I used doubles from both sizes.

The dots and fingers generally come in single, doubles, and solids in a variety of sizes.
Basically, the construction consists of a black netting material...single wrap or double wrap for density. The idea being the double holds back twice the light. Since all these units
are built the same you can be sure that your light meter will react accordingly.

So what appears to be just a snap of my flower is actually a set up that required some fine tuning to achieve the light balance and exposure I was looking for. 

Whether it's a small subject like this or something as large as a building it's all about controlling the light. Only thing different about lighting a building are - the lights are bigger as are the modifiers.  

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

CALLA LILLIES BY THE WINDOW


I went to the grocery store this morning to pick up some cheese and they had these fresh Calla Lillies in the floral department for the very inviting price of seven dollars. They're young and several weeks from being full grown. I love the undulating curves plus there's a beautiful color transition from white, white/lavender, to white/purple.






The only light here is window light from the left plus a large 10x24 inch reflector on the right. I was hand holding a circular 22" gold reflector from the top. I adjusted the balanced background by pulling the window curtain back and forth until the ratio was "correct".

I took some behind the scenes which I'll look at tonight.

I'll probably make some images as the smaller flowers mature. Right now they're still nestled in tight, they should expand upward over the next couple of weeks.

The camera is on a tripod, mounted with a 50mm lens sans filter. Shutter tripped mirror up with a cable release.

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SAN FRANCISCO FIRE BOAT

                                   
                              San Francisco Fire Boat bobs quietly moored to the port fire station.


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Sunday, June 7, 2015

FLOWERS IN MY FUTURE



After playing tourist in California for a couple of weeks then coming back and wandering the Collings Guitar factory for several hours making quick fly on the wall portraits of the craftsmen I need to go back and revisit some of my favorite things...one of which are flowers. I have a couple
of projects in mind. I'll start gathering props and designing backdrops this week.

I need to see what I can find out in the fields and at my local florist.

A lot of my pre production notes are just rough sketches on paper to give me ideas about forms, shapes, and placement. If you've seen some of my table top work you know that I spend hours just
doing the set up then the actual picture making only takes a couple of minutes.

So keep in touch.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

COLLINGS GUITARS - WORLD CLASS MADE IN AUSTIN

Today I was very fortunate and privileged to tour the Collings Guitar complex in Austin, Texas.
Being a guitarist myself made it very special - it really was inspiring.
 
Collings guitars are simply the finest hand made guitars in the world.

 Pure concentration.



GM Steve McCreary discusses the finer points of guitar making with Pierpaolo
Adda, famous Italian drummer, author of many books, and guitar connoisseur.


                           Some of the fine artists/craftsmen - hands on and hearts in the process.

Mandolins and ukuleles are part of the line-up.

Meticulously constructing a brace.

Again, that visual concentration surveying every little detail.



        Italian guitarist, Gigi Piaserico from Vicenza Italy, tries out a finished masterpiece.


And the wizard behind the curtain who never stays behind the curtain,
Bill Collings, master luthier and the man with too many visions to mention.


If you are interested in guitars, craftsmanship, excellence, dedication, and artists of the highest caliber, please visit collingsguitars.com for the rest of the story.

A huge thanks to Piepaolo for organizing this visit, to Bill and Steve for their warm reception and
willingness to answer all our questions, and to the many talented artisans with the Collings workshop who took time from their duties to explain to us what they were doing and where it fit in the workflow.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

WHAT KIND OF PARKER ARE YOU?


So they had these huge fruits "hanging" around this apartment complex. I realized later that they were parking lot indicators. 


So instead of having to read a number/letter designator all you have to do is remember, "Am I a Pear Parker?...or an Apple Parker?" There were other entrances to the underground garages with oranges, avocados, etc. All in downtown sunny Sunnvale, California. 


                                                         A wider shot to show scale.


They stand about 8 feet including the pedestal so the actual fruits are about 3 feet tall.

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