Monthly Archives: October 2013



Today’s post takes us back to the steel wool spinning event this past weekend, but with a little twist.  One of the cool things about photographing spinning steel wool is to try to find a little different way of making the image.  One common approach is to zoom in and out with a zoom lens while shooting, and this image, titled Maelstrom, is sort of a take on that.

Instead of zooming in and out, I used my 35mm prime lens and changed the focus through the entire exposure to give parts that are sharp and some that are clearly out of focus.  IMO the result really looks like there is a ton more fire in the scene than there actually was.

Posted in Photography

Portland’s Tree of Life

Portland's Tree of Life

A year ago last August I had the pleasure of finally meeting some online photog friends face to face in Oregon.  One of the places that we shot was the Japanese Gardens in Portland.  I had previously shared a black and white IR image of the very famous “Tree of Life” that is in those gardens.  It is quite possibly one of the most photographed trees in the pacific northwest.

This image, which I have not shared up until this point, is an image that I shot at the same time as the IR version that is linked above, and was one that I initially did not mark as a “keeper” from the trip.  I wish I would have had a wider lens with me, my 10-20mm lens was in the car well over a mile away, and truth be told, I missed the focus just enough to make the image ever so soft, even though it doesn’t necessarily look soft now.

I typically spend a total of 5 to 10 minutes processing my images.  I like to take pictures, I get a lot less joy out of processing them.  This image actually took me well over an hour today to process and get to the point that you are seeing it now.  A lot of work when into the colors, but even more in defining a lot more edge detail through the entire image, this gives it the look of being more sharp than it was when it came out of the camera.  I many cases I sort of turned the amp “up to eleven” when I was working on this shot, but when it was all said and done I am quite pleased with how it came out.


Posted in Photography

Bouncing Sparks

Bouncing Sparks

Back in the spring I did a blog post about a night out spinning steel wool with a photography meetup group here in Olympia.  I also posted about spinning steel wool in my front yard.  I didn’t really go into great detail in either post about how one goes about spinning steel wool, and I am not going to in this post either, there are a lot of tutorials that an adventurous photographer can find with just the basic understanding of how to use a search engine, but I did want to talk briefly about why I chose this image to share today, and I can sum it up in two works, Bouncing Sparks.

I made this image on Saturday night during another meetup group shoot here in Olympia.  We had somewhere between 20 and 25 photographers out shooting and I think that a good time was had by everyone.  I ended up walking away with about 100 images from the night, but to be honest, most were shots just like many other hundreds that I have in my Lightroom catalogs.  This one is even like those other hundreds of images but I thought I would share it anyway, I really like the way that the composition came out, but what I really love about it is the way that the sparks bounce off the asphalt in this particular image, and even more specifically that they did so very close to my camera.

I hope that you enjoy this image, and I do have one more from the evening that I will be sharing later this week, and I am excited to say that I tried something new on it and it doesn’t look like the hundreds of other steel wool shots I have.  Stay tuned.

Posted in Photography

Looking Up Into The Night Sky

Looking Up

The Milkyway over the Arizona desert

My work has me making somewhat regular trips back to Arizona for work.  A lot of my followers know about the epic sunsets and the magnificent monsoons, but what a lot might not know is that the night sky can also be quite amazing.  This image, which I simply titled “Looking Up” is really nothing more than a simple snapshot of the night sky along Interstate 10 between Tucson and Phoenix.

I hope you enjoy the image, and if you are reading this post via my RSS feed, please click through to actually see the image.

Posted in Photography

Desert Storm

For some of us “Desert Storm” was a war a little over 20 years ago, crap, it is hard to believe that it was over 20 years ago.  For me it is also the title of an image I made a few years ago near Tucson, AZ.

The reason I am reposting this image is that I have been doing a lot of work cleaning up both my online galleries as well as my Lightroom collection.  This image has been online for a long time but it was always a small JPG version, I have since replace that version with this larger version.  This image is actually a 10 image panorama captured with an IR converted Nikon camera.

I also wanted to pass on a little house keeping message with this blog post.  I have been moving my primary galleries over to a self hosted solution, which I am generally very happy with, but I have discovered that not all of my images have been showing up in my RSS feeds.  For the time being, I am reverting back to using my SmugMug galleries to host my images to insure that my followers who read via RSS actually get to see the images.

I do have more things to hit the blog soon, I have been traveling a lot for work latest, and have a few more work trips coming up, but will do my best to get back to doing some regular updates.

Posted in IR photography, StormChasing Tagged |