Thursday, August 30, 2007


This is what the sky looks like most afternoons through my eyes and lens.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

MSJ: Daylight Long Exposure

The wheel is driven by water flowing through the original aquecia, and powers a grinding stone in the room above.
I felt that a long exposure better conveys the movement so added some ND filters to my lens and set-up the tripod.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Mission San Jose In Infrared

I was constantly thinking about how I could manage to get inside the gates after dark, but all plans ended with jail time.
Rather than drive myself nuts I just kept pulling different tools out of my bag so I could take advantage of every other advanced camera technique at my disposal.
This one ended up being kinda bland, but the IR filters came in handy later.

There's a lot I like about this, although had it been less hot out there I would have waited for better cloud placement.
Cropped for an 8x10" the annoying sign on the right is gone (I cloned it out of the color version) and I'm thinking this might make it into the show in a few weeks.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mission In 3D

In addition to color photos I was also shooting stereo pairs to make 3D images.

Click on the thumbnails to bring up full-size versions.
Sit squarely in front of your monitor at arm's length and cross your eyes until the 3D image appears in the center.
It takes practice, but is well worth it.
And don't worry: Despite what your mother may have told you crossing your eyes won't make them stay that way, it just gives mom the old 'buttpucker' to see their kids like that.
In fact, it makes your eye muscles stronger.
And gives you a headache if overdone.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mission San Jose: Color

It's been quite awhile since I spent an afternoon here. In fact, the last visit was kind of sad.
The bells ring every fifteen minutes but on that day they started ringing at an odd time and didn't stop. The Pope had just died.
This photo required standing around under a tree (it was hot!) waiting for other visitors to get out of the frame. I passed the time chatting and watching a couple make-out in the shadows.

I would love to shoot here at night, but the National Park Service locks the gates at 5pm so I decided to get at least one keeper using every other photographic genre that interests me, starting with standard color.
I used a polarizing filter to keep from getting bored, and was even bracketing exposures for potential HDRs but these are pretty much snapshots anyone could have taken.

This is the underside of the dome seen above. The centering is a little off but there was a piano in the perfect spot so I crammed my tripod into a "close enough" location.
At 1/5th of a second shutter speed, I guess this isn't a snapshot anyone could have gotten.
Also, the original had a rare instance of purple fringing around the windows.

More to come...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Lizard Fever

Click to enlarge
Last night's visitor, on the inside of our patio screen-door. I used a flash for the gecko's head, but also kept the shutter open long enough to get the plants and stuff on our patio to register despite the aperture being at it's smallest.
A new personal record of a handheld shutter time of thirteen seconds, 26 if you count the noise-reduction processing.
I might have been cheating by holding the lens squarely against the window, but since I had the flash in my other hand there's got to be some bonus points awarded.

The first shot was just one of many working my way up to this final exposure. I always try a few different things with flash placement and angle and distance (plus camera settings) until I just know I have the photo I'm looking for.
In this case, I tried something new (for me) by putting the flash under the camera, and the angle at which it's hitting the lizard (and the detail and shadows and eye catchlight that resulted) jumped out at me.
With experience I find more and more variables to exploit in different situations.
I remember with fondness and embarrassment the days when the only adjustments I knew how to make were moving the focus brackets and maybe under/overexposing a little, only to be bitten in the ass by using the wrong white balance or iso setting.
And trying to rescue the result in Photoshop.
Thankfully, I almost never posted those photos here.

Yesterday evening my fever finally broke and I started to feel almost human again. I was sicker than I thought, but just kept chugging-on down the tracks until it finally dawned on me to put a thermometer in my mouth and look up the symptoms online. During a full week of feeling like I should start shopping for a suit to be buried in, taking photos didn't get much attention. Thanks to Smuggled Mexican Penicillin I feel like the man I used to be (minus a few pounds) and am starting to get new ideas again.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

My Sunday Mornings...

...always start with Post Secret.

See if you can watch the new Mini Movie and have dry eyes when it's over.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The HypnoToad

All Glory To The HypnoToad!

You shouldn't let him stare at you for too long.
He's only a few months old and is pretty small.
Nighttime macro photo using off-camera flash and an LED flashlight to get a good focus-lock.

My car is parked at a dry cleaner a mile or so away. I think it's the timing belt. Please think happy thoughts for a speedy non-rape repair. Thanks.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Fountains At HemisFair

New photo of an old topic.
It's another possible for the show.

Much has been accomplished.
All but one frame has been bought, all of the mats are ready, two prints have been made with one rejected so the search is on for a place with better odds of getting acceptable prints at a good price, meaning I don't have to pay for rejects. Perfect poly bags with stiffening boards have been bought for the sold prints at a comics shop. Lighting has been decided upon. Visited the gallery and staked out my preferred section of wall.
Signs and labels are next after I complete a major Photoshop job on new band photos that's got a short deadline.
It's been fun and a little scary at times, but this weekend saw so much progress I think I can relax and breathe and sleep again.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

New Convention Center

I've shown photos of the new building at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center before, but right after I had bagged the AlamoDome/Moon/Clouds image (two photos below) when I turned around to go back down the ramps this scene was right in front of me.

Because it combines two nice downtown SA locations and represents what I'm about as a photographer this photo might make it into my gallery show next month.
Of course it'll be cropped to a 5:4 ratio for the 8x10" print, and while I have Photoshop open I might as well do a few tweaks to it. This version is pretty much exactly what the camera recorded, but I can improve it.