Monday, December 22, 2008

Ben and Rebecca

Hey, a photo blog... maybe I should actually keep it up to date... for a few months there photography wasn't much on the brain. But I'm back now.

I shot engagement photos for some friends of mine... loved this shoot. They're both very photogenic anyway, and I loved the location... we went to the 1940s air terminal at Hobby airport here in town.

This was a shot I skipped over initially, but now it is one of my favorites, if not the favorite. It's especially cool viewed large, click on over to Flickr and then follow the link in the description to view large.

This was shot with a Lastolite tri-grip 1 stop diffuser in bright afternoon sun, and then desaturated somewhat in Photoshop (among other things). I like the foreground/background focus/defocused play, and love their expressions. Definitely worth viewing large to catch all that.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I love going back and revisiting images with fresh vision or ideas for processing. I shot this last January but had never done anything with it.

This was processed in Photoshop CS3... I multiplied the color image over itself, then applied a B&W layer, and finally converted to tritone. The tritone settings used here are new, I started with something in the ballpark, but it was too dark and needed some detail preserved in the shadows (hard to see here, but very noticeable large).

Click here for a larger view

Monday, June 16, 2008


I really dig this shot. I was driving down Lamar with my camera ready (typically for that sort of thing I put it in aperture priority so it can compensate for exposure, instead of manual where I normally shoot) and got off one frame before the focus sensors gave up trying to figure out where to focus (I should've enabled all of the sensors, typically I have just the center one enabled).

There is something faintly sinister or foreboding, or maybe just stark. I processed the image into a duotone and darkened it up with a pretty heavy gray ink... I also popped the sky a bit with some midtone contrast in that ink.

Two favorites things going on here... one is the soft focus created by shooting through the windshield... second, the building on the right. We must be looking at the point edge of a triangular building, but it just looks completely flat here, like there's a building wall with windows and the whole deal... but no other walls.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Here's one to think about.

Processing in Aperture 2.1 and Photoshop CS3.

Friday, April 11, 2008


A little timeout from photography-focused posts, this one is about my other passion... coffee! Espresso, in particular. This is my new PID-controlled espresso machine with a commercial (E61) group.

I did take the picture, though. Black and white in Aperture 2.1 and then duotoned in PS CS3.

Love that chrome!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


This feel like a dance to me... a dance of nature and motion and line and shape.

I'm really digging more muted color processing these days. This was done in Aperture 2.1 with an interesting combo of way negative vibrance with a little saturation boost. Since vibrance affects some colors more than others, the combo of the two can have a pretty interesting effect.

Border added in CS3.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Downtown, Cloudy Morning

The framing of this shot (and the additional frame added in post) is really appealing to me. It was also another opportunity to make a duotone (tritone in this case).

A little more fog would've been nice, but oh well. It was cloudy (you can see the low clouds around the tops of the buildings).

B&W in Aperture 2.1, tritone and framing in CS3.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


I love how this came out... the flower was a perfect fit for the frame, and the deep purples and rich greens just pop, especially off of a white page. Adding a white border effect gave it a little character.

EOS 40D, 1/30 @ f/4, 17-40mm f/4 L

Processed in Aperture 2.1, border in PhotoFrame in CS3.

Birthday Cake

I'm not sure why I didn't blog this long ago... this is one of my absolute favorite images of everything I've taken.

The only light in the shot is coming from the candles... it's amazing that we have cameras that can capture this. Granted, if you had set up a shot like this, had a tripod, etc., you could pull it off. But to go from shooting a lighted room to shooting this in real time with good results is pretty amazing.

Shot with a 40D, 17-40mm f/4 L, 1/30 @ f/4, ISO 1600.

Monday, March 31, 2008


Judah turned six months old last week! Hard to believe. Harder to believe, he's huge and incredibly mobile. Nothing is safe!

This was lit with two lights and a reflector: one small softbox directly overhead, one beauty dish to camera right, maybe 3 feet from the subjects, and a gold reflector to camera left for some fill. The background is seamless paper.

This was tritoned in Photoshop CS3 after doing most of the processing in Aperture 2.1.

I love their eyes here, they pop right out, and the overall shape of the subject.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I've been so busy with non-photography things that I've hardly paid attention to this blog or Flickr or anything (but I did make the Houston Photobloggers meetup!)

I'm looking forward to a bit lighter load and more time for photo shoots in the next month or two.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

500th: Houston, Texas

This is my 500th photo on Flickr. That seems like a lot and not very many all at once.

This was photomerged in CS3 from 15 vertical frames into a 10,560 pixel image (width). BTW, CS3's photomerge is intensely good.

This isn't my favorite shot but the technique is so cool and you can end up with image that can print very, very large.

View this on black for best viewing.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sea of Glass, Tritone

I'm finally happy with this image. I took this shot two years ago and processed it then but haven't visited it much since, and I was never happy with the processing.

The full set of adjustments here is long, but the basics are: curves to boost brightness and tweak contrast, +saturation to bring out the reds and yellows, -saturation to make the sea more gray and neutral, separate black and white conversions for everything above the horizon and everything below, and then a final tritone and curves adjustment to arrive here. And an 8x10 crop. Oh and near the beginning I removed a large support pole in the foreground. :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I love this look and this image. I really wanted to try something different with the lighting, so the key light is a 16x20" softbox to the model's right, aimed across her face. Then I used two hard lights (grids), one to put a splash of light on the back of her hair, and one to fill just a little in front and cast a slight shadow against the background.

The goal was to keep some softness in her face while still creating a hard lighting look overall. I love the kiss of light from the softbox on her near cheek, and the barely visible shadow against the background. I may need to kick the shadow edge contrast up a bit.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Houston, from Houston

The moral of this story: carry your tripod! I didn't take it today... and as a result I had to hand-hold this (braced) at 1/6th to get the shot at a decent ISO (200), underexposing a bit. All but this one were too blurry.

But I love the shot, the setting sun made gorgeous golden light, reflecting off the buildings here.

Take your tripod!

Friday, December 14, 2007

House, Galveston, TX

There are some really beautiful houses in the Galveston neighborhood near the Strand... we had to park there to get to Dickens on the Strand, and I was really surprised to find all these incredible houses.

Something about this shot just felt vintage to me, so I went with a vintage/antique treatment.

Monday, December 10, 2007


I love this shot... the motion, the texture, the focus, the bokeh, etc. I wanted muted color tones, but not black and white. The muted tones allow the motion and texture to be the focus and not contrast or color. The emulsion border effect just adds to it IMO.

Maybe my favorite thing is the focus on his grip on the rock. It's the only thing in any real focus and brings out something raw or primal, in a subtle way. A boy hurling a stone is pretty universal, and to me that is most evident in his hand and grip.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I want to plug a local photo lab who printed this image for me. This is our midwife and our three boys, and we were giving this to her as a gift. I process all my images on Apple's 30" Cinema HD display (color managed of course), and this image was adjusted on that display.

Here's the point: the ASAP print looked exactly like the image on my screen. Exactly. I was shocked, I always worry about printing with shadows that could go too dark. The background here is not black, nor was it on the print. The colors were vibrant and precisely what I saw on screen. No loss of shadow detail or darkening of shadows.

Very impressive!

I'm so impressed that I'm going to see if they have an FTP service and I will set up Automator to push images to them if they do.

ASAP's details:
(281) 980-6071
3356 Highway 6
Sugar Land, TX 77478

Friday, October 05, 2007

Baby Blue

Well it couldn't have been too long before new camera + new baby = new studio shoot. :)

Shot with my new 40D and 17-40L, 1/250 @ f/16.

This was lit with three lights and a reflector... I was shooting just underneath a medium softbox, almost at ground level... there's a beauty dish overhead (over the scene), not far out of the frame, and then one 10-degree grid spot. To camera right is the gold side of a Litedisc. Lights triggered by a sync cord and optical slaves.

I did a little skin tone cleanup in Photoshop and a little blurring on the background to squish imperfections in the paper, but otherwise this is as shot.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

New Babies

My Canon 40D arrived this week, as did our new baby boy!

I love the 40D, it's a huge upgrade from the 10D (about time). I now have the capacity to shoot far too many frames a second (6.5) for far too long (75 JPEGs). Of course I barely ever use the "motor drive" at all now, I probably won't suddenly have occasion to. But, it will make studio work much less frustrating. I won't be waiting for the camera anymore, I don't think.

For the birth, I put one of my monolights in the bedroom (we birthed at home), with a shoot through umbrella, aimed at about 45 degrees up. Thus most subjects had feathered direct light from the edge of the umbrella and bounced light off the ceiling. It worked pretty well as an unobtrusive, light-everything solution.