Just for Fun

IMG_0636 So, what do you do when you aren't liking your shot? You change your angle, lighting, exposure, or... you can jump in the pool. When planning this shoot, I had thought that I'd might need to get in the water, but for concern of dipping my camera in the water, and/or loosing my footing while working and my camera going under with me, I didn't want to risk it. That and once I was in the water I would have to stay there and finish out the shoot so that I wouldn't be trailing water all over the place and most likely all over my equipment. So I didn't have any intention of getting wet, didn't bring a suit, towel, or a change of clothes. Hey... I wasn't getting in... right?


Summer is coming to an end, days are getting shorter, and I have still only gotten out to ride my motorcycle a handful of times during our 4 good months of riding weather here in Washington. While looking at this set of photos it occurred to me, I think I've photographed my bike more times this year than I have ridden it. But at the same time, I like looking at the machine almost as much as I like riding it, it's a piece of art all by itself.

I wanted to shoot something extremely simple yet visually engaging, and this shoot provided just that. I've recently been playing with a lot of color gels, creating vivid backgrounds on the seamless. I posed the bike in front of the seamless, threw a single strobe behind the bike with a color gel, and popped the picture. I wanted a nice gradient light falloff, which the single light did perfectly, while also keeping to our "simple" theme for the shoot. Lisa stood in as my shadow rider (I wouldn't recommend following her riding technique out on the streets ;) ).

IMG_2913 So I ponied up some dough and bought the AlienBee RingFlash system a couple weeks ago. Just got out in the studio to finally play around with if for the first time. Lisa, the brave soul for most of my lighting testing, stepped in to let me blind her at point-blank range for an hour or so. I will feel fully responsible if this poor girl looses her sight by the ripe old age of 30, cause at the current rate, it's totally a possibility.

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There is something about the leisurely walk-around shoot that usually makes me feel like one of those dorks in the tourist herd. You know... THAT guy, who drops a grand on an entry level DSLR (only to use it in full automatic mode) to compliment his pleated shorts, nurse-white sneakers, knee-high socks, completing the ensemble with the all-important fanny pack. Wandering without a mission, just taking pictures of anything that catches my fancy, I could see how I could appear like a lost soul, taking pictures of walls, flowers, and architecture from awkward angles like I have an equilibrium problem. Well, minus the heinous outfit and plus a decent amount of camera knowledge, that's what I looked like last Sunday afternoon. On second thought, a hefty fanny pack that could lug a 3lb lens around without too much of a fuss wouldn't be a bad idea for a quick lens change... or maybe I could market something like that and put my stamp on it. The "matty fanny" does have a good ring, right? Anywho, I really don't mind blending in with the other joe's with DSLRs in-hand, it's a nice change of pace from my normal shoots with all the lights and equipment (and sometimes a half-clothed model) that tend to gather onlookers.


It's been one hot friggin' week all around the Tacoma area, and it wasn't any different in Sunriver, OR, where I took a few days to relax earlier this week. How did you beat the heat? Hit the water slides, the beach, grab a slushie? I decided to explore the lava river cave just outside Bend, OR. You'd think it being a lava cave, it wouldn't be the best idea to escape the 95 degree temps, however, this mile-long cave stays a constant 42 degrees year-round. The second I hit the mouth of this baby it was already time to breakout the hooded sweatshirt.

Venturing the unknown, cold, dark cave, I wasn't about to haul thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment with me to document the trip, and that's where the good 'ol point 'n shoot came in. So, the shots aren't anything to write home about, just something fun to look at. All of these shots are longer shots and handheld, so there have a unsteady look to them, but can give a cool effect at times.

The above picture captured today of my cat, Toby, pretty much sums up my day. We all lazily relaxed and got a few yawns in. Last week when I setup the studio for the first time I stuck a little point and shoot camera with...


Here are a few pics from a couple shoots back from a weekend in April. Images courtasy of my good friend, Andy, who is also putting together a promotional video for Matty Photography, which should be out any day, so stay tuned! Andy shadowed me and the models for the weekend and captured some great shots and video for me.

IMG_0782 The Museum of Glass installed a giant, new exhibit in one of the three water pools. It's composed with hundreds of pieces of glass, all illuminated at night. It took 40 artists over a year to make, quite a sight! If you get a chance, get down there and see it in person.

  If you were lucky enough to be in the PNW like myself, you know what a cold, wet, and extremely gusty day it was. Needless to say, part two of my industrial night lights shoot will have to wait for another day. Wind is a camera's worst enemy when attempting long exposures. Instead, I discovered the greenhouse in Wright Park, in down town Tacoma. I had never been there, and to my surprise, the climate controlled building housed a gigantic assortment of colorful flowers in bloom. I don't have a macro lens yet to take perfect macro shots, so my 50mm and 28-135mm lenses had to do. They turned out ok.

IMG_0128 I just picked up the new Canon 5D Mark II, and have been itching to get out and spend some time doing some long exposures of the industrial area lights. I hit up a spot where I have previously shot, but now armed with a 21 megapixel camera, I knew I'd get better results. I'll be shooting the Federal Way side of the lights tomorrow night, which will be a new spot for me. I'll post those pics too if I get anything good.


Valentine's weekend, I ventured out to the Tacoma industrial area. I love this area as there are an infinite amount of photo possibilities. There are miles of roads, handfuls of old and/or abandoned buildings, rusty equipment, and textures of all kinds that cater to just about any style of photography, from wide angle shots to macros. It is a graveyard for industrial equipment and the unwanted things that are simply too large to keep around. You never know what you'll stumble across, I walked by an boat anchor the size of my car.

It was a pretty brisk Saturday, I made my way through the area swiftly as the cold bit at my bare hands. It was one of those days that I wanted to spend hours wandering around and taking a wide variety of shots and changing lenses, but it just got uncomfortable after a few minutes outside the comfort of my car. Days like that make you want the summer weather here just that much faster.

So the pretty stage of Fall is almost over. Such an awesome time to capture the world. So many colors are in the trees, but unfortunately, the colorful leaves don't waste any time falling, leaving the trees bare for the winter. I didn't get nearly...