Thursday, October 30, 2008

environmental portraits

The assignment for the Bay Area Photo Club in November is environmental portrait. The photo of the shrimper was taken this past weekend in Galveston. I had to ask this guy a couple of times if I could take his photo, and finally he agreed. But in the rush to get a couple of shots, I totally underestimated how distracting the net behind him is. I was thinking it added to the environment, but since it's so sharp and dark it becomes pretty prominent. The photo of the surgeon is the chief of Plastic Surgery at UTMB, who needed some portraits made earlier this year. Just wanted some feedback on these images. Please feel free to post comments - composition, lighting, and applicability to environmental portrait.

in need of direction

Nothing flying today, just a simple landscape that was taken last weekend on the beach in Galveston. Some photo club members and I got up early and shot the pilings where the businesses like the Balinese Room once stood. We were trying to get the water movement blurred under the pilings ... and had mixed success. This shot was taken in the other direction - toward the Flagship Hotel, which is on a pier extending out into the Gulf of Mexico. If you look close you can see two fishermen on the rock pier in the background. I guess I was thinking that the bent metal shaft in the ground was somehow symbolic of the lack of direction in people's lives on the island post-Ike. And then when I got home, I realized that this metal pole was part of one of the businesses on piers all right - a Hooter's restaurant. So much for my theory.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

birds of a different feather

OK, two posts and two bird photos - some have asked if this is going to be exclusively bird photos. Well no, not exactly - just an outlet for some photos I'm working on. And recently it seems I've been shooting birds. Maybe that's where I have my greatest comfort zone - watching them and trying to figure the best ways to shoot them. This past weekend, though, I did some other kinds of photography besides nature, and I'll be posting them here in the near future. The photo above of the US Air Force Thunderbirds was taken Sunday at the Wings Over Houston Air Show at Ellington Field. It was a great day - bright blue skies and perfect shooting conditions. There's something about flight that really intriques me -- freezing that moment in time in a photograph is such a challenging and gratifying experience. I guess the Thunderbirds are not too different than a bird ... just a heck of a lot harder to track with a 400 mm lens.

Monday, October 27, 2008

welcome back, old friend

A welcome sight recently in the Galveston area has been the annual migration of white pelicans through the area. The migration seems earlier this year…or maybe it’s just that you’re looking for something to bring a sense of “the way it used to be” back into your life. So in this post-Ike world, is it nostalgia or hope? Hope that the powers that be see fit to rebuild Galveston and not let things linger to the point that good and talented people just walk away from the island out of frustration. This all will take time, I know, but for now it sure feels good to have the white pelicans here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

...with both feet

OK, I'm jumping into the deep end. Hand holding my nose and with a running start, I'm (finally) starting my blog. I've been threatening to do this for a while; I actually have had this blog name since July, but something always seemed to take precedence, so I never did much with it. Then came September 12 here in the Houston-Galveston area, and all things came to a screeching halt. Hurricane Ike hit the area, and anything that wasn't remotely involved with the clean up and recovery from that took a back seat. So now six weeks later, I'm still not back in my day job office in Galveston (although working from home), but things here in Clear Lake have seemed to become normal in this world some call "the new normal." Alot of people take photos of the devastation in Galveston - the piles of debris on street curbs and the gutted buildings - but I have a hard time doing it. I guess it's too personal, too hard to see the place you grew up in such ruin. Immediately after Ike, we put hummingbird feeders out to catch the fall migration of these beautiful (and extremely fast) creatures. They swarmed the feeders, and I put my beginner lighting skills to work by using an off-camera flash to capture them. So, this is my first post. It's not an Ike photo. Maybe some day, but not right now. Hummingbirds are so much prettier.