Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Open Gates

I was at Open Gates last Friday taking a group photo of attendees at a retreat. Open Gates is located on 25th Street and Broadway in Galveston. It's been operated by UTMB for many years as a conference center, but has been closed since Hurricane Ike in 2008. It recently reopened, and was on the Historical Foundation's Homes Tour in May. While I was waiting for my group, I took the photo above -- three handheld bracketed photos merged together with Nik HDR Efex Pro 2, 2000 ISO, no tripod ... just experimenting with light levels. My group ultimately became 68 people, so I wisely moved into a much lighter room on the exterior of the building for the photo. But for a while I was considering this location. But with the dark walls, hanging pendant lamps, and 68 people I just didn't want to attempt it.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer Portrait #2

Another photo of Carli taken at the photo club workshop. We used an off-camera flash behind her as an accent light. I augmented it a little in postproduction with some warmth and lens flare. 1/60 sec at f/3.5, light from a Nikon SB800 in a Westcott Rapid Box Octa at about 1/16 power.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer Portrait #1

The Bay Area Photo Club had a portrait workshop last week, and I had the pleasure of shooting Carli, pictured above in the courtyard of Butler Longhorn Museum. 1/200 sec at f/2.2, ISO200, 85mm; light from a Nikon SB800 in a Lastolite 26" Rapid Box Octa at 1/32 power.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Killen's BBQ

A few weeks ago, over the Fourth of July holiday, we had friends over to celebrate a birthday, so we got some barbecue from Killen's BBQ Pop-up in Pearland. He sells plates and meat by the pound from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm or until he runs out. All this on the property where he's renovating a building that will become a permanent restaurant. Worth the trip and and the long lines. I took this photo at home with our homemade sides. As you can see, the Fred Flintstone-like beef rib was bigger than the plate. 1/250 sec at f/1.4, ISO1600.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Brazos Bend State Park

Several weeks ago I went to Brazos Bend State Park with a group of photographers from the Bay Area Photo Club. It was the first time I photographed alligators in the wild. Interesting experience. 1/800 sec at f/5.6, ISO200, 300mm.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


I'm still shooting my macro flower series when the inspiration comes up. This one was shot for the Bay Area Photo Club's high key assignment a couple of weeks ago. The usual set up -- two umbrellas with speedlights, 36mm extension tube with a 50mm lens, manual exposure and focus. The EXIF data said this was shot at f/2, but with the extension tubes that was more likely around f/1. So shallow that I actually had to pull parts of the stamens from other frames and composite them together so they would all be sharp. That sounds complicated but with such a soft background really isn't that hard to do.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Jekyll Island Revisited

I was looking through some old files earlier today and came across some shots from Jekyll Island more than a year old, so I processed a few. This is an HDR at Driftwood Beach. I spent a little time retouching some spots in the sky -- not sure if they were all dust spots or if some were the swarming noseeums that still stick in my mind to this day. Three exposures shot on a tripod merged together with Nik HDR Efex 2. Base exposure was at f/14 and 36mm.