Family, History and Love

Wanda and I have been discussing, of late, the need to set down in writing some portion of our family history so that in the future our children and grandchildren will have the stories and tales of our lives direct from the source. The technophile that I am, I choose to do this online so that the what we write will be accessible and available for comment to our wider family (though I reserve the right to moderate those comments).

To that end, I have repurposed this blog. In coming posts, we will endeavor to provide an abridged story of our life (hey, everyone has their secrets). We're writing this for our children and their children and those that come later so elements of these tales will be familiar only to our family,

Monday, December 28, 2009

Reorganizing


I've decided to revamp my blog, and to some extent my website. This particular journal will be family centric and will concentrate not only photographic events related to the family, but to generally family friendly events like the various fairs and festivals that we attend during the year. I've gone back through the previous entries and deleted many that were not appropriate for a family journal. Other entries have been marked as NSFW (Not Safe for Work), but not deleted because they contribute to the flow of the journal.

I have copied those entries over to a different journal that will be specific to my glamour photography. This will allow me to separate my photographic interests more appropriately and keep the journal very specific to family and family events that are only of interest to my closest friends and family.  If you've been following my glamour photography and want to continue to do so, let me know and I'll send you a link (or just check out the link for Through the Lens in the side bar).


We spent Christmas with our grandchildren (as much as we could) this year. Unfortunately, our Christmas with Jocelyn was limited to a video show via the PS3 network, but that was quite delightful. We got to see her open her presents from us and to watch her play in the ball pit that her mom and dad gave to her. She certainly had quite a lot of fun with that. We're hoping that next year we'll be able to actually spend Christmas with her like we did last year.

After the all-too-short video show, we went to our daughter Talitha's house for Christmas brunch with Makayla and Ryker, their mom and Aunt TeeTee, and their Grandma Carol. We managed to get there before the kids had been up very long and they hadn't yet opened their presents from Santa. Makayla was reluctant to go look at the tree full of presents until she was absolutely sure that Santa wasn't still in the room.  The kids got to open their Santa presents right away while the adults put the meal together (or at least while Grandma Wanda put the food in the oven to finish cooking)


Brunch was delicious. Wanda made her hashbrown egg casserole as well as homemade biscuits while I made some sausage gravy to go with the meal.  While certainly not light in calories or fat, it was good and filling. Afterwards the kids finished opening their presents and the adults got to share theirs too.

Of course, the most fun was watching the little ones play with their toys, or in Ryker's case, with both his toys and his clothes.  Makayla also treated the adults as play accessories, especially since she got a medical cart as part of her Christmas. All the adults received medical exams and I received special attention and even a call for mommy's ambulance to take me home due to a "really bad owie."

Okay, now you can see why I'm separating the journals, right? :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Zoo Lights

We took the grandkids to see the Zoo Lights at the Portland Zoo last night. It was the first time for even though we've lived here in Portland for nearly 14 years. I guess grandchildren are a great catalyst for doing things you wouldn't normally do because you wouldn't want to deal with the crowds or because it's too cold or too wet or just about any other excuse that you could profess. But with grandchildren, you set all that aside when your grandchildren are part of the equation.

Makayla has been so excited about Christmas this year, and has had a real fascination with Christmas lights. So we all bundled up last night--her mommy, her brother, her auntie and her grandmother and I--and braved the traffic, the drizzle, and the crowds to see the lights at the zoo. And, I'll have to say that it was definitely worth it (though, somehow I wound up paying for the entire family, a patriarch's duty perhaps?).

Mayayla was certainly entranced by the lights. Very few of the animals were to be seen. The penquin house was open, and we did see a few monkey and a sleeping ocelot, but no elephants, bears, giraffes or other animals not depicted in the lights. The light displays more than mode up for the lack of animals though. Many of the displays were animated. There were monkeys swinging from tree to tree, elephants spouting glowing water, butterflies bursting from their cocoons, and an eagle soaring from one perch to another. There was even a river filled with alligators while elephants played in the background.

The kids were delighted, as were the adults. The zoo was quite crowded and it certainly wasn't a dry night. The rain wasn't too bad, though, mainly just mist and fog. The chill temperatures provided the touch of winter without being too cold. Makayla had hoped to see more real animals, but she did enjoy all the lights, and Ryker was really fascinated and wanted to touch all the lights. He did enjoy walking around the place, annoying his sister, and keeping the adults busy trying to keep him from running off in the crowd. He had just as much fun as his older sister, if not more. They both enjoyed the cotton candy that their Auntie TeeTee bought them near the end of our tour.

Jocelyn also got to goto the zoo lights , but she went with her parents to the zoo in Arizona. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of that yet, but perhaps her mom will read this post and SEND SOME TO THE GRANDPARENTS!

Zoo lights also gave me a chance at some difficult lighting conditions. The images you see here were shot with a Canon 40D and a 17-55 f/2.8 EF-S IS lens. The camera was set to manual, and because the displays were most static, I enabled the image stabilization (IS) on the lens. I set the camera ISO to 1250 and the exposure mode to manual. The lights varied greatly in their brilliance, so I was constantly adjusting the shutter speed (within limits) to control the exposure. The biggest issue I had was a smear on the clear filter I had on the lens to protect it from the weather. Once I removed the filter, I was much happier with the image results.

Here are some final images from the night:






Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Thoughts at the End of the Year

I think, perhaps, my long running battle with my computers may be over, or at least in a lull. My laptop drive has been restored with only the loss of a list of images that I needed to process. The images are still there, but the list of images the model chose for me to process was lost in the recovery.

The external hard drive that failed when PGE cut the power to my neighborhood has been restored and the thousands of family photos on that drive have been copied over to a new drive, backed up, and re-cataloged. Additionally, the main images will be backed up to a small hard drive and stored in my safety deposit box. I’ve also added to UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) units to my computer network and optimized the system drive on my desktop. Now, at last, I can actually begin processing the images I’ve taken over the last few months. In fact, I did manage to complete processing the Autumn Fairy Reshoot images for the model chosen for that shoot and will deliver them to her this weekend. Now I have to start processing the Sword and Sorcery shots from mid-November.

In the meantime, I have a number of family images to process, including some Christmas portraits of my grandchildren and daughters. Those will need to be completed before I travel to Arizona next week so my daughter-in-law will have them for her scrapbooking. Of course, Wanda has a few thousand photos she wants scanned a retouched too. Maybe I should consider golf as an alternative hobby.

It’s hard to believe that 2009 is almost over and with it the end of the first decade of the 21st century (depending on how you look at it). The 2000’s were sure different from the 90’s, and not all in a good way. We’re still in the midst of two wars, the economy is, at best, staggering along. Unemployment is at an all time high, and more people are homeless this Christmas season than ever. What I can’t understand, is why we can’t as humans, despite our political and ideological differences, pull together as a country to do better and be more kind and humane toward each other.

I feel fortunate I have a wonderful wife, great children and adorable grandchildren, as well as a job, a home and the time and money to spend on a hobby. I know there are many others who are just scraping by these days and would be grateful for a 1/10th of what I have. That makes me appreciate my family and friends all the more—and I’m certainly happy I have the ability to take photos of them, and my other projects, and share them with the world.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

The Next Project

This image is the latest from my Fae in All of Us project, and probably the last image from this project for the year. I still have a few more images to shoot in the series including the Wind, Earth and Winter Fae, but with the exception of the Winter Fae, I'm unlikely to shoot them this year. The Earth and Wind shoots had been planned, but in the case of the former, the model canceled on me and in the latter case, the prospective location wasn't available in time to do the shoot before the weather turned too cool and wet for an outdoor shoot.

It's alright though, the shoots will get done in due course. My extensive portfolio of images from previous shoots in the series has made it much easier to find willing models to participate in the remainder of the series. I may have to push back the publication of my book, but that's okay too. I'd rather take the time to create the right images with the right models than set myself an artificial deadline.

In the meantime, though, I'm starting a new project for the winter months, though in all likelihood I'll continue the project into the warmer months as well. I'm calling the project Swords and Sorcery, though it rightly should be called Swords and Sorceresses, as it features models as both warriors and mistresses of magic.

I've been slowly acquiring the materials to shoot this project over the last couple of years and the project planning is almost complete. I've put out a casting call and I have studio time available, and with any luck the project will start soon.

My goal is to use the art of Michael Whelan, Luis Royo, Julia Bell and and Boris Vallejo as inspiration for a series of photos that put my own twist on the concept of strong women. On the concept page of my website, I describe the project: "I decided to create a series of images featuring various models whose outfits and looks are coordinated with matching sword or enchanted device. The idea is to create a series of images showing women as strong, mystical figures with innate power and beauty"

The artist and designer, Kit Rae, has also inspired a portion of the project with his fantastical sword designs, especially his Swords of the Ancients series which includes the Avoloch Mithrodin sword seen here.

The costume designs for the shoot will include a variety of items but will primarily feature the chain mail jewelry I've been acquiring from artists in Connecticut. I've been using much of their jewelry in my Fae project and it seems quite appropriate to match their unique designs to the models and swords as part of the creative challenge.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Pumpkin Patch & Post Surgery

I had arthroscopic surgery on my right knee this morning. All in all, the pain isn't as bad as I thought it would be (knock on wood), but I'm sure that this is due to the strong medications and the "Game Ready" cooling device the physical therapy office provided me. I'm still quite sleepy from the anesthesia, but I feel lucid, if not exactly clear-headed. Getting up at 5 am this morning and going without coffee before the surgery has been the most unpleasant part of the experience so far, though I'm sure that's going to change as the residual anesthesia wears off and the pain meds are used up.

I have most of the rest of the week off from work since I will be on strong narcotics during that time and I will need to keep my leg elevated and continue to use the cooling unit during most of the day. The surgeon wanted me to take a full two weeks off from work, but I cleared it with my manager to simply work from home next week, as I should be off the major meds by then and can keep my leg elevated and cooled from my home office.

The "Game Ready" cooling unit is actually quite an interesting device. It's a portable cooling unit that provides pressure and cooling to my leg to help reduce the swelling and pain. The main unit has a reservoir for ice and water and connects via a snap on hose unit the the large cooling jacket which wraps around my leg. The unit has adjustments for temperature and pressure and I have a protocol sheet which tells what to use and when. It's quite easy to use and seems to be helping quite a lot.

Unfortunately, my son injured his left knee while playing Ultimate Frisbee with the guys at his fire station a couple of weeks ago and it looks likely he'll have to have similar surgery in the near future. He'll probably call me this evening to see what he has to to look forward to when he has his own procedure.

In other news. we had a great time taking Ryker and Makayla to the Pumpkin Patch at Sauvie Island this past Saturday. Their parents came along, as well and their Auntie TT. We had very nice weather for what is becoming an annual family event and the kids were able to pick out some nice pumpkins to carve for Halloween. We sure wish Jocelyn and her parents could have been there too. It would have been a real treat to have all the grandkids together for the event.

Ryker, his sister, and his mom and his auntie stayed here that night, and the girls and I had fun playing Rock Band for the first time in a long time. The girls were out of practice, but we tackled some tough songs anyway, including the new song pack of Queen that I downloaded on Friday

The next day, Wanda and I took Makayla to Disney on Ice to see some of her favorite Disney characters, and we all had a great time. Makayla enjoyed the show immensely, as well as the cotton candy and the other treats, and Wanda and I really enjoyed watching her delight. We hope to more activities like this with all of our grandchildren over the next few years.

Wanda's birthday is this weekend, so we'll be seeing Ryker and Makayla again this week when they come over for their grandmama's birthday dinner and we'll be seeing Jocelyn pretty soon too, since her mommy is brining her up for Thanksgiving.

There aren't any photos with the entry right now, but I'll add some later when I'm off the drugs. :)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Late Nights & Medical Fun

I have a long night ahead. I've reached that age where torture, disguised as medical procedures, is becoming more frequent. Don't misunderstand, I have a good doctor and he provides me with great care and sound medical advice, but I would just as soon stay young forever and not need preventative tests and intrusive procedures because I've reached a certain age.

In any case, I'm not likely to get much sleep this evening as I'm "studying" for my test scheduled for 6:30 am. Such study involves a clear liquid diet and large quantities of Miralax dissolved in Gatorade. Yum, yum. I get to drink another 32 ounces at 1:30 am. Fortunately, there are not photos to go with this post.

I am, however, wrapping up one photo project and collecting materials to begin another. My Fae in All of Us series will come to a close with three more shoots - Earth Fae, Wind Fae, and Winter Fae. I'm also hoping to reshoot Autumn Fae since that was the very first shoot of the series and I think I can do it much, much better now. I just spoke to a vineyard owner today about using their property for the Wind Fairy shoot, Winter Fairy as a model ready to go and I just need some snow and an open field, but Earth Fairy may be a bit of a problem.

I had a girl scheduled to shoot the Earth Fae, but she canceled on me and now it's getting too cool outside to use the concept I wanted to use, so I may need to change it up a bit. That's a shame, because the initial idea involved the creative use of mud. I'm' sure I'll figure out something, though.

I am continuing my Women in Chains series and starting a new one with a similar theme but focusing more on Sword and Sorcery. These two projects will give me something to work on in the studio over the winter months instead of me spending all of my time simply working on post processing my images from previous months. I enjoy the post processing, but sitting at a computer for both work and pleasure gets a bit old and I need to spend time actually behind the camera shooting new images and creating new scenarios.

But, the holidays are coming up too, and there's always opportunities to shoot photos of my family and especially the grandkids. We'll be going to the pumpkin patch soon, and that's always fun to shoot. Thanksgiving and Christmas always offer good photographic opportunities as well.
Makayla and TeeTee Decorating the Tree

Friday, October 02, 2009

Test of image uploading

Test of image upload options via MarsEdit.IMG_6575The image to the left was uploaded from Flickr.


And the image below was uploaded directly from my computer.

This is an editing test done a few days later to determine the impact on the original post. If this continues to work well, I'll be utilizing MarsEdit as my primary blogging software. MacJournal is good for "journaling" and by that I mean writing a diary or journal on a home computer or laptop, but it certainly doesn't work well for blogging, especially when the content of the blog includes a large number of images. MacJournal has never worked properly for me to upload images to my server and doesn't seem to offer a decent editing interface for aligning the images either to the left or right of the entry.

MarsEdit overcomes those limits and allows me to upload the images directly from my computer to Picasa where the images are automatically inserted into the blog, or allows me to use my Flickr account to specify what images to include in the post. It also includes a media catalog to track the images used in the blog so far - something that MacJournal doesn't even begin to do.

I also like that the program offers you a preview window that shows you how the blog entry will look on your site with regard to image alignment and image placement. It does slow the program down a tad, but not to a degree that's intolerable.

Finally, the html source code for the images can be directly edited in the text entry window so images sizes and targets can be adjusted to taste and intent.

The software comes with a free 30 day trial, so I'll continue to evaluate it for a few more weeks, but it's looking more and more likely that I'll purchase it and use it on a regular basis.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Portland Pirate Festival 2009

This year we finally got the majority of the family to the Portland Pirate Festival. The first year of the festival, I attended the festival alone and covered the festival for the St. Johns Sentinel. The next couple of years, Wanda, Amber and Makayla attended with me, and Ryker attended last year even though he was only a couple of weeks old. This year, we went all out and even brought Greg and Nikki (and all of us were in costume, I might add). Unfortunately, Jeremy, Kristin and Jocelyn weren't able to be with us. Had they been, it would have been truly a terrific festival. Wanda and I hope we get to attend the Arizona Ren Faire with them in the spring of next year.

We did get quite elaborate this year. I had the idea to decorate one of the Radio Flyer wagons as a pirate ship and had thought to simply add some cardboard cutouts and a flag to the wagon and that would be it. Once I made the suggestion, though, Wanda, Amber and Greg took off running with it. Amber drew ship outlines onto plywood and Greg cut them out and designed a method to mount them onto the wagons, and added some neat modifications such as cup holders, restraints for the handles, mounts for the pirate flags, and cannons on the port and starboard sides. Amber designed images for the ships and Wanda painted them with bright colors. Amber and I added cannon balls and fake smoke to the cannons. Pretty quickly we had a two ship squadron of pirate vessels. They were certainly a hit at the Pirate Festival. We had to stop every few feet for folks to take photos. It certainly didn't hurt that we had a couple of cute pirates manning the rails.

Wanda made Ryker a cute little pirate's outfit and we bought one for Makayla some weeks before the festival. With all the costume materials at our place, we didn't have any difficulty coming up with appropriate outfits for all the adults. We remembered to bring blankets this year to watch the shows, and we even thought to bring a tarp for the wet ground.

When we arrived the the gypsies were on stage, and while they were quite fun to watch, the kids had little interest in them. So we spent the first hour of the festival checking out the shops, the food vendors, and the children's play area. There were definitely fewer vendors this year, and fewer activities for the children. Many of the same entertainers were there, though, including the Boom Pirates, Captain Bog and Salty, and the belly dancers.

There seemed to be lots more attendees in costume this year, though the Saturday crowd was smaller. I think the smaller crowd was due to the weather. The lack of vendors was probably due to the economic downturn. I suspect many of them went out of business over the last year. Still, there was plenty to see and do. The food was plentiful, there was a beer garden, and the weather turned out to be quite nice for the festival.

Of course, the reason Makayla came to the festival was for Captain Bog and Salty. For the entire week leading up to the festival, she had us playing the Captain Bog CD and specifically Nellie the Elephant and The Pegleg Tango so she and Ryker could dance to the tunes. Ryker especially loves the Nellie the Elephant song. It has a part where the song starts out on a long, low note and then rises to a very bouncy and bright chorus. During that crescendo he just starts giggling and laughing in anticipation and then when the chorus arrives, he bobs and dances his little heart out.

The band got off to a rough start. There was a power failure about 10 minutes into their show (their portable generator died), but they recovered nicely and put on an excellent show for the kids. Ryker and Makayla both had a grand time dancing to the songs, as did all the other kids there, including some "big kids" who looked to be well into their 20's and 30's. They seemed to be pirate groupies.

Rogue Brewery had a tent set up with several varieties of beer and wine and well as some quite delicious pizza. The Pirate Wenches serving there were easy on the eye, and the beer was easy on the throat. There were plenty of other food vendors with delicious treats as well. Chowder bowls made from bread and filled with New England style clam chowder seemed to be quite popular as did the African dishes. As can be expected with any festival there were also sweet treats such as elephant ears and a very interesting rosemary lemonade.

A big part of any festival for me, though, is watching, photographing and interacting with the people who attend and get into the spirit of the event. When you're in costume yourself, the interactions are friendly and fun, and I had a number of short conversations with various groups of people throughout the day. All of them were quite willing to pose for me and happy to have their photo taken.

Here are some of the images taken throughout the day:

Wanda had a lovely costume complete with boots, chains, a hat and a wonderful smile:



A small group of Pirate Wenches looking quite lovely in their festive attire:



Here's the lovely lass who ran the games for the smaller children. She's been a fixture at the festival for at least a couple of years.



The Beer Wench and a lucky customer from the Rogue Brewery Tent:



After we had been at the fair for a couple of hours, we met some of our daughters' high school friends, Holly and Jenny. They're sisters and Jenny spent quite a lot of time at our house when she was high school with our daughters.



Makayla and her grandmother had fun sword fighting. Makayla's favorite phrase was "Give me your treasure." She seem to be able to wrangle a few dollars out of me, so it must have worked.



Nikki enjoyed cuddling her nephew:



Of course, Papa had fun too - even though his earring got ripped off at least a half a dozen times!



THe Portland Pirate Festival is held every September in Cathedral Park underneath the St. Johns bridge. It's a wonderful setting for a fun event and I hope it will continue to be an annual festival for pirates of all ages for years to come.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ryker Dude is One

Ryker had his first birthday on the 10th of September. His 1st day party wasn't until the following Sunday, but we just had to go over and see him on his birthday and take him a balloon and give him a few hugs and kisses. We were there for Jocelyn's actual 1st birthday and we didn't want to miss his either. His other grandparents came over too and we all had a good time watching him play with his balloon and open a couple of presents.

Of course, his sister had to help him play with his new toys, but he didn't mind at all. As long as as he was able to drool on the various parts and pieces, he was just fine. In fact, he much preferred the paper and the boxes to the actual toys. Such is the nature of a one-year-old.

Ryker is such a happy baby, and he was certainly thrilled with all the attention he received. He was surrounded by people who loved him - his parents, both sets of grandparents, his sister and his Auntie TT. He knew that no matter to whom he crawled, he was going to be hugged and kissed. And he's definitely a huggable little boy.

By the time Sunday arrived, everyone was ready for a party. We all gathered at his house for pizza, treats, and cake and ice-cream. His Grandma Wanda picked up his cake from Albertson's on the way over to his house, and we were very pleased with the way it was decorated. Ryker's mom is the artist in our family, and she designed a photo of a little turtle with some insect friends for his cake.

Wanda and I have assigned icons to our grandkids, based on their looks and personalities. They may not make a lot of sense to others, but we know the meaning behind them and they fit for us. Ryker is represented by a turtle. I suppose that's mainly because since the day he was born I've always referred to him as "Dude" or "Ryker Dude" and Makayla, who loves the movie Finding Nemo, and calls all the sea turtles in the movie "dude." Combined with his look and crawl, a turtle just seemed to fit. His sister, Makayla, is represented by a butterfly and his cousin, Jocelyn, is a little ladybug.

The party featured lots of yummy treats:



Lots and lots of pizza:



A great play structure that Greg built for the kids:



Which features a nice big slide:



After pizza and playtime, it was time for presents:



And cake:



And we even had a contingent of papparazzi (on in this case "grandmarazzi):



But no party would be complete without the Happy Birthday Serenade!:
video

Friday, September 04, 2009

August 2009 Roadtrip

Last weekend, Wanda and I decided to take a couple of days for ourselves and do some driving and shooting. We got up very early on Friday morning, 4 am if you can believe it, and drove down to Crater Lake for the day. My goal was to shoot some landscapes in infrared, and Wanda's was simply to get away from the house and spend some time in nature. She finds the lake a very restful and peaceful place, and wanted to get out of town for a a bit as well.

It's quite the drive from Portland to Crater Lake. It typically takes anywhere from 5 - 6 hours depending on the traffic and the road conditions. Because we left so early, there was very little traffic to impede our travel, and we made to the North Entrance of the park around 9 am. We checked the weather the night before, and unfortunately the forecast had changed from earlier in the week from mostly sunny to mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. Since we had made plans for the entire weekend which included some time in Bend shooting the Cascade Lakes and visiting with some friends, the trip was on regardless of the weather.

When we got to the Crater Rim, the water was so still and quiet that the clouds were reflected almost perfectly such that it looked as though you were looking down into the sky. We took the time to hike up to the Watchman's Tower which is where the above shot was taken. The hike took us about and hour, and it was quite windy at the top of crater rim where the tower was located, so we didn't linger too long admiring the view. It was kind of neat to look down into the small crater at the top of Wizard Island though.

After our short hike, we continued around the crater rim to the Rim Village where we had a cup of hot chocolate, purchased some souvenirs as gifts for the grandkids, and walked down to the Crater Lake Lodge. While there, I took the opportunity to take a few infrared landscape shots of the island. That image can be seen above.

From the Rim Village we drove down to the Pinnacles. These are geological formations created when fumeroles were fused, buried by subsequent eruptions and then years later exposed when the surrounding ash and soil were eroded away. They are strange and interesting formations, and Wanda had some fun shooting them with one of my cameras.

The Pinnacles:


As we wrapped up shooting the Pinnacles, it began to drizzle, and though we had planned a picnic lunch, we decided to finish the rim drive, exit the park where we entered, and then head on up to Bend for dinner and a good night's sleep. We had reservations for two nights at a hotel in the Old Mill District, and we knew there was a weekend concert and art show planned during the our stay.

We got into town around 5 pm, checked into our room and decided to check out the art show before dinner. There quite a number of booths set up and an eclectic collection of art on display - sculptures, photographs, quilts, paintings, crystal, glasswork, and much more. We didn't purchase anything, but we had fun walking around and looking at the various displays.

After the short walk through the art show, we stopped for dinner at Greg's Grill. The meal was quite delicious, but the most enjoyable part of the evening, was sitting around the large gas firepit outside the restaurant enjoying the music from the concert and chatting with the locals. While we were there savoring the company, the music and our drinks, the weather began to clear and soon we were able to enjoy a lovely sunset. Unfortunately, with our previous 4 am wakeup call, we had to call it an early night and head to bed.

The next day we met with some friends for coffee, then headed out to shoot the Cascade Lakes for another day of shooting. We managed to get in some photography at Sparks Lake and Devil's Lake, but not much at any of the other lakes because of the sheer number of people out enjoying the day.

On our way back into Bend from our day's outing, we stopped at a meadow by Spark's Lake and had our picnic of hummus, flatbread, fruit and cheese. It was a quiet and peaceful meal and most relaxing for both of us. Afterwards, we did a little more shooting, and Wanda managed to catch me in my classic "shooting a landscape pose." And here's the final shot from that day:


When we got back into town, we stashed our gear in the hotel room, then took a short walk downtown to the Deschutes Brew Pub for a locally brewed beer. Later that evening we met our friends for dinner, had another lovely meal with good conversation, and got a good night's sleep before our trip home the next day. Before we went to sleep, however, Wanda made sure we got the laptop out and planned our next few get-away weekends in advance.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Barefoot Glamour

I got to shoot with Cathy K. again this week. We tried a couple of different locations this time, but I still put her in the water at both locations. She's a good sport and didn't mind (too much).

Our first shoot location was in the Tillamook Forest at the spot where I shot my Water Fairy last year. The spot features a wide, shallow area of the Lower Nehalem River. Here, in the summer at least, the water is tolerably warm, and if shot at the right time of day, is quite blue. The day we shot, however, the river was a bit too shallow to get the deep blue color that I've managed to see there in the past. We did, however, get quite a few shots in before the sun got too high and we lost all of our open shade.

Once we lost the light there, we decided we would take the ride out to Ecola Point State Park and do some shots there. Cathy was quite eager to do this as she hadn't been to the park before and I had promised her a great view of the Oregon Coast. I also think we was eager to dry off and warm up.

We first went the the viewpoint which juts out from the surrounding cliffs and offers a wonderful view of Cannon Beach to the south, and Indian Beach to the North. It was not a very windy day there for a change, so it was quite comfortable shooting at the point. For this shoot, Cathy wore a black linen beach dress, and we had quite a lot of fun shooting around the various tourists and sightseers.

After about 45 minutes at the viewpoint, we drove down to Indian Beach for some shots on the beach and in the small stream that runs down to the Pacific. Little did Cathy know at this point that I would be putting her in the water again, but I think she might have guessed what was going to happen once she saw the waves and the small stream. Still, she was as game as ever, and even went pretty far out into the Pacific to kick up some sand and water. I dared her to kick water on me, but since I was shooting with a 70-200 f/2.8L IS zoom, there was little risk she could actually reach me. It was a fun shoot and both the photographer and the model had a great fun.