Thursday, July 29, 2010


I'm off to the Kern River today to go white water rafting. So excited!! I'll be gone all weekend, so regular posting will resume on Monday. I might get a chance to post some updates on Twitter, so keep an eye on Here's hoping the river doesn't have any of these!

Gatorland 07- 95

The Force

Ok, yes I like Legos. Yes I use my children as an excuse to play with them. No I'm not ashamed.

The Force

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Aren't those blurry?

So my oldest son saved up and bought a Razor Scooter. He had tried one out at a friends house and thought they were sweet. I wanted to get some cool shots of him on his first time out, so I thought what better way than to make him seem like he's going really fast!
These kind of shots can be tricky to get, but it's totally worth it.

The main ingredient here is shutter speed. More specifically, a slow shutter speed. This time and previous times that I've tried this, a shutter speed of around 1/15 of a second seemed to work best. These were shot near sunset so I didn't have to worry about too much light, but if try this earlier in the day you'll have to close down your aperture (bigger number) to keep your exposure right. Of course "right" to me could be completely different then "right" to you!

Once you dial in the exposure you want, it's time to play. Park yourself in a spot and pre-focus your lens to where your subject will be. If you have distance measurements on your lens, you can use those also. As your subject passes, pan your camera with them and take the shot. Keep panning through the shot to get a nice smooth look. There's lots of trial and error here so take a bunch!

Try something new. Push yourself. The results can be pretty awesome!

Blur 2

Blur 3

Blur 1

Monday, July 26, 2010

umbrella sunset

Where's the umbrella, you might ask. It's right above him, just out of frame, adding a nice, smooth light to his face. I'm trying to get a handle on off camera flash. A few days ago when the sun was setting, I drug my son out to the driveway and had an impromptu photo session. I love this photography stuff!

umbrella sunset


Here's my first image from Saturday's Photowalk. Have a great Monday! (if that's possible)

Ferris Wheel

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Photowalk Flower

I had a great time on the Photowalk yesterday. Good leader and nice group of people. They'll be more pictures to come, but today I'm showing a flower that I found while walking around the Farmer's Market in Santa Monica. Have a great Sunday!

Farmer's Market Flower

Friday, July 23, 2010


Today I'm taking part in the annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk. Click here to learn more about it. I participated last year down in Laguna Beach and had a lot of fun meeting new people and taking pictures. You can see some of my pictures from that walk here. I'll be in Santa Monica this year and it should be a lot of fun! I'll share my pictures from the day soon.

Have a great weekend!

I called this meeting today...

Emperor Palpatine explains his plans for the Death Star.

Death Star Presentation

Taken with my iPhone...and a flashlight...and black poster board...and an iPad.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fun in the Sun

Some folks enjoying the last bit of sun along Santa Monica beach.

Fun in the Sun

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Look to the heavens

This is the 12" refracting telescope at the Griffith Observatory. It's been in use since 1935!

Zeiss Telescope

iPhone #something

I haven't posted an iPhone picture in a while so I thought I'd put up one of recent favorites. I can't believe how often I forget to look up when I'm trying to find something interesting to photograph!


Monday, July 19, 2010

Hoth Outpost

Having some fun with my son's legos yesterday.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Metro Rail


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Griffith Observatory Time Lapse

A few days ago I drove up to the Griffith Observatory to shoot some time lapses. Many things conspired against me and I got there much later than I'd hoped. Also, the clouds rolled in and cut the visibility quite a bit. What do you do in this situation? Make lemonade! I went ahead and shot a few sequences and found a number of places that will be great for future shooting. The video below is kind of a sketch of the full time lapse glory to come. ;) I can't wait to get back up there!

Plan B

Well, I meant to post a short time lapse today that I shot at the Griffith Observatory. Unfortunately, these things always seem to take longer to edit/render/upload than I think, so it'll have to wait til tomorrow. In the meantime, here's a little abstraction to tide you over. Have a great day!


Monday, July 12, 2010



Saturday, July 10, 2010


I made this image a while back for a friend who was going through a major transition in her life. This was one of those images that I previsualized very clearly in my head. It was done very simply, but turned out exactly as I'd hoped. Have a great Sunday.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Yellow and red

I hope everyone got something from my post production walk through yesterday. I thought I'd hit Friday with a little splash of color. Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Before and After

Well, as you can see, there's no cake. That was a shameless ploy on my part to get you to come back today. If you don't know what I'm talking about, then WELCOME! I thought it would be interesting to show you a "straight out of the camera" version of a recent image then take you through the post processing. While you can't make a badly shot image gallery worthy, you can take your good images and tart them up a bit. I said "tart" because that's what British people say and they always sound smart.

Alrighty, on with the show. I took the Compact Flash card out of my camera, put it in the card reader attached to my computer, opened Lightroom 3, did a little keywording, then imported. When I got to the image in question, here's what I saw:


Her expression. Awesome. In focus? Check. Balance of off camera flash to ambient light? Right where I wanted it. Problems. Something I noticed with all my images from this session, white balance. I had my camera set to Sunny for all the shots, but they looked a bit cold so I changed the setting to Cloudy in Lightroom and they warmed right up. This is one of the main reasons why shooting in RAW (if your camera allows) is so important. If you shoot in RAW, then the white balance is something you can change later with no degradation of your image whatsoever. If you shoot in JPEG and want to change the white balance later, you will start losing quality. Ok, down off the RAW soapbox.

Next were the flare spots. I purposely brought lens flare in while I was shooting to get a certain look, but some of these hot spots were distracting.

I used the spot removal tool in Lightroom to clone those out.

Next was composition. I felt there was a bit too much room on the left, so I brought that in a little. If you think of the rule of thirds, where the the image is divided up into 9 identical sections, I placed her right eye at the intersection of two of these lines.


Sometimes, these intersections are thought of as "power points" and if your subject is placed there, it can strengthen your image. As with everything in photography, this is more of a guideline than a rule.

Next, I thought she could be brought out more from the rest of the image, so added some vignetting, sort of. Instead of just using the vignetting slider in Lightroom, which gives you an even darkening all the way around the image, I used the Graduated Filter tool with a slight underexposure. I used two of these, one on each side to tone those areas down and make her pop a little more from the rest of the image. This is subtle, but can really enhance your image. Remember the tarting?

The last thing I did was remove a few spots from her face that were either dirt or little scratches. In the interest of protecting a ladies' dignity, I won't show a picture with those circled.

As with all the images I post to the web, I run them through Photoshop's Save For Web feature and add just a touch of Smart Sharpening to increase tartiness. Is that a word?

Here's the final image.


I hope this was informative and life changing. Alright, that's too much to hope for, I'll stick with informative. Now go out and shoot something!

Getty anlges

There are so many awesome places and angles to discover at the Getty Museum. Visiting there is a constant stream of inspiration.


Check back tomorrow for a post production walk through on one of my recent images. Free cake for everyone*!

*there's no cake.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Anna and Vee

A few months ago my wife's friend Anna called her up and asked if I could do a photo session with her and her husband to celebrate their pregnancy. I thought that was a great idea, so we set up a date to meet at Santa Monica Pier. We decided on late afternoon so we could get that great warm light and maybe some sunset action. We had such a blast! My wife acted as my assistant/hair/wardrobe/encourager person and all around everything that I needed. The beach was a bit busier than I'd hoped, but the light was exactly what I wanted. Anna and Vee were great sports and tried all the ideas I had, plus brought some of their own. A real collaborative, fun environment to create some lasting images.

I want to thank Anna and Vee for trusting me to capture this beautiful and life changing time for them. Here are a few of my favorite images from the day.





Happy Day After!

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July. We had a great evening at a friends house in beautiful Hancock Park. The local country club has a fireworks display, so all we had to do was walk out on the front lawn to see the show!





Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th!

I hope everyone has a happy and safe 4th of July.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Last Light


Thursday, July 1, 2010