Tourist Time!

Heather’s Mom is in town! As such, we’ll be playing tourist for the next week. Of course, I might just take my camera to play around. Here’s from earlier today…

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PS – never you mind the miscellaneous odd-man-out thumbnail size. They’re s’posed to all be square, but I suddenly got to learn about RSS caching, and I haven’t caught up yet. (AKA, nevermind, hopefully I won’t screw it up again. Ha!)

PPS – woah – the latest version looks like it worked!  nevermind the PS if all the thumbnails look correct!

Coming Up for Air

Aha, clever title eh? Not only does it sorta fit with the images below, but it sort of fits with the last couple of weeks.

My last post, Jayleen, was an impromptu session that came from wanting to get out to Sentinel Island in order to survey the lands before myself and a collection of 8 more intrepid souls ventured onto the island for a wedding ceremony. As it turns out, the weather was so daunting on the 30th for the ceremony that we didn’t spend much time on the island, or even outside for that matter!

The past couple of weeks has been supremely busy with photography.

  • 23rd? A wedding.
  • 30th? Another wedding (the Sentinel Island outing – in the rain!)
  • 1st & 2nd? Leveled with a cold.
  • 3rd? Wedding!
  • 4th & 5th? A bit of the 4th (like an hour or two) and then more laying low.
  • 6th? Another wedding!
  • 7th? A portrait session with the bride & groom!
  • 8th & 9th? The cold finally caught up with me. Leveled again.
  • 10th? Back!
  • 11th? Mother-in-law comes to visit!

Like I said, it’s been a fun run. And, to whet your thirst (haha, there I go again), here are a few images I snagged during the 4th festivities over on Douglas!


Harrison B

Last week I stopped into the Rec Center to listen to Harrison B play a few songs while the new bose audio equipment was being tested. Initially I was trying to get some work done on my computer, but towards the end of the set, I decided to take a few pictures. Marc also took a few shots so I’m not sure which ones were taken by who, but I did all the post processing and was able to share them with the musicians and the Rec Center (for their facebook page).

Without further delay, here’s a few images:



Learning the Ropes

Technology is amazing. I’ve been playing with my new D4 for the past week and have been really excited about the potential it holds.

To start with, here are a few portraits at the office (cause I couldn’t wait to get home with it). I’ve run them through a bit of light post-processing. A couple black and white conversions, some noise reduction, and a smidgen of clarity and contrast adjustments.

Joel. ISO 12800, 200mm f5

This is Joel. And he’s strongly recommending that you attend his art show in July. See Harbors2012.com for more info!

My lovely wife. ISO 100, 85mm, f1.4

And of course, this is Heather. She is amazing. Nuf’ said!

Me! ISO 100, 85mm, f1.4

And me, in the comfy environs of my office. (Thanks Joel for capturing this image!)

And then, on my way to the car en route to an appointment I had to stop to notice the wildlife in the parking lot:


And lastly, I took it out for a morning with the birds, and found it to be quite the performer for it’s 11 frames per second… I joked with Heather earlier that it’s more likely that I’ll lose interest in the subject before the camera runs out of buffer to shoot! Here’s a (fairly rough) composite that I worked on this evening. 16 frames into one:

Needless to say, I’m excited about the camera and it’s potential in future weddings and other outings.

I’ve put up lots more from the bird and bug explorations. Take a look: http://photos.codyjbennett.com/fine-art/2012/

Stay tuned for more!


The Arrival

I’m a pretty excited kid right now. I mean like really excited. Maybe it would help to think of hyperactive children in a store that sells candy/toys/fort-supplies/etc? Yeah, that’s getting closer.

If you’ve known me for any time, you know that I like to have quality equipment, and I’m not afraid to pay for it. Today’s giddy response is brought to you by the letter ‘D’ and the number ‘4’.

That’s right, today my brand-spankin’-new D4 came today. So stinkin’ excited!

At first blush, I have to admit, it’s nothing more than a camera. A fancy one, sure, but in essence it really is just a tool to execute my vision for my photography. I enjoy having ‘fancy’ cameras to use, but in all reality, I am JUST as excited when I hear about how someone made an amazing photograph with their ‘Walmart Special’ point-and-shoot camera. Really, it’s the act of creating and enjoying the craft that brings me joy, not the plastic and metal that captures the image.

That all being said, I’m really excited about the upcoming swing of weddings this summer. Brenda, Shelley, LeeAnn, Kerri, Alix and perhaps more will have the good fortune of letting me really explore the capabilities of this beast.

Anyhow, cause I feel silly having a blogpost without an image, here’s a picture I took while in the background my lovely wife quips, “How do you know if you’re married to a photographer? Reason Number 572:  They set up iphone photo shoots with newly received cameras!” (She’s right!)

Steampunk Wedding & Bear, Oh My!

I thought I’d take a moment to post a couple pictures from a wedding I had the chance to attend last weekend. My friend Rhys had a themed wedding, and invited Heather & I to celebrate! It’s a rare occasion that I get to attend a wedding without a role in documenting it, so I was excited to see photos pop up online afterwards. The only time I took my camera out was to take a picture of Heather & I before we left the house, and then a few shots of a bear on the way home!

These 4 photos from the wedding were taken by Anna Miller on her iphone – I really like the instagr.am treatments she applied!

And then of course a keeper bear photo of my own. Nevermind that frumpy rump – it looks like it’s just losing the winter coat now that it’s looking a bit more like summer!


Not gonna lie: I’m doing the happy dance in the comfort of my own home. Not totally sure when it will ship (it’s on backorder around the nation), but rest assured, I’ll be an excited little boy when word arrives that it’s en route!

Sleepless Nights

Most people accuse me of not needing much sleep. I’m not so sure I agree, but I am certainly aware that I have strange sleep patterns. Take tonight for instance: I went to bed at a ‘reasonable’ hour (I think it was around 9:30 or 10pm), and then I awoke at 12:15am without much explanation. I even tried to go back to bed, and after laying there for 45 minutes waiting to fall asleep, I decided it was time to just get up and go read or otherwise keep myself entertained.

I’m glad I did.

Facebook did me well tonight. A fellow photographer who has a knack for aurora images had posted an image showing proof that the aurora’s were out, albeit faintly. That was enough. I went out and spent almost 2 hours collecting images. The one below which “made the cut” is one that was approximately a 33minute exposure (f6.3, ISO 400, @14mm).

I finally decided it was time to go home when I couldn’t feel the tips of my fingers. I’d blame it on the lack of gloves, but mostly I think it was my half-hearted efforts to create a time lapse that had my hands out of my pockets every 10 seconds.


Also, I’ve put this up on my Fine Art page where prints and other artwork are available for purchase.

Early Morning Outing

A couple weeks back I had planned to get up early in order to catch the deep cobalt blue of the sunrise on a lovely Saturday morning. I had looked at my favorite photography app (LightTrac) and determined a best-case-scenario for some excellent sunrise with substance photos.

Anyhow, I arrived at the Fisherman’s Bend dock in Auke Bay hopeful of the specific hue of blue I had been dreaming about, but alas it was too late in the morning to have the darkness I needed. Maybe these things are meant for sunsets alone?

Anyhow, not to be outdone by mother nature, I took a few shots in hopes that maybe I would come up with an HDR image of the sunrise that I as proud of… Not so much. But, the good news is that I enjoyed my quiet (and cold) morning out, and maybe next time I’ll be better prepared to get up earlier!

The one shot I did come away with follows. It is the combination of three images, processed first for noise in Nik’s Dfine, and then secondly in PhotoMatix Pro (a recent acquisition I’m pretty excited to play with!)

A Wealth of Wildlife

Winter Macro

This afternoon my friend Patrick & I headed out into the snow with cameras and dogs to see what we could find. Of course we carried waaay more gear than we needed, but it gave us some options from scenic (we’re in Juneau after all) to action (the dogs) to macro (complete with off-camera flash).

I tend to enjoy the macro option because I love to notice the details that constantly surround us. It’s amazing how you can go for a walk and miss all of the infinitesimal miracles all around.

Anyhow, here are my 3 keepers of the day that I recall taking. (We had swapped camera bodies several times, so I couldn’t tell you who took many of the other images).

I don’t consider these fine-art, and subsequently they’re just for show and tell, but I hope you’re taking the time to notice your world around you.

Studio Time

Eureka! It’s been done! I have finally spent a few hours in the studio. I’ve been prodded for months now to get into the Becoming Images studio space after it was up and running.

Before you read further… Here’s my disclaimer: I am completely ignorant! 🙂

I think I’ve been resistant because I don’t expect to be branching out into studio-based work anytime soon, and, my own experiences lead me to feel like studio work is generally fairly static and uninspiring for the client as well as the photographer. Every time I’ve been in a studio, it was effective to get a good picture, but mostly ‘blah’. It seems that it might be a great business model to bring a client in for a shorter time with lighting already dialed in… But, before I feel comfortable getting clients in the limelight, I thought I should get a bit of practice in…

Thanks to Alex (and Cory, and Stacy), we spent a few hours crash-coursing me through a new PocketWizard setup, three off-camera flashes, and a variety of props & backgrounds. I’m not yet a seasoned pro, but I can see where the studio would help me accomplish certain kinds of looks. We’ll see where it grows. Maybe I’ll aim for more practice tomorrow. Anyhow, I thought I’d post a couple of images that we developed yesterday.

A few thoughts I’d tack on:

  • I’d like to light the background of the white backdrop so that I don’t have to do any post-production to make it a cleanly white backdrop. It’d take some dialing in, but I’m sure I could accomplish what I’m looking for, if only I had a bit more space.
  • The images below are basically out-of-camera so they’d be considered “proofs” rather than a final product.
  • I think I need another week of practice before I feel completely confident in working through the various iterations I might use in that space. So much learning to do!

Thanks for looking!

3rd Annual Calendar

For the past couple of years, I have taken on the task of creating a photo calendar featuring some of my work from the past year. It’s a fun project for me to look back and find 12 of my favorite images, and of course my mom loves it because she can now brag about the artist, but still get’s her annual calendar from her son!  🙂

In reflection of my 2011 images, I didn’t think I had a strong enough collection in one particular vein to have strictly a Macro, Wildlife, Scenic, or other theme. But with Heather’s help, we were able to get it done. You can call this particular grouping, “photos that made the cut”! Ha!

For printing this year, I decided to go with one of our partners, Kodak Gallery. In the past I had used iPhoto, chosen for their fairly simple process to get a large, quality calendar. So many places offer calendars but at some minuscule size (like 8.5×11) which, to me, communicates mass-market cheapness. I’m a big fan of quality over price.

After receiving the calendars last week, I can say that I like the product. The size is more than adequate –14.25″x10.9″– (larger than the iPhoto calendar –13″x10.4″– that I’ve had previously), and the print quality gets a 7/10 ranking because while the quality of the print & paper was mostly amazing (9-10/10), the downside was that their printer obviously had some issues as there were color bands across many of the images (5/10). I haven’t decided if I’m going to chase down their quality control offices and demand a refund (reprinting is too late in the game for Christmas Gifting.) They may be expensive to make, but it’s fun to share, and most people can actually use it throughout the year!

If you don’t get one from me by new years and you REALLY, REALLY have to have one, let me know. I’m happy to order more, but you’ll cover the costs. 🙂

Here are the images (in order of how they appear in the calendar). Click for a larger view.


A Few Travel Photos

Part of the reason the blog has gone without some attention recently is that in early November, Heather and I went on an epic trip.

Click for the calendar'ized view of our travels...

Two weeks, 6 states:

  • Juneau, AK
  • fly to… Portland, OR (2 nights)
  • fly to… Seattle, WA (1 night)
  • fly to… Reno, NV
  • drive to… Carson City, NV (3 nights)
  • drive to… Tahoe, NV and back
  • fly to… Denver, CO (3 nights)
  • drive to… Bridgeport, NE (1 night)
  • drive to… Denver, CO
  • fly to… Seattle, WA
  • drive to… Port Townsend, WA (3 nights)
  • drive to… Leavenworth, WA and back
  • drive to… Seattle, WA (1 night)
  • drive to… Leavenworth, WA (2 nights)
  • drive to… Seattle, WA (1 night)
  • fly to… Juneau, AK for a vacation from the vacation!

And, while we’re here, I thought I’d use the photo blog to offer up a couple of photo highlights… take a look at some photos after the jump…  (more…)

Halloween Dance

Wow, even though I know I’ve been out taking photos over the last few weeks, I haven’t really been posting any. Go figure. We’re about to head out for some travel, including a wedding, so I suspect I’ll be excited to post a few more pictures as the next 3-4 weeks roll by.

Anyhow, I decided to head out to the UAS Halloween Dance in order to practice my off-camera lighting on a dance floor. And, as another photographer pointed out, this lighting is nothing like a wedding reception dance, but even still it’s nice to practice the trade when there are no pressures of “getting the shot”.



First up, Trevor & Bob. These two are a blast in their own rights. I’m looking forward to getting to know both of them better in time.

Mostly, I avoid posed shots, but every now and again, folks prompt me with a “take my picture!” and a pose. It’s hard not to turn those down (unless my settings are destined for something entirely different.)

And finally, some actual photos of dancing. No lights is still a learning curve for me. You try taking pictures of moving people in a dark room! Anyhow, I think they made the cut. 🙂

Windfall Hike

Last night, after work, I took off as quickly as possible to catch up with Paul and a few students from UAS Housing. As a “Residence Life Coordinator” he pulls together random activities which always seem like a blast, though I can’t often make. This time I was finally able to join in the fun. There were 10-15 students who were going to spend the night at the Windfall Lake Cabin, and then hike out the next day. I planned to hike back that same night, which worked out well because Bob decided to head back early so I was able to make a new friend on the return hike!

It was lots of fun, and of course, I brought a camera. Here are a few shots…

Old Man’s Beard

It’s actually a lichen, but if I ever needed to disguise myself as an old gentleman, it seems this might do the trick. This is again with my macro lens. It’s great to be able to capture the detail of such a thing that I never thought to observe at these ranges before. I’m sure I look strange standing in the parking lot, intensely focused on a piece of moss or lichen just a few inches away from my lens. I’m glad I’m just now looking.


Over this last Christmas I invested in a Nikkor 200mm Micro lens. The term “micro” really means “macro”, but I guess they wanted to be special. I don’t know why because the lens is special enough without any fancy naming. I’ve been enjoying capturing images that I never thought of before, and being drawn to notice details on walks that previously I couldn’t have cared less. At any rate, I’ve enjoyed it. I hope you do too.