PhotoWalks

Caught In Flight

#caughtinflight #pidgeoned #pierpics #pacificbeach

#caughtinflight #pidgeoned #pierpics #pacificbeach


Happenstance Macro

I had a meeting tonight that fell through, and so in the next 15 minutes or so I explored the undeveloped back lot of some condos… I love to look. I love to explore. Tonight I found a Daddy Long Legs and MAN, are they UGLY!  Plus, while photographing a pretty little buttercup, a fly happened to land on it for my enjoyment. It was great, except all of these are handheld and with a 200mm macro lens so I spent a lot of time trying to breathe slowly and not move a muscle (while wobbling in my crouched-to-the-ground position.) I don’t know how those sharp shooters get so well trained to slow their bodies… Maybe it’s just practice. Anyhow, take a look:

See these and more in the Fine Art Gallery.


Douglas Morning

I’m slowly catching up.

Heather’s mom is back in Nevada. Weddings have slowed a bit (though I have another this weekend!) Travel has subsided, and Juneau weather has been poor. The perfect storm of catching up with my personal photo backlog!

These are from an early-morning outing to North Douglas. I think I was out the door at around 4:15, so the first few shots of the deer were still a bit on the dusky side of things (thank goodness for high ISO options). It was a good morning for variety. I don’t think I’ve ever captured bunnies/rabbits/hares/whatever-they’re-called before…

I heard one story of a photographer’s wife receiving a phone call early in the morning because a police officer had found her car parked in the median of the highway with the driver nowhere to be seen. It turned out he had gone for a walk when he saw the perfect light, and eventually returned to find police company. Go figure. Maybe we’re a bit absent minded when it comes to those sort of details?

I call this “A Photographer’s Car”… For obvious reasons… 🙂

As I’m driving around and see something I like to photograph, I often park the car and hop out. This photo was me realizing that I left it running, door open, in the middle of the road for nearly 20 minutes while I wandered down an unmarked path.

And my favorite shot from the day? It was one of the first ones I captured… I had gone out in search for some deer, and whatdya know, there they were:


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!

-cb


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!)


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.


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.

           


World Wide Photo Walk

Each year Scott Kelby coordinates an International Photowalk where thousands of photography enthusiasts come out of the woodwork to enjoy an outing with their cameras. Because of the world wide reach of Kelby’s influence, there are also some major names who come forward to sponsor the event and each participant has the chance to submit an image for consideration of impressive prizes.

Anyhow, today we had approximately 10 folks join in the Juneau fun. It was great weather, good company, and we even had the occasion of multiple forms of local wildlife.

Sadly, I don’t get the chance to submit a photo to be in the running for the grand prize, but I’m pretty sure I get to submit an image to be in the running for the Leaders competition.

These are my 5 top images from the day – enjoy!

 

 See these and more at my 2011 Fine Arts Gallery.

 


Auke Bay Harbor

Last night was another late night. I went to bed at a normal hour, however, I’ve been battling a sore throat for a few days and it finally was bold enough to wake me up just a couple hours into my slumber. So I got up. And I stayed up. And I looked at the Aurora forecast and realized that if my super-science friend, Matt, was correct, there might be a chance. I grabbed my tripod (still with camera strapped to it) and headed out.

Naturally, with my Northern Light Luck™, there was high cloud cover, and the stars were nowhere to be seen. Go figure.

Fortunately, the evening was uncharacteristically warm (my car claimed 63˚), so I opted to head out anyways. I found myself at the Auke Bay harbor and looking for some cool images. As it was completely comfortable to hang out in the warm night, I decided to try to take some shots with my intervalometer. Below you’ll see one of my first time lapse videos of the moving clouds. It’s kind of fun, but I’ll need to work on it more before I consider it awesome. 🙂


See these and more in my 2011 Fine Art Gallery.

Auke Bay Clouds from Cody Bennett on Vimeo.


Recent Wild Things

It’s the summertime again, and so subsequently I’ve been out in the mornings and whenever I can taking more photos of the nearby wildlife. It amazes me to think that I can sit on a rock just 10 feet away from massive American Bald Eagles and they’re as ‘common’ as the crows down the beach. Living here certainly has it’s perks. 🙂


Magnificent Moss

Click for a larger version

I love macro shots because they help me to capture such great detail of something that we commonly overlook. It’s so easy to see a forest floor and recognize that it’s green in color, and might be soft to step on, but how often do you lean in close to see the individual ‘blades’ of the moss and how they catch light during a sunset?

For me? This was a first.

Click for a larger version


The Joy of Noticing

All too often we get busy with life. We move too quickly through the crowd, we don’t stop to smell the roses. Oftentimes, we don’t realize that we are in the midst of beauty because we don’t expect to see it. Take for instance this image… I’ve grown up in Juneau, experienced around two decades of wintertimes, and never noticed this growth before. It’s a fascinating frozen bud with white wisps of fuzz. I’m not even sure what plant it’s from, but I’m glad I stopped to notice.

[Update: I found out that this is a Willow Rose. For more information, see this posting on the University of Alaska Fairbanks website.]


Moonlight Bright

In mid-February, I heard that the Aurora’s were firing up again with another 4/10 rating, so I decided to head out to do some Northern Light hunting. It also happened to be a full moon. As I drove around Juneau, I eventually made it out to Aurora Harbor and, while I never found any Northern Lights, I did capture a few frames of the bright moonlight and the deep blue of the night. In this frame, we see the Shrine of St. Therese illuminated warmly in contrast of the frozen evening:


Heading Off

During the last PhotoWalk that I coordinated, I spent lots of time looking, but very few minutes clicking. Part of the fun for me is to see others having a good time with a camera, observing the world. I did my own observing of course… I came away with maybe 5 “keepers”. Click on my favorite below to visit the gallery with the rest:


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.


Waiting for Summer

It’s mid-March and while we’ve reached Daylights Savings, we still have yet to get enough heat to coax our flora into coming out of their long nap. Today I took a walk along Auke Lake and took a few images with the macro lens. Enjoy.


Auroras

Click for larger version

On Heather’s Birthday, the UAF Aurora Forecast showed to hit a 4/10. It doesn’t sound like much, but for those living in Juneau, it means that it’s very likely that the Northern Lights will be visible provided the sky is clear. Lately we’ve had a cold snap and with the skies clear, I was excited to get out to see some Aurora. As it turns out, I’ve seen other postings (through facebook) suggesting that my late-night session in the cold wasn’t nearly as spectacular as earlier in the night, but when your wife wants to head to bed… Well, who am I to argue? I wound up getting out of bed at around 2:45am and headed light hunting. Here’s my favorite shot from the evening:

Click for larger version