Saturday, December 25, 2010

Hit a mile stone on Christmas Day

Today I managed to pass the 3000 view mark with this blog! I have a lot of new ideas for the coming year that I am really excited for. One of the main ones is that I am going to give this photo a day blog post another go. Since my focus has changed a bit from just trying to do strobe lit people shots for the most part it should be lot easier to post everyday without the quality suffering.
There are other big ideas on the way but I am going to wait till I get things a lot closer to being ready to go before I share them with everyone.
The image above is almost 10 years old, I shot these corn lillies with a Nikon N90s and a 28-105mm lens on Ilford FP4+ film.
Hope everyone is having a fun and safe holiday and stay tuned for more to come!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


It is amazing what you can do when you have the proper tools, even something as simple as actual studio background paper. For this shot of Justine I use some new gear for the first time that really made a difference. I just picked up a C-stand with a boom arm that allowed me to position a softbox directly above and in front of her without the stand getting in my way.Then I bounced a light off of a reflector on the floor in front of her at about 2 stops less power.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A day in Seatle

A little while back I caught a flight up to Seattle to spend a few days with my oldest friend and his family that I hadn't seen in about a year and a half. Other then a day of golf, which was only my third time playing, the only thing we got out to do was explore Pikes Place Market. It's the place where the throw fish to each other at one of the bigger seafood stalls. The rest of the trip was spent telling stories, catching up and heavy drinking. But here are my favorite shots from the market.

Everything was shot with a Nikon D300 and a 16-85mm, handheld and processed in Adobe Lightroom 3. Enjoy

Thursday, December 9, 2010


This image was done with a softbox camera left with an SB-900 and another SB-900 with a Honl grid behind Kelly and camera left.
Same softbox set up as above and the second light was moved directly behind her.
Just a softbox camera left.


Here are a few images from a shoot I did at a local MMA gym out here in LA with Barrett.
This one was done with a VAL holding a softbox with an SB-900 on a boom above and camera left. While a second SB-900 is bouncing off of a reflector on the floor in front of her.
Same info as above.
This one was done with a softbox camera left with an SB-900 and a second SB-900 with a Honl 1/4 inch grid in the octagon pointed at her back.

Give Peace a Chance

I spent a day with Justine, a new friend of mine out here in LA, out at Venice Beach and this was a quick grab shot that jumped out at us because of the colors of the wall, her shirt and how they played against each other.

Natural light with a Nikon D300 and a 16-85mm processed in Lightroom.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Day in the Sun

This was a very simple photo, I used a 70-200 and punched up the saturation a bit in Lightroom.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My first shoot at Zuma Beach

This is an image from the first day I went to Zuma Beach. Very simple shot, one SB-900 camera right with a dome diffusor held by a VAL. I underexposed by about a stop and then processed it in Lightroom.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My contribution to Indie film.

I shot this image for a friend of mine thats making a movie here in Bemidji. Each person was shot individually and then placed on the black background. For Mike (center) I had two SB-900's behind him for hair lights and then an SB-800 in a softbox in front but from below. The other two images were done the same way except the softbox was eye level and to the side that they are facing.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Glowing tent.

Another shot from my recent trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe area.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Shot it while I could.

I was really bummed when I heard that the arch at Tettegouche State Park on the north shore of Lake Superior had collapsed. It had provided several photos for me and I was just getting ready to go up and shoot it again. This is my best image of it from over the years.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The view from my tent flap.

I just got back from this long holiday weekend which I spent in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. We had nice weather, amazing fishing, a wolf encounter and this amazing sunset on our last night there. More images to come.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Jenna is back in town!

Jenna is one of my favorite people to shoot with, she is up for almost anything and she pulls off the shot every time. This time around we were going for the tough action chic look, kind of a Tomb Raider or Resident Evil thing and Jenna looks like she is ready for what ever might be through that door. This was done with a 16-85mm Nikkor lens on my D300. I set the white balance for tungsten, then put a flash on a stand camera right without a correction gel to get that nice blue tone and a second flash inside the door with a dark orange gel.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The start of an idea

This was a test for a new location and some ideas I am working on, but I thought it was cool on its own.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

This summer has been a blur.

It has been a busy summer, people have been volunteering to shoot with me right and left and I have never had that happen before. Its been great though cause we have been able to create some cool shots. There are more too come.
This was a very simple shot. I dragged the shutter and panned with Ashleigh as she rode circles around me and my light. 1/2 second at f5.6 with a SB-800 camera left in a softbox.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Local Vampire hunter seeks......

I'd been wanting to do a cool cemetery image for a while and come to find out that Hillaree, along with her belly dancing exploits is into old horror movies. There have been a couple different interpretations of this image as to what she is actually doing in the cemetery but I think I am going to go with vampire hunter.
This image was done by underexposing the natural light by -1.3 stops and then a flash in a softbox camera right set to -0.7 to provide fill light and then a snooted flash camera left pointed right at Hillaree's face as the main light.

Monday, July 26, 2010

In praise of natural light.

If you've been a reader of this blog for any time you might have noticed I have almost gone out of my way to shoot images that require me to use artificial light. For years I worked with nothing but natural light and a lot of time it was kind of hit or miss with the quality of light and thats what attracts me to using artificial light, because I can manipulate it to get what I want. The down side is that I have to drag out extra gear and it takes longer which means you run the risk of missing some shots cause your fiddling with lights. So here are two images where I shot with just natural light on a dark overcast day.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The glowing ball works really well with belly dancing

This is just a taste of a shoot that I did today. Got some amazing images with a striking local belly dancer.
more to come.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Shoot it while you can.

Last night I went out and shot some photos down at the water carnival with Brandy. SInce the carnival is only here for the 4th of July weekend we had to get it right the first time. It had been a while since I had shot something like this but this time was going to go a lot smoother now that I was shooting digital. This is one of the best shots of the night. It was done with a flash in a softbox camera right tethered to the camera via a flash cord, I used a slow shutter speed close to a half second to get the lights to blur in the background.
I saw plenty of other people with cameras down there last night but no one else had lighting gear and a beautiful woman in a slinky red dress so I think we got something no one else has shot around here this year.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Some Belly Dance Images

This is Brandy, I started working with her this spring and we've been able to come up with some cool images. These are a few from our first shoot, I was really excited with the way these worked out!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Stop and smell the flowers.

One thing I have learned over the years and it can apply to just about every aspect of life and that is if you're too focused on your goals you can forget to look around and take things in. This really applies to photography, when I am moving between shots or even getting ready to leave the location I tend to still have at least one camera ready because you never know when something might present itself. This is one of those shots, my subject here was on her way to change and as she was walking out of the trees I noticed she was framed nicely by the branches. I had her stop and strike a pose and with a 3 frame burst I had one of my favorite shots from the day.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Its been a busy spring.

Its been kind of busy for me lately, a lot of you know that I have been working on getting a magazine off the ground so I have been letting the blog fall behind. One thing though is I have learned a new technique for post processing and when I do that I tend to go back through old images to see what I can come up with. This was shot last summer.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

More Dance.

When I was in Duluth I found this cool little alley that was barely a path to start with then opened up a bit wider. This was done with an SB-800 in a softbox camera left and a second one behind the dancers. I used my 12-24mm lens to show more of this cool alley.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I took a bit of a break......

But I am back with a lot of cool stuff in the works! On Friday I was in Duluth, MN shooting with a couple new friends that are dancers. The first shoot was with Juliana, she owns a dace studio and we did some ballet themed images.
This image was done with a flash in a softbox camera left and shot with a 70-200mm.
This one was a little more involved for the lighting. I had one strobe outside the window set to optical slave mode so that when it saw another flash fire it was triggered. Then there was a strait flash camera right and behind Juliana set at a 105mm zoom to provide a hard edge of light along her back and leg. Lastly there was a strobe in a softbox camera left to provide fill. Shot with a 17-55mm.
Last of all is this cool silhouette, done with natural light and shot with a 70-200mm.

More to come soon!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bringing it to an end.

Well I am ending this photo a day project. I'm having a hard time finding people to work with on a regular enough basis but its to be expected in a small town like Bemidji. The other thing is I noticed the quality was kind of wavering. I would rather post one really good photo a week then seven mediocre. I want to thank everyone who has been following this for the last few months and keep checking back cause I will still be posting images a couple times a week.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 77

Another file image that I tried the High Pass Filter with. Lighting on this is a single SB-800 camera left with a CTO gel and the camera set to tungsten. One thing I don't really like about this technique is the halo effect it has at times.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Not for the faint of heart.

Had to break into the files again. But here is one from last summer when I was out in Wyoming. Been playing with the High Pass Filter some more and its been kind of hit or miss but this one was a hit.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Always learning something new.

I had been trying to figure out how to get images like you see in the Nike ads. I always thought it was as much about the lighting as it was about the post processing but its about 25% lighting and 75% post. The nice thing is that the post processing is so simple, its a feature called the High Pass Filter. Its just a matter of making a layer, desaturate it, add the High Pass Filter and then combine the layers. The place where I learned to do it was on the Strobist blog
As far as the image itself goes I shot this with a 70-200 and had 3 SB-800s camera left and a silver reflector camera right.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A day in the Winds

This is a rare thing for this blog, I haven't put a lot of my landscape images up on here. This one was taken while on a backpacking trip to the Wind Rivers Mountains in Wyoming. I got a lot of great images but the trip got shut down by the mosquitos and it would take a lot for anyone from Minnesota to cancel a trip due to mosquitos. I'm surprised I still had any blood by the time I made it back to the car.
For this image I bracketed for 5 exposures and then manually combined them in Photoshop for an HDR image, I actually did that last fall for use in a gallery show that I had. But as with all art you learn to use your tools better and I have since learned a few little things in Photoshop that allowed me to tweak it more to my liking.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Got to love a country bar.

A little way outside of Bemidji there is a little bar called Jammers and from the outside it looks like your typical country bar but then when you go in you are hit between the eyes with all kinds of lights and a very eclectic decor with a bit of a hippy vibe, you almost forget your in northern Minnesota. At least till you see the Bobby Orr pinball game in the corner. Minnesotans are have a love for hockey that is only rivaled by Canadians, some might even go as far as call it an unnatural love.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Day 72

Sometimes when images I shot just aren't working the way I thought they would when on location I'll set them aside for a while, in this case a little over a year. Then when I go back to them they start to jump out at me cause I am looking at them with fresh eyes so to speak. This image was shot with a 12-24mm lens with a flash off camera left.

Friday, March 12, 2010

In the drivers seat.

This was a very simple image I had a flash on the steering wheel pointed back at Lara to make it look like it was just the light from the instrument panel.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 70

I asked my friend Lara about doing some shots sitting at the wheel of her car and she made the suggestion of shooting her reflection in the mirror as she put on lipstick and mascara I loved the idea so we ran with it. For this image I had the flash sitting on the dash of her car so it almost looks like the light coming from the dials. The orange light on the background is the headlights against the wall of the building.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Last one from the play.

This is one reason I like digital. The sensor picks up so much detail even in the shadows, if I had been shooting film there wouldn't be any way to get Jeremiah to show up at the top of the stairs.

More from Wait till dark.

First thing I realized when I got up this morning was that I forgot to post a new photo for tuesday even though I had one ready to go.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Love new toys.

New gear is always fun to get and play with and it had been a while since I got something fun. This new piece of gear is the Light My Fire fire starter. One swipe and it unleashes a nice little shower of sparks. On my first test with a bundle of dryer lint as kindling it went up in flames with the first strike. I know its not much of a photo for the blog but I thought the shower of sparks would look cool and I think I was right.