For the second year in a row, I spent Halloween in my hometown of Ashland, Oregon photographing the revelers dressed in their midnight best. This year, I posted all photos for free on facebook for anyone who was there to tag and grab. What a blast!
Taroko in Ashland is a hip asian-fusion restaurant with creative sushi, delicious entrées, great sake and more. I photographed a selection of menu items for their website and online marketing usage.
I was on a job all day yesterday (those following on twitter or Instagram may have seen the cute little meals-to-be I was shooting) and on the way home, a huge lightning storm settled over Ashland for a while. I pulled off to shoot it, and once it moved away I climbed a hill to capture its retreat.
The technique used in these photos is a little bit of interesting trickery that I’ll hold onto for now. I’ll be doing a video2brain training as well as a webinar for Nik Software in the upcoming months, and I think I’ll show this then. It was one of those experiments gone right.
It was a little chilly last night, dropping the mercury low enough to put a layer of ice on the creek in the back canyon. I shivered my way down there this morning to see if I could spot anything photogenic, and came back with a couple of images.
I mentioned at the beginning of the year that I may start doing a B&W series. Let’s see if I can maintain it, but for now, see the first one above. It’s a close-up of a frozen ripple of water; completely abstract and organic. I created the B&W using Silver Efex Pro II and one of my default presets, which I’ve posted here before but here it is again. Next one, I’ll do something different.
The second shot is just cool… it appears to be a tiny flower trapped in ice, or “frozen in time”. I love the way the water has frozen around it; it’s almost as if the temperature plummeted instantly and froze this splash! I simply adore it.
This is quite nice; I had my bear photos published in today’s (Monday January 16, 2012) Rogue Valley Mail Tribune!
The spread looks great and the photos printed very well. Neat!
Click on the snapshot below to open the gallery with the original bear photos, if you haven’t seen them yet.
In this part of Oregon, black bears are plentiful in the woods (estimates are in the 25,000 to 30,000 range), and those of us living on the edge of town know they come down looking for food this time of year. In fact, I have a BearSaver trash can and have tweeted the evidence of bear-sign before. Not to mention I’m regularly cleaning bear, erm, evidence, off the front lawn.
Then a few days before Christmas, we caught a glimpse of a momma and two cubs tearing through the front yard in the late morning. Which is really unusual, as they typically are only around at night.
Then this morning, I spotted them again, down at the creek at the bottom of our property. And they weren’t running away. I had time to grab the long lens and get a few shots through the window!
They were up and down the canyon (it’s a small canyon, my house at the top on one side and a creek at the bottom), but I was shooting through windows and trees. They started to come up our path right to the back patio (!!) but thought better of it and turned around. I caught this shot of them bounding across the creek. The 400mm lens was too long to catch all of them in the frame at once!
Alenka named them “Scrappy” and “Coco”. Some of you will, I’m sure, get the reference ;-) (Scrappy is the black, scruffy looking brunette in the front… Coco being the blonde in back).
They eventually headed up our side of the hill, which gave me a chance to change lenses. I spotted our neighbor in her yard, and dashed out to warn her so she didn’t walk right into them. Turned out she was heading out for a better look too, and by then they had climbed a big tree on the hill. There was a dog barking on the other side of the canyon, and I think seeing us didn’t help. We were able to stand our ground and I got some cool shots for several minutes before they started climbing down. Shooting through thickets of bare branches is never good, but the lighting was gorgeous and I managed to get a few shots I’m pleased with.
I have to admit we were quite close; probably closer than was smart to be. But, you know… had to get the photo :) Plus my neighbor was standing with me, and we discussed it and figured if they actually came our way, both of us yelling would divert them.
After a bit more of this I had a chance to change lenses again, during which time momma and Scrappy climbed down and headed back up the canyon, leaving poor Coco behind for my photographic enjoyment.
That’s the best shot of the bunch. I do wish I could have gotten something that clear of all three of them, but you know… bears don’t listen to direction very well.
For more backyard nature, be sure to check out the entry “Oh, Deer!” from back in July. It’s a jungle forest out there.
What a night, and what an edit! Exactly 400 photos are now online for public consumption. Some absolutely insane costumes out there on Monday night. What a great time!
In a future post, I’ll talk photo-geek about what I did (and why). This worked out really well, and I definitely know a few things I’ll do differently next year. This is the second time I’ve done something like this; two years ago I set up an outdoor studio at my home in Pasadena (click here to see a few of those photos).
This time, I went mobile.
Click the photo to open the gallery launch page.