Steel Wool

>This is the 1st and only frame I captured last night of this fun new photo technique. Big thanks to my brother in law Ben for manning the camera; he grabbed a brilliant photo.

Take a pad of fine steel wool, attach it to the end of a chain, touch a 9V battery to the wool to ignite it, spin in a circle and take a picture of the light show.

More to come later…


>Light Graffiti, Take 2…

>OK, this is ridiculous. I’m having too much fun with this technique and starting to get the hang of it. Next step: grab a tripod and take the show outside…

Click ’em to embiggen ’em.


>OMG…new photography obsession…

>Light graffiti. The concept is simple:

Go to a dark spot, crank your aperture as wide as it will go, set the shutter REALLY slow, “paint” with any source of light you want like an LED flashlight, mobile phone, etc. and create graffiti with light…and Bob’s your uncle (Google that).

These are 5 of the 1st 7 shots I took…I still have no clue what I’m doing; Google “light graffiti” and be blown away by what others are doing. The settings on all photos are within a stop of these settings and the conditions were:

10-second exposure
27mm focal length
Auto ISO (I f’d that up…should have cranked it down to 200 to keep the obvious noise out of the photo)
LED flashlight
Pure darkness in the room

I can’t talk…I’m too busy working up ideas…look at these…be inspired…

(as always, click photo to embiggen them to actual size)

>A-Z Project: A is for APPLES

>Well, here we go.

It’s deep into fall, here in the PNW (Pacific Northwest, if you’re not in the know) and I actually think it’s fall everywhere else in the Northern hemisphere, though I never knew it for the last 9 years living in SoCal where it’s perpetually stuck somewhere between late spring and early fall year-round. The leaves are setting a spectacular backdrop of red, yellow, green and orange across the azure sky as the cool fall breeze sets them in motion and the technicolor leaves flutter to the ground and create a blanket of color just waiting to be raked up and jumped in. Yeah, I dig fall in case you didn’t read between the lines over the last couple sentences.

What says fall in the PNW more perfectly than apples? Nothing. So, we’re using them as the 1st ingredient. It is low hanging fruit and I could have gone with asparagus or arctic char or artichokes? Sure, but apples are way cooler and more versatile and I like cooking with them so there. After seeing Bittman’s podcast devoted to scones a couple weeks ago and then stumbling onto this recipe I decided it was a sign that scones were the delivery vehicle for the 1st ingredient in the project.

I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen and was instantly intrigued: apples and cheddar cheese in a scone? It was sort of a freakshow which means you just have to check it out and I’m glad I did. I followed the recipe pretty much as-is (it’s baking, after all) but my big substitute was for Beecher’s Flagship as the cheese. Again, we’re in the PNW so let’s use local ingredients as much as possible; you will undoubtedly see this cheese again before the end of this project as I fell madly in love with it the first time I tried it. I also used whole wheat flour (eh, wish I used all purpose instead) and opted for the goldencrisp apples we just picked up over the go-to cooking apple the Granny Smith.

How were they? Awesome. The savory from the cheese, the sweet from the sugar and the apple, the tartness, it really worked. I’m not a baker (more a candlestick maker, myself) and I don’t know how much I’ll be baking throughout this project but these were a big success.

So, it’s on to B. No clue what I’m doing just yet but there are some good ideas floating around that I’m looking at. There are still some kinks in the process, the kitchen is a total PITA for taking photos with the incandescent lighting and other little things I’d like to work on but I’ll probably get it all nailed down by Q maybe M if I’m lucky.


>SoDo Graffiti Wall


My latest photo adventure was in search of a wonderful art-form: graffiti. Not necessarily the gang-banger tagging type but more of the artistic type; people that given an assignment could create some super rad art anywhere you wanted using spraypaint, markers, brushes, you name it.

I read online that there’s this wall in SoDo on the back of an industrial building between Starbucks HQ and the Amtrak rail line that’s a “free wall” or somewhere that graffiti artists can do their thing without fear of static from the authorities or by defacing public property (if they cared about that sort of thing).

Well, I hit jackpot. The wall is insane. What’s here transcends the simple name “graffiti” and really should be called art. I snapped 175 photos in about an hour and a half and was really pleased with the results.

Check out the Picasa album here and trust me: the photos don’t do this wall justice.

>Leaves are Waterproof


This is by far one of my favorite photos of the year; maybe one of the best photographs I’ve ever taken. It rained all day yesterday and today I went outside and found this leaf sitting next to the grill and it sparked a little photo session with the fun water effects on a tree out front. Untouched, it’s brilliant from the colors to the water effects to the composition. It’s certainly going to make my portfolio. Click on the photo to embiggen it and get the real flavor of this one…

That’ll do, Bryan.

>Gas Works Photo Adventure Spectacular Thing

>About 8 years ago now I bought a Nikon D70 DSLR. I’d been interested in photography for a while and had the disposable income so I took the plunge. Oddly enough, I had to take the plunge twice as the first one was stolen from my truck in Palm Springs, so that was a nice surprise. So much for buying another lens with that money. I digress…

I used it off/on for a while then it sort of sat in the closet in favor of the far more convenient and versatile point and shoot except for special occasions. I dunno, I think a lot of it was lack of motivation and good things to shoot that were close by. There are only so many photos you can grab of shitty HB surf and while there were some great sunsets that was about it; I just wasn’t motivated to hop in the car and go somewhere and take some cool photos. Oh, I still loved to take photos but I just wasn’t feeling it like I was when I first got the camera, which is sad.

Well, this past weekend the weather was stellar here so I decided to go out and shoot some real photographs at Gas Works Park in Seattle. This adventure reminded me of a few things:

  1. Seattle is such a cool city
  2. I really love photography
  3. I’m  pretty good at taking photographs

Gas Works is a photography playground. There are so many cool colors, structures, funky angles and shapes, silly graffitti and wide open green-space in the steampunk sort of throwback to an earlier time in this cool city that it makes taking great photographs a much easier process as a lot of the work is already done for you, it’s just up to you to capture it.

From Gas Works

Along those lines, I’m not too shabby with a camera. It comes naturally, I guess, that I have great composition skills when it comes to filling a frame and capturing an image; just sort of know what looks right and it’s always gratifying to see great images you captured. I’ve weened myself off using the auto-focus and will eventually ditch the camera’s metering assistance and go full manual but who knows if that’s totally necessary; technology can be pretty handy. I’ve got friends that are semi-professional photogs and an aunt that is in the same boat and I think I’ll be spending time with them to help get me up to speed on the technical side of photography so I can use more of the buttons and dials on the camera more effectively than I currently do.

From Gas Works

Here are the photos from the 300 I took but whittled down to about 70 that were what I felt were the best works.

Facebook compresses everything so it’s kind of hard to really get a feel for some of these photos there but you’re welcome to check that album out, too. You know how to find it.

More photography outings to come in the future…