Saturday, December 24, 2011

Bulldog Basketball

It has been a busy season here in the early winter. I haven't been outdoors to do much shooting, and the weather hasn't been cooperative either. But I have enjoyed following the McPherson College Men's Basketball team.

These images are some of my favorites from the four games we've been able to attend:

Sr. G Aaron Frasier (1) and Sr. F Jordan Crawford (23) rebound against Hastings College

Jr. G Adam Bruner (24) and So. F Joey Powers (13) defend against Hastings

Jordan Crawford meets the ball handler against Tabor College

So. G Samson Shivers (15) drives against Univ. of St. Mary

Aaron Frasier soars to the basket against USM

Fr. G Kenny Berry, Jr. (12) handles the ball out front versus Rockhurst Univ.

Samson Shivers takes it to the basket against Rockhurst

The Hastings game was shot with the D90. The other games were shot with the D7000. All images are taken with the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8, processing in ACR and CS5.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sunday Walk

A recent weekend presented a fine Sunday afternoon for a walk. The late fall colors were still available and the afternoon light was golden.

Images of light, color and texture were the result. Enjoy the images!

Red Leaves



Afternoon Sun

Red Stripe

Camera: D90, Lens: 50mm f/1.4D

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Yosemite - Final Morning

Our last day in California I drove back up into Yosemite Valley. It was a nice day with some lingering mist in the lower levels.

I returned to shoot some sunrise images at a location that we had originally visited on the first morning that stayed grey and cloudy.

I was much more fortunate on this visit. The location is a bend on the Merced River. El Capitan is to the west and the Three Brothers are to the east.

Being down in the shadows of the valley with the brightening sky made for a very wide contrast range. So we shot bracketed images with the plan to process as HDR images. Here are a couple of my favorite results.

Light on the Peaks - Three Brothers above the Merced

Morning Light on El Cap - Merced Reflection

The camera: Nikon D7000 with Tamron 11-16mm f/2.8. The processing: HDR processing in Photomatix, final processing in CS5

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Yosemite - Half Dome

We ended the day towards the upper part of Yosemite Valley watching the sunset on Half Dome. There were light clouds forming and moving across the face of the formation. As I started to process these it quickly became clear that a Black and White treatment was the best way to represent these images.

Clouds on Half Dome

Conversion to B&W in ACR, additional post in CS5. Nikon D7000 and 70-200mm f/2.8 @ f/11

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Yosemite - Brilliant Afternoon

The rain of the previous day set up today to be about as beautiful as possible for our visit. The air was washed clean and the waterfalls were flowing nicely. In the fall the waterfalls are often dried up, so the weather leading into and during our stay favored us.

Here are a couple of favorite images

Upper Yosemite Falls

Merced River - El Capitan Reflection

I have several images of the upper falls from various points of view. If you look at my waterfall image from the rainy day (previous post) you can see the flow has a different character. This image captures a great pattern of the water breaking across the rock face.

The image of El Cap and the Merced River is from the location knows as the Gates of the Valley. The entire valley was lit brilliantly, but I focused on the vertical view of El Capitan because the wisps of clouds that moved across that side of the valley.

Upper Falls was shot with the Nikkor 35-70mm zoom at f/13. Reflection was shot with the Tamron 11-16mm at f/11

Post processing is ACR and CS5. I'm using some new techniques shown to me by my instructor earlier in the week.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Yosemite - Tuolumne Grove

After the rainy day and night we had a dewy and bright morning.

Our first stop was Tuolumne Grove. It is one of the sites where the giant sequoias are found in the park. It is a small grove (about a dozen trees). It was a one mile hike to the big trees from the parking area. The big trees are mixed into the forest, so no photos of them. But on the way out there were sheltered patches of vegetation where the sunlight was just starting to warm the dew. Here are a few images from that part of the hike.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Yosemite - Rainy Afternoon

Our cloudy morning turned into a rainy afternoon. The valley filled with mist and clouds which offered a new photographic opportunity.

We moved around Yosemite Valley photographing the clouds and mists against the valley walls. My instructor for the day was Michael Frye. If you go to his blog here you will see one of his images, and a special event that took place at one of our locations.

Here are two of my images from the day.

Glacier Point Layers

Falls in the Mist

More images from sunnier days to come !

Friday, October 14, 2011

Yosemite - Cloudy Morning

Our first morning in Yosemite Valley dawned cloudy and grey. No spectacular light, so the famous mega-geology of surroundings all just blended together.

I had arranged to have a private photo workshop with a local photographer. While the conditions may have not been the expected, his advice for the morning was right on: When you have soft light look for detail and color. And he was absolutely right. The fall colors haven't arrived in the valley yet but there was lots of color and detail to find and enjoy

Wildcat Falls

Flowing Water

North Side

More to come from a grey day...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Yosemite - Day 1

After a busy August and September we got away for a photo holiday. We attended an event in Los Angeles on Saturday. From there we spent several days at one of our national treasures: Yosemite National Park.

Parts of four days were spent in or around the National Park. As you might imagine, a hard drive full of images were captured. Much to look through and share over the next few weeks.

We arrived the first afternoon by way of Wawona Road, which brings you into Yosemite Valley by way of the iconic Tunnel View approach. Here is one of my first images of the valley on our arrival.

Much more to come...

Monday, October 3, 2011

First Colors

The fall colors appeared suddenly this past weekend. Trees that were barely trending away from green on Friday afternoon were brilliant by Sunday.

The early sentinals like Sumac, Ashes, Walnuts are generally showing colors and will be gone quickly. There are a few "improved" maples that have turned, but the native versions aren't showing as of yet.

I was able to run out on Sunday evening and capture these images at a nearby city park. The conditions were perfect, as you can tell from the reflections. Enjoy!

Fall Vision


Lakeside II

Images taken with D7000 & 35-70mm f/2.8. Post in ACR & PS5

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pinkout !

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. If you have been watching NCAA or NFL football you have seen the Pink items in the stadiums and on the players.

This extends to the small colleges as well. I shot at the McPherson College vs. Bethel College game on Saturday and you saw these indications of support:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Plaza Art

We've been away from the blog and the camera for a few weeks. This is one of the busy times for the day job. Today was the first Saturday I had free after working or being on call the previous four Saturdays.

The timing couldn't be any better. It is going to be beautiful early fall weather here in KC. Highs in the mid-70's with cool nights.

It is also the weekend of the Plaza Art Fair. It's the 80th edition of one of the premier arts events in the country. Over 200 artists displaying their wares, and 200,000+ visitors are expected when the weather is good like this. Interesting art, entertainment, good food. Lots of people watching !

Here are a few shots that are my contribution to the weekend's art


The Potter's Hands

The Winning Spin


All images processed in ACR & Photoshop

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Game Action

High school football in Missouri kicked off the 2011 season this past Friday night. Debbie and I went to a game between two local high schools. I shot photos for a few quarters as additional practice for the college season (next weekend ! Yay !!). Here are some images from the game:

The game was at our new District Activities Center. The lighting on the field is excellent, and probably better than most of the small college fields I will shoot at. The high speed ability of the D7000 helps as well. In the second half I went from Aperture to Manual mode. The third image was shot in M mode, ISO 1600, f/2.8, 1/500s. ACR was used to boost the exposure (less than +1 e/v), crop and noise reduction.

I switched between .NEF and .JPG formats throughout the evening. During the first half, while the light was a mix of the natural lighting and field lighting I can see very little difference between the formats. But you definitely want the extra "space" for manipulation from the .NEF files when shooting in the deeper darkness.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


This afternoon I went down to the local skatepark. It is in a city park just a couple of miles away from the house.

I like to go down there to practice for sports shooting. The good boarders put on a great show and give you fast targets to practice your action shooting. Saddly, it must have been too hot this afternoon as there was not a boarder or biker in sight.

The concrete structures attract a lot of graffiti. The city routinely repaints sections white to provide a new canvas. I started walking around the slopes and rails, and I saw patterns and colors that called out for images. I changed lenses to my 100mm Macro and started shooting lines and colors.

Green Hand



D7000 and Tokina 100mm Macro. Conversion in ACR6.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Football !

It still feels like summer in KC, but the first event of the high school football season was tonight.

This weekend the schools are allowed to hold a full speed scrimmage against other schools. These events are called Jamborees.

The four high schools from the local district got together for tonight's Jamboree. The format is like this: you play 12 plays on offense then 12 plays on defense. No kickoffs or punts. Offense starts at the 40 yard line and tries to work in. One pair of teams on the north end of the field and the other two on the south.

It's full speed contact for the players and preparation for the regular season that starts next weekend.

It is also a good warmup for this photographer! Especially since this is the first football with the D7000. Here are some sample images:

The D7000 will be a great sports camera. I was happy with the results from Basketball last year, and Football has the opportunity to be great as well. This camera can be very sharp, but as many others have noted it can also point out all your shortcomings like hand shake. All of these were shot with the 70-200mm VR. The focus is speedy and accurate. It is so fast that it can pick up the nearer player that crosses into the frame. But it can quickly recover as well. The 6 frames per second is nice too!

Two of these images were shot in JPEG and two in Raw. The sun was bright and the skies cloudless so the shadows were dark and sharp. Both types of files accepted some Fill Light well. The color and white balance are as came out of the camera.

We are hoping to shoot at least six football games for McPherson this fall, along with several other athletic events for the college this fall. Stay tuned !

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bond Bridge II

After posting my first images of  the Bond Bridge a couple of weeks ago I've been scouting angles for additional images.

The Bond bridge carries Interstate Highway 29 across the Missouri River just northeast of downtown Kansas City, MO. This view is from a small city park which provides a view of the north-bound approaches to the bridge.

At this location the camera is about a mile away from the center of the bridge.  The angle of this view is also from the opposite side of the bridge from the previous photos. In the previous photos from two weeks ago camera was set up just to the east of the bridge.  In those images the traffic passes through the arch tower from left to right. In this view we are on the west side of the tower and the traffic passes through the arch right to left.

Bond Bridge - South Approach

The disappointment: The additional lights on the tower and deck didn't come on this night, so the bridge tower is relatively dim versus the brighter street lighting on the highway approach.  The later photo from the previous set shows the decorative lighting and the brighter spotlights on the tower structure.


- Capture: Nikon D7000 with 70-200mm VR f/2.8. This image was shot at 140mm, 10 seconds, f/16, ISO 200. The additional step was a two stop ND filter to lengthen the time the shutter was open to create longer auto trails.

- Post Processing: Conversion in ACR. In CS5 two curves layers: one to brighten the archway and bridge cables; one to dim the bright LCD signboard and reflected streetlighting in the lower left.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Bond Bridge

Here in KC the state has just completed replacing the old I-29 bridge crossing the Missouri. The old bridge was a traditional suspension bridge. The new bridge is also a suspension bridge, but designed in a more modern style.

I have been scouting and test shooting angles and light around the bridge for most of the summer. Last evening I captured a couple of images that I wanted to share.

Bond Bridge - Sunset

Bond Bridge - Night

The first image is a 4s exposure taken about 25 minutes after sunset. The second is a 10s exposure taken about 20 minutes later.

Nikon D7000 & Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8. Image aperture = f/16