It was one of the nicest days we’ve had in the Seattle area for quite a while. As a result, the yard work was put off again. I drove downtown to see the Seattle Big Wheel, the waterfront, and the Pike Place Market – a lot of the attractions that get neglected by the locals. It wasn’t the greatest day for photos as the crowds had the same thoughts as I did. Yet it was a fun change of pace. Lots of colors and visually stimulating sights.
I have been watching some spring flowers popping up around the yard and waiting for some good light. But it’s a typical gray winter day in the Seattle area. So this morning I finally took the matter into my own hands. I figured the flowers weren’t going to last that long – either the rain would beat them down or the deer would eat them. I went out before it rained and “made” some good light. I used a full CTO gel on my flash for an early morning or late evening quality of light.
I visited the LeMay Car Museum in Tacoma, WA. My purpose was a scouting trip, in hopes of obtaining permission to return with my Nikon gear and tripod and possibly doing some commercial work for them. So today was reconnaissance with the RX100, one flash, and a VAL (voice activated light stand). This is definitely a location I plan to return to. The building is fairly well lit and the cars are spaced nicely, so components can be isolated. When I return, I’ll shoot the outside at dusk when I can blend the exterior lights with the city and the fading light of the sky. (Click on image for larger view.)
I recently purchased a Sony RX100 so I would always have a good camera with me. This one has all the manual controls I need, it’s small enough so that I will take it with me, and the image quality is outstanding. It fits easily in a jacket pocket and even in a pants pocket. I decided to see how well it would sync with my speed lights. My wife was working on a quilting project, so I began to photograph some of her work. So far I’m pleased, but the focusing does require attention. The lights have to be manually adjusted, but dialing down the on-camera flash and covering it so it wouldn’t influence my exposure, produced a satisfying result. (Click photo to enlarge.)
The colors, textures, and the patterns of the fabrics do lend themselves to visually interesting subjects. I may continue this as a personal project, documenting all the many steps until the final quilt is ready for use.
Wind farms are being constructed in one of the most beautiful and agriculturally productive regions in the Pacific Northwest. The Palouse area is known for its gentle and graceful rolling hills, reminding many visitors from Europe of Tuscany. It is also one of the highest producing wheat and lentil regions in the world. Photography workshops in this area draw many during the spring and summer. It is quickly becoming known for its outstanding scenery and the vast photographic opportunities.
Currently the wind farms are confined to the northern area, just west of Oaksdale, WA. But one wonders, will they continue to spread. These towers do mar the sensual curves of the hills, as well as remove some productive land for crops. Of the 58 wind generators some are located on unproductive land, but many are not. I was told by a local farmer that 10 acres are required for each generator. The wind farm requires new larger and straighter roads, transmissions lines, and staging areas. There has been much controversy among the local land owners, but I have not yet seen the reaction from the photography community. This will have an impact, as these photography tours do bring in many dollars to the local communities.
Link to my Landscape work: www.ronheusserphotography.com Go to Galleries – Eastern Washington for Palouse photos.
My ebook, The Land of the Palouse, featuring the beauty of of this area of Eastern Washington just became available.
This is the second year we have made a volleyball poster for the team my daughter-in-law coaches in Eastern WA. Since they are located in the Palouse wheat country, we decided to shoot them in a wheat field lit by combines. The Boone family was great providing the combines and the wheat field. The lighting was difficult and not as bright as I had hoped. We also were hoping to shoot at twilight but their practice didn’t get over until well after sun down. It was a lot of fun and girls were great sports. The temperature got down into the mid 40’s before we were done. Since the next morning they were scheduled to practice early, we didn’t have a lot of time.
Here are some photos from the shoot and the final poster. You can click on each image to see it larger.
I had promised prints and digital files to some of the fishermen, so I needed to go back to the terminal to deliver them. I believe if these hard working men are willing to interrupt their work and let me make photographs, the least I can do is provide them with copies. While I was there I decided to shoot a few more of the boats, surroundings, and the people. It’s a very visually stimulating environment. (Click on image to see larger view.)
Fisherman’s Terminal in Seattle is busy with salmon seine boats getting ready for the Alaska salmon fishing season. Painting, welding, repairing nets, and general maintenance is keeping many busy on their boats in anticipation of leaving for Alaska in early to mid June. I spent Saturday visiting with the fishermen working on their boats and taking photographs. All were fun to talk with and didn’t seem to mind being interrupted by a nosey photographer. I wish them all good fortunes this season.[Click on photos for larger view.]
Andrew came all the way from Maine to fish on the Jean B up in the Alaskan waters. The nets have been laid out in groups and crews are working in the sun rebuilding and repairing the nets. It’s not the actual fishing, but an absolute necessity for a successful fishing season.
This worker was part of a crew adding on to their boat’s structure. I liked the way he stood out against the blue sky. His compatriots were giving him a hard time for having his photo taken. They wondered why they were passed over. He told them, “I’m better looking.”
With a degree in recreation, fishing is what this man enjoys. He values the freedom and wouldn’t do anything else. He told me the paint he is using is a significant part epoxy and the metal components on the Corva May need to be painted at least every three years.
Long time fishermen taking a break on the Yankee Maid. I spoke with these men about the need to be multitalented, in electronics, hydraulics, diesel mechanics, and all around fix-it abilities. Dave had been working on patching fiberglass, while Art had been working on the exterior.
This will be Mark’s first year on the Vernon. He was masking and painting trim out in the hot (for Seattle) sun. He’s a painter by trade, and his wife told him he’s not photogenic. I think he photographs very well.
I took these photos of a Jazz Trio for a friend who owns a used book store. Bob hosts a Jazz night at least three Fridays every month in his store in Black Diamond, WA. As a thanks to him for letting me use his book store to shoot some portraits, I told him I’d shoot some images for him during one of his Jazz Nights. The Kiss of Jazz consists of Trish Hatley, vocal, Hans Brehmer, piano and vocal, and Chris Clark on bass. A very enjoyable evening. I just found out that Bob is unable to keep the store open. I guess the ebooks and internet have finally caught up with him. It will be a shame, as his store is a great place to relax, read, browse, and visit. It will be missed.
I have been involved in Don Giannatti’s Project 52 for the past year. We just shot our last assignment. The assignment was described as follows:
Assignment Number Fifty One: A Book Cover: “52: My Journey of Light and Discovery”
Book Covers are striking… and they have to pull you in. Look at the name of the book… find the visual elements there. The name is full of imagery, and descriptive, fun visual words.
My decision to participate in this class was one I never regretted. It forced me to shoot so much more than I normally would have. I sincerely do not think there is a better group on the internet – helpful, honest, non argumentative, egos kept in check, and great encouragers. Everyone’s work was inspiring, as was the discussion. We all received helpful feedback – sometimes hard to hear, but always useful and pushing us forward. The assignments were designed to stretch us out of our comfort zones and to polish up our current skills. We worked on location as well as studio portraits. Assignments also covered product and concept shots. The 2012 class is just beginning, so I would encourage any and all to participate. Don is a great mentor – just look at his work over at www.lighting-essentials.com. It’s a great way to step up your skills. Also check out the Project 52 site he has running: http://project52.org/
In October I attended a Landscaper Photography class taught by British photographer, Charlie Waite. I consider Charlie a mentor and a friend, as this is the fifth class of his I’ve had the opportunity of being involved with. His nephew, Tom Sullam, a talented interior and portrait photographer from the UK also helped out. Tom spent quite a bit of time helping me with my location portraits. A great week of learning.
My son-in-law, Dan Goods, Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Visual Strategist, has created an interactive exhibit, enabling visitors insight into the science on board the Juno spacecraft. NASA launched the Juno spacecraft on August 5, 2011 and will arrive at Jupiter in July of 2016. Since Jupiter is mainly covered with clouds, Dan’s project enables understanding of how the spacecraft will penetrate the cloud layer to understand what might be below. An excerpt from the display reads: “Goods’ installation consists of a large container of fog, which hides infrared lights. Infrared light is invisible to the naked eye, but is visible to most cell phone cameras. Just as the Juno mission uses special detectors to peer through the clouds of Jupiter and reveal the depths of its storms, the visitor can ‘see’ lightening storms underneath this foggy surface.”
The project is currently on display at the Pasadena Museum of California Art.
Note water trays and infrared lights as Dan checks on the exhibit.
My daughter-in-law coaches the Garfield Palouse volleyball team. She asked if I could shoot some images of her players for a poster. My son and I took my lighting equipment over to the gym and set up a large 2′ x 3′ softbox and took a variety of action photos, as well as some team pictures. My son designed the poster.
This is Wendell. I’ve known him for 40 years. He’s taught me a lot about relationships. He puts effort into maintaining relationships, and I’m grateful for his efforts. Normally, he will drive once a year from Nebraska to Texas to California to Oregon to Washington to Montana to South Dakota and back to Nebraska – visiting friends. When he visits, my days are filled with stimulating conversation and laughter. I always look forward to his time here and am now planning a trip to visit him, as well as others I’ve neglected. As I said, I’ve learned a lot from Wendell.
I’m taking an online class from Don Giannetti with Lighting Essentials ( http://www.lighting-essentials.com/ ). It’s called project 52 ( http://www.project52.org/ ). It’s a great learning opportunity and has some of the most helpful and encouraging people on the web participating. This assignment was to take a road trip, 1 – 4 hours from our house and make some images. I chose to go to Mt. Rainier National Park. It forced me to concentrate on what was available and take advantage of the light conditions while I was there. Normally, I would scout the area and go back in better light. A great assignment as all have been.