Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Great Day in Yellowstone National Park

OK, let's get this out now...I am a city boy (other wise known as a flat lander) and I don't usually get a chance to see great wildlife in the SF Bay Area. Well...I guess there is some wildlife in the Bay Area but not the four legged type. :) But, this past weekend, in between shooting a National Ad for Lexar, we had some time to venture into Yellowstone National Park and photograph some of the great wildlife that calls the park home. I was especially excited to photograph the Bighorn Sheep. They are so cool looking! Even with the temperature hovering somewhere in the neighborhood of -4 degrees Fahrenheit, we stood below the mountainside for over an hour shooting images of these guys. It was probably a good thing that they went back up the mountainside after an hour, otherwise I might have gotten frostbite on my "city boy" face.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Yellowstone National Park (Below Zero)

We have finished shooting the images for the National Ad Campaign and now we are photographing for some fun (and maybe an other background shot for the ad). Yellowstone is really amazing in the winter. Lots of cool wildlife that I have never seen up close before. We are exploring the North entrance which is not near Old Faithful, but it is a different view of Yellowstone which I am really enjoying.
These two bison were having an argument when we came upon them. They might have been a little ticked off but I was loving the change to photograph them in their moment of dispute. :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

I shot a Grizzly Bear and a Moose today!

After a couple months of planning, I made the trek to Bozeman, MT and photographed Moose Peterson and a very cool grizzly bear for the next National advertisement for Lexar. Both Moose and Brutus (that's the bear!) were great subjects. I have posted a couple of pictures of Brutus but you will have to wait to see the finished ad (which should run some time in May).
This is the typical picture that you would see when people want to show how dangerous grizzly bears are BUT trust me, these bears are truly amazing and not what you would expect. They are gentle creatures who need to be understood. I do like this picture but you need to understand that Brutus' trainer had him make this face for the camera.
Photo by Moose Peterson
This is me feeding Brutus a meatball. Better to give him a snack than for me to become his snack! You will notice that I am bundled up pretty good (wearing two hats and the hood from my sweatshirt) since it was 2 degrees Fahrenheit for the 4 hours of shooting the ad.

Tails in the Air

Yesterday, on my way to Bozeman, MT, I flew through Denver International Airport (for the 500th time), but since I had to go to the end of the terminal for the small regional jets (otherwise known as scarf and goggle planes), I was intrigued by this different view of all the United planes lined up at the gates.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Boys will be boys

Today, I photographed twin boys who will be having their Bar Mitzvah in the next month. In between the "serious" photos (to be used for their sign-in boards), they decided to have some fun. This shot makes me laugh when I look at. No shortage of personality here!

Surfing in January!

OK, I have to admit it, living in California sure is great when most of the country is draped in freezing cold temperatures and we are hanging out at the beach in 75 degree weather. This weekend we made a family trip to the beach in Capitola, CA (about 30 minutes from the house). With the unusually warm weather we are having, there were a ton of surfers out catching waves. I stopped for a couple of minutes to capture some images.

I know I will miss this weather later this coming week when I am in the deep snow of Montana shooting another print advertisement for Lexar.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ross' Bar Mitzvah

This was the first Bar Mitzvah shoot in 2009 and it was for good friends of mine. I really do enjoy photographing these special times for families, and it is even more fun when you know the family members so well. This shoot was bittersweet because it was the last Mitzvah in this close group of friends. All the kids are growing up too fast! This also gave me a chance to try out the new Canon 5D Mark II. The camera takes an amazing picture (21 Megapixels - wow!) and handles low light very well. I doubt that they want to enlarge these photos to the size of their house, but hey, they could if they wanted! :)
After the service, all the kids went to City Beach which is an indoor sports complex where they shot pool, played ping pong, shot hoops and played on the inflatable slide. I enjoyed photographing the kids in a different environment. Usually after a Bar Mitzvah, the families have a party with dinner and dancing, but this was a unique chance to catch the kids going wild. I'll bet they slept well that night!
I am so glad that I brought my 50mm 1.4 lens because it let me be more creative in my shots. I had a great time getting down low on the games and using the depth of field to my advantage.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Family Portraits for Great Friends

I love taking family portraits and it is even more fun when I am shooting pictures of great friends. Well...yesterday I took family portraits of our close friends and their extended family. We decided to shoot the pictures at a local winery which is quickly becoming my favorite place to shoot portraits. It was raining pretty hard as we headed towards the winery but it cleared just as we pulled into the parking lot. This photo shoot was meant to happen!
Overcast skies with no harsh shadows - every photographer's dream for shooting portraits. Nature was very good to me yesterday.
This time, my wife went with us to help direct the shoot. I love having her there, since she has a great eye for locations and she is very good with people placement. She found this low wall and suggested that the family line up here. Normally, I would not line up a family in a straight line, since it can look more like a prison line-up than a family gathering, but I really like this shot.
After we were done shooting we were tasting some of the wines in the cellar when my son looked out the window and spotted a coyote. I grabbed my camera and we went out looking for it. We could see it watching us from some bushes in the distance. Due to good teaching with Moose Peterson (and watching myself on the Moose Cam), we kept biology in mind. We moved very slowly towards the fence and I made sure to raise my camera slowly as not to scare the animal. Good thing I have a good mentor! Not the best shot, but this is the first time I have ever seen a wild coyote in the SF Bay Area.