Creative lighting Photos

Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Our Lady of Mount Carmel

My intent was to get some nice sunset shots of this beautiful church in Montecito. I was a little late, but it was still a nice night.

If you tilt your head to the left and use your imagination a little you can make out half of the constellation Orion rising from behind the church.


Mission Storm
Friday, January 4, 2008
Mission Storm

Click on the main image for a bigger version

Another attempt to get to the Nativity Scene at the mission a couple of weeks ago, and still no animals. Probably a good thing for them, it was raining like crazy. But I do so hate to come home empty handed! And, I still have not had a chance to develop the film from this evening. This was from my digital camera, but four feet wide just might not be big enough. :-D


Santa Barbara Hills
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Santa Barbara Hills

Happy New Year!

It's been a busy holiday season. This was from one of my many trips by the Mission to see if the animals were in the nativity scene yet. I had no luck there before things got too busy, but as long as I was out with my camera...


CCSB in the Setting Sun
Saturday, December 15, 2007
CCSB in the Setting Sun

As I mentioned yesterday I was out taking some test shots for a new project. The intention was to check the lighting and get an idea what equipment I would need. But as the sky got prettier I decided to take a shot at getting some images to combine into a high dynamic range image. Normally, not a difficult task. But in this case I only had a monopod so that made keeping the camera perfectly still between shots a bit of a challenge. I might not use it for a poster size image but I'm pretty happy with the results.


Sunset at 1525 State
Friday, December 14, 2007
Sunset at 1525 State

When the evening sun does beautiful things like this I find myself wishing I could drop everything and take pictures. Today I had a busy afternoon of meetings and appointments, fortunately one of them was with a new client so I just happened to have my camera handy. I think the wispy pink clouds really add a lot! Not to mention the cool bus tail lights that came through at just the right time.

This is a combination of five images in what is called a High Dynamic Range Image, mostly used in this case to pick out the details in the bright spots. One of the interesting things about one of those bright spots is the color of the sign. That lovely green is the way film (or in this case a digital sensor) sees fluorescent lights. As they ummm... "encourage" us in California to use the CFLs my evening shots are going to get a lot greener, supposedly in more ways than one.


Painted Orchids
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Painted Orchids

This is another one of my low depth of field experiments. I really like the way it helps you focus on one flower, but you can still see the others fading into the background. The lighting was something special on this one too. It was in a nursuy in Carpenteria, CA. The roof of the building we were in was translucent. It let the sun through, but the light was filtered and beautiful.


Courthouse Light
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Courthouse Light

We are getting some unseasonable moisture from the hurricane that went through the Gulf of Mexico last week. The days have been really humid, but the clouds have been a nice change. Seemed like a good time for some evening shots of the courthouse.

This is actually a combination of about ten exposures in a technique called a High Dynamic Range Image. Takes a little work, but a normal long exposure would have blown out the image around the lantern and you would still not have been able to see the clouds and stars.


Peach Lantern
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Peach Lantern

This is one of my favorite flowers. I don't usually see them in peach though. It took a very low angle to get this shot, as the name suggests they kind of hang down like lanterns or bells. I was almost sitting on the ground.


Backlit Lantana
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Backlit Lantana

We took a walk around one of our favorite nurseries today. The late afternoon light combined with the smoke in the air from the Zaca fire near us made for some beautiful lighting. Well, if we are going to put up with the fire danger we might as well get something out of it!


Storke Sunset
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Storke Sunset

This is an older image, from the building I used to work in at UCSB. My office was on the first floor but in the winter I liked to watch the sunset from this spot.


Glowing Kalanchoe Close-up
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Glowing Kalanchoe Close-up

I have been having a lot of fun with my plants and cameras lately. This flower is less than a quarter of an inch across. When you see it normally as just one in a cluster of flowers (called an inflorescence) the colors look continuous. Fading from red to yellow. However, on closer inspection you can see the speckled nature of the color like the printed page in a magazine.


Creative Kalanchoe
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Creative Kalanchoe

I have always had a soft spot for these plants. They have amazing thick leathery leaves and when they bloom they are absolutely covered in flowers.

Recently there have been a more creative variety available. I found a "double" variety last year, and the coloring on this one is absolutely unique!

They make great subjects for creative photography lighting experiments too.


Glowing Sun Star
Monday, May 14, 2007
Glowing Sun Star

I have been playing with some creative lighting on my flowers lately. That's the reason that the photo of the day has been the flower of the day lately. :-D (Well, that and the fact that it's spring and there are some amazing plants out there that all seem to follow me home.) I\'m pretty happy with the results though, both in the back yard and my photos!

If you ended up here because you have one of these beauties and you are looking for care instructions, take a look at the main Sun Star page. There are more tips and discussion on the March 25, 2006 Sun Star too. If you find any of it helpful, or have questions that have not been answered there, drop us a note!


Epiphyllum Irridescense
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Epiphyllum Irridescense

Last Sunday there was a Cactus and Succulent show here in Santa Barbara. We went looking for some new Epiphyllums, and specifically this one. I saw one the day before at a Nursery and had my fingers crossed they would have it at the show. We got this one as a single pad cutting. Of course that one pad is about two feet long and four inches wide, with two blossoms.

To get an idea of the scale, the petals are almost an inch across and about five long. The whole blossom is at least eight inches across.

I hope you like it, because there are more Epi photos to come. We got seven cuttings at the show of six different varieties! I think it is safe to say we have a jungle in our back yard now since I have long since lost count how many we have.


Wild Jungle Cactus
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Wild Jungle Cactus

No it's not a man eating plant. (Well as long as I keep watering it and do what it says anyway.) The flowers on my Orchid Cacti are usually pretty amazing, but this one is particularly wild and they are not even open yet! There is nothing in the photo for size reference but the pink part of the blossom is at least four inches long. It's a good time of year to be a crazy photographer with a collection of wild plants!


Savoy Nights
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Savoy Nights

This week I had the enviable task of shooting and designing a new ad for a great restaurant in town. I love this kind of evening shot, and since the primary objective of the ad was to let everyone know they are now open for dinner it seemed the perfect opportunity for some dusk photography.

If you would like to see the finished ad, watch for the upcoming issue of Santa Barbara Food & Home or contact me for a sneak preview.


Flutter Bye Rose
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Flutter Bye Rose

Yesterday was a great day to take pictures. We went to La Sumida Nursery, where we bumped into a good friend from church. We were looking for a rose, and after much debate this is the one I chose as my favorite. It is called "Flutter Bye." As the flowers bloom they are bright yellow and almost solid. Then as the blossoms get older they change to this beautiful peach - orange - yellow combination.


Spring Evening
Monday, April 17, 2006
Spring Evening

The hound picked a nice time for a walk this evening. The light was beautiful. Finally a break from the rain and it actually felt like spring. For better or for worse the news anchors were excited about the fact that we should actually have three beautiful days in a row! Not exactly a long run for Southern California, but at this point I'll take what I can get!