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The Indefinite Article.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Return - St. Arnolds Reserve 11

St. Arnolds Reserve 11 by killy
St. Arnolds Reserve 11, a photo by killy on Flickr.

Broke open a bottle of St. Arnolds Reserve 11 this evening. Good flavor. I have 11 more in the fridge, six of which belong to a certain Taggart Sorensen.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Killy and David Hobby, the Strobist!

Last weekend i spent my entire Saturday learning about light from a couple of dudes travelling around the country on a bus and giving classes . It was a great experience and i learned a lot. Unfortunately, i haven't been able to pick up my camera since then and start to practice all the things i picked up in the 8 hours i was there.

My favorite presentation was given by David Hobby, a photographer from Maryland. What i took away from his talk was not so much the technical aspects to his lighting technique (which were awesome to say the least) but rather the approach he takes when he comes to a subject. I'm looking forward to practicing in the coming weeks. My apologies for dropping off so dramatically these last few days. I'm sure you all noticed.

I've re-introduced gym time back into my life which has really cut into the time i was using to photograph. Balance - it's all about balance. Hopefully, i'll have something to show soon. In the meantime, here is a shot of myself with David Hobby. Kudos to the attendee who i handed my camera to. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Just Me by killy
Just Me, a photo by killy on Flickr.

Trying to get a certain 'look' and i'm not getting it. Gonna try something else tomorrow.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Break has Come to an End

Carlene South by killy
Carlene South a photo by killy on Flickr.

The word that I've come up with to describe my spring break vacation is this: dense. So much fun squeezed into such a tiny slice of time. So many photographs. So many adventures. I was on a cold beach; I rode a ferry; I was in a hailstorm; I drove on a dark Texas road; I became reacquainted with my tree; I missed a KISS concert despite my best efforts; i ate a jar of pickles and drank a mojito at the same time; and plenty inbetween -mainly, food.

Photographically, it's been pretty productive. In one week I have made decent portraits of:

Paola Isabel Chavez on Bolivar Peninsula
Eli Micah Singleterry at home
Barbara Ann Douglass in Austin
Carolina Chavez at home
Carmen Sorensen at Spotts Park
Daisy the Pug Dog at Home
Carlene South on my tree at home

This shot of Carlene was environmental portraiture gone horribly wrong - for the photographer, that is. The wind caught my umbrella and pulled down my strobe. One of my Vivitars was damaged at the foot and will no longer fire from the wireless trigger. Also, my shoot through white umbrella was snapped in half. Unusable. Then, to top it all off, my battery died right as i was ready to start taking shots. I plugged in the rechargeable battery for 20 minutes and was only able to take about 8 shots before it died again. The final setup was this: strobe bounced from white foam board (replacing the umbrella) camera right; silver reflective umbrella right behind me with sb-600; bare vivitar 285 fired up into the tree.


Carlene was a good sport through it all, though. Nicest ... person ... ever.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wiring Harness Mess

Trying to learn how to rewire my motorcycle - I am going in blind even with the books to back me up.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Oh yeah, and then there was this rabbit

Rabbit by killy
Rabbit a photo by killy on Flickr.

So as we were walking along the soft trails in the arboretum we came upon some discarded displays that had animal shaped cutouts. I came across this rabbit cut out that worked marvelously with the background.

Carolina Chavez

Carolina by killy
Carolina a photo by killy on Flickr.

Spent the majority of the day outside today. I managed to spread my homemade compost around the front yard. Then the family spent a few hours walking around the Arboretum.

I also managed to get some photos of Carol in the backyard.

Strobist info: Softbox camera left and reflection umbrella camera right.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday: Barbara Ann Douglass

Barbara Ann Douglass by killy
Barbara Ann Douglass a photo by killy on Flickr.

Tired. Just tired. Need sleep. Took some photos of Barbara today that i'm not all that proud of, but they're nice.

I still feel like i just stumble into things far too often, rather than make things happen.

Eli Micah Singleterry

Eli Micah Singleterry by killy
Eli Micah Singleterry a photo by killy on Flickr.

Full Sunday. First, i lost an hour. Then, i had an all day picnic. Then, i took some pictures of Maru's newborn son, Eli.

Paola Digs on Bolivar Peninsula

This is a shot from our Saturday adventures. The family was up early and on the road to Bolivar Peninsula. We took the long scenic route: drove an hour and 15 minutes to Anuhuac and another 45 minutes to the coast around the Nature Preserve. Some really bare, and beautiful scenery.

We got to the beach early (around 9). According to the car thermometer it was 69 degrees. The kids were unfazed. They bounded from the car onto the shell beach. Paola began to dig. Adolfo walked along the shore and collected shells. I took a few photos of the very dramatic lighting created by the heavy cloud cover.

We spend the morning driving south along the Bolivar Peninsula, stopping for beach time every few miles, until we got to the ferry. We crossed over to Galveston, did some sightseeing and eventually headed back into town for an afternoon big boy birthday party: Diego turned 14.

All in all a good day for photographs and an ever better day for sleep once the day folded up.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Photo Vacation

Paola Isabel by killy
Paola Isabel a photo by killy on Flickr.

So begins my spring break and what i hope will be a non-stop focus (no pun intended) on photographing.

Took some window light, high ISO (2500?!) photos of Paola today who was not in the best of moods. Note to self: no more high ISO photos, at least not on the D80.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Happy Birthday To The Todd!

Sapo Verde Todd!!! I hope you get to eat cake or a suitable cake substitute today!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Sketchbook project

Hey Texas people,

I have a sketchbook in "The Sketchbook Project" which is currently touring the US.
Well the First stop is Austin!

March 12, 2011 / 12:00-6:00pm
Austin Museum of Art
823 Congress Ave
Austin, TX

You can go and see all the sketchbooks and even check them out.....I think...maybe not.

Anyway - I you feel like seeing my drawings firsthand...go for it.


iPad 2

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Green Jar, Brown Thumb

Green Jar by killy
Green Jar a photo by killy on Flickr.
Spent a good portion of my weekend addressing the needs of my hopelessly neglected yard. A thick layer of water oak leaves covered the majority of my front yard. There was no way around it, i needed a leaf vacuum. After consulting with Adolph, who owns an electric blower/vac mulcher, I decided on the more robust gas powered Toro Leaf blower/vac and mulcher for my yard.

Beneath the leaves the ground was hard and dry. After a few hours of yardwork i was covered in a grey dust from head to toe. I have the hoses going now hoping to saturate the ground and prep it for the annual weed and feed spreading tomorrow night.

Lost in Myself

Adolfo IV by killy
Adolfo IV a photo by killy on Flickr.
I learned today that no matter what awesome equipment you have, there is not getting around using a rake to pick up leaves. I bagged 13 very full bags of mulched leaves - a simply astounding amount of leaves.

I also didn't shoot too much today. I moved some of the lights around and revisited my homemade grid and decided to shoot with that exclusively to get used to it's shape. Adolfo, immersed in his DSi, was a willing participant as long as i didn't ask much of him.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Margaritas and Burgers

Nick Turco by killy
Nick Turco a photo by killy on Flickr.
Had friends over for margaritas and hamburgers this evening. The Turcos and the Ledmans came for my first attempt at shaken homemade margaritas and fully stacked burgers. By the end of the evening, the burgers were gone, the chips were nothing but corn powder and the lime juice was gone. Turns out that margaritas are pretty easy: tequila, triple sec and lime juice - shake well with ice and serve! Tomorrow, whiskey sours.

Managed to get someone other than my kids into the studio tonight and came away with a rather striking portrait of one of my good friends, Nick Turco. Had a gridded Vivitar 285 up high and at a steep angle camera left and a big softbox camera right.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Night Shots

Night Shots by killy
Night Shots a photo by killy on Flickr.
I thought today was going to be the day that i came home, ate and flopped down on the bed to sleep. Carol took the kids to her sister's house - it was going to be paradise. But when i walked in the door habit kicked in. I left the house, put gas in the car ($3.39 a gallon?! You gotta be kidding me) and went for dinner. As i sat eating i watched the sky go from light blue to dark blue. I looked at my phone 6:49.

i wanted something secluded, something colorful with mixed lighting. I tried an office park first along Hempstead Highway. I was meaning to simply work on exposing for lighting and dusk sky. The sky grew dark quickly, but fortunately it was a cloudy night and i live in a heavily lit area; the clouds worked their magic. Furthermore, it was windy and the clouds were moving which was going to give a nice smooth, smoky look to the sky. At least, that's what i thought.

After driving around a bit, i finally found a line of train cars sitting along Hempstead Hwy next to a heavily lit WM (Waste Managment) facility. There was a mix of white and orange lights which made things pretty interesting.

This was fun - i can see myself doing a lot more of this.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Adolfo, Big Boy

Adolfo, Big Boy by killy
Adolfo, Big Boy a photo by killy on Flickr.
My son is turning into a big, beautiful boy. I am in awe of him.

Strobist info: this is the same clamshell lighting i used on the previous pics of carol and paola, but i added a bare Vivitar 285 to the back at the suggestion of another photographer friend of mine.

Topsy Turvy

Equipment by killy
Equipment a photo by killy on Flickr.
Spent the day assisting Taggart on a local shoot. It's really awesome to watching T go through the motions as professional architectural photographer.

He has an impressive array of equipment: unmanageably heavy padded boxes of lights, stands, cords, lenses and other equipment to manage any eventuality. It's a sight to behold. But even better is watching him 'know' what he is doing. He set up and shot exposures without a single meter. Walking into a room, he knew the angle from which to shoot. His considerations came instinctively: lights were placed in such a way to avoid highlights from areas i hadn't considered; there were planes and lines that had to be managed.

I guess the most surprising thing was that he didn't do much in the way of color balancing the strobes with the ambient light. Not that it mattered. I should ask him about that.

Anyway, i tried to take a portrait of him while we waited for the perfect twilight sky, but he would have none of it. Jerkface.