Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wild Kingdom

No words needed really. This bee thought he was safely gathering nectar.


He was surprised by this spider, caught unaware.


He struggled for two or three minutes, but I suspect the spider bit first and got some poison or paralytic into him.


His struggles weakened while the spider maintained an over-the-back hold which made it impossible for the bee to sting back. In short order the spider carried him off.

View Large On Black

It is a wild world out there!

Read the rest of the post!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Things Are Looking Up

It is Friday! It is Summer! There is cold beer and interesting music to be had in town tonight. Things are looking up.

Things Are Looking Up
View LARGE On Black

Pointer to the Light

With a hot night ahead, who knows, you might even get lucky.

Hot bug-on-bug action
(In case you REALLY want the skinny on this hot bug-on-bug action, GO WILD.)

Read the rest of the post!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bathing Beauty - NSFW

While I was camping with friends at a remote location, the temperature and humidity were both very high. The afternoons were brutal to those of us from northern states where spring had not really let go yet. We were used to overnight lows in the upper 40's (F) and daytime highs of upper 60's. While camping the overnight lows were in the 70's and daytime highs were near 100. To beat the heat, we spent a lot of time wearing little or nothing (I did say remote location) and there was a delightful creek quite close by.

At one point while we were sprawled out in the cool shallows of the creek, I looked over at the furthest downstream person and was struck dumb. Asking her to stay put, I trotted back to grab my camera.

This post really does continue, so follow the link!

View LARGE On Black

Wow! I knew the moment I tripped the shutter on that one that I had a good one. I shot more, of course...


I cannot decide which of these last two I prefer. Do you have an opinion?


I love that I hang out with friends who like to get naked. I love even more that in general they are cool with me taking photos of them. And I especially love it when they give me permission to use them here.

Read the rest of the post!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Marko in the Spotlight

Every once in a while I get to take photos that get someone Just Right. While it is true that is something of a knack of mine, I cannot always make it work. In this case, I got some good shots of Marko from Pagee Go Go. He often stands in the second row, further back from the front of the stage, so it is tougher to get him. Add to that his tendency to stand in places where stage lights are not pointing, and it makes it challenging to get good images of him.

Pagee Go Go

The band recently played an outdoor gig at a festival with a pretty nice stage, and Marko managed to be in front for a while.

Pagee Go Go

The lights were hitting him just right, sculpting him dramatically. I shot a bunch, knowing that this was an elusive opportunity.

Pagee Go Go

Thanks for coming up front into the spotlight once in a while, Marko! The rest of the set can be viewed in this slide show:

Read the rest of the post!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ahh, vacation!

I was gone last week for a bit of a holiday. Reena and I rendezvoused with friends to celebrate the summer solstice. The week passed way too quickly, though much fun and bonhomie was enjoyed by all.

While I did not take many photos to share with the world, I did take this shot of a friend making his version of Glühwein, a mulled and spiced wine.


Normally the recipe calls for simply steeping, but what fun is that when you can FLAME it?! In this case, over-proofed rum is used along with brown sugar. After the basic ingredients are steeped, the sugar and rum are added, then the mixture is ignited. As it is ladled, burning, back and forth between two pots, the excess alcohol burns off and caramelizes the sugar. Served warm, it is a delightful treat. This is definitely one to remember for fall camping.

Read the rest of the post!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Becalmed at the Terrace

Summer is just around the corner at last! A recent trip to the Terrace on a fine evening found evidence to support that claim. Lethargy and sun-soaking dominated the scene.

Becalmed at the Terrace

Soaking Up Spring Rays

It was great to notice, however, that a good number of those slothful people seemed to have arrived on bicycles. Could it be...balance? Work and play, Labor and leisure, Beer and Popcorn?

Bikes at the Terrace

I had a chat with a couple of young men from Greenland who were in Madison, after traveling throughout the US. They were on their way to a summer job in Wisconsin Dells. They enthusiastically pointed out that Madison was the "most European city they had encountered." The friendliness, the abundance of both bicycles and beer, the acceptance of people who were "other". Yeah, way to go Madison!

Read the rest of the post!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Barry C. at Cafe ZuZu

A friend had his public debut as a singer-songwriter last night at a local cafe. A friend of his shared the stage with him during his hour-long set, and they traded around between duets and solos. All said, a fun performance to see and hear.

Great job, Barry!

Barry C. at Cafe ZuZu

Barry C. at Cafe ZuZu

Barry C. at Cafe ZuZu

Barry C. at Cafe ZuZu

Barry C. at Cafe ZuZu

Read the rest of the post!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Peony and Bee

I took a pretty good picture this afternoon in the yard. I got a shot of a bee coming in for a landing on a peony. As I looked at it with my editor eyes I thought how nice it would be if this or that were a little different. Being a neophyte with Photoshop, I thought, "Ah, a teaching moment." Here is the end result:

Peony and Bee 2 (edited)
View LARGE On Black - it's worth the look.

I'll post the original at the end, but in summary, here is what I did to the photo. Most obviously, I flipped it so that the bee was coming in from the left. We read L->R so our eyes tend to work that way by default. This way your eye finds the bee as it goes to the peony. Next I selectively reduced the brightness of the yellow part of the flower, taming the overexposed highlights. I did the same for the top right leaf, and the two unopened buds. I wanted to soften how much they drew the eye. Finally I selected the bee and added a touch of brightness and sharpness so that he popped a bit more.

In the Darkroom Ages, I could have done those same things by dodging or burning as the negative developed. I think this is well within the bounds of using Photoshop, yet still calling the result a photograph. Once one crosses the line and begins moving parts of the image (relocating the bee for example) or adding elements from other photographs, the line gets fuzzier and I wonder if it is still a photograph or is it collage or (to borrow a phrase from local shooter Chris Norris) photo-illustration? This is something I think about a lot these days. I don't know if there is a definitive answer, and it certainly is a continuum rather than some either-or situation. If you have thoughts on the topic, I'd love to hear them.

Here is the original image, straight from camera:

Peony and Bee 2

Read the rest of the post!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Kait in the Garden

Way back in February I met a young woman named Kait at the carnaval show (Brasilian Mardi Gras) at the High Noon Saloon. She was with a bunch of pals, and they were having a great time together. I took a couple of shots of their group and sent them to Kait since it was her email addy I got. She was wearing a bra top that was covered with silk leaves and it looked great on her. She mentioned that she had similar bottoms but had been reluctant to wear it out since she didn't know if others would be so scantily clad. I suggested a photo shoot, and she thought it might be fun.

Time passed, and life happened.

Yesterday both our schedules were finally in sync, so we got together at last. We started in the studio, but that proved to be uninteresting (or at least, not really WOW). So we went outside to shoot in the lush ferns. That was much better! A sample of the results are linked below in a slideshow posted at my Flickr site. If I had had an apple in the house I would definitely have played the 'Eve' card!

View the slideshow large by following this link, or by going to my Flickr site.

Feel free to leave comments, especially if you are a shooter willing to offer constructive criticism (of me and my work, not her) or after-the-fact outside eyes.

Read the rest of the post!