Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Backlighting Experiments 2

I did say I wanted to try some more specific shots with the new curtains and the setup I had in the studio. Rather than wait for a (different) dancer to assist me, I fell back on ol' reliable as a model. And I had a ball. My legs may be killing me by tomorow evening, but I think the end results were pretty fun.

N Leaping 1

I learned a bunch, which is always the point of these exercises, and I did not have to annoy a model as I figured out the lighting. There are a few more of the set in a larger format slide show HERE. They really are more fun viewed large!

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Are You Enjoying Autumn?

Morning Glory

I am! Do it quickly, as the last gasp of summer is fading fast.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Backlighting Experiments

The addition of a pair of 90" x 108" white curtains at the studio open up a couple of new doors for me. There are some projects I want to do with strong backlighting that were not possible (or at least, not as envisioned) before. Today Reena came into the studio with me and graciously agreed to be my model as I tested a lighting setup. It was so much easier than using myself as model!

Backlighting Experiment

The above image is a bit of foreshadowing for a shoot I have in mind. In this one I also wanted a nice picture of Reena so there is a fair amount of key light from the left in addition to the backlight. No fill; I simply had the backlight at an angle so it adds a dash of fill on the right. So what the story ends up being is a woman looking out a curtain with strong outside light. There is also a strong inside light present so her face is illuminated as well. With little or no key light, the subject would be in strong silhouette, and tell a different story. With a tad of adjustment to the temperature of the light, the viewer can be nudged to think wintery (cooler light) or summery (warmer light). As posted here, it is sort of a generic full-spectrum light that one could (and marketing folk do) call "daylight".

Some fun examples of backlighting that have caught my eye are linked HERE, and HERE (this second one is Not Safe For Work). I am eager to try some leaping dancer shots. I wonder where I can find leaping dancers..?

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Willy Street Fair Faces

Just some people pictures I like from the Willy Street Fair:

Willy Street Fair

Willy Street Fair

Willy Street Fair

Willy Street Fair


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Saturday, September 26, 2009

A (Mostly) B&W Walk In The Woods

Reena and I took a little hike at Sandburg Conservancy today. It seemed like a much better idea than house cleaning. As has become our custom, we both savored the walk with a camera in hand.

A (mostly) B&W Walk in the Woods
Suspended by a Web

It is surely a way to change your perspective on what - exactly - your eye notices. As I was savoring the surroundings, I was struck less by color and more by light and texture. By the third photo I had resolved that the set would be Black and White.

A (mostly) B&W Walk in the Woods
Leaf Shape in Tree Base

That was a refreshing change for me. I often find after the fact that an image works well in B&W. Having the intent of doing the images that way was fun, and changed the conditions of my casual walk in the woods.

A (mostly) B&W Walk in the Woods

These are just a few sample images. View the whole set as a slide show, in deliciously larger size, HERE. It is worth it to see them in large size.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sk8ers at the Willy Street Fair

There were a lot of things going on at last weekend's Willy Street Fair. New this year at the fest was an area set up for kids of any age to show off their skate board skills. I spent a lot of time shooting the sk8er bois as they jumped, something I have had in the back of my mind to do as a project but never got around to it. Here are a few from the set:





The rest of them can be viewed HERE (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nataraj_hauser/sets/72157622411307954/). From that Flickr set there is also an option to view the images as a SLIDE SHOW which will let you view them much larger if you desire to do so.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

World Music Festival 2 - Willy Street Fair

Saturday's portion of the World Music Festival in Madison, WI, took place in conjunction with the annual Willy Street Fair. All afternoon and evening bands imported from various parts of the world played, for free, to delighted crowds. First up was Kepa Junkera playing Basque Country, and featuring Madison's own Robert Schoville sitting in on percussion.


I don't know exactly what the Basque call this instrument, tamborine, riqq, pandiero, but man he sure could play it! Awesome.


Next up was a return visit of the Dragon Knights (see prior post). They were followed by a musical act that blew the minds of the audience. I spoke to a dozen people whose minds were reeling after the performance.


This was Hanggai from Mongolia. Their music, described by Pitchfork as “traditional Mongolian folk music and instrumentation project[ed] into a loosely rock-based structure…creating something new and exhilarating in the process.” The instruments were unusual to our ears, the structure different, and the throat-singing an amazing oddity.


The crowd continued to swell as they played, drawn in and captured by what they heard, and were jumping around by the end. Fortunately CDs were available!


And there was more to see, and experience, and eat, and hear. There will be more posts, so stay tuned. In the meantime, view my larger slide show of photos HERE. And did I mention that the Willy Street Fair really gets going TODAY? What a great city! I plan to catch Yid Vicious at noon, right after the parade.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

World Music Festival 1

Here we get to the heart of why I love living in Madison, Wisconsin. This weekend is the time for not one, not tow, but THREE super-cool things to do. First is the World Music Festival, a free event hosted through the UW consisting of 3+ days of world beat music and assorted extravaganza. The second is the 2nd annual Forward Music Fest, a rock-n-roll series hosted by a variety of venues in town. Third is the Willy Street Fair, a rollicking good time in the heart of the eclectic East Side.

Last night I met friends on the University's student union, known locally as the Terrace. There was free music all evening, and an appearance by Chicago's Dragon Knights, a troupe of stilt performers. Here are a few pics of them:

World Music Festival-Dragon Knights

World Music Festival-Dragon Knights

World Music Festival-Dragon Knights

What a crowd-pleaser they were!

There is a set of photos of them, and the first musical act at my Flickr site, HERE. It's a slide show, so the images are much larger. Enjoy! There is more to come.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Intriguing Dragonfly

I spotted this dragonfly in the yard today. I have never seen a variety like this with wings so completely transparent and a clearly defined coloration in the center. It really looked a lot like the flower heads it was sitting on. View it large...

View LARGE On Black

Can any one tell me the variety?

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

No! Not yet!!!

Dangit. We just really got summer here a couple of weeks ago.

NO!  Not yet!!!!

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Martinis with a friend

Tonight we are indulging in a new tradition: We are having martinis with a friend. Thing is, the friend lives in Virginia, so we do it over the phone. We just hang out, slurp a martini, and talk for an hour just as though she were here, Nice.



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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Back from Bierland

It has been an entire week since I posted here. What the heck was I thinking? Maybe the better question is, what the heck was I drinking? The answer is beer, or more correctly, bier. As in German bier. A lot of German bier. For four days.

There are parties, and there are Parties. This was one of the latter variety. The sort of party where there undoubtedly is a lot of bier consumed, but it is consumed by people who are hand-picked to be there. This is no frat house kegger, goodness no. This is the sort of party where you cannot come if you are not invited, and you cannot invite someone unless you have been there 4 times, and even then inviting someone is strongly discouraged. Thus, the people who are there are people who Pass The Test. They drink bier and it makes them want to dance, or make music, or prepare tasty meals for 100 of their friends, or wash dishes after such a meal, or perhaps to simply hang out and talk for hours at a time.

Tapping the Orange

The bier is on tap at all times, and we simply help ourselves to our preferred variety. Wanting a wheat? Obsessing over orange Ocktoberfest? Pining for a Premium from Spaten? Salivating for a Salvatore? Well, we were in luck because they were all available.

Great party, you are thinking! Right. Which is why I am not going to tell you where it is, or who attends. Safety First. However, I will show you some scenery pictures because the spot is so darned pretty, especially in the fall when the days are warm and the nights are briskly cool.


Scallops on the Grill

Portobellos on the Grill
Scallops and Portobellos on the Grill

Morning on the lake 2

Morning on the lake 3
Misty Mornings on the lake

Hoppy Schwartzie
Our little Schwarzvald decorated with fresh hops

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I fought Photoshop, and I won!

It was a nasty, dirty fight. It started sort of passive-aggressively. I read this short little How-To on a technique in Photoshop and thought it would be a valuable thing to learn. A quick, easy addition to my toolkit. Little did I know that Photoshop does not give up its secrets easily, and the faint of heart get chewed up and cast forth into The Land of Amateur Editors. All I wanted to do was quickly and easily add my name and copyright to any photos I was editing. This How To showed - sort of - how to do it with a single click. Yeah baby!

[insert negatory buzzer here]

I already had my digital signature available, so I brought that image into Photoshop, selected it, and created a Brush Tool in a few simple steps. No worries. Then I followed the How To instructions on how to use it.

And then I spent over an hour swearing, shouting, stomping out of the room, and generally frightening the cat.

Eventually I pinged two friends seeking help. Neither had an answer for me, but one did point me at a website that contained the crucial clue. Since there are 9,586,393,538 ways to do anything in Photoshop but 9,586,393,357 are esoteric and convoluted, the trick is to find the one way that makes sense to you.

Eventually I discovered the Secret. Send $19.95 to my PayPal account and I'll reveal all.

So I made certain that I could replicate my results, then had a Much Needed beer. Here are a few examples of images that were otherwise tweaked and manipulated in Photoshop, and then had my signature added with a couple of clicks. Simply Only If Known. These are nice viewed large.

Black-Eyed Susan 1
View LARGE On Black

Morning Glory 1
View LARGE On Black

Winter Tree 1
View LARGE On Black

(Hint: The Secret is in which Brush tool you select!)

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Now What?

With all the rehearsals and preparation for the Orton Park Festival performance by Cycropia Aerial Dance behind me, I find my self with a bit of a quandary. For the past four months (and the four months prior to that leading up to the spring performance) my life has pretty much been a whirlwind of activity.


Now the show is over, and there is nothing on deck yet for which I need to rehearse. I have a lull. So now what? I suddenly have a few evenings a week back. Tired muscles will get a rest. That twinge in my elbow can heal. All that specific muscle can fade away.


I would prefer that last one not occur! I need to find ways to incorporate some specific muscle work into my life to keep the tone I now have. Some of it I can get on a simple chin bar in the basement, but I know the likelihood of me doing determined "exercise": Slim. I can, and will, step up the warmup exercises I do for contact improv dance, adding in some harder arm work. I can double down on the drills that work core muscles. All that is easy, as it is simply ramping up things I already do. I hope it is enough.

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