Saturday, December 10, 2011

Streets of Sorento

The narrow streets combine with the colorful plaster and tiny balconies on the tall buildings of Sorento to create a very charming atmosphere.  I'll be back for sure.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Forum at Night

Wandering around Rome...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Coloseum at Night

A few more favorites from the shooting at night in Rome. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I was down in Southern Utah last month shooting a short film with some buddies. My good friend Diana (an excellent producer!) found a sweet old movie set (or tv show set) from the 1960's for us to shoot on. It was pretty weathered, but it was also super epically awesome.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Looking Up

Some people have the cutest kids.  And some kids are camera shy.  Not this one tho!  She followed me around for quite a while, and it definitely paid off!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Praying Manti... er.. Bee

Another one from the archives of this summer.  I caught the bee in an interesting pose.  Also, some bees I've shot don't seem to have the huge sucker snout thing like this one... kinda interesting.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Old Chief

Driving home from Waterton Lakes National Park a while ago and the sky was absolutely amazing!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Alloy of Law

My good buddy Bentley Snow played Waxillium Ladrian, a wild west lawman turned gentleman in The Alloy of Law.  The Alloy of Law is a new book by Brandon Sanderson, and another of my buddies, Alex Wheatley, decided that he wanted to get some people together and shoot a trailer for it.  The end result turned out pretty decent and got mentioned on both Brandon Sanderson's blog, and the blog of his publisher,

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wild Wild West

I was down in Southern Utah last month shooting a short film with some buddies. My good friend Diana (an excellent producer!) found a sweet old movie set (or tv show set) from the 1960's for us to shoot on. It was pretty weathered, but it was also super epically awesome.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Had an opportunity to shoot the cutest little kids in the world the other day!  Fortunately it was nice and warm when one of them discovered what the garden hose was for...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Vestiges of Summer

It ain't over till it's over, but sadly, summer is gradually starting to wind down.  Fortunately there is no end to gorgeous evening light, and there are still lots of flowers around to take a few shots of.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bug Eyed Focusing Modes

Today I spent an hour or two sitting in the grass getting eaten by bugs.  And trying to take pictures of them.  I have tried a few different techniques while shooting bugs in the past, but I haven't ever really had as much success as I wanted.  I usually try to manually focus my macro lens while hand-holding the camera, or focus by moving the camera closer to or further from the subject.  That kindof works, but I am pretty shaky and didn't get many sharp images.  I then tried using a tripod and manually focusing the lens (no macro focus rails yet...), and ended up getting some good images, but only of slow moving stuff. 

So it turns out to get good macro images you need LIGHT!!  By going out today in the nice bright late-afternoon light, I was able to shoot at much faster shutter speeds and most of them were nice and sharp!

As for focusing the shots in the right spot, I tried a new tactic: Servo AI mode!  In case you don't know, most modern SLR's have at least 3 auto focus modes, along with auto or manually selected focus points or zones.  On my Canon 60D those modes are:

  • One Shot - this will focus on the selected point (or pick a point and focus on it if in auto) when the shutter is half pressed and hold that same focal plane until you either release the shutter, or let go of the shutter button
  • AI Servo - This mode is basically a continuous auto-focus mode where the camera will try to keep the subject in focus even when it moves closer or further away.  If you have selected a focus point manually, it will always try to keep whatever is under that spot in focus as you move the camera around and as the subject moves
  • AI Focus - This is a combination of the two modes.  It defaults to One-Shot mode so you can focus by half-pressing the shutter release and re-frame, but if the camera then detects the subjects in frame starting to move, it will switch to AI Servo Mode
So basically I haven't ever really experimented with anything besides One-Shot, as my background is mostly in weddings, portraits, and a bit of landscape.  Basically I usually shoot things that are slow moving or static.  I have shot a few sporting events, but nothing too intense.  I clicked my camera over to AI Servo, selected a focus point and held the shutter button half down as all sorts of insects buzzed and crawled around just inches in front of my face.  My lens (f/2.8 100mm Macro) does NOT have a fast focus motor, but it managed to mostly keep up with the camera instructions and the bugs, and I was able to get a bunch or really sweet shots.  I'll be sharing them one or two at a time over the coming months (wouldn't want you to get all bugged out and... bug out... so..)

This particular thing was kind of a cross between a bee and a fly.  It's rear end is yellow like a bee, but it basically looked like a sick nasty fly.  I've noticed also that bee's eyes are usually smooth, while flies have tons of tiny faucets or clusters that make up their eyes.  Something like that.  I'll include a near 1:1 crop so you can see what I mean.

And here's a sick nasty closeup so you can see his eye!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cathedra Petri

Cathedra Petri or "throne of St. Peter" is a wonderfully sculpted area of St. Peters Basilica created by Gianlorenzo Bernini in the 1600s.  It supposedly contains a chair used by the Apostle Peter.  The chair was falling apart and was therefore enshrined here in gilded splendor.  The starburst sculpture above surrounds the yellow alabaster window, with a dove at its center, symbolizing the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Colosseum at Night

I can be pretty lazy at night when I travel.  It's so easy to just talk yourself into heading back to the hotel for a relaxing time with a good book before dropping into bed, exhausted from a combination of jet-lag and walking around all day.  But, if you get out and about in the evening and night you see things in new ways, and it is fun to try to capture some of that in a photo.  Here's my attempt with the Colosseum.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Peeking into Petra

I know its a shot that has been seen over and over from anyone who has ever been to Petra, but this was MY first look at the Treasury, and it was AMAZING! I always thought there was this one building and that was it, but there are thousands of structures carved into the mountains for miles around. You can pick any peak and climb it and find ancient steps carved in cliff faces regardless of whether or not there are any buildings or other carvings above. This is definitely on my list of places to go to again and spend a few days shooting if I can. It would be great to get some shots without people.... hmm...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Looking Over Italy

While definitely not the bestest shot of Sorento ever, it is the best one I was able to get that shows how the town is nestled in along the coast. This was taken out the window of a rolling bus; next time I go there I will take a scooter and stop all along to take photos!  Mt Vesuvius is just visible on the left, with Pompeii somewhere on its flank.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Bug's Life

I went out today with my 100mm macro, which I haven't used much since I bought, and tried to find something interesting to shoot. My cat kept bumping me and scaring away flies and wasps and stuff, but I finally got my tripod out and found a bee that was moving slow enough for me to catch.  I need to get some macro lighting gear so I can get more than 0.5mm DOF....

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

City on a Hill

The lovely town of Positano, Italia, lies just an hours swaying sickness-inducing bus ride down the Amalfi coast from Sorento, and is well worth the trip!  Next time I will rent a scooter so I can stop and enjoy the view along the cliff-hugging road (I think that would help me not get bus-sick too!)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


It's raspberry season!!  My brother and I picked 6 buckets of raspberries yesterday and I froze them all today!  Raspberries are my absolute favorite thing ever pretty sure, especially with ice cream.  Oh wait, I can't eat ice cream anymore..  sigh..  and there are tree-ripened peaches, strawberries, and also fresh squeezed apple juice to contend with.  Raspberries are ONE of the best things ever.

Wow that was a girly blog post...