Super 7(000)

Ever since seeing the poster for the new movie “Super 8“, I was inspired to try and recreate the same mood. I had no idea if I would find a location suitable or if I’d be able to come close to capturing the poster’s feel. On this day,the sky was right (menacing clouds in layers and completely overcast) and I live in a somewhat rural area in California (Sonoma County) so chances of finding something midwestern were slim, but not impossible. After driving for about a half hour I spotted this water tower out of the corner of my eye. I had to stop on a two lane road to get the bracketed shots I needed for the cloud contrast and it had started to rain. Fortunately I didn’t kill anyone (or myself) and I got my shots and processed them using Photomatix and some heavy-handed photoshop. I took the pictures with my Nikon D7000, thus the name. I enjoy fun diversions like these and encourage all photographers to take a break and have a blast doing something you wouldn’t normally do.

3 exposures EV -2 to +2
Photoshop CS5
Silver Efex Pro


Kendall-Jackson Winery

Living in Sonoma County means knowing where the wineries are because visitors from out of town look at you like a dozy shut-in if you can’t recommend a place to go for a good flight (hip term for wine tasting). Such a recommendation was made just last month with visiting family where we piled in the car and went to Kendall-Jackson winery. It’s a very warm, french-inspired chateau with good wine (I’m not a huge drinker of it myself) and good people. They let me take pictures all around the property which is very much anathema to some other establishments around the area. Jess Jackson, of Kendall- Jackson, died today. I never met him or really even read much about him before the obits started trickling out, but I felt very welcome at his place. So, I’ll be going back to ┬ápay respects arriving empty handed and departing with memories of a nice afternoon and a bottle of Chardonnay.

Tangerine Fluff

Airports these days are not known for their aesthetically pleasing environs or calming environments. I spent time with my Dad, who is a pilot, at the Charles M. Schulz Airport in Sonoma County which is an exception to the spartan, tile-lined, conveyer systems in most American cities. Whenever I’m there, I get to tour the premises which to me seems like I’m always breaking some vital FAA regulation but in doing so, I got to see some restored World War II aircraft and hang out with some great people who live and breath aeronautics. I would go as far as to say that they really do love the smell of jet fuel in the morning. I made this shot after a bottle of Stella Artois on an empty stomach when I noticed that I had only a few minutes left to shoot. I’m just glad that the composition ended up framed well.

Bodega Bay On Saturday

I made my way out about an hours drive from home to Bodega Bay on the hope I’d have some great weather to shoot, but alas, It was cold as hell with only a wisp or two of clouds. I was able to get some great shots of some marine birds though. There was one that just kept walking up and down one of the railings checking me out as if to say “mess with me buddy, and I’ll ruin your coat somethin’ fierce. I’m not too happy with most of my shots because the winds were pretty high. That affected two things: 1) I could not avoid camera shake for tripod shots so I don’t have the sharpness I would like, and 2) My hands were frozen stiff. I probably half-assed a lot of my shooting because I was in a lot of pain. But I stayed out there for a good hour and a half. As I type this, I’m wincing from how sore my finger still are, but, oh well. It was good experience, and I was able to get these.