Space For Free

Nasa T-38

The Space Center Visitors Complex is free once a year for Brevard County residents.  So cool.  It's been many years since I've been there.  Always loved space as a kid and as an adult.  We had a such a great time.  Here are a few shots that I really liked.  The T-38 above was extremely backlit by the sun just over the vertical stabilizer.  Using the fill light slider on Lightroom2 makes quick work of this.

Astronaut Memorial With Clouds

I love this shot with the clouds reflecting in the memorial.  The astronauts listed in the foreground are from the Challenger disaster.


Here's one of Hezekiah trying to land the lunar lander.  Thankfully they didn't have a 6 year old trying to do that.  It wasn't pretty.

And here are a few more that I liked.

Rocket Garden

Robots And Eli And Eli




I can say that I haven't really been inspired photographically speaking lately.  Life has been busy and stressful.  But for some reason today I was looking at Dan Winters website.  It was linked off of the Strobist.  I really dig the look of the site.  It is kinda retro.  I really liked his portraits.  Probably because they are so different from what I would typically do.  No popping colors.  Everything is nice and muted.  Not as much separation between subject and background.  He has some unique lighting setups as well.  He has a portrait of Tom Hanks that is cool.  Interesting shadows on the face.  The fill light is just enough for detail.  The poses are different as well.  There's a portrait of Bono where Bono is facing camera left at 90 degrees.  It has a different feel to it. 

So I tried to incorporate some ideas: reducing the ratio between the subject and background, muted colors and experiment with the poses.

I love the pose on the above shot.  Just looking at the flash with his head turned toward the flash. 

Now I gave Eli the same instructions and this is what I got.

So You Want Me To Look At The Light?

For my colors, I put orange gels (3/4 CTO) on my key flash and then did a custom white balance on that.  I left my background flash bare.  The custom white balance changes the white light to blue.  Nice cool (temperature) colors.

I love capturing the crying moments.  Goes against the grain of children portraits.  They are supposed to always be happy.  Not so much.

Sad Days

But they are happy most of the time.

Happy Days

Be blessed.

Is It Halloween Yet?


So most mornings recently, early mornings, as I am leaving for work, I have been greeted by walking through a spider web as I go to get in my truck.  Spider webs on my face are not on my "favorite things in life" list.  I have just sort of swiped it away, said lots of righteous things under my breath and gone to work.  But one morning, as I walked out of the garage, I clicked the key fob for Gretchen's car.  That causes the backup lights to come on, which revealed a strand of spider web.  It was going up to the sycamore on the north side of the driveway.  As I followed it in the other direction, I see one of the biggest webs I've ever seen.  And in the middle . . . this. 

Not sure what type of spider this is.  If you closet etymologists out there can identify it, I would love to know.  It is about the size of a half dollar, maybe a little bigger. (update:  I found out that is neoscona hentzi, in the family of orb-weavers.  Charlotte was also an orb-weaver.  Since we just read Charlotte's web with the kids, I'm sure that is why this spider has shown up.  Now I'm waiting to see some words in the web.  Maybe "Some Gretchen" for her birthday.  He probably doesn't take requests.)

So one morning I popped up the little flash on my camera but that looked horrible.  So of course the next night after the kids went to sleep I dragged Gretchen out into the dark holding my camera stand and umbrella to take some shots.  I ordered an umbrella adapter from Adorama that came with a tiny little fold up umbrella.  Seriously, this thing looks like a toy umbrella but at close range on a small subject, it's apparent size is huge so it worked well.

The wind was blowing so getting a crisp shot was tough as thing was constantly moving closer and farther away.  And I'm just thinking "Please God, Creator of Heaven and Earth and spiders, please don't let thing jump on me or I'm going to scream like a girl."