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Benton Community Invitation Track 2015-5533I’ve switched my website from WordPress.com to a self hosted WordPress site. it’s an exciting change and I hope you’ll take a moment to go look at the hew http://vjphotos.net. Please, if you’ve subscribed to this blog, take a moment to re-subscribe to my new one – just click on the Blog menu item and the entry form is right over there on the right side of the page. I really don’t want to lose track of you all as I begin this new phase of my online life. Assuming all goes well, this will be my last post at WordPress.org.

Pleasant Morning


Pleasant Sunrise

f/22, 0.8″, ISO-100, 17mm

HR


HR

f/4.5, 1/500, ISO-250 85mm

After 4 years back in photography, I’ve just started playing around seriously with dual light sources. In this case, I’ve augmented my 430 EX with a 600 EX-RT. There are still a lot of things about this amazing flash that I have yet to understand, but this was one of my very first attempts using a dual-flash setup.

I had the 600 shooting reflectively from a 40″ softbox as the key light, and the 430 through an umbrella at 1/64th power for highlights and shadow softening, each at about 45 degrees to either side of the subject, about three feet away. Just about the most uninteresting setup possible. the lighting conditions were entirely appropriate for the purpose (my company asked me to take headshots of  the executive team). Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised at how they turned out, especially as I’m a first-timer.

The depth of the image really struck me. I think it’s the first image, let alone portrait, I’ve ever taken where the sense of depth was so clear. I’m looking forward to experimenting more with dual flash and using it in more creative scenarios.

My thanks to Kirsten for permission to add this portrait to my portfolio.

Golden Winter


Golden Winter

f/8, 1/640, ISO-100, 17mm

Clear Protection


Clear Protection

f/1.4, 1/60, ISO-400, 50mm

Got the idea for this during a down moment at work today. Due to an unfortunate series of events, I ended up with no camera equipment but my camera at the end of the day, so I improvised with a trouble light, a candle, some colored tissue paper, and a very fast lens.

Cool Warmth


Cool Warmth

f/5.6, 1/500, ISO-100, 23mm

Tonight was the first time I braved getting behind the camera for a personal shot since my wife passed away three weeks ago. I felt I  needed to do something creative even though I didn’t have a lot of time for it. Fortunately sunset is always a good way to get a creative shot, and I went to my favorite wildlife area an hour before dusk, uncertain exactly what I would get, but confident I would find something. Here you have it. About 90 minutes of work from the moment I left the house to the time I pressed the publish button on this post. I hope you like  it. It feels wonderful to create again.

The End Of Time


The End Of Time

Taken and edited on Windows Phone 8.1

Today is Day 22 since my wife of 26 years was admitted to the hospital for the last time. She is currently in hospice. Our lives together have been fulfilling, happy and complimentary of each other. She is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and I hope that I have been some use to her.

With seemingly endless waiting in an impossibly difficult situation, one looks for outlets of expression, and it’s no surprise that I turn to photography. I don’t have my real camera equipment here, so I turn to my Windows Phone and cast about for subjects. The most obvious choice is the Valentine’s Day bouquet I got her, as the roses and lilies in it are beautiful. But I chose instead to go with something more abstract, emphasizing color, an end, and something incomplete.

Jill brought so much color to my life. Brilliant primary color of joy and happiness. It is not fair that her time with me draws to an end, but I always know that we will always be together. I will always be with her, and she will certainly always be with me. My life will feel incomplete without her physical presence near me. But I will try my best to live my life in the manner that she taught me:

Focus on what you have to give, rather than what you’ve been given.

Taken with and edited on Windows Phone 8.1

Framing the Red


I had the privilege of bringing in the new year with a band called Framing The Red.  Photographing a high energy live performance was a new experience for me, especially with wildly changing lights, fog, and an amazing crowd. I’m very grateful to the band for putting up with my intrusiveness during their show, and I have to say that Jordan, JamieMike and Will are four tremendously talented musicians and gracious hosts. If you get a chance to see them, don’t miss it.

2014 in review


Interestingly, 90% of those views came in the last three months.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 110,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 5 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Sunset At Dudgeon Lake


Sunset at Dudgeon Lake

f/9.0, 1/160, ISO-100, 17mm

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