Wednesday, July 7, 2010

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Picture of the Week, 6/28/10

Picture of the Week, 6/28/10: Seeing how this week we have our first named tropical storm, Alex, I thought I would mark the occasion by posting an image shot during Hurricane Hugo. For those who may not remember the specifics, Hugo reached category 5 status in September of 1989 and struck various Caribbean islands and eventually made it's way into South Carolina leaving in its wake a massive path of destruction.

I happened to be on my father's sports fishing boat in St. Thomas of the U.S. Virgin Islands when Hugo formed. Along with the boat's captain and the two fishing mates the four of us decided to confront the storm off Virgin Gorda in the BVI. It was a crap shoot deciding where to actually go and fortunately for us we made the right decision. Other boats decided the would stay in St. Thomas or go east to the island of Culebra or even Puerto Rico.

In Virgin Gorda we found a small bay lined with mangroves where we threw out all the anchors we had and tied all the ropes we could to the mangroves. At about 4 a.m. we were hit with winds of 110 mph that continued for a very long 8 hours. We could see boats around us loosing anchorage and being rag-dolled by the fierce winds; some did not make it. Fortunately for us the mangroves held our lines tight and help ease the strain on the anchors. We suffered some minor damage but nothing compared to the fate of so many others. Those that stayed in St. Thomas or ventured east took the brunt of the category 4 and 5 winds; the destruction was devastating.

I took this photograph at about 6 a.m. during the worst of the storm. I was able to walk out on the cockpit of the boat and snap several images with an amphibious Nikonis camera. Once back in the salon of the boat I removed the film from the camera and placed in a waterproof bag in case we sunk; the one thing I did not want to loose was that film!

So now we are back in hurricane season and while I don't wish one to hit anywhere near populated areas if one does and it finds me in the vicinity I'll be sure to have a camera ready--and some waterproof bags!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Picture of the Week, 6/22/10

6/22/10: (Because of recent trips to the Bahamas and South Carolina Picture of the Week has been on hold . . . we now resume.)

Great Isaac is a tiny rock island in the Bahamas with a lighthouse and a few abandoned buildings. The closest inhabited island to Great Isaac is Bimini, which lies 22 miles to the south. Flocks of terns and sea gulls, besides small reptiles, are the only living species on the island. The surrounding waters are beautiful and full of fish, perfect for diving and spear fishing.

In between diving I took a swim to the island and scrambled up the sea urchin filled rocks along the shore and to the top of the island where the lighthouse sat. There I came across a small abandoned warehouse and framed an image with my camera looking out a doorway. At the moment I was prepared to snap the shutter a tern came flying right towards the opened doorway; apparently this building was its home.

We both surprised each other but somehow I managed to press the shutter release and keep the camera framed and in-focus. It was an image that was not planned but simply by being prepared and having tons of luck on my side I captured a rather fleeting moment to the say the least!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Picture of the Week, 6/7/10

6/7/10: A quick summation of this week's Picture of the Week. I'll be joining these boys in the Bahamas for the rest of the week and there's a good chance that by the time you read this I've already dove in and I'm hunting for lobsters!

I am going to try my best to keep posting PoW over the next couple of months but I can't promise. Summer is here and I've got me a new pair of 'traveling shoes' to wear-in. Any one tired of all the BS the world keeps throwing at us is welcome to join me. Just look for the ball headed Cuban chewing on some tender lobster and drinking another cold one-- viva 'Cuba-Libre'! (w/ lime of course.)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Custom Surfboard Inlay

It took a while to come up with the right material, an image that would fit and figuring out a few printing technical issues but once I did my idea of laminating an original photographic Giclee print came to fruition. The finish product is both beautiful and stunning.
The actual surfboard is a 7'6" Firo hand shaped 'fun board' by Steve Firogenis of West Palm Beach, Florida. Steve was instrumental in working through several problem areas including resining the print on the board, laminating fiberglass over it and pin lining the edges of the image. The finish quality lies in the detail and that's where Steve is at his best.
If you don't look at this as an art piece the board begs to be ridden, which makes the piece even more fun in that it's an actual handcrafted surfboard ready to be waxed and taken out in the water, but how can you? Or can you? That's for you to decide!
I plan to create more of these "surfboard art" pieces, working with various
shapers that still handcraft their surfboards. Different board designs will be ordered and I will use a variety of images that lend themselves to the shape of the board, making each finished piece a one-of-a-kind, fine art creation. Because of the custom nature of the beast no two surfboards will be the same though each specific photo design will be a limited edition series. Each print will be signed, titled and numbered on the image so it can be seen on the board. This first board is th
e prototype to future ones and as of this moment belongs to me. Before the idea of inlaying a Giclee print I had designed this board to ride. I'm dying to use it though for now I best keep my desires in check until a collector comes along!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Details in Waves

Here are a series of photographs that I made on two consecutive cold winter days in South Florida. The weather was unusually cold for these parts with north west winds and clear atmospheric conditions. Furthermore short period swells were constantly coming on-shore. The effect of all this was crystal clear water, small waves and off-shore winds that smoothed the surface of the ocean.

The waves where beautiful but lacked energy and were too small to photograph in their entirety. However the conditions and light were almost perfect and there was something I needed to focus the camera on.

My first instinct was to photograph underwater with a wide angle lens--in this case a 14mm--which I did until it felt like I wasn't coming up with anything radically new. (The two above images.)

What I kept noticing, besides the crystalline nature of the water, was how vibrant the color of the water was and how golden streaks of light were streaking through the blue/green faces. I thus changed plans and swam in to swap lenses and go with a 50mm that I could use to focus in on the details.

On a technical side there was no way auto focus would work fast enough and consequently I pre-focus the lens at about one and a half feet. I had no idea how this would work though I was aware that there would be practically no depth of field to help me out; still I shot on aperture priority hoping to squeak out an inch or two.

As I mentioned above I shot on consecutive days, which meant I had a day to see my first attempt. I was pleased though I could tell how difficult it was to stop the action at such close focusing distant and to nail the focus. Nevertheless I was encouraged enough to try more of the same on a second day.

Did I learn and would I do things a bit different? Possibly yes though overall I'm pleased with the results and when looking at some of the images on a large computer monitor I become transfixed by the beauty in the details and the overall abstract effect of the images. In some instances it's hard to define the image of a wave and instead the photograph becomes one of color and light, which were the two elements that attracted me in the first place.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Rush of Water

For years I've enjoyed putting together slide shows upon returning from overseas travels. My friends and family found them entertaining and it was a fun way of sharing in my experiences and my photography. Originally the shows were shown on a single Kodak Carousel Projector and later they evolved to where I was using multiple projectors with synchronized sounds for a true multimedia experience. The one constant I always incorporated in my shows was a kick-ass sound track; there might have been a few critical comments about the images but never about the music!

Today of course the world has been digitized and with that so have my shows. Everything is basically still the same however now I work with digital files and not slides and I use a DVD player attached to a digital projector instead of the carousel trays. Naturally the music is still there. However now I can add captions, recorded sounds and in the future I will add motion videos.

The digital shows that I've produced up to now have been on the average of 30 minutes, which are way too long to post online. Thus I decided it would be fun to try creating a short version specifically to place on YouTube and elsewhere on the Internet. I had recently recorded some sounds of waves breaking upon the beach and that gave me the idea of using 'water' as a theme. The photographs are not cohesive in any manner other than water and the idea was just to have some fun and give this a try. I used several shots of my son at the beach setting off balloons for his deceased mother on Mothers Day only to ground the show and give it a bit of spirituality, something I tend to do on many of my productions even though I never intend to from the onset. I guess there's more to life than meets the eye! Anyway, I hope to create many more for both the Internet and for public showings as I truly enjoy this manner of sharing.