Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Last Shoot of the Summer

I have time for one more shoot before the weather turns gray here in the Pacific Northwest. I've been trying to find a model to shoot with me tomorrow. I thought I had a couple of prospects, but they have failed to follow up with me, so I don't know if I'll be able to pull off another outdoor shoot this week or not.

"My concept for this shoot would be to achieve a series of glamour and outdoor nude shots in a wooded and rural setting. The idea would be to compare and contrast the beauty of the nude female form with the beauty of nature for the nude images. For the outdoor glamour, I would want to shoot some images that used the smooth female skin juxtaposed with rougher materials such as weathered wood or stone."

These were the words in my last casting call posted a few hours ago. I wonder if I'll actually get anyone to join me for a shoot. As of late last night, I had no responses, and I also contacted a couple of models I have used in the past to see if they were interested, but got no responses. I do know the middle of the week is a hard time to schedule shoots, especially at the last minute, but I figured it was worth a shot.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Tillamook Waterfall

Just off OR Hwy 6, about 22 miles southwest of the junction of Hwy 6 and 26, on the south side of the highway there is a little waterfall and a pool set back into the high hills along the highway. A large fallen log crosses the pool, and two large stumps stand on either side of the pool. It is not easily seen from the road, and therefore it's usually quite private and available for glamour photography.

I found these falls about 10 years ago, when my wife and I were regularly traveling to Tillamook for personal reasons. One day, on a trip back from the coast, we just happened to pull over into the large flat area along the highway and wandered back to find the falls. Since that day, I've used these falls to shoot various glamour and fantasy scenarios.

It's a dark, cool place, so you I have to shoot there during the middle of the day, when enough sunlight streams through the surrounding forest to light the area such that reasonable ISO settings can be used. And, because it's cool, it's best to shoot there during the warmest summer days, as the models can get cold quite quickly given the temperature of the water and the way the mist from the waterfall is trapped by the surrounding trees. Still, it is a beautiful place to shoot and one of my favorite locations.

I suspect I'll be shooting there for many more years to come, and if anyone else would like to use it, I'm sure you can find it from the directions I've provided about. So far, my models have loved shooting there, and it's always a fun place to shoot with lots of opportunities to experiment with light, water, and mist.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Shooting with Sierra

I'll be shooting with Sierra again next week. We're doing a glamour shoot in the Columbia River Gorge at some of the waterfalls. They will be mostly bikini and perhaps some wet t-shirt shots, as well as some simple barefoot glamour images.

The weather is looking pretty good for the shoot, and if it holds, we maybe shooting on Sauvie Island on Tuesday as well.

It should be a lot of fun.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

2008 Portland Pirate Festival

The 3rd Annual Portland Pirate Festival started yesterday. I've been attending the festival since its inception (I covered it for the St. Johns Sentinel newspaper the first year), and have enjoyed attending ever since.

The event is very kid friendly. There are many booths and games set up to amuse the children (of all ages) and several of the bands that perform there play music that is specifically geared to the little ones. My granddaughter has attended with me for the last couple of years, and she loves the bands and the atmosphere of the event. She always has a great time.

The event is essentially a big costume party for Portland with a pirate theme. Many, if not most, of the attendees come in costume or at least in outfits that with some sort of pirate paraphernalia. Quite a few of the costumes are not only quite elaborate, but are historically accurate.

If you're so inclined, you can easily buy a pirate costume on site as many of the vendors that set up shop during the event sell all sorts of pirate wear. It's really a photographer's paradise with all of the elaborate costumes and events.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to stay for very long this year. My youngest daughter came along with our new grandson, Ryker, who is only 10 days old, and she was tired and he couldn't sleep with all the noise. So we made an early day of it. We plan to spend quite a bit more time there next year, though, as we're going to get the whole family to dress up and attend in mass.

If you haven't had a chance to visit, you should do so. The festival continues today, and is held every September in Cathedral Park beneath the St. Johns Bridge in North Portland. If you decide to go, I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Dancing in the Field

I had the distinct pleasure of shooting with K this past weekend. We had met several times planning this shoot, but it got delayed twice. First by her trip overseas, and then by a business trip of my own. But we finally pulled it altogether this weekend and completed the shoot.

K was a natural in front of the lens, and was a willing trooper throughout the shoot. She danced barefoot in a mown circle of thick grass and scotch thistle with a smile on her face and with commendable grace. She also climbed onto a makeshift platform designed to raise her into the air without complaint and still managed to balance carefully on the two planks while striking a graceful pose.

I was quite surprised to learn on the drive back to her apartment that this particular shoot was actually her first nude or semi-nude shoot. Given her composure and willingness to comply with my directions, I would never have believed it until she told me so.

I do hope to be able to shoot with her again in the near future, especially when I begin my pin-up project anew this fall. I think she would make a lovely pin-up model in the 1940's & 1950's pin-up style.

I have another shoot with a different model on Saturday, and I do hope the next model works out as well as K did in her shoot. On that note, here's another image to share:

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Technological Frustration

My LG phone died yesterday. It had been having some trouble for a while. It all started when it took a bath with my granddaughter. I thought it was going to last until my next upgrade cycle, but it didn't make it. I had insurance on it, and it would have been covered for the loss, but I decided I wanted to upgrade to a phone that would be not only useful for calls, but that would be able to synch with my computer and help me manage my calendar and contact data.

My son and daughter-in-law have both been using Blackberry Pearls and loved them, so I decided I would try a Blackberry device. I chose the Blackberry Curve 8330 as my upgrade choice and paid all the additional fees and signed all the additional contracts needed to get the upgrade (what a racket the cell phone companies have going here). The Blackberry was able to take my current mini-SD card so all my images were moved, and my contact data was quickly transferred and I was on my way with a new phone and a simpler and more versatile way of contacting people....or so I thought.

Don't get me wrong. The Blackberry is a fine phone. It is not, however, an intuitive device when it comes to settings and the user interface. You would think that Blackberry would provide a comprehensive user guide with the phone so make up for this shortcoming, but all that comes in the box is a Tips, hints and shortcuts booklet (very lame) and a couple of CD's, neither of which contain a pdf file of the users guide.

I'm pretty technologically savvy though. I operated and maintained nuclear reactors for the Navy for 20 years, before retiring and starting work for a computer chip company. I've also owned all sorts of complicated electronic devices and had a home computer many, many years before they were popular. I was fairly certain I could figure things out.

My first stop was the Blackberry website where I downloaded a pdf file of the user manual. That was simple enough. The problem is that the manual doesn't match up with anything on the phone. For example, I wanted to set speed dials for each of my contacts. The manual told me to press the menu button, choose the speed dial list, and add the contact to the list. Guess what? You can't choose the speed dial list from the main menu, and lets not even get into the instructions for adding a custom rings tone (so I know which if my family members is calling when I choose to ignore them).

I did manage to get the damn thing to synch with my computer calendar and contacts - once! Since then, none of the updates I've made have synched at all. I've tried two different programs in an attempt to make it work and one of them cost an additional $40. At one point, I got so frustrated, I packed the phone and accessories up and went back to the store to exchange it for a different device. Once there though, one of the techs showed me how to access the correct menus for what I wanted to do, so I decided to keep it for a while longer to see if I can get it to work for me.

I still haven't figured out call waiting or call forwarding though, and I'll probably spend most of my evening trying to figure out how to get the damn thing to sych with my computer again. I think I'd rather be starting up a reactor.