My Random Musings on Photography
 

Thanks for stopping in and reading my photography blog. You will find updates on current projects and recent shoots. --Greg
 

 

Senior Portrait Joy

September 16, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Had a nice senior portrait session with Joy today. She was a real trooper dealing with the 90+ degree heat and humidity.

Joy Donahue Joy Donahue

See the entire gallery here.


Simon

September 15, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Had a great time this evening doing this shoot with Simon in and around Wauwatosa.

Senior Portraits Senior Portraits

And then Mom calls!      No, the call was not staged!

Senior Portraits

Click here to see the rest of the gallery.

It is not too late to book your senior portrait session, but time is running out. Contact me today!


Solar Eclipse 2017

August 22, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

On Monday, 8/21/17, I had the opportunity to experience the total eclipse of the sun in Carbondale, IL. We chose Carbondale because that is where the complete blackout of the sun (called "totality") lasted the longest of anywhere along the path of the eclipse -- a full 2 minutes and 42 seconds. We arrived Sunday night and woke up early Monday to scout out a good viewing location. We found a picturesque park and boat landing on Crab Orchard Lake about 2 miles east of Carbondale. We were joined by about 100 other people, some who had come from as far away as Atlanta, to experience this event.

The 2 minutes and 42 seconds of total solar blackout was fantastic.  When you read about the eclipse and see pictures and video online you know it is something special. But, actually experiencing it in person exceeded all expectations. Nothing you read or see on the Internet prepares you for that moment when the sun is so blacked out by the moon that you can actually see the corona of the sun.

Of course during totality it gets very dark, but not totally dark. The sky is dark enough that you can see Venus and Jupiter. As totality sets in cicadas begin chirping, confused by the apparent early arrival of dusk. There is an eerie blue cast to everything. The temperature drops. (It felt like a 10 degree F drop to me.)  The corona  is visible to the naked eye and looks like the most brilliant jewel you have ever seen. Everyone around you is awe struck. The experience brings tears to some people's eyes.

 I will definitely go to see the next North American total eclipse in April 2024.  No question about it.

Like I said, words and screen images do not give you the full sense of awe you feel when you see it for yourself. With that said, here are some shots of some of the people we were hanging with and some screen grabs from a the video I shot.

2017 Eclipse Crab Orchard Lake Carbondale, IL 2017 Eclipse Crab Orchard Lake Carbondale, IL 2017 Eclipse Crab Orchard Lake Carbondale, IL Solar Eclipse 2017

These are frame grabs from my "not so great" video recording of totality. I think the audio is as interesting as the image. (No, the audio is more interesting -- because no video captures the image as brilliantly as your own eyes.)  If you bother to watch the full recording -- it is about two minutes and 18 seconds long. I started recording about 35 seconds after the start of totality and went right through the "Diamond Ring" at the end.  

   2017 Total Eclipse 2017 Total Eclipse 2017 Total Eclipse 2017 Total Eclipse

See a few more shots, and the complete video from this event in my eclipse gallery.
 


Summer Nights in Appleton

July 02, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

I have been out and about capturing the sights and sounds of evenings in Appleton. From the Fox River locks and dams to concerts in Houdini Plaza, there are lot of photographic targets to capture.

This is a fairly long exposure (close to 1 second) of one of the many dams on the River in the so called "flats". I love how the flow of the water paints a texture on the image sensor due to the long exposure.

Dam on the Fox RiverDam on the Fox River

This is a shot of Houdini Plaza during a night time concert. I wanted to freeze the moment and not have a lot of blurry people in the image. So even though it was dark, I used a relatively fast shutter speed (1/4 second) but I increased the sensor sensitivity with ISO 1000.

Houdini Plaza

Here is another shot of Houdini Plaza.

Houdini Plaza

The Fox Valley area is fortunate to have the Performing Art Center. While walking downtown one night I decided it might be interesting to capture the PAC from a nearby parking garage. Will definitely revisit this shot when there are people out on the street the night of a performance.

Fox Valley Performing Arts CenterAppleton Performing Arts Center

This is the iconic (well iconic for people who live in the Fox Valley area!) Lawrence Chapel This is home to many concerts and local performance, besides  being the home base for performances by Lawrence University students and faculty.

Lawrence ChapelLawrence Chapel


Senior Portraits

May 21, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Now is the time to book you senior portrait session. Let's get together to make some amazing images that capture your individual style and personality. Contact me now to book a session and get 15% off your first print order.

Click here to book to book a session.

Let's do this!

Jondo Valdez


Jando

April 15, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Had an awesome photoshoot today with Alejandro. Jando is the son of some neighborhood friends. He is a sophomore at Appleton North and is an amazing person and a really talented young man. He is a musician and not only plays in various school bands and ensembles, he also plays in his own rock band. He plans to study computer science and double major in music too. We did some indoor portraits using speed lights and a black back drop to create the illusion that he was playing a solo on stage. We also used various locations in downtown Appleton for the outdoor shots.

Jondo Valdez Jondo Valdez Jondo Valdez Jondo Valdez   Jondo Valdez Jondo Valdez


Orchids

February 26, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

We were tempted with 60 degree weather here in Wisconsin just a few days ago. But alas, it is cold and windy again. So much for going to the driving range or schlepping the camera out to High Cliff State Park. Ok, all you hard core landscape photographers can call me a wimp for not shooting outside in weather like this. But, it is almost March and the days are getting longer so it is increasingly difficult for me to shoot outside when it is this cold. Much easier for me to shoot in the cold weather in November or December when the idea of winter is still fresh and new. But, late February - not so much.

So, its back to the basement studio for some flower close-ups. I have been kind of obsessed with flower close-ups lately. I have gotten a few good shots, but I feel there are a lot of variations on the theme that I want to explore. So, there may be more to come.

This particular orchid shot was taken with my 24-70mm zoom and a 20mm extension tube. A lot of light from several strategically placed speed lights allowed me to stop this shot down to f22 to increase the depth of field. Even at f22, I did use a little focus stacking.

OrchidMacro


Alstroemania!

January 29, 2017  •  1 Comment

I was walking through the produce department at the grocery store the other day and saw these very nice Alstroemeria and immediately thought these would make a nice photographic subject. The weather here has been wet and dreary so outdoor photography has been out of the question. But, with these flowers I could get a quick photography fix by doing some close-ups. And maybe I could end up with a few nice, new, images to brighten the dreary winter days.

Well, after working on the flower close-ups for a while, I decided I would try a few water droplet shots. This is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while and the Alstroemeria would make a nice backdrop.

The extreme close-ups of the water droplets were taken with a 28-70 mm zoom lens and three extension tubes (68 mm total). The 68 mm extension allowed me to approach 1:1 magnification. Drop me a line if you want the technical details of the setup.


Impromptu Holiday Portraits

December 18, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

We were gathered at my mom’s house for our annual pre-Christmas get together. We missed my daughters and several nieces and nephews who were not able to make it due to various combinations of distance, military commitments, jobs, and school. We did get to Skype with a few of them though.

This gave me the opportunity to make a few portraits of my mom, siblings and their spouses today. There was not a lot of light to work with so I used a bit of primary flash inside a small Rogue Flash Bender. I also added a touch of flash with a blue gel from the side to add a little depth. I think these turned out nicely. Merry Christmas everybody!

 


Family Photos

October 16, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Had a wonderful time photographing the family of Mike and Kathy today. Their kids are simply adorable! Marco did get a little tired of the whole process though.

 

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