Monday, December 16, 2013

2013 Favorites

I was looking through the shots I took this year and started pulling out my favorites. It's a weird process because often times there's no rhyme or reason to why something is a favorite.   In general something in the  photo speaks to me and it creates an emotional attachment.  Maybe it's the light, or the moment, or the color, or the expression, or something somebody said.  Whatever the case, these are the ones that spoke to me.

 Ryan's Senior photos.  He really wanted to have his guitar in the shots and this one is reminiscent of an old Rolling Stone magazine type of shot.

 I like the dream-like quality to this shot taken in the early morning.  This is a hill Bella can no longer climb so I'm nostalgic about the location as well.

Mt. Shasta, over 14,000 feet in elevation, is seemingly out of place in the surrounding landscape, which is virtually flat.

This one is easy to explain.

Bella in the forest in Marin County. I'm nostalgic about this as well since she can't walk these hills anymore.  She sure looks happy.

 My nephew Jacob's senior photos taken at Mare Island.  The lighting and colors make this one stand out for me.

Jacob playing baseball at Raley Field, a AAA ball field.  This one is symbolic of "Big League Dreams", it's the closest most of these kids will ever get to being professional players.

A small, insignificant moment in a high school ballgame that signifies everything great about being around sports and teammates.  Soon after this grab-ass moment the coach screamed, "Logan, how many outs are there?"

Border Collies corralling a stray cow in the hills surrounding our house.  The herds are moved periodically from one plot of land to the next.  These working dogs are extremely good at what they do and fun to watch.

 Gypsy Taub is a nudity activist in San Francisco.  She was out in the Castro District protesting City Supervisor Scott Wiener's (no joke) ban on public nudity.  I asked her to show me what she thinks of Wiener and this is what I got.

Taken in the Mission area in San Francisco. The texture and color of this background does it for me.

Nikki's parents at the Cliff House restaurant.  Dave often looks angry in photos, so this was a nice change to capture him looking happy.

We were wine tasting at the Blue Victorian when this giant walked up with its owner.

Bella Winery in Healdsburg.  I don't appear in many photos so this was a nice change.  Like any photographer worth his salt, however, I told them exactly where to stand and frame the shot.

This was taken at Bella Winery as well.  Her family was having a picnic on the lawn and she was having a darn good time.  I love how carefree she is in this shot.

This old dog hangs around Il Fiorello where we went take a cooking class.  It's quite common to have dogs roaming the property of the wineries.

Our good friend Jonna from Denver.  I try to take portraits of friends and family when they come in from out of town.  This might be my favorite type of shot because it often reveals who the person is.  She was looking off to her left because her husband (below) was pounding on my drums and making commentary.

Our good friend Jay.  We played rec league basketball together at about age 8 and we've been friends ever since.  You know you have a long time friend when real-time conversations have ranged from "hair down there"  to receding hairlines.

Jacob on the day of his last game with his American Legion team, the Fairfield Expos.  Soon after this he left for the Air Force Academy.

Jayson Benn of the Akron, Ohio based band "Shivering Timbers".   He has a Kurt Cobain-esque thing about him.

Sarah Benn from "Shivering Timbers".   Her voice has a Grace Slick quality to it.

Chris Parodi's senior photos.  The colors and texture make this photo for me.

Nikki at the house we rented in Santa Barbara.  She loved the book wall and I loved the lighting.

Our good friends Jen and Will met us in Santa Barbara from Colorado.  Lots of good wine, food, and conversation.

The owner of a bar in Santa Barbara.  I don't even know the guy's name, but he struck me as the prototypical "Irish Guy" so I had to get a shot.

Santa Barbara pier.  The dog on the back makes the shot.

The Loy family.  The son on the left side of the picture was leaving for College the next day so I was asked to take some photos.  The boys were pretty reserved so I asked them to kiss their mother, hoping to get a smile.  She pointed to her cheeks right after I said it and I caught this moment. 

This is me soon after taking the shot of Jason above.  We were walking on these giant river rocks so I thought it would cool to get some shots.  I was laying on my back on a rock just below Jason, instructing Nikki where to hold the flash.  I got a few shots off and then slowly started sliding off the rock, with thousands of dollars of equipment in my hands.  The 50 degree water was breathtaking, but I managed to hold the equipment above the water until I could get my feet underneath me.  Crisis averted.

Jacob and Jason at parent's weekend at the Air Force Academy Prep School.  Jason idolizes his older brother and you can see it on his face.  Jason is wearing his dad's (USAFA Class of '89) Liberty Bowl jersey and Jacob lives in the same dorm room I lived in.  Pretty cool family day.

Amanda started chemotherapy shortly after this was taken and she is still battling hard.  Without prompting or direction she sat down and struck this pose.  Prior to this she was somewhat fussy because the nearby playground had her full attention. We all kind of shook our heads and asked, "Where did that come from?"

My tennis racket on the new stringer.  Buying the stringer was a major departure from my "Pain In The Ass" theory.

Penny Rose in the vineyards.  Colorado has the Aspen trees in the fall and we have the vineyards changing colors.  Her coloring really makes the photo.  Any other color of dog wouldn't have been quite the same.

My sister looking out the window of  Mona Lisa restaurant in San Francisco.  I can see the 8 year old girl that used to kick my ass in this shot.

My cousin Jessica when she came to California to visit.  She's 26 and I think this is only the third or fourth time I've ever seen her.  She's become a smart, independent, beautiful person.

Jason in baseball gear.  I wanted to get some shots similar to the ones I have of Jacob.  Also, this is the precursor to Nikki's photo bomb shot below.  This is where I first experimented with the powder.

This is Bella in December, amazing how quickly an older dog's abilities change.  She can still get out on the flat ground, though.

Tyke the miniature horse.  A friend of ours asked me to get some shots of Tyke in full Christmas regalia, which we did.  This simple shot turned out to be my favorite.

 The photo bomb shot.  This was unintentional, but it will turn out to be the greatest Christmas card we ever produce.  I don't think I can top this.  Nikki was gracious enough to allow this to be our card, with the text of the blog on the back.


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