By now we’ve thrown the original list away and started making up new topics on Friday.  I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote the original list but we didn’t like the subjects anymore.  But carrying on we just needed a new topic for the week.  Week 8 we decided should be “Motion”.  We had a long conversation of what do we mean by motion and we talked about capturing something that looks like it’s moving.  Pretty straight forward really, but what to shoot?

Saturday afternoon it came to me.  What about an action shot of James on one of his skateboards?  That would be great?  Trouble is James isn’t big on action – too much like his dad.  But he does take the board out and go round the neighborhood.  So I came up with this cunning plan.  Lisa drives her car with me in the trunk with a camera and light.  The trunk is open and behind the car James is riding his skateboard – I mean how hard can this be?   The answer was actually pretty easy!

We discussed doing it Saturday evening, but James wanted to wash his hair first – which I should point out is crap coz he them put his beany hat on!  Go figure!  So Sunday was chosen as the day.

We needed to take the shot late evening as the sun was going down, as I needed to use a slower shutter speed so the background looked blurry showing James was moving.  If he was in bright sunlight the shutter would be quick and it would look like he was stationary on the board and I just took a shot – that wouldn’t be “motion” at all.

So 7pm Sunday night arrived and out we all go.  I jump in the trunk with Abi who’s my lighting assistant.  Lisa is behind the wheel and James is all clean in his beany :-( ready to go.  We found a road in our neighborhood that had a nice hill that wasn’t too busy or steep.  James and I tried the location the previous night and he reached almost 30 miles an hour.

So back we went to get the shot.

In total it took us three runs down the hill where I shot off around 40 shots a run – just pointing at James and holding the shutter button down.  The first run helped me get the exposure right, the second two helped me get the one in focus picture that looked great.  We quickly found out that shooting him while in Shade looked best, and every now and then his face would hit some sunlight coming through the trees to light him up.  If only I could time it right to get THAT shot!  Then I wouldn’t need any lights.

On the third run we nailed it and I got the picture below.  This has very little post processing.  It’s pretty much right out of the camera so we were lucky I guess.

I’m REALLY pleased with the shot and feel it does capture the feeling of motion – even James liked it.

OK confession time.  Week 7 wasn’t Macro / Close up.  It was “Summer”.  But we decided that this topic sucked and decided to change it.  Unfortunately we didn’t change it to Macro either, we selected “insect”.  You know the kind of thing, those close up macro shots of a bug so it fills the screen.  So you can see all the hairs on it’s head or it’s bug shaped eyes.  We thought that would be cool.

So Friday night I get home and it’s still super sunny outside, so I go out into the garden with my camera, macro lens, some lights and my tripod to take that perfect bug picture.  Guess what.  No bugs.  Nothing.  Couldn’t find a single thing!  Ok that’s not completely true, but the bloody ants wouldn’t stand still and the spider I found in the web was being blown all over the place by the wind.  After a couple of hours of not ONE picture I got board.

So Saturday comes.  Back out there again and again NOT ONE BUG.  I mean, what the hell is going on, where did all the bugs go?  Just two weeks ago I couldn’t take a step without swatting a bee out of the way!  But Saturday was a failure again.

Sunday arrives and I’m starting to think all the insects are dead – is this the beginning of the end???  Then Kathryn, a friend calls me up and tells me she needs my photography services urgently.  I got all excited thinking, YES here comes my first boudoir shoot :-) but I get to her house and she wants me to shoot some bloody flowers!  Talk about disappointed.

Anyway, these flowers originally belonged to her mother (or Cameron’s mother – I can’t remember I was too upset about the no boudoir) and Kathryn’s daughter Danielle got them when her grandmother passed away.  They were old, very delicate and had sentimental value (and Kathryn wanted them gone).  So she thought I could photograph them for Danielle so she could keep those as a keep sake instead of the flowers.

Immediate I realized I’d brought the wrong gear.  I needed a macro lens and didn’t have one with me.  So I grabbed the flowers and took them home and spent an hour working on a number of nice compositions.  As this was a macro shot – and that’s very similar to shooting a bug (ok it’s not that similar but go with me on this one), I submitted this picture for week 7.

As I was the only person to submit a picture this week I felt pretty good.

Every Saturday through Summer Redmond hosts a car show for classic and exotic cars.  I say every Saturday, if it’s raining they cancel, but in July and August it’s pretty much guaranteed to be on.

I’ve gone down there a few times to take pictures and after a while it gets hard to shoot a car in a new or interesting way.  What made today more challenging was that it was overcast, with no blue sky at all – still lovely and warm but no direct sunlight.  So getting low and shooting up (which is the view I usually like to do) captured a nice car with a really boring sky.  Also a problem was the number of people there.  I got to the shot at 8:30 but it was still packed and there’s nothing worse that a nice car with loads of people standing round it.

So today I tried something a little different.  Sure I took a couple of “complete” car shots but most of the pictures I captured were close ups of parts of cars.  This was actually a lot of fun – although people watching thought I was nuts!

Hope you like the Images.

So week 6 was street photography which is a genre of photography I’m not too familiar with.  The idea goes like this.  You go out into the street with your camera and shoot people doing interesting “stuff” hopefully showing real emotions or caught in great compositions without them knowing.  That last bit is the challenge “WITHOUT THEM KNOWING”.  Those of you who know me well know I’m not that inconspicuous.  I kind of stand out – quite a lot.  I’m clumsy, loud and not the kind of guy who can do this without being seen.

But I figured, what the heck, I’ll give it a go. So out I went with the camera to see what I could shoot.

So guess how many times I was caught taking a sneaky picture?  That’s right – EVERYTIME.  Apparently having me standing in front of you with a camera in my hand and my tongue sticking out is a bit obvious.

That said I quite enjoyed the process, it can be a little voyeuristic, you sitting on a bench waiting for someone to do something “interesting”. When I got home I also found I had an excessively large number of pictures of young women (they were over 21 – I’m not that bad).  Very few dudes :-)  I also had a lot of shots of people staring directly at me with a “Get Lost Creep” look on their face – but that’s normal.

Some street photographers find a great background with good light, and just sit there waiting for the right subject to come along – I’d suck at this, it’s too much like nature photography for me, sitting by a hole in the ground for hours.  Others stop passers by with “interesting looks or faces” and ask if they can take their portrait.  This I think I could do, once I got over the embarrassment.

Anyway after an afternoon in the mall I got a few pics I liked, and this one was one of my favorites.  It would have been better if she was closer to the guy, but she didn’t want to look at him or acknowledge he was there, and I thought that was funny.

I’ve been on vacation to Hawaii a few times now, it’s one of the real benefits of living in the Pacific North West as the islands are only about a 5 hour flight away.  If you’ve never been you probably have a romantic view of what it’s like.  Maybe you’ve see Hawaii five 0 (the new series or if you’re old like me the old one with Jack Lord).  Perhaps you even remember Magnum PI with Tom Selleck (as a kid I loved that show – talk about a man crush!)  Either way let me tell you this, Hawaii is everything you ever dreamed… only better!

It truly is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, the beaches are just stunning, the scenery is amazing and totally exotic and if you want to relax, it’s the only place on earth to go.  At least that’s what I thought!

We’ve been to Maui a couple of times, Kauai once, and this year we went to Oahu.

People at work who haven’t been to Hawaii asked me how the islands differed.  The easiest way I could come up with to explain the difference was as follows.  Kauai is a small village with a couple of shops, if you like big malls or crowded places Kauai is not the place for you, but if you want total piece and quiet, it’s heaven.  Maui is a small town, nice shops, good restaurants (all your favorites) a little touristy with lots to see.  On Maui you can lie on a beach in the morning and shop in Tiffany’s in the afternoon (been there done that).  Then we get to Oahu.  For me this was a big city to Maui’s town or Kauai’s village.  Oahu has it all going on, mad busy beaches, big cities, HUGE shopping complexes, a massive navel base and traffic like Seattle in rush hour.

If you like the beauty of Hawaii but need the hustle and bustle of home Oahu is for you – it’s just not for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m really pleased we went but I want to go to Hawaii to relax, not sit in traffic for 90 minutes after going to one of the biggest open air malls I’ve ever been to get back to my hotel.  While there we stayed in Aulani the Disney Hotel and complex in Hawaii.  This is a place where you need to take a LOAD of money as it was the most expensive hotel I’ve ever stayed in.  Now I like Disney as while it’s pricy you get value for money, but the food in Aulani was just terrible but still SUPER expensive and as they have you as a captive audience on the west coast, you kind of have to eat there!

Anyway, Oahu it was this year.  Issues aside we had a wonderful vacation, the pools and facilities in the hotel were really nice and the kids had a blast.  While there I took a few pictures :-) and really enjoyed visiting Peal Harbor and walking on the Missouri (that’s history for you right there!)

Will I go back to Hawaii again? No question a huge YES.  Oahu though? Probably not.

Here’s a selection of some of my favorite pictures.