Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cemetery Shootout

Though not quite of the scale as last year's event arranged by Ikonix Studio, Maggie and I went shooting in Adel Cemetery this evening. Most of our shots are on film, but I did a few Strobist pics with the Nikon D700.

Strobist info: Key light, SB-26 at 1/4 power in shoot-through umbrella camera right, triggered by Pocket Wizard, fill light,SB-900 at 1/8 power camera left, triggered optically; accent light, SB-26 at 1/8 power with red gel aimed at gravestone, also triggered optically.
Exposure: 2.5 seconds at f/8, ISO200.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jordan's Senior Pictures

This afternoon I shot my first senior session. The lovely Jordan Davis was my model, and hair stylist/makeup artist was Michelle White of Beautiful People Organic Salon. The weather was *almost* perfect - we could perhaps have done with a little less wind and a smidge more cloud cover. But I'm quite pleased with the results - here are a few of my favourites:

All of these shots were taken with my beautiful Nikon D700, and the utterly amazing Af-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, which must be one of the greatest lenses ever made.
Thanks to Jordan, her parents, and to Michelle for a great shoot!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Some More Leica Pics

Maggie and I went for a walk in Winterset City Park the other day, she shooting the Pentax K1000 and I with the Leica M6. The results are no threat to Ansel Adams, but I'm reasonably happy, and we had a lot of fun in the beautiful park.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Art on the Prairie

I did a few impromptu photos for the Prairie Spinners' Group section on the Art on the Prairie website:

Saturday, October 16, 2010


At the Howl-O-Ween Pawty, a fundraiser for Panora P.E.T.S. today, I did pet portraits as well as a few shots of the event itself. This was quite a challenge, but really great fun. Here are a few of my pictures...

Friday, October 15, 2010

First Leica Images

So I finally got my first films developed! These black and white pictures were taken on a roll of film that expired in June 1996, so the negs were very thin. I boosted the contrast a bit in Photoshop. I have no idea about post-processing B+W images, and to be fair to the camera, I really should test it with fresh film, but I'm not too displeased with the initial results :)

These were taken in Court Avenue, Des Moines.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


...and what a day it was! In glorious sunshine we attended the Archaeology Program and Fall Colours River Float organized by the Dallas County Conservation Board. The Archaeology Program was a presentation exploring the findings at the DeCamp Site - where a major archaeological dig took place in the 1960's. On display were many of the artifacts found at the site, which was an Great Oasis Indian burial ground dating back to about 1000 AD. It was a great privilege to see these priceless antiquities so close up.

In the trays along the centre are: flint flakes from knapping works, shells that were used as money, two bone tools for straightening green wood for arrows, sandstone abraders for forming arrow shafts, and some large arrowheads. The photographs in the lower part of the picture are from the original dig.

Small arrowheads. These would have been used for small game, such as rabbits. The intricacy of the workmanship is really amazing.

I'm sorry I didn't have the courage to take my camera on the river float - the colours were fabulous, and we saw a bald eagle perched in a tree - I floated almost directly beneath him as he watched the flotilla of canoes and kayaks pass by.

Thanks to Chris Adkins and Dallas County Conservation for putting on such an informative, interesting, and entertaining afternoon!

Donna's Garden

I got to play with the new Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 yesterday. It is a truly amazing lens! I see a lot of wide-angle photography in my future!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Say "Cheese!"

Lots of fun classes happen down at Prairieland Herbs, but probably the funnest of them all, and certainly one of the most popular, is the "Make Your Own Mozzarella Cheese" class, which is taught by Cathy Lafrenz of Miss Effie's Country Flowers and Garden Stuff. Nine students attended the class, and all were delighted with their experience, and looking forward to enjoying their own mozzarella!

Cathy introduces the basics of cheesemaking.

 Waiting for the alchemy to happen....

Corn Harvest

Our good friend and neighbour, Mike Burkhart, who farms the fields adjacent to Prairieland Herbs, harvested his corn today. I really enjoy the big machinery - it's really impressive that one of these combine harvesters costs more than a Ferrari :)

This is one of my favourite viewpoints of the combine - from inside the cab :)

I am delighted that Nikon provide such good dust-sealing on their professional cameras and lenses - my D700 was covered in a coat of dust. I'd be scared to use a lesser camera in these conditions.
Thanks, Mike for the ride on the harvester!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


We had a quick photoshoot down on the farm today, to show off Maggie's new hairdo, complete with purple highlights and dreads. The "do" was done by Laura Hess of Roxy Seven Studio in Waukee.

The natural light was really hard, so I experimented with blockers and reflectors. I'm quite happy with the result.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Quilt Shop Shoot

I had a lot of fun this afternoon, doing a shot of the staff of Adel Quilting for their forthcoming calendar. After the shoot, I wandered around the very lovely shop with my camera - it is a veritable cornucopia of colour, pattern and texture - a photographer's paradise! Here are just a few of the shots I made:

I used my Nikon D700 with the 50mm f/1.4.