Thursday, November 19, 2009

Last of the Holga shots for awhile

Photos were taken during a hike we went on months ago somewhere in the Santa Clarita Valley.  Can't remember the name of the trail.  

Click on the photos to view larger....

M & M pausing for a picture at the top of the hill

Baby Leo enjoying the outdoors

Rick and Bik are the experienced hikers
Ignore the Nikon ;p

Morgan and Jose descending the hill

Always check your settings, kids!
This was not meant to be an artsy, out-of-focus shot

That's all the Holga I can handle for now.  Happy shooting!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More Holga Action

Photographing the Lego Photographer
Taken at Downtown Disney in Florida

Holga Ahoy!
Taken at Downtown Disney in Florida

Mona at play
My friend's sweet, semi-blind pit-bull

Owl Eye
Taken at Universal Citywalk
Watchmen had just come out

Owl Ship
Taken at Universal Citywalk
Watchmen had just come out

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Seeing Double

Experimented with shooting double exposures on my Holga when I visited Disneyworld back in May.  For those not familiar it's when you take a shot and just simply do not advance the film for 2 exposures.  Since I took so long to get these developed it was fun trying to figure out what the heck I took a shot of.

Click on the photos to view larger....

This one is my favorite.  I saw this cute couple slow dancing in the middle of Main St.  Even though Magic Kingdom was crowded that day you could tell they were in their own little happy world.  After I shot them I ran over to a Mickey and Minnie statue that is in the garden area in front of Cinderella's castle and took the second exposure to mimic the couple.   It's hard to see the statues but I thought the flowers came out nice.  It's as if they are dancing in a bed of ghost flowers with some creepy Mickey hands wanting to give them a hug.

This one is my second favorite.  I just love the colors.

Next up is the Haunted Mansion.  I just took a shot from farther away and then a shot up close.  The images of the people in the bottom right hand corner turned out rather ghostly looking. Was it because of the double exposure or was it because they were real hitchhiking ghosts?  Aaaaaaaa!

These were taken during the parade.  Everyone stopped in front of the castle and started dancing as the sun was setting.

Our hotel room was a few doors down from this giant Baloo and Mowgli.  It was difficult going to sleep at night knowing that they were out there.  In the dark.  Waiting.
Can you spot the Trevors?

More Holga fun coming your way in the next post!  Bye! Bye! Bye!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Got my rolls of 120 film taken with my Holga 120CFN today.  Some of them actually came out decent.  For $16 per roll some better be okay or a certain toy camera is going in the closet!

I'll post more of the shots over the next few days.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Arachnophobes Beware!

Just barely caught the Spider Pavilion on it's last day at the Natural History Museum with the hubby this past Sunday.

Taken with my iPhone

When you first walk in, you get to view some of the potentially harmful arachnids encased safely in their little habitats.

The most beautiful was the Indian Ornamental Tarantula

It was difficult to photograph some of the other arachnids such as the brown recluse.  I think you get the idea from its name on why I was unable to photograph it.

Next was the free range environment where they allow all sorts of orb-weavers to spin their beautiful webs anywhere they please.  The spiders in this area were of course harmless, but I have to admit they were intimidating at first.

When you initially walk in to the pavilion you do not even notice the spiders at all.  Once you start to look around you realize you are surrounded by them.  And some of those suckers are big.  Some expletives did manage to cross my lips amongst the presence of children.  Oops.

After I got over the initial shock I started taking photos.  I brought my Sigma 50 mm macro with me.  I wish I could have gotten in a little closer.  I think investing in the Canon 100 mm macro will be a wise choice for this type of photography.  Even though they are harmless and more scared of us than we are of them, I wasn't brave enough to get in any closer.

Here you can see why...

I thought the top of this Golden Silk Spider looked a bit like a skull.

If you missed it this time there is always next year in the fall. Anyone with a fascination of these strange creatures will enjoy being able to see them up close doing what they do best.

Perhaps this is the best kind of therapy for any of you spider-fearing folk.  The guide in the pavilion told us she was once arachnophobic. Now, she can hold them in her hands with no problem.   I personally wouldn't go that far.  Eek.

If you want to brave a couple more photos check out my slideshow.  Even view it large if you DARE.

Friday, November 6, 2009

2nd Headshot Shoot. Ever.

, originally uploaded by Rachel McCauley.
I had the pleasure of shooting a local actor here in LA by the name of Mark Allen.  This was my second time shooting headshots so I felt a bit more comfortable from the first time.  I noticed I was hitting the controls on my camera more intuitively and fluidly.  It was a great feeling.  The relationship between a photographer and his/her camera is special and it's something I strive to master.  Be one with the camera and all that Zen.    

Speaking of Zen, I once read a book called The Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel which was recommended on the Camera Position podcast that I listen to by a teacher/photographer by the name of Jeff Curto.  Basically, it discusses the philosophy behind the art of practicing archery for many years and eventually becoming able to master the skill by losing the conscious mind or something to that effect.  It's been awhile since I read it but a photographer is to read it and replace the references to archery with photography.  I don't know how much I got out of the book but  I do recommend Jeff Curto's podcast.  He has turned me on to many photographers that I admire to this day.    
Anyway, on the day we shot it was beautiful outside.  We met up at a local bar that has many different colored walls along the block.  The plan was to shoot him with goatee, eat lunch and then shoot sans goatee.  We started out a bit rough.  Being the subject of a photo shoot is not easy.  Some people can relax in front of a camera more quickly than others.  Under the direction of his girlfriend Jennifer Damon, who has had experience in doing headshots, she managed to help him relax and get the looks he needed.    
I learned that I definitely need to know how to direct actors/models.  I think this is one of my major weaknesses.   I come from a sort of more natural photography.  I do not like to tell people how to act or pose because I want to capture them in the moment as they are.  Well, if I ever want to get in to headshot photography I will have to change this approach.  So far, she has taught me some great techniques and I hope to use them on my next shoot.  
We also started out a bit rough because this was the first time we used a reflector.  I bought a reflector and it took my lovely assistant, Trevor, and I bit to get the technique down.  I didn't realize just how much light can come off those suckers.  I am pretty sure we blinded poor Mark a few times.  We figured out a technique where Trev would listen to the sound of the shutter and swivel it back and forth every other shot so we wouldn't be constantly blinding Mark and cause him to squint.  Plus, I wanted to take a few shots with different types of lighting so it really worked out well in the end.    
Thanks Mark for choosing me as a photographer!  Hope you get some great gigs soon.  

Here is a slideshow of more from that day.