Capture Intigration Workshop

Just a quick casual Friday post of a photograph I snapped last weekend.  I had the good fortune to attend a “workshop” put on by Capture Integration and hosted by plenty of nice folks.  I quote the word workshop because the attendee list was full of full-time professional and advanced-amateur photographers.  It was more of a gathering to play with some really amazing photographic tools – like Phase One’s IQ250 – graciously supplied by Capture Integration.  Somehow I failed to link up with the crew for the sunrise shoot on Saturday, so I had to use my lowly Nikon D800 (just kidding – I am loving this camera every time I use it.)  Driving around Highway 1 at 5:30AM, I made the call to pull over and capture what I could, where I was, with the system I had.  This is one of my favorites from that crazy 30 minutes of light.  Zero scout time + steep terrain make this a keeper for me.

When I first got into photography, landscape photography really drew me in.  But the more I pursued it, in a way, I less interested I became.  Maybe my pictures sucked? I dunno. I think I craved stories that changed, and changed quickly.  In the words of one famous engineer, “I’m a people person!  I have people skills!”  But with all first loves, they somehow have a way of re-kindling the flames in your heart.  This coming year I am looking forward to some early mornings, along with pushing myself to learn and progress with an art form that captivated me from the very beginning.

Happy Friday!

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Craig Falls

The title has a double meaning.  Craig really did take a fall, of sorts, but it’s also his actual name. Craig, my neighbor down the street, was hit by a Chevy Silverado just over a week ago.  He was cruising around 32 mph when the truck made a left turn but didn’t see Craig coming the opposite direction.  He impacted the passenger side fender, and his face and helmet cratered in the windshield. His carbon frame broke into pieces and his alloy handlebars are twisted and mangled. So was Craig.  He told me all he remembers thinking was, “I’m not going to miss this…”

His list of injuries includes but is not limited to:  Lots of fractured face bones, a torn rotator cuff, most likely torn ACL, broken wrist, facial lacerations, broken nose + displace septum, and all kinds of bruising.  For all this, he is remarkably well and healing.

I thought a photo of the carnage would be a good idea and memento for when he’s back in the saddle.  Get well soon buddy.

craig_falls 00001See you down the road.

-Todd

ME.

Here’s a photo of me.  I got bored today and wanted to do something personal.  Nothing more personal than photographing yourself.  So I set my lights up, grabbed a frame of bees, manhandled a chicken, posed, and pulled the trigger till the shutter went click. I can once again relate with my clients who hate having their picture taken 🙂 I only like a few out of the bunch, and this is one of my faves (it’s hard when you’re the only one making yourself laugh and worried that your sleeping baby’s going to wake up!). This is very much me though; out in my garden and hanging with nature.

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See you down the road.

-Todd

Adelaide Harper Parsons

Here’s our baby girl.  Adelaide Harper Parsons was born on 2/20/2013 coming in at 6lbs 7oz.  She’s mostly cool, except when she cries.  So far her hobbies include sucking on mom’s boobs, laying down nice tracks in her undergarments, spitting up milk, and learning stuff. So far so good!

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Happy Monday!

If you need a lift, here’s one on the house.  This image was shot for a piece I did for Good Magazine a while back on Urban Chickens.  Having a few feathered friends myself, the project was self-inspired and a lot of fun, not to mention exciting if not dangerous.  How?  Well, drive by shooting a block away dangerous.  Oakland baby.  Sometimes it doesn’t mess around. urban_chicken_00001See you down the road.

-Todd

 

Biz, Biz, Bizzzzz

Nothing like being holed up in your one-man office when it’s raining and the tax man is taking way more than you previously thought possible.  “Can that be right? Maybe if I carry the decimal and add the 2…”  Nope – TurboTax can only do so much.  Sigh…  So that takes care of the first Biz.  I got nothin’ for the second and third – suppose it was me just wanting a bit of onomatopoeia.  And rightly so, since this is partly what this post is about.  Animals.  Animal sounds. And lot’s of em! Can you guess what we got?

Bees!

Yep.  Jen and I got a colony of happy little Italian Honey Bees.  It’s something I’ve wanted to do for so long.  Why?  I love nature.  I love honey.  I am pretty afraid of things that fly with stingers.  Wait, that last statement doesn’t make any sense.  Well, I figure, it’s time to stop being such a wuss, and tackle my fear.  And so one early morning, Uncle Jer (my bee guy, but not my Uncle) came by and dropped off a nice strong colony. I asked a few questions, and then he was gone.  And then it was me and 10,000 of my closest girlfriends.

Honey Bee and Flowering Quince Blossom.

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A Heavy Drinker, Churchill Still Had It Right

Mine and Jen’s Smithsonian weekend was a crazy world-wind of a trip.  It went a little something like this:  Fly cross-country and go to bed.  See sights and go to bed.  Fly back across the country and go to bed.  Whew.  I wish we had more time to hang around and explore the sights and sounds of DC and the Mall area, but perhaps another time.  But, even with our limited time, we packed in quite a bit.  Here are some photos from the trip…

The elephant in the main hall of the Museum of Natural History. The hide alone weighs over 2 tons!

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The Perfect Pit Stop

The summer solstice already came and went?  It’s been weeks since returning from Spain?  I’m going to dinner at Prospect tonight?   Where does the time go? Thank goodness I have the images to remind me (in detail) of what a wonderful adventure I’ve had thus far.

The streets of San Sebastian.

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Cuesa Cocktailery

I don’t much like driving into the city.  It stresses me out.  Parking, traffic, pedestrians, and crazies are just a few of the things I have to worry about.  But when cocktails and sustainability get involved, well, that’s just a worthwhile cause.  So I fired up the Suby and got going.
Hosting the event at Ferry Building #1, the market where they sell fresh and local produce, Cuesa invited some of the best barkeeps and food engineers around to demonstrate their prowess with local ingredients and hotplates.  What came about was delicious goodness, whether it was in a slightly viscous or solid state.
Entering hungry, niblets surrounded me from all sides; the night was to be cornucopia of varying flavors.  I immediately headed for the Tacolicious stand where fresh cod ceviche was being plated up.  My oh my, I have gone to heaven!  On to the fresh waffles with chicken livers with spicy persimmon relish and Yuzu.  And finally to finish it off, I gulped down a few Spanish style tortilla de patatas.  My gut satiated for the time, I was looking for the main event.
Time to hit up a few drinks.  Looking around on this cold and blustery night, each beverage was seasonal.  Whether it was a persimmon, apple, or pear, you weren’t going to find a strawberry in the house.  Something that Cuesa preaches.
First on the list was a pure rum from Brasil.  Cachaça (rum) mixed with local fruits and spices warmed up my insides and got the rhythm going.  Walter, the SF Area Manger, informed me that the cane fields used to produce Cachaça are never burned.  That would leave a smoky flavor on the sugar.  Secondly, all of the cane is hand cut; another important step in keeping the cane in good shape before processing. I couldn’t argue with the process.  The taste was balanced very nicely.
I then moved to a delicious tequila mixed with pomegranate juice and eggs whites gingerly hugging the surface.  Next came the most interesting and amazing jello shot I have ever had the pleasure of placing on my palate.  I know I know… your imagination immediately takes you back to that night in Cabo where you made several poor choices after woofing down crap vodka jigglers.
Trust me, this is not Julio’s mother’s jello shot.  Scott, you are a mad genius and you’re right.  When life gives you lemons, make lemonade…lemonade that makes you feel damn good!
I was feeling it a bit.  They’re sneaky like that.  After a few more bites of food, I moseyed off to test a few more drinks here and there.  And as the clock wound down, just like that the event was finished and we packed it in.  I gotta say, I just love hanging out with food and drink people.
All they want is to stoke you out and see that smile on your face.  Thanks to all who were kind with their time and explanations.
See you down the road.
-Todd 

Morning Light

I woke bright and early to try and capture some morning goodness in and around my haunts. I thought a drive out to the beach would do me good, so I headed over the 92 towards Half Moon Bay and Pillar Point. It was still dark and gloomy, especially after all the rain that we’ve had, and I didn’t know where to go or what to look for. I was almost hell bent on driving up the coast when I thought to myself, “Wait, if you keep driving you will miss the good light.” So I decided to pull over and just wait for something.

I piddled around till I found some parking near all the boats, which are always an instant draw for me considering my sailing background. There’s nothing like the smell of salt air in the morning while the constant wail of the fog horn morosely warns mariners of the dangers yet unseen. And this was no more re-enforced by a sad little fishing vessel that waited patiently in the shallows on the bay floor. She was proud, even with all the water awash on the decks and spilling over the gunwales. There were so many stories of high seas and great seasons that abounded with plenty I am sure, but now she was waiting for a salvage and demo team; They will take what they can and shred the rest. A sad ending for such a stout looking little boat.


As I watched her in the gray, the sun started to peak over the ridge, casting a nice little back light on her. I thought, “This is it. I’ve got a few minutes.” I got out both cameras, a long and a wide lens, my filters, and a 3 stop split neutral density filter to compensate for such extreme lighting difference, and went at it. There wasn’t much I could do for different angles as the incoming tide had already swept over my feet for the second time while I concentrated on the frame, but I had a great time until the light vanished.

As I walked the dock, I got the normal friendly hello from a couple of guys: Boat guys. I walked with them down the dock and swapped a few stories of my high seas adventure to lend myself a little credibility. We talked of fish and water, wind and tides, and how attaching boat to any question regarding a part quickly adds a few extra hundred dollars. As our stories faded out and as quickly as the tide turns, the two gentlemen were puttering off to the anchorage while I waved them a goodbye.

Some days the light only last a few seconds or minutes. Sometimes it can go on like a dream. Today was fleeting and momentary. But my plan remains to photograph every day. Even if I only come away with one decent photo from each day, I am still learning; still gaining from failures and experimentation. As the rain started to come down with with some bite, I headed towards the car and off on my way. The pangs of hunger started echoing in the belly, and a smile washed over my face.

“There is no failure except in no longer trying.” Elbert Hubbard
-Todd