Monday, December 28, 2009

Shelly and Nicole

Everyone, meet my new favorite sisters: Shelly and Nicole.

Shelly and Nicole

105mm @f/4, 1/200, ISO 200, EV+2/3

They approached me late in November with the idea of getting some pictures taken of them together to hand out to parents and grandparents at Christmas. Knowing both of them, I knew it would be fun and creative, so the plan was made.

Actually it was made 4 times.

An outdoor shoot was in the works, in a comfortable "everyday" setting for the 2 of them. With one off at college and the other finishing high school, schedules were hectic. Everytime we set a date, mother nature slapped right back with rain, clouds, and zero sunshine. Finally our chance came, a clear, crisp day 1 week before Christmas, (talk about a crunch!)

The girls met me at my house, and we started off with a few pictures around some trees, backlighting was my play at this time.

Shelly and Nicole

50mm @f/5.6, 1/200, ISO200, EV+5/3

Afterwards we headed to main street in Port Lavaca so get a more rustic/realistic/grungy feel in the pictures. We strolled around back alleys and corners, empty lots and down streets. They were both eager to see my ideas, and trustworthy that some of the crazy angles I was pulling off would turn out. I feel in love with the old brick patterns that were scattered around the street and used them to add a lot of texture to the pictures.

Shelly and Nicole

105mm @f/4, 1/500, ISO200, EV+2/3

They both took what little direction I had very well, and we a blast to hang around with for a few hours. They were easy going and had great ideas of what they wanted as well. They were a blast, and some of my favorite subjects to date.

Shelly and Nicole

105mm @f/4, 1/500, ISO200, EV+2/3

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Miss Jianna

What a cutie.

My interest in photography babies has peaked over the last few months, for some reason I have really been interested in trying something new. Well, it always happens when you want to try something new, there are no subjects.

Then I remembered Miss Jianna.
Right at 2 months, she would be the perfect little one to shoot for my first official baby shoot.

Well, I would hardly call it official. My plan was to use natural light coming from windows (I've never been a fan of flashes). I should have known that the day would be a rainy, cloudy mess, and that I would have commit ed to this photo shoot in absence of my 50mm f/1.8 "lowlighter". I really had to be creative in lens selection. Available to me was my 105 Macro, a few ultra wide angles, my fisheye and the kit lens.

Nonetheless, I arrived over at Jianna's house and was greeted by a wonderful little girl. She was so relaxed the entire time, and rarely caused a fuss. And this little one like to be naked! Which caused a slip up on some of my fabric, but nothing that can't be washed.

I did a simple shoot by draping black fabric; most time Jianna was being held by her mother or laying on the ground. I tried using different colors for her to lay one, polka dots, pinks, but nothing turned out like I wanted. The black was the way to go.
I had brought my backdrop stand, but with the absence of light, I knew it would be a waste of time to try and set up a studio shot.

All in all it was a great experience, and a learning experience in that. Hopefully I get a few more subjects coming my way in the near future, because I am completely addicted!

Jianna Camille Campos

Jianna Camille Campos

Jianna Camille Campos

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Rolls and Turkey and Pie, Oh my!

There is just something about November that puts a smile on my face. I've never been able to peg down exactly what it is; the cool weather, thick-bulky-warm-comfy clothes, the bursting colors of the trees all strike a winning note with me. And pies! Why is it that we feel the necessity to make pies only for Thanksgiving!!? They are simply wonderful, warm delights that make my taste buds tingle just thinking about it.

One this I do know is that I feel the need to destroy ever single apple cinnamon candle for horribly mocking the actual smell of an apple pie, and burn ever chunky knit sweater for making everyone look 30 lbs heavier. Still, the pros outweigh the cons.

Breaking out the old spices out of the cabinet that we rarely use is somewhat exhilarating: cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg.

The accepting loss of the tan I worked so hard for this summer is a drag, but again, November wins with turkey and wine.

Thanksgiving has always been pretty relaxed in my family. Usually we just get together for some peace and quiet with mixed members of the gang.

This year was at Meemaw's house; who's rolls should be another food group. Needless to say it was a day for food, family and football... and naps.

I'm hoping that maybe 2010 will bring me to stick 23 candles into a chocolate chiffon pie to send me a little taste of November in July.

Homemade Rolls

Robust Spread


Sacrament :)

Football/Nap time

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

La Isla Matagorda

One of my favorite places.
Just a short boat trip due east from Port 'O Connor, Texas is Matagorda Island.

(Picture courtesy of

Matagorda Island was once a home to an Air Force Training facility labeled as "Matagorda Island Gunnery Range". Built in 1943, the base and training grounds stayed active until the late 1960's until it was deactivated in 1975. Paved with thousands of feet of asphalt and concrete runways, these chains of barrier islands serve as a hidden gem for experienced pilots for many years, giving them the opportunity to land in an area nestled in between white sand dunes after a low-flying tour of Blue-Gulf-of-Mexico-Water.

On the North side of the Big Jetty's sits a smaller branch of the abandoned Air Force Base, Pierce Field. Just like the facility, Pierce Field was closed down in the late 70's and was inherited by private owners

(Picture courtesy of

According to George Horn (a pilot for the state of TX who has landed at Pierce Field), the property of this airfield was once used by Deke Slayton & other former astronauts in a private (commercial) space venture in the late 1960s/1970s. Several attempts to launch kerosene/liquid oxygen vehicles were made there, none of which succeeded. The site was also one of the early NASA considerations for a launch site, before they settled on Cape Canaveral.

Today, Pierce Field is owned by 50 or so private residents who, over the last 20 years, have built small beach houses. Secluded from the main land of Texas, this island provides its weekend inhabitants with a quiet retreat. It is a rare thing now days to be the only people on a beach visible for miles but this is one of the many "pluses" of this hidden gem.

It was a weekend full of relaxation, bonfires, shell hunting, fishing and hiding.

La Casa de la Isla
16mm@f/2.8, 1/20, ISO 200
Night time Fishin'
16mm@f/2.8, 1/13, ISO 800
A Favorite
16mm@f/2.8, 1/13, ISO 640
16mm@f/2.8, 1/13, ISO 600
50mm@f/2.8, 1/320, ISO 800
Stole this shot
50mm@f/1.8, 1/60, ISO 1250
Glowing Silhouette
5omm@f/1.8, 1/25, ISO 1250
Bonfire Smile
50mm@f/1.8, 1/50, ISO 1250
Silhouette #2
50mm@f/1.8, 1/25, ISO 1250