Happy Native Plant Week

I hope everyone reading this takes a moment to enjoy some plants native to their home, because it’s California Native Plant Week! Yes, be aware of lots of geeks (like myself) walking around your favorite park and staring at a single plant (usually its very small) with a small hand lens and a thick dictionary-like book nearby.

These are the plants that define place to me. The tall trees, or short grasses, or mucky wallows or vast seas of chaparral. All these places are unique because of the evolutionary and ecological processes that have culminated in the vegetation you see. I’m in love with our hills, or rivers, mountains and drylands all. These landscapes are ALL filled with amazing stories of survival, adaptation, and luck…

Cirsium fontinale macro-

Cirsium fontinale v. fontinale – the rare Mount Hamilton thistle

Here’s a list of very cool events (introvert alert)!  You will learn so much – please do try a field trip out.

Also, I’m working on a native grass photography workshop – yes – this will be very directed towards grassy plant nerds with cameras. More to come…

Rabbits brush at Cattani sml-1

Rabbitbrush in full bloom in the Tehachapi mountains

2012: A Year in Review – An ebook look into Lech Naumovich Photography

2012 ebook previewI’ve been working on trying to recap and learn from my past year of photography. This year, for the first time, I’ve taken on creating an ebook with my 16 favorite images, and offering it as a sort of brief, updated portfolio. Continue reading

Here comes #2

We’re getting close and we’re so excited to see Kaya become the big sis.

Here’s to my beautiful wife and all she does carrying the weight. Literally.

This photo was created with a single off-camera light with a softbox.  (Oh yeah, and a pregnant lady too!) I love the creativity that emerges out of the constraints of a single light.

Only 3 more to go before we get the basketball team together 🙂

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The Walls of Glacier at 50mm

Here’s a little snapshot I took of the eroding walls directly above Siyeh Creek in Glacier National Park.  I’ve bought into the “as seen by our human eyes” landscape shots more and more.  Don’t automatically put your wide-angle lens (24mm, 17mm) on in the great outdoors.  Take in what your eyes see at 50mm.  Yup – 50mm is about equal to the field of vision of a human eye.  That’s why many people just love the “feel” of a 50.  I personally love the way the Glacier wall is prominent, and huge, while it is accented with the coniferous trees below, and not a touch of sky above.  And yes, these are BIG walls, but they seem even bigger if they can’t fit into a camera frame! [click on image to enlarge any picture] Continue reading

LoFi, Fo Fum – Reducing dynamic range in finished photos and liking it

So there’s a big push to well, push. I’m not just talking about climbing harder or running faster, but I’m also talking about contrasting more. Yup.  Got to push those highs just into the yellow zone before they blow out, and well, those blacks need to be a hair above “no information” and what do you have – a high dynamic range photo that techno-colorizes the world. (click on any image to enlarge)

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Welcome Year of the Dragon, Goodbye Rabbit

One morning a friend, Dan Dedrick, recommended the idea of photographing Chinatown, Oakland in the morning.  It was a cool December morning and it seemed like a great way to start off the weekend.  The mood and energy of Chinatown is captivating, electric.  There is a constant commerce that rings through the air, but with that, notes of quiet, patience, and almost longing.  I can’t really explain that staring out into space that you tend to see there.  These are both zen moments at the same time they are glimmers of fatigue, or maybe frustration, or just pure solemn reflection.

The following is a series of photographs that are post processed into high contrast black and white.  Some reveal light, some harbor dark.  With those tones are also contrasting movements, some quick – some graniticly intentional.  They all are part of the Chinatown scene.  Happy year of the Dragon! Continue reading

Catkin Season: Bridge into Spring

The catkin.  A harbinger of spring.  Here are a cluster of male catkins on a hazelnut (Corylus contorta to be sure).  Native hazelnut catkins are known to be especially important for the ruffed grouse who use these as an early spring “power bar”.  More than a snack, these foods catapult the grouse from a season depauperate of food into a season of more abundant food.  The catkins are a light at the end of the tunnel.

Click on picture for a larger image.

Notably, Native Americans were known to use Corylus americana medicinally for hives, biliousness, diarrhea, cramps, hay fever, childbirth, hemorrhages, prenatal strength, and teething, to induce vomiting, and to heal cuts (D. E. Moerman, 1986).  This is truly a plant whose beauty, nourishment and healing help demonstrate how rich of a world it is that we live in.

So what did I do here to “museum finish” this piece… Continue reading

Near Miss Photos – The Ultimate Educator

I was reading a thought-provoking blog post on professional development by photographer Don Giannatti at Lighting Essentials.  Don was taking questions on twitter and he got asked a great question on taking photography to the next level.  It’s something I’ve been thinking of, and frankly I think that many serious photographers are toiling with this question regularly.  Here’s an excerpt from Don’s response on his blog – a “to do” list if you will: Continue reading

Lori and Stephen elope in Grand Teton National Park

Lori and Stephen have a wonderfully storied past of travels to exotic places, indulging in life, and just plain having a good time in each others’ company.  They decided to tie the knot in a small, private ceremony, paying attention to each other, and their vows, more than the celebration of getting married.  They shared many intense glances and enthusiastic laughs throughout our photo session.  Most of all, I loved their sass.  The classic backdrop of the Grand Teton was epic, worthy of their character and love.  The following are a few shots from this session with Fisher Creative in Teton National Park.   Continue reading