Monday, December 3, 2012


(As always click images to view larger!)

After much deliberation and procrastination to choose a spot for our next vacation, Andrea and I settled on the island of Provodenciales in the Turks and Caicos. Determined to relax after our initial booking was dashed by the likes of the superstorm, which nipped both us and the island, we set off for a week in the sun, the water, and a calmer mindset.

The area of the island we stayed at was known as "Grace Bay" (seen below), which is known for snorkeling, and beautiful beaches.  Something I enjoyed was a lack of obnoxious water-sports in the area. There were no jetskis or tubing to be seen, and only farther off off deep sea fishing vessels (less than a mile off shore is a 7000 foot drop off) and some para-sailing boats dotted the area.

Our resort features the Bight Reef (camera left) in which I spent probably several hours a day snorkeling, and using the new HDHero2 camera to video and snapshot wildlife in the ocean. (It's as fun as it sounds).

Since the trade winds often blow through the area, the ocean didn't often cooperate for that glassy/foggy look I wanted to capture in full daylight. The shot below was taken as it was getting quite dark, and was about a 7 second exposure if I recall correctly.

Our very first afternoon snorkeling on Sunday we spotted this fellow munching on sea grass next to the reef. While he was a bit weary of me diving down to say hello, he swam slow enough for me to trail nearby and take what is probably my favorite shot of the whole trip.  I managed to see this guy on 3 different days of the trip, always in the same area. Not something I will soon forget.

On an excursion recommended by the locals and dear friends of ours who just honeymooned here a month ago we went to "iguana island", which is a deserted little paradise with large lizards running about in the shady areas. This is also the same day I swam in the 7000 foot drop off when our boat stopped there, and was called back in after asking the guys next to me if he "sees that little white thing circling down there?" Our captain said that was, in all likelyhood, a large shark. Other expliots included diving for conch, eating said conch in a fresh ceviche', and snorkeling the 3rd largest barrier reef in the world.

On one of our many walks along the beach, we spotted this fine gent patrolling about 15 feet off shore. I instantly dropped all my stuff and powered up the camera (which rarely left my wrist), while tripping over myself getting my flippers and mask on.

During my excited entry into the water, I dropped my sunglasses into the sand, which were promptly washed out to sea before my ever patient and doting wife came to collect my scatted belongings.

With a tremendous amount of luck I was able to don my mask and recover said shades after Andrea pointed in the general vicinity of where I sprawled my belongings. This was, of course, after I blamed her for losing them...I love you hunny.....

The little guy above the ray is a Jack, surfing on his slipstream.

A pair of pelicans made the area near our resort home. Often resting in the conifers near the water, they would use a long bow over the water as a launch pad for their aerial assaults on the marine world.

I dove down to get a better look at the barrier reef. A fellow snorkeler made for a rather unique photo.

Since quick showers became a regularity later in the week, rainbows became a common sight from our beachfront. After many, many failed exposures, this one came out well enough to keep and work on at home. ...Rainbows are a bitch to shoot...Edit - Reminding self to tone down saturation on this one.

I am not going to lie, this starfish is deader than a doornail, but Andrea found it, and I think it made for a great composition. :)

That woman was eagle-eyes all week, spotting all kinds of stuff this way and that. I was especially impressed with her ability to spot the camouflaged fishes among the sand and  rocks several times.

The beach-bum herself. <3>

Friday, November 16, 2012

James and Niru

One of my lifelong friends was married over the weekend. James wed Niru in a fantastic celebration of culture and love, and probably one of the most memorable events I've ever seen or been a part of. Not only did I get to see two great people unite, they threw one heck of a party.  With old and new friends abound, DJ Raj spun the hits and the dance floor barely stopped rocking.

I also may go my whole life without dancing and singing someone parade-style into their wedding ceremony for a solid 20 minutes. Did I mention he was on a mighty steed? No? Well he was, observing us honoring him in traditional indian fashion - white people dancing dances they just learned.

Congratulations guys, love you both.

Now, the photos...

Prior to the wedding, I was asked to photograph a gathering at the house of the parents of the bride.
The idea behind this was to capture the women getting their henna applied by the skilled artists they had on hand. Of course, I tried to simply document what was going on around me as well.

While the area we occupied was lit well enough, a larger and larger crowd accumulating presented its challenges, to find the angles and compete with ever changing shadow conditions with my limited setup.

Being relatively uninspired lately in my photographic endeavors, I think this latest body of work is enough to whet my appetite to get back into the swing of things with much more regularity. Looking forward to, of course, vacation redux after Hurricane Sandy waged it's war on my relaxation.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Salvaged shots

The photo meetup group that I attend at time announced a "Steampunk" shoot coming up. I decided it was high time I dust off my lenses, and finally get to shooting again. Unfortunately, there were significant pitfalls with this shoot.

The models were an hour late, cutting into the overall time we had. The location was not as promised (It had mentioned large window light availability), and the 3 areas set up had woefully inadequate lighting. It was far from ideal, but I managed to scrape together some shots worth posting.

At the very least, this whet my appetite for my favorite hobby again. Hopefully I'll get active out there again soon.

Saturday, March 31, 2012


Home and not feeling well. I decided to make the best of it by just doing a social commentary-inspired self portrait given what I am reading in the news. I don't really have an opinion on the matter, but I think this Martin case re-raises extremely interesting and ongoing questions about our society.

I also managed to break one of my lights in the kit during this, albeit learned a decent amount in the process about some portraiture lighting.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A moment of zen

The holidays always bring a certain amount of festive kind of stress, and the first in-law family gathering of the season had its moments.

For a fairly laid-back 29 year old, I felt myself in the rare situation of feeling a bit overwhelmed and over-stimulated. Children crawling over me and opening gifts, fragmented conversations in a confined space, combined with my strategic seating choice between everyone else and the food, was a stark contrast from just a few moments earlier.

Seeing the coming social storm, and just wanting some fresh air, I "borrowed" my wife away from the crowd to snag some photos in the quickly fading light. As she sat in the quiet cold, a pair of swans and several ducks made a beeline to us from perhaps a half mile away. Knowing better than I, Andrea got some bread to throw to our new fowl-friends to share.

Soon enough, we were back inside celebrating the season. However, it's times like this that remind me how often I overlook the tranquility of escaping to the outdoors once and a while.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Engaging in fun

In ancient Greece, tossing an apple to a girl was a traditional proposal of marriage; catching it was acceptance. Little did my friend Johanna know, she was to take part in this centuries old tradition on the day of her engagement.

Jay, her boyfriend and a good friend of mine, had worked in the tossing and catching of apples into their everyday routine as they had a relaxing day on Martha's Vineyard. When he finally brought her to her favorite beach and got down on one knee with the ring, he informed her she had already said yes...several times.

Upon hearing of their engagement, not only did I think Jay's tactic was clever, I was ecstatic for the couple, having known both of them since high school. When I was asked if I could do engagement photos for them, I was honored, and excited. They're great, fun people who are so clearly in love. As I hang out with them regularly, I knew they'd be a fun shoot.

When Jo told me they planned on having the shoot at an apple orchard, I had high hopes. The sun shone, the air was unseasonably warm, and the sky blue. They brought some props, and their good humor and fun.

Here's some of my favorite shots of some of my favorite people.

Congratulations, you two.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Martin-Gramajo Wedding

How much can someone mean to you? While photographing the wonderful people at the Martin-Gramajo wedding, Laura and Justin showed everyone around them just what that can mean...

If means enough that you'll never forget.

It means you can make a promise to someone.

That you would walk in their shoes.

If you have something...

You would share.

If you were apart...

Then you make it count when you're together.

There were plenty of people at this wedding. Yet, so often I could tell that for much of their celebration, it was just the two of them, lost in the moment.

It was an absolute pleasure to be part of their day. Laura, probably the most laid back bride I've ever know, made life easy on me. I couldn't help but be laughing anytime I was within 10 feet of Justin. You could tell they were having fun.

Congratulations to Laura and Justin. I hope you both have a long and happy life together.