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Check out the new site…

I’ve moved the site to a new domain.  Please check out my site at the new address:  www.bokehmojo.com

I stumbled upon this site a couple of weeks ago. I was very interested to see what became of the general idea. Now that the first “chapter” has been released I’m happy to have checked back in. It’s just like a photographic graphic novel! I love it. I hope to see new chapters in the future.

(You Alone) Chapter 1 - I’M LIKE YOU Starring: Tara Hutchison, Nicole Carter-Lyde and Curt Rice Written and Photographed by: Larry Stone of 12 North Photography Special Thanks to: The Nile Theatere – http://www.niletheatre.com Samantha opens her eyes in a panic her hands and feet are tied and the room is pitch black. She struggles to get free but it’s no use, she then for fear of her life begins to scream for help. There is no other sound heard but the echo of her screams of the concrete w … Read More

via 12 North Photography’s Blog

Gantry Crane Over the Monongahela

I’ve been living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for a couple of years now.  I moved to be closer to family and friends and have really fallen in love with the town.  Having grown up in Ohio, and gone to school in Cleveland, it’s actually quite a shock to finally be living in the back yard of the Pittsburgh Steelers, especially on Sundays when crowd noise flows through the neighborhood and you’re suffering traffic and parking issues!  Being a Cleveland Browns really couldn’t be any harder!  I hang my hat in the Mexican War Streets part of town and have pretty much everything I need within a short walk of my home.  As a result I’ve not really as familiar with the entire area as I would like.

One of my goals with this little site will be to highlight some of the more interesting places I’ve decided to uncover in the area.  I’m getting better at bringing the camera along, and getting much better at deliberately making the effort to go out and shoot something.  In addition to sharing the pictures I thought it might be interesting to also document the locations.  You never know, maybe a visitor to the ‘Burgh will stumble onto the site and want to visit some of the same places?  One idea that I thought would be interesting would be to share these locations on Google Earth or Maps? I think I’ll spend some time figuring out how to do all this and add a section to the site.  If I’m lucky maybe some of you can fill me in on spots that I haven’t yet discovered or better yet some tips on how to share the information?

Anyway, here is another handheld HDR from my recent trip down to the Waterfront:

Gantry Crane over the Monongahela River

If you are anything like me you probably follow at least a couple of photographers on Twitter, or maybe you check in on a variety of websites every couple of days. Whatever path you take, are you looking for inspiring photography ideas? I mean the kind of inspiration that makes you want to get up out of the house and shoot something new and different? To be honest with you, finding inspiration in these places can be difficult.

Maybe I’m looking in the wrong direction, because I usually find articles on the newest cameras, pieces of software or iWhatever apps. It’s hard to find stories that makes me stop and think, “now what could I do with this idea.”

I stumbled upon this post tonight. After reading the post, I stopped and thought about the idea of a “photography tale.” I actually stopped long enough to tap out a short blog post. In today’s point and click on to the next thing surfing experience, that’s saying something.

I’m looking forward to learning what this is all about on September 1st. See you there.

Photography Tales - Sample of "You Alone" Here is a small sample of my upcoming Photography Tale "You Alone" which will be coming out September 1, 2010 right here on 12 North Photography's Blog!  Sorry no pictures yet! I hope to start production on the photos in the next coming week! CHAPTER 1 – I'M LIKE YOU Samantha opens her eyes in a panic her hands and feet are tied and the room is pitch black. She struggles to get free but it’s no use, she begins to scream for help. There is no othe … Read More

via 12 North Photography's Blog

Perspective

Today I dropped off my daughter for an early soccer practice and had several hours to kill before she needed to be picked up. It was a perfect amount of time to take a few pictures and write-up a blog post. It was also a perfect morning! I’m glad I threw the tripod into the truck because I came across some pretty interesting smokestack’s down at the Waterfront shopping complex in West Homestead, Pa.

Handheld shot HDR

Pretty good?

The first thing I discovered is that I really need a new tripod. The one I have probably cost around $40 ten years ago. The main problem with it is the head, it will only allow for a horizontal positioning of the camera. It would have been really nice to be able to compose a vertical shot that I didn’t have to hand-hold.

If you have an opinion on good tripods please leave a comment. I’m currently considering the Induro brand based on Amazon reviews and posts I’ve seen on other people’s blogs. I would really like to know if anyone has had a really bad experience with the brand. A ball head would have been really nice this morning!

All that being said, I think I found a couple of keeper shots.

HDR Smokestack

My favorite shot of the smokestacks

Windy Point HDR

Windy Point

Here is another shot from my recent trip to Arizona.  This one is taken on the road up to Mount Lemon in the Catalina Mountains.  It was getting late in the day and I couldn’t get a good shot from this position.  The exposure would either be correct for the rock formation or for the sky…but not both.  Taking a cue from Trey Ratcliff, I thought I’d try my hand at a hand-held HDR image.

Basically, I took three shots, one underexposed by a stop, one “correct” per the light meter and finally one overexposed by a stop. I then used an application called Photomatix to tie the three images together into what you see above.  If you go to Trey’s site he has a fantastic discussion on how to do this.  He uses the technique to great artistic effect.  I was hoping for something less dramatic and little closer to what I actually saw.  I think it came out well.

I do know that the best way to shoot an HDR image is typically to use a tripod, I didn’t bring mine along (note to self…) but given that the rocks weren’t moving and the relatively high shutter speeds I don’t think the shot was hurt. I’m glad I didn’t drink too much coffee on the way up the mountain.

together has power

One of my photography goals this year is to leave the house as often as possible with my camera in tow.  While it’s not quite second habit yet, I am getting better.  This last weekend I was in Cleveland to visit family and cheer on my sister as she competed in her first Triathlon.  I actually brought the camera!  I’m glad I did because I witnessed something unexpected that I won’t soon forget.

Riding for a cause

Sister racing with "together has power"

Before we got to Joanne’s,  I understood she was a competing on a team that would complete the race.  Her contribution to the team was the bicycling portion.  What I didn’t know was that she was part of much larger team (over 100 people) that were all racing to raise money and awareness for United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland.  It seems that Joanne is acquainted with the family mentioned in this article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.   Vince and Susan Ketterer complete the triathlon every year with their son Myles.  Myles suffers from CP and his parents assist Myles throughout the event (pulling him behind in a boat, then a bike and finally taking turns pushing him, and some siblings, in strollers).

"together is power"

Father Vince Ketterer pulls his son Myles in Cleveland Triathalon

It was very touching, especially when the family crossed the finish with Myles walking himself across the line.  I think he had one of the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen.  It’s sad to think that unless a cure is found that Myles won’t always be able to finish the race this same way.  It’s nice to think that there are still families as close as this one.

Myles Ketterer crosses the finish line of the 2010 Cleveland Triathalon

I didn’t take a fantastic picture at this event, but I’m glad I was there and I’m glad I was there with my camera.  This is a weekend I won’t soon forget and I’m happy I have the pictures to mark the occasion.

Scott Bourne is one of my favorite photographers to follow. From his blog to his podcasts he always has something interesting to say. This post I thought was especially good. You should check him out.

Five Things You Could Do In Six Hours To Become a Better Photographer I know we live in a USA TODAY, drive-up window world. Everybody wants what they want now. So here are five things you can do in six hours – in fact on this very day to BECOME (not be) a better photographer. 1. Go to a museum. Yep – any museum. STUDY don’t just look at the art there. Ask yourself the same questions … Read More

via Photofocus

Prickly Pear Cactus

Prickly Pear Cactus, originally uploaded by BokehMojo.

This past week I was in Tucson for my company’s annual sales kickoff meeting. While I don’t travel extensively, I do get to leave my hometown more often than the average guy.  Luckily for me my career with my current company began in Tucson and takes me “home” at least once a year.  In the past I’ve never taken the camera on these trips.

This trip I resolved to change all that.  I extended my trip, stayed at a nice place and actually got out of the resort after spending a little time walking around the Westin’s beautiful grounds where I took this shot.

I’ll be posting a couple of other shots later on in the week, but if I learned one thing from Chase Jarvis it’s this, “the best camera is the one that’s with you.” He’s right…

2010 Cedar Point – Panning 1762, originally uploaded by BokehMojo.

I recently visited Cedar Point with the family for our annual trip to America’s Roller Coast! We had our typically great time and thought that I would try to get a shot “panning.” Oddly enough this was the first time I had ever tried to do this (on purpose anyway!).

That being said I did learn quite a bit. I spent about 10-15 minutes messing around with this (the girls thankfully went on the ride several times!). I tried various shutter speeds, apertures, etc. There is a certain rhythm/body movoement you have to find to finally capture a good shot.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that this technique takes practice. A lot of practice. Shoot tons of photos and eventually one will come out sharp.

I obviously still have a lot of work to do to master this topic, but it was a LOT of fun and I think you should try this next time you are at the amusement park.

I think this shot is so much better than the static shots I normally take in this situation!

PS – I think this was the only good shot I got of the 30-40 that I took!  If you want to see what most of them looked like, check out the Flickr:

Panning for Gold at Cedar Point