Photo of the Week - February 23, 2015

Male Bufflehead about to land while being chased by another Bufflehead

Bucephala albeola

Magnuson Park
Seattle, WA
February 23, 2015

One of the pleasures of Winter in the Puget Sound region is watching Buffleheads. The small, diving ducks are a common sight on freshwater ponds and salt water. They can be seen diving acrobatically to catch aquatic invertebrates. Males are distinctively bright white, with dark patches which can glow green or purple, depending upon lighting conditions. Female Buffleheads are smaller, with dark bodies and a white cheek patch - almost an inverted color pattern from the males. 

Buffleheads are generally monogamous during mating season and may keep the same mate for several years. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:
"Males court females by flying over them, skiing to a stop on the water with their crests raised, and bobbing their heads. During the breeding season, territorial birds attack intruders by flying or swimming underwater at them and thrashing at them with their wings. When a pair intrudes into a territory, the territorial male often chases the intruding female while the intruding male chases after them both. "


It is tremendously exciting to see small ducks thrashing about and energetically chasing one another.

Male Buffleheads chasing one another during mating season 

Bucephala albeola

Budd Inlet
Olympia, WA
March 2, 2015

Photo of the Week - February 20, 2015


Sailboat and Log Ship

Port of Olympia
Olympia, WA 

February 20, 2015

Photo of the Week - February 20, 2015


Immature Gull landing on Budd Inlet

Olympia, WA 

February 20, 2015
Three shot sequence

Photo of the Week - February 13, 2015

Downtown Olympia Friday Night

Olympia, WA
February 13, 2015
Multiple Exposure in-camera


Photo of the Week - February 10, 2015

Skateboarder at Jefferson Park 
on Beacon Hill
Seattle, WA

February 10, 2015
Multiple Exposure in-camera

It has been my opinion, as an artist and student of photography, that multiple exposure photography is gimmick in search of a reason. Overlapping images and double exposing to create art has seemed like a shortcut without intent. And then, I saw an article in the Seattle Times about Seattle's role as a global city. Photographer Marcus Yam  created a series of triple exposures, juxtaposing elements from Seattle's past, present and possible future. The intriguing photographs immediately excited my imagination; taken with a Canon digital slr camera, each triple exposure was taken over time, allowing the photographer to plan and design his images in a way that would be difficult to replicate with an old-fashioned double exposure. 

When I got my new Canon digital slr at New Years, I decided to play with the camera's multiple exposure feature. As with any technique, my first attempts were rough and reinforced my old ideas about multiples - phony and not terribly interesting. After those first rocky attempts, I decided to buckle down and understand the tool more fully. With practice, I am learning to create something which resembles art more than gimmick. 

The image above is somewhat planned, somewhat serendipitous. The Canon 7D Mark II allows the photographer to create an image combining only the dark parts of a scene. Since the bowl of the skate park was light in tone, I figured that most skaters would have darker clothing, skateboards and hair. The result 'should have been' multiples of a single skater against a light background. When the skater in the white shirt appeared, I knew I was in for trouble. Sure enough, his torso disappeared in every multiple. And, that was exactly the transcendent element I needed to move the image from shtick to photographic design. 

What a marvelous joy - to have a new tool for creativity at my disposal!  

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