One evening before dinner at the Mogotlho Lodge in Botswana I set my camera up on the deck for a long star trail exposure. Since the deck faces almost due south I thought it might make a nice shot. I used my portable flashlight to paint the tree for the first twenty seconds or so in the distance and then sat down for a wonderful dinner. Behind the camera was a fire pit which is providing the reddish orange illumination you see in the foreground.
Unfortunately my battery died during the exposure so the trails are not as long as I intended and the camera was not able to do it’s automatic noise reduction, nonetheless I believe it was a worthwhile exercise.
Last week we took a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate our daughters 21st birthday. We all had a great time. We saw a couple of shows (“Love” and “The Mac King Show”) “Love” was very good, although acrobatically not on a par with the other Cirque shows we have seen. So far “O” is my favorite. “The Mac King Show” was a last minute addition to our trip and a very pleasant surprise. He was quite entertaining & easily worth the inexpensive (for Las Vegas) $35.00 cover.
The above shot was taken from our daughters suite at the Bellagio. A couple of months ago I booked a couple of rooms at a cheapo rate through Hotels.com. I was rather surprised when we checked in and the front desk clerk notified me we actually had a suite and a standard room. Since it was Audrea’s birthday, we gave her the suite. A few hours later we were notified that there was an error & the suite was actually reserved for another John Rogers, however we were welcome to stay in the suite for the previously paid rate. Sweeet! (Or should I say Suite!?) Later that evening the four of us watched the amazing choreographed fountains perform their magic to the music of “Chorus Line”
I had the opportunity to photograph these adorable cousins a couple of days ago. He is eight months old & she is six months. I’m not sure exactly what he is telling her but she was smiling!
It’s amazing how fast a 6 month old can move. With infants this age it’s great to have pro studio lights (in this case I setup in their home) that allow me to shoot really fast because every second these two had a different adorable expression.
As a side note; I’m actually doing this post from 38,000 feet flying to Seattle on our way to Fairbanks. Pretty cool technology!
I was quite pleased to be able to spend a bit more time working on Jena’s portfolio before she heads off to LA at the end of this week. (You can see images from her last session here & here.) This time I brought her inside & put her under the studio lights for a slightly more “classic” look. We did several different setups & we got a number of great images from each. It was tough deciding which image to post today. I guess I was just in the mood for a bit of purple.
Here is yet another view of the Austin Skyline from the Long Center for the Performing Arts. (Can you tell I like this view of Austin?) This photograph was made the same evening the I shot the Austin Skyline Panorama. (You can see that photo here.) When I photograph I virtually always do multiple angles and perspectives of my subject matter. Due to time constraints, I generally only retouch one of the images immediately to post. Later it’s always fun to go back through my files after some time has past to mine another photograph. It’s interesting how an image that did not jump out at me during the first pass will really stand out during a second look. This image was like that. When I was browsing through my photographs for my (sometimes) daily posting I found this shot of the Long Center. It’s hard to say, but I may like it better than the original Panorama.
I did a posting a few days ago with a portrait of Jessica’s roommate Jena, stating how I was hoping to be able to do another session with them before they leave for LA at the end of this month. Well, I got my wish. I did a two hour session with Jessica a few days ago & I am doing one with Jena on Friday. For this session I thought we would do a couple of looks that are completely different from each other and from our previous retro looking session. We got a bunch of great images but I thought I just post one of each look for now. (You can see another great photo from the retro session here.) I believe we succeeded nicely. I am quite happy with how all three of these totally different yet great looks for Jessica turned out. Best of luck in Hollywood!
I had the opportunity last week to do some new portraits of Austin, Keisha & Brooklyn. The first portrait I did for Keisha was a maternity session a few weeks before Brooklyn arrived. (You can see that portrait here.) They live out of state so I really don’t get to do this as often as I would like. It’s sure fun when they are here and I can try and capture another phase in the life of the rapidly changing Brooklyn.
Wow, what a smile! Actually, with Jena to title this post “Jena’s Smile” is somewhat redundant. Jena is pretty much always smiling. She tends to brighten any room with her infectious smile. This is another photo of Jena from the portrait shoot we did when the classic cars were in town. I am trying to arrange time to do another session with Jena and her roommate Jessica before they leave for the lights of LA at the end of this month. Wish me luck!
I truly wish I had been taking copious notes of all the various wildlife we saw during our Botswana safari. In particular, I wish I had notes on what all the birds were. For the ornithologist among my readers, please feel free to post a comment as to the name of the birds. In case you are not aware, you can click on the image to go to my Flickr site & choose “All Sizes” to see a larger version.
I’m back… Beverly & I just spent the past couple of weeks discovering Botswana Africa with what began as a couple of guides, three friends & family & eight strangers & ended up as a group of fifteen friends. The trip was very cool, both literally & figuratively. As I am writing this it occurs to me we were able to be in all four seasons in two weeks. We left Austin in the spring, arrived in Africa in the fall, left Africa in the winter & arrived in Austin in the summer. Needless to say, we shot thousands of images during our adventure. I can’t wait to start sorting & processing my selects. I’ve done a fair amount of traveling but I have never been anyplace remotely so removed from civilization. We would drive for hours down four wheel roads (really just tracks) and never see another vehicle. It was an amazing adventure we will never forget.
One photographic tip from my first Safari; You are going to wish you had a longer lens. Typically my favorite lens is my 14-24 f/2.8. and my ‘long’ lens is a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8. The great majority of my photos were taken on the 200 end of my long lens & the great majority of those will need to be seriously cropped. Our guides were shooting with 400mm lenses (on their cropped sensors that’s actually 600mm equivalent) and most of their images will need to be cropped as well.