Wampa and Exploding Cat-tails

Yes it’s a rather random correlation but that’s how most of my photography happens. On Friday night my wife and I went on a date and as part of it we went shopping. When you’ve got five kiddos, any time alone together is a great time – even just shopping.

We went to the toy aisles at Walmart because I always like to peruse the aisles and see if they have anything that’ll look good in a toy photo.

They had some Lego Harry Potter minifigures (finally), but they had been picked through quite a bit. I spent some time looking for a niffler with no such luck. I did get Harry Potter with his Owl because those Lego owls are epic; and it’s white so perfect for coming wintertime shots.

I found the Star Wars Force Link 2.0 Wampa and Luke Skywalker (Hoth) Figure and bought it for the Wampa. There are some iconic characters that just work so well in photography and the Wampa is one such icon. I have the Lego Wampa, but I wanted to have something a bit more articulated for this winter season. I also wanted to tie in this new Wampa figure to my Hoth Heat Wave series.

Saturday morning Wampa joined us for breakfast and had a strange fascination with the butter. He followed it all the way to a more comfortable spot… out fridge!

After an excellent breakfast we ran some errands and went to what we call the spin park; it’s a city park that has a bunch of different spinning contraptions that the kids have a blast on. They also have a section of the park that is a drainage area that has turned into a small marsh with cattails and everything.

I went tromping through the cattails and found such a cool ecosystem. There were ladybugs galore and many spiders and wasps and such. I took quite a few shots of insects and then decided the spot would be perfect for a muddy Hoth. So out came Wampa! It was a bit tricky getting around as the ground was rather unstable and mucky. There were some stepping stones so it was a balancing act to get down low enough to shoot the Wampa.

After some tricky footwork and a few shots I whipped out my pocket knife and cut some cattails for my kiddos to play with. My youngest son Clark got the first one and he whacked it on the ground and to our amazement it exploded into a huge puff of seeds! I had no idea cattails did that…

So the rest of the morning was spent collecting and exploding cattails. I also took a few shots of the Wampa in the exploded seed clouds. It sort of looked like snow and matched my Hoth Heat Wave theme.

This is usually how my toy photography workflow happens. I just get with some toys and explore. The randomness leads to some pretty creative and epic shots. I don’t always plan for shoots but when I do the shots seem a bit more forced; I like this go with the flow way of things.

Lone Juniper near Lund, UT

Lone Juniper on the horizon
Lone Juniper on the horizon

via Instagram http://ift.tt/2kld4jv

Lone juniper near Lund, UT.

As I drove out to Lund to get a couple road shots with my Lego I noticed several lone juniper trees on the horizon.  Luckily I had my old MF Minolta Rokkor 200mm lens.  It is the equivalent of around 400mm on my Olympus EM5.  The EM5 has a great artistic function that creates dramatic black and white shots.

I originally took this shot in black and white and I liked the look of it, but I felt I have been taking too many black and white shots as of late so I transferred the image over to my phone using my Eyefi wifi sd card.

Lone Juniper before color
Lone Juniper before adding color

I used the Mextures app to add color to the black and white shot. I’ve done this quite a few times in the past – I think it’s a great effect adding the color. I like how this shot turned out as well. Much better than the original.

What do you think about adding color to a black and white shot? 

Lightrays break the dreariness

via Instagram http://ift.tt/2kFTWQ2 Rays of light pierce the winters clouds, Enterprise, UT

The morning had been cold and murky like the frothy, muckiness of a stagnant pond.  We drove out early in an old long bed Chevrolet, pulling our diamond plated two axle trailer.  We were finally picking up a load of our new premium Earthtone Brown Alabaster.  We would be loading the stone and sending my brother Nathan Cowlishaw on the road in the morning.  It was bitterly cold with a wind chill of about 10 degree F.  The wind was picking up and the forecast was snow.  As we neared our destination the sun cut through the dreariness and lit up the valley in patches of warm light.

We stopped, even in a hurry – and captured some of the beauty.  It really adds to my day when I get to not only experience and notice the beauty around me but also get to capture it to share with others.

I hope that this image finds you in a time when you may feel like life is a muddled pond;  just know that the light always breaks through and there is always beauty in our times of trial.

We got our truck loaded in the anticipated snowstorm.  The blizzard rushed in like someone had torn open a large beanbag chair.  The snow was little spherical icy balls that matched the Styrofoam innards perfectly.  It was a dry-cold snow that bounced off everything and everyone and quickly blanketed the ground.  We pulled out with our loaded and traversed the windy mountain pass on a meandering snow-packed highway.  The headlights almost made it more difficult to see and we had the opportunity to break the path as we had beat the snowplows to the area.

Our Chevy handled the load well and we arrived safely at a good steady pace.  New Mexico – here comes our new stone!  I hope you enjoy the work we put in to get this premium sculpting stone into your hands.