A Photography Lost Summer

A Lost Summer
This photo top and bottom was shot at the exact same spot three days apart on the North Cascades looking down on Diablo Lake. The forest fire smoke was everywhere in Washington and Canadian fires were numbered at over 500 blazing away during a 5 week period. It's finally passed and we're on our way to fall.

News Archive

Yaquina Head Light

    Yaquina Head Light, also known early in its existence as the Cape Foulweather Lighthouse is near Newport, OR, and was orginally built in France in 1868, then shipped to the United States. On the last day of a family road trip, i bolted up there to take a photo. The wind was blowing a steady 30+ and in my hurry, I forgot the tripod in the hotel. Handheld wasn't what I had in mind, but I took a few frames and homeward bound we went. Here's the Wiki link for more info about this historical landmark.
Skagit Valley Eagle

The American Eagle is everywhere in the lower Skagit Valley this winter. I've seen as many as 15 per day. The Skagit River Bald Eagle Interpretive Center at Howard Miller Steelhead Park in Rockport, WA is a great place to view them by the hundreds during the winter. However, this year they are not there in the usual numbers. The 'local' news says it's because the salmon run is non-existant in the upper Skagit River. The salmon stock has been in decline for several years, so the eagles have come into the valley searching for food. On days that it's windy you see them soaring above. On calm days they sit overlooking the Skagit River and farm fields. I caught this one flying through the trees.

Martha's Beach, WA

Long version, short. The family has moved to Washington State! Our five- year plan was revised into a three-year plan. After a big summer of house selling, packing and moving and un-packing, I've finally had some time to do some exploring. Here is Martha's Beach near our house. When I say near, it's 1800 feet. I've been shooting mostly outdoors, go figure.

Gulf Shores, AL Milky Way

I had a short vacation this summer and ended up in Gulf Shores, AL. Our family did all sorts of fun things every day-the beach, the old Fort Morgan, tourist trap shopping, and lots of good seafood. One night, I tried to shoot the Milky Way. It's something I've admired on the interwebs, but since I live in a bright city, I've never been able to try. One night I did this shot on the boardwalk at the hotel. It was very windy, blowing a steady 25mph off the Gulf of Mexico. As a guide, I used exposure information that I found on the internet. I started with 30s, ƒ5.0 with ISO of 5000. Editing in Lightroom, I found that the 14s eposures worked best. There is some blurring from the wind, but next time I'll have this experience when I try again.

Compurterized Cutters

I had a great time photographing this machine for Computerized Cutters, Inc. This is a computerized alphabet cutting machine used by sign fabrication shops. We photographed 3 more machines that day, but this one intrigued me the most. After we were done, I asked the owner how this idea came about. He told me that he and some friends in the sign industry were at a beer happy hour and came up with the idea. His first idea was written on a napkin. So, inventiveness in America is alive and well!

Takin' It To The Streets

I had an appointment in downtown, and as usual, I was early. So, I took a 15-minute walk around the block. In college, I did street photography almost everyday. It was a great way to hone my eye, learn the equipment and learn to focus quickly on the image. My 'first' camera was a Leica M3. Well, it was my dad's camera and after about 3 months, he gave me an ultimatum. "Go get a job, save your money and I'll match you for a new camera." So, I found a job making canneloni at a local restaurant. Yes, that's all I did, no washing dishes, servicing tables, rolling silverware, I made canneloni. With dad's help, I bought an Olympus OM-2 with a 50mm and a 135mm. I was one happy camper.

Answering the Call

Recently, an explosion in West, TX at a fertilizer plant was national news. Randal Goodwin headed one of the first response teams that volunteered to help with the tragedy aftermath. He lived near West, TX and I photographed him at his home. Here's his story at Ft. Worth Weekly: http://bit.ly/16nTo3l

Cell Phone In The City

Lately, I've been using my cell phone more than my DSLR when it comes to taking fun photos. It makes me feel guilty of abandoning my craft. But, if there's something visually appealing, then why not? My Nikon pocket camera has died and I've yet to replace it. I keep looking at them in stores, but for now the phone will have to do. This old broken tree is in a field near my house. I've driven by it many times, but this one day the sunset was spectacular.

I'm leaving Instagram for Streamzoo

I've decided to leave Instagram and move my account to Streamzoo. I’ve found inspiration from many photos posted and I will miss that. I post images that I don't show in my commercial portfolio. Hopefully some unique captures of a moment that have intrinsic value only in the simple joy of imagery. I love the feedback from the followers. But, I cannot support an organization that believes it can use my hard work for private gain. I also do this out of respect for my fellow photographers, too.

The obvious difference is the quantity of users, Instagram has many, many, more. But, the constant spamming to 'buy' followers, is also becoming a nuisance on Instagram. Foremost in my mind, Instagram's Terms of Service are intolerable.

In the current Instagram TOS: “Instagram does not claim ownership of any content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post.”

Now, compare this to Streamzoo: “Content Ownership - All rights of uploaded content by our users remain the property of our users and those rights can in no means be sold or used in a commercial way by Company or affiliated third party partners without consent from the user.”

I do understand that these services must have a business model to monetize their respective ventures. I do hope that a model will come about that is valuable to both the inventors and the users of these services. Why not stream an ad in there for every 10th photo, just as Facebook does currently in timeline? But to outright say, "This is ours...for any use we want.", isn't acceptable.

Thanks for listening. Update, Streamzoo has closed it's web door, good luck to the team, I know you all will find another great project. I still have an Instagram account, but I only post dog pictures because their TOS is abhorrent to me. If you like dogs, then follow me on Instagram @malloyinsta.

JT Grant Portrait of an Artist

JT Grant, a fine artist in Ft. Worth, TX contacted me recently to photograph his portrait and copy shots of selected paintings to be included in an upcoming publication, '100 Artists of the Southwest.' You can find his amazing work on his website: JT Grant Blogspot

In the previous weeks, I had sketched some ideas, had thoughts of surrounding him with his trappings or paintings. But, as the day arrived and I built the set, everything in the photos just seemed busy, thrown in and unneeded. So, here you have it, just JT Grant, painter of life.

A recent article in 360 West magazine can be found here I encourage you to read about this prolific artist.

TCU Showgirls

For the past four years, I've shot the TCU Showgirls for their printed posters, web site and other social media identity programs.
They've always been on location in Ft. Worth, taking a full load of gear, you'd think that it would be a difficult day. But, with a little pre-prep and the right travel cases, you can make a big set an easy set-up. I'm a big fan of a case for every need. When you buy your equipment, strobes or just accessories, do yourself a favor and buy a case to store it in. Carry extra sync cords, in case your trusty strobe wireless transmitter decides to quit. Mine did and the old snyc cord saved the day. [TOP]

Stan, the accordion man.

Two things in the long, happy life of August Stanislawski still make his face light up and broaden his gentle smile into a great, big grin. One is his wife—he beams from ear to ear when she walks into the room with a kind of happy devotion reserved for the incurably romantic. The second is his music—he plays the accordion and concertina with a kind of gusto and joy reserved for the young; or, at least, young-at-heart.

Lines, colors, and curves

07.17.2012 Keep an open eye.

I went to a local park because I had a 'picture' in my head for a photo. It was mid-day, so I wasn't concerned about making something that was interesting, I was scouting to prepare for the real image I wanted. Well, of course, the idea in my head didn't match anywhere near what I had 'seen' in my head. So, as I snapped some quick ones, I looked at some painted concrete. The harsh textures from raking sun were obvious. So, I came home with the ones I thought I was doing my testing for, abandoned them, and started playing with this one. Is it 'high art'? No, but just by going and trying different things, I had a nice venture. When the idea in your head doesn't work, try something else. [TOP]

Koman and Frito Lay Packaging
Koman Foundation Photo Shoot

For the past four years, I have been honored to photograph cancer survivors for Frito Lay. Besides their generous donations to the Koeman Foundation, they create specialized packaging for the month of June. I bring my favorite make-up stylist, Sher Walker, owner of Media Makeup Pros and what seems like the whole studio of gear. We've done these at various U.S locations in Dallas, Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Denver.

I think most people have a innate fear of having their portrait. So I asked one of the survivors what her thoughts were on having her portrait on 60 million units of Frito Lay Classic Mix, point of sale and other packaging in grocery stores during the six weeks the marketing campaign is broadcast. "After you've survived breast cancer, you seem to lose that fear of putting yourself out there. And now, the smallest things like, a neighbors dog barking, usually so annoying, is now something that you just smile about and let it go."

Absolut Vodka 
Absolut Outrageous Green Screen Photoshoot

An agency from New York, SPI Marketing, called me for a green screen set up. It was tied to the Absolut Vodka campaign, Absolut Outrageous. It was fun, we had the perfect space and after a 120 instant prints, we completed the assignment and enjoyed a small sample of Absolut.  [TOP]

All photography ©Michael W. Malloy