Thursday, December 27, 2007


Just before Christmas, I shot a series of images with a fish hook. They have not yet been added to my stock galleries, but I thought I'd put them up here just for fun. Getting the light right for that hook wasn't difficult. I wanted a soft light that would provide a clean edge for my hook - without creating any blown highlights. I also wanted to make sure that the reflection in the spinner wasn't distracting. And most importantly - I wanted to make sure there were no leftover worm guts on the hook. Oh... sorry. Ahem.

Anyway - I also wanted to be sure the fishing line wasn't lost. It's part of the photo... without it, the hook is just hanging in midair. So. I waited until the morning light was no longer streaming through my front window, and then took the shot using a tripod (always a tripod), a reflector, and a 50mm macro lens. I had to be very careful to make sure I didn't bump anything, since the hook was not anchored to anything. This was an extremely simple setup. But even a simple setup needs to be planned out.

The fish was lit softly from behind and I used the reflector to bounce light onto the front of the fish as well - keeping the lighting directional so I wouldn't lose the soft textures in the body. It was hanging from another bit of line, which I removed in Photo Shop during processing. I cloned the bubbles from another photo - remember my bubbles series?

And now, back to real life... :)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

It's getting late, here, but I wanted to wish you all a very happy holiday. My children are sleeping and Santa has already come. We are ready for Christmas.

May your day be merry and bright.
Varina Patel

Sunday, December 16, 2007

And then it snowed...

... and snowed, and snowed...

We've been shoveling snow all day. Three times today. And the second time, I broke my finger. Yep. Shoveling snow. I hear you... pathetic. Still, it hurts. The good news? It's not my shutter release finger. So all is well. I am, however, typing this with 9 fingers - the tenth has been neatly splinted and taped by my dear husband. Thanks, love. :)

Of course, that's not Cleveland up there. It's Bryce Canyon. Another shot from our recent trip. I sure wish we had something like that in our back yard. It would make all this cold weather a lot more fun!

This series of shots has been a good one. The trip turned out very well. I have one image ready to be printed on canvas for Canvas Visions. I am looking forwards to seeing it at such a large size! :) I'm also working on a couple of articles - two travelogues, a technical article, and an update for an older one. Stock has been on hold lately because I've had so many other things to do, but I have a couple of shoots in the planning stages.

And of course, I'm processing these images whenever I have the time.

So - back to work!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Dreaming

All right... I know. I've neglected my blog. I'm still trying to get caught up on all the things I put aside while I was away. And with the holidays right around the corner, I'm pretty busy around here. But here I am.

I have two images for you tonight. The first - the one you see above - is a shot of Bryce Canyon National Park under about 8 inches of snow. We drove up to Bryce from Kanab early in the morning. Despite heavy snow, we were able to get there in time to catch the beautiful early morning light. We were lucky to find a heavy mist settled amongst the hoodoos - and a sky out of a dream. The image - titled "The Dreaming" - has had it's share of attention. My post of this image on the Fred Miranda Landscapes forum received hundreds of comments. The image was viewed 3,911 times in just a few days time. That's quite a response for one image. Certainly more than I've had before. I didn't create the magic - but I feel lucky to know enough about my camera to make it work for me on a morning like that one.

So - we had a lot of snow at higher altitudes. But closer to sea level, we had a lot of rain. A LOT of rain. In the desert. At Zion National Park, we photographed unusual waterfalls that appeared as water rushed down the steep sandstone walls of the canyons. These were not little falls, either. The were quite impressive.
So - rain in the desert, waterfalls on red sandstone, snow-covered hoodoos... what else? High winds, stinging hail, washed out roads, 4 wheel drive, spectacular light, gorgeous skies, patterned rock, good friends... It was a great trip.

I love my job.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Thanks Jim!

Our trip to Utah has been fantastic. The weather was amazingly dynamic - rain, snow, high winds, hail, and grumpy waitresses. Altogether a fantastic variety that kept us chasing the light.

We traveled with Jay's good friend, Jim Collum. He's a great guy who takes beautiful photographs with a wide variety of interesting equipment. You can take a look at some of his work at - he has some beautiful platinum prints and IR images. He took the shot of Jay and I in the rain. I'm working hard down there - holding Jay's umbrella. Since the rain was so heavy, we took turns holding the umbrella and shooting. I haven't processed my own shots from the trip, but I thought this one would be fun to show. Thanks Jim - it was great traveling with you. I hope you'll join us on another trip soon!

I will be flying home tomorrow, and I hope to begin processing images on Monday. I should have some ready to post in a day or two.