Really Too Exciting for Words


You’ll have to excuse this post as it has no very pretty pictures in it. I know I am being a terrible nerd but I simply cannot hold in my excitement. I just received my new camera, the recently released and quite beautiful Pentax K5. It’s a funny thing because having spent so much money you would think I would be keen to show it off to my girlfriend but I have felt no such desire for one very simple reason. It really doesn’t look very different than my old Pentax K20 or even my Pentax K10 or, for that matter my Pentax istD. It’s just another beautiful black camera.

What is new about it is simply not on the outside, it’s what you’ll see when the pictures are processed. Frequently weddings take place in dark and beautiful surroundings such as the Lairmont Manor which is full of gorgeous oak walls. This can lead to very grainy images due to technical reasons too boring even for a blog entry as boring as this one! But no more. The K5 produces images so smooth, so silky in texture even at high ISOs (no, you don’t need to know what that means) that a shot snapped in low light can be just as beautiful as one shot in bright sunshine.
This is truly going to revolutionize my wedding photography. It will make little difference for landscapes (except nocturnal landscapes) or for studio portraiture but for weddings, it’s really going to be a night and day difference.

So tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell Randy Gonzalez! Seriously, if you know of anyone wanting to get married please ask them to get in touch with me. I don’t think they will be disappointed.


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A Big Smile

A Big Smile

Ahh, the joys of photographing babies! Where would the struggling genius be without a constant stream of brand new little humans to immortalize? It saddens me to think of all the parents who simply don’t get any shots of their little ones and then regret it in later life. Can there be any greater tragedy? Well, yes, clearly there are many but the alternativces to those others do not result in an income stream for me so I have less interest in those.

Caleb enjoys my tasteless humor.

I wonder what it is that makes children like me. Perhaps it’s the rare opportunity to be someone’s intellectual superior or maybe it’s the goofy facial expressions I produce for them. Anyway, whatever it may be, when a kid comes into my studio it is rare indeed that I can’t weedle a smile from them.

Big Dog Head

A set of fine props can really aid a photo session. In this case the family brought in Barnabus, the big, tan dog. As you can see, he is a VERY big dog. What you can’t see is just how gentle he is.

He goes down!

Of course, props of this size, irrespective of their demeanor, can cause mayhem simply by stretching. Apparently this is Grandma’s favorite from the shoot!

Old style.

And this is mom’s!


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Avery is a delightful young man of only seven months. I can’t describe how easy it was to photograph him. He smiles, he giggles, he looks at me and loves the camera.

I did have a realisation whilst doing this shoot though and that is that I need to make up a few small sets of toys, one for each age group. Probably should be classic items such as Crayola crayons, wooden trains and so on. This shoot really worked but, had Avery been less excited about being in front of the camera some distractions might have been a good thing.

When I say I had nothing I am not actually telling the truth. In the foreground here we see Squirrel who was one of my favourites when I was a nipper. Avery showed about as much interest in Squirrel as my daughter Ally did i.e. none. Ahh well, never mind, Squirrel, I still love you.

I also improvised with my hat.

And finally this, the classic baby shot. Lovely!

If you look closely you will see that Avery’s skin is amazingly flawless. Now far be it from me to say that a babys skin is not actually flawless but…well, they ain’t, especially in winter. So what’s a photographer to do? Well, I have to thank Clint for turning me on to Portrait Professional which is my latest software acquisition. Perhaps I shouldn’t be giving away the tools of the trade but boy, does this program work miracles and take the effort out of producing perfect faces every time!

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Well, I think wedding season is over for 2010 and it was a great season with a lot of wonderful memories. I have just a couple more to blog about and I’ll do one this week and one next. First we had Nick and Tara who some of you may remember I photographed earlier in the year for their engagement.

I won’t pretend that the Lairmont Manor is an easy place to shoot. it isn’t! It is very beautiful but it is full of dark wood and dark corners out of which blurry photos may jump without warning. Nonetheless, I think we got some lovely shots.


The happy bride

One of the formal portraits

Wedding, Bride, Groom

Another formal image

Yet another formal image.


And, typical of me, lots of children!


Cool kid!


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Bar Mitzvah

I had the pleasure of shooting my first Bar Mitzvah the other day. I arrived at the Synagogue as the ceremony was still going on and stood just outside the door shooting into the temple until roundly told off by a six year old who informed me that that was forbidden. Roundly chastised I duly waited until afterwards and began to shoot. My Metz flash, combined with the light from the beautiful windows behind seem to have done a good job of capturing the spirit of the place.

Phil Rose photography, Bellingham, weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs

At the Ceremony 1

Phil Rose photography, Bellingham, weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs

At the cermoney 2

After the ceremony I went home for a few hours before going out to a beautiful golf club in the evening to capture a wild and fun party.

Phil Rose photography, Bellingham, weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs

Fun fun fun!

It was a wonderful evening with plenty of food and drink and a great atmosphere mixing the traditional with the new.

Phil Rose photography, Bellingham, weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs

Tobias aloft!

Phil Rose photography, Bellingham, weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs

The tradition of light

I just loved that there were so many kids there. I love to photograph kids!

Tobias and his buds!

Phil Rose photography, Bellingham, weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs

People made good use of the gifts!

All in all a wonderful day!

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I’ve decided the time has come for me to polish up on my nocturnal skills and so, on a hot hot HOT day, Lola and I went down to Seattle and I left her in a pub called, if I remember correctly, the Six Arms and wandered off and these two  images are what I came up with.

Seattle skyline and I5 by night

Seattle skyline and I5 by night

I’ve decided that, in my personal shoots, I want to try to slow down and reduce the number of shots that I take home. Too often I rush about and attempt to get 20 or 30 shots when really two or three is all I end up using because haste has led to a lack of quality. Film had a way of slowing us down but of course, film is long behind us and my 8gb card allows some 333 images and so it’s easy to get carried away.

Seattle by night, the dirty underbelly, Phil Rose photography, Bellingham

The Dirt Vs the Bright Light

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Chris and Crystal

Such a bouquet as this there never was!

Ahh, have I mentioned before how much I love a good wedding? Well, I do. And I sometimes think that the best wedding of all is the one held at the home. And so it was with Chris and Crystal. What a wonderful home it was, too. Out in the wilds of Ferndale with the woods surrounding and deer peeping on.

The couple were so clearly in love and that always leads to some wonderful images.Lola and I were there for five hours and during that time I racked up some 640 images. A first sweep got that down to only 430! It’s been very hard to choose from these as the whole party were such fun and kept asking for more and more exciting and amusing images. They certainly had some imaginations!

Ferndale Gothic

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