Archive | 2011

20 Years Ago

With both my favorite bands every Pearl Jam and Dave Matthews Band celebrating their twenty year anniversaries, it recently dawned on my thick skull that I too am experiencing a twenty year mark of my own, two actually.

No… nothing as noble as sobriety, I happily drink like a fish. Nor abstaining from red meat, I do love carne asada burritos.
No, none of that. This year, I celebrate 20 years of both Photography and Surfing.

I love surfing. I try to paddle out every day. But I’ll focus on the photography here today.

It’s fitting that in my 20th year I make the move back to the medium of film, the same substrate that filled me with such wonder and desire for adventure back in my gremmie days as a freshman in high school.
As part of the process of moving back to film, I came across my old box of negs from back then which include a lot of images from friends at Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach. (All I can say is that I have myself some good blackmail material on my hands… My friends should pray that none of this ends up on Facebook).
Maybe I’ll do a full post with all the clean ones.

Out of all the negatives, I decided to pick a favorite from my first year photographing and post it here for kicks. And I’ve chosen the one shown here. It’s not my best photo ever, the story isn’t clear, not a compelling angle, and it isn’t even exposed well…

But what it is for me can never thoroughly be explained in words. The story was greater than this single image, yet for me this single image sums the entire story.
It was a time of exploration, growth and friendship. I guess it was like anyone else’s formative teen-age years, just with a camera to document the events.
Jerry Broderick (the guy in the photo), and I used to ride bmx and freestyle bikes. We’d go hunting for dirt jumps all over town getting into all kinds of trouble, getting lost in Tijuana looking for concrete skatepark playgrounds.
It was our own version of Dogtown and Z-Boyz. I’d have my camera on hand to document the events and even at one point got one of my photos of Jerry published in Transworld Magazine.
In this particular image, Jerry had just fallen after attempting something like a 360 over a dirt jump down in the estuary trails in Imperial Beach.
The funny aspect to the image is that the T-shirt he’s wearing is for a company called Dirt Brothers Inc, and it says “100% Dirt” underneath the dirt…

I look back at this image and I see that I was on a journey, often times a real journey to find a new jump with Jerry, or to find a cool place to photograph. But I was also on a metaphorical journey to explore my passion and where that fit in this great big world.

After 20 years of my love affair with capturing images; the good times and bad, the years where I didn’t even feel like picking up a camera, the times when I couldn’t put the camera down, all the missed shots, and all the award winners, the scratched negatives, the digital camera failures… I guess the journey then is the same as the journey now.

By the way I was no slouch when it came to riding either. That’s me on the left (I think Jerry took that one with the high school’s Twin Lens Reflex. And Jerry doing a wall ride over another friends bike at the Palomar Culvert in Chula Vista on the right.

Tamara’s Fine Art Portraits

In our last portrait session at Torrey Pines, Tamara and I had planned on shooting film also for some close up nude and semi-nude fine art portrait photography. We ended up having to reschedule for another day unfortunately.

We did the reshoot in La Jolla where I know of a little cove that provides some nice privacy. I’ve got the film back and I’m absolutely in love! With both the stunning beauty of Tamara, and with the Hasselblad! It’s an amazing camera, and I can’t wait to shoot more film. What’s more, to see these images full size, you can see why Carl Zeiss lenses are the best in the game.

Have a look at these beauties we shot at my secret spot in La Jolla. What do you think? She’s amazing huh?

Film was T-Max 400, and Fuji Pro-H 400.

Fine art portraits on the beach in La Jolla
Nude fine art photography at La Jolla
nude fine art photography at the cliffs and caves La Jolla
portraits of women in La Jolla, California

Gloria and Her Music Box

While I was photographing Tamara in the Windansea area of La Jolla (photos to come), we stopped at a house with a beautiful old door and lovely clay tube brick archways for a photo op.

Gloria, the owner of the house came out to speak to us, and we were promptly invited into her house to see her old music box. As it turns out it was an original turn-of-the-century Polyphon music box (seen here in the background), that takes big brass discs for each song and creates music by striking a steel comb. It resides in the front atrium, that couldn’t have been designed any better to boom and resonate so amazingly as the music box struck each note.

We stuck around a little longer to find out what a full life Gloria has led and is still leading. She let me play with her 1950′s era Kodak Retina rangefinder camera and talked about photographing the pyramids on camelback with that particular camera. Talked about her documentation of the effects of acid at Harvard during the Timothy Leary days. She filled us in about her family, and what her days are like, with coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon.

Our visit with Gloria was surely fascinating. And as Tamara and I made our way to our next location we argued over which version of Gloria we should sing in tribute to our gracious impromptu host. I wanted to go with U2′s version, while Tamara was rather insistent on Olivia Newton John’s. Being a gentlemen, I of course let her sing her version.

I think it’s rather remarkable what we find about other people when we slow down for 20 minutes and become interested in someone other than ourselves. I’m really glad we took some time out of our photoshoot.

The above image and the two below were taken with a Hasselblad 501cm with an 80mm lens. The indoor shots were exposed at f2.8 at 1/30th of a second if I remember correctly, with only natural light from the doorway. And the outdoor shot was probably f8 at 1/125th.
Film was Fuji Pro 400h.

Not Your Typical Sunset

Just to mix things up, I’ve been shooting in low-light situations at the end of the day trying to capture more of a mood than subject matter. These are not your typical sunsets. They’re broody and dark and more thoughtful. To me they evoke a lot of the emotions I get when I look at a Mark Rothko painting.

I’ve been enjoying the results so much, I think it might warrant a show at the end of the year.  What do you think?

A Very Special Award of Merit

What a special night! I received an Award of Merit at last night’s Professional Photographer’s of San Diego County. To top it off the subject was my little sister!

This is from a session I did with her when she was visiting over Christmas time. I couldn’t be prouder of my lil sis, or the result I got last night.

Award winning portrait image taken in San Diego at Sunset Cliffs

Las Vegas Workshop

Sunset over Las Vegas

My journeys into the desert are usually one of solace and being one with nature. This last trip was quite different.
I was asked by the Vegas Pictage User Group to speak to them about WordPress and Search Engine Optimization for photographers.

WordPress and S.E.O. are a couple topics I’ve been speaking about more and more. It’s really been so much fun teaching and sharing this kind of knowledge with others. I feel like the whole thing is snowballing into something really great and a wonderful expression that I enjoy more and more.
As I move into creating a new business as a web developer/designer/marketer, the workshops and teaching it all makes sense.

The future of William Bay Photographic Arts
Since I’m forming this new web development business, the though may arise “will you still do wedding and portrait photography and a business too?”
And the answer is yes.
But, the great part is that no I get to be very selective about who I want to work with, and I get to do things ‘my way’ without any compromises to my artistic vision.

This year is one of freedom. And I’m in love with that.

The photograph above was taken from my hotel room with my iphone, at the Southside Casino sometime around 6am. It was quite a remarkable moment celebrated with some sun salutations as the sun’s rays came straight into the room.

Photographic Humble Pie

I’m feeling a little down this week. I submitted a couple photos in our local PPSDC Print Competition on Tuesday night, and both my images tanked.
I guess I’m just a little unsure of what will actually do well, or if my style of photography can ever do well in competition. It’s a little discouraging when I consider submitting prints to National PPA or WPPI print competitions.

This first image was taken from this really great [intlink id="san-diego-engagement-photography-imperial-beach-windansea" type="post"]engagement session here in San Diego[/intlink].
The other image was from a [intlink id="wedding-ramona-private-estate" type="post"]wedding in Ramona[/intlink] a few years back.

Another photographer who I really admire gave me some encouraging words after the competition and reminded me that my clients paid me for my creativity, they loved the photographs, and I get to do what I love and grow and stretch my creativity.

I guess that was the best lesson in photography I learned that night.

San Diego Engagement Portrait Photography | William Bay Photographic Arts | Eric + ErinnSan Diego Wedding Photography | William Bay Photographic Arts | John + Cameryn

365 has turned into 52

San Diego Wedding, Portrait and Fine Art Photographer William Bay - Baja Surf Trip

A month ago I announced that I would be doing a 365 day project. Well, after giving it some thought and looking at my schedule for the year, I’ve decided to bring it to a more do-able project.

So instead of everyday, I’ll be posting at least once a week. 365 dropped down top 52.

What is on the books for 2011?

2011 is lining up to be a great year, and I’m excited about the opportunities that are lining up.

  • I am in the process of forming an Internet Marketing and Development company. As some of you may know, I’ve designed and built websites for many years, including my own. And I’ve had a number of people lately approach me about designing and creating websites. I finally embraced it, and am looking forward to creating some amazing websites for my clients.
    Because I am very selective with my photographic clientele, running the other business won’t pose schedule conflicts. I tend to shoot once a week at my busiest anyway which is great for giving my all to those clients and proving the best photography I can.
  • On a similar note, it looks as if [intlink id="workshops" type="page"]I will be teaching quite a few workshops on WordPress[/intlink] this year too. I already have a program scheduled in Las Vegas on the 26th and 27th of January for the Vegas Pictage User Group. I’m currently in talks to come out to the San Luis Obispo area, and NYC!!!
  • The Wedding Season is just getting underway and just in time for a new look on the website. My very close friend Dona Foltz created a beautiful new logo for me and I couldn’t be happier with it. After a few tweaks to the site, I think it’ll be all geared up to book the brides that are looking for that perfect wedding photographer here in San Diego.
  • I’m also pushing myself to continually experiment and create new styles of photography for portrait work and fine art as well. So keep an eye out.
  • Other things I’m excited about this year is new levels of health and fitness, lots of surfing and spending good time with friends, and paying off my truck. Maybe a personal trip or two wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to a great and prosperous 2011 for you and your loved ones.