Monday, March 25, 2013

The Prune Bloom

Late winter is when all the fruit trees in the Valley bloom. After the almonds bloom in late February the prunes bloom in early March.

And yes, prunes. Technically, of course, these are plum trees, but since they are plum varieties intended for drying into prunes, the trees are referred to as prune trees.

I personally think that prune flowers are prettier close up than almond flowers, but there is nothing that compares to the almond bloom in overall impact.

These were all shot with my new Canon 6D and and Canon 600EX flashes... not that you care. I guess the point is that I really enjoy taking studio lighting out into the field. The quality of light it gives to the flowers can't be achieved any other way!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Almond Bloom in Full Bloom

This year's almond bloom was late starting, but came and went very quickly.

Fortunately, I was able to get out during the peak of the bloom in the orchards near Durham and captured some wonderful images. Click on the images to view larger.


Almond orchard south of Durhan
Almond orchard south of Durham
Almond orchard south of Durham
Almond orchard near Dayton
Almond orchard near Durham
Almond orchard near Durham

Monday, March 11, 2013

Canon Equipment for Sale

I just bought a new Canon 6D and three Canon 600EX flashes, which means that I can finally let go of some older equipment - including my beloved Canon 5D Mark II - in order to pay for the new equipment.

I'll be putting it all up on eBay, but if you want to make me an offer before then, I'm willing to listen. Everything, except one item, is in truly excellent condition. I treat my equipment like royalty.

Here's a complete list:

  • Canon 5D Mark II - Boxes, manuals, charger, two batteries, everything. 16Gb CF card included.
  • Canon BG-E6 battery grip for 5D Mark II
  • Canon EOS XSi (450D) SLR - Box, manuals, two batteries, everything. No memory card. Maybe 50 actuations - got it as a backup and never used it. 
  • Canon PowerShot SD790 IS - Box manuals two batteries, everything. No memory card.
  • Canon 550EX Flash (no box or manual)
  • Canon 550EX Flash (no box or manual, hot shoe damaged, but comes with spare part to replace it)
  • Canon 580EX Flash - comes with box and soft case
  • Canon 430EX Flash - comes with box, soft case
  • Canon 420EX Flash - no box or case
  • Canon Infrared Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2 - comes with soft case, two extra batteries
  • 4 - Quantum Battery 1+ - all hold a good charge
  • Quantum Battery 1 to Canon 420EX cable
  • Quantum Battery 1 to Canon 430EX cable
  • Quantum Battery 1 to Canon 550EX cable
  • Quantum Battery 1 to Canon 580EX cable
  • PocketWizard Plus II Transceiver - comes with box, manual, cables, mounting bracket
  • 2 - PocketWizard Flex TT5 wireless transceivers - comes with boxes, manual
  • PocketWizard MiniTT1 transmitter -comes with box and manual and spare battery
  • PockerWizard AC3 ZoneController - comes with box and manual 
Email me at if you are interested in making a serious offer. All of this equipment is in excellent condition, so please don't try to lowball me.

It's That Time of Year Again

If you live in California's Central Valley, you know exactly what I'm referring to: the annual almond bloom - that time of year when the valley becomes an endless fragrant sea of white (click on images to enlarge).

Rows of almond trees in bloom.
Almonds in bloom, Glenn Coutny
Almond blossom at sunset.
Almond flower
I spent several busy days out among the blossoms, and over the next couple of weeks I'll be posting the results of my efforts at dodging clouds of bees.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Baby Lamb Portraits

Last weekend I had the pleasure of taking studio-style portraits of baby lambs at Chaffin Family Orchards.

Cute Overload
I had a wonderful time doing the portraits. Baby lambs are just about the cutest creatures known to man.

When I got to the farm, they were busy caring for the lambs and their mothers in their small barn. There really wasn't any room to set up lights or backgrounds, so I worked with the owner's son Josh to set up a small space outside the barn.

Impromptu lamb portrait studio
Josh was a great help as a lamb wrangler, bringing me different lambs for their portraits and preventing them from running off (which they tried to do the moment you let go of them). I couldn't have done the portraits without him.

I used a simple one to two light setup: Canon 580EX, Canon 550EX, 2 PocketWizard FlexTT5s, and a Canon 5D Mark II. I set up the lights left and right of the lambs and varied the light intensity for different lighting effects.

So sit back and prepare for total cute overload...