Archive for October, 2009

Jimmy’s Christening



Last weekend, I had the privilege of shooting at the christening of a baby boy, whose family celebrated his baptism in the Greek orthodox tradition.

First, a few photos of the beautiful Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church in Westchester, IL.

OK, so I’m still an amateur at HDR! 🙂

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Fairly gorgeous place…  this is a slightly more subtle HDR image.

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Fairly gorgeous place…  this is another HDR

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This is the christening font itself.

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Little Jimmy doesn’t know what’s coming – totally at peace with the world.

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In the Greek tradition, the Godparents actually handle the whole process.


They start off ensuring the baby is exorcized of any evil prior to his baptism.

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The godparents rebuke the devil on behalf of the baby.

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The grandmothers take him and prepare him by getting him ready for the big event.  They put him in a towel to keep him warm and dry.

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The priest blesses the water in the font.

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The godparents are given oil:

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They anoint Jimmy with oil.

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He is immersed in water three times.

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Strands of his hair are cut by the priest.

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After all of this, Jimmy was taken back to change into his christening clothes.

The priests wait patiently.

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After he returns, he is anointed again with oil, and carried around the font three times.

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And finally, the priest blesses again before the ceremony was finished.

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He was very chill after all of that action.  He really was a trooper through a real ordeal. 

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Congratulations, Diana, George, and James!


Pam and Jim’s Engagement Photos in Chicago



Pam and Jim were kind enough to let me share in an important day in their lives – these are the engagement photos we took in Downtown Chicago.  These first few photos were taken at “The Bean” in Millennium Park – it’s a really cool reflective statue, seemingly seamless, in the shape of a bean.

You can see a lot of folks like to visit The Bean, and there’s a wedding party on the right there, behind Pam and Jim.


Cheated a bit on this one – there is very little room here on this side of the bean, and you’re stuck with a wide-angle lens – therefore, my DoF was a bit bigger than I hoped (even open wide).  So there was a lot of distraction in the background – I used Photoshop to pull the couple out from the background, feathered the selection a bit, and did a HUGE lens blur on the background to make them pop.



After Millennium Park, we took a taxi to the Adler Planetarium, right on Lake Michigan.  It has an awesome view of the city’s skyline, and Pam really wanted to show her family (in the Philippines) what it looks like in Chi-Town!


Purposeful lens flare here… Probably a bit more than I had intended, actually (some dust on the lens).



We were all done, and we saw this interesting sculpture (mostly impossible to see in this photo) gleaming in the sunset. 

20091010-LaChica-LaSota-Eng-0308-6180  It was a fun day in the big city!

Trip to the North Woods


So my Dad and I went to the North woods of lower Northern Michigan with a couple of friends (Mike, Mike, Tom, and Tom) – specifically, the Manistee National Forest, to do some fly fishing.  The fishing was good, but we also did a lot of hiking around the woods.

It’s a really gorgeous place this time of year!  Almost al of these were taken with my very flexible Canon EF-S 17-55mm F/2.8 lens (unless labeled otherwise).  It’s not an L-series, but boy, it’s sweet!  All photos were under natural sunlight except where otherwise labeled.

A crabapple tree is so full of color this time of year. 


The forest floor is covered in ferns, most of which don’t receive much sunlight, due to the hundred-foot pines and oaks towering over them.


Some signs are older than others…


This is a hunting “tree stand”, signs notwithstanding.


Some sunlight through the trees at f/2.8.

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Some fungus on a tree (at f/4.0 with a little bit of fill flash).

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One of about 40 different fungi I saw on our walks (taken at f/2.8).

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Pine needles with some dew.



An old birdhouse, slightly weathered. 🙂



The bark of a healthy birch tree.


An actual road, with an actual street sign (this was taken with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens wide open, focused somewhere around mid-frame)


Some trees and sky (this was taken with the Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L.


And we ate some great food – no mozzarella handy, so we did Caprese salad with tomato, provolone, basil, and fresh garlic.  Taken under typical tungsten home lighting with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens at f/1.8).



Great trip!  I hope you enjoy the pictures.