I met up with Tessie last week with the intention of adding some more images to her modeling portfolio.  Tessie toughed it out in the cold and we managed to capture a few solid images.  A few more sessions in front of the camera and she’ll be able to let her personality come out even more and I’m looking forward to seeing where that takes her.

Winter Senior Portraits

Two locations for this senior portrait shoot in less than 2 hours – go go go.  Dance studio followed by a quick shoot on top of Flagstaff.  I’m really happy with the concept the family brought to me: drop a piece of heavy cloth furniture in the middle of the woods to create a nice contrast of indoor/outdoor.  We tried to stay away from the standard leaning-against-tree or hands-on-split-rail fence style senior portraits for this shoot and came away with some great images. Looking forward to more senior portraits in Boulder, Colorado!

Freshies from Cyclo X Boulder

Ahhh yes, waking up to 8″ of snow (and still coming), 10 degrees and knowing I told Lance Panigutti I’d be there to shoot a race for the entire day.  Actually – no problem with it at all, thanks to Nikon’s sealed camera bodies and my Keen winter boots.  Throw on the snowpants, some long underwear, some more long underwear, a down jacket, a rain jacket over that, and my ghetto fab neon orange dickies work short (screen printed at Goodbye Blue Monday, back when I was a marketing intern there) and I’m out the door.

Lance Panigutti - promoter of Sunday's Cyclo X Boulder - all smiles despite the weather

The event was the first Cyclo X Boulder put on by Without Limits Productions.  Anyone who made it out there looked like they were having a good time – from the juniors racing at 830AM, to the guys battling it out in the 3’s after the sun went low, to the woman who was doing her first race ever in the blowing snow…with a smile.  Good people, great times and here are some images from the day:

You can see all the images at Hardcastle Photography here:

[svgallery name=”CycloXBoulder”]

Chris and Kat

Sounds like Kit Kat doesn’t it?  I raced (I’m also a cyclist) with Chris over the summer as he guest rode for Team Rio Grande at the Tour of Utah as well as the Univest Gran Prix. Chris and Katherine, better known as Kat, got in touch with me after the close of the cycling season to shoot some outdoor, winter-in-the-mountains, type portraits.  They wanted to make up some cards and prints for the family here in the US and also back in Australia that were professionally done.  We drove around for far too long trying to find a location out of the wind on the upper stretches of Flagstaff.  Eventually, I convinced them a 10 minute hike in the snow, down a slope (yes, they were very trusting) would give us a sunny spot with some elements to toss in the foreground and background.

I was having focusing issues due to a combination of filters on the camera to combat the bright sun.  However, this turned out to be one of my favorite portrait experiences, not necessarily from the setting, or any tangible aspect in itself, but because I felt like I captured Chris and Kat’s connection with one another.  Not to be too cheesy, but I feel like they let me be a rare witness to their raw feelings for one another in love and laughter, and I just made sure not to screw it up:)

Sunrise Images

Breakfast options, assuming I wasn’t going to cook myself the standard 3 egg breakfast, are slim at 5am in Boulder, CO.  My visits to the ‘McWorld’ are pretty limited, so I actually had to google where the nearest McDonald’s was after discovering Amante Coffee didn’t open until 530 (Amante serves Breggos, tasty little breakfast sandwich/panini things).  Can’t lie, I was excited for McD’s breakfast, probably 1 out of the 4 or 5 times a year I have it.

I have been eyeing this spot for about 5 years – every time I ride by on my bike really, since I was in high school.  It’s a place east of Boulder where a farmer plants his crops in strips that run north to south.  The strips alternate between planted and wild (er, not sure the right terminology there) each year and they trace the rolling terrain in the foreground of the foothills…behind them, snowcapped peaks.  Sounds pretty good for a photo, no?

Back to the morning.  Arrived on site at 515am via a short walk with all my gear from somewhere appropriate to park.  In the field, I dialed in the Nikon D700, coupled it with a 14-24mm wide angle lens and circular polarizer and went in to the menu to work on the other settings.  I knew I was going to shoot at least a portion of the images with the intention of combining them into an HDR.  Getting the dark soil rows and the vibrant sky all visible in the shot would require more tonal range than the camera could capture in a single shot.  I setup the camera to shoot between 9 and 7 frames, half over and half under exposed, in continuous high speed mode – after a 2 second delay (so my hands on the camera wouldn’t add any minor blur).

Then the sun started to rise and the whole plan changed.  Instead of shooting to the west as planned, I was now shooting to the east – as the heavy banks of clouds were getting lit up – acting like big soft reflectors of deep red light.  The sunrise was incredible, but I knew I’d be skunked in terms of that early morning light I originally planned for.

[svgallery name=”NovemberSunrise”]

At first I was concerned with the traffic from people commuting to Boulder, but in the end it added some extra interest to the shots.  I ended up shooting in one place for about 3 minutes, then packing up the tripod and running, with a fully-loaded LARGE camera bag, across a frosted field to the next place I thought would make for an interesting shot.  Probably 5 or 6 different locations over 30 minutes, and entirely different than what I had planned ahead of time.


I’ll be going back again soon, to try and capture the idea in my head.

Electric VW Beetle Conversion by Duke’s Garage

Most of the work I’ve been doing for Dukes Garage has been images destined for ebay and the sale of

restored classic cars.  At the tail end of a solid day of shooting, we needed to get some images of the electric beetle conversion.  Dukes Garage is doing some pretty cool work restoring, then converting classic 60’s cars into full-electric vehicles.  Check out some of the quick shots of the electric beetle, I’ll have some studio quality images up here in the next 2 weeks pending the shooting schedule!

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Duke’s Garage also has completed a conversion of a 60’s Mustang that is impeccable.  Photos of that and more of this bug to come…

VW Beetle Dashboard

Middle Cross MCX09 at Manhattan Middle School

_DSC9540The 2009 Middle Cross event had a massive turnout. Great to see such a wide range of kids racing and learning cyclocross. There were guys and girls ranging from those on cyclocross teams in their team kits, to a guy on a bmx bike who’d lost a shoe somewhere on the course.

I was in touch with two of the organizers, Catherine Powers and Mike Eubank, beforehand and mentioned that I wanted to help out by offering up my photography for free. I told them I would shoot all the kids and post their images online here where they or their parents could download to the files completely free.

From a photography perspective, I wanted to come and shoot the event with the goal of getting one, if not a couple, shots of each participant.  This way, everyone has a photo of themselves if they want!  Below is a sample gallery of some of the shots…

[svgallery name=”Middle Cross”]