Posts tagged “Kerstenbeck Photographic Art

Finding a Vision



Vision is seeing the potential purpose hidden in the chaos of the moment, but which could bring to light new possibilities. In our current and probable future environments a certain amount of chaos is inevitable. Often emerging possibilities must be sought out and acted upon before all relevant information is known. Old predictable patterns must be relinquished as comfortable as they seem. For many, this is a terrifying prospect. Vision is seeing what life could be like while dealing with life as it is. Vision deals with those deeper human intangibles that alone give ultimate purpose to life and in the end, vision must always deal with life’s qualities and not with its quantities.

If we wish to be open to new possibilities we also need to be aware of the unexpected ways in which they can surface. Limiting the creative process to officially designated “brainstorm session” we may miss something that may have been there all along, something not visible catching the sun. We must be aware that spontaneous moments of possibility exist, the things that owe cannot touch but know instinctually that they are there.

Take a moment to think about your own experience, core values and what you truly care about in your life. What types of habits, people, things, situations do you gravitate towards and what do you avoid and move away from? Recall your past and identify times where you felt closest to inspiration and vision, and the times you were furthest from it. This should provide a few useful signposts.

In the words of a great German writer, Goethe, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now”

It all starts with a vision…


Last weekend Erik & I were exploring San Jacinto Mountain just outside of Palm Springs and Erik had some fun playing with the Macro lens… without a tripod….  it was tricky, but he did get a few interesting shots.  One is this up close and personal shot of tree bark- now, if I had not told you what it is- would you have known?



For some reason after the memorial service we held for Melody, when walking past this area on the other side of the breaker wall, this just called to me.  Something about all of the calm water, the rocks going out to the ocean- the site of Diamond Head through the “Vog” and the catamaran just waiting for someone to set sail.  I still just really like the way this photo makes me feel- nothing all that special about it- other than the feeling it gives me.

Enjoy!  KK

Waikiki revisited

One of our friends is doing training in New Jersey right now and she posted a comment about how it finally made it to 60 today… and of course how it is not at all like her home in Hawaii- Tracy was the co-chair for a very important event in my life recently and the photo tonight was taken on the very last night of that event when the student (aka Kathleen) was trying out a few things that the teacher (aka Erik) tried to teach her.

Now first of all, the lesson included “you should always use the tripod on the sunset shots”….which the student failed to remember… but the shot, even though it is not the caliber of her husbands work.. is still pretty cool.  Hawaii is one of those magical places that calms the soul…  I for one am always sad when I have to leave.


Hole in the Wall

When we were out and about on Sunday, Erik noticed this auto repair shop fairly close to the Windmill’s and the rather strange piece of “art” in the front yard- The owner has constructed a black widow spider out of a VW Bug- pretty cool, huh?  – It was really the worst time of the day to try to get the essence of this art- but he shot a few “fun” shots anyway.  As you can see- she is guarding the place pretty well- so beware if you decide to go check it out on your next trip through Palm Springs!


Hawaii at it’s best

Continuing the Hawaii series, this morning I am reposting the sunset Erik captured on the beautiful island of Lana’i.  Hawaii is known for the beautiful sunsets and in our travels to the islands, it is rare that we have not been able to enjoy one of them.

This was executed using a Nikon D7000 with a Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lens. We did not lug a tripod with us, so Erik scrambled amongst the sharp volcanic rocks to find the best composition and then find a stable place to steady the camera. Often you can capture great landscape images without a tripod (best to use one if you can) by just steady the camera with two hands against any solid perch – like a rock, stump, ledge, post etc. Always remember to take a deep breath then squeeze that shutter release slowly – kinda like shooting a Sniper Rifle!

Please enjoy the colors and the beauty of all that god has to offer.

From the Islands

So this week I am away on business in Hawaii- so far each & every day has been so filled that I have not had a single moment to take the camera out of the bag and capture the beauty of this place.  I have had time to check out a few key spots for later in the week when the opportunity should be perfect- but in the meantime- I thought you all might like a replay of one of my favorite places in Maui.  Erik captured this shot while the waves were crashing all around him trying to keep from falling on the rocks everywhere.  For me, I was relaxing, listening to the waves- watching the sun slowly set after island hopping to Oahu and back for a pre-inspection for the conference we are at right now.

I want to extend out to the members of HAIP a simple word that wraps this entire week up so far- – “Po’okela!”  Which means, Excellence!


My True North-East-West-South

To get away from the travel back in time- tonight for the most part I have been feeling like a hamster running in one of those little wheels trying to get everything done to leave for the islands tomorrow morning.  As most of you know, my husband is away for a while and like many- you don’t really realize just how much involved that husband, wife or partner is in your life until they are not around for an extended period of time.

When I came across this photo that Erik took in our studio I felt it really fit for tonight.  From what I can recall, this was handed down to him from his father- another very strong man.

So this photo is dedicated to my husband and the milestone birthday coming up this weekend- K

2005 Monterey, CA

Once we left the beauty of Napa, we headed down to Monterey, CA where we had booked 2 nights at the Centrella Inn- I made sure that we got a “cottage” because I wanted to have the full kitchen, living area- antique bed- you name it- I made sure it was done up nice…. BUT, one thing I did not count on was the newly married couple on the 2nd floor of our cottage using their antique squeaky bed at random hours of the day & night!!  Full occupancy, no way to get out of the cottage into another room.. it was like rabbits were on the floor above us.

But all in all it was a fabulous trip- we loved the view walking from Monterey to Pacific Grove and now since that time I have done the Big Sur Half Marathon 3 times with my girlfriends- each time we run past that cottage all I can think about are the rabbits and our no sleep nights!!

Please enjoy the shots- I must have shot that tree at least 75 times just trying to get the money shot.


2005 Napa, California

Erik & I used to watch a show on TV called “Trading Spaces” and there was a designer that I was OBSESSED with!  His name was Doug Wilson, and no matter what he did to me it was the perfect design.  One of which I copied in our Master bedroom and to this date I really think my husband hates it!

Anyway, Doug designed a bedroom in a B&B in Napa and I seriously could not get there fast enough to sleep in this room.  It was at the Old World Inn, the room was fabulous, though very small and the other people that stayed there were quite entertaining as well.  We met one couple from Chicago that the guy was a Zin fanatic.  Every single day he went in search of the perfect Zin at the wineries and I thought he was nuts!  But, needless to say, this “White Wine” only girl ended up tasting a very nice Zin at Ledsen Winery and I was sold immediately.

We had purchased a used 500SL Mercedes a couple of months before the trip and we drove it all the way up the Coast from San Diego to Napa and back- top down, wind in our hair and never even thought about the fact that any wine we purchased would need to be packed in that small car along with our suitcases.  It was quite funny because the first day we were “shopping on an empty stomach” and purchased a total of 2 cases of wine combined from several vineyards and then of course you have the 2 free tasting glasses that go with each tasting- it was not until we had to pack our suitcases back in the car that we realized our issue- but we are a team and we made it work and on the way out of town when we stopped at our last winery- we were smart enough to ship home!!

I was on a mission to get the perfect “grape” shot- so I made it home with over 500 images of grape after grape after grape- these are my favorites.

New York City

On to 2005 and the trip to New York City.  This was not our first, but it was the first for our two daughters.  I had lost my mother to cancer a few years earlier and always said as soon as the estate was settled I was going to do something with the money that she never would have- in this case a week in New York City with the girls doing things they always wanted to.  Bracelet from Tiffany’s for Shawny- Manolo’s from Barney’s for Jaimie- Phantom of the Opera after a birthday celebration full of good food and great Champagne- you name it- we did it!

It was quite a memorable trip and following are just a few of the photos I took:

July is SO green in Central Park- I have seen this park in all four seasons now and I have got to say I think Summer is the best- flowers all over- great to jog or ride the carriage through- or better yet, just a nice stroll with someone you love.

This one always gets to me- and no longer there since the new construction of the actual memorial.

And then of course one of my favorite places to hang out while in New York- you see all kinds on this corner!

Enjoy! Kathleen

Back to Alaska-

In September of 2004 Erik & I were back in Alaska on one of those week-long Glacier Cruises aboard the cruise line Holland America.  What a treat that one was- it was actually a birthday gift to me by my boss (one of those milestone birthdays) and we did it up like we were the “Hilton’s”.  Other than the trip through Glacier Bay which was beyond spectacular and if the photos are shared, they pretty much all look the same (blue, white, black glacier rock- huge in size- nice Esto colors!) we also got to travel to Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan.

The images below are the most memorable about these three cities- the first two were taken on a wilderness hike up to see the Mendenhall Glacier- we trekked through a beautiful rainforest- colors of fall were everywhere- got to learn exactly what to do in case of a bear spotting (honestly so happy we did not see one, there is no way I could just say still in a fetal position) and then near the end of the hike, we were able to see the beautiful glacier and lake below with such spectacular colors.

In Ketchikan, we boarded one of those Kayak trips where we were taken away to “Tatoosh Island” – along the way we were able to see quite a few whales (beauty in itself) and then once we arrived, we donned our somewhat waterproof gear and paddled out on our expedition.  The beauty of this place is really not visible in the photo- it has such a calming effect and you could clearly see starfish on the cliff walls- Bald Eagles were flying above and the air- crystal clear.

Again spectacular memories, spectacular trip and highly recommended!

Travel through time

So while my husband and partner Erik is away, it is up to me to carry on with his daily posts to our blog.  I have thought long and hard about this over the past week and decided that the best thing for me to do is to take all of you into a travel through time showing how our work has changed over the years.  We will start with 2004 when I received that first digital camera from Erik.  The gift was precious to me because I could just “snap away” and not have to worry about the film cost.  My first real test with this new prize came in Alaska, when I went there to run my first Marathon.  My trusty wingman Darline was with me and we took a trip down to Prince William Sound (crazy time going through that tunnel) and we spent the day on a wildlife & glacier tour.  We got to see bald eagles for the first time- free from the zoo cages and just how magnificent they are.


I am going to share with you my three favorite shots from that trip taken in Prince William Sound.  You will note they are not quite the quality as the more recent shots- but the subject makes up for it.

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Wish You Were Here

I have been a Pink Floyd Fan since my High School Days in Orangeville, Ontario. My Brother Enn (yes, his name), brought musical treasures home which he blasted to All of the Neighborhood (When the Parents were not home). Many days he would have to “negotiate” with Folks who did not appreciate his tastes!

This is a tribute to Pink Floyd. Wish You Were Here is the ninth studio album by English Pink Floyd, released in September 1975. Inspired by material they composed while performing across Europe, it was recorded over numerous sessions at London’s Abbey Road Studios. The album explores themes of absence, the music business, and former band-mate Syd Barret’s mental decline. Early sessions were a difficult and arduous process but it was Waters’s idea to split the centrepiece track “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” in two, and join each half with three new compositions. “Shine On” was a tribute to Barrett, who, coincidentally, made an impromptu visit to the studio while it was being recorded.

Old Number 4

This is a shot of a rusty hub of an ancient  wheel. I like the macro and selective focus of this image.  I was looking for an Old Nunber 7, so I could relate a cool Jack Daniels Story, now I must only relate some curious Math Facts about the incredible Four!

Four is the smallest composite number, its proper divisors being 1 and 2. Four is also a highly composite number. The next highly composite number is 6.

Four is the second square number, the second centered triangle number. Four is the smallest squared prime and the only even number in this form. It has an aliquot sum of 3 which is itself prime. The aliquot sequence of 4 has 4 members (4, 3, 1, 0) and is accordingly the first member of the 3-aliquot tree.

Only one number has an aliquot sum of 4 and that is squared prime 9. The prime factorization of  four is two times two. OK, enough already!

“After the Rain”

This is a look at the San Diego Convention Center shot after a short and heavy shower at sunset. These windows are west facing San Diego Bay, you can see the sunset over the Bay in the window on the right.

Info: In downtown San Diego, you’ll not only be close to our world-class Convention Center, but PETCO Park, home of the San Diego Padres; the Gaslamp Quarter, the city’s premier dining and entertainment district; and plenty of safe, walkable streets with beautifully landscaped waterfront parks. (Just dont shoot with a Tripod!)

It actually DOES rain in SD!

Seaport Village III

I spent around three hours shooting this Restaraunt at Seaport Village in San Diego, carefully composing each shot, taking time to think about the composition, relocating, changing angles, lenses, filters and waiting for the light of the setting Sun.

What was really special was being able to spend the time just enjoying the atmosphere of this great location, the transition from day to night, doing what I love…and Not being harrassed by The No-Tripod Police! (Click image for sharper view)

Care for a Cocktail, Madame?

Let’s Ride

This was taken towards the end of the Trash the Dress shoot with our lovely model Jessie. She had already been up against a train box car, sitting in dirt, crawling on wet grass…and there was an intermittent pouring rain all afternoon. What a Trooper!

This fast bike was our last prop, and she looked like she just wanted to fire it up and get the heck out of Dodge! We all had so much fun!

Be Mine, Valentine’s Day

One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men — his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

This is a shot of our lovely Model, Jessie, single light modifier, black background…Beauty!

Chippendale’s Dudes

Look Mom, I can Fly!

This is shot was part of an 18 part series of Studio shots for the Insurance Professionals of Southern California 2011/2012 Calendar Project. Each group of Insurance Professionals were asked to come prepared with props, costumes of their own chosen theme.

 These two gentlemen were to have been Surfers, but when we saw them stroll in with Chippendales outfits, well, we had a slight change of plan! This shoot was so much fun, we couldn’t stop laughing at the antics they came up with!

Wine Cellar, Sonoma, California

Wish this was in my House!

Castello di Amorosa (Castle of Love) is an amazing 121,000 square foot stone fortress, complete with guard towers, escape tunnels, a moat, a grand hall with colorful frescoes and massive 500 year old fireplace, family chapels, and a torture chamber furnished with a 15th century iron maiden.

 The tasting room is located beneath the castle in a two-acre barrel cellar room that features 14 foot high ceilings, 40 crossed vaulted bays in old, handmade brick, and a travertine bar. In all, there are 107 rooms on seven levels


Back to the Studio with our model Jovis. With the electric blue gloves framing her face, we asked her to look a bit sad and pensive. The dark background and subtle lighting helped generate this mood.

Lighting setup was a large softbox with a grate – we didnt want to use a hairlight to allow her dark hair to fade into the black.


B.C.Rich Guitars - Fierce!

Continuing our Studio Series with our lovely model Jovis, here we have her with a very edgy looking B.C. Rich electric guitar. Not much room for a soft look, or seductive glance. Jovis was instructed to give a fierce look, fire in the eyes! I think it worked without going over the top or just getting ugly like some more current professional work by others – models often look like the just swallow a bitter pill or want to kill you!

We put a subtle hairlight one the guiter to bring it out of the darkness just a bit (And Highlight the manufacturer, just in case they liked it)

Perfect Timing

Perfect Timing

I was inspired by Macro Photographers who solved the problem of Depth of Field when shooting Bugs. It’s hard to get antennae to body in focus – its just optics. I discovered an image merging software circa 1988 that allows one to take multiple shots with different focus points, merge them all together to produce one perfect Marco. (Click the image to get a good resolution)

This shot was an attempt to get the entire watch in focus,  but finally I selectively chose the foreground image of the chain and the SUN SAT on the dial. (This one was 10 shots in total moving the focus up from the chain to the top of the watch…I will study further to perfect this)

The software is “CombineZM” and is designed to blend the focused areas of several partially focused digital photographs in order to create a composite image with an extended depth of field (DOF), created from the in-focus areas of each image. This is essential for product photography (and Bugs). And its Free!

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