Pictures of the Year

3 Winning Entries in the Essence of Bellingham Photo Contest

Odd. While doing a Google search to see how my stuff is ranking (average on the 3rd page), I ran into the results of the City of Bellingham Essence of Bellingham Photo Contest.

Yes I am bragging.

No, it’s not the Pulitzer.

But, you don’t know if you’ll win if you don’t enter contests either.

Perusing through I noticed the link for the 2014 competition which just ended. Upon opening the page, I read that I won 3 awards:

  1. Honorable Mention for “Morning Fog.”
  2. Best of Subject: Sunrise/Sunset – “Watching the Ships Roll In”
  3. Best of Subject: Water –  “String of Pearls”

Here are the photos!!

“Morning Fog” –

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography - A leaf rests in a pool of tidewater along the shore at Boulevard Park during the morning fog in Bellngham, Wash., on Friday morning October 18, 2013.

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography – A leaf rests in a pool of tidewater along the shore at Boulevard Park during the morning fog in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday morning October 18, 2013.

Photographed this scene while wandering around Bellingham during a particularly foggy autumn last year. As I walked around, I saw this tide pool a leaf had fallen into. So I spent some time working the composition to get something I liked.

I shot it wide, then medium. Started up close then stepped back. Used my Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8 then tried my Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 on my Nikon D300s.

I liked the wide and up close the best.

“Watching The Ships Roll In” –

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - A man watches a sailboat traverse the setting Sun while ejoying a front row seat of a gorgeous sunset at Boulevard Park in Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday Aug. 25, 2013.

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography – A man watches a sailboat traverse the setting Sun while enjoying a front row seat of a gorgeous sunset at Boulevard Park in Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday Aug. 25, 2013.

There was no time to shoot “Watching the Ships Roll In.” I went to the Boardwalk with my wife Heidi and as I got out of the car, I saw the sailboat, the man with the hat, and the setting Sun.

The man with the hat makes this photo I believe. He’s slightly turned so you see the Sun through his glasses, he’s in silhouette, and his posture is relaxed.

I knew the sailboat would have traverse the Sun. Because I didn’t want the empty bench of the man was sitting on, I found a position where the man was on the right side of the frame. As the sailboat became closer to the Sun, I moved so you could see the full of the sailboat.

Using my 80-200mm on my D300s, I zoomed in and then slowly zoomed out until I had good placement of the Sun and man. Then I waited for about 30 seconds as the sailboat went in front of the Sun.

My exposure was simple: Sunny 16 minus 2 stops. Pull into Photoshop using RAW, simple curves, then caption and save.

“String of Pearls” –

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Morning fog dapples a spider web with dew on West Bakerview in Bellingham, Wash., on Thursday morning Oct. 4, 2013.

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography – Morning fog dapples a spider web with dew on West Bakerview in Bellingham, Wash., on Thursday morning Oct. 4, 2013.

It was another foggy morning when I shot “String of Pearls.” A wet, heavy fog.

While taking my wife Heidi to work, I noticed all the spider webs in the fields along West Bakerview. So after dropping her off, I drove around for a bit looking for some intact webs that would make great photographs.

At Whidbey Island Bank at the intersection of Bakerview and Northwest, I saw a sapling in the parking lot. On that little tree was a huge spider web and it was dripping in fog.

I wanted to get close so I threw my Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 Macro onto my Nikon D300s. I worked the composition: straight on, to the side, midway, narrow depth of field, deep depth of field, etc.

My favorite is this: To the side as close as possible with narrow depth of field. The blue? Caused by shooting on the tungsten white balance in daylight. Post processing was my standard: shot on RAW, brought into Photoshop. Used layers for minor burning and dodging, a curves layer, and unsharp mask.

Last year I won Best of Show – Professional with this image:

“Blazing Runner” –

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - A runner jogs along the Boardwalk at Boulevard Park in Bellingham, Wash., during a blazing Sunset on Sunday evening April 14, 2013.

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography – A runner jogs along the Boardwalk at Boulevard Park in Bellingham, Wash., during a blazing Sunset on Sunday evening April 14, 2013.

I would like to say a special thank you to the City of Bellingham for choosing 3 of my photos out of nearly a thousand as images that represent our community. I would also like to thank my wonderful wife Heidi for her patience as I continue to pursue my dream.

As with most contests, you have to take them with a grain of salt. By all means enter. You never know if you’ll win, place, or show. But you don’t know if you don’t try. So enter those contests. Just make sure you read the fine print that the contest isn’t a “rights-grab” for unlimited use of your images.

Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.

Also, feel free to share and reblog, link to, and add your site in the comment section.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

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Reflections of 2013 – My Best Images From the Past Year

This post is a bit late as I’ve dealt with the passing of my beloved father-in-law Todd. He was a great man, a retired Army 10th Special Forces member who  spent time in Korea during the Vietnam War, in Iraq, Nigeria, and Afghanistan and other places that if he told me “(he) would have to kill me.  He became a great friend who I admired and respected. His laugh was infectious. He was a great soul and loved by everyone. His loss weighs heavy on my heart as well as my wife Heidi’s.

As the year comes to a close, I submit what I would consider my best images from 2013. These range from landscapes to city scenes to portraits to events. It’s been a fun and eventful year as I’ve worked with Getty Images, the Mount Baker Experience magazine, Total Confidence Martial Arts, won photography awards with the City of Bellingham and the Whatcom Tourism Board, Victoria’s Secret, and a few others.

During the past year, I also became more serious about pursuing portraiture and weddings. Although I love journalism and see not only its importance but its value, I must move my career towards more local work. And what’s more important that capturing the love between two friends?

I would like to give a big Thank You to all my followers and friends for reading and commenting on my blog. Without you, this blog would not exist.

Watching The Ships Roll In: – A man watches a sailboat during Sunset on the Boardwalk at Boulevard Park in Bellingham, Wash. –

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - A man watches a sailboat traverse the setting Sun while ejoying a front row seat of a gorgeous sunset at Boulevard Park in Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday Aug. 25, 2013.

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography – A man watches a sailboat traverse the setting Sun while ejoying a front row seat of a gorgeous sunset at Boulevard Park in Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday Aug. 25, 2013. (© Paul Conrad/ Paul Conrad Photography)

Foggy Morning Walk:A pedestrian on Cordata Parkway during a foggy autumn walk in Bellingham, Wash. –

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography - A woman walks her dog into the morning fog at the Boardwalk in Bellngham, Wash.

A woman walks her dog into the morning fog at the Boardwalk in Bellngham, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/ Paul Conrad Photography)

Sunset Jog: A jogger on the Boardwalk against the setting Sun in Boulevard Park in Bellingham, Wash. –

A runner jogs along the Boardwalk at Boulevard Park in Bellingham, Wash., during a blazing Sunset on Sunday evening April 14, 2013. (© Paul Conrad/ Paul Conrad Photography) bellingham photographer, bellingham wedding photographer

A runner jogs along the Boardwalk at Boulevard Park in Bellingham, Wash., during a blazing Sunset on Sunday evening April 14, 2013. (© Paul Conrad/ Paul Conrad Photography)

Full Moon Rising: The super perigee Moon rises between the turrets of the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Wash. –

The full super perigee Moon rises over the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening July 22, 2012.  (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)  bellingham photographer, bellingham wedding photography,

The full super perigee Moon rises over the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening July 22, 2012. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

String of Pearls: Dew drops on a spider web –

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Morning fog dapples a spider web with dew on West Bakerview in Bellingham, Wash., on Thursday morning Oct. 4, 2013.  (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography), bellingham wedding photography, bellingham photographer

Morning fog dapples a spider web with dew on West Bakerview in Bellingham, Wash., on Thursday morning Oct. 4, 2013. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

Mount Baker Alpenglow: The setting sun bathes Mount Baker in its rays –

The setting Sun alights Mount Baker in alpenglow on Monday evening July 22, 2013.  (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography), bellingham wedding photographer, bellingham photography

The setting Sun alights Mount Baker in alpenglow on Monday evening July 22, 2013. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

Lone Wolf: A red rose among a sea of yellow during the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in April –

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Tulips blooming at Rozengaarde Tulip Farm in Skagit County, Wash., on Tuesday April 15, 2013.

Mt. Shuksan: Melting ice on Picture Lake –

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Mount Shuksan is reflected in a thawing Picture Lake as it is lit by the setting Sun on Saturday June, 22, 2013, while the super perigee Moon begins its ascent into the sky.

Footprints: My foot prints in the snow atop a frozen Picture Lake while capturing Mt. Shuksan in alpenglow –

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Alpenglow on Mt. Shuksan in the Mount Baker/Snoqualmie Wilderness in northwest Washington east of Bellingham.

Little DJs: Kids playing DJ at the wedding reception of Chelsea and Ryan –

Junior DJs- Kids play DJ at the wedding of Chelsea and Ryan

Soaring: An American Bald Eagle on Whidbey Island

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - A Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) takes flight along West Beach Road on Whidbey Island east of Oak Harbor, Wash.

Strength: Anna Haskin as she prepares for an upcoming bout –

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Muay Thai black belt Anna Haskin trains at Total Confidence Martial Arts in Bellingham, Wash., for an upcoming bout. Haskin has recently began competing in the amateur circuit.

Concentration: Anna as she prepares for an upcoming bout –

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Muay Thai black belt Anna Haskin trains at Total Confidence Martial Arts in Bellingham, Wash., for an upcoming bout. Haskin has recently began competing in the amateur circuit.

Bedazzled Bellingham: The setting sun ignites the Twin Sisters and Bellingham –

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad PhotographyThe setting Sun glints off windows and street signs in Bellingham, Wash., as it bathes the snow capped peaks of The Twin Sisters of the Cascade Mountain range in its last rays.

Celebrating Freedom: 4th of July fireworks of Squalicum Harbor in Bellingham, Wash. –

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Boats moored at Squalicum Harbor as fireworks explode overhead during Fourth of July celebrations at Zuanich Point Park in Bellingham, Wash., on Thursday July 4, 2013.

What A Show: Kayaking at sunset in Bellingham Bay –

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - A kayaker paddles on Bellingham Bay under a brilliant sky near the Boardwalk in Boulevard Park in Bellingham, Wash., on Tuesday evening June 25, 2013.

Diving Over: Mt. Baker senior quarterback Andrew Zender (11) flips over a Meridian defender on Thursday evening Oct. 31, 2013, in Bellingham, Wash. Mt. Baker defeated Meridian 24-17.

Mt. Baker senior quarterback Andrew Zender (11) flips over a Meridian defender on Thursday evening Oct. 31, 2013, in Bellingham, Wash. Mt. Baker defeated Meridian 24-17. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography) bellingham wedding photographer, bellingham photography

Mt. Baker senior quarterback Andrew Zender (11) flips over a Meridian defender on Thursday evening Oct. 31, 2013, in Bellingham, Wash. Mt. Baker defeated Meridian 24-17. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

Artemis the Archer: Ann Benem of Benem’s Body Work portrays the archer Artemis for an upcoming calender

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Ashley Benem of Benem's Body Works portrays the Greek goddess Artemis during a photoshoot for a calendar.

Queen Amidala: Crystal von Oy portrays Queen Amidala during the 2013 Emerald City Comicon –

© Paul Conrad/SyFy/Getty ImagesCrystal Von Oy of Mill Creek, Wash., portrays Queen Amidala from Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace during the 2nd day of the Emerald City Comicon in Seattle, Wash., on Saturday Mar. 2, 2013.

Perfect Form:

Shannon blocks a round kick from Alyssa during Muay Thai Camp at Total Confidence Martial Arts in Bellingham –
© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Arjhan David Neal Brown teaches during the first day the PNW Muay Thai camps at Total Confidence Martial Arts in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening Aug. 23, 2013

These may not be “THE BEST,” but they’re my favorite of the year.

Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.

Also, feel free to share and reblog, link to, and add your site in the comment section.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Follow me on these various Social Networks:

  1. Instagram: @PaulConradPhotography
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Paul Conrad is an award-winning photographer living in Bellingham north of Seattle, WA, in the Pacific Northwest. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and in Europe. He is available for assignments anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. Although his specialty is photojournalism covering news, sports, and editorial portraits, he also is skilled in family portraiture, high school senior portraits, and weddings.

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography My year in Pictures. 12 of '12: My Best

12 from ’12 – My Best From Last Year

First, sorry for the late post, but apparently you have to hit the publish button. Which I failed to do.

Secondly, and most important, I want to thank all my followers and those who randomly land at my blog. With out you, this blog would be a waste of time.

Here are my favorite/best from last year 2012:

Actually, there is more, but it is hard to edit down to 12. And to boot, I am sure I’ve missed a few.

I’ve picked 6 to elaborate on and then there is a slide show at the bottom.

1. Kru Katherine:

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Muay thai instructor Kru Katherine Holmes at her gym Total Confidence Martial Arts in Bellingham, WA.

I’ve been working with Total Confidence Martial Arts for a bit covering the events such as belt promotion and trainings. I had a vision of the owner/instructor Katherine putting on her hand wraps. So I pitched the idea and we spent about an hour. I was reasonably pleased with the result. I converted the image to B&W as the wraps was a bright yellow. It just looks better in B&W.

2. Cascade Clouds and Silos: © Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - The cloud ensconced northern Cascade Range creates a backdrop for a barn near the intersection of Aldrich and Smith Roads north of Bellingham, Wash.

One day while driving to pick up my wife from work, I saw these white puffy clouds against dark blue sky over the northern Cascade Mountains due east of Bellingham, Wash. I wanted something more than just the clouds, city streets, and sky. So I drove to an area north of Bellingham. As I was driving, I had an epiphany: Convert to b&W and use a red filter to get the sky dark and add overall contrast. I think it works. I am going to try this again with Mount Baker, which at the time was covered by the clouds. Then I got lucky and saw this barn and pair of silos.

3.  Locust Beach Pilings:

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Storm clouds and raging surf above and around the pilings at Locust Beach along Bellingham Bay in Bellingham, Wash.

It’s something serene I like about Locust Beach even during a stormy day. It’s a small hike down to the beach. But these pilings have drawn me ever since moving here to Bellingham. This day, I wanted to shoot a nice sunset, but on my hike down, the clouds rolled in. Bummer. I kept hiking down. After I got to the beach, a few kiteboarders were having fun on the choppy water. So I shot a few of them having fun. As I was walking over to the pilings, the clouds parted to the west. Unfortunately, the sun was down by this time, but was lightly painting the clouds with a slight red hue. I set my camera on my tripod, used a ND64 neutral density filter on y 17-35 f/2.8 Nikkor lens and shot about a dozen frames. The exposure was 30 secs at f/22 at ISO 200 on my D300s.

4. Big Sun and Little Boat:

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad PhotographyA boat is dwarfed by the setting Sun as it goes to bed over Bellingham Bay in Bellingham, Wash.

I was out one evening with my wife Heidi and as we were watching the Sun set, I liked how the thin layer of clouds slightly obscured the sun as it dipped below the horizon Past the Lummi Reservation across Bellingham Bay. I had my D300s with 80-200 on but couldn’t get the sun to be big enough. So I put on my TC-14E 1.4x teleconverter to make the sun bigger. As I was shooting, the boat came into the viewfinder and I fired a few frames. The image was cropped to about 1/4 the original size.

5. Working His Magic:

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - CoCo & Company make-up artist Antonio Cejudo finishes a client during the Seattle SMUG Cancer Survivor's portrait session at the Baroness Hotel in Seattle, Wash.

In May, the Seattle SmugMug Users Group held a 2-day charity photography session for cancer survivors for the Virginia Mason Medical Center at the Baroness Hotel. During the second day, I had time to walk around and document the behind-the-scenes happenings. I saw Antonio Cejuda of CoCo & Company applying makeup to the participants. I like the window light on his and his subjects face. I also like the blank wall as a background to keep the photo clean. So I began shooting. I didn’t like the original angle so I dropped down to the floor to get a really low angle and clean the image even further. I underexposed by one stop what the meter said so I would not overexpose the highlights. I used my D300S with my 80-200 f/2.8 at 2.8 to keep the depth of field at a minimum. I then converted to B&W and used a slight sepia tone.

6.  Nap Time:

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - As the tide rolls in, a man takes a nap at Boulevard Park in Bellingham, Wash.

One of my strengths is feature photography and finding moments in the everyday situation. I was out and about with my wife Heid, father-in-law Todd, and mom-in-law Roxanne one hot summer day. It was an unusual spread of 90+ days of sunny weather here in the Pacific Northwest. As we were walking along the Boardwalk at Boulevard Park in Bellingham, Wash., I saw the man in the hammock. I made my way down to the shore and began shooting photos. I discovered he wasn’t really napping, but reading a book to the sound of the incoming tide.

Here’s a slideshow of my favorites from the Year 2012:

My Best from 2012 on Pablo Conrad Photography

Thank you for stopping by and reading. All comments are appreciated.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Pablo Conrad Photography

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© Pablo Conrad Photography

2011: A Look Back- A Selection of My Best Images

For my second to the last post of the year 2011, I give you my best images from 2011.

Many of you may be asking why I haven’t blogged for awhile and why I haven’t posted any images.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It’s simple, I’ve been undergoing some soul searching, major website redesign and gallery reorganization, business planning, goal setting, and a big move to Bellingham with my fiancé Heidi.

I have been out and about documenting this wonderful world we live in, but I also needed a breather from the daily tweets, blog updates, my Facebook page (which I will move all my photo related stuff to G+), and generally the internet.

2011 was a pretty good year for me photographically speaking. I’m not talking business wise, just visually. I tried new things, used more lenses, attempted my hand at HDR, shot for Black & White, and began pursuing more portrait photography.

Enjoy the slide show.

Thank you for stopping by and reading. All comments are appreciated.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Pablo Conrad Photography

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