Olympic Day Hiking – The Brothers


Spent a sunny summer day hiking to the base of The Brothers on the Olympic Peninsula, reaching just above the tree-line before running out of time.  An hour and twenty minutes up to Lena Lake and then an additional three hours upwards.  We passed below massive pines and wound through streams that disappeared beneath the riverbeds.














Cameron Karsten Photography

Post-Apocalyptic Youth Survival Group sneak peek!


Sneak peak of a Youth Survival Group shoot: In a post-apocalyptic world, a band of youths group together to fight the threats of day-to-day survival.

More imagery to come!

Location: Clear-Cut Field – Olympic Peninsula, WA

Camera/Lens Specifics: Canon 5D MarkIII w/Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Autofocus Lens

24mm, 1/160 sec at ƒ/18, ISO 100, tripod, composite.

Post: Capture One & Adobe PS6

Cameron Karsten Photography

Photo of the Day: Casey Zautke of Barn Owl Builds

Casey Zautke of Barn Owl Builds prepares a beam of fir for a conference table

Hot off PS6, I’m stoked with my most recent image.  Shot yesterday with Casey Zautke of Barn Owl Builds, he and his brother Josh own a customized furniture company. Each piece of reclaimed wood is hand-picked specific for each order.  Here, Casey runs a thick fir plank through a joiner in order to flatten its surfaces as they begin constructing a conference table.

Over the next couple of months I’m thrilled to be working with them, creating content for their brand and new website.

Location: Barn Owl Builds – Seattle, WA

Camera/Lens Specifics: Canon 5D Mark III with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens

16mm, 1/60 sec at ƒ/10, ISO 100, tripod, composite.

Post: LR4 & Adobe PS6

Cameron Karsten Photography

Photo of the Day: Athena Devouring Her Soldiers


Inspired by Francisco Goya’s 1819-1823 oil painting Saturn Devouring His Son, the above project speaks of humanity’s innate compulsion to send its soldiers into the throes of death.  We fight for land.  We fight for possession and power.  It is our willingness to send man and woman into war; and Athena above, goddess of warfare (and wisdom) unleashes her rage over the very men and women we as a people send into battle.

On the other side of the coin, we also fight for freedom, for a voice, for the ability to live our lives as we choose.  There are always two sides, our decisions coming from a place we find within ourselves.

Shot with three Q-flashes, black back drop, and a 6-stop neutral density filter allowing me to shoot wide open, I brought the subject as close to the wide angle lens as possible to create distortion in her face and hands.  Goya’s image is offered below for reference.

Location: private residence

Camera/Lens Specifics: Canon 5D Mark III with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens

16mm, 1/80 sec at ƒ/2.8, ISO 100, tripod.

Post: LR4 & Adobe PS6

Cameron Karsten Photography

Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 1.23.58 PMFrancisco Goya (1819-1823 oil painting) Saturn Devouring His Son

Photo(z) of the Day: MK Cuttin’ It All Down


I invited Matt over on an unusually warm late winter day in the PNW.  Two ideas: Matt in his element pruning trees outside (above); Matt taking the outdoor technique indoors and getting a little carried away (below).

This blossoming flibert tree (also known as a hazelnut tree) is a sign of the beginning of spring.  The pollen on each flower is loaded, and the slightest gust of wind releases plumes of the fine yellow dust.  Honey bees were loving it, one of their few choicest sources of food this time of year.  Matt climbed the ladder.  I positioned lights and posted on top of his car.  Snap.


Banzai pruning is an artform, same as large-scale pruning, but on a different level.  Instead of setting up Matt to look like a Zen master delicately snipping away at this miniature money tree, I wanted him to look guilty, cutting away his profits with shock and awe.  Maybe it also reflects the scale of environmental damage that the fracking on the Bakken Shale in Montana and North Dakota cause, as well as the further advancement of permitting for the Keystone XL Pipeline.  As an individual, spending his days outdoors working with trees, Matt chooses the preservation and cultivation of nature over the growth of the “money tree”.

Cameron Karsten Photography

Photo of the Day: The Gun Collector at 9



For the Gun Buy-Back Program project, I had to purchase an armory of squirt guns.  Instead of letting them go to waste, I laid them out in a different scenario.  Could this represent the gun collector at age nine?  Or does our adult behavior represent the love and care of our parents and the environment in which we’re raised?

Cameron Karsten Photography

Photo of the Day: Tele Smash


Now this was fun.  I brought two of my buddies over with the idea of creating an ad for a flatscreen TV.  Composited of multiple images, I slowly pieced through from right to left until the final shot with the action.  And we were nervous.  I heard of dangerous fumes inside old tube televisions, but this wasn’t that old.  So with a couple of deep breaths, some practice swings and snaps, and a wooden baseball bat, we counted down.  One.  Two.  Three.

It was the loudest sound.  Bat bouncing off the screen, cracking the wood but not the glass.  We were amazed.  Maybe he just swung wrong.  Second time.  One.  Two.  Three.

Again, this time the bat shattered and our ear drums rang.  Okay.  Something heavier.  With a neighbor’s sledge hammer we felt more confident, more practiced with the swing and the shutter release.  One.  Two.  Three.

Glass everywhere and the beautifully astounding sound of exploding glass.  And then the poof of powder, fumes.  We dropped our gear and ran out of the house.

All and all, once the dust had settled, the ventilation flowing, a mere two hours with a Shop-Vac and thick gloves cleaned the disastrous mess, revealing a 2-inch thick screen of glass now in a million pieces.  The bat never had a chance.  A few hours of PS6 later.  Success.

Cameron Karsten Photography

Photo of the Day: The Gun Buy-Back Program



An idea pops into your.  You’ve been listening to the radio, following current events, examining your place in the constant shifting world.  Then the idea takes shape, morphs into words, thoughts, conversations and a variety of imagery.

The gun buy-back program has been incorporating our society.  The process flowed through my brain-waves and thus the above image.  I wondered about the origins, the beginnings of such violence permeating humanity.  Then I read an article in this month’s National Geographic entitled The Left Bank Ape, which explores the unique adaptations between two species along the Africa’s Congo River.  The north side (or right bank) are our common ancestors, the chimpanzee, whom we share 98.4% of our genetic DNA, while the south side (or left bank) is the bonobo.  And what makes these two species of primates markedly different are their social behaviors; during disputes the chimp is more aggressive, often resulting in death, while the bonobo prefers the tender acts of affection and using sex to solve issues within the community.

Observing today’s violence around the world, I ask:  Where did we come from?  Where are we going?  And what are we doing to get there?

Cameron Karsten Photography

Product Photography: Toxicity

Toxic bottles, liquid photography

Found within a friend’s basement, these bottles were too characteristic and entirely toxic to pass up.  Setting up in an open-air carport settled the minimum level of fumes and maximum amount of ventilation.

Location: CK Studios

Camera/Lens Specifics: Canon 5D Mark III with Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens

100mm, 1/25 sec at ƒ/16, ISO 100, tripod.

Post: LR4 & Adobe PS6

Cameron Karsten Photography

Product Photography: The Squirting Milk Bottle

liquid product photography

From my last studio shoot, left over was a classic-looking baby bottle.  So before I found another home for it, or fulfilled it’s recycled destiny, I wanted to shoot it as a product spewing milk.  Viola.

Location: SCCA Studios

Camera/Lens Specifics: Canon 5D Mark III with Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens

100mm, 1/200 sec at ƒ/10, ISO 100, tripod.

Post: Capture One & Adobe PS6

Cameron Karsten Photography