Tuesday, July 31, 2007

August Dance

August quickly approaches and the summer nights will soon be filled with dance and celebration. A colorful blur of fluid motion driven by the rhythm of music in the air.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Last Rays

There are places along the California coast that you can almost always count on to have people watching the sunset. There provide great spots to practice photographing silhouettes. They also make for great excuses to get out and enjoy the last rays of the day.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sunset Flight

A couple of bird and add a lot to an image. Here they lend a sense of movement to an otherwise static picture. I don't think this image would have worked at all without these birds.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

California Pier

There's a small window of time, just after the sun sets, that is perfect for capturing images. This image was made about 10 minutes after the sun went down. The lights were just starting to reflect on the water. I used a 2 second exposure which made the ocean look glassy and brought out the bluish purples in the sky. Had I waited longer the sky would have been black and I wouldn't have gotten the warm inviting photograph that I was after.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Wind Driven

A yellow sailboat on blue water. Works for me. Colour is all around us. It is an important part of life and photography. In the same fashion that we compose using the objects within an image, also consider the color of those objects.

They are after all an important part of storytelling and another tool to work with.

Don't ride the yellow boat.... no. no. no. That was about snow wasn't it...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pacific Races

Seems everyone one wanted to get into the race, from sailboats to swimmers...

Well almost everyone, guess the guy in the back didn't hear the starting gun.

Summer on the beach, what else can I say?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Bridge

We seem to be at a crossing point in the world of photography. Last night I got grilled with questions regarding microstock. I answered all the questions people had the best that I could. The real shock to people was the prices. Why would anyone agree to selling images for so little?

Hmmmm, I think that is the sentiment of many. Well if you can't beat them, join them. For me, I like getting my work out there. It's not all about money. Sure a little extra cash is nice, but getting my work out there is nicer. I'd rather do that then have boxes of DVD's of images that no one ever sees.

It's about the work and passion for photography! It's about getting to be a better photographer! So, yes I've crossed that bridge. Guess what? It's not dark on the other side.

And don't forget volume makes up some of the difference in the pricing model.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


How few elements are needed in an image for a viewer to still know what it is? This is a question that's in the back of my mind all the time. Perhaps because I like abstracts. I often include as little as possible and gauge the reactions I get to images. In the end it really depends on the subject and what the photographer is trying to say about it.

Monday, July 23, 2007


This two second exposure at dusk was just long enough to give a ghostly appearance to these kayaks that were paddling by. This gives an otherwise static image a sense of motion and adds some interest to the scene.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


People and their pets... If someone tried to dress me up like this a parade me down the street... Well I don't know what I'd do. It wouldn't be nice. Sure makes for a great image though.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Having a beach all to yourself with great light is a blessing. Not only can one leisurely pursue making images, you can also unwind. Clear your mind and just get absorbed in the task at hand.

I have to admit that I've been remiss in making images lately. Life has a way of presenting challenges that need immediate attention, leaving little time for anything else. That being said, they do get taken care of and now it's time for me to focus on what I love to do.

On the Stock Photography front, I got accepted by Snapvillage.com and now have images there. I'll add a link to my images as soon as I can. This being a new venture for Corbis there are a few things they are still working out. One of them are providing more tools for their contributors, with such things as the code to insert as a link to contributor portfolios.

It will all sort itself out in short order. In the meantime. Back to it....

Friday, July 20, 2007

Summer Solstice

A Summer Solstice Parade provides a great opportunity to get out and take picture and enjoy the weather. A celebration of the season, life, and a little good clean craziness.

Shooting in full sun does provide some challenges, but getting good images makes it worth the effort. Besides, it gives me an excuse to enjoy the parade.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Despite our best plans obstacles manage to find a way to cross our paths. You took the fork in the road, the way less traveled, and still.... Would the obstacle be there if we didn't make the trip? Maybe it's the way we navigate around them that counts....

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Barren Land

Ravaged by time or sculptured by Nature? It would all depend on your frame of mind and POV I guess. Silent and Still, yet Civilized and Majestic - the barren desert. An eon but a drop in a rainstorm. We are but a small part of something beyond us, our time here hardly noticed.

Forests and Deserts come and go, like night and day. Seasons beyond our understanding, the birth and death of galaxies. The life cycle of the Universe.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Basking TV

Looks like someone has found a use for their TV. I'm not sure leaving it on the beach is a good one, but I can understand the sentiment behind abandoning a failed experiment in communication.

I find the internet a much better means to communicate and get information. It's interactive and requires more participation than pushing buttons on a remote control.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Silent Beauty

Nature provides with beauty. It's all around us. Something to help catch our breath and silently reflect upon.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Passing time

This clock tower is a monument to the passage of time. It is a resource wasted more than any of us would care to admit. Most of us, through no fault of our own, pass time doing things we'd rather not. Things that border on meaningless.

But what about the rest of our time? The time we have to choose how we spend it? Do we fill it with to the brim doing things we love, or make memories that we will cherish?

If not, why not? And don't we only have ourselves to blame if we don't?

Perhaps the reasons we build monuments like clock towers is to remind us to make the most of time.

If times are tough, we need to remember that Now is not forever. We need not be selfish of our time either, but reflect on how the selfless kindness of others has impacted our lives and try to do the same.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Down Around the Corner

If you can't get some elements out of your photos, like a road in the middle of green vineyards or telephone poles, etc. Use them. Find an interesting composition and include them. Make them part of the story you're trying to tell.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Drive Through

Just after the sun sets there is enough light to make some fun dusky exposures. After capturing a Pacific Sunset, I moved across the street and did some long exposures, letting the cars drive through them. The trail of cars lights is a fun effect that I like. It adds a story element to the image.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


The people in this shot help to provide a sense of scale, but on another level provide a feeling of emotional distance. They are far away and in the corner of the shot, and thus not an intimate part of it. Yet they are part of the image all the same and provide an emotional element that would have been missing without them.

Their presence gives the photograph a human element and an emotional means of communication. Having an idea of what you are trying to say with your work will influence your compositional choices.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


The Oak Trees that dot the back California Landscape are peaceful and serene elements that are testaments to the world outside urban life. This shot was taken near the area currently engulfed in flames. Nature is resilient and always in the process of renewal. I hope the fire ends soon and the renewal begins quickly.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Just a quick update on a couple of things:

1. The Zaca fire is still burning out of control and has started to consume an area known as Hurricane Deck. Firefighters have a rough time ahead of them, as the terrain is rough and hard to access. I wish them the best in their efforts.

2. SnapViallage.com may have been caught unprepared for the barrage of microstock images being uploaded to their site. Last night I was adding a few images for review and got a message from their server to the effect "the Village has become a City overnight" and asking for a little patience while they address the volume issues. Interesting development.

Racing Through

As we race through Summer, few seem to stop even for a moment to savor and enjoy it. Maybe the thing is to squeeze as much into a summer as possible and reflect on it later. Who knows...

Monday, July 9, 2007

Fire Season

It's fire season in California and one of my favorite places, the Los Padres National Forest, is now being consumed by flames. It sounds like it could be some time before they get the fire out. Many of the areas here haven't seen fire for decades With so much fuel and so little rain, the conditions for major fires in California are ideal.

I hope that Nature helps weather wise with the containment of the fire. I'll have to make a trip out to this area sometime in the near future and see whats left of it.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Micro Stock

I've started submitting stock photography images to SnapVillage.com, the new Micro Stock kid on the block run by Corbis. I like the online stock business as its open 24/7 and fits right in with internet era. It's too soon to offer any real critique on SnapVillage, so I'll report back soon.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


One of the more interesting things about photography are the options it gives you in recording time. All photographs are frozen moments, but you have the ability to capture many moments in a single image. The exposure here was long enough to record the movement of the people enjoying the sunset as they walked along the pier. This adds a ghostly element. I like the effect.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Summer Celebration

Independence Day fireworks. Most people enjoy watching them as is evident by the crowds. I must say they look very different through the viewfinder of my camera.

I get to see some of them and they look great being shot from the beach as they light up the Pacific waters with their reflections for a few seconds.

It's not until after I get home and start to process the images captured by the CCD sensor of my camera that I get to see the show that I attended but didn't really see.

Fireworks happen less often then full moons, so the opportunity to practice taking photographs of them happens two or three times a year at best.

Sure with digital you can make some adjustments while you're shooting based of the feedback of the camera' s little screen. The problem is things are happening very quickly, so there is only so much you can do. Most of your time will be spent pushing down the shutter button.

This year I shot in the F 3.5 - 5.6 range with 2 second exposures. I was pleased with most of the results, but unless I get a wider angled lens and/or find a better location (which would put me in the middle of the harbor) I'm going to get images like this.

I think I'll work on getting the wide angle lens.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Shadow Ride

There are ordinary things all around us that make for interesting photographs. Sometimes that interest is brought to our attention simply by the time of day we look at them. After all, it is about light.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


From time to time it is good to reflect on what we have in our lives and why we have them. I'm not speaking of material things, as they hold little if any real value. From Ashes to Ashes. From Dust to Dust. That is the way of the World, the way of Nature, the way of the Universe.

On July 4th, 1776, the Founding Fathers of the United States made the bold assertion that we are all Created Equal, and endowed with the Rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. They claimed this to be a Truth, an Axiom of human existence.

To borrow a bit from Hamlet, who pondered:

"Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them.
To die, to sleep--
No more--and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep-
To sleep--perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come...."

Freedom is the fortune that we have that is always worth fighting for, and that failing to do so will surely be our death, and what dreams may come will be Nightmares

We cannot take lightly the burden that comes with our Freedom! And with that, I'll share the thoughts of a few others on Freedom:

"We will never be through with our fight for Liberty, because their will always be people who do not want the responsibility of freedom, and the will always be people who will gladly take that responsibility away from them, for the power it brings." N. Scott Mills

"Liberty has never come from Government. It is always come from the subjects of Government. The history of Liberty is the history of resistance." Woodrow Wilson

"The basis of a democratic state is Liberty." Aristotle

"The object and practice of Liberty lies in the limitation of Governmental power." General Douglas MacArthur

"In any free society, the conflict between social conformity and individual Liberty is permanent, unsolvable, and necessary." Kathleen Morris

"It is seldom that any Liberty is lost all at once." David Hugh

"Of Liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its existence, is unobstructed action according to our will. But Rightful Liberty is within limits drawn around us by the Equal Rights of others. And I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’, because the law is often but the Tyrants-will, and always so when it violates the Rights of an individual." Thomas Jefferson

"The tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants." Thomas Jefferson

"Individuality is freedom lived." John Dos Pessos

"Political freedom means the absence of coercion of a man by his fellow men." Milton Friedman

"We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first Revolution. Let the word Go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans.... Let every Nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to ensure the survival and success of Liberty." John Fitzgerald Kennedy

"Freedom is the right to question and change the established way of doing things. It is ... continuous revolution... It is the understanding that allows us to recognize shortcomings and seek solutions." Ronald Reagan

"True freedom has only the power of individuals; to think for themselves, to choose for themselves, to take responsibility for themselves, their actions and their lives." N. Scott Mills

Let Freedom Ring...

Happy Independence Day!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

On the breeze

My course is set by the winds of change. My destination is the port that the breeze leads me to. I trust the buoyancy of the water and know that though my journey may be turbulent at times, calm seas will prevail.

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Harvest

Photography gives me an excuse to jump in the car and head out for more remote locals, get outside and enjoy the bounty of nature.

Sunday, July 1, 2007


So, and new neighbor moves in and tells the local cable company to hook up his internet. The result... all the neighbors have been without internet service for five days!

This post is coming via dial-up.... grrr

Call it a labor of love.

Glad I kept the dial-up for emergencies, but man-o-man is it S L O W