Friday, June 29, 2007

Sea Colour

There always seems to be something going on along the coast of California. I thought this captured the essence of some of it.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Golden Skies

Winter skies in California can be very dramatic. I love the always changing drama they provide, and not man made drama. Nature loves to show off!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


To convey the size of the Golden Gate Bridge I included a couple of familiar items, such as the tree and building. We can relate to the scale of these everyday and commonplace items and contrast that with how massive the bridge tower really is.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Street Art

Street art is a reflection of the environment and community within which it is found. It is an expression of hope and dreams, or despair.

When I ran across this vibrant drawing, I liked what it had to say.

Monday, June 25, 2007

On the water

Different lenses will give you different effects. This view was the result of using a telephoto lens which compresses space and changes the proportions of items. If I had used a wide angle lens here, the result would have been much different and the view more expansive.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Parade

What is it that you are trying to capture in your images? An integral part a local Summer Solstice Parade is music. I wanted to capture the vibrant energy of it. How do you do that with images? I'm not sure, but I'm working on it...

Saturday, June 23, 2007


One of the nice things about digital photography and Photoshop is that it's much easier to crop your images. While it's still good practice to fill the camera frame with your composed image, you will often find a need to crop images to eliminate distractions and add impact.

Where and when to crop is up to you, but you should get a feel for it with time. Just think about what your subject is, and how to best convey that.

Photograph a few images around the house. Something that is of some interest, use different compositions and fill the camera frame as much as possible. Load your images into Photoshop or some other image editing program and then play with the cropping tools to see if they can help make your image stronger.

I'm not suggesting that every image needs to be cropped or should be. Cropping is just a tool that is a available to you. I rarely crop, but in the case of this Lotus Flower cropping gives this photo the punch I wanted that would have otherwise been missing.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Urban Life

Urban areas are filled with interesting stories. Abstracting them from the greater context of their respective settings lets them stand on their own and lets them speak out as a slice of life that is open for interpretation. This lets the viewer fill in the blanks and bring something of their own to the image.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Thought I'd post something in the spirit of the first day of summer. The days might be getting shorter from this point on, but still, plenty of time to take advantage of the weather and try to squeeze in some photo-ops.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Digital Photography

I think digital photography has brought with it a new age of creativity. It gives you the chance to explore possibilities, change time and place, and allows for freedoms that didn't exist before.

This old California Mission is a good example. With a little work, and a lot of faith, I was able to put the moon where I wanted it and when I wanted it there. I've got pictures of the moon setting behind this old church, but under less dramatic circumstances.

The lighting on this particular evening give this a lot of shot punch, but I wanted a little extra, something to put this image over the top. Add a moon and Viola!

Putting this together was a lot of fun, but I wouldn't try to pass this off as anything other than a creative endeavor.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The little things

More often than not, there are other pictures within pictures. Keep you eyes open and look for them. They have stories to tell too.

8/22/2007 - I just noticed that I posted this image twice. Oh well, I guess I must like it!

Monday, June 18, 2007


A peaceful moment, now just bits and bytes...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Moving On

In the age of online digital stock photography there's a lot of competition and millions of photographs being uploaded for review. For whatever reason not every shot gets accepted, not even the ones the photographer really likes. I've seen discussions get started over this time and time again on the stock site's member boards that go on for days.

From my point of view that's a lot of energy being used up beating a dead horse. This is the age of digital, take lots of shots, don't get emotionally attached to a photograph (unless it's of your Aunt Edna learning to roller skate), submit more photos, and MOVE on.

There are several stock agencies in the world, what one doesn't like/need/take whatever, chances are the others may and/or will. Remember the saying about eggs in a basket.

Stock Photography is a business, not a wrestling match.

Always work on improving your photography skills. Look at what the agencies like and don't like. Shoot what you know and love, or get better than everyone else in some niche you feel works for you and needs filling.

Life's short - have some fun!

Saturday, June 16, 2007


A modern rule of thumb for the current internet age of images is that of the thumbnail. Can you tell what something is when it's small and is it compelling enough to get you to take a longer look? You could also call this the postage stamp rule. With the age of digital, you've got to really put an effort into making your work stand out and/or merit a longer look.


Unplanned Photo-Ops like this one can make for great pictures. They also bring with them challenges. Seeing this couple enjoying the sunset I knew it would make a great image, at the same time it wasn't my place to intrude upon them. What to do? For me, I tried to capture a few photos without interrupting them. This was their moment not mine. Working quickly I did what I could to capture the setting before losing the light and moved on.

I don't think they even noticed me.

Times like these are precious. Enjoy them!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Beach @ Dawn

Sunrise and Sunset are two of my favorite times to be out with my camera. Though most of us enjoy watching the sun arrive or leave for the day, if your goal is to try and make a compelling photograph most times you'll need more than a big ball of fire in the sky.

I try to find locations where I can get something of interest in the foreground. Here the sun is behind this old California Pier, just about to rise above it. For just a moment it outlines the shape of the structure and gives a golden hue to the water.

This is one way of telling a story with an image using just a few elements.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Coast Keeper

I spotted what is left of this old Lighthouse while driving down the California Coast. It was a hazy day and the lighting wasn't what I would have liked, but I took a few shots in the hopes of seeing if anything came out that I could use for Stock.

I haven't submitted any of the shots for Stock yet, so I can't say if they are up to par.

I did however like they way they looked. The haziness seemed to add to the images, not take away from them. It seemed to give them an element of nostalgia and timelessness.

I decided to increase this effect by toning down the color. I desaturated this one completely in Photoshop and then slowly added back in some of the color from another layer, and only at about 70 Percent opacity at that. I think it works.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


There are images all around us waiting to be photographed. The trick is not to just look straight ahead... look up, down, left, right, and behind you. Take your time with your subject. Get to know it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Well something's lost, but something's gained
In living every day
- Joni Mitchell

Monday, June 11, 2007

There is no finish line

I think it was Mark Twain who said that "youth is wasted on the young"... and I couldn't agree more. What is seldom said however, is that in the race of life there is no finish line. Just run the best you can.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Wild Ride

I was getting ready to pack it in put my camera away and head home. I look over my shoulder one last time and what do I see but this. I only had a chance to take a couple of quick photos. Glad that's not me hanging onto that sail, what a wild ride!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Afternoon Light

The time of day you shoot is just as much a part of your image as is the subject matter. Here the shadows add a bit of intrigue and mystery to this photograph of Bodie California.

Ghost Towns make for great subjects and the lighting is important. If I shot this during mid-day the feel would be completely different, with little to no shadows and lacking depth.

This would have resulted in a harsher look.

That wasn't what I was after so I waited for the lighting to change. In waiting, I was able to explore the town a bit and get to know the subject matter. Then when the light was just the way I wanted, I was able take full advantage of it and achieve better results.

Friday, June 8, 2007

On the rocks

The hull of this yellow boat caught my eye. When I saw it reflected in the water on a still morning moored next to some rocks in the harbour I knew it would make a great abstract.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Last Wave

Okay, so I helped out Mother Nature a bit. A little Photoshop work was all it took to make this shot a little more interesting by giving the lower portion a more reflective quality and perhaps a touch of Dali Surrealism. Does it work? Perhaps.

I think the overall composition could have been stronger. This is just one shot in a series, there are others that are better, but still I didn't think this was quite ready to be deleted.

Practice, practice, practice.... Moving subjects are a challenge, which is what makes it rewarding if you get some results that you're happy with.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Beach Combers

A serene moment at the end of the day watching the sun set is something that folks can connect with. At least that's the impression I get from my stock photography sales for this type of image. It's simple with ample space for copy and a limited color space. And yet, my camera club was kind enough to critique this specific image and suggest it be improved, though they weren't clear as to how I might do this.

Improvement is a constant goal for me, as is the idea of making images stronger. I'm intrigued as to how to tell a beach story in compelling ways and certainly will explore this further. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Dance

Sometimes all the elements under the stars seem to come together to create magic. The sum of the parts working in unity to create something new that lasts just for a moment. Have your camera ready.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Added Bonus

The unexpected can be an added bonus that not only brings an extra element to a photograph, but can change the point of interest entirely.

Such was the case here, where a group of pelicans decided they wanted to have their picture taken. I obliged of course, as the image was about sailing and they certainly were.

Sunday, June 3, 2007


Black and White images have a quality as timeless as youth. These types of photographs strip away a sense of when and create a moment all their own.

When I saw this young lad running across the top of this sand dune I knew it would make a great image, but it wasn't until I removed the color that I knew how strong the image was.

There's something subtle to it that I really like.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Up Close

It's not easy to get a cat to pose. I was lucky to get this shot. It's one of my favorites and certainly commands a bit of attention, but then again, so does my cat!

Is it real, or is it...

Mars over the Trona Pinnacles? Why not? Perception reality right?

I read that this location was where they filmed the original Planet of the Apes, as well as the remake with Mark Wahlberg. When I visited I could see why. It has an other world feeling, so when I was processing my images and saw this photo, I decided to add a world to it - Mars!

Just a little Photoshop fun on a rainy day.

Friday, June 1, 2007


Sometimes you run across something like this footbridge that just screams "take my photo".

The pattern and shape become the subject. A subject which is as fleeting as the change in the light.