Why buy a macro lens?

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I have to admit, every time Mary says “let’s go to a garden,” I hesitate.  I gravitate toward the large one-shot grand landscape and find small subjects and flowers uninspiring.  Yet, each time we do this type of photography, I end up loving it.  Here’s why: Continue reading

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That “Oh shit!” Moment

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Pismo Beach Pier

Have you ever made a plan for sunrise/sunset where you have picked your location and time and you are all set up and ready to go and you realize you are in the wrong spot?  You see the first hints of pink in the sky and its not where you thought it would be.  Then you know how that moment feels, as you rush to try and still “get the shot.” Continue reading

Photography Project: Painterly effects with Topaz Impressions

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I’m focused on rebooting my creative muscle, and I’m currently in my flower/software phase.  You’ll see a lot of flowers, and special effects.  I have started working to Topaz Impressions, and as I get a feel for the power of the software I am liking it even more. Continue reading

A Guide to Online Photography Courses

I am often asked to recommend online photography courses.  I take a lot of courses.  Below is a summary of different course providers, and my suggestions.  In full disclosure, for my day job I am a corporate learning professional.  I can be picky.  When it comes down to it, its personal preference, and the ability to answer “yes” to one question:  Did the course meet your needs? Continue reading

Back to Bryce and Zion

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Inspiration Point

For her college graduation trip, my daughter Arden and I spent a long weekend in Zion with a quick trip to Bryce  Here is what you might see in a three day weekend. Continue reading

Photography Project: Creating a painterly photo effect with textures

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I just completed my first online video course from CreativeLive Online Course.  The subject was creating painterly effects, and the instructor is Kathleen Clemons.  Kathleen inspired me to push past my comfortable habits, get reacquainted with my Lensbaby gear (yes, I’m going to try again), and find new ways to use software that I left behind.  This week, I’m focusing on that last item.  I purchased Topaz Texture Effects a couple of years ago, did not understand how to take advantage of the software, did not like the preloaded textures, and quickly went back to my old way of importing textures into Photoshop.  I have no realized that I have made my post-processing harder than it needed to be. Continue reading

Photographing Alcatraz

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Though I have lived in California my whole life, I vaguely remember my parents taking me and my brother to Alcatraz once when we were very young.  I have failed to find any photographs from this visit, so I might be making it up.  Mary also lived in San Francisco for years and failed to take the trip.  We finally made it last month.  Here is what we saw. Continue reading

Photography Project: Photographing Abstracts Through a Child’s Prism

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Last week I shared my airport saga, and after seeing my post, Peter reminded me, in that way only a true partner can, that the images I shared were not my strongest.  He preferred my abstracts.  So here it goes, round 2 on the child’s prism play experiment.  Continue reading

Photographing the Gila Cliff Dwellings near Silver City, NM

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One of the joys of focusing on being “photographers of the southwest” is the chance to visit many of the American Indian cliff dwelling ruins dotted around the southwestern United States.  These are not the biggest or most frequented, but were interesting and beautiful, nonetheless.  Here is what you might see. Continue reading

Photography Project: Photographing through a child’s prism

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If you’ve been following us for awhile, I have often lamented about the creative Sahara that I’m experiencing.  I’ve tried to jump start things a few times over the last year, but without much success.  I’ve decided to revisit the world of “play”, to try to stop taking my photographs (and myself) so seriously, and get back to the joy of discovery.  So here is the first in what I hope to be a long-running creative series, focused on play and discovery. Continue reading