Chasing the moon along CA Hwy 395

1710_PSA_Eastern Sierra_046

If you have been paying close attention here or on my Facebook page, you know that I am a lunatic (literally, “crazy for the moon”).  We do not always plan our photography trips around the full moon, but this time, the convergence of the full moon and peak color in the Eastern Sierra was a welcomed treat.  Here is what it was like to chase down the moon while driving north on 395. Continue reading


The Golden Ratio (Phi) and Photography

North Lake, Eastern Sierra Nevada, CA

The golden ratio is an irrational mathematical constant, approximately 1.618.  If you want to know more about all of its meaning and usage, use this link to Wikipedia.  For the sake of art and architecture and all around asesthetics, Phi (\Phi\,), stands for beauty and balance.  Here are two pictorial representations of Phi.

A graphical representation of Phi using the Fibonnacci spiral
The standard view of Phi

OK, enough with the math, what does this have to do with photography?  If you want to make the best, most pleasing, and emotionally appealing photograph, most of the time you must use a Phi composition to get the best possible effect.  You can go on-line and look at 1000s of photographs and the best ones, in most situations, use this compositional technique, commonly referred to as the “Rule of Thirds”.  This is simply a short-hand heuristic for Phi.  As with most rules, it can and should be broken; however, when I am in the field, I always shoot a Rule of Thirds photo before I play with other possible compositions.  It is, in my opinion, the best place to start. Continue reading

Photography as Couples Therapy

Soul Consoling Tower, Manzanar, CA

Our good friend, and photography teacher, Jack Graham stayed with us the other day as he drove from his home in Oregon down to Arizona.  We had a great time.  One comment Jack made really stuck with me.  He said, “You are really lucky that you and Mary share a passion for photography and can spend so much time together.”  I started thinking about how many times we have thought about having a “similar” hobby so that we could do things together.  Before photography, we really had not found one that we both really loved and really shared.  Some couples play golf together or snow ski, or have other passions that are especially related to partnerships, like rock climbing and mountaineering.  We have photography. Continue reading