A weekend in Cambria, CA

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Bluffs hike in Fiscalini Ranch

During July 4th week, Mary and I escaped the heat in LA by heading up the coast to Cambria, the sleepy sea-side town just south of Hearst Castle.  We were really there to relax rather than a hardcore shooting vacation, but we found many good subjects, nonetheless.  Here is what you might see. Continue reading

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30 day creativity challenge – what did I learn?

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Friends and co-workers engaged on a 30-day creativity challenge.  We were inspired by Matt Cutts 3 minute Ted Talk.  The gist:  30 days are going to go by, so why don’t you try something creative?  My personal challenge was an iPhone photo a day… with a twist.  I was going to revisit some of the apps I had on my phone that I haven’t used in a long, long time.  One co-worker asked…..”do you have that many apps”?.  Unfortunately, yes.  Yes, I do.  And I realized after 30 days, I only scratched the surface. Continue reading

Flower Photography: Why I (respectfully) disagree with my husband

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Last week Peter wrote a compelling argument on why you need a macro lens for flower photography……he made several points, a couple of which I completely disagree with.  I guess it is a wife’s prerogative to disagree, respectfully of course, on rare occasions.  For those of you who know me, you can stop laughing now.  So in this episode of He Said/She Said (or our version “He Saw/She Saw”), I’ll be providing a point-by-point counterpoint to Peter’s last blog. Continue reading

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

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

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

Other things to see on the Big Island after you visit Volcanoes National Park

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Tree Tunnel on Pohoiki Road near Hule Beach Park

Our last blog post was about Volcanoes National Park which is making all of the news right now.  We stayed on the Big Island for almost a week and were able to do several other things besides Volcanoes.  The Big Island is hurting for tourists.  You can get a really great deal right now.  Here are a few other interesting places to see. Continue reading

Revisiting an Old Friend at Catalina State Park, Tucson, AZ

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“Mr. Akimbo” January of 2011

One of the joys of photography is going to the same beautiful place multiple times over many years and in different seasons and weather.  I was reminded of this when we were in Tucson in December and visited my favorite saguaro.  Here is what we saw. Continue reading

What a mess. Isolating flowers at Lake Tekapo, New Zealand.

We read that Lake Tekapo had some beautiful flowers on its shores.  So after a long drive, we thought we would take it easy and have a leisurely sunset shoot.  When we showed up to a full parking lot, we knew we were in for some “combat” photography.  Here’s what we did. Continue reading

Photography Tip: Photographing in morning light

I hate mornings.  Let me clarify, I hate early mornings.  Which is an issue for a nature photographer.  Peter tries every persuasion technique to get me out of bed on cold, dark mornings, hours before the sun comes up (and it is usually 1 1/2 -2 hours because the best light is around 30 minutes before sunrise and it seems to take us an hour to get to wherever it is we need to go).  So we get there (in plenty of time in my opinion), I’m ready, and the amazing light is over in minutes.  Now what?  Its usually too early for breakfast, I’m awake so going back to sleep is not going to happen…. Continue reading