Mary’s Favorite Photos from 2018

Well its that time of year again, when Peter forces me to choose among my babies.  The compulsion is so strong for him to close out the year with these posts, that he woke me up early on a Saturday to confirm that I was ready to write and publish mine.  So out of the thousands of photos I made, these are the ones that stood out for me, not because of photographic merit, but because of sentiment and the memories they evoke. Continue reading


Photography Project: Flowers and 5 ways to work a subject


Last summer, I thought I would mix things up a bit and check out a local florist to find different types of flowers to work with.  I walked in, and asked for “sculptural and  interesting” flowers.  Ten minutes later I walked out with four very different flower stems (which cost more than 3 bunches of flowers at the grocery, but I was OK with that, I wanted different, and I spent days working with them).  Because of the investment, I felt more committed to trying different approaches. Continue reading

What is the photo? How to pick an image

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Have you ever become so enamored with something, that you take 500 pictures of it, get home, and then wonder which one, if any, is THE photo?  This happens to me all the time.  I make it more challenging for myself by always trying to find a different composition with each shot.  Then I have 500 photos that are slightly different, and comparing them against each other seems impossible.  Below I will show you my process for picking an image.  Continue reading

Photographing Flowers – Techniques to take the ordinary to extraordinary


When I feel uninspired, I turn to flowers to help break me out of my rut.  Its ironic, I must have a thousand flower images which might be the definition of a rut; but its a subject that encourages exploration and variety.  There is always a new way to photograph a flower or to process one. Continue reading

Scanography: Tips for getting started


Ever since seeing the work of a fellow photographer, and an exhibit by a fine artist, I have been fascinated with scanography (the use of a flatbed scanner to create images).  As with most photography, it seemed simple, place a few things on the bed of the scanner and push a button.  I was really wrong.  My skills as a nature photographer were not enough; I didn’t have to worry about focus or exposure, but everything else that is required for a compelling image is even more important when creating a scanography image. Continue reading

Photography Project: One subject three ways


Lately, I’ve been watching Frans Lanting’s CreativeLive class The Art of Seeing:  Macro Techniques for Flowers and Plants.  Seeing him work is a helpful way to expand my perspectives and ability to see everyday life in different ways.  Frans shares that photographing a subject can take different forms:  Finding, Influencing, and Creating.  This is my interpretation of his idea. Continue reading

The view from Flattop Mountain and Blueberry Hill in Anchorage, Alaska


On the first night of our Alaska trip, we headed out to this short hike and look-out after a fantastic salmon dinner with Mark McDermott and Cat Larrea.  This look-out is only a few minutes from their home and has spectacular views.  Here are a few: Continue reading

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

30 day creativity challenge – what did I learn?


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


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