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


“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


Tips for Photographing Icons

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I have a colleague who is an inspiration, when he travels for work he makes it a point to explore (Jim, I’m talking about you).  I decided on a recent work trip to Chicago, I would try to channel his adventurous spirit and make the most of “transit times” between work functions.  It seems like when you are in Chicago, you MUST see The Bean.  So there I was, early evening, freezing temperatures (at least for this LA girl), and enough wind to take your breath away (I think Chicagoans call it a “breeze”). Continue reading

Photographing the Lunar Eclipse from Huntington Beach, CA

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5:52 AM

If you slept in or do not live on the west coast of the US, you missed the super blue moon eclipse.  Here is what you would have seen.

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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


Mary’s Favorite Photos From 2017

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Well, that time of year has come again.  It’s the time when Peter insists on engaging in some sadomasochistic form of torture by insisting I cull through 1000+ photographs and pick my favorites.  Its akin to asking someone to pick their favorite child.  At least this year he gave me 15, instead of the usual 10. 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


Why wait? Photographing Hooker Lake in New Zealand

Hooker Lake is the one of the best views in all of New Zealand and is a must see, if you can swing it on the south island.  The Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is 3 hours from Queenstown and 4 hours from Christchurch.  Here is what we saw.

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Composing an image when a stranger walks into your frame

I’ll own it, there are times when I become one of those angry photographers and raise my voice to complete strangers.  And sometimes, I try to channel a more positive spirit and figure out how to work around them.  Sunrise and sunset can be a stressful time, the light is fading, you’ve been in position for awhile just waiting for the few seconds that will make your image come alive……and someone walks into your frame….and sits down.  Continue reading


The power of chiaroscuro in monochrome photos

On cloudy days, I am always looking for the chiaroscuro.  You know it when you see it – the high contrast light and deep shadows that create distinct areas of light and darkness that can be especially exploited with monochrome photos.  Here are a few favorites from our New Zealand trip. Continue reading


One more time – How do we compose a photo?

If you want to make better photos, they have to have the right exposure in interesting light.  They should also be focused correctly.  Finally, you need to have an interesting subject, composed well.  I was reminded of these things when we visited the world famous Wanaka Tree in New Zealand.  Here’s what we did. Continue reading