Monthly Archives: January 2012



When unique events occur we need to be ready. This past week I made a point of getting out to shoot given the extensive flooding in the area. This presented an opportunity to create images that aren’t available every day. I set out to create an image I missed last time it flooded. The water was not the same as before so the image I had in mind was not there. Driving around the area, I did end up finding some opportunistic images as the sun rose and lit up the mist and fog.

In the lead image, corn stalks sticking up out of the water in a flooded field add interest to this image of the sun rising above the early morning fog. In the image below, oak trees in the water surrounded by golden grasses presented another unique scene you can’t capture everyday.


Is there a unique environmental condition taking place where you live? Record snow, floods, drought or fog? While these may not be good things, they do present the opportunity to capture images that may not be available for years to come. Images taken at times like these can set yours apart.

Posted in Uncategorized

Magic Moments


I love it when you are in the field shooting and the light turns magical. This seems to happen most often when you get out in less than pleasant weather or catch the weather in transition. A few days ago I went out early in the morning to capture snow scenes near my home. It was cold and still snowing off and on, but a good snow doesn’t come that often in the mild Willamette Valley; I wanted to get out there before it melted. From what I could see, it was going to be a totally cloudy grey morning, but then to my delight cloud breaks formed shortly after sunrise. The images here were caught during those magic moments.


The problem with magic moments is that they don’t last very long. Capture them when you can.


Posted in Light



Allowing yourself to fail is one of the keys to creativity. Trying new things, experimenting and not caring if you will be successful. If you are working with a new camera, try all the modes, push the edges of the settings, see what it can do. For post processing software move the sliders all around from end to end, explore the menus, try the different presets and see what you like. As a friend of mine likes to say “Nobody gets hurt.”.

Recently I was reading an interview with a commercial photographer. He believed that being willing to experiment was his edge in getting assignments. He indicated that most commercial photographers are afraid to take risks and play it safe. The art directors that picked him wanted something different – they knew he would push the envelop.

Right now I am trying a new technique (new to me) I learned from Harold Davis’s book, Photographing Flowers. This technique involves the manual blending of HDR image sets as applied to flowers that are backlit by a lightbox. I am finding it challenging to recreate his exact “look” (it is okay to start with imitation and let it evolve to your own style in time). I am also combing these images with texture overlays. The blog image is one of my first attempts. I am not totally happy with it yet, but thought I would share it with you.

I will go over this technique in a more detailed fashion in a future blog.

Posted in Uncategorized

Light Field Photography

You may have noticed some ads as of late for a new kind of camera from a company named Lytro. This camera introduces a totally new type of digital camera sensor (light field sensor). This sensor not only captures the color and intensity of the light coming through the lens, but the direction of the light rays. It is based on technology developed at Stanford University some 15+ years ago using super computers. What good is that, you may ask?

  1. You can now change the focus of an image after it has been captured. Later you will be able to change the depth of field (today the DoF is similar to that of an f2 apeture)
  2. No shutter lag to allow for autofocus. Capture the exact moment in time you intended. This will be great for sports, street, and other quick action photography.
  3. The ability to switch between 2D and 3D images seamlessly. The file format is compatible with today’s 3D.

While this first instantiation of this technology in a commercial form is limited in its effective megapixels (maybe around 1.0 megapixel equivalent) you know that will increase quickly over time. For now the camera is intended for web images and small prints.

The blog image is just one example from the public Lytro gallery. Click on each flower and watch the focus change. Look at more examples here: Lytro Image Examples.

Looking to the future, I can see combining this technology with HDR photography. Think of all the control the photographer will have after image capture. Add multiple cameras at different angles and you can capture even more and change perspective, angle, focus, etc. after the fact.

When photography moved from film to digital, that was only the beginning. Photography is going to evolve at an ever increasing rate into a whole new visual art form. Enjoy the ride.

Posted in New Technologies Tagged , |

New Year – New Combined Blog/Website


As you can see I have unified my blog and website. Hopefully you will find the new site easier to navigate. If you hit problems or have other feedback, let me know. I have decided to go with a lighter, minimalistic look built around the WordPress CMS using a Photocrati theme.

Here are a couple things to note on the website.

  1. There is a new resource tab where I will be listing websites of interest, my videos, and other useful resources for aspiring photographers.
  2. In the lower right hand corner I will be listing new changes to the website – gallery updates, new videos, etc.
  3. In the lower left hand corner is a list of the most recent blog entries.
  4. In the lower center will be a list of coming events: articles, lectures, shows, etc.
  5. If you want to purchase prints go to the purchase tab. Images or galleries have been (and will be) set up for purchase via PayPal there.
  6. There is a new “Category” list on the blog page where I will categorize new and older posts as another way to find blog entries of interest.

Keep visiting in the coming weeks as I will continue to make refinements and add new content to my website. For those of you reading my blog via a reader, RSS feed, etc. let me know if you would like some service set up or are having problems. I am looking into ways to automatically migrate some of you.

Blog Image: One of the advantages of this new blog is my ability to better present wide format images like the one above of the David Hill Vineyard.

Posted in Uncategorized