Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Website is Done

Yay, the website is finally done enough to be considered "done." I hope that you will visit and take a look. I have added a gallery page that also links to my Zenfolio gallery. If you've always yearned to purchase one of my images (or have one on a coffee mug, key chain, etc.) simply stop by Happy Holidays and happy shooting!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The website is almost done...

After several months of distractions, I have finally had a chance to begin working on my website. It's not quite done yet, but it's getting there. Please feel free to visit to see how it's progressing.

Distractions are something we all must contend with, so I won't go into the specifics. Suffice it to say that some distractions can sap your creative energy. So, how does one create during times of personal challenge? What has worked for me (and Nike) is to simply "just do it." Sounds like a cliche, but it works. Grabbing the camera and shooting is a pretty good way to get your creative juices flowing.

Now that the weather has changed, it's prime time to shoot wildlife photos in Florida. If you're feeling distracted or stressed, just do it. It's cathartic, and you never know when you'll nail your once-in-a-lifetime shot. As I've said time and again, if it isn't fun you're probably doing something wrong...Lots of my pics can be seen on Flickr (and soon on the website), so please stop by

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fun Photo Ops

Growing up in suburbia, I never thought much about cows. Sure, I drank milk, ate steak, etc. but those things came from the grocery store...

While on vacation in the Adirondacks last fall, I stopped along a roadside to take some cow photos and learned a great lesson: Cows are cool! This particular cow was very friendly. As you can see, she tried to greet my camera with a kiss.

So, what's the point? I guess the point is that there are great photo opportunities everywhere, sometimes you just have to stop and look. Since this particular photo, I have stopped two or three other times to take cow photos. They usually trot over to greet you (hoping for food I'm sure, but a friendly greeting is a friendly greeting), and they have really interesting features to photograph; hooves, horns, tongues, etc.

You may or may not capture great images when you have the camera out, but it's a sure bet that you'll get no images if it's sitting in the camera bag collecting dust. Remember, if you're not having fun when you're out shooting you're probably doing something wrong... to see photos. Happy Earth Day and Happy shooting!

Monday, April 12, 2010

"Rule" 1: The Rule of Thirds

Here's my first in what will hopefully be a series of posts on some of the "rules" of photography. I want to show how both following and breaking these rules can yield some good results. Here goes:
The rule of thirds is a great compostional "rule" that goes something like this:

Imagine a set of lines dividing the image into thirds both horizontally and vertically. As you get ready to take a picture, place important elements of your composition where these lines intersect. As well as using the intersections you can arrange areas into bands occupying a third of the surface. You can also decide to place important elements along the imaginary lines.

Here's an example that roughly follows that guideline. The great blue heron's open mouth is roughly at one of the intersections, as is the reflection of its head on the water. The eye tends to look at more of the image when points of visual interest are placed in areas that follow the rule of thirds.

Now, that "rule" is hardly carved in stone. There are images that look better when the subject material is placed in the center, and there are times when following the rule makes images less interesting...

The sunset below violates the rule of thirds; the subject matter is not at an intersecting point, the horizon does not follow one of the imaginary grid lines, etc. But the sun sprites are interesting, and they draw your eye into the the image. The photo was taken along a lake shore, where there were no other interesting elements to incorporate into the composition.

If the rule of thirds was applied here, there would be a very neat sun strategically placed, but the image would be boring. How do I know? Well, when I took this photo I also took one following the rule of thirds. I kep this one, and the other one wound up going to the digital image graveyard.

The moral of the story: Rules are important. Don't forget to learn them, don't forget to follow them, and most-important - don't forget to break them! You might just like the results. Remember if you're not having fun when you're out shooting, you're probably doing something wrong... Happy Monday. for more pics.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Dog Day Morning...

That will probably lead to a dog day afternoon...

Okay, enough obscure movie references. I will soon begin some posts on understanding the "rules" of photography, so that I can also post some thoughts on how to break those rules and still take great photos.

For today though, I'd like to remind everyone that there's always great subject material available to photograph, wherever you go. Look left, and you'll see my dog Cody breaking in my new couch. It's not a great technical shot; there's a harsh shadow behind his ear, the white fur is a little blown out, etc. But I took this as I was getting ready to put the camera away, and it made me smile.

So look for future posts about the rules and how to break them. For right now, just go shoot something that makes you smile. After all, if you're not having fun you're probably doing something wrong...Happy shooting! to see pics.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Concrete and Steel

Not sure how much of my workaday life I'll bring up here, but we are in the process of getting a new building built. It's an exciting process to watch a patch of dirt sprout a building. If you've never lurked around a construction site with a camera, by all means get out and look around! There's all sorts of stuff going on - welding, bolting, pouring, moving, etc. Shooting pictures of things you don't normally get to see on a daily basis challenges you as a photographer and forces you to work on composition, lighting, exposure, etc. This particular shot was taken with a superzoom point-and-shoot, not my usual DSLR. That provides a challenge as well, shooting with different equipment than you are used to.

Remember, if you're not having fun you're probably doing something wrong. Happy Shooting!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Loving Lake Woodruff N.W.R.

Why is Lake Woodruff one of my favorite places to shoot? Look left. Sites like this are common at Woodruff. It's a National Wildlife Refuge, and it's less than 1/2 hour from my house. I found it because I used to see the sign for it on my way to DeLeon Springs State Park. After driving past the sign a few dozen times, I finally decided to take a detour and check it out. That was three years ago, and I've been there dozens and dozens of times since. How many other people have such an amazing natural resource practicaly in their own backyard? How many people drive by it time and time again, just like I did? How many wish they had such a great place to shoot?

Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. If you'd like to learn more about it, please visit:

You can see more photos from Lake Woodruff, as well as many other great places, by visiting my Flickr page:

Happy shooting.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A New Day. A New Blog.

Well, it had to happen sooner or later. After starting a blog a few years back and abandoning it after I realized I was a little too early in the game, I'm back. I hope to post lots of interesting photography tidbit, tips, etc. I also hope to do a better job of keeping this one up to date.

Hi. I'm back.