Feb 092013


Too much information.  What needs to be said and what doesn’t.  Especially on a photo blog….

My wife says I say too much all the time.  Oh Well.

Crazy week!  Surgery last Friday.  On the road wednesday.  Fly into Portland.  Drive 4 hours to Milton Freewater.  Yes its a city and the water is not free.  Then for the next 6 to 8 hours hours I laid in an emergency room in Kennewick Washington.   My leg was killing me so In called my surgeon.  All I remember was blood clot and get to the hospital.  When the surgeons nurse says that you follow orders. Yep I have blood clots.  Something to do with the surgery.  A risk when having surgery I guess.  More risk that the surgeon exploring around on my insides?  Well at least they aren’t DEEP THROMBOSIS (blood clots).  I have shallow Thrombosis.  Thats a good thing according to the ER Doc.

So he said for my drive back to Portland I needed to stop no less than every 30 minutes and get out and walk around.  First doctors orders I ever had to stop every 30 minutes and take pictures.  Oh, I obliged.  Except for the leg pain never had so much fun.  The Gorge has a ton of water falls.  As the doctor ordered I explored a few.

 Posted by at 9:41 PM
Nov 192012

This last weekend I had a real treat.  A long time friend stopped by.  It was a blast to get caught up.  Talked about grandkids, family, work, politics, travel, etc.  It reminded me how precious friendships are.  How long good ones can last.  Of course we hit on photography.  Eventually it’s the topic I go to.  He’s the smartest guy I know so of course he talked about the math of digital photography.  In the back of my mind I am just thinking about how good he must be.

One of the more simple exposures is a reflections.  But it is also one of the hardest to compose.  My friend was very complimentary of my work.  But I reminded him it’s a numbers game.  If you take enough photographs eventually a good one will come out.  The important thing is that you understand the mechanics (operation) of the camera.  Then apply some composition rules.  And eventually have your look and finish.  With reflections especially of water it is always important to have depth in the photograph.  A way to get to the back.  If you will.

Here is a color and black and white example of reflections.  This shot was taken from Antelope Island looking north.

Photograph is taken with a D800, 28-300 lens and a Nikon circular polarizer. Second photo is the same ran through Silver Efex Pro2 in post.


 Posted by at 10:09 PM
Nov 062012

It’s been a very long day.

Toughest store opening thus far in 14 years.  Stress to the max.

And now as I watch TV and see that our current President is re-elected my day has ended at an all time low.  I have no religious or moral argument as to my feelings as to why he should not be President.  I have done my own homework.  I think I know the facts as to the condition of the country.  I have self determined a failing grade for this President.  My honest opinion is that the country is in big trouble.  I hope that people like myself will look ahead and do everything to make the best of what we will face as a result of this election.  And that people who feel like I do will keep calm and support the office of the president.   Support the Constitution and work hard to keep our values as they are!

Late tonight I was at the Spokane Falls with hopeful thoughts as to the outcome of the election.  A cool night.  A beautiful view.  I was by myself.  It definitely was a few minutes of peace.  May go back…..

 Posted by at 10:18 PM
Nov 032012

Tried a little Artsy Fartsy tonight.

Near the Farmington refuge is a farm that raises and sells pumpkins every year.  I think to help hide the field prior to the big sale the farmer plants multiple rows of large sunflowers.  It seems wierd but why else would he plant the sunflowers?  They are not harvested.  The dead sunflowers with the pumpkins in the field made for some interesting color and contrast.



 Posted by at 9:40 PM
Nov 022012

I am getting old.

OK 57 isn’t that old.

On my overnight trips I have been cutting back on the QUANTITY of camera gear I carry.  One body, a lens or two, and a couple filters.  And a tripod.  Except yesterday to my trip to Spokane Washington.  I forgot my tripod.  Guys like Moose Peterson are constantly bragging about their handholding prowess.  Not me.  I especially need the tripod when shooting a little longer exposures like when I am shooting water.

Here’s  the test.  The next few shots I hand held.  Next week when I go back I will shoot again with a tripod.  Obviously the leaves and color may be gone.  We’ll see what happens.



 Posted by at 10:06 PM
Oct 242012

Every year I see this big beautiful edifice on the mountainside in Bountiful and say I will photograph it with fall colors.

Never did it.

Tonight at 5:45 I finally found a spot unobstructed by houses, power-lines, street lights and the like.  I was at least a mile away.  Had to use the longest lens I have.  Nikons 600mm f/4 lens.  Standing on the soccer fields at the Bountiful Recreation Center I captured this shot.  A little contrasty.  But OK

 Posted by at 10:10 PM
Oct 172012

A long drive from Baker City, Oregon to Milton Freewater, Oregon.

I needed a break!

The drive up a canyon imposed a ton of photo opportunities.  An approaching exit sign described “Perry’s Pond”.  With the fall colors all around it had to be good.  It was great.  My time at Perry’s Pond was wonderful, relaxing, and energizing.  All shots were taken with the D4, 28-300 lens and used a Polarizer to take glare off the water. Where is Perry’s Pond?

45 degrees, 20′, 41″ N

118 Degrees, 9′, 18″ W





 Posted by at 9:54 PM
Sep 292012

I couldn’t leave today without one more short trip into Yellowstone.

For only being in there for a few hours I was blessed.  I walked back to the upper madison and followed a bugling bull elk.  It didn’t take time to find him and his “girls”.  A magnificent animal.  I shot some video today and hope to figure out how to post it.  All in all this week was incredible.  Though I am anxious to get home I will miss this place.




 Posted by at 10:36 PM
Sep 282012

It just goes way too FAST!!!!!!!

I have really enjoyed my time in Yellowstone these past few days.  Like I mentioned before I found my self wanting to improve a photographic weak point of mine.  Many times I found myself at places where I have never been in Yellowstone or maybe only once before.

Everything took on a different look.  I traveled less looking for wild life and planned my shots by location and time of day.  All the shots have a story behind them.  This one I paid a messy price to get it.  It was at Mammoth.  Climbing to the site I fell in a very soft area to my thighs.  The worst part was the incredibly strong smell that was in the “Muck” I was stuck in.  Chocking the rest of the way up I eventually took the shots.  Stayed up very, very late washing my clothes, shoes and photography vest.

Up on Mnt. Washburn just past Dunraven Pass is an area that was decimated by the fires in the 80’s.   A huge number of dead trees still stand as a reminder.

Today I took my own challenge.  It’s been years since I took the climb down Uncle Tom’s Trail.  At the trail head there is a sign talking about the very steep grades, three hundred plus steps, and is VERY STRENUOUS!  The sign said take a lot of rests coming back up.  I saved this effort for the last day.  Knowing my legs would turn to rubber I wanted to make this trek last.  Boy was it worth it.  At the bottom I met a very nice gentlemen from Germany that shared a great passion for photography.  Soon I was helping him with the exposure of the scene to cover the wide dynamic range.  He brought down a 24-70 zoom and was disappointed that he couldn’t get the whole falls in one frame.  I offered to let him shoot with his camera and use my 16-35mm lens.  You’d think I just gave him my life savings.  We worked together and made sure he left with a fun and accurate capture.  He was very grateful.  I was honored to meet him.  Look very, very close at the top of the falls.  You can see people standing at the brim of the falls.  Gives you an idea of the size of the falls  From the bottom of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.




I ended up in Hayden Valley before heading back towards West Yellowstone.   It brings it all together with what we in photography call “God Beams”.  And off course my daily Black and White capture.


 Posted by at 11:47 PM
Sep 282012

I have been to Yellowstone to0 many times to count.

Been to Artist Paint-Pots once and have never seen a Yellowstone Grouse.

There’s a first and second time for everything.

I remembered why I had only been once to the Paint-pots before as soon as I walked the 1/3 mile back.  Seen it once.  Second time not a thriller.  Unlike all the beautiful features around Old Faithful, Artist Paint-pots is mostly hot air and bubbling mud.  Very little color.  The most colorful feature was this…..(kinda reminds me of Dad’s watered down powdered milk when I was growing up)

There was an interesting phenomenon around this area.  A lot of fallen trees had fallen with the root ball still intact.  I wondered if these are trees that burned and fell or died then blew over in high winds?

Another first for me were these very strange colored pine needles.  They were on one tree and only at the end of one branch.  It was a very small pine tree.  Maybe 3-5 years old?  It reminded me of the dramatic color changes that oak trees and cottonwood trees make in the fall season.  But this was weird!    The color is not enhanced.  The exposure is compensated only -1/3 ev.   If you look you can see that I burned in around the pine needles to add contrast only.

Here is the crazy part!  I was hiking up to photograph paint-pots.  No need for a normal, medium or long lens.   In fact I took my D800 and my 16-35mm lens.  Pretty dang wide zoom.  One of my favorites.  I can use my polarizing filter, ND filter and my neutral grad filter on it.  Great for Yellowstone Artist Paint-Pots photography.    My 12-24mm is more expensive and highly rated.  But with the very large domed front glass on the 12-24 that does not accept filters I find myself using the 16-35mm more.    Definitely not a wildlife lens.  Until I met grace the Grouse.  Typically very shy the grouse is difficult to photograph.  Most likely the best chance to photograph a Grouse is from a great distance with a monster lens like my 600mm.  And usually with a teleconverter pushing it out to 1200mm.

Today my pheromones and cologne was dead on!  I saw Grace and immediately laid down.  Yes other hikers thought I was crazy.  And some even yelled out to see if I was OK.  With a very slow thumbs up I was left alone with Grace.  She was mostly interested in feeding.  She was not sure what the motionless big blob was ahead so she foraged on.    Eventually she got about 15-20 feet away.  With cat like hunting skills I slowing raised my camera and fired a few shots.  Not interested in love I guess because she flew off like a bat out of ……….

Hey!  My first Grouse photograph in Yellowstone.  Moose Peterson this ones for you!  I cropped the heck out of it to look like a PANO!!!!!  Some rules are meant to be broken.

 Posted by at 8:52 PM