Dec 312011

Photographers are not photographing subjects.

We are photographing LIGHT.

While in hell….I mean Las Vegas, I saw this particular statue of Atlas holding up the world.  It was a “Kodak” moment.  The angle of the light to the statue was perfect.  The shapes and texture of the statue were enhanced by the angle of light.  It’s one of those times when a photographer is stopped in his/her tracks.  Getting the exposure was incredibly easy.  No specular reflections.  The whole statue was made of the same material.  The only question came when deciding on the composition.  That turned out to be easy.  Any composition other than what I shot had distracting objects in the photograph.  So as simple as the shot is, it is one of my favorites.  Not a big game shot.  Or a diving eagle.  But it surely is an incredible example of what a camera can capture.  White to black with the light gradations between.   Made my desktop pic…….

 Posted by at 11:43 AM
Dec 302011

This lastWednesday I spent the day in Las Vegas.

I really hate Las Vegas!

Too Hot!

Impossible to get permitting!

And FREAKS everywhere……..

Right on the sidewalks of Las Vegas is a freak show!  Cotton Candy is this ones name.  Weirdo maybe more appropriate.   As tourists of Las Vegas walked by he would jump at them and make provocative gestures.    Some saw humor in his(?) antics.

Not sure who this person was impersonating.  I will tell you this though.  Whom ever he was trying to emulate did not smoke like this guy.  We never saw him without a cigarette.  At least I thought it was cigarettes……

Looks like the Grinch?  He would not let me photograph him.  He expected a tip before he would let me take photo.  A beggar of sorts.  It’s hard to hide from my camera.  Especially when firing away at eleven frames per second.  Just like the grinch, he is hoarding others cash.  See it in his left hand?

This “golden” cowboy was the exception to freakdom.  A blast to watch.  He held very still until you dropped money in his box.  After the money was dropped he would scream and dance.  Raised a few eyebrows.  And scared a few passerby’s.

His pose was very good.  Held real still.  Waiting for more income to drop.

The prize for best look alike went to this fake Captain Jack Sparrow.  Wasn’t positive this wasn’t the real Johnny Depp.  He was that good!

 Posted by at 11:22 PM
Dec 272011

I have finally finished my man cave.

Converted a bedroom.  Used to do all my photo editing in a closet.  This is real nice!

Even have a DESK!

I have been thinking a lot about the previous year (in my new man space).  2011 the year of……?  So much has happened.  Not one thing stands out.  A lot stands out.  One thing is for sure.  Everything I experienced this year that was notable, was in the company of another person.  Sure there is all the funny stories about my wierdism’s.  The moments I cherish from the past year I was not alone.  So many people have been a part of me.  A lending hand if you will.  I am blessed to have the friends, associates and family.  They have shaped and molded me.  My core will always be the same.  However, one of life’s rewards is growing and learning.  I am just very grateful for those that have shaped me with their hands……

 Posted by at 8:52 PM
Dec 272011

Today I saw my first December Egret!

Never saw one in December before at FBWR.  It’s the start of the Bald Eagle gathering.  Duck’s are about.  Coots in all the non frozen waterways.  An Egret?

Lost?  Confused?  Maybe just enjoying a late season stay in Utah.  Less competition.  More FISH………

Egret in good company FBBR

 Posted by at 1:27 PM
Dec 272011

Chocolate covered pineapple daisy’s!


Tough to get exposed.  I mean….tough to get the right exposure.

Fruit in my kitchen.  A mix of incandescent lights and florescent lights. On the same piece of yellow pineapple is dark chocolate. Very light and very dark together.  I decided to keep the specular highlights on the chocolate.  Forced the exposure to burnout the pineapple a little.  In photography sometimes there are some sacrifices……

fruit basket

 Posted by at 11:39 AM
Dec 222011

It’a a Ghost Town near Elko Nevada.


About 50 miles northwest is a a very small place.  And old place once inhabited by the pioneers, cowboys or at the very least adventurers.  Have you seen this area?  Not sure I would have driven my tent post permanently there.    Must have been a tough bunch of people.  I mean real tough.  No couch watching Bones and eating Dorito chips in that town.

I am always drawn to the cemetery in these places.  In there, there is the real evidence of class and style of the people who expired in this dry and unwelcoming place.  A wide range of respect for the dead?  Probably not.  Just evidence of the financial status or position in the community.   Here is an example of a headstone that stood about 6′ tall made of solid stone probably imported from Salt Lake City.

Annie headstone

A beautiful marker from a man that lost his bride at the early age of 25.  A sad story anytime a loved one is lost.  What a great epitaph to his love.. “Gone but not forgotten”.  Maybe a sure indication of no religious experience tying his marriage or relationship with her to a life after earth?   All kinds of questions.

Then there is this headstone…….

headstone in sagebrush

A simple wood plate.  The person beneath it now unknown to us who visit these days.  Probably a beautiful headstone when placed over 100 years ago.  Hand carved name, date of birth and date of passing inscribed on the plate.   Maybe the work done by a family member or loved one.  Why not out of stone?  There are several wood headstones just like this one in the cemetery……


Name only.  What is the history behind this headstone?  Is it a part of another that over time had been vandalized, weathered or just aged?    A man? A Woman?  Or a Child?  This particular head stone really move me to tears.  A name not forgotten but a history vanished.  What I would give for a journal of this “Hubbard”.  Days on a horse?  How did they survive day to day?  Where did they get water?  How many in their family?  What games did they play….if at all.  It may have been all about survival not fun and games.  I wish I knew.


“DOVE”  A nickname?   A last name?  An enduring message?


Look real close.   The very faint partial wording of “in Memory “.   In Memory of who?  Someone important to someone else.  A part of a family lineage.  A spirit forgotten here on earth.  Depending on what one may believe, maybe to return to rise again?   Maybe to tell his/her story to others.  I love to hear the stories.


Miles R. Dunton.  Dien in October 17, 1906.  At 57 years old.  Same age as me.  The fence around his headstone was made by a company based in of Salt Lake City.  An ironworks company.  The headstone was the nicest one in the cemetery.   Mr. Dunton must have had money or the means in his family to provide this beautiful plot.   There is a real interesting issue to me with this headstone.   It appears to have a place for another person to be inscibed on it. Just left of Mr. Dunton.  A place for a partner, spouse, child, or family member?  It’s off balance with only his name.  The two spires up to one point had to have some meaning as to the design.  What happened to the other person?  Did they move?  Did they lose the means or finances to have their name inscribed?  I will never know.  Probably no one knows.  It’s been over 100 years since Mr. Dunton was buried.  Does he have living relatives now?


I stayed until sunset.  All my thoughts revolved around who’s footsteps had been there before mine.  How many sunsets looked like the one I was witnessing?    It was very quiet.  Peaceful.  Probably one of the true reasons why someone could live to the age of 57 years old back then.  They worked hard.  Slept well?  Ate only to survive not to enjoy.  Sat at times and listened to the quiet.  No cars, planes, or machines to interrupt the peace.  Their stress was how to associate.  And how to endure.  I learned something in TUSCARORA.  We are all people that someday will expire.   Our spirits will leave us.  Our memories will go with us. What will we leave behind????????

 Posted by at 11:40 AM
Dec 162011

I work for a company called Maverik.

I am almost 57 years old.

Someone somewhere has to have done a study on how much time we spend at work.  Building, extending and nourishing our careers.  Let’s see a minimum of 8.5 hours a day.  A minimum of five days a week.  That’s about forty-two and a half hours a week.  Four weeks a month.  Now it’s up to 170 hours a month.  2040 hours a year…..and so it goes.  At an absolute minimum we spend 25% of our lives at task, being compensated and looking out for an organizations best interest.  At a minimum.  In some of our lives we have devoted up to 35-40 percent of our lives to grow another’s business.  Don’t think I am about to explode into a rampage about my most current employer.  Just a few opinions about relationships.



A family owned business.  In it’s third generation of family lineage overseeing the daily operations of the company.  Maverik is growing.  We are doing well as a company.  For some 13 or 14 years I have been compensated well.  Had offers from outside to make a change a few times.  Always said no.  And thank you.  What happens to corporations as they increase in size?  Add employees?  Become more and more top heavy?  What really happens?  The PEOPLE get lost in the big spreadsheets.  The bottom line looms greater than anything.  Company goals, mission statements and the like become routine without the human touch.  People soon have nicknames like guides, QA’s, customer advocates, etc.  What really makes companies successful.  Have long term success?  Enjoy street level compliments from it’s customers and peers?

It’s people.


We work in buildings made of steel, wood, brick, plastic and numerous other products.  Objects inside built by those residing within.  Thousands of warm bodies each with specific tasks to accomplish.  Some with perks.  Some without.  In the end every person plays a role in the success of the company.  Many very visual.  Most not.  Some empowering roles.  Most empowered.

As I near my so called Golden Years I have appreciated more the efforts of those empowered.  I work with the best team at Maverik.  Really.  We are at the bottom of the food chain.  My team knows that.  Yet they still look to each other to make each day more enjoyable than the day before.  They are self starters.  They all would drop anything to help each other.  Each day is different for them.  Great challenges and stressful tasks drive them.  I love these people.  They are my friends.  That’s why I stay at Maverik.


I will continue to laugh at the inaccuracies.  My time will be focused on my teams goals and efforts.  Their families will still be number 1!  And the bottom line…..well it will be just that a bottom line.  Nothing more.  But when I do walk from these responsibilities the bottom line will still be there.  Forever chased, studied, challenged and worshipped.  I will leave with friends and a knowledge that the PEOPLE at  Maverik are better  because of my team. And their desire to improve each other.  Knowing that people create the bottom line.  Happy, empowered, enthusiastic people grow the bottom line.

 Posted by at 1:13 PM
Dec 062011

My camera still travels with me.

Pretty much everywhere I go.

My postings are getting a little scattered for a couple of reasons;

1. I am getting lazy.  My job is taking a lot of my energy so by the end of the day I find myself watching an episode of Burn Notice, Body of Proof, Castle, Bones, or The Closer.  Yes a couch potato.

2. Late fall and early winter are not the best times to get out for only and hour or so and get some wildlife near home.  A little lame.  But again a little burned out and the end of each day.

On a recent trip from Scottsbluff, Nebraska driving back to Denver we stopped in a little town.  I was told by an associate to stop and see a collection of  old dispensers.  He was pretty excited to help in my quest for fun photography locations.  I love old stuff to photograph.  It holds real still and has tons of character.  We soon found the lot and I was out clicking away.

Gilbarco close1

Old dispensers of many brands.   This Gilbarco is a dinosaur.  So am I but I have never seen one quite like this one.  It was very cold out that day.  In the teens.  For most people unbearable.  For me….just need a tissue to keep wiping my nose.  A lot to take in here.  A little tough to shoot.  Harsh mid day sun. But more problematic was the close proximity of all the dispensers.   If you critic my photos you know I hate clutter in a photograph.  Partially because I need more skills to make clutter look organized or at least acceptable in a photograph.

dispensers goodyear

I did not want to disappoint my associate.  He expects good things from my photography.  He is a high achiever himself.  Expects a lot from those around him.  He is an “old” man. (insert smiley face here :-D)  Has years under his belt. And knows what he wants.

I almost paid the price here.  While squeezing around all this antique stuff I turned a corner and was face to face with the county Sheriff.  I guess I looked like an antique thief at this point.  He mentioned that he had several calls from passer-by that saw me rummaging through the stuff.  I held up my camera and suggested that I was only taking pictures not stealing stuff.  Quickly my questions turned on him about the city.  Crime stats.  And thanking him for his service.  He wasn’t buying the nice guy stuff and asked that I leave.  Always say yes to that comment when coming from a gun toting public servant in a strange town.

Ended with a couple of fun shots and another story to tell.


Mr. K.I. this ones for you buddy.

 Posted by at 4:25 AM