Apr 092015


Somethings are natural.  Even if your the only one doing it!

When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free.

Charles Evans Hughes

 Posted by at 9:25 PM
Dec 122013

About 30 years ago my life changed.

God sent Karen and I a little redhead. Man was she a screamer!  But oh so beautiful.  My first of three kids. Like most families the picture taking starts out real heavy with the first child.  Then it declines as more little ones drop in.    Doesn’t seem fair to the other siblings.  Especially while sitting around the table the youngest asks ” why don’t we have any pictures of me?”


In my house the photo passion started with the oldest child and grew more passionate even until this day.  In short order I put a studio addition in my home, installed a dark room, and added  more and more equipment.  Over the years I have always had a Nikon camera.  For a few years Hasselblads were added to my camera family.  So, for some 30+ years I have owned all kinds of camera gear, lighting and studio gear.  Though always an amateur.

Recently Nikon announced the Df Camera.


Holy cow it looked just like the camera body I started with.  The F series camera (FE, FM, Etc.) was my workhorse back then.  I had to have this new camera!

A couple of weeks ago the Df landed at my house.  Between work, stress, life and rattling in my head I haven’t really had it out to play with.  This past couple of weeks it has been really cold in Utah.  Tonight at sunset the Df and I went a shootin’. Though I still feel like crap from a cold I was pretty excited.  Then the memories flooded back.  Back in the day I would drive home from  work in the winter hoping to capture a beautiful sunset.  Probably all photographers look to sunsets in the beginning of their photography adventure.  I sure did.  With the Df in hand tonight, sub zero temps, an inversion and a cold  I was reliving the old days.


The manual controls on the camera are perfect!  I love this camera.  I expect rain, cold, sun or night I will be carrying this gem.  If only to re-light some of my early photography visions!

 Posted by at 7:16 PM
Jan 242013

Have you ever met one of those guys that has a few more electric connections in that space between our ears.

You know – the guy that when he talks you have to record his conversation so you can play it back in slow motion to understand.  And look up in the dictionary all the acronyms used.  Your thinking NERD right?   Nope not this guy.  He’s even more special.  He probably wrote a book called the The details of living matter in the space of a scientific area and the characteristics and relationships of the matter therein.  

The crazy part is that he is normal.  Beautiful wife and children. He lives in a house and not a man-cave within a garage somewhere.  He loves the outdoors.  Snowmobiling is a passion.

And he loves science projects.

How lucky are his kids?  He loves them too (maybe a little more than science).  I remember the biggest party at our house was when our kids graduated and we heralded a dawn of new day without science projects.    Mr. H. lights up when explains and shows the details of the project.  He’s a great guy.  HIs kids are lucky.  Nothings better than sharing thrills with your little ones.

He asked me to take a few photographs for the project.  Thirty minutes or so later we had about 1000.

 Posted by at 9:52 PM
Dec 222012

Technology is great isn’t it?

30+ years ago we used our photo experience and intelligence to capture on film.  Unless we had a darkroom that was it.  It forced us to “think” about each and every shot.  Literally considering all aspects of the shot.  Scenics, slow moving objects and optimum lighting made it a little easier.  When panning or trying to follow focus a subject great discipline and experience was required.  As well as good planning.  In the end 1 in 100 shots may turn out exceptional.  More likely acceptable.

Last night while waiting for a Harrier Hawk to make it’s move I received a call from a stranger.  A fellow photography enthusiast refereed to me for advise.  I was honored.  The first question she asked was do I use a tripod.  It seemed a little odd as the most important question.  Then she mentioned that she was considering buying the Nikon D800.  She was told that it required more strict compliance to the use of a tripod because of it’s high resolution. My immediate response was any camera will have a sharper image if shot from a tripod.  It reminded me and I mentioned to her there are famous professional photographers out there that “brag” about their handholding prowess.   Even lenses like the Nikon 200-400mm zoom lens.


The likes of Moose Peterson can in fact do it.  Writes about it often.  HE IS THE EXCEPTION!   What and how he shoots almost demands his expertise at handholding. Don’t be fooled we are not Moose Peterson!  The vast majority of us need the tripod.  I ALWAYS travel with at least two tripods.  One tripod is set up just for my Nikon 600mm lens.  Definitely not a hand holder!


DPS – Digital Photography School has a pretty good article about reducing camera shake.  Find it here.

When shoooting from my car I am even extreme I use a bean bag designed to hold a gimbal head.  I use this with my 200-400 and my 600.


Eventually last night with the sun in good form the Harrier Hawk took off.  I was ready.  Two photographs later I was done.  In this age of technology I still need to remember to use ALL the tools I have.  I have been shooting manually for a while.  I would focus by hand and look through the viewfinder and using the “Focus Indicator” to know if I was in focus.  That was then with bad eyes.  If you look at last nights post I had the great opportunity to photograph a beautiful pheasant not far from where I was shooting the hawk.  I remembered to set my camera to autofocus with the pheasant.  I think it’s obvious!

 Posted by at 9:41 PM
Dec 092012

I am in between eye surgeries.

Fixed one this last week and fix the other in two weeks.

Have you ever thought about what a blessed day we live.  I went into a room to have my God made lens in my eye removed and replaced with a man made lens!  All in about 15 minutes!  Pretty cool……Unless you are diagnosed with severe claustrophobia and Panic Disorder.  It’s a couple of my “ism’s”.   Ok so picture this. In a surgical center.  Behind closed doors.  Laying down.  With a tool digging out the old lens in my eye and being told DON’T MOVE?  Really?

Now my vision is all askew.  And the doc threatened me to NOT rub my eye or look through any kind of viewfinder.  Too much risk of pushing on the eye!  I have discovered again that my photography passion is much like a caffeine, or drug addition.  In a good way.  I love the adventure of seeking “that” shot.  And really love getting back home and bringing the photo’s up on my Apple 30″ cinema and my 24″ Cintiq.  I couldn’t wait any longer.  Hey my lens are all autofocus now.  I can point and shoot and hope?  Even use live view if I needed.  So I did….


I looked for texture color,

Composition being a key to most photography


Shape and Textures


I found this mural behind the 31 flavors store.  My bet is that it has been there for years.  Never noticed it until yesterday


It always requires a little thought when shooting reflective or very light colors against white.


Lighting made this shot.  Pulled up and noticed the effect of the headlights and had to record this one.

I will be so glad when I can put my eye to the camera.  See the whole scene.  Examine the focus.  By the end of the month (still God willing) I will have 20-20 vision again.

Can’t Wait!!!!

 Posted by at 6:52 PM
Nov 222012


For my parents and extended family. Especially those that walked across the country when horses were the Cadillac of travel, just to settle and have their own.   They were the toughest of all and taught us what real endurance means.


I am thankful for my eyesight.  Lately I have been not shooting as much.  My vision is as bad as it has ever been and worse.  Getting old usually means eye wear and Cataract’s.  I am fortunate to live at a time when cataract surgery is almost as common as a cold.  Next month I will have two surgeries to fix both eyes.  God willing I will have 20-20 vision for the rest of my life.  Can’t wait to look through the viewfinder again and see what is and is not in focus.  Yipeee!


I’m thankful for HDR, macro, flash, Color Efex pro, NAPP, Nikon, Apple, Wacom, Scandisk, Gitzo, Really Right Stuff, Gimble heads, filters, and anything that makes me better at my passion than I really am.  I am blessed to be able to enjoy these “things” and put them to use.


I am thankful for critters of all kinds.  Just the fact that they will stop and pose for me.  My life has been full of experiences few people get to enjoy.   I’ve been charged by a grizzly, chased by a Big Horn Sheep, dove at by a Golden Eagle, bit by all kinds of insects, almost caught by a Badger, kissed by a Camel and cornered by a Moose.   For 30+ years my life has been full of color, action and opportunities to enjoy God’s creations.


I am thankful for Christians.  All faiths.  The true believers.  The faithful and the humble.  The people that bring credibility to the constitution.  Ones that level the playing field.  Those that believe in true PEACE.


Most importantly I am grateful for my family and friends.  People like Ms. A. May.  That greets me everyday with a huge smile and lifts my spirits.  Friends that I know I can stand with for the right.   Heroes like OF, Wendell, Randy O., Don L., Bishop Clark, and others that have cemented my character.    Those that know my “ism’s” but still put up with me like P Nall, Kelly I, Paul H., Thomas N., April C., Steve H., Dan M. Brad M., Dan P., and many others.

My family is my breath of life.  My wife that has corrected me for 36 years and still loves me.  My children that know how much I love their Mother.  AND I LOVE THEM!   My children have been so blessed by her.  She will always make time for them.  And then there is my Grandest Kids.  Holy Cow!  I never new how much love a child could steal from me.  I have the next photograph on my 30″ screen at my desk.  It reminds me to be more like a child.  That I truly have something to live for.  Growing up, dating, missions, marriage, manhood and life lessons.  I wonder if there is a little angel waiting to come down and wear pink?  Steal my heart with her little smile?   I am so blessed to be surrounded by so much love, beauty and life.  I thank God for all my blessings.

The photograph below was taken by Dan Paschal.  He is a master of flash fill photography.  I will never have his talent for capturing mixed light.

 Posted by at 12:49 PM
Nov 102012

What is my favorite time of year?

I love Spring, Summer, and Fall.  Though I don’t like high temps.

I love the cooler/cold temps.  But get bored with Winter.

There is something wrong with me!

Yesterday and today we have had our first real snow storm for the season.  White everywhere. But this early in the season there is some lingering color……






All shots made with D4 and Nikon 24 PC-E lens.

 Posted by at 5:27 PM
Nov 062012

An extension of my post “I’m Depressed” that I just posted a few minutes ago.

My official title is Director of Construction for Maverik, Inc.  In my opinion my team (the construction team) is the very best team at Maverik.  Don’t get me wrong, everyone at Maverik that I associate with are good people.   I just have surrounded myself with a few people better than myself.  This day is in the top 3 most stressful days of my life.  There is a personal connection with my feelings about the current white house leadership and the spirit of governance in general.  The city of Spokane Valley threw curves at me today that were literally shocking.  I speak from experience.  I have served over 16 years in the public sector in roles like Mayor, Planning and Zoning Commissioner chairman and member, and state boards, etc.  It seems throughout the Maverik footprint in several sates governing agencies are burying businesses with red tape, bureaucracy, and a sense of anti business decisions.  At times it wears me down.  Concession is my new order of business to get anything accomplished with agencies.  And today all heck broke loose.  It was shock and awe.  Didn’t think I would ever see a city impose like they did today.  As negative as I sound, believe me I feel…..

 Posted by at 10:37 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
Oct 312012

In Nevada near Carson are wild horses.  Not sure if they are generations of horses left from the cowboys and miners of old.  One thing is sure.  They are not easy to find.  And they are shy.  For the most part just don’t like two legged fat guys carrying a camera I guess.

Not being an expert I wonder about their condition.  Look at the mare.  I think the lady horse is called a mare.  She is the all black horse with what looks like sway back and her ribs are showing.

Look close at what I am pretty sure is her offspring.  Not sure what baby horses are called.  It may be more than a baby.  But I bet not more than a year old.

The younger ones of this group of four wild horses stay close together.  And close to the Mare (Mom).


Then there is DAD!



Father Horse?

All I know is that he was not happy with me.  Was I really a challenge for him?  He was all over the place.  Often to stop and see if I was impressed.  Little did he know I am scared to death of horses.  All he had to do was take one step towards me and I would have ran to the car screaming like a little girl!

I think he’s awesome looking.  Grundgy yet strong.  ((Did man get the idea for dreadlocks from horses?)




 Posted by at 10:34 PM