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I'm now selling my photos!!!

I now host galleries of my favorite photos @ Feel free to surf over there to see photo's that may have drifted into the darkest reaches of the archives here on Blogspot.

I also have begun selling my photographs when requested, I can handle most sizes and finishes either locally or via my on-line printing service.

Thanks for looking!


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Focus Stacking...

So... I have been wanting to try this for awhile. What have I been wanting to try you ask? Focus stacking. A method of increasing the area of a picture that is in focus, by combining multiple individual photos focused on different parts of the image into one image.

Who cares you say? Me. And a few friends. I am just as interested in selective focus on a single part of an image as the next guy. That is why I have lenses like my DA* 55mm f1.4 which can give me a VERY thin slice of a photo in focus and blur the rest especially when set to f1.4 (or wide open). In Macro photography, due to how lenses work and how close you are getting to your subject, even if you stop your lens down to f11 or f16 you are still going to get just part of the subject in focus.

Because of that some clever chap decided to find a way to combine, or stack, parts of different images into a single image that shows only the in focus parts of the image. So, if you take enough photos with the focus point just shifting slightly between each photo, you can get a picture of something close up but have the WHOLE THING in focus.

Here are just three of the 9 images I used for my first stack. 

This one has the leading edge of the flower in perfect focus, but the rest of the flower is not even though the lens was stopped down to f8.

Here the focus is further in.

And here the focus is on the rear petals of the sunflower.

And here is the finished product, nicely stacked, blended and in focus.

I have a way to go in mastering this technique, but I hope to get quite facile with it, when needed.

Here is the source of my knowledge so far:

Van Lady Love... Interesting name wot?

The second night of shooting for my local HOA, there was a band called Van Lady Love whom I had never heard of. They were pretty darn good and I enjoyed shooting them. My concert photography muscles were a little flabby, but I got a few I liked. They were pretty energetic and it was tough to get shots that were really clear.  I think the movement in this one adds to the shot.

Part of me still wishes I had exposed for the sky and had silhouettes for these two.

I really like this kid on her dad's shoulders, capturing a cool moment without intruding is fun for me.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Shooting in the Hood

I was recently asked to shoot some promo photos for my neighborhood. That is part of why I was quite absent from my blog and posting a lot of things. I was too busy working on this stuff! I shot on multiple nights and in different locations. And had to process all those photos too! I will be presenting a few favorites of mine that were not purchased by Daybreak along with more verbiage than I would normally use. In an attempt to explain what I was aiming for in composing the photos.

This was an unusual thing for me to take pictures to try to meet my perception of what others wanted rather than just shooting whatever caught my eye. I really don't know how successful I was really, they did choose many photos but not the ones I would have chosen as my favorites.

Like this one: I just love the light on the metal man and the color in the sky. Maybe I could have included more of the people around it, but the shadows made it hard to bring them in. Maybe I just like the top 1/2 of it? This is why I try to not fall in love with photos, just because I love them doesn't mean others will.

I wanted to capture a sense of movement and excitement in the crowd. Panning to follow a subject with a slow shutter speed allowed me to control the amount of blur and how many of the people could be seen well enough to be identified. That is always a consideration, will somebody get mad if they can be seen in a picture?

I like the fun fountains and stuff for kids to play in, again a slow shutter speed blurs things intentionally.

The cheery warmth of the light in the store, the people, the bikes. What is not to like? This shot required my tripod as it was getting darker. I really am much more comfortable with small apertures, and tripod and a remote release in my hand.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Evening Gloom

Evening is an amazing time for me, not being much of a night owl, it signals the end of the day for me mostly, but it often leaves me with a feeling of the "Last Hurrah!" when the clouds and sunset provide drama to punctuate the last gasp of the suns rays. This night provided little direct light, but drama it gave provided nourishment to my soul. A day of rain with light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. I don't know if they could be considered technically much of anything, but to me these shots have meaning.


Love me some sunflowers, always have, always will. Just a casual shot while walking around the lake. Nice and sharp, proof of concept of the Pentax DA 16-85 as a great walk around lens!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Creative Muscle Exercise

It is always a challenge to simply go out and find interesting pictures. Those of you who have read my blog for any length of time know that I like to simply wander and look for interest in what is around me. Being completely IN the moment as it were. Whether I get anything of significance or even interest is less important than creating a connection however brief with the world around me. Creating strings that tie me to a moment that I can weave into the tapestry of my life. Sometimes that means moments of significance. Other times you are bringing significance to the moment simply by capturing it.

I "saw" this as I was walking to the train. Ooooh pretty flowers, and walk on for most people, IF they even look up from their smart phone. For me I will remember this exact piece of ground even after it is paved over, I will remember the delicate salmon/purple/blue of the sky, the technical challenge of capturing the photo without a tripod in lower light. The luminescence of the nearly full moon, and the delicate sunflower swaying in the slight breeze, making my job harder!

Downtown Salt Lake City is always a rich place for exploration. If you are aware you see new things. I have walked past this multiple times, never looking up at it. Never walking around it to find the dizzying pattern that dazzles and yet draws me in.

Never walked past this part of the courthouse. In and Outdoor reflecting pool. Disorienting and beautiful.

Have to admit I really am shy about just taking pictures of people on the street. Had to get one of this guy though. He was tooling leather for boots just there. In the shade. Never seen him before, wish I had asked to do a closer up portrait...

Tall buildings make everyone a little kid again. You are always looking up. Unless you are glued to your "Smartphone" and walking into street lamps.

In an effort to... push forward the arts, be funky, be cool... whatever. Salt Lake has some fairly random art pieces placed around. "Art on a stick." I call it. Whatever you call it, it can be fun to look at.

Many fond memories of this building, choir performances during intermissions of The Nutcracker at Christmas being the most prominent. Really need to shoot this at night!

Courtyard of the Blue Iguana. Best. Mexican. In. Salt Lake.

Same building. Love the building, love the ornateness of the light fixtures. And yes I made it crooked intentionally. Gotta break out of the OCD somehow....

Debated taking a picture of this kid for awhile, decided it was OK as you couldn't see his face and it was in a very public space. He stood there forever just staring. He was in the moment.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Clouds... They Make Most Every Picture Better!

One complaint I have about summer in Utah, is that we often have days and days of severe clear, with a little haze. Great for getting a tan, but it makes for uninteresting skies. I much prefer texture and drama to the sky. It there are great skies I always want my camera in hand.

Case in point: I can shoot these mountains everyday, tough to take a photo of them I am excited about unless there is texture to the sky, or the moon or something like that. While this is not something Ansel would be proud of I just get happy when I see skies like this!

The thing that made me happiest was I had time to take pictures of the Temple with the clouds. It necessitated an angle I usually don't shoot from much, but I think they turned out ok!

I had to wait for sunlight on the temple though, you can see this first shot, the temple is a bit dull looking, this was due to clouds partially blocking the sun.

My patience was rewarded I really like the look of this better.

I did also do a HDR version with the bracket shots above and below the previous pic. It turned out pretty nice, but I think I lost a little richness in the color of the temple while going through the process. Not sure which I like better!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Frankie & Johnnie's

One thing about being a photographer is that you are always looking for new things to take pictures of. You take different ways of getting home, turn down side streets. I am sure I have never driven past this spot, though I have heard of it. I think I need to go back at night.....

Nothing fancy here, I just loved the textures of the peeling wood on an abandoned building's door.

Clouds. Did I mention I LOVE clouds?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Nice Morning....

I have been playing more with using HDR in situations where I normally would not, a few weeks ago I had a good opportunity with some mixed lighting in the morning. I originally tried this shot as HDR, but it just didn't look quite right. So I just went with a single exposure and got what I was looking for.

Both of these are HDR, I like them but I'm not super excited with the haloing I see around the temple. But with the building in shade and the sun lit, there was no other good way to get the lighting right. Believe me I tried!

Friday, September 4, 2015

A Bunch Of Hot Air Never Looked So Good!

I got to uploading these photos and realized how many I had gotten that I liked, could have processed even more, but I think this is enough. I realize that I am more image centric than verbose here on my blog. I think that is OK, don't you? I mean... it IS a photography blog, might as well post some images.

Hot air balloons are a pretty cool thing, I have always loved seeing them fly, but have not yet been in one. (Some day) They can be devilishly hard to photograph. They are large, but have lots of small details, most balloon festivals start launching around dawn, so you end up with wildly varying exposure compensation settings, depending on backlighting, direct sunlight, sky vs. shadow. I was forced to look at my LCD and review more often than I like to just to make sure I had the right exposure. After the morning was done I realized I was on matrix metering rather than spot metering. Sigh... explains a lot.

Despite the technical challenges of exposure, composition can be tricky, these suckers are big, REALLY BIG! You can go from 10mm to 100mm+ in a blink, and NOBODY makes a lens with those specs! My workhorse was my Pentax 16-85, I also shot a few with my DFA 100. Which is constraining for me, as I usually go wide or go home. This was good, it forced me to look at my compositions differently. Hopefully successfully.

Now on to the parade of images. I will try to not distract from your viewing too much, but I will comment here and there.

I love the juxtaposition of one balloon against another and the textures of the balloon shapes. It almost reminds me of a kaleidoscope when you get a bunch together.

Sunshine, mountains & hot air balloons, what more could you ask for?

I have always been fascinated by the willingness people have to shoot flames into a fabric bag. The heat and power are heady, and the results awe inspiring. Still a little scary though.


Sometimes zooming with your zoom rather than with your feet can provide a nice variation in composition. I honestly can't say which one I like most, but I think the first is the most interesting.

Yes, there were lots of people there. For whatever reason I do not/try to not/forget to include people in my shots, I guess maybe they are less interesting than the balloons?

Chasing them into the surrounding neighborhoods was a highlight for my kids. (Me too if truth be told, but a little nerve wracking when you are the driver AND trying to spot them too!)