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on Sep 27, 2013 in Friday Thoughts, Wildlife Photography

The Spirit of the WIlderness

With 50knt gusts, first dusting of snow on Mt Yak and the flocks of Emperor Geese winging their way south, there is no doubt the season has changed. Alaska this time of year is unpredictable and gorgeous! In our modern life with internet, cities and cars, the spirit of the wilderness is often missed by most. This if for no other reason is why I love being a wildlife photographer. It’s a simple journey back to basics. Our time at Hallo Bay, Alaska was nothing short of magical. It was also very typical of any wildlife adventure where you plan a year in advance to photograph a critter that has no calendar. We were anything but skunked during our time with as many as seven individual bears photographed in any given day which included mom with three spring cubs. And while being at point blank range with a griz eating barnacles is way beyond way cool, that’s not really the point when we venture out. And it shouldn’t be...

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on Aug 27, 2013 in Friday Thoughts, Wildlife Photography

What’s Better?

There we were in the metal junkyard in Chuchill, Canada. Then from nowhere a Merlin takes to the air cacking at a crow and chasing it out of the area. In June, that’s a sure sign they are nesting. Merlins are a funny little raptor, they tend to nest on the ground in the Arctic. I’ve seen Merlin for the last 30yrs but I’ve never had glass on one long enough to get better than what looks like a dust spot on the sensor. Here was an opportunity that even though less than ideal (shooting in a junkyard with the sun high overhead), it was better than what I had had, nothing. I had no shots in my conventional or digital files of Merlin. The last 12 month, the #2 question I’ve been asked has changed. It was, “What’s the best f/stop?” but now it’s “How do I get better?” We have known units of measure, inch, ounce, miles per hours, kilowatts, but there is no known unit of...

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on Jul 19, 2013 in Friday Thoughts

Where Does Wisdom Come From?

I have no doubt it’s just the quirky way my mind works, but I’ve asked this question for a long, long time. Why? Perhaps that with the answer would come many other answers, which seem to matter in life. So being on this quest, I ask lots of questions. Well, I ask questions that pertain really to just a few areas of my life since, well, I’m not sure I want some of the other answers I might find. But when it comes to critters and photography, I’m really tenacious. I want and seem to think I need those answers. So everyday I head out with my camera on this quest for knowledge that might lead to wisdom. Now the fact I seek it from a black box that can’t talk and from critters who’s language I don’t speak in itself might lead one to rightly think, I’m nuts to start with. And that for the most part is the case which explains much from the start. Yet, I...

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on Jul 12, 2013 in Friday Thoughts

You Share for One

This is such a vast landscape! I am always intrigued and surprised who reaches out from the smallest of towns in the loneliest of places to just say thanks. When that happens, it just points out that while we are scattered to all four corners we can come together through the visual world we label photography. It just takes that one image that reaches that one person that tells us that shutter speed and f/stop don’t really matter. It the content that contains YOU that really matters because that’s what reaches out to others. And it’s not just photography that can do this. Over the 4th, Sharon & I had the sincere honor to fly with the Texas Flying Legends Museum. We started the day in Minot helping to wash the C-53 and preparing it to fly to the small town of Rolla who was having an “airshow” to celebrate the 4th. An hour later we were in the air for the 45min flight to Rolla. The TFLM also...

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on May 16, 2013 in Aviation, Friday Thoughts

We Are Our Best Teacher!

Getting better, that is a constant theme in just about everything photographic. Is it just human nature or is it just the nature of photographers? Whatever it is, getting better at our craft is a huge part of what it is to be a photographer. You know what I’m talking about. You do it, we all do it, that’s why you’re reading this blog post right now. You’re hoping that some pearl of wisdom will leak out of my pea brain that will help you be a better photographer. I’m just as guilty of it. I’m constantly looking for that piece of advice of a posting, that one statement in a video that will trigger a response in my head to send me out clicking. But quite often, I find some of my best learning comes right from my own files. I was looking for a specific image of a specific aircraft for a client. They wanted a particular angle, which while important to the client, didn’t really excite...

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on Apr 30, 2013 in Friday Thoughts

Dave Black Gave Away the Secret!

Yeap, I was there, sitting in the audience with my jaw hitting the floor and Sharon shaking me back to the real world as I heard him utter those words! And the scary part, what really concerned me was, the audience didn’t even hear him. They were way to tuned into comments that had dollar signs in them, what so many think is why photographers are in business. While it is a necessity, money is not why the successful and long term photographers are in the business of photography! Dave’s class at Photoshop World on the business of Sports Photography was simply freakin great! I don’t care where you are in your sports photography business, or any business, he had inspiration and pearls in every sentence. Though he gave away the secret to success in photography within the first five minutes of his hour long presentation, it didn’t even come up during the Q&A, which still has me scratching my head! First, understand that Dave is not only a...

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