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on Aug 1, 2006 in Thought of the Month

Where Does Your Vision Take You? – 08.01.06

How many of you have been to Mesa Arch at Canyonlands Nat’l Park? I’ve been there just a couple of times personally. The first time I’ll never forget. I’d seen thousands of photographs of the arch, a couple just blew me away which is why it was high on my list of locales to photograph. What I saw in the photographs though is not what I saw standing at the arch. The first time I went to the arch I had Laurie as my guide. We got up early and drove the 45min from Moab to be in position at the arch long before sun up. We arrived at the parking lot and it was one of those rare mornings, no one else was there. We walked up over the ridge and down the trail which is when I saw the edge of the canyon. I was confused and asked Laurie, “Where’s the Arch?� She said, “Right there!� I looked to where she pointed and saw a lump of...

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on Jul 1, 2006 in Thought of the Month

What’s Going on In There? – 07.01.06

This photography thing, it’s quite a mental game. Ever notice that? Whether it was the brain power to earn the money to buy the tools, selecting the right tool out of all the ones purchased or then thinking about the best way to apply that selected lens for the given subject, the whole thing is a mental process. You can go even deeper realizing that selecting the right f/stop and position for the right composition takes even more brain power. Going all the way, you have to take your brain in combination with your eyes and analyze the light to determine not only exposure but if the light itself is worthy of your photographic efforts. Dang, this is one brainy hobby/avocation or occupation! Ever upload your photos and ask yourself, “What was I thinking about?� Your images are missing something obvious. Perhaps you used the wrong AF sensor so your focus point is off, you used too much DOF or not enough. You simply blew it because, you weren’t...

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on Jul 1, 2006 in Thought of the Month

What's Going on In There? – 07.01.06

This photography thing, it’s quite a mental game. Ever notice that? Whether it was the brain power to earn the money to buy the tools, selecting the right tool out of all the ones purchased or then thinking about the best way to apply that selected lens for the given subject, the whole thing is a mental process. You can go even deeper realizing that selecting the right f/stop and position for the right composition takes even more brain power. Going all the way, you have to take your brain in combination with your eyes and analyze the light to determine not only exposure but if the light itself is worthy of your photographic efforts. Dang, this is one brainy hobby/avocation or occupation! Ever upload your photos and ask yourself, “What was I thinking about?� Your images are missing something obvious. Perhaps you used the wrong AF sensor so your focus point is off, you used too much DOF or not enough. You simply blew it because, you weren’t...

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on Jun 1, 2006 in Thought of the Month, Wildlife Photography

Analyzing – it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be!

Have you ever read Time Exposure by William Henry Jackson? It’s a great read about an era, humanity and philosophy that’s long passed. William Henry Jackson for those who don’t know the name was a pioneer landscape/nature photograph. I mean pioneer in every sense of the world. From being thought of as the inventor of the picture postcard, one of the first to use color film, and being the photographer for the Hayden Expedition to Yellowstone, he was a pioneer. He took the first photos of that grand place, can you even imagine what that was like? (He also went to congress with those photos to lobby them into creating  Yellowstone Nat’l Park.) I bring him up because, well, I often wonder what this hero of mine would think of today’s photographers. He had to carry all of his glass plates, tent & chemicals to the locale he was going to photograph, set it all up including the camera, run to the tent, coat the glass plate, run...

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on May 1, 2006 in Thought of the Month

Think Outside the Box

  The TOM is rather short, it’s rather obvious. Photographers all too often are happy with wherever they set down their tripod. They see some other photographer, they assume that photographer must know something so they set up near them. Photographers all too often get a shot they are happy with and they stop there, they don’t go to the next level and push themselves. Photographers see a photograph they like and try to copy it only to wonder why theirs falls short. They miss the subtle details that make the big difference. Photographers all too often, just settle and don’t grow! For you and your photography to grow, you’ve got to take the next step. Not a giant leap because normally you fall into a deep hole you can’t get out of. Rather, take constant small steps so you keep moving forward while avoiding the giant holes. Yeah, this is difficult because there are no road maps, photographers including myself don’t write about the how’s of accomplishing this...

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on Apr 1, 2006 in Thought of the Month

What’s “The” Right F/Stop?

Man, is that a common question! My partner Vincent & I have this whole comedy routine built around this question it’s asked so often. What’s the answer? The answer is, whatever f/stop works best to communicate what YOU want to communicate. What kind of answer is that you ask? Well, f/stop selection has to do with depth of field and depth of field selection has to do with how much of the subject itself you want sharp, and then how much of the world around the subject you want in focus. And then all of this is determined by the focal length of lens in use and the physical distance the camera is from the lens. So with all of that, how can anyone advise what is “the� best f/stop. Now what does the Photo of the Month have to do with f/stop selection? There’s this thing going around, has been for quite a while, how closing a lens down to its smallest aperture can degrade the image quality....

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