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on Aug 15, 2019 in Landscape Photography

The Lonely Rocks

It still amazes me how life clings to the smallest things and manages to survive, even flourish! I was reminded of this when we were working with Alaskan Sea Otters in Kachemak Bay last week. A favorite locale of mine to shoot is Duck Island. You can see it from Homer looking across the bay, it’s a small island about the size of a football field. It is a major nesting colony for Black-legged Kittiwakes along with Pelagic Cormorants, Horned & Tufted Puffins, and some other seabirds. It’s a symphony of sounds and a nostril full of smells of new life. Typically, I go with a long lens and focus in on just the nesting birds but this time, I wanted to tell about the celebration of life on the lonely rocks in the middle of the sea. How do you say lonely and celebration of life in the same click? I thought going long but then remembering I was in a boat, I went wide and used the...

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on Aug 7, 2019 in Landscape Photography

Endless Sunset

I’m rarely disappointed by a sunset in Alaska. And, I’ve never missed one. That’s because the sun takes so bloody long to set, you could drive for an hour to the perfect spot and still capture it! So while watching the Sea Otters float by, the gulls and kittiwakes settle in for the night, I sat on the balcony and listened to the crashing waves as the earth slowly spun forcing the sun to once more go below the horizon. Even if for only five hours before popping back up again. I even did time-lapse of the setting and rising sun. Shooting with the Z7 / Z14-30, I gaffer taped my tabletop tripod to the railing to do it. Too lazy to go down to the truck and get my tripod. Too beautiful a scene to...

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on Jul 25, 2019 in Landscape Photography

Mutual Destruction

While the whole idea behind the Arms Race and Mutual Destruction is over my pay grade, I can get into the engineering and technology it produced. I finally, after decades of saying I need to, toured the Titan II Missle museum in Green Valley AZ. Walking around the exhibit prior to going down into the silo (yes, you walk down in it) is really a bit depressing. Especially when you see the 6300lbs nuclear warhead! Then you dawn your hardhat and head down the stairs into the underground world of the ’60s and Mutual Destruction. You’re allowed to take your camera with you, so I grabbed the Z7 / Z24-70f2.8 and glad I did (though the photos aren’t going on my kitchen wall). You’re down there for an hour learning a whole lot how some really smart people prepared and built for Mutual Destruction. One example I can verbalize is the command room is “hung” on giant springs so even if an atom bomb were dropped on them or...

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on Jul 16, 2019 in Landscape Photography

4600 Miles Later

My sweetie and I pulled into the garage after a seventeen-hour straight drive home last night culminating a 4600-mile road trip. And it was great!!! We saw so much new parts of our country making tons of notes of locales to go back and explore to a greater depth with the camera. Meet lots of incredible folks like the lead engineer for the Apollo LEM who worked for Gruman and WWII Navy engineer who landed on Iwo Jima in the first wave. The best part might have been the quiet time to just drive, look and think. I hope you have a road trip planned for this summer and if not, you just might consider it. I might move your photography forward without even having to pick a camera...

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on Jul 11, 2019 in Landscape Photography, B&W Photography

Dead Center Continues

I have a thing for barns, especially lonely old barns. And in Montana, it’s pretty easy to find them. The challenge is finding them when light and mood makes it worth stopping and photographing them. In the past week, I’ve been able to photograph over a dozen as the skies just keep performing. And they all have ended up being dead center in the photograph. Dead center you say? I thought that was bad! You’ve probably read or heard that dead center is bad. Did you know that dead center is the most powerful form of composition we have, if … if the elements in the frame support it. In photographing the lonely barn or building then, being lonely in part supports being dead center. The sky is what really makes it all work. I wish I had a formula for you when it comes to the skies, but I don’t. The main element in skies I look for is mood which is a combination of lights and darks....

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on Jul 11, 2019 in Landscape Photography

Math Map Geek

There is a section of track up by Big Timber MT that goes for miles dead straight nearly due east. If you are lucky, you’re at the right section so when the sun rises, you have it dead center over the tracks right on the horizon. Or if you’re me, you geek out a little with a map, compass and sunrise chart to put yourself at the right section at the right moment. It’s really no big deal, it’s just one of those little challenges that if everything works out, you have a photo of shinny railroad tracks. If not, you don’t. In this case, Z7 / Z24-70f2.8 (-2exp comp, 8kWB) was in the right place. Not earth shattering but in its own way,...

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