Finding Your Voice: Day 5. Element.

Welcome to Day 5 of our fun series: “Finding Your Voice… 10 Days, 10 Concepts To Help You Find Your Photographic Voice”

My Favorite Element is _______.

Let’s talk elements. I don’t ONLY mean the natural elements of wind, earth, fire and water. I mean MANY other elements that might be part of what you’re drawn to – that all contribute to finding your Artist’s Voice.

Moods Like This Continue reading “Finding Your Voice: Day 5. Element.”

Hearing Voices In The Mist

So, this. Voices In The Mist. I recently made it image my new Facebook cover image.  It got alot… and I mean, ALOT more likes, comments and shares than normal.

Think it struck a cord? Or was it just algorithms?
Personally, I’m voting “cord”, for whatever reason it was struck.

I can tell you that to me, this is an illustration in a story about listening, finding your voice, speaking with it with all your heart & soul in your art… and in every thing you do.

Voices In The Mist Continue reading “Hearing Voices In The Mist”

NYC & Photo Plus Expo

I’m in New York City! Woot! I’ll be here for 10 days.

What brings me here is Photo Plus Expo. Ever hear of it? It’s the largest photography conference and expo in North America. Yep, she’s a big’un.

Even more specifically, I’m here to speak as part of the Fuji-X Photographer team. Exciting!

By the way, I believe Fuji is printing this image for the show… and I suspect it may be fairly big. I haven’t been over to the Javits Center yet to see everything, so we’ll see! You know I’ll share that with you. We do, after all, have that ongoing conversation about the Fujis and large prints. Will they or won’t they? (I suspect they will, just fine.) 😀

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Lines, Contrast, Patterns = Monochrome

 My, What Strong Lines You Have!

This is a brand, spankin’ new photo. I haven’t posted it anywhere, except here. ‘Cause my blog gets first crack at everything. I’m partial that way.

It DID appear in a recent webinar I did on Tonality Pro for Macphun Software, because that’s how I processed it. This particular photo is just such a great example of how you can work with selective colors in Tonality Pro.

I do love this one… single shot, hand held… I found it while I was waiting for sunset at Donner Lake one evening this summer. I still remember the sound of the mosquito I was dodging at the time.

The little boat rental outfit was closed for the day… and all their boats were tied up, but this one was just as you see it. Such a classic set up – and perfect for a monochrome approach. The strong lines make it so; the verticals of the trees, the horizontal of the boat and dock… accentuated by the vertical orientation.

It’s a good thing to remember, should you wonder if a subject would make a good black and white image. Does it have strong lines, contrasts and repeating patterns? Then it’s probably a shoo-in for monochrome.

MyRedCanoe

 If You Like Learning…

On a whole other topic (but still related to learning)… remember last week when I said “Something Big is Coming?”
It starts tomorrow. I can’t give you the complete lowdown on the rundown until then, but I do get to say this much… Wow!

Yeah. Check in tomorrow… I’ll have the entire thing all laid out for ya. It’s COOL!

Facebook-Sale-Teaser-1

Envision The Results

Intend. Envision. Enjoy.

Cool. Moist. Relief.
On my social streams a couple of days ago, I asked for help in thinking “cool, moist thoughts”?. Guess what’s happening now?

Rain.

Why was this so important? Because of the King Fire, a wildfire that’s been burning out of control since Sept. 11. It’s been moving ever closer to us… while sending massive amounts of smoke billowing into town like some kind of advance death troop, bent on suffocating everyone. It’s been horrible. I’ve been trying to stay away as much as possible, just so I could breathe. 

So the other day, I put it out there. “Think cool, moist thoughts.” You may have seen the post.
And now… aaaaahhhhhh… rain. 


I’m thanking you – and everyone. Even if you think I’m a total crackpot for imagining that we made a difference. I just know that I asked for help from you, the powers that be and the heavens above… and everything changed. We haven’t had rain for months. Till now.

I think that’s how it happens. All of it. Let’s remember that, shall we? Remind me if I forget, OK? I’ll do the same for you. 😀

 

Tekla

A Season of New Beginnings

Like a Fiery Birth of Fabulocity

“Like a Brainstorm.” “Like a Lake Tahoe Vortex.” “Like the Eye of Sauron fallen over on its side.”

“Whuuuuut?” I hear you wondering. “What’s IN that chia-and-flax-seeds-in-yogurt mash you’ve been eating??”

I see moments like the one above and it’s double take. No.. triple take! No, quick… write the first three captions that pop into my mind, no matter how daft!

(Oh, and photo notes: Single shot, Canon 6D, EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens, ISO 125, f/11. In case you wondered.)

TheOpening
Continue reading “A Season of New Beginnings”

Sunset at Bendemeer

Bendemeer Estates

A year ago, I went to New Zealand to help teach a fabulous workshop given by Trey Ratcliff. It was his first New Zealand workshop – and my first visit to Hobbitland. I pretty much walked around the whole time with my mouth hanging open at the postcard views EVERYWHERE!

We visited lots of different places and scenes, not all of them reminiscent of “Return of the King”. One was at a new housing development called “Bendemeer Estates.” I use that term loosely, since there were no actual houses built on the property; a fact that made me chuckle (to myself, of course) as we wandered about the golf course, golf cart paths and lovely little lake that you see here.


Continue reading “Sunset at Bendemeer”

Interpret the Sky, Move Your Feet

Inspiration in the Sky

When conditions aren’t inviting me to venture out for some inspired shooting… I just wait for the sky.

Without snow this winter in the mountains where I live, the dry, lackluster terrain just isn’t all that awesome to photograph all by itself. At least it isn’t for my taste. Maybe I’ve gotten picky from living here so long. But whatever the reason, I haven’t been so excited to get out and find new shades-of-brown vistas.

But when the clouds conspire to thrill and delight, all bets are off!


Continue reading “Interpret the Sky, Move Your Feet”

To Surf the Zuvuya

One Evening in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is known for many things. Among them, surfing, beaches, sunsets, being a little (or a lot) “out there” – and Natural Bridges, which is where this image was taken. So on this particular evening, when they all converged in one spot for this one moment, I couldn’t help but come up with a title for it all. You know how I am. 😉

So I called it “To Surf the Zuvuya”. It was because of 1. the surfer and 2. the keyhole.

To Surf the Zuvuya... Santa Cruz, CaliforniaThe icons meet... sunset, the endless circle, the surfer. Oh, and Zuvuya? Just think of it as
Continue reading “To Surf the Zuvuya”

My Photo, My Life

Photo As Metaphor

This photo is so metaphoric for where my head’s been at lately. Reflecting. Looking at things right side up – then them over to change my perspective. Feeling a bit murky, but upon looking closer noticing the patterns, interesting colors and mood woven into my life. Light right behind the murk, lending its ever-present glow to everything it touches; sending out quiet beams of brilliance. For all the murk… clarity. Order. Beauty. Stuff to see below the surface. Quiet. Calm. And for the way it “just so happened” that I was here for this moment… the element of miracles and delightful surprises.


Continue reading “My Photo, My Life”

Color or Monochrome?

Plan A, Hijacked

I was heading elsewhere this day; intending to shoot sunset (if there was one) at another location. But when I looked over and espied this scene, all other plans went out the proverbial window! I love matching reflections… strong cloud formations… and an almost surreal/abstract arrangement of elements when they happen naturally. It’s magic! (and this day, certainly one of my daily miracles. Especially since the west hasn’t even SEEN clouds for months!)

Unbroken
Continue reading “Color or Monochrome?”

Feel It. Now.

The Moment of Shift

I have a photographer friend (thank you for letting me name names, Michael Bonocore!) who’s apartment hunting in a REALLY tight housing area and market. He has a specific idea of what he wants, is super busy with limited time to hunt and is finding the whole search really stressful. Just today, he missed the perfect place by mere moments. “GAH!” I said… “But breathe. The perfect place will appear right when you let go and least expect it.”

That’s what this image reminds me of… that moment where you take release on the inside and suddenly everything shifts.

Cairn Reflecting
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Icons and Perspective

Let’s Go Shoot An Icon!

A photographer friend was in town, so we headed out to Bonsai Rock at Lake Tahoe to shoot some sunset action.
Bonsai Rock is a bit of an icon. Google it and you’ll see what I mean.

We’re having an incredibly dry winter in the Sierra Nevada mountains… which means no snow where there should be MANY feet of it! It also means that Bonsai Rock and other locations around Tahoe are unusually accessible right now in winter. Which further means… we had LOTS of photographer company one Thursday night in January at Bonsai Rock. They were a quiet, tense, kind of cranky and definitely territorial bunch. Hey, I wished we’d had the place to ourselves too… but what the heck. Roll with it! There’s plenty for everyone. Sigh.

But Don’t JUST Shoot An Icon

My friend Lisa Donchak and I tried to lighten up the mood. Said hello as we moved about making multiple compositions amidst the “butt campers” as I like to call them.  I refer to the practice of finding a spot, setting up camp and possessing it like you own the very air molecules surrounding it. But I figure, why go to all the trouble of getting there only to walk away with one shot? Oh well, I’m sure they have their reasons.

This was one of my non-Bonsai blue hour images. I love the way Tahoe light and color is so blocky and clean at that time. And the moon! Cool.

Sierra RocksLake Tahoe, NevadaThe big rock shining above the little ones below.It was a rocky night... but oh-so-gorgeous!
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New Zealand and The Chat

New Image: Milford Sound

Today I’m in the mood to share a couple of things: first, a brand new photo. It’s from my trip to New Zealand earlier this year for Trey Racliff’s New Zealand Adventure in which I co-taught. We visited Milford Sound, of course… got rained out one night, but woke up to a properly mystical morning!

MilfordStrand

The Chat with Annette Biggers: Sneak Peak!

Then… this coming Monday is an all new episode of The Chat! They just keep getting better and better… and more and more fun. This one was no exception… but add “inspiring as all get-out” to the mix. heh. My guest is photographer Annette Biggers… who is also an artist, humanitarian and Deep Thinker About Life.

In this clip, she talks about her belief that “artists are the creators or life in culture”… and explains what she means by that. You might find yourself agreeing with her! It was certainly true in the Renaissance… and I think its as true now as it ever was then! As artists, I personally think we need to consider carefully what we’re putting out there.

Tune in on Monday for the full episode!!

Shoot While You Can!!

This image looks so calm and serene, doesn’t it? Well I shot it at Donner Lake, California, which is in the Sierra Nevada Mountains – and it WAS serene – at that moment. And that’s my very short and pithy point today… if you go out seeking sunset on a sketchy weather day, shoot while you can! Especially if you’re ever in the mountains or anywhere that weather conditions are in “quick change mode”.

Twice
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The Bonsai Rock Mission

Avoiding Bonsai Rock: “all that” or merely insecure?

Bonsai Rock on Lake Tahoe, Nevada side is an icon. An endless stream of photographers has been to this spot to shoot this very rock it seems; its wee stunted pine trees doing their mightiest to grow out of a crack in the granite. Just do a Google image search for “Bonsai Rock Lake Tahoe” and watch an endless scroll of photos populate the page.

I have a strong streak of rebellion that resists shooting places like this that EVERYBODY seems to need to photograph.
Or perhaps it’s insecurity masquerading as a mock blasé attitude so I can pretend it doesn’t really matter.
I mean it DOESN’T really matter in the grand scheme of things… right?

Taking the Leap

And yet… when my good friend and über fabulous photographer and teacher Matt Kloskowski came out to teach a Lightroom workshop in Sacramento, he made an extra day to shoot at Tahoe. He called me up and said he wanted to do Bonsai Rock – and of course, I said “I’ve never shot it either!” Like it just sorta happened that I never shot that stupid rock… or had just been SOOOOO busy (and don’t forget ‘important’) that I never had time to make it out there. Nevermind that in almost 20 years of living in, I only just figured out where it is this year! Granted, I wasn’t actively doing the kind of photography I am now most of that time, so that’s my official excuse… but still.

Personally, I think Bonsai Rock is a better sunset spot than sunrise. So we hit it shortly before sundown.

Even granite boulders have families, right?I'm going to imagine it just that way.
Continue reading “The Bonsai Rock Mission”

All Lined Up For Awesomeness

“All Lined Up For Awesomeness” seems like a silly title… but that IS what I thought when I looked at this cool cloud formation at sunset – then saw these pelicans. Later, when I looked at it on the computer… the pellykins (as I fondly refer to them) were also lined up with that one bit of the arc in the clouds. I hadn’t seen that bit so clearly when I was just concentrating on getting the shot. I love juxtapositions!

SunsetFormation

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Sunset Day

Sunsets always make me think of a simple thing my mother used to say ALOT: “My cup runneth over.” She was blessed in life and she knew it. Perhaps you have to live through enough in life to really appreciate the depth of that sentiment. Apparently I’ve crossed that invisible line, because every day now, I truly do feel like my cup runneth right the heck over!

It seems sunsets resonate with a deeply sublime place in lots of other people too, because The Weather Channel is actually dedicating September 19th as “Sunset Day”! More about that in a sec (and the Hangout On Air I that went with it)… but first, just breathe with me:

CupRunnethOver Continue reading “Sunset Day”