Finding Your Voice: Day 9. The View.

Can you believe we’re almost done? Today is Day 9 in: “Finding Your Voice… 10 Days, 10 Concepts To Help You Find Your Photographic Voice.”  And now…

The View: Wide or Macro?

Today’s exploration asks how you love to see the world. The wide view? Close up, contained and focused? Or somewhere in between?

If you’re like me, you love it all! I wanted to admit that right off the bat, in case you thought I was gonna say “Choose amongst them!”  No… if you love all view, go for it!

Where you DO have to choose is in your composition. You have to, in a sense, justify what goes in the frame of whatever view you’ve chosen. For this series, that means make strong choices about that based upon what you love. The story you want to tell. The message, point of view or perspective you want to share… which has to all come back to what you love most.

The Life Cycle of a Wheel Continue reading “Finding Your Voice: Day 9. The View.”

Finding Your Voice: Day 7. Movement

Welcome to Day 7 in our series: “Finding Your Voice… 10 Days, 10 Concepts To Help You Find Your Photographic Voice.”

Movement

Today we get into an area that might seem a little more abstract to you, but I’ll give it my best shot at explaining how I see this one.

Here’s the fill-in:  My favorite type of movement is_____________.

My own background shapes the way I see in perhaps a different way than a typical photographer: I was a dancer, a figure skater and a rider/horse trainer. Each moved in different ways, but each shaped my feeling for timing, rhythm, composition and story in photography. Continue reading “Finding Your Voice: Day 7. Movement”

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.”

Fuji: First Impressions

Mt. Fuji!

Well, look what arrived the other day… the Fuji XTi and three lenses! This is the next experiment in my ongoing quest to find a mirrorless camera solution for travel and for those slightly more treacherous locations any landscape photographer wants to venture into (if you haven’t been following this thread – and want to – it all started with Sony over here. Continued here. Aaannnd most recently went on over here.).

Sony didn’t work for me. Will Fuji? First results are in… and (drum roll, please)… it might. Here are my initial impressions…

But first: one must build a mountain up into the clouds in homage to the brand. Check.

IMG_1900

Continue reading “Fuji: First Impressions”

Canon to Sony – Here Goes!

Canon to Sony- It Begins

I’ve been a Canon shooter for the past several years. But in November 2013, I went to Nashville along with a bunch of other bloggers, photographers and journalists to try the brand new, unreleased (at that time) Sony A7r, A7 and RX10. In fact, I wrote a blog piece for Stuck in Customs about the whole thing. I knew then I would go mirrorless… and if Sony kept on breaking ground, that would be the camera for me.

I also knew I needed to wait for lenses. They didn’t have the ideal landscape lenses for E-mount cameras… and the adapters were a bit clunky and slow then.

Cut to now. I’m still a Canon shooter… and faller. My pack is heavy. Also big. When it and gravity collude, the thing has a mind of its own. Periodically, it takes me down. As in… BAM!!… to the ground. It’s like practicing martial arts with a really good opponent. Mostly I win… but occasionally when I’m not on my game I’m thrown to the mat.

As a landscape photographer, I venture out onto questionable footing – often. And with a big weight on my back, my balance is sometimes sketchy. While I have really good balance and agility (I WAS an athlete a good part of my life – but never with a pack on my back!) I’m getting tired of being on the teeter end of the totter. Know what I’m sayin’?

Ah, Then The Lenses…

Sony’s lens selections – and adapters – have gotten better.
So have my ouchies from the LAST time I bit the dust.
I’m going Sony. I’ve started with an A7ii. Will go for an A7r or whatever’s next in that line. Now to figure out lenses.

Here’s one from the other night, handheld and taken with my old Sony 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 lens:

You truly are the light at my back,Protecting me from what I can't see,Illuminating the way ahead.
Continue reading “Canon to Sony – Here Goes!”

Explore The Elements

At The Heart Of It

I was invited to enter a contest for travel/photo-bloggers.

I know, RIGHT? But it’s sponsored by Thomas Cook – an awesome outfit – and it’s called “Explore the Elements”.  As they put it…”It’s all about capturing and expressing the four elements through travel photography…” so I thought “What the heck?” And here we are.

So, OK, I love to travel. But to be honest: I don’t actually want to go EVERYwhere. I only love to go where my heart wants to go. Sometimes my head and heart have different ideas about that.
Continue reading “Explore The Elements”

911 & Consistency

The Peculiarness of Downtown Santa Cruz 

I’m sitting up at 1am. Awake. Not because I want to be… no, I’d much rather be sleeping.
But here in Santa Cruz, California where I spend part of my time, there’s a contingent of… what do I call them? Street people… night crawlers… musicians (no, that’s too generous)… lost souls… sigh. Whatever they are, they come out after midnight.

Their fave thing is to set up a band.. complete with bongos and other percussion instruments and start playing them on the street corner below the apartment. Badly. They sing. Badly. They keep anyone who lives nearby awake. Really, really well. It’s like a midnight (wannabe) music festival. I’ve learned that the way to handle it in downtown Santa Cruz is to call 911. Weird, huh?  But one day, I asked the cops who patrol the streets by day how to get help with this dilemma and they said “Call 911.” So I do. Every time. Because one thing I learned from training horses is that you have to be consistent to get results.

[Pause]

Ah now, there… see? In the time it took to write this, which I did after calling 911 (again)… the cops came, the festival broke up and I can now lay me down to sleep.

Thanks for keeping me company!

Random thought: I wonder if anything keeps redwood trees awake at night?

StandDown

And Now, Let’s Breathe

Let’s All Just Take a Breath

It’s been an interesting week. On SO many fronts!! My goodness. Vic Gundotra leaving Google, all the crazy world stuff… whew!

So today, being Friday… I’m just going to leave you with this. A breath, a fresh, minty moment, just a spot of peace in the midst of all the rabble.

That is all. Have a lovely weekend!

Vigil

 

Take a Detour

Ruts… Bleh!

Ever been stuck in a rut? I sure have! They often feel safe, known, comfortable… and you don’t always feel “stuck” in them! Sometimes it can be just smooth ‘n nice, which ain’t all bad sometimes.

I always know I’m hovering near rut-dom when I feel a little bored by my own self. In photography, it might feel like I can’t find anything original in anything I see, maybe I’m a little bored with my photo processing, maybe it’s just the itch to see and do something different(ly).

Rut-B-Gone!

In any case – I HAD a case of “the ruts” recently. When it happens, sometimes I’ll just step awaaaaayyy from the camera. Go out and enjoy life a little, without feeling like I have to find ART in every moment. Other times, I have an itch to photograph – but I just don’t want to look at another tree, ocean, beautiful sunset. Funny, huh? It doesn’t usually last too long AS LONG AS I take a detour from the norm to cleanse my palette.

Here are 4 things I do to banish The Rut:

 

GildedPast
Continue reading “Take a Detour”

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”

One Saturday in Santa Cruz

I spend part of my time in Santa Cruz, California these days. It’s a little beach town that prides itself on surfing, artistic freedom, great weather and well, being Santa Cruz.

This particular day in December there was more than the usual amount of weekend revelry going on downtown. Artists, musicians, wannabe both, shoppers, sight-seers… were all out and about on this warm winter day. It was festive (OK and a little crazy) enough that I decided to bring my Google Glass out to record the goings-on and take y’all with me!

I started downtown with street performers and artists… then headed out to the wharf where the sea lions were putting on their own show… then (as I always am) I was drawn to the sight and sounds of outside salsa dancing going on at a little Cuban restaurant nearby. In all, it just felt like a fun/funny reminder to live life fully! This ain’t no dress rehearsal and there is so much to take in and enjoy!

I seem to remember my mom giving me a card with words to that effect when I was a mere a youth . Funny how – and when – you think of stuff like that. 😀

From iPhone to Aha!

The Painful Realization

This photo was taken with an iPhone. Why? Because that’s all I had on hand! ARGH! I’m grateful that I was able to capture it somehow, BUT…
I also started kicking myself over the obvious… never leave home without your camera! The full frame one.

Hey, I’m human. Prone to mistakes, big and small. It bites sometimes, I’ll admit it.
Situation: I’m out of town. Where I’m staying I can’t see the sky, unlike home where I can see for miles and am always in touch with what’s going on in the natural world around me. Right now,  I’m cranking out content for a deadline, facing the baleful monitor screen of my laptop, all. Dang. Day.

Late in the day, the hubs and I decide to go out for a walk and get some air. About 20 minutes, out, I realize what’s happening in the sky. The makings of an EPIC sunset. And we’re on the coast, near beaches. Oy. Not enough time to go back and grab my DSLR. Well, at least we can go enjoy the moment. Breeeeathe.

Within a half hour… the sky lit up and I nearly wept. Still… thank god for iPhones!
I was almost in physical pain for a bit, until I managed to turn it around. And I did…

__Idyll
Continue reading “From iPhone to Aha!”

4 Mile Beach

We were waiting for sunset. This is never a problem at the beaches around Santa Cruz, CA. Actually I’m pretty much never at a loss for what to do while I wait for sunset! In this case, I just had to capture some of the swirling waters around these rocks. But I wanted the water to be ribbony, wanted to catch a little splashy wavelet – and I wanted to shoot it HDR. Oh yeah and I didn’t want to get my feet wet. Miss Pickypants strikes again! But of course, I did get all my wishes. ;D

4MileWater

Continue reading “4 Mile Beach”

Virtual Photo Walks: Santa Cruz Wharf

Today, we visited the Santa Cruz Wharf in California and checked out sea lions, pelicans and a vintage Thunderbird show! It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood and we enjoyed it California dreamin’ style by the water. I loved meeting Dave, the Thunderbird owner who joined us and let me sit the driver’s seat of his vintage pride and joy!

Virtual Photo Walks: Steamers Lane

Steamers Lane in Santa Cruz, California is famous for it’s world class surfing. There’s even a museum there! So I decided to bring Virtual Photo Walks to the action by the sea to see what we could see. Hehhehheh. I was joined by friends Barry Blanchard, Natalia Stone and Roma Gee, who were all there shooting the action on a really fun, brisk September day!