Tag Archives: photographer

Take a Deep Breath and Focus on What is Truly Important

This simple message has been true throughout human history. It seems so relevant today with all of the negativity and anger we are exposed to daily, but the reality is….that environment has been with mankind always. None of us are perfect and we all have our agendas, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a step back and hear a message we were given long ago.

Love is very powerful, even amongst the chaos of negativity. I chose these two pictures to use with an overlay of this message as a perfect fit. I took both shots as summer afternoon monsoon thunderstorms were dying down here in the Arizona desert and the sun was setting. Both shots depict a small clearing in the sky with brilliant color reflecting off of the powerful and chaotic thunderstorms. Simple, yet powerful message amidst the chaos…..

 

Thoughts?

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Rose Blooms in Macro – Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

Having just spent some time in Los Angeles with our granddaughter while Mom and Dad were away, I was reminded of just how beautiful rose blooms were right now in that part of the country. Our daughter and her husband have beautiful flower gardens surrounding their house and I have featured some of their flowers on this blog. With that inspiring me, I have attached five macro shots I have taken from two different photo shoots.

This first one is from a public garden in Portland, Oregon. This deep red rose bud was just starting to open up.

This capture was from the Territorial Rose Garden in Prescott, Arizona (as are the rest of the attached shots). The bud was unfolding into a fuller bloom.

 

Getting a tighter framing on this rose blooms pulls the detail of the rose petals into full view, even slight discoloration on a couple of the center petals.

It truly looks like velvet with this deep red bloom.

And finally this purple bloom as a macro brings out the laciness of the petal edges.

Thoughts?

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Unique Finds on a Hike – Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

I’ve attached two shots from a photo shoot I did during one of my hikes in the Cascade Mountains just east of Seattle. One is a macro of a single mushroom that I almost didn’t see in the undergrowth of the forest and the other one of a rotted stump.  Both shots represent unique opportunities often overlooked in the sheer beauty of a hike in a heavily forested area.

I couldn’t have arranged the leaves and the mushroom head more perfectly if I had done it myself. This shot was along the path I was hiking and I almost didn’t see this single mushroom poking through the leaves of the surrounding undergrowth. Getting down on my knees and shooting it from a slight downward angle, framed it perfectly.

The uniqueness of this shot was not just the subject matter, but the sun shining on the rotted stump and the perspective of it in the view framed by live trees.  The visual changed dramatically just walking a few feet in either direction on the path. The sunlight caught my eye bringing this large stump into center stage. The framing of the shot with the live trees had me walking the path forwards and backwards looking for just the right alignment, which I think I found.

Thoughts?

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Wenatchee River, Washington – Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

For the weekend of March 10th, as a Christmas gift to the family, one of our daughters put together a family getaway weekend. The location she chose was up in the Cascade Mountains northeast of Seattle (two of our three daughters and their husbands live in the Seattle area – the other daughter who put this together, her husband and our granddaughter live in the Los Angles area and my wife and I live in the Phoenix area). She chose a location near Stevens Pass (spring skiing) and just outside of Leavenworth, Washington (Leavenworth is a Bavarian village featuring great German food, beer gardens and wine tasting from nearby wineries). The location of the house we stayed in is the subject of this weeks post.  The house was located along the Wenatchee River which flows down from the pass area into the eastern side of the Cascades. Most of the river is white water rapids, but the portion of the river where the house was located is just upstream from a small dam. The dam backed up this portion of the river into what looks like a still water pond. The house was perfect with floor to ceiling glass windows allowing the views I posted to be seen throughout most of the house.

Wenatchee River One

This first capture is straight across the river looking at a cabin in the woods on the other side (all it missed was smoke curling up from the chimney). The water appears very calm, but  is actually flowing at a fairly rapid pace. Loved the reflection on the water.

Wenatchee River Two

This is just a close up of the cabin across the river…..

Wenatchee River Three

Standing in the same location as the first two shots, this is looking to my right up-stream along the river. If you could zoom in on the river where the green reflection ends, you would see white water rapids as the water flows into this calmer portion. We could hear the sound of the rapids from our location.

Wenatchee River Four

This is a cabin located downstream from the house….thought it had that great cabin in the woods look…from this perspective the river is reflecting the white snow of the hillside across from us.  Thoughts?

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Twin Falls – Excerpts from a Photoshoot

I’m featuring three photos from a hike I did to Twin Falls. This particular Twin Falls is located just outside of North Bend, Washington. North Bend is located in The Snoqualmie Valley east of Seattle as you climb into the Cascade Mountain Range. There are a number of hiking trails in the valley many of them ascending into the mountains that encircle the valley. The hike to Twin Falls is considered a milder hike compare to most of the others. The trail takes you along the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River through beautiful forests until you reach the falls. It isn’t two water falls side by side, but two waterfalls one right after the other.

Thoughts?

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The Duck At Papago Park

My wife and I have not been home for a weekend since before Thanksgiving until this weekend. I am not complaining as we have had short weekend get aways to celebrate a first birthday for our granddaughter in Los Angeles, a wedding in San Jose and then our nieces graduation in San Diego for her Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy (two of her internships over the last year and a half were here in the Phoenix area where we were thrilled to house her both times) and next weekend finds us in Seattle for Christmas with the following one in Los Angeles for New Years. I share all of this (yes I am headed somewhere…) as to why it was that we found ourselves in the ever popular shopping malls and stores this past weekend doing our last minute Christmas shopping. This is not to say that Amazon has not received it’s fair share of our purchases, but there are those items you need to actually pick up or find. Having survived the masses, my mind went to a peaceful quiet place as we wound down Sunday night. The result is the attached photos.

Papago Park in Phoenix is nestled between the Desert Botanical Garden and The Phoenix Zoo. It has ponds and hiking trails and is very “quiet and peaceful”. Key point!! I was looking for a beautiful peaceful snow scene, but since I couldn’t find one (yes I have been living in warm climates for many years now), so I settled on this to represent a reprieve from the last minute hustle and bustle of the season. So back to the ponds. The ponds are home to many birds, but as the fall and winter migration occurs, it has a resident that calls the ponds home year ’round, the Mallard Duck. Both shots are the same duck, who appears not to have a concern in the world. So I give you my visual of a little peace and quiet during this busy season!!

Thoughts?

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Climbing The Pyramid When You Could – El Castillo in Chichen Itza

Sepia Mayan Pyramid – El Castillo as it looks without people climbing it

Chichen Itza came up in a discussion recently about how you use to be able to climb the great stairs of the pyramid all the way to the top. I was fortunate enough to have done that very thing when you still could. I’m not sure of the specific year when I did the climb, but it was somewhere in the very early 2000’s. My wife and I were down there with a group of people from work (annual reward trip). We were staying in Cancun and took a chartered tour bus to Chichen Itza. I love history, architecture and ancient ruins, so I was in my element. Of course I was not without my camera and took a ton of shots of the different ruins, El Castillo being foremost in my shoot. I was fascinated from a photography aspect of pictures with people walking up the steps of this famous pyramid.

Fast forward to 2007 and we were back down there with some close friends and our respective families. My girls had heard about climbing this pyramid and couldn’t believe their father who has a fear of heights actually did it. Imagine their disappointment when we found out you could no longer climb the pyramid. Due to an unfortunate death to a falling tourist in late 2005 and to the damage being done by the sheer load of people trudging up and down those steps along with the graffiti left behind by those same people, it was no longer permitted.

“Chichen Itza” El Castillo the day I climbed to the top

Those pictures suddenly started taking on a new element for me as something that will not be seen again. As I worked with them for my gallery I kept getting this circa 1930’s vibe and Indian Jones feel from them. Sepia popped into my head and after converting them decided to add another element of that old vibe with some texture. What came from that process is these three captures converted to what I think looks like an old Indian Jones element from that era (of course I realize he wouldn’t be discovering anything new in a place that had tourist climbing pyramid steps, but my vision of this look didn’t care about such details).

“Walking Up The Pyramid”   you can see people coming down using my technique and people walking down like it wasn’t an issue….but you get the visual impact of how steep those stairs actually are.

Now you can’t leave without me telling you about the wonders of that climb. I have a fear of heights such as the edge of the Grand Canyon (edge only), glass elevators that take you up more than 10 stories….I have some tolerance….ledges on mountains to name a few. I knew climbing the stairs wouldn’t be an issue as you are looking at the structure. I didn’t have any issues climbing to the top and was a little cautious about walking around by the edge at the top….ok…I stayed pretty close to the walls of the structure you see up there. The view is incredible and I was fascinated by the placement of the different windows in the top structure. Truly forgetting about how far up I was, it was time to come back down. You have no idea just how really steep and narrow each of those steps are until you go back down. For me it was literally too much to try and walk back down those steps…one trip or miss-step and you will literally fall all the way down (which is unfortunately what happened to the tourist I mentioned above). The best way is to sit down and slide your backside down each step.

I have toured the site multiple times and have learned new things each time. For more information about Chichen Itza – Wikipedia Here.   Chichen Itza is located in the middle of the northern tier of the Yucatan Peninsula between Merida towards the Gulf of Mexico and Cancun on the Caribbean side. Thoughts?

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