Big Picture in a Little Picture

Macro photography has never really been my thing.

My wife and I can go out together and I’m looking all around me, out into the distance to the point of the horizon.

Meanwhile, she hasn’t moved but several feet and is looking down at some flower or pattern in the sand.

The picture below was taken one day when I was just having a hard time getting this chain fence down by the beach in focus. I was trying to do something with the fence and the brown grass in the background.

Then my eyes got stuck on the drop of condensation which is sitting on the bottom of one of the chain links, just getting ready to fall off. Gravity was calling and it was almost ready to answer that call.

I switched to live view and just started playing with exposure settings. Live view is great for the “what if I tried this” moments, because most adjustments show up in live view.

Over the years of my photography ventures this picture has become one of my favorite ones. Remember, there’s often a big picture in the little picture – we just need to take the time and think creatively enough to find it.


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Posted by on January 2, 2015 in Uncategorized


Back Yard Discovery

Happy 2015!

Recently we visited some relatives in south Georgia. One morning I was out with my wife, walking on some of the property adjacent to the home where we were staying. We discovered the area pictured below.

When I showed this picture to family later some of them said that they never knew that area was back there. Others told me good thing it was this time of year or else I’d have to deal with water moccasins.

The morals to the story are evident. Wonders can be right over that next hill or maybe even in your backyard.

Also, timing is everything. Both for the dormancy of the moccasins and also for the right positioning of the sun.



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Where Have I Gone?

Once again, time for a “where have I gone? ” post to all the friends who follow my blog.

I recently had surgery for a torn rotator cuff that has taken the wind right out of my photographic sail for the time being.

By the way, do you know what I mean when I refer her to the urge to slap somebody on the back who tells you they have a bad case of sunburn? Well, I get people acting like they want to shake up my shoulder when they see me with my arm in a sling. They would never do it actually. They’re just joking. They see me wince and they feel bad.

I hereby declare that I will never be one of those “Sunburned-back slappers” either literally or figuratively.

See you soon.


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Posted by on November 3, 2014 in Mobile Post


September, 2014 – The Race Goes On!

Kenai River Marathon

Kenai River Marathon

Every year, at the end of the month of September, runners from all over converge on Kenai, Alaska to run in the Kenai River Marathon.

My wife and I have helped with the event for 7 years now. For the past 4 years, I have had a wonderful time as the Race photographer.

Even if you didn’t participate, you might want to look through the pictures. But to those who ran the race and others who supported them, I encourage you to find your shots and buy a picture or two.  You can get to the galleries for these pictures via the View/Buy
 link in 
the column to the right. All proceeds from these sales are donated back to the Marathon.

Kenai River Marathon 2014

Kenai River Marathon 2014

  • The “KRM2014″ Gallery of shots are available as 4″ x 6″, 5″ x 7″, and 8″ x 10” for $7.50, $12.50, and $17.50 respectively. There’s also a few other merchandise items added this year.

Special thanks to all the KRM organizers and volunteers, my dear wife who helps me with all my race day photo details, Chris McLay, who shuttled memory cards back and forth, and Belinda Stevens, who ran the slideshow projector at race HQ..

And this year I was joined by two other photographers to help cover the event. Thanks to Toni Reitter of and Bob Frates.

And, as always, thanks to all you runners. You sure looked good.

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Posted by on October 1, 2014 in PhotoFun


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Half of Photography is Being There

You know what I like about overcast days? If the clouds are right, it’s a great time to shoot. But I also like the fact that I can get out and shoot when it’s most convenient – right smack dab in the middle of the day when the sun is normally its harshest.

We all know the best time of day to shoot is in the morning and evening. But that’s also when I am either cozying up to my wife, playing with my dog, or getting into a good book on the evening. It can be just downright inconvenient to shoot at those times.

But face it, if you want to get a good shot you might as well start thinking this way: “The less convenient the shot, the better it will be.” And often half the battle is just getting out and BEING THERE in the first place.

A recent Saturday was a good case in point. I woke up to the sound of rain outside. Not the slight spring rain that we think is great to be out in, but a wet, cold rain that was trying real hard to be snow. I was hoping to get out and shoot some HDR. But that means tripod and standing . . . . Out in the rain.

Fortunately, the rain let up. But it was still wet, cold and I had started to cozy down at home. But I had played the day up so much in my mind the day before, that I just had to get out. And that’s what I suggest you need to do: whatever it takes to get out there. Again, that’s half the battle.


Cannery Cold (click for larger image)

I decided to “go cold” in the HDR shot above. It was a 4 shot exposure on my Canon 60D using Magic Lantern. I had to climb down off the road into a bit of rocky muck to get the angle I wanted, and I took several series of shots at different apertures. What 4 shots? Why not 5 or 7? That’s easy. Magic Lantern has a setting where I let it determine the exposure spread to cover the whole range of the dynamic light available in the shot. Currently, I let ML decide for me. And this time, it decided that 4 shots was all it needed. If you are new to HDR, a nice side benefit to this is that as you progress in your photography, you learn to see the dynamics better, and ML rewards you by giving up 4 or 5 shots.

The shots were imported into Lightroom 4 where I stacked them and then did a round-trip into Photomatix 4.2 for the actual merge.

And you know something? I couldn’t have done ANY OF IT if I never got out there in the first place! So, like I said:
Step 1 – Get out there and do it
Step 2 – Everything else

Link to SM shot:!i=2493719470&k=JLk8t7V&lb=1&s=A

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Posted by on June 27, 2014 in HDR, Tips, Wonderings


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Relax a Spell

A picnic table by a quiet lake. The only sounds are loons near the bank on the far side . . . And the buzzing of mosquitos around my ears!

Sounded pretty idyllic until I got to the mosquitos part, huh? But isn’t that always the case? Even at the best of times, with the most picturesque spot – something can always happen to rain on your parade.

But you know something? When I look at this picture now, I don’t hear the mosquitoes. I don’t hear the traffic on the road just behind me (that really popped the “idyllic” bubble for you, huh?) – all I see is the picture. I can hop back in at any time.

So have a seat. Take a load off your mind. By the way, you didn’t happen to have packed a picnic lunch, did you?


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Posted by on June 20, 2014 in HDR, Wonderings


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No Cell Signal, No Worries

I live on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. There are places just an hour from home that don’t have cell phone signal. Nothing like being on the edge of civilization, huh?

But if you have a any kind of a heart beat, then you probably could be standing where I was in the picture below, and not really caring to much that you weren’t getting signal!

For me, it’s pretty easy to get out onto the wilderness; it’s practically outside my door. For you, maybe that’s not so easy. I certainly try not to take that for granted!


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Posted by on June 13, 2014 in iPhone Shot, Wonderings


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