Salt River Adventure

2018 Jun 26

Black and white photo of boulders in the Salt River, Arizona

This past February we flew down to Arizona for our annual visit. We usually try to get out and do a little sightseeing/hiking, and this trip we decided to drive up to the Salt River north of Mesa.

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Lakewood Coleus

2016 Oct 12

Red Coleus picture

On our daily walk we pass by a community entrance feature that showcases various plants and flowers. A couple months ago I noticed these brilliant, magenta coleus plants. I've shot several of my mom's coleus plants but never one with this spectacular color.

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Arizona 2016

2016 Apr 18

Backlit Saguaro, Sonoran Desert National Monument, Feb 2016

We made our annual trip to visit my parents in February. Aside from playing tennis every day, I did manage to get out to Sonoran Desert National Monument once again to enjoy some golden-hour shooting. Here are a few images from that evening.

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Rose Macro 2014

2014 Jul 28

Rose Macro with Helicon Focus

Wow, it's been a long time since I posted to my blog! We had a busy spring, though. We moved in May so I am just now getting enough time to think about doing some non-move-related things like blogging and photography. Let's get the ball rolling again with an image, shall we?

Posted in Macro, Nature | 1 Comment ›

Garden of the Gods Juniper Tree

2014 Feb 10

Juniper Tree, Garden of the Gods Park, Colorado Springs

Driving home from my Colorado Workshop in October, I planned on staying the night in Colorado Springs. As I entered the city in late afternoon, I was closely watching the road signs for hotels to investigate. Instead, I noticed a sign for the "Garden of the Gods" city park. Sounds like a good detour!

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West Beckwith Mountain

2013 Dec 26

West Beckwith Mountain, Colorado, October 2013

One of the many beautiful locations we shot on my Colorado Workshop back in October was this view of West Beckwith Mountain in the Gunnison National Forest. The mountain rises to 12,041 feet above sea level and as you can see, this past October it was surrounded by an amazing display of color.

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Pinnacle Peak Trail Pika

2013 Dec 16


Hiking down from Plummer Peak, we were on Pika alert. As we walked past rock fields on the hike up the mountain we kept hearing them, their high-pitched "eeeek" calls, but the little critters were elusive.

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Oak Leaf and Grass with Hoarfrost

2013 Dec 2

Scrub Oak Leaf and Grass with Hoarfrost, Colorado 2013

On the last morning of the Colorado Workshop I attended in October with Ian Plant and George Stocking we arrived before dawn. The location was a beautiful view of Mount Sneffels. After an hour of shooting the landscape I hiked up the hill behind us to look for a different vantage point and noticed the interesting hoarfrost on the ground. Macro time!

Posted in Macro, Nature | 3 Comments ›

Autumn Aspens in Colorado

2013 Oct 24

Aspen Trees near Crested Butte, Colorado

A few weeks ago I attended a photography workshop in Colorado and it was an amazing display of brilliant yellow aspens. The instructors were Ian Plant and George Stocking, two of my favorite nature photographers. Here are a few images from a beautiful aspen forest we visited one morning.

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Ocotillo with Crescent Moon

2013 Jun 14

Ocotillo with Crescent Moon

In addition to the Grand Canyon visit, our recent trip to Arizona also included an evening at the Peralta Trail area. By the time we arrived at the trailhead, the sun was already behind Superstition Mountain, rendering the whole area in shade. We headed back down the long gravel road which yielded a few good opportunities for flowering cacti and silhouettes.

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Lipan Point, Grand Canyon

2013 May 12

Grand Canyon from Lipan Point, AZ

How can you make a unique image from a place that everyone has seen depicted in photographs hundreds of times? I think that it's an example of one of the supreme challenges of photography: Making the best of the situation and scene in front of you, at that moment in time, all while trying to imbue your own artistic imprint.

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Sunday Morning Blue and Gray

2013 Mar 23

Lone Jack Lake, Missouri

Marly and I recently spent a Sunday morning at Blue and Gray Park just east of Lee's Summit, Missouri. The recent snowstorms had left a sticky layer of snow that was still partially adhering to the sides of the trees. Here are a few shots from that morning.

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Hedge Apple Tree in Fog

2013 Feb 15

Hedge Apple Tree in Fog | Apple iPhone 4S @ 1/120 sec., ISO 64

How is it possible that I have a computer that fits in my pocket, that also is a good digital camera? It doesn't seem like that long ago that a pocket camera was a 110-Film-format piece of junk. Now we have phones that have a tiny, 8-megapixel sensor just 5mm wide, yet still yield beautiful pictures blown up to 11x14 inches.

Posted in Landscape, Nature | 3 Comments ›

New Year’s Morning 2013, Part 2

2013 Feb 3

Bodarc Lake, James A. Reed Wildlife Area

I can't believe how time slips away from us. I have been so involved with work that I haven't been posting to this blog nearly enough. But, I'm taking a break from web development this morning to post another shot from my cold morning at James A. Reed Wildlife Area on January 1st.

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December Frost

2012 Dec 24

Frost on Leaf, Missouri

Last month I posted about morning frost and shared a few photos. A month later I got out again to reprise those pictures and wanted to share them as well.

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November Frost

2012 Nov 26

Frost on Leaf, Missouri

November seems to be a good month for shooting frost and dew. This year was no exception. A few weeks ago we had the fortunate combination of freezing temperatures and moisture that yielded several mornings with picturesque frost. After walking the dogs I headed back out with the camera and tripod and set to looking for photogenic leaves.

Posted in Macro, Nature | 2 Comments ›

Bismarck Beetle

2012 Sep 10

Beetle on Leaf, Bismarck, North Dakota

I haven't done much photography lately (too much tennis and work!) but we recently made our annual Bismarck trip, which usually yields a few good shots. Along with many monarch butterfly caterpillars, this red milkweed beetle was hanging out in my mother's milkweed garden.

Posted in Macro, Nature | 1 Comment ›

Morning Moonflower

2012 Jun 10

Moonflower, Nikon D300 w/Nikkor 105mm AF-D, ISO 200, 1/80 sec @ f/8

Flower photography seems to be a rite of passage for aspiring nature photographers and I was (and am) one of them. Of course, my goal is always to find a different angle or approach to make a more interesting shot than the billions of other "pretty flower" pictures out there. Against those odds, you're not going to succeed much, but it's fun trying.

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Dusk in the Superstitions

2012 May 14

The new version 4 of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is quite an improvement, and I think it's going to completely change my photography workflow. For years I have been using Bridge, Camera Raw and Photoshop as my workflow, but in 90% of all photo editing, I can see Lightroom 4 handling it all.

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Saguaro National Park

2012 Apr 6

Backlit Cacti in Saguaro National Park

Our recent trip to Arizona included a day trip to Tucson, and while there we decided that we had to see some of Saguaro National Park. It's a beautiful desert preserve that is split into two sections flanking the city on either side.

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Cholla in Superstition Wilderness

2012 Mar 10

Superstition Wilderness Cacti and Landscape

Arizona is a fun place to photograph nature, especially in the winter, when you're visiting from up north where everything is in full "winter drab" mode. Our recent trip to visit my parents in Sun Lakes included several day trips to local wilderness areas and parks, and in this post I thought I'd highlight a landscape shot and how I "massaged" it into what I was envisioning for the image.

Posted in Image Processing, Landscape, Nature, Travel | 1 Comment ›

Sonoran Desert National Monument, Part Two

2012 Feb 5

Cacti at Sunset, Sonoran Desert National Monument, 2011

Tomorrow we are flying down to Arizona for the annual trip to visit the parents at their snowbird home. My hope is that Marly and I will get several chances to get out and shoot the desert landscape and wildlife. Last year, my mother and I went to Sonoran Desert National Monument one evening and I posted about it a while back. I thought I would share a few more images from that day in anticipation of this year's trip.

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Snow Geese at Squaw Creek NWR

2012 Jan 4

Snow Geese at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge

If you've never seen a flock of hundreds of thousands of large birds, it should be on your "bucket list." The first time I witnessed this spectacle was during my 2010 North Carolina photography workshop. On New Year's Eve 2011, I had the "snow goose experience" again.

Posted in Animals, Nature | 3 Comments ›

A Short Trip to Florida

2011 Nov 18

Marly and I just got back from a quick trip to the Bradenton, Florida area. We joined friends for a lot of tennis and good company, but of course I was also hoping to do some photography. We didn't get to do much in the way of pictures, but I did manage to snap a few shots on some early morning walks in the neighborhood.

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Back to the Beach, Part Two

2011 Nov 2

Tree Stumps on Beach, Nikkor 16-35mm VR @ 20mm, ISO 100, 2 secs. @ f/22, Nikon D700

The morning after my South Carolina Photography Workshop, I hopped in the rental car at 6:00 am and drove back to Hunting Island Beach to do some more shooting on my own. I found an interesting grouping of stumps, attached my polarizing filter, and set my tripod into the wet sand.

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Back to the Beach, Part One

2011 Oct 27

Fence on Beach Black and White

After visiting a couple of less fruitful locations, we returned to the other end of Hunting Island Beach for a late-afternoon shoot. The low-angle sunlight provided interesting shadows cast on the sand. The only problem with shooting this time of day and in this way is getting your own shadow out of the frame!

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Chapel of Ease Ruins

2011 Oct 17

Chapel of Ease Ruins

After our sunrise shoot on Hunting Island, my February workshop in South Carolina headed inland for some sightseeing. Our first stop was the Chapel of Ease Church ruins on Saint Helena Island.

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Hunting Island Beach Sunrise

2011 Oct 6

Hunting Island Beach Sunrise

My workshop experience in South Carolina last February began with a beach shoot at sunrise. We arrived at the beach just as twilight was beginning to reveal a surreal landscape. This particular stretch of beach is strewn with the skeletons of large trees, killed and blackened by the encroaching ocean.

Posted in Landscape, Nature, Travel | 1 Comment ›

Cormorant Alley

2011 Sep 25

Last February I attended a photo workshop in South Carolina. I flew into Savannah, Georgia the evening before, and was hoping to find a nature preserve or the like on my way up to Beufort, South Carolina to get some shooting in before dark, so I headed down "Alligator Alley."

Posted in Animals, Travel | 1 Comment ›

TR National Park Panorama

2011 Sep 16

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Panorama

Sometimes in nature photography you are pleasantly surprised. After a beautiful sunrise, our morning in Theodore Roosevelt National Park looked bleak, light-wise. Clouds obscured the sun's golden morning light and I thought landscape photography was going to be a bust. Instead I ended up getting one of my favorite shots of the trip.

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One-Exposure HDR

2011 Sep 7

HDR, Little Missouri River, Theodore Roosevelt National Park

In a previous post, I mentioned creating a high-dynamic-range image using multiple exposures. In this post I want to show an example of one of my favorite digital photography techniques: Creating an HDR image from just one RAW capture.

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Another human reluctantly joins the blogging

2011 Jul 5

I've been designing and building blogs for other people for a while now, so it feels somewhat strange to be starting one for myself after all these years. It took me a while, but here I am.

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