Saturday, December 26, 2009

Color or Black and White Snow

This fair weather photographer has stepped out again to capture a winter scene. While driving back from my children's school I noticed the fog rolling over the farmland near our home. I went home picked up my camera and went back out. In my slippers! Every thing was fine until I started back for the truck, a slipper fell off! The snow wasn't just cold, it was cold and icy. It felt like I was walking on glass. Thank goodness the heater works well in the truck, I turned it up full blast and onto my feet.
I like the way the fog shows up in the black and white. There are some nice contrasts in the snow as well. When I look at the color picture, with its blue snow, I think its a bit off. Everyone knows colored snow is yellow and we don't eat it! Not blue! The Outdoor Photographer magazine just came, and an article on the cover says "Go B&W In Winter". For this post I thought I would, in honor of the magazine article I will soon enjoy reading. Bundle up, keep warm, and for goodness sake put your boots on if your going out in the snow.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Crazy Christmas Tree Lights

Take a chance and do something different! I used a telephoto lens, mono pod (tripod will work better), and a slow shutter speed to capture these pictures. During the exposure time I turned the barrel of the lens. I went from 70mm to 200mm and then a 200mm to 70mm. There has been some levels correction, cropping, and smugging done to the edges of each picture. Fun and different for a Christmas tree. Give it a try!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Most Precious Gift Of All

I love to give gifts and get them too! The older I get, the more I reflect on the little things that cost very little or nothing at all. Spending time with my family and friends playing games, talking or enjoying the beauty of nature together are memories worth millions to me. At Christmas time and the coming of a new year I look back and see just how lucky I am. We all reflect on our lives this time of year. (And on our birthdays.) Some of us will make goals to do things different and or better than we've done this last year. No matter your faith, or religious belief there is more we can can do to help one another. A kind word, and smile can change the world. I share this picture with you, with the hope you will remember and understand the most precious gift of all was given because of love. May God's choicest blessing be given to you and your loved ones for years to come. Merry Christmas my blog friend.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Ornaments

I used a Nikon 55-200mm lens, ISO 200, Aperture Priority, f/29, 9 sec., on a tripod. Notice the flare in the light,in the above picture. A long exposures with a large f-stop number will produce this effect. I was trying to get this effect when I realized, I have a filter that will help me produce this same effect. A cross filter. A little something from my bag of tricks. It is the first time I have used this filter. I bought it a few months back to use at Christmas and at night. I still need to get out at night to use it, but what a difference. In the picture below, I used a Sigma 18-50mm lens, ISO 200, Aperture Priority, f/7.1, 1 sec., on a tripod. If you have not used a cross filter before, put it to your Christmas list. It is not expensive and can be lots of fun. Happy shooting every one!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Out Of My Comfort Zone

Aperture Priority Mode, f/22, 1/4 sec. with a tripod of course, ISO 100.

I have stated before that I am a fair weather photographer. I made that same statement in a class I was teaching and was strongly encouraged by a student (Lea) to get out and shoot. She loves the winter time. She has taken some great pictures of her family playing in the snow.
I am not a big fan of the cold or snow. Really, its a coat issue. I have not yet found a warm coat that fits well. I am a BIG guy, that is code for fat, and I may need a tent! I would rather spend the money on a lens than a coat. Can you blame me!
To make a long story short, I went out and shot this picture. It had recently snowed and was very cold. This is a beaver pond I have photographed before. The water has a frozen layer of ice on top of it and about one to two inches of snow around it. The picture I really wanted could only be captured if I was willing to walk across the tall grass and snow. This area usually has water flowing through it and I would not have risked it. Once I reached the spot I had picked I realized it would be best taken from a low angle, meaning I have to lay in the snow to get the shot. After getting myself up and back to the truck, I turned the heater on full blast to warm up.
The next week when I saw this student again, I told her what I had done. With a big smile, she congratulated me for getting out of my comfort zone and gave me a high five! I still call myself a fair weather photographer but I am willing to go out and try it again, if I can jump into the truck and turn on the heater full blast!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Boys Will Be Boys!

Boys, no matter what their age, enjoy playing in the mud! Little boys, age two to five, use there feet, hands, and sometimes a small beach shovel. We make mud cakes, mud holes for burying our matchbox cars, and lets not forget the ever so tasty mud shake. The mud cakes we throw at anything or anyone who get close enough for us to hit! The tasty mud shake we invite mom to drink, who with grateful enthusiasm says thanks and yum, yum, yum before handing it back to us. Never being satisfied with that, I poured it on a siblings head! And lets face it little boys will bury anything, car keys, kitchen spoons, toys and of course Barbie up to her neck!

Boys from the age of six to 12 will create BIG mud holes to push there friends into or see who can jump over it with out getting muddy. The best of course is when we get out our bikes and make a ramp to fly over or into it! A mothers worst fear is finding her boys out in the yard in their Sunday best. My brother would stand at the edge of a mud or water puddle and I would throw something into it and watch the dirty water splash all over him. Oh, what fond memories.

Boys from the age of 14 to 99 still like to play in the mud. At this age its more about the items we use to play in the mud with. Four wheelers, motorcycles, cars, jeeps and trucks all work really well. Sometimes we get dirty or just the vehicle. If we get dirty we hose off before coming into the house. If the truck is muddy we leave it until five or six of our buddies have seen it. We like to brag a little! Boys will be boys!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Best Blog Award

I am the lucky winner of a Best Blog Award! The recognition comes from a fellow blogger Gardendiggers. A big thanks to him for the award and the encouraging comments of my photography. Please take the time to visit his blog. You will find photographs of nature, architecture, flowers, landscapes, etc... His many photographs of flowers inspired me to get out and find beauty in the garden and yards near me. I have enjoyed following his blog from some time now. If you are not a follower become one and be inspired!

With acceptance of this award, I am instructed to pass it on to 15 other incredible blogs. They are visually stunning, memorable, educational, and funny. The following are winners of the Best Blog Award, with my thanks for sharing their talents with all of us bloggers. Now, these winners need to pick 15 blogs that they enjoy and award them! Be sure to let them know you are giving them the award. If you are looking for a new blog to follow check these out by clicking on them.

The Phophile
Jose Maria Benitez
Bradley Myers Photo Blog
50% Chance Of Rain
Through The Viewfinder
Chase Images
Jennifer Photography
The Photos I Take
Farabee Photography
Master Photo
Elle's Images
West Cornwell Photos
My Crappy Photography
Photoblog Of Wayne Woodruff

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's In The Sky

Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 lens, f/7.1, 1/60 sec., ISO 100

Beaver Real Estate - Buy It For The View

Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 lens, f/4, 1/80 sec., ISO 100

Floating By In The Early Morning

Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 lens, 1/125 sec., f/5.6, ISO 100

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, 1/90 sec., f/5, ISO 100

Monday, November 16, 2009

Good Morning Sunshine

Taken as the sun began to rise. It was cold and windy at the top of the mountain ridge, and I asked myself why? Why did you get up so early and out of a warm bed? Getting out early has it's rewards. A beautiful sun rise, the sun warming the frost off the grass and my fingers! The crisp fresh air and a view that reminds me, I have so much to be thankful for. After taking a few pictures, I joined my friend who had already gotten into the truck because he was cold. A good warm truck, one of those things I am thankful for. Yes, my friend too! Had he not agreed to go with me I would have stayed in bed and missed this shot!

Nikon D200, 70-200mm f/2.8 lens zoomed out to 200mm, aperture priority mode set at f/22, 1/15 sec., ISO 100, and a good tripod.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Moving Water

We have had fair weather as of late and I have gotten out so I will have pictures to share. Just this weekend, I knelt in the snow for a picture. I was cold and wet but wait until you see the picture I captured. I am reminded by a good friend to "get out of your comfort zone!" and the results looked very good. Thanks Paul. These pictures were taken in Farmington canyon just off the side of the road. I had changed my white balance earlier and when I started to shoot I had taken 10 to 12 pictures before I realized I didn't change my white balance back to normal setting. I just hate it when I do that, don't you? D200, Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 lens, and one very good tripod with wet feet.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A New Fishing Hole

I came across this beaver pond on one of my photographing adventures. This has been several weeks back. I was hoping for more fall pictures, but the color is gone and snow is starting to stay. I am very excited for future pictures around the pond. I will have to take a fishing pole with me next time. May-be a canoe. There is a trail that lead back toward the mountain as well so there is more to explore next spring. It will be a great Sunday afternoon get away with family and friends. While there, a young couple with their dogs came down the trail from the mountain. Both dogs would run and jump into the pond. The water had to be cold but the dogs did not seem to care!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Fun

Drew and Mimi

The ever so lovely Mimi!

For those of you who need a laugh or may-be a last minute Halloween costume idea. Last year, I talked a co-worker into shaving off his beard, putting on a suit, and blacked rimmed glasses to transform himself into Drew, from the Drew Carry Show. He agreed only if I would dress as Mimi.
I needed help with the make-up, eye lashes and a last minute fitting. Thanks to my mother-in-law and her skillful application of beauty products, between burst of laughter, I was able to prepare for work. Dad took a few picture and hoped I wouldn't brake his camera. I look rather cute don't you think!
The reaction from my co-workers and customers was shocking to say the least. I had one woman came back with her camera to have her picture taken with me. Just a few months ago, I had the need to call a plumber. After a few minutes, he asked me if I worked at the camera store. I said yes. I remember you, he said, you were dressed in drag for Halloween! I reminded him that I was dressed as Mimi from the Drew Carry Show not in drag. My fifteen minutes of fame relived all over again. All because of my costume choice in 2008. This year will be very different, no wings, eyeshadow or looking like a woman.
I hope you each have a fun and safe Halloween with all the ghosts, goblins, and yes, even a big guy in drag! Happy Halloween.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunday Drive

What did you do on Sunday? I, took one last look at the change of colors. In the mountains high above the cities of Farmington and Bountiful, Utah, there is a dirt road labeled "Sky View Drive". Wow, what a view! The road is not so bad, a car or mini van can easily take the drive. There was some snow and mud on road, so I am sure there are times of the year when a truck or 4X4 will be better. Four-wheelers and motorcycles seems to be the preferred way to travel. Several folks were enjoying the view from this method. During the drive, we came across a few small ponds. One was built by a very hard working beaver. Several pictures taken there, including one with a dog. I will post that one later, along with some picture of a small stream or creek.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Duck, Duck, Goose

This is one from the archives. It is one of the first shots taken with my 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, spring of 2007. I had bought it and was excited to get out and use it. At the park there were ducks, geese, swans and the Utah State Bird - the seagull! It was early, as I recall, and some birds were still sleeping. Many of the birds will come right up to you and eat from your hand. My hands were full of camera gear, not bread or seed, so I get a squawk and a stare down! Walking through the park, waking up sleeping ducks, I watched them walk away only to find another place to catch more ZZZs.

Blogging friends,
I am now getting ready for the busy sales season and it has started getting darker earlier. This means I will be posting much less often. There could be several weeks before I post again. I hope to take pictures on my day off, but to be honest I am a fair weather photographer! I am not a big fan of the cold or the snow! I know, I should move from Utah, right! I have ordered a lighting kit so I can shoot inside. Macros and people may-be the subject I post who can guess? I wanted to let you know and ask that you stick out the dry spell from me. I will be doing more, lots more, early spring. I will be doing flowers again and looking for birds. The eagles appear in late February in Farmington Bay so you will get see some of them also. Thanks so much for your interest and notes. I will look in on those blogs I follow at least once a week and make comments. Who knows I my be so inspired that I eat these word and keep taking pictures. Thanks, David

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


More of Mother Nature's spectacular color. Used a tripod with a D200, Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 lens, f/18, 1/50 sec., ISO 200, Exposure bias -0.7 for better color!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Reflections In The Side Mirror

What I see? My son. D200, Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 lens

What my son sees? Dad! Nikon P90 Some levels
adjustment to take out the reflection of the glass.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


This last weekend, Nikon representatives were in town to do some employee training. They brought with them tons of goodies (camera bodies and lens) for us to use for the day. A special thanks to Paul and Bill for coming and setting up several shooting stations. I took this picture using a D300s, 105mm macro, and a SB600 flash. A fish tank was filled with water, the flash set at one end of the tank, the camera/lens was set on a tripod and I just had to drop the strawberry and take the picture. Honestly, not as easy as it sounds. The D300s was in commander mode to remotely trigger the SB600 off camera. The timing had to be just right. This shot is one of my better ones. Slight level adjustments and cropping have been done to enhance the picture. Thanks again Paul, Bill and Nikon, your AWESOME! I think David needs a D300s!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Battle For The Island...

... and the "ladies"!

Antelope Island actually has antelope roaming freely on it. There were many years without them, but now you will find a diverse group of animals on the island. Antelope, bison, coyote, and birds, lots of birds. This is a great place to visit for the day, they also have over night camping, horseback riding, hiking, a beach, visitor center and a old family ranch that is now a museum. On the southeast end of the lake there is sailing. Bring a camera, of course, and BIG bottle of water. It is after all, an island surrounded by water that is at least eight times salter than the ocean.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Horizontal and Vertical

Shooting a subject both horizontally and vertically can give two distinctive looks. For the most part, we all shoot our pictures in the horizontal fashion. What a change or fresh look? Shoot it vertical! It sounds so simple. It is simple, yet photographers of all skill levels forget that simple things often make a photograph worth while. We can get so caught up with the settings of the camera, what lens to use, etc... that the simple act of rotating the camera to a vertical position does not come to mind.
I took eight shots of this tree stump horizontally and only two vertically. The horizontal pictures look so much the same, however, both vertical pictures are visually different from each other and the group of shots. Each picture tells a different story. What do you see?
I try to learn something or practices a different technique as I take pictures. There is so much to learn in photography. It will be a life long challenge. Fun and rewarding, frustrating and disappointing all in the same afternoon. The simple steps are often the most frustrating! Forget to change the ISO? Whitebalance? Or bring a CPL filter?
Rotating the camera to a vertical position to take a picture can reveal a new perspective through the view finder. A simple reward and a challenge! Will I shoot as many vertical pictures as I do horizontal? Are you up to the challenge?
D200, Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 lens, f/13, 1/20 of a sec., ISO 100. Used a tripod and the timer function, because I forgot the cable trigger! This is on the Great Salt Lake, just off the road heading towards Antelope Island.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

About Two Feet

This young boy would drop-in at one end and pop out with about two feet of air. Both he and his dad were encouraging his younger brother to try it as well. You can see him in the back ground just out of focus, in the top left picture. With the exception of the first try he landed on his skateboard each time. Little brother saw the crash and wouldn't try it at all. I wouldn't do it either! Would you?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Alien Landscape

D200, 18-50mm f/2.8 lens, f/7.1, 1/320 sec., ISO 200
Some levels correction done.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Waiting For The Wind

I believe this is a milk weed, willing to share its beauty were ever the wind takes it. Growing in a yard near you! Shot using a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and a 10.5mm fisheye lens. Some levels adjustment to each photo also.

Kite Carting

Going this way...

Going that way...

Fighting the wind.

As we were leaving Antelope Island, this gentleman was getting his cart out of his vehicle. He was about to take the long walk down to the beach like area to ride with the wind. I asked if we could tag along and take pictures. "No problem, I just hope the wind keeps blowing!" he said, and down he went. It took much longer for us, me and a friend, to make it down and back up for that matter! As it turned out, all three of us were "off trail", meaning we should not have been down in that area. Almost got a ticket. With a lecture and promise not to do it again, we left, hoping we caught some great pictures.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Skateboard Action

Nikon fisheye 10.5mm lens, f/9, 1/400 sec., ISO 100

Nikon fisheye 10.5mm lens, f/13, 1/200 sec., ISO 100

Nikon fisheye 10.5mm lens, f/11, 1/200 sec., ISO 100

Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 lens, f/8, 1/200 sec., ISO 100

Spent part of my labor day shooting at several skate parks. This young man was willing to do a few stunts for me. The last picture with the one wheel grind along the rail is a favorite. He called something. All the tricks have names, of course I haven't a clue. Thanks bud.