Collision with Juxtaposition


I know it’s been a a bit since my last post, but I honestly have some answers! First, working as a full time photographer was very awesome but sadly not able to compare financially to a “real” full time job. Once I came to terms with this I set out on the journey of finding a good paying, full time job. And God provided.

Now that I get to join the ranks of heavy equipment mechanics once again, the creative process has started to kick in again. And not that I will ever leave photography – I enjoy it too much. So what does this mean? Back to part time work, but for the better. I have found that when I can focus on the artistic side of photography, and not marketing (of which is clearly not my thing), the fun stuff really comes out!

Oh, what shall I do next mwahaha…

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Summer… at an end.


Not batman posing here (although he would love to be that), but a great helper – and more than he understands. I wanted to post this “crazy” pic of my youngest who has been a great help to me this past summer. A lot of portrait work I do requires setting up, and holding up,  extra lights to make sure I get the proper lighting on my subjects, and Myles was that person. He now is off to school this coming week, and I have to figure out how to work without him!

So in honor of his “high”-ness, and to show you how much of a goofball he can be, it is befitting to share this rare photo of Myles. Only, it’s not rare. You see, Myles loves to help people, and he loves himself… a very unique combination all wrapped up in this guy. So when one of my lighting umbrellas fell over on a shoot (they are not fond of high winds – tend to break) I was going to throw it away. Was he going to stand for this? Oh no. He grabs it, heads off to his room, and comes back out just like this. As goofy as it looks, I think the artistic side of him came shining through, and I’m not very surprised by this. :)


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No knights of Ni here.

sir knightSorry, couldn’t resist throwing the title out there!

So, I’ve come to an understanding that when a person starts a blog it’s always a good idea to CONTINUE on with it and not leave it hanging in midair, or disappear, or vanish. If you want to be seen it’s always a good idea to, oh I don’t know… post maybe? I say this of course about me as I have been shirking my duty to you, the faithful reader (you are faithful, right?). I offer no excuses, just as long as I don’t find myself in the gallows. Making reference to these bad, medieval jokes, I thought I would share some recent adventures of late (and not on horseback!). One of the biggest is our annual renaissance festival in its second year now. I have never been to one before, but am looking forward to the next one. It is quite entertaining. Especially when it’s almost 100 degrees in the sun and you see a lot of people roaming the grounds in armor, long-multiple-layered dresses, chain mail, and all sorts of other oddities. And the choice of drink in such a place like this? Water. They are definitely brave :)

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Senior Photos

summer daysThought I would share one more photo from the senior shoot the other day. We decided to move from the park to an area that still uses an old, and huge, railroad trestle (always a good spot for portraits). And with Zach’s cheerful disposition, it makes for a great session. Interested in senior photos? Give me a shout!

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Growing Up

seniorWhile taking pictures in and of itself is fun, there are just some people who crack me up. It is usually my job to direct people on how to stand, look, feel, and most of all – smile. And this young man? He was the one making me laugh! Truly a pleasure to shoot his senior pics this year.

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sparklyA little over a week ago I shared with you a trick I learned about throwing fire and capturing it in camera. Well, had that opportunity yesterday so I thought I would share the results. Here’s what I learned:

  1. don’t get the HOT molten fire on you,
  2. watch out for the tide as it is coming in,
  3. wear flip flops, or boots, or something that will protect your feet from the sharp barnacles.

Not that anything bad happened, I was just very mindful of our surroundings as we progressed. If I had prepared better (translate that to “get there earlier dude”) I would have had more shots to choose from, but that will have to be another day. Between the failing light, the rising tide as it rushed over our feet on the rocks… yah, I thought it best if we called it a night!

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Time for the weekend

Havin' fun


I’m taking a break from rambling about tonal ranges and photography geek verbage, and instead sharing what it looks to just let go and enjoy the space you’re in.

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Breaking Down



As a photographer, I find that some of the technical aspects of photography can be confusing to a layperson.

The zone system I’ve been mentioning is a good illustration. There are 11 “zones” to consider when composing a good black and white image. Then there’s composition (putting the pieces together in a way that is pleasing to the eye). And impact. And range. And lighting. And…. need I go on?

This photograph is, I think, a simplified example of the zone system. The composition is good, but it lacks the tonal range I mentioned before – basically, a variation of blacks, greys, and whites that brings all of the elements together. There are about four tonal ranges here – white, two midtones of grey, and black. The more tonal ranges, the greater the impact from a visual perspective.

I played around with it in photoshop but I found the range limited, and I prefer to photoshop only as much as I need to to bring out the elements of a photo, without turning it into a before/after ad for a botox facility. :)

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Seeing Past the Obvious

Mount St. HelensLittle late in getting this posted today, but here is part II of my continuing project of experimenting with different tonal ranges in black + white. I mentioned yesterday about the zone system developed by Ansel Adams and Fred Archer. What is truly unique about this system is not only the whites and darks you see, but everything in between: specifically the highlights and the shadows. It’s these areas of the picture where the “kapow!” stands out (sorry, just had to throw in my Batman lingo there). The fact that you can see such small definition throughout the photo is what makes the zone system work so well. Contrast, contrast, contrast.

This is one of the photos taken last week while up visiting Mount St. Helens. Didn’t think I had nailed a good one, but I’ve been wrong before. Enjoy your hump day everyone!

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Do You Only See In Black and White?

coast bwHey ya’ll! So I thought I would venture a little more into black+white this week so as to broaden my understanding of this type of photography. While I have done some experimenting with this before, I’ve decided to approach it from the zone system. What is the zone system you ask? Ansel Adams and Fred Archer developed a system that incorporated 11 tones, ranging from the darkest to the lightest… long story short. The idea is to see those ranges before the shutter is ever released, which really forces me to look at light in a different way. Tough? Heck yes! But the result is worth it. Check back tomorrow for part II, as I share a little more about the zone system and how it affects photos in some very unique ways.

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