Saturday, November 11, 2017

Time in New England

It has been a while since my last post.  I have found that life situations can arise and has a way of taking us in directions we hadn't planned on.  My photography has seen some success in the past few months. Some of my work is being published in a couple of fine magazines this month.  I have won a couple of photography contests that had very substantial cash and equipment awards.  All these things are rewarding, but being out making new images is the most satisfying for me.  It is nice to have your work recognized and appreciated but the process of creating is the thing that touches my inter being.  The times that I am distracted and unfocused are the most difficult for me.  I feel that precious time is wasted on meaningless and mundane task that yield little returns.  This is probably faulty thinking on my part because if you are applying yourself to something it is still a step forward.  I recently made a two week trip to Maine.  The weather was perfect for vacationers but terrible for photography.  The sky was cloudless the entire time I was there, and being around the ocean with a blank sky can pose a challenge.  I found myself shifting my expectations from scenic ocean views to architectural and abstract compositions.  This image of a church roof reminds me of a photographer I use to study when I was starting out with photography.  His name was Fred Picker and he lived in the Northeast and made many fine black and white images of New England clapboard buildings and churches.  His style and informative writings had an influence to my early work and it was rewarding to revisit some of the things that helped shape my early years with photography. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Award Winner

I recently received word that this image was awarded 2nd place in the Photographer's Forum Magazine Spring Photography Contest. It was a great honor to be chosen from over 9,100 submissions from 48 countries.  I usually don't submit my work to contests or magazines but this year I submitted my work to three different venues and I was fortunate enough to have my work accept by all three for publication.  Years ago when I started in photography I would ask myself "what" I wanted to photograph, but never really "why" I wanted to photograph.  At that time I jumped around with my efforts and focused my attention in many areas of photography, from professional sports, portraits, and commercial.  I found that meeting the demands of other people took the joy away that I initially had with photography.  Once I asked myself "why" I wanted to photograph the world changed for me.  It was no longer based on other people expectations but more to how I felt about a subject and discovering the pull inside of me that attracted me to a certain objects.  I had a new sense of mystery and intrigue with things in nature.  I found myself traveling to remote places and enduring long days waiting for the proper light and many times walking away empty handed.  But non of that mattered because I wasn't bound by what other people expected of me.  I knew my purpose, and that was to answer the yearning I felt inside of me.  Ansel Adams said it best, "I am interested in something which is built up from within, rather than just extracted from without".
Winning awards and having your word recognized is important because it is an opportunity to inspire other people as well as complete the cycle of the creative expression that started with the release of the shutter.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Choosing the right light

I made this image last week while on a short camping trip near where I live.  When I am out solely for the purpose of photography I will often times scout out potential locations to photograph in.  I camped in a location that was surrounded by swamps and high water from recent heavy rains.  After many months of drought in Florida, the rains were a welcome relief.  The swamps take on a fresh look and provide a wonderful opportunity to photograph.  I made this image after sunset in a steady drizzle of rain. These are the times I like to photograph the most.  The light is soft without the harsh shadows caused by the sun and the rain gives a silvery appearance to the vegetation.  It usually takes a lot of preparations and energy to access these locations.  I have to plan on what I am going to wear to protect against mosquitoes and the limited equipment I will take on my hike into the swamp.  I made this image with my Sony A7R11 with a Zeiss 18mm lens.  The exposure was 4 sec. @ f11

Friday, June 23, 2017

Fisheating Creek

I was out photographing in the swamps this week at Fisheating Creek.  We have have a steady week of rain and the swamps are full of water.  I prefer to photograph in soft light to reduce the harsh shadows in these contrasty locations.  I made this image after 8 p.m. while it was the raining.  The mosquitoes were vicious and attacked every bit a exposed skin.  I covered up as much as possible but still fought them the entire time I was photographing.  The swamp is a magical place at this time of day.  It is quiet and eerie place to wonder around alone.  I cherish the time when I am out in nature exploring new a area and seeing the beauty of an unspoiled landscape.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Suwannee River

We were on the Suwannee River this past week to do some kayaking and photography.  The water levels are extremely low in Florida due to a severe drought.  We started our trip at the Georgia border and followed the Suwannee River down through Florida until it reached the Gulf of Mexico.  We stopped and put in our kayaks at various locations to explore some of the river as we traveled.  The river looks very different than it normally would with proper water levels.  The wildlife we saw seem to reflect the stressed conditions of their environment.  We camped for a few days at Manatee springs. The spring water there is crystal clear blue and very cool. This young gator laid stretched out on a log in the 96* heat of the day.  He didn't seem to care about me and my kayak as I drifted by.  Soon the rainy season will be here and the water levels will rise and life in the swamps and rivers will return to normal. 

Friday, May 12, 2017


I recently spend some time in Cuba photographing.  Most of my of my days were spent walking the streets of Havana doing street photography.  Havana is an extremely busy city filled with diesel fumes from the many old 50's automobile that have been converted to diesel engines.  For a street photographer Cuba has it all.  The thing I enjoyed the most about Cuba was the friendly people.  They live a hard life but maintain a joyful and enthusiastic outlook.  Cuba has some wonderful artist and I was able to meet a few of them in their studios.  Even though we had some language barriers we could still communicate about the creative process and the focus of their work. I used my Sony mirrorless camera with a couple prime lenses for most of my work in Havana.  The Sony is a small and very easy camera to carry around all day. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thoughts and dreams in Iceland

Iceland is a fascinating place with extreme weather conditions.  The light is always changing as is the mood of the weather.  It is not uncommon to have sun one minute and rain the next.  The wind can blow hard and then quit moments later.  The Arctic sea is always battling the coastline and creating wonderful clouds that come ashore and rise up over the mountains.  It is a quiet and remote land where the everyday world vanishes.  I enjoy quiet places where the land is in its nature state, showing no signs use.  It gives time for reflection and a focus on the real values in life.  It seems our technology has imprisoned us and we have become separated from fundamental things in life.  In someways the technological world has become our real home and the nature world is foreign to us.  Sadly I see most young people living their lives 12" from their nose staring into a screen focused on meaningless information.  So much life and youth can be squandered with such constant distractions. I am not immune to the technology trap we live in, but thankfully I have a greater desire to explore the nature world and seek out the wonders that exist there.