Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Way Into the Light

Light Rails

Each day,
as I drive by, my head instinctively turns toward the light. I pass this one spot just before the freeway on ramp.  Something draws me to look as I cross the bridge.  If I blink, I would miss it.

The shimmering steel
polished by the train passing over.  Its heavy wheels grind off the rust that forms so easily when things are not taken care of.  Persistence....

My eyes
are led onward around the bend, toward the unknown.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Fall color surrounds the bird house

I once heard a discourse on gratitude that delved deeply into everyday items which I feel particularly apropos this season:

Take something simple like a paper napkin. 
might not think much of this object; they're literally a dime a dozen.  But look again.  Imagine what it took to bring this napkin to your table.  You probably bought it but someone at the market had to place it on the shelf.

Someone had to drive it 
from the where house to the store.  Many people designed and built the truck in which in came.  Thousands of parts had to be assembled right down to the smallest nut.  Those thousand parts had to be designed, and fabricated from materials mined from this earth by hundreds more.

The road on which the truck traveled had to be planned, and built from material which were made by hundreds more.

The napkin itself
is made from paper which was milled by many people.  Before it was paper it was a tree, living rooted deep in this earth, soaking up rain and sun.  Many people had to harvest that tree and load it onto the truck to to mill.  Someone had to plant the tree to start it all off.

All told there are thousands of people involved in that little insignificant napkin you place on your lap at dinner and will throw away.

Be thankful
to all of those people who chose that line of work on that particular day so that you can enjoy your meal tonight.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Late Afternoon

Street Shooting

In Paris, in the summertime,
the sun doesn't set until almost 10 pm.  The light echos through the tall buildings and makes things just glow.  Many shops were closing and people were on their way out for another evening.  A man makes plans on the phone while another walks past.  Both are lit from the setting sun and have that halo effect I do so enjoy.

I like the way his foot was caught
just before landing.  The flare from the lens just happen to land there which draws attention to this and gives the shot a feeling of liveliness.  His shadow draws me in as well.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cycles of Life

Fire Dance

Wandering the streets of Paris
at night the mood shifts from the busy aliveness of the day to a more mystical feel. Almost as if the carnival had come to town while we were eating. Gone were the crowds of shoppers of the day and out came the spectators to watch the city transform.  Musicians, skaters, performers all out to share the night with passers' by

We came upon this young lady
on our way back to our hotel.  Music blaring and her fire dance reminded me of the gypsies of old.  She spun her chains with bails of cotton soaked in kerosene to capture the crowds as they passed.  Many of us stood to watch as she moved into danger then out again.  Flirting with the fire and charming a few coins from the pockets of the crowd.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Image Use

It's been quite a while since I've posted. I've been going through a reassessment of my priorities in life, and shooting and blogging aren't near the top any more. My apologies to both of my readers ;)

I've been focusing on building myself up from the inside instead of relying on so many external things to keep me happy. Simple life, simple joy...


Google launched a new "Image Search" engine that I've recently found a great use for. As a microstock photographer, I often have no idea who buys my images or where they end up ultimately. I've taken to using image search seeded with a small sample image from iStock and found many of my images in the wild. Here are some of the results below:

This first image is by far the most popular to date. You may remember the fire station shoot I did in July of 2009. This one image has sold 51 times! Here are a few that I've found:

I even found one in print on a book cover available at!

It is nice to know that the work is useful for some.

All in all,
my foray into stock photography has been a lesson in learning. I had such high hopes for the business to take off, but there is so much competition out there that I'd need to devote many more hours to this were it to become a career. Perhaps its something to fall back on should my employment situation change, or possibly when I retire.


Right now,
I am committed to enjoying life from the "inside-out" which has become one of the most profound realizations. Stock photography (and blogging for that matter) will probably remain little more than a hobby as opposed to a passion.

Until next time....

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Mystery of Black and White


There's something mysterious
about black and white photography. Perhaps it's because we are so conditioned to seeing the ancient imagery from the early days of the art, or perhaps its because the absence of color leaves a bit to the imagination.

These days, digital cameras, color corrected monitors, and photo printers make color imagery saturate our daily lives. We see in color, we shoot in color, we print in color. Perhaps this too contributes to the added interest in the black and white realm.

The opening image
is one I see almost daily on my morning commute. This particular day, the soggy winter's rains had finally ceased and the glorious golden sun peaked through and made the landscape surreal. This lone tree stood bathed in warmth still drying out as marked by the moist dark streak of bark along the trunk.

Editing this image in Adobe's LightRoom gave me a great deal of control over the image. I was able to darken the spring grass and sky for a more striking contrast for the subject.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Finding the Time

Reeds and Fowl

On my way
to work today, the first day after a holiday weekend, the traffic was heavy. I was hoping to get to work early to photograph the lake before the fog lifted, but by now the sun was already shining through, burning off the novelty and soft light.

As I drove slowly, bumper-to-bumper, I looked to my right at saw the wetlands along side the freeway. The sun was low in the sky and the reeds and cattails glowed in the yellow morning light. I saw a few ducks paddling in the water. The scene was just what I needed to pause and say: "Ahhhhh..."

I felt my shoulders relax and I thought to myself: "Why not? The traffic will still be here..."

I took the next exit and found my way to the frontage road just beside the wetlands. I scouted for the best place to park and explore.

Camera in hand,
I saw this scene almost immediately when I got out of the car. The small pond was still and reflected the bright morning sky. A few ducks paddled by feeding and bathing in the cold shallows.

Peaceful Pond

I walked for just a bit before I realized that the bush was too high for me to get a clear shot of the marsh. I peeped through the reeds to get the opening shot. As I walked back to my car I noticed how the hard morning sun made the footbridge stand out.


I felt pretty good
about my little escape from traffic. The morning light and the spontaneity made for a calming excursion. Perhaps this may inspire you to take the next exit and spend a few moments noticing how special your life really is!