A Slow Learner, but a Learner Still

Only so many dusks, only so many springs.

Only so many dusks, only so many springs.

It seems like just one post ago I was supposedly relearning that I will only get so many magic hours (dawn & dusk light) in my life, but just this afternoon I sat at my desk, trying to decide whether to haul a camera into the backyard or take off my shoes and lounge about the house.  Continue reading

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The Most Important Lesson: Remember Who You Are

We scheduled our visit to Monument Valley to coincide with the full moon. Very challenging, but fun fun fun.

We scheduled our visit to Monument Valley to coincide with the full moon. Technically challenging, but fun fun fun.

As regular readers know, I’m not the sharpest lens in the bag. One of the reasons I maintain this blog is to record lessons for myself – despite the fact that, in the words of Elvis Costello, “I talk to myself but I don’t listen.”

So, several of these lessons are things we all already know. In fact, most have been featured on this blog before. Still… Continue reading

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2015 Southwest Vacation Slideshow

In future posts I’ll share photos and lessons learned – and missed – during this trip. In the meantime, here’s a slideshow.

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March Came and Went, but I Got a Few Frames

"Whole lot of hard times, a little bit of magic." Dang I love Patty Griffin.

“Whole lot of hard times, a little bit of magic.” Dang I love Patty Griffin. This is what March 1st looked like in Ojai. (D7100)

I’m not sure what happened to March, but I’ve got big plans for April.

I got to see and photograph some Cedar Waxwings at Soule Park.

I got to see and photograph some Cedar Waxwings at Soule Park. (D7100)

...And a bluebird too.

…And a bluebird too. (D7100)

I attended an event with Susan Stamberg, founding mother of NPR. She might not like this photo, but I do.

I attended an event with Susan Stamberg, founding mother of NPR. She might not like this photo, but I do. (X100s)

My day at the Getty did not result in a lot of good photos, but I got a lot of exercise and started playing around with Nik filters.

My day at the Getty did not result in a lot of good photos, but I got a lot of exercise and started playing around with Nik filters. (D610 w/24-70 f/2.8)

I may have visited The Vine with the D610 and a macro lens.

I may have visited The Vine with the D610 and a macro lens.

I had a near-miss on my motorcycle and wrote about it a KindlyGentlemenMotorcycleClub.com.

I had a near-miss on my motorcycle and wrote about it at KindlyGentlemenMotorcycleClub.com. (D610)

So March was, um, meh. In April I'll revisit Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly and see if I've learned anything about landscape photography.

So March was, um, meh. In April I’ll revisit Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly and see if I’ve learned anything about landscape photography. (D7000)

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There Can Be Only One

Backyard Bees-0178-2

As I’ve mentioned many times, I’m trying to become a more ruthless editor. I got many well exposed, sharp images of bees in my backyard last week, but this one stood out as my favorite. I shared some of the others on Facebook, but I should not have done so. Others have said it: if you only show your best work, people come to believe you are a good photographer. So do you, and so you do. This will be my new editing mantra: There can be only one.

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“I will never photograph my father again.”

My father and my son, twenty-five years ago.

My father and my son, twenty-five years ago.

My father died on January 26. He had been on hospice care for almost two years, so as my wife put it, “It wasn’t a surprise, but still managed to be a shock.”

89 and looking like a movie star

89 and looking like a movie star

Everyone grieves differently, and to most, I do not appear to grieve at all. My knee-jerk response to most forms of stress is to get busy. Contact the authorities; review the paperwork; take care of business. Sorrow has to sneak up and jump me unaware. As it happens, sorrow is quite the ninja warrior. I was collecting photographs for the slideshow embedded below, and the thought hit me: I will never photograph my father again. That did it. A good long cry. And the pleasant realization that in most photos of my father, he is laughing.

Dad died a month shy of his 90th birthday, but he could still rock an Eisenhower jacket like no one I know.

Dad died a month shy of his 90th birthday, but he could still rock an Eisenhower jacket like no one I know.

A special thanks to friend Myrna Cambianica, who encouraged me to keep shooting, through thick and thin. Thanks to these photos, I can grieve with a smile on my face. http://youtu.be/9z–2Bo511E

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My Year With “The Camera Nobody Wants”

I wanted a full-frame DSLR for low-light capability, and the D610 has not disappointed.

I wanted a full-frame DSLR for low-light capability, and the D610 has not disappointed.

A reputable blogger has referred to Nikon’s D610 as “the camera nobody wants.” That description carries a bit of a sting for those of us that own the camera, but I understand. The D610 was hurriedly released as a PR fix after the D600 debacle (many D600s came with a defective shutter mechanism that threw oil onto the sensor, and Nikon was slow and clumsy in addressing this). A few months after I bought my D610, Nikon released the D750, which costs a bit more but includes a better focusing system and built-in wi-fi. These are things I want, but I am not earning enough money from photography to buy and sell cameras willy-nilly, so I am sticking (stuck?) with my D610 for at least another year or two. Besides, the resale value of the D610 has dropped like a rock. Continue reading

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