Photo: Spiderman, Spiderman; Does whatever a spider can…

Posted February 27th, 2007 by
Categories: California, Deserts, National Parks, People, Photos, Sports & Recreation, Travel

Picture: Ninja rock climber on granite, Joshua Tree National Park, California

This is the photo I *was* going to post yesterday, before the point when I realized my weblog was “gone down”, “taking a nap”, “momentarily offline”, “on a break”, “in seclusion”, or any other manner of describing something currently unavailable.

I like this image because it feels a little different. Many of the climbing shots I’ve seen are either taken in high alpine conditions, or in warm weather where the clothing almost seems optional. This image was taken on a very cool and chilly afternoon this last January, and the clothing this climber had on, especially the ‘ninja’-style face mask, and combined with his pose, really makes him look very bug-like.

Photo: Now You See Me – Now you Don’t

Posted February 27th, 2007 by
Categories: Animals, Arizona, Barns Farms and Rural Scenes, Buildings and Architecture, Photos, Travel

Picture: Looking out the barrack window at horse in corral, Pipe Springs National Monument, near Fredonia, Arizona

 I mentioned previously that I was starting to process the images from my trip last fall to Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. I’m actually now about 2/3rds of the way through the raw conversions, and so far I have done about 413 images. Ugh. But the main reason for posting this image today, along with the title, is a bit more tech related than horse and farm related. You see…well, maybe you didn’t see; and that’s the point. For anyone who visited my weblog in the last day or so might have seen the dreaded “Blank White Page”. This is apparently the WordPress weblog version of Window’s PC’s, “Blue Screen of Death”. According to the error report, the system goes kapput when the sql server gets more than 50,000k hits in an hour. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice this until last evening, and whoddha thunk it, but there was nobody in my 24/7 tech support that could reset the server, until the Level Two techs showed up at 9:00am. Well, I’m sure you’d all agree, “fixed late” is always better than “never fixed” or worse, “can’t be fixed”.

Photo: Perfect Fit – Balanced between a rock and a hard place

Posted February 24th, 2007 by
Categories: California, Deserts, National Parks, Photos, Travel

Picture: Granite boulder balanced in wedge rock, Joshua Tree National Park, California

This week I finished imaging all of the shots from my trip to the Palm Springs region. You’ll remember a couple posts back with the footsteps in the sand dune, I mentioned I was about half way done. Well, Horray! I’m now done with the imaging part of this batch. There were a total of 312 images that I imaged, and about a dozen of those will be edited out as close seconds, but for now they remain with the group as all await the next step; keywording. But for now, my next step is to go back and start imaging all the shots I took last fall in Southwest Utah and at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Lightroom 1 arrives

Posted February 21st, 2007 by
Categories: Digital, Newsworthy, Photo Business

During the NANPA convention last month, I attended a digital workflow seminar with noted photographer George Lepp. During his presentation, he showed off features of a beta program called Adobe Lightroom. The beta was quick and packed with stuff. Now, George admitted he was using Jpegs for the presentation to boost the speed performance; although he didn’t specify exactly what size Jpegs. My guess was that they were screen resolution at 72 dpi around 1200 pixels or so.

Anyway, I was intrigued enough to immediately download the beta version (Bv4) onto my laptop, and import a folder full of 200 Raw D2x files. So….I’m sure you’re anxious to know, what did I think? Read the rest of this post »

Photo: Mountain Sunset Reflection in Yosemite

Posted February 20th, 2007 by
Categories: California, Mountains, National Parks, Photos, Reflections, Summer, Travel, Water

Picture: Alpenglow at sunset on Mount Dana, reflected in alpine tarn at Tioga Pass, Yosemite National Park, California

It’s going to be a number of months until this scene can be seen just like this. At just shy of 10,000 feet in elevation, Tioga Pass should be deep in snow, with grass covered meadows now lying under several feet of the white stuff. So why post this picture today? This just happens to be one of 300 newly scanned, cleaned, keyworded images, now set for distribution to my agents. As it stands, my workslow, workFLOW has me doing image production in batches of 240 – 320 (ct.) images at a time. I  have over 5,000 images in the queue, so even finishing 300 images seems like such a small victory, but it’s a victory nonetheless. Eventually I’ll  be adding a bunch of the images from this collection to my online Yosemite and Eastern Sierra galleries.

Photo: The Long Road to Higher Education

Posted February 17th, 2007 by
Categories: California, Deserts, Mountains, Photos, Roads, Sunrise, Travel

Picture: School bus on road through the desert at sunrise, near Ocotillo Wells, San Diego County, California

On my recent trip to Southern California last month, I had one of those moments of sheer clarity; a true, “Thank God” moment. It was about 6:03 AM on a Monday morning as I was heading into Joshua Tree National Park from Yucca Valley. I was about a mile before the park entrance kiosk when I passed, in the dark, about a half dozen kids standing at a school bus stop. I looked at the outside temp gauge on my truck, and it read 14 degrees. (That was three degrees warmer than the previous morning.) Being a parent, I’m the one responsible for getting my own kids up by 7:10, dressed, fed, and out the door to school by 7:35 every morning. Yes, that includes brushing their teeth. Anyway, at the moment I passed these kids on the side of the road, I could only think about how tough these kids and parents must have it if they need to be outside ready for the bus at 6:03 AM. In that same moment, I said a quick “Thank God that ain’t us” and also had a wave of admiration for the perseverance these kids and parents endure for the sake of getting an education.

The above photo was taken a number of days later, and many many miles away from that cold, dark, bus stop filled with waiting kids. Yet, it too reminds me of what we in suburbia and urban areas take for granted, namely our schools being so close to where we live, and our accessibility to a good education.

But in the end, I remember the words of my dad, who used to tell me over and over about how he had to walk for miles through cold winter snow – barefoot, both ways, in order to go to school. At least these kids have a bus.

Photo: Footprints on a sand dune

Posted February 13th, 2007 by
Categories: California, Deserts, Photos, Sunrise, Travel

Picture: Footsteps along the ridge of a sand dune at sunrise, Algodones Dunes, Imperial Valley, near Brawley, California.

I have that feeling again, as I sit here at my desk, neck deep in production. This is one of 300 images taken over a five day shoot around my attendence of the NANPA Conference in Palm Springs. As I wade through the editing, Raw Conversions, and Photoshop processing, I’m now about halfway done with this set of images. Yet everytime I scroll down my Adobe Bridge Folder, I get that feeling like I’ve crested the top of one sand dune, only to see the horizon filled with more and more sand dunes. I keep lying to myself by saying, “This is the fun part of photography.”

And the winners for this year are:

Posted February 11th, 2007 by
Categories: Newsworthy, Photos

Several image galleries worth taking a look at represent the winners of two notable “Of The Year” contests.

First up are the ten winning images of the 2006 World in Focus Photo Contest put on by National Geographic Traveler Magazine. These are usually pretty images of places and cultures. FWIW, I was a Merit Award winner in this contest back in the mid-1990’s, and had one more of my images used in their calendar that same year.

The other award winners worth seeing are from the 2006 World Press Photo Contest. These are not always pretty pictures, but quite captivating nonetheless. Fair warning as usual for press photos – some of these are VERY, VERY graphic and disturbing and may not be suitable for young kids or overly sensitve types. Don’t miss the Sports and Nature portfolios toward the end of the winners gallery.


Ma Bell vs Pa Gates

Posted February 7th, 2007 by
Categories: Copyright, Newsworthy

Batton down those proverbial IP hatches, as AT&T is about to have a Supreme Court face-off with Microsoft over some intellectual property involving every PC sold running Windows software. Microsoft admits infringing on AT&T’s patent of a Digital Speech Coder when it developed it’s Windows OS, but new issues involve transnationallization and a potential $1 Billion settlement award. Cornell Law School has a nice write up on the upcoming face-off.

Fine, you may ask, but what’s this got to do with photography? For one, it pays to keep an eye on International IP issues. Markets are becoming increasingly globalized, and yet many countries like China, India, etc., the respect for copyright and other intellectual property matters are at best, poor to non-existent. (Kinda like most all photos and songs used on MySpace) 

Disclosure: My wife works for one of the companies involved.

New Photo of the Month; February 2007

Posted February 3rd, 2007 by
Categories: California, Coast, Photos, Travel

Picture: Coastal rocks and fog along the bluffs at Cambria, San Luis Obispo County, Central Coast, California.

We’re having such a mild winter here in the Bay Area, that aside from the mild chill in the air, we could be considered “seasonless”. One of the great things about the climate along the central part of California’s coast is how steady the sense of seasons really are; save green hills in spring and a bit of rain, the rest of the year is all one big long dose of the same mild temps.

See more images from this area in my Central California Coast gallery.