Can you de-CERN Fermi Lab?

Posted September 22nd, 2006 by
Categories: Photos, Space and Science

Picture: Aerial view of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, near Chicago, Illinois.

This was taken just moments after my plane took off from Chicago’s Midway Airport. At the time I was really bummed that we were flying so close to the accelerator that the bottom half of the ring extended just past the bottom edge of my window. In retrospect, I’ve grown to like this more for it’s graphic nature. One of the great powers of the human brain is it’s ability to fill in missing information. Hopefully, your brain is filling in the rest of the circle. :)

For those that don’t know, Fermi is one of the premier labs in the world, sending speeding atoms colliding into one another, hoping to answer some of the most profound questions in all of physics. Visit the Fermi Lab web site, and visit their FAQ page for more details.

Happy Autumnal Equinox Day

Posted September 22nd, 2006 by
Categories: Autumn, California, Photos

Picture: Fall colors on grape vine leaves in vineyard, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California.

Today is one of the two days of each calendar year when the sun rises and sets at exactly 90 and 270 degrees respectively. It also marks the official first day of fall; a season when most travel, landscape, and nature photographers become obsessed with yellows, oranges, and reds. This particular photo was taken while shooting for my most recent book, Backroads of the California Wine Country. Enjoy the season!

See more pretty fall colors in my two page TREES web gallery.

Photo: Urban Nature; Oak trees near Chicago

Posted September 20th, 2006 by
Categories: Photos, Trees

Picture: Oak tree canopy of branches and leaves, McDonalds University Campus, Oak Brook, near Chicago, Illinois.

This is probably the only 100% true nature photo taken on my trip. But honestly, being only 60 feet from the door of the Hyatt Lodge, how much of a commune back to nature could this have really been?

Where is Carmen Chicago?

Posted September 20th, 2006 by
Categories: Photos, Travel

Been quiet here, huh? Well there’s a good reason, and it ties into my last two posts. I just got back from a road trip to Chicago. I wish I could say I got lots of good photos, but this wasn’t a photo trip. I got a few, and I do mean FEW. I wound up staying at the Hyatt Lodge on the McDonalds University Campus. This is where they bring in all the restaurant managers from around the globe for corporate instruction. (BTW – the Hyatt is one of those places where, if you sneeze, they charge you $6.00!)

Picture: Curving bridge on the McDonalds University Campus (Hamburger U.), Oak Brook, Illinois.

So why did I take a road trip to Chicago that resulted in almost no photos?

Read the rest of this post »

Photo: Firehole Basin, Yellowstone NP, Wyoming

Posted September 13th, 2006 by
Categories: National Parks, Photos, Travel, Water, Wyoming

Picture: Steam rising from geothermal vent along the Firehole River, Firehole Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

There’s a reason for posting this photo; except nobody has bothered to tell me what that might be.

See more of my Wyoming Photos in my online web gallery.

Photo: Road at Sunrise, Wells, Nevada

Posted September 10th, 2006 by
Categories: Deserts, Nevada, Photos, Roads, Travel

Picture: Storm clouds at sunrise over lonely, empty two-lane desert highway, near Wells, Nevada.

Wise man says: The Road Ahead is merely the past for anyone traveling the opposite direction. Furthermore, an idiot standing in the middle of the road is either (a) lost, (b) confused, (c) waiting to be hit by a speeding vehicle, (d) all of the above, or (e) shooting stock photos.

Whenever I see photos like this, I always think about that movie that came out in the ’80′s – not sure of the title. Anyway, I never saw the movie, but I remember the trailer showing a bunch of kids playing chicken by laying in the middle of a road at night along the line when a truck zooms past. Sure enough, within a week, there was a news report about some kids getting killed by immitating the scene in the movie.

Full Disclosure: I actually did this once with some friends; kinda. We weren’t doing a dare, but we had stopped along Tioga Pass Road around 3:00Am, and were watching the stars. The only good spot to view through the trees was -of course – in the middle of the road. Fortunately, we picked a spot where we could see any oncoming headlights well before they would reach us.

See more of my Road Photos online…

Would you like bad photos with your article?

Posted September 8th, 2006 by
Categories: Fossil Beds

I stumbled across an internet discussion a few days back. It was very long-winded, so I won’t bother you with all the gory details. Sufficed to say it dealt with the differences between Travel Writers, Travel Photographers, and Travel Writers who are asked to supply photos with articles they write.

Most pro photographers aren’t awesome righters. In the same vein, most pro writers are usually pretty lousy photographers.

One photographer has penned an article to help all those writers know a little bit more about our craft. It’s called, A Dozen Truths Every Writer Needs to Know About Photography. It’s a tad bit dated as you’ll notice some references to film, but otherwise a good tidbit to pass on to any writer-wannabeephotographers you might know.

New Photo of the Month; September 2006

Posted September 8th, 2006 by
Categories: California, Photos

Picture: Red tractor and rolled bales of hay in freshly cut farm field near Cambria, along the Central Coast, San Luis Obispo County, California

The thing I like about this photo, in addition to it’s seasonal appeal, is that it seems like it could be from almost any rural location. You just would never know by looking at this scene that the Pacific Ocean is just a few miles away.

See more photos from this area of the California Coast. – And don’t forget that our Photo of the Month has a 50% discount special.

Thus ends summer

Posted September 6th, 2006 by
Categories: Fossil Beds

In some crazy universe, our local school district decided to start school four days prior to Labor Day, then give the kids five more days off, so they attend classes for three days this week. So, what’s a Dad to do? I took off the last five days while the kids were home, did practically no work (photo-biz), but spent time cleaning the garage and taking the kids to WaterWorld.


To that end, here are a few things to make you smile as summer draws to a close. Record Store Cats really should have sounds, but I dig those heavy metal cats…

Some funny commercials, best suited for some of our older viewers since several are of a more adult subject matter; the hosting is dull, but the production value on the commercials is very high. My sick and twisted sense of humor was especially bemused by the condom commercial titled, “Mom”.

Ready for this?

Posted August 29th, 2006 by
Categories: Newsworthy, Photo Business, Stock Photography

Well… it’s here. Getty’s Rights Ready licensing model, that is. According to a report at About the Image, Getty unvieled it’s new model with some slight modifications based on Photographer feedback. From my interpretation, it’s a step in the right direction, but even for the prices, a 10 year license is pretty lengthy. Three or five years would have been a more appropriate option. Oh, but then there’s an idea! Why not give the buyer an option of 1, 3, 5, or 10 years with a simple click of a radio button, and a scaled price to match the selection? “Oh, but that might be too tough for buyers”. Hogwash! Come On, Getty; if you’re gonna take the lead here, stride boldly into this new model of yours.

Odd how the acronym for Getty’s Riser Rights Ready is “GRRR”. That’s the exact sound I made when I saw the price for a 10 year unlimited Print Ad license.