Big Bang Poe

Posted May 1st, 2006 by
Categories: Space and Science

What do you get when you mix thoughts about the Big Bang Theory, God, and Edgar Allen Poe? Some Damn Interesting reading! Check out the related links, and don’t forget the comments.

Sorry Mother

Posted May 1st, 2006 by
Categories: Rants and Raves

This is a belated rant – good for a beautiful spring Monday morning. As many of us may recall, Earth Day was recently celebrated. Sitting in my email inbox was a mailing from photographer Michael Fatali. I just had a chance to read his email. It was a drippy, hippee-speak laden poem praising our Earth Mother. It read in part with statements along the line of Let us give thanks to our goddess Earth Mother as we renew our spiritual energies in your pools of eternal yada yada yada.

To be clear; I don’t have a problem with Mr. Fatali’s images, and I don’t have a problem with hippees. In fact I live just over the hill from Berkeley. I don’t even have a problem with drippy cheesy poems praising the Earth Mother on Earth Day. What gets my gall in a knot is that this cheesy Earth Mom poem was delivered to me by a photographer convicted of scarring our National Parklands with duraflame presto logs for the sake of getting a picture.

So next time, Mr Fatali – if you want to send me a drippy poem praising your Earth Mommy, just remember that it would come across much more sincere if you included an apology for giving your Mother a fire scar.

Sheessh!    < end Rant>
Read More opinions about the incident from several years ago HERE and also about the outcome posted at the NY TIMES.

Photo: Morning Light on Oak Trees

Posted April 27th, 2006 by
Categories: California, National Parks, Photos, Travel, Trees

Picture: Morning sunlight on oak trees in spring, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California.

This isn’t one of the images I referred to in my earlier post, btw. This was taken on the third or fourth morning, and I’d been hanging out near Sentinel Bridge when I saw the morning light illuminate these oak trees across the meadow. One of the points I always raise in my workshops or lectures is to not shoot a subject, but shoot the light.

See more images in my TREES & FORESTS online web stock photo and fine art print gallery.

The Good Old Days

Posted April 27th, 2006 by
Categories: Photo Business, Stock Photography

Here I sit, again pondering the changes in how I work since turning from film to digital last year. The week in Yosemite yielded a good number of images. But the working process sometimes leaves my head spinning whenever I contemplate the efforts once the shutter has been tripped.

Here are a few of the numbers; I shot about 900 RAW Frames. Each Frame is 19Mb. I have a 4GB card that I filled almost five times. (A 4Gb card holds 199 shots.) It took two days to edit that number of images down to those I wanted to processes for my stock photo files. Part of the time lag in this process is having to make sure I look at every photo at 100% for sharpness. Out of approx. 900 images, I selected 250 image to RAW Convert using Adobe Camera Raw. Each converted 19Mb RAW turns into a 71Mb TIFF. It then took another two days to individually check each image for color and clean any dust spots. I’ll do another edit to determine which photos I’ll send to my agents. I’m willing to guestimate around 150 images, of which another 2 or 3 days will be spent doing keywords and captions. Call it 7 days to process 150 images.

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Sad Loss – Aviation photog George Hall dies.

Posted April 26th, 2006 by
Categories: Fossil Beds, Newsworthy

I’m bummed. Just a few moments ago I opened my newsreader to see that About the Image had posted a memorial statement about the passing of George Hall. I only met him once or twice here in the Bay Area at local events, and never for more than a few moments; enough time to merely say how much I enjoyed his images. I’ve always had a personal interest in planes and aviation, and photographer George Hall shot exactly the types of images I’d love to shoot if I ever became an aviation photographer. Take a moment and see George’s excellent collection of aviation images at his Check Six agency. I can only hope he’s spending his time soaring through the clouds.

Top That

Posted April 24th, 2006 by
Categories: California, National Parks

First light on El Capitan, Yosemite, CaliforniaOne of the driving forces that keeps photographers going in the field is the quest for a better photo. In my case, when driving or hiking, it’s almost impossible for me to not want to see what’s around the next corner. The main reason for this is simply the wondering if something better (a better photo) will be there waiting for me to discover.

In the case of my latest trip to Yosemite last week, I found myself in an unusal state. I was still very much in California, but I was no longer driven to see what was around the next corner. Why, you ask? Well this time, on my first morning, not more than 45 minutes after the alarm had gone off in my tent, I got not one, but three favorite Yosemite Valley photos. Two are really really nice, and the other may have enough potential to become one of my signature portfolio images. It was an odd feeling to spend several more days shooting, knowing that I’d likley already bagged what would be the best photos of my trip. On the otherhand, it also made for a refreshing challenge looking for new opportunities. Of course, the photo shown here is not an image I took that first morning. This photo is just a tease. Sorry. But stay tuned for more images…

You can also see my online web gallery of Yosemite Photos.

Yosemite Valley Conditions

Posted April 24th, 2006 by
Categories: California, National Parks, Spring, Travel

I got back a couple days ago from a week long camping trip with the family in Yosemite Valley. I’ll be honest, of all the times I’ve been to the Valley, this is the first time in over a decade that I’ve spent a night or more in the Pines Campground. We had to break down camp and move to a new site once during our stay, but otherwise the camping part was blissfully uneventful.

But the one thing all my photography friends want to know is, “What was the Valley like?”

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New Photo of the Month April ’06

Posted April 11th, 2006 by
Categories: California, Photos, Spring, Sunset, Trees

Picture: Sunset over oak tree and green hills in Spring, Mount Diablo State Park, California
Sunset over oak tree in spring, Mount Diablo, California

Taken just about a year ago, this image is close to what we should be seeing this time of year. Yes, the nearby hills are green, but that ball of fire in the sky is starting to seem like a myth of yester-year. You know the type of story your great-granpappy mighta told… “I remember when you could actually see the sun in the sky, and there would be times when you could go five whole days without rain!” Anyone wanna guess my mood? :)

See more of my East Bay Scenic Photos.

Required Reading 101a

Posted April 11th, 2006 by
Categories: Photo Business, Stock Photography

One of my favorite weblogs, About the Image, posted a must-read article by retiring PACA President Jeffery Burke entitled “The State of the Stock Picture Licensing Industry 2006.” For those that don’t know, PACA stands for the Picture Archive Council of America, whose membership is made up of Stock Agencies and other photo archives. It’s length, in-depth, and comprehensive. On top of that, it’s not e ven an article, per se. Actually, it the text of his opening speech at the 2006 PACA Conference. If you sell (read: license) photos, you need to read this straight-forward account that will certainly keep you thinking. For instance, he says,

Vision has its place in this industry as in others, but practicality often counts more in today’s business world. Creating the best images, selling them at the optimal price and placing them where customers will easily find them is what really matters in today’s business environment. Potentially more important that tomorrow’s visionaries are the 7 out of 10 customers today who vote with their wallets and decide that a royalty free license is more appropriate for their needs than a rights-managed license, or who prefer to visit one stock website over another.

The update

Posted April 8th, 2006 by
Categories: Fossil Beds

The dreaded server update to WordPress done by my webhost has come and gone. I can tell it was about 98% successful. I see the new dashboard, and a couple new plugins. There’s no doubt that from the inside, there’s a whole new look & feel to the admin panel. Last night, when I first looked at the blog, I could see everything on the front page just fine. However, anytime I tried to navigate to another page, I got the dreaded 404 “Could Not Find” page. As I suspected from research, I kind of knew I would have to update my htaccess file. Even though that was a first for me, everything seemed to go smoothly, and all seemed restored back to normal.

 The only 2% flaw that will take me some time to figure out is the comments. It appears that readers (Thanks, Richard) can leave comments on posts, but for some reason, those comments don’t show up in the comment counter on the front page. For example, a post may have a comment, but below the post on the front page, it will still read “Be the First to Comment…”. I have no idea on why, so I guess it’s off to the WP Support group for me on this one. I just hope it’s not going to require me to rebuild this whole site in WP2. We’ll see…

 If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.