A photograph is worth a hell of a lot more than a thousand words…

Landscape & Urban

On Huron

The daughter of my close friends Brian & Kenda plays softball, and found her way onto the All Star team. Unfortunately they did not win, but they had a damned good run. The team to which they finally lost didn’t really have a team, just a ringer of a pitcher. Their games were played in Rogers City on Lake Huron. This shot was taken about 100yds east of the ball fields. Perfect weather day for landscapes I think….

As always, click the image for a larger view.


I’m not a sellout, dammit.

No photograph with this post, just me running my soup cooler. I was thinking about my post a few days ago when I was lamenting not being able to photograph my own vision, and the more I think about it, the more I think that simply isn’t true. My vision goes into every photograph I create. It doesn’t matter is someone else asked me to create the photograph for them. People come to me to create their photographs because of my vision.

I remember my college professor once saying that professional photographers, those who create photographs as a means of putting food on the table have to be willing to compromise from time to time and be willing to “sell their soul just a little.” I suppose there is some truth in that, but as in everything, black and white are not critical absolutes in life. A certainty in one situation is not a guarantee of a direct translation or application to another situation no matter how similar.

My studio has been open for six months now, and if I honestly believed I was a sell out, I would close shop, get a job at a gas station and take pictures on the weekends for free. But, I just spent the last four hours sorting through the photographs that I have taken since I opened up in January (because my website is in dire need of an update), and I am finding myself having a good measure of trouble picking which photographs to include in the update.

Between January 4th and June 6th, I have taken over thirteen thousand photographs with my digital camera alone.  Granted, not all of them are winners, and about half of them are culled from the herd before I even show them to the client. But, after my sort this afternoon, I still have close to 300 of what I would call “winners,” photographs that I am happy to show to anyone. Perhaps 100 or more of them I would cheerfully enter into an exhibition…5 of them I already have plans to do exactly that.

So, I may very well be a portrait photographer for hire, squeezing friends and strangers for their hard earned dollars, but I am still quite satisfied that I am just as much an artist as when I was in college. My vision is in every photograph I create because it takes my vision to create it. My subject matter may have changed between then and now, but I still treat every subject with the same eye.

I still like photographing women sans clothes, but weddings, children, and puppies present the same opportunities for the exploration of light, line, and beauty.

Shoot the moon…

Photographing the moon can be tricky, especially if you live in a city with a lot of amient light during the evening hours…and especially if you don’t have a terribly long lens.

A short lens means you have to crop the photo, and you loose resolution. Try to make a print from an image you’ve cropped back to 3 megapixels and it falls apart like paper mache.

My friend Joi has a 650mm-1300mm lens that she let me borrow a while back, and frankly I didn’t know what the hell I was going to photograph with it. It isn’t exactly a top of the line lens, the glass is pretty cheap, and you’re stuck with one aperature at 650 you get f/8 and 1300mm, f/16. But it isn’t like you’re going to be shooting sports with a 1300mm lens unless you freeze time and you want to see if the pitcher has put any snot on the ball.

I don’t live in a high rise apartment building surrounded by other high rise apartment buildings so I can’t use it to photograph my neighbors snorting coke off of a hooker’s ass.

So, whats left. Well, the moon. The moon will do.

I shot this just before sunset at 650mm. At f/8 in the failing light with an ISO of 100, the shutter came in at one second.  The lens is heavy, and while my tripod is quite stable, it still pushed down a bit, so it had to be stabilized as best I could. It seems to have worked as I don’t see any motion blur or lens shake in the photo.

I was hoping for some clouds, and I waited about for around 30 minutes, but mother nature wasn’t having any of that. Perhaps I’ll try again when the weather is a little more cooperative.

Skipping Stones

This is my 15 year old son, Scott skipping stones into Lake Michigan on North Manitou Island.  We were losing light, and trying to get back to camp before dark. I was doing my best to keep the group moving as we were still about a mile south of the camp site, but I couldn’t resist letting them skip stones while I took advantage of the late afternoon light.

Moments before sunrise…

I didn’t get much sleep at all on my hiking trip to North Manitou Island. My tent mate spent most of the night tossing and turning…and hogging up most of the room in the hooch leaving me with my face pressed up against the wall. The upside is that I was usually awake well before sunrise.

This shot was about 15 minutes before sunup. To the naked eye, it was still pretty dark, and only a sliver of light was visible on the horizon. The exposure was a little over 7 minutes at f/22

I’d rather be sailing…

This was one of the last photos taken on my week long camping trip to North Manitou Island. I shot this on the ferry back to the mainland.

I’ll post quite a few of the Manitou shots over the next few days, I just wanted to put this one up since I had not posted anything since well before I left for the trip. I have over 500 digital photos as well as several rolls of film through which to sift….

Nuke Plant.

nukeHere is a better shot of the nuke plant. I stopped on the side of the road to get this one. This is in Ohio on the way to Port Clinton from Battle Creek.  I wish the house on the right side of the frame came out a little brighter, it gets lost in the trees and fouls up the juxtaposition….the whole point of phootographing a nuke plant in a residential/agricultural area.