Wednesday, March 10, 2010

National Geographic Kids Cover Photo May 2010

I'm happy to announce that I will have my "Aqua Turtle" photograph published on the cover of the May 2010 issue of National Geographic Kids magazine.

This is one of my favorite photos taken in Kona, Hawaii. I had followed this big turtle for a long time kicking my legs hard to keep up with it and I was getting pretty tired after awhile. The reward for all this work was this image that has always been popular and now all the readers of NGK's worldwide will get to see it too.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


What's up with this? California Sea Otters on the beach? Well, yes its true. Sea Otters rarely ever come onto land and January 31st must of been my extremely lucky day for that was
the day I went to Moss Landing to catch the sunset (as I have been doing almost daily for about 2 months now).
So I travel to Moss, not too far from me, and take a look to the left and I see the beach estuary area empty except for a couple of photographers. There also appears to be some small dark bodies that are plopped on the sandy beach. What's that I think, cause the photographers appear to be focused on that? So I wander on down to check it out because I have some time before the magic sunset hour. Well shiver me timbers cause there are sea otters lazily lounging on the sandy shore.

Now I have visited moss so many times before to see the otters, which are always there, floating out in the water. They have always been difficult to photograph due to the only observation point being a 20' cliff side overhanging the area they frequent. If I could just climb down I might be able to get a shot, but it is strictly forbidden to climb over the cliff.

I walk down to the beach where the public is allowed and start taking photos. Cool as cucumbers they were, didn't seem to mind me one bit. I almost expected them to pull out the sunscreen and start applying it. Now is what we have a moment I call "PhotoKarma". Here is an unusual and rare behavior by an animal and I'm ready to shoot. Empty 8 gig card, full battery, and a animal that is cooperating. Pure Magic. They almost seemed to enjoy it, for they are usually quite skittish. The light is low so I have very limited time.

1 hour later and 1000 new images (only a small % of these are usable) is what I end up with.
I feel very lucky and honored to have had this experience with the Sea Otters. I even went back twice since then hoping I might get another chance, but the tide had come back in and they were back floating in the water a distance away.

So obviously, I didn't shoot the sunset that evening! I have not added them to my website yet but
You can see more of them them now on my flickr site
This site is much easier to update and you call also see my latest work. So check em out!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Contest Win!

Sweeeeeeet! Just found out my image of the baby leopard "Warm" just won Decembers "photo of the day contest". Cool, I won a nice camera. All those contests I enter occasionally pay off. This win was a almost as good as the Dive Trip in the Bahamas that I won with Naui's "Just Dive" photo contest back in 2009. And can you believe I do all this online stuff "DIAL-UP"???? Yes, I said I'm on dial up. No cable, no satellite service
here. Yep, no clear southern exposure. Its a bummer but It's better then nothing. That's the price you pay for living in your own recreational Forrest here in the Santa Cruz Mountains. So, I'm stoked, its nice to get something from all those long hours waiting, waiting, waiting................Now if I could just pay my bills with it......
So my point here is if you don't enter, you can't win. Just be sure to read the FINE PRINT in the rules of any photo contest. They are tricky so you don't want to lose your rights to any
If its good enough to win a contest, then it must be pretty darn good and you may want to sell it in the future. Never give your rights away!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The 3 C's

Just like a Diamond, photography is composed of the 3 C's. Color, Clarity and Composition. There really is no set rules for taking great photos except for these 3 main components. Color is a big one for me, I like images that have rich, deep, vibrant colors that invoke emotion. Although too much color or saturation can make an image go to the extreme and that may be too much for some. It is really your decision in the end. This is always a tough one to decide for it is a fine line you walk in photoshop deciding just how much is too much.

Next to color is clarity. I prefer my images to be tack sharp, clear and full of rich texture and detail. I use a tripod and cable release whenever possible (long exposures is a must) and the cable release really helps avoid camera shake especially when your shivering from the cold. If the image is slightly blurry you may be able to fix it but usually its a loser. I will typically shoot over 500 images each session and hopefully get a handful that are usable. Make sure if you are going to be shooting these many images that you have a large external hardrive to backup all your images because you may use them at some point in time.

Composition, if you are shooting landscapes you have usually have lots of time to compose an image that is well balanced. Something on the right side and something on the left to offset the other. If you are shooting sunsets, then you still have time but it is limited to the peak time of optimum color lasting maybe 2-3 minutes. That's when the sun has gone below the cloud line and the light casts great color beyond the horizon line and all over the sky. This is my favorite time. Hopefully, I am in the right place but then you get home and find some other image has better composition and you are in the wrong position. That bums me out, but I can usually make something of it.

Oh, and a 4th C that I find to be extremely useful is Crop. Cropping an image can restore all balance to an image that may not be composed as well as you might have thought. When you are shooting as fast and furious as I may be, sometimes the image may be too heavy on one side so cropping may be necessary. I will photograph images from all angles, moving around frequently to see new angles that are different. They may not be what I think are the best at the time but sometimes they turn out to be the best ones with a little cropping to balance them out.

All in all, taking great photos is all up to you. These are just my opinions, I hope that they help you in achieving the the type of images that you desire. Great photos come with a little patience and in my case, what I refer to as "PhotoKarma".

Monday, December 28, 2009

Arizona trip

I recently completed a excursion to Arizona. It was a photo/show trip with visits to The Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and Las Vegas. I left Santa Cruz early a.m. and drove 10 hours to get to Vegas by nightfall. It was cold but the nightlife and lights of the city were going at a fast and furious state. The next morning I drove to the Grand Canyon and due to the ice on the roads and the numerous truckers it took a lot longer than the 5 hour drive I had expected. The longer drive actually put me in the canyon in the late afternoon and it was as spectacular as everyone has always said. The conditions were bitterly cold but the clarity was great. I then drove to Flagstaff for the evening and left early the next morning for Horseshoe Bend in Page to shoot the Colorado river at a unique vantage point.

So that was the photo part of the trip which was at times boring, cold and very long drives from one location to another. After leaving Page I headed down to my show in Tucson on 4th Ave.
The weather was a nice change from all the snow and the people there were friendly and fun.

All in all I am happy to be back and working on all the new images I got to be added to my website soon.

Wishing everyone a healthy and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Photo contest news

I entered the Professional Photographer cover photo contest a few month ago and although I didn't win the cover, I did receive an honorable mention. The contest had almost 4600 entries and my "1 Lucky shot" image was shortlisted to 16. So, that's cool. I am featured on the website as well as published in the November 2009 magazine issue.

I am also featured on Coast Magazines website with a selection of my Big Sur photos this month.

I find the Internet is a great way to get my images seen as well as a great marketing tool.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My first blog

Welcome to my blog,
So a blog is actually short for web log.....
interesting, I just learned that one.
I found this blog host free account ....
another cool fact I learned today.
I'm not the brightest bulb in the Home Depot Lighting department, but I do make attempts at things I'm not familiar with.
Why would people even want to read a blog?
Not sure about that one....but I'm anxious to find out.
I have investigated that many other photographers out there in cyberspace have these BLOGS.
And they give helpful information and interesting topics to explore.
I like that.....I think I can give that a whirl.
Hopefully, you the reader, will enjoy the information I can provide and learn something from it.
I mean that's what these blogs are for, aren't they?
So I'll leave it at that and I will write about photography, art, shows and whatever strikes me.
I would love to hear from you. Your comments are appreciated.