Thursday, April 30, 2009

Travels with Mom

Diana, Murphy and I went out for DQ with Mom last night, then to the refuge. Visiting the refuge always brings new surprises!! Last night we saw a tundra swan, Western Grebes, and the always beautiful Great Blue Heron along with assorted yellow-headed blackbirds, black-necked stilts and American Avocets and ducks! Here's some pictures from the trip.
Murphy put his head on Mom's lap all the way - she loved it!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ansel Adams

When I think of Ansel Adams I think of the wonderful, incredible pictures he took. I also remember reading about the work he did in the darkroom so that the picture that was printed looked like what he had envisioned when he took the shot.
Now, as I've moved along with my photography, I'm starting to work with my own 'envisioning' and beginning to get a sense of what this is. Today I came across a quote by Ansel that struck me directly:

"Simply look with perceptive eyes at the world about you, and trust to your own reactions and convictions. Ask yourself: "Does this subject move me to feel, think and dream? Can I visualize a print - my own personal statement of what I feel and want to convey - from the subject before me?" - Ansel Adams

That is my challenge and I love it and the discovery that it provides.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Murphy's gift

Murphy and I were messing around out front and he ran through the white flower bed and broke off a beautiful tulip! So we picked it up and took it to his Mom who put it into a neat little vase and set it on the windowsill in the kitchen. Later that evening, I took this picture, using a tripod and remote release and ambient light. Then, with a slight change in white balance, I came up with this! And I like it!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Socks and tulips

Sometimes things just say - "take a picture of me" - and I do. Then I wonder why I took the picture as it doesn't fit into any category of what I would normally shoot.
So, I was walking in and out of the bedroom the other morning and finally got my camera and took a picture of these socks. Even after doing a lot of different things to them in Lightroom, I'm unclear on why...but what the heck!
What do you think?

On the other hand the tulip's colors and shape fascinate me. I'm a bit dissatisfied with what I have done so far, and am re-evaluating what I might have done or could do - both from taking additional pictures to work in Lightroom or Photoshop.

I feel that is what digital has brought to the table, for me at least. There is incredible opportunity to work with the pictures, throw it all away and start over, and try so many different things.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Our neighbors took a trip to Belize with their kids a couple of weeks ago. When they came back, their daughter, Leah, had a new 'do'... Leah is so darn cute anyway (and headstrong!!!!) but couldn't resist capturing her. So here she is!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


77 degrees in SLC today, so it must be spring! Families at the Baskin-Robbins for ice cream, walkers in the park tonight, just a great evening!
Diana planted these very small but beautiful tulips in front, and they are fascinating! The color is deep purple, and they have yellow in the center. I've not gotten a satisfactory shot of the center, so that will have to wait to show off. But here's the purple in the evening sun.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Diana created a new bed for flowers using just white flowers with green foliage. It's an experiment that has worked out quite well, and - now into its second year - most of the flowers have returned. Here's a multi-dimensioned tulip that struts its beauty quite well.
Again and again I find myself drawn to attempting to capture the play of light on objects. There is something incredibly fascinating about these temporary moments of beauty.

Mom's 88th Birthday

Mom had her 88th birthday Friday, April 17th. We had a good time with her, went out to dinner and she played with Murphy and the new toy that he gave her as a gift! I thought that a sepia version of her seemed to fit more into her style.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Going to San Francisco with flowers in your hair!

Many of you may not be old enough to remember the song that had the lyrics "If you are going to San Francisco, wear a flower in your hair".. So Murphy was hanging out on the deck today and he got a flower in his hair - or on his ear! He's such a lover anyway that he is a great hippie!!

Friday, April 17, 2009


April is the time of birthday's for many people we know - family and friends. Sean, Lisa's squeeze, has his on April 17, but we celebrated on 4/16 with dinner at Lugano's. A great meal and lots of fun. Here's one of the birthday cards he got!!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Judy L

We have a dear friend, Judy Lagos (JuJu) who makes the BEST spaghetti in the world AND is a phenomenal artist. She has worked in silver and gold, drawings, photography and cards, and anything with beauty in it she makes it more beautiful.
Here's one of her creations, a watercolor that she reproduced in a size to put on small note cards! Plus a wonderful quote!

Leonardo Longtail

Here's our long hair and long tail cat looking kinda fierce - or maybe just mysterious. I've done both color and B&W with pictures of Leo and he looks great whatever I do. Now that he is the only cat in the house, he's around much more. Mostly he sits under the bird feeders waiting for a bird to fall into his mouth! Or so we make up!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Tuesday

Hey! Easter Tuesday and a nice gentle rain in Salt Lake this afternoon! We had a nice group over for Sunday Brunch and the weather was wonderful! Great spread of food...

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Mom, Murphy (my 4 year old black lab) and I went for bagels and coffee this morning, then out to the wildlife refuge to see what we could see on a beautiful Easter Sunday morning in Utah. After returning to Mom's place, I took this picture of her - I love how the light works with her white hair!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Another view of orchids

Phaelaenopsis are one of the most popular and easy to grow orchids. We have several in our house and I see wonderful photos of them all over. So I tried a couple of things to be a 'little different'.

The wild looking one is an HDR of 5 images done with Photomatix Pro and making it very 'edgy'. The other, more natural looking one was taken at night with an LED headlamp providing a bit of light. Both were taken using a Nikon D300 on tripod, 18 to 200mm lens with the Canon 500D closeup lens. The HDR was at 200mm and the other is at 90mm. Fun to play and see what one can come up with!!

My Girlfriend

I mentioned in an earlier post that Diana and I celebrated our 31st anniversary on April 1. We went out to dinner in Heber to RattleSnake Grill, advertised as "American Comfort Food". Awesome food and a fun wait and management staff.
Anway, my girlfriend dressed up a bit and is very beautiful!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Travels with Mom

Mom (my 87 year old mother) and I and Murphy (4 year old black lab) went out to the wildlife refuge Wednesday evening, cheerily eating our Dairy Queen cones (no, Murphy did not have a cone)! We got to see a plethora of wildlife - kestrel with mouse on power line, male and female pheasant, lots of Canadien geese, starlings, cormorants, yellow-headed blackbirds, American avocets, coots, Northern Shovelers, and blue herons, among others. I think we saw a red fox but it moved way too quickly for identification. Good time out there just watching and listening to the world of birds and water. Here's a couple of pics from our time together.
Did you know that herons are solitary birds except for mating season?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Carmen One Year Birthday!

We were at the one-year birthday party of Carmen, daughter of Chris and Christina (3 C's in Salt Lake City) yesterday and got a couple of pictures - Carmen and her kitty Sombre'.
Carmen strikes me as an "old soul" - and the lights in her eyes are always there!
I shot these at 1600 ISO with the D300 - very little noise when I get the lighting correct! A little bit of lighting adjustment in Lightroom and here we are!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Light and Shadows

As a photographer, I take a lot of pictures - also throw away a lot. What I am learning to look for and feel for is that sudden intake of breath when the light-subject matter all come together and inspire me. Sometimes I'm too busy thinking to realize the gem that is in front of me, but sometimes not.

Here's a couple of pics where I was listening to myself.

Annunciation Window

Here's one of the windows in the book. This is the "Annunciation" window, designed by Tiffany, with the Angel talking with Mary about her child to come.
I love the light in this picture.

Cathedral Windows

A project I am working on is to create a book that documents all the stained glass windows (or at least all that you can see) in the Cathedral Church of St. Mark in Salt Lake City. This is our church and is the Cathedral for the Epsicopal Dioscese in Utah.
The Dean, Rick Lawson, has been very supportive of this and as a result, I've been introduced to the world of printing! I have made books using templates from places such as iPhoto, Blurb, etc., but to do this one properly and at a cost that was acceptable, I had to create a book from scratch! So last night I downloaded Adobe InDesign (free trial) and watched a bunch of training videos from the Adobe site and created a book!
This was a very empowering experience - to be able to take my photos and create a document with them in a professional manner is incredibly exciting!!!
Anyway, I will have the book finalized by Monday and will post a link to it (or maybe I'll learn how to publish it to the web - gee!). The windows are really awesome and inspiring.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Photo Show

A rather 'grungy' HDR image of SAAN's gallery where the local photographer's show is hanging, including a couple of my shots. Shalee Cooper is the curator and incredibly helpful on everything, especially for us newbies to gallery shows. 175 E 300 S in Salt Lake City;

31 Years

Diana and I have been married for 31 years today. Yes, we got married on April Fools day - I found out later that my folks, who were married on April 2, had originally planned to be married on April Fools day, but succumbed to pressure not to. So I guess this runs in the family!