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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

There is a frog on my blog!

I have had so much to do lately I haven't had time to pick up my camera or post to my blog. The ruler of our pond did make it easy for me to catch a quick shot of him a little while ago. In previous years we would only see him at night. He would sit in or around the pond and wait for the lights to attract a meal. However, I have seen him a lot during the day this year. He has grown so big that he has probably realized that "ain't nuthin gonna mess with me" so now its not unusual to see him sitting on top of the rocks at the edge of the pond during the day. I can't tell that he has moved in the last 6 hours. He's also getting quite chubby. The June bugs are already out and can be caught around the front and back porch lights after dark. My wife and I throw some to him in the pond every night but might should stop for awhile and let him catch his own food.
Why have I been so busy? Since returning from my trip to Utah, I have had shows on both weekends and have to get ready for the Cottonwood Art Festival this weekend. San Antonio and Southlake were both quite successful for me. When this happens I have about 3 or 4 days to print and replace some of my inventory. Its a good problem to have but there's no golf, no fishin, and no day off. I did spend a lot of time yesterday working on a 6 image stitch of "Daybreak at Dead Horse Point". I like this one but there are several variations I am working on from the morning I spent there and I'm still undecided which one I will print and bring to a show in the near future. Some of my other new images have been well received. I did sell a large canvas of "Mittens and Rainbow" and "Alley of the Oaks" at Southlake. Yahoo!

"Daybreak at Dead Horse Point"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

More Monument Valley!

It seems I have been working on the computer processing images ever since I got home. I need to break away from it for awhile and get some canvas coated and stretched for this weekend but I did want to show a couple of the new images from Monument Valley. The evening and morning that I spent there both had some great light for shooting. I might add that I adjusted my plans in order to take advantage of the breaking weather. I initially had been planning to shoot at the nearby Valley of the Gods. Its a neat place but not as photogenic as Monument Valley. Part of this is because Valley of the Gods has high cliffs to the east and west that block the early and late sunlight. This is not the case at Monument Valley and with scattered storms in the area that were beginning to clear, I felt I should spend it at Monument Valley instead. About an hour before these images were taken I sat in the car and watched a mixture of rain and sleet come down. It started to move away and soon the mittens were bathed in sunlight with a small rainbow behind them. Within 30 minutes darkness began to fall. It all happened just as I had hoped it would.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sleeping in my own bed again!

It may be short lived, but I am back home sleeping in my own bed. We left Moab yesterday morning and drove to Grand Junction for our flight home. Somehow we avoided traffic between DFW airport and Garland and arrived back at the house about 5:00pm. In just a few days I will be off again to San Antonio for the Fiesta Arts Fair. I have a lot to do before I leave but, gosh I have so many neat images from the trip that I'm anxious to process. Maybe I can have one or two ready to take with me to San Antonio. I definitely hope to have a few of these new ones for Cottonwood and Southlake. Many of you are familiar with my images from Mexico and Italy, but it was trips like this in the early 90's that gave me a renewed interest in my photography. Camping out, hiking, and seeing some of the most interesting scenery in the world is still in my blood. I will always get a thrill from watching the changing light and weather while my camera is aimed at some glorious scene.

The top image is one that I took Sunday morning of Monument Valley. Instead of driving into the valley I decided to pick a viewpoint off to the northeast. I wanted something other than the traditional view of the mittens at sunrise. It had rained a few hours earlier and looked like it would be a pretty gray morning. Little did I know that the sun would find a hole in the clouds right at sunrise. For about three minutes it was some of the sweetest light I have ever seen. This image was made from four single images that were stitched together to make one high resolution image.
Later that morning it was time to head back to Moab for our last night of the trip. I decided to spend some time that evening scouting out locations at nearby Arches National Park. The last light of the day was spent photographing at Balanced Rock. I had photographed the scene about 10 years earlier. I didn't mind photographing it again because you never get the same conditions twice. However, this one came close. Earlier in the day while driving to Moab we stopped and hiked to a small ruin. Vague directions caused us to hike an extra mile before finding the ruin but it was worth it. It was interesting to photograph. I have heard it called House on Fire since it almost appears to have flames coming out of it.

Monday morning my scouting efforts from the previous evening paid off. I knew it had rained the day before so I looked for and located some potholes of water that would reflect the Organ and The Three Gossips. This is one of the last images I shot on the trip before heading to the airport in Grand Junction, Colorado. A nice way to end a great week.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Day at Goblin Valley!

It had been about ten years since my last visit to Goblin Valley. We had only spent a day there but during that short visit I learned where the sun would rise, where it would set, and where the light would fall at certain times of the day. As a photographer this information is helpful in planning when I will try and photograph certain scenes. Yesterday evening I did have some periods of good light and was able to get a few good shots. This morning was a different story as there was only about 2 minutes of sunlight and I didn't get the images that I had planned to shoot. I have included several from my evening at the valley.

The top image shows Goblin Valley with the Henry Mountains in the background. The second and third images show several rock features not far from the main Valley of the Goblins. The last image shows an interesting area of hard and soft sand. It almost looks like tiles with grout in between.

During this trip I have yet to see a colorful sunrise or sunset sky. Today was cloudy almost the whole day and the photography wasn't very successful. Tonight and most of tomorrow have rain in the forecast. I hope by tomorrow evening the weather will start to clear and bring some dramatic light with it. Either way I will be out there hoping something special happens and I can capture it with some pixels. Almost caught myself saying film.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Greetings from Moab, Utah!

Boy, the last few days have been hectic. I finished up at the Deep Ellum show on Sunday. My wife and I jumped on a plane Monday morning and flew to Grand Junction, Colorado. We then drove to Dead Horse Point State Park near Moab, Utah and camped out. I photographed the first image at sunset. It is a view of the La Sal Mountains from the Park. The next morning I got up and photographed a bend of the Colorado River from Dead Horse Point. We then spent a night in the Needles area of Canyonlands National Park. After leaving Canyonlands yesterday, we drove to Moab and spent a night in a hotel. I did need to charge batteries, check email, download my images, and spend some time on the internet. We did not have any electricity at the campgrounds and battery life on my laptop is limited.

Yesterday evening we drove through Arches National Park and hiked in an area called The Windows. For my sunset photography we drove about 25 miles east of town to Photograph the Fisher Towers with the La Sal Mountains as a backdrop. We got there just in time to get some nice light before it ended for the day. As we drove away in the approaching darkness, we got a view of a full moon rising over the towers. We drive to Goblin Valley today which is about 100 miles from Moab and right in the middle of knowhere. I will post again when I can.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Gooey Memories?

I was talking with another photographer at the show last weekend. He said that we are really just selling Gooey Memories to our customers. I just smiled and chuckled to myself. In his case that is probably true but I hope there are other reasons why people buy my work. Many times people will tell me I have a good eye. I think what they are saying is that I see and create images that make the subject matter look its best. Good composition has a lot to do with what you include or don't include in the image. The lighting will also contribute to the success of an image. Great lighting can turn an ordinary scene into the extraordinary. Poor lighting can make an otherwise great image look boring. I also hope my digital darkroom and printing skills have a lot to do with why people like my work. This is where the final interpretation of a subject takes place and it can make or break the final image. The image today is a little different rendition of Storm Over the North Rim than the one I posted a few weeks ago. It does a good job of representing my Gooey Memory of that afternoon at the Grand Canyon.
Friday morning I set up for the Deep Ellum Arts Festival which will be held Friday thru Sunday. I'm sure glad I don't have to deal with it tomorrow. The weather guys said we may have gusts up to 50 MPH. I sure hope it dies down by Friday.