Monday, November 29, 2010

Sneaker Waves

Surf Number One

All day yesterday as I was photographing, I used the tripod. I almost always do. I think I really got started with the tripod while using my old Korona four-by-five. My serious and thoughtful style pretty much requires that I do so. Sometimes I just cut loose, and go hand-held. That is what I did yesterday as I decided to chase the surf. Well the surf chased me, and I barely got away from one wave. I really had to run as fast as I can to protect my shoes and maybe my camera from a salt water dousing.

This photograph is of the next wave. I am presenting it in two perspectives. The more pastel looking image is as it came from the camera, and the other was worked by me in Lightroom.  Thoughts?

Surf Number Two

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Beautiful Place to Live

Stone Lagoon at Sunset

I went photographing with my buddy Marc Chaton today. We photographed at Prairie Creek and at Stone Lagoon. I think Marc got some really nice shots of some mushrooms. I spent more time on Elephant Tree, and will review the photographs to see if I have any keepers. I do kind of like this landscape. I wish I would have made a panorama of it though (that gives me an opportunity to go there again).

Monday, November 22, 2010

Printing Photographs

Third Eye, Arcata 2010

I did some printing yesterday and today. I am inspired to print images with the goal in mind of producing an exhibit. I think that the images that I have been taking of buildings in Arcata have a certain essence of spirit. I think that this and other images reveal some of the magic that is hidden in plain sight.

At the Alibi, Arcata 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Reserved Number One, Eureka, November 14, 2010
I went out to Eureka this morning to catch the rising sun's light on the city. Well it did shine on Arcata, but not Eureka. Rather than chase the light, I just started working. I took many of my "normal" building portraits, and slowly got into the flow. I was photographing the Commercial Building when I saw these images. These are my favorite three of this series I will call Reserved.

Reserved Number Two, Eureka, November 14, 2010

 I was talking with my buddy Marc awhile back about the value of receiving some feedback about our images. I think that I don't always pick the best of the litter when I review my images. I would love it if someone would pick their favorite from these and others that I post.

I have not figured out how to enable the blogging software to allow me to post higher resolution images on my blog. These images, as posted are not much more than thumbnails.

Reserved Number Three, Eureka, November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gas Pumps

Pioneer Village, Bakersfield 2010
I cannot really explain why I like to take pictures of what I do, and I realize that my images are not always ones that everyone will appreciate. I don't try to exhibit a style - I just do what I do. I have the freedom to do just that. I always appreciate it when someone lets me know that they like my photographs, but I am not compelled to make images that will generate praise.
Pioneer Village, Bakersfield, 2010. I first photographed this scene about 1972.

Here it is in B & W. I originally shot it in Plus X.

Post Processing

Eucalyptus Trees Between Arcata and Eureka Veteran's Day 2010
I find that I need to spend some time "living" with images after I load them into the computer before I can even realize which ones I will print. My process of image selection is similar to what it was when I used film. Only there needn't be much of a time lag for me to see the "negatives".

When I first looked at this image the other day, I immediately posted it to this blog as it came from the camera. The next day I looked at it some more, and realized that the image did not fully convey what I saw when I took it. It still does not.  What it now conveys is what I interpreted the image to be. Not what the camera saw, and not exactly what I wanted to see, but an interpretation of all the above. Anyhow, this image makes me happy. Compare it to how it looked the other day.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


The Midway Drive In Theater

The last time I photographed the Midway's screen was about thirty years ago. It is amazing to me that this screen is still standing. The "Y" is pretty well gone from "Midway", but otherwise it seems the same to me. My previous work was done in black and white. I painted one of my prints with photo oils. I think I have a slide of it somewhere.

I just watched a documentary on Ansel Adams. It was well done, and I learned a lot about him and myself. It seems that by the time he was my age he had slowed down, and did not have the drive of his youth. One of the people interviewed thought that his earlier work was his best.

I hope this is not true for me. I know that I am slower then I used to be, but I like to think that I still have the vision, and that my maturity will permeate my images like a nice marinade.

Midway Sunset

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mega-Mega Pixel Photographs

75 Mega Pixel Photo

The original photograph of the Eureka First Presbyterian Church is a huge file. I am able to get such large and detailed photos by using the tilt-shift lens and stitching together several 20+ mega pixel images. This opens lots of potential for me, and there is much more to come. I wish I could share the true quality of this image here, but I am unable to figure out how to make that happen.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Early Morning Trolling

Lloyd Building
I went out again today, and spent some time with the Lloyd Building. There were cars in the lot, and so some of my possible shots were blocked by autos. Therefore, I had to work around them, and I think I got close to getting something that I may call a keeper. At least I am not tossing these back into the water - yet.

Eureka Theater

I am slowly getting an idea of what I am looking for at the Eureka Theater. The image above is heading the right direction. A subsequent image came closer, but still not quite "it".

The Eureka Theater

This image shows the range that the 17 mm lens has. I am using lots of rise in this shot, and have not really worked the edges.

I should state here that many of the images that I place in the blog are works in progress, and not necessarily final prints. I think by sharing these in this manner, I offer an insight to my process.

I am still pondering the idea that these photographic outings are for me walking meditations. I am not looking for a photograph - at least I am not thinking about finding a specific photograph. My process is more intuitive.  I think my process is more like our dog Sadie's when she goes for a walk. She does not think about where she is going, but she pays close attention to her nose. She follows scents, and sometimes stops and really takes in particular smells. That is how it is for me as I photograph. I don't think about what I am looking for. Yes, I do have an idea of what or where I am going to shoot, but sometimes as I am walking toward a predetermined spot I "smell" a completely different photographic opportunity.

Lloyd Building and Parking Meters

Wash Dry Here

Catch of the Day

Catch of the Day

Yesterday I went to the marina to buy some tuna from the skipper of one of the boats. While I waited for the crew to prep my order I grabbed a couple of shots. This one is my "catch of the day".

It is almost seven in the morning, and it looks like it is clear weather, so I am going back to Eureka for the sunrise lighting.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Temple Pillar

I went to Prairie Creek this afternoon in hopes of catching some sunlight on the fall foliage, but instead of sunshine it was overcast. I drove to one of my favorite spots, and as soon as I started down the trail I felt the presence and sanctity of the place. It took no time at all for the images to reveal themselves, and soon I was photographing a prayer. All the while as I walked, looked and composed the photographs I was in a state of oneness with everything around me. I experienced a fullness of being, and belonging. It was as if I were part of the environment, and not an intruder with an agenda. 
One Of The Many Forms

In the Cathedral

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Photographing Downtown Eureka

The Lloyd Building, Eureka, September 30 2010

I got a bit of a late start this morning, and when I got to town the sun  was all ready up, and traffic was quite busy. I still am excited about the prospects that I found, and I intend to return until I can get some of these without any autos in the scene. I wonder what others think about how the images are affected by the inclusion of cars and trucks? Maybe the vehicles add a time-stamp to the images. I am quite hung-up on the notion of photographing without the inclusion of vehicles and people. Perhaps I am attempting to create a timeless portfolio. Regardless, these scenes are quite inspiring to me, and photographing buildings such as these makes me a happy man. 

Empire Furniture, Eureka, September 30, 2010

No Free Parking, Lloyd Building, Eureka, September 30 2010

Backside of RAA Gallery, Eureka, September 30, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

One City Block in One Frame

The Eureka First Presbyterian Church, September 29, 2010. I cropped this a bit on the top and bottom, but it is one frame with the 17mm tilt-shift.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Arts Alive Eureka Saturday, October 2, 2010

North Jetty Number 47
I found out yesterday that this image was selected as Best of Show in the photography division for the Redwood Art Association's Fall Exhibition. The award ceremony will be at five-thirty this coming Saturday before Arts Alive! I intend on being at the gallery most of the evening, and would love to greet friends and family there any time that evening. The gallery is really a very nice space and is located at 423 F Street, Eureka right next to Plaza Design. I hope to see you there.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Autumn Mornings

The Arcata Post Office, September 12, 2010

I understand that autumn does not begin for another week or so, but it sure is in the air. This is surly a beautiful time of the year here on the north coast. The quality of the lighting is just superb. I went down to Arcata before sunrise today, and experienced the sun's creativity as it painted the town with its best light.

People's Records, Arcata September 12, 2010

I only used the 17mm tilt/shift lens today. I am impressed with the contrast and clarity that this piece of glass transmits. I am starting to get the feel for the movements, and perhaps the eye for the wide field that this lens provides.

So far these images represent the ones I like best from today's shoot. I do wonder what images of mine that others would chose as their picks.

Green Beans, Bicycle, and the Jacoby Storehouse, Arcata, September 12, 2010

I worked at the Redwood Artists Association's gallery Friday as the gallery attendant for the day. While I was there I really looked at the 147 images hanging on the walls, and made my own selections as to the "best of show". In most cases my selections were different than those of the judge. This caused me to wonder "why did I select the piece that I entered?" Is my judgment of my own images somehow askew? Would I be better off collaborating with others in the selection process? Did I pick the cream of the crop for this post?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ladakh Update

Thupten and a Friend in Leh 2008

I got a call  from Thupten a couple of days ago (he uses a borrowed cell phone). They are well, but it is getting colder, and living in the tent is becoming more difficult. The good news is that they received the second package which contained more clothing and toiletries. "The toilet paper is very useful."

I urged Thupten to buy a cell phone so that we can have a reliable method of speaking to him. I think he worries about costs of things, and I think he is reluctant to spend the money we sent him. I assured him that he should spend the money as he sees fit, and not feel that it is ours any longer (yes he can now access the funds). I told him about the third package that is now in route.

Thupten is considering taking his family to eastern India for the winter. He said the name of the place, but I could not understand. It is a holy place.

He expressed over and over his gratitude to all the support that they are receiving. I too thank you for all the assistance. This very real family is directly benefiting from all of our generosity and support.

Tenzin Angmo 2008

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Continuing the Eureka Project

In the Quiet of the Morning, Eureka

The primary reason I bought the new Canon 5dMII was so I could use a Canon 17mm Tilt/Shift lens (A tilt/shift lens is one that has built-in tilt, shift and rise movements). This allows for perspective control corrections similar to those of press and view cameras. I recently obtained a Canon 17mm T/S lens, and I was able to go out this morning to give it a workout.

I owned and used a wooden Korona 4"x5" view camera for years, and understand what various movements can accomplish so using this lens was not entirely new to me. Nontheless, it is going to take me awhile to "get it down".

Ragg's Rack Room

The Ritz taken with 24-105mm lens
I know that as with anything, it will take awhile for me to learn the ropes with this lens/camera combination. One thing I realize is that I am going to have to learn how the lens focus works when I use the tilt function. Some of my images are very sharp where I focused, but soft at the edges even though I had the lens stopped down to f 11 or f 16.

The Ritz taken with 17mm TS

The lighting at this time of the year in the mornings and evenings is of the quality that I most appreciate. That light brings out some of the qualities of the buildings that I photograph. I think too that the light brings something in me that helps me become more centered. Maybe this has to do with the Earth being near equinox. Maybe I am at my own personal equinox.

Carson Block

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Fern in the Community Forest
My friend Steve Catton heard from Thupten the other day. Steve reported that Thupten and his family are still living in a tent. They cook with sticks and whatever they can find. It sounds like they are roughing it. Their wounds are healing, and it has not yet turned cold. We think that Thupten is now able to access some of the funds that we sent him, but we are not positive about that. We do know that he was able to open a new bank account. The phone connection did not last long, and we did not get many more details.

Steve and I decided that we should get them a multi-fuel backpacker's stove because kerosene is available there. So I got them a stove, some light weight cooking pans, a donated water filter, some LED headlamps, batteries, more toiletry items, water bottles, duct tape, light rope, more clothing items, a Leatherman tool, water purification tablets, and other items. I shipped that package yesterday, and I hope it will get there next week.

A friend of Steve's is buying three zero degree sleeping bags. They were ordered, and should ship out by early next week. I am hoping that they will be able to buy warm clothing for the winter.

I want to thank all those whom have sent prayers, money, and items for our Ladakh friends. Every bit of this outpouring is appreciated by myself, and is fully felt by Thupten, Lhamo and Tenzin Angmo. The packages and monetary support lifts their spirits, and it does so for me as well.

Thank you, thank you.

Friday, August 27, 2010

This Week

Moon Rise at Prairie Creek

I had a fun and interesting Wednesday. I spent the afternoon with a reporter from The Voice of America. He is in Humboldt County to do stories on Betty Chinn and about the local area. I sort of just walked into the situation, and soon became a tour guide for the reporter. His name is Jeff Shu.

The Elephant Tree taken in total darkness at ISO 6400

I took him to the lagoons, and to Prairie Creek State Park to show him the wild Elk and the giant redwoods. I took him to my favorite tree - "The Elephant Tree". He was shooting a video travelogue, and soon had me wired for sound, and was video taping me. I found out immediately that I don't like being the subject. I much prefer being the videographer or photographer.

We stayed out until quite late so that we could catch the moonrise over the giant redwoods. I think he got some nice video, and I will be curious to see if any of it is actually used in a report.

I spoke with Thupten yesterday. As of then he still was unable to access his bank account. I gave him some information that may help him establish his right to access the funds. He does think that once he has money that he will be able to purchase most of what he needs. Right now he is borrowing money to feed his family. For what ever reason the military is no longer supplying food.

I thank everyone who has contributed funds and prayers for Thupten. As soon as we know if Thupten can get to the money we sent we will  then know what we need to send (thank you for your trust in me to do the right thing for them). We all agree that it is best if he can buy items there because of the expense of shipping from here (the second package still has not arrived - I suspect that it went by surface mail instead of air). The really good news is that their spirits were lifted by the package that did make it to them. They received shoes, clothing, jackets and toiletries. All of which made them feel loved and not forgotten.

I will post an update when I hear back from Thupten. The phone system and his access to it are limited at best, so I may not know for awhile.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ladakh Update

Happier Times

We received donations of cash and clothing for Thupten's family. I met with several people today, and we chose some basic clothing for each family member. We were able to get them boots, socks, under garments, pants, shirts, fleece pull overs, and jackets. We also shipped some basic toiletries. The shipping cost to Ladakh via airmail was over $300.00, but we felt it was necessary. Regular parcels take up to three months to get there, but these should make it in ten days. That is if they are even hauling mail to Ladakh. We were gifted with money to pay for the shipping. Thanks to all for your donations, and gifts. You are actualizing the business of "paying it forward". Thanks too to those who told me they want prints.

I try to imagine what my life would be like if some morning I am forced to run outside in the cold evening air with nothing on but bed clothing, and then to watch everything I own disappear. I wonder too what it must feel like to know that your neighbors were missing and likely at the bottom of huge mud flow.

The bigger picture for me is that Thupten and his family are three out of at least 17 million people in Asia who are affected by floods this year. There is a lot of misery to go around.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ladakh Flood

Lamo, Tenzin Angmo, and Thupten in Their Home Before the Flood
I just got off of the phone with Thupten in Ladakh. He and his family are all alive, but bruised and battered. They were awakened at one in the morning by the sound of the flood washing down at them. They ran from the house in just their underwear as it and all their belongings were swept away. They lost everything. They are currently recovering from their bruises and cuts while living in a tent.

Shops Like This are Gone
The two things that they have going for them is that Thupten thinks he will be able to access his bank account (we can deposit money there because we use it to pay for Tenzin Angmo's school expenses), and we can ship items to Lamo's sister at the college in Leh. I will also accept donations. I don't know what is the best way to help them. I don't know how long it will take to get items to them, and I don't know what they will be able to purchase there. That is why I am taking this on two fronts: cash and goods.

I am trying to raise money to send to them, and am now offering any photograph (except for the edition prints at Gallery Chartreuse) for $100.00 matted or $150.00 framed for 12"x18" images in 18"x24" mats. All proceeds will go to either their bank account or for the purchase and shipping of clothing and other essentials. I have about a dozen framed pieces here, and more that are matted. I will make a special album on Face Book with many of  the offerings.

Tenzin's Grandmother and Tenzin at Thiksey

Friday, August 6, 2010

Print Sale for Ladakh Releif

Here are examples of some of the prints that I will custom print in an effort to raise funds for Thupten's family. I am offering these at an image size of 12.5" x 18.5" mounted and matted at 18" x 24" for $100.00 each plus shipping.

Matho Gompa
Thousand Stupas B&W

Thousand Stupas

Nubra Valley

I do have more to offer for this purpose. Please contact me for more information.