Sunday, March 31, 2013


Arches National Park, 1992

I took a break from blogging. I have not been doing much photography over the past couple of months. I think I am holding onto the notion that I will again be productive once I go on my first little photo journey. I am making progress with the scanning, and I finished my taxes five minutes ago.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


The Thor, Rustler, and Renown Tug Boats at Humboldt Bay, 1983

From the time I was a child, I always liked tug boats and locomotives. I think the start for me, was via Little Golden Books. I loved the book Tootle, and another about harbors and tugs. When I was very young I also listened to a 78 RPM recording of Sparky and the Talking Train. I was hooked, and though I no longer read Little Golden Books, the love for these heavy movers remains with me.

Monday, March 18, 2013


Waiting at Lamy, New Mexico, 2007

A print of this image is now showing at the Hagopian Gallery, in Eureka as part of a group exhibit of the Eureka Photoshop User's Group.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Sunset on the North Coast, 2012

Here, on the Humboldt coast, we are often treated to wondrous sunrises and sunsets (just as often they are obscured by the fog). That said, we do have scenery that is unmatched.

I grew up in Bakersfield where it was a greater challenge to find colorful sunsets and sunrises. I worked many night shifts on the railroad, and saw my share of sunrises and sunsets, but because I mostly worked nights; I saw many more sunrises.

The air in the lower San Joaquin Valley is trapped in the cauldron that is created by the surrounding mountains. The predominate air flow is from north-to-south, and the dust and pollutants rapidly build up, and have no exit. The air will clear after a storm blows through, and views of the mountains and sky are temporarily cleared. It usually only takes a day or so before the inversion layer recreates the opaque screen that filters the view. 

I gauged air quality in Bakersfield by looking toward the mountains. If I could see Breckenridge and Bear Mountains then I knew I could look for opportunities to photograph landscapes. I will admit that looking toward "my" two mountains was normally the first thing I did when I lived and worked there.

Bear Mountain from the Foothills Near Sandcut, East of Bakersfield, 2006

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Awaiting the Green Flash at Patrick's Point (I think)

One of my professor's used to use the term "cliche" frequently in his critiques. He was trying to get us students to discover, develop and to incorporate our own aesthetics in our work. Of course, most of us were still developing the skills that would/could lead to our own unique style, so the professor was afforded many an opportunity to use his favorite term.

I assert that we as artists are not always required to create images that are completely unique. Sometimes it is just fun to take a photograph of the obvious especially when the opportunity is presented. That is what this image is about. I will not submit it to a juried show, nonetheless, I sort of like it.

Friday, March 15, 2013


Brunhilde's Armor and Breastplate

I said it a million times, and I will say it again, "I love going back to images after they had some time to marinate in my mind. This is a crop of a much larger image, but it best conveys what I saw and felt the day I took the photograph.


Ten Ninety-One, Humboldt Bay, 1993

Here is another "legacy" photograph from my collection. I scanned this a couple days ago, and worked on it in Light Room. I had a lot of spotting to do. I sort of forgot just how "spotty" negatives become. I ran what I thought was a clean darkroom. I had a filtered drying cabinet, and I was careful with my handling of film and negatives.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Playing With the Light, a Study of Light and Form, Loleta, 1993

The first thing I noticed when looking at this scan was that my style has been well established for a long time. I, as an artist, am always evolving, but I think my essential vision, and my interpretation of that vision still carries the basis that was formed early in my life.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Out of the Shadows, 2013

I think that this image conveys a sense of mystery, and perhaps even a blend of contrasting emotions. Are there elements of the dark or shadow side, and is there a hint of promise? Can the trail be seen as a metaphor for the timeline of one's life, or am I just in need of a cup of coffee because it is just a photograph of a trail in the woods?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Playing Around in Light Room, 2013

Sometimes when I experiment around in Light Room or in Photoshop it helps develop my skill set. That is what I did here. I really pushed some of the color channels in an effort to bring in some contrast between the nearby alder trees and the more distant evergreen spruce and fir. This process also brought up the contrast in the low-lying foreground vegetation.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Sky Dance, 2013

I took a print of this with me to the Redwood Camera Club meeting along with two others. I got there late and just grabbed the top image in my portfolio case. This one did not get shown. The interesting thing is that another photographer (whose work I greatly admire) showed a very similar image.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Castaway Boats, 1987/2013

One of the nicer things about the square format is that it enables the photographer to crop either vertical or horizontal, or to leave it square. My process on this image has been one of discovery. It took me several days to come up with this composition. Perhaps I went a step too far (I will look at all the variations again and again and ultimately pick the "winner"), but I think I am nearly finished with this one. I still need to decide whether or not to tone it.

I think I will wander down to the area where this used to be, to see how it has changed.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Much Closer to What My Mind's Eye Thinks it Saw, 1986/2013 (not Indian Island, but is behind the Pepsi plant near Target).

As I said before, this blog is about my photographic and personal journey as a photographer and as a person. I think this image conveys some of the essence of that journey.

I saw this image in the nineteen-eighties, and I photographed it then. The processed negative sat for nearly thirty years. I rediscovered it, and have now actually worked it to its fullest potential (or nearly so).

I feel a synergy with my forty-year-old self. It is as if the current Tom and the earlier Tom are bridging the space-time continuum, and am somehow both are present simultaneously in past and the present.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Historic Humboldt Bay

Indian Island (I think), 1987

I scanned this image the other day. It started out square, but I liked it better with this 11 by 14 crop. I think it is on the east side of the highway, and that it is Indian Island. I do not know why, but I never printed this in the darkroom. I think I will print it with the inkjet soon. I will sit with the image for a day or two first, just so I can be sure that I like the processing.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Lincoln, CA, 1986

I hope these photographs are at least somewhat enjoyable to you. I think it will be fun to see what happens when I go back and photograph them later this year. I think I am looser now with my style, but perhaps I am more precise in my compositions - if that makes sense.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Windswept Alder, Dry Lagoon, 2013

This is a fairly straight-up representation of what I saw the other day. I think I caught the essential colors and hues. 

Friday, March 1, 2013


A New Photograph of a Subject That I Have Photographed Numerous Times, 2013

I took a breather for the past week, and did not make any new postings on this blog. A year ago I made a deal with myself to post as close to daily as I could. I made 230 posts last year, so I did fairly well. I did not post just anything to make a post a day, but I think most had some amount of substance.