Monday, February 27, 2012

The Mystery of Attraction

When you're out and about with your camera, what is it that catches your attention and invites you to take a picture?  Have you ever looked at something, and immediately knew what it was, and could explain it?  But what about those times when you can't explain what caught your eye?

I just got back from a two-day photoshoot out of town, and I came back with my usual treasure trove of images--ok, some treasure, some not...  I went through my normal process of culling out images, ultimately deleting more than 2/3 of my original captures.  I processed those that I felt were worthy, and posted them on my website gallery.  I've since discovered something quite unexpected that I can't explain...

This image of the green lizard has had more user views than any other image from my shoot, including those that I personally think are superior in quality, interest, and/or creativity.  More views by a factor of 3!  Why?

Is it the color, the composition, the subject?  I don't know.  I don't have the answer.  Clearly the lizard caught my attention enough to want to make a photograph, but so did hundreds of other subjects.  Somehow though, this image has captured the attention of those visiting my website gallery--I'd be interested in YOUR theory...

If you have questions, comments, or would like to share some of your own experiences, please feel free to contact me at You can also visit my extensive photographic web gallery at

(Metadata 1/60 sec at f/5.6, ISO 2200, focal length 105mm with an 18-105 Nikon lens)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Dimension of Black & White

According to their website, Casa RondeƱa Winery was established in late 1995 as a family undertaking, with the first plantings in 1990. Their tasting room opened in August 1997 and a winery building was completed in the autumn of 2004. In 2008, a barrel aging and storage facility was built in order to expand production capability of the winery and hold special events for winery members and special guests.

This is a picture of their tasting room from a visit of mine in October 2011. While the richness of the adobe-colored exterior accented by the bright, deep red of the ristra of chiles, stands out against the green of the shade trees and the blue of the desert sky, this image spoke to me in black and white.

There's a drama with black and white images that is often unachievable in color photography. You also see and feel things in a B&W image that colors can block or interfere with. There's also a timeless quality of an image in black and white, and it was this sense that I wanted to convey. I've been increasingly interested in black and white photography lately, partly due to the nostalgia I've gotten from scanning in some old negatives from my early days in photography back in high school.

There are a lot of software packages that people use to achieve black and white. Most of them have sufficient flexibility and capability to accomplish the translation of what was shot. There are even some programs that specialize in only processing the range of effects possible in black and white toning. In my case, I've simply kept to using only Lightroom 3.
If you have questions, comments, or would like to share some of your own experiences, please feel free to contact me at You can also visit my extensive photographic web gallery at

(Metadata 1/350 sec at f/9.5, ISO 200, focal length 18mm with an 18-105 Nikon lens)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Shapes and Colors and Contrasts

I was finishing up my bird/focus experimentation when I noticed this pair of clay birds looking at each other.  In the midst of all the other real birds flying around and making noise, it was these two that really had me interested.  Really weird actually.  They captured my imagination, much the way the imagination of the original artist must have been at work when he/she was creating these gazing poses.

What had caught my attention though and drew me to photography them was their shapes, colors, and the contrasting light.  I don't understand the science or psychology as to why this was, but I found it pleasing, and therefore I composed the image to complete the capture.

Not surprisingly, I didn't have to go far to get this shot.  I had friends today that drove 2 hours to get to their destination, and no doubt they will come back with some spectacular photographs.  But I'd like to encourage you to not be discouraged that you don't have that kind of time, and instead choose something really close to home...a nearby regional park, a walk around the block, or just an adventure in your own back yard.

Keep shooting!

Feel free to contact me at or check out my website gallery at

(metadata 1/1000 sec at f/8 and ISO 250, focal length 300mm--on my 70-300 lens)