Thursday, July 26, 2012

Yellowstone—The Photographic Adventure Series

Having just returned from a week-long trip to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Tetons National Park, I’ve decided to publish a series of related posts dealing with the various experiences and encounters I had.  I learned a lot while I was there and had plenty of practice applying what I knew, from changing lenses and camera settings to changing positions and angles—flexibility and adaptability were the operative words.  I hope to share my experiences in order to reinforce what you may already know and/or to add to it and give you ideas for your next adventure.
Topics that will be covered include:
Luck—where preparation meets opportunity. 
Preparation--I will try to break this down and discuss planning and the importance of anticipating, understanding you camera’s various settinsg and why you need to be prepared to change them, using your LCD screen to validate the capture and especially to check the histogram, why lugging lenses, tripods, etc is a bother worth accepting.
Opportunity--how do you create your own opportunities, how to increase your odds of getting that great shot, how to let the shot come to you, varying your perspective, how cliché images are ok and don’t diminish a photographer’s “status” if done right, what does visualize mean, and does your mood influence the mood of your images.
Post Production—sharing your “luck”.  Once you get “lucky” and capture the image you want, I’ll discuss how important post production is to bringing it all together.  I’ll touch on the workflow of downloading, backing up, image review, etc, and will spend time talking about destructive versus non-destructive edits as well as step into the delicate and sometimes controversial topic of image manipulation—how much is too much, and at what point is a photograph no longer a legitimate representation of reality.
So stay tuned over the next several weeks as I explore the above topics and share with you along the way some of the images I captured on this extraordinarily inspiring trip to God’s country…

As I make progress on organizing, culling, editing, and posting, you will have the opportunity to see my full collection of Yellowstone and Grand Tetons images on my website gallery at

As always, I appreciate your comments and feedback.... Jon

Saturday, July 7, 2012


I can't think of anything more American than fireworks on the 4th of July.  There's something about the sparkling, glittering, whistling, and popping of fireworks to excite everyone young and old.  Although we didn't shoot off any fireworks ourselves, there were plenty of shows around us, including a large one visible from our back yard.  That's where this image came from.

I couldn't resist running into the house, grabbing the camera, and racing back out to catch some of the show.

What I've come to appreciate more and more though is that not everyone is excited about fireworks.  This was our first 4th of July without our dog Shadow (we had to put down last year).  She did not like fireworks at all.  What I didn't appreciate at the time was that many pets don't like fireworks.  A news story I just saw talked about how busy the animal control folks were picking up run away pets, scared, confused, and trying to get away...