Wednesday, August 26, 2015

It's what happened next that gave me goose bumps...

You won't believe what happened next...gave me goose bumps, and I just happened to be the lucky guy to witness it today...

I was on a photoshoot to Old Towne Orange (the "Orange Circle") and arrived early to take advantage of the morning light and the empty streets. When I made my way to the park in the center of the circle, there was a group of four men standing near the fountain at the base of a very tall flag pole. One of the men was pulling on the rope and I saw one of the others holding a tri-folded American Flag. My timing couldn't have been better for capturing the raising of the flag.

As the American Flag was attached to the rope, I'm taking photos...then I notice the POW-MIA flag being prepared for attachment as well....I'm taking more pictures. As they start to raise the flags, I realize that I'm going to have to step back in order to include the men along with the flags in my composition.

The flags quickly get to the top as I'm trying to back up, and almost as quickly the four men tie off the rope and start walking away. I'm pretty sure it's over as I prepare to take my final shot...that's when I notice it in my viewfinder...

The four men have stepped well back from the flag pole, have lined up, and are now saluting the flag... other than me in the vicinity, it's just them and the American Flag...and the respect they're giving with a quiet and unassuming salute.

I took a lot of pictures today, but NOTHING compares to the feeling I had standing there as witness to this moment.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Creative versus Analytical

Or is it creative AND analytical?  These two traits are often treated as being mutually exclusive, and further, traits that one either has or doesn’t have.  In reality, it’s the combination of these that truly makes the successful photographer (and many other endeavors). 

It’s not enough to simply know THAT something exists, but one must also know WHY it exists.  If a photographer looks at a picture or scene for example, and determines that they like it, but don’t know why, then the chance of conveying their reaction and emotion to someone else becomes particularly challenging.  One must have sufficient analytical skills to understand, and sufficient creative skills to be able to “see” the unseen.  One must have both, but the order doesn’t matter.

There’s a style or approach to photography that some photographers have, best described as “I’ll know it when I see it”.  It’s an approach that relies on serendipity (or “luck”) in order for the photographer to capture a compelling image.  There’s another approach that tends to be more analytical where one might consider what’s important, what composition best presents those elements, and what techniques will emphasize and convey a sense of meaning, emotion, or story-telling.  But simply following these mechanics and “rules” may not result in a meaningful or compelling image.

Both the creative and analytical approaches require something in common of the photographer…observation, and study.  It’s the openness of the mind to observation that “sees” the possibilities, and creates the potential to understand what is being seen.  It’s the combination of these skills that allows the photographer to be a successful story-teller through their work. Regardless of the genre of photography, a successful photographer must combine a creative as well as analytical approach to bring a three-dimensional world to their viewer via a two-dimensional representation.

“I’ll know it when I see it, and I’ll know why…” 

Comments and feedback always welcome…

Monday, August 10, 2015

Published in Orange County Register Newspaper!

I was contacted a couple weeks ago by the newspaper in conjunction with an article they were working on about an historic neighborhood in Santa Ana.  They apparently had done a search and come across photographs on my website that they wanted my permission to use.  I agreed and the article ran today.

Feel free to contact me anytime at  

Published in Orange County Culture Magazine!

This one definitely requires a bit of a backstory…

I was contacted a couple of months ago by the co-founder and editor of a brand new magazine being produced, called Orange County Culture.  Apparently they planned to have a section of the magazine called “OCSTATEOFMIND” which would feature full-page photographs depicting life around Orange County, and they had come across an image on my website of a hummingbird that they wanted to use.  Of course I agreed.

I just received a copy of the magazine in the mail today, and sure enough my photograph appears on page 33.  There are a total of ten images that are in this section of the magazine and show mostly landscape and seascape oriented images—all are quite beautiful by the way!

What I didn’t know until I thumbed through the magazine (and the cover was my first clue) was that I was probably outside their targeted demographic for the publication.  They feature certain musicians, personalities, businesses, and eating establishments that I don’t regularly frequent.  I’m inclined to think that the sweet spot demographic is 20s-30s.  It’s a very well put together and produced magazine and I’m quite happy and proud to have my photograph featured in it.  I have a feeling that this is going to be a very successful magazine and feel lucky to have a small part in it.

If you’re curious and want to get more information about the magazine, visit their website:

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