Monthly Archives: December 2013

My favorites of 2013

As I was sitting down to compile my list of “the best of 2013” I realized that the images I kept coming back to where actually “my favorites of 2013.”  The reason I say this is that I actually made a lot more images than those I am going to share in this post that were “better” than these when it comes to the technical and compositional aspects of photography, but this collection is my favorites of the year, and because of that it is what I wanted to share. These are in not particular order, with the exception of the last one in this post that is far and away my favorite shot only only of this year, but of the last couple years.


The following few images are some images I made this year of animals.  They include the wild as well as the domestic.

Capitol Lake Blue Heron

Capital Lake Heron

Phil's Dog

Phil’s Dog

Blue Heron Standing Guard

A Blue Heron standing guard over it’s perch at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

And no group of my favorite animal images of the year would be complete without and image of my dog Ursa.

Doggie Bliss

My dog Ursa in doggie bliss while running and playing

Weather and Storm Chasing

Obviously there is no way that a year would go by without at least a couple of my favorite images of the year being images of severe weather while storm chasing.  This year’s group includes images from both Arizona and Washington State.

Cloud To Ground

Cloud to ground lightning from the Paseo Vista recreation area in Chandler Arizona

Green Fields of Lightning

A lightning strike south of Olympia, WA over a green field

Sunset Lightning

Sunset Lightning

Studio and Models

2013 marks my first ventures into shooting models in a studio environment.  I have a lot of learn about this, and it is way outside of my comfort zone, as I have blogged about recently, but I am having a blast doing it and I have even managed to capture a couple images I am quite proud of.  One of them is even in IR.



Victoria in IR

Victoria in IR

The Aurora

Ok, this image doesn’t really fit into any other category so I am giving it one of its own.  I have been wanting to shoot the  Aurora Borealis for years.  I have some image on film/slides from decades ago, but this year marked my first opportunity to get a shot now that I am firmly in the digital realm.  It wasn’t a particularly strong Aurora over Olympia that night, but it was there and I was thrilled to capture it.

Olympia Aurora

The Aurora Borealis over downtown Olympia, WA


My selection of landscape shots are typically the biggest collection from the year, but this year I am only including 2, and they were both captured with an IR converted camera.

Rainier Volcano

Rainier Volcano

Capitol Forst IR

An IR pano image from the Capitol State Forest outside of Olympia Washington

Needles, Bridges and a Boat

Yeah, pretty much exactly what it sounds like.  A Space Needle, a big bridge and a boat.

The Space Needle

A black and white image of the iconic Seattle Space Needle

The Tacoma Narrows bridges with sunset light

The Tacoma Narrows bridges with sunset light

Sailing Into The Sunset

The sunsets on Elliot Bay in Seattle as a ferry approaches the dock

My favorite image of 2013

Amazing tonal seperation during sunset at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona

Amazing tonal seperation during sunset at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizon

Well, there you have it.  My favorite images of 2013.  I honestly didn’t get out shooting nearly as much as I wanted to, but I am happy and proud of this collection.  I hope you enjoy them nearly as much as I enjoyed shooting them, sharing them and then re-visiting them again to compile this blog post.

Posted in Photography

Get even further out of your comfort zone



Just the other day I did a blog post about getting out of your photographic comfort zone.  In that post I talked about how I am delving into portrait/model/studio shooting and shared an image of Carrie that I recently made.  In today’s post I wanted to post about getting even further out of your comfort zone and the cool things that can happen when you do.

The above image is a shot of Victoria from the same model shoot this last weekend.  I really enjoyed working with Victoria, she seemed quite comfortable being in front of the camera which is great when you are doing something you haven’t done much of behind the camera.  As you know from my previous post, my doing the studio/model shoot was way outside of my regular photographic comfort zone, but you might now be asking what I did to get even further out into something I had never done before.  In this case, it was breaking out the IR converted cameras.

I took both my “deep black and white” and my “super color” converted Nikon D200 bodies and while I had no idea what I would get, I didn’t let that stop me from giving it a try.  The following image is a result of that.  I am actually very happy with the results of shooting with the IR body and am still fascinated at how differently the images of the same model look.  I encourage you to take a little time and really compare some of the details between these two images, I think you might be as fascinated as I am.

Victoria IR

Victoria IR

Posted in IR photography, Photography

Get out of your comfort zone



As photographers, especially those of use that have been doing this a long time, it is very easy to find a comfort zone and not leave there.  That doesn’t mean that we don’t try to push the bounds of what we are doing, but even if we are pushing those bounds, we are still smack dab in the middle of doing something that we are comfortable with.

As an example, I am very comfortable doing severe weather photography.  I like to try new things and get different types of shots, but the fact remains that I am still making images of weather.  Setting up studio lights and getting a model in front of your camera might be second nature to many, it is alien to me and frankly is a bit nerve racking.  It isn’t that it is impossible, it’s just that it isn’t something I have done and because of that it is way outside of my photographic comfort zone.

I took the opportunity this last weekend to join up with a number of other local photographers, and a handful of models, to delve into this style of shooting and I must say that I had an absolute blast doing it.  There is something exciting about learning new things photographically after decades of shooting.  It was so much fun, that I am planning on doing this a lot more.

This image is of a firs time model, Carrie, and she was a lot of fun to work with.  Over the next week or so I will be sharing more images as I process them, also a different skill set than I currently have, but I wanted to get this post out in the hopes that it might encourage you to step outside of that comfort zone you are currently enjoying and try something new.

Posted in Photography

Upper Tumwater in IR

Upper Tumwater Falls IR

IR image of upper Tumwater Falls in Tumwater Washington

Today’s blog post takes me to the Upper Tumwater Falls, which is a location I have shot many times and have shared here before.  These series of falls run though a park in Tumwater and are somewhat famous for the lower falls being featured on the Olympia Beer can logo.  For this image I choose to shoot the upper falls with my super color IR converted Nikon D200.

I do apologize for not including an in-depth write up of this image, I am short on time but wanted to get an image up on the blog today.  Stay tuned though, as a bit of a teaser I will be sharing some shots I made at a lighting / model meet up on Sunday.  I had a lot of fun, pushed my comfort zone photographically, and even managed to walk away with a couple good shots.

Posted in IR photography

Mt. Rainier Eruption

Rainier Volcano

IR image of Mt. Rainier with just enough clouds at the summit to make it look as though it is erupting

Is Mt. Rainier in western Washington, which is an active volcano, erupting?  No, it’s not an eruption, but in this image there are just enough clouds at the summit to give the illusion that it is.

This image was captured with one of my IR converted cameras on Sunday at Overlook Park, a favorite shooting location of mine.

I hope you enjoy this image and if you do I sure would appreciate your sharing it with your social media friends.

Posted in IR photography