A new year, a new #WE35

WE35 Mailbox

Starting the 2017 #WE35 project with my mailbox, as we have in previous years

Back in 2015 I participated in a photo project that ended up being very rewarding, #WE35 from The Photo Frontier.  If you scroll though the archives here on my blog, especially for the posts back in 2015, you will see a lot of posts and images from that project.

As I said, I found that project to be very rewarding, not only did it provide a much needed motivation to get out and shoot, but to get out a shoot things I might not normally shoot, it also lead to making a lot of new online photography friends.  It really was a win-win no matter how you look at it.

In addition to the community that has developed around #WE35, it really does help photographers see things a little differently.  The whole object behind the project is group assignments each month that are shot at a focal length of 35mm.

The image above is my January 2017 #ExpeditionWE35 submission.  Each year of the project we have started the year out by sharing an image of our mailbox.  If you haven’t scrolled through my #WE35 archives yet, here is a link to my mailbox back in 2015.  

I have to confess that I didn’t really shoot as much as I would have liked in 2016, there were a lot of reasons behind that, but I am truly looking forward to 2017.

Posted in #WE35, Photography

My favorite images of 2016

Every year in December I post a sort of “year in review” to this blog sharing some of the images that stood out from the rest for me.  This year I am doing it in early January, and hopefully you will forgive my tardiness, but here it is, my favorite images of 2016.  Please note, these images are presented in not particular order, and for the most part will be without comment.


The sunset reflects in the wet sand of the Pacific Ocean near Ocean Shores, WA

Lower Lewis River Falls Panorama

A seven image panorama of the Lower Lewis River Falls in southwest Washington State


Crane and Needle Sunset

A pair and cranes and the iconic Speattle Space Needle just after sunset


Through The Fresnel Lens

Looking through the 3rd order fresnel lens at the Grays Harbor Lighthouse in Westport, WA


Twilight Capitol

The Washington State Capitol building in Olympia during the blue hour


I had said that this collection was going to be presented with a lot of commentary, but I feel the need to talk a little about the following images.

For those that don’t know, I lead the Advanced Photography Group of the Olympia Camera Club.  One of the real highlights for the group in 2016 was when my friend, Matt Ferris, did a presentation on toy photography.  Matt is a very accomplished toy photographer and setup a scene for the members in attendance to shoot.  He went on to give us tips on lighting and post processing.  This next image is the one I made that night, with a lot of help from Matt.

Kylo Ren Lightsaber

Toy shot of Kylo Ren and his lightsaber

These final two images are very special to me.  They were both shot in the summer during a family vacation to Yellowstone National Park.  Yellowstone is a special place on its own but that isn’t why these images are special to me.  They are special because due to a lot of things outside of our control Ann and I hadn’t been on a real vacation in almost 9 years.  We had taken a number of short trips over 3 day weekends, but a full on vacation was something that we weren’t able to do.  When you add in that we spent this vacation with members of my family, it was a week that I don’t want to forget.  I have blogged about both of these images in details, click here for “Land of Contrast” and here for “American Bison in Yellowstone.”

Grand Prismatic Basin Monochrome

A monochrome image of tourists at the Grand Prismatic Basin in Yellowstone National Park


American Bison in Yellowstone

An American Bison in Yellowstone National Park with majestic mountains in the background

I hope that you have enjoyed this small collection of images and my look back at 2016.  I will say that I didn’t shoot as much in 2016 as I would have liked, or have in previous years.  I am not entirely sure why, but my one and only resolution for 2017 is to correct that and start creating more images to share with all of you.

Posted in Photography

Fleeting Sunset

Fleeting Sunset

A fleeting sunset in Arizona just moments after peek color when the sky seemed to be on fire

One of the things that I miss about living in Arizona is the sometimes epic sunsets.  The pacific northwest has a lot of truly amazing scenery, and while there are an occasional nice sunset, we rarely have the truly epic ones that seem all but common place in the Arizona desert.  Even this fleeting sunset, which I captured about 5 minutes after its peek was still a wonder to see.

Posted in Photography

American Bison in Yellowstone

American Bison in Yellowstone

An American Bison in Yellowstone National Park with majestic mountains in the background

The American Bison, or the Buffalo as many of us grew up calling them, is probably the most iconic mammal in North America. At one time millions of them roamed North America and then were hunted nearly to extinction. One of the largest herds of American Bison can be found in Yellowstone National Park, and they truly are a magnificent animal in a magnificent park.

According to the Department of Interior website, 15 Facts About Our National Mammal, Yellowstone is the only place in the United States where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times, this makes them special in that they are pure descendants of early bison and are free of cattle genes.  What I think makes the Yellowstone bison so special is that they are roaming herds of wild beasts living in an expanse of stunning wilderness that we can actually visit.

We saw a lot of bison on our trip to Yellowstone earlier this year, but of all the images I made of bison, this is the one that had the biggest impact on me.  The lone bison in an expansive landscape.

Posted in Photography

Through the Fresnel Lens

Through The Fresnel Lens

Looking through the 3rd order fresnel lens at the Grays Harbor Lighthouse in Westport, WA

It’s no secret that I love visiting the Grays Harbor Lighthouse in Westport, WA.  I have blogged about it multiple times, the most recent being here.  What I haven’t talked a lot about is the actual fresnel lens that is at the heart of every lighthouse.

The fresnel lens in and of itself is not necessarily a work of art, modern ones are typically made out of a single sheet of plastic, but the hand made lenses that used to be the workhorse of all lighthouses are something special, they are hand crafted, one of a kind and are truly works of art.

I have made a number of images of fresnel lenses from various lighthouses over the years, but when I visited the Grays Harbor light recently I really wanted to do something a little different and decided to concentrate on the bulb in the lens as well as the landscape beyond, the result of that is the image above.

While not truly unique, one of the effects of looking through a fresnel lens with a camera is the the world becomes upside down, this image was no different.  If you take some time to really look at this image, you will notice that the lightbulb is actually upside down and the background landscape is normal.  This wasn’t the case when it came out of camera, I had to flip the image as I felt it better to have the landscape right and let the bulb be upside down, which is hardly noticeable anyway.  :-)

I hope you enjoy the image, and as always, please click on the image to see a version that will scale to the size of your monitor or mobile device.

Posted in Photography