Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Merry Christmas, there is no place like home! Make the time to make the memories if you can. Happy Holidays to all! Many blessings and love to everyone.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cowboys & Indians Finalists

Thank you to Fay Ellen Whitehead for letting me photograph her horse, "Poco" in Iron River, Michigan. This image and the Arches National Park image shown here have been selected as Finalists in the annual Cowboys & Indians magazine photography contest.

Arches National Park in Utah is not just about delicate arches. The red rock formations are unreal. To me, it looks like the Flintstones live in this picture! I softened the sky to give it more of a watercolor look as a contrast to all of the texture in the landscape. It was taken at sunset last fall.

"Poco" the horse photo came about with me just following horses around a field with my camera and having one of the owners interact with all of them. It was a harshly lit summer day, but some work in Photoshop helped me create a dramatic portrait.

Wish me luck, although it really is just an honor to be nominated. :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fast and Furious

What does shooting a 2 year old have to do with shooting rodeos?
It's fast and it furious! I found out that rodeo shooting has been good training
for photographing toddlers. They don't sit still, they move fast and have
minds of their own!

I learned to how to anticipate action and be quick on the shutter, but I found it to
be more of a physical challenge with the kids. This lovely family requested a shoot at the Denver Botanic Gardens. 2 hours later I was exhausted from moving quickly, looking for fleeting movements and doing about a billion power squats. I was actually a little sore the next day! Sometimes I forget how much energy they have!

Little Kaitlynn was especially uncooperative always running the other way, etc, etc. and we ended the session not quite knowing if we got anything, but I think we did, because it wasn't my first rodeo. :) These are just a few shots, let's talk more about this next time.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You Veterans

To all veterans, past, present and future...we salute you and we salute your sacrifices. We thank you.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Beauty of the Season

I hear piano music mixed in with the cool breeze when I'm out enjoying the sights and smells of autumn. I can't get enough of it! I enjoy the organic as well as the graphic nature of the color, the shapes, the textures, the movement.

Since this is my first full autumn in 10 years, I may be a tiny bit overboard, but this is not the place for me to discuss politics, so I am sharing more with anyone who might be interested.

I've got one more photo of Maroon Bells, other than that, I try to look for interesting compositions that might keep a viewer looking longer but sometimes I just shoot too fast out of sheer of excitement of finding more and more. Sometimes it bothers me that it keeps changing everyday until it ends too soon giving way to the winter elements, but that is part of the reason it is all so special.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

fall color

Sometimes the only thing better than fall color is fall color with a tiny bit of snow. It's all about being in the right place at the right time and this year, I just couldn't pull it off. It was tough enough shooting into the sun or shooting in harsh daylight. There were barely any clouds that day and it made things difficult. But, here are some more fall photos from our hike in Maroon Bells near Aspen in mid-September. My blisters are finally healing!

Friday, October 8, 2010

It says it all!

My friend, Ken Matuzak, posted this last week and I just had to share.

"Lindsay Lohan 24, is all over the news because she's a celebrity drug addict. While Justin Allen 23, Brett Linley 29, Matthew Weikert 29, Justus Bartett 27, Dave Santos 21, Chase Stanley 21, Jesse Reed 26, Matthew Johnson 21, Zachary Fisher 24, Brandon King 23, Christopher Goeke 23 and Sheldon Tate 27 are all Marines that gave their lives this week, no media mention. Honor THEM!!"

Friday, September 24, 2010

Refreshed by Fall

(13, 000 ft above Loveland Pass)

My knees were screaming, my camera was smoking, my feet were like hamburger and I found my creative mojo. Living in Arizona for 10 years left me with a new appreciation for a full change of season. It seems like it was always some level of summer there. I was out swimming in the pool until November! I missed the four seasons like crazy and autumn has always been, by far, my favorite time of year. I was surprised and thrilled to find it in full swing at the higher altitudes in the Rockies in mid-September. It has been awhile and I guess I had forgotten. The aspen, yellow and orange were quaking and glowing at all times of the day. A few maples were spotted and even much of the summer flowers were still thriving in the sunlight. It's like this unbelievable, rich performance.

(aspens in Keystone)

A physical and mental challenge was in order to the point of burning quads and the loud sound of my heart beating above timberline. Among a few smaller hikes, an 8 hour hike including 5 hours of steep incline at Maroon Bells reminded me of who is really in charge. The quiet sounds of breezes and the coolness of rushing water made me happy and I soaked it in as much as possible. The higher we went, the more solitude was found and I could get back to thinking about important things in life instead of being bombarded with such ridiculousness as Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton's latest drug problems. Ughhh!

(Boreas Pass outside of Breckenridge)

Old injuries and 2 broken toes were trying to talk to me, but the smell of the pines, the crispness of the air, the blue skies, the carpets of color and the awesomeness of the peaks just kept me going. Ok, fine, I'm not in shape like I used to be, but at least I was doing it!

Photos really don't do any of it justice and it is pretty difficult to convey the feeling of a place like one experienced it. I want everyone to feel it, but for now all I can do is try. So I will have to cherish the feeling and hope that someone else gets a glimpse of the possibilities of the fleeting beauty of fall through my eyes and the limitations of my lenses! More photos will be coming soon.
Happy Fall!

Monday, September 6, 2010

I am in need of inspiration

Maybe the summer heat has worn me down and a I'm ready for a change of season.
Maybe it's been too much transitioning in one year.
Maybe it's because the big 5-0 is quickly approaching and I can't seem to come to grips with it, no matter what I tell myself!!
Maybe I need more balance in my life in all areas and I just haven't paid attention.
Maybe I need new music in my life.
Maybe it is all these things and more.
Sometimes we just need to make adjustments and put things into perspective and we need help doing it, not just so the creative juices get flowing again, but so we can live our
best lives. So all I have to say this time is...

any suggestions on what works for you would be welcomed and much appreciated.

I hope this finds everyone enjoying the end of summer days and ushering in the new school year with energy and bright attitudes!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Everyone is a critic

The age old question burns on; What is Art?

Well, everyone has a different answer depending on many variables, including one's tastes, and points of reference and life experiences. It's subjective, as they say. The Bravo TV reality show Work of Art has exacted quite the controversy and I've found it really interesting that it's caused such a sensation. Art critics think its dribble and overly simplistic, but what they
need to remember is that it is a television show meant for mass appeal.

Time Magazine has pointed out that some of the show's viewers have appreciated a glimpse into the creative process, no matter who the cast of characters are. I am glad to hear that, because there are so many people who don't think art is work. For instance, on the graphic design side of art, yes, there is a technical aspect to it, however, the computer is merely a tool used within the creative process. Contrary to what many people think, we can't just push a button on our computers and a logo or a Cd cover or whatever, does not just magically fly out!! Creativity, design principles and psychology are just a few things that are involved.

I was especially interested in the critiques and how several "experts" perceived pieces in different ways, thereby illustrating the complex ideas and concepts behind the work.
Some of those ideas, I have to admit, would escape me if not explained and sometimes it seemed like they were just reaching. Many of those pieces I did not particularly consider to be visually appealing and I thought were a bit narcissistic. But then again, I have more of a commercial mindset. I do, however, try to stay open to ideas and there is always something to be learned.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I'm not too much of a poser!

When it comes to shooting portrait type photos I prefer to capture more natural moments. Posing definitely has its purposes and it is quite the skill, but if I don't have to, I really like to just catch people as things happen. I'm not a wedding photographer by any means, but I try to learn from some wedding photographers. Cliff Mautner for instance has a beautiful artistic style. He believes in not approaching the shots in a formulaic fashion and keeping an open mind. Not entertaining preconceived notions of what things should look like also appeals to me. It's all about looking for and seeing the light in photography, so I try to find the light and see what happens. In this instance, I went along on a little golf outing to get just a few quick shots of a 2 year old named Annabelle. I have to say it was a lot more fun than trying to get her to pose and sit still! I took things as they came and tried to keep it simple. These might not be the most artistic shots on earth, but the light was perfect to show off her curls and her parents were happy with the outcome.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

home again

I feel like I have had several homes, but Colorado has always had a special place in my heart. We've been back several times over the years, but this time I noticed a gigantic difference. Many, many, many more people.
We took off to the hard to get to, high altitude mountains of the Continental Divide area past Tin Cup and Cumberland Pass to hike and camp. We are trying to work back up to summiting the peaks over 14,000 feet known as "fourteeners" and since we are older now, it's taking longer! We had to wear mosquito nets over our heads for the first time EVER!

I could not believe what else we ran into.... Hoards of ATVs.
I understand that it allows better access to those terrifying "roads" that can be difficult to maneuver and look like you will go careening off the edge at any moment, but I have to be honest and say that I was a little put off by the sheer numbers of them, the noise and the pollution. I also understand that it is fun family thing to do, but the experience is not the same for us hikers. When we are high up and challenging our muscles with every step and in complete awe of and respectful of God's work, to me, it's like being in church. We finally got to a point where the ATVs were not allowed. The Continental Divide Trail up at 12,000 plus feet. We stayed up there and hiked and savored until we were forced back down with threatening weather. But for a few hours, I felt......Ahhhhhh.....home again.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

graphic design

I really love it when I can mix photography and graphic design. It's fun to do different projects that keep things interesting and help keep my skills going.

Balancing what the client wants and what you know is good can be a challenge.
For instance, one time I had a man who sold used cars, but he wanted a boat for his logo. What? It just so happened that he really loved boats. I had to talk him out of misrepresenting himself on that one!

Anyways, The O'Donnells in Nashville are back with a new album. This time they went back to their roots and went Gospel. "God Said Make Music" is the title and it comes right out of the bible: Psalm 98:4.

We went for an overall more traditional feeling with the design this time and less "hip" than the last one. We shot this cover across the road from their country home outside of Nashville at an old sawmill. It was perfect.
But even if you're not really into gospel that much, you will still like this cd. They are off-the-charts great musicians and what they have done with these songs really proves it. You can check out this father/son duo here. Not only are they big talents, but they are great people and really fun to work with!

Here is more of the album cover:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

This and That

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend in our wonderful free country! We spent Independence Day hiking Independence Pass down the road from
Aspen. Hiking in the Rockies, swimming in rivers and shooting rodeo. I'm alive
Rodeo is in full swing here in Colorado. There are so many of them, I can't keep up. Last week was a small town called Meeker which is down the road from Rifle. I love these places, especially during the 4th of July, when the pride and patriotism is at its best! There was an accident on the main highway getting there and several contestants could not make the performance, but it was still a blast and these folks just rode their hearts out.
This weekend I'm off to higher altitude in Leadville. Let's hope the weather holds out.