Heavenly Helpers

Angels make a fly by offering assistance...

Angels make a fly by offering assistance…

On a bright sunny day the angels in the front window shone bright with the light from above…

What I tried to do with this photo was catch a frame inside the frame.  I did this by using the extreme contrast between the light and dark areas going from inside out.

I did learn a good deal about the difficulty in obtaining focus from an object with very high luminosity and high reflections.  If you are shooting in the same conditions, I would suggest finding the best defined contrast location and using that to focus.


Scouting Growth

Scouts plan the assembly of a diorama for their Bear badge

Scouts plan the assembly of a diorama for their Bear badge!

I often don’t get to travel and grab majestic photos of the grad highlights of the world outside of work travel.  Usually the reason is that I am helping nurture the greatest treasures we all have…our children.  Whether it is my family, or my extended scout family, it is the focus of what we do all the time.

This photo shows three of my cub scouts doing one of our projects.  They are completing a diorama.  I showed them how to mark off an area where they would put the “fort” and now they had to place the catapult, trees, soldiers, earthworks and catapult projectiles.  We’d then glue everything down and be ready to show it off at the pack meeting.

This is all part of an 18 month project to get them ready for Boy Scouts where they will set the agenda and execute it.  In little steps they are learning to draw out plans on a board, identify materials required to make the project, identify who has the skill to do the job, and then think through spacial relationships to make it all come together.

It is an awesome adventure for both them and us parents.  Thankfully I have good parents who are fully involved the program, and we’ve resolved we are not going to make this play time….we’re making it focused character growth time.  Things like launching playdoh bombs from a working model catapult..well that is just tactile reinforcement of a job well done!


Where I have not gone before…

Where I have not gone before

Where I have not gone before

Well this is a fun blog for me!  My Christmas tree, decorated exclusively with Star Trek ornaments, is about ready to come down.  Before it went I just had to take the blog to someplace it has not been before!  SPACE!

Star Trek and the Next Generation were my favorite shows growing up.  I always preferred the optimism of the first series rather than the darkness of many succeeding ones.  One of my favorite episodes was Darmok in Next Generation.  Why?  Because two beings had to solve an “impossible” puzzle of communications to help their people communicate with one another and prevent a misunderstanding….and they were willing to die to make it happen.

And that goes into my thought of the day….don’t be afraid to take a chance.  My wife and I tried to get some of my photos placed in a gift shop a few days ago.  The owner was very nice, but it really did not fit her shop’s current inventory…and there is no space at all on a wall.  She uses every inch very well.  So she complimented the photos and said, “No Thanks.”  She did take my card and offered to refer some customers to me looking for portraits.

When my wife asked me later about it, she was curious why I was not the least bit upset.  I told her that we did something we had not ever done before.  We got a referral opportunity we did not have earlier in the day, and we still had money for dinner!  There was nothing lost in the attempt, and a lot learned in the process.  The next time we will be better prepared, and go further into the unknown…maybe even make a sale!

I listened to two podcasts with successful photographers today (one on Photofocus and one on The Candid Frame..go try them out) and both reiterated we must be cautious, but not frozen by our fears.  If we do not experiment, or look beyond the normal of our existence we learn nothing and do not grow.  We’d be afraid to take criticism and then never listen to other people honestly.  We could never have a true collegial discussion balancing faith, emotion and reason on important issues of our day, art or business.

So I’m going to try and keep moving boldly…innovate…learn…grow…and try to chase my dream a little bit further to where I have not gone before.


PS Thanks to my wife I have the support to move along…and I am very happy she chose me 14.5 years ago is a life far, far away!


Skip Cohen is Back!

Skip Cohen is back!

Skip Cohen is back!

Hello everyone!

Skip Cohen has been very helpful to me as a mentor in learning about the business of photography.  He’s got me introduced to some great photographers and friends in the industry in the last few months.  He has an interesting past full of helping others at PPA, Hasselblad, and through Skip’s Photo Network.  You can follow his latest sharing resource at http://www.photoresourcehub.com.  If you want to learn, grow and go somewhere on the professional side of photography he has lessons or experts he shares everyday.

So when he asked me to put out a short message for him it is a no brainer to do him a favor.

“Skip Cohen is Back!”

What it means I do not know….but I am sure we shall see soon