The right mix

Top of the Falls

Top of the Falls!

When one reads about “how to photograph waterfalls” one can come up with a dozen different ideas.  Some people enjoy the smoothed out water that looks like cotton.  Some people like the water drops frozen like ice.  Each conveys the power of the waterfall in different variations and can be beautiful.

Me?  Well I had no tripod on this trip, was forced to shoot in mid-day light, carried a 22 pound toddler on my back, and had my small Fujifilm x20 to work with.  So I went right to the middle and tried to come up with something to take home.

I was slightly envious of two twenty somethings as I unloaded my big vans.  The two young men had two cameras each, carbon fiber tripods and were intent on catching some great locations on the trail and falls.  Meanwhile I loaded up my kids, put the toddler on my back and marched off with my lightest camera.  I knew the science said their big sensors would capture images with far more dynamic range than my little combo would…and the tripods would lock in sharpness I could only dream of.

I did get some keepers by working with what I had, and the conditions in which I was shooting.  I also had the immeasurable joy of watching my children look at a waterfall up close for the first time.  It was a reminder that God gave me what I needed, when I needed it….and it resulted in much more than I would have otherwise thought I could obtain.  I knew I picked up some “cranium chromes” those incredible cameras never could.


PS Fijifilm X20 F3.2 1/140 and ISO 100.  Post in Perfect Effects with a little natural HDR, and contrast adjustment.

Polarizing Adventure

Adventures on Amicalola Falls, Georgia

Adventures on Amicalola Falls, Georgia

We took the family an hour north today to enjoy lovely Northern Georgia.  Amicalola Falls lies just a few miles from the southern base of the Appalachian Trail…

Back in 1998 I was wondering through these mountains a few miles away at the Ranger Mountain Base Camp…and slid down one of these little hills through three feet of snow.  It was not what I recall as a great time.  The little slide down the mountain helped my legs get infected, and an all expense paid trip to the hospital for five days of treatment.  As I recovered, we often walked by a nearby waterfall on some short hikes between sessions.  As crazy as the day was, the sound and beauty of the waterfall always brought me back to a level of calm.  I cannot explain why, it just happened.  So this trip was a nice one, just because of those same lovely sights and sounds being shared with my wife and children.

What made the adventure polarizing was that I put a polarized filter on my camera to help me with water reflections.  I had not done this in a great while…and it was the first time on the X20 (Mr K5 forgot to tell me he wanted a freshened up battery before we left…).  Some results were stunning, some said try a little harder.  I hope you like this one.


Happy Times

Blast from the past!

Blast from the past!

Here is a simple little shot from a four years ago…whoa you mean old photos still hold relevance?  Photos taken with old technology like a Pentax K200D 10mp CCD can still “work?”

Well…yes they can…I know people who could shoot with a pinhole camera and put my efforts to shame.  A good photograph is less about technical excellence than it is about soul…in my humble opinion.

So many iconic photographs come from a spit second decision, snapped on instinct guided settings not perfectly applied logic.

Not much different than life..always comes back to that life thing…

People we trust the most are those that we know who will do right when under duress and short timelines.  We know that their soul contains excellent guide rails, and we can trust their instinct more than our indecision.

So I’m going to get back to the good book tonight and try to strengthen my guide rails…so maybe you will trust me to do right when my next time of trials begin.


PS This is a Pentax K200D shot with a Tamron 18-250 ultrazoom.  Good kit if I say so myself.  K200D is still my back up, although now I don’t know how I ever got by with only one whiz wheel (control wheel) and not two!

Looking Forward

Looking forward to the journey!

Looking forward to the journey!

Planes, trains and automobiles…all can take us places.  To these boys the power and majesty of a train is awe inspiring.  I can almost hear their questions and dreams over the clickty clack of the track.  “Where is the train going?  How strong is it?  How many cars is it pulling?  Could I drive that thing?  I’d love to travel the rails and be the engineer!”

Yesterday I talked about reflecting back in time, and coming into the present in prayer.  Those reflections provide us the necessary torque to pull the burdens of our lives forward on the track God intended.  Within those boundaries, we actually get freed to obtain the greatest rewards life can offer.

To us life is one linear motion, but to the maker of all things time has no linear boundaries.  It is limitless, without boundaries, and makes sense all at once.

Just like the boys, that mystery makes me say, “Where is God’s train going?  How strong is it?  How many cars is he pulling?  Would he let me drive that thing?  I’d love to travel the rails and be his engineer on the way to the kingdom!”


PS Mr K5 working his magic…F5, 1/5000 @ ISO 1600 -3ev