Thursday, December 30, 2010

Learning new things!

man i have neglected this blog for a while........ill have to make sure to keep it updated on a regular basis this year. i hope everyone had a great christmas and i wish all of you a great new year. for a long time now i have been reading up on a form of photography called HDR. i have been pretty opposed to HDR photos for a while because they all look very processed and weird to me. there havent been many who in my opinion have been able to pull it off well, still i have been tempted to try and see what i could do with it. i have attempted to do HDR photos a few times but every time i went to edit the photos it just took forever, all the programs i tried had clunky interfaces or were just really difficult to learn. let face it i dont want to be in front of the computer all the time editing photos so doing these had to be an easy and somewhat quick process. well one of the beautiful things of the digital age is that programs are always pushing boundaries and getting better and better. an HDR editing program came out recently that really made the process simple and quick most importantly though it made the process kinda fun. in my spare time i have been trying out some old photos and making HDR versions of them, as with anything its all a learning process and im still learning how to make the process better and learning how to make my photos look more natural. my first few attempts were just gross and really looked over processed so i went back read up on a few techniques and tried again. while im not completely satisfied i think the newer versions look a lot better. heres a few photos for you to enjoy, if you have any questions or have an opinion please email me or leave a comment. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


We currently have a hardcover 100 page photo book for sale for 50 dollars. You need to let me know by Thursday the 18th at 5pm so i can put the order through. The book is beautiful with photos on the front and back covers and as i said it is a hardcover book, all the pages are full photographs no writing just cool full color photos for you to sit back and enjoy. Makes a great coffee table book or gifts for art enthusiast. You can email me at if you are interested. Heres some screen captures of the book layout.

coming up...

keep your eyes i open for a washington dc post and a an NYC post!! Also the spectacle of color post has been updated with a few new photos.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Spectacle of color....

My wife and i recently took a trip out to the East Coast for 10 days, we spent some time in Washington DC and in New York City. Both places have a lot to offer for people going to visit but as it stands i would have to say the DC was by far our favorite place to visit and 5 days there was not nearly enough time. There was so much to see in our nations capitol and tons of museums to visit, we only visited 2 of them but spend hours and hours in both of them. I will post more on the things that we did in a later post, one of the big reasons why we went there though was to try and catch some fall color. While we do see patches of the magic that is Fall here in California it is nothing compared to the grandiose spectacle that it is on the East Coast. Last year we visited my brother in NC and unfortunately were to late for it, this year we went hoping to catch some more of it. Unfortunately its always a gamble and we were just a little bit to early to catch it at its peak, while this was a big disappointment there were a few patches here and there that we were able to find. Even the small areas of color that we were able to find were amazing, while in DC Jen and i took a whole day renting bikes and riding around DC and through Rock Creek Park it was an incredible time and one of my favorite memories. Most of the images are from Rock Creek Park but i will be adding some from central park and other areas that we saw some color. So without further ado here is some fall color for you to get you in the mood for the holidays, cus lets face it this weather cant seem to make up its mind and sure doesnt help any! Enjoy!!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Stupid things i do....

A few years ago when we were on the Big Island i was shooting these huge waves crashing unto the side of these cliffs. It was really incredible as the whole cliff would shake under my feet, the sound was amazing and the water sprayed soo high! I was shooting pictures at a safe distance but of course as always i had this uncontrollable urge to get get closer. While getting closer does make better pictures many times it is a stupid thing to do......this was one of those times. I could have easily been knocked flat on the ground or fallen into the ocean. Anyway i got closer saw a big wave coming and got my camera up to my face and got ready, as the wave hit i began to take photos in a fast sequence. Everything inside of me told me to run......but i stayed and i got SOAKED!!! I was drenched and so was my camera, its times like this that i am grateful that Nikon cameras are built like a tank cus my gear goes trough this kind of scenario all to often but they still live to tell the tale. I was able to laugh about it later and looking back on it now i ask the question.......would i do it again? YOU BET I WOULD!

Heres a short animation for you to enjoy and laugh at me. Enjoy!!


Monday, October 04, 2010

Spirituality of nature.......

One of my favorite things about photography is looking for a way to connect to the landscapes that i am photographing in an emotional and spiritual way. I love to in a sense pour myself into my work, to find a way to not only pull my viewer into the moment but to also find a way to experience that connection that i felt while shooting the photo. Sometimes the connection is made easily, other times i have to really slow down take in my surroundings breathe the air and step back to think about why im photographing what is in front of my camera. This last trip to the Big Island i was blessed to have an experience that was so incredible that finding that spiritual connection came effortlessly. It wasnt so much because i found that connection easily but because this place was so saturated with it that it just hit me like a wall of bricks. I am talking about my visit to the Kalapana lava flow, in 2008 i posted a blog about our 1st visit there. We could do little more that watch it from a distance, but the experience was an incredible one and one that stayed with me long after we left the island. Since then i have dreamed about getting closer, watching documentaries on volcanoes or on hawaii i would always think "i want to be that close!" Little did i know that i would be blessed enough to get that close, to see something that few people get to see. Through a (ill call him a contact, but really consider him a friend) i made on the island who has access to the flow we were able to go out there. Ill leave out all the details about our preparation to go out there, but will say that we left our hotel at 2:30am and hiked for over an hour to get to the flow. Hiking in the dark over sharp and uneven lava rock is grueling work. Halfway there I was tired and already out of breath but we pushed onward, finally after what seemed like an eternity we arrived. I was not prepared, not at all, not for this, it hit me all at once. i had seen this before but from a distance and even then i was not prepared. I was in the presence of something incredible, something so much bigger than me, something that i could not fully understand. That spiritual and emotional connection to this place was instant, i had to stop and soak it all in, i have dreamed about being here.......and now here i was finally and it had overtaken me. How can you do anything else but humble yourself in the presence of such power, how do you feel anything besides tiny knowing full well that one bad step can cost you your life. This place demands your respect as soon as you get there not just because of its destructive power but the knowledge that much of what you are walking on is ancient ground. You cant help but reflect on the Hawaiians that 1st lived here and lived in the presence of the volcano, respecting and even worshipping its power. This place has deep spiritual tones coursing through it and in the few seconds that i had been there it had overwhelmed me. The deep red glow of the lava in the darkness of the night, the sound of it moving and of it crystalizing as it began to immediately cool when it met the surrounding air. The thing that stands out the most though is the heat, oh man the heat! It hits you like a wall, sometimes just carried by the breeze, other times you try to get close for a shot and you hit a wall of pure invisible fire. It feels like your skin is burning off and you just cant keep moving forward. Your body is completely unprepared for it as well as the heat saps away every ounce of water and energy that you have, i have never drank so much water and gatorade in my entire life and still i was dehydrated. The movement and fluidity of the lava is mesmerizing, it captures your imagination immediately and you cant help but just sit there and stare. Most intriguing of all is thinking that this molten material is what is coursing deep beneath the planet and yet here it is flowing on the surface right before my eyes. It claims everything in its path, many have lost their homes to the volcano and yet despite its ability to destroy it also has the ability to create. As the lava cools it creates new land, over time the rock gets broken down and it becomes incredibly fertile soil. Thousands of years from now when the volcano stops its eruptions all that land will be dense jungles, even now there is a new island being formed underwater...........the process is endless and incredible. It was all i could do to contain my excitement and keep focused on the task at hand. Eventually the light of the sun became way to harsh and it was time to go, it was difficult to say goodbye and you have to fight the feeling to just stay and capture a little more. The hike back was long and i was exhausted, finally back at the car we rested for a little bit. In the coolness of the shade we had found i sat and reflected on our journey. It seemed like a dream or a distant memory from many years ago and yet it had just began hours ago. The affects of this incredible place are undeniable, it has sparked my imagination and an insatiable hunger.......i must go back, i must see more, i must capture more but most of all i must prepare myself. I must keep that respect and not lose my wonder, someday soon i hope i will return and be in awe once again in the presence of Pele.

Addendum: Concern has been expressed over this latest blog post that it sounds like i worship the Hawaiian goddess Pele. I assure you that nothing could be farther from the truth, while the tone and the closing lines of what i have written may lead you to believe that i do i can tell you with certainty that it was not what was intended. I believe that we live in a world of ignorance, where we are so focused on making our point or shoving our beliefs down each others throats that we forget that respect for one another and diplomacy are much more powerful "weapons" than the best laid argument. I do not worship multiple gods or nature for that matter, but i do understand that the hawaiian people are deeply spiritual, have ties to their lands and to their ancestors and respect the "spirituality" of their surroundings. I dont believe in everything that they do but i do respect them and honor their beliefs, i think that this above all else has been the biggest reason why so many hawaiians have accepted me or treat me like i am a local while i am there. As for spirituality in nature, i fully understand that i am looking at something that was created, i dont worship this nor do i claim that it gets me closer to God. I do admire the craftsmanship of the creator through it and will say that i helps me to reflect upon my own existence. It helps me to understand just how truly small i am in the grand scheme of things, that i am just a small speck on this world and yet despite this fact i am loved above all else by the ONE who created it all. me is amazing and humbling.......