Today I had a great time shooting portraits of this lovely family.  I’ve been capturing images of them for years, and it has been fun watching the kids grow.  It was a bit cool out today, but everyone was willing to shed the coats over and over again for new poses.  This was one of my favorites.


I had a fun time this evening at a nearby community named Hidden Springs which is about 5 miles north of Boise in the foothills. It was twilight and getting darker by the minute.

This tree has been a focus of mine for quite some time and I envisioned a photo with stars in the sky and the lights of the community shining from its windows. That wasn’t to be on this particular evening.  The sky was somewhat cloudy, so no stars. Fulfilling my photographic vision will have to be a project for another day.

I did take about a dozen shots, ranging anywhere from 4 seconds to 30 seconds in duration. This particular one was 4 seconds in length. This is nothing like it looked to my eye in the field, as it was very dark, but the more I played with it on the computer the more it became a daytime scene.

My wife never likes it when I go black and white on a subject. She says that it sucks the life out of the image.  I just laugh and she gives me “the look.”  🙂

Here is the same image as it came out of the camera.

What do you think? Do you like the black and white, or the original color image better?


Today brought another senior photo shoot.  This time was with a fun young lady named Kaylie.  I was wondering if the weather today was going to let us venture outside, but it turned out to be pretty nice considering the forecast.  It was a bit cool and cloudy, but we were going to be shooting at a shady location anyway, so no big deal.  The location of Kaylie’s choosing was in downtown Boise called “Freak Alley.”  It is a place where graffiti artists have been allowed to paint some tasteful artwork.  Fun place to shoot with the color of the walls making some very interesting backdrops.  Here are two of my favorites from our shoot today.

On probably the last nice day of the season for a sunny and warm photo shoot, I had the great pleasure of capturing some amazing images of Kenzie.  There were a couple of new locations to try out and Kenzie and her dog, Koda were my willing subjects of the day.

Here they are next to a pond near Eagle, Idaho.

I forgot to mention what a nice and natural smile she has.

After an outfit change we moved to a second spot that I’ve wanted to shoot at for quite a while.  It was an awesome day for light and the location was magic from a photographer’s point of view.  I’ll be back.

I’m not sure how many times I said, “One more shot” to Kenzie, but I think she quit believing me after about my 10th time.  The following was nearly my last shot showing a totally different mood.  It is one of my favorites.

Thanks for a fun photo shoot, Kenzie.  Hope you enjoy your images.


We were again blessed by being able to take our vacation in the San Juan Islands of Washington state. We also got to take some very close friends with us to enjoy the time on the water.

This year was a bit different that most of our boating vacations. Normally we sail, but this year we wanted to try out a motor yacht to see what that was all about. Our boat of choice was a 37 foot Nordic Tug named “Weak Moment.”

This boat normally spends the summer season in Alaska in charter service, but at the end of the year the owner brings it back down to Bellingham to a slightly warmer climate. The boat was the most comfortable boat I’ve ever been on. It has full-time AC power to operate a microwave oven, crockpot and even a curling iron (for one of our guests). Add to that the forced air furnace, windshield wipers, wall to wall carpeting and you ended up with some very happy campers.

From an operational point of view, it has a 330 HP diesel engine, bow thruster for maneuvering in close quarters, radar, navigational chart plotters with weather overlays and just about anything else you could imagine. Here is a twilight shot of one of our guests being illuminated by the chart plotter screens.

We had just hooked up to a mooring buoy in Fox Cove on the island of Sucia. You’ll notice how calm the water was on this first evening out. That was not to last. By the time morning arrive, we were facing 25-35 knot winds with 4 foot waves. Fortunately, we were in a relatively protected bay from the waves, but the wind was howling. The radio was alive with chat about various people in trouble due to the weather. There was even a US Coast Guard helicopter out looking for boats that were not in safe places, suggesting to the captains of those vessels to head for shelter.

The wind was forecasted to be a bit less in the afternoon (15-20 knots), but was then to increase to 35+ later that night.  We decided to make a run for it to Friday Harbor. Weak Moment handled the then 2 to 3 foot waves just fine and we pulled into a slip for a couple of nights to wait out the storm. Not a problem for us, as Friday Harbor is our favorite place to visit.

The storm passed and we ended up with nice weather for the rest of our trip. We visited Montague Harbor and the town of Ganges in Canada. It was nice to have some sun.

Two nights left on our trip, so we headed back to the US to clear customs at Roche Harbor. On the way, we passed Turn Point lighthouse on Stuart Island and had a very big surprise. A whale was spotted about a quarter of a mile in front of us. Then we saw some more. The next thing we knew they were all around us. We’re guessing there were probably 15-20 total in the pod, some being quite young and small, but two others that were gigantic. The dorsal fin on these big ones must have been 5 to 6 feet tall. Here is one of my favorite photos.

This was taken with my Canon 7D with the 70-200mm f2.8L IS lens. I still can’t get over how massive these sea creatures are.

We finally made it back to the US, but we were late so the on-call customs official had to make a trip across the island to check us in. I was the only one that could leave the boat until we were cleared, so we enjoyed a bit of dock time as we waited for the official to arrive.

Weak Moment was moved to a slip in Roche Harbor for the night and I’m glad we stayed here, as I could get off the boat for some fun night shots. Here is one that was was captured with my Canon 5D MkII with a 24-105mm f4 lens set at f5.6.  The exposure was 30 seconds in length, making the stars shine though the thin layer of clouds.

All in all it was a wonderful trip. We’ll probably charter another Nordic Tug in the future (especially in the rainy season), but you’ll just as likely see us on a sailboat next time around.

Hope you enjoyed a glimpse into our adventure.



This image was captured on the 2011 Autumnal Equinox just a couple of miles from our house.  I knew of some west facing tracks that would make a great frame from the setting sun.  It was amazing to see how the tracks lit up from the sun’s light, just as if they were on fire.  One other interesting thing to note is how wavy the tracks appear.  This was accentuated by the telephoto lens attached to my camera.



It is a amazing what you see when you just look around.  Last fall we were sailing near Victoria, BC and were in the harbor for the evening when the sky started to change.  It became more colorful by the minute.  There were also a number of gulls swimming in the water.  I watched, waited for a shot, and…. click…  got it.


The past few days in my life were pretty incredible from a photography perspective.  I was blessed to attend Cliff Mautner’s Lighting and Skillset Bootcamp at his studio in Haddenfield, NJ, just across the river from Philidelphia, PA.  Here I was with 15 other “sponges” soaking in all that we could from this amazing individual, considered to be one of the top 10 wedding photographers in the world.

All the students were able to glean some of his knowledge and technique not only from classroom discussion, but during one on one time with him as well.

Two afternoons were used to try first hand some of the techniques and ideas that we learned in class. Several models were hired to provide us brides and grooms.

If you ever have opportunity to attend a high caliber class such as this one, do what it takes to make it happen. Your photography skills will most assuredly improve.  I highly recommend Cliff’s workshop.

Below are some of my favorite images that I captured during the workshop:

This Fall has been one of the prettiest that I remember for years.  Sometimes the cold weather comes on too quickly and the leaves turn from green to brown in a very short time.  Then there are years like this where the cold weather just teases the trees and  we end up with weeks upon weeks of great color.  We are blessed to have a teaser year which is evidenced by this photo.

When I look at this photo I put myself in a very serene place, but that is far from the truth.  I was on a bike ride on Eagle road which is probably the busiest road in the state.  This walking path was no more than 20 feet from the 55 mph traffic.  It just goes to show you that you can find beauty in the most interesting places, if you just slow down and look around.

Happy Autumn.

We were awakened several times during the night to the sound of rain hitting the hatches on the boat.  This kept up for a large portion of the day.  But, it is supposed to be a bit better tomorrow as we sail back into US waters.

Our new acquaintance, David, his wife and a guest took off into the rain for places unknown. He mentioned the Panama Canal and the Caribbean, so they will be putting some miles under the keel.  Maybe we’ll get to chat with them again someday.  I hope so.

The architecture around Victoria is amazing. There are several buildings built a little over 100 years ago that have great lines.  The Empress hotel is covered in vines that are probably about as old as the building.  At night several buildings in the area are lit with some beautiful lights.

Because of the rain, we limited ourselves to a couple quick tours of The Empress Hotel and the Legislative building. Other than that, we sipped coffee and tea, chatted , played cards and pretended it was like a rainy day like anywhere else. Only here, we were on our home away from home.