I had great opportunity to shoot the Lunar Eclipse tonight under clear skies of Idaho.  Here are two of my favorites.  I even managed to capture a star in the background.  The first image was not long after the earth totally covered the moon with its shadow.  The second was close to the end of total eclipse.

Supermoon lunar eclipse 2015-1


Supermoon lunar eclipse 2015-2


Just after the summer solstice this year was another astronomical event called “the super moon.”  Since the moon is a bit of an elliptical orbit around the earth, sometimes it is closer than at other times.  The closer path happened to be near a full moon.  I’ve read where the moon is about 10% larger looking than normal because of it being closer to the Earth.

Taking photos of the moon is a bit of a mind bender.  If you point your camera at the sky and snap the image, all the blackness of the sky will fool your camera into over exposing the image and the moon will be a solid white disc in the sky.  It requires some manual intervention to get the correct exposure.

Think about what you are photographing.  The moon is an object that is in direct sunlight about the same distance of the sun as the earth is.  That said, start by using the same exposure that you would photography any object that is in direct sunlight on the Earth.

The technical details for this particular image was iso 640, shutter 1/3200, aperture f4.  It seems kind of strange to shoot an image in the black of night at 1/3200 of a second, but the exposure is about perfect.



Sun Flower Portrait

I had some fun over the past few weeks learning a new Photoshop technique to give a bit more of a 3 dimensional look to a simple image.  I’m be curious to hear what you think.

It is a pretty simple thing to do, now that I’ve done it once.  But, trying to figure out all the different layers and how to appropriately add the drop shadow to the flower was a learning experience.



Every year around Memorial Day, you will find in the city of Eagle, Idaho a field full of our country’s flags to honor those military people who are serving or have served to keep our country free.  Thanks to you all!

It is an amazing site to see.


One of the things we always do before we leave Friday Harbor is to walk the docks.  There are some boats that have been there so long and are so unkept that it is a wonder they are still floating.  Then there are those that are obviously owned by people who love their boats, with their glistening varnish, polished metal, etc.  It is also fun to see the names of some of the boats which are generally a reflection of the owners.  I take this time to look for detail photos of nautical things.  Here is one of the images I captured this morning showing a dock line tied up to a cleat.

It’s time to get ready to leave, so let’s see…. Bag of of ice… check.  Ice cream cone… check.  I think we’re ready to leave.

The wind teased a bit today, but not enough to make much headway to our destination of Hunter Bay on Lopez Island.  I wonder where the winds are that they spoke of on the radio yesterday?

The closer we got to Hunter Bay the stronger the winds became.  The last couple of miles were actually a pretty nice sail and we got the boat speed up to over 5 knots.  Our boat was a bit slow for its size, but it was fun nonetheless.  Here one of the boats that was close by as we approached Hunter Bay.

There were probably about 20 boats in the bay when we arrived and being in close made me a bit nervous when strong winds expected, so I chose to downwind edge of the anchored fleet to drop our anchor.  The bottom of the bay is quite muddy and has very good holding properties, but as the sun went down the winds came up and it left me a bit concerned about where we would end up if the anchor dragged.  Needless to say, it was a very sleepless night for me.  I kept an eye on the GPS map every half hour or so to make sure we were not dragging.  I also kept my eye outside to look at all of the anchored boats around me to make sure they were staying put as well.

All night long the wind whistled through the standing rigging of our sailboat, but when morning finally arrived it started to subside just a bit which made me a bit more comfortable.  An interesting night to say the least.

Cliff Moutner, stated to be “One of the top ten wedding photographers in the world” by American Photo Magazine is a photographer who has impacted my photographic life even though we’ve never met.  I find a lot of similarities in our thought processes from what I’ve read and heard from him over the past few months.  He is very good at walking into any situation and making the best of what is available from a lighting and architectural perspective.

The wedding I captured last week with my cameras had some very interesting lighting which made me think out of the box just a bit so that I could make the best of what I had been given.  It was at a small church and the bride was getting the final touches in one of the sunday school rooms that was designed for what I’m guessing were first and second grade kids.  I gathered that by my shins bumping into the bright green tabletops in the room.  I wanted to get some good photos of the bride’s shoes and thought I would give the green table a try, knowing that I’d need to do something with it after the fact.  Here is what I came up with as shown in the before and after image.

Here are the steps to take it from beginning to end:

  • The shoes were photographed from a backlit perspective with natural light coming in through the window.
  • I let the camera pick the exposure which left plenty of detail on the dark side of the shoes, but totally blew out a portion of the tabletop.
  • In Adobe Lightroom, I first converted the image to black and white since I knew I didn’t want the green in the photo.  I contemplated changing the green tint to blue, but I liked the black and white so much that I stopped there.
  • This was followed by brightening up the areas in the image that had the original green tint to make the tabletop a bit more uniform in brightness.  That also lightened up the bottom of the shoes that originally had the green reflection.
  • I then brought out the blacks a bit more for added contrast.

That was about it as far as tweaking the image.  Next time you are in a difficult lighting situation, make the best of what you have.  You could end up with something cool.

2009-02-08While walking back to my car after shooting a marathon I spotted these interesting looking mushrooms.  Nothing really special about them, other than I don’t remember seeing any with their edges turned up like this before in Boise.











2009-01-28Here is another shot from the cemetery I visited a few weeks ago.  For this particular image,  I put on the wide angle lens (17mm) and composed the photo.

When I shoot with a wide angle lens, I normally will try to get very close to some part of the subject, otherwise everything in the photo would seem like a long way away.  It is a great way to add some depth to the image.

Next time you are out taking photos, try different focal lengths on your lens (zoom in or out) and recompose your shots by using your feet.  That is, walk around to compensate for the change of perspective.  It’s amazing how different the same subject will look.

Click to buy on iStockphoto.comMy wife came into the studio this afternoon and made the comment that I think outside the box.  Hmmm, maybe I do as this is not your typical photo, but one that took a lot of setup, trial and error.

This is the first time I’d ever tried to do anything with smoke and by the end of the shoot, the studio was smelling strongly of incense.

I wanted the shot backlit to really bring out the smoke against the black background. A single softbox was used above the gun and a small white reflector was used to get some reflections on the side of the barrel.

Try thinking of some dramatic effects and create them in real life.