Click to buy on iStockphoto.comOne place that I love to photograph is at old cemeteries.  As you walk amongst the gravestones, you think about what life was like for those people in the days of old and how much easier we have it today.

There is one in particular in Boise that is in the foothills and is not visited very often.  I was walking through it the other day looking for a good composition (I didn’t say decomposition 🙂 ) and found this one that I actually took may years ago with a film camera, but decided to capture it again on digital. 

I like the lead-in that the fence provides, taking your eye into the picture and up to the tree. The deep blue sky this winter day provided is quite nice as well.

2009-01-06The other day while trying out some new photo gear, I went to a place that I frequent during the summer months.  I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this interesting natural ice sculpture.

I was zoomed in quite a bit on this, because the details are what make this shot rather interesting.

Go and visit some of your normal summer spots this winter and see what a difference the seasons make.

While I was photographing all of the runners in the Christmas Run last Saturday, I spotted Santa and quickly went over to take a few photos. I wanted to get in close to to show the detail of his face, but not too close as to lose any of his clothes from the photograph. This one was just right.

I like the rosy cheeks and nose of this jolly old elf.










A friend of mine and I take thousands of photos throughout the year at different athletic events.  These events are mainly running events, which is the subject of today’s post.  The Saturday before Christmas, the local YMCA puts on their annual Christmas Run.  This year there were over 1,800 participants in the 5K and 10K events. It was our job to photograph every person as they crossed the finish line.

This photo shows the intensity of one of the 10K runners.  The depth of field of the is fairly shallow, giving a nicely blurred background that helped to bring out the subject.  The other technique I used (in Adobe’s Lightroom software) was to add a vignette to the corners of the photo.  It is quite easy to do by adjusting a slider to either make the corners darker or lighter.  I lightened it which kind of gave the photo a mysteriously foggy effect. 

Merry Christmas!


Winter BridgeWe were able to stop by “the foot bridge” to take the winter version of the image that was shown in my last post. I tried to remember just where I was standing and where I had the center of the photo. It was close, but may have to try again next year. 🙂

It’s amazing to see the difference between the 2 shots with no leaves on the trees and the wood planks covered in snow.

Find the location for your 4 season shots and remember the details. Things such as time of day, focal length of the lens, aperture, focus point and where you were standing will help with constancy.





Solar PowerThe image to the right was taken where we normally go sailing each summer.  It is fun to take a drive up to the lake at other times of the year to see the differences in the seasons.  The lake freezes over each winter which is interesting to see by itself.

I like to search out details that may not been seen unless you are specifically looking.  The image to the right shows one of these details; a leaf frozen in the ice.

What I found interesting in this is how the leaf, being a different and darker color than the ice absorbed the sun’s heat, and over time, melted the ice surrounding it.  This is solar power on a small scale, but solar power nonetheless.

I also framed the shot so that my subject was on that magic “1/3” line of the image to help with the composition of such a simple shot.

Watch for the details of things around you.  You’ll be amazed at what you find.

Canon 10D, Canon 28-135 f3.5-5.6 IS at 135mm, 1/250 at f8, ISO 100

XC SkiingHere is a silhouette of my wife during a recent cross country ski trip. We are learning how to “skate,” which is a style of cross country skiing that is new to us. Instead of skiing traditionally with the skis parallel in the tracks (shown in the right third of the photo), the skis are positioned pointing out away from the centerline. You can see the herringbone pattern in the snow that skaters leave behind. To propel oneself you push the skis away from the centerline in a “skating” motion.

It is quite fun to do and very good exercise, but requires skill to make it look easy. We’re not there yet. 🙂

I waited for my wife to get to the top of the hill so that I could catch a good silhouette of her. Also, the horizon is about 1/3 from the top of the photo and there is a nice leading line provided by the tracks to take you to the skier which aids in the composition of the shot.

As you are out having fun with your various activities, try to capture the moment with your camera. They help to bring back fond memories.

Canon PowerShot S-500 (pocket digital camera), lens 22.2mm @ f13, 1/400, ISO 50

February AlleHere is the February installment of the Alle Calendar. A white dog in white snow is somewhat hard to shoot. Good thing she has brown eyes!

This photo was taken 6 years ago when we had a fair amount of snow on the ground. 2008 is proving to be another great year for snow and Alle has been happy to pose for the camera many times. I’ll share some of those with your all next winter.

Olympus D490Z (pocket camera), lens 15.7mm @ f8.6, 1/200, ISO 100

InversionBoise sits in a valley that is about 2,800 feet above sea level.  It is also right next to a ridge of mountains that reach up to about 7,000 feet.  The mountaintop is where the local ski area “Bogus Basin” is located and is only 16 miles from town.

Nearly every winter we get to experience temperature inversions where the temperature in the valley is lower than the temperature on the mountain.  Quite often when this happens, low clouds and sometimes even fog forms in the valley hiding what is truly going on above.

It is days like this when it is fun to escape the valley floor and head to the mountains.  Once you break through the clouds, you get to see a fantastic blue sky above with a blanket of clouds below.  It’s an awesome site.

I did a little bit of exposure manipulation in Photoshop before posting this image.  The sun caused the whole image to appear a bit on the dark side, so I adjusted the image to have a good exposure for the sky and saved it to a file.  Then I took the same image and adjusted the exposure for the hills in the foreground.  I then brought in the original “sky exposure” image and stacked it on top of the “foreground exposure” image.  I then masked out the lower portion of the sky image so that the foreground image showed through on the bottom of the photo.

Canon PowerShot S-500 (pocket camera), lens 7.4mm @ f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 50

Skiing SunsetThis weekend was a great time to be at the nearby Bogus Basin ski resort. The sky was quite blue, the snow conditions were nice enough that it made everyone look good as they skied down the mountain.

I referred to this images as a sunset. Actually, it was another 3 hours before the sun would be going down, but only a fraction of that time before it set behind the mountain.

I really like back lit ski shots. It makes for a good spray of the snow as this skier carves his turns.  I also like the silhouette it makes of the subject.

The camera was set to an automatic mode and I pointed it in the general direction of what I wanted to shoot. The direct sun created some interesting highlights as it bounced around between the lens elements.

When I later cropped the image I took into account the rule of thirds for composition. The horizon is about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom. The skier is about 1/3 of the way from the right of the image. The sun was opposite from the main subject to balance the composition.

Canon PowerShot S-500 (pocket camera), lens 7.4mm @ f7.1, 1/800, ISO 50.