Tag Archives: travel

2013 Top 11 Photos

It’s always a great challenge to look back on a year’s collection and to trim to a list of the best.  It’s an exercise I recommend to every photographer out there.  That said, the extra challenge is to get that list to only 10 photos.  Well, I almost made it this year – I trimmed this one to 11.  Smile

So, in no particular order, here’s my 2013 list with a bit on each addition.


This first photo is from a children’s church group singing at a convalescence home.  It was a very sweet moment with folks stepping out of their rooms to hear the children sing Christmas carols in the hall.

Best of 2013-1

Once I saw these two barns – I just wanted to figure out a way to get the photo.  This is one of those rare images where (if I remember correctly) I was thinking black and white from the onset.

Best of 2013-4

In 2013 I had the opportunity to shoot two Polar Plunge events for Oregon Special Olympics.  This next photo is from the Corvallis event.  Initially I was torn between two photos for this list: “dynamic splash” and “pink tutu’s”.  You can see which one I chose.

Best of 2013-6

This was from the 2013 Photo Walk here in Corvallis.  It’s probably safe to presume that it took me over a hundred images to get this one.

Best of 2013-7

In the very next moment, this bull fighter found himself in the air (but my very next frame only had the legs of the bullfighter visible – I was zoomed in too far on the scene to get all of him in the air).

Best of 2013-8

The Lover’s Bridge in Danshui, Taiwan.  This is one of those rare images where I actually pre-visualized the final result.  Some folks are really good at that – I’m not.

Best of 2013-10

Jiufen, Taiwan is a great little market town.  Fortunately while we were there we were treated to this epic rain.

Best of 2013-11

Street opera in Tainan, Taiwan.  I like how this image shows the proximity of the street to the opera.

Best of 2013-13

Hot air balloon festival.  Another image here on the list with strong architectural elements.

Best of 2013-15

Sheep nor shearing are typically on my list of favorite images.  But, I liked this moment along with the lighting, color, and texture.

Best of 2013-17

Mt Hood in the clouds.  It wasn’t long after this image that the mountain was completely obscured by the incoming weather.

Best of 2013-18

Bag Review: Timbuk2 Messenger + Domke Insert

For my “daily” shooting bag – I’ve been using the ThinkTank Retrospective 10.  A great bag that I reviewed last summer.  However – in Uganda – I figured I was going to be out in the field for some long hours – and I was probably going to want to a bit more gear on hand.bag reviews-6

What to do?  Well – I dug around the web for some options – but nothing really struck me as the solution I wanted to haul halfway across the world.  And as it turns out – I had this almost 10 year old Timbuk2 messenger around (medium) – and a Domke insert that I’d picked up out of curiosity.

So – how did the combo work?  In a word – great!

I could carry two cameras with lenses attached, another lens, a small water bottle or two, a table top Gitzo tripod, and the other stuff often found in camera bags – comfortably all day.

That’s not to say that it felt “weightless” – but it was quite comfortable.

The insert only extends to about 2/3 the width of the bag.  That extra space in the bag (below – it’s shown on the right side) – is where I stuffed my water bottles.  I had originally thought that I wanted water bottle holders or pockets on the outside of my bag – but – once in the field – it worked to be an advantage to have room in the bag for the bottles.

Of course – that extra room is also good for a light jacket, snack, and other stuff that you might want to throw in your bag.

As for the brown color – well – 10 years later – I might have ordered a black one (or a dark gray) – but hey, it was already in my closet.  And – it definitely didn’t look like a camera bag.

If you were to build this collection from scratch – it’ll probably be about $130-$140 after you add the Timbuk2 shoulder strap pad.

Bottom line?  Highly recommended for those times when you’d like to carry a bit more gear, have it quickly accessible, not spend a bunch of cash, and like to keep a low visual profile.

bag reviews-5


Photos from Uganda: #6

Just a few photos of  street vendors.

This first image is of a “drive up” of sorts.  After a few images – I had some of the beef on a stick (pictured here).  Not sure what the seasoning was – but it was quite good.vendors-34


Bought some pineapple from this guy one evening – and he was then kind enough to let me shoot a few photos while he worked.


A Day at the Coast

Newport OR - 25 Oct 2008-6Last weekend, we took a day trip over to Newport.  Low 60’s and some wind – a pretty stunning late October day for the Oregon coast.  After lunch at the Rogue Brewery (Brewer’s on the Bay – great Reuben sandwich) – we made a quick jaunt over to the Hatfield Marine Science Center.  It’s a good little science center for the family- and includes some touch tanks for the kids.

One of the not-touch tanks is full of little jelly fish (1-3 inches in length) and had a UV fluorescent light in it (at least I think that’s what they used).  In my, “Hey, that’s cool” mode – I tried to grab a couple of images of purple jelly fish with the 24mm on the 20D.  At home – thinking purple jelly fish just weren’t all that cool – I decided to make the image a high contrast B&W.  The result reminded me of those old science book pictures.

Photographic Experimentation

Digital makes trying new ideas a heck of a lot less expensive than it was in those film days.  Speaking of film – after some photo-centric conversation in the office today – I realized I haven’t shot a role of film since early 2004.

But do you think I’ve rid my closet of just one of my film cameras?  Nope.  They’re still there – collecting dust – including my favorite Canon GIII rangefinder.  It’s just cool.  And that 40mm f/1.7…  the stuff dreams are made from.  I’m waiting for the day when someone releases a kit to convert your favorite old film camera to digital… If you hear of anything, let me know.

OK – back to digital and experimentation.  Go for it.  Got an idea that’s not morally or legally wrong that doesn’t put others (or yourself) in harm’s way?  Try it.

While in Barcelona in early 2007 – I was shooting at night on Las Ramblas.  Setting the camera to manual mode with a fixed 24mm lens (ISO 800, f/3.5, 1/30 second) –  and while I walked – with a normal(ish) swing of my arm – I  just fired off some shots (“from the hip”) not knowing what I might get.  Below is one of those images after a bit of crop and minor exposure adjustment.

And, remember, don’t be surprised if you get absolutely nothing that works.  It’s OK.  Throw those bits out and try again at your next shoot. 

las ramblas 1 - low res

Joshua Tree

joshua tree - low res - more blog-4 As I mentioned in a previous post – I was in Palm Springs for the day job about a year ago.  With a brief break in the middle of the trip – I sped to Joshua Tree to snap some shots.  It was one of those days that – even if another photographer were tagging along – s/he probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the day with me.  Let’s just say that I can get a little “absorbed” when I do things like this.

Tools: the 20D, 24mm f/2.8, a circular polarizer, James Kaiser’s book “Joshua Tree: The Complete Guide”, and the NG Trails Illustrated map for Joshua Tree National Park.  joshua tree - low res - more blog-1Probably didn’t need the NG map – as maps are available at the ranger station – but NG maps are fun to have.

Agenda: (1) up early (2) coffee (3) drive to Joshua Tree (4) get info from ranger station (5) drive (6) stop (7) take pictures (8) repeat #5-6-7 about 10 times (9) drive-thru at McD’s in 29 Palms, (10) hike/scramble into Rattle Snake Canyon (11) repeat #5-6-7 a bunch more times (12) leave at dark.

Seriously.  Lots of pictures.  It was a great destination.

And herein is the challenge.  Most everyone has (or had) the U2 album (CD) and has a picture of Joshua Tree in their head.  Photog says to self: “give them something new and compelling.”  joshua tree - low res - more blog-5Photog reminds self not to make jokes like that while drinking hot coffee…

Now the second conversation Photog has with self: “give them something new and compelling – oh, and make it a cactus…”.

Third conversation Photog has with self as he scrambles over another boulder:  “I bet this is named Rattlesnake Canyon for a reason…”