Monthly Archives: October 2013

Starting to Come Together

I’ve now been in Oaxaca, Mexico for almost 4 days and things are starting to come together.  Today I visited the town of Mitla, a small town with a small, active market and some of the most important archeological ruins in the area, a pre-columbian settlement.  As I’m not a big fan of “ruins”, I wanted to celebrate the living as opposed to the dead so, while others in my group checked out the inner tombs, I wanted to see what else I could photograph.

Off in a distant corner, under some trees, were Continue reading

Oaxaca: Day 2

Day two in Oaxaca, Mexico and it turned out to be a very interesting journey, indeed. Rockets sonically lit up the night sky until dawn when I finally gave in and decided to walk the streets, camera in hand, to see what early light would bring. Apparently, being mostly Catholic, the Oaxacan population doesn’t get out on a Sunday morning so I found myself wandering mostly alone. While the morning light laid beautifully upon the ancient city, Continue reading

Images from Oaxaca: Day 1

Oaxaca is a pretty neat place.  The streets are all cobblestone and there’s an ancient feel to the place.  Best of all, it doesn’t seem too touristy.  After a short nap, I spent the afternoon wandering to get a feel for the place.  I had a couple of local beers, followed a parade, watched a wedding, dodged a quick rain shower and had dinner with Darin, my soon-to-be-roommate.  I wanted to stress getting a lay of the land today instead of taking photos so that’s what I did.  

Here are a few shots that I did get:

What do you mean, you oversold the flight?

So, after a relatively uneventful 8 hours from Seattle to Mexico City, i’m faced with an airport of unnatural proportions. Wandering aimlessly trying to figure out where to check in, I end up checking in, not once, but three times at three different counters. I spot my bag sitting all by itself next to, what I can only believe, is a baggage belt left over from the 60’s. Once I get that straightened out, I trek across two buildings to find out that the flight could be in one of two buildings, but it won’t be announced until 60 minutes before the flight. Of course, it was in the building where I wasn’t! Continue reading

A Different Approach (At Least for Me)

OK.  It’s finally here.  I’m sitting at the airport waiting for my flight that will mark the beginning of my photographic journey to Oaxaca, Mexico with David Duchemin and 8 other photogs for what, I hope, will be an 8 day odyssey of self-discovery and photographic enlightenment.  Not that I’m putting pressure on myself here.

Within the 4 month buildup to this trip, I’ve done a lot of thinking about how I want to handle this journey.  I’ve often lamented that “if only I could go places like Art Wolfe, David Duchemin or a myriad of other greats, I, too, could take photos of epic proportions.  Well, I’m heading for one of those places and I’m driving myself nuts wondering if I’m up to the task.  Again, no pressure.

Continue reading

Taking My Photography to the Next Level (Hopefully!)

Tomorrow I am undertaking a huge step in my photographic development that will require perseverance, tenacity and dedication on my part. While I’m very used to teaching others and helping them in their creative journey, at times, I tend to neglect my own development. Starting tomorrow, I will begin a 6-month quest for that next level by studying under the great Arthur Meyerson, recognized as one of America’s finest photographers.  I am so honored that he has accepted me for this mentorship.   Continue reading

Travels to Oaxaca

On Friday, October 24, I’m very excited to be embarking on a photographic adventure to Oaxaca, Mexico with David Duchemin to shoot the Day of the Dead festivities. I’ll be there for 9 days along with 8 other photographers. Please follow along with me as I blog about the trip daily. I’ll also be posting images from Oaxaca along the journey. Stay tuned!

Getting It Right In Camera

In my seminar this weekend entitles “The Art of Seeing”, I discussed many ways to see differently and offered ideas and questions to ask yourself to push yourself creatively. One of the things I stressed was that it is always best to get it right in the camera. It’s better to spend more time taking photos than sitting in front of a computer fixing mistakes. Several attendees balked and said that post-production is part of the creative process and why not just take the photo knowing you can crop and “fix” it later. Yes, I teach Lightroom at several area colleges as well as NIK software. And while I know how to post-produce using every tool in the book, I would still rather get it right in my camera.

My point in this conversation was that while it is nice to have the tools to correct mistakes later (and, yes, I know, Ansel Adams would approve of post-manipulation), you will become a better photographer if you strive to get it right the first time. It will help you see better and, more importantly, it will free up time to go out and shoot more. If you create an image that is awesome right out of the camera, there’s always room for a bit of post-processing and, well, have fun. But, if not, garbage in is still garbage out.

Photography is an art and it is supposed to be fun. The fun is learning the process and capturing magic with your camera. If you learn how to create great images without post-processing, imagine what you can do with it once it is on your computer!