Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another Minneapolis Skyline :: HDR

What I remember most about this shot was the strange looks I got from a few pedestrians. I am sure most were wondering what I was doing wandering around the city in the middle of a bright day with a tripod. Minneapolis has quite a nice mix of glass and concrete structures that help create a really nice skyline. I guess, now that I really think about my trip, what really stood out was the kindness of the people that live there!

Another quick note......This sky wasn't purpley (is that a word) before I posted it. I think I need to switch my color space from ProPhoto to sRGB before posting. I kinda like it this way though, so I left it.

Cathedral Metropolitana :: HDR

As we started taking exposures on our tripods, I couldn't help but look over my shoulders every now and then. I was really expecting security to come tapping on my shoulder at any moment. As it ended up, I don't think anyone cared about our minimal intrusion into this incredible Cathedral in Buenos Aires at all.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lines from Hut to Hut

I can't tell you what these buildings are for the life of me. I captured this design while in the San Juan Islands near Roche Harbor at a place called English Camp.

Here's a bit of info on it from Wikipedia if you are interested:

San Juan Island National Historical Park, also known as American and English Camps, San Juan Island, is a U.S. National Park on San Juan Island in Washington, made up by the sites of the British and U.S. Armies' camps during the Pig War. Both of these camps were set up in 1859 as response to a border dispute triggered by the killing of a pig. The camps were occupied for 12 years, until the Treaty of Washington was signed, negotiated by Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany. The British abandoned their camp in November 1872, while the American camp was disbanded in July 1874.[3]
The site was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961,[1] and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.[2]
The park is divided into two parts; an American Camp where US soldiers were stationed, and an English Camp, where the British Royale Marines established a garrison. English Camp is the only part of a US national park that commemorates an English military site and the only one that flies the British Union Flag.

Boat and reflection

As the golden light of the rising sun at Friday Harbor raced for the horizon, I knew I wanted to find a special subject. The warm light was a perfect source for this wooden boat and reflection. When I noticed it, I took a spot, locked down the tripod, and waited for the sun to do its thing!

One of the coolest things about being on a photo workshop with 20 or 30 other photographers is when you get to see how differently all of these creative people see the same locations through their lenses. I was quite humbled at our presentation evening when Moose Peterson (the lead instructor) from DLWS had chosen this image as one of his favorites.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Cannon Beach on a misty morning

My initial reaction after waking up early for sunrise was one of dissapointment. However, after walking the beach for about an hour, I started to "feel" it a little bit. Shoot in color for black and white conversion in post........perfect.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Light house

Just another quick image here from the DLWS workshop I was just on. Posting this from the car ferry as we pull into the port. Sad to see the trip come to an end.....back to the real world!

Becca at the inlet

As I think about what I would like to post tonight, I had about 2000 or so images that I have taken over the last week up here in this great area of the country. With this in mind, nothing seemed more appropriate than one that is close to home. I love to travel and see new places, but going back home feels better sometimes!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Up to the heavens

As I wandered through the forest at our location for Monday nights shoot, I was a little intimidated. The woods can be a difficult place to capture in one image. As I looked up to the canopy, I envisioned this shot, so I grabbed my infrared camera, popped a fisheye on it, and created this. With a little post work in photoshop, my vision appeared.

Our workshop ended this evening with a really cool review of all the best images from the 30 or so participants. I am quite humbled to be a part of all the creative images that were viewed tonight! It was really cool to be a part of this DLWS workshop. Moose Peterson, Laurie Excel, and the rest of the team made the week a really fun one and one to remember for a long time!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Goodies left after the tide went out

As the sun was fading fast and I was chasing the light, I was all over this beach composing shots at a rapid pace. I didn't see the detail in the shadows on the rocks to the left till I started processing these a couple of days later!

More shots from the workshop to come soon. Our days are about 18 hours with the morning shoots, evening shoots, processing, and presentations. What a great group of people! The hard work has been very rewarding :)

Small boat in Friday Harbor at Sunrise

Our outing this morning took us to this cool harbor on the other end of the island. Early morning shoots, late evening shoots, processing and presentations during the day.......let's call it photography bootcamp.....and I'm loving every minute of it! I better get to sleep before the trumpets start blaring out!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mean clouds at Roche Harbor

No, we weren't about to experience a disaster....I just had fun withe this one. During todays session, I was half heartedly working on this one as I was listening to the presentations with the other ear. This area is awesome! Kind of reminds me of the archipelago near Stockholm, Sweden. My room overlooks the quaint little harbor that we did our first shoot this morning. Sure beats the Florida weather, thats for sure!


Pikes Place

As I arrived in Seattle, I was greeted with a cloudy sky and damp misty rain. After an incredible dinner of killer sushi, I hit the city with camera in tow looking for reflections. I have been to Pikes Place before and seen the ridiculous show of fish being tossed about. I liked it better like this!

I am now in Roche Harbor in the San Juan Islands for a DLWS event. (Digital Landscape Workshop Series). The location is great, weather is fantastic, and had an 8 hour gathering where we got to mix it up and meet all the other participants as well as hear some incredibly inspirational talks from the instructors. The evening wrapped up at around 10PM. For the next 3 days, we head out to locations that they scouted for us for first light in the morning and last light of the day. This time, I am chasing the light.......but the location is already figured out! During the mid day sessions, we will be processing images and learning techniques.

More to follow!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Almost to Cannon Beach

It was another day of "Chasing the Light." As I treked up the Oregon Coast, location was was my focus for sunset times. With that in mind, I'm not sure how I boshed it up. I wanted to get to Cannon Beach by about 6PM. Well, 6PM had me at least an hour south of there. I was zig zagging and weaving up and down a mountain road that I didn't want to be on.....Oops! I eventually had to abort the mission and find a location...and quick. The sun was dropping like a bowling ball! Sounds kinda strange, but if your goal for the day is to catch great lighting, this can get a little stressful. Sad, but true! Well, after the captures were done, it was time to find a nice driftwood log to sit on and relax. The cool breeze, the sound of the Pacific waves, the smell of wood burning fireplaces and bonfires up in the dunes.....life is good!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The end of another great day

Chasing the light.....that pretty much sums up landscape lighting. Its great to be amongst natures finest creations, but when that golden light starts to appear...you gotta work fast!

Oregon Coast near Gold Beach

I tried to post this last night but had no signal for internet. This was taken just south of Gold Beach on the coast of Oregon. What a great coastline! I wish I had about a week to explore this gem of a state. I think some of the nicest people in the country live in this area!

For the last day and a half, I was traveling with fellow photographer that I met in the Redwood Forest area. We stopped at a few spots along the way, but this place was awesome! Just south of Gold Beach on the coast was a great beach with tons of rocks, tidal pools, and a great sunset. We traveled up the coast for a while today, but kind of got separated around the 3 Capes turnoff. A couple of slow cars got between us and at a fork in the road, I didn't know of he went left or right. I went left and, well, never saw him again. Russ, if you catch this, take care. Have a good trip and thanks for the company along any the way!

So, this post finds me in Cannon Beach in Oregon. The weather is fantastic. Cool and dry.......a nice change from hot and humid South Florida!

More to come!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Roadside color

As I was heading north about an hour outside of San Francisco, I had this urge to drive over to the coast and take HWY 1 instead of 101. Well, about 10 hours and a million sharp curves in the road later, I arrived at Eureka, CA. There was an incredible site around every turn. It was so hard to not stop at them all!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Slide Scan Project : Another day....another Island

As I finish preparing for a quick getaway that starts tomorrow, I am reminded of a previous trip. This is another image from my slides that I scanned.

Life was a little simpler back in 1992. I apparently didn't pack a brush on this trip, but thats another story. A typical day in the Greek Islands: arrive in the am on a ferry from another Island, get a moped for 7 bucks a day, explore all day, catch some sun, have a killer dinner at about 9PM, hang out at the harbor, hit a late night tavern or cool club, turn in at about 2AM, start the cycle over the next day. A simple plan, but it certainly worked for me!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wine Country Collage

As I prepare for my next little trip, I am reminded of the last time I was on the West Coast. When I put this together, I had just done a loop of the Napa/Sonoma wine country in one day. Yes, thats one day! I wonder if I missed a few things?

This next little trip has me driving up the coast from San Francisco, thru Oregon, and into Seattle. From Seattle, I am then heading up to the San Juan Islands for a 4 day DLWS photography workshop. I am currently in the process of packing WAY too much camera gear!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Slide Scan Project : Somewhere in Greece

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to embark on another project. About 10 to 15 years ago, I took just about every summer off and traveled Europe. At that point, my company was really seasonal and I had the opportunity for about 5 years in a row. Just me, a backpack, a Eurail pass, and a rough plan...thats all I needed. Live low to the ground and travel.......good times. Anyway, I acquired quite a collection of images and slides from exploring about 15 or so countries from Scandinavia to Portugal to Greece and everything in between. So the project has basically been to review some of these images, scan some of the best, reprocess them using some techniques I have learned in the recent months, and share on my blog from time to time. Maybe this is a part of a late midlife crisis, not sure.....but its kinda fun to look back at memories. I do treasure these memories and the great people I met along the way!

This image was captured somewhere in Greece....I think. Looked like a great one to paint in some drama and texture. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sunset at Seabring

Although this was taken and processed a while back, it seems like a fitting end for the day. What I remember most about this lake in Sebring, Florida was the water level. On the other side of the lake, there were some nice homes with long docks that had boats on lifts at the end of them. The only problem was that the water was about another 100 yards out from the end of the docks! Looks like we could use some water down here....lots of water!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Speech

It was quite a memorable event to be a part of. As far away as I was, it was still easy to be focused on every word. Then, when there was about 10 minutes left of his speech, it hit me. I'm gonna be exiting this stadium at the same time as 70,000 other people! The best move I made was hiking up a hill to hit a shortcut on an overpass bridge. It was a main road that was shut down for the event. As I walked on this virtually traffic free bridge, i looked down onto thousands of poor folks that were crammed into a mad exodus from the stadium. As someone who hate crowds, I was in a very happy place!

And now for something completely different.....

As I post this, hurricane Ike is slamming into Texas. My thoughts and prayers go out to all along this coast, their families, and the rest of us as we are about to fork out about $ 15 a gallon for gas!

I would pay good money, however, to see Geraldo Rivera reporting during the peak of the storm surge from a 14' Boston Wailer in the middle of Galviston Bay! Oh yeah.....he might actually do it.....

More on all of this later......

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Suite at the Chambers Hotel

I have stayed in a lot of hotels in my travels over the years, but I have never stayed in one that I could see myself living in! This place, The Chambers Hotel, in Minneapolis, MN took the term "Rock Star Status" to a new level for me.

The entire hotel was designed very artistically, like a  New York loft or a South Beach Boutique hotel. There were black wood floors throughout, plasma TV's, programmable house light panels with rack lighting, artwork, and full length picture windows. French linens, a full walkin closet, a leather furniture sitting area, and a bed to die for complemented the bedroom area. The bathroom was complete with its own lighting system, European fixtures, a heated tile floor, seamless glass shower enclosure, a 2' x 3' rain shower, French lavender hand soap, and a full size bath.

Truly one of the coolest hotels I have ever had the privilege of staying in!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lighthouse in Brazil at Iguazzu Falls

Although the sky was awful and the lighting was terrible when I was at these incredible falls in South America, I couldn't resist attempting to capture the beauty of this place I had traveled so far to see. (Geez, long enough sentence or what!?)


Even though the sun was no where to be seen, I captured many images that day.....all in need of alot of work. I knew when I snapped the shutter on this one as I was leaving the park that it had a future. It took a while, but I figured it out yesterday. Hope you like it.

One more thing. Deciding to rearrange my home office....completely rearrange it...at 9PM might clearly be one of the most incredibly stupid decisions I have made in a long time!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A rough difficult road

When you take a turn onto divorce road, you should be ready for a bumpy ride. Its full of potholes, hazards, and scattered pieces of sharp debris. Its a nasty ride thats for sure. Oh sure, you hit a nice patch of road every now and then. The trees clear out, you put the roof down, the birds are chirping.....for a brief moment, its a great day. Just then, outta nowhere, bam! Where did that oil slick come from! You slam into something. My God, where did that come from. Pedestrians are screaming at you. Hey, it wasn't my fault....what happened to the smooth road? Defensive driving......keep focused.....that's all you can do. You can't control the other drivers, only yourself. So keep your eyes on the road up ahead, WAY up ahead, there is bound to be a clearing. I'm sure there is. I know there are much better days ahead. I just wish I had a better map!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Dock along La Boca

Shortly after Eric and I arrived at this location in Buenos Aires called "LaBoca", we were asking each other what the big deal is. They seem to showcase this area as a must see when in Buenos Aires. Colorful...yes. Must see, well, not so much. I guess we just hit it at the wrong time of the day. That ship off to the right looked like it was dying a very slow death right in the harbour.

As we headed further up the seawall, we were kind of in exploration mode. Two American tourists wandering cluelessly in an unknown area.....with DSLR cameras. I find thats usually the best way to explore. Well, a few minutes later, the police showed up. There was alot of hand waving, pointing, and shouting in spanish, I think it was spanish. I am not sure what they were saying, but I am pretty sure it was something like "get out of this area with your expensive cameras you idiots....don't you know how unsafe it is here!" At least thats what I think they were saying. Guess I will never know.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

St Mary's Basilica

The interiors of this Basilica and St. Pauls rivaled just about anything I have ever seen in Europe. What really made them a score for me was the lack of tourists and their apparent openness to tripod toters like myself. Enjoy :)

If your interested in more, here is some info from Wikipedia.....


The Basilica of Saint Mary was the first basilica established in the United States of America, honored by Pope Pius XI in 1926. Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Basilica of Saint Mary is the Co-Cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.[2]

Recognized as one of the finest examples of Beaux-Arts architecture in the country, the Basilica of Saint Mary was constructed between 1907 and 1915 to the design of celebrated Franco-American architect Emmanuel Louis Masqueray. Dominating its own city block on Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis, the Basilica of Saint Mary is a grand architectural landmark housing a bustling and lively urban community.

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

In 1991 the old copper roof was replaced with a newer one to stop the water damage and leaks that were occurring. Restoration work on the exterior and damaged plaster within the church is ongoing.

 Since 1995, the site has been host to the Basilica Block Party weekend music festival. Proceeds have gone toward repairing the aging structure and assisting the needs of poor families in the area. Furthermore, DeLaSalle High School uses the church for its commencement ceremonies every spring.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


There are times when I know exactly what I am going to blog and then there are times like now. When I am not on an event, traveling, or ranting about something absurd, I have a file of images that I pull from. This one got chosen tonight. Not sure why, I just kinda like it. As far as the story....well....I have none. I can't even remember where I took it. Its definitely somewhere in Florida, perhaps in Everglades National Park. And as far as what I did to get this look, well, I can't remember that either. Wow Mike, incredible bucket of information here.....geeezzz!

Hope you like it anyway!

Friday, September 5, 2008


This post finds me back in good ole Florida. Its been a really cool 2 weeks and once again, I feel pretty fortunate have been a part......be it a small part....of history. Now that the conventions are over, we can all look forward to an interesting 2 months in this race to the finish line.

On a totally different note...Ike, I don't like Ike! Hurricane Ike that is. Lets hope this beast stays well south of us. I'm betting Cuba gets worked! We'll see.......

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Texas Honky Tonk

Here are a few shots from Tuesdays event. The performers were Cowboy Troy, John Rich, and Gretchen Wilson. If I knew I was gonna get a chance to take these, I would have brought a better lense, but these came out pretty good anyway. Enjoy!

Mega Audio console

When Gretchen Wilsons crew loaded this piece of work into the venue, I was told that it was a $ 300,000 audio console. Let me see....audio console or a house....hmmm, let me think about that for a minute. I'm going for the house!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Central Lutheran Church

I had a little free time to explore this Church the other day here in Minneapolis. Its rare indeed that a photographer is greeted with open arms as he barges into a church with a tripod. Not only was I welcomed, but I was given a pretty detailed description of this incredible sanctuary and its history. Below is a little bit of info from their website.

Central’s neo-gothic sanctuary is the focal point of its facilities. Completed in 1928, the sanctuary is a combination of English and French gothic designs, laid out in the shape of a cross. Its inspiring worship space has a seating capacity of 2500. The altar is solid Colfax sandstone; the pulpit and lectern are oak, carved with scriptural symbols. A wedding chapel and baptismal chapel are located on either side of the main chancel. The soaring interior, rising to more than 65 feet, is enhanced with large stained glass windows of a patterned design similar to those of Westminster Abbey. Each of the smaller main floor windows represents a country in which the Reformation was prominent, beginning with Germany at the front right. The exterior of the building is constructed of Indiana limestone, surmounted by a slender spire of copper and crowned with a brass cross. The education wing was added to the original structure in 1952, the parish house in 1957, the South Commons in 1980 and the bell tower in 2006.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Minneapolis Skyline

The skyline of Minneapolis is an incredible mix of contemporary glass, steel, and granite structures. I had a little time yesterday to trek around a bit and capture a few images of the city. After checking out the news today, its nice to be here instead of St Paul. It seems like some of the demonstrations are getting a little out of hand!

Although this convention is getting off to a very non conventional start (pardon the pun), I think it might get back on track. The hurricane seemed to be a lighter event than origionally predicted. The Atlantic, however, is looking a little scary now though!

Our event tonight was a success. I had hoped to get a few pics of Le Ann Rimes intimate performance, but I somehow ended up backstage without my camera as her performance started. With the crowd that was there, I was really happy to have my space!

One last thing, I am watching the hurricane wrap up footage from today. Those reporters getting blown around are absolutely hilarious, but Geraldo Rivera? What an idiot!!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

First night - Pink Party

Well, this celebration is quickly loosing its focus, The Republican National Convention is currently in "re-plan and watch the hurricane" mode. The general consensus seems to be that a party atmosphere would be extremely inappropriate if there is significant damage in the Gulf. It obviously looks like devastation is inevitable at this point.

Last nights party went on as planned. A pink theme for some very special guests. As it stands now, we are still on track to load in tomorrows event at 6AM. It looks like the evening might be reformatted as a sort of relief fundraiser of sorts. This week is going to evolve day by day as the effects of the storm are about to unfold over the next few hours!