Luminous Logs

As we slowly came over the rise I could see the light beams gently flowing between the peaks of the mountains.  The haze in the air turning the evening into an even deeper warm glow. We are on the way to the cabin I mentioned in the last post but so much is happening along the way. The sunset tonight feels as though it is lasting much longer than normal. Almost as if the light is “stuck” in the perfect position for me to make great images.

Around every turn there is something new…familiar things made new and exciting by the great light. New things to see and new images to make. This old barn, some thing I have looked at thousands of times before, is now glowing from the inside. “Look, look at me…this is what I can be…this is the beauty I have inside that you have not recognized before.” 

So, of course I was forced to stop and make a portrait of the barn in all her glory.  After all, she did make a very special effort to make herself beautiful just for me.

Web Cast


Having finished a series of flowing water images, I knew just where to go to get the sunset light on the old cabin. I had seen it just glowing the evening  before but could not get to the position I needed due to heavy tourist traffic. Tonight, if anything, the light is better. Camp fires have added a bit of warm smoke haze to the light and it will be perfect for the image I have in mind.
As we head for the new  location, out of the corner of my eye, there is a flash of light. It takes almost a quarter of a mile for me to register what I had seen…a giant spiderweb glowing in the evening light.  OK, stop, turn around and go back…looking for it…not finding it….going way past it…turning around again…and this time, slowly..slowly driving the road…there it is!  Invisible from the other direction due to the light….
The sun is setting, not much time as this is in deep woods and the light is going fast. Set up the tripod, look for the right position, make the  image.  But, where is Mr. Spider??  To make a web this large (about 5 feet across) we are expecting a 50 kg  beast….and there he is, up on a nearby branch. A red/orange creature about 5″ big. Who obviously has a large appetite and great expectations. He is watching us, thinking “dinner” but we are too big for  him….perhaps, another somewhat smaller prey will happen along.
The light has gone from the web and it has all but disappeared.
We move on to the cabin where as expected the light is now just right.

The lesson is not to become so fixated on the “next place” that you miss the wonderful things that are right in front of  you.  I have learned to drive slower, to see better, to stop and go back for things rather than lettings them pass by, and to really look at what is available for  me.  A good lesson for all of  us. 

The Chapel On Ridge Road


Over the years this small church has provided  many great images
to visual artists.  Both photographers and painters have been regularly seen
creating images of this local landmark.  For a long time it was an active
church but more recently has fallen upon hard times.
It is still beautiful in all of its faded glory and will continue to provide
images for at least a few more years.   It is really sad to see it go. 

Class Project


Last night, on the first night of class, the advanced class went to a local park to take on their first still life project. A pair of glasses with a bit of “champaign” in them and an entire park for creative backgrounds. The  object was to create an image that expressed a feeling. I advised and took happy snaps of what they were working on. This is one from the end of the evening.
Not bad for the first time…… 

Portal Path


Taken the other day around a local park. It seems that everything is blooming already. I just love pathways, portals, trails, bridges, and old barns. They are so expressive. They just speak to me of past generations, of others who came before and who left their footprints for us to follow.
It is how we best learn. Not by trying to reinvent the wheel but by standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before. Not by striking out on our own but by attending a class and learning as a group the time tested methods that work. After we have learned, we then go  off and create new things to pass on to the next generation.  It is the way of learning.
You can partake of this learning by using the signup form in the right sidebar of this blog. New classes are starting the week of May 7th.
I hope to see you in class. 

Bike Bridge


Spring flowers and a bridge on the bike trail.

From a local park where I take students for composition studies.
This is also a nice place for portraiture in the advanced topics class.

 Just a reminder: the next term of classes begins May 7th.
If you would like to really learn how to create great images
this is the right time to enroll.  
Please use the Paypal link in the right sidebar.

New Opportunity To Learn

It has been a good 7 weeks in class. Next week is the last of this term.
Notes will be reviewed, questions will be asked, what is confused
will be clarified,  and sign-ups for next term will start.
It has really been great to watch the students progress over
the last few weeks. I sometimes wonder if they realize how far
they have come in such a short time.  As they bring in their work
for comment / critique they are, of course, way too hard on themselves.
The great myth of photography, perpetuated by the manufactures
and the camera sales people, is that anyone with a  camera can
produce a great image.  What the mythology fails to mention is 
that to consistently produce a good images takes a lot of
training and practice.  So students come in thinking that they
should be able to get great results almost instantly and spend
a lot of time beating themselves up when that does not happen.
Like anything else, developing a skill set in photography takes time
and education and a lot of practice.
If you want to really learn how to create great images,
and are willing to make the investment in your progress,
remember that the spring term starts in two weeks.
I am looking forward to working with you.

You may sign up by using the Paypal button located in the right sidebar.