Record Cold in Utah

Ice Patterns. Park Avenue Wash, Arches National Park, Utah, 2013
Ice Patterns. Park Avenue Wash, Arches National Park, Utah, 2013

Yep, the local Moab radio said the third coldest January on record for the Beehive State (they are as busy as bees in these parts). Twice the usual snowfall in places. What’s up with that?! All the snow and cold must be trapped on the west side of the Rockies since we sure haven’t seen much of it in Boulder.

Strange…very strange…Therefore, my first image out of Moab will not be the usual arch, panoramic vista, or bizarre erotic rock formation…instead, it will be an ice abstract. Hmmm…Why do I always seem to be looking at ice?

100 Inspirational Images from 2012

Zoo Prisoner. Mendoza, Argentina, 2005. Olympus D-580, 4mp point-and-shoot.
Zoo Prisoner. Mendoza, Argentina, 2005. Olympus D-580, 4mp point-and-shoot.

If you want some REAL inspiration, take a look at Twisted Sifter’s web site HERE. You’ll find 100 absolutely spectacular images to feast your hungry artistic eyes upon.

Note that they all include one or more of the following ingredients:

1) A highly unusual perspective.

2) A highly unusual event or subject matter.

3) Spectacular lighting.

Let that be a lesson to all of us who are also trying to make beautiful images!

Boulder County “Land Through the Lens” Show

I submitted six and they accepted two. Yeehaw! So, I’ll have two prints hanging at The Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder, Colorado from March 8 through March 31. The show, called “Land Through the Lens”, will showcase images created by different photographers and is intended to highlight the beauty and variety we have in the many wonderful proprties that constitute Boulder County Open Space.

Now I need to work on getting some good quality prints…!

The first image came from the Lohr/McIntosh Farm at Boulder County’s Agricultural Heritage Museum. It’s the ducks in flight that I like best–and they show up much better in the 18×12 print:

Late Autumn on the Farm. Boulder County, Colorado, 2012
Late Autumn on the Farm. Boulder County, Colorado, 2012

The second image came from the summit of Rabbit Mountain just after dawn one day in late fall. Most of Boulder County is visible in the image. Again, it all looks better in the print:

Sunrise Over Boulder County, Colorado. 2012
Sunrise Over Boulder County, Colorado. 2012

Jan 2013 CNCC Meeting: Lessons Learned (Eli Vega)

Ice #91 (The Fried Egg). Eldorado Springs Canyon, Colorado, 2013
Ice #91 (The Fried Egg). Eldorado Springs Canyon, Colorado, 2013

Talented photographer and teacher of photography, Eli Vega, presented the program at last night’s meeting of the Colorado Nature Camera Club. Naturally, there were some wonderful lessons learned.

Here is a brief summary of Eli’s philosophy and technique: Click here to read about Eli.

A Project Idea: Letters and Words

OK. Longmont, Colorado, 2013
OK. Longmont, Colorado, 2013

Looking for a fun long-term project?

Here are two ideas:

1) Collect letters and/or numbers with your camera. Whenever you see an interesting letter or number–could be because of color, texture, type of script, whatever–isolate it and capture it with your camera. Once you have a nice, big collection of letters and numbers, you can size them similarly and then arrange them on a canvas in Photoshop to spell out a quote, an address, a name, a short poem, or whatever strikes your fancy. For example, crop each of your letters into 2″ x 2″ squares, then lay them out on an appropriately sized canvas layer to spell out “Eat more burgers.” Or, “Coexist!” Or, “Wag More, Bark Less.” Or, “The Jetson Family.” Then, print, mat, and frame. You get the idea. Moderately creative versions could make great gifts; super creative versions could make a statement and be considered “real” art!

2) Collect words with your camera (like the “OK” above). Then do something similar as I described with the letters/numbers idea. Or, to take it a step farther, you could enlarge, mat, and frame each word separately, then hang your works in order so that some profound message about existential angst is written out along the length of the gallery wall.

Just a couple of ideas to get you thinking about the unlimited number of ideas there are in the photographic universe. Have fun!

Wednesday Photo Critique #9, 01/23/2013

Pick Up Your Nails. Joder Arabian Ranch, Colorado, 2013
Pick Up Your Nails. Joder Arabian Ranch, Colorado, 2013

This week, for a change of pace, I’ll let you practice your critique skills on your own with the above image. But, before you do that, take a look at a video critique by Craig Tanner–you might find your critiquing skills will be quite improved.

I really like Craig’s method of critiquing as it is always done with “muy buena honda” and in the spirit of learning and improving. His “bedside manner” as a teacher of photography is quite congenial and supportive, yet he also shows you ways to make the presented image better. As I have said before, I highly recommend his web site, The Mindful Eye, not only for his critiques but for the forums, his blog, and all the other great information you’ll find there. You’ll need to sign up to gain access to most of the good stuff, but it’s free!

There is another way to see some of Craig’s Daily Critiques: YouTube. Simply search for The Daily Critique on You Tube and you’ll find a good selection of his videos that are worth watching.

As you watch this, keep in mind Craig’s critique format. In just about every Daily Critique, it goes something like this: Click here to read on!

An Alternative (and cheap!) Introduction to Photography Education Plan

Frost, Redgarden Wall. Eldorado Springs Canyon, Colorado, 2013
Frost, Redgarden Wall. Eldorado Springs Canyon, Colorado, 2013

Don’t have the time, money, talent, or connections to get into Yale University’s photography degree program? Can’t afford to pay the $1400 for four days with Joe McNally in New York? Don’t have the 40 grand socked away to pay for an upper deck balcony suite on the National Geographic Explorer as it sails to the Falklands (Malvinas), South Georgia, and Antarctica for some southern hemisphere photo ops?Well, don’t dispair, there are much cheaper alternatives to help you improve your photography!

Here are five: Click here to read on.