Edward Weston said:

Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph, is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk.

My Lightroom Workflow: Importing – Part I

Let’s face it, when we get home from a shoot, we just want to throw the card into the computer, copy the photos over and start editing.

Lightroom Import Screen

Whoa there, pardner. Rather than just dump your files into your “My Pictures” folder, it pays to take stock of the organizational tools that Lightroom offers, and take advantage of them. Putting a little thought into the first step now can make your life a lot easier down the road a ways. Read More »

Riding the High Desert Trails through Jawbone Canyon

Fortunately not from one of the cars in the rally...

Be honest with me: when you hear phrases like “High Desert Trails” and “Jawbone Canyon,” don’t you automatically think of some old 1950s-era TV western? I picture Ward Bond as the stern but fair trail master. There’d also be some callow towheaded youth who would learn a valuable object lesson at the end of every episode.

All of which has absolutely nothing to do with what I was doing last weekend.

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Nikon ME-1 Microphone

Nikon has announced the ME-1 on-camera microphone. This is the first audio product to come from a major DSLR maker. Since audio is one of the major weak spots of video DSLRs, this represents a real shot across Canon’s bow.

Loving the Histogram

If you are not digitally savvy and a poor speller, you might think that a histogram is a special x-ray of someone’s lady parts, but you’d be wrong. And maybe you’d also have a dirty mind, but that’s a matter for another conversation.

The histogram is a handy little bit of info that can be found in the software that you use to edit your photos on the back on the back of your digital camera. It’s basically a squiggly line inside of a box. It’s looks somewhat like the heart monitor of someone having a very bad day. Rather than showing a myocardial infarction in progress, it’s there to show you if your image is too dark, too light or somewhere in that sweet buttery “Goldilocks zone” known as a correct exposure.

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Ansel Adams said:

Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships.

Hands On Photography

My first camera was a manual-everything Pentax K-1000, purchased in 1982. Okay, I did buy it at Sears and that was the name on the outside, but I swear it was a real Pentax. That old girl lasted me for 15 years until she quite literally died at the Alamo (or at least outside the historic fort on a trip to San Antonio). Despite the lack of bells and whistles, some very good photos came out of that old camera.

My next camera (purchased at the Ritz Camera at Riverwalk Mall on that same trip, thereby doubling the cost of that trip) was a Minolta Maxxum. By this time, it was well into the automatic era, autofocus and program exposure and, quite frankly, my photography took a nose dive. Nothing seemed to turn out quite as good as it had with the old Pentax. I thought I’d lost my photo-mojo and, quite frankly, somewhat lost interest in photography.

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Desert Storm (No, not the war…)

Katianna Pihakari/Marie Boyd

The PikaSports 2002 Subaru WRX of Katianna Pihakari and Marie Boyd.

Desert Storm was a car rally staged in the Arizona desert between March 3 and 6, 2011. I volunteered as a member of the media team to photograph the event. They stationed me at a what they called the “Arizona turnaround.” This was where the cars finished stage 3, turned around and went back the other way.

The entire event was held in a place where the military tests things that go boom to make sure they… go boom. Go too far off the path and you were faced with a sign warning you about unexploded ordinance, but you usually had to wander a little farther if you wanted to discreetly relieve yourself. So you had to make peace with the thought that you might be taking a leak on an old artillery shell.

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