Thursday, June 30, 2016

Protecting my images

"You don't take a photograph. You ask quietly to borrow it." 
~ Unknown

Recently I was reminded why I need to get back to watermarking my images. It's not like I didn't know people could take and use my images as they wish, even with a watermark and EXIF data. Seeing photos I have posted on Facebook, printed out and displayed by someone I barely know, who did not ask for permission, was a little wake-up call. I realize some people really don't understand copyright. Hell, I don't totally understand it. I also am pretty sure (maybe) that this person will not be using my photos to make money. It's just the point. I don't want just anyone using my photos.

So yes, I'm back to watermarking my images again. I know, it isn't foolproof, but it is another layer of protection that could slow down some people. One of my next projects, moved up to the top of my list, is to create a graphic watermark.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my daughter and grandkids are in town.  These particular beings are my favorite subjects and are much easier to photograph first thing in the morning when they haven't woken up completely. I generally have to stay on my toes and keep the camera on burst mode to capture those fleeting, unblurry moments.

A monkey with giraffe legs.
Princess Batman, of course.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


"Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your unguarded thoughts." 
~ Buddha

Ker-fuf-fle = a commotion or fuss, especially one caused by conflicting views.

My thoughts are in an almost constant state of commotion and it's a bad habit. This time, before I realized it, I was beating myself up for not shooting much, or enough. Thank goodness I remembered I actually have been shooting "enough' this past week.

I photographed our beloved Camaro that is getting some much need attention. We have even took it out twice over this past weekend.

1970 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 RS 

I captured the amazing clouds we have had recently. I have many, many cloud photos. It's hard to pick just one to share. I really do love clouds and partly cloudy skies are the best!

It's all about the clouds

I even participated in the CreativeLive Photography challenge #4 - Water droplets. I've always wanted to try this so I did. Yes, I actually captured the droplets but they are out of focus. So, I will try again, on a cooler day (it was 90° on my back patio), with dropper that holds more water and a different container. Still, it was a fun challenge and I like the colors I got from the fake sea glass I added to the pot.

Water Droplets - first attempt

I did miss a phenomenal Sunset because I was reading. I was so absorbed in the book, "Original" by Adam Grant, that I didn't even see the sky turning red from my chair - which was right next to the window. I realized I missed it later when I saw the beautiful photo my sister posted on Instagram. Then, that same night, I missed the First Solstice full moon (or Strawberry moon) in over 50 years! I did see it peaking through the trees but just couldn't stay awake long enough to capture its rise. I'm kicking myself now that I see all the sunset and moon photos that people have shared from Monday night.  

Super Moon - September 2014

Being my own worst critic, I didn't even realize this was my photo when it showed up in my Facebook 'Memories' feed yesterday. I thought it was something Dale Earnhardt Jr shared. Hours later, when I figured out that it was my photo, I was amazed. I even made a Flickr album after that race. I took those photos? I do this far too often. I download photos I have taken and on first look I'm not impressed. So I take a day or two (sometimes months and obviously years) to go back and look at them. Sometimes I find some I like and I'm pleasantly surprised.

Dale Earnhardt Jr - Sonoma Raceway

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Documenting life

"The significance of the portrait you take today may not reveal itself for years and the portraits we really care about get better with time." ~ Thomas Boyd

I picked up the latest issue of Digital Photo Magazine at the airport while waiting for our flight to Phoenix. It just happened to be their Portraits and Weddings issue. Perfect timing for our trip to see Mom.  The above quote says it all.

I tend to hesitate when wanting to take photos of people. I prefer candid photos over posed and I am drawn to photos of people doing their thing but I feel as if I'm intruding when I pull out my camera and start shooting. I must work through this because when I look back at the photos I've taken over my many years, whether they are good or bad, I'm glad I took them and have those memories to look back on.

It became even more clear to me why I am drawn to this photography thing while looking through Mom's photo albums, as I do almost every time I visit her. She is an amazing documentarian. She has been all over the world and has amassed an extensive, fascinating photo collection to prove it. She captures her family, friends, the people, the scenery and the essence of it all. She keeps telling me I should be a photojournalist.  I don't think I have the stamina or the courage to take that on but as I keep practicing this craft I may (hope) compile a portfolio to be considered a documentary photographer.

I know this photo will mean more than we can ever imagine to my family as the years pass.

Group selfie as my sister and I were leaving at the end of our visit.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Always bring your camera

"Our pictures are our footprints. It's the best way to tell people we were here." ~ Joe McNally

I’m not even done with the laundry, mostly bedding, from our camping trip and now I’m getting ready to go on another mini-adventure with my sister.

Girls trip!

We are flying to Phoenix and then driving two hours up to the high desert for our mom’s 80th birthday. Wow! Eighty years young and she is still kicking ass and taking names. We leave tomorrow and we are very excited to see mom, step-dad, uncle, and all their friends. I'm looking forward to spending time with my sister too.

Going through my usual pre-trip dilemma, in addition to deciding what clothes, I always think a lot about what camera and/or lenses to bring. I actually thought about not bringing a camera this time. Then I thought maybe I should bring my Fuji X100s instead of my Canon 7D. Then I came to my senses. What the heck? I am a photographer. This is what I do. This is my jam – as they say. Of course, I’m going to bring my Canon aka my right arm. What was I thinking? And then I reminded myself why we are going in the first place and why I MUST bring my big camera; Our mother is turning EIGHTY.

Also, I am a documentarian. If that is what you call someone who takes a lot of pictures and refers back to them often to remember where and/or what we did when. Yeah, that’s what I am too.

I know, I say I’m a photographer but, I haven’t picked up my Canon in a week except to take out the CF card to download photos. I took a few photos with my phone but nothing I want to share. Looking through my archives, I did come across the photo below I took five years ago with my iPhone 4. Then I edited it on my iPhone 6.

I call this one Luck. I got lucky when I saw the scene happening as I was driving down the road. I love this photo. So glad I stopped and captured it before the man walked all the way past the building.
I'll have new photos to share next week I'm sure. See ya then!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Unplugged on the edge of the continent

We, fourteen people and four dogs, spent the long Memorial Day weekend on the Northern California coast at Ocean Cove Campground. A place we’ve been going to since our youngest was in diapers. So, yes, a long time.

We had stunning views of the Pacific Ocean all weekend long. The sun was shining every day which is rare up there. We usually get fog in the morning and sometimes the afternoon. We didn’t see any fog until Monday when we were packing up to leave. It really wasn’t windy much either.

It was a fun weekend! There was cooking, great food, cocktails, beer, conversation, lots of laughter, music, meeting new people and new dogs, dominoes, horseshoes, bubbles, reading, campfires, smores, roasted banana boats, star gazing, flashlight wars, bike rides, walks, fishing, afternoon naps, gorgeous sunsets, rock climbing, looking for shells and rocks and crabs, watching the waves, the birds, a seal in the cove, and the ocean as far as the eye could see.

Due to no cell service and no Wi-Fi that far out on the edge, smartphones could only be used for music, taking pictures, and maybe reading a book. Just the way it should be. 

I think it's safe to say, we all had a good time.

Click this link to see more photos from our weekend.