Lightpainting, a fun and easy portrait technique

Are you looking for a simple, fun, and creative way to spice up your portraiture? I created this image in a single frame (no photoshop other than to adjust the shadows) with a single strobe and some stuff I found lying around the house. The technique is called light painting, and depending on the light source you use and it’s […]

Loading RAW files into an older version of Lightroom

I have done a ton of research and sorted out the best way to open RAW files on your computer. I have also figured out the best way to resolve the issues with opening RAW images from a newer camera on an older version of Lightroom. As a bonus, I have also discovered the best way to catalog and keep […]

Calibrate your monitor using DisplayCal

Calibrating your monitor is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your image quality. While you can’t control the way an image looks once it gets to your clients or viewers, you can control how it looks when you are editing it. There are several choices available for monitor calibration, I personally use the Datacolor Spyder X. […]

Vignettes and how to use them

The vignette in photographic terms is characterized as the loss of brightness around the edge of a photograph. A vignette was often considered an undesirable effect in photography, as it historically highlighted the limitations of a lens. Programs like Adobe Lightroom come preloaded with profiles for most available lenses and easily counter the darkening effect in software. Vignettes have changed […]

Self-portrait challenge (Part 2)

Photography projects come in all shapes and sizes, some are easy, and others require a lot more work than you anticipate on the outset. The toughest photo project I have done to date is a self-portrait, I have attempted this project three times, the first did not yield results that were worth showing publicly. rather I consider the first attempt […]

Is HDR on the way out?

HDR, the photography equivalent of glitter in the craft world. HDR, or High Dynamic Range photography is the process of taking three images, bracketing the proper exposure and combining them to produce an image that has more detail in both the highlight and shadow areas. This technique allows you more flexibility when editing your images.  When shooting in certain situations, […]

Just Wait…

When I was in school for my photography degree, one of my instructors said something that stuck with me, and I think of every time I pick up my camera: Just Wait. Whether you shoot events, landscapes, portraits or architecture you can almost always benefit by waiting for that moment, or the light. Here are a couple of examples. This […]


  In my online travels, I often see photographers inquiring about the positive and negative benefits of shooting in the RAW format. Generally, the answer from photographers “in the know” is just shoot RAW because it is always better. This is not always the case. The answer to shooting RAW or not, like many things in photography is: it depends. […]

Sometimes stuff breaks…

While touching up the pictures from Mesa Verde I hit the wrong button in lightroom and got a happy surprise…I’m generally not one to do artsy shots but I really thought this one was pretty neat. Let me know what you think and you can check out the rest of the gallery from the main page. So, while I was […]

New Then and Now page

Be sure to check out the new Then and now page I have added. Its a picture of my grandfather’s Ford Model A, combined with my 2007 Toyota Rav taken on the same street here in Santa Cruz. Its surprising just how much the area has not changed. Many of the houses are still the original homes built in 1924. […]

Sometimes the weather cooperates…sometimes not.

Last night I was out shooting(thanks to my wife Carrie for taking me out even though she didn’t feel like driving), trying to get the “now” shot for a couple of the retouched images I have been working on. It was just as sunset hit when the fog rolled in like oranges. As a result I didn’t get the shot […]

Santa Cruz Then and now…

Happy Friday! well as promised I have gotten the first page up for the Then and Now section of the site. It took me a bit longer then antivipated…I wanted to make sure I had the facts for the dedication portion  all straight. Anyway, its weird to link to my own site but here goes… Next week I have […]

The Arch at Natural Bridges

This is a scanned photo of the stone arch at Natural Bridges state beach. There was no date on the picture but from all the data I have collected, and where the picture was in the photo book it appears the shot was taken around 1927. It was taken with a brownie camera and developed in a home darkroom (kitchen […]

The first shot.

Well here we go. This is the first one I have done. The origianl was a bit blurry so I scanned sharpened and retouched as much as I could. Now, the tough part{ trying  to figure out if this is from the Municipal Wharf aare. I know when Im in trouble, so I have sent off an email to  Local […]