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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Where to start?

 There seems to be so many different things going on these days with photography.  It's hard to know where to start.    Now with all the tools of the trade it is easy for just about everyone to do their own thing.  Makes you want to give up...

But wait>>>

You don't have to do that. Just remember why you got into it in the first place.  It was to have fun.  Believe me it's not as much fun when you have to work for it.  There are a lot of tutorials on the web these days, videos, books ect.  Every person has a different way to look at the world.  That doesn't mean that you won't ever make any money.  You can.  There will always be someone that loves your work.

Where do I get it?
Let's look at some of the places you can got to get help if you are just starting out.
Of course there is your local college.  Usually there are some basic photography classes.
 If you are not so into college, then NAPP is a great place to start.  Here you can learn many how too with Lightroom, Photoshop, studio works and just fun with Scott Kelby  and the rest of the gang.

Google + is the next place I would recommend.  Here you can share and interact with many professional and aspiring photographers.  Create your own group of pro's to follow and exchange ideas.

If you are an HDR fan then the best place in my opinion is to visit with Klaus Herrmann .  He is as good as it gets.  He has a wonderful site on how to and is willing to share his technique for FREE.   Thanks Klaus. 

Then there is just the web in General.  Just search for a tutorial and you will most likely find it.  There are just so many places to look .

How do you keep it all together and manageable.  Klout will help you do this.  By signing up for Klout you will be able to manage all you pages from one place.  It makes it easy and lets you know how you are doing out in cyberspace.  

Here is one I borrowed from Klaus to work on with my own tools.  It was great to experiment with different techniques.   I used Photomatix for HDR processing,  LR to do local adjustments,  and CS5 for post processing.   Tell me what you think!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Easy Travel

The day after Thanksgiving there is no traffic on the roads.  The zoo is open, Dollywood is open. This turned out to be a great time to travel and do things.  It was an opportunity to take some great photos and have fun and get some exercise after eating all that food.  No crowds and lots of fun.   Here are a few of the photos.

Full moon over Dolly


For some good food and entertainment hear Ms Lillie sing about her chickens.  She will keep you laughing.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Western Canyons

This was a new adventure for me.  It's the first time I have been to the southwest.  It was an experience.  You always see a lot of great photos of the grand canyon, slot canyon, Bryce canyon and many more.  We started by flying into Phoenix.  This was like flying into a dried up lake.  I couldn't see any grass or trees.  For the life of me I just expected to see some trees.  Being from the east coast this was certainly an adventure.   We road up through Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico.

The elevation was something to get used to.  You tend to get a little dizzy at high altitudes.  The air was so dry it made food taste wonderful.  Just putting something wet in my mouth was wonderful.  I have never drank so much water in all my life.

Now just being outside was a challenge.  Being fair skinned I was worried about getting sun burned.  It was only 113 degrees when we landed. Funny it really didn't bother me as much as I thought it might.  I actually came home with a little tan.   The air was nice and there was no stuffy nose, allergy eyes.  Boy did that ever feel good.

I loved my trip, learned a lot and met some wonderful people.   While it was pretty in its own way, I think I will keep my fall color trees, and the mountains with lots of running water.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Camp Store

If you love to camp or like the new and cool gadget that came out this year, then there is a new store in Waynesville to go.  It has actually been here a couple years.  The Carolina Readiness Supply store is located on the back street of town.  There is about everything you can think of and more. They have sacks of rice, both large cans and packages of food, ropes, all camping supplies, lie soap, and so much more.   While the name suggest disaster preparedness,  it's much more.   I suggest you visit this little treasure.

Friday, July 20, 2012

New Chapter

Well things are moving along.  I have reduce the commitments in my life and am moving forward in getting out in the field.  Photography takes a lot of time and effort to be successful.  Every day there are new programs out there and new venue's.  It seems that google + is the place to be these days.  Facebook (keeps rights to you photos) so all the pros have moved to google +.  There are lots of educational tools as well.  

I am looking forward to more time on my hands. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Old Ford

 This photo is a result of combining five photos together and using tone mapping to achieve the base shot.
After that I then used photoshop to adjust the contrast, vibrance, and sharpness.
Next I took out a few small distracting elements and created a new layer adding a high pass filter.

Hope you like it.

Monday, April 30, 2012

New events coming up.

Time just keeps marching on ..  Another month has flown by.  I have updated the calendar for several event that are coming up and hope to see some of you there.  Hiking with Camera's is heading out to Cataloochee for a day and also to Joyce Kilmer later on for camping with Camera's you might say.

Boone is having a seminar of photography with tours to some of the local hot spots.

Grandfather Mountain is once again coming up on the photo weekend competition.

CNPA trade show will be May 13th for anyone interested in used equipment.


Thursday, April 5, 2012


Pinterest...Certainly has started a new craze.  Are you a pinterest fan?  You had better read the fine print.  Please watch this session of legal advice with The Photo Attorney Carolyn Wright.      It seems that there are some real legal issues what Pinterest.

For Me. I'm not about to post anything there!!!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Media Arts Class

I recently took a class in Media Arts and had just a wonderful time and met a lot of really great folks.  We are currently having some of our work shown in connection with the Haywood Arts Council.   Our exhibit is at the Canton Library.   Haywood County NC.  We hope that everyone will stop buy and check out our work. 

Some of the pieces are for sale so pick your favorite and make arrangements to have your own personally signed copy.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage

 April 25-28th

Each year spring approaches and this is always one of the busy times for photographers. There are so many events, contest, and just all around fun.   One of my favorite in years past has always been the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in Smoky Mountain park.   This is a well planned event and there are so many hikes and tours its hard to choose.

The registration is open.  Go to to register and plan your day. 

This is an event you don't want to miss.  In years past one of my favorite is the edible plants hike  at metcalf bottoms. You get hand on experience with all of these and can make a lot of new friends.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Maidenhair Falls

While the directions on the web are great the time line is a little off.  I guess that all depends what kind of shape you are in. Me .. not in that great a shape.  We started down town at Mayberry's a nice place to eat. Its at the intersection of Broad and Main.

I am short and therefore a slow walker with sure footed steps.  This trail took me about an hour in and an hour out and time to shoot and rest in between.  All together it took about 3 hours.   Today it was after a rain and was a bit slippery.  The trail narrows in some places and you walk slanted on the hillside in others.  Mostly its a smooth walk up the old road part.  The entire walk is slightly up hill.  A good walking stick would be great.   It is a  well marked trail and beautiful.   I arrived today somewhere around 2PM and the sun was just hitting the top of the ridge behind the falls.  It created a beautiful sun star.  The air was cool and a nice cool down draft from the falls was appreciated after the warm hike up.   Be sure to respect the no trespassing signs on some of the neighboring property and as always pack your trash back out. Since this is private property we need to keep it clean and user friendly so that everyone can enjoy it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tips and Tricks

Finding things in your house can be a task to get your creative juices flowing.  I took a used tea bag and cleaned it out after use.  I let it dry then scanned it into my computer.  Afterwards I made a swatch with it and now I use it to help blend layers together.  Look around you house to find things that you might could use for a background, makeup color, or overlay to blend things. Here is a photo where I used the tea bag.
Tea bag overlay.