Sunday, January 30, 2011

Red Rock, Nevada

Red Rock National Park, Nevada

This image was created by 6 vertical images stitched together in the iPhone with the Autostitch application. I have stitched as many as 26 images rather seamlessly  using this application. Stitching gives you more resolution and a larger file size (up to 18MP) which comes in handy when printing iPhone images.  Well worth looking into if you are an iPhone aficionado.
Red Rock National Park, Nevada

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dante's Peak

Dante's Peak, Death Valley, iPhone4 Capture

'The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise , eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the earth rolls round'....John Muir

One of my favorite spots in Death Valley for sunset is Dante's View.

Located almost one mile up overlooking the Badwater Basin, Dante's never fails to give the perfect sunset. Additionally, when the Basin is water-logged, it becomes a visual experience beyond compare.

Basically, like most of Death Valley,  the world stops on the peak. There is no sound and one is completely overwhelmed by the off-the-charts-color. You set up for the capture and it becomes rather difficult to not be in that moment.

Needless to say this day hit all the high-water pun intended. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Blue Door, Ireland

'Creativity - like human life itself - begins in darkness'......Julia Cameron

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Badwater Basin, Death Valley
Had to leave Death Valley yesterday and get back to Las Vegas.

I had planned on Stovepipe Wells to capture morning light on the Mesquite Dunes. Changed my mind when I noticed how much there was in Badwater Basin. In all of my trips to Death Valley I had never seen that much water in the Basin... At any rate changed my mind and was not at all disappointed with the badwater sunrise.

Badwater Basin, iPhone4
After Badwater made the prerequisite stop at my favorite abandoned structure on the road back to Vegas - most likely will be my image for tomorrow.

Death Valley, iPhone4

Posting a few images today....Top capture is single image, high resolution from the new camera. The other two are from my iPhone4 - really like the way the iPhone handled soft black and white images. The color version is a 6 image stitch using True HDR and Autostitch, both of which are iPhone applications.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Death Valley

Death Valley, January 2011

'How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains'....John Muir

Death Valley seems rather quiet this time of year. Not sure why as the weather is great - around 68 degrees.

Up early yesterday to catch a sunrise out at Zabriske Point. The 'Point' just might be one of the best places to catch a sunrise - afternoon sunset was at Dante's View.

As mentioned yesterday I am road testing a new camera, the Alpa SW. The Alpa is a Swiss made, view camera style, lightweight camera. Basically it is a body, lens and digital back. No mirrors or zoom lens to deal with - just a high quality view camera lens, and I am out with a Schneider 48MM 5.6.

Basically I wanted to drop the amount of weight in my backpack and the Alpa , for me, is the perfect choice. The camera rides around my neck on the very well made  Alpa neckstrap and I carry my tripod. In my Scottie Vest are spare batteries and a few filters - no backpack - no weight....Amazing

Int he future will probably add another lens and a few accessories that will need a small backpack but still my guess is that I save minimum 10-15 pounds.

More on the Alpa tomorrow...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Red Rocks

Red Rocks National Park, Las Vegas, Nevada

Arrived Vegas yesterday, rented a car and headed out to Death Valley for a couple of days. Bought a new camera, an Alpa SW, and thought I would take it out for a test drive in the desert. Since I had to be in Vegas on Thursday this seemed a perfect short adventure.

On the way out of Vegas saw a signpost for Red Rock National Park and headed off in that direction. Never really knew there was a National Park so close to Vegas. Another one crossed off the bucket list.

Lots to learn about this camera still but here is the first image. More the camera in tomorrow's blog - have to run and off and catch the sunrise at Zabriske Point.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Portree, Isle of Skye

Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland
I always liked the leaning symmetry (just made that up) of this image captured last January on Isle of Skye in the town of Portree. Just re-processed with NIK HDR Efx Pro...

Off to Death Valley on Sunday - stay tuned....

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Death Valley

Death Valley Junction, California

'The creative process is a process of surrender, not control'......Julia Cameron

There is an ongoing conversation amongst photographic artists about why they choose an image to capture - mostly having to do with pre-visualization. Personally, I find this a difficult thought pattern. Yes, I can go back and look for images that fit into a particular project I am working on, but, for the most part I capture images that appeal to me for one reason or another, sometime personal, sometimes pure beauty, sometimes it is simply a gut reaction.

There are times when I look at a particular capture and feel absolutely nothing, and possibly can not even remember why I thought to make the capture. And then months or even years later I wonder at my complete understanding of the image and how could I have missed that originally. Not sure I fully understand this internal process but will pay more attention in the future.

Long story shortened certain forces came together this morning and I took another look at this image today and thought to make the center color and keep everything else black and white. Without being overly wordy it really struck a chord today.....

One other point is that I usually have trouble writing about my images but today it simply flowed...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mequite Flat

Sand Dunes, Stovepipe Wells

A coupe of images from last year in Death Valley - The dunes are in the Mesquite Flat quite near Stovepipe Wells.....What I enjoy most about capturing sand dunes is they change constantly - never quite the same from one minute to the next..Mostly they provide a never ending visual, completely open to one's interpretation.

Going back out to Death Valley in a few weeks - the 'Dunes' are definitely on the list.

Sand Dunes, Stovepipe Wells

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Moon Setting, Mangroves,  Chokoloskee Bay, Everglades
Funny story on this image. I drove down to the Everglades last year to go swamp walking with a photographer named Clyde Butcher. Went a day or so early and rented a boat with a guide to investigate a few of the 10,000 islands in Chokoloskee Bay.

First morning we get out there before sunrise and upon arrival at this location the guide tells me to get out of the boat and prepare for sunrise - 'the best images are made standing out on the oyster bed' he says. I was planning to shoot from the boat but soon realized he was right about getting out on the oyster bed. Very difficult to get a crisp sharp image on a moving boat in low light - lesson learned.

Needless to say I got over the fear and over the next few days found myself walking in swamps and waist high water in the bay - camera in hand. Never saw one alligator or Anaconda....

Monday, January 17, 2011

Life, Ballybunion

Life, Ballybunion Beach, Ireland

'A very receptive state of mind... not unlike a sheet of film itself - seemingly inert, yet so sensitive that a fraction of a second's exposure conceives a life in it'....Minor White
Sometime you just have to be there...

Sunday, January 16, 2011


A quiet Sunday today so I thought to introduce you to some new friends I made while driving through Ireland....these guys have some powerful views...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Ring of Kerry

Upper Lake, Ring of Kerry
There was a good deal of conversation about 'The Ring of Kerry' prior to actually starting the drive. Just the name "Ring of Kerry' conjures up thoughts about craggy coasts, charming towns and mountainous landscape. The ring delivers on all fronts.

There are waterfalls, coastal views of the Blasket Islands (never quite got there), Dingle Beach. On this  day the fog was rolling in over the lush green, orange and gold mountains, all of this reflected back at you from the still waters of the lakes that dot the smallish 'almost' two (small) car roadway. Top that off with waterfalls, heritage churches and hiking trails and one could spend days in the Ring....

We entered the ring in Killarney and left in Kenmare heading toward Cork. In time it took approximately 3 hours to navigate the 20 miles between Killarney and Molls Gap (on the R568).

The 'ring' is on the bucket list for a return trip in September.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bantry Bay

Bantry Bay from the N71, Ireland
This image was captured just before sunset on the N71 to Cork. The location is between Glenngariff and Bantry on a mountain road....Had to climb over a fence and teeter on the cliff to make this image - well not quite as bad as it sounds but every picture needs a story, don't it....

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dunguaire Castle

Dungaire Castle, Kinvara, West Galway, Ireland
Located on Galway Bay just outside the town of Kinvara (or Kinvarra), West County Galway, Ireland.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lough Auna

Lough Auna - Clifden, Ireland
This Lough is very near Kylemore Abbey which is located in the Clifden area of Ireland. Caught the perfect quiet time of day just prior to sunset....High resolution capture converted to black and white in CS5 using a LAB technique.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Fonthill, 26 image stitch, iPhone 4
Got back from Ireland last Saturday and on Sunday drove down to meet a few buddies at Fonthill, th ehome of Henry Mercer,  near Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
Here are a few images from that trip.....both images are 26 images stitched together in the iPhone 4.

Fonthill, 26 image stitch, iPhone 4
More Ireland still in the works. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Baltimore, County Cork

Baltimore is a town in County Cork in farthest southwest Ireland. Turns out two friends are building a house in Balitmore and plan on relocating at some point.

I learned from Wikipedia that Baltimore was the location of Ireland's most ancient dynasty and folklore has Napoleon obtaining his famous white mare from the area.

It was quite gray with rain when I finally negotiated the one-car-lane roads into Baltimore. Turns out my GPS seems to want me to see the most remote locations in Ireland without missing one. At any rate I pulled the car into what I thought was a parking lot but appeared more like an old retired train station platform. I saw the sign and the bench and immediately knew I had stumbled onto my image - funny how that seems to happen more then not.

Today I sent that image off to the states and soon after learned that this was the old Baltimore Train Station - the end of this particular line. They stopped running trains in the early 60's and it is now occupied by a French sailing company.

Click here for information about the the Cork Railway...

I was also told to 'pull the handbrake and spend a few days'......... I really like this expression....feels very Ireland....

The top image is a straight up image aand the bottom image is me messing about with my iPhone applications.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Adare Manor, Adare,
Today is my birthday.  Had some friends fly in from Glasgow and they went along for the photo outing ....Spent most of the day along the southern most coast before heading back to Cork. First day in a week that the sun appeared and weather cooperated - great clouds also.

Chruch of Ireland, Adare
I am fairly speechless about Ireland, specifically the southwest part of the country. Places like Killarney, Adare, Kinsale, Old Head and Baltimore come to my mind - all places I have been through over the past two days - the people are simply amazing and friendly, the shades of green and gold are everywhere. Reflective lakes, black rock formations and old stone structures absolute photographers playground at every turn.

Rower, Dublin

Tomorrow it is off to Waterford for two days before Dublin on Friday.

Stream, near Ladies View,

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ireland Day 3

Dunguaire Castle, Kinvara, Ireland, IP4
Was really tired last night upon arrival in Adare, Ireland post.

Left Galway early on Saturday and dropped down into the town of Kinvara where I captured the image above - Dunguaire Castle..From there it was small roads that hugged the Atlantic Ocean down to the Cliffs of Moher. And when I say small roads they were small roads. Captured many images - only posting the ones I can get done before passing out...

From The Cliffs of Moher we drove through Ennis and then a stop in Quin where we visited the Quin Friary where the image below was captured....It was now getting dark so it was off to Limerick before dropping down into Adare for two nights.
Quin Friary, Ireland, IP4

Today it was west again heading out to Ballybunion on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. We spotted a sign that said 'Castle View Bed and Breakfast ' just outside of Ballylongford. Knowing the Irish are very literal it was off to find the castle that did not appear on any of our maps. Found the castle out by Carig Island - Carrigafole Castle. Spent about two hours in that area exploring and capturing images on the island and various older structures in and around the castle. I hope to get a high resolution image of the castle posted in the next few days.

Then it was off to Ballybunion and it's splendid beaches to see what else could be found before nightfall. Actually had some good light at the end of the day and, amongst others, was able to capture the image below.
Ballybunion, IP4
 After Ballybunion it was pretty much straight back to Adare and some well needed sleep. Tomorrow it is off to the south - places like Baltimore and Kinsale (all coastal and mountainous) are on the list before ending up in Cork....