Nearby Beauty

A positive ramification of Covid restrictions, is the opportunity to take time and explore one’s local flora and fauna.  We set out to hike a trail that is part of the Hoover Dam railroad line, built in 1931 to provide a means of getting concrete and supplies needed for construction of the dam.

The trail follows on the path of the original rail line, but the rails are no longer there. It provides gorgeous vistas looking down on Lake Mead and of the rock formations as you pass through five of the original rail tunnels through the rock.

This is one of my favorite images, as the colors reminded me of Monet’s Water Lilies painting.

Here is a short slideshow of the hike if you would like to see more:

Fabulous flowers

Flowers are found almost everywhere.  Typically they add color, and often fragrance, that help them standout in our visual landscapes.

Frequently we just ‘breeze’ by them as we pass from here to there, and as a result miss the stunning nuances they are waiting to share.

Here is a sampling from my travels around the world:

Hope you enjoy!  Please feel free to share your thoughts.


The beauty of sunsets…

Sunsets tend to have a transformational power.

Not only do they bring a fleeting, but dramatic change to the natural beauty of the land, sea and air, but they have the ability to provide an image to the mind’s eye that often takes your breath away.

Whether the less frequently seen ‘green flash’ as in these images


Or the spectacular sunsets seen around the world. [Slideshow below might take a few seconds to load]

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Always worth watching and appreciating- much like stopping to enjoy the fragrance of a rose.  Unique, temporary and often uplifting.


Image vs equipment and software

When I started in professional photography my equipment consisted of Nikon Fs (F, F3, Photomic, etc.).

Here is a comparison of my first professional camera in the center, with my first digital with a Leica lens on the right, and my latest digital Nikon on the left.


Evolution (or Nikon on steroids).

I tend to add new equipment when I feel the technology offers a significant improvement.  For example, the small Leica was my initial move into the world of digital.  It was considerably smaller than my film cameras, and offered the ability to immediately confirm I captured what I wanted.  It also allowed me to learn how to shoot in digital since, in my experience, it required somewhat different skills than film cameras.  Framing and composition were still the same, but how digital captured light has subtle but important differences to my eye as compared to film. [ Much like digital audio equipment sounds different when compared to tube based equipment. ]

While I still occasionally shoot with negative professional film using my older Nikon equipment, nearly all of my images today are shot with my full frame Nikon digital cameras.

From my earliest days as a photographer, my approach was to capture what interested me just exactly as I saw it in my ‘mind’s eye,’ so to speak.

Initially all of my work was done on black and white professional negative film, that I developed in my lab.  Developing of film was done by the ‘book’ without enhancing the image.  Slowly I experimented with color negative film but my concern was that it was too easy to get an interesting picture simply because of the colors as compared to black and white.  For example, this shot of spices from India is really only interesting to me because of the colors as compared to shooting it in black and white.

This approach still reflects my technique today, except I normally only shoot with an eye to the colors and how they interact with the composition.

And certainly, many images rely totally on color for dramatic impact:

I trust my ability to see and capture what I want without coming back and spending time using readily available software (today’s equivalent of chemicals in the lab and development times when I started) to modify the image.  I don’t think there is anything wrong enhancing images using post shooting software, but believe it reflects more of a philosophical difference.  I consider myself a ‘naturalist’ photographer verses an artist/photographer producing a final photograph with software.

When you look at photographs do you wonder if it is reflective of reality or enhanced?  Does it matter to your enjoyment of the photograph?  Look forward to hearing from you!  Please feel free to comment below.