Monthly Archives: October 2009

Feels Like Going Home

Yesterday when I was out shooting, I walked down a path in the woods beside a lake. The leaves on the trees and the leaves scattered on the ground are full of color. The past few days I have posted some images of fall colors in my daily photo gallery ( They are beautiful and I enjoy photographing them to capture the colors.

As I was walking back down the path to leave the woods, I looked ahead, down the path. The gentle curve of the path, the trees lining the path, and the leaves on the ground was a comforting image. I spent a lot of time in the woods when I was young. Living in a small town with freedom to safely roam about, there was something magical about being in the woods. For an instant yesterday, as I looked down this path, it took me back to those days. The smell of the woods, fresh from a recent rain with the sound of the breeze through the trees.

This photograph could have easily stood on its own as shot, in full color. I enjoy a good black & white photograph. It is easy to rely on color to carry your image. It is much harder to create a photograph that speaks just as clearly and sometimes more effectively in black & white. In a world where we see so much done with special effects and processing, I think less time is spent composing an image, balancing the elements, controlling the depth of field.

The classics never go out of style.

Moderated Comments? Is That a Problem?

Moderated galleries and blogs.  There are pros and cons to both methods.  In a perfect world, it wouldn’t be a question at all, free exchange, uncensored.  My personal preference is towards not having moderated comments but I have never failed to leave a comment because the comments were moderated.

Earlier today i changed the option on my photography site (Dream Hat Photography) to moderated.  I may change it back.  Who knows, it could become this back and forth thing.  I am curious to know how you feel about the topic.  Do you have a strong preference about sites that have moderated comments?  Do moderated comment sites deter you from leaving a comment? What are your feelings on the advantages and disadvantages of having moderated comments on my site?

My song for this post is “Start a War” from the album “Boxer
” by The National.  I honestly like the whole album.  The music is compelling, the vocals are different from the norm because the singer has a lower voice, and I enjoy the lyrics.  If you are looking for something different but with a nice vibe, buy this and enjoy.


Moving forward

In an effort to have more frequent updates to my blog and to indulge my love of writing, future posts will likely be shorter in length (generally speaking).  My goal is for the blog to have more of my voice and personal style which is a bit more stream of consciousness (translation for the people that don’t know me, my thoughts are all over the place most of the time).

I want to continue to share my thoughts about photography but in a more informal way.  So if you had your heart set on a more formal photography blog, you must have wandered over here by mistake anyway.

Since photography and music are two of my primary sanctuaries, many posts may include a song, album, or artist recommendation.  If you like to explore new music, you may find the music recommendations a bonus.  If you don’t like to explore new music, you can disregard it.

Song recommendation: “Keep It Clean” from the album titled “Underachievers Please Try Harder” by Camera Obscura.

Expand Your Photography Skills

In an earlier post, I wrote about photographing what you love. That is still something that guides my photography. Part of the process involves how i “see” the subjects around me, the potential shots that surround me wherever I go.

One of the special gifts I have received from becoming a photographer is noticing the amazing world around me every day. At any given time, there are so many different thoughts racing through my head. Some of them are in the range of practical, rational, everyday stuff. There is another large group that is anything but practical, rational, or everyday stuff. That’s a long way of saying that I have an active imagination. People that know me well know that my attention wanders and I am always a threat to check out and be off on a tangent with ideas and thoughts.

Since we all see the world through our own lens, everybody has a unique view. When I was young, I imagined that when I got older, you know like became an adult and was part of that world that I would be different. In a sense that is true because we are always changing if we are truly living. What I didn’t know was that the part of me that sees things with the wonder of a child, the part of me that wants to be an idealist, the part of me that loves to imagine things would remain basically the same.

Sure, I can cope and blend with the “adult world” whatever that entails. Inside there is this inner child that survives. Right about now you are thinking, “I thought this was a blog about photography, when did this turn into a therapy session?” My whole life is a therapy session but that’s another story.

The above rambling was a preface for talking about how I continue to be amazed at ways I can grow as a photographer. At the core, I photograph for myself first. But with all these photos lying around and the possibility of trying to let them earn some money for me, I have been looking into stock photography. A future post will talk more about stock photography from a business perspective but I’m not going to deal with that in this post.

Shoot what you love, continue to grow, find new ways to “see” the world, expand your skills, get out of your comfort zone. My recent work with shooting for environmental and conservation purposes has helped me with that. The entry into the world of stock photography is not something I expected at all. Whether that will be a financial success will be decided over time. For my photography, trying to get my head around stock photography has pushed me a bit outside my comfort zone. Looking at things in a new way for those shots has helped uncover more ways to “see” and opened more options for me in almost any photographic situation.

Let’s be clear, I am not recommending that you should get into stock photography to become a better photographer, what I am saying is that finding new ways to look at the world will help you be a better photographer. Comfort zones lead to complacency and that leads to stagnation which will prevent you from growing.

Who the hell am I to talk to you about growing? That’s a fair question but it doesn’t make the concept any less true. You are perfectly free to never question yourself, to settle into a comfort zone, to stay with what you know, to not stretch as an artist or a person. From my perspective, an artist never stops growing and a person should never stop learning.

Whatever you decide, walk your own path, make your own way, squeeze all you can from this life. Remember to take your camera and capture some of the moments. You will be richer for the experience. No, I am not saying that somebody is going to give you money, I am talking about richer in the broader sense, not material wealth. Life is funny though, maybe somebody will give you money, so far they haven’t given any to me. There’s a lot of stuff I want to buy though, camera equipment is expensive.

Before I forget, I want to give a shameless promotion to my music blog. The Music blog is called “Music You Should Own” so when you are finished reading this, please go there. Music and photography are two of my sanctuaries. I need to write more posts in my music blog. If you are looking for some new music or want to see what I think about music, read my music blog, subscribe to it, tell your friends, get them to subscribe. I need to build a huge following for this blog and my music blog. So spread the word, this could be a crazy ride, who knows where we can go.