Category Archives: blog

Good article on tuning Adobe Photoshop CS6 for peak performance

Adobe Lightroom is my primary processing application for my photography. My workflow often includes moving to Photoshop for additional adjustments when needed to complete processing to achieve the desired presentation. Jeff Tranberry has a blog on Adobe and wrote a very helpful article on how to tune Photoshop CS 6 for peak performance.


The article covers various settings for Adobe Photoshop CS6 that will help you get improved performance when using the application. Photoshop CS6 is a powerful application. Knowing how to get the best performance can help you be more efficient with your processing workflow and avoid having to spend spending more time than needed on processing your images.

Many thanks to Jeff Tranberry for sharing this information on his Adobe blog.



Moan Lisa’s All Kinds of People Shared Circle

Reshared post from +Moan Lisa

Moan Lisa's All Kinds of People Shared Circle
October 09, 2012

want to be included in tomorrow's circle? add & reshare this circle to public.

it is what it says it is

#antiart #neofluxus #fluxus #dada #mailart #poetry #art #moanlisa #brokenhashtag

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this is a new album created for autumn photographs

i think we can agree that halloween has a somewhat dark side to some of the imagery that goes along with it. there they were, gourds in various colors, shapes, and sizes. they were all hanging by the neck. this one reminded me of a goose. hey, i didn't hang them, i just shot them.  🙂

#halloween   #autumnphotography   #gourdart   #macrophotography  

In album autumn (1 photo)

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“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963)

seabirds, gliding the coast

seabirds, gliding the coast

Each day rolls from one day to the next, no shortage of things that could be done but lacking the time to get everything done.  Striving to improve, trying to grow, remembering to move in the positive.  So much talk about conformity on the news each day by people that are also trying to limit personal growth, trying to make us all just cogs in the machine.

Stay free, be positive, help others, and continue to grow.

colored glass in the window

colored glass in the window

“Multiply”  from the album titled “Multiply” by Jamie Lidell:

the monkey basket

“Life moves pretty fast.  You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” ~ Ferris Bueller

The Monkey Basket

The Monkey Basket

To some degree I guess it’s nearing the middle of the summer.  Something about July 4th has been a placeholder for my yearly clock for a long time.  Judy Ellington invited me to join the celebration in Helena, AL.  Having grown up in a small town, her invitation gave me an opportunity to touch base with those roots.  There are a lot of ways to describe the mood and pace of the day.  Friendly, relaxed, positive, and diverse are words that convey the overall sense of the day.

“The Monkey Basket” is Judy’s shop in Helena.  Any attempt I could make to describe it would ultimately fall short.  On the sidewalk, outside “The Monkey Basket” were chairs where I sat for part of the afternoon, simply enjoying the day and people watching.  Forget about politics for a minute, forget about the news media, forget about all of the things that are challenging the United States and the rest of the world.  Underneath the headlong rush into tomorrow that permeates almost every aspect of American life, there are people that are doing their best to earn a living, raise families, and trying not to get lost in the process.  Admittedly some are trading living in the present for constantly looking ahead.

As I sat in a chair on the sidewalk, camera in my lap, I could have photographed the day.  Cameras often cause people to behave differently.  It was nice to sit, talk, and watch the afternoon pass by and turn into the evening.  The vast majority of people that passed by where I was sitting didn’t know me at all but almost every person had a smile and a polite greeting for me.  Summer in a small town has a rhythm and a scent.  In my limited understanding of the brain, scents are powerful markers and triggers for memories.  There were food smells, the smell of hot asphalt, and the smell of sweaty people (it was a hot afternoon in Alabama).

Independence Day, fireworks display, Helena, AL 7/3/2010

Independence Day, fireworks display, Helena, AL 7/3/2010

My primary objective as a photographer on Saturday was to try and capture some of the magic of the fireworks display.  For the most part, I think I came away with some nice photographs of the fireworks in Helena.  Some of the photographs are in my Fireworks gallery.  You can see a photo of the front door of “The Monkey Basket” in my Signs gallery (it’s also featured at the beginning of this post).  Before you say it, I know it’s a skimpy gallery at the moment.  More photographs of signs will be added, so relax.

Sometimes I like the cover version of a song better than the original.  The following link is a cover of “Crazy” originally recorded by Gnarls Barkley but covered here by Shawn Colvin.  It’s a beautiful acoustic version of the song.  Take a few minutes and listen to it.

YouTube link:

keep it moving

“Life is short, wear tropical shirts.” ~ Marc Lampe

Sand fences, Seabrook Island, South Carolina

Sand fences, Seabrook Island, South Carolina

Let’s take a quick look at some of the things that I’ve done recently, some of the things I’m working on, and some of the things I want to do.  Barely a sentence into the post and I already need a sidebar comment.

Sidebar: If you are one of the language police and think that I could have found a better term than “things” then you should think of a more suitable word and mentally substitute it wherever needed.  For that matter, if at any point in this post you think I should have used different language or could have constructed a better sentence or could have written more concisely, please just substitute your “improvements” where needed.  Think of it as me helping you keep your skills sharp.  My gift to you.

When I first started writing this post, my cursor was not visible.  It may be a small thing but it’s disorienting when I don’t know where the letter will appear when I type.  It’s back now and I feel a lot better.  Technically, that could have been a sidebar statement but you can overdo the sidebar if you aren’t careful.  Not you specifically but “you” in a more collective sense.

At the beginning of this month (June 2010 if you happen to read this at some later point in time) I took a trip to South Carolina.  Specifically I stayed in a lovely place on Seabrook Island with a view of the ocean.  Prior to leaving for the trip, I entered five photographs in the 2010 Annual Photography Competition at the Gadsden Museum of Art.  The rules of the competition required the entries to be in simple black frames and is the entry was matted, the mat had to be plain white.  They also required an electronic copy of the photograph as it was before it was processed to insure that people were being honest.  The photographs also had to be taken within the last three years.  For the first time, they added a classification for “professional photographers” which is what I chose, if you’re wondering.  Even though I am a harsh critic of my own work, I think I entered five strong photographs for the competition/exhibition.  According to the literature from the Gadsden Museum of Art, the exhibition will be from June 14 through July 24, 2010.

The trip to Seabrook Island was just what I needed, both for relaxation and for a new environment to photograph.  Over the course of my life, I have probably been to the beach in excess of fifty times.  Those trips were to the Gulf Coast, so this was my first visit to a beach on the East Coast and the Atlantic Ocean.  Adjacent to Seabrook Island is Kiawah Island.  Any attempt I could make to describe the beauty of the area would fall woefully short.  However, I have a large number of photographs (most of which have not been processed) that will help convey some of the natural beauty of that area.  The photographs that will be available for public viewing will be in a new gallery (Coastal Photography) on my photography site.  I plan to return and stay longer.  It felt like home.  My plans are to write a post about the experience in South Carolina but for now, just know that it was a beautiful place and I enjoyed my time there.

It should be noted that this post is the first one written from my new home office.  It’s still a work in progress but I can actually work in my own space.  For the first time, my printer and my computer are located in the same room and are connected directly to each other.  The previous arrangement had my desk and computer on the ground floor and my printer upstairs and I was connected via a shared connection through my notebook computer.  It may seem like an obvious solution but trying to get my own space in the house was not an easy task, at least not in my world.

The improvements to the photography site and the blog are not 100% complete.  Stay tuned for more enhancements.  The changes to my Twitter page are complete.  I welcome you to subscribe to all of my sites.

Last year I photographed the 4th of July fireworks display in Chelsea, AL.  This year, maybe a different location and hopefully improved results.  Since we are on the topic of summer activities, it is a great time to get fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables.  Pepper Place Saturday Market is a wonderful place to buy them if you live in the Birmingham, AL area.  For those of you that don’t know me, I love fresh tomatoes.  OK, maybe it’s bigger than that, more like an addiction, an obsession.

My tradition is to close each post with a music link.  It’s not the link that’s the thing (yeah I used the word “thing” again), it’s more sharing a mood and maybe new music for some of you.  This post, there’s no link but I still want to share song recommendations.  Summer is a time to kick back and relax.  From the late, great Otis Redding, three timeless songs, “Try a Little Tenderness”, “I Can’t Turn You Loose”, and of course “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”.

looking ahead

rain on a leaf

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” ~ Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

Due to  a number of events, I haven’t posted a new blog entry in a while.  Let me take this opportunity to welcome you to the new home for Gerry Daniel Photography Blog and to a fresh new look.  The blog shares a consistent look and is integrated with the Gerry Daniel Photography site.  My Twitter page (renegade_photog) has also been updated to be consistent with the new design.

None of the new and improved site functionality and design would be here without the services of photoKandy StudiosKerri Shotts has done a fantastic job.  If you have an interest in customizing your photography site, I recommend Kerri and would encourage you to consider her services.

All of the posts from the original blog are here and the old blog has been redirected to this site.

I am getting a little ahead of myself but it’s been hard to hold back on sharing this.  There are a few tweaks that are in the plans but haven’t been implemented yet.  Kerri is still working behind the scenes.  There are some additional services that I would like to add to my photography business, so stay tuned.

The song for this post is “You and I” from the album “Be OK” by Ingrid Michaelson.

Song link:

every day is earth day

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

On Thursday morning, I will be driving to Cherokee, NC to attend a NANPA Spring Regional Event.  The location is in the Great Smoky Mountains.  From the advance material for the event, the photo tours will be in a variety of locations and elevations.  A change of scenery will be good for both my spirit and my photography.  The views will be spectacular whether I am at the higher elevations or in the lush valleys with beautiful flowing streams.

It would be easy to go into descriptions of those areas, but that’s what I hope to do with the photographs from the trip.  My challenge is going to be to take the time to “see” what is around me and try to capture the beauty with the camera.  Taking a lot of photos is a solid practice but being selective about what to shoot is key.  Some basic guidelines I try to follow on every shoot include:

  1. Be aware of what is in the frame, many great shots can be ruined by an object that wasn’t noticed
  2. Look for interesting perspectives, don’t shoot everything from a standing position, don’t hesitate to sit on the ground or move about to find an interesting perspective
  3. Pay attention to the edges of the frame, sure you can crop later but try to avoid taking photos without regard for the edges because you can crop later, recompose the shot if possible
  4. Notice the separation of objects in the frame, sometimes a step to one side or another, or changing your angle can make all the difference in how the objects in the shot relate to each other
  5. Bracket each shot, what you see with your eye and what the camera records are often not the same
  6. Shoot a scene in a variety of aperture settings, variances in depth of field can be subtle but very important to nail the shot you want
  7. Remember you are painting with light, bright and dark areas can present some difficult exposure issues, be prepared to make adjustments if possible, in some cases you might need to note a location and shoot it at a different time of day
  8. Be considerate, if you are with a group, don’t hog a great spot or obscure the view of others around you, polite goes a long way
  9. Have fun, your feelings are transferred to your images, take time to find the “wow” and shoot that

Note to self: The above list is for you to remember, don’t get out there and just start snapping away.

The short list above is probably included in recommended practices in many photography articles and publications.  Every now and then, I need to remind myself about the basics.  Is the above list all encompassing?  Of course not, I hit some high spots.  Photography as an art involves paying attention to detail.  It’s easy to become overwhelmed in a new location and forget the basics.  It’s also easy to become so comfortable with a location and forget the basics.

reflection of spring at Turkey Creek

reflection of spring at Turkey Creek

In the shameless promotion section of this post, some of my work at Gerry Daniel Photography was fortunate enough to have a feature that was shown on “Wake Up Alabama” this morning.  My sincere thanks to Rick Jackson for creating the feature, to the team at “Wake Up Alabama” for the air time, and to CBS 42, the local CBS affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama for allowing Rick to produce the segment.  It was filmed at Turkey Creek Nature Preserve, a land tract that is part of Alabama’s Forever Wild Program.  There are a number of these beautiful natural areas that have been designated as “Forever Wild” and there is a list of others that are being considered.  Alabama has an amazing variety of terrain, wildlife, plant life, and unique ecosystems.  We have abundant waterways throughout Alabama.  Keeping the waterways fresh and clean is an ongoing effort by a lot of dedicated people throughout Alabama.  Other photographs from Turkey Creek can be seen in the Turkey Creek Nature Preserve gallery.

Let’s go with something that has a good rhythm. The song is “Tightrope” by Yeasayer from the album “Dark Was the Night” which was released in February 2009, features a variety of artists, and will benefit the Red Hot Organization – an international charity dedicated to raising funds and awareness for HIV and AIDS.

upcoming articles

“Plans get you into things, but you got to work your way out.” ~ Will Rogers”

The past week was pretty busy.  The upcoming weeks have a number of events planned.  All of this making it a productive spring and good start to the summer.

There are several blog articles waiting to be written.  Topics on the list include:

  • Ebenezer Swamp Ecological Preserve
  • The work of Abbie Wiersma
  • My ongoing photography website, blog, Twitter redesign project which involves much help from Kerri Shotts and her company, photoKandy
  • My trip to the Stray Art Salon
  • Some blog articles that fill in parts of my background story (Gerry, the early years) but relate to photography (loosely)
  • My upcoming trip to a NANPA event in Cherokee, NC to shoot that area
  • My upcoming trip to San Francisco

So stay tuned, there is much to talk about.

The song for the post is “Not California” from the album “Funnel Cloud (Bonus Track Version): by the group Hem.  The song is simply beautiful.


“Some have greatness thrust upon them, but not lately” ~ Frank Dane

spring flowers, 4/15/2010

spring flowers, 4/15/2010

It was a beautiful day in what has seemed like a long week.  The light was nice late this afternoon.  Tomorrow morning will be an early start to try and capture the morning light as the sun rises at Ebenezer Swamp in Shelby County, Alabama.  The photographs from this afternoon are all downloaded to my computer, I have only processed a few.  The flowers in the two photographs in this post were very small but size and beauty are not dependent on each another.

more small spring flowers, 4/15/2010

more small spring flowers, 4/15/2010

The title of the song for this post is “Lately” from the album “Keep Your Eyes Ahead” by Helio Sequence.