Thanksgiving in Haxtun

Grandpa, Grandma, and their six children.
Grandpa, Grandma, and their six children.

When I was growing up, we spent many a Thanksgiving at grandpa’s house in Haxtun Colorado. Thanksgiving was a much anticipated and happy time. We would leave home on Wednesday afternoon after dad got home from work. It was a long 7 hour drive to Grandpa’s house in those pre-interstate highway days, so it would be really late by the time we arrived.

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Topaz to the Rescue

Topaz Sharpen AI software screen. I zoomed in on the face on the left to make my software decisions.

I was photographing a concert Saturday night for the local newspaper and the light levels were low. Using flash was out of the question. A flash would kill the ambience of the lighting.

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Trunk or Treat: Choosing the Best Event Photos

Adobe Bridge: Some of Saturday’s Trunk or Treat Photos

At my first newspaper gig in Oklahoma (back in the 1980s), I learned to take a lot of photos at busy events. Photographing active children is a game of percentages. You might take a half dozen or more images of one trick-or-treater to get the shot you want, or maybe none of the images “work” and the moment is gone. So you take a lot of pictures.

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Camera Equipment and Settings for Event Photography

Adobe Bridge: 24 photos for the local newspaper.

Last Saturday I photographed a Trunk or Treat event for the local newspaper. I took 361 photos with two DSLRs, plus 5 more with my iPhone. On my first cut I picked 63 images. After the last cut I was down to 24 images which I optimized and sent to the paper. In this article I shared the equipment and camera settings that I used.

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How do you figure out the names of the mountains in your photos?

Mountains photographed from County Road 140 north of Poncha Springs Colorado.

How do you figure out the names of mountains you don’t know? It is relatively simple. I will show you how.

Ten years ago last night (October 26-27, 2012), my brother John and I were about a mile north of Poncha Springs Colorado. It was around midnight and we had a bright moon high in the sky. John was taking in the view and I was pointing my tripod mounted camera several different directions and taking pictures by moonlight.

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Autumn Shoot with Beth

Beth, Slip Bluff Lake.

Fall is my favorite season for nature photography as you can tell by the number of photos I take per season. But I also love fall for outdoor portrait photography. The colors of fall make a nice backdrop for photographing people. These photo are from a favorite autumn photo shoot with Beth. I hope you take advantage of the colors of the season to do some portrait photography of your own. If you want to improve your portrait photography skills, check out the books at the last link below.

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The Best National Parks for Fall Photography

Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

What are the best national parks to photograph in the fall? Here are my choices, grouped by state and province from west to east. This list includes the favorites I have been to, plus the ones I most want to see based on the recommendations of the photographers I trust, like Tim Fitzharris and QT Luong. More about them later.

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Colorado Fall Color Photography and Travel Guide – 2022

Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake. Mid-morning. September 24, 2015.

Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake. Mid-morning. September 24, 2015.

Headed for Colorado this fall? Welcome to my complete Colorado fall color photography and travel guide with 131 photos, 18 maps, and over 100 pages of information (if you print it all out). I cover some of the best known fall color locations in Colorado, and one real gem of a road that is not widely known to photographers and leaf peepers. Spend anywhere from two days to two weeks exploring the beautiful Colorado Rockies at a gorgeous time of year.

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21 Years Ago

I remember it like it was yesterday.

I was working in my office. The family/TV room was right around the corner. The phone rang and I picked it up.

“Stop whatever you are doing and turn on the TV.” I walked around the corner and turned it on.

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Chip East Reflects on the Last Photos of His Friend, Bill Biggart, Taken on 9/11

Photographer Chip East was staring intensely at his laptop screen.

It was two weeks after two jetliners had plowed into the towers of the World Trade Center. His good friend, photojournalist Bill Biggart’s body had been recovered from the rubble. His personal effects, including his cameras had been released by authorities to his widow, Wendy.

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9/11 – Let Us Pray

“Towers of Light”

LET US PRAY

On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, four planes were hijacked and ultimately crashed.  Two crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City and one crashed into the Pentagon. The fourth crashed in Pennsylvania.

LET US PRAY.

Dozens of people in each of four airplanes living in terror as their hijacked planes are flown to destinations unknown to them. Each ends in a terrible fiery crash.

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Remembering 9/11


Photo by James Nachtwey for TIME magazine.

I will never forget staring at the screen. I was stunned. It was just a few moments after I got the phone call to turn on the TV. Then the second plane hit.

On this date, twenty-one years ago, we experienced a great national tragedy in the United States. 2,977 lives that were lost in the terrorist attacks. So many  families were torn asunder. The way we view ourselves and our world changed. Emergency responders continue to suffer terrible health problems as a result of working at the scene. The way we view ourselves and our world changed too. Over 2,000 first responders have died of health issues related to 9/11.

In remembrance of that day, and to honor the lives that were lost, I am posting some tributes.

From a Throwaway to a Keeper

Anoush Anou after ACR correction.

The original of this photo was a mistake. A throw away. Anoush and I were doing soft light portraits, thanks to the canopy of leaves overhead. I had carefully metered for the existing shady light conditions. But when I clicked the shutter, thanks to a breeze or something, the sun broke through the leaves and a beam of sunlight hit Anoush’s face and washed over some of the rest of the scene. The result was most of the image ended up somewhere between properly to overexposed, and her face was the most overexposed. It looked bad. The kind of photo most people would discard. But I didn’t throw it away. I learned from one of my photo guru’s years ago never to throw away a photograph, even a bad one.

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Travel Outtakes

Travel Outtakes

Like a lot of other photographers, I do “outtakes” in between shooting sessions. I was looking through some travel outtakes recently and realized a lot of them were taken in between shooting locations while sitting at traffic lights, stuck in traffic jams, waiting for the rain to stop, waiting for the cold winter winds to die down, or just waiting for the quality of the light to get better. Each of these outtakes is connected in my memory with some of my favorite images. Take for example the right center image of Vassanta asleep in the car.

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Matting and Framing 101

Matting Tools.

Today is a matting and framing kind of day so I brought everything up from the basement that I will need. I figured out long ago it was way too expensive to have someone else do matting and framing for me, so I bought a mat cutter and I do everything myself. If you are thinking about doing your own matting and framing, I cover some of the basics.

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Photos: Lamoni High School “Senior Night” Softball Win

Chloe Belback (#11) stretches to catch ball at first base for an out.

The last home game of the regular season is usually “senior night”, and the Lamoni High School softball team did themselves proud.  Taylor Henson started things off with a bunt down the third base line and she beat the throw to first base. A few plays later she stole home for the first run of the night. Chloe Belback hit a single, other players hit well too, and Karli Brown brought three of them home when she clobbered the ball for a double. At the end of the first inning Lamoni was ahead, 5-0.  Lamoni added two more runs in the second inning and continued to score. Excellent defense behind the pitching of Taylor Henson held Seymour to zero runs for the evening. Lamoni finished the game with a 10-0 victory.

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The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale, 1800Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale, 1800

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

From the Declaration of Independence, signed July 4, 1776. Written by Thomas Jefferson (1762-1826). 3rd US President (1801-09).

More images (including Thomas Jefferson’s original draft) and the complete text of the declaration are after the break.

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GPS Accuracy Near Tall Buildings

Cather and Pound Halls, September 2016.

I had heard rumors that the twin campus towers, Willa Cather and Ezra Pound Halls, were going to be demolished. Cather Hall was my home for three years at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and I wanted a current picture. On my way to a photo workshop in Colorado I stopped in Lincoln to create some images. The view above is looking north on 17 Street with Pound Hall in the foreground, and Cather Hall in the background.

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