Christmas At The Shaw: A Musical Feast

Graceland choir members fill the stage at the Shaw Family Auditorium.

Combine an excellent selection of musical numbers with beautiful performances and you have the recipe for a musical Christmas feast. The Graceland University choirs and orchestra, under the skilled direction of Sara Blessing and Jack Ergo, did themselves proud Friday night at the Shaw Family Auditorium in Lamoni, Iowa. The evening was filled with beautiful musical renditions.

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Favorite Photo, December 4

Graham Parsons and the Go Rounds. The Strutt. Kalamazoo Michigan. Dec 4, 2009.

I was in Kalamazoo for a fashion show followed by a series of local bands in concert. This photo of Graham Parson and the Go Rounds ended up being my favorite photo of the evening, and one of only two favorite photos for this date in my “favorite photos” folder.

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Yes! I Do Portraits!

I have a collage of nature and landscape images headlining the home page at It gives the impression I am primarily a nature photographer. I decided I also needed a portrait collage that would say “Yes! I do portraits!” This is what I came up with. Each one of these images has a story.

How To Protect Your Camera Gear in the Cold and Snow

Bruce Canyon After An Overnight Snow

Bryce Canyon After An Overnight Snowstorm

Cold and snow can cause a lot of damage to your camera gear. Something as simple as taking pictures outside and then bringing your camera inside your house or car can cause hidden damage that won’t show up until days or weeks later. The simple steps in this article could save you hundreds of dollars in repair bills.

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Favorite Photo, November 27

Sarah Ellis - Window Blind Shadows Portrait

Sarah Ellis, Window Blind Shadows, Columbus, Ohio. November 27, 2007

This is my favorite photo for November 27. Sara Ellis and I were working together to create images for our portfolios. This is not only one of my favorite images from our photo session, it is one of my all time favorite portraits. The light and shadows were created by sunlight shining through a window blind.

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The Best Night, Astronomy, and Astrophotography Books

Orion's Belt and Sword Scabbard and the Orion Nebula

Orion’s Belt and Sword Scabbard and the Orion Nebula

There is a whole world of things to photograph after the sun goes down. Cityscapes at twilight and after dark. Landscapes in the late evening light. Thunderstorms. Fireworks. And then of course, there is astrophotography. The simple stuff is simple to do (once you have learned how to do them) and all you need are a camera, lens, and tripod. For some astrophotography you will need specialized but not very expensive equipment like the $300 sky tracker used for the photo above. The challenging stuff is hard, complicated, and expensive to do if you want the kind of eye popping photos that you see in Astronomy and Sky and Telescope magazines (you should subscribe to one or the other or both if this is your thing). No matter what you want to do, the books below will get you started. And if you just like to look at the night sky, I recommend some books for that too.

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Favorite Photo, November 26

Terran, Iowa. November 26, 2016.

My grandson Terran was sitting at the dining room table. Nice and warm late afternoon sunlight was streaming in a window and every once in a while his face was in the light. I liked the light and grabbed a camera. Every time the light looked nice on his face I clicked the shutter. At one point he turned his face toward the light to say something to someone. Click. This is my favorite photo for November 26.

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The Best Insurance for Your Photo Gear (and Photography Business)

Granite Ledges and Otter Cliff, Acadia National Park, Maine

Your camera falls down a mountainside and off a cliff. An unexpected wave drenches your valuable photo gear in salt water. Your photo backpack is stolen from your home, motel room, or trunk of your car. To add insult to injury, you learn your homeowner’s insurance will not replace the value of your damaged or stolen gear.

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Favorite Photo, November 24

Jared, Portage, Michigan. November 24, 2001.

My favorite photo for today’s date is a portrait I did of our son Jared from several years ago. This is one of my favorite family portraits. Our children claim they have some of the most photographically documented childhoods on the planet, so as adults they are a bit camera shy. But every once in a while they will take time for a portrait.

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Favorite Photo, November 13

Dr Yim plays Eric Satie’s “Vexations” a total of 840 times. Lamoni, Iowa. November 13, 2018.

My favorite photo for this date was created at a rather remarkable and rare event. Dr. Yim, who teaches at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa, did a performance of legendary avant garde composer Eric Satie’s “Vexations”. He played it 840 times which took 27 hours and 22 minutes.

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Favorite Photo, November 11

Lightning, east of Lubbock, Texas. November 11, 1988.

The southwestern U.S. has some wonderful thunderstorms with well defined storm fronts. You can determine the direction of the storm front, set up a few miles away from where the front will pass by you, prefocus the lens, and lock open my shutter and wait for a lightning strike. This is my favorite lightning bolt from this particular storm.

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