More Colored Pencil Images

Tropical storm Isaac is dumping a whole bunch of rain on us today, as it works its way over to the west coast of Florida, so I spent an hour or so earlier playing around with more colored pencil images.

Both of these images were taken against a piece of black velvet. My Nikon D800 was attached to my Gitzo GT3541XLS tripod on my dining room table, aimed straight down at the velvet. The two-foot or distance from the lens to the pencils meant I needed to crop somewhat substantially in Photoshop, but with the 36-megapixel resolution of the D800, that was no problem at all. The alternative was to put the whole setup on the floor rather than on the table and then pull the legs out on the Gitzo to lower the camera body, but I’m too old and lazy to get down on the hard tile floor like that ūüôā

New Macro image

I’ve been spending some time lately with my new Nikon D800 camera and macro images. The camera has such high resolution that I’ve learned that I need to use LiveView for focusing; even manually focusing the camera using the viewfinder just doesn’t cut it with this camera.

The following image was taken with a 105mm Nikkor Micro lens.

First D800 Image

I took my new Nikon D800 to Jupiter Beach this weekend where I took the first few “real” photos with it. Here is a sample:

Fence on the beach

Under the Weather

Today was the day that I intended to drive up to Jupiter Island and photograph the lighthouse there, in order to test out my new Nikon D800. Yesterday morning, I started to come down with a nasty cold and by evening I was just miserable, so it looks like I’m going to be spending the entire evening on the couch, wrapped in a blanket and watching movies and Kelby Training videos.

Hopefully next weekend I’ll visiter Jupiter.


Smoky Mountain Creek

While spending a couple days in the Smoky Mountains two weeks ago with Bill Fortney, we climbed down an embankment by the side of the road in Tremont, to photograph this unique waterfall from a not-so-ordinary perspective.

Bill and I were seated on the rock in the foreground of this photo while photographing the waterfall. While climbing from the embankment to the rock, I slipped and wound up ankle-deep in the water. Fortunately, Bill was already seated on the rock and was holding my camera and tripod for me.

New camera

My friendly UPS driver delivered a brank spankin’ new Nikon D800 to my door a couple days ago. I’m still reading the manual (yes, I’m one of the oddballs who actually reads the manual), getting used to the new camera controls, and setting the menu settings to my taste.

I have a Really Right Stuff L-plate on order which should be delivered tomorrow, which means at that time I’ll be able to mount my camera on a tripod. That almost seems an absolute necessity to me for shooting at a whopping 36.3 megapixels.

So far, I like everything I see with this new camera, except when autofocusing with the Nikkor 28-300 lens it makes a bit of a strange scraping sound. I’ve tested with the Nikkor 24-70 and that sound isn’t there, so it appears as though it’s an issue specific to the 28-300. That same 28-300 on my D700 doesn’t make the noise, so I’m fairly confident that there is¬†no debris¬†floating around inside my lens that is causing the noise.

Time will tell, but I think this is going to make for a sweet landscape camera.

Wormsloe Plantation

Last week, on our way to the Smoky Mountains, my wife Ali and I spent a couple days in Savannah, Georgia, where I took this photograph of the drive leading into Wormsloe Plantation. This photo was made around 9:10 AM, just after the plantation opened at 9:00. By arriving early on a cloudy day, I was able to get this shot before the drive was filled with vehicles and their dust.


Heading to the Smokies

Tomorrow my lovely wife Ali and I are driving north to spend a few days in Savannah, GA and then over to the Smoky Mountains in eastern Tennessee for a few days of intense photography and then a week of mixed shooting, exploring, and relaxing.

I am meeting Nikon photographer Bill Fortney for the first time in Townsend, TN when we arrive in the Smokies. He and I are going to spend two solid days shooting nature and landscapes, both large and small. I have two suitcases packed full of camera gear, so I hope to be ready for just about anything that we might encounter there!

After I say goodbye to Bill, Ali and I will be driving up to Pigeon Forge, where we are staying in a cabin for a week, just outside Dollywood. We have plans to visit Dollywood, go inner tubing on the Pigeon River, hike in the Smokies, see the sights, and just relax in our own private hot tub.

I will be posting various images from the Smokies as I get them retouched. If not during our trip itself, then shortly after we return.

Photography Heroes

Though my photographic career is in its infancy, relatively speaking, I have encountered a number of modern-day photographers who I greatly admire, and who have influenced me, either directly or indirectly, in the types of photographs that I am most interested in making. I have learned of most of these photographers through the amazing resources NAPP and Kelby Training. A short alphabetical list follows:

Dave Black ( Though Dave’s portfolio contains some amazing sports and nature photographs, it is his light painting technique which most captures my imagination. I haven’t yet gotten around to attempting to technique on my own, but it is on my list.

Frank Doorhof ( Frank’s portrait lighting techniques continue to inspire me. He is an incredible teacher and I hope to attend one of his workshops someday.

Bill Fortney ( Bill is a fantastic landscape photographer and is one of the key inspirations behind my desire to focus on nature and landscape photography going forward. I will have the pleasure of spending two days in the Smoky Mountains with Bill in a couple weeks (more on that in a future blog post).

Bill Frakes ( Bill’s sporting event photos have awakened an interest in me for sports photography. Though I’m not the world’s largest sports nut, I do have an interest in baseball, tennis, volleyball, and motorcycle racing and hope to gain some experience photographing those particular sports.

Scott Kelby ( Scott is likely the most prolific photography-related author today. He is also an accomplished photographer and top-notch trainer. I had the pleasure of meeting Scott in person in 2010, and I continue to learn both from his books and training website (

Joe McNally ( In my opinion, the best working photographer today. Joe is as funny as he is knowledgeable, and I never tire of reading his books and watching his training videos. I was fortunate enough to attend one of his five-day workshops in St. Lucia in 2010.

Moose Peterson ( Moose’s love for nature is apparent in his videos, books, and website. Because of Moose’s inspiration, I have tentatively planned a trip to Yellowstone next year in order to experience and photograph one of his favorite places for myself.

There are numerous other photographers whose images are a source of inspiration to me. The above seven stand out as individuals who have had a direct impact, in one way or another, over the photographs I have already taken or that I intend to concentrate on in the future.

Starting Over

I created this blog about a year ago, though in the past year I think I wrote a grand total of three blog posts. This morning I resolved to start over, so I deleted the three existing blog posts and slightly restructured the pages.

My resolution is to create a new blog post each week, with ramblings about my current photographic endeavors, equipment, goals, and dreams, including sample photos.

If you’re a new reader, then welcome, and I hope that I can post enough interesting content here to entice you to return from time to time.