Archive for April, 2010

Open Studio 2010 Exhibit

The 2010 Open Studio Exhibition starts tomorrow May 1.  For the first three weekends this May, May 1-2, May 8-9 and May 15-16 from 11 am to 5 pm, I will be pulling out all the photos in the my studio and will have them on display.  Classic Organic Light favorites, early works, and New never before seen NEW Releases will be on display and for sale as well.

This year, the sale will go on for the entire three weeks, from May 1st to May 16th, whether the purchase is made in person or online, there is a 15% discount on all photographs, custom posters and note cards.

In addition, anyone who makes a purchase in person or online, or visits the Open Studio Exhibit, or even just visits the website and sends in a name, email and mailing address, will be entered into this year’s FREE Photo Giveaway.  The lucky winner will be drawn randomly using and will receive one Matted Studio Series photograph of their choice!

So to enter, visit the Exhibit in the next three weeks or go online and send in an entry from the Contact Page.  I will enter your name in the drawing.  The winner will be announced on Wednesday May 19th here on the Organic Light Pan web journal.  Good Luck to all who enter!

For more information on the exhibit and where the Organic Light Photography Studio is located, visit the Exhibits Page on the web site.

See you all soon.

UPDATE:  I was asked if I would consider residents outside of the USA for the FREE photo giveaway.  I considered it all day, and have come to the conclusion that I will honor all visitors, worldwide.  Shipping will be interesting as I cannot gauge the final cost, but I will open this contest for all – worldwide.  So send in your entries and good luck!

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Anything But Fine?

Today was a rough day. Too many things on mind, too many things to get done and not enough time or resources to do it. On my way home I felt like I wanted to vent my frustrations on someone, but then stopped and reminded myself that I really have nothing to complain about, not really.

So I return home and check my email. I received an email that for the most part would be considered spam, but I opened it anyway and was quite surprised. I had just reminded myself not to complain, and to just be thankful for what I have and that I am still alive. Below is the text that was included in the email.

So easy to forget to be thankful for everything……
There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She told her boyfriend, ‘If I could only see the world, I will marry you.’

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend.

He asked her,’Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?’ The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn’t expected that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him.

Her boyfriend left in tears and days later wrote a note to her
saying: ‘Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine.’

This is how the human brain often works when our status changes. Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who was always by their side in the most painful situations.

Life Is a Gift.

Today, before you say an unkind word – Think of someone who can’t speak.

Before you complain about the taste of your food – Think of someone who has nothing to eat.

Before you complain about your husband or wife – Think of someone who’s crying out to GOD for a companion.

Today, before you complain about life – Think of someone who went too early to heaven.

Before whining about the distance you drive Think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.

And when you are tired and complain about your job – Think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your job.

And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down – Put a smile on your face and think: you’re alive and still around.

Just wanted to share that.


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The Cynical Eye

I just finished teaching a class on leaf shapes to a pre-K class of children. I teach kids almost everyday and the topics run the gamut from earth science to physics to photography. Some days things move along so smoothly and other days it is a real struggle to just get through one hour of instruction. Today was one of those days. The children were nearly clueless about trees, had no answers about why a tree was of any benefit, even the teacher who asked for the class thought she was going to have trouble because there were no trees near the school to gather leaves from – her excuse was that the school was in a light industrial area of San Jose and there were no trees. On the contrary, on my way out, I must have counted at least 10 different trees species!

On my way to today’s lesson and on the way back to my studio I drove past two radar gun speed traps with police officers pulling cars over from the side of the road. On my way back I thought I was being pulled over as an officer jumped out in front of me and started waving to pull over. Relieved was I when he pointed to a car behind me and in another lane. With my heart racing I had to calm myself down and was a bit overwhelmed by the world that we have made for ourselves.

I guess I should not be surprised.  We move along in our mechanized vehicles at breakneck speeds never taking the time to just look at any of the natural wonders that surround us.  Actually you can’t while in our sound proof rolling isolation chambers, because if we take our eyes off the road for any reason, even for a split second, we will end up splattered across the roadway in a million pieces!

We have all but completely isolated ourselves from the natural world.  We watch “Sunrise Earth” on cable television in HD instead of actually going out in the morning to watch the sun actually come up over the horizon in RD (thats Real Definition).  We tell time by the artificial circular motion of arms on a clock, or worse yet by reading a digital display of numbers on an LCD screen.  Not ever once asking what do those numbers really mean, or why do the hands on the clock actually spin in the “clockwise” direction, there is a reason for this!  Not to mention the further-removed-from-reality construct of Daylight Saving Time.  We have created an artificial world for ourselves and the longer we immerse ourselves in it, the more artificial we become.

It is well known that if we keep company with people who are ill with a communicable disease, we can become infected with that same disease.  The same is true with spiritual diseases of the heart.  Keep company with people who are misers, arrogant, and angry and don’t be surprised to find yourself acting miserly, arrogant and full of rage as well.  But these diseases have known cures and so while they are troubling, they are not with out a resolution.  What I fear is the time we spend keeping company with all the artificial non-living manufactured things that consume our time.  Will that time spent with machines make us less human?  Will we start to act in the heartless, emotionless, repetitive manner of a machine?

It is very easy to fall into this trap of seeing the world with a cynical eye.  I fall into it from time to time and it concerns me.  It is not a place that I like to be.  When it does happen, I know at that point that I have been apart from the natural world too long.  My heart races in turmoil and needs to find tranquility and peace, even if for only a short time.  Later today, I will be doing just that – finding a natural place where I can just reconnect with the real world and find some tranquility camera by my side or not.  It€™s time.  I invite you to do the same.

Tranquility, Peace, Stillness, Dog Lake, Yosemite



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Shooting One’s Self in the Foot

This year in California the wildflowers have been particularly prolific.  It has brought photographers out in massive numbers all looking to capture that unique wildflower photo.  On the one hand it is nice to see people out communing with the natural world.  The problem is that they have no clue how to behave while out there.

The open range land where most of the wildflowers bloom is private land.  Some of it is fenced and some of it is just open range land.  Private property is private property and it should be respected, wildflower heaven or not.  For as long as I can remember fellow photographer and workshop leader, Carol Leigh and her wonderful Wildflower Hotsheet has been an Internet resource for wildflower hunters.  It was user driven with reports coming in almost daily once the blooms started.  This year however, due to incredulous bad behavior of photographers in one particular canyon in the south-central part of the state that is private open range land, one of the land owners made a post on the hotsheet asking photographers to stop coming onto their land, to stop tramping all over the place, tearing up flowers, and warning that if the behavior did not stop further legal actions would be taken!  That was last week.  Well all of a sudden Carol takes down the hotsheet and leaves the notice that is there now.  Not only did the bad behavior anger the owners of the land, it has resulted in losing a fabulous resource that was of benefit to so many.  This passed weekend, I heard reports that the county sheriff was patrolling that canyon now, making sure private property rights are observed.

I have photographed in that canyon before, and yes it is a special place, but come on, you don’t have to trespass to photograph there, and you certainly do not have to tear out flowers once you have photographed them or picnic right on top of them, roll around in them or whatever other nonsense people dream up.

Mother Earth has rights as well.  It is always a difficult proposition trying to photograph the wildflowers.  In the process, some flowers are trampled on.  But we must learn how to tread lightly on the earth.  Even though the Earth seems like a resilient rock, its ecosystem is very fragile.  Even more fragile are the flowers themselves.  They rely on pollination to generate the seeds for coming years.  Trample them, or pull them out before they can secure pollination and there will be no more flowers. 

I do my best to stay on trails or on roadside when photographing the flowers.  However I must admit I do love sitting in the middle of them all, sampling their intoxicating spicy fragrance and vibrant over-the-top color.  When I do, I stay put in one place, I follow my own foot steps back out and when at all possible, I step on bare ground where no flower is growing.  And I encourage all my readers to practice the same when you visit the wildflowers this year.  And please do go out and visit them and be grateful for the bounty that Mother Earth and our Creator are giving us this year, just be nice, so that we don’t want to “shoot our selves in the foot” and never get to see the flowers again.  

Poppies in Antelope Valley

Bed Of Poppies


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Electric Dreams

The thrill of hunting for wildflowers is on.  I am a little behind in my posting, but this year seems to be turning out to be one of those years.  This intimate photo of poppies was from last year.  I was for some reason in a rut last spring, didn’t even bother making a real trip anywhere, no clients either.  It was a funky year.  But right next door, in a neighbor’s yard, there was this lone poppy plant blooming its brains out and glowing with all of its electrifying color.  It moved enough to bring out the 4×5 Large Format camera and get to work.

Poppies in my Neighborhood

Electric Dreams

I made three photographs from this one plant, but this one just had something about it that screamed spring to me and it had me and my camera contorted in the most unusual position in order to get this composition.  My neck still hurts when I think about it.  As the spring wildflower season began to unfold, I remembered making this photo and pulled it out of my files and developed it for print in the hopes that this year would be a good year for wildflowers – it has been.

So before the last blossom withers away, get out there and breath in the spicy aroma of the WILD flowers and let it spice up your life a little bit this spring.


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Brushes Of Light

Light, we see by it and at the same time it is invisible.  The more I ponder about light, the more perplexed I become.  Duality is its nature behaving as both a wave and as a particle known as the photon.  We can recognize it as a wave after it interacts with an object and we see various colors.  Its interaction with an object takes place as if it is a photon.  When it is present we can see and in its absence we are blind.  It brings a steady flow of information to our eyes and by it we interpret the world we live in.

Brushes Of Light

Brushes Of Light

But how we see the world and what is really there are two very different things.  It is difficult enough to understand this for a stationary object let alone for one that is constantly moving, like water flowing in a stream.  By the time you see the moving object it has already moved to a new point in space.  Luckily, light moves so fast, 186,000 miles/second, that the distance that something can move in the time that its light reaches our eyes is for all practical purposes so miniscule that we can say we see it in its actual position in space.  Further, its motion is so fluid that we see it as continuous. 

Throw a camera into the mix, which is an intermediary between the photographer who experiences the object and the viewer who only sees the photograph, and it creates a departure from reality.  Due to its technical nature, the camera can either freeze a moment in time or produce the illusion of motion as the object streaks passed its fixed lens.  Then in the hands of the photographer, the photograph itself can be manipulated in such a way as to remove any reference to reality bringing about an abstraction that only hints at the natural presence of light itself.

In the hands of the photographer, the one who writes with light, art is created through a simple tool of capture – the camera. Handled deftly, and the camera moves beyond mere capture, and becomes the translator of the intent of not just the photographer but of the artist within as well.

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