Archives for Personal

An Evening In The Garden

It has been a busy month so far! Last week, I spent a few days in Kansas City, judging at the Heart of America print competition for the North Central District.  I got to see some great images -from photographers across the north central US.  It was very tough choosing a print for my Judge’s Choice ribbon because there were so many great entries. Last night, I taught a class on basic photography at the Dallas Arboretum.  We learned about things like composition, exposure and even a bit of infrared photography.  The best part was having the whole Arboretum to ourselves after hours!  Next week, we plan on having a little more classroom time, then wander the gardens taking shots in the fantastic sunset light!  Next week’s class is sold out, so be sure and get on the list if we offer it again in the fall.  It is truly a unique opportunity!
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My Thoughts On The NFL Situation

Well, this NFL nonsense has been going on for a few weeks now and I just can’t contain myself any longer.  I look forward to the start of the NFL season – almost as much as I look forward to Christmas.  Therefore, I’m mad at both parties for putting my season in jeopardy.  However, if I had to choose a side, I think I would have to side with the owners.  I know, I know – the owners only care about money and it is the players that are sacrificing their bodies week after week.  Agreed.  However… Lets assume that they announced that they were having player tryouts this weekend for a spot on the Dallas Cowboys.  Lets also pretend that they announced – in advance- that the most they would pay ANY player was going to be $100,000 a year.  No 8 million dollar contracts – just $100,000.  I would bet that there would be thousands of people lined up outside the stadium to fight for one of those jobs.  Thousands! Now lets assume that they announced that they would be having tryouts for NFL Owners this weekend.  All you had to do was show up with a hundred
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Why Photographers Should Care About The Oscars

This past weekend, I was very excited to see The King’s Speech win Best Picture at the 2011 Academy Awards.  It was one of those films where you walked out of the theater and thought, “That is going to win Best Picture.”  Same with Colin Firth as Best Actor.  If you saw the movie – you knew.   It’s just like when you see a stunning print come around in competition and you know it is going to win a lot of awards.  Great stands out among good. The weird part was that every time I asked a photographer friend if they had seen King’s Speech or even Black Swan, they would usually say no.  Talk about missing out on an educational opportunity!  Film-making is not all that different from photography – they are both visual mediums, trying to tell a story.   Because of these similarities, a photographer can learn a lot by watching a great film. The biggest thing I always notice is how they light the scenes.  Is there very stark, dramatic light or a soft, overall light?  The lighting makes a huge difference in the feeling of the scene – just as it does the feeling of
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Take A Bow

When the new year starts up, we are all eager to set goals and make a fresh start.  It doesn’t matter if you are trying to grow your business or shrink your waistline – it all starts with a plan.  Once you get this first step out of the way, there is a critical second step that many people forget – take a minute to take a bow. We are a month and a half into 2011 at this point.  If you have stuck to your New Years resolutions so far, pat yourself on the back and take a bow.  You are probably ahead of about 80% of the others who set goals and quickly abandoned their plans.  Even if you aren’t seeing results yet, at least you know you are on the right track.  The key is to not get frustrated by a lack of results.  Instead, keep focused on the plan and wait for things to fall into place. The funny thing about goals is that they often seem so impossible when you set them – only to turn out a little easier than expected.  My big goal this year was to get more serious about keeping my
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Changing Focus

It was a strange week in Dallas last week.  Our kids actually missed most of the week due to SNOW.  Yes – snow in Texas.  Now this was all great and fun – til the weekend started approaching.  I was scheduled to leave Friday for South Carolina to judge their print competition and speak to a group of photographers.   Unfortunately, on Friday we got even more snow and most of the flights out of Dallas were canceled. Obviously, this led to several phone calls and plan adjustments.  When all the dust settled, I was scheduled to fly out the next morning and suddenly had the whole day on my hands. Now here is the funny thing about snow days… if you are an adult – especially one who has to be somewhere, snow days are a big inconvenience.  If you are a kid, however – you LIVE for extra days away from school.   My kids were excited about playing out in the snow and since I now had a free day I decided to go with them. It was great watching them run around and try to sled in our makeshift snow gear.  What started out as a terrible day,
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Best Picture 2011 – A Photographer’s Perspective

Part of being an artist is exposing yourself to different areas of the arts – and one of my favorites is films.  Every year, we try to see most – if not all- of the Best Picture nominees and make our own decision before the prize is actually awarded.  For the past couple of years – in a move surely designed to drive up box office numbers – they have been nominating 10 movies for this coveted award.  Being a bit old-school, I’m sticking with what I consider to be the Top Five.  If you haven’t seen these, you really need to! If they were to let me choose Best Picture this year, here is what I would choose – and why.  I’ve included links to their IMDB pages, for those who are interested. #5.  The Social Network – Another very entertaining movie.  What was really interesting was the subject – since Facebook is such a phenomenon right now.  If this was about the person who started Acme Incorporated, it wouldn’t be nearly as exciting.  It just seemed to me like a pretty good movie about an incredibly interesting topic.  Not sure if that adds up to Best Picture for
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The “One Box Plan”

January is always the time of year when we look forward to a fresh start. When you are a semi-packrat like me, this can get difficult. As I look around my office, I bet 80% of the things I see have not been used by me in over a year. So why do I keep them around??? Good question.
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