An Open Letter & Petition to Sigma Photo to Create a Micro Four Thirds Mirrorless Camera

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Dear Awesome Sigma,

I’ve owned Nikons, Canons and Sony cameras. A few years ago I abandoned my Nikon DSLR equipment in 2008 and switched to the Micro Four Thirds standard. This mirrorless format has become the best go-to camera setup I have ever owned in my career as a pro photographer both because the technology is cutting edge, and it’s more of an open standard and cooperative between photographic companies which in turn benefits the customer, and the end user, allowing us to choose a wide variety of different lenses from different manufacturers. However, In between this transition, I owned the Sigma DP1 and DP2, which contained a Foveon sensor, which is completely different than the traditional Bayer sensor technology used in most digital cameras on the market. The Foveon sensor captured sharp details, better color and deeper dynamic range in a unique way that I had never seen before in a modern digital camera and in my opinion the Foveon sensor is a superior technology that goes unrivaled in the photography industry.

I feel Sigma could enrich the mirrorless community by developing an M4/3 mirrorless camera that contains a Foveon sensor. It would further enhance an already strong community of professionals and amateurs currently using the open Micro Four Thirds standard and give consumers a really strong third option when comparing and shopping for camera bodies.

This would be a dream come true for a lot of photographers, especially for me, which is why I decided to create a petition. Olympus and Panasonic are excellent companies as well, but I’m really a big supporter of Sigma’s progress and efforts and I feel that creating a system for the M4/3 format would be a step in the right direction for such an excellent company!

Click here to sign the letter at Petition.org!

On the Panasonic GH2 – Porst 55mm F1.2 Lens (Poor Man’s Noctilux!)

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This is the newest addition to my Micro Four Thirds kit; as you can see in the pic above, the Porst is a super fast lens for low light. I just wanted to share a a few thoughts on this setup as I am really enjoying it. The Porst 55mm F1.2 lens is a K-mount lens requiring a special adapter to connect it to an M/43 camera but once attached if feels natural. I’ve tested the sharpness of the lens wide-open and it’s adequately sharp at F/1.2. In fact I am surprised at how sharp it is!! However, I am new to shooting a lens this fast and it is a treat but it’s not without its challenges. The other afternoon I took the lens out for a quick photo-shoot around Cedar City to get the hang of it and discovered that it is quite difficult to nail the focus when shooting wide-open at F1.2;  it’s literally paper thin! At first, I though the lens was just not sharp but when testing it on a tripod, it was much easier to nail focus with some stability.

What I like about the lens is the insane bokeh that I’ve been able to cherry pick out of thousands of images on Flickr from a variety of F1.2 lenses and I’m pretty convinced that the Porst 55mm F1.2, the Tomioka 55mm F1.2, and the Cosina 55mm F1.2 are all similar designs and render very similar bokeh and sharpness and behave very similar. The three lenses I just mentioned are all worthy of investment as well as the Yashinon Tomioka 55mm F1.2 lens.

This lens constitutes a Poor Man’s Noctilux. While I don’t think it can really beat the Leica Noctilux in sharpness wide-open, I actually prefer the bokeh from from the lenses I’ve mentioned above, especially the Porst. If I were to buy a second lens for the same speed, I would invest in a Cosina 55mm F1.2 lens. The Tomiokas are excellent choices but I their going prices for used condition on the market are way jacked-up, in fact – I’m not convinced that the Tomioka’s are worth a going price of $1,200 on eBay which is what the “buy-it-now” auction are asking for. I was able to get my Porst for about $379 which was much more reasonable and the lens was shipped clear from Cyprus in mint minus condition.

The Porst 55mm F1.2 lens is a lot of fun though and I will share more thoughts as time moves on!

Micro Four Thirds: SLR Magic 26mm F1.4 Toy Lens Review

SLR Magic 26mm F/1.4 Toy Lens Review

My First Review: SLRMagic 26mm F1.4 Toy Lens

Finding a great lens that’s not perfect but creates the emotional effects using natural blur is one of the most satisfying experiences a photographer can discover. Not only that, if you’ve never tried manual focusing a lens then you are missing out on the hidden power of having complete control over how your images develop. Often, auto-focussing limits the control you maintain and you wind up disappointed with the flawed images. Usually the focusing is off on the subject matter because the autofocus wasn’t accurate and you didn’t notice the problem until viewing the images on a larger screen. Why let a machine determine how your images turn out? It doesn’t matter how advanced the technology is, cameras are still stupid and overprone to error. As a creative artist you should take complete control over this step in your art.

Over the years as a photographer, I’ve come to realize that slowing down and maintaining manual control over the photographic process creates better end results that wind up more pleasing.  There’s so much effort lost in trial and error; if you’re serious about your photography, a cheap manual lens is a good buy to learn the art of manual focusing and selective focusing. I love the SLRGear 26mm F1.4 manual focus “Toy Lens” for a reason. It’s cheap, inexpensive and yields outstanding results. I’ve been shooting with this lens for about four months now and want to include some thoughts on my experience with the toy lens.

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The Sweetspot of This Lens

Before purchasing the lens for about a hundred dollars I read reviews that questioned the sharpness and quality of the lens. I can assure you that the “sweetspot” of sharpness that I discovered with this glass is nothing short of impressive. To me, the quality of the images were excellent. This is a specialty lens but is in no way a toy. I’ve been very satisfied with the quality. The sweetspot is great but a little unpredictable. With careful manual focusing on a Micro Four Thirds camera, you can expect to get awesome results. The blur is natural and doesn’t have to be photoshopped to create this haunting effect.

The lens feels very similar to a Lensbaby, but much more intuitive and cheaper! The sharpness is great. I’ve got the Panasonic 20mm F1.7 lens, and the sharpness is comparable to that lens but with it’s own sweet spot. The notable flaw in the toy lens is the chromatic abrasion and some purple fringing that is hard to avoid in bright light, along occasional lens flare. It’s a normal lens. The truth is I find myself shooting more with this lens than the Panasonic 20mm pancake lens because it is manual. What you do is focus your subject matter and the natural blur from the lens emphasizes the focal point.

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Shooting Wide Open is Essential

To get the most from the toy lens, shooting in broad daylight is not recommended mainly because of chromatic aberration, purple fringing, and a lot of light fall off when using a smaller aperture. Plus, to maximise the unique blur, you have to shoot the lens wide open in lower light. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend stopping down the aperture unless you have no other choice to avoid overexposure. There have been several instances where I was forced to close down the aperture in order to get the shots properly exposed. I tend to be a guy that likes to shoot in sunny daylight. It’s nice to utilize the entire day to capture as many images as possible. It’s preferable though toy lens wide open because the blur, color, and unpredictable effects are most striking wide open. Going through an abandoned house out in the middle of nowhere is a good example of this…

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Why I Love the SLR Magic Toy Lens

To put things mildly, I’m madly in love with this lens and it’s effects.  Forget about having to manipulate images in photoshop to achieve similar effects. In fact, I frown on the use of photoshop to achieve moody blur and other creative effects. It’s nice to have a lens that gives me this extra ability to experiment, goof around and have fun. The lens is cheap, affordable and doesn’t empty the bank account but it gives amazing results. The lens is a little small and awkward to use and makes your camera look funky but the images are overall pleasing and moody. This takes the perfection out of digital imaging and replaces it with intuition. There’s tons of extra creative applications that you cannot do with a traditional lens. This item should be in the camera bag of every photographer that uses a Micro Four Thirds camera.

My vision of photography reflects the moody environments that I explore. When venturing into the desert solo, I want to capture the memories of a time and place. These stories, these feelings are part of a beautiful land. As a tour guide, wilderness guide, and adventurer, I am constantly educating vistors (tourists) about my country and the history of the land. There’s no better way for me to communicate those feelings than with photography. This art has provided me a vessel to communicate deep thoughts and feelings. The SLR Magic 26mm F1.4 lens is a welcome addition to my equipment and it inspired me to write a review.

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Final Thoughts

The SLR Magic 26mm F1.4 Toy Lens has won the position of being the first review for Talking Tree Photo. The main reason; It’s an intuitive lens. There’s nothing about it that makes it a toy. Consider this lens a serious tool with good potential. So I give full kudos to SLR Magic for making a greatly inexpensive product while keeping the quality high. ‘mAs I get more funds coming in, I looking forward to trying out some more products offered by SLR Magic. They deserve some worthy recognition for their efforts.

This lens is essential for those who want the maximum flexibility and get bored easily using traditional equipment. The time spent with this lens makes traditional photography feel more like real art. With the unique blur and bokeh you achieve from an imperfect lens, it’s more like making photographs instead of shooting snapshots. The manual experience will force you to think harder and when photographing the world.

If you like low light, and wide aperture lenses, this investment is pennies on the dollar compared to most other wide-aperture lenses. You can’t go wrong for a hundred bucks. So I encourage you to support SLR Magic and give their 26mm lens a buy. They are available through eBay. Currently, the only store that they have is on eBay, so go here to find out more about them: SLR Magic eBay Store.

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All images by Nathan Cowlishaw

Solving the Problem of Flimsy Plastic Lens Hoods!

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So I’ve always had these problems with liking cheap plastic lens hoods on digital camera lenses. So instead of getting frustrated, I went out and bought an $18 dollar can of truck bed liner and it works like a charm. What I do is leave the lens hood on full time and it feels so much better when it feels this tough! This is a simple trick and tip for you guys. I would love to hear your thoughts!? :)

I Wrote a Poem Instead of Homework!

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I wrote this poem instead of doing CSIS Homework… I feel this is much more healthy for the mind versus watching paint dry! The pic above is me, Nate!

Canyon Country in Summer
by Nathan Cowlishaw

I want to be haunted by Cloud Spirits
and visited by the Mirage People
So that the trees and hills know me
and that the Tree Man will speak to me…

I remember the beauty of the rolling desert
in the deep heat of last summer
Which Led me here
to this deep end of intoxicating dreams and imagery…

And like a random flashback
I remember myself
traveling solo,
traversing the wind-swept dirt paths of Canyon Lands
I simmered and fried in the July hea
tin a vehicle without air conditioning
In a sandstone frying pan

At night, the air cooled
As I reached camp…
At a powerful merging place of the Green and Colorado rivers

I parked my Cherokee…
Pitched my tent and watched The candled sky for hours
Listening to the deepness and darkness
of the two rivers moving.
I could hear the water spirits
and the wild entered my dreams.

Now here I am
looking back
With the fall wind looming.

My Love Affair with the Panasonic Lumix 14mm F2.5 Pancake Lens – Perfect for Landscapes!

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I want to share briefly my experience with the amazing, Panasonic Lumix 14mm F2.5 Pancake lens. It’s beautiful, ultra small and compact and a joy to shoot with. Combine it with the adventurous Olympus OM-D E-M5 and you have quite a professional and pocket-able mini-landscape combo! I’ve shot with this lens both on Olympus and Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras; the G1, GF1 as well as the E-P2! The lens looks perfect on all these camera bodies and significantly smaller than the legendary Panasonic 20mm F1.7 Pancake.

My first impression of this lens, when I first got it in the mail, was how dinky it was in size and the feeling was somewhat bitter-sweet! However the lens quickly grew on me and I’ve began using it as my primary wide-angle because of the ease of use and it looks very streamlined with the Olympus cameras. I like it better than the Zuiko 17mm F2.8 Pancake that I have. BTW, the old Olympus 17mm got a really bad rap, but I really love the sharpness and quality of that lens. Maybe I’ll post another short review with image examples shot on the E-P2, since that lens has also created some superb landscapes with my talent, of course.

Yes, I did own the legendary super wide-angle Panasonic 7-14mm lens but it was real bulky and unable to accept screw-on filters which left something to be desired… It produced some stunning landscapes for me over a few years time and I loved it but ended up selling it on eBay while keeping the 14mm pancake! As a standard wideangle, it’s not super-wide, but it’s adequate for any landscape or architectural work. It is capable and adequate for professional work as well. I’m not the type of guy that buys into all the marketing hype and I’m definitely not a pixel-peeper either. The photo of my feet, wearing Chacos above the San Juan Goosenecks was captured with the same Pancake. This photo example was good enough to get accepted in a Santa Fe art gallery along with some of my other prints that will be on exhibition soon at the Jezebel Gallery in New Mexico. The great thing about the 14mm lens is that it’s a prime.  I prefer prime fixed focal length lenses versus zooms which is probably another reason why I chose to sell the Panasonic 7-14mm When I was shooting the Panasonic super-wide zoom, I was always shooting at the widest field of view; 7mm and I miss having that capability of course. What would be really cool is if Olympus or Panasonic could engineer a super-wide prime (not a fisheye) that could produce good outstanding results? I would invest money in such a lens especially at the 7mm focal length!

In this short post, I’ve included real world results of my work with this lens to demonstrate it’s characteristics and show you it’s capable of some serious work. I’m very happy with the results I have gotten so far and have taken many photos with it on my OM-D!

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For a pancake lens I was mesmerized by the quality of the glass. This is the San Juan Goose-necks near the Navajo (Diné) Reservation in the Four Corners region. This image was shot with a Panasonic GF1. The rest of the images below were shot with the Olympus OM-D E-M5. All the images were post-processed on an iPhone using Snapseed and Pixlr Express, and Instagram Filters. All photos were shot in Jpeg right off the OM-D with minimal processing except for using filters and lightening shadows in the dark areas of some of the photos.

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The following photos were below were during flash flood that took place in Zion National Park in July of 2013. while hiking with my best friend, Omar Hernandez. We got stuck in a massive cloudburst, and water started to come off the cliffs forming instant water falls. Back in 2008, I was stuck in a flood in Havasupai which gave me a lot of experiences under such dire circumstances and this definitely was not the first time I’ve been holed up by flash flooding. It was sure a beautiful day to take pics though out on the Angels Landing Trail.

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In conclusion, I would highly recommend this lens for any dedicated Micro Four Thirds user. It is a wonderful little lens at a dirt cheap price that you cannot beat being that it’s a prime. It’s perfect for adventurers and hikers who want to travel light. I got my lens on eBay, brand new for around $150 dollars. That’s unbeatable! You get excellent image quality in a compact package. It’s a joy to shoot and reinvigirates my excitement to do photography every time I shoot. I love the Micro Four Thirds camera system and the variety of lenses available for the format. I was first introduced to Micro Four Thirds while attending the 2008 PMA convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. It prompted me to sell off my Nikon equipment. Stay tuned for more interesting posts…

Winning a Leica M9 Monochrom & $20K!

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I did a crazy thing today and spent a measely $20 dollars on an incredible black and white photo contest in the hopes of winning an $8,000 dollar Leica M9 Monochrome and $20,000 in cash. This was a good deal. Mind you, this is the first time I have ever entered a photo contest of any sort, The fact that I love Leica so much is what pushed me over the edge. If there’s a snowballs chance in hell that I win, I would put some of that money towards a Leica Noctilux-m 50mm f/.95 lens. My brother tends to disagree on how good Leica is. He says they are a bunch of hype and I should know better but Leica isn’t just a Red Dot brand for rich yuppies, it is one of the oldest and most respected companies in the history of photography. I’ve done the research, frequented enough technical forums, and have always been impressed with the quality images that come from Leica users . So I plan on getting one someday. Until then, I’m stuck shooting the poor-man’s Leicas: My trusty Olympus E-P2 and OM-D E-M5.

The dead cow photo above is what I chose to submit, not in hopes of winning, but because it represents my vision. As an artist making an honest assessment, It’s my worldview when shooting Landscape Photography that not everything in nature is pristine. I’m chuckling as I write this because it’s a statement against some of the nature photographers in general that like everything untouched and undisturbed before they can compose a picture. It’s ludicrous when in reality, nothing is unscathed even in the national parks. What’s wrong with airplane trails and power-lines being apart of the intended wilderness? Embrace them. In my humble opinion human-kind is apart of the wild and cannot be removed from it. I wonder how this dead cow would have been rendered using Leica glass? Trust me, German glass is superior!

Of course, you don’t have to believe me. Everyone swears by certain brands but some are simply more endearing that others to use. Leica is my favorite company of choice because their whole system is dedicated to the advanced art of manual focusing and the red dot is simply amazing! I won’t go so far as to claim that only real photographers shoot Leica, but I will say some of the most serious street photographers and world famous photojournalists have used Leica since the early days. It’s a serious tradition. Life is short and you may as well go the whole nine yards! So cheers to my favorite brand.

 

Shooting for the Big Times: Kickstarter, Instagram and a Road Trip to New Mexico!

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This week, I travel to New Mexico with several opportunities to shoot photos of various landscapes using micro four thirds cameras. The photo above is one of my recent travels to Area 51 in the Nevada desert! Off in the distance is the little town of Rachel, Nevada on the border of a secret military base. The trip to New Mexico is one of many that I have planned for 2013 and this one will be a Kickstarter photo project that has yet to be made public. We are keeping it a secret because it is such a good idea! This is going to be great, because I’m taking nothing but a bunch of manual focus lenses and a few autofocus lenses for backup. I’ll clue you in, the photo project has something to do with zombies and their homeland. The bulk of the work will begin later this July. My brother, Joe already has a successful Kickstarter under his belt to mass produce indestructible ocarinas. They are also known as a flutes designed to fit perfectly into your pocket while withstanding the most rigorous abuse. A little over six months ago my brother, Joseph Cowlishaw quit his day job to follow this dream to become an entrepreneur and master flute-maker. He’s been doing clay and ceramics since high school but started making flutes back in 2003 and has never stopped. You can check out his startup company called Wowflutes.

For the last six months, we have been combining our creative efforts to form a collaborative. My company is Talking Tree Photo and we started networking and marketing on most of the major visual social networks. Instagram has worked very well for both of us, and my brother had one of his images featured on the main Instagram feed on Sunday, June 30th, 2013. Check out this last screen capture of his image at the Meteor Crater in Arizona.

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We were surprised that they chose his image and it gave him quite a bit exposure. We both have pretty good followings on there and we are working to reach out to those who have been showing support for our efforts. My feed got popular, because some of my photos reminded fellow instagrammers of the Coen Brother’s film; No Country for Old Men. Later, fans from the AMC TV shows; Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, began comparing my images to scenes from both shows. This prompted me to become familiar with both series and compare their styles with my own; the similarities were quite revealing. I really enjoy the specific cinematography of Breaking Bad by Michael Slovis.

New Mexico is definitely one of the most photogenic places in the Desert Southwest, and probably my favorite state right now. I’m looking forward to my trip there this week and will document the details of my trip here on the blog. My brother and I keep comparing notes about the Coen Brothers, and they are an inspiration to me. Their work has influenced my vision about the Desert Southwest as I create a portrait of what America is all about in the post-modern era. I look forward to the future and what these creative ventures will yield. Life is short but adventure is always out there, waiting. You’ve just gotta believe in yourself!

Some Dreams Die

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Some dreams are left unfulfilled and the people who built those dreams have passed on to the spirit world. This is all that’s left in the temporal world. So work hard to fulfill those goals because life is ever so short. Already, I’m caught in the bind of trying to figure out quickly what to do with my life because it passes by so fast. This is the abandoned dream house.

Converting to Manual Focus & Learning Lens Repair

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This is one way to gain an edge on the competition amongst professionals in the photography business… Learning to repair one’s own equipment in case of a stuck shutter, or a lens with sticking aperture blades, as was the case with this Minolta 58mm 1.4 lens. I disassembled it and put it back together again after re-lubing the aperture with rubbing alcohol and cleaning the excess dust from between the elements making it look brand new. I paid $10 bucks for it at the local thrift store!

Many of the lenses that are being made these days are auto-focus and highly calibrated and much harder to fix. Learning to fix these old lenses allows me to collect broken ones from eBay, or elsewhere at a much cheaper price. The demand for manual focus lenses is going up though, because people like me have discovered the joy in having complete control over every aspect of their photography. The art of manual focusing has a learning curve and could be considered by some to be a sub-field within the trade of photography. Learning to repair these old lenses though gives me an opportunity to really enjoy my equipment, building a bond between me and the tools.

I’m surprised how popular these old manual lenses are getting. The demand for vintage lenses is skyrocketing because of the new mirror-less technology that many camera manufacturers are implementing in their latest digital cameras. My personal equipment consists of mirror-less cameras made by Olympus in the Micro Four Thirds format. I highly recommend these cameras and those made by Sony under the label; NEX. All these cameras can utilize these old manual focus lenses with special adapters that can be purchased relatively cheap. Anyone who is half serious about photography should learn the art of manual focusing because it develops a skill set that can set you apart from the soccer-ball mom crowds who use Canon as their brand and refuse to move beyond the zoom-lens.

I have no problems with soccer-ball mommies if they are willing to learn the process of photography before calling themselves pro. I also advise people to avoid the zoom lenses, because they stifle the creative process. Fixed focal-length lenses are the best for mastering photography, because they force your feet to become the zoom and you begin thinking more about composition. I also prefer shooting with medium telephoto primes because of the tighter crop factor with allows the photographer to really isolate the subject matter.

These are just a few thoughts on my mind for tonight. So stay tuned for more tips! :)

 

The Tale of Two Social Networks: Instagram & Flickr

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For the passed six months I’ve poured my interest into Instagram when I got my first iPhone last Septempter. I quickly upgraded from the 4s to the 64 GB iPhone 5. It became my go to resource for everything photography when I fell in love with the art of mobile photography. The iPhone changed the way I did photography forever. The diverse variety of photography apps readily and cheaply available for the IOS platform caused me to quickly abandon Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. I have become a photographer with an outlook similar to a mobile photojournalist and began pouring all my efforts into Intagram community, and began building my own hub starting in September of 2012. Right now, my community is over 50,000 people strong and I’ve decided that this trend in social networking has replaced the old realm of photoblogging!

This domain was once an established photo-blog, and I still reminiscence on those old days but I have a much bigger vision; I want to build a community on a blog that provides a resource. If it works on Instagram, it can work here. Not too long ago, I started putting similar efforts into a Tumblr blog and that community is growing as well! Then Yahoo acquired Tumblr and then I started rethinking Flickr. Like the photoblogging community, Flickr sounds archaic or something that has gone extinct, yet it survives. Yahoo is now trying to breath life back into that good ol’ social network. I’m interested in these moves by Yahoo and I’m going to bank on these two social networks because they can really enable an emerging artist!

Is Flickr better than Instagram? In some ways, yes. I see it more as a strong photography resource for professionals and advanced amateurs. Despite Flickr being seen by many as dead horse, there is actually a very strong and vibrant photography community that lives in the photo groups on Flickr… and I think it’s a social network that is more than worthy of a serious come-back. I support Yahoo’s efforts to really take initiative with Flickr and revamp it. So, I’m going to put my marketing experience and time into Flickr and find a new way to light up this old flame!

Will I give up on Instagram…? No I will not, I love IG more than ever. I think both Flickr and Instagram are worthy of your love. Invest in both if you have a passion for photography and ignore all the Talking Heads!

Welcome To My Old Photoblog! :)

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Okay after what seems like a long hiatus for me and this site, I’ve finally jumpstarted it back up with a new hosting service at Media Temple. It’s heartbreak to say goodbye to the old photoblog, but I’m going to breath new life into the future of this site. I evolved as a photographer and started using Instagram (Click Here! – to see my feed…). Since September 2012, my IG community has grown to 16,000 followers and counting. So I want to breath new life into this site and incorporate it into my social networks. As a photographer, I will be represented by a gallery in Santa Fe as well, which I will cover in a future post. Right now, I just want to give you a heads up.

This site will be dedicated to the art of photography and all the geekery that photographers like to talk about. So I’ll be posting all kinds of stuff! Stay tuned!

A Man’s Inner Strength is his Beauty

A man’s inner strength is what makes him beautiful and gives him the ability to believe in himself. This morning I was reminded of this skill and that it’s what attracts the good things in my life. My connection to the land and the people around me is very real and the power of that spirit manifests itself in many ways. It’s easy to get lost or wind up in the rut but that’s the purpose for trials and tribulations, because in the long run those struggles make us more powerful. Someday, when I look back at this picture, I want to remember what I looked like in my younger years. It will also serve as a reminder about where I’m going…

The Cyclic Change

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This is a cottonwood tree below a beautiful cloudscape a few years ago. Image was shot with one of my Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras. Later, I edited the raw image in Lightroom and just recently exported it to my iPhone 4S where I ran it through an iPhone app that creates the sepia, grain, dust and scratches.  It’s called Scratchcam! This may be an effect that some people don’t like, but for me it communicates how I feel about my art and the intuition that I share deep inside with my images. I think it’s awesome that digital technology has come such a long way that we can now edit images from an handheld device. I’m having a blast shooting images with my iPhone 4s as well and enjoying the art of what they call, iPhoneography. If these new changes to photography are revolutionizing the way we view and capture the world, then I want to be at the forefront of this photographic rennaisance instead of sitting on the sideline.

The Marriage Between Micro Four Thirds & iPhonography

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Okay… I’m being overwhelmed with technological advances in photography from using an iPhone 4s to capture and post-process landscape images to using the iPhone to edit and print my DSLR and mirror less camera shots… Okay! I’m not going to give up my regular camera equipment anytime soon, but the iPhone apps are causing me to fall in love with photography all over again. It’s like a rebirth! So stay tuned. This photoblog is going to undergo a lot of different types of photography. I’m trying to post to Flickr, Instagam, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Not an easy feat. Also, this image was shot on a micro four thirds camera then edited with photoshop CS5 and then further processed with the frame using Lo-Mob on my iPhone 4s. I’m integrating my computer and iPhone using Dropbox. It’s pretty crazy. Photo title: Haunted Hallway -Historic Overland Hotel – Pioche, Nevada.

Puebloan Ceremonial Kiva – Aztec National Monument

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This is an ancient Pueblo Kiva that was used for community gatherings and religious ceremony in the old days and is still considered to be sacred to modern Pueblo people. The site is located in the heart of Farmington, New Mexico.  This was a very hard image to capture with the low-light and all the traffic coming and going through the Kiva. In the old days, there were no stairs into the Kiva. You have to descend down a latter through an entrance in the ceiling or a window. The Kiva served as a church and I try to show respect when I visit such sites.

Sunrise at Toroweap in the Grand Canyon

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Beauty is all around out in the Grand Canyon south of the Utah Border. You take a dirt road from Colorado City, 67 miles across the rugged Arizona Strip before getting to this spot. The dirt road is so primitive that a lot of people are not willing to take the risk. This area is a hot sport for serious landscape photographers who are familiar with the Southwest. I photographed this with an emphasis on the porous sandstone bathed in early morning light.

Ears of Corn in the Hogan

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Corn is an important staple and somewhat of a backbone for the Navajo People. It’s considered to play an important role to the creation of humanity and is apart of the origin of the Navajo people who call themselves the Dineh people. This corn was photographed in a traditional Navajo Home (hogan) with permission.

iPhoneography: Landscape Photography with Iphone 4s

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Telling a story is simple… Who says you can’t do landscape photography with a mobile phone. Are photographers going to throw their prejudices around!? Don’t misunderstand me but understand my intentions. Most people taking photographs right now are doing so using a cell phone. Why not experiment. Recently, I sold my Micro Four Thirds equipment and will eventually update my camera gear but for now, I’m enjoying shooting images with an iPhone!

Iphoneography: Hotel Swimming Pool

swimming_pool_fence

More exciting and seedy imagery from the grungy Desert Southwest. In late fall this hotel still has its swimming pool filled to the brim on a cold day. To protect the innocent and guilty, I will not say which hotel this is. The rust on the fence is what I was aiming for but the pool was the overall composition. I really like the fence shadow as well. This shot was taken with an iPhone 4s and was pretty reminiscent of the Coen Brother’s Film, No Country For Old Men. So whip out your trusty iPhone and start taking pics!

A Hopi Sunset at Work – For the Ultimate Desert Rat

Captured at work tonight on the iPhone 4S. I’m loving this portability in the camera. Learning the art of having a camera on me on the time since my phone is my camera that is with me all the time. This is what I call a Hopi Sunset when they are this intense. It reminds me of a Hopi story about a young man that always strayed to the edge of the mesa outside his village, wondering about the afterlife and what happened after this life.

Hipstamatic: Leafy Textures

leafy_texture

Okay, I saw this on the ground and picked it up because of the textures which were fascinating. I was at work and I had this deep thought. Oh, and the iPhone is a fun camera to shoot and yes, it’s going to dominate this blog for a while because it forces me to think outside the box and get to the very edge of technology and imagery that is enjoyed by the masses. I’m not going to be the elitist carrying around the ten grand Leica. I’m just want to enjoy what I do: take pictures!

Autumn in the Desert

The little CCD sensor and lens in the iPhone 4S has opened up photography to the masses in a portable device and it continues to scare a lot of traditional photographers but I would encourage artisans to embrace the latest and greatest technologies. It’s what Ansel Adams would do. Check out the detail in this leaf shot, taken hand-held and post-processed with Snapseed by Nik Software. The image was resized for this blog with a special Adobe Photoshop plugin that I love very much! It’s a secret but if you message me, I’ll probably reveal it!