Hidden Treasures

 If you take a picture and never share it, does that picture make a sound? Think about some of the images that have moved you the most? Now think about if you had never seen those images.  Would those pictures still have as much impact? How many great images never get seen?

Today we have the capacity to take more images than ever before.  Our digital chips hold hundreds or thousands of images at a time.  We have a camera with us 24/7 whether it’s a dedicated camera or our camera phone.  Billions of images are snapped a year.  But how many of them are never seen?

I have around 50,000 slides filed from approximately 30 years of photography and now I have an additional 100,000 digital images taken in the past 6 years! Out of those 100, 000 I have probably only shared 2000-3000 and I share more than most because I do a lot of timed sequences shown in slideshows, where the viewer may see 100 pictures in 10 seconds. But even at those numbers I share maybe 3% of my images. The average person must share .03%! When you realize that, it is mind boggling how many images never get seen! You are probably thinking, “That’s good, they are not worth looking at anyway!” But I am willing to bet there are some real amazing images that will never be viewed. You also have to realize it is not like the old days when someone will find a box of pictures or negatives and look through them either. These days these hidden gems are buried in a hard drive or phone somewhere never to become pixels on a screen or dots of ink on a piece of paper.

So what does this mean for those of more serious about our images? It means we need to take the time to go back and look through our files. See if there are some hidden gems or forgotten images that need to be seen! Make a print, put up a post, send a friend an email but give some life to those lost pixels that are waiting to be seen! One of the first assignments I give in my Lightroom class at is to import some images, browse your Library and find 2 images that you really like that you have not shared before or had forgotten! So take some time these next few days and liberate some pixels! Maybe you'll find your “Moonrise, Hernandez” among those hidden treasures.
Here are a few I found today!  Share what you find on these pages!

Finding Inner Peace


Where do you find inner peace?
I am standing all alone at the edge of small stand of trees smack in the middle of Incline Village, NV. There is about 30 inches of new snow on the ground and walking is a chore! With every step I take in the unbroken snow I sink to my waist. It is a beautiful, cold crisp morning with temperatures in the mid teens. The snow, where it is low (back by the road) crunches under your footsteps. I saw a few cars when I walked to this area but once I left the road I have not seen another person.
I couldn’t walk far because it was just too much work, but as I was walking I was thinking about all the changes that have taken place in photography since I first started out. I mean, here I am carrying my digital camera slung over my shoulder, no tripod, no additional lenses, just a spare memory card and that’s it! I was thinking back to all the days when I lived in Yosemite and how I would ski around with a camera pack, tripod, sometimes even the 4 x 5 camera, lenses, light meter and fill holders. Life is easier now! And it also helped that I was 20- 30 years younger then. 
And of course I couldn’t help think back to Ansel Adams, since his birthday was celebrated this week. I remembered how excited he was when he got his huge IBM word processor and how much he enjoyed technology and I was wondering what he would be thinking about my digital camera and better yet my iPhone with built in HDR! A lot goes through your mind when it’s a struggle to walk 30 yards!
Just ahead I could see some nice light on the evergreens in front of me. I walked up a fire road a bit and stopped to photograph. I made a few nice images and thought of moving on, but then I realized I didn’t need a change of scenery to make better images, I just needed a change in seeing. So I stood in one place, maybe drifting a foot forward or backward for a slightly cleaner composition but basically rooted in the same spot. I watched as the light shifted, and the winds blew the snow off the trees. Sometimes the drifting snow would be backlit like a million tiny crystals, other times it for a veil like fog over the landscape. From this one location I had back lighting, side lighting and frontal light. Every turn was a new scene! It's amazing what you see when you look!

I stayed here for about an hour alternating between taking images and just soaking it all in. Every click of the shutter was exhilarating. The snow absorbed most noise and it was just me, and the trees and the wind. That is where I found inner peace this week.

















Lake Okeechobee!


On Thursday I had the privilege to go out on Lake Okeechobee with my friend Sarah Brown a photographer, Chris Davenport an archeologist for Palm Beach County and Greg “Boots” Boyer a tree farmer, environmental restoration specialist and a great airboat pilot! It was my first time on an airboat and my first time exploring this portion of the Everglades ecosystem. Pictures can’t capture the grandeur of the lake and the sawgrass habitat.
Behind the Great Lakes and the Great Salt Lake, Lake Okeechobee is the next largest lake in the United States covering 730 square miles and is approximately half the size of Rhode Banana SpiderIsland! It is a relatively young lake only about 6,000 years old and the source of all the drinking water for southern Florida.
Chris gave a running commentary (when we weren’t zipping along in the airboat – too noisy!) on the history of the lake dating back 3,000 years until the present. Our route took us over large archeological sites now buried under water the Chris was able to document during the drought of 2006-2008.
Boots showed us one the largest stands of native Pond Apples still found in the Everglades and told us of his efforts to replant thousand more of the these trees in their historical habitat. Along the route we saw flocks of birds including coots, herons, egrets, osprey and more! And of course we saw the usual bevy of alligators that are so common in the glades.
Wearing knee boots, shorts and a sweatshirt I walked through the much carrying my cameras on my Cotton Carrier, I photographed with my 100-400mm and my 24-105mm lenses. From the grand vistas of the lake that looked like the ocean, to the close up of the Banana Spiders, this area offers many photographic opportunities. I had a great time shooting video as the airboat sped along the narrow waterways! If you ever in the area look up Boots ( or Chris (  and have a great experience seeing a piece of Florida that escapes most visitors.



Welcome to my Blog!

Welcome to my blog!  I am not going to lie to you and promise that I am going to write daily, but I will promise to try and add something new every week whether it be sharing a thought, an image or a technique.  As you may be aware, I am a busy guy!  I travel at least a week a month and many times more than that.  When I am home I am trying to do a months worth of work in the time I have left each month!  So personally I don't understand how any working professional has time to blog everyday, I can't even open all the mail that has accumulated!


But I do have a lot of great adventures and meet lots of interesting people on my travels whether I am out doing lectures or leading adventures.  I will share some of those with you here in this space.


Since this is the first blog on my brand new website, I want to invite you to explore the site and check out the images and information.  I will be continually adding new images, but as you can imagine it is a time consuming process!  I hope you like the new site, I have spent many hours getting it to this point and I want to keep evolving it into an even better site as time goes on. I have lots of new images here that were not on my old site and conversely, I have not gotten up some of my old favorites yet, but rest assured I will!


Eventually there will be full integration into Facebook, Twitter and perhaps even other social networks. If you sign up for the newsletter I will fill you in on upcoming events and any specials I may run on the site.  I also am trying to take a picture of every room I sleep in this year outside my own.  I have posted them on Twitter and Facebook and will include the images here and try and keep that running all year.  But for now enjoy the site, check back or sign up for the blog and I’ll try and make it worth you time! I have three more trips to Florida, a New England swing, Alaska, Tibet and more coming up this year that I will be sharing.



                                                                           Happy Shooting! 



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