Image of the Day

So this was my second time visiting this part of the country but really my first as a passionate photographer. Just a few yards from the hotel (yes, there is a new hotel that overlooks this amazing place…..more about that soon!), there is a dirt road that takes you deeper into the valley. Its a little bumpy but well worth the dirt and dust you will most likely be cleaning out of the car for at LEAST a month. Of course, if you are in a rental car, (like I was), its a whole new ball game!

Shooting into the light in Monument Valley

A couple of tips to get this kind of shot…

First off, a tight or small aperture like F22 or F16 is a good choice to get those “rays” from the sun. And secondly, a scene like this has an amazing range of light. I suggest shooting in raw and exposing for the sky. Make sure that you have not over exposed the highlights as once that happens, you will never get them back. The shadows however are a little more forgiving. A lot of that detail can be pulled back in your camera raw editor. Of course, you can always bracket these scenes and process these HDR creations a variety of ways. I talk a bit more about that here if you want to take a deeper dive into the art!

So remember those 2 tips …….. and I DEFINITELY recommend a rental car:)


Quick Tip Tuesday (possibly delivered on a Wednesday)

So for a followup to last weeks post, I work a little with the same image. This one was a quick capture during a workshop I was on with the amazing Joe McNally in Boston a couple of years ago. The tip is a combination of a couple of tricks I have picked up from Scott Kelby as well as Fay Sirkus.

This process, like any, can be pushed over the top, but sometimes just a subtle tweak is all you need to take the image to the next level. For todays Quick Tip Video, I’ll show you what I mean.

“Creating art is a habit, one that we practice daily or hourly until we get good at it … Art isn’t about the rush of victory that comes from being picked. Nor does it involve compliance. Art in the post-industrial age is a lifelong habit, a stepwise process that incrementally allows us to create more art.” – Seth Godin

I know I have mentioned him before on the blog here as well as shared a few of his videos from time to time, so I figured it was time to reintroduce you to him here on out weekly “Meet the Artist” post. Having just started a reread on his book called The Icarus Deception for what I am pretty sure is the THIRD time, it seems fitting to mention him tonight. I can honestly say that as an entrepreneur and a creative in todays world, I look to people like Seth as a form of Digital Mentor. He has authored over 17 books, posts daily on his blog, and can be found all over the world sharing his onsite into creative marketing, business in todays “connected” economy, education in a post industrial age, and the importance of creating art.


His perspective of exactly what an artist really is has in fact altered my own personal definition of what is means to create your art in todays world. Like this quote I found here…

“Art is the work of a human being – something a person does with generosity to touch someone else to make a change for the better. We can see art in the way the nurse in a doctor’s office treats us when she knows how much pain we’re in. She’s not just doing her job; she’s being a person. She is enlarging the bubble around herself to include us.” – Seth Godin

I share a few of my favorite reads of his here below. I would start with any of them and to be honest with you, read them all! He is that good:)


For more from Seth Godin and his gift, follow his posts and art on his website here, follow him on Twitter here, and watch his updates on his blog here.

As I type this, I am listening to this cool interview with Seth below. Figured I would share this as you can probably listen to is as you are creating YOUR art:)


What a great place to hang out and people watch!

Grand Central

As I sauntered into the Grand Central Terminal, I tried to play it cool as the mission was to quickly plant the tripod and capture a quick bracket sequence for HDR processing later, and then be on my way. Seems like an easy task, but not really…..

I have of course heard many times that this simple process of setting up to capture the ambiance of this amazing station with a basic tripod can be frowned upon, (all a part of living in post 9/11 I guess) but I was up for the challenge. For this trip, I had my little harmless little table top Really Right tripod with me, so a nice little ledge was all I needed. To my surprise, just up the stairs on the North side was an open air Apple store with an amazing and clear view of all the action! Now, all I needed to do was wander around like an interested customer just before a quick trip to the balcony. I clicked off a few brackets from a couple locations, browsed at a couple of iPads with a semi inquisitive look on my face, and then retreated to the main floor.

I am sure that as cool and sly as I thought I was, (I think I tripped down a stair or 2 just to put things in perspective!) I was being watched from at least a hundred cameras, but at least I got the shot:)

Next time, maybe I’ll look into getting a permit…

And for something COMPLETELY unrelated

I don’t think I shared this one with ya. Its from my quick tip Tuesday post on my Youtube channel but I never got around to sharing it with ya here.

Sometimes its the simple and subtle changes you make to your photos and images that take it to the next level. I share one of those processes here about how to whiten teeth in photoshop. (I told you it was completely different!) As always, there are several ways to do just about anything in photoshop as I am sure you will see here, but you this process is a pretty fundamental one that can be used for a variety of tweaks. Its a basic tip, but still worth a watch…..

So here it is, a quick tip Tuesday video…posted on a Saturday night….


Hey folks!

Not too much to report tonight as I just got back into town and am working on a few fun projects, but I just wanted to pop in and say hi and thanks for stopping by!

Quick Tip Tuesday, yeah I know, I missed it again!

I’ll share it tomorrow I promise.

So yeah, I just got back from California again, but this time it was for a photography project. Kinda cool as it was not one of my usual “wander the earth” searching for interesting scenes, but a payed gig for someone in my own special events industry. I must say, it was great fun and I can’t wait to do it again!

I grabbed this one as I was walking thru the lobby on my way to the event space down the hill (have i mentioned that I LOVE California?!) This place was a cool little gem up in an area of California called Escondido. If you are in that neck of the woods, the restaurant right off the lobby (in fact, right past the mirror in this picture) is amazing! From what I hear, the spa and the golf course are world class as well. Guess I’ll have to check them out out next time:)

Here is a link if you are interested!

The Rancho Bernardo Inn - Exploring the lobby

So I’ve attended a few Photoshop World Conferences over the past couple of years. Its a great place to recharge those artistic batteries, make connections with others in the industry, and share tips and tricks with other creatives. One of those creatives I always look forward to hearing from is Julieanna Kost. For me, she has always stood out as a very engaging instructor for all things Adobe, but it wasn’t until I saw her presentation of her art at a late evening session that I realized what an amazing artist she is.

To create a unique look and style with the camera and its tools has always been one of the great challenges that the digital artist is faced with. She nails it! Every time one of her images pops up in my Instagram feed, I immediately know its one of hers without ever glancing at the name.

Its not often that an artist is gifted not only on the way they see the world and can share it, but is able to teach and present with such clarity, passion, and style.

She is definitely someone I look to for inspiration and thought some of my friends here might like to follow her as well!

Here is a collage of some of her unique pieces as well as a quick video of her sharing a few tips!

More links below the video, but if my RSS feed eliminates them (it does that sometimes after I embed a video!), then make sure and click back to the post on the website here to get them!



She share here work all over the place but her website here is a great place to start or her Instagram feed here is a close second! For tips and tricks, she shares them on here Adobe page here.

Make sure and check them out for a little inspiration. I’m heading back to here site after I hit publish on this post actually! I’ll see you over there  :)


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