Talking Pictures

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Staff Posted: May 01, 2013 Published: Feb 01, 2013 6 comments
Walking along the boardwalk at the Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach, Florida, I was taking pictures of birds when I heard a thunderous roar emerging from under the boardwalk. I also heard a huge splash and people screaming. I knew without looking that an alligator had emerged from hiding and grabbed something in the water. Looking into the water I saw the alligator with a turtle in its mouth. My emotions elevated into help mode and my impulse was to grab a stick and hit the beast in an effort to free the turtle that was attempting to escape but caught on the alligator’s huge teeth. I also realized the alligator could severely injure or even kill me.
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Staff Posted: Feb 07, 2013 Published: Jan 01, 2013 6 comments
This pair of cream-colored mountain goats presented themselves on one of my early morning trips to the Mt. Evans Wilderness in Arapaho National Forest, southwest of Idaho Springs, Colorado. They could have been mates, sisters, brothers, or rivals. The hair raised along their backbones, particularly the goat on the right, suggests they were spooked by the presence of people. At 13,000 feet above sea level, this scene, as well as the thin air, literally took my breath away. Only three photographers were privileged to shoot this scene, which changed a second later, for eternity. Nature and photography are funny that way.
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Staff Posted: Jan 16, 2013 Published: Dec 01, 2012 45 comments
During a recent photo shoot getaway at Joshua Tree National Park, my primary vision was a foreground filled with a Joshua tree and the background would consist of a large rock formation with star trails circling the scene.

While driving up to higher elevation searching for the perfect scene, it became evident that it had recently snowed and I spotted this snowman that a mother and her two young sons were just completing. I stopped for a while and enjoyed making a few images of the snowman and as I was walking back to my vehicle it dawned on me that this rare desert snowman would make a great subject for my star trail image.

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Shutterbug Staff Posted: Dec 20, 2012 Published: Nov 01, 2012 20 comments
In the fall of 2011 my wife and I traveled to the Charlevoix region of Quebec known for its spectacular autumn foliage. Unfortunately, the weather was uncooperative with heavy rain, dark clouds, and high winds.

Disappointed but undeterred, I pocketed my Fuji X100 to explore the local vibrant artistic community. I came across the veranda of a local artist’s boutique and my mood immediately improved. The whimsical and creative display with the “Commedia dell’Arte” surreal theme reminded me of children playing joyfully in the rain.

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Staff Posted: Nov 14, 2012 Published: Oct 01, 2012 2 comments
At the Goodyear Blimp hangar in Pompano Beach, Florida, I was struck by the stark geometry of the common site of the blimp. The preparation platform makes a distinct linear comparison to the round shape of the blimp seen nose on. I must say, too, that the sheer size of the hangar and blimp are quite remarkable. The blimp took off within 15 minutes of this photo and it was quite a sight.
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Staff Posted: Oct 11, 2012 Published: Sep 01, 2012 37 comments
After a long morning shoot throughout Death Valley National Park my wife and I found ourselves at Furnace Creek at the Borax Museum. She was intent on going inside the museum but I spotted old equipment outside that previously had been used in mining operations. Being a strict nature photographer I am normally not attracted to architectural venues or mechanical subjects. But on further examination I found the afternoon light to be pleasing, casting interesting contrasts between the illuminated equipment and shadows. I was particularly attracted to this old rusty train locomotive, one of two engines previously used in Death Valley on the narrow-gauge railroad extant during the borax mining era.

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Staff Posted: Sep 12, 2012 Published: Aug 01, 2012 83 comments
Late in 2010 I made a trip to South China to visit my wife’s family in a village of rice and vegetable farmers. Being very hot and humid there, I always looked forward to walking the bean fields with my camera late in the day. It’s very peaceful and sometimes you can catch a cool breeze.
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Staff Posted: Aug 23, 2012 Published: Jul 01, 2012 7 comments
While enjoying an afternoon coffee break at a Parisian café, I was engulfed by the fantasy world of the city itself as I heard the sounds of traffic mingling with the footsteps of people passing by.

In my mind, the image still evokes a heady sense of “joie de la vie” (the joy of life)…and one can never get enough joy in life.
—K. Preiss
Wake Forest, NC

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Staff Posted: Jul 12, 2012 Published: Jun 01, 2012 12 comments
Bicycles are integral to the city of Amsterdam’s lifestyle and while traveling there, I decided to give myself an assignment and carve out time to concentrate on them alone. I set up in the open window of my hotel room along a busy, narrow thoroughfare with a designated bicycle lane, next to the Amstel River, and began to shoot. I recorded an incredible variety of bikes, including some for hauling everything from pets to freight, but this one, which I call “Rush Hour,” has become my favorite.
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Staff Posted: Jun 26, 2012 Published: May 01, 2012 12 comments
Traveling in winter on the train from Dresden, Germany, the mostly overcast countryside zipped by as the train quickly moved along on its way to our destination in Prague, Czech Republic. Occasionally the sun peeked out from the clouds and lit up the houses and the industrial areas we traveled through. At first I thought my images might be impaired by a too slow shutter speed and the reflection in the train windows, but I quickly decided to use those problems to my advantage. The photos I ultimately made (and named “Views From the Train”) clearly indicate movement, low light, and reflections; qualities that mirror both the literal and metaphorical aspects of the country we traveled through.
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Staff Posted: May 29, 2012 Published: Apr 01, 2012 12 comments
Hiking through the mountains in the Poudre Canyon above Fort Collins, Colorado, I happened upon a small clearing. Up against a mountain and surrounded by a grove of aspen trees, I found this very old abandoned cabin. The sight of this stopped me in my tracks. I immediately felt chills and a sense that I was stepping back in time. I took very slow steps as I listened to the wind move through the cracks of this home from the past. I felt as though I was trespassing on a family from long ago. I stayed long enough to capture this image with the sun setting the front aglow.
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Staff Posted: Apr 30, 2012 Published: Mar 01, 2012 20 comments
I captured this image on a backpacking trip to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan one wet, stormy morning. I’ll never forget rounding the corner to the beach at dawn, instantly getting blasted by 25 to 30 mph winds and standing in awe of the massive 15- to 20-foot waves that were plowing into the shoreline. I decided to start shooting what was becoming an amazingly intense sky when all of the sudden a rainbow—than a double—materialized in the frame. I never moved the camera when the rainbows showed up—they were compositionally perfect in the viewfinder!
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Staff Posted: Mar 29, 2012 Published: Feb 01, 2012 84 comments
I was touring in Merida, Spain, through Roman ruins. I had an image of columns, brick, and shadow lined up when a young girl in red flashed into my frame. Wow! With just a bit of serendipity I had captured old vs. contemporary, free form vs. ossification, modern meets old. For me, this was just a great moment. I processed this image in Lightroom and took the color out except for red, allowing even more stark contrast.
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Staff Posted: Feb 22, 2012 Published: Jan 01, 2012 11 comments
While visiting the small island of Kökar in the Åland archipelago in Finland, I found this weathered fishing boat. This old boat tells a story of many years ago when herring fishing on Kökar was in its prime. No longer in use, the boat reminds us of the rich history of the island when hardy fishermen led courageous lives on the sea. Photographing the boat in early morning light, I was able to capture the nuances of its story. Since my ancestors originated from here, the boat gave a glimpse into my own history.
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Staff Posted: Jan 27, 2012 Published: Dec 01, 2011 4 comments
As collectors of 19th century American paintings, my wife and I are very familiar with the wonderful twilight paintings of Frederic Church, Albert Bierstadt, Jasper Cropsey, Samuel Colman, and Jervis McEntee. While touring Grand Teton National Park in the fall of 2009 we passed by the overlook to Lava Creek on numerous occasions and stopped to determine the possibility for a good panoramic shot. I took several over the course of a few days but was not satisfied with the lighting conditions.

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