Once Upon A Knothole…

I had to laugh at myself for continuing to photograph the same tree and the same knothole at the zoo. I need to find a different tree as each time I walk by it this particular knothole reminds me of a human eye, complete with eye socket and eyebrow. I went through the entire process to produce yet another composite of an eye looking out the knothole before realizing I already had a few more of the same idea, same tree, same knothole. I promise this is the last rendition. The bottom compilation is getting just too weird!

Knothole & Eyeball

Knothole Face



Periwinkle Postcard

Remember me talking about compositional rules? I said there are times when centering your subject makes perfect artistic sense. The postcard below demonstrate one of those exceptions about centered subjects. The abstract translucent quality of the foreground detail frames the sharp contrasting subject in the background. The viewer is drawn to the center subject but then is freed to wander around the composition to look at the rest of the image.

Vinca Periwinkle Card


Share Your World – 2015 Week #13

Man these weeks seem to be flying by this year! It seems just like yesterday that I was posting the previous entry into this interesting challenge from Cee at: http://ceenphotography.com. Let’s get it on one more time!

What was your favorite subject in school?

I had a lot of subjects that I liked a lot. I’m speaking of high school now. Mathematics would have to lead the pack not only for its disciplined approach but you didn’t have to figure out who done it and why. Next came French that I had taken all 4 years of high school with the same teacher, sister Melanie. She was an elderly nun born in France that always pronounced my last name as the locals in the Bavarian Alps where my parents were born & raised.

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away” (George Carlin). When have you had such a moment?

My younger brother, Ed, and I were best buds. We used to do crazy things like crash wedding receptions of total strangers just for a good meal. On one such occasion I had gone through the buffet line, piling as much food onto my plate as I dare. When I chose a seat at a neutral table my brother sat next to me and quickly asked what I’d gotten to eat. When I turned to look at my plate I started uncontrollably laughing because I knew I’d picked up two slices of bread from the line but couldn’t find them under all the mashed potatoes and gravy. I didn’t want to cause a scene as we were mooching our meal but it just struck me so funny I couldn’t stop laughing. We talked about that day for decades.

What’s your choice: jigsaw, crossword, or numeric puzzles?

I’d have to say jigsaw puzzles held my interest longest of the three. We played lots of games with words which is where I developed my good vocabulary. Scrabble was at the top of the heap. Jigsaw puzzles just provided a different kind of challenge that I enjoyed. The more difficult the puzzle the better.

If you found an obviously abandoned car with $50,000 in the back seat, what would you do?

In this case I’d try my best to find the owner of that car. People abandon cars but not money.


One Last Pair Of Daffodil

These delicate bright flowers are hearty but short lived in Springtime. They are our reminder that Winter is over and spring is here to stay. I still managed to find one batch still thriving at the oregon Zoo so this is the last Hoorah!

Two Daffies

Bob Behind Bars

It didn’t take long for a new orangutan named after me to get into trouble. He seems to be caged up for being a bad boy in this photo taken of him sitting long enough for a few choice photos. I understand he’s got himself a girlfriend as he’s been spotted snuggling up to Inji, our 55 year old resident grandma. Thank goodness the staff has a young female ape coming soon. My namesake seems to get along with everybody as he romps with Kumar, the other 9 year old male that joined us a few months ago. Go Bob!

Bob Behind Bars

Do Not Worry

Matthew 6:25-31 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Little Sparrow On A Pole

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2015 Week #13

I’m starting to look for strange and unusual subject matter just to play along with this challenge. This week I have a beauty to post. I came during one of my zoo walks as I spotted this brightly colored fire hydrant sitting along the path. #9 it said! Did this mean there were at least 8 others? I guess we’ll never know, unless there’s one big fire. Check out this challenge at Cee’s website at: http://ceenphotography.com.

Fire Hydrant #9

Low Light & Sharp

One of the main reasons I switched from a top Nikon D800 DSLR to my Fuji X-E1 mirrorless is the sharpness and quality of the images it produces. I’m not saying the D800 or my D7000 Nikon produced soft photos I’m just saying the ones I’ve gotten from the lighter, cheaper and smaller Fuji are better. Both the D800 and Fuji X-E1 have sensors without a moire filter. The filters diffuse the original to eliminate the interference pattern (moiré) created between the  CCD array and regular, repeating patterns.  Since they are optical filters, rather than soft focus, the image integrity and sharpness is maintained. The optics in Fujinon lenses do not have to take a back seat to anyone, not Nikon, not Canon and not even Leica.

Another reason I switch to the Fuji is its response in low light conditions. I feel totally at ease choosing ISO 6400 for my images without worrying that the resulting photography will be degraded or inferior to other cameras or other ISO settings. In full disclosure I do own and use the top noise reduction software on the planet, Topaz DeNoise 5.0. It will virtually eliminate any grain/noise you feel is distracting in a photograph, period, while maintaining detail and sharpness.

Knowing how to use sharpening software and at what point in your post process workflow to apply it is crucial as well. Since I exclusively shoot in RAW format I give myself the best chance of producing the best quality images at any ISO. I simply have more detail to use and manipulate.

So I’m not surprised the photo below came out of the camera as detailed and sharp as it did. I worked on this image for at least 15-20 minutes using all my skill and software tools that include Photoshop CC 2014, Topaz, OnOne & Nik plug-in software and 25 years of editing experience. The name of the game is to pull it off without making it look edited. The photo below has just been added to my National Geographic website. My top vote getting photo of the previous 66 I’ve submitted happens to be another low light lizard photograph. I thought I’d change the species and submit another.

Fuji X-E1 with 55-200mm F/3.5-4.8 lens aboard, handheld, available light only, ISO 6400, F/8.0, 1/25″. I can still hold a camera very steady without a tripod. I guess I’m not too old or feeble yet! 🙂

Final Processed Image

Agama Lizard On A Rock


Original Unprocessed Image

Agama Lizard On A Rock Original