Taking The Inside Looking Outside

One of the toughest photographic situations to handle if going inside a building with lots of gorgeous windows and trying to capture the scene with detail still visible outside. I used to take my photography students to just such a location to demonstrate how you can pull it off.

First I’ll mention cell phone photographers need not go further as it’s impossible to use this technique to get the shot. You’ll need a sturdy tripod and a camera capable of taking multiple shots of the same scene at different apertures. The technique is known as HDR or High Dynamic Range photography.

HDR photographs use 3-9 frames of the same exact shot taken at different lens openings or F-Stops. The basic idea is to cover all the bases, capturing detail in every nook & cranny of the scene. There’s detail in the darkest shadows as well as the brightest area in the picture. You then take your collection of exposures and blend them together in graphic editing software such as Photoshop. Each individual frame should be taken in RAW format, not JPG to give you the largest amount of data to utilize. The results can be spectacular, causing the casual viewer to scratch their head wondering how the photographer pulled it off.

There are plenty of lighting situations that scream for HDR photographs to be taken. Obviously scenes with a lot of movement aren’t one of them. Landscapes are a good example of where HDR can be used. Waterfalls with bright water and dark cliffs behind them are a classic example why HDR techniques would be beneficial.

If you’d like to learn how to should HDR photographs Google the term and read the step by step instructions to try it out. It’s not rocket science, it’s photography. 🙂

The Outdoor Look at Vista House


Inside Vista House Looking Out


Multnomah Falls, Oregon – 9 frame HDR


For Tree Huggers Out There

This post is for those do gooders who claim keeping elephants captive in zoos is cruel. If it wasn’t for zoos orphans and injured elephants in the wild wouldn’t survive. Imagine killing elephants for their ivory tusks and just for feeding on land natives want to turn into palm oil farms. Here’s the story of a rescue elephant at the Oregon Zoo.

Composition – Leading Lines

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything about better photography. I still have active students shooting pictures out there so I thought I’d point out a new wrinkles about composition.

I say new because if you take courses on proper composition the first principle brought up is the Rule of Thirds. This rule states that your subject should be placed in one of four intersecting line 2/3 of the way around the frame. I never liked this so called rule because it’s not the only way to compose a photograph. There are other factors that contribute to a well composed picture.

Strong leading lines in a composition can direct the viewer’s eye through a composition, causing viewers to enjoy the entire scene. A winding road through a scenic farmland comes to mind or the curving path leading down to a beach is another. In one of the photos I’ve posted below the natural curve of the symmetrical pews takes you on a journey through this church composition. Vanishing horizon line shots on a beach scene is another example of leading line walking the viewer to a spectacular sunrise or sunset. The large balls curving to the contour of this famous building in Seattle lead your eyes through the scene.

Rules in photography aren’t cast in iron. Be flexible and try different methods to make your masterpieces interesting and worth a second look.




My New “Man” Chair

It’s here and sitting where my old chair used to sit. The furniture company that sold me my new La-Z-Boy chair delivered it just after noon today. It took all of 5 minutes to yank out the old chair and set up the new one in the same spot in my living room. I barely had time to dust mop the area where the old chair sat. I was amazed that the old footstool nearly matched the new chair. That’s cool, even through that old stool is worn out. I think I’ll test it out for the next hour or so just to make sure it’s a fit for my home. 🙂


Share Your World – February 20, 2017

Share Your World – February 20, 2017

When you cut something with scissors, do you move your jaw (as if you were about to chew)?

LOL No, I can’t say that I do.

Do you chew your pens and pencils?

Nope, got me there too!

Are you a collector of anything?  If so what?

Can’t say that I am except for thousands of photographs and scrap wood from dumpsters in the area. 🙂

What size is your bed?

I have a tiny twin bed with a 4″ mattress from WalMart. It’s what I could afford at the time I needed a bed.


“Da Plane, Da Plane”!

It’s Fantasy Island and Da Plane has arrived. It showed up around 4:00 p.m. this afternoon sitting outside of my front door. There was no knock on my door or ringing of a doorbell. I simply opened the door and looked outside on the sidewalk next to my door and there it was. UPS is not what it used to be. My $250 plane could have been snatched and gone had thieves been watching. Luckily my apartment is tucked away from busy street against the woods. Nobody outside my complex could even see my unit.

Anyway I’ve unpacked the tool and set up a background for the photograph below. It’s a thing of beauty! Now the fun begins! 🙂


“It’s In The Mail…”

Ok, I’m excited! Nine days ago I put in the order for my new Lie-Nielsen No. 62 Low Angle Jack Plane. Lie-Nielsen is located in Warren, ME, 214 miles from where I live in Uxbridge, MA. I try very hard to buy American products when I can find them. In the case of Lie-Nielsen you’ll not find higher quality tools anywhere in the world.

Since beginning my quest for a kit of hand tools I’ve already purchased two Lie-Nielsen wood planes, a No. 102 Low Angle Bronze Block Plane and a No. 271 small Router Plane. I absolutely love both items. Having used both planes on a regular basis I was ready to move up the ladder and buy a much larger jack plane for use in my woodworking hobby. They call it a Jack Plane because it’s a “Jack of All Trades” when it comes to bench planes. It can be used in a number of applications to smooth wood, take large quantities of material off quickly and especially clean end grain off boards while squaring them to the long grain surfaces.

In preparation for the arrival of my new jack plane I’ve already built a shooting board of a size that can accommodate the 14″ long jack plane. I’ll put it through its paces immediately upon arrival on projects already in progress. For example, I’m partially through the construction of a solid oak shop mallet with a solid walnut handle. Both of these wood species are hardwoods, requiring a larger plane to smooth the two sides that have end grain as well as the long grain on the mallet’s  handle. The jack plane is scheduled to arrive via UPS by 8:00 p.m. today. Have I mentioned that I’m excited? 🙂

I received word of an initial delay in shipping the No. 62 plane because they were actually in the process of making a batch of them in their small plant. Maine has also been hit by a number of huge blizzards and had to close for the safety of their small manufacturing staff. I’ve watched a number of YouTube videos of their production line and the care they give each and every tool. About half the process is still done by hand. Lie-Nielsen takes great pride in their heirloom quality tools that will last for many years. Having been raised in a family with generations of fine woodworking craftsmen I learned early in my woodworking the importance of quality tools. “You get what you pay for” was a framed mantra on my shop’s wall. There’s no “Made In China” stamped on Lie-Nielsen tools! Every bit tool is made right here in the USA.

So bring it on UPS! I’m ready for my new tool that will take an honored place in my growing collection of hand tools. I’m sure there will be more posts on my impression of the plane as I familiarize myself with its use and care. 🙂


Valentine’s Day 2017

The Uxbridge Senior Center put on it’s Valentine’s Day Party yesterday to a packed house of 52. We were entertain by Polka Paul and served a tasty menu that included mini bun sandwiches, a fresh salad, fresh fruit and cheesecake for dessert. Everything was great.

I was joined at my table by 5 friends including two from my housing neighbors from Calumet Court, Joni & Edith. We were surprised to have Steve, a retired dentist join us as well. Steve’s business ended suddenly after he had a kidney transplant over a year ago. All had a great time.




Share Your World – February 13, 2017

Share Your World – February 13, 2017

Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?

I don’t use a top sheet but only a fitted sheet. My micro fiber queen size blankets are so soft I change them out instead of using a flannel top sheet.

Have you stolen a street sign before?    No

Do you cut out coupons but then never use them?

I rarely use coupons but when I do it’s for more expensive items where a big discount helps.

Do you have freckles?    No