January’s photo tip…

pay attention to your background.

dsc_9173Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.

Yousuf Karsh

One of the most important things that I’ve learned over time is when photographing, don’t get so caught up with your subject that you forget to look past it at the background.

I like to photograph ice, snow, and frost and although this morning was a balmy 24 degrees and not cold enough for good frost development, I still wanted to have a wander about and try to coax some frost out of this bubble.

Good photography is about practise and in my opinion continual experimentation. It’s about learning everything that there is to know about your camera so that when your “moments” come you know just how to capture them.

This month’s tip is about the background and the need to also make conscious decisions in that partĀ of the photo. So often I will see a photo posted that could have been amazing if only the photographer had noticed the background.

In this photograph since it wasn’t cold enough for those deep, cut frost patterns to develop I had to look for more to bring this to life. I found it in the background and yes, I was laying on the ground with my chin in the snow. Looking past my reluctant subject I could see some interesting lens flare and bokeh happening so I shifted my framing to include that.

A photograph is made, not taken, so learn to look at all that’s inside of your frame and make sure that it doesn’t detract from what you’re photographing. Watch out for those tree limbs that sprout from behind the head of your subject or those dark patches that just leave a hole in your image.

It’s certainly harder with action shots but with practice you can focus on more than one thing in your image at the same time.

January’s Tip: pay attention to your background!

Getting out of my own way…

and finding real dog moments.

dsc_8560-edit-2Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

Leo Buscaglia

Back in December I made reference to something new that I was embarking on for 2017. It’s been a few years now since I have volunteered in a committed fashion not since my days of Search and Rescue with my bloodhound, Isabella.

Before that my beloved mastiff Brig and I would visit weekly at the nursing home to spread some joy and laughter to the residents there.

This year I decided that it was time to combine two of my passions, dogs and photography so I ventured into our local shelter to see if they could use my services.

Throughout my love affair with dogs I have always been afraid to spend time at a shelter, my excuse being that I thought it would be heartbreaking but like most preconceived ideas, that has been far from the reality.

I have found wonderful moments there and met a whole lot of people who spend their day dispensing kindness. I find myself looking forward to dropping in and spending time with the dogs, the shelter staff, and the many volunteers.

Sometimes you just have to get out of your own way and trust that good things will happen and if I can play even the smallest role in connecting these dogs with a forever home that would so satisfying.

Note: At the time of posting this wonderful dog, Luna, remains available for adoption at the Panhandle Animal Shelter in Ponderay, ID.


I couldn’t love you more!


It’s an illusion that photos are made with the camera….they are made with the eye, heart and head.

Henri Cartier Bresson

Some week-ends are perfect.

Single digit temperatures, sunshine, glittering snow.

A great friend, a great meal, a great evening with Viggo Mortensen.

Perfect light for perfect photoshoots.

Nature at her absolute best and painting exquisite intimate landscapes upon the canvas’ that I presented to her.

Winter…the most beautiful of seasons.

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day…

and I’m feeling good.


Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.

Pietro Aretino

I am rendered speechless by those who say that they hate winter and can’t wait for spring.

Every single day is different in the winter landscape. The angle of light is low and the reflection off of snow if you’re lucky to get some, turns the outdoors into a studio!

Pinks, blues, and purples abound in the most harmonious blends and the intimate landscapes are filled with snowflakes, ice, and frost.

On this morning fog lifting off of the lake lent atmosphere and added a hazy beauty to the bridge that our town is well known for, all bathed in a wash of pinks and blues.

There are moments within every day if you keep your eyes and mind open and aren’t afraid to bundle up!

It’s also a new year…where will that take you?