Category Archives: Business and Administration

The Artist Statement

Read almost any article on how to be successful as an visual artist and it will include the suggestion that every artist needs an “Artist Statement.” Frankly that not something I’ve attempted to do before, always choosing to ignore that advice or, perhaps more honestly, to procrastinate and put off that project. This morning I decided to take the plunge and make the attempt. I have no idea if it will help my career as an artist, or if anyone really will care what it says, but I gave it a try anyway. While you can find it on my “About” page, I thought I’d share it here as well. Whether you like or dislike it, think it’s accurate or inaccurate, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Artist Statement

It has been said that a photograph always tells the truth. In reality the truth that any photograph speaks is that which the photographer chooses to tell. A photograph is neither truth nor fiction. It is simply a glimpse at a slice of time, as seen through the eyes of the artist. My photographs are simply a representation of my view of the world around me. My truth. My vision.

I’m particularly drawn to observing and photographing the wild horses which live along the coast of North Carolina. I find these animals beautiful, their behavior fascinating. I hope my photography provides some insight into their lives and their personalities. However my photography is not limited to these horses only. For my entire life I’ve been a lover of the outdoors… an explorer of natural places. In nature I find beauty which I wish to share with others. I find myself drawn to textures, shapes and patterns found in wild places. As a lover of animals I seek capture them photographically, to get to know them more intimately. As an explorer, a traveler along life’s path, I use my photographs to share my journey, vision and discoveries along the way.

Also posted in General Photography

Art Sale on Fine Art America

A question I often hear from others photographers is “do you ever sell anything on Fine Art America.?” The answer is a resounding yes. Now don’t misunderstand me it’s not like I get a sale a week, or even every month, but I do make enough sale to make it worth the effort. Last night I had an order for a two really nice sized canvas prints. One print is being printed at 72″x48″… that’s 6 feet by 4 feet! The other is only slightly smaller. It always feels good when someone appreciates your art enough to make a purchase and hang it on their wall. If you’d like to see which photos were purchased just follow the links below.


http://fineartamerica.com/saleannouncement.html?id=837df07aa741ba434f569917e37617cf

http://fineartamerica.com/saleannouncement.html?id=b3fc4888f1b5db670e24a3056f712a3d

Also posted in News & Announcements, Uncategorized

Limited Time Opportunities for Affordable Stretched Canvas Prints!

I’m currently offering three of my prints as stretched canvases at a special price. Two of the prints are available as 16×20″ sized prints. The third is being offered as a smaller 11×14″ wall piece. The larger pieces are selling for $65 each and the smaller canvas sells for $52. Anyone that’s purchased original art work for their home or office will realize these are very reasonable prices. The offer ends at 5:00 PM, October 12, 2013 and is limited to only 10 of each print. Below are links to the individual sale pages for these high quality canvas art prints.


http://fineartamerica.com/weeklypromotion.html?promotionid=127195

http://fineartamerica.com/weeklypromotion.html?promotionid=127194

http://fineartamerica.com/weeklypromotion.html?promotionid=127197

Also posted in News & Announcements

2013 Wild Horses of the Crystal Coast

I’m pleased to announce some wonderful changes to the Wild Horses of the Crystal Coast for 2013. I’ll be offering two different programs: Crystal Coast Wild Horse Safari and Crystal Coast Wild Horse Safari Lite. For the new format we’ll be using a boat to explore the waters surrounding Shackleford Banks. This addition will give access to photographic opportunities not available via a hiking only tour.

Crystal Coast Wild Horse Safari

The Crystal Coast Wild Horse Safari will take place over three weekdays. Scheduling this tour during the week will help avoid the sunbathers and fishermen that sometimes visit these locations on the weekend. Wednesday morning we’ll use a local ferry operator to visit the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve. Following that session we’ll travel to Harkers Island where we’ll break for lunch then board another ferry to explore the eastern end of Shackleford Banks on foot. Thursday we’ll be working from a Private charet boat, giving us access to locations that would be difficult or impossible to reach by foot. We’ll also get an earlier start in the morning and a later finish. This will allow us to take advantage of the best lighting conditions of the day. The Friday will be a 1/2 day session, again using a local ferry, to visit either the Reserve of Shackleford Banks depending upon the preferences of the group. Lunch will be provided for the two full-day sessions. Charter and ferry fees are also included. For lodging (not included) I recommend the Inlet Inn in Beaufort, North Carolina. Participants are encouraged to purchase of trip insurance to cover unexpected events. Cost: $825.

Crystal Coast Wild Horse Safari Lite

This program is a two-day photo tour visiting the two herds of wild horses that live along the North Carolina’s Crystal Coast. On Saturday we’ll board a passenger ferry departing from the Beaufort waterfront to visit the wild horses of the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve for our morning session. After the morning session we’ll travel to Harkers Island for lunch then catch a ferry to the eastern end of Shackleford Banks to photograph the wild mustangs living there. Sunday morning will be a 1/2 day session using a private charter to explore the protected waters around Shackleford Banks. This will provide soem unique opportunities to find the horses on small islands and shoals and swimming to and from the main island. Lunch is included on the first day as are all charter and ferry fees. I recommend the Inlet Inn for lodging and always encourage participants to purchase trip insurance to cover unexpected events. Cost: $500.

Crystal Coast Wild Horse Safari

  • April 10, 11, 12, 2013
  • May 8, 9, 10, 2013


Crystal Coast Wild Horse Safari Lite

  • April 27, 28
  • May 25,26

    A wild horse feeds on the tidal flats during the evenings golden hour.

Also posted in Education Tagged , , , , , |

SOLD OUT! – May 19,20 Wild Horses of the Crystal Coast Workshop

Wild horses of the Crystal Coast workshop Sold Out!
 The May 19 & 20, 2011 Wild Horses of the Crystal Coast is now Sold Out. There is still space left in the June 23, 24 2011 workshop. If you’ve been wanting to join me for a wild horse adventure don’t put off booking your space. These workshops tend to fill-up very, very quickly. For more information on my instructional offering visit my workshop page.

 


If you enjoy the photos you see on this site you may want to consider purchasing my “Introduction to Kayak Photography” eBook. Many of the images that you’ve been enjoying are made from my kayak. Kayak’s are a wonderful tool that allow you to be up close and personal with many kinds of wild life.

 

USD 4.99 / Download

Also posted in Banker Horses, Ebooks, Education, Uncategorized, Wildlife Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Intoduction to Kayak Photography: A How-to Ebook

Now available for instant download, my “Introduction to Kayak Photography” is a basic guide to using kayaks for nature photography. Presented in PDF format the book consists of five chapters: Choosing a Kayak for Photography; Gearing Up for Kayak Photography; Camera Equipment Considerations; Making Useable Photos from a Bouncing Little Boat; Finding and Approaching Wildlife. Concise and direct, there is a lot of useful information packed into 20 full-sized pages for only $4.99.

 

Cover shot of new ebook.

 

USD 4.99 / Download

Also posted in Ebooks, Education, Kayaking, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , |

April 14-15 Workshops Sold Out!

My Wild Horse workshops scheduled for April 14 & 15 are now sold out. Other posted dates have spaces remaining. You can find more infomation about my 2012 workshops by clicking the menu above, or simply click here to go to that page.

Wild horse.

Also posted in Education Tagged , , , , |

Patagonia on Sale at Rock Creek

Using Super Zoom Lenses

100-400mm EF f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens - Bonus $25 Gift Coupon Included w/Purchase! 200-500mm SP AF F/5-6.3 Di LD (IF) Zoom Lens for Canon EOS 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED Vibration Reduction Nikkor Lens 200-500mm SP AF F/5-6.3 Di LD (IF) Zoom Lens for Nikon D-Series

I received a nice email that I answered this morning. Gray wrote to compliment my photos, mention an interest in my workshops and to ask about what lens I use for my wildlife images. It seems he’s been using a “super zoom” lens for about a year and is having a challenge getting sharp images with it. I know that this is something a lot of folks struggle with so I thought I’d do an article on the subject.

When I use the term “super zoom” I’m referring to a zoom lens with a long telephoto reach… say at least 300mm… and a wide zoom range… maybe 200mm or more. There are many popular and affordable lenses in this class offered by after-market manufaturers like Sigma, Tamron and Tokina. Additionally most camera manufacturers offer OEM lenses in this class. They are attractive to budget minded folks and for those who need some versatility in the equipment they carry afield. While this article is directed at zoom lens use, most of the techniques discussed also apply to shooting with fixed focal length telephoto lenses as well.

Let me start by saying you can never expect a zoom lens to match the resolution, sharpness and contrast you’ll get from a prime (single focal length) lens. That’s a matter of mechanics and physics that’s going to prevent that level of performance. For the convenience of versatility you pay a bit of a price. That’s not to say you can’t make quality images with these lenses. You most definately can. There have been many images published and that have won awards that were made with this class of lens. It’s a matter of knowing your equipment, using good technique and a quality post processing workflow.

As a general rule these lenses do not produce their sharpest images when used at their wides aperature settings. (Remember, smaller number equals wider or open aperature… larger number equates to a smaller or stopped-down setting). Individual lenses will vary a bit but usually you need to set your aperature at around f/7.1 or f/8.0 to enjoy the sharpest results. Image quality may start to drop-off at aperatures above f/16 due to refraction. Work within that range and you should be seeing the sharpest results you can expect from your zoom lens.

Shutter speed is an important aspect in long lens use. The standard advice is to shoot at a shutter speed equal to or faster than the focal length of the lens. For example if you’re shooting a 300mm lens your slowest shutter speed used should be 1/300 of a second. This is a rule of thumb and like most rules in photography, not set in stone. If you’re using a sturdy tripod and applying good “long lens technique” you can get away with a bit slower shutter speed. When hand-holding a long lens you may need to use an even shorter shutter speed.

One of the issues involved in making sharp photos when using a long lens is that there are vibrations that travel up and down the length of the lens barrel that creates blur in the final image. The vibration can come from mirror slap while taking the photo, from wind blowing against the lens and even from how one trips the shutter release. There are several techniques that can be used to counter these vibrations. Hand shake or subject movement can also casue blur. Any movement is severely magnified by long lenses resulting in blurred photos.

Using a tripod whenever possible will go a long way towards making sharp photos with a super-zoom lens. It’s important to use a tripod that is designed to be sturdy enough for the weight involved and to use a quality tripod head as well. There are a number of well-built ball heads and gimbal mounts on the market that are suitable for use with a long lens. Simiarly there is a wide variety of suitable tripods available. There’s more to using a tripod than just putting your camera on top of it and shooting. It’s important to use proper long lens technique as well.

When making photos with a long lens on a tripod push your face up against the back of the camera. An eye-cup can be a nice addition for this technique. The idea here is that you’re using your face as a vibration dampening device. Also rest your hand on top of the lens, about at the point where it attaches to the tripod head or slight further out. Again your using your hand to dampen vibrations. Rest it atop the lens much as if you were laying your hand in your lap. A lot of photographers will position themself in a manner that allows their elbow or arm to make contact with the tripod or mount. Again, the goal is to dampen vibrations. There are also several proponents that suggest that one of your legs makes contact with the tripod leg. When you trigger the shutter don’t just poke at the button but roll your finger over it. The idea is limit motion and vibration to insure the sharpest image possible.

One last consideration. Zoom lenses are seldom at their sharpest when used at the maximum focal length. A zoom lens with a maximum focal length of 500mm will usually be a bit sharper around 400mm to 450mm. While reach is important there can be advantages to pulling back a bit from the longest reach. As with all man-made items individual lenses will behave a bit differently. You need to get out, shoot and experiement to find how your version behaves.

While there is some compromise involved in using super-zoom lens for bird and wildlife photography with proper technique and a little knowledge they can produce high-quality images. Spend some time in the field experimenting and taking notes on settings, learning what does and doesn’t work with your lens. Whenever practical use a tripod and always use good long-lens technique to see a real improvement in your telephoto images. For an excellent source for quality tripods and tripod hears check out Outdoor Photo Gear. Obviously the tricks, techniques and technical considerations needed to make sharp, compelling photographs in the field are topics covered in my various photography workshops. While an article will go a long way to getting you started on the right track, nothing beats receiving input from an observant instructor.

Also posted in Photo Tip Tagged |

New Retail Partner: Dicks Sporting Goods

I’m happy to announce the addition of a new online reatil partner, Dicks Sporting Goods. If it has to do with sports Dicks probably offers gear for it. They’re a great source for camo clothing, hiking gear, kayaking equipment and outdoor footwear. Check them out; Outdoors Gear and Equipment at DicksSportingGoods.com!

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