Come pick your own shamrock . . .

Shamrock close up

Come share the wonders of Ireland as I lead a 10-day photo tour (June 15 – 25, 2017) to experience and photograph some of the most beautiful and intriguing scenery in all of Ireland! This incredible tour will concentrate on western Ireland with its rugged pristine coastlines, unspoiled villages, ancient abbeys and castles, and pastoral settings. We will also take time to slow our pace and embrace the ambience of some classic Irish pubs that will have you singing the night away!

For more information on my Ireland Strabo Photo Tour where you will be treated to true Irish enchantment just click on the following link: http://phototc.com/tours/details/natural-wonders-and-the-creative-spirit-in-western-ireland

Reaction time . . .

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There was not much time to react when I noticed these three birds perched on a wire and one that decided to take to the friendly skies.  This type of action shot is all about second nature reaction time.  You do not have time to mess with camera settings.  Which is why during my camera saunters I always have my lens cap off, my favorite camera settings engaged, with camera in hand.  As I like to say, “Preparedness is nine-tenths of preventing a wonderful photo moment from being lost.”  The better prepared you are, the better your reaction time.  Better reaction time equals greater pictorial outcomes.

The Moroccan Experience . . .

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I love finding those unexpected moments that rarely happen again.  I was photographing the blue fishing boats in the colorful harbor at Essaouira, Morocco when I turned around and saw this “photo moment” happening.  Sometimes the best shot is behind you, not in front of you!  As I often tell photographers, “Shoot as if you are in a round theater and the play is happening all around you, not just immediately in front of you.”  As photographers, we get so focused on what is in front of us, we can forget that something wonderful may be happening behind us.  Remember to rotate your visual periphery as photographic possibilities are evolving all around you.

Moments of Impact . . .

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Life is full of moments that can be life changing, life affirming, or just a memorable experience that lingers.  I believe these moments of impact can propel us into new realms of insight and personal discovery.  All we have to do is be open to the experience and embrace the possibilities.

In my photography, I experience these “visual” moments of impact frequently, as I am always open and sensitive to the wonders of life.  The photograph you see started with one of those “moments of impact”.  I was editing images on my computer when I looked out my window and notice the most exquisite amber light cascading over my front yard.  A moment of visual impact!  I could have been content with embracing the joyful moment, but as a visual artist, I felt driven to capture some aspect with my camera.

Less than 30 feet from my front door, I found the pictorial enchanted moment that spoke to me.  Sometimes we travel the world to find great images and sometimes, they can be found right out our front door.  However, it all started with a moment of visual impact . . . the soft, ethereal light I noticed out my office window.

When we fine-tune our focus, we discover that wonderful moments are happening all the time, everywhere.  As a photographer, let these moments of impact propel you toward new revelations of capture that show the world your artistic soul.

Surprise them!

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If you want to gain your viewer’s attention, nothing works better than a simple jolt to your photographs.  A surprise they were not expecting.  I am always looking for those wonderful naturally occurring surprises that happen during my photographic sojourns.  When I came upon this skyway in downtown Fort Worth, I was blown away by the strong cyan colored angular refection against the darkened skyway with only two illuminated glass panels.  The photo still needed more “revelation” for me.  When the woman walking hit the photo zone (illuminated glass panels), I knew I had my shot!

Next time you are photographing, look for those little surprises that will ignite your photographs and make for a memorable capture.

When you are living in your sweet spot you feel . . . calm and energetic, accomplished and joyful. ~ Deepak Chopra

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The Palo Duro Canyon State Park (located in the Texas panhandle) was the perfect place to live in my sweet spot embracing the wonder and austere beauty of this majestic place.  As the second largest canyon in the United States, there is plenty of visual possibilities to explore with your camera.  Just find your own path and step toward joyful discoveries!

 

Reflections . . .

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I recently had the pleasure of viewing the current art exhibition at the Kimball Art Museum, Monet: The Early Years.  The exhibition includes paintings that concentrate on the first phase of Claude Monet’s illustrative career.  The young genius was well on his way in artistic development and imagination as is evident by the caliber of the paintings.

I was most captivated with Monet’s paintings of water and reflections given my own enjoyment of capturing reflections with my camera.  Monet’s obsession with the painting of water and reflections was apparent by his keen ability to capture its many changing effects and moods.  Something I can truly appreciate as the slightest change in your camera position or the wind on the surface of the water can produce a profound change in your image.

I would like to believe Monet would have appreciated the photograph that you see.  It is a reflection of a stone building on a meandering stream.  Captured during a partly sunny morning using a Nikon D810 camera with a Nikon 300mm f4 Phase Fresnel lens.  Exposure was f10 @1/25 second; which was slow enough to allow the ripples on the water to create the intent I desired.

You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take. ~Wayne Gretzky

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As photographers, we should follow this advice from legendary hockey player Wayne Gretzky.  When you feel that inner artistic spark igniting inside of you, take the shot!  Actually, take as many as you can!  They may not all be great shots, but if done with an unrelenting passion and focus, chances are there will be some winners.  However, if you hesitate the opportunity will be lost and the moment gone forever.  There is no going back when you are capturing unplanned moments of life with your camera.

Certainly, Gretzky learned this while going for all those shots on net over his illustrative career.  He was known for his intelligence and unrivaled reading of the game.  He saw an opportunity and went for it!  Sure, he had some misses but his record of successful scores tells the story.  He was focused, disciplined, and did not hesitate to go for the shot even though all the stars were not in perfect alignment.

I believe this is the reason for my own success as a photographer.  I am not afraid to go for the shot even though the scene or subject may not be presenting the defining moment at the time.  If I do not seize the opportunity and take the shot(s), I miss any chance of recording what is unfolding around me.  More times than not, something wonderful happened during the process.  It all starts with putting the camera to your eye and taking the shot.  The more you shoot the more success you will have.

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. ~Thoreau

Doonagore castle at sunset

Doonagore castle near Doolin – Co. Clare – Ireland

Come share the wonders of Ireland as I lead a 10-day photo tour (June 15 – 25, 2017) to experience and photograph some of the most beautiful and intriguing scenery in all of Ireland!  This incredible tour will concentrate on western Ireland with its rugged pristine coastlines, unspoiled villages, ancient abbeys and castles, and pastoral settings.  We will also take time to slow our pace and embrace the ambience of some classic Irish pubs that will have you singing the night away!

For more information on my Ireland Strabo Photo Tour where you will be treated to true Irish flavors just click on the following link: http://phototc.com/tours/details/natural-wonders-and-the-creative-spirit-in-western-ireland