New Photo Creativity Seminar

Stuck in a photography rut? Join me for “Structured Vision”, my new seminar for photographers with an emphasis on enhancing creativity. Offered in conjunction with my new friends at The Beaches Photography Club. May 1st, 2018, at the Neptune Beach Regional Library, 600 3rd St, Neptune Beach, FL.  I hope to see you there!

Ancient City Lights: Photowalk

It was my pleasure to host a UNF/OLLI continuing education class trip through the historic city of St Augustine last night. After being postponed due to bad weather, we were blessed to finally have perfect conditions for a hike around town, looking for fun scenes and bright lights.

We were not disappointed! When shooting at night, I like to remind my students that a study tripod is just the beginning. Depending on the scene and the length of exposure, you may also want to use a remote or self-timer to avoid any possible movement of the camera.

Modern cameras do much better with high ISO settings. I often to preach to not be afraid to go up there and even shoot hand-held!  You never know what you might miss while waiting to set up the shot with a clunky tripod and related accessories.

We all had fun experimenting with different settings and techniques, followed by the compulsive debrief over beverages. Cheers!

Umbrella Fail Puddle Dunk

Sometimes inspiration comes from strange places. Last night I was sitting on the couch, disappointed that the UNF/OLLI class field trip I was leading had been postponed due to rainy weather in old town St Augustine.

While half-asleep, I imagined myself  braving the elements to capture deserted wet streets with reflections of the bright lights and saturated colors. Or something like that.

So off I went, into a total downpour.

Making Movies about Making Movies…

My UNF/OLLI classes are a fun and interesting challenge for adult learners. My November 13-20 course was an introduction to iMovie, the basic video production and movie creation software that comes with your Mac. But many folks simply don’t know how to use it! Here’s our class project, with images and content created and provided by my class. For more information about my OLLI courses or to chat about your photography or editing needs, please contact me. 

A St John’s River Sunset

I’m convinced that we live in a sunrise and sunset paradise, especially as the weather cools. One of my favorite locations for viewing sunsets is along the St John’s River near Rivertown, where the massive oak and cypress forest along the shoreline provides ample foreground opportunity.  In sunset or sunrise photography, foregrounds are critical to avoid creating a boring cliche image.

Here are some results followed by a fun video of my recent class outing to capture the perfect sunset!

Moonrise after the sunset.
Friends enjoying the event!

Sunrise Class at Big Talbot Island

Big Talbot Island State Park has an area of driftwood on the beach known as “The Boneyard”. While some areas eroded or were damaged during hurricane Irma, we were fortunate to find this section still accessible. When planning a sunrise photo class field trip 6 months in advance, you never know what you’re going to get, and this time we managed to get the shoot in between hurricanes and cold fronts.  Thanks to my intrepid fellow UNF/OLLI members for braving the bug swarms for this expedition! Next up for my class: Sunsets on the St Johns River, October 23rd.

 

Walkabout at the Zoo and Gardens

Did you ever wonder how to make cage bars or mesh “disappear” from your photos of a captive animal? Our “mobile classroom” learned just that at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens for UNF/OLLI members.  Our class of 15 photography enthusiasts spent quality time in a variety of lighting and background situations as well as an up-close-and-personal view of wildlife, birds, and flora throughout the park.  We had a blast! For more information about this event or future photography “walkabouts”, review my calendar of events, or click here: UNF/OLLI.   For information and private instruction rates, please contact me.

Photography Walkabout at the Zoo

A Day at the Rookery 2017

The St Augustine Alligator Farm may be best known for its quirky but well done alligator attractions, but this place is a treasure trove for local bird watchers and photographers.  Each year thousands of wading birds return to the open-air rookery where Roseate Spoonbills, Wood Storks, Herons, Egrets and more decide to nest and raise their young.  Many of these birds are threatened species, where habitat or other issues challenge their survival.  The birds are not captive…they’re free to come and go, and build their nests precariously on every available branch above a pond filled with -you guessed it- alligators!  On this day I was joined by a dozen students from the OLLI Continuing Education program at the University of North Florida.  For more information on the OLLI Continuing Ed Program at UNF, follow this link: UNF/OLLI. If you would like to chat about private instruction or if you have any other questions, please contact me.

March Course Recap

In addition to my work at Wild Birds Unlimited,  I’ve been teaching in the UNF/OLLI Continuing Education Program all spring. This includes the following:

  • Landscape Photography  – March 6-20
  • Travel Photography  – March 28
  • Nature and photo walks at Alpine Grove Park  – March 13
  • Photo Walkabout at the UNF Robert Loftin Wildlife Sanctuary  – March 27

My topics always include fun and (hopefully) entertaining collections of photography tips, anecdotes, and real-world camera problem solving. I’ll share image settings, location tips, artistic renditions, and technical notes for the beginner and experienced photographer alike. Here are a few images from some of our sessions:

Rookery Photography Class 2016

Thanks to all participants in this morning’s successful UNF/OLLI “Photographer’s Walkabout” at the Native Rookery! I hope everyone had a wonderful time, it certainly was the busy season for birds and wildlife at this very special sanctuary. I want to offer my sincere thanks to Richard Lundgren for hosting my event and shepherding our group! We came away with plenty of amazing images and I hope our students learned a few things about the birds and their cameras.

This was my second in a series of “Photographer Walkabouts” in conjunction with the UNF / Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. If you are age 50 or greater and an OLLI member, you don’t want to miss these! Today’s trip was to the internationally acclaimed rookery at the St Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. Resident birds are completely wild and free to come and go as they please and we got up close and personal with many nesting species such as Roseate Spoonbill, Snowy Egret, Great Egret, Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Wood Storks, and more.

I acted as nature guide and photography mentor for this trip, which was be a combination field “class” followed by “camera talk” over a dutch treat lunch at a local venue in St Augustine. My goal is for students to come away with a breathtaking nature experience and learn a few things about your camera along the way. We intentionally keep the class size small for maximum student interaction. If you are interested, follow this link over to the OLLI Website or call their friendly staff at 904-620-4200 to register for any of their courses.