Calling all explorers!

The history of landscape photography is closely tied to the history of exploration.  When I heard this, it changed my whole perspective on landscape photography.  A light bulb went off and landscape photography went from ho-hum to interesting. 

And this book, River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West by Rebecca Solnit, immediately went onto my 'must read' list. 

Eadweard Muybridge was one of the first photographers to capture the essence of a place and time through movement.  He was born before the birth of photography and died after the advent of motion pictures, his worked was heavily influenced by the time in which he lived. Innovation and speed played a huge role is his perspective. 

Eadweard Muybridge, Palo-Alto-'Running-Herd-with-Superimposed-Sky'

Eadweard Muybridge, Palo-Alto-'Running-Herd-with-Superimposed-Sky'

One of the most influential and best known landscape photographers is Ansel Adams, revered for his awe inspiring images of Yosemite national park. 

"Ansel Adams wanted the viewer to feel what he felt when he pushed the button.... He wanted to provide the public a glimpse of the unique beauty of America's wildest places and in so doing, protect those finite resources."  (, "Landscape Masters Through Time")
Ansel Adams in Yosemite

Ansel Adams in Yosemite

anseladams yosemite

Even if you don't aspire to be a professional photographer, seeing our changing landscapes through this lens can turn a hike into an adventure.  Like this day I headed to the hills of Marin with my son and his buddy, not only was the landscape transient so are these little guys who will someday, God willing, be men. I treasure this view! 


So the next time you are out and taking photos, ask yourself; what am I responding to? What is it about this scene that has captured my interest, my heart, is creating awe, has me mesmerized? Is it the magnitude of something? Is it the colors? Is it the texture? The expanse? The light? The mood? The movement?

Knowing the answer will help you capture the essence of what you are seeing and feeling and will help create an experience for the viewer.  It's why we love to look at photos. We get to see someone else's perspective and how they see the world. 

Love your camera!

This Summer we planted a flower garden and they are blooming in the best possible way.  Our giant Day of the Dead Marigolds are so vibrant that I love taking photos of them!

To capture their rich color, I pay special attention to where the Sun's rays are hitting my camera.

Do you know what this is?


It's called a lens hood.  It helps shield your lens from the sun.  Have you ever noticed that some of your images look foggy? Or like they have a thin white film over the top? That's because the sun's rays hit your lens directly and creates a lens flare.  


Sometimes it creates a beautiful effect, like the star like rays above.  Other times it just makes it difficult to see your subject clearly and mutes the colors. If you use the lens hood or in this case, I used my hand to shield the sun from my iPhone lens, it creates a much cleaner, clearer image with brighter colors.  


And that's what I was going for with these beauties. 

If you have any questions send them my way! 

Let's get organized!

It’s a new year and a new opportunity to get those photos organized! Yes, it is possible.  The key is: don’t over think it.

Here we go. 

1.     Get out your calendar… go on. 

2.     Now open it up to February 1st. 

3.     Create an alarm to download all January photos. *Make sure you have the second alarm on too.  

4.     Check the repeat monthly option.

add new folder

Next, create a Favorites folder.  Choose 5-10 of your favorite photos from the download and throw them into your Favorites folder.  ONLY 5-10.  DONE! 

2015 Favorite Photo folder

If you have more time and want to create better descriptions for the downloaded photos, go for it.  But only 5-10 may go into the favorites folder. 

If you do this every month for a year, you’ll be ready to make those personalized cards, the snapshot book of 2015 or all those exciting projects you pushed aside last year because you were overwhelmed by the idea of culling 1000s of photos.

Let me know if this system works for you! Or share your favorite way to keep those photos organized.

Thanks for checking in!

Happy clicking,


Cameras, cameras and more cameras!

Choosing a new camera can be daunting.  There are about 50 bazillion choices and to consider them all would be overwhelming.  So let’s go with word of mouth, awesome reviews from trusted sources and the best deal.  If I were to buy a new camera this year this is what I would buy.

As a professional photographer:
Canon 5d mark iii – I’m madly in love with my mark ii and wouldn’t consider upgrading to anything other than the mark iii.  The mark iii has slow motion video, among a plethora of other awesome features. 

canon mark iii

Just a side note, the Nikon cameras are great too… their focus buttons make so much more sense than the focus wheel on the Canon. This is the one feature I would change pronto if I were designing the next Canon upgrade. 

To a mama who likes photography and wants to capture some interesting shots, like eyelashes and sleeping babes, have a little more control and enjoys lenses, 
I recommend the Canon EOS 7D.  It’s still pricey but I’ve heard great things about this guy and you can still get a great deal:

If I were to get a point and shoot, the Panasonic Lumix is my choice.  It has a gorgeous lens and it takes beautiful video.  Here’s a great option and it’s on sale!

Camera photos are from b&h photo video.  Since I’m recommending their products, I don’t think they’ll mind. 

Happy shopping!!