Travel Photography

I’m giving a workshop on Travel Photography tomorrow. I wondered when I came up with this topic whether or not it would draw any interest, especially since we had to schedule it in the only room we could get post hurricane Harvey; 7pm on a Thursday night. Much to my surprise we have a sell out! I love doing workshop, so this is great. I’m looking forward to a fun and informative session.

Travel photography is a surprisingly interesting subject, if you are serious about your photography and want to really capture the essence of your travel destination. My personal opinion is that combining photography and travel vastly improves both. Interesting images require that you stand in front of interesting subjects…Travel provides that. On the other hand constantly being aware of light, shape,color, details, expressions, and storytelling through your images deepens your enjoyment of travel.

I await tomorrow and hope for a good two way dialogue…I learn more in these workshops than anyone in the room.

Navajo Country – Monument Valley

In the spring of this year the Kingwood Photo Club sponsored a Navajo guided tour to the Monument Valley area.  We only had four participants, but the trip was well worth it.

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Iceland and Greenland

I’m finally getting around to editing and posting images from trips I’ve taken this year…not complaining, we’ve been very fortunate to take some amazing trips, but they’ve been back-to-back-to-back, so my pictures have been sitting there unloved for months.

This group is from a cruise we took to the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Iceland.  We ended the cruise with three days on Iceland being driven by the crazy norseman Ludwig (Luli) in his “super jeep”.  Great trip, and if you are from Houston, a great way to spend August.

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Special Session Announced for Plecia Bill

AUSTIN — Sources at the state capital have confirmed that Governor Abbot will indeed call another special session of the state legislature. Visibly irritated at the failure to pass the bathroom bill, Lieutenant Governer Dan Patrick fumed, “The biased liberal media got this wrong again! We’ve now failed several times to pass a much needed bathroom bill that was carefully crafted to address a problem we haven’t seen, but might conceivable have some day!” Having failed at the much needed bathroom bill Mr. Patrick went on to elaborate, “Since we have no chance of protecting our citizens in the bathroom, we’ll do the next best thing. We’ll protect them any time they are outdoors in our beautiful state, where they are constantly bombarded with promiscuity and lewd behavior.” The Lieutenant Governor was referring to his proposed bill to stop public displays of affection between Plecia, also described in the liberal media as “love bugs”. MR. Patrick went on to say, “Plecia have been openly, and without any regard to human decency doing certain things, which I won’t repeat in polite company, right in front of our kids.” Recent studies published by the Austin ThinkTank, Round Rock Institute, show a direct connection between the number of hours children under 21 view lewd Plecia behavior, and tendencies later in life to copulate in public. As the Governor announced plans for a special session he made it clear why this was such a high priority, “We’ve got to nip this problem in the bud, before it becomes a problem. Certainly it is clear to all Texans that we cannot abide by this kind of unbridled, irresponsible behavior.” Liberals in the state have already been calling for a boycott of Texas businesses, and warning that passage of this bill will cause those seeking to do business in Texas to look elsewhere. They add that the solution to this possible future problem is to provide better housing for the Plecia, so they can literally “get a room” when the urge strikes them.

Black and White Photography Workshop

I’ve written before about how much I enjoy conducting photography workshops.  Its also a great way for the Photo Club to fulfill what I believe its mission to be.  Now granted, I wrote that mission statement, so it might be somewhat biased.  I’ve been President of the club for the past 3 1/2 years.  This being my last year.  That mission statement might be re-written by the next person in this position, but for now it works.  Onwards to workshops.

ive come to believe that if you want to anything better, teach it to someone else.  Since becoming president of this club I have conducted more than a dozen workshops and loved every one.  Some of the topics I scheduled myself to teach I knew next to nothing about.  A little pressure to jump into hyper-learning mode.  They worked out fine.  While I try to convince others in the club to try this approach I secretly worry that if too many get into the workshop teaching mode, I’ll lose my chance to conduct as many as I like…it’s a weird quandary.  On the other hand I’d like to continue honoring our commitment to our fine public library, but can’t conduct workshops every month myself.  I know one thing for certain, even when I’m no longer club president I intend to keep teaching workshops as often as I can  

I just complete a  workshop on Black and White Photography, which I absolutely have come to love this past year.  I really fell in love with Black and White when I had several printed.  Seeing the actual prints, and hanging them up, made all the difference.

my Flickr gallery of black and whites.

Workshop Materials

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Replacing my Favorite Photo Editing Plug-in

Google recently announced they would no longer support Nik, a photo editing plug-in for Lightroom and Photoshop.  I, like many others had become dependent on Nik in my editing workflow.  I was even one of those who spent a huge sum for Nik in the early days before google bought them and started distributing it for free.  While I can’t understand google’s decision to scrap such a brilliant piece of software, I’m moving on.  

Recently Scott Kelby published a video course on his KelbyOne site on this very topic…replacing Nik with Macphun’s Luminar.  I went ahead with his suggestion, and don’t regret it at all.  Luminar is easy and intuitive…easy to learn.  I wasn’t looking for a replacement for Lightroom and Photoshop, simply a Nik replacement.  I think I got something in between. It’s more than Nik.  It can do what Nik did, but more, with more flexibility.  I’ll be using Luminar a lot. With the ability to handle layers, Luminar might even replace some Photoshop functionality eventually.  That will take some time though since I’m quite comfortable with Photoshop…but it could happen.

As an aside, I purchased On1’s software some months ago, and have tried it several times, but it never took hold the same way Luminar did.  It almost does too much…is that possible?  I keep telling myself I need to learn more about On1. 

Navajo Nation

Just returned from a trip to Navajo Nation.  One fabulous photo adventure with good friends.  This slideshow was put together using Adobe’s Spark Page app on the iPad.