Cat in a Bag

When returning from a trip away from home, I tossed my duffle bag in the family room, after unloading s few gifts I’d purchased. While looking at said gifts in the kitchen with my wife, our cat, Boots, climbed in the bag and quickly went to sleep. She and her sister, Lucy, love to get inside things like this, and it’s especially funny to watch them try to get into someone’s purse left laying on a table. By the way, as I type this, Boots is plopped down on my left arm (dozing away) preventing me from typing as good as I normally do. Cats are cool. (Panasonic Lumix LX3, developed in Lightroom 2.6)


This is about all the “wildlife” I can find at the moment—our cat Lucy, siting in her favorite chair. Nothing really that special about this photo, other than it’s pretty sharp, and her eyes really stand out. I used a new external flash I got for Christmas to take this photo, mounted on my Canon G11 camera. What I did differently from the way I used to use my flash (on any camera), is to dial down the flash output by quite a bit before using it up close. Take several shots to compare which is best. This way, what you get is more natural looking; e.g. no flash used. I watched an online photo tutorial a week or so that gave me this tip. This is a key point. NEVER stop learning. There is so much available online today in the way of “how do I do that”, that not taking advantage is a shame. You are never too old to stop learning.

Three Geese

This photo of three geese in the Dan River, as seen from an old railroad bridge in Danville, VA was taken on a hot day last summer, when the river was at a very low flow—in fact, one could almost walk across without getting their knees wet. One thing I always look for when composing a photograph with several possible subjects, is for THREE of something. Not sure why, but “three” seems to make a nice composition.

Favorite Photographs

Everyone has a select number of photos which they prefer over others. This is one of mine. I love it so much that I had it enlarged, matted and framed. It’s now hanging over the head of my bed. While at Alaska’s Katmai National Park in 2007, we saw a large number of brown bears while slowly riding and drifting in a Zodiac inflatable boat, with six of us on board plus our guide. As we rounded a portion of a small cove, we spotted this bear taking a nap on some large rock outcrops. After we returned home and I processed the image, he became my “sleeping bear” and thus his position of honor now framed above my bed. I absolutely love the scenery in this image—the large boulders, the flowers and the greenery, with the far background slightly out of focus. To say I was lucky to get this shot would be an understatement. At the time, I was so excited I could hardly think straight. Thankfully, I remembered how to work my Nikon camera!

Wild Horses

Wild horses. There’s a song about them—by the Rolling Stones, circa 1971. The one I photographed here was in the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, and was grazing alongside the road as we slowly passed by. I stopped on the far side of the road, and took my LX3 Panasonic pocket size camera out and took several images. I liked this one the best. We saw many more wild horses throughout the reservation, and they pretty much wander wherever they want. So, you have to drive carefully.

Kodiak Brown Bears

My wife and I were fortunate to have been able to be guided along the shoreline of Alaska in Katmai National Park, riding in a small Zodiac rubber inflatable boat, looking for wildlife in the summer of 2007. Were we lucky or what? We came upon this big guy as we slowly and silently drifted by where he was searching the inter-tidal zone for food. We were a fair distance away, so I had to use my 300mm lens to capture this image. But, what you see here was cropped afterwards, because it was on this trip that I forgot something I’d learned before. That was to crop “in camera” and not afterwards. What happened to me as we drifted by the bear, was that I was so excited to be seeing my first Kodiak, that I fired off shot after shot, always with the bear right smack in the middle of the camera frame. Thus, I wound up with something I did not like later on. Lesson I learned then, and have remembered ever since, is to crop in camera, and give the main subject some “breathing room” in the frame, NEVER placing the central focus dead center. The “rule of thirds”, well “RULES”.