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Friday Marginalia

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Its been a couple of weeks since I’ve had time to sit down and compile a weekly collection of news and tidbits from the photographic world.  However, there are some noteworthy things this week, and I don’t mean it to be Yosemite-centric, I promise!

  • The Yosemite Renaissance is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a juried art exhibition.  The deadline for submissions is November 14.
  • The Ansel Adams Gallery National Park photo contest deadline is coming up at the end of October.  I need to get my entries together!
  • Watching the recent Ken Burns series on our national parks, I was particularly struck by the art of Chiura Obata.  Some of his wood cuttings and water colors from the Sierra Nevada region are simply breathtaking and are very moving for me.  To see some of Obata’s work, click on the link above–I hope you enjoy them!
  • This is more personal, and not necessarily photographically related, but how much plastic did you throw away today?  As people who care for and want to nurture our planet, it is a good time to think about the choices we make, and their long-term effects.
  • Finally this week, Jim Goldstein started his 2009 blog project of buying prints from your favorite photographers.  According to Jim:

“The goal of this project is to introduce fine art photography, photography books, print exchanges, and other photography related products to photography fans of all walks of life. It is also to spur photography fans to think in terms of financially supporting talented photographers so they can continue to do what they love.”

So, support your favorite photographers!  I need to do just that, possibly through a print exchange…

I think that’s all I know this week; have a great one!

Friday Marginalia

Friday, September 25th, 2009

How much do you use social networking to promote your photography?  Is it useful to you?  Jim Goldstein wants to know.  He’s compiled the 2009 Photographer Social Media Survey.  It only takes about 10 minutes (I took it last night), but hopefully the results will give some insight into usefulness of tools such as Twitter and Facebook.

Inge Fernau has returned from what must have been an exhausting marathon trip to the eastern Sierra.  Here’s a detailed status report on the fall colors.  Also, G. Dan Mitchell updated us on Inge’s, as well as many other fall color reports (as well as some great shooting tips for the aspens).  As I said last week, its reports like this that make this a great community of photographers.  It looks like peak will be sometime around the weekend of Oct 3/4; I’ll be there Oct 9-11, which will probably be on the tail end of peak, but it will still be pretty, and maybe not quite as busy.  If anyone wants to meet up to shoot that weekend, send me an email.

I saw this blog post months ago, and am glad Phil Colla reposted it this week.  He describes a very useful technique for getting the most out of your RAW images.

Gary Crabbe shared a great story about Galen Rowell this week.  I’m still smiling from it.

The Ansel Adams Gallery announced their first National Parks Photography Contest, opening October 1.  It looks like there will be many great entries.

The Santa Ana winds have been blowing this week in southern California, and true to form, we had fires this week.  I’m hoping the firefighters get a break this fall.  Because we’ve been baking in 100+ degree temperatures, today’s photo is from Death Valley National Park:

Crossing Paths, Death Valley National Park, California, March 2009

Have a great week!

Friday Marginalia

Friday, September 18th, 2009

For the last couple of Fridays, I’ve been welcoming the arrival of fall, and the last couple of weekends have felt very autum-like.  However, today its supposed to be 100+ degrees at my house, so its a not-so-gentle reminder that summer is still alive and kicking.  I am looking forward to my Sierra fall foliage trip in a few weeks though.  Many thanks (already) to G. Dan Mitchell and Inge Fernau for their advice on locations, and timing.  While I’m fairly familiar with the eastern Sierra, having never been there in the fall it is very nice have people like Inge and Dan who are willing to share what they’ve learned.  It helps greatly with the visualization (but not pre-visualization!) of compositions in my mind’s eye.

Having gone through a couple of rounds of image editing with the input of other photographers over at as well as having been interacting with photographers about my trip to the eastern Sierra, I have to say that I feel very fortunate to be part of a photographic community who is willing to share as much as they do.  Guy Tal recently wrote about NOT feeling threatened by others’ amazing work, but rather feeling inspired and fulfilled to be able to see it.  I have always felt the same way, and I’m glad so many others share the sentiment.

  • Darwin Wiggett announced his fall photo contest this week; the theme is Expressions and Interpretations. The date for entries is Oct 31 @ midnight.  Hmm…I’ll have to think about this theme a little bit!  It will be challenging and fun to come up with an entry.

Here’s the image I worked so hard on this week (special thanks to Bret Edge and Jens Peerman for looking at re-works):

Sandstone detail, southern Utah, August 2009

Have a great week!

Friday Marginalia

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Another Friday is already upon us, and the photographic community seems to be abuzz with the impending arrival of fall.  There is something about the feel of a chilly fall day that invigorates my senses.

In addition to all of this anticipation of fall’s arrival, we celebrated the birthday of the wilderness act this week!   September is national Wilderness Month, so try to get out there an enjoy one of your favorite wilderness areas.  Incidentally, one of the most moving things I have ever read is Wallace Stegner’s Wilderness Letter, written on December 3, 1960 to the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission in support of the Wilderness Act.

Finally, as an avid canyoneer, I bring up one final point.  Zion National Park is considering permanent parking restrictions on the Canyon Overlook parking at tunnel east, after a park ranger who was directing traffic was hit by the side mirror of an RV.  These parking restrictions would also coincide with further restrictions on backcountry permits given out for canyoneers wishing to descent Pine Creek and Spry Canyon, who use this parking area.  My position is that this would be a mismanagement of the resources available to recreationists (photographers included!)  in the park; I’ve written a letter to Jock Whitworth, Zion National Park superintendent indicating my position as a photographer and canyoneer.  If you would like more info, email me, or visit the Zion Canyoneering Coalition’s website.

West Temple, Zion National Park, Utah, June 2009

Have a great week!

Friday Marginalia

Friday, September 4th, 2009

School started this week, but we’ve got one last respite of summer: the upcoming Labor Day weekend!  Wife and I worked all last evening to get the car packed so we can get out the door to Zion National Park early this morning, and beat southern California traffic through Las Vegas.  On Sunday we have a permit to hike the left fork of North Creek, also known as the Subway.  This will be our second time through, but this time I’m taking my camera and 1 lens (in addition to ropes, harnesses, etc), so I’m hoping to come back with some photos of this amazing canyon.

Although we’re not quite to the end of summer, its time to start looking to fall.  By way of Phillip Colla this week, I learned of a lot of great online resources to monitor the onset of fall color in the eastern Sierra Nevada.  We were already planning a fall trip to Bishop Creek Canyon and Lundy Canyon, but this sort of re-cxcited me for fall, which is my favorite season.

Michael Frye posted an update on his recent night photography workshop.  It looks like it would have been especially neat to attend this one because of the fires currently burning in Yosemite National Park.

Today’s photo is a few years old, taken from the classic Tunnel View overlook in Yosemite, right before a summer thunderstorm:

Yosemite Valley, July 2006

Friday Marginalia

Friday, August 28th, 2009

I missed last week’s marginalia because I was galavanting in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument with my dad and friend Brent.  Many thanks to my wife for letting me be gone for a while.

  • On our way home from Utah, Brent and I set a new personal record for hiking in and visiting national parks.  We hiked in the Grand Staircase-Escalante before leaving, then hiked the Navajo Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park, visited Cedar Breaks National Monument, and then did a short hike in the Kolob Canyon region of Zion National Park.
  • All of that hiking led to new photos here (bottom two) as well as new webpages for Bryce Canyon and the Grand Staircase-Escalante.  Overall it was a very productive trip.
  • At his blog, Ian Plant has a fun poll regarding the theme ‘suffering’.  What have you suffered through in the field.  Read my contribution in the comments section.
  • Guy Tal has a really nice commentary on the originality of your photography.  Although I take my photos for me, it still made me take pause, especially on my recent Utah trip, and forced me to take a step outside of my compositional comfort zone.  Thanks, Guy.

In the spirit of trying something new, here’s a result from my recent trip:

Cedar on sandstone, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, 2009


Friday, August 14th, 2009


I’ve decided to make Fridays the day for Marginalia; noting things from the week.  For this week:

  • This weekend (Aug 15/16) is the U.S. National Parks free weekend!  Get out there and visit a national park for free.  For more info, click here.
  • Last week, I mentioned that Jay Goodrich guest blogged on Darwin Wiggett’s blog.  In return, Darwin and Samantha Chrysanthou guest blogged for Jay, again on the acceptable uses of Photoshop in photography.  A very thoughtful commentary, you should check out.
  • Speaking of Samantha, she recently blogged on the usefulness of social networking in photography.  So did Guy Tal.  So did a recent thread on  The verdict?  Seems like resounding inconclusiveness.  I’m not sure if its worth it, but you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.  In fact, please do.

That’s all I know this week.  See you where the light is.


Friday, August 7th, 2009

So little time to write.  So many things to write about.

  • Last night the Riverside Arts Walk was a huge success.  It was great to see so many members of the community out enjoying a beautiful summer evening of art, music and culture.  Thank you all who stopped by to look at my photographs!

arts_walk1Studio 39 before the masses descended.

  • I’m published!  Well, sort of.  Patagonia’s blog, The Cleanest Line, invited guest submissions on their theme “Backyard Adventures.”  You can read my submission here.  Very exciting, and a pretty cute kid to boot (he gets all those genes from his Mom).
  • At his blog, Guy Tal has a fantastic commentary on other photographer’s work.  He argues that instead of feeling threatened when other photographers produce beautiful work, perhaps we should be thankful for the inspiration.  I know, for my part, I feel very grateful for the beautiful photographs I see every day, and their work inspires me to produce better art work.  Visit my links page to see some of my inspiration.
  • Jay Goodrich was a guest columnist at Darwin Wiggett’s blog, with a great commentary on the use of Photoshop in photography.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…