digital photography

The Darkroom: A Luddite’s Tale

I got my first digital camera from my father in 2007: a Nikon D100. I have to admit I was slow to pick it up and try it. It was a difficult transition for me, since my love for photography began in the darkroom and not behind a camera. Photography was supposed to include a dimension of wonderful chemically smells and the joy of lost weekends in the darkroom. And there is that magical span of minutes when a print sits in developer: you watch it materialize on the paper you carefully and purposefully painted with light from the enlarger. I wasn’t ready to let go and leave those things behind. You see, I grew up enjoying there always being a dedicated darkroom in any home we ever lived in. My father is a man of few hobbies, but he always made sure the one he still loves most was accommodated.

My own love for the darkroom has never waned, though its accessibility has. When James was diagnosed with cancer last year, we swiftly vacated our Utah home and moved to Florida to seek more hopeful treatment options and cut the distance between us and our families. I can still hear the hollow sound of the basement darkroom door closing as I pulled it shut for the last time on that Wednesday morning in September. The equipment I have continued to use since childhood – including the still-perfect stainless steel 35 mm film tank I learned to wind film on about 43 years ago – sits packed away in boxes. I wonder when – perhaps if – the darkroom will ever see the light again.

Necessity has a way of increasing our appreciation for just about anything. The process doesn’t smell the same or make my fingers slippery with developer, but I can admit I love digital photography, too.

Nikon D100, ISO 200, f/5.6 at 1/250, 80 mm

[Click image to expand/shrink its size.]  ©2007, Nikon D100, ISO 200, f/5.6 at 1/250, 80 mm

Tomorrow’s post will be No. 5 in the “Faces of Kissimmee” series. See you then.


Save on memory cards at AdoramaCompact Flash

The Gary Fong PowerSnoot®

Gary Fong has produced some of the most versatile and convenient flash modifiers on the market. Using a Gary Fong PowerSnoot® with a hand-held, off-camera Nikon SB-700 flash, I was able to capture the photo below in subdued natural light using no backdrop whatsoever. In fact, the “backdrop” in this photo consisted of lawn and garden equipment and shelves full of tools.


Nikon D300, ISO 200, f/22 at 1/250 sec., 50 mm, SB-700 flash, Gary Fong PowerSnoot®

The PowerSnoot quickly and safely attaches to most any standard-size flash unit and allows you to really focus and contain the burst of light emitted by the flash. It can produce some stunning, dramatic effects to spark your creativity and expand how you incorporate flash in your day-to-day photography.

Get the Gary Fong LSU-PS PowerSnoot High Power Focused Beam from


I appreciate your comments and feedback.

Websites for Photographers

Rith & Nichola

Before leaving Salt Lake City last year, I had the opportunity to photograph my two wonderful friends, Rith and Nichola. The occasion was to document the expected arrival of their first child and daughter, Atticus. I like these two photos because you can look at them and tell these are two happy people who are very much in love, very excitedly awaiting a major change in their lives.


Nikon D300, ISO 200, f/4 at 1/30 sec., 35 mm

Nikon D300, ISO 200, f/6.7 at 1/90 sec., 35 mm

Nikon D300, ISO 200, f/6.7 at 1/90 sec., 35 mm

Your feedback and comments are appreciated.

Idiom #2: On the Fence

on the fence

Fig. not able to decide something; unable to come to a decision.

The problem with being on the fence for too long is that it can lead to no activity or progress at all. Failure to act, over a prolonged period of time, typically leads to the death of an idea or goal.

If it’s truly important to you, get off the fence.

Nikon D300, ISO 200, 1/250 sec. at f/6.7, Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8 lens

Nikon D300, ISO 200, 1/250 sec. at f/6.7, Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8 lens

Your comments, feedback and shares are much appreciated.


Contrast in Nature

Joy and grief are never far apart. In the same street the shutters of one house are closed while the curtains of the next are brushed by the shadows of the dance. A wedding party returns from the church; and a funeral winds to its door.
– Robert Eldridge Willmott

Nikon D300, ISO 200, 1/350 sec at f/4.8, 35 mm


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Flowers of Happiness

This very moment is a seed from which the flowers of tomorrow’s happiness grow.
– Margaret Lindsey

Nikon D300, ISO 200, 1/50 sec at f/13, 50 mm


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There Goes The Neighborhood…

Nothing recedes like progress.
– E. E. Cummings

Nikon D300, ISO 200, 1/1250 sec. at f/9, 50 mm

Today I am taking photos of kitties available at the shelter for adoption. Can you guess what tomorrow’s post will feature photos of? Be sure to stop by for a full dose of cuteness!


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Stone Silhouette

One of the fascinating things about art, to me, is that it has so much potential for interpretation. Statues and figures even more so, for I find that being three-dimensional, they can change so markedly based on perspective and how much or how little one places within their field of vision at one time.

Today’s photo is, for me, a new interpretation of a figure I’ve photographed previously but have never been happy with the results. This time, however, the sky, shadows and my close-up perspective rendered an emotion I hadn’t been able to see, feel or capture before.

Nikon D300, ISO 200, 1/100 sec at f/11, 50 mm

This image is available as a 100% cotton, bi-fold greeting card here or as a ready-to-frame print here.


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The House On The Hill

My cats think they deserve this house. Let me know if you’d like to help me give it to them. 🙂

Nikon D300, ISO 200, 1/125 sec at f/14, 18 mm


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“The Artist is he who detects and applies the law from observation of the works of Genius, whether of man or Nature. The Artisan is he who merely applies the rules which others have detected.”
– Henry David Thoreau
(American Essayist, Poet and Philosopher, 1817-1862)

Nikon D300, ISO 200, f/11 at 1.3 sec., 60 mm


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