Gatorland’s Rare White Alligators

This rare white alligator was found in 1989 in a swamp in Louisiana. The egg nest contained 14 white and a handful of non-white, normal colored alligators. Gatorland, located in Orlando, Florida, has the world’s largest single assembly of these very rare anomalies of nature. They are not albino – they are leucistic, meaning they have some pigmentation. You can see this in the deep blue eyes and splotches of pigmentation around the mouth.
I was 7 feet away from that mouth with nothing between it and me but George, the guy that works with him routinely. As I clicked off my shots, I kept reminding myself George was a closer and more convenient meal. I also wondered if this monster objected to the use of fill flash. Good thing I was using my Gary Fong collapsible LightSphere to diffuse it. Speaking of the LightSphere, I was very pleased with the continuity of the flash-produced light, despite the shot being taken at a close distance with a camera mounted flash and a highly reflective wall of glass immediately behind my subject.

Nikon D300, ISO 800, f/5.6 at 1/60 sec., 75 mm, TTL Flash (SB-700) with Gary Fong Lightsphere

Nikon D300, ISO 800, f/5.6 at 1/60 sec., 75 mm, TTL Flash (SB-700) with Gary Fong Lightsphere


Get the Gary Fong LightSphere Collapsible Flash Diffuser here, from

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Let Them Eat Cakes

Jordan Moran is an enterprising and talented young entrepreneur. Just a few months away from graduating from The Art Institute of Salt Lake City’s culinary school, he has already acquired a storefront for channeling his passion. The cakes Jordan creates at Bayshore Cakes are beautiful and original works of art that taste as amazing as they look. Being customer focused, his commitment to satisfying the visions of his clients accounts for the majority of his business coming from word-of-mouth referrals. And business is growing.

I had the pleasure of spending some time watching and photographing Jordan at work on Friday. Not only was it educational – I had no idea what went into creating an intricate 5-tiered wedding cake – it was inspiring to observe someone less than half my age working with such dedication to realize his dream one satisfied customer at a time.

Nikon D300, ISO 200, 1/60 sec at f/2.5, Nikon SB-700 flash with modified Gary Fong Lightsphere

Nikon D300, ISO 200, 1/60 sec at f/7.1, SB-700 flash with modified Gary Fong Lightsphere

Nikon D300, ISO 200, 1/60 sec at f/7.1, SB-700 flash with modified Gary Fong Lightsphere (Doug is really nuts about his dog, the reason for the bones that were requested to adorn each side of the cake.)

Nikon D300, ISO 200, 1/60 sec at f/11, SB-700 flash with modified Gary Fong Lightsphere


Stop by tomorrow for a look at photos from my visit with bagpiper Louis Bartlett following his performance at the Midvale Senior Center and the last installment in my week of people-focused blog posts.

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A Little Bit Country

Photographing Amber put me once again at Salt Lake City’s Wheeler Farm, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite locales purely from the standpoint of versatility and accessibility. I’ve been to Wheeler Farm at least once every week for the last four weeks! If you’re a local and you’ve not been, it’s a great destination for spending an afternoon relaxing outdoors in the sunshine.

Nikon D300, 1/40 sec at f/4.5, fill-flash using Nikon SB-700 Speedlight with (modified) Gary Fong LightSphere


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DJ, The English Bulldog

I had the pleasure of photographing DJ yesterday, an English bulldog who is about a year old. DJ has a great face. He was a real trooper for the shoot, putting up with my flash and requests to please perk up his ears; look this way; look that way; look up; look down; stay; sit; ignore the camera; and so forth. (Fortunately, DJ’s upright companion, Logan, has worked out the communication key, which smelled a bit like jerky.)

Logan asked specifically that something fun and different be included among the photos she’d get. She mentioned she liked some of the artistic effects she had seen applied using Photoshop. The image below is among those Logan will receive today. I have to admit that I’m pretty much a purest at this point in my photography; I don’t use a lot of “out of camera” effects or Photoshop filters.

Do you think she will like it? Please let me know your honest thoughts.

[Curious about my Lightsphere hack? Just ask.]

Nikon D300, SB700 fill-flash with hacked Gary Fong Lightsphere, ISO 200, 1/400 sec at f/1.8. Brush stroke obtained using the Adobe Photoshop CS5 Artistic >;;; Dry Brush filter.

Looking for a pet? Please save a life: choose the shelter adoption option.


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