Scenic Saturday

The San Juan Mountains in Autumn
Winding up a very busy past couple of weeks here in Colorado. Summer is in full swing and there is more adventure to come.

I have two moose photography tours coming up, one starts on July 29th and the next begins on August 12th. With a one week break in between, I’ll have enough time to get some fresh moose photos edited and to update the stock catalogs.

I’ve been working steadily trying to get ahead of the curve with my Fstoppers articles. The most recent effort involved me spending a day working at Coors Field with the team photographers for the Colorado Rockies. A lot of planning and coordinating went in to that effort and I do like the final result. I’m looking forward to sharing that effort with everyone.

Today though, is Scenic Saturday. So sit back, enjoy a summer Saturday and try to take in a little scenery if you get the chance.

I’ve Changed The Look of the Blog

Bull Moose Shedding Velvet

If you haven’t already noticed I’ve changed the look of the blog.

I’ve been playing with different themes on WordPress and though the old theme was quite visual, I didn’t like some of the options and it always felt a little too crowded on the screen.

The theme I’m “testing” now, is a little less cluttered I think, so I’ll stick with it for a while.  With a couple of years worth of water under the bridge, I’m still trying to find a better blogging software than WordPress. Google doesn’t like it too much, it’s hard to find my work with a google search and I suspect that’s because I haven’t ponied up cash for all the search engine add-ons.  When I was using a regular web page editor, I could get anything I wanted on a page one google search result.

On the other side of that coin, I don’t really worry too much about what Google wants. Google wants to make money, that’s about it.

All that aside, it is Moose Monday.

Enjoy.

Simplification

Wilson's Mesa, Colorado
Autumn Scenery in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

I’ve been hard at work not taking photographs this past week. Sometimes, you just have to spend time in the office and get the housecleaning taken care of.

I’m presently getting things together for the upcoming Autumn Photography trip to the San Juan Mountains of Colorado during the last week of September. A summer’s worth of dust and grime has built up on the camera equipment. Cleaning is underway.

On the digital front, I’m making a few changes to my online footprint. Since I’ve decided to retire from doing active photo tours and workshops, I’ll be discontinuing my Colorado Photo Tours website. It’s mostly an advertising page for my business that only gets updated when I announce dates for existing tours and new offerings. Since there will be no new dates nor existing tours, what’s the point?

My Gray Photography web site will see further integration with Image Colorado over the next year. The blog is seeing an increase in web traffic, however, I’ve never really put much effort into maximizing the SEO of the page. I don’t know that I’m too worried about the search ranking on Google. Google prioritizes search results for those who give them money and I’m not giving Google money so I don’t get much search priority.

As Mark Twain was once quoted as saying. “Obscurity and a competence – That is the life that is best worth living.”

I’ve experienced a bit of increased notoriety over the past 10 years but to be honest, I’m becoming more enamored with the concept of people not knowing who I am unless they know me and I know them. Of course, it’s difficult to remain obscure if you have an online presence. I leaning towards agreement with Mr. Clemens.

I’m also working on getting two more Stock Agencies up to date with my stock catalogs. There are the big guys and the little guys, so I’ve saved the little guys for later. Later is now. One of these days, I’ll have to write an article on doing Stock Photography. I know I mention it from time to time, but I’ve never considered myself a significant source of knowledge on it. The problem is the notoriety thing keeps coming up so I’m almost feeling compelled to start talking about it in greater detail.

As for this blog. I’m tapering off on the frequency of posts a bit. For one thing, there just isn’t that much to talk about right now. A couple – three a week seems to be the happy spot at the moment. I can’t bring myself to yammer on about gear-head issues and new camera releases and pursuing pseudo advertising shtick that provides no actual benefit to the discussions of photography. I find fan-boyism extremely boring. I’m more of a view of the road kinda guy, even though I secretly study all things technical. I just don’t care to ramble on about it.

I think I’ve trimmed down my Facebook stuff to a suitable level for now. Facebook is what it is. A lot of my readers are FB friends and associates and it’s hard to migrate that following to something different. So, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. I’ll keep my FB page, but Google+ and Twitter are worthless. I’ll probably remove myself from those platforms. Google isn’t used by anyone to any great degree and Twitter has become nothing but a political shout box. We all have our political/social viewpoints. I don’t see much point in adding to the noise.

Your mileage may vary.

My World On A Friday Afternoon

Mule deer doe watching the sun rise.

 

This has been a quick week for me, despite having done much of nothing. I managed a mountain goat day trip with my friend Merlin. I took a one camera one lens combo this trip. The Nikon D7200 with the 70-200 f/4 VR. It took a bit to get used to it, as I seldom shoot with the D7200, despite the fact that it’s a pretty good small DSLR. It worked out fine.

In my slack time, which has been most anytime, I’ve been consolidating my photography articles to the Image Colorado Blog. The WordPress blog is slowly taking shape and I’m certain that by the end of this year it will begin to be my main entry point into the internet for things I like to blither about. Facebook is a hard habit to break, as a lot of folks follow me there.

I have republished one of my articles, A Primer for Achieving Sharp Focus With Telephoto Lenses.

I’ll keep pecking at it.

Doobie and I are bachelors this weekend. Trudy is in Red Feathers with her mother. I’m pretty boring to Doobie. There is a routine to our co-existence. We have a large yard so I make it a point to get him at least 30 minutes of high intensity running around like a crazy dog activity each day. All I have to do is go sit in the shade of a tree and watch. Doobie does all the work. He’s a heck of a dog. Nothing like sitting in the Summer shade with a Doobie.

One thing I hate about bachelor days is how I eat. I don’t cook for myself unless it’s a very simple and unhealthy meal. I don’t eat fast food either. That’s on my list of things to quit doing. I’m 95% successful, and it’s really a question of my self discipline. I have none.

I managed to get a half dozen stock photos up yesterday, taken on my singular photo day this past week. I’ve got a little print making to do sometime this weekend. That’s good, the printer has been idle for a few weeks.

Today’s photo is an old shot. I think I took it with a Canon EOS 5D and a Sigma 105mm Macro Lens. Yeah, a wildlife shot with a macro lens. It was early in the morning and a friend and I were walking over the ridge on Mt. Falcon to get wildflower shots. Thus the macro lens. As we peaked the ridge a group of mule deer ran in front of us in a line. It was a perfect setup and I just raised the camera and framed each of them as they passed through. I liked this one for the deer stopping long enough to look back in the direction of the sun. One of my personal favorites as it was totally by surprise and I had less than 5 seconds to get it all with no warning. The old Sigma 105mm EX DG Macro is a discontinued lens now, but without a doubt one of the best macro/prime/telephotos optically that I’ve ever seen. Sigma replaced it with an image stabilized version and ruined it. Good luck looking for a used copy, as people who have them don’t want to let them go. When they do come up, they aren’t cheap. They were less expensive brand new.

That about sums up my word on a Friday afternoon.