Photograph of an Osprey in Flight
Wildlife in Colorado – Osprey in Flight

Despite the lack of blog entries recently, I’m still alive and well.

I’ve been knee deep in getting my cabin fired up for the summer and this year has been a particularly busy time with several renovations going on.  I’m just about done with that business.

While in Red Feather Lakes, I usually take a spin around the surrounding mountains and lakes to look for wildlife in the mornings at sunrise. I normally come up with something too.

Take this Osprey for example. Found this bird and a bald eagle hunting Lake Letitia in Red Feathers. The Osprey was far more cooperative, performing its hunting acrobatics just 50 yards from me in good light along the lake shore.

I’ll be spending more time in Red Feathers as the summer progresses and you’ll be seeing more photographs from that area as well.  Moose season is beginning and I’ve got two group photo tours going this summer for my Facebook Group, North American Nature, Wildlife and Landscape Photographers Association.  Give us a visit.

 

 

Bull Moose Feeding on Lake Grass

Winter’s last gasps are upon us.  My back is improving to the point where I can contemplate actually doing things that don’t involve a television remote control. Life is renewing itself.

I’ve been reading the photography websites (nothing better to do while laid up) and the subject of Adobe Creative Cloud keeps popping up.

Seems like Adobe is testing a new subscription plan for their Lightroom/Photoshop service.  Currently priced at $10 per month, they are testing raising the price to $20 per month. They are also “testing” a $10 per month plan that removes Photoshop from the package. The new offerings up the online storage to 1 terabyte. You can read more about the Adobe Creative Cloud plan changes here.

I don’t know about everyone else but I don’t need 1 terabyte of online storage. I have at least 30 terabytes of storage here in the office.  I’m skeptical about the “testing” explanation. It looks to me more like another change of service designed to squeeze more money out of their customers. It’s not really offering anything new in the software department, it’s just a 100% price increase in their existing offering.

Last year Adobe offered me a free one year subscription to the Creative Cloud plan that included Lightroom and Photoshop, their $10 a month plan. My free run expires in the next month or so. By that time I’ll have to pay for the previous year retroactively if I continue.

I have the cure. I’m reverting back to my stand-alone copies of Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Adobe Lightroom 6.14.  This gets me back to 2015 functionality with Adobe Raw editing, which is fine at the moment as I have no cameras in my kit newer than that. All I’ll loose is a dehaze tool and some minor changes to Photoshop. Since I’m running DXO Photo Lab for noise reduction, the ability to put a dehaze function on an image will not be lost, I’ll just do it in DXO Photolab instead, which is what I was doing prior to switching to Creative Cloud.  It was nice to get a free test of their latest versions of the software, but it’s not worth paying $240 a year to have, when I have 99% of that functionality for $0. I honestly think Adobe wants to drive their long term customers away.  With the improvements in alternative photo editing solutions, it’s only a matter of time before they shoot both their feet, and hands with the pistol of greed.  Minor updates take years to occur and price hikes seem to be more frequent.  Paying more for less is not part of my business plan.

Enough griping about Adobe.

The back is well enough that I can make a day trip to Wyoming on the 4th of May to photograph the “Big Boy” and #844 Union Pacific Steam Locomotives on their way to Ogden, Utah from Cheyenne, Wyoming.  The train is going to be moving through about 20 miles from my cabin in Red Feathers, so it’s a good time to get up there and open the cabin for the year as well.

May is also the month I begin looking for moose, so the moose photography season is officially underway.

May the moose be with you.

 

Parvin Lake near Red Feather Lakes, Colorado
Parvin Lake. Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

All photographers start somewhere.

I began in High School, using my fathers film cameras.  I continued on through my time in the Navy and became quite interested in Stereoscopic transparencies in the 70’s and 80’s. In the 90’s I had a panoramic film camera and a number of Instamatic models.

It was 2004 when I purchased my first digital SLR. The Canon EOS Rebel XT / 350D.

Eight megapixels at the time was the standard resolution for high end photography, though this particular camera was a consumer level model.

I was approaching the point in my career with The Wall Street Journal where I felt it was time to look past the corporate world and move on to something more in line with my future thinking. I picked up this Rebel XT as an introduction to the technology and immediately became interested in landscape photography.

My first landscape subjects were the mountains and lakes near my cabin in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado.

I’ve been photographing the scenery around Red Feathers for 15 years now.

This photo is Parvin Lake, near Red Feathers and was the first digital landscape subject I tackled.

It’s not a mind- blowing scene, but the lake was and still is a beautiful spot in the mountains.

Taken in 2004, this lake is still as beautiful today as it was back then.

Film quickly became a thing of the past once I bought my first DSLR. The Rebel XT was soon replaced with a Canon 20D about a year later, then a 30D, then the 5D and 1DsMk II and onward to today.

I still have film cameras but never use them. One has a half roll of Velvia still in it. I have no clue what’s on that undeveloped roll of film.

I think I’ll explore the lakes in more detail this summer. 8 Megapixels seem so small these days.

Cow Moose With Calf – Red Feather Lakes, CO

With 2018 coming to an end, I suppose it’s okay to reflect on my life this past year.

2018 has been a different year for me professionally and on a personal level, in so much that my wife experienced her first year of retirement from her job as an Engineer with Lockheed and I have retired from taking on active photography clients for jobs and workshops.  We’ve entered full-tilt retirement.

Oh, my business still exists, mostly in the form of private photography for art and stock photography. Gone are the days of soliciting business as a photographer. It’s no longer a necessity for my personal growth. As a matter of fact, personal growth has already been achieved throughout my life. 2018 was the year I learned to live life with and for my wife and me. I’ve served my country, I’ve been to college,  I’ve had my corporate career, I’ve been a successful photography business owner, my kids are alive and well. My grand-kids are growing up. My best friends are still my best friends.

I have found a new groove with my photography though. More time doing the type of work I enjoy the most. Wildlife, nature and landscape work. I’ve lost the desire to travel the world, I’ve seen a lot of it already and the memories are grand but the new memories are going to be based more on my corner of the solar system. Home here in Littleton is the earth and my place in Red Feathers is the moon. The beauty of this simplicity is that I can orbit either at will and without the stress of having to deal with the distractions of working for somebody else. Simplification and clarity.

Not that there aren’t lessons to still be learned. I think learning never stops, unless you give up on the idea. But what is left to learn seems to me to be more involved with learning to grow old gracefully and peacefully. Removing the stress and mental barriers has found a home in my heart. What comes will come, what is gone is gone.

My year in photography has been a good year by means of photographic output. I’ve found a good niche in Stock Photography, my profits are up 200 percent from 2017. I’m enjoying doing work that I know will continue to provide me with additional income for the rest of my life and to those who survive me. That’s a good thing.

The phone doesn’t ring much these days and when it does ring, it is more likely to be someone wanting me to give them money for something I never once thought about prior to the call.

I’ve forgone the concept of travel photography, been there done that.

I don’t do camera clubs. Been there, done that.

No more weddings to shoot. Been there, done that.

No more corporate events. Been there, done that.

No more property photo projects. Been there, done that.

No more volunteer work. Been there, done that.

No more teaching photography. Been there, done that.

No more angry, ugly, hateful, hurtful people injecting themselves into my life on a daily basis. Been there, done that.

Nope, I think I’ll spend more time in 2019 doing what I’ve found to be enjoyable.

Writing more. I love to write if you haven’t noticed.

Spending time with my family and with my friends.

Spending time at my cabin in the mountains.

Spending time photographing the wild critters and the natural beauty that surrounds me.

I’m a Colorado photographer now. Oh, there will still be road trips to different places but my heart and my soul is in the Rocky Mountains and the life I have here.

My wife and I will finish out this life and endeavor to persevere the remaining obstacles. I think that’s referred to as “going with the flow.”

In the meantime, I’ll still be taking photos and sharing them.

As children we are often asked what we want to be when we grow up.

My ideas have changed over the years. I’ve found the end goal.

Be happy.

Fame and fortune can wait until my next life.