A Visit to Taos

Driving to Taos, you get a wonderful sense of why the town attracts artists. This part of New Mexico is 7,000 feet high, part of the Colorado Plateau.  It’s high desert and mostly flat. But out of the plains, the Sangre do Cristo mountain range rises up, to over 13,000 feet at Wheeler Peak. And the landscape, the backbone of mountain, shapes the town and the…

Paris Candid Shots: Thinking About Backgrounds

One of the great disappointments after your trip — you look at your photos and none of the magic you felt is in the images. Painful. That’s why photo books and classes were invented, to show people how to add that magic. I’ve been doing my own personal exploration of that mystery, what makes one image great and another just so-so, here with a focus on candid…

Candid Travel Shots: Capturing the Elusive Parisians

On our trip to Euro world last June, I went heavy into landscape mode in Greece and Italy for obvious reasons. But by the time I made it to Paris, I was feeling pulled to do more candid people photos and less postcard perfection. Capturing people being people — without pose or artifice, is a huge challenge.  You don’t know what they’ll do, so you start off by…

Venice: Using the Key Landmarks

St Mark’s Square and the Rialto can also be great locations in the evening. But again the timing is essential. Both places are still jammed at dinner time. But hold off until 9 or 10 pm and you can get great mood shots. This one was taken at a shutter speed of .8 seconds so the folks on the left are dancing home and the people in…

Venice: Accademia Bridge

The Academia Bridge is the last one to cross the Grand Canal before St Mark’s Square. And from that vantage point, you can see the palaces of the lower Canal, the church of Santa Maria dei Salute and the open water. Given the fact that this viewpoint faces east southeast, early morning is generally the best time to get this photograph.  The shot was…

Hapuna Beach Park

Big Island Hawaii Locations

Just got back from the Big Island — the name folks in the state of Hawaii give to the island of Hawaii. It’s bigger than all the rest of the state put together and also the point of lowest latitude in the whole US of A. For a photographer, there’s lots to like about the Big Island: active volcano, great beaches, a multitude of climates…