I thank you all for taking time to visit with me. I’m hoping to share with you my amazing journey through the beautiful and awe-inspiring landscapes of the Western United States. Each time I gaze through my viewfinder, I am touched on a deep and personal level by the world I see. I hope you get to experience those very same emotions as you follow along with me. I also hope you find some usefulness in the tips I share with you. They were hard learned, but quite handy as I trudged across the many streams and sand dunes. I also want to introduce you to a few absolutely incredible people who are working hard right here in San Diego County to preserve this remarkable ecosystem. Lastly, as an avid runner, I’d like to share a few of the quirky, but awesome scenes I happen to come across on my early morning runs. I’m truly excited to begin this journey with you, and I’m hoping you begin to view the environment around you with the same loving eyes that I do. MOST IMPORTANTLY, I’d love to hear and see YOUR journeys – so please share!



March 31, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

My first stop during my travels was the "Valley of Fire" in Nevada. The valley received its name from the red sandstone formations, which were created by shifting sand dunes during the dinosaur age about 150 million years ago. There are many beautiful photographs to be found here. My favorite place to photograph was the "Rainbow Vista". After a day of overcast weather, which I used to focus on details and close-ups, the sky finally opened up and the clouds started to move around and create a wonderful all day long light show. Dramatic cloud formations, along with the shadows they cast, can add real depth to your photographs and if the sky happens to be mostly filled with clouds, just about anytime of the day is great for photography. Count your blessings!

Shown below is a moment that resonated strongly with me.




March 17, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

I spent a day exploring the many slot canyons around Page. Another photography dream came true. I was very fortunate to have an incredible guide who provided me with a lot of insight and allowed for a more profound understanding of the place and its people. I'm very grateful for this experience, being in these canyons feels very meditative and somewhat spiritual especially in those less visited canyons, I sensed a very warm and gentle energy. Here is a photograph taken with my E-M1 @ 17mm  f/8,1/8s, ISO 800. The one thing I'm looking forward to do when getting home is editing. Stay tuned for more. ONWARD ! 






March 05, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

The waste places of the earth, the barren desserts, the tracts forsaken of men

and given over to loneliness, have a peculiar attraction of their own.

The weird solitude, the great silence, the grim desolation, are the very things

with which every desert wanderer eventually falls in love.

- John C. Van Dyke, The Desert, 1901.


March 04, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Tiefenbachklamm, Austria

January 21, 2015  •  Leave a Comment


January 18, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Friends and family, this Friday, Joanie Connell, will be debuting her newest book, "Flying without a Helicopter: How to Prepare Young People for Work and Life" at 3RDSPACE in University Heights. It's going to be an absolutely amazing event, with live music, food and beverage, and a chance to purchase an autographed copy. I'll be showcasing several of my landscape pieces and raffling off a print!

I'd love to invite everyone to join us; just see the event details on FACEBOOK
I hope to see you all there!


RAW San Diego Interview

January 14, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Artist Interview for RAW San Diego

Basic Tips for Shooting Firework Displays!

December 31, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Since today is New Years Eve (Silvester), I thought I would share, once more, the few things I have learned about shooting fireworks!

  • Scout your location  Think about how you can ground the fireworks and add elements into the frame that reveal your location. This will make your fireworks photographs stand out!
  •  Tripod  The camera needs to be as stable and shake-free as possible.
  •  Cable release   To avoid introducing any sort of shake.
  •  Headlight  In case you are in a place where it is very dark, a headlight will help you to find your way around and keep your hands free.
  •  “Magic black cloth”  I carry a piece of black cloth with me to cover the lens in between fireworks bursts. This will allow you to get multiple bursts into one frame.
  •  Lens choice  Anything from a wide-angle to a mid-telephoto works. It really depends on the look you are trying to achieve. It’s easier to start with a wide-angle lens and then try different lenses.
  •  Manual Mode   I will use the first burst to determine my exposure.
  •  Aperture  start at f/8 – f/16   Again, fireworks are bright, so this will allow me to shoot at smaller apertures and longer shutter speeds. I determine aperture from my first test shot of the first burst.
  •  Low ISO   Fireworks are bright, and you really want to capitalize on the ability to use longer shutter speeds so you can have multiple bursts in one shot.  In between bursts, I will use the magic cloth to cover my lens.
  •  Manual Focus  The first burst is also helping me to set my focus. I will manually focus on the burst and then I lock it. Usually the fireworks are photographed from a distance and shooting at f/8 – f/16 will give enough of a range of acceptable focus.

I wish you a very happy new year!

Einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr! 

Field Work: Nature and Landscape Exhibit

December 30, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

"Salton Sea" was selected for the Field Work: Nature and Landscape exhibit at Black Box Gallery in Portland, Oregon.

Juried by Christopher O'Donnell. The opening reception is on January 2, 2015 from 6-8 pm.

The exhibit is on display from 1/1/2015 - 1/20/2015


December 19, 2014  •  Leave a Comment


Check out my photography which is decorating the walls at 2GOOD2B in Encinitas! Here are some photos from the installations. While you're there, you have to try a few dishes from their delicious gluten, corn and soy free menu!






December 16, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

When we go out to see holiday lights, it is usually already very dark. This isn't a problem for our eyes but the camera sensor has limitations in these situations. The best time to go out and shoot holiday lights is dusk - that small window of time after the sun has set and before total darkness has set in. The 2 types of ambience that we are trying to balance are the holiday lights and the slowly disappearing evening light. During this time, it is possible to expose for both, and, if you set your camera’s white balance to Tungsten, you will make the already blue sky even bluer. Keeping this in mind, it will take some scouting to find a good composition. Once you have found your place and subject to shoot, you can maximize your time getting the shot right. This could be a fun way to get out of the house and stroll around the neighborhood during the Christmas season. Here is a link to some of San Diego’s hotspots for Christmas lights.

Bokeh is the quality of the portion of a photograph that is not in sharp focus. Ever wanted to know how you can capture those beautiful Bokeh shots? It can be achieved by adjusting depth-of-field and choosing the right lens. To get beautiful bokeh in an image, you need to use a fast lens - the faster the better! You’ll want to use a lens with at least an f/2.8 aperture, with faster apertures of f/1.8 or f/1.4 being ideal. The first thing we need to do is get close to the subject, set your camera up on a tripod, and then open your lens all the way. 

The wider open, the better! To increase the likelihood of visible bokeh in your photographs, increase the distance between your subject and the background. You can do this by positioning your main subject very close to your camera. The more shallow the depth-of-field or further away the background is, the more out-of-focus it will be. You can also use shapes and change the look of your aperture which can be quite fun to experiment with. You can buy filters that attach to the front of your lens or you can make some yourself with stencils.


To keep this very basic and simple, follow these steps. Your camera should allow you to control at least the shutter speed. Then find moving lights or an object that is moving while illuminated. Try to visualize how it all plays out in the final image. A street scene with holiday  decorations during dusk and some moving lights (like cars) could produce an interesting scene. Think about how the trails will interact with the rest of your composition. I just recently saw a great shot of a spinning Christmas tree. It caught my attention because I really liked the look, and I also knew that it took some effort to spin the tree with all the lights attached to it :-)

To shoot a long exposure set your camera on a tripod or a steady surface, use an aperture of at least f/8 keep the ISO low and then determine the shutter speed the longer the better! Try to have at least 10-20 sec. but keep experimenting with different intervals. Shorter exposures will produce shorter trails. Longer exposures will give you smooth continuous trails. Use your histogram to check that the highlights are not totally blown out. Shoot RAW if you can, this will give you more options in post processing, you can also use your camera’s BULB mode and a remote control to utilize shutter speeds that go past 30sec. but in an urban setting you can get by without that extra exposure time.


Tell the story of your holiday experience with just a few pieces of the whole puzzle. Zoom in on some decorations in the house or elsewhere - such as close ups of food, gifts, activities like decorating the tree - use a shallow depth of field by opening your lens up a little more, maybe include some bokeh from background lights. I recommend using a tripod when shooting static subjects. If you use a tripod, you can use slower shutter speeds and lower ISO’s than you would handheld. If you photograph activites handheld, this would be a good time to increase your ISO. Experiment with this! 


This can be really fun and create some interesting and unique photographs! Find lights in an interesting setting - a street scene, a lit up Christmas tree, or any sort of light involving Christmas decoration. Then set your camera on a tripod and use a zoom lens. Now get your exposure figured out and, during the exposure, you will zoom in and out. This will create streaks of light that can be super fun and produce unique photographs. This is very experimental, so keep on trying with different subjects and surroundings!

Canyon View In December

December 06, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Standing at the Grand Canyon's South Rim on this cold and cloudy December day was an awe inspiring experience!

With the constantly changing cloud formations, I was treated to a light show extraordinaire.

November Rain in Sedona

December 05, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Ubehebe Crater, Death Valley National Park

December 03, 2014  •  Leave a Comment


November 30, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

















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