Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L

Early Morning Light on Swamp

Early Morning Light on Swamp

Warren, Connecticut. The sun was coming up as I was driving by this swamp and the light was just too good, I had to stop. Light like this changes in minutes so one has to work fast, not to mention the stillness of the water can be disturbed by a leaf, a bird, or a beaver changing the reflection and so, the shot.

Note: This was shot last November but I wanted to share it as an example of the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 stopped down to f/11.

Yerba Buena Fountain, San Francisco

Yerba Buena Fountain, San Francisco

Our Macworld group spent quite a bit of time photographing and hanging out in this park and near this wonderful fountain. I think all of us took at least one if not many shots here. It’s a great spot to hang out with amazing photographic possibilities.

I swapped lenses with Carlos for this one: he took my 85 and I took his 14. This fisheye is a heck of a lot of fun although takes some getting used to. Most of the pictures I took of people with it looked like Photobooth (fun-house mirror shots).

Yerba Buena Fountain, San Francisco

Close up of the fountain which seems to be, dare I say, peeing.

I love fountains that involve flat, reflective surfaces. I’m sure this is designed by someone else but the work of Isamu Noguchi comes to mind when I see things like this. Or, some of the simpler fountains in temples in Japan.

Moving water has a calming effect, visually, aurally, and of course, it puts off lots of negative ions that I’m told help out in some way, lining up one’s chakras or neurons or the hairs on one’s neck or something good. Needing this kind of help as I do, I should live near a fountain or at the very least, buy one of those Sharper Image table-top jobs.

Maple in wet snow

Maple in wet snow

Those of you who live in the Northeast US know, we’ve just had and will continue to have a very wet snow. We had about ten inches of it here in NW Connecticut.

Wet snow is beautiful because it sticks to branches and the resulting visual landscape is very much like these new “countour-faded” jeans I see women wearing (very sexy) that seem to amplify the three dimensionality of their legs. Wet snow amplifies the light/shade of a branch, seemingly a photographer’s dream.

There are two issues with wet snow: it’s hard to move, clearing our driveway took me 3 hours and I had to start early so Anne could get to school; and the weight of it on tree limbs can cause damage, breaking limbs and sometimes toppling trees, hopefully not on houses.

I walked around the house every few hours knocking wet snow off of fire bushes, pines, and low lying maple branches, just to relieve them of the weight. I managed to work in this single shot of our small swamp maple in the backyard before I got some of this heavy snow off of its spindly branches.

Erin enjoying the holiday

Erin enjoying the holiday

There was enough going on with present opening that I was able to sneak around with the camera and get plenty of candid shots of my granddaughter Erin who tends to be a little camera shy. Either she poses (no good) or sticks her tongue out (cute but grandma doesn’t like it).

You know something, family photojournalism is hard. The politics alone could kill you.

I channelled Anne’s smile to you

I channelled Anne's smile to you

Last night my wife Anne dragged me to the holiday party the head of her school throws each year. I really shouldn’t say “dragged” because I’ve gotten to know some of her colleagues and they’re wonderful people. It was a great party but I don’t work there so I felt a bit awkward at times.

So, after I ran out of conversation I went into the room where we had piled our coats and pulled out my camera. Nothing better than a camera to hide behind at a time like this. It’s also a great conversation starter: either people go nuts over your equipment or they tell you theirs is bigger, longer, fancier, simpler, blah blah blah. No competing with me last night though: I had the 85mm f/1.2 mounted with its hood. Dang, that’s one kick-ass looking rig and I was shooting away like I knew what I was doing (most of my shots turned out like crap but they’ll never know).

Toward the end of the evening, after dinner I spotted Anne in conversation from across the room. She has the most open-hearted smile and it’s for real: she really is an open-hearted person.

I doubt I’m the only person on earth who knows what a great person she is, but the fact that I was able to capture it with my camera and share it makes me feel good about me.



I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. No religion. No commercialism. Just a family get-together and a good meal. Nice.

While everyone in my family was busy whipping cream and cutting pies I looked out over our table and considered how lucky we are to be able to have a meal like this. I’m thankful.

I am also thankful for flickr and the wonderful community of people who I’ve met there. If it weren’t for flickr I’d never have met hundreds of people from all over the world who inspire me to attempt to become a better photographer by sharing their work with me and by giving me feedback on mine. What a great thing flickr is because it represents connections beyond our Thanksgiving table. However, because I spend so much (too much) time there, I feel like flickr is a table of sorts.

I hope wherever you are you are having a nice weekend full of good food, family, and friends. Time to clear the table and get ready for a new bunch of images.