Yesterday on FaceBook I saw a photo of a huge full moon rising on an ocean horizon. The shore in the foreground is rocky and moonlit in places. It had some 89,000 “Likes”. To my pleasant surprise, there were MANY comments calling it what it is, including mine: “Go outdoors. Look at the moon. Look at the ocean. Look at a tree. Photoshop is fun, but reality can be quite beautiful. This photo is so over-edited that it’s ugly, in my opinion.”

In previous times, the camera was never a liar. It could force us to look at realities we might otherwise avoid. Film was primarily a truth-teller, even though we burned and dodged in the darkroom.

Photoshop is a great tool. It’s fun to use, it can “rescue” a less than perfect shot (sometimes). I use it – along with every other serious photog – on almost every picture I take, but this world is becoming more and more dystopic, and people are getting further and further removed from Nature. We need to see the natural world as it is, not as one more thing for man or photog to manipulate.


This is Where it All Began

Sunday, October 29th, 2006


An artists’ reception was held yesterday for exhibitors at the Frederic Remington Museum’s Amateurs Only! Juried Art Exhibition 2006. Only a few years ago I might have considered such an event with disinterest, and in fact even yesterday I went there with an attitude somewhat prejudicial toward the combination of “amateurs” and “art,” but I had to go (in fact, couldn’t wait to go) because this year I am one of those amateurs.

To my profound delight, the two of my photos selected for inclusion among the thirty-six now hanging in The Richard E. Winter Gallery are in great company. The Remington defined “amateur” as someone not making his/her living selling art, and apparently that includes some remarkable artists. I am proud to be a part of this great exhibition and (in the style of a theatre program) thank Bob, Kelly, John, Terry (of Fisher Design in Potsdam), and all of the others who have encouraged and helped me reach this milestone.

Photographs: American Wreckage (above); Web Designer (below).

The museum’s website may be viewed at:

Enough of Mickey, Already!


Imgp6348 (2) 33pct

Sometimes you might be lucky enough to “get the picture” in the field; sometimes you might have to bring the subject to the studio and work at setting up a shot.

This fall there was a stretch of time when the milkweed pods began to open and the weather favored the transport of their seeds on dry, silky bits of plant-fluff. Rain would end Wind’s opportunity, and so time to photograph these ephemeral fliers was also passing. I carefully gathered up a vase-full of stalks and seed pods – several already open and beginning to spew their contents – and brought it into the house. My plan was to keep them dry and then take them back outside for photographs when I had the time.

Yesterday I glanced at my “bouquet” on the window sill near my desk. The pods are empty! No, the seeds aren’t littering my floor… they were all eaten by the mice.

Criminal Intent


This morning I awoke and looked out the window at a pretty amazing pink and orange sunrise sky, said “Wow!” and then “Damn” because you have to be an earlier bird than I to get the photographic worm. It then occurred to me that being a photographer is a bit like being a criminal: you need motive (the love of taking a good picture), weapon (decent camera), and opportunity (created by Wizards who get their asses out of bed early).