• Tue, 01 Nov 2022 23:14:00 +0000

    I'm a Brat

    Being a military brat, my family moved a lot when I was a kid. From Moses Lake, Washington, where I was born, to Enid, Oklahoma, Valdosta Georgia, Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam, Falls Church, Virginia, Hong Kong, Marin County, California, and Santa Rosa, California. Then when I joined the Navy at 17,  San Diego, California, Memphis, Tennessee, Barbers Point Hawaii, Kenwood, California. Then for work, Tucson, Arizona, Sun City, Arizona, Flagstaff, Arizona, and finally back to Phoenix. where I started Esprit Decor Gallery. 

    So I'm sitting here at my desk surrounded by dogs, thinking about what it means to be a photographer. Ultimately, I like to think of myself as a facilitator. Hopefully, my images inspire people to travel, to take that trip that they've always dreamed of, and to experience not only the ordinary but also, the extraordinary. It's out there, believe me, and all you have to do to experience it is to go.

    It's hard to maintain an insular value set once you've been exposed to foreign cultures. It makes the circle of "us" bigger while making the circle of "them" smaller. That's the point. You realize that there's only been one circle the whole time, and that, my friends, changes everything. 

    But please, don't take my word for it. See for yourself. Just go. The world awaits!

  • Wed, 29 Jun 2022 04:06:00 +0000

    When Phishing Ain't Phishing

     Mostly, phishing is just that: phishing. The Nigerian Prince, the Irish Sweepstakes, the IRS is coming to get you, Crypto nonsense...are all designed to do one thing: separate you from your money, and depending upon how greedy or fearful you are, it can be pretty successful. The problem is that in this world full of suspicion and distrust, we have become even more suspicious and distrustful. The email with the trojan horse, the innocuous app you downloaded that is full of spyware and adware, the social media platform that you use to keep tabs on your dear aunt Sally, which tracks you across the web and sells your personal info to advertisers – we've all been there. 

    Not too long ago, I was slightly bemused to receive an email from The Royal Meteorological Society. "What new Hell is this?" I wondered. We've all become so jaded that a new twist on an old scam is almost welcomed for its novelty and inventiveness. So, I went through the vetting process: the email of the sender was the actual email, not some bogus account; I was the sole recipient, as opposed to one of many, or better yet one of many "undisclosed recipients"; the spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization were flawless, and to cap it all off, I wasn't even being asked for money! "So where's the hook?" I thought.

    My curiosity was piqued. It seems the Royal Metrological Society, in conjunction with the Museum of Natural History (one of my favorite places to visit when I'm in London), was making a book, A weather lexicon, if you will, and one of the terms they were defining was "Virga." Not the astrological symbol, Virgo (September 16 - October 30) but the weather phenomenon, Virga, which is precipitation (rain, ice, snow) that descends from a cloud, but never reaches the ground. It's often characterized by jellyfish-like tendrils that fall from the base and then seem to disappear into thin air. Crazy, huh?

    But I'd seen just such a cloud! It was in the Grand Canyon. I was on a North Rim photo excursion to a little spot called Point Sublime. Way off the beaten track, deeply rutted dirt roads, wild buffaloes everywhere, one composting pit toilet, and a couple of picnic tables. No campfires. Reservations required. That sounded perfect!

    By now, I've been there several times, and the spot is aptly named. It's sublime, from the thunderous silence to the almost total isolation, to the incredible views of one of the world's seven wonders, and yes, even the virga that occasionally appears when all the conditions are right. We were standing there, looking across that vast expanse towards the South Rim, when this majestic apparition hove into view. It looked like a Portuguese Man-O-War, with long silky tendrils floating beneath it as it floated majestically across the landscape. I closed my mouth just long enough to take a few images and locked them away in my memory of amazing things I'd seen by accident. 

    I included the image in a portfolio of the Grand Canyon on my website ( I also uploaded it to a site on the internet called 500PX, where photographers from all over the world share and critique each other's work. There are over 500 images of Virga, and my image was chosen to be included in the book.

  • Thu, 12 May 2022 04:22:00 +0000

    Note to Self: Stop Showing Off!

    Cabo San Lucas is a pretty amazing place. Whale watching, margaritas, balmy weather, awesome food, friends and family, boat trips, you get the picture. However, I did leave out one small detail, which would be crashing your drone while showing off. I'm guilty. 

    We were on an excursion to go snorkeling, whale watching, partying, and the like, and of course, I brought my new drone. I couldn't wait to fly it off the boat and get some awesome shots of The Arch, the emblematic rock feature where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean. 

    Everything was going great, and everyone was having an awesome time. We all got snorkeling gear and mini-submarines to scoot around underwater, and we got to do some reef diving where we saw all sorts of amazing marine creatures. The Sea of Cortez is known as the "Aquarium of the World," replete with sea lions, humpback and gray whales (it was calving season), moorish idols, parrotfish, tangs, eagle rays, and many more!

    After the dive, everyone got back on board, we refreshed our margaritas and cervezas, had lunch, and cruised some more on the Sea of Cortez, whale watching. We weren't disappointed, they were everywhere! 

    One of the crewmembers was a photographer, and I was happy to share with him how the drone worked, how it took both still photographs and movies, and especially, how fast it would go in "sport" mode. This was the showing-off part. I had forgotten that in "sport "mode all the safeguards were turned off, and after a few minutes, I decided to get a low-angle shot of everyone at the front of the boat. 

    I steered the drone lower, and lower, and lower, thinking it would stop above the waves, but since I had turned off all the safeguards, that didn't happen. It went into the ocean. Everyone on board groaned, but then as if by magic it rose from the waves to a chorus of "oohs" and "aahs"! I frantically steered it back towards the boat, thinking I had dodged a bullet. It was about 25 feet in the air and almost on board when it flipped over, gyrated uncontrollably, and crashed into the deck of the boat, almost at my feet. Props and arms went flying everywhere, the whole front of the drone was trashed, but thankfully, no one was injured. 

    A lesson learned? Maybe not. I sent the drone in for repair, and the engineer called me amazed that it had suffered so much damage. I gritted my teeth and paid the invoice because I had also declined the insurance. Yikes! Looks like pb&j sandwiches for a few weeks. 

    The drone arrived today via FedEx, and I opened it to see if all the battle scars were still there. To my amazement, they had sent me a brand new drone, in perfect condition. I'm taking it out to the park to fly it tonight to see how it does. Have I learned my lesson about showing off? Ummm, maybe.
  • Fri, 06 May 2022 18:47:00 +0000

    Things That Go Bump in the Night

    I wasn't worried about scorpions, rattlesnakes, or tarantulas. Why not, you ask? Mainly because I didn't even consider them. Teddy Bear cactus and jumping cholla, sure, those are painful. Critters, not so much. You get the idea. Actually, what I wanted to see, and record, was the Milky Way. I had loaded up some fast primes, three tripods, and a star tracker, jumped in the car with my faithful Blue Heeler, Stella, and headed out to the Western Superstition Mountains to capture the Milky Way, that glorious and amazing band of stars that rises like Venus on the half shell out of the Eastern sky in the summertime if you happen to live in the Northern Hemisphere. 

     In order to get a good shot of the Milky Way, you need several things: A sturdy tripod, a good camera, a fast lens, a rudimentary knowledge of astronomy, some spit, baling wire, and duct tape. Actually, anybody can take a bad picture of the milky way. Trust me, I have hundreds. Star trails are a no-no, so depending upon the focal length of your lens, your exposure will be limited to about ten seconds or less. If you set your ISO too high, you'll get so much noise that your image will probably be unusable. Again, trust me. You need a dark environment because light from the moon or the lights of cities will probably give you disappointing results. Some people use a star tracker, which mimics the earth's rotation, so you can take longer exposures at lower ISO's without star trails. They have to be aligned with Polaris, the North star. Also, you can take bunches of images and stack them in software to reduce the noise in your final image. 

    Some folks really love pictures of galaxies in space, nebulae, star clouds, and the like, but that's not what I'm after. I want a horizon line of some sort in my images, which means that if the image is going to be compelling, then you have to have something in the foreground that is compelling. Oh, and clouds and dust, high winds, etc. are probably a no-no, especially if you are going to stack your images. Plus, you probably want to do a delayed exposure, because you can't have any camera shake during the exposure, so your tripod has to be rock-solid still, which means you probably want to remove your camera strap so it doesn't flop around in the wind and jog your tripod, ruining the shot. Finally, with all of the above critical conditions met, it helps if you have a bit of luck and patience. Shooting the milky way is pretty much a solitary affair, and sometimes you don't really know what you got until you get home. 

    On my last trip to the Superstitions, I had everything going for me. Clear skies, a new moon, a good idea of where the Milky Way was going to be, a great camera, fast lenses, tripods galore, and canine company. However, my plan was missing one critical component: it was all going to happen way past my bedtime. Yeah, I did it right, pretty much. Yes, I was set up and ready to record some compelling images with a great foreground. I took about a hundred shots and realized that I was too early, the galactic core wouldn't be above the Praying Hands for at least an hour. So, I went back to the car, turned the heater on, got comfy, and fell asleep. By the time I awoke, sadly, the perfect moment had passed. The Milky Way had shifted around to the South and was so high in the sky that I couldn't use my 24mm 1.4 lens to include both the foreground in the Milky Way. 

    Being stubborn, I took quite a few more shots, hoping I might be able to pull something out in post, but it wasn't what I had hoped for. As my fishing buddies say, "You should have seen the one that got away." Next time, Red Bull, or a nap.
  • Fri, 29 Apr 2022 17:46:00 +0000

    Anatomy of a Monster

     Sorry to disappoint, but if you think this post is going to be all about dragon duodenums, or Kracken colons,  you may have been Rickrolled. This post is actually about the Great Wall of China, a true monster, which is over 21,000 kilometers long, was started in 221 BCE, and owes its incredible longevity to...sticky rice, which was mixed with the mortar that holds the stones together so tightly that even weeds can't grow in the cracks! The Great Wall attracts over 63 million visitors each year, and there must be about a zillion photographs taken annually of this incredible edifice.

    Some clients came into the gallery recently with a fine art photograph of the Great Wall seeking recommendations for framing. It wasn't quite as long as the Great Wall itself, but when framed would measure over seven feet long, which called for over-oversize components. Having dealt with even larger monsters in our past we simply said, "No problemo," and proceeded to marshall all the necessary elements to complete this herculean task. 

    Since the photograph was an expensive fine art limited edition, and our clients decided they wanted it to be mounted, there was only one product available to handle such a big image. We called the manufacturer and had a lengthy discussion on the use of their product, things to watch out for, caveats, etc. The first order we received had a flaw and was rejected, and another was shipped in from California overnight to meet the client's deadline. Oversized mats were sourced locally, and the glazing material was the finest in the world, Optium Museum Plex, which would come out of a 4' x 8' sheet – a bank-breaker, for sure! The moulding, which had to be perfectly straight and flawless was also sourced from the Left Coast, and fortunately was in stock, and shipped overnight. 

    All of the components were now in-house, but one critical element was missing. We had cleaned the vacuum press inch by inch, polished the platen, laser checked the temperature accuracy, and confirmed dwell time, but we would have only one chance to get the mounting right – it had to be absolutely perfect, with no margin of error whatsoever. This called for more research. After several hours of due diligence, we located a special roller used in cleanrooms to remove dirt and dust that could barely be seen by the human eye. At over a half a thousand dollars it wasn't cheap, but it was a game-changer that would go a long way to ensuring the perfection of the mount. We called the manufacturer and ordered it. When the roller arrived, we meticulously cleaned both sides of the substrate and both the front and back of the print. We even rolled the platen in the vacuum press multiple times! In addition, we ceased cutting operations the day before to limit even microscopic airborne particulates.

    We centered the print on the substrate, covered it with a brand new slip-sheet which we also rolled, and tucked it in our oversized vacuum press. There wasn't even a half-inch to spare! Temperature, check, positioning, check, dwell time, check. We closed the lid and set the countdown timer. Then we waited.

    to be continued...

  • Sun, 07 Nov 2021 06:17:00 +0000

    Waiting for Fall to Fall

    Fall in Arizona can be both tantalizing and elusive. Take today, for example: While we've had a few cool days, and summer is definitely over, it's going to hit 90º in a few minutes — much hotter than many of us would like. Sure, our blood is thin, and we've staggered through the summer heatwave, but enough is enough, already!

    Everyone has their own special way of coping with the heat of summer. Some folks go to the White Mountains of Eastern Arizona, while others prefer to join the horde of "Zonies" that invade the beaches of San Diego and Southern California every year. Some folks head for Flagstaff, and some leave the state entirely, most to cooler climes.

    Me? I left the country. And yes, with the pandemic in full swing world-wide, there were several more hoops to jump through, but going to London for a couple of weeks, snuggling under layers of blankets, wearing a jacket or a raincoat, and actually seeing water fall from the sky on multiple occasions (yes, I swear it's true!) can reset one's whole attitude towards the weather in particular and life in general.

    All that being said, there's nothing that signals the onset of fall in Arizona like seeing the splendor of the fall foliage as the leaves change color on the West Fork of Oak Creek. It's a destination for photographers from all over the world, with majestic red canyon walls, and maples, cottonwood, ash and oak creating explosions of color all in a cool fall setting combined with a lazy creek the wends its way slowly through this spectacular canyon.
    And yes, I just happen to have a few image I'd love to share. Hope you enjoy them!

  • Wed, 22 Sep 2021 23:29:00 +0000

    London Bridge Isn't Falling Down
    Well, actually, that bridge isn't even in London, it was auctioned off and moved to Lake Havasu City, Arizona in 1968, where it is to this day. I have it on good authority that the bridge is doing fine in it's new home, but since Lake Havasu City isn't famous for it's fish and chips, I decided to go to the original location of the bridge, the city of London itself.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated a few more hoops to jump through to get there, but it's well worth the effort. London is an exciting and vibrant metropolis with oodles of history and tradition, much like the Big Apple. I spent ten days there recently, and came away with over 3,000 images, from Chinatown to the Regents Canal and Canary Wharf to Piccadilly Circus. Getting around London is a breeze, So if you want to go to the British Museum, Kew Gardens, The V & A, or wherever, the tube is often the fastest and easiest way to get there. add rail, bus, cycling, train, and water transport, and you have a virtual magic carpet that will get you from one end of London Town to the other, and far beyond – even Paris!

    Here are a few of the shots I recorded on this last trip. For more, please visit my other website at 

  • Fri, 09 Jul 2021 18:19:00 +0000

    What's So Special About Shawmut?

     Shawmut: no, not a literary Irish mongrel, but rather a mostly forgotten whistle stop near Gila Bend, Arizona, where pusher locomotives used to help freight trains ascend the Maricopa Grade out of the Gila River Valley. Sadly, however, with the advent of much more powerful diesel locomotives, the steam powered pushers became obsolete, and so the little community of Shawmut slowly sank into oblivion. 

    Apart from its historical interest, this spot has some other major advantages going for it. It's very secluded, plenty dark, and Tucson is so far away that the light pollution isn't much of a factor, if you happen to head out that way during the new moon and point your camera and tripod south to get some shots of the Milky Way in the summer season. 

    The first time I visited Shawmut I was hard at work positioning and adjusting my camera to take advantage of the magnificent and silent setting, when I began to hear a low hum off in the distance. It slowly increased until I saw a blinding flash of light and as the sound rose to a roar, the ground began to shake! Suddenly, a massive, roaring presence engulfed me as the huge engines followed by what seemed like an endless stream of double decker freight cars thundered past in a cacophony of noise, light and vibration. 

    As you can imagine, the experience was intoxicating, and I have gone back several times, mesmerized by the amazing roar and presence of these massive behemoths that thunder past on their way to distant destinations. And yeah, I got some great images of the trains, if not the Milky Way.

  • Tue, 06 Jul 2021 23:33:00 +0000

    One Evening in Paris

     I grew up in Hong Kong, and it was a wonderful and fascinating experience. Hong Kong truly is an international crossroads, with people from across the globe. In addition to being exposed to a myriad of different cultures, languages, and backgrounds, I had the good fortune of attending The Peak School, where we started learning French and Latin in 4th grade. The seed was planted, and my love for England and France grew and as a result, I have made my way many times across the pond to visit those places I imagined in my childhood.

     Paris, also, is a is a beautiful and fascinating city. As a result of my early exposure, I speak the language well enough to get along and I'm comfortable in every part of the city. I know Paris pretty well, and love the Metro for getting around. It's the number one tourist destination in the world, and for good reason. It is steeped in cultural heritage, has some of the best museums in the world, great ambiance, stunning architecture; even the graveyards are amazingly beautiful!

     Here is an image from a recent visit: it's the Cafe Palais Royal, catty-corner from the Louvre Museum in the 1st Arrondissement, as friends chat and lovers cuddle late into the wee hours of the night. After all, c'est Paris, n'est ce pas?

  • Sat, 14 Mar 2020 21:47:00 +0000

    We're Ready When You Are!

    When you're tired of looking at this:

    Kirkland Bath Tissue,
    6 Rolls, 425 Sheets per roll, 2 ply, 3187 Sq. Ft, 4.5" x 4.0," Septic Safe

    We have some real artwork to show you:

    Bartlett Lake Wake,
    by Julie Gilbert Pollard, Oil on Canvas, 40" x 30"

    Hey, we get it. Everyone is stressed, and rightfully so. This next period of time is going to be challenging for all of us. So wash your hands, get plenty of sleep, stay away from big crowds. Do all the things to keep you and your families safe and sound. Maybe you had to cancel a trip, but here's a tip: looking at great artwork can reduce your stress levels, like this beautiful image of Bartlett Lake by Julie Gilbert Pollard. Lowering your blood pressure and your stress is great for your immune system. We are a small local veteran-owned business, and honestly, we depend on your continued patronage to keep our doors open and pay our staff, who have served this valley faithfully for over thirty years. We'll get through this, together. We're ready when you are. Come see us. Peace out! Pat, Robert, Ron, Rosie, and Stella.

  • Wed, 11 Mar 2020 22:01:00 +0000

    Ever Wonder What Goes on in the Back Room?

    Chances are, that if you bring in some artwork to be framed at Esprit Decor Gallery, you will be greeted by Robert Hilton, our amiable and hard-working Gallery Director, who helps guide our clients thru the myriad decisions that are a natural part of having a piece of artwork framed.

    It's much less challenging than it would seem, what with thousands of frame samples, hundreds of mats, filets, fabric and glazing options to choose from, but Robert's superb eye for great design, his ability to listen to our client's needs and desires, and his friendly manner put everyone at ease, as he deftly guides them through the framing solution process, ensuring that the finished product will be a treasured addition to your home!

    After the order is finalized, an incredibly complex choreography begins. The due-date of the artwork is recorded and added to the schedule. The artwork is safely tucked away in one of over twenty different locations depending on its state, size, type, and condition. Special instructions are included and double-checked, materials are sourced, stock is verified. Orders are placed, most often from multiple vendors. The wheels begin to turn as the orders are filled at suppliers' warehouses, both near and far. Messages go back and forth noting exceptions that must then be addressed. Is the item out of stock? When will it be back in stock? Can we wait, or do we get it from an alternate vendor, and is one available? What's our deadline? What is our deadline?

    Now multiply this recipe a hundred times, have it all happen simultaneously, and you begin to understand the choreography that goes on behind the scenes as each order is shepherded through the actual framing process, which has yet to begin.

    Once all the materials have arrived and been checked in and inspected (sometimes a mat will have a flaw, or moulding will be warped, or have imperfections, which will trigger a flurry of other actions) the framing process can begin. First, an entirely new set of measurements is taken, down to 1/16th of an inch. Special instructions are noted which might change the process entirely.

    Moulding is cut on a custom double-miter picture framing saw using special carbide-tipped blades to ensure a perfect cut, at the perfect angle.  After the cuts and moulding are re-inspected, the frame is glued using special PVA glue and joined on a pneumatic-powered underpinner, which leaves no marks or nail holes on the sides of the moulding.

    Meanwhile, museum-grade archival mats are cut on a computer-controlled mat cutter to a precision of one-thousandth of an inch. The artwork is then either mounted using heat and vacuum in an oversized vacuum press, archivally hinged, stitched or pinned using stainless-steel pins, special mounts are fabricated – each technique selected for the hundreds of different types of images and objects that pass through our workroom in any given month.

    One of nine different types of glazing material (all with an ultra-violet blocking component) is cut for the artwork (clear UV blocking, reflection control, different types of plexiglass, and yes, museum glass) and matched up to the matted artwork. Sometimes hand-made spacers are prepared to separate the artwork from the glazing.

    Finally, the components are lovingly assembled, the back of the frame is closed up, backing paper applied, hanging hardware, plastic coated wire and protective felt discs are added, and our gallery sticker is put on the back of the dust cover. The finished frame is put inside a protective bag and carefully stored on fabric-lined shelving, separated by individual dividers. The work order status is updated, and an email goes out, followed by a phone call to let you know that your piece is ready to go.

  • Fri, 19 Jul 2019 04:20:00 +0000

    Summer Is All About...Museums?
    One of my kid's fondest memories, and a standing family joke, is all the museums I dragged them through. Even when they grew up and we got to travel together, no vacation was complete without a visit to the Louvre, the Prado, the De Young, the Met; honestly, I could go on and on. 
    Eventually, however, the tables turned. My son Nate and I did Italy. His fave? The Galileo Museum in Florence...and it was his idea! My daughter Angela texted me about a major Hockney retrospective at the De Young Museum in San Francisco, and of course, I couldn't resist. Elitist? Maybe, but you could do a lot worse. At least it's not Nickelback.
    One of the most amazing things I got to see on a visit to Getty in Los Angeles some time ago was the stunning painting of Irises, by Vincent Van Gogh. The color, luminosity, and composition almost allowed the long-passed master to reach out through the canvas, across the centuries and grab me by the heart, to demonstrate the magnificence and power of his vision.
    So here's a small suggestion: It's summer; take a vacation. You deserve one. And take your kids, they deserve some of your time. Visit a museum together, you might be surprised at your kids' taste, and that they have opinions! It's safe, and after all, it's not politics. 
    Museums are a vast storehouse of our humanity. They are a secret passageway, a wormhole, if you will, to a past we can only imagine, with the help of their treasures. One through which we can learn much about ourselves, and perhaps rediscover, and share, our own humanity.

    An image of Irises by Vincent Van Gogh
    Irises – by Vincent Van Gogh, Saint-Remy, France, 1889.
  • Sun, 05 May 2019 03:10:00 +0000

    Manly Pier
    This is an image from my recent trip to Sydney. What an amazing place! Their rapid transit system is unified and consists of light rail, trains, busses and ferries. You purchase an Opal card that works on everything, and “top it up” as you go, so getting around the city is a breeze. A short half-hour ferry ride from Circular Quay next to the Sydney Opera House brings you to Manly Wharf on the North side of the harbor. This is an image of the wharf, processed as a watercolor. It printed up beautifully, and I laminated it rather than putting glass in front of it. I added a simple charcoal wire brushed frame to work with the weathered elements of the pier, and ended up taking it home, to remind me of all the fun I had on the trip. More images to come. Thanks for joining me on this journey!

    Manly Pier, NSW Australia
  • Thu, 04 Apr 2019 20:31:00 +0000

    A Close Call in Paris
    One evening in Paris, I found myself staring transfixed at the full moon and the Eiffel tower. The Iron lady, or "La Dame de Fer" as she is affectionately known across the pond, is one of the most photographed landmarks in the world. Would it even possible to get a unique and creative shot? 

    As the full moon rose and sailed silently above the dome of Les Invalides to the east, I could see that its trajectory would take it across the tower itself, but where? Would the combination of moon and tower be compelling? Where was the shot? The clock was ticking...
    Soon it became obvious that the moon would pass right through the opening between the first and second floors of the tower. Awesome, except for one small problem: the only place to get that shot would be standing in the middle of the street on the Pont d'Iéna which connects the Trocadero to the Champs du Mars – in rush hour traffic.
    Go or no go? Here's the answer:

  • Tue, 12 Mar 2019 05:46:00 +0000

    Standing on A Corner in Winslow, Arizona...
    If you have ever found yourself "Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona," then you'd be just a hop, skip and a jump away from the subject of today's post, which is La Posada, one of the most important buildings of 20th-century American architecture. It was a Harvey House, designed by the legendary Mary Colter, and restored by Architect Allan Affeldt and his wife, Tina Mion, working in concert with Marie LaMar of the Winslow Historical Society and Janice Griffith of the Old Trails Museum. Together, along with the cooperation of the City of Winslow, They saved La Posada and made it a living museum for the world to enjoy!

  • Wed, 06 Mar 2019 18:47:00 +0000

    Ten Little Indians
    Dorothea Lange, one of my favorite photographers, once famously said, "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." How true! Photographers are trained to notice details that others might overlook. In the same way a musician's ear hears sound differently than most of us, so too, a photographer looks at the world consciously in terms of light, contrast, composition, tone, rhythm and detail in a way that most of us look at automatically and sometimes unconsciously. Here's a case in point: in the image below, which was taken at the Tres Rios Wetlands (the confluence of Salt, Agua Fria, and Gila Rivers in Maricopa County Arizona) the casual observer might see six or seven great blue herons standing in their nests. A trained photographer would see all ten! Can YOU pick them all out? Good luck!

    Great blue herons nesting in a cottonwood tree at the Tres Rios Wetland in Maricopa County, Arizona.
  • Tue, 05 Mar 2019 07:41:00 +0000

    One of my Side Hustles
    By now, most of the people around me know that I'm passionate about photography. There's always new stuff to learn, new places to photograph, and new ways to do it, not to mention all the new gear and software coming out on a daily basis. Sometime it seems to be a never ending stream of learning curves, trial and error, adjustments and the like that keep photographers on their toes, and keep our avocation fresh. My primary focus has always been travel and landscape photography. I love to go, and pretty much anywhere. See new places, meet new people, share adventures and discoveries. However, practical matters like running a small business for the last thirty years have made the vagabond life impractical. There's a lot of logistical work involved in going half way 'round the world, and fortunately I have an amazing crew who covers for me and makes it possible for me to indulge my passion. For the last several years, I've been working with Interior designers and real estate companies doing architectural and interior photography. It's a whole different discipline, choosing angles, creating and telling stories through sequential images, blending daylight, incandescent, fluorescent and now LED light sources to achieve a harmonious balance, bracketing exposures and making HDR composites, focus stacking and lots more. The bottom line? It's actually made me a better landscape photographer.
  • Fri, 07 Oct 2016 20:56:00 +0000

    Opera Garnier – Photography by Pat Kofahl
    Opera Garnier - Paris by Pat Kofahl on

    Opera Garnier is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Hyperbole, perhaps, but spectacular, nonetheless. It is the inspiration for one of the most famous contemporary operas, Phantom, by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Which is based on the Novel by Gaston Leroux, published in 1910.This fine art image by Pat Kofahl is available in multiple sizes on paper, canvas, metal and plexiglass. Prices start at $49.00!
  • Sun, 02 Oct 2016 17:17:00 +0000

    Heatwave – Photography by Pat Kofahl

    Heatwave by Pat Kofahl on

    Vertical view of Upper Antelope Canyon, near Page, Arizona. Light cascades down from above, illuminating the Navajo Sandstone formations carved out by thousands of years of water action, creating graceful and dreamlike forms. This fine art image by Pat Kofahl is available in multiple sizes on paper, canvas, metal and plexiglass. Prices start at $49.00!
  • Mon, 26 Sep 2016 23:45:00 +0000

    Misty Morning at Manorhamilton – Pat Kofahl

    Misty Morning at Manorhamilton by Pat Kofahl on

    On a cycling trip to Northern Ireland recently, one of our stops was the tiny village of Manorhamilton, in North County Leitrim, with a bustling population of 1500 souls or so, and all the charm and friendliness one comes to expect from the Irish people. While touring by bike provides some challenges to the photographer, It allows a perspective and immersion that is much more intimate and personal. This fine art image by Pat Kofahl is available in multiple sizes on paper, canvas, metal and plexiglass. Prices start at $49.00!
  • Sun, 22 May 2016 20:58:00 +0000

    Sahara – Photography by Pat Kofahl
    Sahara 614 by Pat Kofahl on
    Taken last week on our camel excursion into the Sahara desert at Erg Chebbi, near Merzouga, Morocco. These are the some of the highest dunes in the entire Sahara, some reaching over 120 meters in height. The wind, which can often exceed 180 kph can completely reshape the terrain, and so a particular "view" can vanish virtually overnight. Chances are that this particular configuration doesn't even exist anymore.This fine art image by Pat Kofahl is available in multiple sizes on paper, canvas, metal and plexiglass. Prices start at $49.00!
  • Tue, 26 Apr 2016 17:22:00 +0000

    Clearing Storm - Sedona. Photography by Pat Kofahl

    Clearing Storm - Sedona, Arizona by Pat Kofahl on

    Late afternoon sunlight breaks through a clearing storm in Sedona, Arizona. This view is from the Airport looking North.This fine art image by Pat Kofahl is available in multiple sizes on paper, canvas, metal and plexiglass. Prices start at $49.00!
  • Sat, 19 Dec 2015 03:38:00 +0000

    Dust Storm – Monument Valley – Photography by Pat Kofahl

    Dust Storm – Mitten Butes by Pat Kofahl on

    Arizona is actually pretty famous for dust storms. We even borrowed the Arab term "haboob," because they're so similar to what's often seen in the Saharan and Arabian desert. Triggered by monsoon thunderstorms, these massive walls of dust often reach heights of 10,000 feet, engulfing and obscuring everything in their path. This fine art image by Pat Kofahl is available in multiple sizes on paper, canvas, metal and plexiglass. Prices start at $49.00!
  • Tue, 10 Nov 2015 03:19:00 +0000

    Palazzo Publico & Torre del Mangia – Siena by Pat Kofahl

    Palazzo Publico – Siena by Pat Kofahl on

    The outside of the structure is an example of Italian medieval architecture with Gothic influences. The lower story is stone; the upper crenelatted stories are made of brick. The facade of the palace is curved slightly inwards (concave) to reflect the outwards curve (convex) of the Piazza del Campo, Siena's central square of which the Palace is the focal point. The campanile or bell tower, Torre del Mangia, was built between 1325 and 1344. This fine art image by Pat Kofahl is available in multiple sizes on paper, canvas, metal and plexiglass. Prices start at $49.00!
  • Mon, 02 Nov 2015 04:16:00 +0000

    Clouds – Monument Valley – by Pat Kofahl

    Clouds – Monument Valley by Pat Kofahl on

    The view from Hunts Mesa is the quintessential vision of the West: vistas as far as the eye can see, human habitation almost an afterthought, and dwarfed by the enormity of the landscape. Arroyos, canyons, mesas, draws, washes, tanks. A place so alien that it even requires its own language to describe it. A land with its own rules and laws, completely impersonal, and universally enforced, without rancor or a second thought.This fine art image by Pat Kofahl is available in multiple sizes on paper, canvas, metal and plexiglass. Prices start at $49.00!

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