Maggie at the Petrified Forest/ Painted Desert

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I’ve always had a problem: I live in the Southwest- surrounded by exotic, beautiful environments like the Painted Desert- but it’s just far enough away that it’s not feasible to take a pro stylized model with me to shoot out there.  Enter my daughter Maggie, who at age 8 has been in enough of Daddy’s shoots in her lifetime to finally get styled and shot way out amongst the petrified wood.  Hair and makeup done by her mom/ my wife Vesna Miller.  We’re going to make this a routine thing- once a month- with the goal of building up a youngster to be an ultra stylized look.

All images done with Fuji X-T2 and either the 35mm 1.4 lens or 23mm 2.0 lens.

Maggie in the Superstitions Wilderness

We have been having a pretty dramatic winter around Phoenix, meaning it’s a bit more grey and rainy than usual; the day after a storm you are guaranteed the sun will punch through and give you some amazing shots if you’re in the right place at the right time.  I went hiking with my family around 3 pm by the Peralta trail on the east side of the Superstition Mountains, and my daughter Maggie decided to get “experimental” with some of her posing.  All images shot on the Fuji X-T2, lenses were the 35mm 1.4 and 18-55mm 2.8-4.

Teotihuacan in Black and White

Mexico City (1206 of 524)-Pano

Ever since I was a kid I’ve been fascinated by mythology and the cultures who worshipped colorful animal gods and supernatural beings; ancient Mesoamerica in particular was fascinating in its legends, graphic design, and vibrant colors.  When I got to college I minored in American Indian studies and took Mexican Art, where it was spelled out that the pre-Colombian cultures were dismissed as backward sacrificial maniacs who put wheels on toys but didn’t use them any other way because it didn’t fit into the Eurocentric colonial narrative that thriving advanced cultures existed here for thousands of years before the conquistadors.  More than anything during my trip to Mexico City, I was looking forward to visiting some of the archaeological sites of Mesoamerica.

Mexico City (769 of 524)

Teotihuacan, some 45 km from downtown Mexico City, has existed roughly 2400 years and I’ve never been to someplace as connected to ancient civilization.  It predates the Aztec civilization that most people associate with it by 1000 years.  We left our hotel at 6am on a Sunday morning because of my terrible experience with Mexico City traffic;  turns out we were the first tourists of the day, which was a free day to Mexican nationals.  The tourists and aggressive merchants slowly filled up the main avenue and pyramids, but going early meant we got to see a dozen hot air balloons sweep over the city at sunrise.

Mexico City (642 of 718)Mexico City (1059 of 524)

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Mexico City (1199 of 524)

If you enjoy any of this work I encourage you to like it and share it!  For more photoworks goodness peruse my Etsy shop, follow on tumblr and twitter and instagram, and rummage around on my full site.

Alaska Panoramics

Alaska July 2015 (80 of 435)-Pano

As I’ve been able to travel to more interesting locations in the last year, I’m getting a wider variety of panoramic images worth printing.  These were shot along the Seward Highway outside of Anchorage with my Fuji X-T1, not using the panoramic but as multiple images stitched together using Lightroom CC’s Panoramic feature.Alaska July 2015 (137 of 435)-Pano

It was a completely overcast, sometimes rainy day, but getting the DNG file from Lightroom’s merging means I can actually pull some detail out of these “blah” areas.  And since they were shot as individual vertical images, the final pano is closer to a standard aspect ratio- easier to frame and display.

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One Day In Alaska

Alaska July 2015 (307 of 435)I installed a photo show in Chicago on July 3rd but found it difficult to return to Phoenix on the holiday weekend using my wife’s nifty airline standby trick, so my son and I ended up spending a single day of adventure in Alaska.  If you plan on driving you basically have one stretch of highway that runs north of Anchorage to Denali National Park, and one stretch that runs south to Seward.  We took the Seward route, and came to one of the most magical locations I’ve ever been – Exit Glacier.

Alaska July 2015 (327 of 435)

We were pretty beat up by the redeye flight, but the air was so clean that one doesn’t get the sweaty, scummy feel one gets by having to maneuver around subways and skyscrapers.  Patrick especially had a great impression of Alaska, maybe because he got toys in Anchorage.  If you enjoy any of this work I encourage you to like it and share it! For more photoworks goodness peruse my Etsy shop, follow on tumblr and twitter and instagram, and rummage around on my full site.

If you enjoy any of this work I encourage you to like it and share it!  For more photoworks goodness peruse my Etsy shop, follow on tumblr and twitter and instagram, and rummage around on my full site.

Lightroom 6 CC’s Amazing Panoramic Function at Papago Park

DSCF6027-Pano

When we get a great cloudy day in Phoenix, I usually forgo whatever plans I had for the day to go hiking in Papago park on the Phoenix/ Tempe/ Scottsdale border.  It’s gorgeous red rocks with small caves that don’t look quite like any other local place.  I put this together Lightroom 6 CC’s photo merge function, one of the few things I had still used Photoshop for in my workflow.

Learning to Love the Landscape

palm springs fuji (153 of 166)

It’s mid-April of 2015 and I’ve noticed a trend in my photography that separates it from all previous years- a greater emphasis on travel and epic landscapes.  This year in Hawaii and California I’ve visited redwoods, a volcano + corresponding plain, a rainforest, climbed on top of waterfalls, been on snowy mountains and played in sand dunes.  I’ve swam in the ocean and hiked locally in our Arizona canyons and mountain parks like Papago, the San Tans and Sabino Canyon.

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Why this is a change for me is, I never was a landscape guy.  All my favorite photographers worked with either people or animals.  Maybe I could chalk it up to wanting to experience the world a bit more than I did when I was young- I’m also keen to stay healthy and not just melt into a pile of sludge in front of the tv.  I need to be physically active and being out in nature is a great way to keep fit while indulging our photographic habits.San Fran (21 of 292)-Edit

The other change is, I’m finding the market for artsy model images has its limits in who wants to buy them, where they can be displayed, etc.  Elegant epic landscapes tend to have a wider appeal and serve better when I’m trying to put together a workshop.

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Tuscon Feb 2015 (49 of 296)

If you enjoy any of this work I encourage you to like it and share it!  For more photoworks goodness peruse my Etsy shop, follow on tumblr and twitter and instagram, and rummage around on my full site.