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In the digital world it is easy to click away, throwing shutter clicks away like they are nothing. Protect your not only your gear but your future as well.

Photofocus (old site)

Recently my trusted Nikon d700 felt it needed a rest. The camera’s shutter is rated for 150,000 clicks. I’ve put this poor camera through the mill taking 149,652 photos over the years. The shutter needs to be replaced at a cost of about $200.00. Not bad, but it maybe time for a new camera.

This got me thinking. How many images did I take at the several FREE sporting events I shot or the many, many, many FREE photo shoots I’ve done? If I hadn’t volunteered for these shoots, would my d700 still have life? Yes, but honestly I choose to do those non-paying shoots, I have no regrets. I’m not the type to put plastic covers on my couch so it will last longer. I like to use the things I have.

So how much did these free shoots cost me?

Let’s stick with a simple black and white…

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Well to be honest I am extremely honored that they decided to chose my photo for the cover of the new manual.  Who are “they”, well it’s the California DMV and yep, that’s my photo on the cover of the 2014 Driver Handbook.  It’s an odd feeling knowing that thousands of people will see a photo that I took, and a printed version for that matter.

Golden Dawn

Golden Dawn

How did this opportunity present itself?  Full disclosure I do work for the DMV, but not as a View full article »

I have to agree with this blog, but at the same time I have to admit to being like this guy on occasion. On a recent shoot I had my camera on my tripod while shooting the sun rise. I was out with a couple of friends and the morning was beautiful. I set my tripod down, not paying as much attention as I should. Of course the ground was uneven and my camera was pointing in a direction without a leg directly in front of it. Gravity took over, timberrrrrrr slooooow motion noooooooooo. Clank. Silence. Worry sets in…. Picked up my camera…. Dusted it off…. Slowly pressed the shutter button, click-click. Whew. Lens was good camera was good. Lens saved by the hood. So yeah don’t be like that guy.

Photofocus (old site)

It’s rare that I step up on my soap box about gear… after all to each their own.  But this one is just a pet peeve as it causes so many potential problems.

The lens hood doesn’t point this way when the lens is out of your camera bag!


  • Hoods are reversed when packing the lens into a lens pouch or for shipping.  This makes it more compact.
  • Turn the lens hood around to provide physical protection to the front of your lens. This can minimize damage from drops, bumps, or running into things.
  • Mounting the lens hood forward also cuts down on unwanted lens flares that can strip a shot of detail and wash out the frame.

Public service announcement over.  Get the most from your gear.


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What a City!

Well it definitely wasn’t my first trip to the city, check out my San Francisco Pictures folder, but it never ceases to amaze me.  Size wise San Francisco is just barely 50 square miles, but the way the city is just stacked up getting around the city is a chore.San Francisco Overview







Don’t worry after driving around for a few hours, you still won’t really know where you are going.  Not to worry though, there are treasures around just about every corner.

San Fran corner









If you’ve never been to San Francisco, I highly suggest to you that you make it a point to visit.  Trust me, it’s worth the trip no matter how for you are traveling from.  When I was in the Navy I was fortunate enough to do some traveling, enough to say that I have circumnavigated the globe, while stopping at quite a few continents.  Of all the cities that I have visited, San Francisco tops my list. Just for reference, I have been to New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Chicago, Dubai, Jebal Ali, Perth, Hobart, Hong Kong, Pusan, Kuala Lampur, Victoria B.C. and Oahu.  So yes I’ve been fortunate to see a large chunk of the world.  Maybe I’m biased but San Francisco just has something, it doesn’t hurt that the people are fantastic as well.

Here’s a few more photos from my recent trip including my first up close shot of the new span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge taken from Treasure Island. Enjoy!

San Francisco Bay Bridge San Francisco FD San Francisco PD San Francisco sun walk Skimboard San Franciso

Living in California we have been “spoiled”  with an abnormally warm and dry winter season.  Okay so we don’t get what many would call a “true winter” around these parts, we get a rainy season with cool temperatures.  So the word around here is drought, like lakes at there lowest levels in 50 years.

Thankfully we are getting some good measurable rainfall here and some snow in the Sierra Nevadas.  So of course there is no better time to go take photographs than in the rain.  So my friend Richard and I set up the hill slightly to Amador City and Sutter Creek to put the weather proofing of our cameras to the test.

Shooting in the rain adds an extra layer of depth to your photographs and adds to the overall experience of the day.  The rain does add some technical difficulty, but I feel the effects added out weight them.  Doing what would normally be a mundane task, like changing lenses or switching out your SD/CF card, take a little bit of planning or at least a search for cover from the rain.

Well here are a few of the shots from the day, hope you like them, and if you are so inclined feel free to drop a comment or share with your friends.  Happy Shooting.

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Minolta Maxxum 7000

Minolta Maxxum 7000

Can a $5 camera be the best tool to take your photography?

So there I was, relaxing early Saturday morning, and in comes a call from my wife.  On Saturday mornings my wife and her mom like to go and check out the garage sales, more often that not finding treasures here and there.  Jokingly I always tell them to buy anything photography related.  Well this time they found something.

“So there are a couple of cameras here do you want them?” is what she said.  I asked her what they were looked the two of them up and I said get the Minolta.  Did it work? I couldn’t tell you.  Turns out that this camera is somewhat revolutionary, heck it has something that my modern day DSLR doesn’t even have.  After she arrived home with the camera I did some research and it turns out that it was the first camera with a built in focus motor.  Minolta was on the technological forefront with this camera, leaving the giants of Nikon and Cannon to follow suit.  The internal motor allowed for smaller less expensive lenses.  Along with the focus motor came a new mount, larger than the previous, and is still in use today by none other than Sony.  Yes the “a” mount humbley started here as well.

Now comes the real question, do I really want to use this camera?

Well why wouldn’t I want to use such an innovative camera, a camera that forever changed modern photography.  Well there is the reality of finding out how good or bad of a photographer you are.  Well it has been said what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.  I see this as the best way I can train myself to be a better photographer.  I can’t rely on the lcd screen on the back to tell me where I went wrong and immediately readjust and shoot again.  I will have to rely on my knowledge of light and how it works, and what I need to do to make the photograph mine.  I can no longer have the attitude that if I’m off a stop or two that I can bring it back in Lightroom.

All of this, I believe will only make me a better more confident photographer.  There is also that added bonus, the nostalgia of film photography.  That old feeling of waiting for the roll to be developed and looking at prints!  Remember those, you used to look at them as a kid, or if you’re younger maybe your parents did.

I’m looking forward to receiving my first roll developed from the lab, and I haven’t even loaded the first roll in to the camera. Well here’s to bettering my self as a photographer

Stranger Danger

There was no one there.

There was no one there.

Time fly’s by.

It’s true what they say, the older you get the faster time goes by.  Time just has a way of getting away from you, and the next thing you are asking your self is “where did all the time go?”  I set out on my 52 Strangers in 52 Weeks project in order View full article »

Cameron and his wife and son.

Cameron and his wife and son.

Week 6 family time.

Spring has sprung here, and there is no better time for families to be out and enjoy the weather.  I was back at the Rock Garden at William Land Park here in Sacramento taking advantage of all of the flowers in bloom.  I wasn’t the only one taking advantage of the day, View full article »



Week 5… the late bloomer.

Unlike this Spring, if you can call it Spring because it’s been hot, this post is a late bloomer.  I actually prefer fashionably late, it sounds intentional and has more flare.  My stranger for this week is actually very close to my photography, but in a distant manner. View full article »



Week 4, just in the “Nik” of time.

So there I was sitting in the house and wondering if I was going to find some one in time for this week.  I had my worst ever bout with allergies this past week, to the point that I took a couple of days off of work and visited the doctor.  Needless to say walking around to find a stranger was not high or even possible this week for the most part.  Anyways back to sitting in the house.  There I was sitting at the table waiting to take my son to his indoor soccer game and a man appeared outside riding his long board skateboard with what turned out to be his young nephew.  I grabbed my camera and said to my self this is your guy.  I walked out my door View full article »