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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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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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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 Continue reading



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. Continue reading



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 Continue reading

Karl and his ride

Karl and his ride.

Week 3, fashionably late.

Well at least this photo was taken in week #3.  Just outside of work on my lunch hour I spotted the low rider bicycle across the street, but seriously how could you not notice it!  As I walked across the street he was on the phone and I asked him if I could take his photo he nodded in the affirmative.  I readied my camera looked up Continue reading



Week 2….. finally!

Well after a week of nothing but negative replies, and growing doubt in the ability of this project to succeed the first person I ask this week says sure.  As I headed out on my lunch today in search of a stranger I began to think that this project just might crash and end prematurely.  I decided right there that I would not let it end, that I would ask every person that I crossed paths with.  So I was off.  I headed north and figured I would have a good chance.  I was two blocks in and no one, then three, four, five, six and still nobody. Continue reading

Week 1.5 The week that wasn’t.

There was no one there.

There was no one there.

Well a week has gone by and no takers. I approached quite a few people and struck up a casual conversation.  When I brought up my camera and explained my project to them and asked if I could take their photo all I heard was no, no thanks, I’d rather not, or my favorite I don’t think so.  I guess after my quick easy start on week one, the results of week two were inevitable.  Although I am disappointed, I will carry on with the project.

So the week wasn’t a total bust, I did expand my photography in a different direction, namely placing some of my photographs up for purchase on the inter-webs.  I have been thinking about this for quite some time now, but I finally found a service that fit my needs.   Continue reading