Macro Photography Bug Stage

bee on flower

Green Sweat Bee

My area of focus in photography changed a few years ago toward macro photography.  It seemed that photographing bugs and flowers might allow me to escape the crowds and all-too-popular iconic sites of landscape photography.  An early step in this process was to build a bug stage allowing for easier placement of the bugs, lights, flashes and my camera.

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Bucket List for Travel

My Travel Bucket List


If a task is not written down on a list for me it will likely not get done, or certainly not get done on time.  I am a methodical list maker.  With that in mind, I created my first travel bucket list.
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Mona Lisa Mosh Pit

Mona Lisa

One does not wait in the hot humid weather and fight the crowd to get a good view of the Mona Lisa or study the brush strokes of Leonardo de Venci.  All this effort is to simply snap an phone picture of it, or worse, a ‘selfie’…  It is behind glass, so all photos have glare and reflections of other phone photographers. The end result is a snapshot of very poor quality. If you really want to see it, you would go to an art book. There is no organization, like a clockwise flow, entrance and exit. You have to struggle just as hard to get out of the mosh pit as to get in!  I think a LOT of travel is just so one can say, “I have been there….”

Crested Butte, Colorado Quaint Town USA; Photo Manipulation?

Purple House

Photo Manipulation?

In addition to Crested Butte, Colorado’s well known reputation for skiing, it is also a great place to go for wild flowers viewing and hanging out in a very western town with many quaint houses.  We hung out here while the National Parks were closed due to the irrational government shut down of all our National Parks.  Who would not love coming home to this little house every day?  Do you think this photo is an example of photo manipulation?  Well, I am not sure myself….
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Retirement Planning…. be prepared…


Stairway to Retirement



I started preparation for retirement from my first job out of collage.  Immediately when I qualified for savings contributions to their 401-K plan I participated to the maximum the company matched, I contributed 6% before taxes and the company contributed an additional 3%.

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Post Processing of a Photo

ORIGINAL Vision of the Scene


The final version of this beach photo totally changed from my original vision.  The brilliant orange sunset lit up the beach in a way no photographer could pass by.  The sky was bright orange as was the reflection in the wet sand.  However, in working with the photograph, the contrast appeared to be tooooo great.  Also, one might wonder what was making the sand so bright and simply think it was an over-saturated photo.  The entire reason for me capturing this photo now seemed to be a problem, so the bright sand was cropped out below.
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Failed Photo Attempt

Aspen Trunks

Aspen Trunks

Sometime I’ll become all wrapped up in a particular scene and with nobody to pull me away, I will get way too involved in a not so special scene.  The way these three aspen tree trunks fanned apart symmetrically with the other aspen trunks in the background seemed really special.  I even returned to the same spot later in different light.  Upon working on the photo days later I am now not so sure….  I think it may only be blog worthy…… if that.  What do you think?

Harold Hall, Grand Prize Winner New Mexico Magazine

Red-NM-Mag--2013-01-19-at-6.21I am very happy to announce that I won the 2013 New Mexico Magazine annual Photography Contest. This is something I have worked to win for the past several years. Here is a link to the article which appeared in the February issue. I sent the magazine two photos of me for this layout, one with a hat and one without. I guess they thought the hat was more western and a better fit.

Do You Manipulate Your Photographs?

Ansel Adams, Before and After Photo Manipulation

Ansel Adams, Before and After

With the proliferation of software such as Adobe Photoshop, it is easier than ever to make models thinner, skies bluer and erase those pesky telephone lines from our prized photographs.   Somewhere along the way, the average person on the street, or the novice to photography got the incorrect notion that manipulation is a recent innovation developing alongside the computer age.
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Photo Manipulation – Ansel Adams, “The Making of 40 Photographs”

(Six in Series of Six discussions on Photo Manipulation)

This is a wonderful book written by Ansel Adams in 1983.  He selected 40 of his well-known photographs and goes into several pages of description for each of how he came upon the scene, went about capturing it as well as printing details and difficulties.  Keep in mind that if every photo was printed without adjustments or manipulation, there would be no printing issues to discuss, since one would simply expose the photo paper for a few seconds and that would be it.

Ansel Adams Winter Sunrise

Winter Sunrise, the Sierra Nevada, from Lone Pine, California 1944

©The Trustees of the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

Scan courtesy of Masters of Photography

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