Thanksgiving Wrap Up

Well, last week saw us heading up to CT for the holiday.  We left on Tuesday, because of the projected snow for Wednesday.  Apparently, everyone else on the East coast had the same idea as our drive North took a few hours longer than expected.  Still it proved a smart choice as they got about 6” of snow.  Luckily for us, my cousin had everything we needed there.  She even had the table pretty much set up and it looked very nice against the snowy background.  

I pushed the Exposure Compensation up +2/3 EV to ensure the background brightness didn’t overly darken the table. 

I love using my 105mm macro during the holidays.  Zooming in on the details, can help recall how much effort goes in to making the holidays memorable.  

By cropping in while composing your image, you can use large color block elements, like the pumpkin as a framing device for the other vibrant colors in your image.

One of our joys in visiting my cousin is the opportunity to see Cara, the wonder dog, their Great Pyrenees.  She is the sweetest, most laid back creature anywhere. With her long hair and Basque sheepherding tradition, she loves this time of year.

Majestic creature guarding her flock

Majestic creature guarding her flock

Finally as I wrote about last blog, here is our perfectly cooked boneless turkey. 

While we were toasting to friends and family I was thinking nice thoughts about all my photographic family as well.  Thanks everyone for sharing this passion for creating images.  

Thanksgiving Photos

Next week will be another Thanksgiving Holiday.  It is always my favorite time of the year.  Family and food with the opportunity to reflect on all the good things we get to enjoy. 

Sometimes we get in such a rush to stuff our faces with turkey and pumpkin pie that we don’t take the time to capture the moment with a few pictures.  Worse yet, sometimes the images we get, are flat and make the food look terrible—unless of course it is that jello and carrot salad thing, which is terrible.  For us, the preparation of the feast is as much fun as the results.  My cousin Bob and I debone the turkey based upon a Julia Child/Jacques Pepin special.  It is still on a working video tape, so we have to have a third party rewind and pause it so we can get all the steps.  Of course this requires us to speak in our best Julia Child voices.  Yes, laughter ensues.  Oh then, we stuff it and tie it back up like a giant sausage.  

It reduces the cooking time and makes serving it very, very easy   A little bit of bounce flash can add dimensionality to your guest of honor.  

Don’t forget the side dishes either, that is often where the color is. 

On an unrelated but equally important note, Roger and I realized we didn’t recognize the winner of our Harper’s Ferry Photowalk photo contest.  Although we didn’t get as many submissions as we had walkers, one of our walkers—in fact Rich Walker had the picture that our independent judging panel liked best. 

Harpers Ferry ruins--Photo by Rich Walker

Harpers Ferry ruins--Photo by Rich Walker

A very moody black and white, shot by the way with a pretty old camera.  Definitely reinforcing that you don’t require the latest and greatest gear to get great photos; a good eye and good technique and voila. 

Everyone travel safely and have a Happy Thanksgiving.


Happy Thanksgiving!

By Mark

This blog is up a day early this week due to all the preparations for the holiday.  There are lots of turkeys who need to be stuffed and I am just one of them. 


Everyone is all tensed up and ready to hit the starting line for black Friday—not me, my shopping is 90% done already.  For those of you out there with photographers on your naughty list there are a lot of great deals out there to shove in their stockings.  Right now the best deal out there is the offer from Adobe for the special rate on the Photographer’s package which includes Lightroom, Photoshop CC, a Behance account and online storage.  Previously, you had to have a current version of PS to get the deal.   For only $10.00 a month—well, it is a great deal but which won’t be around forever.

Small, relatively inexpensive gifts are sort of hard to find.  Here are a couple of suggestions:  A two-way level which fits onto your camera hot shoe can help get those horizons straight.

2 way bubble.jpg

Or perhaps a good Lens Pen cleaning system to take those nasty smudges from your glass.

Lens Pen.jpg

I’ll be the first to admit that Photoshop can be fairly challenging to learn and to master.  One of the really useful things you can give this year is some training.  Just getting them a membership to the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) gives them access to lots of free training, a great magazine and some pretty awesome discounts, that actually do pay for the $99 cost of the membership.  


You can also consider giving them a subscription to the thousands of hours of professional training through the  At $199 per year, it is a little pricier, but having unlimited access to the world’s best photographers and Photoshop experts is pretty impressive. 

Of course, if you want to spend lots of money, your photographer can certainly help with that.  We all might suffer from Gear Acquisition Syndrome or GAS.  Lots of new lenses and camera bags to put under the tree for your own turkey.