Cellpic Sunday – 17 February 2019

Bryce Canyon, Utah.

In recent months, I’ve been learning some new processing tools, so I’ve been reviewing older photos that were originally rejected for one reason or another to give them another chance with new techniques now available to me. This image of Bryce Canyon was captured just before sunrise in October 2013 after an unexpected snowfall. Continue reading

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Curves

Scottsdale, Arizona.

This week, Tina Schell challenges us to “…pay some attention to curves  – in nature, in architecture, on our roads and in our lives … just about everywhere if you think about it.” You can read her entire challenge post here. It’s an opportune topic for me, with Barrett-Jackson’s Auto Auction in full swing this week in Scottsdale to capture some more curves, those curves of the classic automobile like this 1934 Duesenberg in the opening image. From the curvature of the green exhaust manifold to the long sweeping curve that runs from the front fender, along the running board to the rear fender, this classic car uses curves to accent it’s classic architecture. Continue reading

Chief Looking’s Village – Sonali’s Garden

Bismarck, North Dakota.

In August, 2015, Lynn and I were in Bismarck for a Civil Air Patrol activity. While there, I decided to scout around for a place to capture the sunset. What came of that evening’s exploration was an image of the Missouri River Valley captured by my cell phone. I’d gathered other images with my Nikon, but the cell phone capture above ended up being my favorite. The majority of images captured that day were featured in a blog post on macro photography as I spent some time in a small garden that was ablaze with summer flowers.  Continue reading

Pyrotechnics Guild International – Annual Fireworks Convention

West Fargo, North Dakota.

In 1999, I was introduced to what is the largest pyrotechnics displays I’ve ever seen. The story goes all the way back to 1969, however, when a group of fireworks aficionados founded Pyrotechnics Guild International, commonly known as PGI. In 1973, the group held their first convention in Grand Haven, Michigan. The convention is open to members where they can attend classes, participate in a trade show, learn the latest in fireworks safety, or have their creations in visual and physical arts exhibited and judged. The highlight of the convention for the general public, though, is the display that is open to non-members several nights during the week or so of the convention which was held this year in Mason City, Iowa in August. Continue reading

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Small is Beautiful

Fargo, North Dakota.

This week, Amy asks us to share those small things that attract our attention (those of us who like to dabble in macro photography anyway). Her challenge is pretty ‘open-ended’ asking that we simply share our images that fit our own concept of “small is beautiful.” You can read her entire challenge post here. Over the last few years, I’ve dabbled in macro photography, especially since the purchase of a 16-300mm lens. With it almost fully extended, the images it creates are truly full-featured macro photography. In the opening photo, dew on a prairie grass gathers along a single spider web and around the plant.

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But I Digress – Action Shots with the Nikon D500

As I’ve branched out in photography from landscape to other types of photography, I’ve added new, more versatile tools to my camera bag. In late 2016, I made my biggest photo investment in a new camera body, the Nikon D500. Reviewers at the time heralded its capabilities in action and wildlife photography. In my nearly two years of ownership, I haven’t taken the opportunity to focus much on either genre, but I have at least taken advantage of the camera’s power in these areas. If you’re looking for a review here, you’ll be disappointed. My only purpose here is to share some images I’ve considered successful and probably not likely to be duplicated with my other cameras. Continue reading

Hello Dolly – Paddlewheel Cruiser on Canyon Lake

Apache Junction, Arizona.

In previous posts here, I’ve focused on Canyon Lake, a reservoir created by one of a string of four dams on the Salt River. In 1925, the Mormon Flat Dam was completed creating the smallest lake in the chain. The lake is about 50 miles (80 km) from Phoenix. Only about 15 miles (24 km) from the city of Apache Junction, the drive is scenic and winds through the Tonto National Forest and parts of the Superstition Mountains. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 2 September 2018

Anaheim, California.

Last week, the Civil Air Patrol National Conference took us to Anaheim, California. Though our hotel was a short walk from Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom, I didn’t have any time to visit. Our hotel was located next to the Anaheim Convention Center. The classic steel and glass architecture was built in 1967 and over the years, it went through six major expansions. This entrance is flanked by a Marriott Hotel on one side and a Hilton Hotel on the other. The other entrance on Katella Avenue is directly across from the Disneyland Resort. Continue reading

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Colorful

This week, Tina Schell asks us to put a colorful foot forward in our challenge responses. She writes simply, “So go ahead – find some colorful captures to make us smile. ” You can read her entire challenge post here. Well, I don’t know that my challenge posts are worth smiling about, but I believe they meet the challenge of being colorful. In the opening photo, Mother Nature demonstrates how colorful she can be every autumn. The shot above was captured at Maplewood State Park in Minnesota. Continue reading

Washington DC – March 2018

Washington D.C.

As a Wing Commander in Civil Air Patrol (CAP), two of the travel duties assigned are attend the National Summer Conference and attend the Winter Command Council meeting, usually in late February or early March. The Command Council is composed of each state’s Wing Commander and Region Commanders. In addition to briefings of importance that must be shared with the membership, each wing delegation meets with every senator and representative from their respective state to brief them on activities performed by CAP in their state. As North Dakota is a small state, our visitation list is quite small, like all states, we have two senators, but we only have a single representative. Minnesota, our neighbor wing to the immediate east has eight representatives to visit. Larger states have to bring a large delegation of CAP members, For example, California Wing must visit their 53 representatives and two senators in the time allocated for our meetings. Long before I reach Washington DC, my Director of Administration has already scheduled my appointments and I know when I need to be in the Senate and House office buildings and where each person I must visit is located in the collection of buildings. Continue reading