It was time to say goodbye to a dear friend and close companion last week. This leaves me alone in the house. It’s a situation I always knew I’d wind up in, but I was somewhat taken aback by the enormity of the change. Almost immediately I became aware of key differences in my life.

There is no longer someone in the house that wants to be with me. Unconditionally.

There is no longer someone in the house that is intensely interested in whatever I am doing.

There is no longer someone in the house that I always need to be aware of and make considerations for.

There is no longer someone in the house whose needs I can fulfill.

My home has become a much larger space since his leaving. Not just because his presence is gone, but because my own presence has diminished. In the end, Rheaghal was someone to talk to. I asked him questions, I accused him of eating the remote whenever I couldn’t find it. I sought his opinion on what to have for dinner.

He was a reason for me to speak, to interact. Now I must find my way through the rest of my life without him. I will do it, but a significant part of the joy is gone.

Posted in Uncategorized

Lamp Lit

Posted in Uncategorized


Posted in Architecture, Natural Lighting, Photography, Winter

Skulls and Flowers

Just to show that I still have my hand in creative portraiture thanks to to incredibly talented models like Courtney.

Posted in Photography, Portrait

The Sports Shot

For the past  couple of years  I’ve been devoted mostly to sports photography. I keep telling myself that I need to drag my butt out of bed and get a good sunrise picture again, but I never manage it. I still hold out  hope though.

But to be honest I’m having loads of fun with the sports photography. I had to gulp early in football season when my beloved 70D decided that 250,000 exposures was enough and gave me its last. But I replaced it with an 80D and couldn’t be happier, especially with “flicker mode.” With my old camera shooting in burst mode under football and basketball lights, and the color balance was all over the place because of the way the venue’s lighting system “flickered.” The 80D compensates for that, and for the kind of photography I’m doing now this feature alone with worth the full purchase price.

Posted in Photography, Sports


Posted in Uncategorized

Courtney With Lighting

Aside from sports photography, I’ve been dipping my toe a bit into portrait and fashion photography. 2017 is going to be the year I dive into lots of new assumes.

Posted in Uncategorized

Canon 5D Mark IV – Some Thoughts

f/4.5, 1/400, ISO-1000,85mm

f/4.5, 1/400, ISO-1000,85mm

I’ve never shot with a full frame camera before a week ago, but the Canon 5D Mark IV is the first full frame DSLR I’ve seen that has the full range of specs I want from a camera – touch screen, WiFi, etc. I rented it for a week from Borrow Lenses, and here are my impressions.


This model’s operation is extraordinary. Everything is easy to understand (important since the rental didn’t come with a manual or the time to read one). Connecting it to my phone was a matter of only seconds to do, and the connection was very stable. The dedicated buttons for picture review, rating, etc. on the back were very easy to operate, the joystick button was, true to its name, a joy – much nicer to use than the D-Pad on my 70D. Combined with the abilities of the touch screen, it made rating photos during two sporting events (football and volleyball) a breeze, allowing me to cull my photos in the field without missing a play.


Ouch. I went through nearly two batteries at full power during 1.5 football games (varsity and freshman games). That’s nearly twice as fast as my 70D. I wouldn’t think of taking this camera out without at least four batteries to back me up, and I only have three (including the one from the rental). Battery drain was unacceptably high.

Image Quality

I was most excited to see the tremendous quality difference a full frame sensor would make over my crop sensor. I mean really excited. Perhaps my expectations were too high. When zoomed in, I could see minute distinctions between the 5D and 70D in noise reduction – and it is true that more of my shots with the 5D were¬† in sharp focus than the 70D. It’s not clear to me whether this was from some magical technology in the camera, or just better shooting on my part. I carried both the 5D and 70D with me to both sporting events, interchanged lenses between them – and I honestly can’t see a hugely significant difference.

Well, there is one difference. There is enormous lens vignetting on the 5D that is not present with the same lens on the 70D. It was correctable with Lightroom so not a killer (easy enough to create an import default preset to manage it) but the level of vignetting using professional quality lenses was striking.

The other difference I was particularly looking for was stop improvement. I’d always been led to believe that a full frame sensor will gain between 1-2 stops over a crop sensor. Such was not the case between these two bodies. Using identical ISO, shutter speed and aperture, there was virtually no visible difference in the image exposure of the same general scene.

Bottom Line

I have better uses for the price of a 5D. Studio equipment, new lenses – almost anything would produce higher quality images for me than this camera body. While the operation of it was intuitive and fast, image quality offered little improvement and in some ways suffered against the image quality of the 70D. The battery drain was really not insignificant in reaching a conclusion either. It was shockingly bad. I really wanted to have to struggle with my conscience about spending the money on this camera, but there is no debate in my mind. I’m better off with what I have.

Posted in Flower, Natural Lighting, Nature, Photography Tagged , , , , |

Skunk River Bridge

Skunk River Bridge

f/1.8, 1/200, ISO-400, 85mm

Posted in Landscape, Natural Lighting, Nature, Photography Tagged , , , , , |

A Model Of Beauty

A Model Of Beauty

f/1.8, 1/800, ISO-200, 50mm

I had a chance to do a portrait session with a modeling student and jumped at the chance. Very talented and very pretty, Courtney was great to work with and taught me a lot of much needed info about posing. This is all natural lighting, was too breezy to set up a light umbrella without an assistant to hold it steady. Basically, she makes her own glow anyway.s

Posted in Natural Lighting, Photography, Portrait Tagged , , , |