Category Archives: photography

New Skillshare class – The Photographer’s Ephemeris

I just published a new online class with Skillshare on how I use The Photographer’s Ephemeris. The first 25 people to use this link can watch it for free:

The Photographer’s Ephemeris is an application that uses Google Maps to predict where the sun and moon will rise and set on any date, anywhere on earth. I demonstrate how to use TPE to align the sun or moon for a photo shoot, take you on location and process the images.

The Photographer's Ephemeris
The Photographer’s Ephemeris

Coastside Photographers Meetup Group

Coastside Photographers is a new Half Moon Bay based photography Meetup group and I am the organizer!

Sunset at Pigeon Point Lighthouse
Photographers line the bluffs for a Pigeon Point Lighthouse sunset.

The idea is to focus on photo opportunities unique to the San Mateo County coastline. There are many (200+) bay area photo related groups in Meetup, none centered in Half Moon Bay. I know plenty of coast side photographers that travel over the hill to attend lectures and photo walks (myself included) and I want to help us get together locally.

For now, I will organize photo walks as natural alignments and community events occur. Long term plans include regular meetings to talk and learn, but finding a venue to accommodate the group, which has grown to over 150 members as of this writing, is the challenge. A few local coffee shops have offered their services, but I have yet to take them up on those offers. The library has no meeting rooms for us and only allow library sponsored activities, at least until the new library is built. The Recreation Department charges a hefty fee unless you are a certified non-profit.

But the future is promising. We have already had 4 successful meets since we started at the end of January and membership grows everyday.

Surprisingly, we have members from all over the bay area. For those that must travel, I try my best to update scheduled meets as to changing weather and traffic conditions.

If you are interested in joining or checking us out, click through to Coastside Photographers. This will take you to our Meetup website where you can read about us, view our previous meets, suggest ideas in the Discussion Forum, check out the posted photos and read our Policies and Guidelines.

It is free to join (free to sign up with Meetup) and most meets will be free. Occasionally, I plan to hold technical seminars and charge a fee.

Take that camera out of the bag, charge the battery and come join us as we photograph the coast!

Organizing Your Photos via Adobe Lightroom

A word about organizing your photos and Collections in Lightroom

I store all my photos on a separate external hard drive dedicated only for photos. I have one folder named “Pictures” on that drive. Within that folder are more folders named with general categories – Art, Holidays, Music, People, Projects, Places, Plants, Sports and Vehicles.

Inside each of those folders are sub folders that further define the contents. For instance, in the Music folder, sub-folders have names of specific musicians and bands. The Places folder has a Cities folder, a Parks folder and a few more. The Sports folder has Soccer, Surfing, and Hula Hoop sub-folders. The Vehicles folder has sub-folders for Cars, Planes, Trains and Boats. Those folders are where I store all my photos.

Even though I use Lightroom to import and organize these folders, the pictures can only be in one place and in one folder on the one hard drive. Those folders are all displayed in the actual hierarchy in the Folder Panel of the Lightroom Library. (I create duplicates as a backup on another drive and will write about that later.)

What if a photo fits into more than one of my categories? That is where Collections come in.

The powerful advantage of Collections is being able to create a Collection of photos that live in different folders and even on different hard drives. And any one photo can also reside in more than one Collection.

Collections are virtual. Photos in Collections never move from their permanent home on your hard drive. They stay in the folder where you first imported them. Lightroom cleverly remembers the Collections you create, the photos you place in them and any editing you make to those photos. Lightroom never makes changes to the originals.

I utilize Collections when working on projects. After reviewing and rating pictures from a photo shoot, I might create a Collection of the best photos that require further editing. I might make a Collection of photos that have a similar theme, which will probably include pictures from many different folders on my hard drive.

Organizing is a joint effort of (1) knowing how files are stored on your hard drives and (2) using the tools in the Lightroom Library, including Collections, ratings and keywords. Master these concepts and you will easily manage the huge number of pictures you are collecting in this digital photography world.

A Pottery Collection

This is an experiment using the WP-SmugMug plugin for WordPress.

The plugin should access pictures in my photo gallery hosted by SmugMug and display them here on my WordPress blog. If all goes well, you should see pictures from my pottery gallery.

I own a few of the items, the Foxlo pieces and the Kiwi sculpture which my wife picked up in New Zealand but was likely made in Africa. There is a piece of Roseville Lilac in there too.

The mask, the raku pieces and the white piece with the swirled design on top were made by our good friend Susan Worley.

[smugmug url=”″ title=”Pottery%20Gallery” description=”A%20gallery%20showing%20my%20expertise%20at%20photographing%20table%20top%20items” imagecount=”100″ start=”1″ num=”100″ thumbsize=”Th” link=”image” captions=”true” sort=”true” window=”false” smugmug=”false” size=”M”]Testing a SmugMug Plugin for WordPress

Travel Photography tips in the Chronicle

There is an excellent article in this past Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle about taking photographs while traveling on vacation. There are lots of very clear tips on learning to use your camera, lighting and composition. There are tips on how to edit and organize your pictures and tips on video too. They supply sample good and bad photo examples along with some statistics and comments from readers. Read it in Sunday’s paper Travel section or check it out online at: