Photography – A Check List

Whenever I travel, I have a packing list to make sure I bring everything that I need to have a safe, comfortable trip. I actually have two lists; one for long trips and one for short trips.

It only makes sense to have a packing list for a photography gear and supplies whenever you are preparing to take pictures. Christian Holberg got me thinking about this in his article A Helpful Checklist to Use Before Photographing Anything.

Giotto Rocket Blaster
Picture Courtesy of

The items below are mentioned in his article and are important, but I do not think the list is complete. For one thing, every photographer has their own preferences and special gizmos and gadgets that they might like to bring. I make sure to always have my Giotto Rocket Air Blower with me to keep dust of my lens and I use it a couple of times a day on some occasions. My suggestion would be to use this article as a starting point to create your own list.

ALSO…read the comments below the article which include more good ideas for your photo shoot. The “we is smarter than the me!”

Before you leave

  • Are your batteries charged?
  • Is your memory card full?
  • Did you clean your equipment?
  • Is all your gear (and maintenance supplies) packed?

In the field – Target Subject

  • Check your ISO
  • Check your White Balance
  • Focus Mode

Back at the Ranch

  • Batteries to charge
  • Import your photos
  • Clean your equipment

STATUS QUOtes — 20160131

“They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.” — Dorothy Parker

“It was only a phrase that went from mouth to mouth and was never quite swallowed.” — Ismail Kadare, Broken April

“There is no education like adversity.” — Disraeli

“You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.” — Abraham Lincoln originally published this post

See previous STATUS QUOtes HERE

Etymology of the Word Hearse…and Others

A source of continual interest, at least to me, is how words and phrases have derived their meanings; etymology . I recently became aware of a website that produces interesting videos explaining how selected words have evolved from their origins to their current meanings.

The website is called Mysteries of Vernacular. In the video below, for example, the metamorphosis of the word hearse is examined. How did a word that referred to a wolf (Hirpus) become the basis for a word that refers to a vehicle that carries corpses? Watch the video to find out.

Mysteries of Vernacular: Hearse from Myriapod Productions on Vimeo.

If you enjoy learning about the derivation of words and why they have their current meanings, click on the link below and then click on a lettered book on the bookshelf for additional videos.

Mysteries of Vernacular

STATUS QUOtes — 20160130

“A good garden may have some weeds.” — Thomas Fuller

“I raise my voice not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard.” — Malala Yousafzai

“Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.” — Pope john Paul II

“It’s better to bite your tongue than to eat your words.” — Fran Sonnenberg originally published this post

See previous STATUS QUOtes HERE

STATUS QUOtes — 20160129

“The less routine, the more life.” — Amos Bronson Alcott

“Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives.” — William Dement

“It’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you use that makes a difference.” — Zig Ziglar

“I got nasty habits. I take tea at three.” — Mick Jagger originally published this post

See previous STATUS QUOtes HERE

Photography: Watch the Birdie and other Animals

Most of us have enjoyed watching a variety of National Geographic productions and if you are anything like me, you probably have marveled and wondered “How did they get that shot?!” The video below is a look at what it takes to capture photographs of wild animals. Depending upon your perspective, it can be humorous or not! Also realize that many of these animals are residents of zoos and have had some awareness of people. One might thus reason that it would make the animal photography easier because of that exposure (pun intended). Well, you can watch the video and decide for yourself.

Quoted from the YouTube website:

Think taking pictures of your pet is hard? Try an armadillo or a full-grown tiger. It’s all in a day’s work for photographer Joel Sartore, who’s on a mission to create portraits of the world’s 12,000 captive species before they disappear. Sartore must wrangle the unruly, distract the curious, and clean up all the unexpected messes that come with photographing wild animals.

Joel Sartore

STATUS QUOtes — 20160128

“We meet no ordinary people in our lives.” — C.S. Lewis

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” — Mary Oliver

“Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.” — Wyatt Earp

“Math class is the only place people can buy 64 pineapples and nobody wonders why.” — Unknown originally published this post

See previous STATUS QUOtes HERE

Photography – A Life Changing Craft

Whenever I had the opportunity to discuss a photograph or photography with a group of students, I tried to impress upon them the power of any given picture to freeze a moment in time forever. To think of a picture taken at an event or a special place, one needs to realize that the exact juxtaposition of every element in that picture frame will never be replicated exactly that way ever again!

Clouds will be different, the lighting will be different, people in the picture will be different, the angle may be slightly different, etc. You could argue that one can come close to duplicating the photo, but would it ever be exact?

The power of photography comes from its ability to preserve memories, but it can also change lives.

Following the birth of her second child, Christine Hess was faced with a life threatening medical condition. She was placed in a medically induced coma and had subsequent surgeries. After a number of years with numerous setbacks and hurdles, her children served as her inspiration to persevere and overcome this ordeal.

Out of work and feeling a void in her life, Christine bought her first DSLR camera. As she puts it:

“It wasn’t just an escape for me; I felt something when I was out shooting. It was and still is an indescribable feeling that overcomes me.

This is how her photographic journey began. She was determined to learn as much as possible as quickly as possible. Christine enrolled in a Continuing Education Certificate Photography program and joined a camera club to further her knowledge and skills.

Because she lived in relative proximity to Niagara Falls on the Canadian side, it became a favorite subject. The photograph below,taken on a day when many photographers were at Niagara Falls waiting for the sunrise, changed her life. This beautiful scenic shot was entered into a competition held by Canadian Geographic and was published as the centerfold.

Contest-winning Photograph by Christine Hess

This was all that Christine needed to propel her on her way. We salute her for her fortitude, skill and enthusiasm. I am sure that others will be inspired by her journey and her success.

Below is a brief video from the Niagara Falls Review highlighting Christine’s work and explaining her life-altering experiences.

Thank you Christine for allowing me to share your story.

I first heard about Christine via PetaPixel’s website article: From Birth to Near Death: The Story of My Journey in Photography

You can see more of the work of Christine Hess at her website and connect with her on her Facebook page!

NOTE – All photographs are used with permission of photographer Christine Hess. They are Copyrighted with All Rights Reserved.

STATUS QUOtes — 20160127

“You live and learn… at any rate, you live.” — Douglas Adams

“We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.” — Zig Ziglar

“During the day I don’t believe in ghosts. At night, I’m a little more open-minded.” — Unknown originally published this post

See previous STATUS QUOtes HERE