Begin Your Photography Journey

Puento Nuevo - Ronda Spain
Photograph of Puento Nuevo (New Bridge) in Ronda, Spain

In a previous post, Photography: A Pathway to Creativity, I wrote about how my photography hobby has led me down so many creative, interesting and fulfilling paths. I encourage everyone who may have the slightest inkling to become involved with this dynamic hobby/vocation to do so. Many who have an interest might fear getting starting because they think they lack sufficient knowledge.

Let me tell you, there are plenty of people who are willing to help and guide you. And the good news is that some of the best offer free or very reasonably priced advice and resources, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself here.

Let’s talk cameras…

When digital photography first arrived circa 1989, the quality of the photos were rather poor compared to film cameras. Today, digital cameras have vastly improved an I recommend starting with a digital camera.

There are certain advantages:

  • No cost for film
  • Once captured digitally, pictures can be enhanced with software
  • Storage of images is easy and takes up relatively little physical space
  • Most digital cameras are light
  • Results of the capture are immediate which allows time to correct exposure, composition, etc. if necessary

The question then becomes which camera should I buy if I am just starting out?

Let me just begin by suggesting that almost any digital camera from a recognized brand will render very good to excellent pictures. When starting out, there needn’t be an investment of large sums of money. My first “real” digital camera was a Nikon D3300 which I still use. I have even sold some images captured with it.

Here is a good article to get you started:

The best camera for photography in 2020: top cameras, whatever your skill level!

NOTE – The Nikon D3500 would be the replacement for my D3300 mentioned above.

If you are interested in a particular camera and want a second opinion, you can check out a couple of other review sites. Ken Rockwell for example, has this to say about the Nikon D3500.

“The Nikon D3500 is Nikon’s newest, lightest and least expensive DSLR. It’s only $450 brand new, complete with a fantastic 18-55mm AF-P VR lens. As you can see at the Sample Images, this lens is all you really need: it’s super sharp and does just about everything well.”

You can check out other cameras at Ken’s Website

Another good independent website is DP Review – click on the Reviews tab or the Cameras tab to investigate some options.

I am not recommending or suggesting the purchase of the D3500 or any other particular camera. I am just mentioning it because I am familiar with Nikon’s “beginner” cameras and I have been satisfied with them.

Some will say that gear (type and make of camera) is not important. Well, I disagree with that to a minor extent. It doesn’t matter within a range. Developing the necessary skills is the most important aspect of photography. If I gave a beginner one of the very expensive and top rated cameras, they would have difficulty capturing an excellent photograph with it. I daresay that having a “beginner” camera with some of the necessary skills would probably yield better results.

One of my favorite photographers to follow online who produces much valuable information for free is Scott Bourne. Here is a link to one of his more recent blog posts about the important skills for photographers.

Five Steps Toward Mastering Photography

Once you have purchased a camera, read and studied a bit, the excitement begins!

This is an article just for those starting out in photography. It will give you some idea of how to approach taking pictures and explain some of the key concepts.

7 Key Photography Tips for Absolute Beginners


One last word of guidance if you are interested in photography. Reading and studying are good as far as they go, but to learn the skills necessary you have to get out there and make pictures! Keep your camera with you whenever you can safely do so!


See more photography posts HERE and visit Jeff’s Instagram site HERE



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 –

Photography: A Pathway to Creativity

It is hard to explain how fascinating and interesting photography is for me. I have discovered that it is one of the most flexible creative outlets. Most people I meet don’t appreciate the depth and variety of photography and related graphic art forms. For now, let’s not discuss whether or not photography is a true art. In my opinion it is!

This is a photograph I took at Europa Point in Gibraltar. It was a beautiful clear day with one of the bluest skies I have seen. On a day such as this, onlookers can see Morocco across the Mediterranean Sea. It is the closest point between Europe and Africa.

The lighthouse juxtaposes beautifully against the surroundings of the ultra blue sky and Mediterranean Sea. I find it very striking.

The above photo stands alone as a nice rendition of the scene, but perhaps it would be even better if rendered more like a line art painting or drawing.

There is software available the allows the photographer to express his or her artistic vision in a variety of graphic formats. This is a hybrid of photography and painting albeit via digital manipulation.

Perhaps the artist’s real concept of the scene lends itself more to a watercolor.

The landscape has such contrasting colors of lights and darks. Would a black and white interpretation be interesting?

With a bit more training and skill, the photographer can add a slightly different yet compelling artistic vision of the lighthouse.

I have tried to explain how photography has opened my creative flow and I believe it can do the same for others. If you are trying to find a tool to unleash your imaginative powers and that can develop into a passion, you might want to pick up a camera and start creating!


One of the beautiful aspects of digital photography is that the photographer can see the results very quickly. There is no film to send to the developers. A version can be seen on the camera’s LCD immediately (in most cases) and a true rendition later on a computer.

Once I retired, I began to apply myself to photography. It has always been of interest to me and now it has grown into a serious hobby. I am not a professional, just a photography enthusiast.

So…where is Gibraltar and Morocco?

Map Via



Original Photo

File Name: 000029_Europa Point Lighthouse, Gibraltar_0971.tif
Capture time: 12:30 PM
Capture date: May 14, 2018
Exposure: 1/350 sec @ f/5.6
Focal Length: 44mm
ISO: 200
Fujifilm X-T2
18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS

Edited in Lightroom & Photoshop


Check out Jeff’s Instagram account for more interesting photos!

Read more photography posts HERE



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged #please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2020

STATUS QUOte Picture Quote – 20191122

Today’s STATUS QUOte Picture Quote

“There are only 3 colors, 10 digits and 7 notes;
it’s what we do with them that’s important.”
– Jim Rohn –


Picture Rendered Via


See previous STATUS QUOtes HERE



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 –

Photography Quote — 20180606

Today’s Photography Quote


“There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.” – Ernst Haas

Learn more about Ernst Haas HERE!


Every photographer develops a style and favors particular subjects such as landscapes, astrophotography, architecture, etc. Through their choice of subject matter, they capture images and process them to match their creative vision.

Some photographers have such a distinctive style and vision what when you see one of their shots, you know it. The quote above reminds me of our individual approach to the broad field of photography.

Of course I am not speaking about myself or my photographs, although the photograph above is representative of my “style” and “vision.” I captured this scene because of the deep shadows and the reflections. I find reflections and how they are distorted by the object on which they are reflected quite interesting.

For many viewers, the scene may not be obvious at first because of the abstract nature of the reflections in the slow-moving stream. I hope that readers will stop to examine the scene to grasp and appreciate the content.


Photo Metadata

File Name: _west fork trail_oak_creek_canyon_IMG_0073.CR2
Capture time: 12:24 PM
Capture date: November 9, 2015
Exposure: 1/160 @ f5.0
Focal Length: 7.24mm
ISO: 100
Canon Powershot SX50HS

*Edited: Lightroom

See previous STATUS QUOtes Photography Quotes HERE



All content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018

Photography: Shadow and Light: Mostly Black and White

I have always appreciated and enjoyed the play of light and shadow especially when they create fascinating patterns. While visting my eye doctor for a routine exam during an early spring morning in the Phoenix, I was intrigued by the interesting patterns I found and how they would look once rendered in black and white.

I didn’t have my camera with me during the visit, but with smartphones nowadays most people have access to a camera and that is what I used. This project was not planned ahead of time. I became enchanted with the colors and shadows in and around the office and was inspired to capture these photos.

The images below were converted to black and white with other enhancements in Adobe Lightroom.

The Ophthalmic mirror

The Ophthalmic mirror for projecting the eye chart

pholstered red corner chair

An upholstered corner chair for a patient’s relative or friend

Two mirrors used by eye doctors

Most eye doctor’s use two mirrors to project the eye chart because rooms are usually too small for ideal projection of the image otherwise

Strong shadows cast by the building's architecture

The building’s architecture created amazing displays of light and shadow…and those lines

Mysterious display of light and shadow

An alcove by the lower entrance mysterious enough for a Raymond Chandler novel

Yellow-Throated Gilia wildflower

A variation on a theme with a bit of color added to a window view of the shade structure


That’s the beauty of photography, anyone with the ability to capture an image can find inspiration and creativity wherever they go. If you are a regular reader of, you know I enjoy quotes. Perhaps enjoy is too mild a term, but quotes are a big part of my creative process. So I will leave you with this:

“There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.” ― Ernst Haas

Read more photography posts HERE



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 –

Photography: As Shot – Butterfly & Bee on a Thistle

NOTE – “As Shot” photographs are some that I have posted on Instagram, but without any imposed crop that might not be warranted, less detail reduction and more of an explanation.

Swallowtail butterfly and bees buzz about a thistle at Yosemite National Park

While I would be the first to admit that this is not technically the most perfect photograph, there are certain qualities that I like. We were hiking along the Valley Loop Trail at Yosemite National Park when we came across a clearing. Nature, animals and wildflowers are some of my favorite subjects. The sun was very bright and I noticed that one thistle was receiving a lot of activity.

I remained at a distance not wanting to scare away the insects hovering about. My camera wasn’t the steadiest, but I think the lack of sharpness helps the picture convey a sense of motion. I particularly am glad that I caught the bee coming in from the left; although barely!



File Name: 000025_IMG_0275.tif
Capture time: 10:26:09 AM
Capture date: Jun 5, 2016
Exposure: 1/200 sec @ f/6.5
Focal Length: 215mm
ISO: 100
Camera: Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Lens: 4.3-215mm

Edited in Lightroom


Read more photography posts HERE

Visit Jeff’s Instagram Portfolio HERE



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 –

Phoenix Art Museum – Tire Totem

We are in the weather sweet spot in the North Phoenix area and multitudes of people flock to the desert to find relief from the cooler, colder and drearier environs of the northlands. With this influx of “snowbirds,” a number of our friends and relatives arrive on an annual basis and many of them are repeat visitors.

We often face the challenge of providing interesting adventures for them. One of the places we look to is the Phoenix Art Museum. Compared to other major metropolitan areas, I think Phoenix is somewhat small, but the culture offerings are significant.

Our most recent guest is an artist and art student so naturally we gravitated toward the museum. During this visit, we focused on contemporary artists.

One installation I found particularly interesting was created by Mexican artist, Bestsabé Romero and was titled Columna interminable (Endless Column), 2015. The piece was constructed from rubber tires and gold leaf.

Tire column representing migration of ancient civilizations

The work focuses on the theme of migration which connects well with the idea of tires. There are a total of seventeen tires with various designs representing cultures from “pre-conquest North, Central, and South America…”

A section of the tire column representing the Aztec and Hohokam cultures

The snake in the topmost tire in the photo above is from the Aztec/Mixtec societies of Mexico while the oval shaped symbols just below are from the Hohokam of Arizona.

In the picture below, the dancing figures with headdress were drawn from the Wari or Moche of Peru with the abstract design below representing the Mimbres from New Mexico.

A section of the tire column representing the Wari, Moche and Mimbres cultures

I was intrigued by the use of materials and the beauty they created using an item that has historically populated landfills worldwide. The ingenuity and creativity of Bestsabé Romero is to be admired.

I recommend a trip to the Phoenix Art Museum if you are visting the Valley of the Sun. They have paintings from nearly every genre of art including the masters. There are numerous galleries that are sure to satisfy almost all guests.

Read more about the Phoenix Art Museum HERE

PSThey have one of the best art museum gift shops I have seen and I have seen quite a few!


NOTE – All photographs were taken with an iPhone 5 and represent works by the artists named in the stories. All work is copyrighted by their creator and is presented here strictly for educational and illustrative purposes.

Read more miscellaneous stories HERE


All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 –

Photography: What Was Old Is New Again

I have to confess that I am a bit of a hoarder. If you asked my wife perhaps she would snicker at the phrase “a bit.” This trend carries over to my digital life, but let me jump in here to profess that it isn’t all bad either.

In going through some of my old, make that ancient, photographs taken with cameras that were considered nearstate-of-the-art when four or five megapixels was considered good resolution, I came across photos that could be enhanced these many years later with the available technology. Yes, Lightroom (Lr) and Photoshop (Ps) can help breathe new life into old images.

Just examine this ho-hum photograph, for example, taken with a Canon PowerShot AS590 IS. There really is very little saturation and contrast. It is a nice scenes and the composition is fine, but it is rather flat and dull.

Bringing the same picture into Lr to add a bit of contrast, bring out the shadows, enhance some of the colors, etc. provided more of the feel I remembered from the experience.

One element in the photograph above that I find problematic is that big white cloud in the upper-right. It has a tendency to draw the eye away from the focal point of the river extending into the mountains.

Now understand I am not a Ps expert. As a matter of fact, I have only been using Ps for a couple of months. I gladly bought an online course from one of the photographers I follow and it covered everything from beginning to end. I realized that some of my photographs didn’t render the way I saw the scene and I also wanted to extend my creativity.

So…into Ps, the picture went and I reduced the size of the cloud to make it look as natural as possible with my current skill set. Is this an award winner? I don’t think so, but it is a way for me to present it at its best. I equate this to putting on the last touches before going out on an important date. Let’s all take opportunities to look our best.


File Name: 8673.jpg
Capture time: 10:19:27 AM
Capture date: August 16, 2012
Exposure: 1/500 sec @ f/4.0
Focal Length: 5.8mm
ISO: 80
Canon PowerShot AS590 IS


Readers of JBRish probably enjoy my daily quotes and here is one that sums up the idea behind this post:

“Creativity is making marvelous out of the discarded.” – Unknown

Have you had this experience, i.e. making something good out of an item targeted be discarded? Why not share in the comment section?



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017

Photography – Do What You Love to Do

Chipmunk wants to be a photographer
Even this chipmunk was interested in photography

As a photography enthusiast, I follow a number of professional photographers via their blogs. One such photographer is Australian-based Gina Milicia. Not only is Gina a wonderful photographer and podcaster, she also appreciates quotes.

Anyone who follows JBRish will surely notice that I publish four STATUS QUOtes nearly every day. Gina recently published a quote that I really like. It is from Elizabeth Gilbert:

“I told the universe (and anyone who would listen) that I was committed to living a creative life not in order to save the world, not as an act of protest, not to become famous, not to gain entrance to the canon, not to challenge the system, not to show the bastards, not to prove to my family that I was worthy, not as a form of deep therapeutic emotional catharsis … but simply because I liked it.”– Elizabeth Gilbert

I am fairly certain this is from Giblert’s book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.

I heartily recommend Big Magic to anyone who has the least bit of creative inkling in their bones. It will change the way you think about creating and about life.

ALSO…if you haven’t visited Gina Milicia’s website and you are interested in photography, I can recommend that as well. I have listened to a good number of her podcasts and I admire her not only for her skill, but for her willingness to share her expertise with the wider photography community. Even if you are not a professional photographer, there is a lot to learn by subscribing to her newsletter and/or keeping up with her blog.

Intimate Work of Portrait Photographer Erin Hoskins

Readers of JBRish know that I enjoy photography. I enjoy looking at the work of gifted photographers almost as much as I like creating pictures on my own. I really must confess, however, that I don’t take many photographs of people; at least not portraits. Yes, there are some candids and some street photography-type shots where people fit into the overall scene, but definitely not portraits or pictures of people where they are posed as the main subject.

I have shied away from this because it is very difficult. People have features, appendages, etc. that need to be in the right place and generally in the right proportion. My favorite subject is landscapes and one reason for this is that they are forgiving. Everyone looking at my photograph knows how a tree is supposed to appear, but they don’t know how that specific tree appears and thus if it is not exactly right, it is doubtful that they will notice.

With portraits, however, many people are going to know and recognize the subject. Not only that, the person in the portrait and their loved ones are going to want that moment in time to represent them at their best. How many times have you looked in the mirror and said to yourself: “I am not looking my best today”? A portrait should show people at their very best and therein lies the ultimate challenge of portrait photography.

That is why the photographer I am going to write about today has impressed me so much. Her work is nothing less than brilliant. After seeing some of her portraits and family groups, I think you will arrive at the same conclusion.

Father and Daughter Portrait

On the heels of Father’s Day in the United States, let’s enjoy the picture above of a dad and his daughter. The subdued lighting is perfect for this outdoor location. Even though the father is not facing forward, he is rendered quite handsomely and that look of joy or happiness on the face of the child is genuine. What may go unnoticed in this picture is the coordination of colors, i.e. the girl’s yellow dress and shoes which tie in nicely with dad’s brown jacket and the overall tone of the scene; just perfect!

Mother and Daughter Portrait

Many portraits have their subjects facing the camera and concern themselves with technicalities such as catch lights. This picture is about the bond between a mother and her daughter. The kiss is so natural and even though the young girl is looking up and away, there is a definite connection and feeling of family. Erin Hoskins creates more than a picture, she captures emotion and feeling which is conveyed in these images. Windswept hair and subtle tones in dress and landscape lend an ethereal feeling to this scene and should bring a sense of intimacy and delight to the viewer. Note too the subtle balance brought to the photograph by the outstretched right foot.

What intrigued me the most about the work of Erin Elizabeth Photography is the level of creativity. Admire as I did, the colors, tones and ingenious composition of the two photographs below. They are nothing short of superb.

Portrait of a Mother and Children in a Field

Family Portrait in a Rural Setting

Let’s round out the family portraits with one of mom, dad and son. Once again, color plays a key role in focusing the viewer on the main subject, the young boy. Both mom and dad are looking at him which brings the viewer’s eye to the center of the picture naturally. The abstract yellow glow adds a beautiful warm tone to the overall scene. Expressions of joy and happiness that look natural are not easy to capture, but are presented very well in this photograph.

More Traditional Portrait of Mother, Father and Child

Individual portraits are also beautifully crafted. Look at this young girl on the beach. Could the setting and lighting be any more perfect? The look is so genuine; not a smile exactly, but a serene look. For anyone who has ever tried to balance natural light with fill light to eliminate harsh shadows, this scene is nothing short of wonderful!

A Beautiful Portrait of a Young Girl at the Beach

As if all this weren’t enough to present this photographer as a creative artist, we haven’t even touched on what many would consider some of her best work and that is babies. I first learned of Erin Hoskins via a story from PetaPixel This Newborn Photo Shoot Features Quintuplets. So how does a gifted photographer find her artistic way of capturing the unique and intimate relationship of mother and children as well as the children with each other?

XXX Portrait
Here the story begins prior to the birth; talk about telling the whole story!

XXX Portrait

XXX Portrait

XXX Portrait
Naturally the original is much larger, but isn’t this a unique way of displaying a group picture?

XXX Portrait

What contributes to making this picture even more outstanding is the one baby with open eyes. Having patience and waiting for the precise moment is often the difference between a portrait and a work of artistry.

Being Surprised by Five certainly will bring a smile to many of us and we will think it is charming, but understand that this is a life-changing event for the family in many ways. You can visit the Surprised by Five facebook page to learn more.

It is so captivating for me to look at the work of Erin Hoskins through these portraits. I want to leave you with one last picture that is so intimate and beautiful even though it is rendered in black and white.

A Very Intimate Family Portrait in Black and White

If you enjoy these works of artistic portraiture, I encourage you to visit the Erin Elizabeth Photography websites (links below) to see additional beautiful photographs.

Many thanks to Erin for allowing me to share her work with JBRish readers. Viewing her work has been a joy!

***** NOTE *****

All photographs are used with permission of the photographer and studio. They are Copyrighted with All Rights Reserved. The photos represented in this post were either from screen shots or downloads available from the photographer’s websites and do not necessarily represent the finest details, coloring, etc. Any names of files are strictly those of the author and are used to expedite posting.

There is no relationship between Erin Hoskins, Erin Elizabeth Photography and the author. Jeff is an amateur photography enthusiast who has found this work inspiring. All opinions are that of



Erin Elizabeth Photography


Blog and Galleries originally published this post

See previous posts about talented and extraordinary photographers HERE