The Digital Photo Guy

2012 Planned Photoshoots

by on Mar.22, 2012, under Articles, Monday Morning Tips, Schedule

Landscape, Nature, Pin-Up and Portraits

In 2012, I plan to focus my efforts on landscape and nature photography with an eye toward entering more competitions and producing sellable fine art pieces. A secondary goal is to expand my pin-up and portrait portfolio. I want to create more images like these below.


On April 22 & 23, I’ll be at the Clay Blackmore portrait workshops in Tempe, AZ. Blackmore was trained by the legendary Monte Zucker. I was scheduled to take a class with Zucker in 2007 when we learned of his passing. I’m hoping Blackmore will be able to fill in what I missed. These are two separate classes with the 22nd being a seminar type session with 200 of your closest friends crammed into a hotel auditorium. I generally eschew such sessions but it was cheap when combined with the hands-on class on the 23rd. The cost of both classes was $249. Let me know if you plan to attend and we’ll try to meetup.

Although it’s a bit late, in early May I plan to visit the Salton Sea to look for burrowing owls, my favorite small birds. BO breeding season generally starts around late March to early April. After the chicks hatch, they hang around for 6 weeks before fledging so we may be able to catch some naive young chicks poking their heads out of the burrows.

My annual Eastern Sierras photo trip is tentatively scheduled for the week of October 8-14. That’s the week after the Lone Pine Film Festival so I may be there the previous weekend to check out what’s new at the festival. The festival offers guided photo tours to various movie sets around Alabama Hills so that may be a good way to see several new sites in one swell foop.

In late November/early December, I plan to scout the area around Willcox, AZ for wintering sandhill cranes. I had heard there were sandhills in the area but recently learned there can be as many as 20 to 30 thousand. That’s more than Bosque del Apache, my favorite sandhill crane reserve. The major difference may be accessibility. At Bosque, areas like the Railroad Pond and Flight Deck make it easy to practically be on top of the birds before their morning flyout. I hope to discover the best places for crane photography.

There will be other photo shoots during the year so stay tuned if none of these float your boat.

Stop Copying, Start Doing

For years, I’ve subscribed to several magazines because the articles often gave me ideas for new lessons or techniques in my classes. With my recent decision to no longer teach classes, I haven’t renewed my subscriptions to most. The only one I still read is Outdoor Photographer because I find inspiration in the photographs.

Today, I received my last issue of a well known magazine put out by a company that stages several annual orgies of Photoshop excess. Basically, these are large parties for geeks who wouldn’t normally be allowed out of their cubicles. I also received a copy of a magazine that covers Photoshop Elements. That subscription expires at the end of this year and I won’t be renewing.

The cover of one rag breathlessly proclaimed, “Unlock the secrets of…” I rolled my eyes and recalled something I had learned years ago, “The secret to good photography is that there are no secrets!” Scanning the rest of the cover, I realized the whole magazine was geared toward people who were simply trying to gloss over bad photography with visual eye-candy.

Turning my attention to the Photoshop oriented rag, I flipped through the pages to see what might be of interest. First, I was struck by the number of ads and ad-like articles for products, each promising to make me a PS maven if only I sent them a few dollars. Next, there were the graphics design articles of no interest to me. Third, beginner articles that bored me to tears. And, finally, a few photography articles that promised to show me how to achieve a particular look or effect. Why would I want to constantly copy others’ look or effect?

Reports of My Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated

I haven’t posted much over the past two months because I’ve been dealing with the excruciating pain of gout. With no history of gout in my family, the doctors have chalked it up to, “Stuff happens!” In any case, I finally broke down and saw a rheumatologist. I actually met with two to get a second opinion. The pain and swelling are now under control and the doctor plans to put me on a long-term drug after the current attack.

I think the word, “drug” has always made me wary of medication. I remember all too vividly the effects of illegal drugs on friends in Turkey and Vietnam. I swore I never wanted to be so out of control that I didn’t know when I was endangering myself or those around me. Fortunately, in our home, I can do whatever I want so long as my wife lets me. In this case, she “let me” see a rheumatologist before she strangled me. Therefore, rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated.



1 Comment for this entry

  • Earl Purkey

    Hello Lee 🙂
    I’m new to your family…and just learning the mechanics of good photography…at least with a DSLR camera. I expect we’ll have a long relationship. 🙂 I also deal with Gout. Nasty stuff for sure. I assume you have done some studying about it’s causes. Google can be your friend. My advice, should you decide to take it, involves you finding a ND. Naturalpath Doctor. Gout is the forming and concentrating in the feet of Acid crystals. You’ll find out the professional name. Reversal of the condition is accomplished by diet change, allowing the body to become more alkaline. Very Important!. The acid crystals that are pushed away from the heart collect in the lower extremities. Their very sharp points is what irritates the joint linings…and the body tries to insulate the area with water, which causes the swelling. Something that helps very quickly is Ionized Alkalized water from Kangen Water. Most likely there are some folks there locally that can give you some also. If you have trouble finding someone local…let me know and I’ll help you, by checking my sources. Hope you get over that quickly without taking their ‘killer’ drugs for the rest of your life. 🙂

    Have a Blessed Day…
    Earl Purkey (Oklahoma)

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