Big Ben Tower House of Parliament London England UK

Big Ben Tower with buildings of House of Parliament, London England, UK



























With a name like Big Ben I figure the image needs to be equally big and bold…

This shot was from across the River Thames with a long lens – 280mm to be exact.


Autumn in Paris

One of the most photogenic cities in the world – Paris!  Add the flavors, colors and feel of autumn, and you have a photographers dream.

For the months of September and October, 2012, I will be joining Better Paris Photos in guiding photographers through this beautiful city.  We have a full range of photo-tour options including classic and iconic scenes as well as images and locations that are known only to locals.

Come join me for a photo tour that fits your interests and experience.  Not only will your images improve, but you will also come away inspired, with a fresh desire to continue your artistic journey.

Paris France Cathedral Notre Dame River Seine

Twilight over Cathedral Notre Dame and River Seine, Paris France

Fountain of River Commerce and Navigation Place de la Concorde Paris France

Fountain of River Commerce and Navigation (1840), Place de la Concorde, Paris, France

Musee du Louvre Jardin des Tuileries Paris France

Setting sunlight on Musee du Louvre and Jardin des Tuileries, Paris France

Stained Glass windows chapel Sainte Chapelle Church Paris France

Stained Glass windows in the upper chapel, Sainte Chapelle Church, Paris France

Arc de Triomphe Parc Monceau Paris France

Arc de Triomphe framed by the entry gates to Parc Monceau, Paris France


Window display Laduree Bakery Patisserie Tea Shop Saint-Germain-des-Pres Paris France

Window display of Laduree Bakery, Patisserie, and Tea Shop, Saint-Germain-des-Pres, Paris France

Basilique du Sacre Coeur Montmartre Paris France

Early morning below Basilique du Sacre Coeur, Montmartre, Paris France

Equestrian statue King Louis XIV Musee du Louvre Paris France

Equestrian statue of King Louis XIV at the entrance to Musee du Louvre, Paris France

Cathedral Notre Dame Paris France

Setting sunlight glows on the facade of Cathedral Notre Dame, Paris France

Shops tourists Rue Saint-Severin Latin Quarter Paris France

Shops and tourists along Rue Saint-Severin in the Latin Quarter, Paris France

Cafe tables chairs Place du Tertre Montmartre Paris France

Cafe tables and chairs waiting for customers in Place du Tertre, Montmartre, Paris France

Statue Jardin des Tuileries Musee du Louvre Paris France

Statue in Jardin des Tuileries with Musee du Louvre beyond, Paris France

Palais Royal Paris France

Evening at the Palais Royal, Paris France

Paris Arc de Triomphe Paris France

View over Paris from the top of Arc de Triomphe, Paris France

Twilight Arch de Triomphe Paris France

Twilight at Arch de Triomphe, Paris France

Eiffel Tower Ecole Militaire Paris France

Eiffel Tower with Ecole Militaire beyond at twilight, Paris France

Cathedral Notre Dame River Seine Paris France

Twilight over Cathedral Notre Dame and River Seine, Paris France

Interior lower chapel Sainte Chapelle Paris France

Interior of the lower chapel, Sainte Chapelle, Paris France

Eiffel Tower Paris France

Setting sun illuminates the Eiffel Tower and the buildings of Paris for a brief moment under heavy clouds, France

Metro stop Saint Michel Latin Quarter Paris France

Evening at the Metro stop Saint Michel in the Latin Quarter, Paris France

Chapel Notre Dame Cathedral Paris France

Maarten de Vos - "The Virgin" Chapel in Cathedral Notre Dame, Paris France


Palais du Louvre twilight Paris France

Palais du Louvre at twilight, Paris France

Carousel Eiffel Tower Paris France

Carousel below the Eiffel Tower at twilight, Paris France




Keeping it Simple

Lone Pine Tree Calanques Cassis Provence France

Lone pine tree growing out of solid rock in the Calanques near Cassis, Provence France























One very effective way to make your photographs bolder and stronger is to Keep It Simple.  We’ve all heard this advice from all sorts of sources relating to all sorts of life’s situations.  But it often applies – and particularly when it comes to photography.

One of my favorite photos from a recent visit to the coastal areas of Provence France is this one.  It’s just a simple pine tree.  There are very few elements to this photo and because of that it has strength and appeal – at least to me.

This is an area in the Bouches-du-Rhone near Cassis.  The rocky wall formations and watery inlets are called the Calanques.  It’s a very impressive area.  I’ve seen and made hundreds of photos here – most of them fairly dramatic.  It’s not hard to capture dramatic photos in this environment.  But it was the very un-dramatic shot here that stood out for me.

Why?  Because of it’s simplicity we get a chance to see the calm beauty of the area, the determination of this little tree growing out of solid rock, the amazing colors of the Mediterranean – all of this without the distractions of too many objects in the image.

Never leave anything in the frame that doesn’t deserve to be there.  If there’s a distracting object, try to move and adjust your composition so it can be left out.  Your images will be stronger and bolder because of it.




When Plans Go Wrong

Wrought Iron Cross Les Baux Provence France Saint Vincent Church

Wrought Iron cross at Place de Saint Vincent, Les Baux de-Provence, France
























Canon 5d MkII EF 17-40 at 22mm f16 ISO 100 25 sec.

Just when you think you have it all figured out…  Sometimes it just goes wrong.

I was planning a twilight shoot across the valley from this wonderful medieval town – Les Baux de-Provence.  I had mapped it, studied the angles and new the exact moment of sunset and twilight.  I arrived at the trail head with plenty of time to make the 1 1/2 mile hike to my chosen spot.  Everything seemed perfect.

Oops – it turns out that the trail I was hiking on wasn’t the one I was supposed to be hiking on.  After wandering around for about 45 minutes I decided I needed to make something out of the evening so I gave up on the hike and headed directly into town.

I walked past the touristy restaurants near the entrance and headed toward the end of town.  With no one around – except for a stray dog that took a liking to me, I rounded this corner and saw the shot.

In about 30 minutes I had made a number of images from this little corner of town – some very interesting ones, but this one is my current favorite.

Sometimes you have to give up on the immediate plan in order to find something that may in fact turn out to be better than you would have imagined.

Now where’s that trail I need to be on?

provence photographs for sale








Plan Your Strategy

Pantheon Fountain Rome Italy Dawn

Just before dawn at the Pantheon






















One of my favorite times of day to photograph is twilight – especially in old, well-lit cities like Paris or Rome.  There’s just something about the way the warm lighting highlights beautiful architectural details against the backdrop of a cobalt blue twilight sky.  I love it.

The problem?  Twilight only lasts about 15 or 20 minutes (at least for photographic purposes).  It’s nice that we have both a morning twilight and an evening one, so you can make use of this magical time twice each day.  But it still goes by all too fast.

So how do we make the most of that 4:30am wake-up alarm?  One strategy that I use nearly every time I shoot twilight is Directional Planning.  That’s not an official term, but it works for me.

Since the sun rises in the East, my first shots are planned in that general direction.  My next ones would be either North or South.  The final shots of the morning twilight would be West.  This stretches the amount of available time by a significant amount – in some cases giving me 45 minutes of great shooting.

I know that’s still not a lot of time, and believe me, there are moments of panic where I’m running hard to the next spot knowing I’m going to just ‘miss it’ by a few minutes.  But you would be surprised at how much can be squeezed into a single twilight shoot if you plan ahead.

All the shots in this post were made on the same morning.  By employing Directional Planning, I was able to cover a lot of territory – making the most of my time.  And I got a workout at the same time.

Trevi Fountain Rome Italy Twilight Dawn

Just before dawn at the Trevi Fountain

St Peters Basilica Cathedral Dome Vatican Catholic Pope

Just before dawn - the amazing dome of St. Peters Basilica

St. Peters Basilica Piazza San Pietro Vatican Rome Italy

First light of dawn on St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican Rome Italy







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