Friday, June 24, 2016


I was in the Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Seattle last night, photographing a candlelight ceremony to honor the passing of the monastery's much-loved head lama, Dagchen Rinpoche.

In my 40-plus years as a photojournalist, the scene I beheld last night was one of the most beautiful things I have witnessed.  Soft voices joined in a sweet, chant-like prayer, and monastery lights were turned down low. The human faces, glowing in that soft candlelight, were simply lovely.

I am often awed by the power that a still photograph has to convey emotion, but in this instance, nothing can match the experience of being there.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Multi-chrome or monochrome?

I rarely spend a ton of time debating whether I like one of my photographs better in black in white, or in color. Images somehow seem to have a way of deciding that for me.

In these days of digital imagery, I shoot everything in color, knowing that I can always convert the picture to B&W later on the computer. Once I do that, I can toggle between the color image and the monochrome version on my computer display screen. If I'm still not quite sure which I like best, I happen to be married to someone whose visual taste I trust completely -- often more than I trust my own.

("Leah, can you come here and look at this?…")

Back in film days,  color vs. black and white was a much tougher decision, at least for mountain trips where every ounce counts.  Schlepping a backpack that held an extra camera body or film back loaded with color/B&W,  or even extra film, on a hard hike of many miles and four or five thousand feet of elevation gain was a drag (literally.)

Today I'm posting images from recent hikes. The two above I like in color (though neither is particularly, um, colorful.)  The bottom two I prefer in B&W.

I can be more than a little OC about most any consideration about my photographs... poorly-handled light or composition or technical mis-steps, all can and do make me crazy.
But color vs B&W? Nah, I'll save my angst for other worries.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Our Friend Minnie

This morning I happened to hear a story on NPR where an historian said that when ancient civilizations are discovered and human bones are found, it is not uncommon to also find the bones of dogs. This little factoid indicating how deeply the human/canine bond lives in our DNA really resonated with me because yesterday our dog Minnie, an 18-year-old Australian Shepherd,  died. And though Leah and I knew that 18 is quite old for a dog and could see that Minnie's health was deteriorating and understood that no being lives forever, her absence in our house today is unmistakable.

I spent some time this morning looking through some photographs I have taken of our little four-legged friend over the years.  And though recently she spent her old-girl days camped out near her food bowl, not wanting to miss her next meal, the pictures I found remind me that,  as a youngster, Minnie was a go-getter, an imp, a social being who was usually right there, close by the humans and other creatures who populated her world.

We humans are lucky that dogs allow us to be part of their lives.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Up High

It seems like the mountain adventures I've been doing lately have presented me with circumstances that have resulted in images with a bit of a common thread: Relatively small human figures in an expansive,  high country landscape.

The snow in my Washington state alpine playground is melting fast in this unusually warm spring…and thus, because we enjoy a pristine, white setting,  my friends and I have been doing trips that take us higher and higher. Plans are afoot for an even more ambitious trek in mid-June into the North Cascades. If the weather cooperates and the trip comes off, it could be amazing. Stay tuned.

Until then, here are several images from the past several weeks.