Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bosque Del Apache

Time sure flies when you're having fun, so the saying goes. The week with my family over Christmas was a time get reconnected after 17 Christmases in Minnesota but it is time to start heading back to Minnesota.

Only one photography stop on the way home and it is a doozy, Bosque Del Apache. I have known of Bosque Del Apache for many years and this will be my first visit. It is truely an amazing sight to watch thousands of Snow Geese take flight at the same time. I experienced my first 'blastoff' while photographing by one of the fields. All of the Snow Geese took off at the same time, circled the field then landed back where they started. WOW was the first work from my mouth. There were many more wonders this day that these few images can not convey. If you are ever in the Albuquerque ares you have to check this place out.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Huntington Library

Today was a trip to the Huntington Library with cousin-in-law Gene. Gene used to work at the Huntington Library and is now a member. The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens is located in San Moreno California and is a top cultural location in Southern California.

Members can enter the Library grounds 2 1/2 hours before the Library opens to the general public. We used that time to explore the new Chinese Garden. It was magical being alone with the morning quiet in this beautiful place.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Joshua Tree National Park

My brothers have been keeping me very busy and I've been having a ball. Ralph and I had a day of shooting and we decided meet Ralph's friend Paul and shoot Joshua Tree National Park. I have been to Joshua Tree many times but not for the past 20 years so it was like rediscovering Joshua tree all over again.

We did what Ralph likes to call a "DDD" which stands for a Dawn Desert Dash. What this means is that we get up at 2:30am, leave by 3:00am, so we could be in the Cholla Gardens by sunrise at 6:48am. We made it with time to spare. I was playing with blurring the Chollas and this one is my favorite. It looks like a bird ready to take flight.

One of our stops was a campground that had this tree. According to Ralph it's the only tree of it's kind in the park. I forgot to ask Ralph what kind of tree is was, though.

We ended the day with a hike into the Wonderland. There were many wonderful things in Wonderland and this cactus and dead wood was just a sample.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Valley of Fire and the Mojave Desert

The detour caused by the prediction of snow in Flagstaff had many benefits. Not only was I able to drive thru Zion yesterday but on the suggestion of my brother Ralph I was in for more treats. Ralph's first suggestion was a detour thru the Valley of Fire in Nevada, along with a beautiful drive along the shore of Lake Mead. The Valley of Fire is a Nevada State Park and is a pretty incredible place. The previous image is but just a sample of this place.

The second suggestion was to cut over from I-15 to I-40 thru the Mojave Desert in California. At first I thought I was on a desolate desert road until I realized that this was a pretty popular place. A stand of Joshua Trees rivaled those in Joshua Tree National Park. As you can see in this image there was still some snow on the ground even though this was a beautiful day.

The next stop is at Robert and Paula's and celebrating Christmas with all of my family in Southern California.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Horseshoe Bend

I've picked two images to share with you from today's adventures. As originally planned I took a detour to Page AZ and stopped off at Horseshoe Bend. The day was cloudy but the sight was awesome. A thousand feet straight down is enough to get the butterflies active in ones stomach. When I get back to this part of the country I'll be giving Horseshoe Bend another visit.

My new destination for tonight was changed from Flagstaff, AZ to Hurricane, UT. I didn't want to get stuck in Flagstaff what with the snow on it's way. One benefit of the new route was that it went thru Zion National Park.

On the road to the east entrance of Zion there was a pasture with buffalo. Most were gathered around a wind mill but these were off on their own. I really like the contrast of the buffalo against the snow and the overcast sky.

I didn't get to Zion till about 5pm as nightfall was quickly descending. The east entrance is spectacular with the high mountains and deep canyons. Have I been there an hour earlier there would have been some nice photo ops. While my camera does not hold any mages of Zion my eye took in all the beauty.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Canyon De Chelly

I arrived at Canyon De Chelly after dark yesterday. When I checked into the Thunderbird Lodge I found out there were only two groups of travelers at the Lodge. I guess business is slow indeed.

The forecast was for sun with periods of clouds. Well the period, singular, of clouds lasted the whole day. We were teased once or twice when the sun peeked thru the clouds but it was gone again with the blink of the eye. I really needed sun today but it was not to be had. Most of the day was spend at the South Rim Drive overlooks marveling at the wonderous canyon and the history that lies below my eyes.

The one place in Canyon De Chelly where non-natives can go without an escort is the White House Ruins. I had made the hike back in the 70's and was looking forward to a return trip. It is only about a 3 mile journey but descends 600 feet into the canyon. When I first visited White House Ruins one had to get across the stream as best one could which usually meant taking your shoes off, rolling up your pant legs then finding a shallow place to cross. Times have changed and now there is a foot bridge to make the hike a bit easier (actually I was looking forward to getting my feet wet but opted for the bridge).

The image I chose to share is of the White House Ruins from the canyon level. Seems to me in the 70's we used to be able to go right up to the ruins but overuse has resulted in a safety zone around the fragile area.

Tomorrow I'm off again and plan to stop by Horseshoe Bend. I've seen many an image of Horseshoe Bend but have never been there. The forecast is rain so my hopes are not very high. One more night on the road and I've be with my brother Robert and sister-in-law Paula.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Aztec and Shiprock

The morning started with a visit to Aztec Ruins National Monument. Aztec Ruins is located about 50 miles north of Chaco Canyon. Aztec's first inhabitants were strongly influenced by Chaco and may have been an outlier of Chaco. In the early 1920's Earl H. Morris excavated Aztec over the course of 7 seasons. In 1934 Morris returned to rebuild the Great Kiva. There is much debate as to the accuracy of the construction but Morris employed what he know at that time. It is none the less a fascinating Kiva to visit and to show your respect.

The road to Chinle, AZ and Canyon de Chelley takes one by Shiprock. Shiprock can be seen from distances of 10s of miles, standing proud. I ended up taking a road that was closed during the winter but ended up making the trip worthwhile with a few images.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Chaco Canyon

I'm on my way to Southern California to spend Christmas with my two brothers and their families. Along the way there are a few stops that must be made. The first is Chaco Canyon.

Chaco Canyon is a fascinating place if you have any interest in the pre-historic peoples that inhabited the Southwest over 1000 years ago. Chaco Canyon was the hub of a far reaching advanced civilization that stretches long distances across the four corners region. Many current day tribes trace their ancestors back to Chaco and hold this ground as a sacred place.

My reasons for going there was not photographic but I did lug my camera gears around with me. The magical places for me in Chaco Canyon are the Kivas. Kivas are believed to be places where spiritual rituals occurred. There are many great Kivas in Chaco Canyon and the one I picked to share is one at Pueblo Bonito.

Google Chaco Canyon is you want to know more.

Tomorrow it's on to Canyon De Chelley.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Charred Remains

The charred remains of a forest fire offers interesting close-up compositions.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Burn around Magnetic Rock

This past weekend I was back up on the North Shore. On Friday we hiked out to Magnetic Rock, a round trip hike of about 2.5 miles. The weather was unseasonably warm, around 50 degrees, but the forecast was for rain. Sure enough it rained, and hailed (although very small), on the way out and on the way back. The rain on the way back was particularly drenching.

Fire had move thru this area a year ago and the charred remains were all around. This image is of the hill side below magnetic rock.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Green Water

It was about 4:00 in the afternoon. I figured the Cascade River would be in shade as it descended the various falls on the last leg of the journey to Lake Superior. Earlier in the day sunlight would have shined thru the trees creating numerous hot spots.

As we approached the river, right at the Hwy 61 bridge, the water was in complete shade. The sun was brightly lighting the green trees and with the blue sky the water reflected a shimmered green and blue. It stopped me right in my tracks.

It was more striking being there than I was able to capture (not all images are made with the camera) but here are a few I enjoy.


P.S. Feel free to leave comments, good or bad.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tom Lake

After spending some time shooting High Falls, on the Pigeon River separating the US from Canada, Dale and I hurriedly drove out the Arrowhead Trail looking for a spot to catch the quickly approaching sunset. We somewhat randomly turned onto this dirt road followed by that dirt road. I had driven some of the spurs off the Arrowhead Trail last year looking for Moose and some of the places we went by this year looked rather familiar.

We turned onto Tom Lake Road thinking we might have a good chance of finding a lake (we're smart guys). Sure enough as the sun was dipping below the horizon there was Tom Lake. Knowing that we would have good light for upwards of a half hour after sunset we made some images from a few spots. This was out last location and produced the image I liked the most. The crescent moon make the shot.


Thursday, October 16, 2008


My brother Ralph (do yourself a treat and check out Ralph's photography and blog) likes to call Sunrise and Sunset the bookends on the day. October 4th treated us with two magical bookends.

The morning bookend was made at Hollow Rock Resort on Lake Superior. The evening bookend was made from Honeymoon Bluff over looking Hungry Jack Lake just off the Gunflint Trail.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Little Spirit Cedar Tree

On Oct 1, Dale and I began a photographic adventure along the North Shore of Minnesota. This was our first 'shoot' together, in fact it was Dale's very first 'shoot'. I'm sure we will do many more.

On the second morning of the trip we were treated with a visit to a very special place, the Little Spirit Cedar Tree. The Little Spirit Cedar Tree is located on the Grand Portage Indian Reservation and is a scared place to the Native American people.

My interest in Native Americans goes back to when I traveled extensively to the Anasazi locations in the Southwest and on the Indian reservations in the four corners area. I always had a special feeling come over me when visiting places like Chaco Canyon, Monument Valley, Wapatki, Canyon De Chelley and other Native American places.

The day we visited the Little Spirit Cedar Tree was not a grand day photographically but a grand day spiritually. Travis, whom Dale and I had recently met and is a Grand Portage Band member, was kind enough to take us to the Spirit Tree that morning. As we arrived at the tree Dale and I stood silently as Travis made his offering to the tree. Travis then gave us the opportunity to make our own offering to the tree. First Dale stepped forward then I followed. This was the first time I'd made an offering at a sacred site and it was very special.

I know I speak for Dale when I say 'Thank You Travis'.

Dale and I listened to Native American flute music a number of time during our trip including the trip home. It was a fitting end to a great trip.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Travis Novitsky

Last night I was checking out the Cameratalk MN site looking for information about the fall colors up on the North Shore. A friend of mine, Dale, and I are going up to the North Shore Wednesday after work for a few days of shooting and I wanted to get an idea of the colors. One of the posts was authored by Travis Novitsky, his first on the site.

I briefly checked out Travis site last night but took a much more thorough look this morning. There are few photographers that really hit home with me but Travis really did.

I don't know Travis nor have I ever spoken with Travis but I feel like I know him, at least just a little bit. Travis is a member of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Ojibwe)and lives on the Grand Portage Indian Reservation at the far north western tip of Minnesota. Lynn and I have traveled to Grand Portage many times over the years and for the last three years we been fortunate to be at the annual Pow Wow held in August.

What I felt while looking at the images Travis makes is the obvious connection he has with the land, his home on the North Shore of Lake Superior. He talks a bit on his Welcome page about the adventures he had as a child growing up on the reservation which really seems to be the foundation of his photography. Fortunately Travis followed in his fathers footsteps and took up photography as a passion, at least I see passion in his work.

Travis shows to me a Native American view of the land. He shares his world not only with his imagery but also with his accompanying words.

Do yourself a favote and spend some quality time on Travis site. It can be found at Photography by Travis Novitsky


P.S. Come back for some fall colors.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Clean your lens cap

When you take your lens cap off your lens where do you put it? I'm sure the answer is as varied as the number of photographers but if you're like me you stick it in your pocket. And if you wear cotton jeans as I do you know there are loose cotton fibers in your pocket. Over time these fibers get causht in the mechanism of the lens cap and get transferred to your lens from element. So when you sit down to clean your camera gear, as I did the other evening, give the inside of your lens cap a goot shot of canned air. You just may have cleaner front elements, at least for a while.


Friday, September 5, 2008


It's a bright sunny day. The light is to challenging. But wait, there's a patch of shade with the Cascade River flowing thru. Out comes my Vari-ND filter allowing me to expose this image for 10 seconds at f/22. (The streak are small bubbles, from the waterfall upstream, flowing down river)


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Quiet Morning

Before delving into macro land last Sunday, see the following post, I enjoyed the solitude of an early morning sunrise. I like to get to my sunrise location an hour before the sun is to rise where I'm usually alone to enjoy the beginning of a new day. It is well before the sun peaks above the horizon that the morning magic begins. This image was made about 15 minutes before sunrise. Five minutes later the color was all gone.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Looking Beyond the Sunrise

Artist Point in Grand Marais is known for it's sunrises, sunsets, crashing waves, rocks and Lake Superior. But if you look closely there is an entirely different dimension on Artist Point.

Last weekend, after a beautiful sunrise, I went looking for this other dimension. Here is the result.


Thursday, August 28, 2008


The Canon G9 is my walk around camera. This camera is with me almost all of the time. While Lynn and I sat along the shore of Lake Superior at Cascade River State Park I made this beautiful reflection image.

Hope you like it.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Around the Corner

As August comes to a close I start thinking of fall and the beautiful colors that sweep through the land. Others may wait a while to contemplate the onset of winter.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Artist Point

Yesterday morning I enjoyed the sunrise from one of my favorite spots in Grand Marais, the tip of artist point. This image was made 1/2 hour before sunrise.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

0 for 4

The Minnesota Start Fair Art competition has come and gone for me this year. I submitted this image last Saturday and got my 'Non-Accepted Works' email today. So I will be making my fourth 'walk of shame' in four tries this weekend.

I figured that this would be a polarizing image as that has been the reaction it has received. The response would quick and very decisive. Some people really like it and others don't, probably more that don't. But I like it so I submitted it. Guess the judge was in the camp with those that don't. That's OK cause there is always next year.

What do you think and it's OK is you don't like it, tell me anyway.


Saturday, August 2, 2008

After the Fire

Even after a forest fire there is beauty to be found.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Artist Point

This image was made on Artist Point in Grand Marais, Minnesota. It is one of natures abstracts.

Monday, July 21, 2008

High Falls Detail

Well this isn't High Falls, on the Pigeon River which marks the border between the US and Canada, but a small section of it. The water running over the falls was the most I've ever seen, enough to make this small area very interesting. The water gave the rocks a dramatic look that contrasts against the 'smooth' flowing water.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Showy Lady's Slipper

The Showy Lady's Slipper is the state flower of Minnesota. It can be seen from June 20 thru July 5. This image was made at Cascade State Park on July 5. It's past it's peak but ages very well.


(Click on this or any image in the blog to get a better look)

Blowing in the Wind

A few weekends ago my wife and I went to Grand Marais to begin our annual time on the North Shore. In past years we've kept our 5th wheel in the campground in Aug, Sept and part of Oct. This year we started a month earlier in July.

I hadn't spent any time on the North Shore during July and a big surprise was the wild flowers, lupine, daises, orange and common hawkweed. I wanted to stop every few miles to make images.

This image was a test. I shot 16 images with different focus points from near to far and combined them with Helicon Focus. I knew this would be a challenge since there was a light breeze blowing and Helicon Focus works best with stationary objects. The first output was not very good but with the Pro version of the program you can copy from one image to the composite and that cleared it up a bit.

This is the progress to this point and I think it looks pretty good.

What do you think?


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Calm Afternoon

Spend the better part of the week of July 4th with my wife in Grand Marais on the North Shore of Lake Superior. It's the North Shore from a Minnesotans perspective, the real North Shore is much further up into Canada.

Made this image in the afternoon while sitting on the rocks. I'm enjoying the calmness of the image the most. I feel the warmth of the rocks yet the coolness of the water (the water is actually very very cold). I had not been to Grand Marais in July and I was struck by Lake Superiors silence. I am familiar with the lake in late summer and fall when waves are always crashing against the rocks.

Hope you enjoy the image and please leave a comment.


Monday, June 30, 2008

Reminder Notes

Do you read books on photographic technique, listen to Radiant Vista critiques, take workshops, read photography magazines only to go out in the field to shoot and forget all you have learned. I find I do. I get all excited setup my tripod and camera and start shooting away.

This became very apparent to me when I was shooting with Ralph and Jack in Oregon. We would stop somewhere and I was off shooting in a second while Ralph and Jack walked around surveying the possibilities. I had been so accustomed to working quickly, when I was with non-photographers, I forgot what it was like to take my time. Ssslllooowww Dddooowwwnnn I started telling myself. In my haste I would forget about what I had read and supposedly learned. I'd get home and be disappointed that the depth of field was not right or the ISO was to high or, well, you get the idea.

So as we were driving around Oregon, Jack told us of his preparation process. He listens to comforting music, sits quietly and generally puts his mind in a creative mood. This got me thinking about my own shortcomings and how I might prepare myself better for a photographic outing.

I haven’t tried Jack’s techniques but I have decided to prepare myself with psychological and technical reminders. Today I created my first set of ‘Reminder Notes’. I have taken tidbits of information from influential photographers, typed them on sheets of paper then laminated them. They will now go into my camera bag.

Before I set out on a photographic journey I will pull them out, sit for a while and ponder their messages. They will help me slow down, think of what it is I want to say, be more deliberate and in the end make better images.


Sunday, June 29, 2008


More from Oregon.

Around the bend from Bridal Veil Falls the algae under the water gives the water it's green glow.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Rhododredron at Multnomah Falls

It was a Friday before the crowds arrived. The rhododendron in the foreground against the out of focus falls in the background provides an exquisite composition.

Speaking of crowds. We visited the falls early in the morning on Friday and Saturday. Both days, especially Saturday, the crowds were very very small. But on each day we went by the falls in the afternoon. Multnomah Falls is right off the Interstate and you wouldn't believe how many people pack into that place, unless you've been there of course. I just can't imagine my only experience with this or any of the falls in the gorge being so filled with people.

There is alot to be said about getting up before the crack of dawn not just to catch a beautiful sunrise but also to have an intimate encounter with nature, minus all of the people.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

To Clone or Not To Clone

I made this photograph last year in France. It is the first time I ran into, not literally of course, a Peacock, let alone a male in full display. I quickly snapped a number of images from different vantage points and ended up selecting a different Peacock image to upload to my web site. I like this image quite a bit but for 3 glaring problems, the three white flowers. They are a total distraction to the activities of the Peacocks, which is quite interesting.

The other day my wife was looking thru some of my images and came upon this one. She really liked it and wanted a print. But I couldn't get by the flowers.

I'm no stranger to the clone stamp. I have no hesitation when it comes to removing elements of an image that are distracting or out of place. I'm not trying to duplicate 'reality' but create a pleasing image that says something to the viewer. For 'reality' look at Newsweek or a newspaper, they shouldn't be using the clone stamp.

So the image presented an interesting delemna. These three white flowers are quite distracting but they are in some very inconvenient places and are much larger than distracting elements I typically remove. But what the heck let me see what I can to.

The most challenging part of the 'manipulation' was to get the female Peacock to look half way normal since so much of the flower covered her. I first tried the clone stamp but that effort was futile. So I ended up copying a portion of the left side of the Peacock, flipped it over and put it on the right side. Using the transform tool I evened things up followed by the clone stamp to clean up around the Peacock. If you look real close you can see where the transitions are but unless you're looking for it you probably won't see it.

Cloning out the middle flower was pretty basic and simple. In the end I left the far left flower in but I might change it's color to make it less noticable.

The resulting image is quite believable and I really like it. If I hadn't told you what I did you probably would have never known how it came to be.

So the question remains, to clone or not to clone. For me this was a fun thing to do. I will frame the resulting image for my wife, we'll hang it on the wall and enjoy it. But will I sell it if someone wants it? Well, yes I would, but the purchaser would be told of the process I went thru to make it what it is.

Somewhere between removing a misplaced pebble on a beach and rebuilding a Peacock there is a line that gets crossed. One the one side I wouldn't think twice about removing the pebble but on the other side, well I just couldn't sell something as heavily modified as the Peacock image without full disclosure. Probably no one would know but me. But I would know and it's a little to much 'manipulation' for me.

Thoughts and comments are welcome.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sunrise at Tillamook Bay

Well the sun rose but we didn't see it. This is Jack's favorite sunrise location along the coast. This small boat is always present. Funny thing is that there are no buildings or other boats in sight. There once were but everything is gone, except for this one boat. The tide was going out so the water just covered the mud flat.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Maidenhair Fern

Oh the ferns in Oregon. I felt a bit overwhelmed trying to photograph them but I like this one. And no I didn't ratchet up the green saturation.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008


The rhododendrons grow wild along the Oregon coast and we were lucky to be there when they were in bloom.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Shooting Partner

My brother Ralph on another great day for photography at Cannon Beach in Oregon.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunset at Wildlife Refuge

Last night I went to the Sherburne Wildlife Refuge for sunset. This is a 6 frame HDR image when the light was exquisite. Shot with my 17-40mm at 17mm and f/11 with my 5D.


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Haystack Rock

It was a cold rainy afternoon of May 22, 2008. Ralph and I had met at the airport around noon, Ralph flying in from Calif and myself flying in from Minnesota. We headed right over the Cannon to begin our 3 1/2 day photo adventure in Oregon.

This 2 second exposure using the Singh Ray Vari-ND filter smooths out the rugged sea and give us some nice sweeping lines of foam to carry us thru the image.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Jack Graham

During my trip to Oregon in April 2008 I had the pleasure of meeting Jack Graham. My brother Ralph had met Jack while shooting at Mono Lake and had shot together a few times. Jack had invited Ralph up to Oregon for a shoot and since Ralph and I were planning a shoot of our own we decided to make is a threesome.

I couldn't have imagined a finer weekend soending some individual time with Ralph and two whole days, I mean two whole days from 4:30am to 9:00pm, shooting with Jack. Jack took us to all of the coastal and Columbia River Gorge hot spots. It was really an amazing experience.

Jack conducts a variety of workshops in Oregon. Believe me when I say you will be in for a great treat attending a Jack Graham workshop. He will make sure that you see the best there is of Oregon at the best times of the day and give you all the hints and secrets along the way.

Check out Jack's website, you'll be in for a treat.


Sunset in Oregon

Between 4/22/08 to 4/26/08 I met my brother, Ralph Nordstrom, and Jack Graham in Oregon for three and a half days of shooting. We shot the Oregon coast and the Columbia River Gorge.

Being Oregon it was overcast and rainy most of the time. However on Saturday we had a beautiful day with lots of sun and wonderful clouds. But as the day wore on the clouds inscreased and as it often happens in the midwest, I'm from Minnesota, the weather turns unpredictable. In the evening we stood at the Womens Forum overlook looking east as the storm gathered steam. As the sun fell lower in the sky the rain started falling and the lightning began to strike. One of Jacks sunset locations is the Vista House a short drive from the overlook, so we headed there.

The three of us, along with a few other photographers, were setup looking west toward the setting sun. It continued to rain and thinder boomed around us. We were hoping the sun would appear under the cloud bank and light up the underside of the clouds. The sun did appear but a heavy rainstorm had moved between us and the sun. As can be seen from the image below the suns light was diffused by the rain and filled the sky with colors fromreds to purples. It was a magical moment.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cardiac Snow

Yesterday morning we woke up to a beautiful winter wonderland. Cardiac snow is great for photography. It's very wet and sticks to everything. So I took a bit longer to get into work. Here are a few images that were taken.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What is It

The first two people that saw this image each thought it was something very different from what it is. What is it?

The image was taken along the North Shore on Minnesota.


Backup, Backup, Backup

Last week I decided that my internal hard drive needed some relief. This Raid-0 500gb drive had just over 1gb free. So I thought I would move my 100+ gb of 20D files to an external drive where I had previously moved my 300D files.

Fortunately for me backing up my data has been a long standing routine. My career has been in the systems side of IBM mainframe shops and backing up data is a big deal in IT. So I have always backed up my data. I always preferred unattended backups and I've owned a number of tape systems over the years but use hard drives now.

My tool of choice for moving my 20D files is Lightroom. Lightroom contains all of the info on my images so it is really the only choice. But Lightroom really moves the files, meaning the source copy is deleted. So before I began I made sure my backup was in place.

Moving 100+gb of images in Lightroom is a time consuming process. Towards the end I started getting write errors on the 500gb destination drive. To make a longer story shorter the destination drive was chock full of errors and the quality of my files were consistently inconsistent.

As it turned out my 300D files were never copied to my backup drives but I was fortunate that I could get them safely off the errant drive loosing just a few images in the process.

I proceeded to rebuild my image files for my backups. I keep two sets of backups. The first is the destination for nightly SyncToy, a freebe Microsoft tool, synchronizations. This insures that I will loose no more than 1 days worth of work. The second level is an unscheduled but regularly run synchronization of my first level backup to a second level backup. This second level is my safety net. It is not as up to date as the first but if all else fails I 'should' have a copy.

As I was rebuilding my 20D images I discovered my first level backup was missing quite a number of images. This was a disconcerting discovery thinking that they were gone. But my second level backup came to the rescue. Since the second level backup isn't subjected to daily updates all of the files were there.

In the ended it took me about a week to get all of my files restored, my daily backups rescheduled and all of my backup copies back in order. It was a chore but all of my files, minus a half dozen, were saved.

One future enhancement to my backup strategy is to use two second level backups. These would be switched back and forth every week or so with the one not in use going to work with me and stored there. One more 1tb drive would give me that option.

So the lesson here is backup, backup, backup. I have heard to many stories of people loosing thousands of digital images due to a hard drive crash. Just think of all the time and money that goes into capturing those images and memories and then how easy it is to go spend $250 for a terabyte drive and start backing up.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Arts in Harmony - Jury Results

Last Sunday the artists reception was held for this years Arts in Harmony art show where the just results were announced. Unfortunately I was unable to attend.

So yesterday I went by the Government Center, where the art work is displayed, to see the art work and the winners. This is an excellent show, again, pulling in work from local as well as national artists. I was happy to see a number of people enjoying the art. They appeared to be there to see the show and not because they had business with the county government.

As I was looking at the work Dave Beauvais , the original founder of the Arts in Harmony 13 years ago and the force behind the show, came up to me and said he had put my ribbon behind my Photograph and that I needed to get it since my print was not going home with me. (I suspect my eyes lite up at this point.)

Last year I had won a Members award and the Great River Energy Purchase Award for my Spearfish Canyon image.

I knew I hadn't won that award again since I had seen another photograpy that won it, as well as the Best Photograph award. The photography was particularly strong this year so winning anything was an honor. Not being familar with all of the purchase awards, turns out there are only two, I was curious.

When Dave and I got to my image and while Dave went to revrieve my ribbon I read the label. I had won the Members Award as well as the Government Center Purchase Award. My image would be finding a permanent home in the Sherburne County Government Center. Cool, I thought. You know a guy can get used to winning these purchase awards.

They had the art show pamphlet which listed all of the artists in the show and their art work. There on the first page of the awards was my name again, for the second year in a row. Last year I won 1 of the 2 top dollar awards and this year I won one of the top 4 dollar awards. Like I said before 'A guy could get used to this'.

I feel honored to have two images selected for the show and very proud to be one of the Member award winners as well as the purchase award winner.

My winning image was taken last fall along the shores of Lake Superior. This is Cascade River in Cascade River State Park. The water was particularly high this last year which added to the character of the image.

The art show can be seen M-F from 8:00 to 4:30pm at the Sherburne County Government Center off HWY 10 in Elk River, Minnesota.