Monthly Archives: June 2014

DOF, Foreground Objects and Natural Framing – Photography in the National Parks

The View Along Lost Mine Trail

Howdy folks!  The National Parks Traveler has published my latest photographic article on their website.  This month’s topics deal with DOF (depth of field), foreground objects and natural  framing.  To check it out, click on the image above.




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Filed under Big Bend, Canon Lens, depth of field, Landscape, National Parks, Photography

Pink Edges

Pink Edges

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June 17, 2014 · 6:35 pm

Reptilian Reminder

Reptilian Reminder

Just a little reminder that the Chihuahuan desert can be a dangerous place.  I was driving toward the Chisos Mountains and noticed ahead of me what looked like a traffic jam.  As I got closer, I noticed the truck was a National Park Service truck.  I drove slowly and glanced to the right side of the road to see one very angry snake lunging at my car as I passed by (look at the lower left of this photo).

In my single-minded pursuit to photograph the beauty of the park, this was a reminder to me to be ever-observant of the more venomous side of the desert.

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Filed under Big Bend, National Parks, snake, Travel, wildlife

A Clever Way to Catch Those Pesky Sensor Spots

6-1-2014 12-43-34 PM

Oh, those pesky sensor spots!  I’ve had my share of sensor spot issues lately with my Canon 1DX – primarily because of my constant use of the Canon 100-400mm telephoto lens with this camera body.  This particular lens has a stupid push-pull zoom ; WTF was Canon thinking ?  If you own one of these, put your fingers near the rear of the lens and feel the rush of air as you pull out, then push back the zoom mechanism – air carries dust particles which attach themselves to your camera’s mirror and ultimately the sensor – bleah.  I hear, though, a rumor that a new version of this lens *may* be coming out and it *won’t* have that push-pull thing…..of course, it will be more expensive, what else is new?

Anyway, I digressed.  Sorry.  Back to the sensor spot problem.

I was reading a past issue of the NPP (National Photoshop Professionals) magazine and one of my favorite sections in that publication consists of photo editing tips and tricks in which regular people/photographers like you and me send in helpful hints for various editing processes.  The one tip that stood out in this edition was how to easily spot hard-to-find sensor spots for cloning out of the picture if you are working with Photoshop.


That’s it.  That’s all there is to it.

Ctrl-I makes your image into what looks like a negative or x-ray.  It can emphasize those sensor spots that are very faded, but still present within the photo – sensor spots you may not be able to distinguish by looking at the photo in its original view.

Ctrl I

If you are not working with layers at all, simply Ctrl-I and then utilize your “band-aid” tool of choice to clone out the sensor spots.


If you *are* working with layers (which is what I do), then you must first create a new layer (Ctrl-Alt-Shift-E) and rename that layer to something recognizable (like “sensor spots”).


Now, this isn’t to say that you will see every single sensor spot in this mode.  It’s just a help to spy any spots you may have missed looking at the original photo.  I always switch back and forth.

Sensor Spots

It’s a nice little technique for helping you make your own photo look as fantastic as possible.

Morning In The Park

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Filed under Lessons, Photography, sensor spots