Bald Eagles at Seabeck, WA

Venus Transit

Today is the transit of Venus across the Sun.  To properly view this once in a lifetime event, I rented a Canon 100-400mm f/4 – f/5.6 lens from  I also went and purchased some solar film to prep the lens for a nice shot of Venus transiting across the sun.  I had my scopes, eyepieces, camera gear et al ready to go.  In fact, as I type this it’s sitting on the floor in front of me.  Such a sad predicament as I look at my optical toys and then through my window.  The Pacific Northwest has dealt a blow to my dreams of viewing this rare opportunity.  Well, I can’t get all depressed or angry about it.

So, this brings me back to the lens I rented.  I didn’t want to leave it sit inside without trying it out.  Let me back up here a bit.  I have lived in the Pacific Northwest for well over 6 years.  I have heard of an interesting gathering of American Bald Eagles at Seabeck, WA.  This last Sunday, I decided to visit this place and see what the all the hubbub was about.  After Sunday (and a torturous long 10 minute car drive…), I can not fathom as to why I never visited this wondrous place before.  Shear insanity for a proclaimed nature photographer.

The location in question is the Big Beef Creek Estuary near Seabeck, WA.  A bridge crosses over this mudflat with ample parking on both sides of the road.  Perfect for a photographer to set up a tripod and his/her longest lens.  Traffic can get heavy at times, but this is mainly due to motorists slowing down to gawk at the multitude of tripods and long lenses – white and black.  When I first saw it, I had thought there was some kayaking or canoeing event in progress.

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Posted in General Photography

Macro Photography

Macrophotography is one of my favorite types of photography to practice.  Landscapes have a special place in my heart too, but getting out and about can be taxing when you have a family with little children.  DuringColor.jpg times of limited time, I will run out in the backyard to photograph small insects, plants or anything else that catches my eye.  Other times, I will setup shop in my house and think of different ways I can make interesting photographs.  Oftentimes, my photographs tend towards capturing water.  Water is such a versatile substance.  You can capture it in motion such as the photograph to the right.  Other times you can use the refractive properties of water droplets and create something quite different.  From oceans to tiny water droplets, your options are endless when it comes to water.

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Posted in Tutorials

Birthday Photos

2011-07-30 at 18-51-07     Every birthday I take photos of my children.  It’s kind of evolved into a little tradition.  This year was no different; well except for the fact that they are one year older from the last “official” session.  I spent some time thinking about where I could do a session.  Being the middle of summer, I knew I wanted a golden backlit photo session. I remembered a nice little trail and park located quite close by that did have a field.  I wasn’t quite sure if it would be suitable but decided to give it a shot.  Boy was I glad I did.

On the way, my wife and I were lamenting the fact that fields are becoming more rare nowadays.  Just last year there was a nice double soccer field within walking distance.  When there were no games in progress, we could go down there and toss a frisbee around or just lounge around.  This year they decided to redo one of the fields and toss astro turf and lights in.  That in of itself is not too bad but then they built a fence around it turning a multipurpose general field into a single use area for a select group of the community.  In the words of Alton Brown, “a unitasker”.  I am not knocking the soccer community at all for this change but I do feel a bit of sadness as we exclude whole communities to cater to a narrow slice.

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Posted in Photo Sessions

Website Overhaul

Edit:  On May 11, 2012, I departed the Navy on terminal leave.  On July 31st I will transfer to inactive reserves and retire.  If you are looking for the CPO Blog and or past galleries please contact me.  I have archived all the past photos and structure…just in case someone would like to take it over for future CPOs.

I should have done this in the beginning.  It was and has always been hard to get information out to people without a good solid central repository.  Well here it is.

For those that are visiting because you have been selected to Chief, congratulations!  I look forward to seeing you around the PACNORWEST here in the coming weeks.  You may not always look forward to seeing me now but I can guarantee you, you will be glad I was there in the future years.  As you progress  through the season, I challenge you to learn as much as you can for this is a rare time where you can actually have the CPO community as a whole in a nice central location.  Once you are inducted keeping your contacts alive and fresh becomes a challenge in of itself.  Those who take the time to keep in touch with the community ultimately are the most successful.  Just a thought as you begin the season.

For the families that are visiting, I welcome you to my humble site.  I hope you enjoy watching your sons and/or daughters tackle the difficult situations and ultimately succeed.  For as they have been selected to Chiefs, failure is never an option.  It is with pride and honor that I am able to document this cherished of traditions for the spouses, fathers, mothers and any other family member who has given support.

I encourage you to check the CPO Induction Blog.  I intend on being frequent with my postings and will offer insights to how I photograph some of the events.  I kick myself for not doing this at an earlier date but better this season then no season.

As a side note, please utilize your login information from the business card you were supplied with to login at both the Induction Blog and the gallery itself.  Thanks.  As always, if you have any questions, please email me directly or utilize the contact form on this site.

Posted in CPO