Saturday, September 29, 2012



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Gettin' Excited

I will be back in Papua on the 13th of October...headed back to paradise for a week of diving...I am bringing 21 other people with me this time, and will be teaching an underwater photography workshop....really looking forward to it!!

I just posted this photo on Google Plus, and thought I should share it here too...they are like the Bad Boyz of the reef...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Conversation In Antigua

I was very close to making my new blog public today, but still want to do a couple of things first. I have found a way to re-direct my traffic to this blog to the new one, so one day, when you click on the link to this blog, it will take you to my new blog...this one will probably never be seen again...kinda sad in a way, as I have been with Blogger since 2006...

I think the two people in this photo were both tour guides or something in Antigua based on their name badges hanging around their neck....they were deep in conversation about something...I thought it was a nice place to stand and talk....

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Breakfast Near The Docks

The new blog is coming along...almost done. I have been showing some people to get their opinion, and most seem to like the new version better, but some like this blog better because of the black background....tell you what....I will give you a peek...just be aware that it is not finished yet....most of the links at the top of the page are empty...I am trying to get one done per night, but keep going back to edit what I have written....but I think it is ready for you to take a peek...please let me know what you can comment over there or here...


The address will change once I am finished....I have another site up at that I will take down and replace it with the new blog, so that I can use as my root site...the next step is to move my galleries over to smugmug....will get that done soon, I hope.

By the way, the photo below was edited with Nik's Color Efex Pro 4... With Google purchasing Nik's filters, I thought I better buy it before it might disappear...who knows what Google will do with my favorite plug-ins...I also bought Nik Sharpening 3....I love all of their software, and also own Silver Efex Pro 2, and Viveza which both ROCK...they all ROCK....get them quick, you never know....

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Revisit To That Old VW Bug

I have been driving my little VW beetle around a lot lately. I always get comments on that little car...and whenever I pass another bug on the road, it's like instant bonding with the driver...we both wave and give a thumbs up...not sure other types of cars has that same effect on people.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Family Photos

It was a nice day this past Saturday, and it had been awhile since we took our family photos. I set up the tripod in the back yard, and fired the camera from a remote control....with a 3-year old, it took many shots to get everyone looking good, but I managed to fire off a few good ones...

So, this is my family....Me, Tika, Kayla and Kelly....a family of girls!!

from left to right...Tika, Kelly, Kayla and me...

I love this shot of Kayla, below...

...and this one of Kelly...

Monday, September 17, 2012

New Blog Coming Soon

I have been working every night for the last few nights on my new blog. I finally went with Pro Photo Blogs, and have been most impressed with their customer service. There seems to be an infinite different things I can do to customize my blog...I think I have the color scheme I want, the layout I want, but I am now working on my pages, bio, and other is great fun, though, playing around with all the options. It should be ready for viewing in a couple of days...exciting stuff!!

In the meantime, here is a photo for today's post...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Headed Back To Raja Ampat

I just paid for my plane tickets to Sorong today. When that happens, the trip back to paradise always feels that much closer. This trip, I will be armed with my new Nikon D800 and my new Ikelite housing. The trip is still another month away, but I get so excited before a dive trip. I tried to put together my housing this past weekend so that I could practice in my pool learning the new knobs and controls, but I was confused with the directions on installing the dome, I am waiting for better instructions from the guy I bought the housing from before jumping in the pool. The last thing I want to do is flood my housing the first time in the water.

I don't think I have posted this photo from Raja Ampat before....If I have, I apologize in advance.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Metal Workers

One of the amazing things about this huge sprawling city (Jakarta) is that there are these zones where you can find a million different metal workers on one street, or a million different wood workers, or lines and lines of shops that sell anchors, chains, or motorcycle need your jeans fixed? Well, there is a street somewhere that has lines and lines of people with sewing machines that can fix your jeans.

This shot is from a street that had many of these guys working on metal parts from "something"....maybe boat parts?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Packing Up and Moving My Blog

I have been with blogger now for about four years. It is time for me to move on. I want this blog to do more, and blogger is just not the tool for me anymore to move forward. I am now searching for a good company to help me move the contents of this blog to my other domain of I want to take my current website at that domain down, and replace it with a new custom blog....I will then open an account with SmugMug, and move my portfolio there. I have no idea when the move will happen, but will let you know when it is done. If any of you readers out there can recommend a good designer or company that can build a nice wordpress blog that is unique, please let me know...

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Man In The Window

I have a hard time naming my posts...I am sure there is a better title for this one other than "Man In The Window" is hard to be creative when it comes to the title...I guess writing was never one of my strong suits.

In any case, I took this shot from the canoe as we glided past the back of one of the Bugis Schooners...He was looking inside the boat, so I yelled up to him, "Hey Bapak!!", he then turned to look, and I shot the photo catching a nice smile...

Thursday, September 06, 2012

The Indonesian Squat

Have you ever tried to sit like this? Indonesians do it all the time...and they can sit like that for hours. I tried to do it, but got tired after a couple of minutes, and it was tough to keep my feet flat on the deck.

By the way, what's up with the helmet?

Wednesday, September 05, 2012


Man, I can't get enough of those old wood boats...they are awesome! The colors, the textures, the character. Not many places in the world where you can see these big Bugis's like walking back in time.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Boat Captain

After we walked around the big Bugis Schooners at Sundah Kelapa, we boarded small canoes, and our captain would take us around the backside of the boats, and then to the kampung (village). This guy was our boat captain...

Monday, September 03, 2012

Jakarta Photowalk 2012

We had a pretty good turn-out Saturday for our walk through North Jakarta. A good time was had by all. I will be going back to the same location for the Scott Kelby World Wide Photowalk on the 13th of October. If you are in town, please feel free to sign up for that walk. Here is the link...

By the way, I used my new Nikon D800 for the walk. It felt strange to be shooting a DSLR again, but it was strange in a good way. I had forgotten how much I missed auto focus. I will be writing my impressions of the D800 vs the Leica M9 soon...I want to get a few more shots with the D800 before writing about it. A good friend of mine was kind enough to loan me his 24-70mm lens. It is a BEAST of a lens, but a really nice one. I sure felt the difference shooting with this big lens vs shooting with the tiny Leica 35mm lens...I'll post a few of my shots from Saturday this week, so stay tuned....

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Different Mood

I was playing around tonight with my China photos from last Christmas. I really like this photo, and have come up with three different versions....the bottom two are the ones I posted before, and the top photo is my newest version...which one do you like best?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Colorful Alleys of Antigua

I couldn't get enough of the textures and colors in Antigua. It was like being a kid surrounded by chocolate at every turn. My buddies thought I was nuts taking photos of all these walls, doors and shop fronts...but I couldn't control myself....

Monday, August 27, 2012

Black n White Tornado

I have posted the color version of this photo before, but was playing around with Nik's Silver Efex Pro 2, and came up with this version...I think it looks really cool.

I received my Nikon D800 today, but I don't have a memory card(s) for it yet, so can't use it....gotta get on that!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Walk On The Tracks

We were told before going down to the tracks to take photos, that the area was not really a "good area", and that the people were a bit dangerous...but we went anyway, and although the people were not as friendly as in other parts of the city, we had no problems and were still greeted by the big Indonesian smiles we are always used to seeing....this guy, on the other hand, looked deep in thought as he walked down the tracks...he did give us a big smile after I took his photo, though...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Back Side of That Old VW

Here is another view of that rusted VW we found near the airport the other day. Amazing how nature takes over, heh?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The 2012 Scott Kelby World Wide Photowalk

It's official, I will be leading a Photowalk in Jakarta for the Scott Kelby World Wide Photowalk on October 13th. I will be doing the walk in the morning, and then leave for Papua the same night for my dive trip in Raja Ampat.

If you are in the area, I would love for you to join can sign up for my walk HERE

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Urban Decay

As a photographer, I have always liked graffiti. Today, I took my daughter out for some photo hunting. We found a great spot to wander around and take old abandoned house, we think, that was taken over by graffiti artists. Kayla took my old Nikon, I had the Leica, and we walked around having a blast taking photos of each other and the graffiti.

Back to work tomorrow...the fun always has to end...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Old VW Bug

My buddy called me, and said, "Hey Scotty...the other day I spotted this old VW Bug in a field near the airport...lets go out and photograph it". With the traffic almost non-existent, we decided today or never. What a great little find...I guess this is where little VW bugs go to die. I own a '66 VW that I drive to work every day, so in a way, it was kind of sad to see this poor guy lying in a field with vines and grass over taking its shell...but sure makes for good pictures!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Five Day Weekend...Woo Hoo!

Tomorrow is Indonesia's Independence Day, and Sunday is Idul Fitri. It is not often that the two occur on the same weekend. So, I have tomorrow off from work, and also Monday and Tuesday. We were thinking of going somewhere, but it is actually one of the best times to be in Jakarta. 


Seriously, the city does not seem so large during this time. I can actually reach places in minutes when on a regular day in Jakarta, it would take hours. I will enjoy it while I can. Soon after Idul Fitri, the people start returning from their village bringing along with them cousins, brothers, sisters, etc...the population of Jakarta increases which means the traffic gets even worse.

Oh yea....yesterday's post....which photos did I choose to enter? I chose number 4 and number 8. My reasoning was this...people love clown fish, and that photo would probably receive a bunch of for the Sweet Lips...well, many people associate Raja Ampat with large schools of Sweet even if they were not my favorite photos, I think they will get the most votes...wish me luck!! The winner is chosen on Sept. 20th....but I don't even know if my photos will make the cut to the final few for voting...we shall see.

I can't remember if I have posted the photo below before or not. I had to kayak out to this sand bar to take this self-portrait. The current was raging between the island and the sand bar, so it was not an easy trip...and it was really HOT!! I set up my tripod, and then would run to the kayak to pose...doing this about 6 times worked up a heavy sweat....the things we do for a photo!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Raja Ampat Entrance Tag Contest

I just entered a contest for the new 2013 Entrance Tag for Raja Ampat.  All divers are required to purchase one of these tags when diving in Raja Ampat. The tag is 5cm in diameter and is attached to the diver's BC (Buoyancy Compensator). It would be pretty cool if one of my photos was on the tag, and that is what the contest is all about.

The problem I had was choosing which photo to submit. The rules stated that I could only enter TWO photographs or graphic designs, and I had narrowed my photos down to EIGHT (pictured below). Can you guess which two I chose to submit??

These were the eight that I had to narrow down to TWO...which two do you think I chose in the end?

Below are the actual tags from previous years...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

No Texture Needed

I didn't add any textures to this photo, but this would be the type of wall where I would get up close and take a photo for a texture to use in other photos. This would be a good archaeology many coats of different paint were used on this wall, and how many years separated each coat of paint?....scientists in years to come will be studying this wall...ha ha....

Monday, August 13, 2012

Living On The Tracks

It has been a while since I played with some textures. This is my newest creation. It looks somewhat like a collage of photos, but believe it or not, those people live literally next (within inches) to the tracks.They casually sit while big trains go whipping by them every 10 minutes or so.

I used four different textures in this photo....masked some areas, and played with the order of the layers and the opacity of each layer...isn't digital photography fun??

Friday, August 10, 2012

Another Guatemala Portrait...A Tutorial

I did some work on this photo. I love the result. I will tell you what I did as I think it will help you enhance your portraits...the original is the bottom photo.

*Note: You might think I am "faking it", and I am...the finished image is really nothing like the original...but isn't that what we do as artists? We fake it? Sure is fun to play...

1. The original photo, as you can see, was cropped big time. With an 18mp camera, I have that luxury...after cropping, I still had a 10mp image...plenty big enough for a nice sized print. I usually don't crop this fact, I try to get the composition correct in camera the best I can. However, in this situation, I didn't want to get right in this guy's face to take his photo. I asked him if I could take his photo, and he let me, but I kept my distance so I could get a more natural expression on his face. I find that once you get permission to take a photo, and you get close, they start to "pose", and no longer look, I backed off with my 35mm lens knowing that when I got home I could crop closer for a nice portrait...but it is not really a good idea to make this a habit...try to get it right in the camera.

I also cropped using the "rule of thirds" for a more pleasing composition. Took out the blue on the left as well.

2. After cropping, I liked the contrasting colors in the background, but thought it lacked, I went to my collection of textures (I have around 300 or so now), and added two textures. Changed the blend mode of those two layers to overlay, and masked out the textures on the man and the ground.

3. I then saved the image, and went back to LightRoom. I added a vignette to darken the corners a bit, darkened the shadows, and increased the saturation just a have to be careful increasing the saturation as you don't want to turn the skin tones to something that looks un-natural.

4. I reopened the image in Photoshop, and applied Unsharp Mask at around 150%. Then masked the entire sharpening out, and painted in the man's face, hat and clothes, then reduced the opacity slightly. If you are going to post your images on the web or print them for your wall, you must over sharpen...they won't look very nice on your monitor, but the web and printing will soften the image.

Have a great Weekend!! See you back here on Monday!!

The finished image...

The original photo...

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Guatemala Man

This guy just screamed character...his clothes, his hat, his smile...he should be the Guatemala Poster Guy.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Need A Clay Pot?

There were so many pots on the ground, I didn't know how you could pay for one....what do you do? Throw your cash across the pots to the three guys sitting in their chairs? What if you wanted a pot in the middle of the pile? Would be tough to reach it....

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Busy At The Market

You think of your own job, and the routine you follow every day...that is what I was thinking when I saw this market...I was wondering what their routine was every day...grab some flowers at 3:00 in the morning, dress in your most colorful outfit, bundle up all your stuff, and head to the market...gotta get there early to get the best spot on the sure to have small money for change....

I wonder if they take a break for lunch...and if they do, who watches over their flowers and fruit? Maybe the same women sit in the same spots day after day...I wonder if their is a pecking order for the best spots? Ah, the questions of life...

Monday, August 06, 2012


Sorry about no post last Friday. I am back to work hoo...vacation over. It's now back to the routine.

Continuing with my Guatemala photos...this was at Chi Chi Market where everyone and their sister were all trying to sell me a blanket...the last thing I need in tropical Indonesia, but the colors are sure nice!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Exchange of Smiles

Through out all my travels, I have found that people are basically the same everywhere. We have different cultures, like different foods, have different ways to make money, but when it comes to providing for your family, emotions, laughing and looking for fun...we are all the same. So evident in this photograph...

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Walking In Antigua

My buddies and I taking a walk in Antigua. I had to photoshop myself into the there was nobody around to take our bout dem textures, heh?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Basket of Corn

Not sure why this basket of corn is sitting in front of the door...but it was the colors and simplicity that attracted me to this little scene.

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Surreal Look At Lake Atitlan

Pretty surreal, heh? This is an HDR made from a single RAW file...the Leica files have so much dynamic range, it makes it quite simple to create an HDR from a single file.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Rock Never Touched by Humans

I wonder how many thousands of years this rock has been sitting here in the middle of this river? Just past this rock is the entrance to a cave where the river disappears for 300 or so meters underground...we were told no one has ever entered the cave and lived to tell about it...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Street Artist

I always wished I could paint...I think it would be a nice hobby to just sit in some tranquil spot, and paint a scene. I guess photography comes as close to that as I can get...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

In My Element

That be me standing next to some great my element. If you are into textures, colors and cool doors, then Antigua is the place for you...

Friday, July 20, 2012

Chi Chi Market

I have always really liked market scenes...always full of colors and interesting people. Chi Chi Market in Guatemala was certainly no exception. Every time I look at this photo, I see something new...your eyes can explore forever.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

High Walls of Antigua

We really enjoyed Antigua...we liked it so much, we decided to stay there for two more days at the end of our trip. You could explore this town for weeks, and still find some hidden treasures behind its walls. But it was the walls themselves that really inspired me...just full of colors and textures.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cahabon River

This was one of my favorite spots we visited in Guatemala. We had to take FWD vehicles to get to this spot in the mountains...the journey was almost as fun as the destination. The river is raging, and falls underground (just beyond this photo) for about 300 meters. On top, there are these series of pools that you can swim in (bottom photo) the far side of the pools, you can see the river re-emerge from underneath....a truly amazing spot in nature.

This was not an easy shot to get. I had to walk out onto a ledge that hung over the wrong move, and I am dead...just beneath me the river goes underground, and I was told that no one had ever made it out alive if you fell in...that will certainly get your attention. I had to take five exposures because of the wide dynamic range. If I didn't shoot this as an HDR, you would not see any detail under the took me some time to post process this shot, but I like the way it came out.

The above photo was taken at the far left of the pools below...

These are a couple of the pools people were swimming in...the river rages below these pools...