Menu Close

Welcome!

Welcome to my blog! In this blog I hope to talk about some of my photos. Why I did what I did and my thought process while taking and processing the image. Along the way I’ll discuss photography techniques and processes, do some gear reviews, make some recommendations on a variety of topics and talk about whatever else captures my fancy. I hope you’ll join me on this journey and I welcome your comments and …

Dad At 93

My dad, James E. Schaffner, Sr., passed away at age 100 last August. I came across a photo of dad at 93 the other day that is one of my favorites. So, I thought sharing this photo and a little about him would be a good way to honor his memory. Dad died of old age and not of Covid. But I can’t say he didn’t suffer from Covid. This suffering, thankfully, wasn’t physical. It …
seeing in black and white quilters

Seeing In Black And White

As one who really enjoys black and white photography, I admit I get frustrated when someone suggests that you “try black and white, maybe that can rescue the color photo”. This treats black and white as an add-on or afterthought to color photography. For me, black and white should be made with deliberate intent to take you to a destination different from color. This deliberate intent all starts with seeing the scene in black and …

Smith Street

Smith Street is home to iconic Houston architecture. These two glass and steel towers have become landmarks with their reflections of the Houston skyline. Although similar in design they each have their unique characteristics. These buildings are now the home for Chevron Corporation’s Houston operations. But it was the former tenant that brought these building wide national attention. The Enron accounting fraud scandal attracted a lot of news cameras, all coming to Smith Street to …
stop interesting

Stop Making Interesting Photos!

“Interesting” may be the most over-used word in photography. How often have you heard something along the lines of “I saw this and it looked interesting so I decided to photograph it.”? And then you look at the photo and wonder, “What am I supposed to be looking at?”  It’s like we’re being forced to play “Where’s Waldo?“ If you ask about what they found “interesting” they mumble that it caught their attention. …
old cemeteries urria

Old Cemeteries – Gardens of Stone

I love old cemeteries. Amidst all the sadness they represent, there is also a sense of peace and solitude. They’re rich in history and tell wonderful and amazing stories. I especially love the way the memorials, both grand and insignificant, display the emotions of loss and grief in such beautiful ways. I guess this classifies me as a taphophile but to appropriate General Patton’s remark I can only say, “God help me, I do love …

Eliminate Halos – They Belong On Saints, Not In Photos

A halo was originally defined as a bright circle around the head of a person that signifies holiness. That’s great for saints but not for photos. Assuming you haven’t photographed a saint, halos are “unholy” in photos. They’re flaws. They don’t belong and we need to eliminate halos from our photos. Halos appear as a thin line along the border of objects. The line is usually white or light gray but can be other colors …
machine falls

Machine Falls – A Tale Of Two Photos

Back in the old days (meaning pre-Covid) my wife and I visited Nashville, Tennessee over a long 4th of July holiday weekend. Nashville is a great city with lots to see and do. The surrounding area is beautiful with forested hills and valleys; so different from the Houston, Texas area where I live. We wanted to get out and see the countryside and decided to take a short (by Texas standards) 1½ hour drive to …
camera and nd filter math

Camera And ND Filter Math

Neutral density (ND) filters are used extensively in making long exposure photos. They create wonderful images with smooth water and streaky clouds in the sky. However, you might need to do some camera and ND filter math when using them. It’s not overly difficult but can be cumbersome when trying to set up gear while figuring out the settings. We’ve all heard of the exposure triangle where we balance our desired setting of shutter speed, …
slow down

Slow Down – “Speed Kills”

While I may not always succeed in creating great photos one of my objectives is to try to make every photo a great one. I believe that the difference between a great photo and a merely good photo is in the details. It’s doing all the little things right. It’s putting in the extra effort rather than settling for “good enough”. I challenge myself to make sure I do everything I’m capable of to create …
error

Enjoying this blog? Please spread the word :)