Seascapes to Seashores

For the month of March, the City of Santa Clarita has an exhibit on the First Floor Gallery of City Hall called "Seascapes to Seashores". This exhibit is presented as an extension of the Santa Clarita Public Library reading program of the book In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Phillbrick.

If you are in the area, check out the many talented artists that have art in the exhibit. I am so excited to see my image Antarctic Sunset printed on metal for the first time. Below is a photo of me standing next to the 12 x 18 metal image. If you are interested in having this image of an Antarctic sunset in your home, you can order it here. Thanks to fellow exhibitor and Antarctic traveler Joel Bareng for taking this photo.

The exhibit ends March 31, 2015.

Watching the Whales

Living near the coast of Southern California has several perks, one of which is the ability to see whales swim along in the ocean. I have always had an appreciation for these amazing creatures, and being able to see Humpback whales while on vacations in Hawaii always fascinated me. It isn't until the past few years that I have taken the opportunity to see whales off of my very own coast through whale watching trips. The tours aren't always successful, it depends upon the time of the season as they move up or down the coast.

Last week was definitely a successful whale watching trip. Leaving from Ventura, CA, my small boat of ocean tourist were treated to seeing approximately nine whales as they made their voyage in the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, we saw dolphins, sea gulls and egrets.

World Whale Day

February 14 celebrates World Whale Day in Maui to raise awareness of these magnificent creatures. It has been a while since I have seen the majestic Humpback whales in Maui, but I was able to spot Humpbacks in the Southern Hemisphere last summer.

Humpback whales in Dallmann Bay, Antarctica

Being among these whales was magnificent- there were so many spouting and diving around our ship, it was hard to keep up with clicking the shutter.

This was the last day my group was in the Antarctic. I like to think that this was our grand send off - at least until next time!

Love is in the store!

Ahhh February. Starting right after Christmas, images of red and pink hearts, cupids and chocolates inundate our senses (no matter how hard we try to avoid them).

For whatever it's worth, February is known for a day that celebrates love. I decided to celebrate Valentine's a little early by adding some images I have captured through my lens of love in the animal kingdom to my online store - namely penguins, seals and deer. These images are now available as prints, framed prints and on metal.

King Penguin Couple was taken in South Georgia Island. watching the King Penguins couple up was a treat - especially seeing how the males would whack each other with their flippers in their pursuit of a charming female penguin.

A Mother's Kiss is a moment caught in Big Sur, California. While walking along a trail, I spotted this mother and her fawn. While quietly watching them for a few moments, they shared this sweet moment.

Sealed with a Kiss is another image of motherly love. I could watch wildlife, and seals especially, for hours. Visiting a beach in La Jolla, California known for its Harbor seals, I was able to see this mother seal teach her days old pup to swim.


Port Lockroy

Penguin Post Office, a Nature production about the Gentoo penguins of Port Lockroy, Antarctica, airs on PBS in the USA this evening. I am especially excited to see this documentary (having waited over a year for it) because I was in Port Lockroy, while the crew was filming last Antarctic summer. Check your local listings - it should be fun to see the daily lives of these penguins.

How I wish I could be back on Port Lockroy, and really savor each moment. Because of timing issues with being on a guided tour on Quark Expeditions, I felt pretty rushed to get through the gift shop (yes, I needed to buy souvenirs on the continent), take in the museum, write and mail post cards from...the post office...and savor all of the Gentoo penguins that reside there, all while trying to capture the experience with my lens -- the opportunity to just take my time had to give.

In the spirit of Penguin Post Office airing tonight, here are some photos taken last year from Port Lockroy --  on January 1, 2014, to be exact.

A Gentoo penguin gets its close up with the film crew of Penguin Post Office

Passengers from Quark Expeditions Sea Spirit arrive at Port Lockroy

One of the few buildings at Port Lockroy.

Thanks to Lisa Kim and Joel Bareng for this photo of me.

Thanks to Lisa Kim and Joel Bareng for this photo of me.

I left my my mark on new Year's Day in the Port Lockroy guest book.

Of course I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to even be here. Make sure to check your local listing and set your DVR, and please let me know what you think of the show in the comments.

Elephant Seal Snuggle

Last year, I was able to travel to the Antarctic region - an amazing and unforgettable experience. One moment stood out to me, and luckily I was able to catch all three minutes of it on my GoPro camera.

While in Gold Harbour on South Georgia Island, a juvenile elephant seal lumbered up to me (and others) looking for affection. This was a wonderful moment that I am lucky to have experienced and am honored to share with you. Please enjoy!

This particular day was the day after Christmas, and was an amazing gift.

Welcoming 2015

It is late on January 1, 2015 and I cannot help but think I was last year at this time, and how my 2014 started.

You see, my 2014 started with a Polar Plunge in Antarctic waters.

Polar Plunge in Antarctica
January 1, 2014
Photo: Pam Le Noury, Quark Expeditions

While this New Year's Day was much different, namely in that I was pretty cozy all day and the closest I got to cold water was drinking it out of a glass, I am so happy that I have this memory to cherish.

While I know that the way to move forward is not to look back, I cannot help but look back on how 2014 started. My trip to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island and Antarctica has occupied my mind since I got back last January and has changed my perspective of the world we live in. This is a place that I have fallen in love with and want to share as much as possible in order to raise awareness of the importance of the polar regions.

I am still in the goal planning phase for 2015. I had some great experiences in 2014, and am planning some great things for my photography in 2015.

An Evening of Art & Wine

Last weekend, Two Elephants in Granada Hills hosted An Evening of Art & Wine featuring my photography in one central location. Needless to say, this was a really exciting event for me, and I was so happy to see so many people that have been supportive of my work in one place. I was completely overwhelmed with gratitude for the supporters that were there and the fact that I got to share my photography with so many.

Seeing my images as prints, all in one central location, was really special. There is something about making an image that is special, and then to be able to hold physically hold it is pretty amazing. Being able to share those in person was a great feeling, as was when people started purchasing them to bring them home with them.

I have been at photography for quite a few years now. I am still learning, as we all are, and there have been so many of you that have been along with me from the very beginning of this journey. Thank you to everyone who has come along with me on this journey at any phase - stick with me, I feel we have a long road to travel.

Thank you to all who came out to the event last Saturday!

Book Review: How to Feed a Starving Artist

Written by David duChemin, a photographer, adventurer, and former comedian, who went from struggling artist to reluctant bankruptee before getting his finances in order, this is a book about simple financial possibilities available to artists and other creatives. Like A Beautiful Anarchy, the book before this one, this is an honest book about freedom. It promises no get-rich-quick solutions, just sound wisdom and actionable ideas to help you change the way you think and act in relationship to your money. It’s a starting place for people who want the freedom, not to be rich, but to live their dreams and fill their days with the art and adventure they long for.
— Craft & Vision

The latest book from David Duchemin is yet another home run for the creative entrepreneur. In How to Feed A Starving Artist, the complement to A Beautiful Anarchy, David writes about the things that are necessary to the creative vision, and this latest book explores how a big part of this is the management of money. Some of the things that he writes about make you squirm, and he asks tough questions, but those conversations and questions have to take place - literally- to feed the starving artist.

David writes from the perspective of an ever evolving student of money - about  spending less, saving, investing, and making money - in just a way to get your own wheels spinning about the possibilities for you to do all of those things creatively. He tells how he does those things and why money has value to him - to allow him to do the things that he loves to do. This open and heartfelt conversation offers great insight into David and his business.

David tells his own story openly and honestly- from his own relationship with money and the lessons he learned in bankruptcy to how he successfully runs Craft & Vision from a business perspective.

Not only does he tell his story, but he interviews others in their respective fields to share their own relationship with money, and to offer tips and great different perspectives. From his own manager to a CPA for creatives to a comedy performer, David covers quite a lot of territory- and makes it enjoyable to read. This book is not a dry financial summary, but an open and honest conversation about what creatives need to look at in order to feed themselves and their families.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who is making, or thinking of making, any type of living from a creative life. It is well worth the read.

Photoshop World Posts

Photoshop World was just last week (yikes!). I have compiled all of the posts from that week in case you missed any, want to catch up, or are thinking about attending next year and are wondering what it is all about. Use code PSWCJ14 to save $50 on PSW 2015.

And the winner is...

Last month, I sent out a survey of images as a special edition of my newsletter, for subscribers only to vote on their favorite image. The winning image will be a special edition print for sale at An Evening of Art & Wine at Two Elephants in Granada Hills, CA.

I was overwhelmed with the response of my subscribers. Thank you to all who voted! By voting, you were entered into the drawing for a signed 8 x 10 print of your favorite image.

The winner of the drawing is: Lee Herbert!

Congratulations Lee! You have been contacted by email - so be sure to let me know which print you'd like!

As for the image - it was close! For a few days, it looked like there might be a tie - but one image held steady and true throughout the voting process. I am pleased to announce that  Inside was the winning image:

This image was created in Mammoth, CA a few summers ago. I loved the way that the hollowed tree trunk framed the tall tree and the vibrant sky. Using the flash (on my camera- yikes) I lit up the inside of the tree so that I could see the detail of the inside of the trunk- which isn't a view that we are used to seeing.

This print will be available for purchase as a special edition on October 4, 2014. If you are in the area, stop by and say hi. You can grab a glass of wine, and support a great local business.

If you are currently not subscribed to the newsletter and would like to be included in the latest news, I have conveniently added a sign up form below:

Photoshop World 2014 Recap

Wow, what a week. I anticipated it for so long, and it is hard to believe that the week flew by that quickly! Doesn't it always?

I had the honor to be able to blog for Kelby One for the event - which was a ton of fun because I got to work with Stephen Bell and Ajna Adams at Kelby Media Group, and had the fortune of blogging with Kevin Stohlmeyer, who had some great insight and photos  throughout the conference.

Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to put this event together. This was a great conference and is a huge amount of work to be able to coordinate attendees, instructors, classes, conference apps, signups and vendors. Running the classes in a timely manner and setting up for the instructors is always a huge task, but everything went smoothly to the attendees' eyes.

When I look back at the week, there are so many highlights, it's hard to choose one. So here are my top 10 moments:

  • My absolute favorite part of every PSW is being able to share the conference with my dad. As I have mentioned before, he was always supportive of my photography learning as a kid, and once I got into it as an adult, it turned into something we were able to do together. Because of him, I was introduced to the world of Photoshop, Lightroom, Scott Kelby and the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP- now Kelby One), through him, and it makes me happy to be able to share this with him. Why we rarely seem to get a picture together at this event, I'll never know.
  • Before the week even really started, I was walking down the hall of rooms at the Mandalay Bay (the host hotel) and ran into than none other than Bert Monroy  (who I had also admired before I knew about Photoshop all of those years ago because of my dad). He was so very nice and humble- just a great guy. Later that evening at the Photoshop World kickoff party hosted by the Las Vegas Adober User Group , Bert celebrated his birthday with all of us there. It was just cool and really set the tone for the week to come.
  • I felt a sense of pride when my very talented friend Patrick LaMontagne won the Guru Award for Best in Show with his digital painting "One in Every Family". I became familiar with his work before PSW a few years ago, and befriended him during the conference one year. Since then, I have enjoyed watching his work, and seeing Patrick get recognized with the highest honor was a pretty cool moment.
Patrick LaMontagne next to his award winning work.

Patrick LaMontagne next to his award winning work.

  • Seeing my friends Scott Valentine, Kevin Stohlmeyer, Patrick LaMontagne and Jake Peterson present on the Expo floor. I have talented friends and it is so great to see crowds of people (myself included) learning tips and tricks from them. I even won Scott Valentine's book (and had it autographed) at the PSW kickoff party. No- it wasn't fixed! I won it fair and square!
  • Learning from and meeting some of the best in the photography industry was a pretty great experience. Being able to sit in a room with Moose Peterson, Julieanne Kost, Peter Hurley, Matt Kloskowski and Joe McNally (just to name a few) makes this conference well worth it.
  • Making new friends, just by happening to stand or sit next to them is pretty fun. Everyone at Photoshop world has at least one thing in common: passion for creating images. Two friends that I made this week were Guru Award finalists and/or winners: Rocky Montez-Carr and Christine Pentecost It is a huge honor to even be a finalist, so I am proud to call such talented people friends. I was also able to meet social media friends in person - which was so fun! I think I shocked the daylights out of James Gordon Patterson  during Moose Peterson's class - but it was such a fun experience!
  • Catching up with old friends that I only see each year at Photoshop World. Because of social media, I am able to keep up with them on a regular basis, but being able to chat with them in person is much more fun.
  • It is just impossible to attend PSW and not run into inspiration around every corner. Whether it's learning from instructors, seeing amazing images during presentations, learning new tips or just meeting other talented people, you leave with creative ideas bouncing around in your head.
  • The Art of Photography panel is a huge highlight every year. Being in the room with such creative and inspirational individuals as they show images  from their career is a pretty great experience. You can read my recap of it here.
  • Looking forward to the next Photoshop World. By the end of PSW, my brain is fried, my feet hurt, and a good rest in my own bed is needed. But I look back on the week and all of these amazing moments, and I look forward to next year!

Thank you all for reading my posts here and on social media throughout the week. I look forward to Photoshop World in August 2015!

Photoshop World Day 3 Recap

The third day of Photoshop World is always bittersweet. It's the last day and your body is over being abused by the running around from your room to the conference, running to classes that are at opposite ends, scouring the huge conference Expo, and standing/sitting for hours at a time. Your brain is overloaded with things you have learned, ideas for your personal creative expression, and the names of the new friends you have made and will run into again. Thank goodness there isn't a test at the end of this thing.

Knowing all of this, day 3 was just packed. I had planned on sleeping in, as I was already tired, and had a long day that ended with a long drive across the desert home to Los Angeles. However, I was invited to a breakfast for the readers of Photofocus  by none other than Robert Vanelli, one of the great personalities of PSW. How could I say no to Vanelli?

Going to this breakfast was great- I was able to chat with other readers, as well as publisher of the site Richard Harrington. Perhaps a highlight of that breakfast was meeting and chatting with photographers Nicole Young and Brian Matiash. I have been following Nicole on her blog and social media for years, and have always missed her at Photoshop Worlds past. Ditto for Brian - I ended up sitting next to them at breakfast and even got a selfie with Nicole, taken by Nicole. Where other than PSW can this happen?

Nicole S. Young and I, taken by Nicole.

Nicole S. Young and I, taken by Nicole.

And then of course after a nice leisurely breakfast, it was time to squeeze everything I hadn't done or still needed to do. Between sessions I wanted to see, visiting the Expo floor, demos on the Expo floor, and everything else, there was plenty to keep me busy until the closing ceremony that capped off the event in the afternoon.

My first order of business was to collect my camera that had gone in for a free cleaning by Canon Professional Services. I was also able to get an image printed on a Canon Pixma Pro 1 printer free of cost. These are just two more opportunities provided by PSW to attendees.

Canon Pixma Pro 1 printer printer printing my image 'Golden Flower"

Canon Pixma Pro 1 printer printer printing my image 'Golden Flower"

Out on the Expo floor, free demos were taking place at several booths. One such demo at the Wacom booth was Kevin Stohlmeyer's PSW composite found here .

Kevin Stohlmeyer demos his PSW composite at the Wacom booth.

Kevin Stohlmeyer demos his PSW composite at the Wacom booth.

Adobe booth at the Expo floor.

Adobe booth at the Expo floor.

After squeezing in all of that, it was time for the final event- the Wrap Up Rally. This is always bittersweet- you know that it's ending, but you are having such a great time and still learning.At this final event, videos of the previous days are shown, instructors take the stage one more time, and prizes are given away.

There were a few new instructors who spoke at the final event this year after Larry Becker  opened up the event. Tim Wallace, Roberto Valenzuela (who brought the house down)  and Lindsay Adler all spoke about different lessons they have learned in their career. PSW world regular Moose Peterson wow'ed with some of his photography of war birds and the men who flew them, which will be a Kelby One special on September 12 - you can find out more about it here.

Scott Kelby is always last to take the stage to thank everyone for another great Photoshop World. And it was!

Until Photoshop World August 2015!