New Website

My new website went up yesterday. Thanks very much to Nadine Baurin at Creataria. ( It was a great experience to work with Nadine. She took my website plans, trimmed away all of the bad ideas, added her own great thoughts, and delivered a beautiful site. On time. All while preparing for her wedding. I would highly recommend her.

The site went up sometime between late night west coast time and first thing east coast time. And for a while yesterday morning, it seemed that some sort of a big announcement preceded the update. In the space of a couple of hours, I had three calls for three different jobs, two of which were brand new clients and just a coincidence that they came on the same day that my new work went up.

Anyway, if you found this blog without going through the website, please check out



I always intend to write these things immediately ... that is the purpose of a blog, isn't it? But for some reason it takes me until Thursday to get Monday on paper.

Monday was the day that the Miami Seaquarium shoot happened. A tropical wave postponed the shoot for a couple of days last week, and afternoon thunderstorms were still a factor on Monday. But by the time they rolled in, the shoot was over. Young dolphins unaccustomed to divers were more of a factor than the weather. And it was so frustrating to look up from the bottom of the Dolphin Harbor facility, see world class light shafts, realize that an amazing photo was possible, and then watch the dolphins do everything they could to stay out of the photo. I would like to think that in the end persistence paid off, and two or three moments made the shoot a success, but I'm not exactly sure. I got some nice photos, but my dolphin, diver and light shafts could have been truly amazing and wasn't. There may be a chance for a re-shoot.

It was good to work to work with Pete and Cuaks again.


Great Quote

I just finished posting the river stuff, and I lay down on the couch to kill some time with the endless magazines that somehow make their way into our mailbox. I can across some remarkable photos in Wired by Rick Graves. He is shooting NASCAR with a modified Hasselblad which freezes the cars at 200 mph. Anyway, he had a quote that applies equally to freezing fast cars and blurring water and athletes.

"Failure is a necessity and a lot of times, success is luck."


Rivers - British Columbia

Lara and I flew in from Vancouver on Wednesday night. It was a great trip to Whistler to see Dave, Mom and Dad. Everybody came from a long way away for an unfortunately rare, complete Calver reunion.

Lara and I stayed in Dave's cosy apartment and our Whistler days were filled with good food, long walks or runs on the trail, and catching up. We filled his tiny living room with our duffel bags and my camera gear, but it was for me a crowded reminder to use the equipment that I lugged across the country. I always feel that some of my best photos come out of personal trips, and I was looking forward to getting in a river with David.

We scouted the Calchec on Thursday night and returned on Friday to shoot. The river seemed to offer a lot of what we were looking for ... reasonable access for David, reasonable water flow for a swimmer, and reasonably good waves for a kayaker. I was a little worried about the water temperature ... a chilly 5 degrees Celcius. But it turned out that my 5/4/3 with a hooded vest was the right suit. Good thing, because I would have felt cold and dumb with a thicker suit hanging in the closet in Miami!

The water level was such that I could crawl and walk through the river to a cluster of rocks where David could make repeated runs in his kayak. I shot my 20mm in a dome port but had all kinds of problems with water drops. No matter how many times I rubbed spit over the acrylic, the river would throw little drops of water up on the dome, and there they would stick. I really need to find a solution to this problem.

Things were much better when I switched to the 24-70 behind a flat port. Of course, the flat port is much smaller than the dome, but it also got rid of water much much better. It made me really want a flat port for my 16-35 instead of the dome and extension ring that I bought. (I have not been making the most informed gear purchases lately.) I shot the flat port on the opposite side of the river from where we started. There was a big-ish hydrolic that Dave could surf in and I could stand close to. This is where I got the best shots of the afternoon. I tried a mix of slow and fast shutter speeds, and liked the look of the water motion from the slow shutter speed, but liked the recycle times on the strobe better on the fast shutter speed. I had tested these shots a lot in Miami before the trip, but I did notice one big difference in the river. With a
lot of white water and spray, I think it fooled the e-TTL into not putting out as much light. Yes, I should have been shooting on Manual, but that is a lesson learned for the next trip.

Anyway, here are a couple of images from the Calchec river. This was probably the highlight of the trip for me. There is a good feeling that getting into the water produces, and a good feeling to working with your brother. I was happy to combine them.


Morning Swims

The ocean off 79th Street has been calm the last few mornings. Lara have I been swimming either early or late in the day. We swim from one marker-buoy 100 meters off shore, down a few blocks to the next marker-buoy and then back again. The swim takes us along the outside edge of the sandbar and is rarely more than 8 feet deep. Most of the time I can just see rippled sand through my crappy goggles. I doubt that the distance we swim is more than a mile, but it is far enough, both in length and distance offshore, to make me feel like I am doing something.

If we swim our course in the evening, I usually take the morning to shoot some photos of Lara swimming. I just received my new AquaTech housing from Australia and I am eager to work the kinks out before next weeks' Vancouver trip. The system I bought includes a housing for my Canon 1Ds MKII, a dome for the 20mm, a flat port for my 24-70mm, and a housing for the 580 EXII strobe. I bought this splash housing thinking that it would be light and highly swimmable, but ther
e is no getting around the fact that the 1Ds MKII is a big heavy camera. It is a good workout to push the housing and flash through the water and keep up with Lara. But the results have been really encouraging. Second curtain sync on the flash and a lucky hit of light off the mirrored goggles, and you really have an open water swim image. And the following can't be overstated. it is so nice to have a model who gets out of bed at 6:20, dives into 77 degree water and swims in the direction I point. And with only a little grumpiness!


My First Blog

A few months ago I decided that I would start a blog to coincide with my website update. New photos, new design, new features. At the time, many photography related things were in the works, and I pictured everything neatly coming together at one point in time, and my new blog summing it all up. But as is more in keeping with my life's pace, there have been a few delays, a few successes and so far, no website update. I decided that I could either continue to wait, or start the blog. So here it is. water-blogged ... as in a blog about a lot of time in the water.

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