I’ve now been retired from Merck for seven years. I worked at Merck in Rahway, New Jersey; Boulder, Colorado; and West Point, Pennsylvania for over 27 years. In the seven years since retiring I have visited six continents, 43 different countries (several more than once) and 44 states. I have been at sea for over nine months (four Semester at Sea Spring Enrichment Voyages; three Semester at Sea Semester Voyages (Spring, Summer, Fall); and two Hurtigruten voyages (one in Norway, and one to Antarctica). I returned to Argentina and Chile for a photography trip with Thom Hogan, and did two Iceland photography safari’s (one summer, one winter) with Mike Hagen. More recently, I attended photography workshops with Steve Simon in Cuba, Japan, and Portugal. Last summer, I visited Germany with my Brother and Parents. During this time I have taken over 1.6MM images. Not all of the images have made it into my posts yet… When at home, I’ve completed several renovation projects including a new roof, solar panels and a Geothermal HVAC system (replacing an oil-fired furnace and water heater, and an electric central AC system). With the solar panels and elimination of the oil furnace I am essentially carbon neutral since the Geothermal system requires less energy to heat and cool the house. I’ve also planted several wildflower meadows in the yard that are attracting birds, bees, and butterflies. I did have two down periods due to Lyme disease which slowed me down the end of 2016 and 2017. Now trying to decide on my next trip.
Gone to See Hawaii. Big Island Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 1: Kailua Kona.
Ten years ago, I arrived in Hawaii to attend a photography workshop with Thom Hogan. It was hard to believe the day before I was in Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge in northern Colorado. At that time, I had only been taking pictures with a DSLR camera for just over one year. Soon after getting the camera, I found Thom’s web site which became a very helpful resource as I was learning to use the camera (much more useful than the Nikon manual provided with the camera). I purchased his guides for the D200 (and subsequently the guides for all of the new Nikon cameras I have used. These guides are by far the best resource for understanding the capabilities of the Nikon digital cameras. I saw a note in Thom’s web site that there was a late opening for his Hawaii workshop over Thanksgiving week. I signed up right away since I knew that there was a lot more that I needed to learn to become a better photographer. The first evening in Hawaii, we went down to the beach for sunset. I took these two pictures of boats with the sun setting behind them. Little did I know, it would become a contest between some friends on a Semester at Sea voyage to get images of boats or ships in front of the setting sun.
Gone to See Patagonia 2015 Photography Tour with Thom Hogan. Day 2: Calafate to Helsingfors, Argentina
Early Morning Clouds in Patagonia. View from outside the Kau Yatun hotel before leaving for Helsingfors. Image taken with a Fuji X-T1 camera and 23 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 400, 23 mm, f/8, 1/30 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro, Focus Magic, and Photoshop CC.
There is something special about the clouds in Patagonia. The wind coming over the mountains forms the lenticular clouds with their unique shapes. Also the sun coming over the mountains lights up the clouds with sometimes intense and unique colors.
Gone to See Hawaii. Big Island Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 6: Kona.
Five years ago I completed a photography workshop on the Big Island of Hawaii with Thom Hogan. While on the way to the airport to catch our return flights, we stopped at Lighthaus Camera. Coincidentally, it was “Black Friday” and everything was on sale. We noticed that the store just received their initial shipment of the newly released Nikon D300 camera. Three or four of the workshop participants purchased the cameras on the spot. I have to admit that mine was an impulse purchase. Over the next four years, I took nearly 55K images with the camera (2007: 3164 images; 2008: 20371 images; 2009: 29355 images; 2010: 919 images; 2011: 628 images). This was my last Nikon DX sensor camera. Since then all of my Nikon DSLR cameras had full frame FX sensors.
The last shooting location for the workshop on that day was at Hawaii Tropical Gardens. I reprocessed an image Onomea Water Falls using Nik Silver Efex Pro.
Photography: Working on 10,000 hours to become an expert.
In 2006 on my “Gone to See America” road trip I took my first DSLR (a Nikon D200, recommended by my brother Erik). I got the camera a few days before the trip, and by the end of the trip knew that there was a lot I needed to learn. One of the resources I found on the Internet was Thom Hogan and his Nikon Camera Guides. His D200 Guide really helped me get my head around all of the options, features, and controls on the camera — much more than the Nikon supplied manual. The following year while working part-time in Boulder I saw that Thom had a late opening for his Hawaii workshop. I signed up right away. By the end of the workshop, I was hooked on digital photography. I not only learned a lot, but realized that I needed to practice every day in order to get better. This goes along with my belief that you always need to take on new challenges and learn something new. Thom and others have commented that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at a subject. I am still working on those 10,000 hours.