Karl Blau at Kennelly Keys

Karl Blau played a solo acoustic set last night at Kennelly Keys Music in Anacortes.  It was vintage Karl, making jokes about tuning by ear, and sudden screams into the microphone.  I’d been waiting to get some good pictures of him for a while.


Morning on the Coupeville Wharf 3/16/18

It was a beautiful morning on Friday, March 16th.  I took a walk along the wharf in Coupeville, WA.  At the end of the wharf is a “whale bell”.  Bystanders who spot an orca or gray whale are instructed to ring the bell under the Native American carving.

The water was still and the shadows and light on the bell and wooden art were compelling.  Taken with my LG Electronics G5 phone camera.

New on Skagit Art Music

Check out our latest post on Skagit Art Music! Writer Mark Perschbacher and I took in a 4-band show at Kennelly Keys last month.  A very diverse and talented set of musicians and songwriters.  Photography by yours truly.

Photo: Lizzie Weber performs on acoustic guitar.


Smartphones vs. Cameras Part 2:

The case for using a camera instead of your phone

This post is a follow up to my article Smartphones vs. Cameras: Part 1.  Check that out for the reasons why smartphone cameras are so successful.

In this post (and a series of follow-up posts!), I’m going to explain the limitations of smart phone cameras and why you might want to invest in a standalone camera.

What’s in a camera?

As I began this piece, I realized that some of my audience might need and want a refresher on the key components of a camera.  These assemblies are small on a smartphone, but they exist and are just as important as on a standalone camera.

Any digital camera system on the market today (including your phone) contains the following subsystems:

  • Lens
  • Sensor
  • Viewfinder or live preview screen
  • An assortment of controls and menus
  • Wired and/or wireless connection options
  • Battery
  • Storage

To compare your smartphone camera to a traditional camera, we need to look at each of these components in turn.

Budget and Photography Style

Please don’t read this article assuming that I know anything about your needs as a photographer.  That’s only for you to decide.

The key parameters of any decision to invest in a camera system are

  1. What’s your budget, including accessories?
  2. What kind of pictures do you take?
  3. What do you want to do with the pictures you do take?

Regardless of your answers to these 3 questions, I think the next series of posts will be useful.

Camera Types

As you begin investigating traditional cameras, you will run across category names that define budget and feature combinations.

  • Point and Shoot: Usually the least expensive category of camera, these are designed for simplicity and portability – much like your smart phone!  This market segment suffers the most from phone camera competition.
  • Bridge: This is a higher end amateur camera with a very flexible zoom lens, built into the camera, and better controls and image quality than a point-and-shoot.  Also more expensive and bulky than a point-and-shoot.
  • Interchangeable Lens Camera: This includes DSRs and mirrorless cameras, with top of the line sensors, and the ability to connect a variety of professional quality lenses to the body.  Generally the most capable, extensible and flexible option.  But the most expensive and bulky as well.

We’ll continue this series of posts next time with a comparison of lenses in a smartphone versus a standalone camera.



Seafarer’s Memorial, Anacortes WA

_DSC6605Seafarer’s Memorial is an iconic monument located on the Fidalgo Bay waterfront of Anacortes, WA.

This is a memorial to all local fisherman who have lost their lives at sea.

Perhaps it’s appropriate that I photographed this on a grey day with a storm passing to the east.

There are always flowers here as a tribute to husbands, fathers, sons, grandfathers, and uncles who met an untimely end in this local revered but dangerous occupation.