Focus on Focus

…the reason focus is important is it’s one of the few things you can’t fix with an editor…

One of the key things that gets pounded into my head as a photographer, and deserves to be at the forefront of any composition, is the necessity of achieving proper focus.  This is harder than it sounds, and focus can often be off when you look closely at a picture you otherwise think is well composed.

And the reason focus is important is it’s one of the few things you can’t fix with an editor.

Part (but not all) of the problem is in the fact that modern cameras (and phones) are trying to think for you.  Much of the time, these devices do the right thing – but certainly not always.  The upshot is that once you acquire confidence to operate your camera properly, you will want to be in charge of this key process.

One of the techniques to achieve focus is documented in part here.  Back-button focus (for DSLRs) simply means that pressing the shutter button halfway down and holding it is not always the best way to dynamically focus.  Being in control of when your camera tries to autofocus and when to leave it locked in on your subject is the key benefit with this technique.  Check out this great article by James Brandon.

Recording with Bachelor Number Four

My friends in the band Bachelor Number Four invited me in to their recording session last night at the Unknown Studio in Anacortes.   They had put in a long day already by the time I had arrived but were gracious enough to allow me to lurk while they laid down the guitar/bass parts on several songs.


The band consists of: Dave Lervik / guitar & vocals, John Bisagna / Guitar, accordion & vocals, Don Morley / bass & vocals, and Andrew Culp / drums.

Look for this power-pop album of originals at one of their upcoming shows!

City Panorama 2017

I’m thrilled to be a part of this photography installation sponsored by PCNW and King County Metro.  Here’s a slideshow showing all the selected photographs.  My current site header will be appearing at a bus stop somewhere in King County this year.

James Harper performs with The Hoe and the Harrow 2/17/2018

Taken at Kennelly Keys, Anacortes.  James is performing with his band, The Hoe and the Harrow, Saturday night February 17, 2018.

Kennelly Keys Music, Anacortes 2/17/2018

One of our premier locations in Anacortes, Washington is the performance room at Kennelly Keys Music.  I had the privilege of photographing 4 bands Saturday evening: Date Nite, Matt Dorrien, The Hoe and the Harrow, and Lizzie Weber.  The lighting was great, with overhead string lights, a couple colored spotlights, and the wooden floor that cast soft reflections of the stage lighting.  See our write-up soon on Skagit Art Music.

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Artist Links:

Lizzie Weber
The Hoe and the Harrow
Matt Dorrien
Date Nite