Could winter possibly be over? The sun coming in through the windows warms things up nicely. If you follow my blog you know that there is “the kitchen that is not a kitchen”. It is where I have been shooting the Still Life Food images. Well, this is “the window that is not a window”. A week or so ago I purchased an old window pane and have been testing it out in different places in the house. I finally settled on an upstairs window where I can set this window on the existing window sill. I wanted a real sky on the other side of the glass – not a texture, not a backdrop, but a real view. So, while this may not be much of a view, it is looking down into the backyard with trees in the background. It suits me fine adding lots of light.

While I like shooting the darker, moodier Still Life Food images, this window is perfect for those lighter shoots for sunny days.

If you are inclined to join us for our first Still Life/Food Photography Workshop in April, we will be working with baked goods, fresh produce, flowers, lighting, backdrops, camera settings, shooting surfaces, props, and sunny widows. You can find the details here: Still Life/Food Photography Workshop  Marie and I look forward to welcoming you to the studio space which includes the prop room!

I do hope you have sunshine this week and that your snow shoveling days are dwindling! Daffodils are blooming here.



Hard to believe that Spring is in the air here. It seems early. I actually hate to think that winter is over already because we could certainly use more rain to get us through the dry summer months and we could use more snowpack up in the Sierras for the same reason. But Mother Nature peeks around corners as she sees fit. The warm, sunny days have brought tulips to the market. I was happy to find these, always looking for tulips as the season begins. Sort of an annual event to shoot tulips and come up with different ways to share them.

Hope you have some sunshine today and Mother Nature lends a hand in melting any snow that may still be hanging around.

And if you are interested, our Still Life/Food Photography Workshop will be April 20th, 21st, and 22nd. Just look under the header Teaching Schedule for more details. I’m sure there will be plenty of sunshine here by then! We would be happy to have you join in on the fun.


I just finished reading A Painted House by John  Grisham. I enjoyed this glimpse into the past of rural Arkansas. It almost paralleled the life my father had while growing up in the same area. He picked cotton, he enjoyed his mother’s biscuits, and he, too, moved north to Michigan to find work. No one could make biscuits like his mother. She put all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl and added cream, one tablespoon at a time. She would work that tablespoon of cream into a perfect biscuit and set it on the baking sheet. Then she would add one more tablespoon of cream and work up another biscuit. This would continue until she used all the dry ingredients. Obviously, she needed no recipe. And it was an amazing thing to watch when I was in the kitchen with her, although most times I did not wake up until I could smell the biscuits in the oven.

The shot, above, is set up in a corner of a room that I call “my studio”. I thought I’d use this back-story shot to show you a bit of what Marie and I can offer in our Still Life/Food Photography workshop in April. We are really excited to share what we have put together for you. No matter if you have a “studio” or a corner in your house, no matter if you have a fancy light or you use window light, no matter if you have a purchased backdrop or you use other things from around your house, we can show you how to work with what you have.

This is a flat lay shot looking straight down. The step ladder is needed to get a good view for this type of shooting, unless the items are on the floor. We have lots of ideas for you!

“The art of photography is knowing how much to exclude. You can’t photograph the whole world.” —Eliot Porter

We can help you zero in on the story you want to tell.

You can find the workshop details here: Still Life/Food Photography Workshop

If you have questions, feel free to ask. We would love to have you join us.


This is the kitchen that is not a kitchen. It is where I’ve been shooting food photography lately. Convenient, because it is right upstairs where all the props are, where the different surfaces are, where the lighting is, and the portable vacuum cleaner (much needed after spilling spices, flinging flour, and sprinkling powdered sugar). I finally took the plunge and created a small studio space for shooting. This is one of the things that has been calling to me over the years and I kept setting it aside. But the ideas keep coming full circle, right back to me, so it is time to explore them.

There has been a camera in my hand for many years of travel, tasting, teaching, and living. I have always had an insatiable curiosity about trying new ideas. Over the years my photography style has evolved. I’m taking the time to slow down, to use manual focus, and really think about where I want to lead the viewer’s eye. I’ve also been pulling out the Lensbaby lenses. Recently I worked with Lensbaby on beta testing their new Macro Filter Kit. What great fun that was! Lensbaby lenses are in my kit because they feed my curiosity. This image of the Baby Turnips was taken with Lensbaby’s Edge50 which lets me select the area of focus while giving the rest of the image a nice creative blur. I am always looking for more original ways to present a subject.

The New Year is a great time to think about new things. Marie Otero and I will be kicking around our thoughts in an effort to bring some creative ideas “to the table”. You will hear more from us after winter relaxes its grip on everyone and there is a little more sunshine out there to warm things up.

As always, thank you for stopping by.



I love my woodsy walks. I enjoy walking here in any season. And I always have my Sony with me. Seriously, I have had this camera for over a year now and it has become the only camera I carry. It is a full frame 42 megapixel compact mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. You get a large sensor, a very large pixel count, and very low noise even at higher ISOs. It is even a great performer in lower light situations.

When I put the Sony up to my eye there is really little disconnect from the reality in front of me. It has a great viewfinder, the advantage being able to see the exposure accurately.

The incredibly high resolution is amazing. It allows me plenty of pixels to play with in processing. The ability to crop using the sharp lenses is another plus for me. The lenses perform sharper at longer distances and wider apertures.

This camera focuses quickly and accurately, not only with the Sony lenses but with lenses designed for other systems. There are many third party manufacturers making glass for the E Mount now. Options are practically endless.

Since day one with this camera I have never taken it off manual. I found this Sony camera to be very intuitive for me to use. And I really like the lighter weight, smaller size of the camera body. I can create a lighter kit when traveling and still get all the bells and whistles I need. I’ve never been disappointed with this purchase.

Battery life could be a bit longer, but I know I just need to tuck extra batteries in, so it isn’t that big of a deal to me.

And as soon as I feel better I hope to head back out there for those woodsy walks. Until then, I’ll be using the Sony A7RII for some still life work here at home. And I’ll be using some of my favorite lenses. . .