phoenix airport hilton

Still working on photographing the Phoenix Airport Hilton after their eight million dollar refurbishing of the property.

It was great working with the staff while on the photo shoot. Everyone was as helpful as possible in getting the areas set for the photography. This makes the shooting day go better, smoother and leads to better photographs.

Sales manager Mike Manginelli was great in letting me know specifically what he was looking for. We were able to shoot to the IPad from the Lumix GH4 using the built in WIFI and Panasonic Image APP (free download) so he could see exactly what the camera saw as we worked out angles and ideas.

A bonus in operating and controlling the camera from the IPad (or IPhone or Android device) is when making multiple exposures to handle lighting situations with bracketing the camera is not touched. This allows for exact registration for blending various exposures using Adobe’s Photoshop Layers and Masks.

saguaro room at hilton

The Saguaro Room set for a reception.

exterior night photo hilton

Exterior night image.


Ballroom set for meeting.

Another bonus to shooting from a remote system is being able to ‘paint the room’ with multiple pops of a flash and see the results as you go. These images are blended into the final scene adding light where necessary to fill shadows or creativity for esthetic reasons to add interest. I used a Paul C Buff light with a strip light box attached and a Vagabond battery pack to stay mobile. The Buff wireless triggers complete the remote set-up.

I’ve found the ability to ‘light my images’ with multiple exposures has made my shooting more efficient giving a better quality image to my clients. I spend more time in post production but my clients time is not wasted and I’m able to get the property rooms back online so there is little revenue loss when I photograph.

How do you work your interior and architectural shoots?

Yours in Creative Photography,     Bob

sunday photo/art quote 7/26

Do you see yet?

Really see?

I believe we all go through stages when learning photography of learning to see as the camera sees. Most of us start out by making images that have some decent composition and maybe the occasional lucky lighting scenario and people tell us we should become professional. These are usually family and friends that don’t have a lot of visual and artistic background and that becomes the standard by which we judge ourselves.

Then we practice.



Practice some more.

Learn more.

Realize that we aren’t really creating images that have depth and dimension and start our work in earnest in becoming the best professional photographers we can be. At least that’s the way it seems to be working for me. Artists through time have recognized that many people look, but not all people see…

leonardo davinci quote

“There are three classes of people: Those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

There is something about finally learning to see that is quite exciting. Perhaps I’m a slow learner or as I think, it takes time and study to really see. I’m not even sure I’m there yet… I’m still studying, art and other artists as well as photography and other photographers. Here are a couple of bonus quotes from other photographers.

“The camera doesn’t make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But, you have to SEE,” – Ernst Haas

What do I see? How do I use the camera to communicate the feeling I have about what I see? – Jim Graham

And, once we have learned to see, can we translate that into an image that others can see?

I’m still searching. How about you?

Yours in Creative Photography,    Bob

PS – here’s one of my favorite Ernst Haas photographs

ernst haas photo

Bullfight captured by Ernst Haas

eric miller trio

New addition for the Sound Bites Grill ‘Wall of Fame’ in today’s post.

These musicians all reside on the Wall individually but they assembled into a great jazz/pop group and are playing Sunday nights at SBG. I saw them last week with my wife Holly and stayed until the last song was played. Eric Miller is a songwriter/singer/guitarist and is one of our favorite local artists. Eddie Barrattini bangs on the drums. Troy Perkins plays excellent bass on a guitar that he built himself.

 eric miller trio

From left Troy Perkins, Eddie Barattini and Eric Miller

It’s pretty amazing the musical talent we have living and performing here in Sedona!

Images were captures with the * Lumix GH4 and the 35-70mm f2.8 Lumix Vario lens. The GH4 has enough density range to capture detail in the shadows yet still have enough information in the highlights that are created with LED stage lighting. The tough part about photographing LED lighting is that the colors are very pure and don’t have a large spectrum of color as when we photographed tungsten lighting with gels over them.

The individuals were isolated by selecting and Masking in Photoshop. The individual Layers were then blended together with multiple texture images to create the final art in a process I call Photo-Synthesis.

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob

* There’s been a $200 price drop on the GH4!

international photographic competition ppa

I believe I am the photographer I am today because of imaging competition.

It has pushed me to make better photos.

It has pushed me to increase my skills.

It has given me material to be visible in my community because of success and awards and degrees that turned into press releases.

Most of all… it has given me confidence!

I highly recommend getting into imaging competition if you are not already there. You can watch how it works and learn what the judges are looking for by watching the live streaming coming your way in early August. In addition watch for Booray Perry, Cr.Photog., CPP for a peek behind the scenes and interviews. The streaming is available for members of Professional Photographers of America (PPA) as one of many benefits…

ipc logo


The rest of the details are available on the PPA web site. Dates, times, instructions, etc… here.

I’ll be one of the jurors and look forward to seeing all of the images members have put forth this year for feedback. Remember this ‘competition’ is with yourself. Images are judged against a standard (see the Twelve Elements below) and not against each other… Until it’s time for the Grand Imaging Awards and the International Photo Cup.

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob

The Twelve Elements

1.) Impact is the sense one gets upon viewing an image for the first time. Compelling images evoke laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder or another intense emotion. There can be impact in any of these twelve elements.

2.) Technical excellence is the print quality of the image itself as it is presented for viewing. Retouching, manipulation, sharpness, exposure, printing, mounting, and correct color are some items that speak to the qualities of the physical print.

3.) Creativity is the original, fresh, and external expression of the imagination of the maker by using the medium to convey an idea, message or thought.

4.) Style is defined in a number of ways as it applies to a creative image. It might be defined by a specific genre or simply be recognizable as the characteristics of how a specific artist applies light to a subject. It can impact an image in a positive manner when the subject matter and the style are appropriate for each other, or it can have a negative effect when they are at odds.

5.) Composition is important to the design of an image, bringing all of the visual elements together in concert to express the purpose of the image. Proper composition holds the viewer in the image and prompts the viewer to look where the creator intends. Effective composition can be pleasing or disturbing, depending on the intent of the image maker.

6.) Presentation affects an image by giving it a finished look. The mats and borders used, either physical or digital, should support and enhance the image, not distract from it.

7.) Color Balance supplies harmony to an image. An image in which the tones work together, effectively supporting the image, can enhance its emotional appeal. Color balance is not always harmonious and can be used to evoke diverse feelings for effect.

8.) Center of Interest is the point or points on the image where the maker wants the viewer to stop as they view the image. There can be primary and secondary centers of interest. Occasionally there will be no specific center of interest, when the entire scene collectively serves as the center of interest.

9.) Lighting —the use and control of light—refers to how dimension, shape and roundness are defined in an image. Whether the light applied to an image is man-made or natural, proper use of it should enhance an image.

10.) Subject Matter should always be appropriate to the story being told in an image.

11.) Technique is the approach used to create the image. Printing, lighting, posing, capture, presentation media, and more are part of the technique applied to an image.

12.) Story Telling refers to the image’s ability to evoke imagination. One beautiful thing about art is that each viewer might collect his own message or read her own story in an image.

photo-synthesis process

I enjoy creating new images using my process dubbed Photo-Synthesis. I use multiple texture files, Adjustment Layers, Layer FX, Layer Masks and more…

sound bites art

sound bites art

sound bites grill art

sound bites grill art

This is one of the classes I teach and as a Panasonic Lumix Luminarybased on Adobe Photoshop. If you have a photography group and would like to have a presentation made depending on the size of the group… Click on the link in the menu bar for a description of this or other programs I present.

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob

PS – the light rays were created with a photograph of rusty galvanized roofing material and Photoshop Blend Modes…



Here’s a quote from the Dali Lama that captured my attention this AM…

True peace with ourselves and with the world around us can only be achieved through the development of mental peace.

It caught my attention because as I was putting together my morning meal I was suddenly overwhelmed at how fortunate I am.

Having a spouse and partner that complements and completes me.

To be a photographer pursing the career that keeps me challenged.

To live in a land where I can make choices to speak the way I wish.

To have a forum like this in which to share ideas about photography and life.

To be able to have a meal like this…

  breakfast photo

I’m not normally one to take pictures of my food and share it on social media… (OK maybe sometimes) But this was the spark that got me thinking about how truly fortunate I am and have been throughout my life. I think a large part of my good fortune comes from recognizing and noting gratitude on a regular basis.

What are you grateful for???

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

sunday photo/art quote 7/19

Ever have one of those days when things just aren’t going right?

NO matter how hard you try??

ansel adams quote

“Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer – and often the supreme disappointment.”
Ansel Adams

Ain’t it great to know you are in good company??

We all have ups and downs. The secret is to not let the downs rule the day. Next time you are feeling like it just isn’t coming out the way you thought it would be good to remember the above words of one of the greatest landscape photographers of all time…

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

ansel adams photo

formal hotel meeting room

Trying to add just that little bit extra…

Been photographing the Phoenix Airport Hilton lately after their eight million dollar remodel. There are some photos it can be a little more difficult to make sexy but lighting and awareness can make them stand out.

Take, for example, a boardroom photo. Here’s a utilitarian room with office chairs around a large table. We looked at a number of angles and one of the things I thought set the room apart was the fact that A – it had a window and B – there were palm trees outside the window. The wonderful thing about collaboration is that some of my best ideas come from other people!.

Mike Manginelli has been heading up the photography project from the hotel side. We discuss each photo, the use, how they want to present it to potential clients then we set up the shot. Mike said, “Hey what if the photo was taken from here?” As soon as I set the camera in place I was all over it. Once that decision is made…

Then it’s time to make the room shine from a lighting standpoint. I work with multiple images for different exposures of different areas. Inside in shadow. Inside room lighting. Outside daylight needs a totally different exposure from indoors. And then some additional accent lighting which adds that ‘certain something’…

boardroom base exposure

Here’s the base exposure. Curtains are closed so I can control the glare on the tabletop to allow the wood and grain to show and not be blown out from the reflection.

boboardroom photo added flash

Added a flash exposure to highlight detail and throw some light into the shadow area under the table.

boardroom photo open curtains

Curtains were opened to obtain exterior view. Flash added to curtains to not have trouble blending inside/outside from flair around window. A little of the reflection was allowed on the tabletop.

Final boardroom image

Final boardroom image with a Curves Layer to open up shadows just a bit.

layers palette from boardroom photo

Layers Palette from boardroom photo showing various Layers and how the Masks were applied.

A handy feature on my Lumix GH4 is the built in WIFI that talks to my Ipad (or Iphone or Android) via ‘Image App’ (free download from Panasonic) so I can control the camera without touching it. All controls including shutter release and bracketing are available on the phone or tablet. When shooting multiple exposures, making adjustments to the camera, like exposure changes, firing the shutter, etc. makes it much easier to blend the images together in post production when the camera is mounted on a tripod. I used the 7-14mm f4.0 lens for this. There is no distortion in the lines on this lens. It’s one of my favorites for architecture work requiring a wide angle view.

Questions? Let me know…

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob

ppa ipc

Coming soon!

If you are a PPA member you’ll be able to stream the International Photographic Competition (IPC).

Even if you don’t have images in the competition there’s a wealth of information and ideas that get shared during challenges.

A challenge is put forward whenever one of the jurors doesn’t agree with the result of an image being accepted as a Merit or non Merit. The challenger states his/her reasons. The other jurors respond with their thoughts and the challenger has an opportunity to rebut then the image is scored again. Sometimes it seems as if the judging is moving quickly. But, please remember there are 7 sets of eyes, 6 jurors and the Jury Chair, and any one of those may challenge the result. Sometimes if an image goes by and a juror feels it was missed the image can be called back for further review. We are all charged with doing the absolute best for our makers while still protecting the value of the Merit which is the basis for earning the imaging degrees of Master of Photography and Master Artist.

By the way PPA members are invited and encourages to watch the process live. The event is held just outside Atlanta.

The address for streaming the event is

Tune in August 3-6 and Be More Inspired!

Competition Judging Live Stream

  • Monday, Aug. 3, 8: 15am-6pm
  • Tuesday, Aug. 4, 12:15-9pm
  • Wednesday, Aug. 5, 9:15am-6pm
  • Thursday, Aug. 6, 8:15am-6pm
IPC Live with Booray Perry

  • 11am & 2pm
  • 2pm & 6pm
  • 11am & 2pm
  • 11am & 2pm

ppa loan collection image

Here’s one of my images that was accepted into PPA’s Loan Collection last year. Here’s a link to all eight images that either were awarded a Merit or Loan Collection status.

sunday photo/art quote 7/12

I’m going to wax nostalgic on this Sunday’s Photo/Art Quote because of a quote from Alfred Stiegltiz who was an American photographer and modern art promoter who was instrumental over his fifty-year career in making photography an accepted art form.

Think about all the memories that you can relive through old photographs. By old I don’t mean ones that are a month or a year old. I mean the ones from your childhood or some time in your life when things were quite different than they are now. Good times. Or possibly bad times you made it through. Those memories are priceless. And a lot of people from the digital generation are going to miss out on those opportunities to relive the past in the future because we aren’t printing images and other than professional like ourselves people aren’t backing up that digital media often enough – or even at all!

Alfred Stieglitz quote

“What is of greatest importance is to hold a moment.”  Alfred Stieglitz

Now Stieglitz may not have been referring to holding the moments of memories. It could have been he was thinking of the moment the light was exactly in a certain form. Or an expression was just as needed to tell the story of a person in one photograph. I would like you think of this in saving moments of memories for people, including yourself, for an older age and future generations.

In many ways I believe this means printing images. At the very least it is a reminder to back up our files in multiple ways. And to remind everyone at every chance to remind them to make prints and back up their photo files.

Yours i Creative Photography,    Bob

me and my sister

This is my sister Kathleen and myself in the early 80′s working for a bar called Jelly’s in the Caribbean on an Urban Cowboy night…