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Standing Outside the Fire

It wasn’t my alarm ringing at 5:30am that woke me up; instead the angry shaking from my wife was what started my day. It took a moment to realize what was emitting the harsh jingle before blindly petting the carpet in search of the source. Once silenced my brain was ready to fall back into dreamland as quickly as that screen turned black. My sleep tracking app read six hours and change at 70% sleep quality. That was enough reason to roll back over and attempt to pad those stats. With every ounce of my body committed to sleeping, a little voice was awake enough to remind me I’d already pulled this maneuver twice this week.

I'd set an easy goal to start with, wake up early enough to meditate and get a quick run in before work a couple days a week. So far my desire to sleep outweighed my new agenda and procrastination was there to remind me tomorrow would be there to fall back on. The shame of sleeping in hit me on my way to work both Monday and Tuesday. On the third attempt that sha…

The Discipline Assessment

I have to start editing the Hawaii photos tonight. Before I can do that I have to move the Costa Rica and Michigan folders off my hard drive so there’s space. I should write a blog post but that’ll kill the afternoon. I need to cut the grass and I haven’t gotten to the gym today yet. Don’t forget Lambeau needs a walk. You have some emails to respond to and at some point you should go put another round of poly coat on the bin racks. Am I slouching? Ok back straight. My knees are getting stiff. Ding! Well that meditation could have gone better.
My meditation practice has its good days and bad days. Some days I slowly open my eyes feeling completely zen and other days my mind wants to catch me up on everything I’ve thought about for the last week. The most important thing I’ve learned about meditation is the mind is going to wander. When it does, you recognize you’re off track, bring it back and start again.
We’ve moved into the sixth month of my “Year of Discipline” and I’ve had to st…

Behind the Title - "Into the Mystic"

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"Into the Mystic" by Van Morrison

Peaceful is the best word to describe these mornings. The sun won't rise for another hour but its light has begun to illuminate the sleeping waters of Lake Abamasagi. The soft gray-blue sky reflects a few shades darker off the still, metallic lake. A windless dawn means silence in the trees. All that stirs on this brisk new day is a distant loon song echoing through the channel.

The first run of a motor breaks the glass like reflection much like a footprint disturbs the freshly settled sand of a rising tide. Once the motor is killed, the call of the loon is paired with a metronomic lapping against the cold aluminum hull. Tucked in a pine lined bay, I cast my line to the edge of the pencil reeds to see if the world below the surface is awake yet. The ripples from the lure make the thin stalks in the water bounce and their long reflections bend. The eerie silence is quick to deafen the splash and the only disruption during my retrieve wi…

10 New Molding Designs

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Last year I expanded my ordering options with a line of hand crafted wood frames. After months of planning and designing I created two molding styles and framed one of my pieces using each. Those frames appeared in every 2018 festival I attended. People enjoyed the frames but the response was even better when they found out they were handmade. One of my goals for 2019 is to come up with at least two more options to add to the line. I’ve had some designs bouncing around in my head but really wanted to push my creativity so for the final list of 10 I forced myself to come up with 10 new molding designs.

While the idea was to design 10 new moldings, the details of each design are loose. You'll notice I left out dimensions and while I tried to exhibit the general colors I had in mind, I didn't specify the types of wood that would be used. I plan on experimenting with different techniques and wood species throughout the year which will hopefully lead to at least two new optio…

Top 10 Photos NOT on the Website

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It’s no surprise that my favorite photos end up on the website. Those selected photos make up a very small percentage of the ones I take. The rest find their way to Instagram or get printed as a bin print but even those make up a small number compared to the total that I upload. My batting percentage of useful photographs is near zero but I attribute that to a high standard I’ve set for myself. Last year I counted down my favorite photos of all time but that list hasn’t changed much over the past year so rather than copy and paste, I’ve removed the gallery worthy photographs from contention. Here are my top 10 photos NOT on the website.

10. Savannah Shutter


I love finding little details like this vine in Savannah. This shot was taken several years ago and continues to grab my attention. I love the contrast between the smooth black shutter and the brick. The gradient of the leaves on the vine crawling up the shutter move the eye through the image and create a nice contrast again…

Top 10 National Parks I Want to Visit

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National Parks are one of the best things about this planet. While we can always do a better job preserving our environment, National Parks ensure the grandest and most unique locations will be maintained for generations to come. As a photographer they are hot spots, essentially giant flags waving us in. I have photographed Death Valley, Great Sand Dunes, and Rocky Mountain National Parks before so you won't find them on this list. Even though I make regular trips to Great Sands and Death Valley was another world that I would love to see again. This list is made up of the parks I've yet to visit. So here are the top 10 National Parks I want to visit.


10. Petrified Forest National Park
This park makes the list for its dark horse potential. While Petrified Forest may not have the grand scenes a lot of the more popular parks feature, it has a uniqueness that I could see my eye falling in love with. I tend to notice details in a landscape and this park is full of details. I think …

Top 10 Lessons Learned in 2018

I used to take mistakes extremely hard. While the majority of my mistakes were small and didn't warrant discipline I took it upon myself to ensure it didn't happen again. Mistakes are just a part of life though so enevitably another one would occur and I would beat myself down when it did. I always thought this was because I was a perfectionist, and maybe that's part of it, but I've come to realize I just didn't have a good understanding of life.

Mistakes are part of the deal. No matter how hard you try to prevent them from happening they will occur. Mistakes are how you grow as a person so today I have a much better reaction that doesn't crush my self esteem. While I still don't love making mistakes, I am to a certain degree a perfectionist, I no longer beat myself up. Instead I search for the knowledge to be gained from them.

My current trajectory has been full of hurdles. I've never built a photography career from scratch before. Even after four year…