Monthly Archives: April 2014

Mazed and Confused

Where: Kent, England



Between Meeting: On Vacation



MazeMy wife is from Kent in Southeast England and we often go there on holiday. Kent is known as the Garden of England, and on this trip I was determined to make garden pictures.



To the disappointment of my wife who is a Master Gardener, there just aren’t any real “Dano kind of pictures” to be found in a typical English Garden.



But while visiting Leeds Castle,I saw my opportunity to shoot green growing stuff in the Castle’s Maze. I thought there might be an interesting perspective from the tower in the center of the maze and headed that way. 20 minutes later I was still trying to find the center. 30 minutes later I was still trying to find the center and 40 minutes later wondered how my kids who were waving to me from the tower in the center were able to find it. But eventually (50 minutes later) I made it.



I saw my shot but had to wait for the right head to pass through the scene, in the right light. English weather is ever-changing and I would follow the perfect head as it made its way into the perfect spot only to have a cloud intercede and flatten out the scene. It’s easy to give up in this kind of situation but since I was not looking forward to making my way back out, I just monitored the sky and waited for the right person.



I saw a man in a red hat bobbing his way through the maze and it reminded me of the red raincoat from Don’t Look Now (It must have been the jet lag). He was making his way to the right spot, the sun came out, and I made two exposures before the clouds returned.





Posted in Between Meetings

Helped and Hassled

Where: Atlanta Airport Hotel



Between Meeting: After Photoshop World




























I was trying to get home early after Photoshop World last week, but no seats were available on the last flight out of Atlanta. So I checked into an airport hotel for the first flight out the next morning.



While airport hotels are usually where the action isn’t, great light is great light and for about 45 minutes, it was great.



Shafts of light were streaming across the congruent floors in the open plan interior. I found the best angle and waited for someone to walk across one of the floors to create a striking silhouette. I waited and waited and nothing, nobody. I was feeling a bit down and about to bail when a friendly young woman walking to the elevator, which was behind me, smiled and asked what I was doing. I told her about the amazing light and that I was waiting for someone to walk by for a silhouette with no success. She immediately volunteered and I remember saying, “Really!” She asked where she should go and I directed her to the 3rd floor for the best angle since we were on the 5th floor. It would have been awkward for me to yell across the building to move toward the window so I used arm and hand signals until she was in the best spot. After making the exposures I quickly went to the 3rd floor to show her the results on the camera’s LCD. She was thrilled, I was delighted, and I gave her my business card asking her to email me so I could send her the image with my thanks.



The light was still great, so I headed outside and saw an interesting film noir-ish scene via the backlit cars in the parking lot. Due to the extreme contrast ratio I was doing a bracket of exposures when I heard, “What are you doing, I’m calling Security”. Unlike the woman inside who was incredibly helpful, this hotel employee was, shall we say, the opposite. I told her I was just taking pictures of the light on the cars, and within 20 seconds a hotel Security Agent was all over me like a cheap suit. “Who are you, this is private property” as if I was working for Vladimir Putin and plotting the annexation of the parking lot in the name of Mother Russia to complement the take over of Crimea. Or maybe I was unaware that if one parks their car in the hotel’s lot, that the vehicle’s title and registration is forfeited to the hotel…



After I gave the agent my name, room number etc. I remember thinking he was probably doing what he thought was right. And when he did his report and saw that I’m at the highest level of this hotel chain’s membership rewards program, that maybe he should have been a little friendlier and think in terms of customer service first, like my new friend inside the building. I learned the women who posed for me was in a training program for Delta Airlines where customer service is mission critical. After exchanging emails with her it was clear Delta Airlines both spotted a wonderful person to represent them, and in their training program, likely reinforced how small things can go a long way to building customer loyalty.



Maybe the hotel should send its employees, to the same customer training programs of which its guests are enrolled.




Posted in Between Meetings


Where: Las Vegas, NV



Between Meeting: During Photoshop World



Mandalay-Chairs I’m at Photoshop World this week in Atlanta, and was reminded of an image I took during a recent Photoshop World in Las Vegas.



Right after the Expo closed I took a walk by the wave pool at Mandalay Bay. I saw several tourists with cameras shooting the artificial waves by the fake beach and knew, there would be a great shot if I looked in the opposite direction of the obvious.



These unused beach chairs were stacked in a corner and I simply dragged them out of the shadows about 10 feet, and angled them so the light raked left to right.



In color the chairs have a golden glow, but a quick conversion to black-and-white brought out the simple elegance of these mundane objects.



Posted in Between Meetings

Negative Space

Where: San Pedro, CA



Between Meeting: Heading Back to the Office



Fermin-AirThis is the negative space composition I was working before I noticed the nuns to my left.



Great light, clean, simple but it just needed something. Fortunately some kids started to shoot hoops and I chose an angle where they would be out of frame.



While they were taking their shots, I found my shot.


Posted in Between Meetings