Monthly Archives: November 2013


image by .

There is always something interesting wherever you are.  It was a bright, but hazy afternoon as I was overlooking the LA Harbor.  Nothing looked interesting in the harbor.  I looked up and saw the warm afternoon sun highlighting the fence surrounding the overlook.  The repeating curved arrows added to the interest.

Lesson From Tony and John

131110_Leaves with red background by Karl Graf.

This image is based on a couple of lessons I have received in the past.  The first one is from Tony Sweet:  “When you see a cool background, find something to put in front of it”.  The second lesson is from John Barclay:  “When you see red … shoot”.  Walking along a trail in the woods a patch of red leaves caught my eye.  By themselves, they were not very interesting, but their combined color made me look twice.  I walked around and saw this scrawny branch with green leaves hanging down.  Again, by itself it was just ho-hum.  But when I lined up the bright green against the red background, the image “popped” in my mind.

Tony would have further critiqued this image and suggest that the green leaf in the top right corner should be removed.  He would also have commented that the small white dot in the top third of the red background be cloned out.  Tony is a sticker on details.  So here is the corrected file:

131110_Leaves with red background_v2 by Karl Graf.

It does make a difference!

Autumn Leaves – It’s Not Too Late

131109_Autumn Leaves by Karl Graf.


The peak of autumn color has come and gone.  I had not taken my camera out to capture any of the brilliance.  This was the first time since I started back into photography ten years ago that I hadn’t gone out on multiple fall shooting excursions.  Like I mentioned in my prior bog entry, I have been in a real slump.

The previous day, from when this image was taken, had been an exceptional late fall day in southeast Pennsylvania.  The temperatures were in the sixties.  The sky was blue with large billowing white clouds.  It was a beautiful day … but my camera remained at home in my closet.  What a waste!  That evening I felt depressed that I had not taken advantage of this wonderful day. The next day, rain or shine, I was going out.  My friend, Stan, and I went out for an adventure.  We were going to go down to Maryland for a little exploring, no set plan just go were the car takes us.  We didn’t get very far when we saw a creek and a dam along side the road.  Stan made a quick u-turn as he said, “we may never get back here”.  And so the day went.  When we saw something we stopped even as the rain was pouring down.  We did not always take the cameras out, but we did stop and explore as we made notes for a future adventure.  What a way to spend a great day with a great friend.

This image is from our first stop.  Stan focused on the water and falls from the dam.  I focused on the mini landscapes that layer below my feet.

Limekiln Lighthouse Stimulus

131108_Limekiln Lighthouse by Karl G. Graf.


I haven’t been very active in expanding my photographic knowledge and experience during the last several months.  Something was always in the forefront.  I fell into a real slump.  When I did shoot, nothing seemed to pop out to me.  I continued following my favorite photographers on-line and became more and more envious on what they were doing.  My work seemed to be so mundane.

Today, I took a few moments to look back on some of my work last summer.  I saw this image of the Limekiln Lighthouse on San Juan Island and felt that it wasn’t so bad after all.  It provided me with a stimulus to go back out and continue to shoot and enjoy the outdoors that I love.