Category Archives: Photography

2019 Kinetic Sculpture Race

May 2019

Well it’s been a very long time since I’ve posted my Picture of the Month feature. I’ve been busy working on my house and garden, and unfortunately not taking much time to relax and go take pictures. I’m going to restart the POTM and hopefully keep something interesting appearing here on a regular basis.

Memorial Day Weekend in Humboldt County starts off with the start of the Kinetic Sculpture Race in Arcata. This year there were lots of entries, probably due to the fact this was the 50th anniversary of the event. It was hard to pick a favorite entry this year, but the Cheshire Cat was not only cute, (if something that big can be cute) it was also a great piece of engineering, as it employed 4 wheel steering.

Cheshire Cat

Nikon SB-900 Battery Door Problem Solved

I have two Nikon SB-900 flash units that were both purchased in 2009. For years they both performed reliably, but about a year ago one of them started experiencing a power problem where the flash would turn on if the battery door was held just a bit ajar, but it wouldn’t turn on if it was fully closed. As I haven’t been doing as much photography as I used to, and I could always rely on a bunch of other Nikon flashes I own, or my Photogenic lights, it wasn’t a problem I spent a lot of time trying to fix. I did an initial search on the internet to see if it was a common problem, but came up empty.

Then last week while on location for a job, the second one started acting up in exactly the same way. So today I had some time to take a look at both of them again.

Doing an internet search this time I did come up with some hits that described the exact same problem. Only they didn’t have any solutions. But there were other people that had reported their SB-900s stopped working after batteries corroded the leads.

I checked the leads on both units and they appeared clean, and I had never experienced leaking batteries for these units, as I use rechargeable batteries (Duracell) in them and the batteries are usually taken out when I’m not using the flashes.

I decided to try cleaning the leads with a pencil eraser, and that’s all it took to get both units working again. Even though both units had bright shiny leads, there must have been just enough oxidation to prevent a good contact.

So if your SB-900s experience this problem, try a simple and quick cleaning with a pencil eraser before sending them back to Nikon for an expensive repair.

Ferndale Dance Academy – Cinderella

June 2017

This was the 15th year I’ve photographed the Ferndale Dance Academy spring production. Laura East and her company of young dancers put on another fine show. Photographing the dress rehearsal I watch the show through the lens of my camera, and it’s always nice to return later to watch the show from the audience.

Ferndale Dance Academy ballet dancers performing Cinderella

The Mill Creek Falls Ballet

May 2017

After a long break from picture of the month due to a really wet winter and the unexpected death of my mother, I finally got back to taking pictures in May. I returned to Mill Creek Falls with a new model, Shannon, who had lots of experience dancing when she was younger. It still showed in the wonderful poses she came up with. After visiting Mill Creek, we went to Clam Beach for more photos and it was really hard picking one to feature here. Hopefully, she’ll be in front of my lens again soon.

Ballerina posing in front of Mills Creek Falls

Michelle, Robert & Bricen – Family Portrait in Ferndale

October 2016

I received a message on my phone asking about family and toddler portraits and I was kind of surprised, since I stopped advertising portrait services several years ago. I had to listen to the message several times to catch the name of the person inquiring, and then I realized it was Michelle who I had taken her senior photos and then later she modeled for my Pirating Under a Full Moon shot.

In fact, by an odd coincidence, it was 7 years to the day that we shot Pirating Under a Full Moon when she called.

We scheduled a family shoot at the South Spit beach where I shot her senior portrait photos. They met us in Ferndale, and as we drove over to Loleta, it kept getting foggier and foggier. We shot some photos at the beach, hoping the fog would lift, but instead it kept getting even foggier, until we finally gave up.

Plan B became traveling back to sunny Ferndale, where we shot down in the creek in our backyard. Trying to get a toddler to pose can be challenging, especially when mom is on the other side of the creek. Bricen lost his pants after attempting to cross the creek, and after mom calmed him down we tried again.

It was nice catching up with Michelle and meeting her family, and we got lots of great photos both at the beach and in the creek, but this one was my favorite by far.

Michelle, Robert & Bricen

Ferndale Concourse

September 2016

Labor Day in Ferndale saw a new event this year, a Concourse d’Elegance, held on Main Street. FVFD displayed (but not entered) our 1923 American LaFrance and next to is a 1928 Pierce Arrow Series 36.

There weren’t as many entries as I had hoped for, but it still made for a nice day walking up and down Main Street.

Ferndale Concourse d'Elegance

Margo at Clear Lake

August 2016

No, not that Clear Lake. This is really just a little pond that goes by that name. It is located a short distance off of Route 1 in the South Fork Mountains. After the large forest fire up there in August of 2015, I wasn’t sure if this pond would still be as pretty as it was, but I decided to find out.

I brought Margo along to model. Margo has modeled for me for several years, and her years of ballet training always provide some very graceful poses.

I was happy to see that this pond escaped the ravages of the fire that destroyed much of the ridge line.

Margo at Clear Lake

La Marionette 2016

June 2016

This year, the Ferndale Dance Academy did a revival of La Marionette for their annual spring performance. For the last 13 years Aesthetic Design & Photography has been a sponsor of their production and I have donated taking their publicity and production photos.

Usually my favorite photos come from the Level III dancers, and it’s always exciting seeing them progress every year. But this year my favorite photo comes from one of the very young dancers. I just loved her expression and perfect poise in this photo.