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Don’t quit your day job. The mantra repeats in my mind. I’d be a wedding photographer if I could. Then the bridezilla stories abound on the wedding complaint sites. Oh, well, everyone gets rain. But! I sold a picture! My second! See? Don’t quit your day job. How’d they find me? This blog. Who knows? Out of the blue…can we purchase the photo we found on your blog. I hope they do not mind my showing the cover mock-up for the book. They wanted a high resolution digital file. Ah! My images are numbered. This was a slide. Roll number and frame number were not too hard to locate. And then I had several copies of the digitized image. However it was a real stroke of luck to find a high res Tiff file. Yup, luck! The original slide was buried in a box somewhere in storage. No, it would not be possible to find it. So serendipity, the publisher just happened to ask for a file I had. Most of my images sit redundantly backed up on four external hard drives. And now to payment, the publisher wanted bank information to transfer the funds. Identity theft?

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After contacting the author of the book to be sure it was all above board, we settled on credit card accepted by my cousin Amy, who is a professional with a business. Done. Sold one! The last one I sold was in 2012. Nope, don’t quit your day job.

Building the Family Portrait


I’m better. Jules is better. Or maybe she’s just used to my constantly photographing. I shoot everything. I carry an iPhone now. And I usually have a point and shoot Canon S100 in my pocket. Then there is the big one, my Nikon D610. Ready. You can’t get an image if you are not ready in the moment. So it was near sunset with evening light. And the shoot just happened spontaneously.


Jeff then Molly and soon it was a family portrait. Sweet. But you need to have a camera close at hand. I did.




I set this aside to place in a post. Red is colorful. The pattern is chaotic. Otherwise, I’m not sure what my point was. Many fish are solitary. And often I have seen this fish just floating alone. Strength in numbers I always hear. It seems to me that is it more than unfortunate if you are the one that the predator fish eats. But for the rest, life goes on.

IMG_7450Then again if you are a red fish, you probably don’t want to stand out in the crowd.

Sixstripe Soapfish


Where do they come up with these names? And no, I did not count stripes. You would name something after your grandmother maybe? Or anything. We name surgical operations and instruments after our famous mentors. Like, Lars Leksel invented the Leksel rongeur, No, he didn’t but it is named after his design. Don’t knock it. Some nurses refer to instruments I use by my name so they keep track of me that way.


No, no, I am not famous. And I do not want a fish named after me. Oh, so this was a first again when I took this shot. Yes, there are lots of fish I have not seen. It’s why I keep going back. Same reef …different fish. Cool. Did you count five stripes? And don’t even ask about soap….

Modified Selfies Are Still Selfies

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I don’t do selfies well. So instead it’s pretty simple to Photoshop. Take two pictures in the same spot with the same settings and lighting. It’s not perfect. And you don’t send it into the internet instantly. I have the patience to wait. It beats a remote control and tripod.

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The second is from inside a redwood tree. You know you are on to something when the very next couple is along to imitate your technique.

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And then at Morro Bay this was obviously easy to do. Except that we did not notice the pirate patch was crucial to the shot. Oh well, I did not say we were perfect. Yes, Photoshop could have been modified more. But it was the fun of the day not the accuracy of the image that counted.

Repeat… again


Ok. I got a question. Feather duster worms are fixed to their spot. They don’t move. You see them solitary embedded in the coral. How? How do they procreate? You know, make little feather dusters. How? So here’s the answer? They are seen together. In all my previous dives, I have never seen two together. And here! Well there was a pair, and a moment later a trio. Really! Someone I know says that a lot. Really! She said it once. I’m just repeating. …and repeating…and repeating.

IMG_9423No, I do not know why they are worms. It’s the name in my book.

Jump – Dog


Timing. It’s crucial for action shots. You cannot depress the shutter and the motor drive will just get you an actual perfect shot. Nope. It’s done by old fashioned work. Oh, luck too. Ha! Yes, luck too. But mostly it is anticipating the action and then firing the shutter at the precise moment. It’s helps if you visualize and then plan your shot. Or, you just press the shutter and let fly. Didn’t I just tell you that doesn’t work?


I did it. Sure. I’m good. But Jules did too. Ah! She’s as good.


Mine’s better.



Anemone and clown fish are symbiotic. It means that the fish is protected among the tentacles which are poisonous. And the fish chase off other fish who come round to annoy the anemone. Eat the fish I say. Then eat the anemone. It doesn’t work that way. The poison rubs off on the clown fish. So fish and anemone are symbiotic. Get it? The pictures show the mouth of the anemone? I don’t know.


Anyway it is usually not covered in gooey gel. This was odd. No one could tell me about the gel either. Some things you observe and then make up explanations in your mind. It’s kind of like religion. Nope, strike that. This is not a political blog.



Not me silly, the dog, Molly. We’ve had a dog pretty much Jules’ whole life. And she inherited Molly from her cousin when she could not devote time to Molly and her first born.


So the dog is a prelude to Jules engagement and future family? It’s an interesting circle to begin again. I’m sappy that way. Meanwhile back at the beach…Molly the dog is rambunctious and full of energy so we ran her till she collapsed.


We ran a lot. Molly just did not quit.

Turtle Encounter


I have lots of shots of turtles now. And, I’m getting in close too. Maybe it’s the same turtle? Familiar face? But no, this one had a barnacle on its back. But they all look alike, pretty much. And so they are common enough to yawn and not get excited. Except, they are not common to see. Maybe now and again so they remain special to sight. And they have a pattern. Like everyone else they swim away. No human encounter or curiosity for them. But they also like to swim in circles. So if you stay still, they may come around to pass you.


And if they do, you get a close up shot. Got to be ready. And got to have the light balanced for what mode you shoot in. Available light or strobe, it’s vastly different and you have a moment to prepare for its close-up. I never said it was easy, which is why it’s so neat to encounter a turtle.


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