Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.


On Saturday, Mizuki and I celebrated our seventh anniversary. Hard to believe that she has put up with me for that long. In Japan, they don't celebrate birthdays and anniversaries the way we do in the U.S. So, Mizuki is still a bit surprised when she awakens to find a card and wrapped gift waiting for her. This time, there were actually two gifts (my studio is not quite big enough to capture both gift-wrapped presents, so you'll have to take my word for it).

The first gift is a new addition to our bear family by the name of Candi. If you look carefully, you will notice the M&M characters on her play suit — which means she'll fit right in because our #1 daughter (Muffy) loves M&Ms (as you may recall from a previous issue).

The other gift was a miniature of the lighthouse at Assateague, Virginia. Mizuki has a tiny collection of miniature lighthouses (two, now three) all from the Delmarva peninsula.

In a previous issue, I mentioned visiting this lighthouse and included a photo. To the left is the real thing for comparison. The miniature is not exact — but not bad. The real one needs a fresh coat of paint, the miniature has the out building too far from the lighthouse and I won't even start on the trees. I know — picky, picky.

Now I know that Neil and Susan (my instructors from my "Travel & Stock Photography" class) would get after me with cries of "border patrol" (because of the leaves along side the edges of the photo) — but I just wanted to show the comparison at about the same size and angle — I did not plan to sell this photo (at least not as is). And I can always remove the leaves with Photoshop.


Speaking of Neil and Susan, when we were in class they mentioned a few essential items that many of us did not know we needed. For instance, what is the item pictured at the right?

We all have taken pictures where the Pacific Ocean seems to run downhill from left to right, n'est-pas? It seems we all tend to look through the viewfinder at the good parts of the picture but forget to simple things like, is the horizon horizontal? This little gadget is a bubble level that fits in the hot shoe of an SLR camera. It is close enough to the viewfinder that you can glance at it while composing the picture. Cool, huh?

The Silvermans even offered to order a few of these essential items from some guy named "Rod" and have them expressed to Santa Fe while we were still there. Neil told us that Rod is extremely knowledgeable and helpful — and recommended we consider using Rod for our photo equipment needs. As the week went on, they later mentioned that Rod is located in Phoenix. Hmmm, I'm located in Phoenix. Later they mentioned that he works at a store called Photomart. Hey, I know that place and I've purchased a number of photography items there and I really like the service I get.

Last week, I stopped by Photomart to buy a AC power adapter for my camera and to introduce myself to Rod. I mentioned that I had been in Neil and Susan's class in Santa Fe in July and was one of his customers in that order. He was very nice and extremely helpful — thank you Neil and Susan for the referral.

A Sad Note

This week, I learned that a wonderful friend, Jack Rowe, had passed away. I met Jack when my late wife, Kona, was undergoing her cancer treatment. Jack's wife, Jennifer, was a Recovery Room nurse in the hospital where Kona had her major surgery. Both Kona and Jennifer were Korean-Americans married to European-Americans — and that commonality lead to a great friendship among us all.

Once Kona was well enough to travel, we went to Hawai`i again. Jack and Jennifer loved to travel and joined us for part of our stay on Maui. We had a wonderful time together — enjoying the ocean, golf and fine dining. However, we did have one mishap. At the driving range at Kapalua's Plantation Course, Kona accidentally clobbered Jennifer on the bridge of her nose with a driver. Blood was flowing profusely (you know how facial cuts are) and more than a couple of those fancy Kapalua golf towels were required to stop the bleeding. Nevertheless, we remained good friends.

After Kona passed away, Jack and Jennifer were very supportive and helped me get through that difficult time. They later moved to Lake Tahoe so our get togethers became less frequent. And I admit to procrastination in planning a trip to visit them there.

And now Jack is gone — which reinforces that reminder that I often use when I close a message to good friends — "be sure to cherish your every moment with loved ones". He will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jennifer.


Life is good but definitely a little sad this week.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com