Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

New Business

Over the last few weeks, I have been helping my friend from Lanai, Darlene, by developing a website to promote her business — Life Seminars by Darlene. This week marks the official launch. If you would like to see our handiwork, go to www.seminarsbydarlene.com. Congratulations Darlene and good luck with your business.

I have also achieved a business milestone — I am now the President and CEO of a new business — B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. Yes, I have formed a subchapter S corporation as I progress toward an actual business selling my photographs. After consulting with an Intellectual Property attorney, I favored (and he recommended) incorporation in order to protect my personal assets in our litigious society.

I am working on a website from which I hope to sell prints of some of my Hawaii photographs. As part of this effort, I am learning CSS to provide visual consistency over all the web pages and to improve my ability to make stylistic changes to the website without re-coding the HTML. One of the first elements I created is the banner shown here. Building the complete website is going to take a while because I feel that I want to have a decent number of photos available initially — and Mizuki is still keeping me busy with auction photos.

Speaking of Mizuki's auctions, here are a few photos from the current listings. As you can see, I have really been busy. This is an Hermès cloisonné bangle with blue elephants — much prettier than its description.

And here an Hermès gold-plated horse-head bangle. You may not know that Hermès began business as the maker of fine livery products for horse lovers.

Next is an Hermès ATAME chocker with a round leather strap connected by palladium interlocking clasps.

Last, but certainly not least, is an Hermès Kelly watch.

This weekend, I attended a two-day photography seminar sponsored by Nikon, PC Photo Magazine and Outdoor Photographer. I had signed up for this seminar before I signed up for the two week-long workshops in Santa Fe. This seminar was lecture format (not hands-on like the Santa Fe Workshops) and provided some overlap of material with what I learned in Santa Fe. However, it is always interesting to listen to another professional photographer — gaining insight from his or her experiences.

Saturday, the photographer was Bob Krist who has done a lot of work for National Geographic Traveler magazine. I noted that many of his experiences and practices were similar to those of Neil and Susan Silverman who taught my Travel & Stock Photography class.

Of course, he had his own experiences — such as trying to go through airport security with a carry-on containing a gyroscopic stabilizer complete with wires and batteries — which the TSA suspected was a bomb even though he had told them about it before they ran it through the X-ray machine! Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed when the bomb-sniffing dog showed no interest in his carry-on containing the alleged "bomb".

He had a number of beautiful photos from Tahiti and the ones that were most unique were photographed with a camera in a special "over-and-under" plastic case which allowed him to capture images above and below the waterline at the same time. This image is an example from his website (www.bobkrist.com).

Bob said he was trained in traditional film photography but has now completely switched to digital. He noted one benefit offered by digital that would never have occurred to me. Previously, when he was shooting under water or over-and-under, he would have to stop after 36 exposures, dry off (both himself and his equipment), change the roll of film then resume shooting. Now he can capture 200+ images — and will be a prune long before he exhausts his digital film.

On Sunday, Bruce Dale was our photographer to address the seminar. Bruce worked for many years at National Geographic and now does freelance work. He also showed us many of his photos including ones that appeared in National Geographic and some that even made the cover. I particularly liked the one here because it is a panorama that he stitched together from multiple photos. Technically this is not especially hard to do in Photoshop — but the challenge is to make the entire photo interesting — not just doing a panoramic shot because you can.

We heard some similar stories, some with a twist. He, like many photographers, travels the US in some sort of camper so he can be on location before the sun rises and after the sun sets. He mentioned another photographer friend who does the same and came up with a novel way of keeping people away from his camper. He has some official-government-looking stickers on the outside and radiation warning signs on the inside. Maybe Neil and Susan will want to change their sign to N & S Radioactive Septic Tank Cleaning Service — then figure out some way to make it glow at night.

He also mentioned the role that serendipity plays in taking great photographs — a theme that ran through yesterday's class as well as those in Santa Fe. His illustrative story took place in China shortly after that country opened its doors a bit during the Nixon years. He was riding on a rickety old bus that broke down along the road to his next destination. Initially, he cursed his bad luck since he had limited time in country. Then the proverbial light bulb went off and he told the driver that he was going to walk toward the next town and to pick him up there. He took off down the road and got some great shots of Chinese villagers who had never seen foreigners before. And he would have never gotten those shots if the bus had provided reliable transportation.

Another wonderful session and weekend well spent. By the way, Bruce has a very interesting gallery on his website — www.brucedale.com — check it out.

Last but not least, I ran into Rod from Photomart at the seminar on Saturday. Photomart had tables set up and were selling some photographic equipment (and they were paying the sales tax). I chatted with Rod and asked him about the "History of Photography" class that he mentioned he would be teaching. He indicated that it has just started and that I could sign up on Monday. Will do.


Life is good.

B. David

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