Pretty mold

Posted by on Mar 18, 2014 in Garden Stuff, photo, Photography, plant photo | 3 comments

Who knew that mold could be so pretty? That was my thought when I saw how my swan neck gourd dried. The pattern is a speckled brindle color. I don’t know yet what I will make of it but for right now I just had to photograph it! It’s been a bit of work to get it to this point. I had to fight and win against powdery mildew attacking my plants. Then I had to figure out the best time to cut and wait for them to dry.


I think it was worth the wait :)


Link to a page in a multi-page PDF

Posted by on Feb 5, 2014 in Design Tips | 0 comments

Do you have a muliti-page PDF that you would like to post on your website and keep that way but also want to link to a specific page number in the PDF? The quickest and easiest way is to just append the page number to the end of your web address like this: #page=<pagenum> When you click on the link below you will automatically go to page 29 of this document.


See more parameters at the Adobe website

If you want me to share more tips like this let me know if the comment section below!


Frosting a building in photoshop

Posted by on Dec 23, 2013 in All, Design Tips | 3 comments

I was asked to make a little holiday card for work where one of the buildings would be frosted. We don’t get frost like this so that’s why it’s a little funny. Many asked me how I did it. I used several photoshop tricks in combination with fine tuning some of those tricks for this particular image. Below is the original I started with followed by the final image.


The first problem was getting a light dusting of snow in the scene. For this I used the channel mixer which seems to work best on areas where their is green. Select image > adjusments > channel mixer

Then put in the settings like you see below. Keep in mind that every image responds differently so you’ll have to play.


After you applied these settings you should have a pretty bleached out image but you can see where the slow might be clumped to the tree and grass. In the layers palette change the blend mode to hard light. This will let some of the green color show back through.

Select the white square in the channel mixer layer and then click on the brush. Make sure your foreground color is set to black. Play with the opacity as you brush the snow off in various parts of the image. Make sure to white out the sky as well since you never have a blue sky on a snowy day.

Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 10.57.29 PM

Duplicate the layer with the original photo and go to filter > filter gallery. Choose plastic wrap. This will provide some frost for the windows.


Use layer mask to erase away any areas that you don’t like that the plastic wrap did.

Now it’s time to add some snow.

  1. Make a new layer above everything and fill with black.
  2. Filter >noise > add noise
  3. Go to Filter > Blur > Blur more
  4. Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels. Slide the three triangles so the effect looks like mine.
  5. Change the blend mode of this layer to screen. Magic! It’s starting to look like snow.
  6. Duplicate this layer and flip it  to make thicker snow. (edit > transform > flip horizontal)
  7. To give the feeling of moving snow go to filter > blur > motion blur. Adjusting the angle implies wind direction and distance is how long the trail is. Make sure to do this to all your layers of snow.
  8. To make the snow flakes seems individual select one of the snow layers and go to filter > pixelate > crystalize.flakes

Lasty to really make this a frost image I added icicles by downloading some (free brushes from the internet here). I could have made them but this was quicker and easier. Download the one with the icicles and double click to install. Size your brush and make the icicles on their own layer. You may need to go to image > transform > distort to adjust the 4 corners to fit into the areas they need to or to adjust scale.


That’s pretty much it! The rest is just fine tuning the details. :)

Meet Baby Benjaman

Posted by on Dec 16, 2013 in All, photo, Photography | 6 comments

I got the chance to photograph a cute little 2 month old baby boy this last weekend. Here are a few that I liked from the collection.

View the rest of the gallery here


Cute little 2014 calendar

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in All, Design Tips | 1 comment

Here is a cute little calendar I had made into a magnet from vista print. It turned out pretty well. Feel free to download the illustrator file to make your own calendar.


Beached rose study

Posted by on Oct 26, 2013 in flowers, photo, Photography, plant photo | 7 comments

While walking the beach I happened upon a wilted rose standing strong in the sand.

The waves were crashing around it and yet it did not break.

I don’t know how it got there and I don’t know how its story ended but I will share with you a few photos of the moments I photographed it :)







Finishing the day with a good nights rest!

Camping in style

Camping in style




Another Site Launched

Posted by on Oct 11, 2013 in Web Tips | 2 comments

Just finishing up a website for Julie Arbuckle a legal resolution expert for the Napa Valley. She is a Mediator, Arbitrator and Evaluator who resolves a wide array of disputes and many different types of litigated cases. Read her resume here.

My designer friend John Schall developed the logo and the branding of this site and I must say it helped illustrate her message of resolution well.




For the contact page I will share my resource of jotforms. They don’t have an affiliate program so I don’t make anything endorsing them but they make it really easy and seamless to integrate a form on your website.


View her site


Symbiotic Flow

Posted by on Oct 7, 2013 in All, Design Tips, photo, Photography | 8 comments


What we have here is a art piece for a show with unusual concept on what is means to be a terrestrial being. I thought about this for a while before I chose my subject. Anyone who knows me knows that water has always been a battle. We lived in the country when I was very young and without a well. It was hard to get water so I learned early an appreciation for water conservation. Later we have a well but the water is high in minerals that the plants in my garden don’t like so water treatment is a must. Without water all things living will die so it’s impossible to live without.

When we send missions into space to explore other planets the water is the first thing we look for or some sign that it was there. We don’t look for gold or silver first – it’s always water because that is what can support life as we know it. Hence my photo so freely letting the water flow. To the left I overlay the lack of water and to the right I overlay the life it brings. It may be aquatic versus terrestrial but without the aquatic the terrestrial life can not be.

Symbiotic Flow

Symbiotic Flow

The above picture wasn’t easy to get clamping a garden hose to a light stand and trying to not get my camera wet as I held the shutter remote in my mouth!

Since the show calls for this to be a postcard and mailed I chose Moo printing because they do pretty good work. You can order 10 cards for 9.95 and what’s more is you can have a different image on each card! Don’t you just love how they packaged it? It’s like a little present.

If you follow my referral link and save 10% on your order plus I will save money on my next order!

Print from Moo printing

Print from Moo printing


The show promises to be a very interesting one featuring the artwork of  Bay Area environmental artist Cindy Cleary. Exhibit dates from October 8 – Nov 7 from 4-6pm. Hope to see you there!

Pet website in progress

Posted by on Oct 1, 2013 in All, Web Tips | 2 comments

Here is a website I’ve been working on.

Below is a screenshot of the home page mockup and one support page along with a rough logo composition. The idea of the site is to pair breeders and buyers with dogs that make good companion pets. Not all shelter dogs fit this description and there is still a need for breeders than breed for certain temperaments that will make a good companion. Through user feedback and a strict set up rules for breeders the idea is to ensure quality in the puppies that are listed here. The database portion of this website is being developed by someone else and is still a work in progress.

View Demo Site







Currently showing!

Posted by on Sep 23, 2013 in All, galpage, photo, Photography | 1 comment

I am pleased to say a few of my photos are currently showing at faculty and staff show at Los Medanos College through the end of the month.


Here I am at the LMC reception shot by my friend John Schall

There will be another show after that is open to all on October 8 (submissions need to be in no later 10/4) on you relating to earth as a terrestrial being on the medium of a postcard.

Coming up Saturday, October 5 from 10 – 3 will be a reception and the start of the Delta Digital Camera Club Photography Exhibition in which more of my photos will be displayed. There is a collection of wonderful photos in this show from many photographer that will be prove to be worth your time to come and see. The event will be at CR Framing with food and and light jazz. The show will run for a whole month so if you can’t see it then come and take a look later.

Screen shot 2013-09-23 at 10.25.18 AM