Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Christmas Idea

Hamish, resting up before the evening's carnage...

Some things never change.

The cats find every ornament to be a new and exotic toy, especially those that are just out of reach. Especially the glass ones.
The kitchen smells wonderful with cookies, baking breads and the holiday turkey.

In our home, my wife goes all out in making Christmas a time of bright lights, cinnamon and pine smells, fancy swags with ornaments, frosted cookies and snowflakes. Ok, I help, but the project is hers.

Oh yes, the other thing that never changes is that we are never quite ready when Christmas eve arrives. This year is no exception.

With all of this going on, lets take a few moments to remember our blessings.
First, we are alive. That's a good start.
Second, we have a roof, a warm place to sleep, and food - usually at this time of year, too much food.

We have our friends who love us, and our family who puts up with us...

The list can go on and on. My advice to you is to think of each blessing in turn, and say a quiet "Thank You". Nobody needs to hear, as long as your soul hears. Thanks is the greatest gift you can give to others, but it is also the greatest gift you can give yourself.

So try this under the tree on Saturday. When you hand out each present, say thank you. 

Some will know. And the rest - well, share your gift of thanks.

Monday, November 29, 2010

From Yuk to Brilliant in Four Easy (not) Steps!

I thought I'd take this time and show you a few of the stages photos take in their life, from being taken, almost thrown away, played with, modified and eventually turned into a work of art.

Have you ever heard someone say "...but sure, look at the camera he has. I can't take photos like that with MY camera...."  I respectfully respond, "Horse Hockey".

The image I'm showing today was taken with a Canon 10D, a 6.3 mega pixel DSLR. Most people today have more firepower in their i-phones. 

So lets consider this photo taken at Disney's Port Orleans Resort.

Lousy lighting, but the emotion was exquisite

As a professional, my job is to get the perfect photo at the exact moment. I didn't have the time to kick on the flash, adjust the white balance or any of the stuff I do when I expect to be taking a photo. He swept her, and I had to get the photo right then.

Lousy fluorescent lights.

Anyway, going through the photos after the wedding, I was sorely tempted to throw it away, but something within me said that there's something special here. So I reluctantly kept it in consideration.

I tried to rescue it by playing with the white balance and hue, exposure curves and many of the tools within photoshop.

Ok, skin looks like skin now, but it's not great by any means.

Ok, they don't look like aliens any more. The expressions and action is good, but frankly, it is not technically worthy for anything.

At this point, my daughter and photographic partner Mindy Porter said very gently,


She turned it to black and white. Although it is still missing something, there is a real special image here somewhere.  Playing with the blue, red and orange channel mixers brought out the vest and tie where there had been a black blur before.

The special image is working its way to the surface now. It's close enough I can begin to taste it. So what do I do?  I say:


It looks like an old Clark Gable movie scene, so what was true about old movies?


Now, I'm starting to get excited. What we need to do is bring our subject to the front as if they're not there already. We do this by diminishing the background, both by subtly vignetting and cropping out the yukky stuff at the lower left.

What? You didn't notice it? That's ok, I did. It's my Job.

Now it's a matter of dressing the photo up a bit.

A couple strokes for framing, a black background to highlight their love, and we're all set.

This is what a professional photographer does, not just at the wedding or portrait session, but at every step along the line. These images are our babies. You may pay for them, but never forget that we invest ourselves in their creation. They MATTER to us. It's NOT just a job. It's a passion. And,

It is my life.

For awesome images, visit our site, and for information about the more personal side of photography,, which is now part of IthacaStock!~

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween and The Holiday Season for Photographers

These are the times that try our souls. The Holiday Season.

Photographers are busy getting the Halloween photos of the goblins and ghouls prepared for the proud moms and dads, deciding on their Christmas card promotions, identifying their "drop dead deadlines" for the Christmas market and trying to prepare for the January and February "Dead Zone".

Some of us are busy as well with charity work and financial planning.

So there is no time left. None. Zero.

Here is my advice. Say aloud, "Thank You".

WHAT?!? Thank you for what? To who? For what possible reason?

There is a law of the universe, called the "Law of Attraction", which works whether you know it or not.

The thing that you concentrate on the most is what you attract to yourself. It always works - but here is where "Thank You" comes in.

When you give thanks, you are concentrating on your blessings, not your troubles. Concentrating on THEM, attracts MORE blessings, more business, more money, more love and more fulfillment.

Concentrating on that darned bill, the mountain of debt you have and the cool reception you got at home last night, yep, you guessed it, brings to you MORE of exactly what you are concentrating on. Think instead, on what makes you happy, and what makes you fulfilled as a person and as a professional.

I, for one, have been thankful for being busy, and I am, truly, busier than I have ever been. 

So as we approach Thanksgiving, what are YOU thankful for? Think on it. Dwell on it. Say aloud, "Thank You" for those blessings. 

Let the law work for you!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mayonnaise Jar & Two Beers....

Ok, this is totally off topic. But I thought it was worth passing on anyway.

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.

When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full.

They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar.. He shook the jar lightly.

The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full.

They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.

Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full.

The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed.

'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else---the small stuff.

'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children.

Spend time with your parents.

Visit with grandparents.

Take your spouse out to dinner.

Play another 18.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.

Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter.

Set your priorities.

The rest is just sand..

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented.

The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.'

The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.

Please share this with someone you care about. I JUST DID!


Monday, October 4, 2010

Regarding Children and Pets:

We wrap our lives around them, don't we.
Little globs of emotion, they are.

They are soft, vulnerable, and dependent to begin with, subtly changing into explorers and questioners seemingly overnight, then all of a sudden, they have figured out that they know it all, and we, the nurturers are somehow no longer the repositories of all knowledge that they once thought we were.

The emotions on our part, however, change little. I'm 58, but still "his baby boy" to my 92 year old father.

Has the core emotion changed?

I don't think so. Even though I am now the care giver, my Dad is still trying to make things easier for me, and to protect me in any way he can.

So where am I going with this?

There are only two emotions, love and fear.

Every other emotion can be traced straight back to their source, love or fear. It is the light side and the dark side, straight out of Star Wars. Once you start down the path to the dark side, forever will it dominate your destiny.

Resolving to stay well clear of the dark side, my goal as a photographer is to capture the light side; the emotions of love, devotion, protectiveness, softness, joy, rapture, anticipation. In no case, are these warm and fuzzy emotions shown more clearly than in children and pets.

Dogs, in particular, have the ability to completely overlook our human shortcomings, and treat us as their personal Gods, yearning for our touch and the tiniest word of praise. A good all over rub will drive most dogs into spasms of ecstasy. "Dear Lord, help me be the person my dog thinks I am..."

Children, while not quite as forthright in their emotions, display just as deep of an abiding affection as their canine counterparts, with far more variation in their expressions.

Portrait photography is all about relationships. There is no adoring puppy without a loving master; no curious child without a parent guiding the way. Even if the dog's counterpart isn't in the frame, the relationship is there for the world to see in the brightness of the eyes and the anticipation of the next scritch behind the ear.

For the adult, it is a bit different, but the photographer will try to capture the essence of their subject within the image, with the fun, love, and yes, pain and struggle that has led them to this particular moment and helped them become the person that they are now.

And you thought photography was just taking a picture....

No, portrait photography, for the professional, is nothing short of identifying, bringing out and portraying the soul. It's an awesome task!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Life is short, but that's no excuse.

The thin thread our lives ride on is truly remarkable.

Today while perusing Facebook, I responded to someone who had made this post:

"No matter what you believe or who you believe in, it is my
opinion that we will all be judged on how we treat others and what
you've done to help someone else."

The words that sprung into my head from years ago were:

"....... What remains is the blessed flower of good deeds.....", which was translated from the Latin text of the baritone part of Symphonic Requiem, which our High School Concert Band had played back in 1968, directed by the composer, Vaclav Nelhybel.

This memory, which sprung back to me after all of these years, was probably the best episode I had in High School.

I can still see this man in front of the band, yelling at the kettle drummer, "Don't caress the drum, HIT IT!!!". I can remember the tears in his eyes as the winds and sax sections rode the waves of the second movement. I saw the love, passion, anger and joy he felt in creation.

The memory of him telling us that he had never heard his composition played more musically,.. but mostly the memory of the music brings tears to me still.

So why am I telling this to you all?

It is this. People affect you, and you affect people. Most of us are not aware of what our words and actions will mean to others. We just go through our lives, trying to cope with our own personal battles. But every now and then, let's sit back and wonder if we were the best we could be.

Vaclav Nelhybel didn't know me. I don't know if he ever laid eyes on me or took any notice, but the man profoundly affected me by being the best, most passionate artist he could be.
He took such joy in creating his music - it was infectious. We didn't play the music, we experienced and created and felt it all at once.

So now I'm a photographer, doing my best to pour all of my passion, joy, sadness, anger and love through the hole in the box, which is my camera. And I remember this man Vaclav Nelhybel, who 42 years ago affected me to my very core.

The only recording of Symphonic Requiem I had was an old reel-to-reel tape, so I googled his name, and came up with an email address. Just moments after I sent the email, I got a note back from his wife.

I'll not bore you with the details, but suffice it to say,

"Life is short, but that's no excuse.. to not say "Thank You".

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New York State Fair's Treasures

For 4 wonderful days this past week, I practically lived in the Youth Building at the New York State Fair, evaluating the work of 4-H kids from all over New York. The enthusiasm and talent of these youthful photographers is truly inspiring.

Here are a few examples:

Ok, after some 300 images, they can blur together, but there were a number of standouts. The top photo is flowers on a wet morning, backlit by the first rays of the sun.

What I want you to pay attention to is not that they are just "pretty pictures", but that each of these images were carefully thought out and "crafted" by their young makers.

It doesn't matter what type the camera is - the vision of the photographer is all that matters. The middle photo, the girl with the soccer ball was staged and photographed by her cell phone.

The next one - the flower reflected in the drop, was carefully staged by a young man who worked with multiple flowers to get the absolute largest drop he could to sit on the red petal, then held another flower at just the right place with one hand, while shooting the image with his other hand.

The last one was taken on a carriage ride in Ireland. Our artist used filters to make the photograph look like a watercolor painting.

I quote Michael Barton, "A camera is a box with a hole in it." The image that comes out is the sum total of what the artist puts through that hole.

My congratulations to the photography exhibitors at State Fair. I have great hope for our profession!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Lansing Harbor Festival goes to the Dogs

Not really, but the title sounds like fun.

And laughter is what makes life worth living...

But seriously, This year's Lansing Harbor Festival was a great deal of fun for all involved. Activities included a frozen t-shirt contest, Chicken Barbeque contest with a magnificent trophy awarded, and the ribbon cutting of the North House, the oldest structure in Tompkins County, lovingly disassembled and transported to Myers Park to share with the public.

You can find more info on the festival at, and photos from this year's event at This year's festival was run by a team of dedicated volunteers, who must have not had any personal life whatsoever for the weeks before this event. They deserve our thanks for an awesome event.

Oh. The dogs.

This was my own idea - the Harbor Festival draws many people from all over who bring their pets. The personalities of the critters can be as distinctive as their owners...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Massive quantities of Inspiration

This past week at Hobart and William Smith colleges at Geneva, NY, some of the best photographers in New York gathered to learn from some of the best photographers in the world.

I like to think I'm in the former category with aspirations to the latter.

Over the course of the 5 day intensive training workshop, we learned subtle nuances of lighting from the flashlight to the easybake oven (double striplights and reflectors. It's a technical term...), and photographed subjects from 5 to 104 years old.

HDR, X-Light, textures, and more terms than memory can recount were explained, demonstrated, critiqued and internalized.

When work was over for the day, we visited the "Barn" for socialization with our new friends and mentors. Truly, the teaching never stopped. For instance, I took the HDR image here on my way to the barn for that aforementioned socializing.

So why am I telling you all this?

Well, for IthacaStock contributors and other photographers, always be aware that our learning never stops. We need to keep our minds fresh and our possibilities open, never resting on our laurels. We should continually look at our past work and say "I can do better than that...."

For the rest of you, existing and potential clients, and friends, we hope you see, over time, our dedication to improving our craft and our skills, so that we can continue to provide exceptional images for all of your needs now and for years to come.

To PPSNYS, I owe a huge expression of thanks for bringing our instructors together with us in an exceptional learning environment. (Here's the plug)

The Professional Photographers Society of New York State, or PPSNYS, exists to improve the craft of photography. I have never been involved in as "giving" an organization. We are all compatriots together - not in competition with each other, but as collaborators working to improve our skills as professional photographers, and improve the state of photography in general.

For further information, please visit

And incase you wondered exactly WHO I studied with, I humbly suggest you visit Michael Barton's web site, to see his extraordinary vision.

Until next time!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Adobe Lightroom 3, or Photographers Set Free!

August 9 is a day that every photographer in central New York should mark on their calendars.

It is the day that Doug Hansgate, an innovative and talented photographer from the Buffalo area will be in Ithaca to give a day long workshop on Adobe's Lightroom 3.o software.

Ok, another class. Big deal. I'm so backed up in my work, enhancing all of my images in Photoshop and trying to find the files somewhere on my hard drive that I can't even consider taking a FULL DAY off to attend.

Well, folks, you are exactly who can benefit from Lightroom. Lightroom is not just another piece of software that Adobe boxed up in order to part you from your money.

This box is special.

Imagine if those guys from Adobe started out to make a product that would address all of the issues photographers had with Photoshop, and at the same time make file management and image retrieval a snap; a program that wouldn't allow you to damage the original file, and one that could make batch processing of almost any kind completely effortless... That's exactly what Lightroom 3 is. Photoshop designed not for graphic artists, but for PHOTOGRAPHERS!

And if you want to enhance an image within photoshop, the programs interface easily and effectively.

But my favorite feature involves culling. At a wedding, I'll take a LOT of images, sometimes over 1500. With Photoshop, I could count on spending a couple days culling before I even got to the enhancing part. With Lightroom, that few DAYS has been cut down to a few HOURS, and in the process of importing, I can get Lightroom to do some basic developing in the process, saving me mega hours on the back side.

Am I excited about Lightroom? You betcha. And I have only scratched the surface.

I thought I was doing well with the program until I saw my friend Doug Hansgate speak at the Finger Lakes section of the Professional Photographers Society of NYS... FLPPSNY for short. Doug spent about an hour giving us a short overview of what Lightroom was capable of, and the first night when I got home, I did a job I expected to take several hours in about 20 minutes.

This left me wanting more, so we invited Doug to come talk to local photographers and give a fairly in-depth talk on Lightroom.

So, who could benefit from this workshop?

Pretty much anyone who takes photographs seriously.
Our contributors to have need of an easy and trouble free method of batch resizing, as well as a straightforward method of tweaking their already awesome images.
File management can be a pain if you, like me, have a library on your disk with many thousands of images. Lightroom can help organize and make the process less of a pain.
Retrieving a photo by keyword through Lightroom is a matter of 12 seconds.

The session will be held at the South Hill Business Campus, 950 Danby Rd, Suite 112. The building is right across 96B from Ithaca College. The session will cost $99 and includes lunch. Those who register before August 1 and prepay using PayPal get $10 off of the class. Contributors to get a discount as well, available on our registration page!

And let me speak a moment about Doug Hansgate. Doug first came to my attention on Facebook with a forwarded image of his Buffalo Cityscapes. Shortly after, Kelvin Ringold called me and told me I should get Doug to speak to our section (FLPPSNY) because he was "unbelieveably good". We did, and were not disappointed.

So we want to share him and this awesome product called Lightroom 3 with you.

Look for updates about registering for the course in the next issue of our newsletter, on this blog, or on Facebook!

Can't wait to see you all!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

So What Do You Get?

I was asked the other day exactly what someone gets when they buy a photo from It's a fair question.

In every case, YOUR delight is our goal, from the customer service you receive to the selection of our array of images to the delivery of your work of art.

Most of our sales are to web designers and graphic artists, who use our images as part of their clients' marketing strategy. Waterfalls and certain buildings of historical significance are the icons of Ithaca, and businesses use these to identify themselves as part of our local community.

They can use images once for either web or print for a price, or for a little more, the client can have unlimited use of the image as part of their identity and web presence.

Still another use is as "Raw Material" for graphic artists. For the minimum fee, artists can download images that they wish to use as a template for their creations. More about that in my next post.

Another possibility is for individuals or businesses to purchase images ready to frame for their businesses' or for their homes walls.

Each of our prints is created at one of the best professional labs in the country, and mounted on mat board. They are given a linen texture and coated with a special protectant to keep the image from fading, and to keep the oils on your hands from degrading the image.

So what is this "canvas upgrade"?

There is nothing like the rich look and feel of a canvas print on your wall. This takes the photo from a simple image to a piece of art. The canvases available from have the look and feel of works of art, with a glowing warmth that images on paper just can't compete with.

Each canvas is mounted on a stretcher frame and is ready to be framed. We open and physically examine each canvas before we release it to our clients. It is our intent that you be delighted with every contact with, from the initial visit to our web site to taking delivery of your masterpiece.

We can create most of the images you find at on canvas from 11X14 to 40X60.

If you don't find the exact size listed, contact us. We would be happy to quote you on exactly the size and presentation of the image you have in mind.

Framing is another option. We can create our canvases and have them framed prior to delivery, or if you wish, you can have them framed at your local professional framer. Again, just contact us at, and we will provide you a quote directly.

Awesome Website of the Week: Paul Friedman, the owner of this innovative business is donating a percentage of his GROSS, not NET, to the Seed Foundation. Click here for more information about the Seed Foundation.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Planning your Photographs

"If I ONLY had my Camera!"

I hear this so many times, but even if you DO have your camera, how many of those images actually come out like you hope? Any of them?

So what do you think: Is it just bad luck? Is it just "being there?" Is it lack of technical savvy? Or is it lack of prepartion and planning?

My guess is the latter. Luck, skill and "being there" are all possible contributors to a magic picture moment, but you can't just expect the image to be planted in front of you, or for the picture to be welcomed to your camera to live for a while.

This never happens.

Images are not captured, they are made. They are planned, anticipated, and ultimately crafted lovingly by people who take the time to understand what they are doing.

This pretty little church in Paxton, MA, was not a simple snapshot.

We drove into town the Friday before Easter, and I saw this little church on the far side of the woods, bathed in weird pinkish floodlights against an indigo twilight sky. I spent a piece of the next day working on equipment and planning where, and how I would capture the image.

I spent about an hour and a half just walking the site to get the exact angle. Then another half hour waiting for the lights to come on and the sky to settle into exactly the indigo shade I wanted. A cloud passing over at the wrong moment would have ruined the look I was after. I
was prepared to come back a second night if nature didn't cooperate.

My students hear it all the time - "If you want the extraordinary image, you have to get uncomfortable." You have to give your time, your creativity, and your comfort level a shake down. Sometimes this means lying down in the mud or snow to get the angle you want. Sometimes it involves cliffs, ladders and other places it is difficult to get to. Sometimes it involves just waiting... and waiting... and waiting until the perfect seconds tick into place.

Other times, you have to get up at 4 AM to get the first rays of dawn illuminating a waterfall or a flock of geese. Just like the post office, photographers have to be out there in snow, rain, and hail. Each element has it's own difficulties, and rewards.

Anyone can stand up, point a camera, and get a fair snapshot. It takes planning and persistance to capture the extraordinary image.

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Welcome to the artist's corner.

As photographers, we always try to not only show a thing, but a feeling as well. In our craft we sometimes refer to it as a "universal theme" which can be felt and understood by everyone who views the work.

Universal themes are usually easily identified and felt by both the artist and viewer, but not so easily verbalized. Also, a truly versatile image may have the impression of multiple feelings, understood only in the heart of each viewer.

Photographers by nature are emotional animals. We not only look for images, but feelings, tastes, textures as well. We hope you enjoy feeling the work of our photographic artists at

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Featured article in Tompkins Weekly!

We are honored by Tompkins Weekly article featuring our company! You can visit the article at . Look for us on page 10 and 11! Thank you, Sue Henniger, for coming in to meet with us, and learning about IthacaStock!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It Ain't the Violin

Photographers are some of the biggest technology geeks in the world.

The newest camera comes out, and we rush like an elephant herd to go get it, so that we can take better pictures. The problem is, the photos don't actually get a lot better. Clearer, sharper, less noise maybe, but unless we improve ourselves, the hardware won't make much of a difference.

So, not in any particular order, let me give you a few tips to help improve your work straight away, without costing you a camera worthy of a second mortgage.

Step One: Identify your subject.
You would think this was simple, right? For the most part it is, but our eye sees lots of stuff, and we want to capture the scene, the smell, the sun, the hot dogs- whatever. Train yourselves to ask, as you're aiming the camera, what am I trying to show? Simplify!

Step Two: Seperate your subject from the background.
This can be done by using a large aperture so that only the subject is in focus - use the portrait mode for you with the point and shoot cameras - if your subject is moving, pan the camera so your subject is in focus, and everything else is blurred.

Always look for the background. Think: "Will this background help or hurt the image?" Sometimes a distraction can be hidden behind your subject by moving a step or two.

Step Three: Move your subject off center.
Your subject should be 1/3 to the left, right, top or bottom of center. Of course, this is more what the pirates call "Guidelines," and there are exceptions. Never put the horizon at the exact center of a photograph.

Step Four: Diagonals and Curves.
Your eye wants to move through a photo and explore. If everything to see is smack in the middle and square, the eye says, "OK, I'm done." Diagonals and curves bring a third dimension to your images, which causes our eye to be curious and wander.

Step Five: Get Uncomfortable.
"What? Get Uncomfortable? I just want to be a photographer and take pictures. Why should I get uncomfortable?" The truth is, anyone can hold a camera at eye level, and press a button. And they get exactly what they've worked for, a snapshot.

To capture a great image, you must get uncomfortable, and explore perspectives a "normal" person just won't try. This is spring time, when the flowers and trees are blooming. Try photographing from beneath them, and see what glorious images you get as the sun illuminates and glows through the colors of petals and leaves. Lie down in the wet grass to get the image of dew on a crisp morning. Get up at 4 AM and drive to the forest to catch the first rays of sun in a wild wood.

Your perspective is Unique. Nobody sees things exactly like you do!
Capture it, and share it!
The tips I've given here aren't rocket science, and can be accomplished by anyone with a camera, from a Brownie to a Canon EOS. These tips are merely tools, helping your talent flare and focus into images worthy of a professional.
So you see, it ain't the violin, it's the violinist. A picture isn't about the camera, it reflects the photographer.
Until Next Time,

Friday, April 30, 2010 comes ALIVE May 5! comes officially to life on May 5, 2010.

Our contributors are not only from Ithaca, but Virginia Beach, Hawaii, Alaska, Syracuse, Rochester, on the shore of Lake Ontario, and many, many more places all across the fruited plain!

So don't make the erroneous assumption that if you are not in Ithaca, we are not for you.

When we began, it was, among other things, a simple act of frustration.

We got on to the big stock sites, and, although they boasted 10 million images, they never had EXACTLY what I wanted.

And don't get me started on their call routing systems.

So we decided to begin a stock agency with the simple concept of providing to people, exactly the perfect image.

We also want provide customer service that you have never before experienced, all without a call routing system. When you call or email, you will be responded to by a human being who knows her stuff.

But Wait! There's MORE!

The other reason we considered opening a stock agency, is that Miles and I were looking for an outlet for our work. Now I'm speaking for myself here, but I think I'm a pretty good photographer - but there are many I am connected with, through PPSNYS (Professional Photographer's Society of New York State) and PPA (Professional Photographers of America), who are so awesome in their talent, that I am not worthy to even carry their exposure meter.

Wouldn't it be great if I could represent the work of these incredible photo artists, and share the work that they create with you?

So we're almost ready.

Our contributors are uploading many photographs that we hope will catch your eye, images to use in your publications, on your web site, to hang in your office or to use within your new brochure.

So look for a communication on May 5 from
We'll post on Facebook, on Twitter, on the radio in Central New York, via this blog, and by email to everyone who ever knew me or any of my friends...

Please come visit the site.
Please pass this on!
Have an AWESOME day!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Contributor to

Contributors to aren't just folks off the street. They are professionals in photographic arts, and passionate artists with their own unique vision.

My good friend Honey DeLapa is one of these awesome people whose images light up the heart.

Honey DeLapa of DeLapa Photography in Hilton, NY, began her professional career in the late seventies, making beautiful images for wedding and portrait clients. She is a member of the Professional Photographers Society of New York State and the Professional Photographers of America and her work has been honored with many awards. She has studied with some of the world’s finest photographers throughout her career and continues to educate herself in the latest photographic trends.

Photographs created by Honey have been exhibited at galleries in the
Monroe County area and have been published in “Upstate” and “Finger Lakes” magazines.

In 1997, she began creating a series of prints entitled “Impressions” which are produced without the traditional photo chemical process. Each print is made from an original, hand manipulated photograph which is then digitized.

Today her work is created digitally and she continually adds to her large collection of stock images.

Monday, March 8, 2010

We are Raw Material!

We are photographic artists, providing our treasured, massaged, carefully manicured images to another creative arena. As artists, we love the work we've done, and want the viewing public to adore it for all of its natural splendor.

So we upload it to a stock site, and expect it to be featured in a travel brochure, or as a centerpiece of a TV commercial.

Our clients, however, are artists in their own right. They see images as raw material to enhance and fill out their own artistic vision. Your carefully crafted image might be wholly unrecognizable in its next generation form, but without it, the graphics designer would not have had the raw material with which to create their own art.

For example, on the left is a photo of Ithaca Falls, in Ithaca, NY.

I, personally, think that this is a beautiful photo of early spring, life just returning to the trees; an image of cold, raw beauty.

On the right, is the graphics designer's creation. Only elements of the original image were used, the color changed, graphics and labels added - and this is background to the web site's menu.

Is one better than the other?
Do I care what they have done to my image?
Does it matter? I don't think so.

The image was used for exactly the purpose for which a stock image was intended - as raw material for the graphics designer,

Each is valid.
Each is art.
Each is wonderful.

Until next time!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Time to Shine!

Talent is an awesome thing.

We each have our little niches - things that we do better and faster and just more awesome than anyone else.

Welcome to

Our purpose is to connect some of the best professional photographers in America with the best graphics designers and the best interior designers of commercial spaces.

We have some wonderful things to offer each other, and I can't wait to get started! was started with the intent of offering very high quality images, iconic images of localities, directed mainly at Graphics designers in the Ithaca, NY area. The concept has exploded into a collection of awesome photographers providing images from such varied places as Ithaca, NY (of course); Virginia Beach, VA; Rochester, NY; Syracuse, NY; the Adirondack region of NYS, Ouray, CO; and many more.

As we get closer to "Lighting this Candle", I'll keep you updated on newly covered areas, dates we plan to be going on line, opportunities for photographers and clients and much, much more.

Expect profiles of some of the extraordinary photographers to be posted here and on our web site, as well as samples of our participant's work.

Please visit and sign up for our newsletter for news and opening specials, as well as opportunities and special opportunities for photographers!