Thursday, October 20, 2011

September Pollux Awards - WPGA - FINE ART

I just received word that my photograph "Antigua Window" won first place in the fine art category of the September Pollux awards.

Congratulations to all the winners.

You can view my website at:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hope for Tomorrow

I am donating a couple of photographs and a couple of my paintings for a very important, very special event.  They will be auctioned to help children.

One of the photographs you can bid on. (16X20).  Signed by the artist.

 One of my paintings (16X20)

On Sunday, October 16, an event to help Guatemalan orphans will be held in my area (Southern Illinois). The Hope for Tomorrow Children’s Home in Guatemala will hold a fundraiser at the Walker's Bluff Vineyard (Reed Station Rd.) between Noon and 6PM. If you’re already in the area, it will be worth the trip. If you live several hundred miles away, it would be a great excuse to visit Southern Illinois’ famous wine trail and beautiful vineyards. Don’t forget your camera gear. If you can come, I will see you there.

I can already tell you that my artwork is worth many thousands of dollars, maybe millions.  However, I'll bet that you can get it for a lot less, although I hope you'll bid as much as you can -- afterall, it's to help children who can really use your help.  A friend of mine, also a fine photographer and artist, Steve McLaughlin, is also donating one of his paintings. His artwork is worth billions.  I hope you'll believe all that I'm telling you because children are at stake. However, his artwork has truly inspired me, and if you get his painting, you'll be very lucky, indeed.

Please take a look at this article in The Southern Illinoian about the Hope for Tomorrow Children's Home.

If, however, you’re not able to attend, please consider a tax deductable donation to this very worthy cause. Also, consider sponsoring a child. Check out the Hope for Tomorrow Children’s Home website and you’ll understand the importance of the cause and also that this is a legitimate charity that will make a real difference in the lives of children. Information on helping can be found within the website.

You can view my website at:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

International Photo Award Honorable Mentions

I recieved word that I recieved four honorable mentions in the 2011 International Photography Awards.  Congratulations to all the winners and honorable mentions.  My honorable mentions are below.

One of five photos from the series "Mayan Women."

One of two photos from the series "Holy Cross Chapel, Slovakia."

One of five photos from the series "Views of Antigua."

One of one photos: "The Bus Esmeralda."

See all the winners at:

You can view my website at:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

2nd WPGA Black & White Awards

I was surprised to learn that I have received  First, Second, and Third place awards in the Worldwide Photographic Gala Awards (WPGA)  2nd Edition B&W Photography Awards.  Additionally, there was also a Special Mention of the Jury.

 Loyal readers of my blog will remember the very first photo I ever published on this blog back in November of 2009.  In my first entry Learning Photoshop and my Dog have a Lot in Common, I wrote a sort-of-true story about my dog, Mr. Watson. The photo posted along with it was the one that won first place in the category of Animals and Wildlife.  Upon seeing the photo, a professional photographer wrote to me: "I feel I can communicate with this animal from his portrait."  Needless to say, you can see the intelligence in his eyes.  For more on that, be sure to read the 2009 entry.

Mr. Watson.  First Place in Animals and Wildlife category
The other two winners are a landscape and a street scene I photographed several years ago in Slovakia.  I waited until last year to process the images as black & white photographs.

Old Bratislava Street.  Second Place in Cityscapes and Street Photography category.

Holy Cross Chapel Landscape.  Third place in Landscape category.

The Special Mention of the Jury was the Arch of Santa Catalina in Antigua, Guatemala.

Arch of Santa Catalina, Guatemala.  Special Mention of the Jury (Cityscapes).
Congratulations to all the winners.  You can see them here.

My website is at:

Sunday, July 3, 2011

You Can Go Back - For Photographs

Everyone was away from home, so I decided to take a drive, camera beside me, to see the old Pomona General Store.  It was only forty minutes away, with nighttime and stormy skies approaching.  The last time I'd been there in the 1980's, the store was a tourist attraction on the way to a natural bridge formation in the Shawnee National Forest.  I remembered it fondly as a functioning piece of history, that still served sandwiches and Green River soda from an old-fashioned fountain. That was then. Now, it is a very different place.  As I pulled up, it was obviously both neglected and well-kept, with customers a long-forgotten memory. Flowers were in a bed on the porch, but it was also grown up around the building.  I was lucky in that the light was dramatic end-of-day light, with even more dramatic storm clouds in the background.  It was perfect for both black & white and color efforts. 

Click on each image for a larger view.  Use the browser's back button to get back.

After a few minutes the light was gone, and I drove home.  I had gone back, though, to a place that still exudes the character of another time.  I suppose this place will still be here in another thirty or fifty years, maybe longer.  I hope so; otherwise, it will be a very lonely and desolate spot. These are the type of places made for photography.

You can view my web site at

Friday, July 1, 2011

PX3 - People's Choice Award

I just received word that my "Mayan Women" series won 2nd place in the Portrait category of the Prix de la Photographie, Paris (PX3) People's Choice Awards.  Congratulations to all the winners.

You can see all the People's Choice Award winners at:

My website is at:

Friday, June 10, 2011

PX3 - Views of Antigua, Guatemala

UPDATE:  I just learned that eight other entries are also official selections, in addition to the series below.
I was pleased to learn this morning that the jurors of the Prix de la Photographie, Paris (Px3), have named my Views of Antigua series as a "Px3 Official Selection for 2011."  The jury's final selection will be announced next week.

You can find the Px3 at 

My website is at:

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Summer Art Exhibition

This summer, if you happen to be in Southern Illinois, you can see a couple of my photographic prints at the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Mt. Vernon.  Antigua Garden and Holy Cross Chapel, Slovakia will be on display as part of the Southern Illinois Artrists Open Competition.  My photographs will be among 62 works featured.  The show will consist of paintings, drawings, ceramics, sculptures, etc., in addition to photographs.  The exhibition is August 6 - October 28, 2011.  The exhibition preview and awards ceremony is August 6 at 6:30 pm.

Antigua Garden

Holy Cross Chapel, Slovakia

Another of my photographys, Arch of Santa Catalina, Guatemala was recognized last week with a second place win in the April Pollux Awards.

Arch of Santa Catalina, Guatemala

Now that it's summer, it's time to capture more images....

You can view my website at:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

WPGA Pollux Awards Announced

I was pleased to learn that my portfolio of Guatemala portraits won first place in the non-professional division of the Worldwide Photographic Gala Awards/Pollux Awards.

There were 18,912 entries from 65 countries.  Congratulations to all of the winners and honorable mentions.
You can view my website at:

Friday, March 18, 2011

Children are the Best Photographic Subjects

Most of the time, I don't really want people staring into the lens of my camera.  With children, it doesn't really matter -- because you get an honest image that tells something about the subject.  My example is below:  Mayan Indian children at a rural school in Chimaltenango, Guatemala.  As school children, they are curious as school children should be.  Their curiosity is reflected in every face.  Who is this with a camera?  What is he doing at my school?  What is this all about?  Why is he taking our picture?

Click on the photo for a larger image.
I'm very pleased with the above photograph, not because it's technically a masterpiece or anywhere close -- but it tells a great story-- an after all, isn't that what photography is about?

You can view my website at:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Zoo and Playing with PixelBender

My family and I went to the St. Louis Zoo yesterday.  It was the first truly springlike day of the year -- so I brought my camera.  I photographed many of the animals, although I had no intention of using any in my fine art photography.  I also photographed some ornamental grasses, which do have potential as fine art.

It was the prairie dogs, however that gave me a subject to play with in PixelBender.  PixelBender is a plug-in available for free download from Adobe.  It gives you the option of adding paint-like effects.  More work is still needed in Photoshop to achieve a finished look, but it give a great start on a fun project.  It's certainly not fine art, but it's a picture that could be printed to canvas to please any prairie dog lover.  Be sure to click on the image to get a better view of the brush strokes.

Click on the image to see more details of the painting.

As for the ornamental grass, it begs for a black&white sepia treatment.

Click on the image to see more details.

You can view my website at:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Portrait & People WPGA Awards Announced

I received word this morning that I'm a Gold Award winner in the Worldwide Photograhic Gala Awards Portrait & People competition.  I'm also a finalist in the Pollux Awards to be announced later in March.

Mayan Beauty

Congratulations to all the winners and participants!

You can view my website at:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Price of Gas: A New Conspiracy Theory (with Photographic Proof)!

An ordinary day, what appears to be the usual commute to the office:  Who would think I would uncover the greatest dastardly scheme to befall the innocent American consumer!

I leave home for work, then four minutes later as I’m going by the local convenience store, I have an irresistible urge to use the bathroom -- unusual to say the least.  I rush in only to find a line of people at the restroom doors  -- again, unusual at just after 7:00 in the morning.  Some of them are jumping up and down and muttering lines such as,  “Hurry up, I’ve really got to pee.” 

“Wow,” I say to myself, as the line grows behind me,  “who would think there’s such a line for the bathroom.”

Finally, I use the facilities, then like everyone else who had been in line, I leave with some snacks and a drink.  I’m already stopped, so I fill the car up with gas before getting back on the road.  At this particular place, unleaded is going for $3.39 a gallon, six cents cheaper than some of the stations only a couple of miles away.

I pull back onto the road, then, glancing through the rear view mirror, the answer to the bathroom queue is revealed to me on the electronic billboard announcing the price of gas.  It’s a conspiracy to make people pee!  I know, I know, you think I’m some kind of ranting loon like Mel Gibson in the Conspiracy Theory movie; actually, you think I make him look sane. But it’s true and the proof is reflected in my car’s rear view mirror.  I’m on to them and they can’t stop me from telling the truth.  As I’ve told you before in by blog, always carry a camera.  Who would think it could prove the greatest mad plot of the twenty-first century?

This is proof that you should always carry a camera. 
 A conspiracy is revealed in the photograph
“Oh, just a coincidence,” you say.  A mirror image of the word "pee" on the gas price sign -- just a coincidence?  I think not!  If the price had been $3.45 instead of the ever-so-clever $3.39, the hoards wouldn’t have been stopping to empty their bladders.  They also wouldn’t have been leaving the store with sodas, coffee, beef jerky, and pricey reflective stickers of Justin Bieber.

Now, we must ask just how widespread is this conspiracy.  Are there hundreds, even thousands of convenience stores with the secret to the billboard that will subliminally force us to pee, then buy all sorts of unneeded food and trinkets as we leave the store?

I demand an investigation.  Who is behind this sinister manipulation and what is next on their agenda?  Look in the rear view mirror at your convenience store and let me know if this insidious conspiracy has reached your neighborhood.  Warn your neighbors, friends, and family before it’s too late.  Contact your elected officials. And when you feel the urge to pull into a convenience store to use the bathroom --resist.  That’s when you know they’ve gained control of your mind.

Let’s stop this mad conspiracy.  If you pee, the bad guys win. Please don’t pee! 
You can view my website at: