Thanks, Steve Jobs…

6 10 2011

A Visionary

My experiences with Apple started with the Apple II.  My parents bought an Apple III way back when… Then, my brothers and my Dad started a small company we registered as “InterOcean Technologies” to develop dive computers (scuba diving) and in the process, became official Apple developers.  (That is an entirely different story for another time…)

We purchased a bunch of Mac computers, and along with an Apple Lisa (with the so expensive 5M external hard drive or as Apple called it – “Profile”)!  That was 1984.  What a magical piece of ‘simple’ technology.  The family and I have been using Apple computers ever since.

Thank you Steve Jobs for the innovative, thoughtful, useful and darn it, just plain FUN products.  May you rest in peace.

Boots On The Road

27 09 2011

These Boots Are Made For Walking

This summer, I had the opportunity to meet many good people and take many different photos.  I will be posting more as the days get rainy… and shorter.  This is one of my favorites.  I’ve ordered one for the studio walls, so I thought I would share it here as well.

Roads rolling off in to the distance have always appealed to me on many different levels.  I am not sure if it comes from some unresolved wanderlust or vestiges of long ago family’s vacations when I was a boy. Either way or for whatever reason, it often serves as a artistic draw to me… as it did in this photo.

No matter where we’ve come from or where we end up, the journey on our own road is what we make of it.  Sure we have to deal with obstacles, storms, and even a jerk or two along the way… but if we pick our way with care, we can chose a path of our own making, help (and perhaps receive help) from others along the way, and end up in a place from which we can help our own children take their first steps.


Lacey and Cruz

12 08 2011

I really like this life as a photographer. Great pay, great travel and great clients!  OK… maybe I am fibbing about the first two.  I do really enjoy working with families, meeting everyone, learning about what they do, and mostly, capturing their lives’ fleeting moments as images the family can keep forever.  As a father of two early twenty year olds, I cannot believe how quickly children grow up, move out and start their own lives.  I believe photographing young families helps me keep ‘young’… or at least feel young.

So it was with great pleasure I was able to photograph Lacey and her son, Cruz, earlier this summer.  We chose the Olympia waterfront and Farmer’s Market as the location. On a Saturday.  Insanity with a 9 month old? No. Not at all!


Now, I am not a seafaring person and asking me about the tide makes me immediately think about the clothes washer, so I was at first concerned when we got onsite and the tide (on Puget Sound/Budd Inlet) was out. I mean… WAY out.  No sweat.  We made it a feature.

Lacey & Cruz

Next stop was the Farmer’s market.  I love this location for photographs. There is lots of colors, movement, shadows, textures and light.  All of it different and all of it constantly changing.  It is the kind of place that photographers like David Hobby or Joe McNally would just eat up with their bazillion cameras and strobe units.  (OK… I tend to exaggerate a bit. A ‘bazillion’ only describes McNally…. Hobby appears to travel with less luggage…).


Cruz’s Grandpa calls him the ‘world’s cutest grandchild’. Now, until I have my own, (NOT a hint, Amanda & Ethan. I can wait!!!) I might have to agree.  I will tell you though, I am happy to provide him the photographs he can show to brag on his daughter and grandchild.

Gotta love a job like that!

(PS… Thank you Lacey and Cruz for a wonderful afternoon!)

— Jeff

Rob Pincus – Shooting a Shootist

12 06 2011

I recently took a weekend of training at the Firearms Academy of Seattle (FAS) taught by Rob Pincus, from I.C.E Training.  Rob has developed and taught defensive shooting techniques for Military, Law Enforcement and security personnel, called Combat Focused Shooting.  As Rob explains it, Combat Focus Shooting “…is an intuitive shooting program designed to work efficiently with the body’s natural reactions during a dynamic critical incident.”  It is pretty intense training.  But fun.

 Rob is working on a new series of defensive DVD’s.  While at FAS, he filmed a series of scenes about training for responding to an ambush.  He was looking for volunteers and I was able to make it one of the days and brought my camera.  Why not mix a little fun into the action?

I got there late and the ‘cast and crew’ had already been at it for most the day.  During the few hours I was there, they were training to defend against a car attack or hijack.  In reality, the training was also a good exercise to prepare for defensive action while seated at a table or any chair for that matter.

So, in the first selection of photos to the right, the student realizes the threat, draws straight up the side of his body, roles the pistol sideways, keeping it close to his body while directing the business end of the pistol towards the ‘threat’, leans back and shoots.  Easy as that… sort of.

Handguns and shooting is very serious business and to do it right (and safely) one should start with an experienced and competent instructor.  I found Pincus both as well as a very thorough and focused instructor.  He took interest in every student and watched everyone pushing them to perform at their best.

Shooting seated from a car is not so easy – or at least as easy as Hollywood would have you believe.  To do it right and safely takes practice and training.  Pincus ran the class through the exercise  from his ‘mobile classroom’ – a Toyota Cruiser.  He first demonstrated then had each student shoot through the driver’s (opened) window and the passenger’s window.  Shooting through a car’s window is nerve wracking enough, but the thought of accidentally  shooting low and into Pincus’ car door added a bit more pressure to the exercise.  Fortunately, no one had to buy Pincus a new door.  In fact there was no evidence that anyone ever hit the door, ceiling or dash.  However, I would bet that more than one piece of brass is rattling around in the duct work of that Cruiser.

I am not sure how Pincus’ DVD came out, but I know I enjoyed the training as well as taking the photos, some of which I have posted here.

Thanks to Rob Pincus, the class, FAS, ICE and all the others for the great evening of… “shooting” fun.


The new Nikon D700 performed flawlessly.  I love its low light capability of its 12MB FX sensor.  I used my Nikon 80-200 AFS f2.8 lens and it too performed wonderfully. I am sure Joe McNally and David Hobby would have found a way to use a flash in the photos, I decided not to interrupt the shoot (I am talking DVD now) to set up my shot.  🙂


— Jeff

Memorial Day 2011

31 05 2011

I had the pleasure to photograph a Rucksack Run that left from the Military Family sculpture on Memorial Day.  The run left the sculpture on the SE corner of Marvin Rd and Quinault Dr. to the “kite sculpture” on Sleater Kinney Road just south of I-5.  All in all it was about a 10 mile run.  There were nearly 50 JBLM soldiers who ran or walked the route in honor of Memorial Day and the Wounded Warrior project. Not only did the soldiers participate, but so did some family members (even those four footed family members!)

It is always something special for me to be asked to photograph an event held for the military and their families.  They provide so much. They sacrifice so much.

Of special note, the run was organized by SSG Juan C Lugo and his wife, Toni.  Toni said that organizing this event was important to her and her husband – even so that she was expecting at any moment and still saw that the run took place.  Good thing she did not put off the event any longer, as her water broke shortly after the run started.  Being the strong and capable Army wife that she is, Toni stayed at the Military Family sculpture until Juan returned from the run.  They left immediately for the hospital!  I haven’t heard when their baby boy was delivered, but I expect all is fine in the Lugo household.

May we all be blessed with the strength of these families.

Victoria, BC

3 04 2011

I’ve been fortunate to visit many different places. One of my favorites is Victoria, British Columbia. I just recently visited Victoria with Sherry. While she attended her Rotary meetings, I enjoyed the sights and sounds of this small Provincial Capitol… of course with camera in hand.

For those of you who may not know, Victoria is situated on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, across the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Port Angeles, Washington. Victoria is a great destination for a get away. You can get there by car (requires a ferry from Vancouver, or Port Angeles), by plane (float planes fly here from Vancouver and Seattle) or of course, boat. We’ve always traveled here by car and ferry, though one of these times I plan on bringing a bike! Hotels are reasonably priced, and the food is great. At some point, I will want to blog about the eating opportunities, but that will have to wait for a later time.

Walking around Victoria, there is much to see, starting first with the main feature of Victoria, the waterfront.

Just walk along the waterfront, you will find many different interesting sights. For instance, not too far from the photo above I found this doorway into the lower level of an old warehouse. I am drawn to old doors. Not sure why, but it doesn’t really matter. They make great subjects for photos!

Victoria is known for its gardens. This year, we were here about a week or two early. The cherry blossoms were just coming out. On the warm hillsides, the buds were blooming. In the shade or cooler areas, the buds were almost there.

I found the flowers below down along the waterside. I will have to look them up or perhaps someone will know what they are, but they were very delicate.

One of the “Grand Hotels” of Victoria is the Empress Hotel. Prominently situated on Victoria’s Inner Harbor, the Empress watches over the city’s comings and goings as the floatplanes and ferries dock just across the street. This is an impressive hotel – one that I rank right up there with the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado (where The Shining was filmed) and the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan (where Somewhere In Time was filmed). The Empress appears ready for a visit from British Royalty at any moment. In fact, they prepare authentic Afternoon Tea every day.

If you travel with a camera in hand… (and who doesn’t these days with digital cameras in every cell phone!) I recommend that one of your trips take you Victoria. Make sure you plan on bringing that camera, your favorite traveling companion and your appetite. You will not be disappointed in your trip in the least.

I have several new posts in the works including a recap of 2010 Operation: Love Reunited families and the wedding of Liz and Tyler in Cheyenne!

Until then…

2010 Military Family Support Day

15 11 2010

It has been a busy summer.  It is slowing down now with the fall so it is my intent to get somethings posted that have long been delayed.  First and quickly, I want to post the slideshow from this year’s Military Family Support Day.  The MFSD was established 8 years ago by the Hawks Prairie Rotary Club to recognize the sacrifice of the families left behind when a soldier deploys.  Money raised in the community for the event are directly back into programs to assist military families in the Lacey and Olympia, Washington, area.  It all goes back.  It is a wonderful program and one that I help sponsor through my donation of photographs the event for the Hawks Prairie Rotary Club.

You can view the slideshow on YourTube here: 

Stay tune for more updates in the coming days.  I have photos from sessions this past summer and fall I will be posting!