Friday, July 28, 2017

San Juan Island Brewing Company -- Grand Opening!

For the July 27 Grand Opening of the San Juan Island Brewing Company -- Friday Harbor's new and biggest brewery -- I figured I'd get there an hour late to make sure there was anyone to photograph. Big mistake! Both the huge interior and the patio were packed, and there was a line waiting at the door. Luckily for me, co-owner Verne Howard kindly let me in with no better story than that I wanted to take photos for this blog.

Full disclosure: I don't drink beer or any other alcoholic beverage. But I love the cordiality and aesthetic of the new brewery, and I think it's a great gathering place -- especially as one of the few places in Friday Harbor open after 7:00 p.m. Oh, and there's food too! (I just hope they plan to provide wireless.)

Verne is also the owner of Friday Harbor's only two supermarkets, King's Market and Marketplace, so he is a huge contributor to this community. And I'm sure the new brewery will take its place as another of his important gifts.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Basketball in Friday Harbor

I recently decided to stretch myself and try photographing some basketball at Friday Harbor High School. Basketball is considered one of the more extreme challenges of both a photographer and his gear, and I can now attest to that personally. But I enjoy a challenge, so I'm having fun and learning a lot. (Plus, I managed to get a number of photos from the first weekend into the San Juan Islands Journal and the San Juan Island Update.)

The photos below are favorites of mine from the few games I've shot so far. They include Boys and Girls Varsity, and all are home games, starting with the Third Annual Tip Off Classic Basketball Tournament on December 2 and 3. The competing high schools you'll see are Seattle Lutheran, Meridian, Coupeville, Shoreline Christian, and Nooksack Valley.

Truthfully, it was hard to whittle down the selection, as the Friday Harbor boys and girls are so photogenic on the court. But if you want to see lots more, you can head over to my new store at

As in all my photography, I'm aiming to capture emotion, interaction, and the telling moment. Also, to me, part of the joy of this photography is that basketball is a kind of dance, with all the physical grace that implies. I don't understand basketball photographers who mostly zoom in to the upper bodies in landscape mode, because, just as in dance, an essential part of the story is in the feet! (I just wish someone would hire me to shoot some actual dance -- hint, hint.)

For photography buffs, I'll mention that most of these photos were shot with various combinations of Nikon cameras D500 and D750 and Nikon lenses 24-70mm f/4 and 70-200mm f/4. Shutter speed was mostly a steady 1/1000. I'm now setting my auto ISO to a maximum of 51,200 for safety, but with my f/4 lenses and no exposure compensation, it has stayed between 6400 and 12,800 anyway. Just a few years ago, photos at such high ISO settings would have been too noisy to publish!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Cell Phones of Friday Harbor

I have to admit, I don't care for cell phones. I do own one for emergencies, but it's seldom turned on. When I'm away from my desk, I prefer to be away from my desk. When I'm walking around town, I prefer to be walking around town. When I'm with a friend or loved one, I prefer to be with a friend or loved one.

My feelings are different, though, as a photographer. Cell phones, being the great distracter, give me the chance to photograph people up close without them ever noticing. And there's something about the cell phone that makes people reveal the most private and personal feelings, right there on their faces, right in public. With any luck, I'm there to capture those unguarded moments with a click.