Filoli iPhone 11 Pro Photography Uncategorized

Nighttime Photography with the iPhone 11 Pro Max

A few months back I upgraded to the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max primarily for its new camera system. The new system includes three separate cameras and lenses which provide three different focal lengths. Apple calls them wide, ultra wide and telephoto.

Note: It’s ironic with today’s technology that this small handheld device includes three whole cameras and lenses unlike a more traditional camera where a camera body can accommodate different lenses. With the iPhone you get three whole cameras with their lenses.

Last night we attended a holiday event at Filoli in Woodside which began at 4 PM and continued into the evening. Filoli is all decked out in holiday lights and trimming this time of year and, for us, this was the first time we’ve seen it in all its splendor in the evening.

After darkness fell, I had the opportunity to try out night mode on the iPhone 11 Pro with excellent results. When the camera needs to use night mode it switches automatically into that mode and displays a small counter on the screen which tells how long you should try to hold the camera steady which it takes and combines multiple shots behind the scenes into the final image. It’s pretty amazing how well it works and, in typical Apple fashion, how easy it is to make great nighttime images.

Here’s an example taken of the main house at Filoli:

Main House at Filoli – Woodside, California

Here are a couple of other examples straight out of the camera that were taken earlier in the evening before the camera needed to switch into night mode/

Lawn and Swimming Pool – Filoli – Woodside, California
Main House – Filoli – Woodside, California
Gardens – Filoli – Woodside, California

Book: Parable by Jess Walter

In last week’s Kindle Chronicles podcast, Len Edgerly interviewed Amazon’s Julia Sommerfeld about her work as the editorial director of Amazon Original Stories. Amazon Original Stories “brings unforgettable short fiction and nonfiction to Kindle” and the stories are available to Amazon Prime members at no additional cost.

In the interview, Sommerfeld happened to mention a short title “Parable” by Jess Walter that’s part of the Amazon Original Stories series “The One” – “true stories that stay with you.” Walter is the author of a major recent best seller, Beautiful Ruins, that I’ve not read but have heard good things about – “a story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962 . . . and is rekindled in Hollywood fifty years later.”

On a recent hour long drive we listened toJess Walter read the story (with the Original Stories series you get both the Kindle book and the Audible audio book) – and enjoyed it very much. It’s a dog story – and, like most dog stories, also a love story that makes you remember how having a dog affected your life. In addition to the story, Walter’s narration is perfect for the book.

The Kindle Chronicles is one of my favorite weekly podcasts. Edgerly has maintained a rigorous every Friday posting schedule for almost 600 weekly episodes – for me, the Chronicles has become a regular Saturday morning listening pleasure every weekend!

Black and White Lightroom CC Photography Photography Workflow Uncategorized

Finishing Touches

Recently, I’ve been doing a lot more post-processing of portraits that I’ve taken over the years. There are some finishing touches easily applied in Lightroom that can be very helpful in making a portrait look great. Here are some of my favorites…



Aubri Zamo

I wrote earlier about the recent workshop I took in Santa Fe taught by Cira Crowell. One of the best parts of the workshop was being able to work with several excellent models during our photo shoots.

Aubri Zamo was the first model my group worked with – and we had a great time photographing her in several different settings. This is one of my favorites – outside on the deck overlooking Santa Fe in the distance. Shot with my Sony RX100M6, edited in Lightroom, Portraiture, Silver Efex Pro 2, and Snapseed.

Black and White Monochrome Photography New Mexico Photography Photography - Black & White Uncategorized

What’s behind that door?

There’s a week of new learning ahead in Santa Fe!…

I’m here for The Language of Black and White workshop by Cira Crowell.


Pieces of April

It’s funny how inspiration happens! Recently I was listening to an oldies playlist when Three Dog Night’s song Pieces of April began playing. It’s one of my old favorites but I hadn’t heard it in a long time.

The song got me inspired to take a look back through my images doing a search for all that had been taken during the month of April. I came across this image from south of Market in San Francisco that was shot during one of my regular photo walks with my friend Doug Kaye. It’s on a walkway between Mission and Stevenson Streets by Golden Gate University. On this particular morning the sun was bright and relatively low making for a very high contrast and shadows. Somehow the title of the song stuck and this this image inherited the title!

Image taken April 24, 2015 with Fujifilm X100T.

iPhone Xs Max Menlo Park Photography Portola Valley Uncategorized

Early Spring along Sand Hill Road

It’s early spring here in Menlo Park and the drive west into Woodside and Portola Valley along Sand Hill Road is one of my favorites. Along the way there are several wonderful old trees – including this one, perhaps my favorite! Shot with my iPhone Xs Max.

Early Spring



Remembering Dad this Father’s Day…he would have been 97 this year.

And I agree with Fred Wilson’s timely comments on The Parent Child Relationship.




Last Friday I was in South Dakota for a family event that included the burial of my Dad’s remains along with the celebration of the 140th anniversary of my great grandfather’s family being part of eleven covered wagons who left Minnesota to settle on Homestead land grants near Garretson, South Dakota. This road runs along the stateline boundary between Minnesota and on the left and Iowa on the right.


Sneaking Up on Christmas

It’s an early grey – but warm – morning outside here on Christmas Eve.

We’re already getting ready for a big family get together tonight at our place. Lots of goodies, family chat, gifts, food and drink. I’ll be heading out to the store shortly for some last minute supplies, trying to avoid the crush.

I’m really looking forward to things slowing down just a bit over the next few days – before that inevitable bustle of everything cranking back up to full speed again begins in the New Year!

Best Christmas wishes!