One of my favorite views of Chicago

Indiana Dunes has a great view of the Chicago skyline from across Lake Michigan. You can see the city on most days and I’ve photographed this view before but there’s something special about how the sun was reflecting on Willis Tower.

Good morning, Atlanta!

I’m in ATL this week! I spoke on a social media panel yesterday for the Atlanta CVB and have meetings the rest of the week. It’s amazing how much less time you have when travel is involved, right? I got up early <gasp> to try to catch up on work and woke up to this…

Design Seeds

I am by no means a designer but I know what I like when I see it and I’ve found a new resource in Design Seeds. This site has the perfect combination of colors and photography. I’ve seen color schemes here that I never would have thought about using before but when a photo is…

Smoky Mountains, October 2011

I’ve been to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park twice before but it’s been many, many years since then and I wanted this trip to focus on photography and antiquing. Autumn is quite possibly the most breathtaking season in the Smokies and I wanted to plan the trip for when the leaves would be changing colors. So, as any social media addict would, I researched Flickr photos to see when the most colorful photos were taken, mostly focusing on the past few years. It turned out that my research, along with a lot of luck, actually worked.

This was a short trip last month — only four days including the 9.5-hour drive each way. The first day in the park was mostly spent driving scenic loop roads and setting up my tripod along side of a river to catch reflections and mini waterfalls. I also got to test out my new close-up filters on leaves. It was the perfect setting for this.

Brook at Great Smoky Mountains

The Best View of Chicago

Chicago is a diverse and exciting city. There are a million spots that are great to photograph but my favorite view is of the skyline from the hill just in front of Adler Planetarium.

Here are some photos I shot last week from this spot:

Chicago from Museum Campus


I’ve always loved nature and consider myself lucky to have gone camping each summer growing up. My family had a motorhome so it wasn’t really roughing it but it still was camping. We would sit around campfires at night, gazing at the stars.

When some local photographer friends made plans for a night photoshoot, thoughts of those summer camping trips came to mind. Even though it’s been many years since those trips, I don’t remember ever seeing as many stars as I did Friday night. It literally took my breath away. The photos cannot even give you a glimpse of how incredible the night sky was but they may inspire you to travel away from light pollution and get a view of your own.

These photos were taken at Willow Slough Fish & Wildlife Area near Morocco, Indiana. I plan to go back so let me know if you’re interested in tagging along. Let’s just hope we don’t hear as many coyotes as I did the other night!

Night sky

Pure Michigan’s South Haven

There’s nothing more soothing than the sound of waves lapping along the shore. I’ve been a Midwesterner all my life but I’m drawn to the water like a moth to light. Luckily I’m pretty close to Lake Michigan and have taken many photographic journeys up the Lake Michigan coast in Northwest Indiana and Southwest Michigan.

There are seven lighthouses from Michigan City to Muskegon and I’ve had the pleasure of photographing all of them in various seasons. My absolute favorite though is the South Haven South Pier Light. Don’t get wrong, South Haven has an incredibly charming downtown area full of boutique shops and restaurants, but my inspiration is the lighthouse.

Come along this photo journey with me and see why the state is called Pure Michigan.

Colorful sunset

Just be. Colorful.

I’ve been thinking about starting another photography project but with so many possibilities, it was hard to narrow down the idea. My main goal for this project is to create another photography commitment, similar to my Project 365, so I’ll shoot more frequently and enhance my skills but the big difference will be a non-daily commitment so I can work more on creativity, rather than discipline.

I’ve decided to focus on colors for this next project. The rules are going to be fairly simple: take at least 5 photos per month based on the themed color. And I’m stealing the “Just be.” phrase from a tourism campaign but only because it’s a great idea. Here’s the plan:

  • August: Just be. Yellow.
  • September: Just be. Red.
  • October: Just be. Orange.
  • November: Just be. Brown.
  • December: Just be. Silver.
  • January: Just be. White.
  • February: Just be. Black.
  • March: Just be. Blue.
  • April: Just be. Green.
  • May: Just be. Pink.
  • June: Just be. Purple.
  • July: Just be. Gold.

Join me on this colorful journey through my camera’s eye! Here are some of my Just be. Yellow. shots for August:

Yellow Hibiscus

Project 365: a year later

It’s hard to believe that an entire year has passed since I started my photography Project 365. Not a day had gone by without me taking a photo, even if it was before I went to bed at 2am. Obviously some of those photos lacked creativity but there are a number of photos that I’m proud of. Here’s a sampling:

The beginning and the end (July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011):

Knot 001/365 Knot 365/365

My series of dog noses (Aug 9, 10, 11):

Chip 040/365 Freckle Face 041/365 Doodle Bug 042/365

One of the best sunsets I’ve ever shot (July 16):Sunset 016/365

Oak Park Conservatory

We had a few sunny days here but we’re still in the middle of winter. So what can you do to get rid of the winter blues? Spend some time with beautiful blooming flowers!

The Oak Park Conservatory is a hidden gem. You can view three large greenhouses for a suggested donation of $2. I was just there Saturday to practice photography and absolutely loved it! In addition to the plants, they have a small pond with koi and two red-ear slider turtles as well as several bird cages. There were numerous families and a few retired couples which only confirms that it’s a great place for people of all ages.

You can view all of my Oak Park Conservatory photos on flickr but here are some of my favorite shots:

Sparkling Lily 234/365