St. Johns River by Heather Hummel

St. Johns River by Heather Hummel
St. Johns River by Heather Hummel Photography

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Featured Photographer: Marcel Pepin

Iona Park, Richmond, BC is one of the best urban locations to view a wide range of wildlife. A birder’s paradise. On one of my Sunday walks, I came upon a winter gathering of Great Blue Herons. I love observing them. There behaviour never ceases to amaze me.

Tech Data:
Nikon D7000, manual settings, handheld
Aperture f/9, Speed 1/750 sec, ISO 400, 300mm

Marcel Pepin was raised on National Geographic, and always wanting the life, photography has been with him for 40 years. Always as a serious hobby, with the odd pro job, he is now looking into committing to his next career.
Visit Marcel's FaceBook Fan Page to see more of his work.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Featured Artist: Jennifer Schwalenberg

Rather than a photographer, today we're featuring a unique artist. Welcome, Jennifer! 

I call this piece “Wind.” 

I knew I wanted to make a chair, but like every other rustic piece I make, I am subject to the curves, sizes, and shapes of the wood and never know what the end result will be.  The journey is constant.

When I placed these two driftwood branches alongside each other against the wall, they seemed to float away, perhaps taken by a gentle breeze.  They were delicate branches and although I knew the chair would be petite, I had to continue – the branches were too beautiful.

I found two beaver-chewed pieces for the front that were just as dainty as the back, and after extensive sanding, I attached both sides with six driftwood rungs.  I used traditional mortise and tenon joinery, so the body of the chair is completely free of any nails or screws: completely raw, just how I like it.  No stains or sealants either.  Just raw driftwood plucked from the Rio Grande that’s been sanded to a smooth, organic finish with subtle hints of lilac hues.

I was contemplating the upholstered seat when I was came across a stunning color of leather, my favorite color in the world: a smoky blue-gray.  It was prefect.

The result became “Wind,” a delicate chair with a strong statement. 

J e n n i f e r    S c h w a l e n b e r g

"I search for exceptional pieces of driftwood lying on the shores of the Rio Grande and reawaken their spirit into functional art."

I had my "a-ha" moment in May of 1999.  HGTV featured a bed made out of tree branches unlike anything I had ever seen; in contrast to the log cabin style, these were beautifully twisted, barked limbs stretching in every direction: raw, unruly, unrefined.  I felt an instant connection and thought, "I HAVE to have that bed!"  The very next moment I felt the chills and knew: "I have to MAKE that bed!"  After so many years of searching, in just a few moments I had found my passion.

I was living in L.A. at the time, so I drove to the beach that weekend, collected as much driftwood as I could find and cobbled together a headboard.  That was my start.

That same month Architectural Digest featured a stunning peeled log and branch bed on the cover of their June issue.  Interestingly enough, the artist, Daniel Mack, was a well-known rustic furniture maker who just happened to live a short distance from my sister in New York.  I knew I was on the right path.

I spent a week with Daniel later that summer, taking one of his basic courses, and found even more inspiration.  A year later, I left L.A. for the blue skies and breathtaking vistas of my dream town: Santa Fe, New Mexico.

After experimenting for several years with woods such as maple, cottonwood, and aspen, I chose driftwood as my primary medium.  I love everything about it: its colors of sun-bleached grays, its story of journey through the river, and its distinctive characteristics of beaver-chewed ends and the colors that emerge upon sanding, stunning hues of lilac and green.

Searching for driftwood along the Rio Grande is an artistic process all its own, paddling in my canoe, exploring through piles that have settled on the shores to find just the right pieces that speak to me.  It's a thrilling treasure hunt and one of my favorite parts of the process.

In my studio, I begin each piece by selecting a branch that I see as exceptionally inspiring and rely on the natural curves and energetic flow to guide me. I use traditional mortise and tenon joinery and hand-cut dowels – and screws only when absolutely necessary.  I want my clients to feel that they are surrounded by an undisturbed piece of nature, so to further retain the life and energy, I do not use any stains or sealants.  The results are raw, organic, functional, modern, rustic pieces of art – and truly one-of-a-kind.

Santa Fe Artists Market (SFAM)
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)
American Diabetes Association (ADA)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Featured Photographer: Darby Nicole Gidlow

Snowmass, Colorado inspires me every minute of every hour, constantly awing me with momentary glimpses of nature’s gifts.  Today it could be a chipmunk, perhaps an elk or even a bear.  And before they vanish into the forest, I try to capture those fleeting, beautiful seconds…their might, their vulnerability. Today I was blessed with curiousness, a white-tailed buck staring straight at me.  As an artist, I strive to provide different perspectives, but on this particular day, the frame was set for me: only visible were his eyes and antlers, and that was enough to take my breath away.

Darby Nicole is a lifestyle photographer who has been capturing life's sweet and simple moments since 1996.  
After becoming one of Los Angeles' most prominent family photographers, she has since created successful ventures in Aspen, Colorado and Santa Fe, New Mexico, two other settings which offer the naturally stunning backdrops and dramatic lighting that inspire her.

Darby's candid approach is beautifully unstructured, yet effective, allowing her clients to feel at ease and relaxed.

It's an effortless union that produces heartfelt portraits that stand alone, each with their own story to tell and share.
EXQUISITE.Each sitting is custom to your needs, and along with classic portraits, Darby Nicole offers holiday cards, custom photo-books, and invitations.

Her business has also evolved to include custom framing, accessory interior design, and beginner instruction for kids, and she has recently launched Darby Nicole Fine Art Photography.
Visit Darby Nicole's website at:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Featured Photographer: Dana Ann Voigt

Girls - Dana Ann Voigt

As a photographer for hire, I'm so busy taking pictures of everyone else and time passes by so fast; whereas when I wasn't a "photographer," I was constantly snapping pictures of my girls every day. This photo is of my youngest, and I managed to get it right as she was stopped dead in her tracks at the view. I like to think she's standing there in awe at the amazing view, and that she will one day have my eye for the beautiful things all around us..

Tech Info:
Canon T3i 
EF 75-300mm telephoto (I was sitting a good 75-100ft away) 
ISO 800 
Dana Ann Voigt is a family photographer who photographs newborns to newlyweds and every family event in between.Visit her website at:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Featured Photographer: Jarrett Arnett

I was at the zoo with my daughter, who is enamored with Flamingos.  I brought her back a pink Flamingo purse from the San Diego zoo when I was out there, and she has been in love with them ever since. Every time we go to the zoo she spends a lot of the time in their area checking them out.  On this particular day I had a great opportunity to take a few pictures, and this guy you see here was just staring at me, so I snapped off a couple of shots.
Geek-Tech info:
Canon T2i at f/5.6; 1/200sec. exposure; ISO 160, Focal length 155mm.

Jarrett Arnett has been a photographer since his high school days, but took a long sebatical until about 9 months ago when he picked up his first DSLR. He hasn't put it down since. As a former Army brat, born in Hawaii, he's moved all over, but ended up in Colorado where he's been for over 20 years. Jarrett like to spend time with friends and family doing anything and everything. He's in the middle of changing careers to a Network engineer, and the apple of his eye is his almost 3 year old daughter.  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Featured Photographer Keith Cuddeback AKA "Captain Photo"

International School of Management – Sydney – Australia
Nikon D90, Tokina 11-17mm lens @ 11 mm. Handheld three shot bracket, f5, 1/40 sec, ISO 200. 
Processed in Photomatix Pro, Adobe Lightroom and NIK color efex pro.
Instead of agonizing over which of my fabulous "more real than life" images to send, I'm submitting one I processed and posted over the weekend, The International School of Management in Sydney... it's pretty representative of the kind of work I do.  Although, I also do nice landscapes like the one of the Flatirons in Boulder, CO, and the Grand Canyon with Double Rainbow.

I've been a photographer for 35 years. Only this year I finally retired from my Real Estate career to devote full time to my photography.  My website,, and my commitment  is about teaching other photographers how to make really stunning HDR images with a minimum investment in hardware, software, and time. The HDR learning curve is huge to make great HDR images with the usual methods we find in HDR tutorials all over the web. Only the super committed photographer will spend the time to learn and practice to get to a competent level of creating HDR that doesn't suffer from the typical flaws that most HDR photographs exhibit. I can make it much easier for beginning HDR enthusiasts to get into the game and get satisfying results immediately. My FREE HDR Newsletter always has the latest of what I'm teaching and working on.

iPhoneography is also a passion of mine. These pocket devices are just amazing! When I run across a new photo app that's really great or if I've figured out a way to do something that many are wanting to learn about, I'll write a blog post in the iPhoneography category.

Keith Cuddeback aka "Captain Photo" Bio:
I have been taking photographs for 35 years. Ansel Adams was still alive then and he was my mentor and inspiration.  Landscape photography has always been my passion.  Today I feel ready to offer the world my style &vision via my photography. People tell me that the images I create seem more real than life, so I'm borrowing that expression as the tagline for this blog. Please enjoy the pretty pictures. It brings be much pleasure making them.

If you're a photographer with an image and a story to submit, email Heather at

Monday, September 17, 2012

Introduction to My Photographer Friends

This blog is dedicated to photographers who have an image and a story to share.
Each post will feature a photographer and one of their favorite images along with a story as to what inspired them to capture the image and the technical data to keep the photo-geeks among us happy.
So, if you are a photographer or know a photographer with an image and a story to share, e-mail me at to be considered for a post.
Note: All photographers retain rights, of course, and will have their bio noted along with their website and social media sites linked, as exampled below.

Heather Hummel Photography is a PhotoNovelist who takes pictures and writes novels. Her photography can be viewed onHeather Hummel Photography. Join her Facebook Fan Page. Follow her on Twitter. Connect with her on Flickr.