Gone Fishing!

I took some time off this afternoon to go fishing. My son wanted me to take his friend and him fishing. It was cold and very windy–not ideal fishing conditions to be sure! But we had a good time anyway! James, my son, had a very nice bass on his hook and had reeled it all the way in to the shore. He was just about to land the bass, but it shook its head one more time, flopped a few times, and swam successfully away. I also had a pickerel on my line and was reeling it in when it also got away.

Okay. Now I’m back in the warmth of our house and thinking about photography. By the way, if you go fishing, take your camera along. You never know when you might catch a lunker! And these days where it’s common to catch and release, photos can be taken home to show your family and friends. However, the danger of this method is that it keeps those fish stories honest!

What do you do to relax? Hobbies and recreational activities make great photographic opportunities. The next time you engage in a hobby be sure to take your camera along with you!


My son, James, and I just watched Dances with Wolves tonight. This is one of my all-time favorite movies. It has been quite a long time since I had seen this movie and my hadn’t seen it before tonight. As we watched the movie we experienced a variety of emotions: happiness, anger, empathy, and great sadness. Obviously this movie was successful in stirring up all kinds of emotions.

Shouldn’t our photographs do the same? We take photos all the time and we attempt to capture incredible moments that tell a story. After all, the old saying is, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

If this is true, then we owe it to ourselves and to those who view our photographs to make sure that we capture and even evoke emotion with our photos. You can view a hundred photos, most of which appear ordinary and flat; but when you find that one photo that expresses emotion you immediately know it.

So, are you attempting just to capture colorful subjects or are you willing to create photographs that evoke emotion?

My Son, James, and his Photography

My son, James Shank, is becoming quite proficient behind a camera. He has his own Nikon D40 and enjoys going out with me on all kinds of photographic excursions. He thoroughly enjoys photographing the elk of Pennsylvania and lately we have been working on some winter landscapes. You can some of his photos here on his gallery. I think you will enjoy his creative technique!

Yesterday, my good friend, Dick McCreight, and I journeyed to the Upper Delaware National Park to try to find some bald eagles. The eagles winter in this park, which follows the Delaware River on the state line between Pennsylvania and New York. We did manage to see one bald eagle, but in my excitement I was not able to capture even one shot! This was a humble reminder to me that one can never be prepared enough. It was my lack of preparedness which resulted in me coming home empty-handed. We did manage to see some snow geese and a few turkeys as well.

My new Nikon D300 is performing beautifully. I created 3 custom banks of menu settings so I can quickly change to specific shooting conditions. The camera is solidly built and is user friendly in so many ways. The bigger LCD screen makes setting the menus and looking at the photos much easier. The menus make sense are easily navigated. And the buttons and knobs on the camera make for quick changes as shooting conditions warrant. I am extremely impressed with the D300 so far and I am sure this camera body will suit my needs perfectly.