Twin Lakes Images ~ Photography by Mark Pouley: Blog http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog en-us (C) 2018 Mark Pouley | Twin Lakes Images (Twin Lakes Images ~ Photography by Mark Pouley) Sun, 02 Apr 2017 13:44:00 GMT Sun, 02 Apr 2017 13:44:00 GMT http://www.twinlakesimages.com/img/s/v-5/u593157505-o922127771-50.jpg Twin Lakes Images ~ Photography by Mark Pouley: Blog http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog 120 80 Art at the Schoolhouse Show Opens http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2017/4/art-at-the-schoolhouse-show-opens I'm excited to announce the opening of my photo exhibition at the 2017 Art at the Schoolhouse Art Show. This is my sixth year in the show and I'm really happy with the work I'm presenting even though I'm in a slightly smaller footprint this year.  Last year was a very successful show with a large number of visitors.  This year's rain and cool weather are delaying the blooms, but very soon the valley will be full of the wonderful colors of spring. If you make it up to Skagit County to take in the tulips please stop by the show. The show is sponsored annually by the  Stanwood Camano Art Guild. The show is hosted by Christiansen's Nursery in the 1888 schoolhouse on the nursery grounds. The show includes work from a variety of nearly 20 artists. The schoolhouse is at 15806 Best Road, Mt. Vernon. The show runs April 1 - May 1 from 10:00 a.m - 5:00 daily.

 

The Twin Lakes Images exhibition at the 2016 Art at the Schoolhouse art show.2016 Schoolhouse ExhibitThe Twin Lakes Images exhibition at the 2016 Art at the Schoolhouse art show.

 

 

]]>
(Twin Lakes Images ~ Photography by Mark Pouley) Photography by Mark Pouley Skagit County Twin Lakes Images exhibition tulips http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2017/4/art-at-the-schoolhouse-show-opens Sat, 01 Apr 2017 14:21:00 GMT
It's Tulip Time! Welcome the photographic possibilities (video) http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2016/3/its-tulip-time pink tulips, sunrise, mist, Skagit ValleySunrise on the TulipsAnother brilliant sunrise breaks over the Cascade peaks to bathe the Skaigit Valley tulip fields in dawn glory. I've worked in the Skagit Valley in northwestern Washington state for over ten years. It's an indescribably beautiful spot of the world including lush fields framed by the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges, nestled within rivers, bays and estuaries. It is breathtaking throughout the year.

I confess that in my early days as a commuter I didn't look forward to April when the Skagit Valley welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors to the annual Tulip Festival. If you are simply trying to get from point A to Point B in the valley (perhaps driving to and from your day job) it can be challenging. When I began photographing the tulips I let the frustration slip away and now I'm excited to see the blooms make their way to the surface.

At first I didn't consider myself a "floral photographer", but I quickly realized my perspective was terribly limited. As a photographer the tulips and fields offer infinite photographic and artistic possibilities. The range of color and texture seems endless. The changing time of day and weather creates countless environments and backdrops. The variety of techniques one can explore and experiment with is like being dropped into an upper level art class. As I've written before, shooting in this environment offers its own unique challenges.

As with all my photography, shooting tulips brings me joy. Working in the fields in the early morning, or as dusk falls; quietly focusing on the flowers, the colors; the artistry of nature; in that moment I enjoy a little peace. Trying to capture the moment and discover a way to uniquely share what I'm seeing and experiencing challenges me as a photographer and  an artist. 

 

Mark Pouley photography tulipsMark Pouley shooting tulipsphoto copyright Jeff Carlson used with permission

This is me enjoying the tulip fields at sunrise.

(Photo credit Jeff Carlson & used by permission)

 

Over the years I've been fortunate to capture some beautiful images in the Skagit Valley tulip fields. Here is a short slide-show of my favorites.

 

Schoolhouse ExhibitSchoolhouse ExhibitI'm exhibiting my photography at the Art at the Schoolhouse show sponsored by the Stanwood Camano Art Guild at Christianson's Nursery in Mt. Vernon Washington during the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. I'm also lucky to have the opportunity to join other artists to exhibit my work at the Art at the Schoolhouse show held in the heart of the tulip fields. The show is in the schoolhouse at Christianson's Nursery on Best Road in Mt. Vernon, WA.

tulip greeting card gift setTulip greeting card gift set

 

 

 

I have a collection of Tulip Greeting Card Gift sets available for purchase on Etsy.

]]>
(Twin Lakes Images ~ Photography by Mark Pouley) Skagit Valley art gallery nature photograph photography show slide tulips video http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2016/3/its-tulip-time Sat, 19 Mar 2016 16:49:33 GMT
Chit Chat Across the Pond http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2015/10/chit-chat-across-the-pond chit chat across the pond logochit chat logo

 

I was the guest on episode #410 of Chit Chat Across the Pond, hosted by Allison Sheridan. Allison and I had a great conversation about "thinking like a photographer" to capture unique and interesting images at well traveled and well photographed tourist spots. I share my recent experience of visiting Niagara Falls and my annual trip to the Skagit Valley Tulip fields. With some practice and forethought a person thinking like a photographer can create memorable photographs and not just tourist snapshots. The show can be downloaded directly at podfeet.com or you can subscribe in iTunes.

 

 

Here are the photos we talked about on this episode.

The "good duck" shot with normal exposure and faster shutter to get a sharp image of the ducks on the log.

A duck sits on a log in the middle of Niagara Falls"good duck"Image captured with normal exposure and fast shutter to get a sharp image of the mallard duck on the log.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The "slow shutter" image of the falls and log, without the ducks, to get a smooth image of the water.

A slow shutter image of Niagara Falls to smooth out the water flow."slow shutter"A slow shutter image of Niagara Falls to smooth out the water flow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final composite image, giving the effect of the duck sitting on the log in the middle of the slow flowing water.

 

Duck on the fallsDuck on the fallsDucks hang out on logs at the crest of Niagara Falls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Early Bloom" - getting low and close to the tulip blooms to change the natural point of view.

Multi-color tulips as their buds turn to early blooms during the Skagit Valley Tulip FestivaEarly BloomMulti-color tulips as their buds turn to early blooms during the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The Over achiever" - Open your eyes to see something unusual, small, or hidden.

 

A single yellow and red tulip blooms in a field of red during the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Washington state.The Over AchieverA single yellow and red tulip blooms in a field of red during the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Washington state.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Flowers in the Backyard" - pay attention to the background to avoid accidental garbage, but try to incorporate the background

 

Red TulipsRed TulipsA field of red tulips at the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Visiting Tulips" - Try to incorporate the tourists into your photos.

 

Visiting TulipsVisiting TulipsTulips in a display garden during the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. I spent a lot of time trying to frame pictures without the many garden visiters stepping into the shot. Here I think the ladies enjoying the blooms helps make this image.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Sunrise Tulips" - go to the location when everyone else is away - like at sunrise

 

Tulip SunriseTulip SunriseThe sunrises on the Skagit Valley Tulip fields with the top of Mt. Baker on the distant horizon.

]]>
(Twin Lakes Images ~ Photography by Mark Pouley) http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2015/10/chit-chat-across-the-pond Sat, 31 Oct 2015 15:53:04 GMT
A visit to Niagara Falls http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2015/10/a-visit-to-niagara-falls American Falls PanoAmerican Falls PanoThe American Falls at Niagara Falls from the Canadian vantage point.

I had the great pleasure to visit Niagara Falls, NY this fall for a business trip. I made sure to find free time to walk down to the falls, and of course I brought my camera with me. Frankly, I was a bit intimidated trying to capture the grandness that is the Niagra Falls. They are one of the Seven Wonders of the World for a reason. Cameras can barely convey what our eyes see, but standing at the falls all of your senses are at work. The constant rumble and roar of the water, the cool mist swirling about, the freshness of the air, and the overwhelming scale of the falls alongside the cliffs, trees rocks and people. I was also intimidated by the many millions of visitors that walked the ground before me, with cameras, trying to capture the very scene I was witnessing. How do you capture that? How do you do justice in that situation? I don't know that I came close to approaching that challenge, but it was truly a pleasure trying.

As seen in the first photograph, the falls are a prime candidate for panorama photography. Today's cameras and editing tools make this an easier task then it once was. I'm happy with my effort.

One challenge to photograph the falls is trying to offer something unique. Trying to give a perspective of something I saw and wanted to share of my experience at the falls.  No doubt the gigantic size and scale of Niagara Falls are what make it such a wonder, but seeing the world, nature, in the falls is also part of the experience. While standing with other tourists and seeing the falls cascade over the cliffs I noticed a pair of ducks, on a log, calmly standing in the middle of the stream at the very precipice of the falls. Unfazed, unimpressed by this natural wonder they went about their lives at the falls. The scene, and lighting, gave me a chance to slow my shutter and present a different feel to the falls.

Duck on the fallsDuck on the fallsDucks calmly stand on logs at the crest of Niagara Falls

Trying to convey the scale of the falls is challenging. Trying to capture an image without people or man made objects in the photo is difficult. But using the people to convey the scale of the falls is natural. The famous "Maid of the Mist" boat excursion from the US side of the falls and its Canadian counter part offer a perfect way to tell the story of the modern Niagara Falls experience and demonstrate the massive scale of the waters.

The American Falls with a tour boat in the foregroundThe American FallsThe American Falls at Niagara Falls from the Canadian vantage point. The Canadian tour boat is in the foreground, offering an idea of the vast scale of the falls.

One thought that struck me as I saw the falls was their history. The falls were here long before the tourists, the hotels, the shops, even man himself. The thought inspired me to try an image conveys the timelessness of the falls.

Monochrome aged photo of the natural fallsAncient FallsThe Niagara Falls were here for centuries and are timeless.

There really is no substitute to witnessing the falls in person, but we can get a richer feel for the experience with tools most of us carry in our pockets today. This video, and the natural sounds of the falls, was captured and edited on my iPhone.

 

]]>
(Twin Lakes Images ~ Photography by Mark Pouley) Niagara Falls images photographs pictures video http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2015/10/a-visit-to-niagara-falls Tue, 20 Oct 2015 22:13:29 GMT
Getting up close with a 600mm lens http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2015/8/getting-up-close-with-a-600mm-lens Juvenile Eagle in the treesJuvenile Eagle in the treesA juvenile bald eagle at North Twin Lakes, July 2015 - trying to hide in the tree branches

I primarily capture landscapes and my 10-20mm wide-angle lens and 18-250mm super-zoom are indispensable tools in my camera bag. Occasionally while I'm out in the field shooting I have the opportunity to photograph eagles, loons and other wildlife. While my equipment doesn't prevent me from getting good images, I often wish I had a much longer lens.  For this year's vacation at North Twin Lake I decided to focus my efforts on the adult and juvenile bald eagles I knew were at the lake. While I got some fine images last year with my 250mm lens, I decided to expand my range this year and rented a 600mm lens. It was fortunate that LensRental.com was offering 20% off all rentals during the period of my vacation. After looking at my options (there were many), and the prices (they vary widely just like purchases) I decided to rent a Sigma 150-600mm lens. Both of my main lenses are Sigma and I'm very happy with the brand.

The logistics of rental are pretty simple, even in the remote area where I'm staying. You select the lens you want, the number of days you want to keep it and set the shipping address. You pay $25 for round-trip FedEx shipping.  The lens arrived on schedule, very well packaged in a return box with a shipping label. I dropped the lens off at a FedEx location when I got back home, but I could have also scheduled pickup at my location.

My first impression of the lens is that it is heavy. It's a beast. When I first attached it to my camera (a Canon 60D) I immediately scanned around for something to shoot. quickly realized I would not be shooting this hand-held. It is just too heavy and too difficult to keep steady when fully zoomed to 600mm. The lens includes a tripod mount and I needed to use it to get any useable pictures.

600mm lens on Canon 60DSigma 600mm lensThis is the 600mm lens fully extended mounted on my Canon 60D

I used the lens for the full 11 days I had it on vacation and found many opportunities to utilize its length. Overall I was very happy using the lens and would love to have it available to me always in the future, but I don't expect that to happen any time soon (the lens costs aprox. $1,100).  Here are some of the images and lessons I learned using the lens. 

1. Optical Zoom is far superior to cropped images.  

This is a pretty obvious lesson, but I was really reminded of the fact using this lens.  Last year I was able to get fairly close to some juvenile eagles and was able to capture images I'm very proud of. Even so, to really draw attention to the eagle I was required to crop the image, losing resolution and rendering some of the image pretty soft.  With the 600mm lens, even though this year's family of eagles didn't let me get as physically close, I was able to get in remarkably "close" with the lens. More significantly, except for occasional post-processing to slightly improve the composition, I didn't need to do any cropping to highlight the subject. The images retained nearly their full resolution and were generally very crisp with good detail. Any softness of the image was more my error then the lens, which leads me to lesson two.

Juvenile EagleJuvenile EagleA juvenile bald eagle at North Twin Lakes, July 2015

 

2. It takes a lot of effort to keep the 600mm trained on the subject and achieve good focus.

If you've ever used a large telescope or binoculars to see something very far away, you probably have an idea what I'm getting at here. Imagine the eagle is a hundred yards away on a tree branch. It isn't easy to find a patch about 3' x 3' 100 yards away in the camera's viewfinder.  Moving a big heavy lens, trying to get stable on an often moving subject magnifies the challenge. Once I got locked on the eagle, it was still difficult to prevent any movement that easily introduced softness in the image. 

A pair of adult bald eagles in a treeProud ParentsA pair of adult bald eagles watching their three juveniles at North Twin Lake near Inchelium, WA

 

Speaking of movement...

 

3. It is difficult to track, lock focus and capture a moving subject.

One of the pictures I have in my head that I dream of reproducing in my camera is an image of a bald eagle soaring toward me. Wings out wide, focus crisp and sharp, the colors and details of each eye, beak, feather and talon on display. Of course the biggest challenge in capturing my dream shot is opportunity. Simply being in the right place at the right time. That may never happen. But when it does, I thought having the extra length of a 600mm lens would help guarantee my result. Please refer to lesson number 2 above; multiply the difficulty factor by about 100x when you add moving the lens and tracking a flying animal. The image below gave me just a taste of what I might be able to do when opportunity and experience combine in that one magic moment.

A juvenile eagle soars away from the lens.FlightA juvenile bald eagle soars away. At North Twin Lake July 2015

 

4. It's less about the equipment and more about talent and experience.

We hear this all the time about photography, but using this lens drove home this one basic truth. I've seen so many stunning images of eagles and wildlife and I've set a personal goal to create similar fantastic photos. Fortune gives me many opportunities to photograph these majestic animals, but I always felt my 250mm limitation held me back. While that is partially true, just getting the longer lens was not enough to guarantee a great result, because it isn't just about the gear. There is a learning curve with this new equipment. There were challenges I haven't experienced before. Even though I have experience capturing birds and know something about their habits and flight, being able to use the equipment well didn't come naturally. I'm confident if I had the lens to use many, many more times, eventually my experience would build to the point I could capture some amazing shots. Like many artistic endeavors it takes talent and practice to be successful. Bigger and better equipment helps, but it does not guarantee results.

 

I really enjoyed my time with the lens and would rent it again tomorrow. I'm happy with many images the lens allowed me to capture; images I don't think I would have made with only the 250mm lens. While it does remind me of some fundamentals of photography, I welcome the challenge and opportunity to keep learning and growing at my craft.

 

A bald eagle sits on a stump.MajestyA bald eagle sits at the edge of North Twin Lake near Inchelium, WA

]]>
(Twin Lakes Images ~ Photography by Mark Pouley) 600mm eagles lens long outdoors photography supper wildlife zoom http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2015/8/getting-up-close-with-a-600mm-lens Wed, 26 Aug 2015 15:07:55 GMT
Let's Talk Photography - Vacation Shooting http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2015/8/lets-talk-photography---vacation-shooting
LetsTalkLogoLetsTalkLogo

After a long absence I returned as a guest on the "Let's Talk Photography" podcast this month. The timing of this month's topic was perfect since I just spent two weeks at Twin Lakes. This month the panel discusses Shooting Vacations. The topics included how to include our friends and family in the photos, creating the story of our vacation, and finding time to spend with our passion of photography without incurring the wrath of unhappy family members.

You can subscribe to the show on iTunes or directly from the page link
 
 

 

]]>
(Twin Lakes Images ~ Photography by Mark Pouley) balance camera composition exposure framing golden hour landscape light settings tips tools http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2015/8/lets-talk-photography---vacation-shooting Sun, 23 Aug 2015 03:07:29 GMT
New Exhibit announced at the Washington State Convention Center http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2015/5/new-exhibit-announced-at-the-washington-state-convention-center Harvest: The Bounty of Washington

logoWA State Convention Center logo

Two of my images were selected to be included in the Washington State Convention Center exhibition "HARVEST: The Bounty of Washington State" The exhibit will be displayed at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, WA July 10 - December 2015. The exhibition will be on the road in 2016, first at the Spokane Convention Center and wrapping up at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick.  I'm proud to have my work included with photographs from many other artists highlighting the beauty and bounty of this wonderful state.

Clam shells on the shores of blue water of the Tulalip BayShells on the ShoreGenerations of Washington's native population have harvested the bounties of the regional waters. Here on the shores of Tulalip Bay, empty shells are strewn from shore to water following a great feast.

 

The OrchardThe OrchardChelan County is at the heart of Washington's orchard country. On the edge of a country road, nestled near the foothills of the Cascades, sit a working barn and rows of blooming fruit trees.

 

]]>
(Twin Lakes Images ~ Photography by Mark Pouley) http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2015/5/new-exhibit-announced-at-the-washington-state-convention-center Fri, 08 May 2015 01:40:37 GMT
Let's Talk Photography - Shooting Landscapes http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2015/4/lets-talk-photography---shooting-landscapes
LetsTalkLogoLetsTalkLogo

 

I was a guest host on the "Let's Talk Photography" podcast again this month.  This month's topic is near and dear to me, landscape photography. The panel applied some of the general principles of composition we've discussed past episodes to creating interesting landscapes. Is there any truth to the value of shooting during the "golden hour?" What are some unique ways to turn an otherwise flat image into a story? It was a fun discussion.

You can subscribe to the show on iTunes or directly from the page link
 
 

 

]]>
(Twin Lakes Images ~ Photography by Mark Pouley) balance camera composition exposure framing golden hour landscape light settings tips tools http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2015/4/lets-talk-photography---shooting-landscapes Mon, 20 Apr 2015 21:50:34 GMT
Art at the Schoolhouse Show Opens http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2015/4/art-at-the-schoolhouse-show-opens I'm excited to announce the opening of my photo exhibition at the 2015 Art at the Schoolhouse Art Show. This is my fourth year in the show and I'm really happy with the work I'm presenting.  Last year was a very successful show and the large number of visitors, and beautiful tulips are sure to bring in many potential patrons again this year. If you make it up to Skagit County to take in the tulips please stop by the show. The show is sponsored annually by the  Stanwood Camano Art Guild. The show is hosted by Christiansen's Nursery in the 1888 schoolhouse on the nursery grounds. The show includes work from a variety of nearly 20 artists. The schoolhouse is at 15806 Best Road, Mt. Vernon. The show runs April 3 - 26 from 10:00 a.m - 5:00 daily.

 

2015 Schoolhouse Photo Exhibit 2015 Schoolhouse ExhibitThe Twin Lakes Images photo exhibit at the 2015 Art at the Schoolhouse art show. Located at Christianson's Nursery in Mt Vernon, Washington.

]]>
(Twin Lakes Images ~ Photography by Mark Pouley) http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2015/4/art-at-the-schoolhouse-show-opens Fri, 03 Apr 2015 01:34:15 GMT
It's Tulip Time! Welcome the photographic possibilities (video) http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2015/3/its-tulip-time pink tulips, sunrise, mist, Skagit ValleyPink Tulips at SunrisePink tulips in the mist of sunrise at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival I've worked in the Skagit Valley in northwestern Washington state for over ten years. It's an indescribably beautiful spot of the world including lush fields framed by the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges, nestled within rivers, bays and estuaries. It is breathtaking throughout the year.

I confess that in my early days as a commuter I didn't look forward to April when the Skagit Valley welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors to the annual Tulip Festival. If you are simply trying to get from point A to Point B in the valley (perhaps driving to and from your day job) it can be challenging. When I began photographing the tulips I let the frustration slip away and now I'm excited to see the blooms make their way to the surface.

At first I didn't consider myself a "floral photographer", but I quickly realized my perspective was terribly limited. As a photographer the tulips and fields offer infinite photographic and artistic possibilities. The range of color and texture seems endless. The changing time of day and weather creates countless environments and backdrops. The variety of techniques one can explore and experiment with is like being dropped into an upper level art class. As I've written before, shooting in this environment offers its own unique challenges.

As with all my photography, shooting tulips brings me joy. Working in the fields in the early morning, or as dusk falls; quietly focusing on the flowers, the colors; the artistry of nature; in that moment I enjoy a little peace. Trying to capture the moment and discover a way to uniquely share what I'm seeing and experiencing challenges me as a photographer and  an artist. 

 

Mark Pouley photography tulipsMark Pouley shooting tulipsphoto copyright Jeff Carlson used with permission

This is me enjoying the tulip fields at sunrise.

(Photo credit Jeff Carlson & used by permission)

 

Over the years I've been fortunate to capture some beautiful images in the Skagit Valley tulip fields. Here is a short slide-show of my favorites.

 

Schoolhouse ExhibitSchoolhouse ExhibitI'm exhibiting my photography at the Art at the Schoolhouse show sponsored by the Stanwood Camano Art Guild at Christianson's Nursery in Mt. Vernon Washington during the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. I'm also lucky to have the opportunity to join other artists to exhibit my work at the Art at the Schoolhouse show held in the heart of the tulip fields. The show is in the schoolhouse at Christianson's Nursery on Best Road in Mt. Vernon, WA.

tulip greeting card gift setTulip greeting card gift set

 

 

 

I have a collection of Tulip Greeting Card Gift sets available for purchase on Etsy.

]]>
(Twin Lakes Images ~ Photography by Mark Pouley) Skagit Valley art gallery nature photograph photography show slide tulips video http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2015/3/its-tulip-time Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:06:24 GMT
Let's Talk Photography - Understanding your camera (Pt. 2) http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2015/2/lets-talk-photography---understanding-your-camera-pt-2
LetsTalkLogoLetsTalkLogo

 

I was a guest host on the "Let's Talk Photography" podcast again this month.  We continued our conversation about learning to use your camera, talking about adjusting white balance, bracketing, bulb mode and a bit more on focus modes. It was another fun and educational episode.

You can subscribe to the show on iTunes or directly from the page link
 
 

 

]]>
(Twin Lakes Images ~ Photography by Mark Pouley) balance bracketing bulb camera exposure settings tips tools white http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2015/2/lets-talk-photography---understanding-your-camera-pt-2 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:53:54 GMT
Two awards received at the Art Aloft juried art show. http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2015/2/two-awards-received-at-the-art-aloft-juried-art-show Two of my images received awards during the Stanwood Camano Art Guild's Art Aloft juried art show. The show runs annually during the Great Glass Quest and includes art in a variety of mediums by many talented regional artists. The show will be up until Sunday February 22 at the Guilded Gallery in Stanwood, Washington.

My image "Footprints" was awarded Second Place in the photography category:

Footprints in the SandFootprints in the SandA lone walker on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

My image "Geese" was awarded an honorable mention in the same category.

Morning flightMorning flightGeese glide close to the water's surface on a misty early morning at North Twin Lake. Inchelium, WA

]]>
(Twin Lakes Images ~ Photography by Mark Pouley) art beach geese mist morning nature peace photography tranquility http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2015/2/two-awards-received-at-the-art-aloft-juried-art-show Thu, 19 Feb 2015 16:24:45 GMT
Let's Talk Photography - Understanding your camera http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2015/1/lets-talk-photography---understanding-your-camera
LetsTalkLogoLetsTalkLogo

 

I was a guest host on the "Let's Talk Photography" podcast again this month.  With the giving season freshly behind us, January seemed like the perfect month to start as two-part series on understanding our cameras. All our cameras, regardless of manufacturer, share the same basic groups of features - they all have different modes for metering light, for focusing, and so on. In this first part we focus mostly on exposure and focusing modes.
 
You can subscribe to the show on iTunes or directly from the page link
 
 

 

]]>
(Twin Lakes Images ~ Photography by Mark Pouley) camera exposure settings tips tools http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2015/1/lets-talk-photography---understanding-your-camera Sun, 25 Jan 2015 01:11:29 GMT
Let's Talk Photography - Capturing the Holidays http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2014/12/lets-talk-photography---capturing-the-holidays LetsTalkLogoLetsTalkLogo

 

The holidays are upon us and they offer us a great opportunity to capture the joy of the season; the lights, family, winter, food and more. That is the topic of discussion on the December episode of "Let's Talk Photography" and I was happy to once again join in the conversation.

You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or get the show directly from the Let's Talk web page.

Let's Talk Photography: Episode 11 "Capturing the Holidays"

]]>
(Twin Lakes Images ~ Photography by Mark Pouley) balance composition exposure family food lights ornaments reflections trees http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2014/12/lets-talk-photography---capturing-the-holidays Sun, 21 Dec 2014 16:23:41 GMT
Featured Artist in Bellingham http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2014/9/featured-artist-in-bellingham The TableThe Table

I am the featured artist for October at The Table Restaurant in Bellingham.  My photography will be displayed during the month of October 2014, beginning with the Downtown Art Walk October 3.  I'm very happy with the exhibit and honored to be featured in such a great venue.

The Table is known for its creative use of fresh local ingredients, featuring its own brand of fresh pasta from the Bellingham Pasta Company.   The food is creative and delicious, the environment is welcoming, including the namesake 22 seat community dining table.  The Table is open Tuesday - Thursday 11:30 - 9:00; Friday 11:30 - 10:00; Saturday 5-10 and Sunday 5-9.  More information about The Table and Bellingham Pasta is HERE. The Table is located next to the historic Mt. Baker Theatre at 100 N. Commercial St, Bellingham, WA 98225.

]]>
(Twin Lakes Images ~ Photography by Mark Pouley) Bellingham art featured photography restaurant walk http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2014/9/featured-artist-in-bellingham Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:28:11 GMT
Let's Talk Photography - Sharing http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2014/8/lets-talk-photography---sharing LetsTalkLogoLetsTalkLogo The newest episode of "Let's Talk Photography" is available and I was happy to join the conversation again this month. In this episode we discuss sharing our photography in print and on-line. This subject is particularly interesting to me because I feel my photography improved dramatically we I began printing and exhibiting my art.  In this episode I share some of the techniques I use for printing and some of the avenues I've found to exhibit my work in galleries and shows.

You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or get the show directly from the Let's Talk web page.

Let's Talk Photography: Episode 11 "Sharing"

]]>
(Twin Lakes Images ~ Photography by Mark Pouley) http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2014/8/lets-talk-photography---sharing Mon, 18 Aug 2014 17:38:02 GMT
Sharing my summer with a juvenile bald eagle (Video & still images) http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2014/8/sharing-my-summer-with-a-juvenile-bald-eagle During the summer of 2014 I enjoyed a great opportunity to observe and document the development of a pair of juvenile Bald Eagles. I wasn't using the best equipment in optimal circumstances, and I'm in the early stages of my experience at nature photography.  In other words, I'm not an eagle expert and these are not the pages of National Geographic. Instead, this is my story of the inspiration and joy I experienced over a period of months visiting my favorite location in the world, North Twin Lake, in northeastern Washington state.  I hope by sharing my experience I will share some of that joy, and perhaps even inspire others not to allow perceived limitations prevent them from exploring their passion.

As I wrote in my earlier blog post on this topic, bald eagles are apparently early breeders: nest building or reinforcing is often by mid-February, egg laying is often late February (sometimes during deep snow in the North), and incubation is usually mid-March and early May. Eggs hatch from mid April to early May, and the young fledge late June to early July.

I first noticed the Twin Lakes eaglets during our memorial weekend visit at the end of May.  I saw an adult bald eagle fly back to a nest that was a long distance from my location on the lake, but not so far that I couldn't see the adult tending to the nest (presumably feeding hatched eaglets). On my return to the lake during the July 4 holiday I saw a pair of eaglets standing on the edge of the nest.  They never left the nest and I assume they were only days away from taking their first flight. 

renewal(vert)renewal(vert)

 

The image on the left was captured May 26, 2014. The image on the right was captured July 2, 2014
 

My true joy came during my visit to the lakes in early August.  I always cruise the backside of North Twin Lake in the early morning when the lake is quiet and the wildlife is more active. On my very first day I was surprised to find one of the juvenile bald eagles perched on a fallen tree at the edge of the lake.  I was lucky enough to maneuver my boat near the eagle's location without disturbing it. I was fortunate that the eagle was close enough that I could capture very acceptable images and video using my 250mm lens.  I was shooting from the boat, often hand-held, so unfortunately there was always some movement. I returned to this general location over the next several days and always found the eagle in this area early in the morning. Over the days I had many opportunities to watch the eagle in its habitat, learn some of its habits, and capture a few nice still images and video.

__

Many times I located the eagle sitting on the branches of a fallen tree right at the shore of the lake.

One of the things I noticed was that the young eagle often stretched its wings and moved about the log more so then I've seen from adult eagles. I can only thank the eagle for the many great poses offered to me over the days.

In for a landingIn for a landingA juvenile bald eagle comes in to land on log at North Twin Lake in Inchelium, WA

Juvenile Bald EagleJuvenile Bald EagleA juvenile bald eagle stretches his wings at North Twin Lake in Inchelium, WA

Juvenile Bald Eagle 2Juvenile Bald Eagle 2A juvenile bald eagle spreading his wings at North Twin Lake in Inchelium, WA

My favorite image from the days of observation; the eagle fully spread its wings and held the pose for me.

 

As a cap to the week of observation I edited together video clips of the eagle, including audio of its distinctive call, and footage of its graceful flight from the branches of a tree across the expanse of the lake.

 

]]>
(Twin Lakes Images ~ Photography by Mark Pouley) Colville Reservation Inchelium Log Cabin North Twin Rainbow Beach Resort South Twin Twin Lakes Washington bald eagle eagle juvenile lake lakes landscape nature outdoors trees video http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2014/8/sharing-my-summer-with-a-juvenile-bald-eagle Sun, 10 Aug 2014 04:46:46 GMT
Let's Talk Photography - Listener Q & A http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2014/7/lets-talk-photography---listener-q-a LetsTalkLogoLetsTalkLogo

I was a guest on the Let's Talk Photography podcast for July.  In addition to myself and host Bart Busschots, the panel this month includes Kenny Lee, and Antonio Rosario from Switch to Manual. This is our first Listener Q&A show, and we answer questions from Scott & Allison about storing & organizing our photos, and white balance cards (Antonio recommends theWhiBal range of cards). You can submit questions for future shows at http://lets-talk.ie/photoq.  You can subscribe to the show on iTunes, or link directly to the audio HERE

]]>
(Twin Lakes Images ~ Photography by Mark Pouley) http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2014/7/lets-talk-photography---listener-q-a Mon, 21 Jul 2014 02:22:36 GMT
Renewal of the Bald Eagle http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2014/7/renewal-of-the-bald-eagle RenewalRenewalBald Eagles nesting in the PNW These are not great images because of the distance from my location, but I still want to share a scene that many people don’t get to see in the wild.  One of the great joys of living in the Pacific Northwest is getting to often see Bald Eagles.  Here is an interesting diptych of nesting eagles on the North Twin Lake near Inchelium, WA
 
According to the wiki entry, bald eagles are early breeders: nest building or reinforcing is often by mid-February, egg laying is often late February (sometimes during deep snow in the North), and incubation is usually mid-March and early May. Eggs hatch from mid April to early May, and the young fledge late June to early July.”
 
The top image was captured May 26, 2014 and the juveniles may have hatched, but weren’t visible. The bottom image was captured July 2, 2014 and it appears the juveniles are preparing to leave the nest.
 
]]>
(Twin Lakes Images ~ Photography by Mark Pouley) bald birth eagle juveniles nest nesting raptor rebirth wildlife http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2014/7/renewal-of-the-bald-eagle Thu, 03 Jul 2014 16:20:45 GMT
Enjoying the changing seasons of photography http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2014/6/the-changing-seasons-of-photography It should be obvious that the same landscape scene may be different during different seasons. As a corollary to this rule; a different image will carry a different story.  It may be obvious, but I know I'm guilty of shooting a scene once and not returning, especially if I captured a photo that I'm particularly happy with.

One of my earliest photographs remains one of my favorites.  The image is of an old one-room school house in the middle of a wheat field in eastern Washington. I shot the image late in the summer of 2010 when the wheat was tall and golden.

A school house in a field of golden wheat.  The clear blue sky in the background.School House in the FieldAn abandoned one-room school house sits in a golden wheat field in open ranges of eastern Washington.

The story behind this image is part of the reason I like it so much. We drive by this school several times a year.  Driving with my son in 2010 I finally stopped to take a picture.  I originally planned to walk out into the field, put the sun to my back and shoot what I imagined would be a "better" angle for the light.  A few yards out, my son and I heard what we thought might be a rattlesnake. It was more likely the wind rustling the wheat, but would you want to chance it?  So we quickly retreated to the car. Not wanting to waste the stop I snapped a few images of the "bad" side of the building. Today it's a favorite photo of mine.

Since this photo was taken my daughter kept encouraging me to stop when the wheat is green. I finally did just a few weeks ago.  The difference in tone and mood is remarkable, and very different from the earlier image. This is a dramatic example of the seasons of photography.  Visiting the same scene at different times of the year can be a really interesting exercise.

Best of all,  this time there were no rattles.

School house 2School house 2A one room schoolhouse in a wheat field in eastern Washington.

 

]]>
(Twin Lakes Images ~ Photography by Mark Pouley) blue field gold green rural schoolhouse seasons sky tips washington wheat http://www.twinlakesimages.com/blog/2014/6/the-changing-seasons-of-photography Tue, 03 Jun 2014 23:15:54 GMT