Thursday, December 25, 2008

the face says it all

We have a tradition that everyone gets to open one present on Christmas Eve; and it is usually a clothing item: PJs, gloves, robes, or the like.
Sammy really pulled a cute face on this one, and we were lucky enough to get a picture of it. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. We are grateful for our Savior and His life. We know He lives. He is the reason for the season.

Spence is our poser. And we appreciate his willingness to pose for a picture.

Camille, on the other hand, avoids the camera. So here I snuck a shot.

Amber is very photogenic, regardless of what she thinks.

And Scott... I think he's the cutest kid in the world!

Daddy loves you all!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I decided to make a blog for my photography hobby and knowledge. So, feel free to check it out and tell your friends to check it out. I have toyed with the idea of teaching a photography class... but I will most likely gauge that idea on the success (or lack of) of this new blog.
My idea is to share photo hints and tips while pushing myself to learn and try new things with photography, while sharing the results.
evening light

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

High Spur Canyon - Spencer's First

Spencer did a fabulous job in this canyon. What a trooper... 4.2 miles and an 80 foot rappel.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

sorry, venting again...

So I was cleaning off my desk and found the flag etiquette pamphlet that came with our flagpole. As I was reading through it, I remembered something that really disturbed me last Spring. I was with the friend up at the City County building in Salt Lake. There is a statue there done by my great-grandfather. It is of 2 kids, one pointing up at the flag. On the side of that statue is a plaque with what used to be the pledge of allegiance on it. Now what exists there on the plaque are the words of the pledge of allegiance with the words "under God" taken out. How in the world does a city get away with taking one of the most (if not the most) important elements out of the pledge of allegiance? I was and am appalled and disappointed.

Update:  5/3/2011
It was discovered that the words "under God" were not included in the pledge until 1954. 

Monday, November 10, 2008

photog notes

I went out to shoot my sister's family tonight and it was a little darker than I had hoped. So we rearranged and made do. Here are a few of those shots...
In this image, I have a flash behind them to give a rim light and I have a flash through an umbrella camera right on a light stand. Both flashes have warming gels over them. I have been shooting with a really cold white balance (around 3000-3400) today to try a certain cold background with warm subjects.
From Allens2008
Here I added a small (Lumiquest) softbox over the flash behind them to give a softer light and moved the umbrella flash to camera left. Unfortunately, my f-stop was too wide open and didn't allow everyone to be in focus. (Mental note... even in small groups, shoot at f-stop 4.0 or 5.6, no smaller) One more...

Moving on... I wanted to see how far I could use commander mode on my Nikon to trigger the 2 flashes, so Amber got to be my subject again. Here I used a gold reflector (36 inch, I think) on the floor in front of subject. I shot a flash from 3 feet away from reflector to bounce up at subject... no warming filter this time, but still WB3000. The blue on the background was a CTB (blue gel) over a flash aimed at wall behind subject. I was pleased with being about 17 feet from subject and still trigger flashes.
Gels and Reflectors
On Camille's I just used one flash lower than eye level on camera right and still shot at WB3000. This one I took into photoshop and blue'd up the background a bit.
With all of these shots, I set the exposure value to -1.0 to -1.3 stops on the camera. Then I set the flashes to +1 on most of the shots. That way, my background was not as bright as my subjects. The flashes compensated for the camera and correctly exposed my subjects. The only exception was Amber's shot where I had the flashes set at 0 and the camera still at -1.0 stop.
CTO gel

Thursday, November 6, 2008

a word on kids and teaching doctrine

Does everyone have a "favorite apostle"?... one that seems to talk directly to our heart and mind?... one that, more often than not, seems to say exactly what we need to hear? In the days of my youth (which sometimes I think I am still in), Neal A. Maxwell was my fav. President Eyring now fills that seat at my table. In searching for New Testament doctrine re: the Resurrection today, I stumbled upon this powerful talk entitled The Power of Teaching Doctrine
Some of my favorite exerpts were as follows:

…Simply hearing the words of doctrine can plant the seed of faith in the heart. And even a tiny seed of faith in Jesus Christ invites the Spirit

…Your descendants will teach doctrine to each other because you taught it.

…A wise parent would never miss a chance to gather children together to learn of the doctrine of Jesus Christ. Such moments are so rare in comparison with the efforts of the enemy. For every hour the power of doctrine is introduced into a child’s life, there may be hundreds of hours of messages and images denying or ignoring the saving truths.
The question should not be whether we are too tired to prepare to teach doctrine or whether it wouldn’t be better to draw a child closer by just having fun or whether the child isn’t beginning to think that we preach too much. The question must be, “With so little time and so few opportunities, what words of doctrine from me will fortify them against the attacks on their faith which are sure to come?” The words you speak today may be the ones they remember. And today will soon be gone.

...In my own family there is a story of a young woman who had the courage to start to teach doctrine when she was only a new convert with little education. And the fact that the effects of her teaching haven’t ended gives me patience to wait for the fruits of my own efforts.
[followed by the story of Mary Bommeli]

May we all seize the moment to teach the simple truths that bring us so much joy when lived.

I know that the true Church was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. God's authority to seal us His exists in His Church - even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. May all come unto Christ through the principles and ordinances of His gospel, that we may prepare the earth for His coming.

photo found at byustephen's flickr page

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

living prophet

For FHE last night, after marching around the house at different speeds (thank you primary teachers) while singing "Follow the Prophet", we reviewed President Monson's talk from the last General Conference, entitled "Finding Joy in the Journey" Well, one of the big take-home's was to

"Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved."

Thank you, President Monson for your example and wisdom. We love and sustain President Thomas Spencer Monson as God's living prophet on the earth. How grateful we are for a prophet to guide and direct us.

image found at chinckley's flickr page

Friday, October 31, 2008

delusionally content

I blogged a while back about the new lights for the north-bound onramp in Lehi. Well, the lights are now off and traffic is back to moving as it should be. I may never know why or who decided to shut these poor-excuse-for-tax-dollars down, but I, for one, am quite pleased with the change back to "the way things were".
In my own delusional way, I guess I could say my letter was heard.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! pics of the kids to come...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

love of reading

so exciting! Amber has been so faithful in reading to the kids every day - even numerous times in the same day at times. And, of course, we read the scriptures in the evening time with the kids (about 70%) of days. Well, Spence is getting very fluid in his reading, but he hasn't grasped the joy yet... until yesterday. These are the rewards of parenting. One of Spence's duties is to read 20 minutes a day. He often needs prodding to gather his books together (usually gets through 4 easy books in a session)... lots of prodding. But once he has them he whips through 'em and he's onto other ('funner') things.

Well, yesterday he was requiring some warm-iron prodding, and I told him I would pick his books. I grabbed a challenging but smaller book and a larger (chapter-like book). He finished reading the smaller book to me, and then gasped a bit when I pulled out the larger book -that same gasp I give when seeing a large book I want to read, but don't think I will take the time to conquer. So he began... got cooking through it... wanted to stop one time into it... and then we had a little talk about exploring what happens, and that Spence has the power to explore this book to find out what happens. And then it happened. I had to tell him it was time to go to pray and hit the rack. "Just two more pages," he begged. This morning he grabbed the book so that he could read on the way to school in the car... (BIG smile on my face right now!)
Here is a picture taken Jan 07.
reflection on learning

Monday, October 27, 2008

notes from the photog

I thought I would start sharing some "how it was done" info with my shots to keep it interesting. I am definitely still learning photography - and love to share.
glamour shots
I have been reading a book at work called Light: Science and Magic... I am at the part about diffuse and direct reflection. Aunt Shanna's halloween gifts for the kids included a perfect opportunity to try out what I have been reading. She sent these very reflective glasses.
In this picture of Spence, I used my off camera flash shot through a white umbrella.
The only direct reflection seen from the flash is on the rim of the glasses. A fun way to highlight the eyes and glasses.

glamour shots 2
While this one of Amber put the camera in the family of angles (which means you see the light reflected from the entire surface).

On a different note, but still using the same flash setup... the sunset was coming through part of the closed blinds. So I quickly set up... so quickly that as I was coming down the hallway I hit the wall with my closed umbrella and it jabbed my rib pretty well. Glad it wasn't any sharper. But the sunlight produced quite an orange light. Whereas the flash wasn't as warm. And the ambient light was even cooler. So I decided to shoot with the WB around 3900K.
multiple light sources 1
In this picture of Camille, you can see that the sunlight on her face and hair appears to be the correct temperature, while the rest of the picture looks much cooler. An interesting effect. This can be reproduced artificially with a warming CTO gel over your flash and setting the WB to around 3900. --And yes, that is pizza sauce on Camille's face.

multiple light sources 2
And finally, this one of Spencer was at WB of 3950 with the flash still camera right and the setting sun coming through. I really like the different shades of red/orange in his hair and on his face.

In the past, I have generally shot automatic WB, but one of my goals is to have more control over what temperature I chose while shooting; even though it is so easy to switch WB afterwards in Photoshop.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hike in October

Went on a Saturday hike with Pres. Meek up in the Lone Peak Wilderness... great day for a hike. Even had 8 inches of snow in the cirque.

And had fun with the Orton effect in photoshop with a few of the images.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

going big with a little man

Here's Scotty at 5 months fitting in Sam's 1 year outfit. Watch out, here he comes.

Friday, October 10, 2008

LDS links

In preparing for a presidency training meeting to occur over the weekend, I had to refer back to an old conference ensign. I thought it proper to share 2 links that I use much for Ensign and General Conference links.

LDS Past Ensigns to 1971

Conference Talks back to 1880
This link wasn't working the last time I checked, but it has in the past.

And for those who have lots of motivation and read quickly...
A missionary comp of mine who now lives in Ireland has a challenge to read all conference talks from 1974 to current by July 4th, 2010. This is the same comp who read through the entire Old Testament during one of the months I was with him.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The slides

so for you who are more interested in seeing the pictures... instead of the whole low-quality video... here is the slide show

California 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008


Tyler is heading to the Goshutes tomorrow for the day. This year the scouts don't get to go. Most of the scouts in these pictures were 11 when they went, and 12 now.
Check out Hawkwatch website

This slide show is from Sept 22, 2007

Friday, September 12, 2008

Family Circle

We got messing around with this picture and felt we needed to get Sammy out of bed (wake him up) to include him. He's always up for a picture, bless his heart.
family circle

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Have to share this website... The Big Picture. This is a great site for pictures of current events. They have done a great job with their 9/11 pictures for the memorial today.

kids, strobes, and sunsets

well, here are the results... I used two SB-600 flashes (camera right 45 degrees and camera left 45 degrees) shot through umbrellas. The one on the left was set at full power and the one on the right was set at 1/2 power. On Spencer's shots, only 1 fired (camera left) and on Camille's silhouette, neither fired. It was a fun experiment... but I think I wore Spencer out... that's a lot of jumping.
From Aug 08

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My name is Tyler and I'm...

so i am totally hooked. I really enjoy photography. It's probably hard to tell. When you see this guy running down the soccer field, his wife running in front of him holding a flash with a large white umbrella in front of it, looking for the right shot of a young red-head on the team, you'll know I've gone completely mad.

Here is my current take on photography...
photography is to write light (or my take - light painting)
There is so much to know about light, exposure, depth of field, shutter speed, strobes, and now the post-processing. But it's not just about knowledge. This is about experience, taste, composition, delivery, and composure.

For me, photography is like bird watching... no matter who you are or what camera you own (or borrow), anyone can have fun taking pictures...
I guess what makes a good photographer better is whether people have fun looking at those pictures you had so much fun taking. And probably what makes an even better photographer is whether people have fun being in the picture (or with the photog while photographing)

I am fascinated by light. My favorite scene is this... (and I have yet to capture this in picture form) is after a big rain storm... the air is crisp and the mountains are sharp... there is a large gray comforter suspended in the sky above and the sun is 1/2 hour away from sleeping behind the mountains... the comforter exposes the Western sky as the sunshine charges across the valley against mountains to the East like the light from the hallway when you were six years old and your mom left the door open just a crack. The room is lit, but only by the reflection of the sun from the mountains around me.

I guess that's what photography is about... painting the world around me the way I see it. It's an expression, a communion.

Having said all that, I am glad I don't have to make a living as a photographer...
I just have to figure out where to hang all of these photos I am dying to send to the printer... oh, and get another external hard drive.

Here is an off-camera flash picture taken at 1/40 sec at f4. The flash was set to rear (which fires at the end of the exposure -to avoid motion blur). I just picked up an additional flash, so I must try this with 2 off-camera flashes. More on this later.
night light

And one shot for the road...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Zion in morning (sunrise behind me)
6am in Zion National Park before a lovely hike through mystery canyon... more pics to come - funny how many people call it ZionS... that's the bank, not the national park.

Paul descending to those of us already down (you can barely see us). This photo compliments of John, a fellow canyoneer from New York whom we met that day.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

on a lighter note:

I saw this one on someone else's blog and had to share... I got a big kick out of it.

Venting or Will I Be Heard?

I don't know how many readers commute Northbound in the morning out of Lehi, but I am quite distrot with the new lights on the on-ramp. There is a lot more congestion on our on-ramp with no more cars than before. Sometimes the line is 40 cars long to get on to a previously clear on-ramp. In addition, the road is so short that most cars can't get going fast enough to get on the freeway safely.

So here is my letter to UDOT. Hopefully someone who makes decisions will look into this problem.

August 21, 2008

To Whom It May Concern:

I am a Lehi resident with a concern regarding the new on-ramp light at the 2100 North entrance to I-15 Northbound. I feel that, in general, the stop lights for entering cars have been a positive thing for the freeway traffic. But in this one case, I feel it is more deleterious than helpful.

I sense two problems. In the last few weeks since the lights at 2100 N Lehi Northbound on-ramp have been functioning, I have seen the following. First, the lane entering the freeway after the lights is quite short. From my observation, in this short distance, most vehicles are only able to accelerate to about 45 miles an hour by the time their lane ends. This seems to be causing more congestion than previous because the oncoming traffic has to merge or slow down to accommodate those entering the freeway. Previous to the light, the on-ramp road was longer, allowing for cars to accelerate to freeway speeds before merging. This is the main problem. This endangers both us getting on the freeway as well as those already traveling at freeway speeds.

In addition, the lights change so quickly that if a car is able to accelerate quickly enough to reach freeway speed, that car is usually stuck behind someone who cannot accelerate quickly enough. So there is additional congestion in the entering lane due to the lights. This causes even more congestion when 2 or more cars enter the freeway at low speeds.

I realize that these lights are supposed to decrease congestion, but it appears that at this location, they are causing more congestion; in an area where there wasn’t congestion prior.

Thanks for your consideration...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


we're back. It's been a few weeks since our last post. Scout camp, school beginning, family in town, and other events and duties have all been keeping us enjoyably busy. Here are the favorite landscapes from scout camp.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

the heavens

too bad this occurs the Tuesday after scout camp, because scout camp skies are just chuck-full of stars because of the remoteness of it all. Well, if you are a star gazer, or want to try it, here is the low-down on Perseid Meteor Shower coming to the heavens near you on Aug 12, really really early in the morning... see you there, Spence.

And I have to share...we did some family photos in front of my parents' house in Salt Lake last Sunday.
Thanks to my sister Tina, who did a great job of taking these, so I could actually be in a few shots.
And a REALLY REALLY BIG thanks to Amber for giving me these beautiful children.

Saturday, July 26, 2008



The kids and I took a ride in the jeep earlier today in the heat to look for a trail up corner canyon. So we drove right next to the Draper temple. It was fun to see it.


Spence and I were driving home tonight from Salt Lake, in the jeep. And we were enjoying the lovely rays of sunlight in the sky during the sunset. Spence said "Those rays look like when Jesus comes." Thanks, Spence, for reminding me of our Savior. Signs of His love are all around us, for sure.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Midnight Storm

So Amber and I heard the storm tonight... and loving storms, we went just outside the front door and watched the fascinating display of lightning and rain. One was incredibly powerful and just crackled us to the bone. Here are some shots. I better go to bed...
Midnight Storm - Lightning
Midnight Storm - backlight
Midnight Storm - with stars

Sweet video

So, it is rare that we put impersonal entries here, but this one was so fun for us to watch that we had to share... Enjoy.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sam's month

So, this is a big month for Sam... in just a few weeks, he will be turning 3. Wahoo!

He is gaining confidence in walking a few steps. Way fuN!

And we got his hearing results back... we finally know he has full hearing in his right ear, while his left is partially working. But one ear works! We are wayYYYYY excited for this news. It has been a long time and a lot of testing to find this out.

Here is one for the record... The kids like to get on the chest of drawers and have Daddy do a little dialogue re: dolls that sits on shelves and come alive.

AND finally,
we chose a new template for this blog to facilitate better viewing of images.