“Art on the Green” 2014 – 16 Ton Sandcastle

by Rick Diffley on August 6, 2014

Complete Sand Castle_700

Supporting the Arts…

During our visit this year (August 2014) to the annual “Art on the Green” we came across this sandcastle builder. I took a series of images, ending with the stunning details of what it takes to build this sandcastle. There’s an amazing about of work that went into this structure! At the end of this post are the details.

Sand Castle Maker_700

The Photography Lesson…

Whenever I photograph a subject, I like to find the picture within the picture. I try not be satisfied with my first shot and always look for more possibilities. I look for more detail, better lighting, and better composition. I do this by changing my lenses, changing my position, changing my height and even waiting until a different time of day.

As seen in the series of sandcastle images, the first image I captured is the “big picture” and gives the viewer perspective. However, I didn’t stop and kept searching for more shots.

The second shot (above) includes a close-up of the builder and details of his work.

Sand Castle_700

The last shot here is a close-up shot showing the skill and small attention to detail at the hands of the builder. This is what I call finding a picture within a picture.

Your assignment for the next few weeks is to find three pictures within a picture. Look in your backyard. Look on your favorite hiking trail. Local art show. Feel free to share your images with me.

Sandcastle Facts

Art on the Green is an annual event held in Couer d’ Alene, ID. It’s an arts and crafts outdoor festival sponsored by Citizens’ Council for the Arts, a non-profit corporation of interested volunteers formed to encourage and promote the arts.

Thank your for visiting…

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Summer Air Travel – It’s Also About Your Camera!

by Rick Diffley on July 10, 2014

SW Airlines

Summer Air Travel – It’s Also About Your Camera!

Many of you may be doing a lot of traveling and that may include flying. There has been a change in how electronics will be screened for some flights *coming into the USA.* This impacts your camera.

This week the Transportation Safety Administration announced that they will not allow discharged electronics on planes. This goes beyond smart phones, iPads, laptops, and your camera! What does this mean to you?

Make sure that your camera batteries are charged before you head to the airport because if it won’t turn
on, it’s possible you can’t fly with your camera.

I can hear you asking, “When would I ever fly without my batteries being charged?”  For me that
happens often on the way home, after days of shooting or sometimes with a backup camera. That battery often hasn’t seen a charger in a few weeks.

So, a quick reminder to make sure you are all charged up before you head to the airport.

A little more info can be found in this Reuters Article -

Happy Vacationing…


Word Press Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast

by Rick Diffley on June 30, 2014

Seattle Museum Scarfs


Finding a distinctive shot, be it a macro flora shot, landscape, or street photography, is about creating images that set themselves apart from the ordinary, and uninteresting, that many photographer’s capture. One way to get a distinctive shot is seen in looking for exceptional contrast.

Scarf’s From the Seattle Museum

With the above shot, contrast is seen in the various colors and line direction with each scarf.


Coupeville, Washington Pier Building…

In this shot, the contrast of bright red painted building against the dark, black windows, is visually very effective.

Two Brown leafs

Transparent Leafs…

With this shot, there’s a nice interplay created by the contrast of the two different sizes. 



Besides the size difference and structure of the two coneflowers, you can create or add contrast by varying your f/stop to focus the viewers attention by blurring the background. Finally, as the photographer, you can wisely choose the right shot in post processing to convert the final image to black and white.

Thank you for visiting!



Word Press Weekly Photo Challenge: Between

by Rick Diffley on June 23, 2014


This week’s photo challenge is to capture an image that is: “in the middle of two things.”

Hands weaving cotton_BW700pix

The Set Up…

Today, I’ve present you with two different post processing styles of the same subject. The first image, black and white, and the next, the original color shot.

Please give me your feedback about which post processing style you prefer and why. At the end of this post I will share my preference.

Hands weaving cotton_Color Verson_700pix

Shooting Location…

Conner Prairie is a outdoor museum setting in a historically-accurate community struggling to survive in the year 1836. The grounds, buildings, people, are exactly created for this time period. It is located in Fishers, IN. My wife and I were there last week for business, sightseeing, and some great photography.

The museum grounds are divided into several sections where different eras in history are recreated to create a kind of living timeline. Volunteers are in period costumes to demonstrate the way early inhabitants in the area lived. They explain their lifestyles in real live character while performing chores such as cooking, making pottery, and sewing as seen in my shot. Questions and comments outside the time period make no sense to the “in character” volunteers.

Note: Clothes were usually made by the women in the family. This took a lot of time because sewing had to be done by hand as seen here. The sewing machine was not patented until 1846.

The Image…

The photo is of an elderly woman’s hands showing her between talking with us about the time period, her volunteer role, and the type of sewing for the time period. She has been participating at the Conner Prairie farm museum for almost 30 years.

My Image Preference…

The black and white post processing image is my preference. Why? Hands, especially those of the elderly, provide terrific detail, and contrast. Also, the wool fabric provides nice structure. Oh yes, I also love the color image as well. What is your preference and why?

More Information…

For specific details check out “Trip Advisor” on your mobile devise and go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conner_Prairie




Spokane, Washington Artfest 2014

I had the pleasure of being the Volunteer Photographer for the 2014 Spokane Artfest. I had a wonderful time talking with this artist, learning about his background, and the details that goes into each piece of his artwork. He was nice enough to allow me to take his picture with the handcrafted art that was for sale.

Word Press Photo Challenge

The challenge this week was to become a documentary photographer and attempt to capture a candid moment of a person, place, or thing. “Put your National Geographic hat on and tell a story by documenting a moment in time through a single image.”

So what is Spokane’s Artfest?

MAC Logo

Spokane, Washington Artfest

This annual art show is provided by the Spokane MAC – “Museum of Arts & Culture.” It is hosted in Spokane’s Browne’s Addition historic Coeur d’Alene Park. People can stroll through this idyllic setting as they take in juried fine art, pre-packaged gourmet foods and hand-crafted products from 150 of the area’s most talents artisans.

Showcased is an extensive collection of work ranging from stunning sculptures, spectacular paintings, one-of-a-kind jewelry, photography, ceramics fiber arts and much more. This show truly has something for everyone. Folks can enjoy food booths and there’s live musical performances and a wine and beer garden.

Plus, there’s art-making tent for kids of all ages.

Art for kids Paper Cutting

Thank you for visiting…