Monday, June 30, 2008

Last roll

While sorting through some old files last night I came across some negatives and a contact sheet dated April 2003. I believe that is the last roll of film I shot. I had been alternating between film and digital depending upon the situation, but that was the last roll of 120 Vericolor. Just this morning I dropped 10 rolls of Kodak Professional film and a roll of Fuji in the trash. The film era is officially over as far as I am concerned.

The photographs I am making now are the best I have ever done and I am enjoying it more. The newest digital cameras are amazing. The prices range from $19.95 to over $33,000 which means there is a pretty good variety of cameras out there – just like there has always been.

I’ve heard a few people lament about how much time it takes to correct and print digital images using a computer, but these people obviously never worked in a darkroom. Having owned a custom photo lab for 23 years, I am sure that the vast majority of people had no idea of the work the photo lab put into making their photos look good - or more correctly, how easy it was to make them look bad.

Photoshop has dramatically changed the way I work, but it has not changed the way I see. That is the secret of photography. Ansel Adams said, “The sheer ease of making an image often leads to creative disaster.” That is more true than ever.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Ted Hubbard

A good friend died and went to be with the Lord this week. Ted Hubbard was an attorney and judge in London, England and quite possibly the wisest person I’ve ever known.

I met Ted and his wife, Gladys, through CBMC (Christian Business Men’s Committee.) When I joined the staff of CBMC in 1996, Ted held the title of “Staff Chaplain.” Four times a year Ted and Gladys would come to the United States at their own expense. They would go wherever in the U.S. they were invited and counsel , advice, hang-out, befriend, and whatever seemed appropriate at the time. The first time we got to know the Hubbards was when they road with us back from Colorado Springs to Kansas City. At the time they were in their upper seventies, British proper, and quite content to ride in the back of our GMC Jimmy the 600+ miles across Kansas. We all had a wonderful time.

It was Ted that advised us to take a long view and not make any major changes in the ministry for at least five years. That five years of talking to people, research, and planning eventually led to the opening of Homer’s Coffee House which has been a life-changing adventure for many people.

We were never able to visit Ted and Gladys in England, but saw pictures of their house in Kent and the one near the English shore. We heard about his Austin Princess and their lovely daughters.

I can’t imagine how many lives have been touched and people encouraged by this great man of God.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


My Dad used to accuse my Mother and me of having the “Go Bug.” That is one of the things that drew my wife and I together. We both have a strong desire to see the world. We decided early in our married life that we would spend our money on travel and not on houses or other expensive hobbies.

The result is that after 37 years of marriage we have been to many interesting places and have closets full of pictures and our minds full of memories to prove it.

The seven years that we spent running Homer’s Coffee House were wonderful but confining. We can’t wait to hit the road to see what is out there to see.

One of the benefits of travel is that we develop a different view of the world. Confined to our own limited culture we begin to think that what is around us is normal. For example, many Americans are unaware that even though the pursuit of happiness is written into our Declaration of Independence, we are only average among the world’s nations in “happiness” surveys. According to a recent article on “60 Minutes” that very pursuit may make us unhappy. Lack of contentment is a very real cause of misery. The “happiest” people in the world are Danes even though their taxes are high by U.S. standards and they pay about $10 per gallon for gas. They drive less, drive smaller cars, and many things that are very expensive here such as health care and college are free in Denmark. But most of all, the Danes are a contented lot. They are very happy with who they are.

Seeing other parts of the world, and getting to know people from different countries is very enlightening. People who go on mission trips, student exchange programs, or otherwise develop friendships across continents, are never the same.

With airlines getting more difficult to deal with and gasoline over the $4 mark, many people are cutting back their travel plans. Don’t do it. Get out there and see America and the world. Higher cost might affect your style. We will probably find cheaper hotels, shop for airfare deals, or rent a smaller car. I expect that higher costs will cause us to have more road side picnics and fewer gourmet meals. But they won’t cause us to stay home.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Big Changes

This has been a month of big changes. My last official day at Homer’s Coffee House will be June 13. I have opened a photography studio at 10851 Mastin Suite 130, Overland Park, KS 66210. This is in Corporate Woods – the most prestigious office park in Kansas City.

I have been a photographer since I was in the fourth grade and it is really the only thing I ever made any money at, although I did work my way through college playing music. I came out of college debt free due to my ability to play the bass guitar, so that makes me a certified professional musician and a professional photographer.

As I approach sixty, I decided it was time to open my “dream” studio, and this may be it. I have been photographing my favorite people – musicians – since I first picked up a camera. I have photographed Sonny & Cher and Harry Chapin if that gives you an idea of how long I have been doing this. It is still fun and I intend to establish myself in the coming months in the Corporate Woods as a people photographer for executives, businesses, as well as performers.

I will be posting recent photos on, so take a look and give me a call.