Cover Image Available Now

I’m pleased to announce that Gaunt Dreams, my new mini PDF ebook, is now available for distribution! This thirty page gem contains ten detailed tips about some of the techniques you can use to bring your photography to the “dark side.”

To get your free copy, all you need to do is sign up for my email list. Being a member of this list will grant you access to additional and exclusive content, including special offers and discounts from The Twilit Lens! Trust me, you’ll want to get in on this.

There are three ways to sign up. First, you can go to my home page at Just enter your email address in the space provided and click the “Subscribe” button. Second, you can click the link on this blog’s sidebar. Finally, you can click this link right here. Both links will take you to a special sign-up form. Once you’ve joined, you will receive an email within 24 hours containing a link where you can download your eBook from my special Dropbox folder.

But back to the content. Interested in HDR? Urbex? Plastic Cameras? You’ll find material on all these subjects and more in Gaunt Dreams. Plus it’s hard to beat the price. Enjoy, everyone!

Ruined Silo

Getting cozy with a plow bank during rush hour seems like an unlikely place to experiment with depth of field, but after watching a video from B&H I was inspired to try out a few of the latest DoF calculator smartphone apps. Trust me, there are some nice ones out there.

It’s almost a knee-jerk reaction to set your f-stop number to its smallest setting, but that may not be the best option due to the effects of diffraction. It’s a much better idea to do a little figuring to find the optimal setting. These apps can help with that. Plus several of them are free!

If you’ve never used one, most DoF calculators ask you for the model of your camera body (or failing that, a figure called the “circle of confusion” which you can google for your camera model), the focal length of your current lens, the aperture figure, and the approximate distance to your chosen subject. Once you provide the information, the app will give you the distances from you that will be in focus. This is particularly critical if you are planning shooting a landscape.

Exposure Data: ISO 100, f/16, 1″

Shadowy House

Sometimes, the most interesting photo ops stare at you every day without you being aware of them.

Just outside of a small town that lies north of my current residence, there is a cluster of trees and bushes along a busy thoroughfare. On all sides are businesses, restaurants and gas stations; the sound of traffic never ceases. But the vegetation hides something from the casual driver: a sight that if it was revealed would seem not just out of place but add a flavor of desolation to an otherwise thoroughly suburban landscape.

From the depth of the undisturbed and shrouding snow, no one has been in the house for some time. And yet the windows, so far as I could see, were unbroken. Perhaps the previous inhabitants have passed on or moved away. And now, as the bustle of life and commerce continues beyond the treeline, the wind sighs through the empty rooms and halls.

Exposure Data: ISO 100, f/5, 1/160

Title Blog Graphic

Though the winter has nearly frozen my fingers, my hands haven’t been idle. “Gaunt Dreams,” a new eBook from The Twilit Lens is near completion. I am assembling a mailing list to keep everyone informed of the happenings here in the land of Dark Art Photography, and this eBook will be the FREE reward for everyone who signs up!

This exciting mini book is packed with tips on how to take your photography into the shadowy world of The Twilit Lens. Topics will include HDR, plastic cameras, ruin exploration and more! I have to say I’m really excited about bringing this information to you. I hope you’ll find it a welcome addition to your library.

And you can’t beat the price!

Sun Hand 1

It was magic hour, and the atmosphere was frigid to the point where I felt icy needles piercing every millimeter of exposed skin. And by the time I was done getting the right angle for this shot, my hands felt like I’d immersed them in liquid oxygen. What I wouldn’t have given for sunlight that was as warm as it was bright. It seemed fitting to grasp a light source that seemed as far away as the promise of spring.

Every so often it’s refreshing to take a shot or two that’s not only fun but challenges the traditional notion of what a camera actually is or can be. In this case I used a tripod-mounted Cybershot wi-fi lens controlled from a smartphone. Later, Topaz Labs’ “comic book” filter added a touch of surrealism back in the blessed warmth of my home.

Exposure Data: ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/400

click here



Dam and Pipe

Ominous title, yes? You can relax, though; nothing illegal was done here. But under other circumstances, could it have been?

Allow me to explain. This shot was taken with a very high-powered Sigma zoom that resembles a telescope. I was standing on a bridge, looking at a dam in the distance. The dam and its accompanying facilities are owned by a local town, and the entire land was marked no trespassing for fear people would be injured. So to get the shot, I had to stand on a nearby bridge. Mind you, I’ve actually been confronted for using that huge lens. People honestly thought I was spying on someone!

Some of my students have asked me, “When am I allowed to take pictures?” It’s a fair question. In this post-9/11 “occupy movement” world, everyone’s so afraid of being labeled a terrorist for pursuing their passion for photography. So what is the truth?

First let me give you a link:

At the above site, you can download a handy piece to print and put in your pocket, just in case. But the short version is this:

1. If you are standing on public property, you CAN take pictures.

2. If you are standing on private property, ask permission. Their place, their rules.

3. Law enforcement can’t take away your camera or erase your data without a warrant.

4. Private individuals can’t detain you or harass you without serious legal consequences.

5. Some sensitive government buildings can forbid you to take pictures if it’s a matter of national security, and law enforcement can stop you photographing if you are close enough to potentially interfere with their duties (but you are allowed to take pictures if you’re not interfering).

6. You must respect people’s privacy when they’ve secluded themselves, even if it’s on public property.

Those are the details. If you are confronted, always remember to be respectful and polite, especially if you want to be a professional photographer. And don’t be afraid to take those pictures!

Exposure Data: ISO 100, f/22, 32″

Check this out

R. C. Fountain:

A wonderful Christmas collection after my own heart! Do check out Cybele’s blog, home of a very talented photographer.

Originally posted on "There was a time" -the runes of the gatekeeper's daughter and other tales:

May the peace and joy of the season be yours -my last gasp before “Yes, it’s finally Christmas!!!  A touch of colour for Leanne and Laura’s Monochrome Madness.


2014 – My retrospect

It’s been an eventful year, full of joys and sorrow, and it’s been hard gathering my thoughts lately. Yet I have been thinking a lot which probably reflects in my posts!

I took another wonderful trip back to Scotland and Ireland, my daughter got married, I won the lottery!!   kidding! I just wanted to get your attention!  If I did win the lottery I now think or hope I would give it all away.

I have been given so much, and I have lost much. We lost Robin which has made me realize once again how fragile life is.  Yet strangely, even the losses are a gift and love is never lost.

We struggle, triumph, fail, win and…

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Gallery  —  Posted: December 24, 2014 in Uncategorized