Sorting Out

Up until now I have tried to manage all my photography endeavors under one hat. However it has come to my attention that there is just too much traffic on my one main facebook page, S. W. Krull Imaging. I have wildlife advocacy posts there, stock photography, wedding photography, portrait photography, model photography, sports and journalism all going on in one fan page and it just looks overwhelming.

Goats

Mountain Goats on Mount Bierstadt

My original intent was for the Imaging page to be for my stock photography business and related items to be showcased there and I am going to return that page to it’s roots. That page will be only for the stock photography and the events that I photograph under that umbrella, including outdoor sports and recreation, wildlife and nature photography, and photo retouching.

I have moved the wildlife advocacy posts to a special page devoted to animal welfare only. I hope if you are interested in the critters that you will visit my new page and give it a like!

western wedding

Cowboy and Cowgirl bride

I have also recently launched a separate page for wedding photography. Please visit and like my S. W. Krull Weddings page if you have an interest in wedding photography!

swimsuit model

Model posing at the beach

Exercise, fitness and fashion have been moved to a new fitness and modeling page, which is where indoor exercise sports, fitness, fitness model and fashion model photo shoots and informational posts have been relocated to. So if you have an interest in exercise and fitness and modeling, please hop in on that page and give it a LIKE!

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Slight Course Change

Well that didn’t work… my evanescent attempt at writing for someone else. My job as a college sports writer did not go well. Assignments and deadlines were given, files opened and a blank screen appeared before me awaiting my clever words. But the words did not come. Three days I stared at the whiteness without so much as even a title coming to mind. My mind just raced from one thing to another, important things, what am I going to have for lunch, maybe the trash needs taken out, do the cats have food, how much propane do I have, are the car tires inflated properly, did the mail come yet… Still sitting there staring at a blank screen at 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday night I finally had to face the futility of it. So I emailed the guy and told him I was done. Shortest job I ever had…Β  shattering my previous record of two weeks as a bus boy at a Holiday Inn when I was a kid.

Immediately my mind began to clear and it came to me that I am already a writer for a big company and all I lack is the credentials for the new avenue. So I logged into my Examiner account and figured out how to request the new title of College Sports Examiner, as well as Colorado Rockies and Broncos Examiner. So I had to come up with five titles for potential articles and write a sample article. Days of writers block faded immediately and in just under two hours I had written a thousand words. The next day I received the news that I have been approved for the title of College Sports Examiner. So now I can do my reporting and photography my own way, with my own deadlines and my own vision.

The moral of the story? I don’t know… maybe some of us just weren’t meant to be supervised. Maybe for some of us, another person’s vision only serves to obscure our own. Going to take a couple of days for the stress to fade, perhaps a hard run at tomorrow’s Emma Crawford Coffin Races in Manitou Springs will be the right medicine πŸ™‚ The races and festival are going to be a blast so come and cheer us on!

Nocturnal and First Snow

Two o’clock a.m. and I’m wide awake, too awake to sleep and too tired to do anything constructive. Starting to wonder if I’m becoming nocturnal! I hope not, hiking at night would be a real bummer! Guess I’ll write a blog. Nothing like throwing a bunch of random thoughts onto the virtual paper to bring it all together. LOL… not everything that comes together is good though! We’ll see how it turns out πŸ™‚

Pikes Peak

First Snow on Pikes Peak

Now that I mention things that aren’t good coming together… I recently saw a position available for a sports writer / photographer, which sounded perfect for me! Wasn’t too sure if my writing experience would be the right fit for a CSU Rams reporter, but I was especially excited about having access to the press box for game photography. I’ve always wanted to be one of those cool guys with the big white lenses running up and down the sidelines and hanging out in the press box πŸ™‚

Much to my surprise, within hours I was turning in my first article. The second article, however is proving to be more difficult. Don’t seem to have the attention span to analyze a pile of statistics and come up with a meaningful story out of it. I feel like I’m back in my cubicle in the dungeon at Raytheon, totally stressed out and beset with a completely blank mind. Just like it was at the last with Raytheon, all I can think of is running away from the desk, fleeing the dark caverns of the programmer basement and getting outside! I think today I’ll try to find another subject to write on. Perhaps today in the cold and the rain maybe I won’t be longing for the outdoors so much. Maybe there is a standout player who could use some ink. At any rate, looking forward to being in the press box on Halloween day when CSU takes on SDSU at home in sunny beautiful Fort Collins, Colorado.

There are some other statistics this fall that I find myself very interested in studying. A few months ago when this new chapter in my life began I was excited to set a goal of breaking the 3,000 approved image mark at my agency, iStock / Getty. It didn’t take me long to do that and now as I look at my account, the number 4,000 has come within striking distance. A few more sleepless nights and who knows, perhaps I will achieve 4,000 before year’s end.

Today the clouds parted for a bit and the big peak became visible and it is clearly sporting a new mantle of snow to remind me that this year is rapidly winding down. So right now, as long as I’m awake anyway, I’m going to load up the chip from yesterday’s trek up Bald Mountain so that I can mark the first day of significant snow on Pikes Peak with an image.

Trail Markers

Trails through the mountains are often wide, well marked and well traveled. However sometimes, in order to visit the most splendid locations we find ourselves off the wide trail, alone deep in the remote wilderness where the trail is not always easy to discern. Often in a mountain trail race tiny flags are tied to a branch every few miles to show the way or to mark a fork in the trail. Near the summit of the high mountains where no vegetation exists, cairns are constructed using stacks of rocks to mark the way. Occasionally the cairns are small, maybe only two small rocks stacked in a strategic location. No matter how they appear, the trail markers instill confidence in the hiker or runner that he or she is on the right path. The road ahead may be long and difficult but there is comfort in knowing you are on the right path.

Cairn

Cairn on the Trail

Have you ever been hit with a sudden realization, by something so amazing it just stops you in your tracks? Something so profound that you know without a doubt that you have just seen a sign from the Almighty, one of those little trail markers to tell you that you are exactly where He intended you to be at that exact moment in your life.

I had one of those moments today, actually kind of an ordinary moment while engaged in an ordinary activity when I realized that the chances that I would have the tools, the ability, the time and the experience needed by someone at this exact moment are so infinitesimal and so precise that divine intervention is the only way to explain it.

Certainly the task at hand is important but also important is the realization at a time when I was beginning to question my choices, my decisions, in fact my entire game plan. Realization that the answer came at the exact moment I was seeking answers filled me with peace that I have not yet seen the whole plan and that it is indeed true what is written in the Psalms: Psalm 37:23 “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.”. Our journey through life is often complex, involving many people, precise timing and requiring a great deal of patience. The little trail marker I saw today assures me that I am still on the right trail.

So I write this in the hopes than someone reading this who feels like everything is going wrong might understand that β€œHis ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts”. That even when it doesn’t seem like it, there is a plan and if we take time to sit quietly for a bit and meditate, we might just catch a glimpse of one of those little trail markers. The road ahead may still be a rough one, but there is comfort in being on the right path.

Photoshop

So I’m sitting around a few days ago thinking, “Man, it’s a long way to pay day.”. So the gears started turning and I was wondering what I could do get some regular income flowing in while I sit on pins and needles hoping for stock and prints to sell. That’s when I got the idea to reintroduce the mobile portrait service back into my repertoire. Back in the film days and early digital photography days I used to do pretty well bringing in business doing that.

swimsuit model

Model posing at the beach

So the other day when I was getting my shots of Crystal Reservoir there was a pretty good crowd of people there with their phones snapping away with the little fake sound card generated click of the shutter button to enhance the fun, which later on got me to thinking, people probably don’t hire many photographers anymore. Those little cameras are really good these days and every man woman and child on the planet has one… except for me of course 😦 And this is certainly the age of the selfie. Jim got a great one of us at the top of the Manitou Incline, and why not? Models are taking their own pictures these days for their digital portfolios and I imagine getting a family shot is just as easy.

So as I was fretting about that trying to imagine what else I could do to bring in some cash, it occurred to me that not everyone’s phone pictures turn out perfectly. Even mine with my high end DSLR often have problems that have to be fixed with Photoshop. That’s when another light came on for me, not everyone has Photoshop or knows how to use it. What if someone has the perfect selfie and it is marred by some unsightly object in the background. Or what if someone has a huge zit the day the get the perfect selfie? What if conditions on the day have confused the camera and the color is all wrong or the exposure is off?

So I’m in. I have been Photoshopping away since digital photography meant scanning a print on a flatbed scanner. I am an expert in color and exposure analysis, retouching, special effects and more. Is your favorite picture ruined because you have a tree branch growing out of your ear in the awesome selfie you took? Did a fly land on your nose the instant you got the epic shot of yourself on vacation? Well, I’m your man then. I can fix those things and I’m officially in the Photoshop business now! You are only an email away from the perfect picture πŸ™‚

The picture I have supplied with this post originally had lots of problems. There was a boat and a buoy behind Deia that looked ridiculous. it was getting late so I had to use a flash and it caused a lot of shine straight on from the front that looked terrible. It had been a long photoshoot and some of my Deia’s makeup had smeared and the evening light with the flash had turned the water an ugly greenish blue hue. And I added a bit of soft focus for a more subdued mood. With a little photoshop the picture has made quite a transformation!

Changing Seasons

So I put the COMPLETE stamp on summer by finishing my Intemann Trail article for the Examiner. It was quite an adventure that took pretty much all summer, starting with a two and a half hour “short cut” from Red Rock Canyon over to Manitou Springs in quest of my press pass for the Pikes Peak Ascent.

Goats

Mountain Goats on Mount Bierstadt

It was a great summer that included a bunch of things I have been meaning to do for years, the whitewater festivals, visiting the wolves in Guffy, the mountain goats on Mount Evans, climbing 14ers Bierstadt and Yale, climbing the Manitou Incline with my brother and meeting Robin and best of all meeting new friends in person that I had only known through Facebook prior to this summer.

The fall colors come early in the Colorado high country, in fact it still feels like summer in the lower elevations when it is time to go up for the fall pictures. Fall felt like it officially started yesterday with the running of the annual Pikes Peak Road Runners Fall Series I race in Bear Creek Park down in the Springs.

I have to say I am not looking forward to the short days and long hours of darkness but the summer has left me with a bounty of over six thousand pictures to work with over the cold months. I am also looking forward to working on some new projects, including the re-start of my portrait photography services and a new line of T-Shirts now available on my Fine Art website along with many other products that are available there.

So anyway, have a great autumn everyone, I am certainly planning to πŸ™‚