Saturday, April 20, 2013

Desert Living it is mid April already and I haven't posted anything for a long while.  Sorry, a lot going on in my life right now.  During the spring break, Diane and I had a chance to go to Tennessee to see my daughter, Ellie, and the family, Pete, Madison and Keira.  We had a wonderful visit and enjoyed the area they live in.  But, lets get to the topic of this post.  "Desert Living."

This is a picture I took on our way to Joshua Tree National Park a week ago.  I often wonder when I  see something like this what life was like back in the day.  Even today in an area like this it's pretty tough living.  I can honestly say I have lived in the desert, not quite like this, but close.  My Mom and Dad moved to what we called and is still called,  the Johnson Lane Area, between Carson City and Minden, Nevada.  And, we moved there in 1979 sometime.  We lived there for about 6 months, in what we call the back forty of my Mom and Dads House.  My Dad had purchased a trailer and put it in the back and we rented it from him.  I really wanted to live there, but Diane had doubts.  After we had lived there for a while, Diane come to love it.  Why I don't know!  I, learned to hate it.  Of course, we lived next to the corrals where the horses could look into our trailer.  In the evenings, the wind would come up and sand and dust would cover everything.  The days were hot, and evenings cold.  I have to admit, the mornings were absolutely beautiful.  And, on this trip, Diane and I both remembered and talked about the the mornings in the desert.  I can honestly say, if you walked to the end of the road on the street we lived, it was very, very similar to what you see in the image above.  No kidding.  I can remember my sister, putting a bridle on her horse, and hoping on its back to go to the store.  Through areas much like this.  In the mornings, we could see the wild mustangs grazing in the front yard.  My sister, Shelis,  still lives in the area and still sees the horses on occasion.  It has built up so much since 1980, when we finally returned to Sacramento, we lived in Sacramento in 1976 and 1977, but we couldn't make a go of it at that time.  Anyways, it has grown in population since that time that horse aren't seen as much.  And, they have been captured and sold to the public.  There are however, still a few of them left.  We've seen them on occation when we visit the area.  Mom and Dads house is no longer there.  It was torn down and a track of homes build in the area.  I guess you could say there were some great memories.

The spring brings many beautiful flowers and wildlife

If you make a trip to the deserts of Southern California, the spring brings many beautiful flowers and wildlife.  I visited the Anza-Borrego Desert and Joshua Tree National Park first in 2009.  I spent a number of days in the desert by myself and my camera.  It turned out to be a wonderful visit, and my love for the desert had begun.  The mornings were beautiful and being the early riser I have become, it was easy to get out there at or before dawn.  I drove all day looking for even the tiniest flower, and there were tiny ones.  The size of a dime.  Never did see the Long Horned Sheep.  But I did get plenty of wonderful pictures.  So you could imagine how excited I was when I heard that this years Joshua blooms were unusually abundant, I had to go again.

Diane insisted on going this time and we headed for Joshua Tree.  The drive is long, through a lot of very desolate areas, but we finally made it and loved every minute of it.  We were surprised that the articles and radio announcements were true.  The Joshua Tree blooms were magnificent.  When I visited in 2009, there were a few, but nothing like this.

The Yucca was also beautiful.  I've never seen blooms like this.

The most brilliant cactus we saw however, was the Mojave Mound Cactus.

There were plenty of wildlife as well.  Most of you have probably see them in my Facebook posts, but I wanted to show a few here.  This little sparrow, the Black-throated Sparrow, is one of my favorites.

 And then there was the Nelson's Antelope Squirrel.

He was so small, I was surprised we even saw it.  It wasn't any bigger than a tiny, and I mean tiny chipmunk.  It was about as big as my fist.  Well, as you can see, the trip was a wonderful time for us.  We both look forward to more adventures and photography moments.  Until then, I hope you enjoyed these moments with us.  It's nice to share them with you.  OH!  We didn't see the Long Horned Sheep again.  Maybe next time.

Diane didn't proof read this post, so there is probably a lot of grammar mistakes, which will be mentioned to me, I'm sure. So, I hope it wasn't to bad for you to read.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Wildlife Time Of The Year! it is the middle of February, and I wanted to make a post here on my blog.  Its been a great month for wildlife, and I always enjoy this time of the year.  But, as you all may know, I am a seasonal photographer.  And, it's coming time to get excited about Waterfalls and Spring Flowers.  I'm probably starting to bore you with birds any ways.  Although, there will still be more to come.  Birds are or will be moving again north for breeding and there breeding plumage will be getting better and better.  So I look forward to more wildlife photography for the rest of the month and into March.  I think my favorite image this month is my Marsh Wren.

This little bird us usually heard and not seen, or hard to see.  It is a scolding bird and always seems angry that you are near his domain.  This one looks like its singing happily, but in reality, it's saying GET OUT OF HERE!  Looking over my images for the end of January and beginning of February, most of them are birds.  What about everything else?  Well, the only image I have that isn't wildlife is this landscape of the flowering mustard, which is all over the place right now.  It makes for a beautiful carpet of color.  Here is one that I took last week of the Sutter Buttes in the background.

You can see the orchard within.  It's the same in the Napa Valley, with the mustard throughout the grape vineyards.  It can be quite beautiful.

I've been working on my new website, Bob Ellis Photography, with Stevenson Media and Matt and Diane have been very helpful. 


We still have a lot to do and I look forward to working with them on all of our marketing goals.  I'd like to take time to mention Dianne Poinski, who introduced me to Diane Stevenson. Thank you Dianne.  Some of the ideas we've discussed are new business cards, possibly a brochure, a newsletter, although I don't know how many a year I will put out and work on my store on the website.  We also have plans to do some stock photography. Lots and lots to do.  Trying not to get overwhelmed.

So as you can see, I've been busy and with my day job, things can get quite nerve racking.  But, I can see my yearly goals moving forward and that's what I need to do.  Thank you all for your support and suggestions.  I do listen to them all.  Without your support I wouldn't have made it this far.  So, until next month, enjoy life and keep viewing my work.  Enjoy!



Sunday, January 6, 2013

Getting Into The Year

Hi everyone!  Well the year has gotten off to a great start.  The ending of last month and the start of the new year have been pretty good for me.  As you all can tell, I love photographing birds/wildlife this time of the year.  And, I have gotten some great shots.  At least I think so. 

I've spent some time on the coast in Bodega Bay, the wildlife refuges, Sacramento and Colusa, and a day at Berkley Aquatic Park and Merritt Park.  I have also had the opportunity to see the Short-eared Owl in South Davis, CA off Mace Rd.  What a fun couple of weeks!

I have been told by my wife, Diane, and some friends that my forte is my landscape photography.  That I should do more of that and just do the wildlife photography, which I love, as the hobby part of my work.  So I looked through my images and discovered that I don't have that much landscapes.  Most of my better work is my waterscapes.  What to do, what to do?  I have a lot of work to do and I have a lot of goals for the year, and look forward to moving forward on them.  I will let you know how that's going.  In the meantime I will share my favorite image of the past couple of weeks.  Some of you may have already seen it!  Enjoy!

Friday, December 28, 2012



Happy New Year!

LEARN from yesterday, 
LIVE for today, 
HOPE for tomorrow.  
Albert Einstein 

A quote on the front of my journal for 2013.  Trying to get set up for the new year.  I have my goals set up and looking forward to getting started.  Hoping for great things this new year.  It's time!  Started with the launch of my new website.  It's not completed yet, but a great start.  Take a look!  As the last few days pass in 2012, and the new year begins for 2013, I wish awesome times for everyone.  And...I would like to thank all my family and friends for the great comments on my work and all the support and inspiration to better myself and my work.  You all know who you are. 

Thank you one and all,


Monday, November 19, 2012

Year End Is on My Mind

I'm here wondering why I'm writing this, when I could be out taking pictures.  Which, I love to do more than anything.  I spent the weekend of my time off to spend with Diane, who is on her Thanksgiving vacation, taking my grandson to Sparks, NV to see his girlfriend.  A nice young lady with a beautiful family.  It was a beautiful ride through the sierras.  Diane had her moments with my driving as usual but I love to look at the beauty of my surroundings.  The snow was magnificent!  The four hour round trip, twice, gave me a lot of time to think of where I'm going with my photography business, and where I want to go.  My first thoughts were on my web site.  It needs a definite face lifting and modernization.  I need to work on my blog postings more often and keep my store active with more images.  Deleting the ones that get little attention.  Of course the thoughts drift to that demon of operating a small business.  Which I have done before in the dental laboratory industry, and learned to hate.  It's a lot of work to keep it successful.  But that's what I need to do.

I was up to three o'clock in the morning,
working on my new web site.  

I'm tempted to give you a sneak peek, but have decided to wait until it is completed.  I have a lot of ideas of my own, but know I want to have some help with the areas I lack.  That's where I have decided to use the services of Stevenson Media.  I feel he will be able to fine tune the work I've done.  It is important to me to know the ins and outs of a media I'm using and use some of my own background in marketing and layout.

Well, this is getting long winded so it's best to stop here and get back to work.  Maybe even get out and take some pictures.  Wish me luck, and I will keep you posted.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

"Morning Moon"
As June started it's new month, we had a beautiful full moon.  I looked out the window the morning of this picture and ran out to photograph it.  It is slightly manipulated, but gives the feeling of what I was experiencing.  That's what I want to do with all my images from now on.  I also have had to learn more about Photoshop and Nik software to help me express a more artistic mood. 

Who knows where my new way of thinking will take me.  Hopefully in a more serene and untroubled manner.  Photography is more then taking a picture.  It's studying the moment and capturing it so others can understand where you are at that time and place.  Landscapes and seascapes will definitely test my ability to capture mood.  When I shoot my wildlife images, I will probably have it a little tougher.  The birds and animals won't stay in one place for too long.  Wildlife has more personality.  To capture the moment and show their character, I will have to know more about the subject.  Expressions, temperament and nature.  Well, these are all good thoughts.  I hope I can photograph the way I think.  I hope when you see my work, you'll let me know if I'm doing a good job of it.  Thanks for listening.  I hope all the dads out there will have a wonderful Father's Day!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Well...Finally, it's a new year post.

"Gold Lake"  ©2012 Robert J Ellis Jr
     I haven't posted anything this year on my blog nor have I updated my website.  My blog upgraded, and everything I have done in the past had to be deleted.  None of my images were available to re-post.  Maybe I just couldn't find them.  So, I haven't taken the time to re-do it and continue to post.  I have been in a limbo state, trying to decide what I want to do with my photography.  I haven't sold much product since I started my business and my finances have been zip to print and show my work in a gallery or weekend show exhibitions.  The most I've done is to continue taking photographs.  As I have said in the past, my year begins in the fall with fall colors.  Then, I usually move on to some wildlife images, mostly birds.  And then, spring flowers, waterfalls and anything else I catch in between.  I also love seascapes, but haven't done much with that.  And, gas prices have been intimidating.  So, what am I going to do...I really don't know yet.  It's really been frustrating. 

I have thought of themes to work on.  Shows seem to like a theme.  I still have landscapes, seascapes and wildlife, but I have decided to break it up even more.  Chasing the Clouds, Black and White, Floral and my most recent love, Long Exposure Photography.  But, then again, shows like everything in a symmetrical order.  Black and White or Color.  Don't forget the theme.  Perhaps I have over thought this, but nothing I've done has gotten me there. 

I continue to post on Facebook,, but that is all I have done.  I have loved using Facebook to meet other photographers and see what they're doing.  I have gotten great ideas and inspiration from so many photographers.  But, I have become a Facebook junky.  Nothing else has gotten done.

So...GOALS!  Slow down and don't take so many pictures.  Think of what I want, and photograph that.  Less work in the digital darkroom, less adjustments.  That will give me sharper images and better prints.  Write a business plan, OMG I get anxiety attacks.  If I can get started, I might be able to find a grant or loan that might help me get started exhibiting.  Enter more contests, magazines, websites, etc to get more exposure.  Maybe win something!  Who knows! Post more to my store on Fine Art America.  I seem to get more sales the more I post.  Go figure.  I'm sure I will have many more thoughts.  Maybe I'll get some suggestions from you.  One thing I have discovered over the years is self.  Who am I?  I know I'm a type A personality.  I know I'm good at what I do, whether it be carving teeth or photography, and will continue to get better.  I know I have a good knowledge of business management.  I had a successful business for 10 years.  Or maybe it was just a job I created.  I have managed in business and think I'm pretty good at it.  But, I'm truly an artist.  I know I am not a promoter, business genius, or anything else.  Just an artist!  I hope down the line to find the money to hire a marketing agent and be a successful photographer.  Well, I'm rambling on.  That means I have said enough.  Just some thoughts.  Thanks for taking the time to listen.