Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunridge Park


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The city of Henderson, Nevada makes every effort to put every square inch of city property to good use. The city parks reflect this effort. No matter where you live, or where you are coming from you will find that Henderson is a well-planned city with parks that are designed to keep people, locals and visitors, coming back to them. 

When I arrived at Sunridge Park the sun still had not risen above the mountain that bordered it on the east side. But, there were already a few people walking through and around the park. The park appears to be a place where locals frequent to get their exercise. Their ages ran from teen to seniors, with a couple of moms and toddlers showing up to put the playground to good use. One mom told me that she brings her kids her to tire them out so that she can get some rest. In the less than 2 hours that I was there a softball team showed up for practice, and a couple of men showed up at the tennis courts. Dogs were on leashes, but I did not see a dog walk.All reservations are on a first come first serve bases. Reservations must be made 2 weeks in advance. For more info: http://www.cityofhenderson.com/henderson-happenings/facilities/rental-information/park-and-trail-reservation-information

Park amenities: 18 acres, picnic table, playground, basebalsoftball fields, barbecues, open grass area, restrooms, covered picnic shelters, lighted tennis courts, lighted volleyball courts, lighted basketball court, open grass and multipurpose field. Walking paths are paved and easy 

Park reservation information:
http://www.cityofhenderson.com/henderson-happenings/facilities/rental-information/park-and-trail-reservation-information

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or copy and paste

http://www.bwmedia702.com/PRIMARY-TRAVEL/Henderson-NV-Parks-and-Trails/Sunridge-Park/

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Cactus Wren Park

Ameneties: dog park, grass volleyball court, lighted basketball courts, barbecues, covered picnic shelters, picnic tables, restrooms, playground, lighted skate park, open grass area, multi-purpose fields,
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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Madeira Canyon Park

City of Henderson Park

2390 Democracy Dr., Henderson, NV 89015
Cross Streets: Canyon Retreat and Democracy Drive
Size: 20 Acre(s)
Amenities Include:

Tot Lot
Jogging and Walking Paths
2 Basketball Courts
2 Baseball/Softball Fields
Playgrounds
Picnic Areas
Open Space
4 Tennis Courts

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Well I have made 2 trips to Madeira Canyon Park. My first trip was four days ago in the late evening to take photographic advantage of the evening light. My second trip was to take advantage of the early morning light. That was this morning. Madeira Canyon Park is a beautiful city park located at the south edge of the Las Vegas Valley as you are climbing the South McCullough Mountain Range. This is one of the newer residential areas of the city of Henderson, and is near the Henderson Executive Airport.





There are currently 17 photos posted of this park here. Real Estate agents in the area are using my city park photos to help sell homes in the area. Prints and/or downloads and gifts are available.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thoughts of Nevada and Oklahoma

The following graphic was just messaged to me from a lady from my home town, Dill City, Oklahoma.

(Click photo to enlarge.)


I have just gotten back from a short walk with thoughts about what I should be doing next. But, it doesn't really take much thought. If I have a dollar to travel on I will go somewhere. But, other than that there are two places that are most important to me, Nevada and Oklahoma. I will never in my life be able to see all I want to see of these two places.

The bright lights of Las Vegas and Reno beckon gamblers from around the world. To me the best light show comes from ½ hour before sundown to ½ hour after sundown, and from pre-dawn to about ½ an hour after sunrise. But, it’s the desert that beckons me, and the mountains, and the trails I love to walk. I’ve seen wild horses grazing at the edge of a lake. I’ve set in a city park at sunrise and watched coyote puppies following their mom across an open field at the edge of a busy airport. But, the road trips are what I love. As a 35-year trucker it was the drives through sparsely populated country that was my favorite drives of all, like Hwy #95 that runs north out of Las Vegas on a 450-mile trip that finals out in Reno. That drive soothes the soul. Or, take a trip up or down Hwy #93. And drive across State Route #375 (the UFO Highway) and maybe you will spot a UFO. But, when you take a hike on any of the trails keep an eye out for rattlesnakes. And always, always, always keep plenty of water with you.

The one thing I can positively say about Oklahoma is that it is in my blood. I could not wait to get away from Oklahoma seven months ago. Today, I miss family and friends from Oklahoma, and I miss the farms, the creeks, and the lakes. But, what I really find that I miss right now is the solitude of living by myself, and knowing that all I have to do is walk out of my house to end the solitude. The only thing I can say about the people of Oklahoma is that they are what everybody should be like. They are the best.


I am an Okie, but I am also a nomad. So, I will travel, and maybe make a side trip to Oklahoma.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Vegas Strong Memorial

From Better World Media: These photos are from the memorial to the victims of the October 1, 2017 massacre at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Nevada.















This memorial is currently located in the median and at the site of the world famous "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign which is right next to Mandalay Bay. For now I will say that this location is ok, but I do hope they move the memorial to a more appropriate place. Anyone who visits the memorial vs those who visit the "Welcome" sign will understand why I think this is the wrong place for a memorial. A memorial place should be a place for peaceful reflection. The "Welcome" sign tends to bring out the idiots.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Four Simple Tips for Better Photography



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Almost four years ago my photography business took a nose dive when I lost 140,000 images to a computer disaster. Yes, I normally have my work backed up. But, when this happened I had just returned to Oklahoma to assist members of my family with problems they were having. I did not have the computer knowledge to save my work, but I did save the hard drive that it had been on, and one day soon I hope to find a really brilliant program or computer technician that can dig into the old hard disk and recover those files. For now, it is my inability to walk away from photography that has pushed me to relocate, again, to Las Vegas and start rebuilding my dream.

Without getting too technical I thought I would share a few things that I have learned since by return to Las Vegas and to my photography work.

1.) Read your manual. I have learned to keep my camera user's manuals handy, and I use them often. For the past 3 year's I was not as involved with my photography work as I needed or wanted to be. That changed when I relocated to the Las Vegas Valley. I quickly learned that my camera knowledge had faded. But, I am getting faster at learning what settings I need.

2.) Know your camera. While I am still unsure about why my normal camera settings have drastically changed for shooting at various locations I do know that my use of exposure bracketing is very important to my work. And, while it means making more changes in the field it does save time in the editing process.

3.) Stay healthy. Water and exercise are important to my photographic specialties. My aging and battered body was in for a major surprise when I started took for my first walk on City View Trail. The information that led me to this trail described it as a "moderate" hike. Well, that was probably an accurate description for a 20-year-old professional football player, but for a 68-year-old, overweight x-trucker in was more than a tad off the mark.

4.) Work smarter, not harder. Be careful about overloading your project list. I started out behind because I did not know exactly what I wanted to do with my photography. As a result, I have spent many, many, many hours organizing, editing and posting when I wanted to be out shooting. But, I am close to having my business organized now. As a result, where it was taking me 4 or 5 days to do a shoot, edit and post it where it should be I am now down to a 2-day max. I have paid for it with a lot of lost sleep.


Photographing City Parks of the Las Vegas Valley is my current on-going project since my return to the Las Vegas Valley.
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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

St. Rose Parkway Trail. part 2



Rest Stops
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It was 2 weeks ago and in the mid-90's when I walked the first mile of St. Rose Parkway Trail. And, I have only been to one park since then. But, dang, it's hot out there. So, I have stayed inside where it is nice and cool. And, I don't regret it. But, when I left the house this morning it was 80 degrees and cloudy. That made for good walking.



Facts and Points of Interest
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As planned I began my walk at Burmuda Avenue, the end point for my first walk up this trail. And, as I said when I started walking this trail I do not expect to gain much photographically while walking this trail, but I will get exercise. I expect it to be this way for a least the next two miles of the trail. After that I may be able to find some things of interest to photograph since I will be starting to go through commercial zones.




Looking back at where I've been
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St. Rose Parkway Trail runs northeast from the "M" Casino/Resort at I-15. It goes for several miles, but I believe it now ends just before reaching I-215. However, there is plans to extend the path eastward along I-215 for a few miles. There are at least 64 city parks in Henderson. I have not researched the number of parks in the Las Vegas Valley. Plus, there are several paths/trails that extend outward from St. Rose Parkway Trail. So, if I am going to walk and photograph all of them I do have a lot of walking ahead of me. Which begs the question; "How am I ever going to find time to photograph anything in Vegas other than parks and trails?"

I will find a way.

All photos were shot with an iPhone 6s.




Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Walk Through Discovery Park


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I was wrong when I decided that the weather was going to keep me from heading out to shoot photos at a city park. Two hours later the skies, though still cloudy, looked good enough to take a chance.

Discovery Park is a very popular Green Valley neighborhood park that is jam-packed with almost every amenity you might desire. Picnic area, 2 playground areas, a softball field, tennis courts, volleyball courts, basketball courts, and lots of paved walking paths to enjoy. Although I did not see a dog park people were there with their dogs. Most dogs were on leashes. Those that were not on leash were right there with their human parents.

For directions and more info on Discovery Park click here.

Better World Media strives to provide great event, travel, lifestyle, and stock photography. I will return to Discovery Park on a less cloudy day, but I did get enough photos to start a nice gallery on Better World Media. You have no obligation to buy anything, but I would like to invite you to browse the web site. I have shot at more than a dozen parks in the area where I now live, and I plan to keep shooting city parks all over the Las Vegas Valley for the foreseeable future. And, once the weather cools down I hope to start shooting along the hiking and biking trails throughout the valley. Other subjects that I plan to shoot are museums, memorials, community events, open mic events, and small venue music events. There are older galleries of these subjects already posted on Better World Media, and there is more to come.

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

A Long Trail and a Small Park


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Yesterday I started a walk that will take me a few days to complete. St. Rose Parkway Trail is several miles long, and my legs are not ready for it. So, I am simply going to walk it a mile or so at a time, depending on where I can park my car along the trail. And, for every mile I walk up the trail I will have to return back down the same mile. This first mile had very little to photograph. I hope to have more to photograph in the miles to come, but I think the path is a wide bike path that stretches up through business district along St. Rose Parkway.

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This afternoon I found Cactus Wren Park. It is 3 or 4 miles from my home. We had a good hard rain earlier in the day, and it was still cloudy. The good part is that it was cool (for the Las Vegas Valley) because of the rain. I used my cell phone and took some photos. I will go back on a better photography day to get some better shots. Cactus Wren Park is a small park, with one playground, a dog park, a baseball park, picnic tables, a skate park, basketball court, a cement walking trail around the park, and 1.5 mile Cactus Wren Trail runs through it from Eastern Avenue to St. Rose Parkway.

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Friday, August 18, 2017

The Reality Of Trying To Do It All By Yourself



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The reality comes when you realize that you have so many projects going at one time that all of them suffer to a degree. Stark reality has managed to slap me in the face today. It appears that I have spent so much time on my photography that my work with music and the travel industry has all but disappeared into my archives. That changes today.

I will start posting new music stuff on this blog very soon, but if you would like to see more of my work with music now please visit Better World Music @ https://bwm702.blogspot.com/

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

A Day in the Life




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Clicking the shutter is the easy part, of course. However, it is easy to forget everything you know about lights, camera and action if you do not work with it every day. You realize that very quickly once you are back in the field. And, I am getting to know my camera manual again.

But, now that you have clicked the shutter what else do you do if you are trying to make a living as a photographer?
1. Keep a record of every cent you spend.
2. Keep a record of every thing you see.
3. Watch how your photos are recording via the histogram.
4. Wrap the trip up. Make sure you have everything you came with.

Now comes the fun part.
1. Upload your new photos to your computer.
2. Review them. Discard what you definitely know you don't want to work with. This should be a very small amount of files.
3. Export the files that you want to work with right away.
4. Batch edit the exported files. This will give you less to work with in the long run.
5. Edit (pop) your files. Get them ready to post and/or turn over to you client.

All of that stuff is the easy part. A 2 hour shooting session can easily give you a full day lab work, and possibly 2 or 3 days of lab work. And, this is your day when you are only working on your projects.

But, what about getting clients? And, what do you do with them when you get them?
Long before you click the shutter for clients you have a mountain of work to even let them know that you are in business to serve them. You have to target your audiece for the style/specialty of photography that you do. Research is the name of the game here. Magazines, manuals, books, walls, galleries, newpapers, etc. - they are all important resources. You have to find people that use your style of photography. Contact those people. Get samples of your work in front of them so that they can see what you do. Tell them how you can be productive for them. Nudge them good, but don't push them. They have the money.

So, now you've got the client. Now you have done the shoot. Now you have edited the shots, and sent them to your client. Now what. Well, I ask for a review of my work from my client. And, then I go home and think about what I did right, what I did wrong, and how I can do better. And, I do the bookkeeping for the shoot. After that I go to work trying to find more clients, and trying to sell my stock photography. It is a never ending process that drives me crazy, and I love it.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Looking Forward


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This week has moved exceptionally fast, and I have finished at least one major project. So, now I can move on to better, more fun and more challenging things.

Up until now, while getting settled in my new home my only project in photography has been to visit the local parks and trails in and around the Las Vegas Valley. And, that will continue. In the future, however, I plan to start (and soon) shooting at small venue music sites. I will shoot open mic events, busker shows, and in the bars and cafes where musicians are honing their crafts and maybe making a few bucks. And, hopefully, I will find musicians who are open to playing and recording songs that I have written. Also, there are community events like art fairs, walkathons, political rallies, hot air balloon shows, car shows, and other events always happening all over the Las Vegas Valley, I plan to shoot at community events of all kinds. And, of course, Las Vegas is the convention center of the world.

I have now lived in Las Vegas since May 2 of this year. Yet, I have only been to The Strip 2 times spending a total of about 4 hours there. Primarily I have had too many other projects going to dive into photographing The Strip. Doing so will come, but it will come on my leisure time. If you are a people watcher there is always plenty to photograph on the strip. And, I find that the best way for me to do it is to find a place to sit down and let the photo moments come to me. However, on these preliminary trips I am touring The Strip just to see the changes that have been made. And, there has been a bunch of changes.

Although I will, from time to time, post about The Strip it is not my primary purpose for coming to Las Vegas. I have been visiting Las Vegas since I began a 35 year career in the trucking industry in 1974. I have watched it grow, and grow, and grow, and grow. And, I have watched The Strip change, and change, and change, and change. But, the one thing that does not change is the kind of people who move there, and stay. They are dreamers, and they are doers. And, they stay with a determination that I seldom have seen anywhere else. It is the locals of Las Vegas that make Las Vegas what it is. Las Vegas is a place where people can visit for a weekend and do things that they would not dare to do at home. Las Vegas is not a place where most dreamers will accomplish their dreams, but it is a place where people can bring their dreams, hone their crafts, and learn from the real professionals. In other words, the pay is not much, but the exposure can be priceless.

Finally, the following photos are from yesterday mornings walk for Vivaldi Park to Sonata Park, my second leg of Seven Hills Trail. There are spurs from this trail that lead to the Lord only knows where. Maybe someday I will explore all of them, but I do have the desire to expand my activity beyond photographing city parks. But, I want to show that there is more to Las Vegas than slot machines and strip joints. I still have a little more editing to do on a couple of photos due to residue on my lens, but that will come before they go onto my web sites.


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