Archive for Panoramic Landscapes

New Year New Approaches

Posted in Events, General, Landscapes, Nature & Wildlife, Portraiture, Weddings and Bridal with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2016 by kendoophotography
Me and my boys with  Grandma in studio.

Me and my boys with Grandma in studio. Phase XF, IQ180, Schneider 40-80mm LS.

The New Year holiday is often a time of introspection and promises of resolutions for the near future. When in reality it is something that everyone should be doing throughout the year. I am constantly gauging for myself what works and what may be improved. 2015 was a very busy and good year, but also one filled with the stresses of how to handle and protect a loved one afflicted with dementia. It hasn’t been easy. But we’ve also been very fortunate to have the resources and discipline to do what is both best and necessary. We have moved my mom from the Bay area to Monterey, making it much easier to spend time with her. It was definitely the right decision and just in time for the new year. There won’t be broken commitments to the latest fad diet or unused gym memberships–that’s never been a problem for our family! 2016 will be a reaffirmation of family and the things that are important to me in life. Professionally, I have decided to remain focused on fine portraiture, commercial photography, and fine art printing for artists and photographers. I will no longer do corporate event work. I will limit the studio to one wedding per year (yup, only one).  And yes, that means taking more time to travel for landscape photography.  2016 is going to be a great year.  kmd.

Capture Integration in Carmel—On the Road to Lake Tahoe!

Posted in Events, General, Landscapes, Nature & Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2015 by kendoophotography
Lake Tahoe ©2015 Ken Doo Photography

Lake Tahoe ©2015 Ken Doo Photography. Cambo WRS, Phase IQ180, Rodenstock HR40

Last year marked the fifth annual Capture Integration in Carmel, an informal workshop led by Don Libby of Iron Creek Photography in Tucson, AZ, and me–Ken Doo Photography, featuring the finest in medium format digital photography. After much discussion with Don and Dave Gallagher of Capture Integration, we decided to take the show on the road.  This year’s event takes place in beautiful Lake Tahoe. We’ve already made a couple trips scouting the area for suitable locations, restaurants, and activities. The sixth year promises not to disappoint!  Photographers interested medium format digital photography can sign-up for the “Don, Ken, and CI in Lake Tahoe Not a Workshop Workshop” online. Registration is $349.00.  The online pdf itinerary gives a brief overview and will be updated shortly.  Contact me at my boutique portrait studio in Carmel or call (831) 626-1844 for questions. Ken

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2: A Game Changer for Phase One IQ Series and Leaf Credo Medium Format Digital Backs

Posted in General, Landscapes, Nature & Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2014 by kendoophotography
Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 and Phase One's IQ180

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2 and Phase One’s IQ180

Background in a Nutshell.  When Phase One released its IQ180 digital back, its full frame medium format sensor boasting a staggering 80 megapixel resolution was not so surprising. What took the high-end medium format photography community by storm was its large high resolution retina touch screen. Prior digital back screens were postage stamps by comparison. The IQ180 and her sisters the IQ160 and IQ140 were indeed groundbreaking, easily surpassing the viewing screens of its competitors and even those of the smaller format DSLRs such as those offered by Canon and Nikon.  Phase One’s sister company, Leaf, released similar high resolution retina touch screens on its Credo line of digital backs.

Phase One now offered “live-view” on its IQ series and Leaf Credo digital backs, but live-view on a CCD sensor is quite limited in comparison to live-view on a CMOS based DSLR.  Furthermore, the size of MFDB CCD sensors with its high sensitivity often meant that the sensor was overexposed in live-view mode.  Consequently, stopping down the aperture and/or using neutral density filters are often necessary to enable this rather limited live-view function. The Phase One IQ series offered focus-mask, which in my opinion was a sleeper surprise feature on the IQ series digital backs, one that quickly overshadowed the claimed benefits of having live-view. But in a fast moving tech world, the clamor still continued for true live-view, something DSLR CMOS sensors could accomplish well whereas the much larger CCD sensors of MFDBs could not.   And again, the voices clamoring for live-view continued, and Phase One answered with its recently released IQ250 MFDB, the world’s first CMOS sensor digital back—with true live-view.

But regardless of live-view capabilities, the most significant limitation on the effectiveness of live view on location is the physical size of the screen. No matter whether DSLR or MFDB, the screen size on the back of a camera or digital back is still limited to about three-inches in width, or about the size of a credit card.  Regardless of technology, this is a physical limitation that can not be overcome absent an external monitor.  When combined with tired aging eyes, the difficulty of the challenge becomes more pronounced and the proponents of true live view on a diminutive three-inch screen suddenly discover that it is not the panacea that they had been clamoring for.

Tethering in studio is not a problem where powerful computer workstations can run fully featured versions of Capture One Pro software, viewing full resolution digital raw files on large monitors.  In prime conditions it is relatively easy to check composition, exposure, and focus. The difficulty or challenge is viewing images while on location with a larger portable screen option. Tethering on location generally requires using a laptop solution mated with tethering options such as those offered by  For architectural and interior photographers where size, weight, or carrying equipment long distances is not as much of a concern, tethering with a laptop with a larger 15″ or 17″ screen may not be a problem.  Nine-volt offers flexible solutions and I have been able to successfully mount a laptop with a 17″ screen on the DigiPlate Lite, although a 15″ laptop is the largest recommended configuration.

However, size and weight is often a significant concern for landscape photographers and other photographers working on location.  A tablet provides a much better form function over a laptop,  especially where size and weight are primary considerations.  Despite a large selection of tablets on the mainstream market none have had the power or memory necessary to tether a medium format digital back.  None, that is, until the introduction of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2.  And I’m not talking about the use of Capture Pilot and viewing scaled down JPEG files on an Apple iPad.  I’m talking about viewing full resolution RAW digital files from an 80 megapixel digital back using a fully featured version of Capture One Pro 7 —all in a small tablet format.  That’s a game changer.

The DigiPlateLite shown on a studio stand and on tripod.

The DigiPlateLite shown on a studio stand and on tripod.

The Game Changer.  A tablet has a better physical form factor for both traveling and viewing in the field than the clam shell configuration of a notebook or laptop computer, a popular selection being the Macbook Pro or MacBook Air.  When tethering, additional accessories are helpful to secure the laptop to a tripod for ease of viewing. There is no doubt in my mind that Nine Volt’s DigiPlate is the finest solution for a laptop tethering. For those with a Macbook Pro or Air, look no further than Nine-volt. The DigiPlate and DigiPlate Lite are both well-crafted and CNC machined from aircraft grade aluminum and allow for infinite configurations and tethering options. Both are designed with laptops in mind and although I could attach the Surface Pro 2 tablet to the DigiPlate Lite, I found myself wanting a smaller and lighter on location solution yet—as even the DigiPlate Lite weighs almost as much as the Surface Pro 2 tablet itself.  I have instead decided to use the Nine Volt tethering solution in studio only.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 2 tablet weighs two pounds.  It is smaller and lighter than a laptop, but heavier and much more powerful than a typical small tablet, casting itself as a red-headed step-child among a large, rather uniform, and ordinary field of tablets, notebooks, and laptops. There really isn’t an equivalent piece of hardware readily available in the mainstream market.  The Surface Pro 2 measures 10.81 x 6.81 x 0.53 in, with a 10.6 inch HD touch display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. It sports a fourth generation Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM for those selecting the 256/512 hard drive option, blue tooth, a micro SD card slot (adding up to another 128GB of storage),  and a full-sized USB 3 port essential for tethering the Phase One IQ series or Leaf Credo series MFDBs.  Battery life is excellent. It is essentially a laptop in tablet form that can run a full version of Capture One Pro 7.   This changes everything.

Cambo WRS, Phase One IQ180, HR40 t/s. Surface Pro shown mounted on a RRS TVC-24 tripod

Cambo WRS, Phase One IQ180, HR40 t/s. Surface Pro shown mounted on a RRS TVC-24 tripod

Tethering on Location.  Size and weight are major considerations when working on location, especially when you have to hike any considerable distance to your destination. The Surface Pro 2 tethering solution adds no more than 3 pounds total to my pack, including the Arkon heavy duty c-clamp universal tablet mount, which attaches to my Really Right Stuff TVC-24 carbon fiber tripod.  Set up is quick, taking no more than a minute. The tablet mount features two ball joints allowing me to maneuver the Surface Pro 2 in any position quickly and easily. Some care needs to be taken to avoid over tightening the c-clamp and damaging the tripod leg. I placed thin adhesive rubber strips inside the c-clamp which adds grip while also protecting the tripod leg from potential scuffing. I have placed strips of gaffers tape around the tripod legs to quickly mark where to attach the Arkon c-clamp and also provide further protection to the tripod legs.  I chose the Manvex case for protection, and leave the Surface Pro 2 in the case even when using the tablet mount. The Manvex case provides a secure holder for the stylus pen.  In the above photo, I have chosen to position the Surface Pro 2 directly below the digital back on the camera.  The Surface Pro 2 boots up quickly to a nice clean desktop, having opted to bypass the messy desktop of Windows 8 using a neat free program called Classic Shell. Seconds later, Capture One Pro 7 DB is ready. The program recognizes the IQ180 automatically after plugging in a short three-foot USB3 cord connecting the digital back to the Surface Pro 2.  This is just too easy.  

Full view. Note the yellow rectangle for reference.

Full view. Note the yellow rectangle for reference.

Although Capture One Pro 7 can be used to tether a DSLR or Phase DF with digital back, the real advantages become apparent when using a technical camera. The larger screen of the Surface Pro 2 makes it easier to compose images, check settings, and check focus using Phase One’s Focus Mask feature.  Since the Surface Pro 2 is running a full version of the Capture One 7 raw processing software, all the features of the program remain accessible, though my intent is to use the Surface Pro 2 more as a tool on location and process the image files later on the studio’s workstation. The convenient tablet form factor and the capability of the Surface Pro 2 to run a full version of Capture One Pro 7 is ideal for landscape photographer and is also an attractive tethering solution for architectural and interior photographers as well.

Full image view. Note the approximate area of the image marked by the yellow rectangle on the screen.

Full image view. Note the approximate area of the image marked by the yellow rectangle on the screen.

For working on location, I have chosen to set up my Capture One Pro 7 work space to maximize the viewing area of the main image.  Once the cable release is triggered, the image captured by the IQ180 MFDB appears within seconds on the Surface Pro 2’s high resolution screen. Too bright outside? Simply tap in the bottom right corner and adjust the brightness of the screen to match.   Double-tap on the screen and the program automatically zooms in 100% to check focus. Tap the Focus Mask tool to assist and the sharper areas of focus appear painted in green. The Focus Loupe tool or any other tool in C1 Pro 7 is also available to use on the full 80 megapixel raw file.

Full View.

Full view on image on the Surface Pro 2.

Partial zoom. You can easily zoom in from zero to 400% viewing to check details.

Partial 33% zoom using C1 Pro 7 on the Surface Pro 2. You can easily zoom in from zero to 400% viewing to check details.  Simply drag a finger on the screen to easily adjust the location of the image area to be examined.

100%. Note the area selected from the yellow rectangles.

100% image view using a simple double-tap on the screen of the Surface Pro 2. Note the area selected from the yellow rectangles in the previous images.  Double-tap the screen again to return to full image view.

Once on screen, the image can be moved around to inspect other elements of the image simply by dragging a finger on the screen to the area of the image desired. Viewing the preview image on the larger screen of the Surface Pro 2 makes it much easier to check composition, focus, and even the desired amount of lens movement afforded by technical cameras.  Changes can be now be quickly and confidently made on the camera or digital back before again triggering the shutter for the final image capture. Once satisfied with the final image, an LCC image is taken to assist later in post-processing with Capture One Pro 7.  The IQ180’s 80 megapixel image files are stored on the Surface Pro 2’s hard drive and later transferred to the studio’s workstation for processing. I’ve never been much of a fan of tethering, however, the Surface Pro 2 changes everything at least for when I’m working on location with my Cambo WRS technical camera.  For my typical workflow, I do not see myself using the Surface Pro 2 to photograph tethered in studio, although its Windows 8 Miracast WiFi capability to send images to other Miracast enabled monitors, such as high resolution viewing tablets and high definition widescreen televisions, has potential worth investigating.

Live-view still remains an option on IQ series and Leaf Credo series medium format digital backs, and except for the CMOS-based IQ250, are still limited by the constraints of its CCD sensor.  Live-view via USB3 may still be an option on the Surface Pro 2 and C1 Pro 7 enabled later via Phase One firmware update, however, in my opinion, I do not expect any further improvements in live view capability to be implemented with CCD sensor-based digital backs, although I surmise that live view on the ten-inch screen of the Surface Pro 2 will be better than on a three-inch MFDB screen .  My understanding is that live-view via USB3 firmware update is now in beta testing.  In the meantime, I find that using focus mask and other tools within C1 Pro 7 on the Surface Pro 2 on full resolution raw files to be faster and more effective than working with a limited version of live-view and neutral density filters.  Even the IQ250 and DSLRs, with their true live-view capabilities are still limited by the physical size of their viewing screens. Indeed, the IQ250’s true live-view via USB3 (if enabled by firmware) on the larger screen of the Surface Pro 2 may be something to really silence the live-view pundits. *update*  Live View via USB3 on the Surface Pro 2 is now possible with the latest firmware 5.11.36 update for IQ backs and C1 Pro version 7.2; all CCD sensor limitations on live view remain, but is more usable on the larger screen of the Surface Pro 2 as expected.  Life is indeed good with options!

The Verdict.   For Phase/Leaf/Mamiya medium format digital backs that are USB3 capable, the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 is an ideal tethering companion on location. The tablet format does take some getting used to but its form factor and power is exactly what makes the Surface Pro 2 unique as a tethering tool, especially in the world of medium format digital photography. The tablet is lighter than a laptop and consequently does not require as strong of a mounting clamp to attach to a stand or tripod. This means less bulk and less weight. When traveling the Surface Pro 2 can serve double duty replacing a laptop while also providing a small but capable tethering solution. The Sony Vaio Tap 11 or the less expensive first generation Surface Pro are alternative tablets that could be considered, but their performance does not appear to be as good as the Surface Pro 2 running programs under Windows 8.1.  Further, battery life for both of these tablets in the field is substantially shorter than that offered by the Surface Pro 2. While tethered to the Surface Pro 2, images from my 80 megapixel Phase One IQ180 appeared on screen in Capture 1 Pro 7 DB in a scant three to five seconds.  Battery life in the field for the Surface Pro 2 is rated up to ten hours but I would rate it conservatively in the field at about seven hours. At least one review points out that the Surface Pro 2 has better color performance than the first generation Surface Pro. The Cintiq Companion was not considered as the larger 13″ tablet is almost twice the weight of the Surface Pro 2, which would necessitate a heavier clamping option and further limiting tethering portability in the field.

The Surface Pro 2 has a faster fourth generation Core i5-4300U processor at 1.9GHz base and 2.9GHz Turbo, an increase of 19% at the lower end and over 11% in turbo compared to the first generation Surface Pro. The Surface Pro 2 also offers 8GB of RAM over the first generation’s paltry 4GB of RAM. Consequently, the Surface Pro 2 is capable of much faster image viewing, taking only three to six seconds for a full image preview to appear on its screen via C1 Pro 7.  Processing time to tethered viewing varies according to the resolution (40, 60 or 80 megapixels) and type of digital back being used.  The Surface Pro 2 also has substantially longer battery life.  The tethered view in the field from either Surface Pro generation is still magic.

There are two items that I don’t like about the Surface Pro 2.  First, the Windows 8 operating system to me is like Vista was to XP. It’s like Microsoft just couldn’t help themselves and leave well enough alone with Windows 7. The Windows 8 desktop is a messy social enabled interface. I am sure it’s fine for many, but I’m here to work. Some may recall why the term “desktop” was even developed: software engineers likened the “computer desktop” screen as replacing a real office desktop, as in papers, folders, and projects on your desk. I want a clean office desktop, and the Windows 8 interface is busy, messy, and trendy. Thankfully there are a host of free programs such as Classic Shell that address this minor shortcoming, allowing you to boot directly to a nice clean desktop similar to Windows 7, with a C1 Pro 7 shortcut icon now plainly visible. No more useless clutter. Finally, the magnetic holder which doubles as both the battery charger port and pen stylus holder on the side of the Surface Pro 2 is gimmicky. I find myself spending more time making sure that the magnetic connection is secure enough to enable charging without inadvertently being bumped off. Using the magnetic holder to store the digitized stylus pen is almost insuring its eventual loss and replacement. The charger works well enough, but storing the stylus pen is much better in the pen holder provided by the Manvex case.

There are a host of accessories available for the Surface Pro 2, including the Touch/Type 2 back lit keyboards which attach magnetically (which does work very well) or by wireless blue tooth, and wireless blue tooth mice. All of these accessories are best left in your bag (except for the digitized stylus pen) when tethering on location.  Unless Apple releases an iPad Pro, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2 currently stands alone as the ideal tablet tethering solution on location.  Lighter than a laptop or notebook, yet heavier than a tablet, the Surface Pro 2 has not been as widely embraced as a powerful hybrid computer tablet that maybe it should.  But for photographers seeking to shoot high-end medium format digital backs tethered on location, the Surface Pro 2 is indeed a game changer.   It is a worthwhile investment for Phase One IQ series and Leaf Credo medium format digital back users.

Special thanks to Zac Henderson, technical support at Capture Integration in Atlanta. For more information on tethering with Capture One Pro or medium format digital photography, contact Capture Integration at (877) 217-9870.  I will be doing further testing tethering with the Surface Pro 2 during this weekend’s medium format digital workshop, the 5th annual Capture Integration in Carmel.  You may contact me at my boutique portrait photography studio in Carmel or view my landscape work at  Ken (831) 626-1844

Surface Pro 2 with Type 2 keyboard attached; Arc Touch mouse and digitized stylus pen; Arkon Universal Tablet Mount

Surface Pro 2 with Type 2 keyboard attached; Arc Touch mouse and digitized stylus pen; Arkon Universal Tablet Mount

The Equipment List.

  • Microsoft Surface Pro 2, with 4th gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 512GB storage
  • Sandisk 128GB micro SDXC memory card with adapter
  • Superspeed 1.5 foot USB3 Type A to B cord; optional 3 foot USB3 cord
  • Manvex case for Surface Pro 2 with Type 2 cover
  • Microsoft Type 2 keyboard
  • Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse
  • Am Film screen protectors for Surface Pro 2
  • Arkon Heavy Duty Aluminum c-clamp Universal Tablet Mount (10 inch) Tab 804
  • Classic Shell
  • Phase One – Capture One Pro 7 DB

Improved Clamp options! (revised February 2015)

  • K&M stands 19740 Universal tablet holder  “Wolf Clamp” (fits Surface Pro 2 or 3)
  • RRS CRD rail with end clamp or Sunwayfoto rail with end clamp
  • or RRS MPR-CL II nodal rail (my recommendation)
  • quick release plate with 1/4″ screw for clamp
  • RRS FAS lever clamp for camera/Cube/tripod head
  • Optional Urban Armor Gear UAG case for Surface Pro
  • PerfectFit Anti-glare glass shield for SP3 (not for use with UAG case)

New “hiking” clamp!  (revised April 21, 2015)

  • The “Pig” clamp Small, flat folding clamp ideal for hiking. Lightweight clamp but not cannot adjust viewing angle. Usable only with RRS MPR-CL II or Sunwayfoto 180 with end clamp on top of rail. Fits SP2 and SP3.

No further updates will be made to this article; updates will be in “new” blog articles on tethering with the Surface Pro.  The latest clamping options are discussed here:  Tethering With the Surface Pro: Evolving Clamp Choices


See my new fine art printing website at —order your photos on canvas and fine art papers online!  From Vision to Print

Monterey County Artist’s Studio Tour Weekend!

Posted in Events, General, Landscapes, Nature & Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2012 by kendoophotography

Doorway to Monterey County. ©2012 Ken Doo. One of five new B&W landscape images printed on a dedicated K7 B&W MPS Selenium printer on display this weekend at my Carmel studio.

The Monterey County Artist’s Studio Tour will be held on September 29 + 30, 2012, from 11:00 PM until 5:00 PM on each day.  Artists throughout Monterey County participating in the tour open their studios to the public giving them a glimpse at the artist’s work and workplace.  An opening reception kicking off the event will be held on Friday, September 28, 2011 at the Pacific Grove Art Center on Lighthouse Avenue from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM.  Maps with addresses/directions of various artists are available at local retailers and at the opening reception on Friday evening.  (My studio is #42 on the map!).  The public is welcome to preview artwork on display by various artists as well as enjoy refreshments , raffles and prizes.  This year I plan on showing a few unique pieces of my landscape photography printed on a specially converted K7 Piezography B&W MPS Selenium printer.  Several images were captured using my new Cambo WRS 1050 technical camera and Phase One IQ180.   A demonstration of this special B&W printer system was planned, but in all likelihood the demonstration will be cancelled by required parts and maintenance.  I will also be showing several large panoramic images with incredible detail, some approaching eight feet in length, photographed by me with high resolution medium format digital cameras.  Come by and visit my boutique photography studio in Carmel, see some of my landscape photography, and enjoy a glass of wine, coffee, and cheesecake (hey, I like cheesecake.).   You can see more of my landscape photography at  .  ken

For more information call (831) 626-1844

Cambo Comes Home to Carmel

Posted in General, Landscapes, Nature & Wildlife, Portraiture with tags , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2012 by kendoophotography

Cambo WRS1050 with Rodenstock HR40 with tilt shift and Phase One IQ180

Well, this isn’t the first time that a Cambo WRS or other technical camera has been to my studio.  But it’s the first time that I’ve taken ownership of a CamboWRS1050.  I’ve been using medium format digital backs for about ten years now, my latest back being the Phase One IQ180 paired with a Phase 645DF camera body.  There is no doubt in my mind that medium format digital backs produce the highest quality images.  But when it comes to landscape photography, it’s hard to beat a digital back paired with a technical camera using the latest designed for digital lenses from Schneider and Rodenstock. For years, I had been talking with Don Libby of Ironcreek Photography in Tucson, AZ about a “one-lens-wonder” for landscape:  a Cambo WRS outfitted with a newly designed Rodenstock HR40mm Digiron mounted on a tilt-shift lens panel.  The greatest weakness in the venerable Phase 645DF series is the lack of a really strong wide angle lens option, which really is the strong point of a technical camera system.  I had passing fancies with others such as the Sinar ArTec, the Hartblei Hcam, and even brief musings of an Arca or gorgeous Alpa.  But only one camera remained true to my desire for a “one-lens-wonder:”  The Cambo WRS1050.  I called Dave Gallagher of Capture Integration in Atlanta, and though tempted by the titanium blonde Anniversary Edition, I opted for the Cambo WRS1050, with its newly designed wood grips.  I will be returning to the Canadian Rockies this summer and look forward to doing landscape photography with the Cambo WRS1050 and IQ180.  I’m also hoping to do more local B&W photography with the Cambo, particularly since adding a new K7 B&W Piezography printer in studio.  Stay tuned for details on this “one-lens-wonder.”  And don’t be surprised if you see a family portrait taken with this camera (ha!).  Hey, where’s the autofocus? For more information on portraiture, commercial or landscape photography with medium format digital, contact me at my boutique photography studio in Carmel or call (831) 626-1844.

Monterey County Artists’ Studio Tour Weekend (a peek)

Posted in General, Landscapes, Nature & Wildlife with tags , , , , , on September 30, 2010 by kendoophotography

The Monterey County Artists’ Studio Tour was held last weekend, September 25-26, 2010.  Despite the unusually hot temperatures for the area, the tour was a lot of fun!  Artist Chris Love helped me out in my studio and also had her works on display.  This year marked the first time that I have joined the Studio Tour and displayed my landscape work.  Most of my images were displayed in the main studio area and showroom, while upstairs I had several large medium format digital panoramic images (up to eight feet long!) on display under plexiglass.  Here’s a glimpse:

A Tribute to Trees on display. Both matted and framed prints remain on sale through October 2010.

A few more from Banff, Jasper, and Pfeiffer....

I’ll leave most all of the landscape images on display in my boutique photography studio in Carmel through the end of September (including a five foot near life-sized print of a lovable grizzly cub) and then it’s back to portraits, weddings/events and commercial photography!  More landscape photography ventures on planned—and plenty more new images to be displayed at next years Monterey County Artists’ Studio Tour!  Thank you to those that participated during the studio tour, and if you missed the tour and would like to see what you missed, give me a call to visit the studio!  kmd  (831) 626-1844

Monterey County Artists’ Studio Tour September 25-26, 2010; Tribute to Trees of Canyon de Chelly *Special Sale*

Posted in Events, General, Landscapes, Nature & Wildlife with tags , , , , , on September 19, 2010 by kendoophotography

Sleepy Hollow. Works from a Tribute to Trees of Canyon de Chelly will be on sale during the tour at my boutique studio in Carmel.

The Monterey County Artists’ Studio Tour is just around the corner, starting with its Gala Reception kick-off this Friday evening, September 24, 2010, 7-9 PM at the Pacific Grove Art Center.  (Watch for the funky adhesive sidewalk signs leading to the PG Art Center!).  I’m excited because this is the first time that I’ve opened my studio to the public with the Monterey County Artists’ Studio Tour.  Area artists participating open their studios to the public on Saturday and Sunday, September 25-26, from 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.   I will be offering a special sale in my Carmel photography studio on works from a Trubute to Trees of Canyon de Chelly, including both premounted/matted prints and framed works.  On display will be several pieces never before displayed.  Local Carmel artist Chris Love will also be in my studio helping out.  I have been providing the giclee canvas printing for Chris Love, and several of her works will also be on display. 

Eight foot canvas banner for the Monterey County Artists' Tour

I have been busy preparing for this weekend, not to mention also photographing the CA State Bar Pro Bono Awards and Diversity Awards with Chief Justice Ronald George, printing lots of stunning giclee canvas gallery wraps for area artists, and signage and banners for the studio tour.  Make sure to also visit the Carmel studios of Emy Ledbetter,  Sandy Robinson, and Jody Royee.  Come by my boutique studio in Carmel to visit and enjoy a glass of wine, coffee, cheesecake and cookies!  There will be two entrances to my studio that will be open:  3248 Camino Del Monte, Carmel is the main address; Around the block is additional parking in back (drive inside the gate), and a handicapped entrance at 3249 Serra Avenue, Carmel.  Call (831) 626-1844 for more information.  kmd

The Floppy Disk Returns!

Posted in General with tags , , , , on September 9, 2009 by kendoophotography

No, this isn’t the 1.44 megabyte floppy disk of many years past, it’s better.  Much better. Previously I depended on Thermaltake’s hard drive docking station to easily view or move files from hard drives.  Such docking stations are inexpensive, costing about $40 from online retailers such as TigerDirect.  I still use the Thermaltake, but only as a portable solution.  These docking stations are easy to use and incorporate eSATA or USB 2.0 connections to your desktop.  But when moving large files, heat can be a concern.  Not to mention more cables and wires on the desktop.  Enter the Wiebetech solution.

Wiebetech's RTX100 hardened trayless hard drive reader

Wiebetech's RTX100 hardened trayless hard drive reader

I wanted a cleaner desktop, and Wiebetech’s RTX100 is the perfect solution.  I was so pleased with the RTX100 that I wanted to share my findings here.  The RTX100H costs less than fifty dollars and it includes everything you need to easily install the hard drive reader into an empty front bay on your desktop.  Hard drives are hot-swappable, connecting through an available SATA connector on your motherboard.  The tray door can be locked if desired.  The inserted hard drive is kept cool by your systems internal fans. 

Simply insert a hard drive into the trayless RTX100

Simply insert a hard drive into the trayless RTX100

Nice clean profile

Nice clean profile

Wiebetech includes everything you need to install the RTX100.  Okay, so your “floppy-disk” now has a larger profile, but who can complain when your floppy disk is now 1 terabyte….  Wiebetech’s Anti-static cases are ideal for storing bare hard dives too.  Similar to old VHS video tape cases, the Wiebetech antistatic hard drive cases are easy to label and store on a bookshelf.  The Phase One P65+ medium format digital back creates large beautiful digital images (with huge files), and the RTX100 makes it easier to organize and access my work.  Perfect!  kmd

Window to Another World: Exploring the Coast of the Olympic National Park

Posted in General, Landscapes, Nature & Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2009 by kendoophotography
Window to Another World.  Phase 645AF, Phase P65+, Mamiya 75-150

Window to Another World. Phase 645AF, Phase P65+, Mamiya 75-150

 Olympic National Park in Washington is a World Heritage Site and is recognized as an International Biosphere Reserve.  It’s huge. Fully ninety-five percent of the park has been designated as wilderness area. It offers incredible variety from dramatic and unworldy coastlines, huge trees and rainforests, and mountains and glaciers—all in one area.  I have been extremely busy with portrait sessions, weddings, and commercial work for my clients, and was happy to be able to take a short trip to explore the coastal areas of the Olympic National Park. I spent most of my time in the Makah Indian Reservation area which is home to Shi Shi Beach, Cape Flattery and Tatoosh Island.

Shi Shi Beach Panorama. Phase 645AF, Phase One P65+, Mamiya 75-150

Shi Shi Beach Panorama. Phase 645AF, Phase One P65+, Mamiya 75-150

If you are planning on visiting this area of Olympic National Park, don’t expect four-star hotels or restaurants. Visitors to the area come to camp, hike, fish, and commune with nature. I stayed at the Hobuck “Resort” area situated close to the Shi Shi trailhead. No frills, but clean and comfortable. There is not much in the way of amenities in the Makah Nation, although there is one gem that does standout like a sore thumb in this community—which is Linda’s Wood Fired Bakery, offering brick oven pizzas, pastries, and breakfast all made from scratch. Linda also offers new rooms above the bakery. Adding a gourmet french roast coffee (without the Starbucks commercialism) would be the finishing touch to this new bed and breakfast. The facilities are clean and everyone is friendly. The food is excellent. Update the decor and this quaint restaurant could easily be transplanted into a trendier earthy community.

Linda wood-fired oven; Linda's hand-picked chantrelle mushrooms.

Linda wood-fired oven; hand-picked chantrelle mushrooms. Everything from scratch!

First Light.  The sun rays fight to break through the overcast at dusk.

First Light. The sun rays fight to break through the overcast at dusk.

The Shi Shi trailhead is easy enough to get to.  The first part of the trail is well-maintained, though the second half of the trail through the woods can get quite muddy, even during the “dry” season.  The trail is about a three mile hike to the beach.  It was wet.  My pack weighed approximately fifty pounds, all of it camera gear, including my new Arca Swiss Cube!  Along with the virtual horizon feature of the Phase P65+ digital back, the Arca Swiss Cube made it extremely fast and easy to level my camera.  Superb.  At low tides, Shi Shi beach offers fantastic tidal pools.
Four-play at the beach

Four-play at the beach

It was quite misty and wet at times, but my Phase 645AF and Phase P65+ digital back performed well without any problems.
Phase One tough:  Phase P65+ underwater!  *just kidding*  The lense was just really wet...

Phase One tough: Phase P65+ underwater! *just kidding* The lense was just really wet...

Shi Shi Beach is marked by dramatic seastacks rising from the ocean.  Dramatic sunsets can sometimes be witnessed here, but not on this trip.  Regardless, the area is stunning, as if from another world.  Hiking further down the beach is the Point of Arches, the highlight of Shi Shi beach, almost taken directly out of the movie, Lord of the Rings.
Morning at the Point of Arches.  Phase 645AF, phase P65+, Hartblei 45mm t/s

Morning at the Point of Arches. Phase 645AF, phase P65+, Hartblei 45mm t/s

Passage to the Point of Arches. Phase 645AF, Phase P65+, Mamiya 75-150

Passage to the Point of Arches. Phase 645AF, Phase P65+, Mamiya 75-150

Cape Flattery. Vertical panorama

Cape Flattery. Vertical panorama

Cape Flattery is also easily accessible from the Makah Nation.  The hike is on a well-maintained trail spanning approximately three-quarters of a mile through the forest.  Cape Flattery is much easier to access than Shi Shi, but also accordingly more suseptible to small crowds of people.
Blue Morning.  Headed back towards Seattle.  Phase 645AF, P65+, Hartblei t/s super rotator

Blue Morning. Headed back towards Seattle. Phase 645AF, P65+, Hartblei t/s super rotator

Backwoods originality

Backwoods originality

Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park

I enjoyed my short trip to the coastal areas of the Olympic National Park.  I’ll be back.  You can see some more of my landscape images, including some from this trip, on my landscape website House of Landscapes.  You can also visit my boutique studio in the Carmel Monterey area, Ken Doo Photography.  kmd

Monument Valley: A Room with a View (Part I); Using the Phase One P65+ and Sensor+

Posted in General, Landscapes, Nature & Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2009 by kendoophotography

Whew!  It has been nearly a week since my trip to Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly, and I finally got the time to review and process some of the nearly fifty gigabytes of landscape images I took with my Phase 645AF and Phase One P65+ digital back.    Monument Valley borders Utah and Arizona and offers spectacular views of canyons, buttes, and stunning rock formations.  It really is one of the scenic wonders of the world.  I stayed at the newly opened View Hotel, which is the only hotel located inside of the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.  The View Hotel is not a five-star hotel in the same vein as a Ritz-Carleton, but it is a firmly seated four-star hotel, nicely appointed, and with amenities that stand out in this barren environment as much as the beautiful view of the Mittens that is outside each room of the hotel!   Stunning.

Monument Valley Sunset Panorama. Phase 645AF and Phase One P65+, Mamiya 75-150

Monument Valley Sunset Panorama. Phase 645AF and Phase One P65+, Mamiya 75-150

It was cold, but with the Mittens and Merrick Butte right outside my room—this was just going to be too easy, or so I thought.  And then the snow storm hit.  Murphy’s Law had struck.  And Murphy was an optimist.   It actually took me several attempts over several days before I had the right conditions to create the panoramic image  that I had envisioned.  (See the preview blog photo of the small snow storm below—still pretty neat).  Bone-chilling sunrise is probably the best time to shoot in Monument Valley, followed by sunset.  And the wind!  The wind just wouldn’t stop, which made things even more difficult.

John Ford's Point.  Phase P65+ and Hartblei 45mm t/s

John Ford's Point. Phase P65+ and Hartblei 45mm t/s

John Ford's Point Panorama.  Phae P65+ and Mamiya 75-150mm.

John Ford's Point Panorama. Phase P65+ and Mamiya 75-150mm.

John Ford’s Point is probably one of my favorite locations—right out of the movies!  Although the self-guided valley trail is fairly easily navigated, access to the more remote areas of Monument Valley is restricted and you must have a Navajo guide.  I was lucky to have Tom Phillips as my guide for a photographer’s tour.  Tom is an experienced photographer and is highly recommended.  His website is,  There are many must-see areas that are not accessible except with a Navajo guide.

Totem Pole and Yei Bi Chei at sunrise

Totem Pole and Yei Bi Chei at sunrise

Valley View

Valley View

Ear of the Canyon. Phase On P65+ and Hartblei 45mm t/s
Ear of the Canyon.  Phase One P65+ and Hartblei 45mm t/s
Petroglyphs (rock art), ancient ruins and cliff dwellings are also found deep within Monument Valley.
Monument Valley Sunrise Panorama. Phase P65+ and Mamiya 75-150mm

Monument Valley Sunrise Panorama. Phase P65+ and Mamiya 75-150mm

I am extremely pleased with the Phase P65+ medium format digital back.  There is a bit of a learning curve to handling this digital back, unlike the rather simple transitions I had experienced with the Kodak Proback 645M, the Phase P30, and the Phase P45+.  Medium format digital photography has always been the pinnacle of image excellence.  With proper technique, the Phase One P65+ demands attention and takes the pursuit of excellence one step further yet.  Again, I am extremely grateful to Chris Lawery of Capture Integration in Atlanta, for his great efforts in getting the P65+ to me in time for this trip.

I will update my landscape website, House of Landscapes, with more images from my recent trip shortly.  In the meantime, I will also be processing more images from my trip to Canyon de Chelly in Part II of this blog installment, including images using Sensor+, a hidden slot canyon in Canyon de Chelly, and further impressions on using the P65+.   kmd

Addendum:  Those interested in reading more about medium format digital can find more of my blog entries here and also at:

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