November 18, 2015
by admin

Jeff’s Arizona Adventures – Winslow – Part 2 of 2

La Posada cost about $2,000,000 to build, which would be about $40,000,000 in today’s dollars. The hotel survived the depression, and closed to the public in 1957. In the 1960’s it was used as offices for the Santa Fe Railway, and was almost demolished several times over the next 40 years. The railroad destroyed much of the building’s history. It sold the custom furnishings, painted over many murals, and even threw out Ms. Colter’s architectural drawings of the hotel. I hate to see non-creative people/organizations destroy great works of art and architecture simply because of their own ignorance or lack of concern about the wonders of yesteryear.

Stairs leading to the second floor.

Stairs leading to the second floor.

In 1997, the current owners, Allan Affeldt and his wife Tina Mion, bought La Posada and moved in. They quickly started the estimated $12,000,000 renovation of the building.

The thing I noticed the most about La Posada is the peace and quiet. You can stroll through three gardens, watch the trains go by, browse through the gift shop and book store, enjoy the art that hangs throughout the property and much more. On Saturday night the hotel was sold out, yet we never heard another person all night. It’s all very relaxing.

We love the history of the hotel and its quiet atmosphere and look forward to going back soon.

Many Hollywood stars, and other famous people, have stayed in the hotel. Here’s a photo showing some of them.



La Posada also contains an award winning restaurant, The Turquoise Room. Being a vegetarian, I know that most restaurants only have one or two items on the menu that I can eat. The same goes for The Turquoise Room, but I would drive for over an hour just to have their Killer Vegetable Platter. It’s an amazing collection of colors, textures and flavors that I will never forget.

There are many other historic places to see in town, including the Lorenzo Hubbell Trading Post and the 9-11 Memorial Garden.

The trading post is now the town’s Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. It contains historic displays, wonderful architecture and more travel brochures than you will know what to do with.

The 9-11 Memorial Garden contains a 14 foot and 15 foot beam from the World Trade Center. These are the largest pieces of the building given to any community in the country.

911 Memorial

911 Memorial Garden

Near Winslow are many other interesting places to see. The Little Painted Desert, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) west of Winslow, has the colors and banding of the soil just like the full sized Painted Desert. The parking area has been abandoned, so the picnic table and unusable bathroom have a definite post-apocalyptic look to them. It would be a great place to shoot a scene for a movie. And about 60 miles (96 km) away is the Petrified Forest National Park and the Painted Desert.

Tepees in the Painted Desert.

Tepees in the Painted Desert.


Petrified Forest

Petrified Forest

There’s plenty to do in, and around, Winslow for a weekend or longer. Enjoy the piece and quite, scenery and history of the area. Head on over to Winslow, get out of the rat race and enjoy a relaxing time at La Posada.

Have Fun,

November 16, 2015
by admin

Jeff’s Arizona Adventures – Winslow – Part 1 of 2

My wife and I recently spent a weekend in Winslow, at the wonderful La Posada Hotel. Yes, it’s the same Winslow made famous in the Eagles first hit single, Take It Easy. You can actually stand on the corner, near a bronze statue of a guitar player, and a real flat-bed Ford. All of this is positioned in front of a mural depicting the story of the song.
This little desert town is located on historic Route 66, just south of I-40, and is less than 60 miles (96 km) east of Flagstaff.

Route 66, along with the train that runs just behind La Posada, brought many people to town and the hotel. In the 1930’s and 1940’s the hotel served 1,000 meals a day, and the newsstand sold 500,000 postcards a year. Before World War II, it was so busy that the restaurants in the hotel served 3,000 meals a day. When you see the size of the property, it’s hard to imagine that many people going in and out each day.

As you drive through town you will see a mix of old and new. Old houses and buildings are plentiful, as are some new fast food restaurants and even a WalMart Supercenter.

Winslow, like many towns on Route 66, went into decline as I-40 cut across the country. These towns were bypassed by the freeway and the businesses suffered greatly. Also, as fewer people took the train, preferring to travel by car, Winslow had a huge decrease in visitors.

Another blow to Winslow was World War II, which prevented many people from traveling. Troop trains would come through, and soldiers would get a meal at La Posada, but they didn’t stay at the hotel.

The Lindbergh Regional Airport, designed by Charles Lindbergh, is a mile west of Winslow, and the U.S. Forest Service has a firefighting Air Tanker base there. TWA and Frontier Airlines used to fly into the airport, but TWA’s last scheduled flight to Winslow was in 1953 and Frontier’s last flights were in 1974–75.

The airport was founded in 1929 by Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT). Aviator Charles Lindbergh was the head of TAT’s Technical Committee, and chose Winslow as one of twelve critical refueling stops on the nation’s first transcontinental passenger line. For many years after its creation, it was the only all-weather airport between Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Los Angeles, California.

Charles Augustus Lindbergh, (1902-1974), was an American aviator, and made the first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean on May 20-21, 1927. This flight gained him immediate international fame, and the nicknames “Lucky Lindy” and the “Lone Eagle.”

The star of the town is the La Posada Hotel. My wife and I had talked about staying here for years, and finally had the time. We had to reserve pretty far out as weekends are often booked months in advance.



Some interesting signs we found while roaming around the hotel.

Some interesting signs we found while roaming around the hotel.

Built in 1929, it was the last Fred Harvey House built by the Santa Fe Railroad. Mary Jane Colter was the chief architect for the Fred Harvey Company, and one of only a few women architects in the country. Ms. Colter considered La Posada to be her crown jewel, because she designed everything from the building and landscaping to the maids’ outfits. She also designed several buildings at the Grand Canyon, including the Watchtower and the El Tovar Hotel where she did the interior design. We’ve seen all of these buildings, and they really are wonderful.

The Watchtower, designed by Ms. Colter.

The Watchtower, designed by Ms. Colter.


Standing on the ground floor of the Watchtower, looking up.

Standing on the ground floor of the Watchtower, looking up.


Our room. It's the same size as when originally built. Small but cozy.

Our room. It’s the same size as when originally built. Small but cozy.

Part 2 will be posted soon.

Have Fun,

October 19, 2015
by admin
Comments Off on Make Scary Photographs For Halloween

Make Scary Photographs For Halloween

Halloween is almost here, and it’s time to get spooky.

If you need scary photos for your newsletter, website, cards or any other reason, you can easily make them yourself. All it takes is your photographs, and some free presets.

First, select photographs that fit a Halloween theme, like stark nature scenes, old buildings or cemeteries. Once you have several images selected, you can apply various presets for whatever photo manipulation software you use. I manipulate these images in Lightroom 5.


I photographed this dead tree in Flagstaff, near Snowbowl


For this look I used OnOne Vintage Sepia Film Grain and Vignette 5 Extreme. I then darkened the image with the clarity slider.


This is a picture of a fence around one of the graves at the Hogback Cemetery in Jerome.


This was made using Lightrooms Black and White, then the Sepia Tone presets. I then applied OnOne Vignette 5 Extreme preset.


This is a dead Ponderosa Pine tree near Flagstaff’s Snowbowl.


For this look, I first used the Shadow and the Black sliders to make the image look like a silhouette. Then I applied OnOne Glow-Glow Subtle Portrait, then adjusted the shadow slider to bring back the silhouette look. The preset lightened the tree more than I wanted.

Play around with your images, or take some new images to use for your Halloween projects. It’s a lot of fun, and there are tons of free presets to use.

Check here for presets.

Have Fun,

October 1, 2015
by admin
Comments Off on Fall Colors Across The Country

Fall Colors Across The Country


Williams0097 – Oak leaves, Williams, Arizona

Fall colors have arrived in many places, and are spreading across the country. Reds, yellows, oranges and other colors are popping up everywhere, so grab your camera and take some great photographs of Mother Nature’s big show.

To help you get the most out of your shooting, I’ve updated my annual list of links about Fall colors and where to find them. Since I live in Arizona, I’ve put together a special section for my state.

As you go to these sites, you will often find many links to other sites. You could easily spend an entire day following link after link, or just go to the main pages I have listed here.

I hope you get some fantastic photographs this year. Feel free to leave a comment with a link to your images of changing colors. I’m sure everyone would love to see them.

Have Fun,



FCOL0538 – Quaking Aspens, Snowbowl, Flagstaff, Arizona


Finding Fall Color in Arizona – An site with lots of links to information about changing colors in Arizona.

Fall Colors on the Coconino – This Coconino National Forest site explains why leaves change colors, what trees produce what colors, and hikes to see this wonder of nature.

Fall Colors – Current Forest Information – You can find up-to-date changing color information here.

Fall Colors in Payson – Here you’ll find information on hikes in this area with Fall colors.

The Rest Of The Country

Current Fall Foliage – The Weather Channel has a map of the U.S. showing where the leaves are changing colors by region.

Fall Color Report – Wisconsin – Detailed information on color changes, and when the colors will peak.

Fall Color Report – Minnesota – Detailed information on where the leaves are changing color in Minnesota.

Fall Colors – The Great Smokey Mountains – A National Park Service site with detailed information about leaves changing color in the Great Smokey Mountains, as well as hikes and drives to take.

Leef Peepers – Links and phone numbers for fall foliage information for New England, Midwest, Rockies, West and South.

National Fall Color Website – See a national map showing color changes and select a state or forest to see events in the area.

State by State Guide to Fall Foliage – An site with information on changing colors in many states.

There’s a National Fall Color Hotline too, 1-800-354-4595. Call this number and choose the area of the country you’re interested in and get information on leaf color, scenic drives, peak times for the colors and other fall activities.

Have Fun,

September 20, 2015
by admin
Comments Off on My Newly Revamped Site

My Newly Revamped Site


My revised site has launched. Head on over and take a look.

It now offers:

  • The ability to click on any image to see a larger photograph, so you can more easily see my images
  • Working well on mobile devices
  • A shopping cart, to make purchasing photographs faster and easier
  • And for me, fast and easy updates to the site

For the past 16 years I’ve been hand coding all of my websites, and augmented that with Dreamweaver when it came out. But I’m changing things to give me more time to take photographs, and spend less time doing the business stuff.

To that end, I’ve spent the last several months researching how to make the maintenance and updating of my website faster and easier. I decided to change my website to a database site, and checked out Photocrati, Zenfolio and Photoshelter. I went with Photocrati because it’s easy to use, includes a shopping cart, and costs much less than any other database site with a shopping cart. Also, they don’t charge a fee for every sale like many other sites do.

This was the first step of a revamp of my photo business to make it easier to maintain. Most of these changes you will never see, except that I will have more photos to show you.

Head on over and take a look, and let me know what you think.

Have Fun,

September 4, 2015
by admin
Comments Off on How Instagram can boost your photography business

How Instagram can boost your photography business

Part 2 of 2

Article by Jane Grates of Sleeklens


Tags, Hashtags and Geotags

They are all the rage nowadays, so let’s explain them in detail:

  • Tags are the addition of a username to the brief caption you are writing, either because that person had a hand in creating your picture, or because you want to dedicate or share your picture with them.
  • Hashtags are those words preceded by a # symbol. Twitter started using them to allow people to easily follow trending topics by searching for specific words. If you like dogs, then search for #dogs. Instagram works in a similar fashion. By adding a hashtag to a word in your caption, users who like the same topic you are sharing will be able to find your images, assuming you have a public profile.
  • Geotags are created when you activate the location feature on your smartphone, and some cameras. The phone will attach a tag to the picture, so when you upload it, people will know where it was taken. This could be useful if you do travel, nature or other photography in interesting or unusual places.

Hashtags can be quite annoying for some users, so here are a few considerations regarding their use.

  • Use hashtags in the caption of each photo you upload. Only hashtag one or two words.
  • Your hashtags need to be specific to the post you are making. Don’t hashtag unrelated words. You need to catch the attention of people who may use your business, not just random people.
  • If you have a brand of your own, use it. For example, if your brand is named “Sleeklens” then use #sleeklens in your caption. The more you do this, the more attention you are going to get and people will start to wonder what you are all about.
  • Location hashtags are useful, especially if you are taking pictures while you travel (i.e. #Paris, #NYC, etc.)

Photo Filters

Instagram lets you apply filters to your photographs before you upload them to the site. To this point, you have two possible ways of applying filters:

  • Using apps, such as Lightroom mobile, to develop your pictures and then upload them to Instagram.
  • Using Instagram’s native filters.

In either case, remember that filters are designed to improve your pictures, not to make them worse. Analyze your image and then go ahead and apply a filter that suits your needs.

Social Media and Sharing

Whenever you upload a picture to Instagram, the app will ask you if you want to share it to other social media sites as well. A good marketing campaign for your photography business works through a combination of profiles in different social media platforms, so you can reach as much of the public as possible.

Therefore, whenever you upload your pictures to Instagram, you should always share them on Facebook and Twitter – at least. Flickr is also a good platform for creating a digital portfolio. While Tumblr may not reach as many people as those previously mentioned, it is something like a “cult” site that may contain the type of clients you are looking to attract.

With all of these tools available, it is fair to say that you now have what it takes to make a difference with your photography business. Just be patient. Gathering a good number of followers takes time, so work it organically, and don’t rush things, or you might lose it all in the process. Good luck! specializes in products for Lightroom and Photoshop. You can connect with them on Facebook or Twitter. You can also read their blog which is frequently updated with new tutorials.

September 3, 2015
by admin
Comments Off on How Instagram can boost your photography business

How Instagram can boost your photography business

Part 1 of 2
Part 2 will be posted tomorrow

Article by Jane Grates of Sleeklens


 In today’s world, having a basic knowledge of social media is a must, if you plan to become an independent businessperson. Next to SEO and social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, Instagram stands out as a lifesaver for photographers, regardless of their skills. This is why we might ask ourselves, “How can Instagram boost my photography business?” Let’s go through some facts.

Instagram is an app meant for photo and video sharing with a brief caption and hashtags. The system works like this:

  • You create a profile at Instagram.
  • Start following people (it can be friends and relatives, famous people with official Instagram accounts, or somebody totally new to you)
  • Post pictures with caption/hashtag.
  • People start following you.

The more followers you have, the more “influential” you become. Just adding pictures and getting tons of followers is not enough, however, especially if you are not a famous person with a lot of public or media exposure. Thus, we get to the key point that will help us to expand our photography business: learning how to get followers.

Split your intent: Public vs. Private

If you plan to use your Instagram account for boosting your business, don’t upload pictures that apply to your own personal life. By this, I mean no football, political, religions, music or social stuff, or to put it concisely, don’t upload sensitive content or content that may label you in a negative way. People are quite sensitive regarding certain topics, and by doing something like, making a joke about a famous singer. You may be insulting some of his fans, which could cause you the loss of a good chunk of potential followers. Not to mention that this impact could be multiplied if you talked about religion or politics.

Keep it cool and try to upload pictures that are only relative to your work. Of course, you can upload a picture of your daily life from time to time, this “humanizes” your profile a bit more, but don’t overload your profile with selfies. You want to boost your business exposure, not your personal life.

Be selective

More is not always better. Keep your standards high when selecting photographs to upload to Instagram. Only show your best work.

It’s important to post regularly, but don’t upload pictures every five seconds. Four to five times per week is more than enough for most trending users. Adding contend consistently will allow you to catch new followers, as they will follow you so they won’t miss any of your posts.

Follow and interact with users that inspire your work

If you work with architectural photography, it is a good idea to Google the most trending accounts in the area of architectural photography. This can include architectural studios, professional photographers and users’ communities. The same applies to any other topic related to your business. By following and interacting with those trending accounts, you are not only gaining knowledge, but also exposing your profile address to their followers. If they check your account, and its content appeals to them, there’s a good chance they will follow you. specializes in products for Lightroom and Photoshop. You can connect with them on Facebook or Twitter. You can also read their blog which is frequently updated with new tutorials.

August 7, 2015
by admin
Comments Off on A Day At The Eastern End Of The Grand Canyon

A Day At The Eastern End Of The Grand Canyon

We went to the Grand Canyon a week ago. This time we visited the Eastern side. The scenery going through the Indian Reservation is amazing, especially the Little Colorado Gorge area. And if you go that way, be sure to eat at the Cameron Trading Post. They have great food.

Here’s the Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon, and the tiny Desert View Watchtower at the big canyon.

Have Fun,