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December 11, 2018
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Have A Happy, And Slightly Twisted, Holiday Season

Following are some of my favorite Holiday music videos. You’ll find the entire spectrum from traditional to shall we say, unique. I hope you enjoy them.

 Lindsey Sterling, an amazing hip-hop violinist with some great moves. Listen to her perform Carol of the Bells, What Child Is This and Silent Night.

Next is Pentatonix, an acappella group whose voices blend beautifully. Listen to their versions of Hallelujah and Little Drummer Boy.

I’ve always been a big fan of Jewel’s music and poetry, and was fortunate enough to see her in concert once. Listen to her amazing voice as she sings Ave Maria.

There’s always someone who thinks Christmas us just a bunch of Bah Humbug. This video is for you. I hope you enjoy Carol of the Old Ones.

My favorite irreverent Christmas song is The 12 Pains Of Christmas. Have a listen.

Karen Carpenter was an amazing singer, and left us all far too soon. Listen to Merry Christmas Darling by The Carpenters.

I’ve always liked Gloria Estefan’s voice and music. I was even a member of the Press when she dedicated her statue to the Wax Museum in Buena Park, California. I have some great pictures of that event too.

Christmas is more than presents and parties. It’s about reaching out to those in need,righting the wrongs in the world and putting the Christmas Spirit in all we do,all year long. In this video you’ll see wrongs that need to be righted, and successes that have been achieved. We can all do something, big or small, to help others. Go out and help others. Hear Silent Night by Gloria Estefan.

Many years ago there was a great Christmas special called “A Claymation Christmas.”It shows the amazing things that can be done with this form of animation. I hope you enjoy these videos, and remember, it’s all done with clay. Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer and Joy To The World.

Another great piece of Christmas music is the Christmas Canon by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Is it really Christmas without hearing Madonna sing Santa Baby?

And finally, if you think you have a great light display on your house, check out this and this one too.

Have a Great Holiday Season! Party on!!!

Have Fun,
Jeff

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December 6, 2018
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Photo – Chaco Canyon Pueblo

Hi,

Look very closely at this photo of the Chaco Canyon Pueblo area in New Mexico. Just to the right of center, do you see those horizontal lines working their way up the cliff? Those are stairs. The Native Americans built roads that connected the pueblos in the area. When they came to a cliff, they would either build a ramp or stairs. This allowed people to easily walk from one pueblo to another.

That is amazing enough, but the roads, and these stairs, are 30 feet, (9 meters) wide. That’s an amazing feat of engineering.

On some occasions, they would cut foot and hand holds, small holes, in a cliff instead of stairs. Imagine strapping a basket onto your back, that’s filled with 20-30 pounds (9-13.6 kilograms)of stuff, then climbing a vertical cliff and not having the basket pull you off the wall. I’ve done some mountain climbing and bouldering, and it was tough enough with nothing on my back.

Let me know if you have any questions about using, or taking, photographs.

You can purchase this, and many other photos, at www.JeffColburn.com

Have Fun,
Jeff

ChacoCanyonPueblo-0102

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December 5, 2018
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Photo – Aztec Pueblo

Hi,

After duck-walking and crawling through several doorways at the Aztec Pueblo in New Mexico, I entered this room. The longest dimension wasn’t much longer than I am tall. I then had to retrace my steps. After doing that through several doorways here, and in another location at the Pueblo, my thighs gave out. They weren’t sore, until the next day, they just didn’t have any strength left. It was well worth it.

Let me know if you have any questions about using, or taking, photographs.

You can purchase this, and many other photos, at www.JeffColburn.com

Have Fun,
Jeff

AztecPueblo-0107

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December 3, 2018
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Jeff’s Colorado Adventures – Mesa Verde National Park

Every year on our wedding anniversary my wife, Linda-Ann, and I take a week-long trip somewhere. This year we went to the Four Corners region of Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado to visit ancient Native American pueblo ruins. One place we visited was Mesa Verde in Colorado, https://www.nps.gov/meve/index.htm.

There are some amazing ruins here. You can get a ranger-guided tour through some of them ($5 per person and tickets must be purchased in-person), a self-guided walking tour to some areas and a self-guided driving tour. You want to check when these ruins will close for the season. Two ruins closed three days before we left on our trip at the end of September, and the other ruin closes from about mid-October through mid-April, due to snow.

Spruce Tree House is closed due to rock fall danger. This is usually a self-guided tour. Some stabilization needs to be done to the rock face before people will be let in again. I’m guessing that it will probably be closed for at least another year as the stabilization process hasn’t even started yet.

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Oak Tree House

The easiest way to see as many ruins as possible is to drive along the three roads in the park and stop at the overlooks. It’s usually an easy walk from where you park to the overlooks, and you will get some great views. But you will need a long lens if you want close-up photos. We chose the Mesa Top Loop driving tour as it let us see the largest number of ruins and pit houses.

It’s amazing to me that between 600 A.D. and 1300 A.D., the Native Americans were able to build and live in these pueblos that were stuck on the side of cliffs. Carrying rocks, sometimes from miles away, and adobe to build their homes was incredible enough. But then having to climb up or down to the pueblos every day for food, water and other supplies must have kept them in amazing physical condition.

Archeologists have found about 5,000 Ancestral Puebloan sites in Mesa Verde. About 600 of these are cliff dwellings. By about 1300 A.D., almost all of the Native Americans living in the pueblos had left, for reasons unknown.

Here are some of our favorite pueblo ruins.

Pit Houses – I have seen some pit houses around Arizona, and they are pretty small. Some aren’t much more than a shallow pit that one person could lay in. But the pit houses here were huge, and intricate. They were deep, had ventilation shafts, and some pits were connected with tunnels.

Square Tower House – This is a smaller pueblo. You can easily see the four-story, 80 room, square tower in the pueblo. There is a spring below the alcove that supplied the residents with water for drinking and other uses.

Spruce Tree House – This is the third largest cliff dwelling in the park, with 120 rooms, and it’s the best preserved. Besides living quarters, there are ten rooms used to store food, including: corn, beans, squash, wild onions and pinon nuts. Stone slabs sealed the doors to these rooms to keep out rodents and rain water.

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Spruce Tree House

Cliff Palace – (We also went to the Cliff Palace Loop to get a closer view of these ruins.) This is the largest cliff dwelling in North America. It contains about 150 rooms, 75 open spaces and 21 kivas. An estimated 100-120 people lived here. Some of the buildings are four stories high.

By driving from overlook to overlook, we saw many of the pueblos at Mesa Verde. If the main pueblos weren’t closed, we would have gone on at least one hike into them. Some of the pueblos are an easy hike, others are more difficult. Choose the type of tour that works best for you, and enjoy the beauty and wonder of Mesa Verde National Park.

Have you been here? What would you like to tell my reader about this location?

Have Fun,
Jeff

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November 29, 2018
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Photo – Chaco Canyon Pueblo, New Mexico

Hi,

This is part of Pueblo Bonito at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. There are many ruins at Chaco Canyon, but Pueblo Bonito is my favorite. That’s due to its large size, well preserved buildings, and there are so many rooms you can go into.

Let me know if you have any questions about using, or taking, photographs.

You can purchase this, and many other photos, at www.JeffColburn.com

Have Fun,
Jeff

ChacoCanyonPueblo-0269

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November 28, 2018
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Photo – Aztec Petroglyphs

Hi,

I found these petroglyphs while exploring the arches around Aztec, New Mexico. I found several petroglyphs in this one area, but I did have to hunt around for them. If you go here, I would suggest keeping your eye out for rattlesnakes.

Let me know if you have any questions about using, or taking, photographs.

You can purchase this, and many other photos, at www.JeffColburn.com

Have Fun,
Jeff

AztecArches-0065

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November 21, 2018
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Photo – Aztec Pueblo

Hi Everyone,

This is one of the buildings at the Aztec Pueblo ruins in New Mexico. These are amazing ruins, and most parts are accessible to people with mobility issues. We spent several hours there, but I could have easily spent two or three days there to properly photograph everything in different kinds of light.

Let me know if you have any questions about using, or taking, photographs.

You can purchase this, and many other photos, at www.JeffColburn.com

Have Fun,
Jeff

AztecPueblo-0061

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November 19, 2018
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The War On Photographers – Part 5 Of 5

Protecting Your Photographs

The theft of online photographs is a huge problem. If a photographer has his images stolen, they make no money from them. They may also spend money on legal fees fighting the thief. If they don’t make money with photography, they can’t buy new or better equipment, travel to shoot locations or hire models and support staff, replace worn out equipment and pay their bills. This means they have to get a 9-5 job, and can do very little photography, so this photographer no longer creates images for the world to see. We all need money to survive. Stealing photographs from the Internet takes money away from photographers, and we all lose.

Some of the photographs that are stolen don’t even have a monetary value. I have a friend who had the photo of herself, and another of her dog, stolen from her Facebook page. The thief wanted to pretend to be her by using the photographs on a different Facebook page. I have no idea why they did this. My friend complained to Facebook, but they didn’t do anything to the thief, and the thief’s Facebook page is still up.

Photographers try to protect their images by adding watermarks, or using small, low resolution images. But image manipulation software has advanced so much lately, that any watermark can be easily removed. And a small image can be enlarged to almost any size and be razor sharp. I recently saw a beta version of some software that should be out the end of 2018. It automatically removed all types of watermarks, and took small images that had lots of noise and made beautiful, large, sharp images out of them. When that product comes to market, anyone will be able to do anything they want with every image on the Internet. At that time, the only way to protect your images will be to keep them offline.

Enforcing your copyright in court is also a costly and time consuming effort. And even if you win, you may not receive the money the court awarded you. Many times, the guilty party never pays the fine. I knew of a photographer who won, but wasn’t paid. He went to court because of that, and won again and still didn’t get paid. He went back to court for a third time, won, and still didn’t get paid. He finally gave up, was never paid, spent thousands on court costs and countless hours in court. Even though the copyright laws were just amended to make it easier to take someone to court for copyright infringement, you still have all of these same issues. Basically, copyright laws are useless to any small business or Creative.

Creatives in every medium have always had a hard time making a living with their art. But, I have good news, there are a few things you can do to make your photography career more successful.

  1. If you make prints, do them in some unique way. Or you can come up with a special way of processing images, like Matthew Brandt constantly does. http://www.matthewbrandt.com For example, he did a series of prints about the La Brea Tar Pits in southern California, and he used tar from there on his prints. Actually, there is no tar at the Tar Pits, it’s really asphalt.
  2. If you work with businesses, put useful information on your site and social networks for your clients. This could be links, articles or observations that will help their business. Do promotions (online and offline), that will help your clients. Know where your clients are, and promote to them there.
  3. Have your own unique style. Magda Wasiczek has her own unique photographs of plants that are soft and dreamy. http://www.magdawasiczek.pl Have a style that someone can look at and say, “Hey, I know who took that photograph.” You may want to look into composite photography too.
  4. Use your imagination. That is the only true, unique thing that you have. Give your imagination free rein when creating photographs, how you present them and how you market yourself.

Nothing you do will keep people from stealing your photographs or copying your style, so you need to keep growing and innovating to stay ahead of the pack. But that’s what a real artist does. If you sit in one spot, living off of past successes, the world will sprint past you and leave you in the dust.

Now go out and create some great photographs.

Have Fun,
Jeff

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November 15, 2018
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Photo – Pictograph

Hi Everyone,

This is one of several pictographs I found near a spring coming out of a rock wall in the Flagstaff, Arizona area. There is also a hand print, dots and wavy lines to the left of this pictograph. But you can’t see them in this photo.

Let me know if you have any questions about using, or taking, photographs.

You can purchase this, and many other photos, at www.JeffColburn.com

Have Fun,
Jeff

LamarHainesTrail0299

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November 14, 2018
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Photo – Fall Colors

Hi,

Here’s another photo of Fall colors from the Flagstaff, Arizona area. Flagstaff is a great place to photograph Fall colors.

Let me know if you have any questions about using, or taking, photographs.

You can purchase this, and many other photos, at www.JeffColburn.com

Have Fun,
Jeff

KachinaTrail-0094

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