Problem Children

Have you ever had a project that just never worked right? You really like what it is, but for some reason no matter what you do it simply doesn’t look or work quite right? I have a problem child like that; a photo, that has never quite looked right, yet is one of my favorites. I keep playing with it, altering it, fixing it, trying to make it ‘feel’ like I want it to feel. Here’s my problem child:

Sell Art Online

I love the image. It was a long hike that day when I found the two agaves on the side of the hill. The composition is perfect. (At least that’s what I think. Others may have a differing opinion.) And yet I am never really happy with the colors. I tried it black and white and it looks great that way. I would, however, like to see it in color. Maybe, this is one of those photos that will push my search for knowledge even further. I am open to suggestions. It is not a high resolution image so the photo will never be able to be printed very large. 11×11 is a great size for this as is 16×16.

Ah well, I’ll have to keep working at it. Right now I think it looks beautiful and the closest to how I felt when I was there. So, Enjoy the image.

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OCD, Yes, I probably have it.

A quick note (well not sure how quick this will be but the attempt at being quick is there) to inform those who may be wondering why some of my photos go up, then down, then back up again of what is happening. When I post a photo, I have done everything that I can see to do to make it perfect. After posting I often see mistakes. Color isn’t right, brightness/contrast isn’t right, and a myriad of other small details that others probably wouldn’t even notice unless I point them out.

Well, here’s the rub. If I hang that photo in my house (which I am inclined to do way more often than people think) if there is even one tiny flaw, it will bug me. There are photos that I thought were great 10 years ago that I wouldn’t even consider putting up for others to even see, much less buy, because I wouldn’t hang it in my house. I have shown others some of these photos and I get the ooo’s and ahhhh’s and I tell them “this is crap”. They then look at me like I’m freaking nuts, until I point out what is wrong with the photo. Then they say “Well, it’s a pretty photo and I’d hang it.” To which I say, I am not looking for pretty photos. Those are a dime a dozen. Lots of people out there with lots of money for lots of expensive equipment and lots of time for vacations do pretty pictures. I am an artist first, photography is my medium.

Photography Prints

This is the latest image that I have had to correct. I love the image but there was one detail that has been plaguing me for years now. I think I finally have fixed it. No, I’m not going to tell you what that detail is. I am, after all, a magician too. ;-)

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Bee Portraits

Since the question came up in life, I thought that it would be a good time to express some observations of life in relation to my photography. I love photographing insects of all kinds as well as arachnids and other creatures. One of the hardest insects to photograph is the honey bee. They are never still and are very wary of anything moving around them.

Art Prints – Date of photo: 9/17/2009

One day while trying to get some insect photos, there was a honey bee that was buzzing our flower garden. I kept following it around with my camera trying to get as close as I could without it getting scared. I have found that the big black eye (camera) really does scare these tiny creatures. Well, as I was chasing around this one bee, it finally had enough and started doing its warning dance. From my observations, when a honey bee gets angry, they will fly very quickly in a horseshoe shape pattern pointing towards the irritant back and forth.

I backed off, knowing it was getting very irritated. After awhile I started again trying to get a good photo of this bee (same individual). This time it seemed as though it was less irritated and was being much less cautious. I think it was getting used to the idea that I wasn’t a real threat. This second time she let me get really close without buzzing off. She never did the anger dance again and I was able to get some of the best honey bee photos from her that I’ve ever been able to get.

Do I think man can communicate with the animals around him? Yes, definitely. But, first we have to learn how to listen.

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Working again.

Caribbean Blue

While it is a really great day to be working, I am finding it hard to get going. Pneumonia really does kick the crap out of you for a long time after. I am trying to build up my endurance by working out in the yard again. I’m setting a deck on pylons so I can use it for my wood working tools. That will enable me to continue fixing things around the house that need to be done.

Caribbean Blue

Big puffy clouds against a Caribbean blue sky.

It is really a beautiful day today. Big puffy clouds, bright blue sky (Caribbean Blue-Enya), and a bright sun. I really don’t like the heat, however, it does feel good to get out and work. Taking a break right now with an Alaskan Amber, and a noon snack.

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The Dragon’s Tail

Michael's Photo

My This is a tail of a very old dragon, the Ruby Dragon whose name is Sardior. The following is a list of ‘Dragonisms’ of wisdom that Sardior has used as a way of life.

The Words Of Sardior


  1. Whatever path you take, you are on the Dragon Path.
  2. If you think you are not Dragon, think again.
  3. Dragon says: Breathe Deep!
  4. If Dragon likes being naked, Dragon will be born that way.
  5. Quarrel not with Dragon, for thou art crunchy and tasty with catchup, and will soon become Dragon.
  6. It is futile to take from Dragon that which Dragon does not give. (See #5)
  7. Only dancing Dragons should ever carry a sword.
  8. Better a Dragon with a flaw than a warthog with lipstick.
  9. Dragon says, "Read to me for there is time to learn", and ignorance is swept from two.
  10. Dragon conserves energy to win battlefields and love by its prudent use.
  11. Flinging Dragon Dung? Expect to eat some too.

From time to time I will add to this list of sayings, as life presents its unique irony.


My name is Michael Smith-Sardior. I was born in Phoenix, Arizona in the early 50′s, when Phoenix was still a nice place to live. The downtown summer temperatures weren’t much higher than the suburbs and surrounding deserts. Most people at that time had swamp coolers for their houses because they still worked.

I am a part time scientist, biologist, gardener, philosopher, and full time photographer/artist. Do not ask me about TV sports. I won’t know much if anything. Anything else to do with this universe we live in is of interest to me. From health and personal sports to the esoteric studies of astro and micro physics are all things that will catch my attention. Music is my heart. Listening and performing music has been the one sustaining thing that keeps my mind and soul together. I take pride in my green thumb and love to commune with the creatures that frequent my gardens.

I have finally figured out Blogilo and am fairly comfortable using the GUI. WordPress is working well and is great about keeping my questions answered. We’ve had a few go rounds, but things are working great now. I highly recommend everyone to use Linux. If you truly are into freedom and learning (which one cannot exist without the other) then Linux is the best choice.

With the content that I’ve added so far I am pleased with the way the blog is looking. Thank you for visiting and reading this. Have a wonderful life and hope to see you again soon.


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