Mid America Photography Symposium – Night Shoot


Last weekend was the Mid America Photography Symposium in Eureka Springs Arkansas.  One of the favorite shoots of the symposium is the Saturday late night shoot, held in downtown Eureka Springs.  We start at about 9:30 p.m. and quit by about 11:00, by this time we generally have the street mostly to ourselves since most of the business are closed.  For this shoot you can only use available light, making it a learning experience in night photography.









Hemmed In Hollow – Buffalo National River- Arkansas

Hemmed In Hollow Waterfall

Hemmed In Hollow


Hemmed In Hollow waterfall is the “Tallest waterfall between the Rockies and Appalachians” with a single drop of 209 feet.  Wind will cause the falls to sway from side to side during the long drop.

Located along the Buffalo National River part of the National Park Service, there is no entry fee or usage fee for the trails to the waterfall.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to get to Hemmed In Hollow is in the spring when you can float the Buffalo River to get to the falls, this is also the best time for more than just a trickle of water.
Where it is: The waterfall is located in the Ponca Wilderness Area part of the Buffalo National River park.
Directions: My favorite way of reaching the falls is by canoe.  Put in at either Ponca or Steel Creek on the Buffalo National River and float to the trail from the river. The trail is not marked and could be hard to find if not familiar with the river.  It is about 3/4 of the way to Kyles Landing, if there are many people on the river it will look like a canoe parking area on the left side of the river.  Once on the trial it is very easy to follow.
Map: nps-map
Buffalo Adventures Canoe Rental
(870) 446-5406
P.O. Box 414
Jasper, AR 72641

Buffalo Outdoor Center, Inc.
Ponca, AR 72670

Gordon Motel, Inc.
1-800-477-8509 or
(870) 446-5252
P.O. Box 60
Jasper, AR 72641

Keller’s Kanoes
(870) 446-2644
HCR 73, Box 39
Marble Falls, AR 72648

Lost Valley Canoe & Lodging
(870) 861-5522
Ponca, AR 72670

Riverview Motel Canoe Rentals
(870) 446-2616
P.O. Box 352
Jasper, AR 72641

Driving and Hiking Directions On Hwy 43, this trail can be reached by hiking a three mile one-way from either Steel Creek or Kyle’s launch areas, or four miles one-way down Old Center Point Road which runs off of Hwy. 43, three miles north of Ponca
Contact Buffalo National River
402 N. Walnut, Suite 136
Harrison, AR 72601

E-mail Us

Visitor Information
(870) 439-2502

Park Headquarters
(870) 365-2700


(870) 365-2701

GPS Lat, Lon (wgs84) 36.06420, -93.30740
N 36°3’51″ W 93°18’27″
Lat, Lon (nad27) 36.0642, -93.3072
N 36°3’51″ W 93°18’26″
UTM (wgs84) 15 472317E 3991113N

Tips for the Photographer

Equipment: With a height of 200+ feet you will need an ultra wide angle lens to get the entire waterfall in a single picture.  I shot the ones on this page with a 16mm equivalent lens.
What to Photograph: The waterfall itself is definitely worth the trip, however you can easily find many more great areas to photography whether hiking or canoeing an hiking.  This is some of the most beautiful country in the state.
Photography Tips: Sunny days will lead to very bright areas and very dark areas in the photograph.  An overcast day would be the best time to shoot, and it you can’t make that happen this would be a good place to learn to do High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography.
Links: How to Shoot Waterfalls

Hemmed In Hollow Waterfall

Hemmed In Hollow Waterfall

Hemmed In Hollow Waterfall

Hemmed In Hollow Waterfall

Buffalo National River from Hemmed In Hollow Trail

Buffalo National River from Hemmed In Hollow Trail

Lightroom 2 – Making the Most of the Filmstrip

Note: All information is based upon Windows operating system and Lightroom 2.3

The filmstrip at at the bottom of the Lightroom workspace provides a great deal of functionality that may not be apparent at first look.  It is much more than just a quick thumbnail view of you photos.  This article will give a full working knowledge  and show you the hidden potential of the filmstrip.

The filmstrip is also one of very few items that are consistent across all of the modules in Lightroom.

Parts of the Filmstrip


Control Bar

The black control bar above the filmstrip lets you control most of what the filmstrip is doing.

Taking a closer look at the left side of the control bar we will see the following, from left to right.


Dual Monitor

On the very left you will see two icons numbered 1 and 2, these are for activating dual monitor support in lightroom.  Even if you do not have two monitors you can still use this to open a second lightroom window which can show a different lightroom view  than the first.  (Ctrl+shift+F11 toggles the secondary display between full screen and windowed views)

Grid View

The next icon which looks like 4 squares will automatically return you to the library module grid view on your primary monitor.

Forward and Back arrows – The forward and back arrows let you change between the current and previous lightroom views.  This could be changing folders or collections, or changing from library to develop or other modules.

Filmstrip Information – This displays the Catalog, Collection, or Folder currently displayed in the Lightroom Filmstrip. It also displays the number of photos being held in the Filmstrip, and whether or not any of them are selected. The final part of this information line displays a file name of the most recently selected photo.  By clicking on the down arrow at the end of the file name you will get a history of the recently used folders and collections and can click on any of them to quickly return to that location.


Filter Information


The right side of the control bar contains the filter controls for what is being seen in the filmstrip and grid views (as selected with the tools  in the library window used to flag, rate, and label photos).  You can filter on one or more of the “flag”, “rating”, or “label”  by clicking on the value you wish to use.  By using the drop down box to the right you can save you settings for future use as a preset.  The last icon will turn the filter on and off.


Below the control bar is the actual film strip with the thumbnails of your photos.  There is a number of icons representing different information that will appear on the image itself.


Virtual Copy Indicator

On the picture of the seagull you will see two of the same shot, however the second has the bottom left corner bent up, this indicates that this is a virtual copy and not the original image.

Quick Collection Indicator

On the last image in the filmstrip above you can see a small circle filled with medium gray in the top right-hand corner of the image, this indicates that the image is in the quick collection.  When you mouse over the image the circle  will appear on the image in light gray and by clicking will add it to the quick collection, if you click a dark graycircle it will remove it from the quick collection.


In the image below you can see three icons in the lower-right corner, these are “badges” and indicate in order left to right:

The image has one or more keywords.

The image has been cropped.

The image has has adjustments made in develop.

By clicking on the badge it will open the image in the module related to the badge.



The image below shows the icon for photo stacks in lightroom, it will show the number of photos in the stack.  When you click on the icon it will toggle between expanding and collapsing the stack.

stack1 stack2

Photo Matte

The matte around the image can give us additional information, by default most of this is turned off.  Right click on the filmstrip to get the following menu.


Click on “View Options” and if a check mark is not beside any of the options click the option and it will toggle on, repeat for additional options until all are turned on.


The “Rating” (stars) will appear in the lower left of the matte as 1 – 5 stars as seen on the image above.

Labels (Colors)

The labels that you select will show by changing the color of the matte to match your selection, when selected the color will show as a small line on the inside of the matte.


Picks (Flags)

The flags that you apply will show in the top left of the matte.  An unselected will show nothing, a  “Pick” will show a white flag and a reject will show a black flag with an X.   A rejected image will also show as a faded image in the filmstrip.


Selecting Images

The active selected image will have a white matte, any additional selected images will have a light gray matte, and unselected images will have either a dark gray or a colored matte to match the label.


To select a single image in the filmstrip simply click on the image and it will become the selected image.  To select additional images hold the “Ctrl” key and click the additional images.  To select a continuous range of images click the first, hold the “Shift” key and click the last.  You can click any selected image to change the Active image without losing the rest of your selections. To remove the selection from all images press “Ctrl + d” .

Customizing the Filmstrip

There are a number of things you can do to customize the appearance of the filmstrip.  You can change the size of the thumbnails by hovering the mouse between the top of the control bar and the bottom of the library window until your cursor turns to a double headed arrow, then click and drag up or down to make the images larger or smaller.  If the thumbnails become to small you will not see all of the information listed above.



Show image info tool tips

If you turned on the show image info tool tips as shown earlier, you may not have seen anything change.  To see the information hoover the cursor over an image in the filmstrip and a box will appear with information about the photo.


Scrolling Photos in the Filmstrip

There are several ways of scrolling through the filmstrip.

The slider bar at the bottom of the filmstrip, click and drag.

The small arrows at either end of the filmstrip, click and hold to scroll, let off to stop.

Hoover the cursor over the line between photos at the top of the filmstrip, when the cursor turns to a hand, drag the filmstrip to the left or right.

Use the left or right arrow keys on the keyboard.

Sorting Photos in the Filmstrip

This is a function of the filmstrip that you have to set in the Library Module.  In the tool bar at the bottom of the library module you should see a sort option with a double headed arrow for a drop down list.  You then click on the parameter that wish to have the photos sorted by (if you do not see this option click the down arrow on the far right of the library window and you will get a drop down box to toggle on and off what tools are showing).  You can also use the menu bar at the top and choose “View” – “Sort”.


Rearrange Photos in the Filmstrip

You may have noticed that the last item in the sort order is “User Order”, to manually arrange the photos click and drag on an image (not the matte) and move it to the location you want. Lightroom will remember this each time you choose “User Order”.  This can be very useful for sideshows, picture packages, and web galleries.

Show or Hide

You can show/hide the filmstrip by clicking on the down arrow at the bottom of the filmstrip.


If you right click on the down arrow icon you will get the above menu which will give more control over the action of the show/hide function.

I hope that this rather long post is helpful in understanding everything that is going on in the filmstrip, if  you find the information helpful please let me know.  If you find any mistakes or omissions let me know that as well.


Mid America Photography Symposium

Mid-America Photography Symposium

Just a reminder to anyone who is thinking about attending the Mid America Photography Symposium in Eureka Springs next weekend  (May 16-17) now is the time,  registration will be closing Monday May 11.

 Don’t forget to sign up for my Adobe Lightroom 2 workflow session.

This year’s MAPSym includes:
Three great pre-symposium workshops:
Studio Lighting with the 2006 Professional Photographers of America Photographer of the Year – Jim Schmelzer
Photoshop with Jeff Willard
Botanical Photography with National Geographic featured photographer Steven Foster

Two incredible sessions with Canon’s Explorer of Light – Rick Sammon

Twenty regular sessions to choose from in five tracks: Photo 101, Nature, Commercial, Studio, and Portfolio, featuring our region’s top photographers.

Special events such as the Keynote Dinner with Jim Schmelzer, Late-night photo shoot on historic Spring St. and Haute Couture in Historic Downtown Eureka Springs.

2 lunches, breakfast, and breaks are provided with the symposium!

Finally, don’t miss your chance to win a Fuji S100 FS in the MAPSym print competition. There is no entry fee, and the top three winners from each of the six categories is printed 16×20 and displayed during the symposium. categories include: Architecture, Black & White, Fashion, Macro, Nature, and Wedding.

It is a busy weekend, fun and you meet some great national and local photographers.

Check it out.



Photowalk- Fort Smith Arkansas


Join me as I lead a Photowalk in Downtown Fort Smith

What is a Photowalk?

Photowalking is the act of walking with a camera for the main purpose of taking pictures of things that the photographer may find interesting.

Recently the term has become synonymous with a group of photographers, walking in predetermined locations and then sharing their imagery. Alone or with a group, the purpose is still the same and that is to go out and shoot.

While related to street photography, photowalking is differentiated by the main impetus being to photograph things of interest rather than people specifically. It is also often done as a method to practice and improve one’s own photography skills rather than a with specific focus on documentary photography.

One of the great benefits to participating in a Photowalk is to meet people with an interest in photography.

June 20th 2009, 9:00 am till ?

Location:  Historic Downtown Fort Smith Arkansas

We will meet at the pavilion in Ross Pendergraft Park (200 Garrison Ave.) at 9:00 am which will serve as our Central meeting point, from which you can walk to the listed destinations.


Miss Laura’s Social Club a restored former bordello, now serving as the Fort Smith Visitor Center.  You can tour this Victorian mansion which has been restored to it’s original ambiance (the first bordello listed on The National Register of Historic Places).


The Fort Smith National Historic Site where you can walk where soldiers drilled, pause along the Trail of Tears, and stand where justice was served. The park includes the remains of two frontier forts and the Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas.  Judge Isaac C. Parker, known as the “hanging judge,” presided over the court for 21 years.  On the grounds of the park you can see the site of the first fort, the Trail of Tears Overlook on the Arkansas River, the Commissary building, and reconstructed gallows.


Just down the street we will visit the Fort Smith Trolley Museum where you can ride an authentic 1900′s Fort Smith Trolley.  In addition to the trolleys, the Museum is home to a rail collection. In 2004, the Arkansas-Oklahoma State Fair Board donated a Frisco steam engine and tender (#4003) which had been on display at Kay Rodgers Park & Fairground (the old-time “Electric Park”) since 1954. Prior to this, three cabooses, a former military power car and dining car, and three boxcars. The museum also has three internal combustion locomotives and a trackmobile.



You may also want to  walk to the Park at West End an old fashioned amusement park featuring a restored 1930′s Ferris wheel and a hand-painted carousel from Italy with 40 ponies, to enjoy a meal in a genuine antique rail car or concessions from a classic double-decker bus.




There is no cost to participate in the Photowalk, however there are fee’s for touring inside the buildings at the Fort Smith National Historic Site and to ride the Trolley.  At the end we may meet for lunch and you are responsible for your own meal and drinks.


1st place             $50.00 Bedford’s Gift Certificate

2nd place           $30.00 Bedford’s Gift Certificate

3rd place            $20.00 Bedford’s Gift Certificate

All registered participants will receive a coupon for an 8×10 enlargement from Bedfords.

Trial Equipment

Bedfords Camera and Video will provide a selection of equipment that can be checked out during the event including lenses and tripods.

Flicker Group

One of the interesting things to come from a Photowalk is to be able to see what other photographers found to photograph on the same route.  All participants are encouraged to upload photos from the day to the Flicker Group set up for the event.  This is also how you will be eligible to win the prizes.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q – What should I  bring?

A-Your camera of course, and whatever accessories you feel you may need.  You will probably enjoy the day more if you do not bring more than you can comfortable carry and be able to shoot.  Comfortable walking shoes and clothing appropriate for the weather.   More memory cards than you think you will need and some extra batteries.

Q – What kind of camera do I need?

A – You can use any camera, a digital will give immediate feedback on what you are shooting.  This is about getting out and shooting and meeting new people with an interest in photography.  Don’t be intimidated by all those big cameras and long lenses. I have seen some spectacular images created with a 4MP digital point-n-shoot.

Q – How long will it take?

You can pace yourself, and pretty much set your own schedule, some people may be done shooting and walking in a couple of hours, others may be shooting  the  sunset over the Arkansas River.

Q – How far is it?

A – The route as planned is just over 1 mile.

Q – Do I have to stay with the group?

A – This isn’t a paid tour and no one will be taking attendance at the end so if you get tired or sidetracked during the walk then you should, by all means, do your own thing. Remember though that one of the purposes of doing this with a group is the interaction with other photographers. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit with others on the walk. There will  be photographers of differing skill levels and you might be able to learn something, teach something, or just make some new friends.

Q – Do I have to sign up or can I just show up?

A – You may just show up if you like, but I would appreciate if you are planning on attending to post a comment or send me an email to let me know.


Please support our sponsos and let them know that you appreciate thier participation.



I will post images I have captured, primarily in Arkansas and Oklahoma, but also from my travels.  I will also post articles about photography , photographic tips,  articles on using Adobe Lightroom and other random photo related information.

 I will be posting an ongoing project I call "Photographic Destinations".  In this I will give details on where, what, when and how to photograph various destinations both locally and from my travels.  Click on the "Photographic Destinations" under Categories and they will be sorted by location.


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