After Effects

Have been dancing around learning this Adobe Program for years and the time has come for a deep dive. This semester, I plan to study video at Southern Connecticut State University. In preparation, I usually try to get my brain around an unfamiliar program and started working my way methodically through a Lynda course. Animation has always been challenging for me. I plan to photograph and isolate botanical subjects which are appealing and animate them again moving water. So the concept for the project is very well defined. Excited about learning!


I placed this passion flower on the slim light plano for backlight and added soft diffused front light. Stopped down and got close and although a complete challenge to isolate the tendrils, managed to capture the essence of the flower in all its glorious complexity. This one will be fun to animate.

Why I switched from Lightroom to CaptureOne…

About a year ago I met Douglas Dubler who taught a course at the New York Botanical Gardens – abstract floral photography inspired by Georgie O’Keefe. I invited several photo friends to come with me and we all had an amazing learning experience. At the start of this year, with Douglas’s firm encouragement, I finally switched from Lightroom to Capture One and although it took me some time to explore the program at this point I feel competent. My established workflow is to start a new catalog each year and I see no reason to change at this point.

I resist the impulse to use Lightroom for almost everything – now, just to set up & export an html web gallery which is not one of my core skills. As a part-time, non-matriculated grad student at Southern CT State University, we are standardized on Adobe Creative Cloud so it makes sense to continue to be familiar with the program and it’s updates. This semester I will be studying motion. Very exciting!

It seems that lots of folks recommend and feel comfortable working with the program they know, myself included. Over the years, I have worked with private clients who were interested in learning about Lightroom. It’s always a challenge to shift gears and rewarding when the result is worth the effort.

Over the next month, my short-term goal is to set up Capture One Catalogs for each previous year’s photos. I am excited about this new project.

It’s wonderful to have heroes…

Last week, we watched a MOMA Q&A on Gordon Parks. Have just finished rereading his autobiography, Voices In the Mirror.  His body of work is so incredibly relevant right now. His visual art was, is & always will be transcendent.

In his autobiography, Gordon Parks indicates that he did not study photography formally. He spent time getting to know and earning the trust of the people he photographed. He also spent time studying traditional composition in museums.  This served him well on future assignments.

I could not put the book down. His descriptions of poverty and racial injustice are searing. To my thinking, he was a creative genius, very nice and brave.

When I get discouraged about the political climate today, just thinking about this American hero brings me joy and fortitude.





the end of print…not so much

In the late 1990’s when I first studied Graphic Design at Southern CT State University, David Carson’s important work influenced artists. There is something to be said for paying respect to the “masters” and there is something to be said for “rules are made to be broken.” So I am referencing him as a source of inspiration as a nascent designer and also as a source of reflection. Although, “The End of Print” always has and always will be a debated topic among artsy types. In as much as it’s now standard to see something on a  phone, tablet, laptop or even a large 27″ monitor,   seeing the same work as large form fine art print is an awesome experience. DinoDanDesign

Artists sometimes play their cards close to the vest…”not me” so here is more than a “sneak peek” for an upcoming art exhibit Six Unique Perspectives

Six Unique Perspectives | New Haven CT

Botanical Elements is one of my four digital montages currently featured at a group exhibit at the Mitchell Library in New Haven, CT from Feb. 8th – Mar. 31st.  BotanicalElementsOur opening reception was exciting and very well attended. I created all the digital montages specifically for this space because many visitors to the Library are familiar with the  Dinosaur sculpture on the front lawn of the Yale Peabody Museum as well as the Handsome Dan sculpture on his own bench near the Yale bookstore. These vertical panoramas are almost four feet high and extremely eye-catching:)


Appreciation of montage theory…

Our photography class recently visited The Yale Center for British Art in preparation for our film montage assignment. This is a phenomenal exhibit concentrating on current trends in the genre of motion …a first for the Center, running until Sunday, December 29, 2019.

 Migrating Worlds: The Art of the Moving Image in Britain

Theo Eshetu is one of several artists currently featured at YCBA in New Haven. It is important for me to take time to learn about and appreciate an artist’s exploration and vision…this prior interview is fascinating:


A video artist born of mixed African-European descent, Theo Eshetu has spent his career presenting images of his global identity. His work, Brave New World II, is currently on display in the African Art Museum.

It’s thrilling to win a design award…

Jon & Michele Vallee are perfect clients…fun, smart & accessible. They asked me to design a box for their award-winning rum cakes. We worked hard together to create beautiful packaging for the small, medium and large cakes. I love the way the boxes stack together to form “a lighthouse”. Everything about this shouts “award winner”!

This tower is tops – a small, medium and large cake in choice of flavors, attractively gift boxed.

towerFB copy

Keystone Paper and Box Company in Windsor CT, produced the box and wished to enter the design in a national contest. The  box design placed in the competition.

Needless to say, we are thrilled. You can read more at:

Lighthouse Rum Cakes is gearing up for another phenomenally busy holiday gift season. It’s very easy to order 24/7 on their website:

Please be sure to visit soon!

How to get emotion & expression…..

This is a quote by a very famous photographer:

“ Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop. – Ansel Adams

I’ve also heard that it takes 1,000 photos for a National Geographic photographer to get one “keeper”. Composition, exposure and focus which is perhaps the easy part of photography. The challenge is to connect on an emotional level in addition to having the technical details spot on.


We were photographing Stephen slightly in advance of his christening, so he was all dressed up in the church and really eager to examine the bible that was open on the alter.  I totally love everything about this photo – especially his curiosity.

I just love this little angel girl – she is sweet & beautifu!!!!


and her twin brother is equally sweet and cute – although he would hate to know that I think so!!!

noah copy

The most memorable compliment I’ve ever received was for a photo taken during a documentary photography course…my semester project subject was a “veterinary practice.”

Our vet kindly allowed me to photograph his practice once a week on “surgery day”…I did get a fairly interesting group of photos. One very strong image was the preparation for the dental cleaning of a cat…capturing the moment our vet injected the cat to induce sleep so he could perform a careful and thorough cleaning.  A classmate actually started to cry when she saw the photo. The negatives from this set of images have long been archived up in the attic and the hope remains of capturing an image with equal intensity.

The memory of my classmates’s comment is everlasting. On a lighter note, I brush my dog’s teeth every single day….our vet thinks this is great.

And, if you want to see more of our work: