Before digital cameras came along, you had to set your "F stop" to the proper setting to have the right exposure for your photos. There was a saying among photojournalists: "F8 and be there."--set your camera to F8, and get to the scene ready to go. Not that much has changed, really.

Welcome to the Observer's Photo Blog

Truth be told, I wanted to be a photojournalist when I grew up.


"If your pictures aren't good enough, you aren't close enough."

"The pictures are there, and you just take them."

WW II photographer Robert Capa

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Candlelight Service

The 11 p.m. service, from the choir loft.

This photo and the one below from the 9 p.m. service, from the back.

Two views of the climax of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection's Christmas eve services--the 9 pm and the 11 pm. No sled dogs required this year, and attendance reflected that fact!

Cell phone photos.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cat Pals

My preteen kitten and my young adult cat get along very well. Here is just a sample of their cuteness together.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas House

This house reliably decorates for every holiday, including Easter and Halloween. But it's Christmas when this home owner really lets loose.

There's so much to this yard--some of my shots didn't turn out very well--so this is just a taste of what's going on here. If you know the neighborhoods of south Kansas City, likely you could find this house.

I do appreciate that among the gifts and Santas and penguins and trees and lights, there's this little nativity scene, tucked away in a quiet spot, kind of like that first Nativity.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sunset, November 28th

I hope you got a chance to see the sunset Sunday night. It was beautiful! It also had staying power...

From the Martin City area of south Kansas City, MO... the UM Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, KS. Most sunsets don't stay good that long!

Photos with the trusty BlackBerry. Some cropping and color, contrast and exposure enhancement done with Windows Photo Gallery, just to make them even better. I could have published them unchanged and they still would have been pretty good!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Need To Visit This Site...

At one time, I lived in a neighborhood full of these wonderful stately three story homes. I lived in the one with the "A" on it in this Google Street View shot, on the third floor. I included the neighbor's house to one side, because it has that wonderful turret thing. The other neighbor's house had a large porch with columns--big round columns. Out the back was a great view of the nearby lake.

Hyperblogal has photos of wonderful Kansas City homes dressed up for the holidays, including houses like these. Please check them out as they are wonderful...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cell Phone Shots

As soon as my birthday money is here, I'll buy a new card for the camera. In the meantime, I've been using the cell phone a lot at events I've gone to. A lot of the time, I wished dearly for the more fine resolution and true zoom of the camera, but, hey, some of the photos are at least interesting, and some, not bad.

Tenth Avenue North concert

Tenth Avenue North concert

Tenth Avenue North concert

Matthew West concert

Sacred Steps 5 K mid point

Sacred Steps 5 K mid point

Sacred Steps 5 K mid point

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Christian music recording artist Matthew West signs autographs after the concert last Saturday night in Kansas City, MO. BlackBerry shot.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Kitten Post

BoyCat and Small Fry. Small Fry was what this slightly fluffy kitten was called for three weeks after I took her in when she was found stray at the McD's at Minor and Holmes. She has a proper name now. She loves the BoyCat and plays with him all the time. He appears to love playing with her, and it has brought out his inner kitten. So cute to watch them play together! She chases his tail and bounces off him regularly.

Deliberate Blurring

Actually the title of the post is misleading in this: I didn't do this deliberately. I wanted to shoot the Ruskin team running out onto the field with a little bit of pan, and I did. But I forgot that I had turned off the flash on the camera, thus slowing the "shutter speed" considerably. Thus a little extra blur, a little flourish on the old time technique known as "panning"--following a moving object in the viewfinder of the camera. Done right, it produces an image with the moving object fairly well focused and the background blurry, thus giving the viewer the impression of the movement of the object.

Cool, huh?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Crook's Worst Nightmare

If you are a bad guy trying to get away from the police, there are two sounds you don't want to hear:
Strange sounding words followed by barking and the sound of pounding paws as the police dog comes to get you.

The chop-chop sound of the police helicopter overhead.

The Kansas City Police Department demo'ed both these crime fighting tools at the Red Bridge Festival today. I hope you were out and about in this very special weather for October. The weather geeks on KSHB reminded us it was 55 and rainy last year at this time!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


At the end of the football game at Center Friday night, after the last Smith Cotton pass fell incomplete and the game was won, there was this wonderful celebration that took me by surprise. I grabbed the camera and "shot from the hip."

As I considered the scene before me, my eye was drawn to a Center coach talking to two players. As I framed the shot, he embraced the two young men...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Leading Worship

I thought this was a pretty good photo of COR's Minister of Contemporary Worship Lance Winkler leading worship Sunday evening.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

City Hall 2

More black and white photos from the recent trip to City Hall...

The floor in the first floor lobby area.

An ornate water fountain. Does this not just scream Art Deco?

Elevator doors on the second floor. Three different patterns. Here's one side.

Middle elevator.

The other side. Not every elevator door in the 28 story building is this ornate; the first and second floor feature these thematic designs.

Friday, September 10, 2010

City Hall

Kansas City, Missouri's City Hall was built in the late 1930s, with all sorts of Art Deco frou frou. When it was finished, color film was still pretty uncommon. For some reason, City Hall just begs to be photographed in black and white. Here is just one of several cool photos of the inside of City Hall that I took on Thursday.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

More Ruskin-Park Hill Football Action

Park Hill pass. The receiver on this short screen type pass is just out of frame to the left.

Ruskin score! Note the celebration to the right--wish I had him all the way in the frame. The ball carrier is partially concealed in the group of five players to the right.

Remember: Clicky on photos to embiggen--use the back button to return.

Ruskin vs. Park Hill

Photog's note: Because District Stadium is oriented north/south, the sun sets right over the visitor's stands. Thus pictures are best taken from the visitor's side. Since this is a photo blog and not the rah-rah sports blog, I'm posting the best from my trips to the grid iron, regardless of who is pictured.

A Park Hill coach works with his players while cheerleaders lead the crowd in cheers.

Fumble! Actually a muffed punt by Park Hill. Ruskin eventually recovered the errant pigskin (just to the ref's left in this shot), leading to a score and one of the few bright spots for the Eagles in this game.

Pregame prayer. Three Park Hill players have a quiet time.


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How much to reveal? There are some nutty people out there! Leave it to say right now that I am well educated, a person of the Christian faith, and never without an opinion.