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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Guest Blogger ~ Jay Stafford

I am so happy to have Jay Stafford contributing to the Eastcreek Photography Blog! Jay is an incredibly talented photographer and someone that I not only consider one of my best friends, but he's someone that I truly admire! He's always there to support me in everything that I do (or attempt to do) and he knows when to just give me a swift kick in the butt!
Many Thanks Jay!
I love ya!

Howdy Folks!
Tina asked me to help her out with her blog while she's busy doing cartwheels over the initial success of her recently published, first book "Letters From Alcatraz". Glad to do it Tina...YOU GO GIRL!!!
First off, I'm a shutterbug with 40+ years' passion for photography. In fact, that's how I got to know Tina. We met on websites like Classmates and Facebook, started discussing photography and oooh'ing and aah'ing each other's photo's. Although I've done some paying gigs like weddings, events and portraits and had some stuff in a couple of books and newspapers, I'm not a professional...just a guy with a camera having a lotta fun!
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." I'm sure you've all heard that and, if you look up the definition of "Subjective", you will see it's an adjective meaning an opinion, not impartial or literal, but personal. Those two things really hit home with me at a recent meeting of my photo club. At each meeting several of the members submit slides or digital photos to be critiqued by professional photographers, gallery owners and managers and college-level photography professors. Those folks really know their stuff and can teach amateurs a great deal about what makes a great photograph and the techniques required to take it. The thing is, no two critiquers agree! One meeting we'll have someone who loves to crop the shot in real tight on the subject. The next meeting we'll have a guy who wants lots of "breathing space" around a subject. I'd love to get them all together in one room and watch the fur fly!
At our last meeting the theme was "Sunsets." Great! I just happened to have some sunset photos I'm really proud of and which got lots of oooh's and aah's from close friends, Facebook friends and fellow club members. I'm including three of them here. Okay, here I am in the meeting ready for the applause which, I was convinced, my masterpieces would receive. Well, apparently the critiquer didn't agree. He hated the shot of the Monterey Peninsula/Highway 1 at dusk. He said it was "too busy" and was actually three shots: the peninsula, the highway and the pond in the foreground. Okaaaay, well he'll love the next one of the seagull flying in front of the sunset! Uhhh...NOPE! He said the seagull looked like a stuffed bird hanging on a fishing line. The sunset's okay, but the surf and shore are ugly! Oh wow, I thought as I picked myself up off the floor and climbed back into my seat. Yep...climbed...'cuz by that time I was only one-inch tall! Fearful of how he was gonna trash my next offering, I peeked out between my fingers at the dog/sunset photo on the screen. "Well..." he says... "'s not something I would photograph, but...I like it!!!" I must have passed out for a brief moment 'cuz when I came to he was throwing another body jab with a comment that the dog looks like she's being electrocuted!
Bottom line...I really have learned a lot from critiquers ad I think my photography has improved greatly as a result. What I need to work on is not to take their harsh criticism of my "babies" personally. For you shutterbugs out happy and thankful for those who like your work and be gracious and learn from those who don't...even if ya wanna strangle the sumbitches! Know what I mean?
Respectfully submitted,
Jay Stafford
Photo's copyright 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Photo Contests -

Check it out Shutterbugs! Another contest to enter! Your photo may win $$$ or even get published!

Monday, February 15, 2010

"Letters" Winner Announced!

Congratulations to Crystal McVey! Crystal is the winner of a signed copy of "Letters From Alcatraz" set to be released within the next 7-10 days! Thanks to everyone that entered their email address into the drawing!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


This is the image of the children that FB removed from my photo album, because they felt it was inappropriate. The second image is what I see on my FB home page on a daily basis, and what has been posted on my wall more than 15 times. The second image is posted by FB members and they get these images through a FB app.
Is it just me or does anyone else find this confusing?

Facebook WARNING

"I haven't uploaded anything that could even be remotely considered to be offensive. Nor have I uploaded anything that involves nudity or attacks a group or individual.
However, I find it interesting that my home page is covered with people posting pics of nude women on a daily basis, and that's okay. I also find it interesting that groups are all over FB that have the 'F' word in their title.
I don't see how that corresponds with your policy. What about the children that use FB? They see this foul language on a constant basis, not to mention the nude photo's that people post from the app's that FB allows on their site.
I also find it interesting that I received this email just hours after I reported an individual that has been sending me explicit, disgusting messages. Yet, I see that he is still a member!
I enjoy your site and I would never post anything that might offend others. If I have, I apologize, and I would like to know (or see) what it is that I posted.
Thank you,
Tina Westbrook

From: Facebook
Sent: Sun, February 14, 2010 2:22:12 AM
Subject: Facebook Warning


You uploaded a photo that violates our Terms of Use, and this photo has been removed. Facebook does not allow photos that attack an individual or group, or that contain nudity, drug use, violence, or other violations of the Terms of Use. These policies are designed to ensure Facebook remains a safe, secure and trusted environment for all users, including the many children who use the site.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can visit our FAQ page at

The Facebook Team"

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dinner's Ready ~

Every year, just a few weeks before Christmas, I attend an Arts & Crafts festival that's held way out in the country at Homestead Hollow. One of the highlights is the food! For those of you that know me, you know I like food! There's just something about a cool, crisp day, and the smell of a fire burning that makes me hungry! And, Homestead never fails to serve up a variety of homestyle dishes! Cooked outside over a fire, you will find huge pots filled with corn on the cob, butterbeans, pinto beans, and turnip greens. And, just a short stroll from this country feast is a place where you can get a fried pie! The chocolate are my favorite and if the truth be known, I actually make the two hour drive every year with the vision of those fried pies dancing in my head! Mmmm...Country living! Does it get any better?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Gerry Daniel ~

As the release date for Letters From Alcatraz draws closer I find myself excited and nervous all at the same time. On one hand time seems to be moving slowly and on the other hand it seems to be flying by! When I think that it was only a little more than a month ago that I signed with Trafford Publishing, yet the book is scheduled to be released in a few short weeks, I'm dumbfounded. I'm anxious to get the book out there, but then I realize that I'm putting a piece of myself out there!
This week I was able to move to the next stage of this process and visit the location where the release party will be held! We have chosen Wildflower Wax & Boutique as our party location! Although not the "traditional" place one would normally think to have a book release party, I feel this is the perfect location! Wildflower is a quaint, relaxing and warm environment that exudes charm. The shop is owned by Dave & Jennifer Rankin and they have the ability to do what very few business owners seem to have the capability of doing these days; they treat all that enter their shop as friends.
Gerry Daniel photographed the shop and it is his photo's that I am posting today. Gerry has signed on as my photographer for all events related to Letters From Alcatraz. He is an extremely talented photographer and has the ability to take a normally mundane object and turn it into something phenomenal! I would encourage all photography fans to check his work out! He has a new web site and you can find him at: