Essays and Insights

Musings, thoughts, short essays, where the words are at least as important as the photos.

The Gut
Over the summer months, I have been treated to images from one of my photographer friends Russ Higgins. One area, in particular, is a conservation area known as The Gut, named after a 230-metre long, 30-metre deep gorge on the Crowe River. It's about an hour from the cottage to the turnoff that leads to the Gut, which is somewhat near Apsley, Ontario.
September, 2020
Outward Bound - A Sunrise Photo Shoot for Stock
This article talks about a recent sunrise photoshoot I did to build up my AdobeStock portfolio.
August, 2020
Spark Photo Festival 2020
As all Spark Photo Festival events have been postponed until the fall, I thought I would share my planned collection of prints here on Behance. This virtual gallery is here for you to enjoy, and if you are interested in purchasing a traditional framed print, or an image printed on canvas or metal, please reach out to me at  As always, comments are welcome.
March, 2020
Being Creative in the New Normal
More than ever, it's important to consider your personal mental health. It's important to take breaks away from your computer screen. Why not use one of those breaks to visually explore the familiar? Stretch your mind and your creative eye using your smartphone? Read on for some tips on being creative at home.
March, 2020
Webcam and Lighting Tips for Remote Workers
You’ve been asked to work from home amid - oh let’s say - a serious global health crisis. This includes limiting or eliminating your business travel and in-person meetings with customers or suppliers. But you still have to run your business as effectively as possible. Welcome to Telecommuting and more specifically, virtual meetings and conferences. This guide is designed to help you get the most out of your teleconferencing webcam experience, without breaking the bank in the process. I initially wrote this short guide at the request of my manager, to assist those new to web conferencing (or perhaps not new but indulging in bad habits) how to make the most out of their webcam presence in a conference, without blowing the budget.
March, 2020
Go Tell it on the Mountain
I recently travelled to Lehi, Utah for a team meeting and brought along my new Olympus EM5 Mark III to field-test it. I bought this camera specifically for travel purposes, where I didn't feel there was a need to carry my larger and heavier Nikon D750. I shot indoors and out, in bright light and low light and often high contrast scenes. This is a somewhat technical review, so for those who are more used to just viewing my work and (hopefully) enjoying the story I add to the project, please forgive me. Soon, I'll be back to a more storytelling mode.
March, 2020
New Year, New Camera
While on a recent photo walk in Red Rock Canyon with work friends, it became clear to me that it was time to look for a replacement for my tiny Lumix GF7, by travel camera of the last few years. This project walks through the why's and my process in selecting a new travel camera.
January, 2020
The Excellent Adventure 13
This is the 13th year of the Excellent Adventure. We've been to many places over those years, camping, cottaging and the like, everywhere from Lake Superior Provincial Park, to Newfoundland, to California wine country and the Kawarthas in Ontario. Regardless of the location (which have all been fantastic experiences), it's the fellowship and camaraderie of the group that makes each trip so successful and leaves us yearning for the next adventure. We have such fun, laugh all week and share thoughts and ideas about pretty much anything that comes to mind.
August, 2019
Adobe MAX 2019 - Vignettes
Once again, I had the privilege of attending and participating in Adobe MAX. With approximately 15,000 attendees, it's got to be one of the largest creative-focused events of its kind. There is so much excitement and energy at MAX each and every year.
November, 2019
Adobe Stock in Education
Stock imagery has become an essential part of visual communication in design and in businesses large and small, used in everything from company websites and advertising, to financial reports and mobile applications. It’s affordable and can help bring just the right image into a communication piece. Four years ago, Adobe introduced a new service, Adobe Stock, to our customers, giving them access to millions of high-quality visual assets, instantly. From a commercial perspective, Adobe Stock has been very successful. You might wonder how can Stock content can fuel university digital literacy initiatives. Well, read on through the Spark Page essay below and see for yourself how important quality imagery can be when more impactful communication is critical.
November, 2019
I Shoot Horses, Don't I?
The second weekend in June brought gorgeous weather, and the annual Kawartha Regional Appaloosa Horse Club (KRAHC) summer horse show. I spent the weekend photographing the event in Bethany, Ontario. Check out my story and photos from the event.
June, 2018
What a Rush!
Recently, I participated in a video training workshop at Adobe in San Jose CA, geared towards making us more comfortable not just with video-editing software, but also the process of making videos. All the Digital Media Solutions Consultants (SCs) and Customer Success Managers (CSMs) took part in this training. Hands down, this training was one of the most relevant and effective uses of my professional development time, to date, at Adobe. Let's face it, to the novice, creating videos can be quite intimidating. But this 2-day workshop opened my eyes to the creative possibilities of video.
January, 2019
Getting Schooled at Penn State
It was an information-packed three days at Penn State, with the undisputed star of the event, Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom Evangelist Julieanne Kost, sharing tips, tricks, insights and inspiration with faculty, students, staff, as well as me and a couple of my colleagues from Adobe
September, 2018
Assault on the Fortress of Moderate Solitude
The 12th annual Excellent Adventure happened in early August. As is my practice, I've put together a Spark Page with lots of photos and commentary about the trip. Feel free to scroll through the page here or you can get the full screen experience. 
August, 2018
I am a Rock
Photographing a chain of rocks near my cottage is something I do on a regular basis. Like photography in general, I find it relaxing, but to me, this set of boulders is also iconic of my cottage experience.
May, 2018
Creative Campus at Clemson University
Once again, I had the distinct honour and privilege of participating in Adobe's latest Creative Campus event, this time on location at Clemson University in South Carolina.
May, 2018
What is a Photograph?
While recently touring an Ansel Adams exhibit at the University of Arizona, I was struck by the concept that there is no such thing as the "final" image. Read on in this Spark Page story to learn why.
March, 2018
Photography and the Zen of Seeing
This ad-hoc, irregularly updated journal is where I’ll put down some thoughts - and not a few photographs - throughout the month of my sabbatical.
September, 2017
Excellent Adventure V.11 - Return to Cali
I've just recently returned from yet another successful Excellent Adventure, now in its 11th year. I'm telling most of my story using Adobe Spark in this project.
August, 2017
Creative Campus Collaboration at the University of Utah
June, 2017
Horsing Around - Again
This past weekend, my wife and I once again had the opportunity to attend the Kawartha Regional Appaloosa Horse Club (KRAHC) annual show, hosted at the beautiful Saddlewood Equestrian Centre, in Bethany Ontario. Normally, I do take pictures at these events for fun, because, well, horses are just plain gorgeous animals, and this event would have been no different, save for one significant change. This year, the club hired me to take photos at the event.
June, 2017
Taking Stock at Full Sail University
I recently participated in a two-day student workshop at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida, created and run by the Adobe Stock team. This was an incredibly valuable event from both student and teacher perspectives, giving them not only theory and practical advice about creating stock content in general, but also in practice, in the form of a hands-on live photo shoot on-location in Florida.
May, 2017
Creative Campus Collaboration at UNC Chapel Hill
I had yet another awesome opportunity in early April. I and my Solutions Consultant colleagues were once again invited to attend the latest Adobe Creative Campus Collaboration event, this time hosted by University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. I've become the defacto offficial photographer for this event (and many other Adobe-related events I attend), and I'm OK with that. I like shooting the events - it keeps me grounded and in practice. I also enjoy the rest of the process: post-processing them images and writing the story to go with the images.
April, 2017
Digital Me - Assignment 3 - Logo
The past week was packed with travel for work, so I did not have the time to create a new logo for myself. However, I did go through this exercise just over a year ago (maybe longer) and I did still have all the original files. I decided to try creating the social media logos using just mobile tools.
April, 2017
Many faces of Jim
As part of an Adobe Generation Professional (AGP) course I'm taking, I was asked to shoot or upload a headshot I would use as part of my personal brand. The first shown here is one I captured, and then edited using Instagram. I've also included a few others, most of which were not captured by me, but represent aspects of my character. The current course I'm enrolled in is called Digital Me: Digital Portfolios, Assessment & Employability.
June, 2014
Creating a killer resume
While perhaps not a "killer resume", this new version is miles ahead of my old MS Word version. Producing an updated resume is the second assignment for the Adobe Generation Professional course, Digital Me. I go into detail on my process for creating the resume in my Learning Journal, so I won't repeat myself too much here.
March, 2017
Collaborating on a Creative Campus model
Thursday February 23 was a special day for me; I had my first opportunity to experience a Creative Campus event. Over 40 faculty and administrators gathered together at the University of Arizona to listen and share about what Digital Fluency means, define student and faculty success, and how Adobe tools can further empower people to create, communicate and be successful.
February, 2017
The Ghost Ship of Jordan Harbour
Recently i had the opportunity to photograph this shipwreck, which sits in Jordan Harbour, south of the QEW. I've passed this hulk many times miles while enroute to Niagara wine country, but never had the time to stop and make photos. On my way early Sunday morning to the Canada/US border, I promised myself I would stop on my way home to capture this decrepit structure.
February, 2017
On Adobe, Change, and Customer Success
The 2017 theme for the Adobe Worldwide Sales Conference (WWSC) was Customer Success: Own It! I think this is perhaps the most apropos mantra/slogan/catchphrase that has ever been used at the WWSC, at least in my 5 years of attending the event. Read on to see the event from my perspective.
December, 2016
Adobe MAX 2016 - 5 Days of Awesome!
I had the honour once again of being asked to participate in Adobe MAX, and it was to be an event-filled week for me. While I did not have "booth duties" this year in the Community Pavilion, I was by no means slacking off. Read on to learn more.
November, 2016
Education - Chicago Style!
Recently, the team I work with at Adobe met in Chicago for some group training on Adobe's Digital Marketing products and the sales cycle of these products. It was the first time in nearly a year that we'd met as a team and we were all looking forward to it.
September, 2016
The Excellent Adventure, V10 - Back to Superior
For 10 years now, I've been fortunate to travel with my good friend, Tom Green, and others, for a truly amazing time. We've been to the AMerican West Coast and the Canadian East Coast, but most often, we find ourselves camping in or near Lake Superior Provincial Park. Read on to learn about the latest Excellent Adventure
August, 2016
Downtown Santa Fe
This summer, I had the first-time privilege of participating in Adobe's Photo Educators Summit. Now in its tenth year, the summit moves around the U.S. This time, much to my delight, the event was held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a place I had never been.
August, 2016
A Three Hour Tour
This past Sunday, we had the opportunity to travel a small part of the 386 km Trent-Severn waterway, including a ride up Lock 21, the world's largest (and oldest) hydraulic lift lock. Opened on July 9, 1904, it leaves a dramatic and lasting impression on Peterborough's landscape.
June, 2016
Adobe - 5 Years and Counting...
I’m hitting a milestone in the next few days; May 24 marks my fifth anniversary of working at Adobe, as a Solutions Consultant on the Enterprise Education Sales team. As you might have noticed from my last post, I’ve been in somewhat of a reflective mood, recently. Perhaps it’s this 5-year mark that has brought it on; perhaps it’s a confluence of the anniversary and other things. Regardless though, I’ve definitely been thinking about my personal history of late, and about my personal future.
May, 2016
The Creative Drive
I catch myself musing at times, what created this drive inside me? The one that must be fed with a regular diet of imagery? I find myself reflecting on this creature inside me, and recognize its always been there, in one form or another.
May, 2016
New Lens - New Perspective
I recently made a couple purchases for my Panasonic Lumix GF7 camera. One of those purchases was a very cool lens, the Samyang 7.5mm fisheye lens. Read on to learn more about my first expereinces with this new addition.
April, 2016
Decompressing at Rouge Beach Park
It had been a fairly stressful work week, where I was mainly glued to my office chair. Sure, I was able to get out and run a few errands, attend a meeting, but it was one of rare weeks where work - and things about work - consumed most of my thinking, and not always in a positive fashion. So, by the weekend, I was in critical need of some "me time". And in my case, me time generally means me and my camera. Join me on my walk along the Rouge Beach.
April, 2016
Canadian Canoe Museum
On Saturday of Family Day weekend, we decided to visit the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario. Little did we know just how much of an impact the canoe had on the growth and settlement of Canada.
February, 2016
Social Media Imagery with Adobe Post
A few months ago, Adobe released a new and free mobile app called Adobe Post. Simply put, Adobe Post is a fun and fast way for anyone (and I mean anyone) to create stunning social graphics. You pick a photo, add text, and apply some design filters to instantly create beautiful designs. 
February, 2016
Wild, wild horses...
Our friends, Liz and Doug, owners of Mileham Show Horses, recently invited us up for dinner, and to meet the newest addition to their stable, a pretty little filly named Eve.
January, 2016
Lumix GF7 test #2
While weather and work have conspired to keep me indoors and or unmotivated to get out an shoot over the last several days, yesterday I forced myself to go out, even for only an hour, to make more images with the Lumix. Heavy overcast meant higher ISO's for the most part. I was also shooting manual exposure and manual focus (a bit of trick with no focus ring), all managed using the touch screen/view screen on the camera. I also wanted to see how well it held up to close focusing, and the weekly game night I attend with some friends gave me a chance to test out that as well.
January, 2016
Christmas at Elmhirst Resort
Christmas in the not-so Great White North.
January, 2016
New Year, New Camera
Just after Christmas, gift card at my side, I checked out the Henry's web site to see what sort of Boxing Week sales they had for a compact camera. What follows is my experience so far with the Panasonic Lumix GF7, a Micro 4/3 format camera that I'm testing out.
January, 2016
Adobe - it's about more than pretty pictures
Each year, Adobe brings together over 4,000 of its worldwide sales team for a week of analysis and celebration of the year behind us, and seminars and training to prepare us for the year coming. It's an opportunity for what is largely a force of remote workers to network with colleagues and share stories, inspiration catch up with each other. What follows are my images and thoughts of both the event, and the company.
December, 2015
MAXimum Impressions
October, 2015
Same image, 7 years apart
August, 2014
Before and After - Revisited
September, 2014
Olde-Skool multi exposure
February, 2015
What Does Behance Mean to Me?
March, 2015
Adobe Education Exchange Professional Development
March, 2015
March, 2015
From the Mind's Eye
June, 2015
What I did for my Summer Vacation
July, 2015
AEL Summit at Asilomar
July, 2015
New camera, new possibilities
July, 2015
Farmville for Real's
August, 2015
Back to Top