Peter Krough's 2005 version of "The DAM Book"

Not damn, but DAM, as in digital asset management. From the early years during the transition to digital I was fortunate to work around a lot of smart people who really understood workflow and asset management, and even today, I still take pride in my digital workflows even though my asset management could use a bit of refinement.

I bring this up because I was watching TWIT Photo and the guest was Peter Krough who literally wrote "The DAM Book." I didn't recognize the name immediately and actually put off watching the episode for a few days. When I finally got around to watching and realized he was the author (I really only needed to look over at my book shelf to see the 2005 version), I started to pay closer attention.

However, instead of learning more about DAM, like so many photographers today, Peter's willingness to share all kinds of information via his blog and through sites like and is what had me paying close attention. The Lightroom tutorial on is simply amazing and the first time I began to understand the library module and how asset management works within this program. So many tutorials I've watched skipped over this part and spent most of the time in the develop module, so it was refreshing to hear someone go into such depth on what for me was the real barrier to using Lightroom.

I love learning new things and challenging myself to change, even when what I've been doing still works. And even if most of what I do daily can be accomplished in previous software versions of Photoshop and Lightroom, it sure is easier and faster to get great results in the newest versions.

Check out Peter's site and the other sites mentioned above, but most of all, get off you DAM ass!


HDR photograph of Owl's Head lighthouse in Maine.
High Dynamic Range (HDR) photograph taken during a family vacation to Maine during the winter. This was the first vacation that I remember where I specifically wanted to take photographs as part of the experience.
For many years taking pictures has been my job. That's not to say I didn't like being a photographer, in fact I loved it, and still do, however over time I came to realize that the only work I had to show was related to the job. And while I am proud of that work and still get excited to see my photos in print, I had stopped taking images for the fun of it. Very little personal photography.

When someone would discover I was a photographer they would invariably ask what I liked to take pictures of, or where they could see my work and until recently the best I could offer was a website that hadn't been updated in nine years or maybe tell them to do a Google search on my name plus Navy and they would see some examples.

So what changed? What has me excited about personal photography again? Why am I blogging and tweeting again, posting photos on Flickr, 500px, and Google+? The answer isn't simple, but I do know it has something to do with the web and more specifically the incredible photographers, some young and some recognizable, out there who are sharing their work and techniques everywhere, mostly on the sites I mentioned above, but also through their blogs and videos on YouTube.

HDR photograph from the rafters of the Museum of the U.S. Navy.
Experimenting with HDR at the Museum of the U.S. Navy located at the Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.
This didn't happen overnight and it's been kind of a slow return. I really started getting excited about the time that High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography was coming on the scene and I stumbled across Trey Ratcliff's site. Trey's incredible images and willingness to share how he made them had me trying HDR techniques myself and I was hooked. It was fun to try something new. But more than that, blogs and web TV from Scott Kelby and the Photoshop guys, podcasts from Leo Laporte and the TWIT network, all had me itching to get back out there.

Joe Macnally of National Geographic and small strobe fame along with David Hobby from had me actually looking forward to taking environmental portraits at work again.

All this isn't really new I guess, I've been following photographers like Rob Galbraith, Dave Black and others on the web for a long time. I suppose it all just hit the tipping point and I'm glad.

So thanks to all those photographers who are so willing to share and make it easy to feel as if I'm surrounded by friends with the ability to share work, discuss work and for the inspiration to dust off my website and blog.

After 28 years in the business it really is nice to feel so inspired again.