365 2/52 Update by BIlly Sauerland

Week two, its been some work to get into the habit of shooting everyday for this project. I am not a photographer that has work shooting everyday, and sometimes it can be a little stretch between shoots. But one of the things I am wanting to accomplish with this project is to initiate the process of creating images that I want to share everyday. That will in someway spark conversation or at the very least make someone go, Hmmm. Hopefully this week I’ve accomplished that. I know there are a couple of images that I’ve gotten some feed back on.

#6 1/6/2019

Surface of the Arkansas River, I love the undulating colors, dark tones and highlights. When I shoot something like this or a field of flowers or wheat. I usually like to get low, or at a sharp angle to the surface so I can isolate elements with a shallow depth of field. Yet still have the out of focus elements still contribute to the over all composition by adding their tone and texture. #365 #365project #dothework #goanddo #liveyourpassion #tulsaok #oklahoma #arkansasriver

Surface of the Arkansas River, I love the undulating colors, dark tones and highlights. When I shoot something like this or a field of flowers or wheat. I usually like to get low, or at a sharp angle to the surface so I can isolate elements with a shallow depth of field. Yet still have the out of focus elements still contribute to the over all composition by adding their tone and texture. #365 #365project #dothework #goanddo #liveyourpassion #tulsaok #oklahoma #arkansasriver

#7 1/7/2019

Refraction, light you take it where you can find it. No matter what you can find an image to create/capture.  #365  #365project   #dothework   #goanddo   #liveyourpassion

Refraction, light you take it where you can find it. No matter what you can find an image to create/capture. #365#365project #dothework #goanddo #liveyourpassion

#8 1/8/2019

The Pearl district has grown a lot the last few of weeks. This a view up 6th street towards downtown Tulsa. #365 #365project #pearldistrict #tulsaok #travelok #oklahoma #dothework #goanddo #liveyourpassion

The Pearl district has grown a lot the last few of weeks. This a view up 6th street towards downtown Tulsa. #365 #365project #pearldistrict #tulsaok #travelok #oklahoma #dothework #goanddo #liveyourpassion

#9 1/9/2019

A breeding pair of mallard ducks, or I assume they are mating since they were together and wherever the female went the male went as well. I had gone down to Centennial Park, during lunch, at 6th and Peoria in Tulsa. To see if I could find anything to photograph for today’s image. I got pretty lucky I think, so I spent sometime shooting them as they wondered around this pool of water just above a waterfall. #365 #365project #dothework #goanddo #liveyourpassion #tulsaok #travelok #oklahoma #mallard #mallardducks #urban #urbanpark #citypark #tulsapearldistrict

A breeding pair of mallard ducks, or I assume they are mating since they were together and wherever the female went the male went as well. I had gone down to Centennial Park, during lunch, at 6th and Peoria in Tulsa. To see if I could find anything to photograph for today’s image. I got pretty lucky I think, so I spent sometime shooting them as they wondered around this pool of water just above a waterfall. #365 #365project #dothework #goanddo #liveyourpassion #tulsaok #travelok #oklahoma #mallard #mallardducks #urban #urbanpark #citypark #tulsapearldistrict

#10 1/10/2019

Gathering Tunnels, I was driving down riverside thinking of something to photograph for today’s image when I came to the Gathering Place, I thought of the tunnels and the shot I’ve been wanting to do since it opened. So got to the parking lot and began to get my camera bag out, that’s when I remembered I didn’t grab my tripod this morning. I’ll make it work I thought, use the rail on the bridge for support. So after making my way to the pedestrian bridge that crosses between the two tunnels, I got my camera out and started to compose my shots. It was pretty cold, and I was worried about camera shake. I was shivering so my hands were shaking a bit, but I think I was able to make it work anyway. The real issue was the traffic. It wasn’t consistent or easily timed. I would go back and forth from one side to the other, capturing both front and rear lights. I tried a few in the middle, but I wasn't really happy with the way the trees were so prominent in the shot. After working the composition for a while and getting a good amount of exposures of the scene I called it good. #365 #365project #dothework #goanddo #liveyourpassion #gatheringplace #riverparks #riverside #carlights #lighttrails #nightlights #citypark #urbanpark #park #tulsaok #travelok

Gathering Tunnels, I was driving down riverside thinking of something to photograph for today’s image when I came to the Gathering Place, I thought of the tunnels and the shot I’ve been wanting to do since it opened. So got to the parking lot and began to get my camera bag out, that’s when I remembered I didn’t grab my tripod this morning. I’ll make it work I thought, use the rail on the bridge for support. So after making my way to the pedestrian bridge that crosses between the two tunnels, I got my camera out and started to compose my shots. It was pretty cold, and I was worried about camera shake. I was shivering so my hands were shaking a bit, but I think I was able to make it work anyway. The real issue was the traffic. It wasn’t consistent or easily timed. I would go back and forth from one side to the other, capturing both front and rear lights. I tried a few in the middle, but I wasn't really happy with the way the trees were so prominent in the shot. After working the composition for a while and getting a good amount of exposures of the scene I called it good. #365 #365project #dothework #goanddo #liveyourpassion #gatheringplace #riverparks #riverside #carlights #lighttrails #nightlights #citypark #urbanpark #park #tulsaok #travelok

#11 1/11/2019

Tulsa Rain, a cold and wet day. #365 #365project #dothework #goanddo #liveyourpassion #tulsaok #travelok #rainyday

Tulsa Rain, a cold and wet day. #365 #365project #dothework #goanddo #liveyourpassion #tulsaok #travelok #rainyday

#12 1/12/2019

Right Place, putting things in their right place. Like calling things by their right name. Not just the silverware in the silverware draw, linen in the linen closet, or the car in the garage but rather one priority over another. Sure making money is important, but if we can not breathe, or if we can not eat the food, or if we can not drink the water, then we can not live to spend the money. That may seem overly simplistic, and sure in a way it is, but in a way it is that simple. I guess it comes down to prospective and seeing things in a way that makes it simple and more manageable. #365 #365project #dothework #goanddo #piveyourpassion #tulsaok #travelok #arkansasriver #westside #plants #wildlife #outside #getoutside #winter

Right Place, putting things in their right place. Like calling things by their right name. Not just the silverware in the silverware draw, linen in the linen closet, or the car in the garage but rather one priority over another. Sure making money is important, but if we can not breathe, or if we can not eat the food, or if we can not drink the water, then we can not live to spend the money. That may seem overly simplistic, and sure in a way it is, but in a way it is that simple. I guess it comes down to prospective and seeing things in a way that makes it simple and more manageable. #365 #365project #dothework #goanddo #piveyourpassion #tulsaok #travelok #arkansasriver #westside #plants #wildlife #outside #getoutside #winter

365 1/52 Update by BIlly Sauerland

As mentioned in a previous post I began a 365 Project, one photo each day, no real criteria other than take, edit and post one image every day. Thats it, simple and to the point.

Every Saturday, probably evening, I will be posting a weekly update for that week’s 365 images. The first week of 2019 was a short week therefore there are only five images in the first update. These images are not meant to be great works of art by any means, but rather the product of a creative exercise. I hope the images I create and post, will not only show my world in a creative and interesting way, but also help me improve my craft as a photographer. No matter how good you get, not that I am all that good, you can always improve.

#1 1/1/2019

Gathering Place, I found these mirrored slats in an area with some other interactive elements. It was a cold first day of the year, staying in the twenties with a good breeze.  #dothework  #goanddo   #liveyourpassion   #365  #365project   #gatheringplace   #tulsaok  #travelok   #oklahoma

Gathering Place, I found these mirrored slats in an area with some other interactive elements. It was a cold first day of the year, staying in the twenties with a good breeze. #dothework#goanddo #liveyourpassion #365#365project #gatheringplace #tulsaok#travelok #oklahoma

#2 1/2/2019

Christmas Tree lights on riverside. I had been busy and occupied at work and family stuff for most of the day. Before leaving my mom’s place I had started to think about what I might find to photograph and where I might be able to go. I had made my way over and headed down Riverside Dr. and remembered these Christmas trees at the 41st St. parking area. After working on different compositions I finally settled on the this motion blur of the light on one of the trees. Cold and wet, winter weather advisory tonight.  #dothework   #goanddo  #liveyourpassion   #365   #365project  #gatheringplace   #tulsaok   #travelok  #oklahoma

Christmas Tree lights on riverside. I had been busy and occupied at work and family stuff for most of the day. Before leaving my mom’s place I had started to think about what I might find to photograph and where I might be able to go. I had made my way over and headed down Riverside Dr. and remembered these Christmas trees at the 41st St. parking area. After working on different compositions I finally settled on the this motion blur of the light on one of the trees. Cold and wet, winter weather advisory tonight. #dothework #goanddo#liveyourpassion #365 #365project#gatheringplace #tulsaok #travelok#oklahoma

#3 1/3/2019

Sparks, I kept the thought of needing to find an image for today in the back of my head as I went through my day. After lunch I was working on a project in the shop at work when I saw something different. I was using a grinder on a project and there you have it, grinder sparks. Perfect! The best camera is the one on you, that is true. Stay open for an image, you never know when you are going to stumble upon one. #dothework #goanddo #liveyourpassion

Sparks, I kept the thought of needing to find an image for today in the back of my head as I went through my day. After lunch I was working on a project in the shop at work when I saw something different. I was using a grinder on a project and there you have it, grinder sparks. Perfect! The best camera is the one on you, that is true. Stay open for an image, you never know when you are going to stumble upon one. #dothework #goanddo #liveyourpassion

#4 1/4/2019

Tulsa night lights, getting the shot, well kinda. I needed a wider angle lens but I think it works anyhow. I’ve been thinking of this for a while. Inspired by another local photographer. And yes it was cold, a bit breezy and my knees took a beating crouching down.  #dothework   #goanddo   #liveyourpassion   #365   #365project   #nikon

Tulsa night lights, getting the shot, well kinda. I needed a wider angle lens but I think it works anyhow. I’ve been thinking of this for a while. Inspired by another local photographer. And yes it was cold, a bit breezy and my knees took a beating crouching down. #dothework #goanddo #liveyourpassion #365 #365project #nikon

#5 1/5/2019

The Phil Tower is one of my favorite buildings in downtown Tulsa,  #365   #365project   #tulsaok   #oklahoma   #travelok   #architecture   #artdeco   #bluesky

The Phil Tower is one of my favorite buildings in downtown Tulsa, #365 #365project #tulsaok #oklahoma #travelok #architecture #artdeco #bluesky

Projects, Big and small. by BIlly Sauerland

Slabs of granite, mounted in a way that turns them into a giant Xylophone. The tones created were awesome and low.

Slabs of granite, mounted in a way that turns them into a giant Xylophone. The tones created were awesome and low.

New project, 365 Photography Project. A 365 Project is a photography project, you take one photo each day for a year on a subject of your choosing and share it with the world.

So, Why do it?
Taking a photo each day can be a big undertaking, however the payoffs and the sense of achievement at the end are great. Taking photos every day will improve your photography skills, there's no doubt about it, using your camera so much will help to remind you about lighting, composition. Forcing yourself to come up with new ideas and helping to inspire you to look at things differently and reimagine your composition and thoughts about the next image.

So if you decide to embark on a 365 project, which I hope you do, remember to start out slow, don’t get over whelmed with feeling the pressure from having to create a new image everyday.

I’m not really giving myself criteria to follow other than to take, edit and share an image everyday this year, thats it, simple and to the point.

365 Project: #1 : 1/1/2019

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Gathering Place, I found these mirrored slats in an area with some other interactive elements. #dothework #goanddo #liveyourpassion #365 #365project #gatheringplace #tulsaok #travelok #oklahoma

Click here to visit my 365 gallery page.

The tags, what's up with the tags #dothework #goanddo #liveyourpassion by BIlly Sauerland

“Waking Forest” A view of the forest just below Glacier Point, along Four Mile Trail the day after the road to Glacier Point opened in Yosemite. The clouds in the trees moving in and out as if the forest was breathing, the disheveled look of the forest as if it had just lifted its head from a pillow after a long sleep.

“Waking Forest” A view of the forest just below Glacier Point, along Four Mile Trail the day after the road to Glacier Point opened in Yosemite. The clouds in the trees moving in and out as if the forest was breathing, the disheveled look of the forest as if it had just lifted its head from a pillow after a long sleep.

You may have noticed some hashtags that I use on a regular basis. #dothework #goanddo #liveyourpassion These tags are not merely random and meaningless words, to me they actually really mean a lot. Over time, they have developed into a kind of mantra that expresses the how and why of my photography.

#dothework : To do the work to continually grow and improve my craft and skill as a photographer and storyteller. Doing the work to educate myself not only on the technical aspects but all so to refine my aesthetic, to grow as an artist.

#goanddo : To go and do the work of creating and sharing the images and stories that represent the issues that are most important to me, and to try to inspire others to care a bit more about them, and maybe to even take action towards improving their little piece of the world.

#liveyourpassion : To always move forward, to continually push towards a better life to share and show this beautiful world through my images. And to hopefully inspire someone to action, to help protect this beautiful, fragile yet resilient world that we live in. To ultimately live a life of purpose and passion.

These are the things I try to live through my photography. Do I succeed all the time, no. Will I make mistakes and fail, yes. But I will learn from those mistakes. I will the next day try again, and again, and again until one day I do succeed. One day I do make a difference, however small of an impact, but I will move the needle forward.

Urgh, that got a little heavy, I also don’t like to take myself too seriously. Don’t forget to sprinkle a little snark in there for fun. Because, why else are we doing all of this.

Swan Taking Flight, Oxley Nature Center, Tulsa, OK. #goanddo #dothework #liveyourpassion

Swan Taking Flight, Oxley Nature Center, Tulsa, OK. #goanddo #dothework #liveyourpassion

Lupine, one of my favorite flowers. by BIlly Sauerland

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Lupine are one of my favorite flowers. This image was captured on a walk on Mud Lake Loop trail, a three mile loop through Stanislaus National Forest going around Evergreen at Yosemite Lodge. It links Evergreen Road to Mather, just outside of the Hetch Hetchy entrance to Yosemite National Park.


Details matter.

…not always better, but always different.


Getting down low and capturing something in a rarely seen way. Showing and bringing things to light in a new way, not always better but always different. That can be very difficult, finding different ways of doing something, trying not to repeat yourself, well at least not repeat yourself too often. Sometimes all it takes is to give yourself time, to stop and look around and be patient with yourself and the place you are in. In this way, photography for me can be a very meditative practice. Slowing yourself, calming your pace and allowing yourself to catch your breathe. Focussing on what you are doing and being purposeful with your actions.

The Store is now OPEN! by BIlly Sauerland

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The store on Billy Sauerland Photography is now OPEN! Yay!

I’ve opened the store with a few items and I’m adding new items regularly. Such as a new line of gift card sets that feature my photography of course as well as custom printing for home decor items such as posters, wall hangings and more.

So make sure to sign up for the newsletter to receive updates about not only the store but about all things BillySPhoto.

"How did you light these..." by BIlly Sauerland

Niki, Destiny, Kieth

Niki, Destiny, Kieth

I was asked about the lighting setup on a few portraits that I had shared in a FB post. The person asking was a design instructor I had in college. I thought it was neat and a little surprised that he asked, especially since he is a photographer as well. Responded that I would message him the layouts of the lighting setup.

I’ve been needing to put together a post, so I figured thats what I’ll do. So here are a couple lighting setups for some portraits that I do.

The first setup is for close up shots. I am a huge fan of Martin Schoeller, and I love his close up portrait work. I have watched a few different interviews with him as well have seen some behind the scenes videos of a few of his shoots. Seeing how he works, albeit remotely and without any real instruction, I have assimilated an approximation of his lighting setup and techniques. For the longest time the only light modifiers that I had were two 24” soft boxes. With that as a starting point I worked out a setup to begin to create images in that style. Just like any creative endeavor you copy to learn then grow your own through practice, then hopefully mastery of your craft.

Here is the layout I used for my close-up portraits.

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It’s pretty simple and basic, but thats how I like to keep things. I’m a big fan of the “KISS” method, “keep it simple stupid.”

The second setup is even simpler. I am also a huge fan of Rembrandt, and of course Rembrandt lighting. That little triangle of light on the cheek along with a nice transition from light to dark as the light trails off around the subject’s head makes me happy. Yeah, I do geek out over lighting sometimes.

Here is a simple setup, for single light portraits and one way I get that lovely little triangle.

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Basic, simple, thats how I roll, well kinda. Keeping things slightly askew and using the idea of 3/4 views and 45* angles is a great place to start. Just like the rule of thirds, try starting with your light at diagonal angles from your subject.

All of this of course is just a starting point, nothing is ever set in stone. Spend time playing with new ideas and techniques to build and improve your craft.

For more portraits, visit my People gallery.

Nexttime, “How did you edit these…”

Being mindful of the details... by BIlly Sauerland

Bees  are awesome, so be kind to the pollinators.

Bees are awesome, so be kind to the pollinators.

Spent some time outside today, I've been needing that for a while. Here in Tulsa, OK we are privileged to have such a great park, Oxley Nature Center. Its a wonderful place to spend time in the woods.

Usually when I come out here, I have a tendency to try and capture the bigger image, to give context although I try to pay attention to the details. This time I actually did focus on the details, I slowed down and took my time.

Pollinator population declines and conservation.

Pollinators provide a key ecosystem service vital to the maintenance of both wild and agricultural plant communities. In 1999 the Convention on Biological Diversity issued the São Paulo Declaration on Pollinators, recognizing the critical role that these species play in supporting and maintaining terrestrial productivity as well as the survival challenges they face due to anthropogenic change. Today pollinators are considered to be in a state of decline, some species, such as Franklin’s bumble bee (Bombus franklini) have been red-listed and are in danger of extinction. Although managed bee hives are increasing worldwide, these can not compensate for the loss of wild pollinators in many locations.

Declines in the health and population of pollinators pose what could be a significant threat to the integrity of biodiversity, to global food webs, and to human health. At least 80% of our world's crop species require pollination to set seed. An estimated one out of every three bites of food comes to us through the work of animal pollinators. The quality of pollinator service has declined over time and this had led to concerns that pollination will be less resistant to extinction in the future. (section from  Pollinator-Decline)

We can help and heres how, Million Pollinator Garden Network 

Beatles, pollinate too, like these Soldier Beetles. Its so important to try and protect all of our indigenous wildlife. All life flora and fauna fill a niche, even mosquitoes.

Spiders are our friends too. Spiders like this Orb-Weaver Spider do a great job at helping to maintain and regulate other insect populations. Just like a variety of Bat and Bird species.

Out at Oxley Nature Center, there is a lot of water. Either Sherry Lake, Eagle Creek, marsh areas and canals. While hiking along a canal leading from Sherry Lake to the High Line Trail, I found this Shortnose Gar chilling in the water and slowly heading the same direction as I was.

Whenever I visit Oxley Nature Center I usually see deer. Not always in the most advantageous to get a photo, but will usually see one or eight. This time I came across the Whitetail fawn, just hanging out feeding on some low lying greens and leaves.

Its not just about the animals and insects, there are moments when you just need to stop and breathe. And when you do, you slow down, and you really begin to notice the details, the little things that usually go unseen and unappreciated. The thistle pods were leftovers from the lunch of forest inhabitant. I almost missed them on the side of the trail the way they blended in with the rest of the litter on the forest floor. The reflections in the water bedding up on the lily pad hides amongst the hundreds of other pads in various stages of decline as we head into early fall.