Burning Man had been at the top of my bucket list for years. After a year of grueling research, planning, bad luck, and in the end, good luck, it actually happened. In addition to the obvious reasons for wanting to go, I was hell-bent on making the most amazing images of my life while on the playa. I had a detailed list of shots that I wanted for various projects. As you can probably guess, based on the title of this article, all did not go as planned.
 I have returned from my second trip to Photoshop World, and had a great time, just as I did the first time. The experience is overwhelming and exhausting… but in a good way. I got up at 7am every day, packed my brain full of as much Photoshop and photography goodness as it could hold, networked, asked questions, checked out the expo, attended an evening event, and then stumbled to my room and passed out at midnight.
 You don’t realize how much “gear” you accumulate as a photographer until you put it all in a big pile on your kitchen table. That is exactly what I did with the gear that I use to create the images in my Light in Dark Places collection (and the number of items has grown, as you may notice after reading this earlier post.
 Merrill Beth Nisker, a.k.a. Peaches, is a musical warrior. I have been a fan of hers ever since I heard her song-that-shall-not-be-named from one of my all time favorite movies, Lost in Translation. She sings, raps, and spins her own beats on stage, while also changing in-out of crazy costumes and spraying champagne on the crowd.
 I used to play chess online a lot. Like, a lot a lot. So much so, that I labeled myself as "having a problem" with it, intervened with myself, and quit cold turkey. I was pretty good at the opening and end games, but I always struggled with the middle game. And this is where I find myself with my photography, drifting through the elusive yet all-important middle game.
 First of all, thank you to everyone who came out to the show! I had a great time, made new friends, found some new resources, and received valuable and encouraging input from everyone that I talked to. And a special thank you and congratulations to Stephen and Kirk, the winners of my raffle! They each won a 16x20" aluminum print from my collection. I was humbled by their enthusiasm and appreciate after winning. I heard a rumor that Stephen is hanging his copy of Drones in an all-yellow-painted hallway… which, sounds awesome.
 Why do I do it? I've already admitted that the creation process is difficult for me, stressful, and even painful, so there must be a good reason, right? I get asked this question loosely, from time to time, but I don't know that I've been asked this question directly.
 We've all been there. It's summer time, hotter that you-know-what outside, a week into your summer break, and dad "asks" you to help with a small project around the house. The next thing you know, you're hammering nails into 2x4's and fetching tools for hours on end, instead of riding your bike off sweet jumps with your friends.
 It took me a while to find photography. I've always been interested in the arts, though (when I was little, I drew robots, lots of robots). I didn't go to art school, and up until 6 years ago never owned anything more than a point-and-shoot camera. For my first 3 semesters in college, I actually thought I wanted to be a computer scientist (wow, was that a F-A-I-L). There are moments, especially when I see some younger, hot-shot photographer tearing it up...