20170422: What to do to Increase Creative Abilities…


The other day I was asked a question, “What can I do to increase my Creative abilities?”

A little while later, someone else asked a similar question, “My creativity is at ZERO. What can I do about it?”

This list is the answer.

In 59 years of life I have never run out of Creative Juice, sure I can be stumped as to what to do. Or the pen sitting not moving in my hands. The keyboard motionless & quiet under my hands….

But I always follow these rules and have found and answer!

Cameras, canvases, paper, inventions, problems in business, every time words, paintings, drawing, photographs & even silly posters are all born from these simple rules!

Enjoy and have fun doing that Creative whatever You Like to Do!

Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2017

20170315: My FIRST Adobe After Effects Creation! So close to what I wanted!

video at the bottom!

20170315 9 Fathoms video screenshot

OK, I started to study ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS in January 2017. I had a conversation with a person about doing a music video. I got a vision of what I wanted to do.

This is the DEMO release of it. I need to go back and adjust the timing of some images and smooth out some motions & transitions.

However, this is about 90% plus of that vision in action. Totally self training here, I have no one to confer with on this. YouTube has supplied me with the training videos and MY own get in there and PLAY around, trial & re-try attempts after attempts….

Enjoy the show folks!


All video artwork copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2017

Youtube link: https://youtu.be/l5gKIbbroak


20170114: Making Planets!

planet two A

Still doing the “fun & games” playing with the design process, but having fun designing some planets for a video project now in discussions.

And diving DEEPER into the video editing world… oh my, my… too child like Loving to learn.

Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2017

20161108 A CHALLENGE to the “Flat Earth people”…


Big Meadow star trails, stacked/layered Photoshop file of 120 continuous frames. All photos by me, all work in stacking by me…. Using a Canon 16-35mm “L” wide angle lens. At $2000 for the lens, no it did not bend the image. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography.

ALSO ALL “FLAT EARTH” PEOPLE, Please explain the the result of Earth’s rotation on weather patterns and ocean currents. The Coriolis effect makes storms swirl clockwise in the Southern hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. SINCE ANY HUMAN BEING can cross the equator and observe water GOING DOWN ANY KIND OF DRAIN TO WITNESS THIS EFFECT… THERE IS NO GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACY! I 1st crossed the equator in 1969, as a young boy, loved the fact that flushing the toilet or draining a sink, the water turned in the opposite DIRECTION of my California home’s drains. I was in the South Pacific, not a USA country.


OK, so a few photographer posts about flat earth and claims the Moon is not real because of the light on it is so flat looking.
I posted a comment about Soft box verses Hard light. He never responded to that, but claimed I was brainwashed in school into believing the moon is real.


Dark side of the Moon, Venus, Mars, Joshua Tree N.P. Notice that uneven light on the dark side as the area closer to the reflection of Earth on it. Some can bet attributed to the over spill of the bright crescent, but not ALL.
So here is some simple challenges to prove the earth has to be round and Photographs BY ME, to show my challenge and the laws of a sphere!



Big Meadow in down below in this photograph. Several MILLION DOLLARS in “fake stars” to let me catch both of the angles in this Cantrell Road shot and Big Meadow shot if a “Flat Earth” existed.
First off, the DUE EAST Big Meadows star trails shot, it also happened on a DUE WEST Cantrell shot.
This a a layered photograph of 120 or so consecutive frames, there for NO LENS BEND CAN OCCUR to cause the curves the stars are moving. The stars move in opposite curves in the north & south. A totally expected action of a sphere. There are at least a 1000 such photographs being taken EVERY NIGHT AROUND THE WORLD.
That can only happen in a sphere. or in a SINGLE PLACE where all the “FAKE LIGHTS” are arranged to fall just right.

Bristlecone Pine Forest campground. With setting moon. I woke up at 3:30am. Saw the Moon setting and set up the camera. Again 150 or so consecutive frames. NO lens bend can OCCUR. The circle is the North Star in the center. The glow on the clouds is from the Moon as it set, notice the UNEVEN light on the sky. I did a little light painting for the plants, and climbed back into my tent 3 feet away. 120-150 frames.

Now, to explain the reason I said a SINGLE PLACE is simple, any PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER OR SERIOUS panorama photographer knows of PARALLAX ISSUES


the effect whereby the position or direction of an object appears to differ when viewed from different positions, e.g., through the viewfinder and the lens of a camera.
  • the angular amount of parallax in a particular case, especially that of a star viewed from different points in the earth’s orbit.

and uses a Panorama head on their tripod. They have spent time figuring out WHERE THE CAMERA HAS TO BE WITH EACH LENS THEY MAY USE. Because few millimeters count big time. So if you are to shoot star trails and have a flat earth with everyone believing “A Conspiracy lie of Sphere Earth”, you have to adjust every single camera to view from just the right angle, the right place. No 2 places would be the same. The “fake stars” would NOT line up.big-meadow-pano-1_mg_2046-_mg_2053_fb

Big Meadows panorama, taken same night of the star trails photo at the start of this post.
Sure you can turn in a circle and shot your frames and let the computer do it’s job, but the errors are VISUALLY SEEN by any professional graphic/photographer/artist.
THEREFORE, no one can set up the STAR TRAILS for Due East and Due West for every single photographer on the planet in the same day let alone in the same year. And HOW does the “Fake Stars ceiling make northern star bend North while at the same time the southern stars bend South and the middle stars go straight and NO VISUAL MISTAKES? Even Hollywood uses tons of computer graphics power and TIME to clean up stuff in movies. You can’t cover thousands of photographers all over the USA in a single night, let alone the world.


Notice that THIS TREE IS IN THE PANORAMA. Big Meadow, another star trails NE direction.

A flat earth, If I am 100 miles from where some one else shoots the “fake stars” simply will not line up. Physics folks.

5 miles away, back in camp, I shot this Panorama of the stars.


I can compare this pano to the Big Meadow pano and those stars will line up hours later in a different position. A sphere does MAKE THAT POSSIBLE, a “flat earth” does not!
Don’t believe me, fine go to a stadium with a moving roof. Set up wide angle cameras at the 50 yard line, the 2 goal lines, and in the seats of each end zone.
You don’t even need lights, just have each camera set to shoot the same number of frames at the same rate of speed, and whatever it correct exposure would be. Have the roof open, have the roof close.
Compare a layered photograph of each camera and those angles of the roof. The structural members of the roof do NOT LINE UP THE EXACT SAME WAY. The angles of the roof are different and the “in the seats end zone are extremely different angles from the 50 YARD line. Again, simple Physical evidence a Fat earth can not exist. THAT ANY ONE CAN PROVE TO THEMSELVES.


North Star star trails, Joshua tree.


North Star star trails with light painting, same night as the other one, moved several 1000 ft west of the other shot.


West facing star trails, same night as the North Star star trails photos above. I use 2 cameras or more in a single night. That straight line is an airplane passing over head.
Since I have shot stars in Arizona and 2-3 days later have been in northern Nevada, doing the same thing, the COST to adjust all the those “fake stars” just for me would be in the hundreds of Millions of dollars for any standard movie set! I have traveled 500-600 miles north latitude and 100-150 miles west longitude.

You can NOT re-position “fake star” LIGHTS  till you know my EXACT LOCATION. Which I can choose on the last second.

A perceived site is no good and I move on. An unexpected site is suddenly there and I stop for the night. If the adjustments are off by a mile, the error would be too hard NOT FOR ME TO SEE!
Simple Physics of doing the Reality Check!

My drive back out of a location I found in the middle of the NOWHERE. As you can see no one came up that road, driving or walking.


I shot this light painted old car at the end of the road & below, this mine shaft Full Moon rising, light painting shot.


Since I work alone a lot, how the heck would some government know when and where to set up the “Fake Roof of a Flat Earth”
Since the USA government has threatened to kill me for being a “whistle blower”, why would they let me expose the “fake roof” or so SPEND BILLIONS to make me believe I was doing some thing normal if they would rather I was dead.

Specially if it cost Millions of Dollars to finance the lie and a dollar for a bullet.

I am in the middle of nowhere folks no one would heard the gun and any military sniper worth a shit can drop a person 1000 yards away, so they don’t even have to warn me or get close enough to talk to me.

Just kill me and walk away the buzzards and ants will take care of the body.


Shot this photo on the road out, for the “other world” effects I would later add. Yeah, a secret society would spend BILLIONS TRACKING ME….



Yosemite Star trails, took this in the evening, red glow on trees is from the campfire, and processed it in the morning for my friends who’s land it was I stayed with. No government got in there. Southwestern direction. Notice curve flattens out as it moves to the right or north side of the sphere.

Why waste the time. The USA or Secret Society would kill me. Not spend Billions of dollars tracking me across thousands of miles in case I decided to shot a star trails photograph and be ready on a moments notice. Nor do they any reason to access my camera & computer to do the files manually to make it seem it I made it happen, because I am known to do the stars trails & panos in the field on my laptop. Yeah, I get up check my cameras & put the cards, load the frames and during breakfast look at me results.


Southern Nevada, I shot this and 3 days later was north of Mono Lake, north movement of 400-500 miles folks in a straight line. And possible 200+ miles westward direction as the crow flies. I was on the road for 10 days & 1700 miles.


Mono lake a few days after the Super Moon Eclipse shot.

A Eclipse that I would personally talk to 40 or more people, all levels of photographers about what they shot in whatever part of the WORLD they were in. Flat earth debunked again, millions of places on the planet, a 1/4 to 1/2 of the saw AND SHOT the same types of images… can’t be done on a “Flat Earth”, your violate Parallax laws.

I also shot with Sierra Club Camera Camera Committee in Southern California, we went out with 10-20 members doing shooting night skies. You going to tell me some secret group came changed 20 different MAKES & MODELS of cameras to every different perspective of each camera in a single night and not a one of many who like me nap at our cameras never noticed a mistake.

I shoot 2 cameras or more some times at the same time, 2 different views. Yeah right, my Australian shooting partner for over 2 years would jump in the night  if a mouse broke a leaf near his tent. I had a snoring problem for a while.

I had to put my tent 20 ft or more from him. Many a night in the desert he never slept good, coyotes would howl on the distant hills. They got mean ass snakes in Australia, Black Mombas. It will scare you good to see a snake come from 20 ft away to get after you.
Sorry “FLAT EARTH PEOPLE” your story can NOT BE PROVEN!
Even if all star trails photos looked like my north star point camera shots you still lose out to parallax, the center can’t be over the same place on a flat earth, because a 100 miles of travel would move you out of line and you would have an oval light shape like one sees looking at a spinning record and shining a light on it from the side. You would NEVER HAVE THE SOUTH BENDING STARS.


Pacific coast line, Jamala Beach.

If you have ever been on a boat at sea, you know that the ship does not go off in a straight line till so tiny you can’t see it. If you have a powerful enough telescope or camera, you will see the hull get lower and lower til you can’t see it. It has gone below the horizon.  And disappears below the horizon regardless of the power of your scope/lens. Again NO FLAT EARTH CAN DO THAT. I have a few thousand miles on oceans liners, and a few thousand more on private boats. Again the cost of “fake horizons” would be too much to continue for any length of time when you are talking of millions of boats and ships on the waters of the planet every day.
So if I alone have shot in so many places, the same kind of star trails and star shots, and shooting stars. Plus panoramas and landscape shots from 10,000 to 14,000 ft in elevation of horizons and every time I get what I see.


Bristlecone Pine forest, 11,000 ft elevation, shooting star & “Famous dead Bristlecone trees”. I with a group of 20 photographers, and we had maybe another 20-30 photographers coming and going through the as we did our light painting of these trees.


Same night opposite side and the camera on the other side getting the shooting stars. Milky Way, Southern view.
Like this Inspirational poster, 11,000 feet up and several hundred miles of view.

Or this photo of myself taken because of the curve of this dry lake bed was plain to me and I loved it! My camera saw what I saw, not A BENT $2000 LENS photo. Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 “L” has a very low lens distortion of ANY LENS ON THE MARKET! “L” is PROFESSIONAL QUALITY!




20161107: My World, Creativity!


I am Artist. I create.

In answer to Cee’s “Share your world”, I am a creative person always have been.

As far as I am concerned always will be!

If nothing else, I inspire others to create their dreams, by creating something thought provoking for them.

Thanks Cee & Happy Birthday Too!


20161029: Cee’s “Looking thru a Window” B/W Photo challenge.


TITLE: Emerging. Full moon rising. (Original is color, for Cee this is B/W)

Taken from a mining entrance several 100 feet up a mountain side I then grabbed my gear and went down to my campsite where and old car was waiting for my light painting fun.

Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2015


Coffee with a view, Thermos Brand Stainless Steel French Press and Night Photography

acient tree like by light with Milky Way in background.

Ancient Bristlecone Pine, lit by blue light painting, the Milky Way contrasting in the sky. Being here under a sky like this I desire a Good cup of coffee! 9,000ft up in the White Mountains of Southeastern California. Some of the oldest living plants on Earth. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2015

Been chasing the night skies since the 1970’s……..

A bit older, but still feeling like a kid……digital media age is just starting!

The tools and creative fun of my past coupled with the new digital cameras and digital process to make prints.

A good photograph or any work of art should be taken in slowly, enjoyed like a mellow cup of fine coffee (or tea), and savor the flavors of the moment that was captured by the vision of the photographer/artist.

Which brings us to my story of the Thermos Brand Stainless Steel French Press and camping out.

Now, I know that lots of people when they go backpacking, they just take instant coffee and that is that.

Me, I have never liked the powder taste. In a pinch I’ll drink it, but camp coffee, a No. 10 tin can, cup of grounds and water is better.

I drink Expresso, Turkish, Armenian, to name a few, so, nope the grounds don’t bother me that much.

But a nice cup, free of grounds for the most part is better still.

When most people celebrate a victory, they use champagne. Me, It’s a Fine cup of Coffee!

I have been going camping over the past few years and it is a bit of an issue to have a decent cup of my Peet’s Coffee.

I’m getting older, so yep, I want to relax once in a while on photo sites. When you get up before the sun and come back a few hours later for breakfast, you want to relax and enjoy the cup of coffee with your surrounding.

My photographer buddy Clive, car camps and backpacks with me and we are planning some longer backpacks into the Yosemite and Kings Canyon area. We are both active Angeles Chapter Sierra Club Camera Committee members, going on outings and meetings regularly.

So I need to have just one simple coffee maker for backpacking and car camping that makes enough coffee that 2 people get a cup of Hot coffee.  I use a brand of coffee, a bit less known, but a major coffee House,

Peet’s Coffee, as the story was told to me in 1983, is the company that roasted and sold coffee in Berkeley California, who had a few employees leave and become STARBUCKS!


Peet’s Coffee is about the coffee bean, and Starbucks is More about all that sugar and flavors, in my opinion. Bean to Bean, I take Peet’s! I do drink at Starbucks from time to time. Me, I’ll take a nice coffee, hot or iced, just the beans, no added flavor.

But back to the camping, night photography and making coffee.

people hving breakfast at Trona Pinacles, Mojave

At camp in Trona Pinacles, Mojave CA, with Clive, (facing camera) and a client. The Thermos Stainless Steel French Press, stove and tea pot are on the table. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography

I’ve tried a few different coffee makers,

There are many ways to make coffee when camping,

  1. No.10 tin can – camp coffee, prospector’s coffee – throw grounds in water and boil. Let sit a few minutes for grounds to settle. If you have had Eastern European coffees, Expresso, you get the idea.
  2. Various cloth tea bag type filters – awkward and you hike with the wet bag to deal with ALL THE TIME. One cup at a time, coffee cold too often by time brewed. Or you are standing there wet filter in one hand, cup in the other and trying find some place to set the wet cloth bag, so you can get your plastic bag to put it in. Fresh grounds, a la nature.
  3. Plastic filter holder and filters like Melita – either too small, one cup at a time or too big to carry backpacking. Again often cold before you get to sit down and enjoy the coffee. A couple collapse-able out there, I don’t want to deal with one folding down on my hand. Worked in restaurants.
  4. Instant coffee……
  5. Percolator coffee pots – OK, but I prefer the single pass flavor of drip.
  6. French Presses – my JetBoil cooking system has a little French Press kit. It does a ok job after a few uses, but means I can’t cook anything else with it’s one pot set. (extras are $50 ea.) Glass French Presses won’t last long around me for camping and backpacking, but Thermos made a Stainless Steel French Press.

So as you can see, pretty much the same story, too bulky to carry backpacking and easy to break,

or, makes one cup of coffee at a time and is so slow the coffee is cold by the time it finishes brewing.

Campmor.com has a Thermos Brand Stainless Steel French Press coffee pot. Which I had been looking at. I just knew it would NOT be light enough to carry backpacking.

I got have room for camera gear!!!! Everything else is the support of my creative moments with the camera.

Thermos brand french press, travel cup, thermos, MSR stove, Peet's Coffee

Coffee Loving Night Photographer’s, Coffee kit for car camping and backpacking. Thermos Brand Stainless Steel 1qt French Press, Thermos stainless steel travel cup, Thermos Stainless Steel 1qt thermos, MSR Whisperlite Universal stove, MSR 1qt tea pot and Peet’s Coffees. It’s coffee time at a rest stop near Mono Lake. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2015

Clive and I do a lot of car camping, carrying lights and equipment for night light painting. So I figured OK,  car camping we can have decent coffee if this thing works.

I have my Thermos brand Stainless Steel thermos and we can go out to shoot sunset for a few hours, come back and have some quick food, warm up some more coffee and go shoot the Milky Way or do light painting till 2 am. So yes, I know of Thermos from personal use.

I bought it.

The Thermos brand Stainless Steel French Press,

Thermos Stainless steel French Press for camping

Thermos Stainless Steel French Press for camping. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography

Stainlees steel Thermos brand French Press.

Thermos Stainless Steel French Press. After a year or so of use. Simple, well thought out. Copyright Vanderhoof photography 2015

The Thermos® Brand Stainless Steel French Press,


At 1.8 lbs, I figured it would never go backpacking, but as Clive will tell you. I will carry a lot of gear car camping so I have some options when the weather changes or we can’t get to the spot we wanted. What is another 2 lbs.

As you can see the Thermos® Brand Stainless Steel French Press is very utilitarian, smooth rounded corners. Simple all metal design, standard french press. In the bottom side and interior shot you can see a little of the thickness of the walls of the double stainless steel chamber.

The handle is a bit large and gets in the way during packing. However, a gloved hand will welcome the extra size. I work on my patience when packing.

The press is a plastic lid and the button on the press rod. The rest is stainless steel. Solid course threads help you keep the screen snug. Yet easy to remove. The screen is heavy enough to withstand many pots of coffee and adjusting the screen after cleaning. It will remain in place and not get bent up easy, letting grounds passed. Mine is over a year old.

Campmor.com site has the product info saying that Thermos French Press will keep coffee hot for 6 hrs. Well maybe it’s a new version, but my Thermos French Press does NOT have any kind of special seal on the top and is just a single layer of plastic. I would say an hour or 2 at best.

BUT when everyone else does Not come close, not a problem.

The matte black finish of the plastic handles the abuse very well, and does not become slippery when wet. The Stainless steel is 18/8 so you have good quality material.

The photos you see in the exploded view of the Thermos® Brand Stainless Steel French Press has a battle scar or 2 in the photos. Otherwise, out of the camping box, wiped off and shot, (with a camera 🙂 )

The 1 quart capacity is the same as my  Thermos® Brand Stainless Steel Thermos, so it makes one thermos full at a time very nice. I can make a pot for us and then put on another pot for the thermos. My MSR tea pot is 1 quart also. K.I.S.S.

That is why I changed to the MSR Whisperlite Universal. The burner collapses down small, but it is wide enough for a 7 or 8 inch pot. Standard backpacking mess kits. And it still has an inside stable area when some one wants to heat their food in a tin can. Uses the Isobutane/Propane fuel canisters, (special note in minute about the fitting!!!!) or white gas/unleaded gas, or kerosene. A few minutes changing fuel jets and connections, and ALMOST anywhere in the world, I can find fuel. SPECIAL NOTE: MSR is aware of the issue of the screw fitting for the Isobutane/propane cans stripping out. I carry a few extras, $5 or so each. I first thought is was the canisters, BE VERY CAREFUL ATTACHING THE CANISTERS. MSR will replace the piece, just send it to them and they will send a new one, call first for a RMA. Once it started I was still able to use the connector for a few more trips, (till I figured it out, duh!).

With a 1qt tea pot, I put water on first, then we either both use my stove for our meals, it takes 5 or s0 minutes to boil a quart of water and meals are ready in minutes too.

However, because we are running around getting gear together, coffee and food sit for a while.

Our cups of coffee if made hot, sitting in camping cups, still cools off.

Yes, I have a Thermos Brand Stainless Steel Travel cup too. I have had it keep my coffee hot for 8 hours sitting on my backpack in the night air. Note to Thermos and everyone else, there is no easy way to know where the drink holes are. I put a piece of gaffer’s tape on 1 side to note where the hole is. The tape is rough enough to feel in the dark and easy to see while driving. Saves a lot of coffee from going down the side of my face. The button also is very hard to know if the valve is open or shut. I freaking will hold the cup out and try to pour out, spilling hot coffee on one’s self is never fun. And the button is not trust-able. Be Aware!

but we were so use to cold coffee……..

we came over for that first cup of coffee from the Thermos® Brand Stainless Steel French Press, poured our cups.

Took our fist sips,

And burned our tongues………

That coffee was still hot and I knew it had been 20-30 minutes since I poured the water.

I now heat the water to less than boiling on coffee for our cups and will boil it for the thermos.


When I go go backpacking, all my gear is being re-decided, the Thermos Brand Stainless Steel French Press is Going!!!!

Yes! I love Coffee! And will make some sacrifice…..

I may put the press parts inside and hang the pot by the handle outside, but it is going backpacking.


yes, but I love my photography/ art much more,

truck with light painting at Trona Pinacles

Truck set up at Trona, coffee gear by rear wheel of truck, canopy was up more for shade during day. Note I lit the rocks up, light painting for the shot. Milky Way in the sky. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2015


and the finished shot of that night,

Milky way in sky with light painting on Trona Pinacles rocks.

Light painting in Trona Pinacles with Milky Way. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2015

Sometimes I even get to walk out my studio door with my cup of Peet’s Coffee and shoot something,

Lunar ring with branches of joshua tree in forground

Lunar ring and Joshua Tree. Pearblossom Calif. Copyright Vanderhoof Photography 2015

So now you know the old man’s secret to staying out there deep in the middle of nowhere with a Great cup of Peet’s Coffee.

SPECIAL NOTE: This page is being created to go on the site of Nick Usbourne’s CoffeeDetective.com website, if I do it well enough. I am a student in his instructional Money Making Website program. I kind of get to give the instructor and apple…..he doesn’t have a camping COFFEE section on his site yet.

Creative Shooting,

Let me know what you think.

Ask some questions. I will be announcing some upcoming workshops including a very special by reservation only Ghost Town workshop.