Tag Archives: db walton

Shoot-n-Play 2016

Shoot-n-Play 2016

We had our Shoot-n-Play 2016 today.  It has been a LONG time since I hosted one.  (A shoot-n-play is where models and photographers get together and do a big group shoot.)


Four models, three photographers and a makeup artist converged upon the Beckwith Mansion and Estate.  For 6 hours models posed, photographers photographed, and the makeup artist did hair and makeup.  The results are rewarding.

copyright 2016 db walton

Model Angela and Photographer Paul Bardotz

Palmyra Photographic Workshops

Part of my business, photography by db walton llc, is educating other photographers and models.  Working together in this manner is a learning experience by itself.  Consequently, it is fun too.

Photographers have hired me to teach them about posing.  To do this, we contract with a model.  While it is easier to work with a model, many new models are like working with off-the-street clients.

Mark’s Pizza

Paul Bardotz, the guy I’m going with on Route 66, and I went to Mark’s Pizzeria to video a sample promo.  The promo is about Route 31 and Mark’s Pizzeria, however we will also use this to promote our Route 66 tour.  The hard part will be pulling it together.  I am not a video guy.

Eye Doctor

Eye Doctor

Elizabethe had her eye doctor appointment today.  Macular Degeneration is a terrible thing, and I cannot imagine getting a shot in the eye.  And, because it impacts her vision, someone has to drive her there and back.  Well, today’s appointment went longer than normal.  As a result I missed one of my meetings.

Fine Art by DB

I spent the time between her appointment and our temple shift working on www.FineArtbyDB.com.  I hope to have it completed by 5/15/2016 so I can go live with the new site.  (The old site still functions, but the new one will be more reliable.)

The work on the web site is tedious.  It involves linking every single image to the site that does my order fulfillment.  (They host the site currently, but they seem to have dropped support for custom sites, and so I figure I’ll take it over and host it on my hosting service where if something breaks, I can fix it.)

The next step will be to make sure every picture has a recommend frame and mat displayed.  Right now, a large number are displayed as small sizes with white mat and a black frame.  Yawn!  Boring!

Here’s an example of how I plan to display each one:

copyright 2016 db walton - eye doctor

Winter Flower at www.fineartbydb.com

That way, customers get an idea of how that picture could look hanging on their wall and fit in to the color scheme of the room.  Of course, they are ALL customizable!  You can change the frame, size, matting, colors, glazing, etc.

Here’s another example:

copyright 2016 db walton - eye doctor

Three Peppers


Fitting a Dress

Fitting a Dress

Elizabethe was fitting a dress for a photo shoot on a volunteer model.  She’s looking at it in terms of making a dress she can sell, and I’m looking at it from the standpoint of, “Will that make a great photo?”

copyright 2015 db walton

Painting Featuring Dress by Elizabethe

After the fitting we went to JoAnn’s Fabrics to see if we can find some matching fabric for some of the pieces.  It is amazing how many different “gold” fabrics there are.  Then, try to match a purple!  Or, a blue!  Or even a red!

I got lucky and found a Frankenstein foam head.  This will be fun to use for lighting classes as it is more anotomically shapped than Gray Betty.  (Gray Betty is a foam head I paint gray.  See http://www.dbwalton.com/store/gray-betty/ )

Our model is about 6 feet tall and very slender.  One of the dresses was just not long enough, while the others will need some adjustments.

My goal is to create something that looks like it should be on the cover of a romance novel.



Searching for people to help with some self-assigned photography projects is a difficult task.  When you have something specific in your mind, a vision of the finished product, you want people who look a certain way.  Therein is the difficult part.

There is not a lot of difficulty finding people who want their picture taken, but finding people who look the way you envision things.    Then, once you find someone who might, they might not know how to act in front of the camera.  (If I had a nickel for every young lady who thought they could ‘model’ and could not, I’d be rich.)

Modeling is like acting frozen at 1/125th of a second.  I laugh inside every time I hear someone say, “How could anyone take a bad picture of her?”  Well, if that model can’t deliver a good expression, then yeah, it is hard to get a good picture.  And, if the photographer can’t capture a good expression, the same can be said.

My job is to capture good expressions from ANYONE I photograph, but I digress.

I think it would be fun to post a picture of some random person on my Facebook page and announce, “If you know anyone who looks like this, send them my way.”   I wonder what type of response I would get.

Enough about my frustrations with my self-assignments.

I actually have fun photographing people — no matter what they look like.  My aim is to make them look their absolute best.  Hence, my tag line — Capturing Beauty.  And, I’ve had people tell me, “I don’t like getting my picture taken,” and then after the session they’ve said, “That was fun.  You made getting my picture taken fun.”

copyright 2015 db walton

Self-Assigned Project Image

So, what type of projects do I have going on?

1)  I’ve been working on this one for years.  I’m looking for successful women to have their portraits done wearing a black dress.  The theme is empowered women and everyone is being photographed in a black dress.

2)  Photographs of young adult women wearing dresses my wife has made.

3)  Lips – this is a new one.  I want closeup images of lips with lipstick with creative colors and/or designs.  Model(s) have to have nice teeth and lips and good complexion.

4) Steampunk – male or female, if you have a good steampunk outfit and look, call me.

5) Film noir – yes, that 1940s look in black and white.

Author D. Brent Walton is a Certified Professional Photographer and Photographic Craftsman.  He and his wife own the Beckwith Mansion where his studio is also located.  photography by db walton llc specializes in portraiture, but not your usual portraiture.  While his studio does traditional portraits, he also specializes in portraits that are unique, bold and artistic.  To schedule a consultation (free) and receive an estimate for a portrait session, call (315) 226-3292.

So You Know

So You Know

This falls under the category of So You Know.  If you are planning a trip to Palmyra during Hill Cumorah Pageant, this are things you should know.

The Hill Cumorah Pageant runs for 7 days.  This year those days are Friday, 7/10, Saturday, 7/11, Tuesday, 7/14, Wednesday, 7/15, Thursday, 7/16, Friday, 7/17, and Saturday, 7/18.   However, the tech crew is already here, and cast begins to show up this weekend.


Lodging is scarce.  There is one hotel, the Palmyra Inn, and rooms run about $160 to $220 per night.  There are a couple of Bed and Breakfast Inns – The Liberty House and Canaltown B&B.  They run about $100/night (plus or minus) depending on the room.  And then there is us, The Beckwith Mansion.  We run about the same as the B&Bs.

The difference between us and a B&B is this… A B&B feeds you breakfast.  We do not.  However, you may use the kitchen for preparing food, AND you may use our laundry facilities (you must provide your own soap).  While some find breakfast is a nice addition, many of our guest appreciate the included laundry facility use – especially if you have driven some distance or have small children.

New York State Laws limit how many people can stay in a room.  Always inquire as to the legal limit when reserving a room, or tell your host how many people are in your group.  Again, lodging is scarce.


Plan, plan, plan in advance.  This is especially so when it comes to lodging.  We’ve had tourist call begging to sleep on our floor or sofa.  We legally can’t allow that.  While there are campgrounds in the area, you will want to do your research well in advance.

This is NOT a region where you can drive through and find a room always.  This is especially true during Hill Cumorah Pageant.

Also, if you want a family portrait while you are here, that’s my specialty.  (See www.dbwalton.com)  Many families contact me for an outdoor family portrait to remember their trip to Palmyra.  We can go on-location or take the portrait in my studio (located on Main Street in Palmyra, New York.)


copyright 2015 db walton

Family Portrait (Sacred Grove in Background)


When attending pageant, I recommend on the day you attend that you eat at the Rotary/Lions tent.  Those proceeds go to local services.   They usually have BBQ chicken, sausage with onions and peppers, burgers and a few other things.  They also have a regional favorite called “salt potatoes” (they aren’t real salty, it is how they are cooked.)

The other meals I encourage you to visit our Palmyra restaurants.  We don’t have a lot, but the ones near the Book of Mormon Publication site are:  Happiness Garden (Chinese), Mark’s Pizzeria and Nima’s Pizza.  A little further down the road you will find Chill-n-Grill (ice cream, burgers and hot dogs), Acropolis (diner with some Greek dishes), Athena’s (diner – burgers and sandwiches).  Going the other direction you will find Yellow Mills Diner.

Time Commitment & Sightseeing

If you have never been here, and you are coming during pageant, I would budget at least 3 days:

1 day for the pageant and Hill Cumorah and the E.B. Grandin (Book of Mormon Publication site) Building
1 day for the Sacred Grove and to attend the Palmyra Temple (very close to each other)
1 day to see the Peter Whitmer farm and while you’re out that way, visit Sauder’s (a Mennonite store) and drop down and see Watkins Glen (it’s non-church related, but you’ll be glad you saw it.)

copyright 2015 db walton

Watkins Glen State Park

I could give you a list that would keep you busy for TWO WEEKS while staying in Palmyra, but I realize most people don’t want to budget that sort of time to one place.  (Sad, but true.  This place is rich in family adventure stuff.)


I spent the day cleaning my studio and office.  When Elizabethe got home from work it was a trip to the bank to do the deposits, and then dinner at Chili’s.  It has been a busy day.



I just realized.  Yesterday I stopped at Taco Bell for a taco, today I stopped at Moe’s.  I must have tacos on the brain.

Moe’s is one of the very few fast-food places in New York where you can get a decent burrito.  By decent I mean pinto beans, not black beans, I mean slow cooked, pulled pork, not ground mystery meat, and salsa that tastes right.  (Who puts vinegar in salsa?  Not Mexicans, that’s for sure.)

I had a Chamber of Commerce meeting, followed by a networking meeting, followed by taking Elizabethe to the airport today.  What a busy day.  I was worn out by the time I got home.

I managed to paint another door on the door wall.  This one is the yellow door.

copyright 2015 db walton

The Yellow Door is Now Painted

This is one of my photography backdrops.  I have to paint the door on the left (which will be a light green), and add one on the right (which will be cerulean blue).  How cool is that?


I Am Melting

I Am Melting

I can just hear the snow screaming, “I am melting”.  Yes, much of our snow melted today.  The noise it makes when it melts this quickly is strange.

I spent a good portion of my day working on my web stuff.  It is difficult to stay near the top with Google’s search engine rules.  I really dislike what they have done to the Internet search engine world.  While, they saw it as a way to make money, it is kind of underhanded to change the rules as you go along just so you can milk people for money.

If there were standards for all search engines, I think that would be different, and more fair.

Hey, but look at it this way, as soon as they get knocked off their pedestal by another search engine, the game will change.  In fact, I kind of look forward to that day.  Let’s play King of the Hill and see who can knock Google off their throne.

One thing that bugs me is you put in the name of a city and you get businesses that are NOT in that city.  I’m sure some of they pay for that privilege, but from a consumer stand point, it is annoying.  They should have an option box – show this city only!  After all, who wants to search for a restaurant in Palmyra and be shown one in Greece?  Or Buffalo?  When you are hungry, you want to know what is close.

If you haven’t done it lately, check out my work at www.FineArtbyDB.com.  Framed, ready to hang prints delivered right to your door.


My Turn

My Turn

Today was my turn to have some fun.  I drove in to Rochester and took pictures at Artisan Works.  That’s fun.

Speaking of fun…

I recently heard someone say the only thing that is important in life is if you’re having fun.  My reaction, although I didn’t say this, was, “How shallow.”

“Men are that they might have joy,” as it says in the scriptures, does not mean we are here to have fun.  I define joy as inner-peace and happiness.  I define fun as being entertained.  I think there’s a difference.

It is not “fun” having someone run you down in a crosswalk.  But, one can still feel joy in knowing you have friends and family around to help and support you.

It is not “fun” having someone treat you badly or abuse you.  But, you can still feel joy in knowing it isn’t your fault and you have a loving Heavenly Father.

What I did today was “fun”.  Coming home and seeing my wife gave me “joy”.  Had I been locked inside Artisan Works and told I couldn’t leave  for a week might be “fun” for a little while, but once the fun wore off I wouldn’t be experiencing much “joy”.

So, I was out having fun for a couple of hours.  Here’s some of the results…

copyright 2015 db walton

Painter’s Brush Jars

There were several photographers there.  A guy in Rochester posted it as a Meetup Group activity.  Plus, we saved $6 off the admission price.  That made for a nice surprise too.

copyright 2015 db walton


D. Brent Walton, author of this blog, is a Certified Professional Photographer and Photographic Craftsman and owner of photography by db walton llc.  You can see his work at www.dbwalton.com and www.FineArtbyDB.com.  He also teaches workshops.  See www.palmyra-ny.com

Book Now for Pageant 2015

Book Now for Pageant 2015

Book now for Pageant 2015.  It’s only a few months away, but rooms are going quickly.  And, it appears we are already full for the season.  We may not have room, but we know people who do, so feel free to call anyway.

If you have never been to the Hill Cumorah Pageant, it is presented by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It is a large, 600 cast, play about the history of the Book of Mormon.  Some of that ancient history, actually took place on the Hill Cumorah some 1600 years ago.  If you have never seen it, you’ve got to see it.

copyright 2014 db walton

Hill Cumorah Pageant

I realize not everyone can make it here during Pageant Week.  For those who cannot, we offer great accommodations walking distance from many of the church’s historic sites.  In addition, the Finger Lakes area is a beautiful area.  There are so many things to see and do while you visit here.

Those who are interested in photography can sign up for a guided tour/photo day with me – Photographic Craftsman and Certified Professional Photographer, D. Brent Walton (www.dbwalton.com and www.FineArtbyDB.com).  photography by db walton llc offers classes, workshops and one-on-one training.



The Backside

The Backside

We often don’t see the backside of many things.  For example, we don’t see the backside of our own head.  Today, I went looking for the backside of a local landmark.  Why?  Because the church requested a photo of it without any modern structures.

copyright 2014 db walton

The Backside

Although there are a few buildings and a utility pole, I can take those things out through retouching.  Without those terraces and buildings, the hill looks so small.  The idea is perhaps this is how it looked to Joseph Smith in 1823.

I’ll be going back to get more autumn colors.  Hopefully, the parts will arrive for my panoramic tripod head soon.  (I’m building my own non-nodal tripod head which will allow me to create some giga-pixel images.  The above is about a 32MP image.  I’ve got another that’s about a 148 megapixels.

In our district meeting this afternoon they showed many examples of pictures they would like to see for General Conference.  So, I’m on the search for people of all ages to pose for watching conference on technology.  (I won’t be photographing them as a group, but individually.)  I’m thinking I could use a Primary-aged child, a teenager, a young adult, an adult in their 30-40s, another in their 50-60s, and then someone in their 70-80s.

We had decent attendance at the temple again tonight.  As I was working the recommend desk, a sister from Rocklin, California, came in.  I commented that I used to ride my bicycle from Fair Oaks to Rocklin down Sierra College Boulevard just so I could ride down that long hill.  I think she was surprised to run in to someone who even knew where Rocklin was.

My remote viewer for my camera is supposed to arrive tomorrow.  I’m quite excited as I have it all figured out in my head what this rig is going to look like and how I’ll use it.  Basically, this will allow me to hoist my camera high in to the air (23′) on my painter’s pole and to be able to view and control it from the ground.  And, I can also do other “remote” camera stuff.

Another idea I had for it was a photo booth.  Hmmm… I just might try it out at some ward party or other function.  Caveat public.