I had a really fun photo assignment last month, photographing at the Royal Peacock Opal Mine in Nevada. This mine is a U-Dig operation where anybody can visit, buy a pass to dig in the mine, and hopefully uncover some amazing Opals.

These types of assignments are always fun, not only for what I get to photograph but also for the learning. The creation of Opals is absolutely fascinating, but rather than explain it myself, here is a quick explanation:

‘Opal is formed from a solution of silicon dioxide and water. As water runs down through the earth, it picks up silica from sandstone and carries this silica-rich solution into cracks and voids, caused by natural faults or decomposing fossils. As the water evaporates, it leaves behind a silica deposit. This cycle repeats over very long periods of time, and eventually, opal is formed.’ – Opals Down Under 

What was explained to me, and I may not recall exactly, but this silica solution enters into the wood that is buried and estimated to be 12 – 15 million years old, and that wood eventually becomes petrified. Once the moisture leaves the solution, it becomes an Opal.

When somebody doesn’t know a lot about the work which goes into photography, they will often trivialise a photographer’s work and claim that what they do for a living and as a passion is not artistic, creative or even remotely difficult. This very same ignorance is the reason people wonder why the pictures they take outside, never equal the quality they casually produce indoors, or vis versa. The reason is, indoor and {outdoor photography} are two completely separate styles of photography, with their own rules and complications.

Finally, I took the time to move beyond simply a gallery website and into a full featured site with large gallery features, my blog on the home page, and places to advertise various things I may offer. I am very happy with the site!

I used a template from Gallery Web Host and it is simple yet dynamic feature rich site. The good part about WordPress is that you can do just about anything and change the site look in minutes. Here is the site: