best photographer

Named Best Photographer 2018 – Kudos Entertainment Magazine

A surprise again that the readers of Sedona’s local weekly entertainment magazine made Bob Coates Photography the 2018 winner of Best Photographer.



Thanks so much to the people of Sedona for voting me in! And, thanks to Kudos (The Good Life) entertainment magazine/newspaper for holding the contest.

Yours in Creative Photography,        Bob

tsa cheers

Photographer Kevin Ames and I were having a conversation about making people’s days better. I shared with him that when I travel I always wish the flight attendants a great flight before they have a chance to greet me. This really lights up their facial muscles, especially when they’ve had a day full of weather delays or been hassled by harried passengers who are delayed on their flights.

tsa precheck

“Hey! Thanks for help keeping us safe.”

Kevin shared that he addresses all the TSA personnel with a hearty, “Hey! Thanks for help keeping us safe.” I added this to my travel routine and noticed a huge shift in attitude whenever I have shared this thought with TSA.

We all appreciate being appreciated and I would like to turn Kevin’s thought into a movement. Whenever you travel any people you come into contact with try to make their day a little better.

If someone is wearing a good looking outfit or any thing that you notice that’s interesting let them know. I know I’m on the outgoing side and you might not be but at the very least let’s try it on the TSA people. Make everyone feel a little better and it spreads… Believe me. Any time you can make someone feel a bit better it like dropping a pebble in a pond. It doesn’t look like much until you see the rings spread out from that one little splash. When there are lots of small compliments shared and the concentric rings start to intersect that before you know it someone will be sharing a compliment with you…

Yours in Creative Photography,    Bob



tribute to julianne kost window seat

Julianne Kost rocks!

Saw her presentation at the Sedona Photofest last week and picked up more ideas for my creative work. She has been an inspiration to me for many years and even seeing her program again I always get fired up about creative imaging all over again.

This post is a salute to Julianne turning a lemon into lemonade. In case you didn’t know she is not a fan of flying. OK maybe that’s a bit to soft. She really is uncomfortable flying. But, as she speaks to image makers all across the country for her job at Adobe flying is a big part of her work. So she chooses to get the best view from 30,000 feet and started capturing and creating interesting images from the air and compiled them into a book called Window Seat’. I got my copy autographed back in 2006 and still pop back into the pages for ideas. In addition to sharing her images she gives some tips, tricks and ideas on how the final images were created using Photoshop.

As I flew across the country this week from Phoenix to Philadelphia I made some photos from my own window seat and share them with you here.

Phoenix photo from airportPhoenix from the tarmac while waiting for some crossing traffic.

aireal photo phoenixPhoenix neighborhood… a study in line and form.

desert and clouds imageIt feels like an ocean wave working it’s way over the desert hills.

clouds from above photoIt was a really good cloud day. Fun shooting them from above for a different perspective.

My images were created using a Lumix GX7 my favorite travel camera using the 35-100mm f2.8 Vario Lens. Julianne suggests a bit wider lens and shooting at f2.8 to make sure the outside of the window does not get in focus. In using the longer lens I was able to isolate and crop in on details as they unfolded. Be aware that as the plane is traveling over 500 MPH if you see something fire the shutter fast or it’s gone. Also don’t tilt the camera too far down as you’ll be shooting through too much glass and get the bottom of your capture blurred.

Order up Julianne’s book. You’ll get lots of ideas and inspiration to find your own personal project turning lemons into lemonade…

Yours in Photography,        Bob

hampton inn phoenix downtown rocks

I took a shot…

Got to the hotel room went to hook up my speakers to my IPad for some room ambiance and *&%(% I forgot the power cord for my Bose speakers. Darn. Got a couple days in the hotel room and no music. Just on the off chance someone before me might have left a 12 volt power cord in the hotel I asked at the front desk if they might have one… Nope, but they looked real hard and then said, “Let’s look a little more…” Next thing I know the staff are untangling wires from the computer speakers from the office. “Here take ours and please bring them back when you check out.”P1070233_speakers

Speakers loaned to me by the hotel staff for a couple of days stay… Appreciated!

Service above and beyond. Very much appreciated… Pass the word. Staying in downtown Phoenix?? Check out the Hampton Inn at 160 W. Catalina Drive… PS the Phoenix Art Museum is about a mile away from here… pretty solid museum experience to be had there.

kudos to us airways

I don’t want to share this story because it highlights what a bonehead I can be… But – it’s a story that should be told none-the-less.

I placed my iPad in the seat pocket in front of me upon boarding the plane because I knew I’d be listening to music or reading from it during my flight from Phoenix to Tampa.

Fast forward to eleven oh five PM when I wanted to read my iPad before going to sleep. I reached into my briefcase and received instead of the iPad that sinking feeling in my stomach. Instantly but not wanting to acknowledge the fact (and after frantically looking in between everything and tearing the briefcase apart) I knew I’d left it on board the plane.

Made some calls the following morning and no one had turned it in to the Tampa airport as yet but they now had my number and would call me if it was turned in…

Not having a ton of hope I awaited the call from Tampa. None was forthcoming.

Here’s an incoming call from California and it’s Brenda Powell the SMF Shift Manager in Sacramento asking if I am missing an electronic device. “Can you identify it?” You betcha’!! Red covered iPad with lot of images, books and music on it.

Turns out the plane had a full service turn-around in Sacramento and the cleaning crew turned it in and the staff worked their way through my iPad, found my email and tracked me down to return it. I want to share this story ’cause most people only pass on bad experiences and the cleaning crew and rest of the staff deserve to be recognized for their honesty and following through helping with the recovery of my stuff…. Even if I was stupid enough to leave it behind. Cheers to US Airways!

us airways logo