Monday, December 26, 2022

Christmas Day Memories 2022

A fresh poinsettia rests on the kitchen table
on Christmas Day.
(Mark M. Hancock /

A Louis Jadot chardonnay cork remains amid the peels
of apples and oranges on Christmas Morning. They all
went into a slow cooker with lean beef, dried cherries
and seasonal spices. 
A centerpiece rests on the kitchen bar on Christmas Day. 
Appetizers greet guests on Christmas Day. Offerings
include sweet gherkin pickles, olive medley, assorted
cheese cubes, dried apricots, assorted nuts, mandarin
orange slices and garlic-parmesan pita chips.
Memories from our warm house in Frisco on a cold Christmas Day 2022.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Home certified

#DFWmark #Christmas #food #wine #poinsettia #corkscrew #appetizers #centerpiece #MerryChristmas #HappyHolidays

Sunday, November 06, 2022

Watching an October Sunset

Some happy photos I found in my phone from last month at Tom Thumb in Frisco. 😃

Photos by Mark M. Hancock /
Enough for now,

#DFWmark #pumpkins #fall #Thanksgiving #scarecrow #JackOLantern #chiminea #TomThumb #Frisco #orange

Quick Tips & Know Your Rights

This is an updated repost of the information presented on April 4, 2008 at the New York Press Association Annual Convention.
While there is no way to "pin" a post, I have set the date to keep this post on the front page for new visitors. Please scroll down to see newer content as it's added.

video, narration, beats by Mark M. Hancock / ©
photos by Mark M. Hancock / ©, The Beaumont Enterprise and/or The Dallas Morning News

If you find the "Quick Tips" version to be visual hot sauce, please watch "Savory Tips to Improve Photos." It's the same presentation with more time to savor each image.

Additional information is located on the All PJ-related posts section of this blog. Underlined topics are linked to previous posts with detailed information about the subject.

Read equipment manuals three times.
Have the right equipment for the job.
Know the difference between nouns and verbs.
Pre-consider potential visual problems and solutions.

Photo basics (see below for specifics) 
Fill the frame.
Have sharp focus.
Get the right exposure.
Time the images.

Fill the frame:
Get close.
Use long lens.
Crop in camera.
Get wide.
Back away when necessary.

Stabilize the camera.
Focus on lead eye.
Adjust plane of focus / angle.
Use depth of field.
Adjust focal length for available light.
When focusing manually, use one finger.
Zone focus.

Zone V.
Hand meter the area.
Use alternative meter techniques: Sunny 16, palm, grass.
Understand the dynamic range.

Have patience.
Look for repeated action patterns.
Anticipate the action.
Shoot at apex.
Shoot before collision - wind through reaction.
Get reflective shots (quiet moments)
Seek "timeless" images.
Time of day.

Shoot horizontals and verticals.
Start with a clean background.
Have dark corners.
Place subject in background.
Use subject and foreground to cover unwanted elements.
Leave leading space.
Use Rule of Thirds/Fifths.
Build a strong skeletal structure.
Frame items within other items.
Avoid tangents.
Have clean edges.
Lead eyes with light and focus.
Layer the image.
Employ leading lines.
Employ repetition of pattern.
Block corners.
Juxtaposition (harmony / irony)

Where to crop:
Avoid cropping joints.
Contain subject within rectangle (Golden Ratio).
Avoid lights, reflections and voids.
Frame arcs and lines.

Before shooting:
Research stories - find those with emotional elements.
Verify location, access.
Double-check equipment.
Have business cards, pencil and notepad.
Refuse access contracts.

Upon arrival:
Arrive early. Stay late.
Shoot signs and rosters. Collect paperwork. Shoot name tags and numbers.
Shoot basic package: scene, normal, tight
Shoot story: lede, transitions, kicker, emotion.
Get cutline information (5W & H). Get sound if possible.

Selecting subjects:
Hunting techniques: shadows, oblique angle, concealment, pre-compose, pre-focus
Use attention span limitations.

Tell the story.
Get main subjects.
Get emotion.
Shoot 100-frame minimum.
Use each lens.
Shoot each angle (left, right, high, low).
Shoot reflection / refraction.
Shoot silhouette / isolation.
Shoot blur.

Before leaving:
Understand the story.
Be able to tell the story in one frame, three frames, five frames, 20 frames.
Have all cutline information.
Have 100+ images.
Count equipment.

Find new word.
Make unique (rare) images: access, subject, news value, combination.
Multi layers
Multi meaning

Artificial light:
Use flash whenever it's helpful (no light, too slow).
Use flash from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. outdoors (fill light).
Get flash off the camera.
Understand what causes red-eye.
Try to keep flash angles from 45 to 90 degrees.
Diffuse light.
Color balance artificial light.
Learn to light large areas.
Use multiple lights to add depth.
Be ready to manually calculate exposure (guide number).
Understand inverse square law of light.
Speed techniques (stop action).
Light painting with mixed light and flash (holiday lights, fireworks, lightning).
Increase depth of field with artificial light.

 video, narration, beats by Mark M. Hancock / ©
photos by Mark M. Hancock / ©, The Beaumont Enterprise and/or The Dallas Morning News

Do you know your rights as a photojournalist?

Please watch “Know Your Rights as a Citizen Photojournalist.”

Know your rights (most is covered on this link)
It's best to be courteous to defuse confrontations.
Don't be belligerent.
The First Amendment provides the right for anyone to make photos.
Anyone can shoot in public places, streets and sidewalks.
Anyone can shoot where access is granted.
Property owners have the right to deny access.
Understand trespass law by state.
Generally, PJs can shoot until asked to stop.
Exceptions include military facilities and some areas within nuclear plants.
Model releases aren't required for editorial use (but pubs may still require).
Celebrities, politicians and emergency workers limited their right to privacy (injected themselves into spotlight).
Felony criminals have no right to privacy until in prison.
The right to privacy is seriously limited in public places.
The exception to this is medical facilities (which include ambulances in some states).
Business security isn't sufficient to prohibit photography.
Trade secrets aren't in public view. Trade dress doesn't apply to photojournalism.
Police may limit access, but can't prohibit photography (prior restraint).
You aren't required to explain the purpose of your photography.
Coercion and harassment by private security is a criminal offense in all states.
Private parties have limited rights to detain and could face criminal and civil charges.
Without a court order, private parties can't confiscate film.
Ask what law was specifically violated.
Ask for this person's name, and who they represent.
Report rights violations to police. Call before the offender does.
Enough for now,

Friday, September 02, 2022

Come visit my open house in Bluewood

Here’s some drone photos of the house where you can get some cookies and treats during my open house tomorrow. Not only is it a corner lot with only one shared fence, it’s literally across the street from the community pool.

Open House
Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022
From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
924 Lawndale St., Celina
Listed at $625,000
Listed by Christy Williamson

This 2,809 sq. ft. corner lot home in the Bluewood community was built by Meritage in 2018. The home has 4 bedrooms, 2 and a half baths, front porch, outdoor living, game room, and flex room.
The house features both a covered front porch and a rear covered outdoor living room. Downstairs has wood and tile floors. Private flex room off the large foyer can act as an office with a nearby powder room. Walk through the butler’s pantry into the open-concept kitchen with an island sink and seating. Kitchen has white cabinets, granite countertops, gas cooktop and double ovens. 

Casual dining room and living room with a fireplace are off the kitchen.
The primary suite is on the ground floor and features a garden tub, separate shower and dual vanities, linen closet and walk-in closet. Upstairs has the game room, 3 bedrooms and a full bathroom. Community features a pool, fishing, paths, park, playground and an amenity center in the Celina ISD.


Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, New Home certified

#DFWmark #REALTOR #OpenHouse #DronePhoto #aerial #Celina #CelinaISD #CollinCounty #Bluewood #GameRoom

Monday, August 29, 2022

I'm Obsessed with my drone

© Mark M. Hancock /

OK Y'all,
I'm going to be obsessed with the drone for a while. It lets me get the angles I've always wanted. That's how sunsets should look!

I love that the police were patrolling the neighborhood at the perfect time to be in the photo.

#DFWmark #REALTOR #LittleElm #drone #sunset #police #pond

Monday, March 28, 2022

710 Emerald Sound Blvd. in Oak Point Slideshow

710 Emerald Sound Blvd.
Oak Point 75068
Offered at $650,000
MLS# 14755249

This 2,971 sq.ft. home has 4 bedrooms, 2.1 baths, 2-car garage attached with separate detached 2-car garage/workshop, 2 living rooms, dining and breakfast rooms, game room, fireplace, screened patio, spacious barn-style shed on a full acre of land.

Roof replaced March 2022. Screened outdoor living was completed in 2021. Enjoy the firepit, yard to romp and space to park RVs.

Kitchen has double oven, island, planning desk, walk-in pantry, and window bench. Formal dining and parlor are great for entertaining or convert into a relaxed home office. Downstairs is complete with a powder room, utility room and large family room with a fireplace.

Upstairs, primary suite can easily handle a Texas King bed, has walk-in closet, garden tub, separate shower and double sinks. Three bedrooms share a Hollywood bath with two separate sinks and vanities. The large game room can convert to a 5th bedroom, media room or super-sized office. Solar panel lease must transfer.

I’ve Got Your Six!

Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP, AHWD
REALTOR, Certified New Home Sales
214-862-7212 (call or text)

#DFWmark #REALTOR #OpenHouse #house #home #OakPoint #DentonCounty #Acre #land #LargeYard #RVSpace

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

PhotoJournalism 3 Million View Contest

3/13/22 Update: Congratulations to the winners. See y'all at 4 million!

2/12/22 UPDATE: I realized that I had the wrong email address, the correct email address is so I am extending the contest to 3/12/22. If you sent your information before, please send it again. Thanks!

If you like photography or photos, you can win a prize in honor of the PhotoJournalism blog getting more than 3 million views. I never expected to get 5,000 visitors, so this achievement is remarkable.

To celebrate this milestone, I'm offering a signed print of my work to three different blog visitors (one for each million views). I normally don't sign prints, so these are rare.

What's the prize?
I’ll print and mail a signed 11x14 photo print to three winners. Winners will select which print they want from any photos on my blog or Instagram feeds (personal or business) except my photo mosaics or images with © (copyright symbol) next to The Dallas Morning News.

In other words, y'all can pick any image I've posted with a © next to my name, DFWmark or The Beaumont Enterprise that isn’t a photo mosaic.

For example, this image isn't included, but this image is. They were both shot for DMN, but the first is as staff and the second is freelance. Simply look at the copyright symbol location and pick your favorite.

Older images may look out of focus on the blog, but it's an image compression problem from back when Blogger was new. They're as sharp and clear as any of the newer images.

Everyone who enters gets my monthly Information Of Value newsletter (you can download the book for free from my Google Drive). You can unsubscribe at any time.

What's the catch?
Winners will be selected in a randomized computer drawing after the contest period ends on 28 Feb. 2022. Winners’ names will be posted on the blog and those winners will be notified to select a preferred image.

Contest is limited to one entry per person/email address/phone. I need each entrant’s name, email address and phone number to verify. If the winner is under 18, the winner’s parents/guardian must approve their photo selection.

I'm only going to pay shipping inside the U.S. If the winner is outside the U.S., we can work out some arrangement to get the print to you. Otherwise, whomever wins gets a prize.

How to win?
Email your Name and phone number to Each complete entry (name and phone number via email) will be assigned a number. On March 1, I’ll load the number of complete entries into a randomizer and allow it to pick three numbers. The people assigned to those numbers will be notified to claim their prize. I’ll need physical mailing addresses at that point for the winners.

If I only get a comment, it's not a winner. I'll add the winners’ names and general location (city, state, country) to this post when there are confirmed winners.

Good luck to all. Please share a link to this information and invite your friends to enter!

Enough for now,

Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Ready to Celebrate in 2022!

It's been a while since I broke out the big lights. Let's celebrate often in 2022! 

I've Got Your Six!

Mark M. Hancock, GRI, MRP

#DFWmark #REALTOR #RealEstate #celebrate #confetti #stars #happy #joy #gold #ChampagneFlute