Cades Cove and Amazing Light!




Rad Drew and I are finishing our pre-tour scouting as we get ready for our group to arrive today.  Yesterday we decided to end our day in Cades Cove. I’ve been to Sparks Lane many times, and, each time is just as magical. This time was no different, in fact, it might have been the most amazing light I’ve ever seen at this location. Poor Rad must have been annoyed, as I exclaimed out loud over and over again… THIS LIGHT IS INSANE!

I will be back in the Smokies in the spring and Rad and I will be doing this workshop again next fall!  We will have the details up on our websites when we finish here. You can see the details for my spring workshop here. 

Posted in Fuji, Fuji X-T2, Smoky Mountains Tagged , , , , , |

Three Birds- Cape Cod Gifts


When we arrived at Coast Guard Beach on the last day of our workshop, the winds were howling!  The hurricane had gone out to sea, but, we could feel it’s 35mph winds and 45mph gusts. We sat bundled up in our cars, looking at the dark brooding sky,hoping for some magic.  I said a silent prayer, give us a little break in the sky, and let us end this wonderful tour with a bang.  Not too long after, I looked through my sunroof and saw a patch of blue sky. I got on the walkie talkie and shouted, lets go! Most of us ended up at the beach, feet spread apart leaning into the wind when THIS happened!  I said a silent thank you when we headed back to the car.

You have to show up!  And being on a workshop or tour helps that to happen!  If you click on the image to make it bigger, you can see the three birds. 

I have a few openings for my spring Charleston and Smokies workshops.  And Rad Drew has invited me to join his Palouse tour in mid May.  I’d love to see you on any of these!

I’ll be adding an October Cape Cod Experience for 2017 with the amazing Betty Wiley very soon.  Stay tuned!

I’m off to the Smoky Mountains on Friday where Rad Drew and I will be co-leading a group.  Can’t wait!

Posted in Uncategorized

I’m Still Alive!! An update…..


I apologize for the lengthy delay in posting to my blog.  My wife and I decided it was time to “right size” our home.  As you can imagine, my time has been consumed with preparing for sale, getting rid of years of clutter and then buying and moving. I’m no spring chicken and boy oh boy was it a lot of work!!  I am happy to report that we love our new home and feel great about the move.

Next, I am sad to report that my dear friend Dan Sniffin has decided to retire from doing photo tours with me.  Gosh, I hope it wasn’t something I said!  Many of you know and love Dan and I can assure you he will not be gone for long.  He has emeritus status and will show up unannounced on future tours as a special guest.  Dan has been a wonderful mentor to me as well as being my friend.  I will miss him dearly on these tours, however, I look forward to partnering with other great photographers as I move forward.

I just finished my 22nd Webinar for Topaz Labs.  This means you are entitled to a 25% discount on any Topaz Products.  Use the code BARCLAYWEB22 for the savings.  This code is valid through this Sunday October 16.  Remember, this code can be applied to and upgrade path too.  This means if you already own a Topaz product(s) you need to log into your account to see the already discounted upgrade to the suite offer.  Then add the 25% on top of that!  That is great deal!!

I just returned from co-leading back to back workshops with the great Betty Wiley on Cape Cod.  Betty is amazing in her ability to get us to the right places at the right time.  She is an amazing photographer, artist and friend.  Such an enjoyable trip!  The Cape is like going home for me.  I vacationed there every summer as a child.  Betty and I will be doing the Cape again next year.  Stay tuned for a “Cape Cod Experience Week” announcement.  We will be doing 7 days this time with 5 full days of photography!!  Very excited about this new offering in October of 2017.

A bit about the posted image.  This is from our last morning.  The winds from the hurricane had arrived after a day of heavy rain.  The winds were a steady 35mph with gusts up to 45mph!!  We stayed in our cars because it was cold, very dark and gloomy, but, we were on the edge of the storm!!  This is always a great time to be out and prepared.  Right about the time the sun was to rise, we saw patches of blue sky, gathered our gear and headed out to face the wind!  And then THIS happened!  I think I shot 200 plus images on this morning as the conditions were changing so quickly.  It was MAGICAL!  What a blessing and tremendous way to end two marvelous trips.  It always pays to SHOW UP!!

Next on the list is a weekend workshop at PEEC and then on to the glorious SMOKIES with the incomparable RAD DREW.  Very excited to partner with this amazing iPhone artist and all around good guy.  We are full, but, will be doing the Palouse together in the spring.  Please consider joining us.  

Speaking of workshops.  I have a few spots open for next spring on the Charleston and Smokies tours.  More information on my workshop page here. 




Posted in Cape Cod, Topaz Software

Extraordinary Vision Magazine Article

I have the honor of being featured in the current issue of Extraordinary Vision Magazine.  My submission is titled, “Photograph What Makes Your Heart Sing”.  If you don’t already subscribe, you can get the issue free, along with the next 2 and 10 back issues with their 30 day trial.  It is a tremendous mobile digital magazine.  In fact this issue also includes a great piece by one of my favorite photographers, Guy Tal.  Follow this link  to get your free trial.  I’d love to get your feedback on the article too!


Posted in Uncategorized

Horses in the Palouse


A participant on a previous tour made a wonderful image of this great white fence (below).  With nice clouds in the sky, I decided to stop and create my version on my recent trip. Then some horses decided to come and say hello adding a bit of interest.  

I have already filled my 2017 late May workshop to the Palouse. Thank you for your interest! For those who still want to join me in the Palouse, I am joining Rad Drew for his dates of May 18-23.  More information can be found on Rad’s site here.  We would love for you to join us on this unique offering where we will focus on iPhoneography as well as “traditional DSLR” photography. 



Posted in Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , |

Cape May – B&W

I was thinking about one of my favorite b&w photographers and friend, Chuck Kimmerle the other day. How his eyes must be in pain from all of the oversaturated color in my last few posts. I hope his monitor is okay after he threw his mouse at it. I decided, I must get my monochrome on. So, here ya go Chuck.

For those who have not subscribed to my newsletter, click on this link to see my latest.  If you’d like to sign up to receive future newsletters, you can fill out the pop up box you see when you log into my site.  Please share the link to my newsletter especially if you have friends who might be interested.  Thank you!

My next Topaz Webinar has been moved up to August 16th.  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER


Posted in B&W, Topaz Software Tagged , , , , , |

One more from Cape May


Today’s image was from the night before the last two posts. A few of us went to “sunset cove” to see what we might find. A club member was kind enough to put me up at her home which was about 3 blocks from the cove. I went with no expectations, especially after a long day and drive down to Cape May. I was going, hoping to be taken by something. As we approached the cove, this scene called to me. What caught my attention was the way the mist was creating separation and layers. Then I saw the silhouetted umbrella and people. I set up and waited until the people got into positions that would make for a nice composition.

I am shooting directly into the sun and was pleasantly surprised at the lack of flare on my new Fuji 100-400 lens. What a great lens for this type of scene. I really am enjoying this much reach. I’ve never had this much focal length with any system I’ve owned.

I am adding a second version below and am curious which you like better and why. Again, by clicking on the images, you will be able to view them MUCH bigger.

We just had a cancellation for our previously sold out Smoky Mountain Fall Foliage workshop in October.  Email if you’re interested.



Posted in Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , , |

Cape May Point – Turn Around

There is more to the Cape May Point story I shared in my last post. It is uncommon for me to shoot directly into a sunset. I am usually drawn more to what I refer to as the backside sunset.  Essentially looking 180 degrees from the sun. I love the softer more pastel painterly tones usually found in this direction. On this night I was not disappointed! Once again, after recovering from having my breath taken away, I made about three compositions of what I saw and felt. Isn’t it wonderful how different the colors are in the very same sky at one time! My head was on a swivel looking back and forth as I exclaimed out loud, can you believe this?!?!



Posted in Color, Landscape Tagged , , , , , , |

Cape May Point

On Monday, I gave a lecture and then did an image processing seminar for The Photography Club of Cape May. What a wonderful group.Thank you for the warm welcome.  After the presentations, ten of us went to dinner together. While we ate, a huge storm moved in dumping buckets of rain. As we exited the restaurant it was raining lightly, but, when we looked to the west, we saw the sky brightening. My head said, I have a two plus hour drive home, I should head home, but, my heart said, I must go, it looks so promising! I followed my heart. Three of us raced to Cape May Point to see what we might catch. Off to the south east, the the sky was pitch black, filled with visible strikes of lightning. However, off to the west there was an opening at the horizon. As the sun sank below it, the sky lit up casting an orange glow on the faces of those partaking of this magical moment. After I caught my breath, I managed to pull out a Sing-Ray 5 stop filter and get this long exposure image as a memory of the special experience. It is after all about the experience right? The images are just icing on the cake. Please click on the image to make it bigger to see the details. If you like long exposure images, I highly recommend the Singh-Ray Mor Slo series of neutral density filters. Use the code Barclay10 for a 10% discount when you order.



Posted in Uncategorized Tagged , , , , |


I took this image with my iPhone which got me thinking about the idea of practicing photography. After all, I was just practicing with this shot.  It is not a shot I will do anything with but I felt good about it because I SAW it!


How do I practice? How do I approach practicing emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally. If we think about the music we love, we can easily imagine our favorite musician and the time they put into becoming as good as they are.  The same for our favorite dancer, singer or athlete. My sense, however, is that many don’t see photography as an art form that requires the same kind of practice. I was listening to an interview of a prominent photographer recently. He was speaking about being frustrated with his current job and thought, I’ll become a photographer, it can’t be that hard right?  Of course he said it with a chuckle in the interview, fully realizing now, how hard it is. In my lectures, I speak about wanting to learn to play guitar.  So you go out, make the purchase and commit to practicing at least an hour a month.  Everyone laughs and then I add, why is it with photography many do just this?  They spend a lot of money on equipment and essentially practice a few times a year and wonder why they don’t get better? 

My thinking shifted to that of developing vision and craft.  How do we do this without lots of practice?  This is a lifelong pursuit and there is no arrival point.


In my minds eye, I can see Dewitt Jones standing in front of a thistle in the Palouse a few years ago. He stood there for about two hours working to get it just right. Most of his practicing that night, was with his digital sketch pad, the iPhone.


I remember with a bit of embarrassment, visiting my mentor Nancy Rotenberg at her home.  It was the first time I had been invited into her office.  There I found a large custom built light table, full of slides. I asked if I could turn it on and take a look.  I was shocked to see so many, dare I say, average images.  Then, I noticed next to her table was a wastebasket full of slides.  I asked very seriously, “you take bad pictures?” I honestly thought she only made “keepers” and had mastered her craft so well, every shot was great!  The look of shock on her face was memorable! She then explained photography was a process.  Essentially Nancy was saying she needed to practice and for her, practicing was to take a lot of pictures which helped her refine her composition and ultimately achieve her vision.


Don’t think that practice is all about photographic technique. Oh no, it is also practicing being still and quiet and practicing being a better person.  Jay Maisel when asked, “How do I make more interesting photographs?” responded by saying, “Become a more interesting person!”  We also need to practice our post processing skills so we can better translate our vision to the final image/print.

If you’re like me, you go through times of self doubt and wonder if you have “it.”  I believe sometimes we are just not going to produce a “winner” and that is okay.  Ask any songwriter and they will tell you of the difficult times where they can’t write a thing!  The same for a writer who gets “writers block.”  Why would it be any different for a photographer?  For me, during times of “block” I have learned to be okay with it. I can’t force good images to happen. But, what I can do is practice more. I have learned to lower my expectations, to stop chasing the perfect photograph and be well with where I am right now. 

As always, I’m interested in your thoughts.  How do you practice your photography?


Posted in Inspiration Tagged , , |