Life Reflected in the Valley of Death

On this morning, Death Valley was alive, no sign of death anywhere. Quite the opposite in fact. Signs of life everywhere, causing me to dance a happy dance. And dance I did!



fresh rain in the desert
mirrors formed
life reflected in the valley of death

Posted in Death Valley, Landscape Tagged |

Love Affair with the Dunes – Topaz B&W sale

I’ll admit, I have a love affair with the dunes. On our recent tour, we took the group out twice. A few of us found this particular scene and knew it would be a winner. (click to enlarge) 




If you’re interested in this type of dune photography, I would suggest you bring a long lens. For this I used my Nikon 70-200 and 1.7x teleconverter. Next time, I hope to have the new Fuji super zoom which will give me even more reach. If you have a 100-400 or something similar, that would be a great choice.

Starting tomorrow, Topaz will be offering a $20 discount on their excellent B&W Effects.  For the rest of the month it will be just $39.99.  Click this link and use the code MARBW

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

Taking What is Given

Yesterday, we received about 10 inches of snow. After shoveling a path for the dog, I announced to my wife that I wanted to go make some images. She thought I was going to walk into the woods behind our house. Umm… no, I had other plans. So against her better judgement, I got in my car and headed to a couple of favorite places. It was wonderful!  I love the silence when its snowing.  I love the simplicity it brings. I loved being out, alone, drinking in the beauty of what mother nature had just given me. It was great fun. I feel renewed!  Here are a few from the shoot. Oh, at the mill, yup, there was another photographer. We laughed, and then I went to 5 guys for lunch. I was the only one there, their first customer…. thats how bad the roads were. Sorry hun, but it was fun!

Am I ready for spring? You bet, but I’m not going to pass up the gift that was given yesterday just because I was bummed we were getting snow!










Posted in Abstract Tagged , , , , |

Cuba Through Their Eyes

It is an honor to associate with the photographers who come on a tour or workshop. I am inspired by their vision and talent. As such, I asked the participants who traveled with Tony Sweet and me on our recent trip to Cuba to share a favorite image from the trip. I wanted you to see Cuba through their eyes and introduce you to their excellent work. If you see a highlighted link, please click on it to see more of their work.

Carla Geyer – Cheryl and I stumbled into this potter’s workshop and we were entranced. The artist sitting at his wheel smiled at us and continued his work. We were in no hurry, so we took our time and looked around. Then a large and somewhat rude German tourist group bustled in; Cheryl and I sat down and decided to wait them out! Our patience did not go unrewarded. The artist took his time to talk with us: to tell us about the 6 generations of artists before him, to introduce us to his son and grandson, to show us his kiln and tools. Such generosity of spirit.



Gayle Biggs –  “Giggles” – She did not speak English and I did not speak Spanish.  We communicated with giggles!




Greg Hockel –  Hope springs eternal…..




Pam Davis – I love this image because it was the first day back in Havana with the lighthouse in the background and the light on this man he never seemed to notice me as I snapped multiple images of him cutting up his bait.  I feel like I could have watched for hours, my only regret is that I did not try to interact.  I was afraid of changing the mood even when I was done creating images.




Linda Harding –  (Linda’s website will be live shortly, check back later this month)  I loved the intimacy of Cuba.  The people….their connection with one another.  I loved their gifts for art, music, and the stamina  to get up and keep going everyday, even when that going is tough.  So, I share the image of  early morning in the streets of Cuba.  I was in awe of the magic of this country.


WEB,All days in Havanna_20150107_1630 copy


Mark Stevens –  Three Hands (Mark has a number of excellent blog post from this trip)

I really enjoyed the music on this trip to Cuba. Maybe it was better or maybe I was more relaxed because I was not trying to photograph everything.
Cuba is a sensory overload for a photographer like me. I know all about slowing down and seeing when it comes to photography, but it took me three tours to slow down and enjoy more of the other beauty of Cuba.
This image was shot in very low light with a Canon 6D and a 35mm f2 lens. Even at high ISO I could not get a shutter speed of more than 1/40 th sec.
The musicians were playing in this formation, but I had to combine three of the less blurry images into one composite.
The image was processed in PS CS6 using Nik Software and Topaz Impression.
_MG_3055  F  4000


Posted in Cuba Tagged |

Left Behind

During our scouting for tours, we drive roads just to see what else might be available. On this particular journey, we happened upon an abandoned hotel. Chuck Kimmerle went to look inside and I decided to follow. I couldn’t stand the thought of what might be. Chuck and I made an image of this abandoned wheelchair.  The composition seemed obvious and thus I suspect our images look very much the same. Sorry Chuck…. (click to make bigger)



Posted in B&W, Chuck Kimmerle Tagged , , |

Early Morning – Trinidad Cuba

 I find early morning the best time to photograph the streets of Trinidad. You’ll hear the vendors on their bikes announcing their arrival with things like bread or vegetables. And then you see folks peek out of their home to flag them down. Of course there will be cars parked overnight adding to the flavor of the scene and the early morning light too.



Posted in Cuba Tagged , |

Gear for Sale

My tour partner Dan Sniffin is cleaning out his closet and has the following for sale.

All lenses are in excellent condition and well cared for.

Nikon AF-S 12-24 F/4 DX lens – $420
Nikon AF 18-35 F/3.5-4.5D – $650
Nikon AF-S 28-300 F 3.5-5.6 G – $750
Nikon 70-180 f/4 Micro Zoom (Imported and not made anymore, but one of the sharpest lenses made)  This lens is very hard to find and very desirable if you’re shooting macro. $1,500

Nikon Super Coolscan-8000ED Scanner – 6 years old – near new condition with all three slide format trays. – $1,500 or best offer.

Should you have interest, either email me and I’ll put you in touch with Dan or you can write him via his website.



Posted in For Sale Tagged , , , |

A few tour spots have opened up for 2015

Due to some unfortunate medical situations, we have a few spots for two of our 2015 tours. We have two spots for our August Palouse tour, August 10-15, and then one spot for our Tuscany/Venice tour, May 23-June 2.  Should you have interest, send me an email for details.

In keeping with the Trinidad street theme, the image below was made in a similar fashion to my previous post.  It’s obvious where the sun was,instead of avoiding the flare, I decided to work with it. Another choice outside of my comfort zone. Lesson learned? It’s another right answer! Again I picked a scene first hoping for something to happen. In this case the foreground bike was there but not the man or second bike. That happened by waiting.


Posted in Uncategorized


This year while in Trinidad, I worked on my “people” photography skills.  For this image, I spotted the blue wall, interesting doors and lone bike. I suspected I might have added interest if I just hung out for awhile.  Sure enough, in about five minutes, this young man came out along with a dog. I waited until the gesture of both made sense and tripped the shutter.


Posted in Cuba Tagged , , |

Trinidad Cuba

One of my favorite scenes in the beautiful town of Trinidad Cuba.


Posted in Cuba Tagged , , , |