Category Archives: Photo Tour

When the light is good its great!

Why do we make numerous runs to favorite locations?  Well, because the light is different each time.  Take the case of Steptoe Butte from which this scene was shot.  Each time on this trip the atmospheric conditions were different.  On this particular night the air was much cleaner and thus clearer, making for what you might call “cherry” light.  

This shot is a bit out of the norm for me.  I’m typically more drawn to the the simple graphic patterns from the Butte.  Maybe it was the light that caused me to include the farm and more trees than normal?  I’m not sure, but what I do know is that I loved the golden quality of the light!  When the light is good, its great!

Grain Elevator

Another thing I’m drawn to in the Palouse, are the grain elevators.  This one is a long way away when shooting from Steptoe Butte.  I had my 70-200 with 1.7x tele-extender and still had to crop the frame in half to get this particular composition.  The late light was magical, perfect for this kind of shot.  I pre-visualized a square crop when shooting this.  Its a good idea to NOT limit yourself to what the viewfinder sees.  In the old film days it was heresy to present anything other than what was shot.  Thankfully with digital, that idea is no longer valid.  Why limit yourself to what someone else decided was a good format?  The camera is already cropping the scene right?  So why not crop it further when post processing? 

A Bird and a Barn!

Each year we drive by this wonderful barn in the Palouse but the light or the sky is just working.  This year it was and we stopped!  Does the cloud above the barn to the right look like a bird or what?  A bird flying on its back buzzing the barn….. yup, thats how I see it!

Death Valley does COLOR!

In looking back at my last ten blog posts, I realized I’ve been in B&W mode!  I figured it was time for a color image.  This one is from the abandoned Eureka Mine area.  On our scouting day we had a cloud that was cooperating and the sun even reflected a hint of color as it disappeared over the horizon.  I scurried up the hill to the car, moved to a position where I could best use the cloud, and make just a few captures as the light faded.  

A teaching moment if I can. I’ve included an alternate version of the posted image below.  In it you will see the sky had more color which I preferred.  The issue I had was, in my haste after  running up the hill to catch the color, I was not paying attention to where the car was in the frame.  Below, you’ll note is was merging with the sky just a bit.  I quickly changed my position to fix the issue but lost some of the color.  Its a small nit picky thing, however, I was reminded by Tony Sweet this weekend (we presented together for a group along with Denise Ippolito) how important being nit picky is.  A friend I was sitting with said, “thats what separates Tony from the rest and makes him so good.” I agreed.

Be sure to check back as my next post will be by guest blogger and Master Black & White photographer Chuck Kimmerle!  Shout it from the roof tops, tell your neighbors, tell your friends, tell your mom, dad and siblings too…   Everyone will want to read his great post.

Stumbling Upon Magic


Sometimes you just stumble upon magic.  While randomly wandering down yet another street in Trinidad we found this wonderful scene.  Could we have found a better scene? I think not! Come on, a blue car with its door open in a garage with colorful doors. And then, (see below) a young boy in his school outfit popped out of nowhere. Magic!  Don’t forget you can click on a image to make it bigger.

Chasing the light

One evening in Trinidad, yes Cuba, we were in town as the sun was setting.  The gold light bathing the gold building was too good to pass up!

I’m watching you…

Upon arrival in Cuba, we immediately went to lunch.  After we finished and were heading to the bus, this little scene happened. It was quite comical to see all the cameras pointed at this dog.  For one brief moment, he poked his head all the way out of the window and I managed to make this capture.  It was a great way to start the trip!   Image taken with my Fuji X-E1

My next post will include some creative processing ideas as I’ll show how I created the look of the image I’ll be posting.  Check back to see!

Merry Christmas!

A big thank you to all who have visited my blog, attended a workshop, went on a tour or clicked on a discount link.  I appreciate your support!

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful happy 2013!

Today’s blog post is another from the Eastern Sierra, this time a wonderful Sunrise at Mono lake.

Some spots open for our Charleston S.C. and Fall In New England Tours

The tours I do with Dan Sniffin were officially announced just about a month ago.  As usual, the spots fill up very quickly and we are grateful for that!  Thank you!   I thought an update on the status was in order so you might be able to plan your trips for next year.

We are full for Death Valley.

We have 5 spots available for Charleston

We have just one spot left for the Palouse.

Iceland is Full.

We have 5 spots open for the New England Tour.

As you can see, we have essentially 11 spots left for all of our tours!  We hope you’ll consider coming along for one if you’ve not signed up yet.

Today’s image is from the Eastern Sierra of California.  Specifically the Bishop area.  I made this capture back in 2010 but have never had success in processing it until today.  Yet, another good reason to keep your images. My processing knowledge has improved over the last 2 years, allowing me to make something out of a tough exposure.  I’m posting a copy of the Raw File for comparison below.  I should point out that I also have an underexposed capture in which the sky looks much better in RAW processing.  The challenge, was to make the shoreline bright enough.  For this the brighter (not overexposed) capture was much better as it did not generate any noise to speak of in processing.  And, I had plenty of data to bring the bright sky, color and saturation back to what I remember seeing.

 

Back to the Poconos

 

 Here is another from the amazing two days I had in the Poconos this fall.