I’m back from a wonderful trip to the South Island of New Zealand. I’ll cut to the chase, it is one of the most beautiful countries I’ve been to. It takes a long time to get there, but it is worth it!


I’ll start with a personal favorite from one of our first days out with our group. Most were shooting the opposite direction over a lake with mountains behind it. Not me, I was drawn to the soft light on the beautiful grasses in front of the stream and stand of trees.Β 

When I lecture, I often speak about the so called rules and ask why we listen to them? Should we? Or should we do what feels right? Who made the rules anyway? I’m of the mind that we should follow our heart and personal vision. While this image is not cut in half, it is very close. Does it bother you? Did you even notice until I asked? I did not notice until I was reviewing it in Lightroom. I asked my tour partner Dan Sniffin if it bothered him and he said no. In thinking more about this, I find it interesting that I even needed to ask. I knew I loved it when I made the capture and that should have been all that mattered. However, because of the MFA types out there who are eager to point out every broken rule, I’ve been conditioned to be concerned about it. Even if Dan had said that it did bother him, I would have stayed true to my vision and kept it as it is! That has not always been the case though. Approval from others was much more important than it is today. I’m happy to be in a place where my connection to and satisfaction with an image is good enough. If others like it too, icing on the cake!

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