Category Archives: Announcements

New FREE Photography Ebook

My new FREE eBook, Creative Photography: 10 Easy Pieces is now available for download. You can get your copy HERE.

As I state in the introduction, this small book will not make you a more creative photographer overnight. Instead, it will help you use your use your camera in more creative ways, instilling habits that can eventually make you a more creative photographer. Using these tools, practicing, and making these habits is up to you. Enjoy.

 

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Image Round Up From Namibia

I am perpetually behind when it comes to editing images and at the moment, I may be setting a personal record. I still don’t have everything completed from Namibia, no images from my trip Roan Mountain in North Carolina and Tennessee, and I am currently in California. Who knows when I’ll have the time to get around to these.

But here are some of the Namibia highlights. It already seems like so long ago so it was nice to revisit some of these special moments. Enjoy!

By the way, our Wild Namibia photography workshop and tour on May 25 – June 6, 2014 has been filling up very quickly and we are getting close to having it filled. For more information click here.

Sparring Red Hartebeests, Etosha National Park

Quiver Tree Forest at Sunset

Wild Desert Horses at Aus

Zebra clan in warm morning sunshine, Etosha National Park

Cape Fur Seals, Cape Cross

Elephants at Dusk, Etosha National Park

Deadvlei, Namib-Naukluft National Park

Flamingos, Dorob National Park

Sossusvlei Blues, Namib-Naukluft National Park

Zebras at water hole, Etosha National Park

Large male lion, Etosha National Park

Quiver tree forest at twilight

Sand Art, Namib-Naukluft National Park

Spooky tree at Deadvlei, Namib-Naukluft National Park

Elephants at sunset, Etosha National Park

Oryx crossing the pan at Deadvlei, Namib-Naukluft National Park

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CPCD #7 – Out of Africa…Almost

This is the cheapest, most thoughtless CPCD ever: an iPhone capture of my camera LCD after an evening shoot a few days ago.

After a short flight from Windhoek, Namibia to Johannesburg, South Africa, Ian and I are now in the middle of an eight-hour layover before our flight to Washington DC. As much as I’m looking forward to getting home, I’d rather scale a giant mountain of hot, steaming rhino dung than to jump aboard another long flight right now. But I guess there’s no good alternative.

There’s lots to say about the previous two weeks but I’ll simply make it short and sweet: Namibia rocks!

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Loose Ends and Random Thoughts

“Haunted By Waters” Spruce Flats Falls, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

The image above was taken in April of this year in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. This is an excellent example of what I try to teach my students when photographing waterfalls: We are not taking a portrait here. We are creating a landscape image with a waterfall as one of the elements. Walking up on the rocks and filling the frame with the waterfall would have been an easy thing to do but the end result would have been boring and banal. This composition includes the waterfall as a crucial element – as well as the primary focal point – but the image has an elegant visual design that goes beyond being just a portrait or documentary photo. Primarily, the flow of the stream and the placement of the rocks below the falls gets the eye moving back and forth through the frame giving it a dynamic quality that a static portrait would lack.

“Haunted by Waters” is a new addition to my Smoky Mountains Galley and depending on the conditions, is a location we will be visiting on the Smoky Mountains Autumn Workshop in October.

WORKSHOPS

Speaking of workshops, there are two new workshops listed for the first quarter of 2014. For the 4th straight year, Ian Plant and I are leading another tour to Patagonia on March 10 – 19.

For the very first time, I am offering a Winter in Yellowstone photo tour and workshop in February that will combine the very best winter landscapes with wildlife photography. Jackson Hole professional wildlife photographer, Jared Lloyd will be my partner on this trip.

I’m sorry to announce that Arches and Canyonlands, Utah in November is now full, as is Acadia in October. Joe Rossbach and I still have a few openings for the Tetons in September so let me know if any of you have questions about this trip.

Photographer Christina Donadi has written a detailed review of my Smokies workshop from this past spring. Check out the rest of her blog for more excellent photography!

TRUE MODESTY

Last week I was listed as one of the top 100 travel photographers in the world for 2013 by ChiliSauce, a travel blog in the United Kingdom.  When I made the announcement on Facebook and Twitter, as a courtesy to the the owner of the blog, I made the announcement with a controversial preface: the words, “For whatever it’s worth…..” This was met by more than a few emails and private messages by annoyed fans and followers. Most began with a mocking, “For whatever it’s worth….” and eventually got around to making the point that I was not being grateful or gracious about the “honor.” For whatever it’s worth, you’re acting like an ass.

Look, this is not merely false modesty on my part. I do appreciate being listed with at least 99 other very accomplished photographers. But the list is just one person’s opinion and there are some very conspicuous names missing as well as some people I’ve never even heard of. So that’s what it is, one person’s opinion and that’s about what it’s worth. Sorry to offend.

So now I’m off to Africa for two weeks. I’ll try my best to post some crappy phone images here as well as a report or two on how I’m doing. Be sure to Subscribe to Earth and Light to keep up with my  latest travels realtime.

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Incredible Iceland in Pop Photo

“Behind the Falls” Southern Iceland’s Seljalandsfoss on a bright, sunny evening.

I have a new article published in the May issue of Popular Photography magazine entitled Incredible Iceland. That’s their title, not mine. My preferred Warming up to Iceland was a bit too cute for them, I suppose. Anyway, the article begins on page 50 with the above image as the opening spread. The colors in the magazine are printed rather dark and dull, so enjoy this version before you read the printed word.

“Behind the Falls” at Seljalandsfoss was created during last year’s Epic Iceland tour and it was my favorite take from this location. I experimented with different shutter speeds, as I usually do, and this one – 1/250 of a second – projected the look and feel for which I was aiming. I really like the cascading water effect rather than the smooth, silky look of a longer exposure for this image. I’m often asked about “rules” concerning exposure times when handling moving water. No, there are no rules but I do have a few guidelines.

First, and this is strictly personal, I prefer to keep some detail and texture to the water. Long exposures that turn moving water into featureless white blobs smeared across the image frame do absolutely nothing for me. I want to keep the water’s texture and detail while still creating the illusion of motion.

Second, the heavier the water, the shorter the shutter speed. This goes back to what I just said above. It’s much more difficult to retain that texture and detail with heavy, fast whitewater than lighter water flows.

Third, since I am almost always much more interested in how the image will make people feel rather than how it will look, I want to ask myself how the choice of shutter speed will affect its emotional impact on the viewers. My own experience and emotional reaction to the scene will dictate that choice. For example, large waterfalls that move heavy volumes of water project power and rage and I want that emotional trigger embedded in the image so that viewers can feel that power, rage, or fury too, even if they can’t feel the ground vibrate or hear the cascade’s thunderous roar. A faster shutter speed seems to express the heaviness of the water and by extension, its power as well. Conversely, slower shutter speeds express lightness, grace, and fragility. Waterfalls and cascades with gentle water flows or elegant, stair-stepping design characteristics project an air of fragility and grace. That’s how I want those images to feel to my audience.

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