Tag Archives: Patagonia

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.


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!


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.

Posted in Announcements, Essays, General, Images | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Recent Interview: Patagonia, A Photographer’s Paradise

Cordillera del Paine

I recently conducted an online interview with Dan Moughamian, an author of books, videos, and articles on Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Lightroom, as well as many plugins from Nik Software, onOne Software. He also runs the popular and informative Colortrails website, a great source for photography news, tutorials, photographer interviews, and inspired art.

We discussed a little about my history with Patagonia, what makes it so special, my recents trips, and even the food.

You can read the full interview here:


The dates for the 2014 Patagonia workshop have been announced and we have already begun accepting registrations. More info here:


I’m headed out to the Smoky Mountains later this week, then Florida and Namibia, Africa in May. Stay tuned to this blog for updates from these locations!

Posted in Announcements, General | Tagged

I’m a Believer

Cielo En Fuego

I want to apologize in advance for subconsciously inserting into your head the catchy yet annoying refrain from that 1966 pop tune performed by the Monkees. Rest assured it will remain there all day.

But those three words were innocently uttered after a seminal moment during last week’s Patagonia workshop in Chile and it wasn’t by me.

I’m convinced that the photo above represents one of the most fantastic natural views in all the world. The image itself, however, is flawed. Sure it has some great light and color in the sky but the composition leaves much to be desired: Too much visual weight on the left side  (the highest peak and the cascades of the Paine River); the obtrusive, burned-out bank in the middle ground that dominates much of the scene; the rocks in the lower right corner that are half-in, half-out. But with limited ability to move about (I am standing on a jagged rock outcropping with several of our workshop students in the middle of some very strong river current) it was the best I could do.

But aside from all of that, the light was sublime. The timing was exquisite (5 minutes after this was taken, we were being rained on). The colors were magical. During the walk back to the bus, Phil – one of our students on the workshop – made a confession of sorts. In the afterglow of one of the best sunrise shows I had seen in quite some time, he admitted that he had assumed such light and colors he had seen in landscape images (including mine) were “computer aided.”

That was a charitable way of putting it. But now he had experienced a taste of that sublime light in person and he then went on to carelessly let those three loathsome words fall from his lips in his distinctive Aussie accent. A believer indeed.

Canon EOS 5D MarkIII, Canon 24-105 f4 at 35mm, 1 second @ f11, ISO 125

Enjoy this post? Please leave a comment or Subscribe to Earth and Light!

Posted in Images | Tagged , ,

Patagonia Adventure IV Comes To An End

Some of our clients having a light party yesterday morning at Torres del Paine, Chile under some impressive mountains. Image © Ian Plant

Ian and I ended our Epic Patagonia Photo Workshop this afternoon and are now resting comfortably in Calafate, Argentina. I am flying home tomorrow morning and images will be forthcoming. We experienced some of the best light we’ve ever seen down here during the past ten days. But then again, Patagonian light is always amazing. To keep up with some of the recent images from this trip, be sure to subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss a thing.

Patagonia 2014 is scheduled for March 10-19, 2014 and we have taken registrations already. Let me know if you have any questions about next year’s event.

Posted in Announcements | Tagged , , , ,

Image Round Up from Patagonia – January 2013

Here are a few final images from my January trip to Patagonia. I’ll be heading back down that way next month for our annual Ultimate Patagonia Workshop and Tour that I co-lead with Ian Plant. Enjoy!

Cordillera del Paine

Under Malbec Skies


Paine Paradise


Guanaco Heaven

Pehoe’s Fury II

Red Hot

Enjoy this post? Please leave a comment or Subscribe to Earth and Light!

Posted in Images, Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,