How To Scout A Location For Landscape Photography

Hang around a group of landscape photographers long enough, and you’ll undoubtedly hear them talking about location scouting. As the old saying goes, understanding your subject better will improve your photographs of the subject. This is true for all kinds of photography (wildlife, architectural, portrait), and landscapes are...Read More »

Location Photography - Telling A Story Through Photos

The giant sand dunes of Namibia turn many shades of red and orange under shifting clouds, Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia.

Sometimes when I go to new locations, they can be so awe inspiring that I feel photographically challenged. When this happens, I need to take a step back and think about the location’s special traits that fill me with such awe. What is important about this area –...Read More »

2016 Round-up – Top 100 Photos Of The Year

In years past, I’ve curated a list of my best 40 photos of the past year. However, with trips in 2016 to India and Africa, I couldn’t whittle down the set to just 40. So here is the best 100 photos of 2016, many of which are previously...Read More »

2015 Round-up - Top 40 Photos Of The Year

I recently finished compiling my top 40 picks from the last 12 months. The gallery is an assortment of my various trips and outings, including trips to India, Mexico and Canada. As always, there is a mixture of bird, wildlife and landscape, including some previously unpublished.

Please...Read More »

Canon 5DSR For Bird Photography?

After fussing between either upgrading my next landscape camera to either a Sony A7RII or a Canon 5DSR (I’ll cover that saga in a future post), I finally pulled the trigger and received my new Canon this weekend. While I’ll primary use this 50 mega pixel monster for large...Read More »

How To Win a Photo Contest (including a sneaky bonus tip)

Recently I was asked to judge a photo contest for a small camera club. The skill levels of the participants ranged from beginner to advanced, and after viewing the wide variety of entries, I began to think about simple ways to increase anyone’s chance of winning. Follow some...Read More »

2014 Round-up - Top 40 Photos Of The Year

After a bit of thought, I have compiled my top 40 picks from the last 12 months. I selected from a variety of outings and types of photography, ranging from landscape, to wildlife, to pet photography. Unfortunately, 2014 was not the year I caught up on my backlog...Read More »

Processing For Moods

Recently I uncovered a couple of unprocessed photographs in my collection that I took in Death Valley National Park several years ago. These were sitting in my “reject” pile, but upon a second look, I thought each photo had its own merit. When I looked at these two...Read More »

Strive For Separation

One goal of nature photography is to take the chaos of a wild landscape, and using nothing but the perspective of the rectangle of your camera’s view, to simplify and distill the scene into a singular message. One of the most chaotic environments in which I shoot regularly is...Read More »

Many Slices Of A Scene

When arriving at a new location to photograph, it is easy to get over-excited, and like a moth to a flame, focus all attention directly on the obvious composition. This is easy to do when shooting a grand vista, and more than once I’ve gotten so caught up in...Read More »

Why I'm Buying the Canon 7D Mk II

This week Canon finally released their long awaited successor to the very popular (5 year old) 7D. The 7D is one of my main workhorse camera bodies, used primarily for bird and wildlife photography.

Here is a rundown of why I have already pre-ordered the Mk II. These are...Read More »

Try, try, and try again

Waddell Creek flows through a green forest along the Berry Creek Falls trail, Big Basin Redwoods State Park

One of the keys for any budding photographer is to shoot often, and stay well organized. You never...Read More »

2013 Round-up - Top 40 photos of the year

Click the photo above to see the top picks from 2013!

I am a little late this year, but finally, here are my favorite images from the previous 12 months. This year I only had one major photography focused trip to the northern California coast, capturing the delicate rhododendrons amongst the fog of the coastal redwoods. I also had...Read More »

A Counter-intuitive Tip To Tack Sharp Photos With A Long Lens

The hues of twilight cast offshore sea stacks in a blue glow as waves wash around them, Crescent City, CA

On my recent trip north up the California coast to photograph redwoods and rhododendrons, I...Read More »

Going Macro With A Big Lens

Don’t get me wrong – I love my big lens. My primary lens for bird photography is the Canon 800mm, which serves as a real workhorse. However, there are times while using that lens that I get frustrated. One of the lens’ limiting factors is its minimum...Read More »

A Change Of Scenery Revisited

Years ago, I wrote about how long lenses give the photographer the ability to completely change the background of the image they’re working on while still behind the camera. With a slight move left, right, up or down, you can change the angle of your shot, and...Read More »

2012 Round-up - Top 40 photos of the year

It is once again that time of year where we assemble compilations of the best and worst of the previous 12 months. Here are the results of culling through my many photos from 2012. Looking back it was a nice mixture of birds, wildlife, and landscapes. I...Read More »

Lessons From Jack

The Tetons rise behind a stand of fall aspen, Grand Teton National Park

When we pulled up to the stand of aspen that Jack had scouted earlier, I could tell he was hopefully optimistic about the coming...Read More »

With A Little Patience

I have always thought of myself as a patient person. Even before I earned the “Patience” award in kindergarten, I knew that I was good at waiting quietly, while others around me clamored for something to grab their attention. It was not until years later, after photography fully...Read More »

Photo Fix Or Photo Fraud?

I took this photo last year of a black-necked stilt and her three young chicks. I had set up in my usual position, with my lens close to the water surface in order to achieve a more intimate eye-level perspective. I was happy with the shoot and this...Read More »

2011 Round-up - Top 40 photos of the year

Happy New Year! Similar to last year, I have looked back through this past year’s photographs and selected 40 photos that represent my favorite photographic exploits.

Please enjoy the gallery below. To view larger photos, be sure to click the icon in the lower right corner to...Read More »

Isolating nature

Living in an urban environment, I am often viewing wild things against a backdrop of non-wild habitats. This is especially true of birds, as they perch on anything convenient – fences, lamp posts, roof tops. A constant challenge is to showcase these wild birds without exposing the urban...Read More »

The winter plumage nemesis

As a bird photographer, I strive to know as much about my subjects as possible. This not only helps me to quickly identify the species for stock photo sales purposes, but also to understand behavior in order to be in the right place at the right time. No...Read More »

Distorting Reality

When I first started studying photography, I learned about the effects that various focal lengths had on a scene. Wide angle lenses give prominence to closer subjects while shrinking distant features into tiny objects. On the other hand, telephoto lenses compress a scene, making subjects that are far...Read More »

Breaking the rules

Several long-billed curlews stand together in a shallow wetland pool

Every once in a while a photo comes along that I love, but seems to break many of my own guidelines that I usually follow. Many...Read More »

2010 Round-up - Top 30 photos of the year

Happy New Year! Here’s to a healthy and successful 2011. This past year was a great year for me photographically. I was able to get out and shoot more than ever before, and travel to some new places. I’ve created a gallery of my top 30...Read More »

Big sensors, big fun

Okay, so I like to cheat every once in a while. There are “purists” out there who would shake their head with shame at the image above, and I have to admit, I used to side with them more often then not. But I couldn’t help myself the...Read More »

Seeing eye to eye

A western fence lizard bakes in the hot sun

It’s long been said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. That has never been more true than with wildlife photography. Capturing the subject’s...Read More »

Alpenglow - what is it?

Recently several people have asked me what alpenglow is, and what causes it. This term was probably popularized among photographers by Galen Rowell, who wrote about it and demonstrated it wonderfully through many of his fantastic landscapes. The term refers to the reddish pre-dawn and post-sunset...Read More »

A change of scenery

In a post a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned making corrections to your background while still in the field. Another trick you can sometimes employ is to get a different look by changing the background completely. This works best when using long telephoto lenses (400 mm...Read More »

Instant photo correction - always watch your back (ground)

Have you ever taken a great photograph, been really excited about it, only to get it onto the computer and see that some distracting background element ruined it? I have learned this lesson too many times. Yes, you can spend time in photoshop and mask and clone and...Read More »

Competition breeds creativity

Before the digital storm swept through the world of photography, shooting film was an error-prone process for the uninitiated. It took patience and overcoming a steep learning curve to succeed as a professional photographer. If you didn’t learn lessons from past mistakes and quickly correct them, you were...Read More »