Inside the Grand Canyon: By the light of a billion stars

  It occurs to me sharing the full story of this image will require me to share delicate details not normally seen in a photo blog. (So consider yourself warned.) But before getting to the details of this image, let me just say that among a very long list of life-highlights and personal firsts, probably my very favorite thing about spending a week at the bottom of the…

Visualize, pursue, execute, enjoy

  I probably worked harder capturing this image than any other image I’ve ever photographed. Worked hard not in terms of physical exertion, but rather in patient pursuit over several years and painstaking execution in difficult conditions. Photographed late last month in Yosemite, this image is something I’ve visualized and actively sought for years. While I have no illusion that this image will be as popular as some of my more conventional…

Stupid cold

We warm blooded humans have lots of ways to express the discomfort induced by low temperatures, ranging from brisk to chilly to freezing to frigid. But because I’ve always felt that we need something beyond frigid, something that adequately conveys the potential suffering, let me submit: stupid cold. At the risk of stating the obvious, “stupid cold” is when it’s so cold, the only people without…

Oops

Last Friday evening, this professional photographer I know spent several hours photographing an assortment of beautiful Yosemite winter scenes at ISO 800. Apparently, he had increased his ISO earlier in the day while photographing a macro scene with three extension tubes—needing a faster shutter speed to freeze his subject in a light breeze, he’d bumped his ISO to 800. Wise decision. But, rushing to…

Made in the shade

Imagine that you want to send an eight-inch fruitcake to your nephew for Christmas (and forget for a moment that you’ve been come that relative), but only have a six-inch box. You could cut off one end or the other, squish it, or get a bigger box. If the fruitcake represents the light in a scene you want to photograph,  your camera’s narrow dynamic…

No leaves were harmed in the making of this image

“Did you put that leaf there?” I’m not sure how many more times I’ll need to answer that question, but let me just say that my answer will never change: No. I feel very strongly that photography needs to be a source of pleasure, and my pleasure from photography comes from discovering beauty in its natural state. But that’s just me—others enjoy staging images…

Uhhh, I can explain…

October 4, 2013 On my just completed Eastern Sierra workshop, the fact that I was in possession of three (THREE!) iPhones was a frequent source of amusement (dismay?) to my group. I thought I did a pretty good job justifying (rationalizing?) my obsession, only to return to read my daughter’s recent blog rekindling my defensive instincts (as an extremely proud but unbiased dad, I hope you take…

We have met the enemy and he is us…

It seemed like such a good idea at the time. The Grand Canyon North Rim, fall color, and maybe even a thunderstorm or two. What could possibly go wrong? Well, let me tell you…. I’ve wanted to do this trip in the fall since my first visit to the North Rim. On my visit in August I polled local experts for the best time…

Watch out for that tree…

I have a story that doesn’t really have anything to do with photography, except maybe that the experience got me thinking about my relationship with trees, and the number of images I have where a tree or trees are the primary subject. That connection was made because my story, in which a tree stars prominently, happened on the morning that I photographed this oak tree…

All I want for Christmas….

I returned late last night (well, early this morning) from my 2013 Yosemite Moonbow and Wildflowers photo workshop will lots of great new images and two fewer teeth. True story. The images I can verify; the teeth you’ll need to take my word for. Read on. Chapter One: In the big inning Twenty years ago I lost my two front teeth in a freak…