Path of Least Resistance

What follows are philosophical meanderings inspired by this image from last month’s Grand Canyon workshops. Rather than repeat myself, if you want to read about this electric evening, read my recent My Favorite Things post. One of the things I love about a still image is the opportunity to gaze and ponder the scene at my own pace. And pondering this image, it suddenly occured to me that…

My Favorite Things

Maria von Trapp had them, you have them, I have them. They’re the favorite places, moments, and subjects that provide comfort or coax a smile no matter what life has dealt. Not only do these “favorite things” improve our mood, they’re the muse that drives our best photography. Sometimes they even inspire dreams about making a living in photography. But sadly, turning a passion into a…

A Day in the Life

My eyes pop open at the very first piano note of Pat Metheny Group’s “Minuano.” It’s 4:10 a.m., precisely 30 minutes before I’d told my group we’d be taillights-up-the-road for the day’s sunrise shoot. No matter how soothing the day’s chosen wakeup tune, any wakeup time that starts with a “4:” is jarring. Since my rule is to be at the cars to load…

Wait for it…

Landscape photographers have a couple of ways to make nice images. By far the most important is the ability to see the special but less obvious, then know how to compose and expose that special vision in ways that clarify and convey the previously unseen beauty. But sometimes we just need to know when to show up and where to point the camera, and…

Breaking Murphy’s Law

Rain Curtain Lightning, Lipan Point, Grand Canyon Sony a7RIV Sony 24-105 G 1/8 second F/9 ISO 160 Things go wrong. Or, as more succinctly attributed to 20th century aerospace engineer Edward Murphy, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” In my previous post I wrote about some of the physical hardships nature photographers endure while chasing their shots. This got me thinking about…

What Would Michael Scott Do?

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. — Wayne Gretzky” — Michael Scott  Rules are important. The glue of civilization. Bedtime, homework, and curfews constrained our childhood and taught us to self-police to the point where as adults we’re so conditioned that we honor rules simply because we’ve been told to. (Who among us doesn’t always wait for the signal to change, even…

Frozen in Time

Lightning Strike, Brahma Temple, Grand Canyon Sony a7RIV Sony 24-105 G 1/4 second F/8 ISO 250 I’ve always been intrigued by still photos’ ability to reveal aspects of the natural world that are missed by human vision.  A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the camera’s ability to, through long exposures, blur motion and reveal unseen patterns in moving water. And last week…

(More) Lightning Lessons

This post is all about different aspects photographing lightning—some of the stuff I write about here is covered in much more detail in my Lightning Photo Tips article, so you might want to start there I’ve been photographing lightning at the Grand Canyon (especially) and elsewhere for 10 years, but I’m happy to say that I’m still learning. While going through my images from…

The Reason I Do This: Redux

Three Strikes, Lightning and Rainbow from Bright Angel Point, Grand Canyon Canon EOS 5D Mark III 1/3 second 24-105L ISO 100 f/11 This week I’m at the Grand Canyon with virtually no connectivity, so I dug up this blog post from one of the most memorable photography experiences of my life. August 2013 Nature photographers plan, and plan, and plan some more, but no…

More Monsoon Magic

Greetings from the Grand Canyon. It’s pretty hard to post a blog in the middle of a workshop, and downright near impossible when the Internet is down and your cellular carrier has capped your roaming data at 200 megabytes (which I ripped through in 3 days, with only 12 days to go—thank you very much, T-Mobile). But here I am, a day late, with…