Perfect Timing

In the Alabama Hills to photograph sunrise in neck-craning proximity to the Sierra Crest, I knew precisely what time, on this date, the sun’s first rays would color the towering granite, and exactly when a 98% moon would would disappear behind the left flank of Mt. Williamson, California’s second highest peak. Clocks and calendars enable us to time some aspects of our lives, like sunrises…

You Had to Be There

I was never one of those analog purists who had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the digital world. Despite a pretty extensive and carefully curated album collection, I jumped into the CD revolution early (1980) and with both feet, then embraced the transition to MP3 and subsequent digital audio formats with similar fervor. (Part of me still longs for the sound of…

Transcending the Trophy

Wonderland, Golden Circle, Iceland Sony a7R V Sony 12-24 GM 1/40 second F/11 ISO 200 With Horsetail Fall season about to kick off, this week I’m thinking about “trophy shots.” (My definition of a trophy shot is a commonly shared photograph of a scene captured previously by many others.) Often these are “iconic” tourist scenes, such Delicate Arch in Arches, or Multnomah Falls in…

Upping Your Vertical Game

Greetings from Iceland. Perhaps you noticed that this picture is in fact not Iceland, but that’s only because I simply haven’t had a chance to process my images from the past week. There are many reasons to visit Iceland in winter, and I will very enthusiastically share examples in future posts (northern lights, anyone?), but today I’m sharing one more image from last month’s Yosemite workshop….

Looking Back at 2022

This is my final blog post of 2022. Going through my images from the past 12 months, I can’t help but celebrate my blessings. What you might (I hope) view as a pretty picture, represents to me a thrilling moment in Nature. And believe me when I say that I remember the experience of witnessing every single image I share here. 2022 was the…

The Third Time’s the Charm

Large or small, crescent or full, I love photographing the moon rising above Yosemite. I truly believe it’s one of the most beautiful sights on Earth. The moon’s alignment with Yosemite Valley changes from month-to-month, with my favorite full moon alignment coming in the short-day months near the winter solstice when it rises between El Capitan and Half Dome (from Tunnel View), but I…

Ready or Not…

Let’s review Consistently finding great photo opportunities isn’t just luck, but neither is it a divine gift. With that in mind, I sometimes refer to “The 3 P’s of nature photography,” describing the effort and sacrifice necessary to consistently create successful landscape images: Preparation, Persistence, and Pain. Preparation is your foundation, the research you do that puts you in the right place at the right time,…

Natural Light Painting

Once upon a time, moonlight was the only kind of night photography I did. As lifelong astronomy enthusiast, I’ve always been mesmerized by all the stars that come out when the moon is down, but film and the earliest digital cameras were just not capable of adequately capturing the world after dark without help from multiple exposures or artificial light (dealbreakers for me). While…

Watch Your Weight

Dynamic vs. static Photographic composition is all about managing the tension between dynamic and static: the dynamic component is the way the eye moves through the frame, while the static component is the overall balance of the scene’s elements. To synergize these two potentially conflicting factors, I think in terms the “visual weight” of my frame’s contained elements. Like gravity for the eye, visual…

Big Moon Rising

It doesn’t take much time with my images to figure out that I love photographing the moon. Large or small, full or crescent, it doesn’t really matter. Almost every one of my moon images is the product of plotting the time of its arrival (or departure), then making sure I’m there to photograph it. Using astronomical tables and topo map software, I’ve been doing…