For almost a year I planned for the 22-day trip I took this past January to photograph among the indigenous people of Ethiopia. I did a lot of research so I’d know what to expect and how to deal with everything from the customs of the country to the weather and the traveling conditions. Also, I’d have a driver and a guide, and along the way I’d pick up local guides who’d know the ins and outs of specific villages, tribes, and dialects.
Jun 25, 2013
Published: May 01, 2013
Straddling a beautiful stretch of the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Virginia, Shenandoah National Park is a hiker’s and photographer’s delight. Located only 70 miles from the nation’s capital, Shenandoah provides an oasis of nature surrounded by ever-encroaching civilization. Long and narrow, the park runs north/south along a ridge crest characterized by rolling hills and mountains, quiet hollows, rushing streams and waterfalls, and verdant forests. Running through the park is Skyline Drive, a 105-mile scenic roadway that meanders along the crest of the Blue Ridge. Along this roadway are 75 overlooks offering unparalleled views of the piedmont to the east and the valley and mountains to the west. The park is also host to a 101-mile segment of the venerable Appalachian Trail as it winds its way from Georgia to Maine.
Every traveler with a camera will welcome the words “smaller” and “lighter.” Because I travel and photograph for a living, I not only welcome them, I search for them. I want to see those adjectives accompanying nouns like camera, lens, laptop, and drive (the portable kind).
After 30 years of making a living as a professional photographer I reached another milestone this past July—I traveled with my 17-year-old son Justin around the entire state of Oregon, our goal being to create an in-depth documentary of this beautiful state. We had never before traveled together solely as a photo team. This trip served as another milestone for me—it would be my first photo trip with my new Canon digital camera, having finally said goodbye to my beloved manual Nikon SLRs and Fujichrome slide film.
Dec 19, 2012
Published: Nov 01, 2012
Montana’s rich mining history dates back well over 100 years. In the year 1852, gold was first discovered southeast of Drummond, along Gold Creek, at a site that later became known as the Pioneer Mining District. But it wasn’t until a decade later, in 1862, that a group of prospectors from Colorado discovered gold along Grasshopper Creek, at what was to become the Bannack Town Site, which fueled the Montana gold rush.
“A super wide-angle lens will encompass Mount Whitney and Mount Russell with Iceberg Lake in the foreground.”
Mount Whitney, located on the eastern fringe of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, is the tallest peak in the Eastern Sierra and the contiguous United States. A four-hour drive north of Los Angeles, its lofty summit at 14,494 feet is sought after by hikers and climbers from all over the world. It’s also a favorite of landscape photographers seeking to capture the right compositions as soft pink and orange hues soak into the gritty granite mountain at dawn.
Often people will ask me, “How do you get that great color in your photos?” I appreciate the compliment, but it’s usually followed by, “You must do a lot of retouching.” Actually I don’t. I will do a little color enhancement, but how color looks in my images has to do partly with how I set certain camera controls, how I control or use lighting in the scene, and how I compose the photograph.
Ever since I was a kid and visited the Grand Canyon for an hour with my family, I have dreamed about going back and seeing the canyon from the river’s perspective. So when some friends invited my wife and me on a 21-day trip after they had waited 15 years for a private permit, it wasn’t hard to commit. The permit covered nearly the entire month of March, when crowds are smaller and no motorized boats or guides are allowed on the river.
My great-grandparents homesteaded in the northern part of the Black Hills around the turn of the 20th century, but found the environment too inhospitable for traditional farming and moved to eastern South Dakota. But that bond to the Black Hills continues to be passed down through my family, and I’ve visited the area on a regular basis since I was a little boy. My earliest travels with a camera were to the Black Hills during my early teens on family vacations, with resulting photos that failed to show how the area made me feel. As my photographic skills improved I’ve returned many times, but have only yet begun to scratch the surface of the numerous natural wonders located in the Black Hills.
If you’re a sucker for forested mountains, fjords, alpine lakes, crystalline streams, seaside villages, and very cosmopolitan cities, well, one anyway, I’d like to introduce you to a special place. In addition, if you’re in North America anyway, it’s easy to get to. This enchanted land is…drum roll…Vancouver Island.
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, located in the Colorado Desert (two hours east of San Diego and three hours south of Los Angeles), is California’s largest state park. It’s also a World Biosphere Reserve meant to demonstrate a balanced relationship between man and nature.
The park encompasses 600,000 acres containing 500 miles of dirt roads, 12 wilderness...
Many photographers will walk out the door for a portrait shoot with little more than a camera and a reflector. They do so based on the common belief that flash photography is meant exclusively for indoor shooting, that flash is only used when there isn’t enough light to achieve a perfect exposure. However, based on my experience, a flash combined with a few affordable accessories has tremendous...
Ten years ago, when I was primarily a fashion photographer, I did a shoot in Cuba. Normally I’d have used medium and long telephoto lenses, but because the narrow streets I was shooting on featured colorfully painted walls, I switched to a 35mm lens. With that lens I was able to show not only the models but also the background, which revealed a bit about the location. Equally important, I...
Berlin is a vibrant city, alive with a history, culture, and counterculture all its own. I didn’t expect to fall in love with it, but did. Interestingly, everywhere you turn in this metropolis you see huge derricks craning their necks in the midst of constructing yet another building. While many scenes may reflect this burgeoning vitality, there are countless views free of any construction...
My wife and I live in an alternate universe. It’s called “RV Land.” We inhabit a vibrant subculture in which people live full-time in various types of recreational vehicles. An RV is a little home on wheels, able to carry computers and camera gear along with a full life support system. It requires a diet of gasoline but the expense seems trivial as we pass hundreds of motels...