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Jay McCabe Sep 28, 2011 1 comments

In July Jody Dole and his sons Sam and Brandon spent three days immersed in photography's past at John Coffer's Camp Tintype in upstate New York where wetplate photography rules and fans gather to learn techniques, exchange information, show their work and talk about what they've invented, modified or improved. Digital cameras are allowed, and Jody used his to document the experience; that's Brandon in the photo above. "We started as witnesses and became creators," Jody says of the workshop.

John Coffer lives a 19th-century life on a working farm where light comes from oil lamps and heat from fireplaces; there's no running water and the only electricity is generated by a horse on a treadmill.
"People attending the workshop generally camp out," Jody says, "but Sam, Brandon and I stayed at a nearby B&B."

Everything you need to know is at

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Jay McCabe Sep 01, 2011 1 comments

On the July day nature and outdoor photographer Carol Freeman went to shoot at a favorite location—a retention basin near her home in suburban Chicago—she ended up cutting short her visit as the heat index rose toward triple digits. "After a few minutes shooting, I was done," she says.

With the AC going full blast, she started to pull out of the nearby parking lot when she saw butterflies and dragonflies in the tall grasses of the lot's dividers. "I drove slowly, and when I saw something interesting, stopped, rolled down the window and took a few shots." One of the cool things she saw, and photographed with her 200mm lens, was this damselfly.

Cue the Who: "I'm an air conditioned gypsy; that's my solution."

For more cool images, visit Carol's website,

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Jay McCabe Aug 24, 2011 2 comments

About six months ago I was talking with natural history photographer Rod Planck, and he said something extraordinary: "I just took the best photo I've ever taken." Pro shooters never say that. They tell you their best photo is the one they'll make tomorrow.

Of course I had to see the picture, and I had to know why it was his best.

Rod shot the photo of layers of snow and ice formed by snowfall, snow melt, rain and alternate days of freeze and thaw on a January morning at a stream on his property.

Why does he consider it his best? "Because it's all about vision," Rod says, "not about gear or technology. I could have used any camera, any lens. This was discovery, contemplation, seeing creatively and taking time. This photo exemplifies my career—it's what I've strived to do no matter what I photograph."

To see what else Rod photographs, check his website,