Ireland by iPhone 2014


I took my new Panasonic GH4 system to Ireland and loved it. Much lighter to carry everything from 7.5mm Fisheye (all lenses double in length on GH4, so really 15mm) to the 100-300 (think handholdable 200-600)! Batteries lasted much better than I thought and the new SanDisk 32GB Extreme PRO SDHC UHS-II cards are a […]

Nature Photography Day 2012


Nature Photography Day, Friday June 15, is the seventh annual celebration of Nature Photography. Established by NANPA (North American Nature Photography Association) in 2006 to encourage people everywhere to explore nature with a camera. The day was designated to promote the enjoyment of nature photography and also highlight the fact that nature photography plays a […]

How not to get burned shooting Fireflies.

Synchronous fire flies on display

Ok, so Fireflies don’t give off any heat, but getting great images of them is still not easy. Much easier now, though, than when I tried with film years ago. The most interesting fireflies (lightning bugs) are the Synchronous variety found most numerous in the Great Smoky Mountains. Last part of May into June, these […]

Why use a Leveling Base on your tripod?


  Today I was talking to a friend about tripods, ball heads and leveling head/ leveling bases. He was asking if he should get a leveling base on the Feisol tripod he was about to order. From using a Bogen, a Really Right Stuff  and a Feisol leveling base for my ball heads over the […]

Feisol Tripods and DISCOUNT


One of the few images of me. Rebecca likes to get me in action at times, even though I try to duck.. This is my Feisol CT-3372 and the older leveling head. I wrote a little about tripods back in the fall. Since that time I have had lots of experience with the Feisol CT-3372 […]

Smokies Spring Scouting March 27

I made it back to Chimneys Picnic Area and the Cove Hardwood trail early morning and was the first car there at 720am. I made around the entire trail and saw more flowers blooming there than I have ever seen all at one time. Trout Lilies, White Fringed Phacelia, White Erect Trillium, Yellow Trillium, Large-flowered […]

What everyone ought to know about cold weather photography

Fall color has peaked and gone. Spring flowers are just an anticipation of things to come. Winter is upon us and many photographers have hung up their equipment for the frigid season of the year. And these photographers will miss out on the magical season. Why are so many photographers reticent to venture out into […]

Follow Up to War on Photography

Wow, talk about charging people up, good or bad.. I never expected the response I got yesterday. I was hoping to inform some people about what was going on (like those of us who have been accosted because of taking photographs need reminding). I also wanted to point out the the “War on Photography” is […]

More Fall Color

Today I left early and was up at the peak of the Cherohala Skyway, on the North Carolin side. The Cherohala Skyway runs 52 miles up over 5300 feet in the Cherokee National Forest and the Nantahala National Forest. It starts at Tellico Plains, TN (ok, I’m from TN so why should I have it […]

HDR comparison

Shooting HDR (High Dynamic Range) are fun. I have been experimenting with different situations with HDR. Usually it works well with a scene with huge range in tonality (Sun with shade), but I have found that on stream shots it works very well. You don’t get as much of the silky water as a normal […]

HDR (High Dynamic Range) Part 2

Before we go any further, let me clarify that most of the time I shoot from a tripod, BUT there are times I use AutoBracketing and Continuous High Frame rate on my Nikon D3s. Having a Frame rate of 9 frames/sec helps and I am usually using a wide angle lens (16mm Fisheye or 17-35mm). […]

HDR (High Dynamic Range) Step One

With the advent of photography going to digital capture, we can now combine different exposures of the same image to more closely represent the range of tonality (dynamic range) that our eyes can actually see. Even though the tonality range of capture has increased with digital ( ~ 5 stops for slide film to ~6-8 […]

Border Wall and HDR

This spring I was fortunate to visit the US-Mexico Border Wall outside of McAllen, TX. Joining me in this escape was Jerry Monkman and Trish Drury, both great photographers and also great friends.  This HDR on our first attempt to find “the Wall”. Heading toward the Border and following a GPS, when found an area with […]

10 Great iPhone Apps for Nature Photographers

Ok, I know that everyone doesn’t have an iPhone, yet. Give it time.. Really, this post is written for those of you (us) who have bitten the technological bullet and know run around, using your iPhone for all kinds of things. I want to share with you ten apps that I think are wonderful and […]

Fire in the sky

Well, I finally made it over to the Smokies for the annual viewing of the synchronous fire flies.. It has been several years and I had ideas of how I wanted to shoot it. Loaded with gear and some idea of where we wanted to go, my step son Daniel and I headed out after […]

Finally, Layers for Lightroom

I was teaching a couple of weekends ago in Pittsburgh and discussing the positives (and negatives) of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Bascially the negatives are things that you have to go out of LR to do. Specifically one is layers and combining images. I said that I didn’t think it would be long before we had […]

Even in your yard

I wanted to go out and shoot today, but wanted to stay close to home. I decided that since lots of plants were blooming in my yard, I would just venture out the front door. Light was nice..  Wind was ok at times and a little breezy at times. I did some shots with the […]

Burgess Falls Beauty and Patterns in Nature

Burgess Falls is a magnificent set of falls on the Cumberland Plateau. This is an image of the Main (or big falls) at the park. You walk from the parking lot will meander along the river and views of 2 other falls before coming to the end of the trail at the main falls. Wildflowers […]

Up close

I spent part of the morning in a place called Dean’s Woods in Knoxville, TN. I have blogged about this area before and it still calls me back to explore the beauty of floral display. Even in the Smokies you would be hard pressed to find such density and diversity of wildflowers. The only problem […]

Cascade Waterfalls and Spring Snow

Spring is definitely a little bit behind as you go further north from East TN. We spent part of the weekend at Virginia Tech and hiked up to Cascade Waterfalls in the Jefferson National Forest Recreation Area Cascades just outside of Pembroke, VA. It is about a 30 minute drive from campus. A bit cool […]

Heaven in Knoxville

Yesterday I spent time in Dean’s Woods in Knoxville, TN. This is a 20 acre plot that is owned by the University of Tennessee and used by the biology department, essentially as an outdoor laboratory. It has been 15 years since I went there to photograph and now I am kicking myself that I had […]

Spring in east TN

Spring is here. According to the calendar and to the flowers and trees in my town. Living in east TN has its advantages. Winter is not bad, but we have winter. Spring comes early. Summer is comfortable. Fall is beautiful. Cost of living is great. People are fantastic.  Ok, enough raving about my neck of […]

South Rio Grande Valley

South Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Home to cactus, cattle, oil wells and some of the best birding in the United states. I just returned from the NANPA Summit where some of the best nature photographers in the world congregated. For all of you who didn’t get a chance to come, we missed you. The Summit […]

NANPA Summit Pros

NANPA Summit is now going on in McAllen, TX. Jack Dykinga, Daniel Beltra, Michelle Westmoreland, Kathy Adams Clark, Jeff Foote, Jerry Monkman ( my roommate), Rob Sheppard, and many more. All here sharing, catching up on ventures and lives. Seeing others great work, sharing with high school and college students, meeting with editors, meeting with […]