Luminar 2018

Changing software isn’t something that we, as photographers, do often. Thank goodness. There is a learning curve involved with switching out your software. I don’t know about you, but staring at new software can be overwhelming. But for the past year, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. Learning how to use Macphun’s Luminar.

In 2015, I moved from using a rather massive PC that took up an entire office desk to doing all of my photo editing with a MacBook Pro that can go anywhere with me. No longer am I chained to my desk, or to my office for that matter.… More

I’ve always recommended to my students and new photographers to stop the chimping. Recently, I put myself in a situation making me rethink my stance on chimping…somewhat.

Platinum Processing Plant and Cactus

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, “chimping” is the act of looking at the camera’s LCD screen after every image for a little shot of gratification. It refers to chimpanzees gathering around to look at a new discovery.

I assume chimping provides your brain with a little shot of dopamine, the chemical you get as a reward. And while it may give you a good feeling, chimping is also a distraction. For just a few seconds after making every image, you are not paying attention to what’s going on.… More

nik-logoGoogle announced yesterday that it will be making it’s Nik Collection available free to photographers starting today. This software package was priced at $150 per license. If any of you purchased the Nik Collection in 2016, you will be receiving a full refund from Google in the near future.

The Nik Collection includes seven desktop plug-ins for Abobe Photoshop and Lightroom. The plug-ins are: Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine. You can download the software package by going to this link and clicking on the Download Now button in the upper right hand corner.… More

The American Bison, symbol of the Great Plains and one of the icons of North America. Thanks to YouTube, State Farm commercials, and the classic cowboy movies, these great beasts can conjure up some scary mental images.

American Bison at Nachusa Grasslands

My first thoughts of bison were always of stampedes, people being gored or trampled, and vehicles getting rammed. Not anymore though.

I had a recent opportunity to photograph a herd of 75 American Bison at Nachusa Grasslands, a prairie restoration project in northern Illinois owned by The Nature Conservancy. Riding along with Cody Considine, restoration ecologist and bison handler at Nachusa, we were able to pull the truck up fairly close to the herd.… More

In late October, I had the privilege to travel to Shenandoah National Park as part of I-Qest TV and the 59 Veterans project’s Shenandoah Recon 2015 trip. The mission — put together a short video to present to investors, check out some video equipment for future use, and get a feel for the team dynamics on the project.

Director and Videographer at Shenandoah National Park

I initially got involved with the 59 Veterans project eight months earlier after stumbling onto the LinkedIn profile of Jeffrey Ehrenkrantz, founder and CEO of I-Qest TV. 59 Veterans is a groundbreaking project that helps returning servicemen and women start exciting new careers in videography.… More

DSLR vs Mirrorless Camera

If you are in the market for your first serious camera, you have probably noticed two avenues to go. The traditional Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras or the new Mirrorless cameras. Maybe you’ve had DSLR cameras in the past, and have been considering the switch to a mirrorless systems? I was in your shoes a little over a year ago. After doing exhaustive research, I chose to switch over to mirrorless cameras. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made in photography.

I became interested in mirrorless camera systems several years ago after reading many articles written by photographers I respect.… More

Behind the Blossoms
Photo: Flickr / Joseph Gruber

I’ve been reading a lot lately about all of the conflicts taking place around the world at the iconic photo spots. Arches National Park, the Taj Mahal, and the Bean in Chicago come to mind. There are even a few YouTube videos out there showing photographers jockeying for position, screaming obscenities at each other, and at times getting into physical confrontations. Why is this happening?

Why is it so important to photograph the same landscape or icon that has literally been photographed millions of times already? This is nothing more than photographic trophy hunting. It’s one thing to grab a quick snapshot as a memory that you did indeed visit some place special.… More