2016 Favorite Images              2017/01

Significantly for 2016, I purchased the cropped-frame Sony a6300 for backpacking, video and added reach in bird photography. I then discovered the image IQ was as good as my Canon 5D III at moderate ISO’s, so I used it preferentially for landscapes. The proof is below, where seven of eleven favorite images came from the […]

Light Diffuser for Bird Set-ups              2016/10

On sunny summer days I sometimes carry a white, 42” circular light diffuser (16” folded) when photographing wildflowers. As the sweet morning light burns off–leaving a harsh-shadow sun–I turn to floral portraits with the light disc aid. The one I use most is an old Photoflex. On long hikes, I make do with a 22” […]

Lightning at Palouse Falls               2016/05

The flash of lightning greeted us as we emerged at dusk from a steep climb out of upper Palouse Canyon. My heart raced. Lightning isn’t unusual here, but this was a photo op not to be missed! I sped to the cliff overlooking Palouse Falls, a perfect ringside perch for the ensuing show. A lone […]

Light Backpacking Gear

Light-weight your three-season backpacking gear to hike farther and higher, and capture the photographs of your dreams. I slogged over Aasgard Pass on my first Washington State Enchantments backpack 21 years ago, a 4,550 ft elevation gain on day one. My 55-pound load that year included 10 lbs. of camera gear, with a few oddities: […]

Backpacking Photographer, Light-weight Supporting Camera Gear        2016/01

Light-weight ideas for tripod, camera case, filters and other tools of the backpacking photographer I researched switching to a mirrorless camera for backpacking recently, figuring the weight savings and comparable picture quality would make the switch from a Canon 5D III a win. A driver of that investigation was that I skipped purchase the 50MP […]

Ode to Ephemeris____2015/10

Photographically, September was a good month. In part this was due to The Photographer’s Ephemeris, a free and popular outdoor photographer planning software. I’ve written about Ephemeris before, in 2012. It’s since evolved to be web browser and app-based, no longer a desktop download. Below are two instances where The Photographer’s Ephemeris contributed hugely to […]

Night Sky Focusing ____ 2015/09

Like many photographers, I’ve had some difficulty photographing the night sky with my dSLR. Focusing the lens is an omnipresent concern. It’s dark as pitch when the Milky Way is out in all its glory. Autofocus doesn’t work. Looking through the viewfinder, it’s difficult to compose, let alone manually focus. You can twist the focus […]

Patterns in Nature ___ 2015/08

Photographs of patterns in nature compel, soothe and mystify. Well-executed, they capture our attention. They trap our gaze, like Escher does, in endless loops. Examples are everywhere: bird flocks, butterfly wings, fish scales, animal hides, beach pebbles, snowflakes, bubbles in ice, gnarled wood, smoky hills, lichen close-ups. Armed with a telephoto or a macro lens, […]

Creating Starbursts ____ 2015/07

Starbursts are light rays emanating from point light sources — from the sun, moon, streetlights, sunlit waterdrops or reflective surfaces. They are creative photographic elements that can enhance an image — adding drama to a dull sky, a focal point to a silhouette or waterdrop, a twinkle to street lights. Starbursts are created where light […]