Backpacking Tripod: Oben CT-2331 ____ 2014/08

After a long, long wait, I finally found a tripod that matched my spec for light-weight backpacking. I shoot while backpacking with a full-frame, Canon 5D Mark III, with lenses that range from a 14mm f/2.8 to a 70-200mm f/4 zoom. Body and lens, this is demanding stuff for a light-weight tripod. My criteria list […]

Photographer Kayak: Necky Elias ____ 2014/04

I’ve been paddling a fiberglass Necky Elias for a year now and I’m constantly reminded of its suitability for photographers. Our needs are a bit different from other paddlers; those needs include ample stowage, ample hatch and cockpit openings, and maneuverability. Speed is rarely an issue. Open ocean suitability is a plus. The Necky Elias […]

Ultralight Camera Bag—Reconsidered ____ 2014/03

In recent years while backpacking, I stowed my Canon 5D in a Tamrac 3330 Aero Zoom30 (7½W x 5D x 8H external). The 7 oz. bag is the lightest I’ve found that meets the need of housing a full-frame camera with zoom lens attached. It’s cheap at $20 (Amazon). In the field, I use the […]

A Most Important Thing ____ 2014/02

Early on, nature photographers are taught the necessity of using a tripod. The great teacher John Shaw calls the tripod a crucial, best single accessory. Pros use tripods. With a tripod you slow down, take control and become a better photographer. You can better fine tune compositions, pick and choose elements like line and shape, […]

2013 Favorite Images Critique ____ 2014/01

I wasn’t thinking I had many favorites when I created a 2013_best_images Collection in Lightroom from the filtered three-star-or-better images of 2013. But I found many I was quite fond of, and in a couple short sessions whittled those to ten. Often it’s the field experience as much as the composition that yields a favorite, […]

Lightroom 5 HSL Panel: More Pop and Mystery ____ 2013/12

Last year (2012/09 Photo Tip), I wrote about using Lightroom Development tools to create Pop and Mystery in a photo. The gist: darken skies, selectively increase color saturation and increase contrast. Ansel Adams famously said the negative is the score, the print the performance. The RAW file you create in camera is a digital negative; […]

Background in Wildlife Photography ____ 2013/11

Photographing elk is much like other wildlife photography, in that background is often key. Early in October I was in Jasper National Park, Alberta, waiting for the weather to break for a planned kayak paddle of Maligne Lake. While I waited I met a friend, Norm Dougan, by coincidence, and for two days he graciously […]

More Deep Trouble

In July, Sea Kayaker Magazine published a second volume to Deep Trouble, which was a treasure trove of sea kayaking accidents and lessons learned by authors Matt Broze, George Gronseth and Sea Kayaker editor Chris Cunningham, still timely today. Sixteen years later, More Deep Trouble is now available at Sea Kayaker Magazine or at Amazon. […]

Photo Tip: Road Less Traveled ____ 2013/04

A good route to success in outdoor photography is finding a niche that you love. Find your passion; focus like a laser. Be a big fish in small pond. My particular niche is sea kayaking. As a vehicle, the sea kayak transports a photographer to unique photo ops, sometimes just a stone’s throw out on […]

Backpacking Photography Gear        2013/01

Sunrise near Sahale Glacier camp, Sahale Arm, North Cascades NP, Washington State.

I’ve written thrice about backpacking (Ultralight Backpacking and Photography, Backpacking and Photography Re-visit, Light-Weight Backpacking and Photography), all pointed at ultra-lightening the backpack gear. The goal is to safely reduce pack weight to ease the burden of carrying a dSLR, lenses and tripod. And it works. Ultralight backpacking is a photographer’s godsend. Ultralighting gets us […]