Favorite Photo, January 30

Ivory, Columbus Ohio. January 30, 2009.
Ivory, Columbus Ohio. January 30, 2009.

For this photo shoot we wanted something different than the usual portrait look. We wanted something more bold and dramatic. So I put the camera right on the floor in order to catch Ivory’s subtle reflection in the floor. This is my favorite image for January 30.

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“I have a dream …”

“I have a dream that one day . . . little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Favorite Photo, January 14

Andrew playing soccer, Keller Texas. January 14, 2017.

Our grandson Andrew loves to play soccer. He is number 15 in white in this group of players near the goal. The key to most good sports photos is action and there is a lot going on in this photo. The ball is going behind the goalkeeper in yellow. This is my favorite photo for January 14.

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“And A Guitar”: What is the Process I Used to Write the Story? How Long Did It Take?

All the photos taken at the performance of “And A Guitar”.

Not long after I posted my review of And A Guitar I was asked how long it took to write. I gave a quick answer at the time. As I thought about the question since, the intriguing thing to me was the process of writing an article, as well as the time. So I checked the metadata for the folders and files I created to come up with an answer.

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One Photographer and Nine Outdoor/Travel Writers Pick the Best Winter National Parks

Last Light on Long’s Peak and the Keyboard of the Winds, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

Thinking about a photography trip to one or more U.S. national parks this winter? You can benefit from the work I have done. Some national parks look better in the winter than others. You will want to make them a priority.  After you read this article I recommend you also read the companion article: The Best National Parks to Photograph in Winter.

Originally posted January 17, 2017. Updated and re-posted January 10, 2019.

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The Best National Parks to Photograph in Winter

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon

Winter provides some wonderful photo opportunities in our national parks. But some national parks look much better in the winter than others. So if you haven’t gone into hibernation for the winter, here are the best national parks to go photograph this winter, grouped by state from the west to the east. There are a few bonus locations thrown in too. At the end I give you my “best of the best” list.

Posted January 17, 2017. Updated and re-posted January 10, 2019.

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Winter Photography Safety Essentials

Some of the winter travel items I carry in the trunk of my car.

Some of the winter travel items I carry in the trunk of my car. This is the “kitchen” and “furnace”.

I grew up in Colorado where strange weather can strand you in any month of the year. Even though it is rare, I’ve seen blizzards in the Colorado high country in July. So I learned to carry some safety essentials when doing winter photography in remote locations. You never know when you might be stranded for several hours, a whole day, or longer, until the blizzard abates and someone can come find you. This is what I carry in my car when I hit the road in the winter and pretty much any time I am going to be in the High Rockies. I include a few winter travel tips, too.

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How To Work With A Model When The Windchill is 4°


Selina, Downtown Columbus Ohio. Windchill 4°.

You would think a windchill of 4° Fahrenheit (-16°C) would be too cold for a photo shoot, but not with some models. We booked this January shoot weeks in advance so we knew it would be cold, but we had no idea how cold until the day arrived. Here’s the story behind this image and how to work with a model when it is so cold.

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Testing Your Camera’s Snow Exposure Latitude

Cascade, Barry, and Coxe Glaciers

Cascade, Barry, and Coxe Glaciers, Prince William Sound, Alaska

The “snow exposure latitude” for every camera is different. You won’t find it in your camera’s manual but it is easy to determine with a do-it-yourself test. Why does it matter? If you don’t know the snow exposure latitude for your camera and how to apply apply it to your images, the color and quality of your winter photos will suffer.

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Metering Nighttime Winter Scenes

Twilight, Rocky Mountain National Park.

Twilight, Rocky Mountain National Park. Sirius, Canis Major, Orion, Taurus, the Hyades star cluster, and the Pleiades star cluster are all visible in the fading light. Click for a larger version.

You can photograph the night sky year around, but winter brings an added bonus: SNOW! When you don’t have the benefit of moonlight, most of the year land forms a dark to black silhouetted skyline against the night sky. In winter you have the possibility of including the highly reflective snow. You can see both in this photo. Any place not covered with snow is very dark to black. Having reflective snow is why winter is the favorite time of year for a lot of photographers to go out and photograph the night sky.

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