Prairie Chickens at 400 Yards

Prairie chickens, Kellerton Grasslands Bird Conservation Area

I figured it was pretty much an exercise in futility to try and photograph prairie chickens that were over 400 yards away, but I did it anyway. Why not? You have nothing to lose. If the photos don’t come out, no one needs to see them. Or they might end up being an illustration for a blog article (wink).

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The Best National Parks to Photograph in Spring

 Ocotillo. Big Bend National Park. Texas.

Ocotillo. Big Bend National Park, Texas.

If I could go on a fabulous spring photography trip to the national parks of my choice, with no time limit and all expenses paid, which ones would I pick? Here are my choices, grouped by state from west to east. This list includes the favorites I have been to and want to go back to again, plus the ones I haven’t seen and most want to photograph.

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Fascinating Head Butting Interaction Between a Photographer and an Elk

Park rangers said the photographer did nothing wrong in this incident which happened in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At the end of this video the elk starts to drag off the photographer’s gear. Much to the regret of the photographer in the video and the photographer that took this video, the elk was put down. This elk kept approaching people due to being fed by park visitors so it was put down.

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A Snowy Owl Photo Expedition

Snowy Owl

Snowy Owl

What is a Snowy Owl expedition really like? This article is your chance to find out. Join me for a two day photo safari! I give you tips and photo suggestions along the way, and you get to see how I prepare, plan, and adapt on a photo trip. I tell you what went right and what went wrong so this is also about what to do when things don’t go according to plan.

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How to Find and Photograph Snowy Owls

Snowy Owl Sightings, January 2016

Snowy Owl Sightings, January 2016

Winter is your opportunity to photograph Snowy Owls. When it is cold enough and there is enough snow cover, snowy owls move down into the northern U.S. The colder it is the farther south they move. If conditions are right, don’t delay. If the winter turns warmer the snowy owls will head back north.

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“How To” Series: Snowy Owl Photography

Snowy Owl

Snowy Owl looking for prey.

If there are cold enough temperatures and plenty of snow cover on the ground, the northern United States has a winter invasion of Snowy Owls. These are magnificent creatures and well worth your photographic time and attention. This series is filled with tips on how to find and photograph snowy owls.

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“How To” Series: Winter Photography

Last Light on El Capitan, Yosemite National Park

Last Light on El Capitan, Yosemite National Park

In addition to all of the usual photographic challenges, winter provides some extra complications, especially in terms of metering. So I began this series of articles on winter photography. Check out the links below. The articles will help you meet the unique challenges of winter photography. So get out there, have fun, and create some great winter images!

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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 December 18, 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 December 18, 2019.

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How To Get Critical Focus in “Live View” Mode with a Magnified Image

Tripod mpounted camera in live view mode.

Tripod mounted camera in live view mode. The image is visible on the LCD along with the RGB histogram.

“Live View” mode is a huge boon to digital photographers and magnified focus is one of the reasons why. Focusing this way is more accurate than the camera’s autofocus modes, at least with non-moving subjects, and you will have sharper images. Landscape photography is the usual time to use this technique but sometimes it works for wildlife.

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Two Photographers and Eleven Outdoor/Travel Writers Pick the Best National Parks for Fall

Long’s Peak and Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

Fall is a fabulous time of year to visit the national parks. Crowds are usually smaller than in the summer, temperatures are cooler, and some of our national parks have glorious fall colors. With so many to choose from, where should you go? Which national parks will provide the best photographic opportunities in the fall?

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The Best National Parks for Fall Photography

Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

What are the best national parks to photograph in the fall? Here are my choices, grouped by state and province from west to east. This list includes the favorites I have been to, plus the ones I most want to see based on the recommendations of the photographers I trust, like Tim Fitzharris and QT Luong. More about them later.

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Colorado Fall Color Photography and Travel Guide

Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake. Mid-morning. September 24, 2015.

Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake. Mid-morning. September 24, 2015.

Headed for Colorado this fall? Welcome to my Colorado fall color photography and travel guide with 120 photos, 17 maps, and over 100 pages of information (if you print it all out). I cover some of the best known fall color locations in Colorado, and one real gem of a road that is mostly unknown to photographers and leaf peepers. Spend anywhere from a few days to two weeks (or more) exploring the beautiful Colorado Rockies at a gorgeous time of year.

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Favorite Photo, July 31

Ava, Worthington Ohio. July 31, 2016.

This was another spontaneous Sunday afternoon photo shoot. The light was perfect and I picked a large tree trunk as the background. The braids help make the picture. And look at those eyes! If you have been following this series you have seen Ava before. I have been taking pictures of her and her two sisters since each of them were two or three years old. This is one of my all time favorite portraits and my most favorite image for July 31.

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Favorite Photo, July 30

"Second Sunset", Colorado
“Second Sunset”, Brainard Lake, Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado. July 30, 2007.

Bob (my brother-on-law and photo buddy) and I were at Brainard Lake in hopes of capturing some nice landscape images. But it was cloudy and drizzly, and occasionally raining. We retreated to the car to eat a late snack/supper. We ate and talked and watched the rain drops on the windshield.

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Favorite Photo, July 20

Pika, Rocky Mountain National Park
Pika, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. July 20, 2005

I was up on Trail Ridge Road at Rock Cut. Pika were everywhere, gathering grass to stash away for the long winter. They have about about 3 or 4 months to gather enough food to last through an 8 or 9 month long winter. This was the only pika gathering flowers.

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Favorite Photo, July 15

Doris and Family, Fremont California. July 15, 2012.

The big day arrived, the celebration for Doris’ 90th birthday. Doris in the middle of the seated row, along with her four daughters. Gathered around are her sons-in-law, all of her grandchildren and some of her great-grand grandchildren. This is a favorite family portrait and one of my two most favorite images for this date.

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Favorite Photo, July 14

Janae and Doris, Fremont California. July 14, 2012.

It was a very busy week in Fremont California. Doris, my mother-in-law, turned 90 years old and birthday preparations were in full swing. At the end of a long day we were headed back to the house. Our daughter Janae walked her grandmother Doris up to the front door. I grabbed my camera and snapped this image. It is one of my all time favorite images, and one of my two most favorite photos for this date.

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Favorite Photo, July 10

Samantha, Worthington Ohio. July 10, 2011

Samantha is an Ohio model and we were in a local park creating images for our respective portfolios. It was a beautiful, soft light kind of day that is perfect for portraits. This is my favorite image from our photo shoot, and one of my two most favorite images for July 10.

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Favorite Photo, July 7

Kirtland Temple at Dusk, Kirtland Ohio. July 7, 2003.

The Kirtland Temple is a fascinating 1830s era building on the National Register of Historic Places. The walls of the Temple are white, but you wouldn’t know from this photo. The late evening light, combined with a nearby street light created this unusual color mix. This is my favorite photo for July 7.

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Colorado Fall Color Travel and Photography Guide

Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake. Mid-morning. September 24, 2015.

Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake. Mid-morning. September 24, 2015.

Welcome to my Colorado fall color travel and photography guide with over 100 pages of information (if you print it all out), 120 photos, and 17 maps. I cover some of the best known fall color locations in Colorado, and one real gem of a road that is mostly unknown to photographers and leaf peepers. Spend anywhere from a few days to three weeks exploring the beautiful Colorado Rockies at a gorgeous time of year.

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