Category Archives: Articles

Utah Road Trip!

Exploring landscapes and the Milky Way in the Desert Southwest

Last week, I took a quick getaway to eastern Utah with my Image Doctors podcast partner, Rick Walker. Rick and I have been photographing together for years, and we had a fun opportunity to do some night photography in a dark sky location in Utah.

We packed up our gear and made the drive from Colorado Springs to Green River, Utah, where we spent the night. Our plan was to do some location scouting the next morning in Capitol Reef National Park, and then spending the night in a yurt at Goblin Valley State Park.

Capitol Reef National Park

The next morning , we made the 100 mile drive to Capitol Reef, which is a really underrated National Park. While there aren’t the majestic overlooks like you get in some of the other Utah parks, there’s tons of color and textures to be found within and among the rocks there. Conditions were a bit tricky that morning due to the spate of wildfires in California and Arizona, and we quickly realized by about 10am that we were going to be facing a very long day in 100+ degree temperatures if we just hung out until check-in time at Goblin Valley.

Rock formations at Capitol Reef National Park, UT.
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10 Years Photographing The Badlands

Sunrise at Door Trail, Badlands National Park

Celebrating 10 years of epic landscape photography in South Dakota

The first time I visited Badlands National Park, I was on a week-long photo tour with members of the Nikonians photographic community. It was 2005, and it was my first “real” photo experience with a digital camera, my brand-new Nikon D2x. I had two (!) 4GB memory cards in total, and I still remember the challenge of making the transition from film (fixed ISOs and slow shutter speeds) to digital.

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What is Focus Breathing?

Some lenses change apparent focal length during focus due to their optical design.

A demonstration of focus breathing in the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lenses

Some lenses change their apparent focal length as you move from infinity to near focus. This phenomenon is called “focus breathing.” In the video above, I demonstrate what this looks like using the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G and Nikon 50mm f/1.8S lenses on a Nikon Z7 mirrorless camera.

Photographing Fall Colors

Fall colors adorn the mountainsides in Teller county, Colorado
Fall colors adorn the mountainsides in Teller county, Colorado

Pro tips for photographing fall colors and foliage

As summer starts to fade, it’s time to turn our thoughts to the approach of autumn. The smell of pumpkin spice is in the air, and soon the leaves will be turning. If you want to photograph the changing leaves this year, it’s good to have a plan, and have the right approach. Here are my tips for getting outstanding photos of fall colors.

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Mastering iPhone Photography

Why the iPhone is my go-to backup camera for creative travel photography

The best camera is the one you have… and many times that’s your phone.
Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN

I’ve owned an Apple iPhone since the original was released in 2007. Back then, the quality of camera phones was still rudimentary, and I didn’t consider using it for creative photography. Thirteen years later, my iPhone is a critical part of my photography kit and iPhone photography is here to stay. In fact, I often refer to my phone as my “backup camera.” Last fall, I upgraded to the iPhone 11 Pro, and I have to say that it offers an incredible array of built-in features that are just amazing. Whether you have the newest iPhone or an earlier model, here are some of my go-to tips for iPhone photography.

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