Category Archives: Travel

Fall Travel Photography Cruise: Canada and New England 2025

Join me aboard Enchanted Princess for a 7-night photo cruise & workshop experience!

Explore Canada and New England with me on a fun photo cruise and travel photography workshop!

Join me on an exciting 7-night cruise round-trip from New York City as we journey to Canada and New England aboard the majestic Emerald Princess. This all-inclusive photo cruise includes private excursions at four major destinations and on-board photography workshops where you’ll hone your travel photography techniques and image processing skills. Companions and smart-phone shooters are welcome on this tour, too!

Ports of call

  • New York City/Brooklyn (Embarkation)
  • Halifax, Canada
  • St. John, Canada
  • Boston, MA
  • Newport, RI

Faroe Islands Photo Safari 2024

Landscape and Nature Photography with Jason Odell & Matt Suess Aug. 8-15, 2024

Join me in the Faroe Islands August 8-15, 2024 for an incredible photography experience!

I’m extremely excited to announce that I’ll be traveling to the Faroe Islands in 2024 as a co-instructor with OM Digital Ambassador Matt Suess for a weeklong photo safari! The Faroe Islands is a legitimate bucket-list destination, as it was named the Faroe Islands the most authentic and unspoiled group of islands in the world by National Geographic.

The Faroe Islands are located 320 kilometres (200 mi) north-northwest of Scotland, and about halfway between Norway (580 kilometres (360 mi) away) and Iceland (430 kilometres (270 mi) away).

From rugged seascapes to fishing villages and puffin colonies, your time in the Faroe Islands will be unforgettable. And with the help of Matt and myself, your photographs will be unforgettable, too!

The Sheer Audacity of Size

Putting an 800mm lens in a shoulder bag?

Billingham Hadley Pro camera bag
The Olympus 100-400mm telephoto zoom lens easily fits in the small Hadley Pro bag from Billingham.

A few years ago, I was gifted a Billingham Hadley Pro shoulder bag. It’s a very well-made waterproof bag that is ideal for use as a walkabout bag for smaller kits. It’s dimensions are fairly small: 15 3/8″W x 6 3/8″ D x 9 3/8″ H. This makes the Hadley Pro an easy bag to put under an airplane seat as a personal item when traveling. I’ve taken this bag to places like Croatia and Scotland, where it was perfect for a small travel kit, like a Nikon Z7 ii and two zoom lenses.

However, I never thought I’d use this bag for transporting a super telephoto zoom. That is, until I tested it with my OM Systems OM-1 camera and Olympus 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 lens, which has an equivalent angle of view to a 200-800mm lens on a 35mm format camera. By removing the lens collar (something I don’t need for hand-held shooting anyway), I was able to easily fit this telephoto zoom into the Hadley Pro bag. The OM-1 with 12-45mm f/4 lens attached fit as well, and I still had yet another empty compartment available to me.

Top view of the Billingham Hadley Pro bag with 100-400mm lens and OM-1 body with 12-45mm f/4 lens attached.

My colleague, Rick Walker, pointed out something else while we were out shooting together. One could theoretically pair the 100-400mm with the outstanding Olympus 12-100mm f/4 zoom and have a two lens kit that covers the entire range from 24-800mm equivalent, in a bag that fits under the seat of an airplane. Mind blown!

Wildlife photography on Panama’s Isla Bastimentos

Photographing sloths, birds, and more at an upscale eco lodge

I’m flying home to Colorado after my third visit to Isla Bastimentos on Panama’s northwest Caribbean coast, and it was a fantastic visit. My journey started out in Panama City, where I checked in to a modern hotel downtown. As a side trip, I took a short Uber ride to the Metropolitan Nature Park in Panama City. I figured it would be an easy place to explore, and where I could check all the settings on my camera gear. 

On this trip my primary camera was the Nikon Z9 paired with the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 Nikkor Z lens, and the Nikon 1.4x Z teleconverter. This camera and lens combination provides a focal length range from 140-560mm and a maximum aperture of f/8. I was also able to use the Nikon Z9’s DX crop mode, which narrowed the angle of view to effectively 840mm. Because the Nikon Z9 is a mirrorless camera, using DX crop mode magnifies the viewfinder image and improves autofocus accuracy. This comes at the expense of resolution, which drops from 45 to 19 megapixels in DX crop mode.

At the Nature Park, I photographed several bird species, including kingbirds, tanagers, and a squirrel cuckoo. I also encountered red-eared sliders (turtles), basilisk lizards (the fabled “Jesus Christ” lizard), and even a three-toed sloth. Of course, this particular sloth was basically just a ball of fur hunkered down at the top of a tall tree; hardly photogenic (more on this in a moment).

The next day, I greeted my photography clients as they checked in to our downtown hotel. After a brief welcome session, we enjoyed dinner and drinks at the hotel restaurant before retiring for the evening; we had a full day planned for tomorrow and needed to be ready for our morning tour to Monkey Island and the Gamboa Sloth Sanctuary.

Panama Wildlife Photo Safari Announced

Photograph sloths, birds, and more April 15-22, 2023

3-toed sloth

Discover the biodiversity of Central America as we photograph the wildlife of western Panama. On this unique photo safari, you’ll photograph rainforest birds, mammals, insects and more. Observe and photograph colorful birds from a 65′ high observation tower, tour the rainforest with experienced naturalist guides, and enjoy home-cooked meals at our luxury air-conditioned eco lodge retreat.

When: April 15-22, 2023 from Panama City, Panama

What’s Included

  • Three nights lodging in Panama City
  • Monkey Island & Sloth Sanctuary Tour in Panama City
  • Airport and hotel transfers
  • Air transportation to Bocas del Toro
  • 4 nights at the Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge Includes:
    • Lodging in single occupancy, all meals, bilingual professional guides, all tours mentioned in the itinerary, non-alcoholic beverages (house wine, Panamanian house beer & local rum at dinner time), all taxes, WIFI, entrance fees to national parks, meals, snacks and beverages during outings.
  • Guided boat tour to San San Sak Ponds Wetlands
  • Bilingual naturalist guides
  • Group photo tours as described above