Category Archives: Valley of Fire

Devil’s Fire – Southwest workshop

Getting in and out of the Devil’s Fire was quite an experience. You have to travel on 30 miles of bad road before going off-road for another 20. There were a couple of spots when, although I did not say it, I was thinking “Oh Shit this could be a long walk back!”. My friend W. Steve Johnson and I made it in and out twice and we captured some spectacular images. I look forward to sharing this unique place with clients on our upcoming southwest trips.

Beggars Banquet - Nevada

Beggars Banquet – Nevada

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Mono Lake Sunrise processed using Topaz DeNoise 6

Everyone has surrealistic experiences and we say “wasn’t that amazing?”. Photographers search for places like Mono Lake where we can have that experience as we enjoy a special sunrise, the light changing over ancient lakes and mountain ranges. After these brisk morning shoots as I am relaxing over breakfast, my thinking is usually like that of an excited little kid; let’s do it again!!

Southwest Photographic Workshop Tour March 13 – March 17, 2016

Mono Lake Sunrise

Mono Lake Sunrise

Shooting into the sun created a lot of  noise in the shadow areas which I was able to recover using DeNoise 6.

Topaz DeNoise is designed to let you shoot anywhere in any light and still get crisp, clear and noise-free images. Specializing in extremely noisy high ISO images, DeNoise removes distracting image noise while preserving image detail, giving you the image you wanted without the noise you don�t.

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I Hope you ring in the New Year with peace and joy in your heart!!

I hate to leave 2015 behind, it has been a year filled with family, new and old friends, travel and wonderful new images. Whether your New Year’s Eve is filled with City Lights or Quiet Meditation, I hope you ring in the New Year with peace and joy in your heart!!

Heaven and Earth - Valley of Fire

Heaven and Earth – Valley of Fire

City Lights - Las Vegas

City Lights – Las Vegas

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Has anyone seen Randy?

During the workshops I want everyone to capture great images, have fun, and be safe. When we are on location I have photographers at every skill level join me, and I make sure to line up great locations that you do not have to be a mountain goat too get to. Some of the clients are in top physical shape and extremely adventurous, and I do not want to tell any of them that they can’t venture off from the group and explore the wonderful locations. Some like to go a little further then others. When they do this, I just tell them that they have broken off from the group for a little while and when they come down the can rejoin us.

Has anyone seen Randy?

Has anyone seen Randy?

Sunrise Pano of the Valley of Fire

Often mornings are the quietest time of the day, when there is no movement found in the leaves or the grasses in the fields. When conditions are right, I can take one long exposure which captures the depth of the field in the landscape while retaining the details in the shadows and not burning out the highlights. For me, this is the easiest time to capture an image while being conscious of my surroundings. Finding some peacefulness before distractions fill my day.

Last week I spent my time teaching and capturing images in the Southwest. Light is always softest in the morning before the sun rises. After the soft light of sunrise, the light becomes brighter and harsher which makes it harder to capture the exposures properly.

It is great being home but I will miss the morning shoots with everyone.

Sunrise Valley of Fire Nevada

Sunrise Valley of Fire Nevada

I blended three images in the pano section of Lightroom 6 and then popped the color with Topaz Clarity to create this morning image from the Valley of Fire.

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Southwest Jack O’ Lantern-Valley of Fire

The Southwest workshop is only a few weeks away and I have been going over images getting ready for the shoot. On this fall day I hope everyone is out enjoying corn fields turned into mazes and spending time in the apple orchards.  One of my favorite fall activities has been to find the perfect pumkin to carve my Jack O’ Lantern and with Halloween just around the corner this image popped out at me.

Southwest Jack O' Lantern-Valley of Fire

Southwest Jack O’ Lantern-Valley of Fire

The Southwest doesn’t have corn fields and apple orchards but it does have some of the best Jack O’ Lanterns formed by a millennium of wind and rain.

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Saint James Court Art Show

I am looking forward to Saint James Court Art show this weekend! This will be my last outdoor art fair of the season. After the show I will have a little more time to work with images, as well as get the house and yard ready for winter. Soon I will be heading out to spend time capturing fall colors in the Smoky Mountains and Zion National Park along the Virgin River. The Show season goes fast and I will miss seeing everyone. Thank You All for making it another wonderful year at the shows!

Cottonwoods along the Virgin River

Cottonwoods along the Virgin River


Happy Valentines Day

For Valentine’s day I thought I would share a couple of the heart images that I have taken while on location shoots.

When Two Hearts Meet - Southwest Workshop

When Two Hearts Meet – Southwest Workshop

When I hiked out to capture this Butte for sunset I found these two hearts made from volcanic rock that a couple of romantic hikers made for each others in this out of the way place. I am always touched when I find art in out of the way places that only a lucky few will ever see. I hope all my friends and family get to spend quality time with loved ones.

Heart Light - Southwest Workshop

Heart Light – Southwest Workshop

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Captuing the night sky will be part of the Southwest workshop November 7-11 2015

I had a short window of time during the 2014 Zion workshop to capture a few star images last year. During the 2015 Southwest workshop November 7-11 the moon will not be out at night and we will have dark skies which will be perfect for capturing the star filled western skies.

Zion nights Southwest photo workshops

Zion nights Southwest photo workshops

While on location some of the fun in an image is caused by people interacting with the environment. The foreground of this image was lit by the interior lights of a car while a family had their evening meal while enjoying the night sky. The interior lights from their car lit up the foreground hills in my 30sec exposure.

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Antelope Slot Canyon – Southwest Photo Workshop

Yesterday I had the opportunity to work with JBrad Lewis on a few of the images he captured during my Novembers Southwest workshop. We used Adobe Lightroom developed module to process his image. Lightroom has a fantastic develop module and its cataloging system to organize my workflow is amazing and over the last year it has become my starting point for working on images. Lightroom’s lets you work with a thumbnail of your images instead of the full image storing metadata of the changes and making my workflow lighting fast. When I work with my images in CS6 program the larger files slow me down. Not having to wait for files to open saves me time to go out and do a little more shooting.

Antelope Canyon - Southwest Workshop

Antelope Canyon – Southwest Workshop

The unprocessed image looks good out of the camera but a few Lightroom adjustments makes it a award winning image.

Antelope Canyon Raw unprocessed image

Antelope Canyon Raw unprocessed image

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