Moonrise Above the Blue Mosque

Istanbul is one of the most magical cities of the world. Divided between Europe and Asia, Istanbul straddles the Bosphorus strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. With its rich history and diversity, it is without a doubt one of the most popular cities of the world to visit. Although I had previously been to Turkey once in my teenage years (which included a sightseeing tour of Istanbul), coming here feels like home. Perhaps because I used to be fluent in Turkish and hearing the language reminds me of my childhood, or perhaps it has to do with my memories of attending a Turkish high school in Uzbekistan. Whatever the case, I love the beautiful country of Turkey and I absolutely adore the magnificent Istanbul. Last night Lola and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary at one of the rooftops close to the Sultanahmet Mosque, also known as the “Blue Mosque” and as we were dining, I noticed the moon rise from the left side. I grabbed the Fuji X-Pro2 with the 56mm f/1.2 lens and took the below photo of the mosque.

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Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 vs 500mm f/4 at Block Creek Ranch

Recently, my wife and I headed to the Texas hill country near San Antonio for a brief getaway at the Block Creek Bed and Breakfast. This trip offered me a chance to spend some time using the new Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E VR zoom and it has changed my opinion of it. I’m now pleasantly surprised at how good this lens is for the money. On the trip we used both the 200-500mm f/5.6E VR and the 500mm f/4G VR lenses interchangeably with Nikon D750 and D4 bodies. In this brief post, I will share a few photos to show why I am impressed with this new lens.

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Photo Walk in Portugal

I might be visiting Portugal at the end of May this year, so I wanted to reach out to our readers in Europe to see if anyone would be interested in joining me for a photo walk. It will be a free event and it is not only a great opportunity to meet and get to know each other, but also an opportunity to take and share some pictures. I love Photo Walks, because I get to meet so many amazing people all over the world. Being able to connect with people who share the same passion is truly a wonderful experience. And if I can help someone out along the way, that’s even better! Please join us for another photo walk in the beautiful country of Portugal! As with any other photo walks we have hosted in the past, please bring all the photo questions you have, along with your portfolio of images. It will be my honor and pleasure to go through your images and help you become a better photographer. And if you don’t feel like doing it, or you are amazing already, please do come still – perhaps we can all learn from you! Having hosted a number of photo walks in the past, I have learned so much myself, that sometimes I wish I organized such events more often.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, due to planning and other unforeseen issues, the trip to Portugal has been cancelled.

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4 Spots Available for 2016 Fall Colors Workshop

Our 2016 Colorado Fall Colors Workshop just got a few extra spots available due to cancellations, so if anyone is interested in joining, please register as soon as possible. While there is still plenty of time before the workshops kick off, I am trying to help out with all the reservations ahead of time, so that we don’t have to worry about them later. This year I am doing something different – instead of conducting two identical workshops like last year, I will introduce two different levels. The first workshop (September 23-26) will be tailored towards beginner to intermediate-level photographers, so it will be ideal for those who are just starting out, or have been shooting for a few years and need help with gear, post-processing and composition. The second workshop on the other hand (September 28-October 1), will be targeted towards more advanced photographers, who are very comfortable with their gear, know their way around in post-processing and want to enhance their knowledge further.

UPDATE: Only 1 spot left for the September 23-26th workshop!

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2016 Colorado Fall Colors Workshops Announcement

We are excited to announce our 2016 Colorado Fall Colors Workshops taking place in one of the most picturesque locations in the world, in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado! This is the workshop that we have been conducting every year for the past 5 years and we are happy to do it again this fall. Just like last year, we will have two different groups, one from September 23-26 and one from September 28-October 1, both spanning a total of 4 days. Get ready to learn a lot, shoot a lot and enjoy quality time with like-minded people that share your passion! The workshops are limited to a total of 10 spots per group and since it usually sells out within 24 hours, we would recommend to register as soon as possible!

UPDATE: Only 2 spots left!

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Eastern South Carolina: More Than Just Beaches

Last month my wife and I spent a number of weeks in the eastern portion of South Carolina with Garden City Beach acting as our home base. In the summer the Grand Strand area of the state is a renowned ‘sun and sand’ destination. In February, with temperatures often hovering in the 35 to 55 degree Fahrenheit range many days (2-13 degrees Celsius) – sun and sand isn’t on most people’s minds! I spent some time at Murrells Inlet photographing pelicans and other birds, and my wife and I did some exploration south of Myrtle Beach during our stay.

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Announcement: PL Photography Workshop in Jordan

Having been to Jordan several times, I have absolutely fallen in love with this country – not only for its limitless photographic opportunities, but also because of its rich history and culture, its warm and welcoming people and its amazing food. After my last trip to Jordan, I really thought about not only sharing images from my trip, but also about organizing a photography workshop with some of our readers to tour, photograph and explore this stunning country. I am happy to announce that I was able to come up with an amazing workshop package: a 10-day photography-only workshop to showcase some of the most scenic places in Jordan and to teach everything I know about travel and landscape photography. In short, it will be an intensive, yet fun workshop that will leave you with the most amazing memories, experience and pictures. The only issue is timing – the workshop will take place from May 10 to May 20 of this year, so I need to know exactly how many people are going within the next 10 days in order to be able to book everything in advance.

Note: Please note that PL workshops typically sell out within 24 hours, so make sure to reserve your spot as soon as possible!

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Photographing Birds at Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

During our recent holiday in the Myrtle Beach area of South Carolina I had the opportunity to spend some time photographing birds at Murrells Inlet. Early February is not the best time for bird photography as the number of birds and range of species is somewhat limited. Never-the-less I persevered and visited the inlet a number of times, usually going out to the end of the pier.

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Visions of Vietnam – Four Photographers, Four Styles

As a Southeast Asia nomad for the better part of two decades, Vietnam has always been one of my very favorite places to photograph. On the surface it’s easy to see why – the spectacular, seemingly endless mountain rice terraces of the northwest; 54 colorful tribal/ethnic groups, most of whom still live traditional lifestyles; the fabled karst limestone formations of Ha Long and Bai Tu Long Bays; The Imperial City of Hue and several other World Heritage sites; the French colonial, “Indochine” streets of Hanoi and Saigon; 2,000 miles of gorgeous coastline; the legendary Mekong Delta, and so much more.

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