A few days ago my buddies and I made it to the Death Valley National Park, after a long and uneventful drive from Colorado. I have previously been to the valley several times before, but neither my friends, nor I have ever had a chance to visit the magical Race Track playa. After deflating the tires of our SUVs, we headed out to the valley to camp overnight, shoot at sunset the same day and sunrise next day before heading back. We camped at the designated campground at the end of the road, which was about 10-15 minutes of drive time away from the playa. We spent a good part of the late afternoon scouting for some good rocks, realizing just how vast the territory of the playa really is – it is miles long!
Sometimes we can get so caught up in the technical aspects of our gear that we forget that the most important things are the images we capture regardless of the gear we are using. Those images help to enshrine memories. They could be of family and friends, pets, events, or places that we have visited.
A Panasonic FZ28 super-zoom would never be considered as anything much more than a point-and-shoot camera by most folks. After all, its 10Mp sensor is a miniscule 1/2.33″ (6.08×4.56mm), with uninspiring dynamic range and colour depth, and very poor low light performance. But in my mind it will always be one of my favourite cameras because of the memories that it allowed me to capture. Like a sightseeing trip to Arizona and southeastern Utah.
Antarctica…. a place I never thought I would visit. A place on the bottom side of Earth where few people go. Most of my friends, when they learned I would be taking this trip, asked: “why Antarctica? What’s to see besides penguins, seals and ice?” For me and most photography friends of mine, Antarctica is on our bucket list. Not just for the photographic opportunities, but for the natural beauty all around that cannot be described by any word other than awesome. My partner in this adventure was my 34 year old, world traveler daughter. We are both amateur photographers, me more amateur than her. This was an extraordinary father-daughter bonding trip.
I recently returned from a vacation in Cuba during which I had the opportunity to photograph a few different species of heron using my Nikon 1 V2 and Nikon 1 CX 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 telephoto zoom lens. I ended up photographing birds hand-held for about 7-8 hours every day and my Nikon 1 gear proved to be an ideal combination to take with me as it was very light and easy to handle, and I avoided the fatigue that can set in when using larger, heavier gear.
There is nothing more appealing than grabbing your gear, draining the last vestiges of your current account, and heading off to some distant and exotic location. The more conscientious of us may look into the possible dangers to us or our gear and plan accordingly, even going so far as to take a painful premium on our insurance to cover the additional risk. Not only does this provide you with financial security, it gives peace of mind. Personally the latter is a godsend when I find myself in conditions to which I would normally never subject my equipment. Doing so enables me to get shots I would otherwise have never made. The picture below for example, was taken almost waist deep in a swamp with my old sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM.
We are once again happy to announce the Colorado Fall Colors Workshop, which will be taking place in one of the most picturesque locations in the world, in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. A number of our readers have been inquiring about this workshop already, so after working out the schedule, I decided to open up the registration and provide some details about the workshop. This photography workshop will take place from September 24-27, so we are adding an extra day to the workshop to see and photograph more beautiful locations in the area. Get ready to learn a lot, shoot a lot and enjoy quality time with like-minded people that share your passion. And best of all, we will be doing it in a vacation-style environment, not in a typical hotel!
What little I saw of New York was as overwhelming as I thought it would be. And then some. But that is not where it all started for me, oh no. See, my dear readers, I have an embarrassing secret to tell you. For some of you, it will not be in any way special, whilst others will find it mildly amusing. Certainly, when one of the friendliest and most fun people I met in New York, a brilliant guy named Mark, heard me say it, his immediate response was – “I don’t know how to talk to you.” I laughed and for a while, he just stared at me in surprise. Wholeheartedly hoping the same fate will not strike you, here is the ever so slightly shocking truth – this trip was not only my first trip to New York. Or the US. Or somewhere to the West of Lithuania. It was also, among all these things, my first ever flight. In other words, my first ever big trip just happened to be to New York City, by plane, over eight thousand kilometers away from home – that’s five thousand miles – and every single bit of it, every moment, was new and special to me.
Oh my, the things I am about to write now…
It always amazes me how I can live in an area for so long and be completely unaware of some fascinating image subjects. Thanks to Ray Miller, a local Photography Life reader, I had the chance to photograph a small group of Tundra Swans in their winter migration home on the Niagara River in Ontario.
After having some experience with seabirds in Scotland, Norway, Canada and Alaska we wanted to watch and photograph penguins in Antarctica and the sub Antarctic islands: But how to get there? There is no possibility of individual travel in and around this huge continent. So after some research we decided to use a cruise ship as a base for our travel plans. Fortunately in 1993 we were asked to share a book project on Antarctica by a German (Munich based) publisher. They had already sent a photographer to Antarctica and needed text material on nature, ecology and species accounts. Both of our studies we cramped with scientific stuff on exactly these topics. So we did half of the books text. The other half – a text essay – was done by a well known travel author. This book appeared during spring 1994 sold very well. So we used it to appeal for jobs as bilingual biology and geography lecturers on the German- an US-managed ship “World Discoverer.” We were invited to come to the agency in Hamburg and… we got our favourite trips!