Notes on a Portfolio Review

I spent last weekend at the Javits Center in New York. New York has never been a favorite spot for me. The crowds, the priciness of it all, always make me feel the place is overrated. The one reason I went to New York, New York was the PhotoExpo, for the Portfolio Review sessions happening there. The main convention floor had areas for the…

Northwest Iceland, a Visit to Dettifoss Waterfall

The section of the Ring Road from Egilsstadir to Lake Myvatn was my least favorite drive. You leave the east coast, head past lush farm lands and drive through fields of black lava for much of the two hours it takes to get to Lake Myvatn.  There is one important photo location along this section of Ring Road, the Dettifoss waterfall.  Dettifoss is about…

Take Care of Your Tools

There were several times on the road when I was reminded of my Yankee side — that part of me that takes a hard look at things, tells you to own up when you screw up. And I had one Yankee moment on the trail up to the Svartifoss waterfall. Early on, I came to a bridge over a creek. I took the place…

Welcome to Iceland

There was lots of snow on the road leaving Keflavik Airport that Friday morning. I had a cheap rental car, a front wheel drive Dacia Logan. I took things slow. I hadn’t driven in snow for years — or a stick shift. And since it was just me on this Ring Road trip, I had to navigate the Reykjavik suburbs in a clunky and unfamiliar…

First Evening

My “Welcome to Iceland” day had been frustrating. Navigating Reykjavik’s slushy streets, remembering stick shift skills, the long drive down the South Coast with not one coffee shop open, then the Seljalandsfoss waterfall shoot getting (mostly) rained out. None of those things are fun when someone’s been up for 24 hours. What a difference a shower and three hours of sleep and meditation can…

Iceland’s South Coast: Step 1, the Car

  I knew doing a solo road trip through Iceland makes perfect sense for a photographer. — if only because other choices have drawbacks. Group tours are a great value, a perfect introduction to a new culture and good experiences for a tourist. But these tours in any country also force the photographer to work around a tourist schedule. Doing one of the tours for…

Iceland Trip: Germ of an Idea

Like all good projects, this Iceland book started from need. I’m not sure where the need came from, maybe (in vague form) from seeing images on some of the better photo sites (500px, viewbug, etc). But over several years, I tracked Iceland as a place worth exploring. So by the time my sis said she was taking her crew there, I already knew the…

Central Death Valley

Death Valley Overview

I recently did a photo tour to Death Valley put on by Pauls Photo in Torrance. Some random notes: Death Valley is the largest National Park outside Alaska at 3.4 million acres. That makes it larger than several states and one and a half times larger than Yellowstone. Where to Photograph. With this much land area, the park is full of locations that are…

Photographing Kauai Without a Net

The mountainous center of Kauai is a world unto itself, cliffs that drop into the mist below, endless waterfalls, pinnacles of weathered lava cloaked in green.  This hidden landscape can only be photographed from a helicopter or some modern Lewis and Clark. … And our intrepid enthusiast was there, with knees jammed against the seat in front to give a false sense of security.  I’ve…

Kauai Photo Overview

Like all Hawaii, Kauai has plenty to offer: beachy stuff, the arts, music, hiking, shopping. But this is a photo blog. My focus is all about making photography and the creative experience an essential part of your travels. So here are some key possibilities for those of you with a camera (or phone cam) who are thinking of a trip: Waimea Canyon. This area,…