March Newsletter
Greetings from Big Sky Country,

Actually this month’s greeting would be more appropriately entitled, “Greetings from the Mojave Desert”, which will be apparent as you view the images taken during two eventful weeks recently spent in southern California soaking in winter warmth, new photo knowledge and some really amazing desert landscapes and skies.

First, if you haven’t checked out my new website yet, you really should. The site is very vibrant, well designed and waiting for you to browse.

I began my trip by attending the North American Nature Photographers Association (NANPA) Summit in San Diego, a 4-day event where I took in daily seminars and presentations from some of the top professionals in our field. To learn more about this great organization, please check out their website, Speakers like Nevada Weir and Steve Winter inspired with their travel tales and dedication to their craft. Dewitt Jones, a seasoned National Geographic shooter and long-time columnist for Outdoor Photographer Magazine, spoke elegantly about seeing the world with fresh eyes. Especially revealing was his use of the iPhone. His “cell” images were very artistic and looked very good on the big screen. It just goes to show that the point and shoot aspects of the phone can also be an effective and quick way to capture images that might not ever be taken if the “big boy” camera had to be pulled out of the bag. It inspired me to download a few new apps and to use my cell more often while in the desert. I got some cool captures! Big prints– no. Publications, probably not. Fun-yes! Hey, photography should be a lot of fun. Right?!

The entrance to the Furnace Creek Inn. the sunset clouds were reflecting into the glass window panes. Captured with my iPhone on the fly.
I always meet great people at the conference and pick up a few new tips. One of the tips really came in handy as I applied a light bouncing technique to a new image that I envisioned at Joshua Tree National Park. To get my tips and the story behind this remarkable spooky new image, please read the rest of the story on my blog.
After the inspiration at NANPA I was chomping at the bit to start shooting again and fortunate to have my first workshop of the year at Death Valley National Park. It was my first visit to the park since the epic wildflower year in 2005. I was once again enchanted by the extreme desert environment with it’s stark landscape and very colorful mountains and badlands. My group and I explored the artful Mesquite sand dunes not only a sunrise and sunset shoot, but also a visit at night to shoot the dunes in moonlight under a canopy of stars. It was great fun for me to see my students expanding their photography boundaries. Soon they were exploring light painting with their headlamps and flashlights and reveling in the newfound joy of capturing night exposures. It is important to keep the workshops innovative and to learn fresh new ideals.

I happened to be in southern California during a period in which several storm systems came barreling through bringing amazing clouds and much needed moisture to the region. I know for some of you this might break a few myths about photography, but clear blue skies are the death knell of landscape photography. Clear blue skies equal “boring” in my book. In contrast, shooting at the edge of storm cycles leads to amazing  images some of which I washable to add to my ever expanding portfolio. To check out my new images from the Mojave desert and San Diego please check out my viewing platform.

What’s on deck?

Hopefully, some ski pictures now that I am back in Montana! It’s been a tough winter for someone who cherishes those powder days, as the snowstorms have been nonexistent since early January. I will be making my annual pilgrimage to historic city of Butte, Montana for the high school basketball state championships. I love shooting the Victorian-style architecture and old character buildings in Butte. I also hope to do a small feature on Missoula standout Tres Tinkle, one the best high school basketball players in Montana in a long time. He has a very interesting story.  His father, who was the University of Montana head coach took a job in Corvallis, Oregon this past year. Tres stayed behind in in Missoula to pursue another championship with the teammates he grew up with. I will be writing this piece for a new blog that my friend, Lynn Donaldson, created called “Last Best Plates”, which is an intriguing look at Montana culture. Check it out!

My new cover shot and feature article on cycling in Texas Hill Country is in this month’s Adventure Cyclist Magazine
At the end of March, I will be taking a vacation to south Florida with Jarmila. I’m looking forward to warmer weather again and the chance to photograph in a new environment.

As you can tell the busy season is starting to crank up. I look forward to capturing my little corner of the world to share with you whether it is with my iPhone or my Canon 5D Mark III! Stay tuned.

I went the more traditional wooden frame route with my new print of “Pacific Albus”. The art is 57″x43″ and available at my home gallery. Please contact me for more information.