Seattle Photoshop Users Group

Yesterday I found myself before the SPUG folks at Adobe HQ in Freemont.  I spent a hour talking about how I organize and photograph on Safari and during my travels.  With a mix of gear-heads, photoshop experts and camera junkies, I pulled together a lecture that started with a concept all the way through being on safari.  From equipment recommendations, to composition, to a photographic journey through Africa...... I had a blast.  What a wonderful group of folks.  

Now, I'm sitting in Washington DC getting ready to head to Dubai and then on to Tanzania to lead another 'Through The Lens Safari' for Thomson Safaris.  I'll be blogging live from the Serengeti, so stay tuned and followed as we safari.

Where Have I Been?

If you may have noticed that I have been 'inactive' over the past month. Well, blame it on New Zealand! Yep, a full month overseas, starting in the remote reaches of northwest Tasmania for a few days followed by incredible weeks in the land of the 'long white cloud.' I tried posting to FB but the internet connections were beyond ridiculous. I finally 'let go' of staying connected and focused on 'seeing' differently to improve my landscape shots. I am pleased with the results!

I was traveling with Jaime Dormer, one of the best photographers in Australia. Jaime and I met in Iceland last year and we pretty much kept our super jeep in stitches so I knew we would hit it off. Jaime put together a great trip for us, including visits to a couple of renowned photographers in Tasmania and New Zealand. David Murphy, who owns and operates the Cow and Calf Gallery in Tasmania, had lots of helpful hints and locations for us and of course his work is exciting and wonderful. Andy Apse is often regarded as the Ansel Adams of New Zealand. A pure gentleman and wonderful soul, Andy was a joy to share a meal with and talk about all things photographic and not. One could not help but walk away from these two galleries without new ideas on composition.

Another unforgettable visit was the art gallery of Tim Wilson. Tim and I hit it off famously and I must tell you, very few painters cause me to pause and look. Tim's work stopped me dead in my tracks. When he raised and lowered the lights focused on a huge wall painting of Doubtful Sound, I gained new appreciation of working in layers. I highly recommend a visit with Tim if you find yourself in Queenstown, New Zealand, and I look forward to hosting Tim when he comes to Seattle.

During this trip, I mainly shot my Nikon D810 (see the FaceBook Post) and my Hasselblad H5D40 unless I was flying and then it was the trusty Nikon D4. However, as luck would have it, I broke my D810, so then it was all Hasselblad.  In an interesting turn, I started using my i-phone as an aid in composition before I would put the Hasselblad into final position. This worked out great and gave me a new perspective on composition. No doubt, working with Jaime and spending time with Tim, Andy, and Dave, greatly improved my landscape composition in a very short span of time.

I am already plotting a way to return to New Zealand. Put the South Island on your bucket list.


Hasselblad hard at work in New Zealand


I'm not going to tell you how much Tim's painting sells for, but if I could, I would have it on my wall at home. Love it.

Randy and Tim Wilson at his gallery in Queenstown, New Zealand.



I estimate that I will have a new program scheduled by mid summer, so please stand by.  Due to some events that are beyond my control, I have had to move these dates around a bit, so hang on with me for just a bit.

I have selected travel in September this year for an improved chance of photographing the Northern Lights without going in the dead of winter. The crowds will be gone and the daylight hours will be nearly normal yet winter has not hit full on which means we can still journey into the highlands.

Highlights include Landmannalauger, numerous waterfalls throughout such as Godafoss, and Dettifos. Geothermal areas, Iceberg lagoon and Stokksness round out this wonderful adventure. Sign-up details will soon be available via my website so stay tuned. For those interested, you can arrive a day early for an optional one hour helicopter flight. Flight will be on Astar Eurocopter A350 series, specially configured for our photography requirements with doors off for all three shooters. We will have up to three flights available on the afternoon of the 13th. I used this same aircraft and configuration last year and I obtained some remarkable images. To put it shortly, every chance I get, I will fly in Iceland. If you are interested, drop me a note AND join the mailing list to make sure you don't miss out.

In The Air Again

Currently sitting in SFO in full anticipation of wonderful month-long adventure to Tasmanian and New Zealand.  Workshops and scouting and scouting and scouting.

So what did I bring?  For the medium format gear, I brought my Hasselblad H5D40, and for glass I settled on a 28mm, my trusty 35-90, and a 150mm.  For my 35mm great, it was the D4, D810, with the 24-70mm and a 70-200mm.  I will be borrowing a 14-24mm once down under.  I also brought my trusty Fuji XT-1 with the 10-24mm and a 65mm.  A full set of Lee filters round out the kit.

Now a bit of a more serious note:  To my friends and guides in Kenya; not a day goes by in which I don't think of you folks. Stay strong and keep in touch.

Cheers and happy photo'ing

Final Scouting for the June Palouse Trip

Mike and I completed our weekend scouting trip for the Muench Workshop's Palouse trip this June.  We found a number of new locations, re-kindled some old relationships and made some great connections with some local farmers who have granted us special access to several areas.  We are excited and cant wait to share with our workshop attendees.  This trip is sold out.  Be on the lookout for a repeat in 2017.