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The Confessions of a fickle 14 yr old school girl

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OMG! I loooove my Nikon D810! The 36mp are all my new BFsF!!

Oh. My. God.  The new Fuji mirrorless is so liiiiight and the color is sooo rad….

The Sony AR7 is my new fave….I can’t WAIT to, like, sell everything and get it!!

The Sony AR7II???  Hellooooooo.  I’m, like, freaking  out over here!!!


That’s about how the last 18 months have gone, flip-flopping like a fish on dry land, as fickle as a 14 year old school girl, driving Sue a bit nuts, chasing the latest thing in search of god knows what.

I’m not the only one going through this ongoing transition trauma. I hear it often from pro and amateur friends alike.

Here’s my bottom line: After an 18 month flirtation with the Fuji X system, which is excellent, by the way. And then, setting my sights on the Sony AR7, then the AR7II, also an excellent system…..you know what?
I’m a Nikon guy. I am.

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For the first time in a few months I brought only my Nikon system on the road, to the Palouse, and its like riding a bike. Everything was instantly intuitive, quick, and easy.

• I forgot how easy and intuitive the on-camera controls were to operate on the Nikon.

• My fingers don’t hit buttons by mistake, as is the unfortunate case with the smaller mirrorless cameras…then I have no idea how to get back to where I want to be, occasionally missing a shot.

• I definitely miss the multiple exposure (10) function not included on the mirrorless cameras.

• I miss the image overlay function not included on the mirrorless cameras.

• The 36mp resolution is still eye popping by comparison…..however, there’s the new Sony 43mp AR7II, which is definitely impressive. But, how much resolution do you really need? 36mp is the upper limit of my tolerable file size, not wanting to order a new hard drive every few months. 

• The new smaller, lighter, and ergonomic Nikon D750 at 24mp is great and is more than enough file size for anything. With the new line of smaller and lighter (slightly slower) lenses, the D750 and other similar Nikon cameras are comparable to the mirrorless systems with their new 2.8 glass.

• The main mirrorless attraction, given comparable file quality, is weight. We all like that. However, the trade offs for the weight saving in features, including the ease of operation and ruggedness in very adverse conditions is unacceptable to me. My D810 and lenses have been subjected to an immense amount of dust on this trip to the Palouse with no issues whatsoever. I’m not sure if any unsealed mirrorless system could hold up under intense heat, dust, water, and extreme cold for a protracted period of time.

So, I’ve actually made a decision.

For my professional work, it’s the Nikon D810 and an infrared converted D300.

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Tripod Update:

It appears that I’m going in a different direction with my tripod selection, also. After years of the lightness quest, I’m going heavier. I just got the Induro GIT505XXL. It goes as high as my much lighter Gitzo 3540XLS, but is noticeably heavier. Why, you say? Well, first off, it’s my tripod of choice when working out of the car. It’s not a hiking tripod. But, it is easily the most solid platform I’ve worked on. From the moment I place the camera on the tripod, the solid feel is palpable. Also, we’ve had several days of blowing dirt and a major dust storm. The legs still open and retract smoothly with no grit, completely sealed against the elements. Impressive!

So, that’s about it sports fans. I can finally stop tossing and turning in my sleep, losing weight by not eating, and can keep some money in the bank.

Thanks for taking the time and we’ll see ya online.





NECCC/ Geneva, and the calm before the Palouse

Buttermilk falls

Buttermilk falls

We just got back from the NECCC event immediately followed by our event at Hobart College for the PPSNYS in Geneva, NY.

We’re a bit tired, but had a great time with friends and, of course, it’s always great to share photography. I didn’t shoot a lot, actually not at all at NECCC in Amherst, MA. There was really no time between presentations, book signings, visiting friends and spending time at vendor’s booths, all of which was most enjoyable. 

However, in Geneva, things were a bit different. Although a “school” situation, it functioned pretty much like one of our Visual Artistry workshops: morning shoot, process time, class time/critiques, evening shoot. It was my first time back to Geneva in 8 years! It really didn’t seem like it as everything seemed so familiar, but it was.

This year, we dug a little deeper into the local scene with the help and advice of several friends. After record snow falls, this was the highest water level in 80 years! We found a lot of cool stuff to photograph and creatively process. Actually, enough cool stuff to run a Finger Lakes Visual Artistry  workshop in the spring of 2016, so please watch this space as we firm up details and exact dates. This is a particularly image rich area that I’ve wanted to explore for years and look forward to at least 1 visit later this year to scout deeper into the area.

Here’s a small gallery of images from Geneva and the surrounding Finger Lakes region:

This is only a small sample of what’s available to photograph, but it does require a little driving and extra scouting on our end, but we really look forward to getting our Finger Lakes workshop on the schedule soon. Please email Sue if you would like to be placed on our email notification list.

After the normal flurry of last minute work, we’ll be heading to the Palouse for our second fall harvest workshop next week.

Thanks for taking the time and we’ll see ya online!


p.s. Visual Artistry Newsletter coming soon!

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Icelandic Odyssey Trifecta

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Every time we get back from Iceland, I fantasize that the phone will ring, inviting Sue and I back to Iceland for a year to photograph a book/ video project…..all expenses paid…..yeah, I know…..dream on. However, we love taking groups to see this incredible place and will be offering the following (instructional) tours in 2016-17.

At the conclusion of our Icelandic Odysseys, we send out notices of our following year’s dates. This year, the interest and response has been outstanding in our Sept. 25 – Oct 3, 2016 Icelandic Odyssey “Aurora Madness” tour. Thanks for the great response! Contact Susan for more info and to register.

FoN_N3A6618image courtesy Focus on Nature


In response to the interest in our “Aurora Madness” tour, we’ve opened up a summer solstice trip to Iceland, June 10 – 18, 2016. This is an incredible time to photograph in Iceland. Although, it never gets dark, it does get dusk for a few hours, allowing us to photograph whenever we want. This past trip, some of the best light was between 11pm and 4 am. Contact Susan to be placed on our Summer Solstice 2016  notification list.

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Looking into 2017 we will be conducting a Late Feb – early March workshop. Details are still being worked out, but Ice Caves and the incredible winter landscape promises to be pretty unbelievable. Contact Susan to be placed on our March 2017 notification list.

FoN_N3A6804_10image courtesy Focus on Nature

Thanks for taking the time and we’ll see ya online!


p.s. Almost forgot…..we only have a few spaces available in three of our favorite location workshops. Go HERE for more info.

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Visual Artistry Workshops UPDATE


We have a few openings in a few of our favorite venues.

September 13-17, 2015
South Dakota Badlands National Park, SD

The lead image is at one of the classic graphic overlooks in the Badlands. 

This workshop features landscape photography, Xtreme long exposures, close up photography, creative use of natural light, panoramics, digital infrared, deserted towns, thinking graphically, iPhone, field help and daily critiques.


Here’s the latest blog post and small gallery from the Badlands

9/21/14     Gallery

contact Sue for more info


Sept. 27 – Oct. 1
Maine Lighthouse Tour

The lead image is a 4 minute exposure shot in bright morning light (made using the Singh Ray 15 stop MorSlo) of Portland Head Light.. 

This workshop features Lighthouses,seascapes, harbors and working boats, Xtreme long exposures, close up photography, creative use of natural light, panoramics, thinking graphically, iPhone, field help and daily critiques.

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Maine Lighthouse Tour page 

contact Sue for more info 


Oct 18 – 22
Cape Cod, Massachusetts

The lead image was shot on the day the vacation homes were boarded up.

This workshop features seascapes, working boats, small boats, architecture, salt ponds, lighthouses, sand dunes, creative use of natural light, panos, iPhone, field help and daily critiques. We completed a DVD in Cape Cod a few months ago and look forward to sharing this very cool place.

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 Cape Cod workshop page

contact Sue for more info

If anyone is interested in an extensive Fuji X system, drop a line. I’m considering putting mine on the block as I save my duckets to move to the New Sony AR7 II and Zeiss lenses.

Have a great summer and we’ll see ya on line!


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Iceland loves the iPhone – Year 5

PRO645 6x17 pano w/ flypaper texture

PRO645 6×17 pano w/ flypaper texture

I broke out the iPhone quite a bit on this trip. Rekindled enthusiasm and other worldly subject matter is some powerful ju-ju.

The iPhone is the ultimate sketch pad. Literally, photoshop in your pocket, using apple apps for processing offers unlimited possibilities, and one is only limited by one’s imagination, hence everything is wide open to interpretation. Following is a gallery of images from our Icelandic Odyssey 2015, shot and processed on the iPhone 6+.

The apps listed are the apps predominantly used in most cases. Snapseed is always my first stop, then often I’ll try a Perfectly Clear adjustment to get the ball rolling, especially on low contrast or flat images. In almost all cases at least two different versions were blended in Image Blender.

My 2 primary apps that I use, after Snapseed, are Stackables and Mextures. Both are deep with features that I find suit the distressed look that I like on many occasions. However, my favorite apps tend to cycle out every few months or so.

For longer exposures or for more control and stability, I’ll mount the iPhone on my tripod using the MeFoto SideKick360 (Plus, for larger phones, like the 6plus), and there’s a smaller SideKick for smaller phones. There is a built in ArcaSwiss mount and easily switches from Horiz. to Vert.

Also, mentioned in the image info and highly recommended are the Moment lenses. I use both, the 18mm and the 60mm.

It’s a good practice to find apps that appeal to your subject selection and shooting style and study/master those handful of apps and try to resist the urge to binge buy apps. I know this because, like many serious iPhone shooters, I’ve bought “everything,” but I find that at any given time, I use the same 6-8 apps 95% of the time.

iPhone photography is encouraged during our workshops and special processing sessions are held for iPhone shooters.

That’s about it for our Icelandic Odyssey 2015. Please email Susan if interested in our Sept, 2016 Icelandic Odyssey “Aurora Madness” tour.

See ya online,


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