Photo Technique

Successful Backyard Songbird Photography: A How-To Guide [Video]

Chestnut-backed chickadee perched on branch with autumn colors

Backyard songbird photography: This how-to article covers setting up your own backyard bird photo studio, equipment and equipment settings.


Spray Park Wildflower Photo Shoot – Mount Rainier National Park [Video]

Spray Park Wildflower Photoshoot

Join me on a quick backpacking trip up to Spray Park in the northwest corner of Mount Rainier National Park to photograph Mount Rainier reflected in tranquil ponds.  The wildflower meadows were in peak bloom, and so were the mosquitoes! The mosquitoes are atrocious, but calm weather and warm evening light made for perfect reflections […]


Skagit Island Sea Kayak Camping [Video]

Skagit Island sea kayak camping

Join me for an overnight sea kayaking paddle to little Skagit Island.  We photograph the beautiful Pacific madrone trees (Arbutus menziesii) that grow along its rocky shoreline. We load the sea kayak with overnight camping gear, make the quick paddle across Skagit Bay, set up camp and explore the 0.9 mile trail above the shoreline […]


Solar Charging Your Wilderness Photography Expedition – Part 2 [Video]

Introduction – Part 2 Going on a multi-week wilderness photography expedition in the wild with no place to recharge your batteries? In this blog series, we investigate solar charging your wilderness photography expedition. In  Part 1, we tested a solar charging system in the backyard, intended for keeping a wilderness photography kit charged on a […]


Solar Charging Your Wilderness Photography Expedition – Part 1 [Video]

Introduction – Part 1 Going on a multi-week wilderness photography expedition in the wild with no place to recharge your batteries? In this blog series, we investigate solar charging your wilderness photography expedition.  In this Part 1, we test a solar charging system for keeping your camera batteries charged up and ready to go on […]


More Backyard Songbird Photography [Video]

Male spotted towhee perched on red flowering current branch

With the COVID-19 lock-down keeping me home, and a red flowering currant bush in full bloom in the back yard, today was a perfect day for some backyard songbird photography. I moved my suet block feeder next to the flowering currant bush and set up my Tragopan pop-up photo blind about 10 feet away.  In […]


Photographing Backyard Songbirds from Photo Blind

Female dark-eyed junco in winter plumage perched on vine maple branch.

I have been having fun this winter shooting backyard songbirds from my new photo blind.  The pop-up photo blind sets up in less than 2 minutes and allows me to get within 10 feet of the birds as they feed from a suet feeder or perch on nearby branches.  Waterproof construction means I can leave […]


Exploring Fort Worden Bunkers with the Fujifilm X100T

With its industry-unique X-Trans sensor promising super-sharp images, I though the old abandoned bunkers of Fort Worden State Park near Port Townsend would make a great testing ground for my new Fujifilm X100T camera (get one here bundled with a free Audio Technica microphone).  Would it render the much touted sharpness and rich colors?   Not […]


10 Simple Steps to Sharper Photographs

10 Steps to Sharper Images

Looking for more sharpness in your photos?  Here are 10 Simple Steps to Sharper Photographs I recently published for the travel website Matador Network.


Home Turf Advantage

Dawn breaks over a field of blue irises, Skagit Valley, Washington

Where is the best place to focus your travel photographic energies, exotic locals or near your home? Carsten Krieger’s article Theme and Variations on Digital Photography Review got me thinking about that last week.  Carsten argues that “many of the iconic landscape images we admire are often made in the photographer’s backyard – places that […]


Map Addiction

After confessing my addiction to camera bags, I have yet one more thing to fess up to:  I’m also addicted to maps. I spent last May traveling through Ireland and bought … uh … 14 maps and guides in preparation for the trip.  I had a 109 page Ordnance Survey road atlas, a Rick Steves’ […]


Camera Bags Part 1: The Addiction

Hi … my name is Brad, and I am a camera bag addict. No less than 16 camera bags are loosely stacked in my closet, accumulated over the last 18 years.  And this is something my wife reminds me about whenever I contemplate yet another bag. So, exactly how many camera bags does a photographer […]


Camera Bags Part 2: Think Tank SpeedRacer for Travel and Everyday Shooting

The Think Tank SpeedRacer is my favorite camera bag at the moment.  My basic SLR camera kit calls this bag home probably 90% of the time.  The SpeedRacer is my go-to camera bag for travel, hiking, short backpacking trips and shooting around town. What sold me on this bag is that it has both a […]


Camera Bags Part 3: Lowepro Photo Trekker AW for Nature Photography

The Lowepro Photo Trekker AW is my bag of choice for “serious” nature photography, when I want to be ready for anything with a lot of gear. I also have Lowepro’s largest back pack camera bag, the Super Trekker AW, but that bag is actually larger than I really need. The Photo Trekker AW is […]


Camera Bags Part 4: Lowepro TLZ1 Toploader for Long Backcountry Shooting

For long backpacking trips or more technically oriented outdoor adventure where weight is critical, I’ll use the Lowepro TLZ 1 Toploader supported by a Lowepro TLZ Chest Harness.  This system puts a Canon 5D Mark II with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS right on my chest ready for immediate access, even while still wearing a full-size backpack. […]


Making of ’37 Chevy Coupe

1937 vintage Chevrolet master deluxe coupe covered in snow, Bodie State Historic Park, California, USA

1937 Chevrolet master deluxe coupe abandoned in Bodie ghost town I usually limit my photo manipulation to simple curves and layers adjustments to fine-tune exposure, subtle contrast and saturation enhancements, and sensor dust cleanup.  Although I have also started experimenting with subtle HDR. However, I did take some liberties with this shot of a 1937 […]


5 Simple Tips for Improving Your Point-and-Shoot Photography

Young child riding in backpack in the outdoors Are you new to digital photography?  Perhaps you’re getting your first digital camera for Christmas?  Just get one of those camera-enabled smart phones? I offer 5 basic tips for new point-and-shooters that could make substantial improvements in photographing your daily life. Tip #1.  Turn Flash Off by […]


8-Day Backcountry Photo Journey on the Bailey Range Traverse

Us mountaineers laugh about the rigors of hauling “65 pounds of ultra-light-weight climbing gear” through the mountains.  Sure, each piece of equipment is optimized for performance and weight, but sometimes there sure is a lot of it!  Of course this laughing usually takes place as part of the post-trip storytelling, not while the load is […]