Denali Backcountry Adventure Photography Trek – July 19-25, 2015

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I’m excited to announce the latest offering in my 2015 photography workshop schedule. Join me this summer for my Denali Backcountry Adventure Photography Trek, from July 19-25.

During this special 7-day backpacking adventure photography workshop, I’ll take you on a journey through the biggest and most rugged mountains in North America.

We’ll be dropped off by float plane in the heart of Denali National Park and the Alaska Range, only 17 miles away from the highest and most massive mountain on the continent, (Denali, at 20,320′), and spend 5 days exploring and honing our outdoor photography skills in the most authentic setting possible.

Paced for intermediate backpackers, yet challenging enough for seasoned wilderness travelers, our 30+ mile route includes 5 days of overland travel along mountain ridges, right next to massive glaciers, over tundra and through remote wilderness that few people ever get to see up close. There’s a good chance we’ll even see some Alaska Wildlife!

With unparalleled views and rugged terrain, this remote wilderness trip is set in a virtually unexplored part of Denali, and it provides the ideal setting for a true adventure photography workshop. I’ll be right there with you during the entire trip, and since we’ll be a small group, we’ll be able to learn and practice together and taylor to the techniques YOU want to learn and talk shop in camp every evening.

We’ll have incredible photo opportunities each day, and a variety of lighting conditions for capturing the scenery around us. We can take advantage of the midnight sun and catch Magic Hour on the Alaska Range, and we can even practice shooting “adventure subjects” by setting up scenarios with each other and our willing guide.

We’ll begin with a photography presentation before heading out into the backcountry, and when we’re out in the mountains, our small group setting will allow you nearly constant one-on-one opportunities for mentorship and instruction with me during the entire trip. This is as close as you’ll ever get to shooting in the remote wilds of Alaska, because you’ll actually be there doing it in person with me!

This is as real as it gets!!

To make this special trip happen, I’m working closely with Alaska Alpine Adventures, who is the premier small-group adventure travel company in Alaska. With a 16 year history, they’re a recognized leader the industry for providing award-winning itineraries and guiding safe trips that give people the chance to enjoy and explore Alaska’s great parks away from all the crowds.

Alaska Alpine Adventures will provide us with a knowledgable and experienced guide, as well as all the necessary logistical support, including tents, cooking gear, awesome backcountry meals, satellite phone, GPS, maps and medical kit, although you’ll be required to carry a portion of the group gear.

Although you don’t need to be an expert outdoors person or a pro athlete to enjoy this trip, good physical conditioning is essential. We’ll be backpacking with 30-40 lb. packs over steep, hilling, uneven terrain and covering an average of 5-7 miles each day. That’s not a huge distance, and we’ll have plenty of downtime, but we may encounter sections of thick vegetation, as well as wind, rain and possibly some mosquitos.

However, the trip is at the end of July, so you have lots of time to prepare for this awesome, once-in-a lifetime adventure! (Two months of pre-trip conditioning should be enough for most people.)

Whether your interest lies with landscape photography or action adventure styles, this workshop trek promises an intensive setting for you to learning advanced outdoor photography techniques in a truly remote Alaska environment.

I did a workshop trek with Galen Rowell back in 1993 and so it’s a dream for me to be able offer a trip like this to my own followers and students. There are only a few spots available on my Denali Backcountry Adventure Photography Trek, so if you’re interested, please visit the trip page at Alaska Alpine Adventures where you can read the detailed itinerary and book your reservation.

I hope to see you out there with me this summer. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Preorder My Outdoor Action Adventure Photography Book

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After months of writing, selecting images, editing and proofing, I finally got see a printed version of my first book. I just received an advance copy of Outdoor Action and Adventure Photography, which will be published by Focal Press on April 28, and it looks amazing!!!

Aside from the personal elation and sense of accomplishment for seeing my work in print like this, I’m blown away by the quality of this book. I love the size and format, it just looks really professional, and it fits well in the hands when you hold it.

In addition, the colors and image reproductions are perfect. Having only seen the layout as a PDF file up to this point, I wasn’t sure what to expect with regards to color accuracy. RGB images on the computer display don’t always look the same when converted to CMYK and printed on paper, but these are spot on. Every single image looks exactly as I would have hoped they’d look.

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Of course, when it comes to books, aesthetics only go so far. Content is what people look for, and as I sat on the couch and flipped through page after page after page of text, I was struck at just how much information is packed into this how-to manual. I almost can’t believe how much I wrote- no wonder it took me so long!

At 300 pages, and nearly 60,000 words, there’s a tremendous amount of photography instruction in here. From advice on gear, technical tips, compositional ideas and in-depth insight, this book presents the extent of my outdoor and adventure photography knowledge and methods that I’ve practiced and developed during the past 20 years.

It pretty much covers everything I know on the subject, and includes just about every technique I use in my style of outdoor photography.

These are the methods that have gotten me where I am today and I like to think that I’ve presented them in a very easy-to-understand style that will be easy for anyone to take away when the read the book. It’s not just hardcore stuff, these techniques can be used by anyone!

We’re still a couple of months away from the official publication date, but you can preorder Outdoor Action and Adventure Photography now and get it as soon as it’s on the shelves.

Current release date is April 28, but that may not be set in stone. It was May 5, but for some reason the date was moved up. That could happen again, and if you preorder, you don’t have to worry about checking back and seeing if the date changes again.

I’m so proud and excited to see my work in print, but I’m even more excited to share my knowledge and experience with you in this format. eBooks are one thing, but this is the real deal and I hope you’ll check it out.

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Don’t forget to share – Thanks!!

New Alaska Snow Biking Photos

Learn Photography Online with the Pros

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Shot with the Fuji X-T1 and XF 18-135mm lens. 1/300 sec. @ f/3.5, ISO 800

We’ve had some great weather here in Southcentral Alaska lately. Mind you, not quite enough snow, but at least the skies have been cold and clear. I’ve been taking advantage of the great winter light to shoot some really cool mountain aerials, as well as fat tire snow biking, which is pretty much just regular mountain biking, but with bigger tires on snow and ice instead of dirt and rocks.

I went out for a late afternoon ride the other day with my friend Megan, and we had some awesome conditions for riding, and some awesome light for shooting. For much of the ride, I just kept my Fuji X-T1 slung around my neck and shoulder, with either the XF 14mm f/2.8 ultra wide angle lens, or the XF 18-135mm weather sealed lens. (Both of these are on sale right now.)

I like the lightweight versatility of the XF 18-135, even though it’s not terribly fast with regards to maximum aperture. That said, it does have a very quick autofocus motor and can keep up with moving subjects when the X-T1 is in predictive focus tracking mode. Overall, it’s a convenient and well performing lens, because I can shoot relatively wide angle all the way through to telephoto without having to swap glass. This can be a real plus when you’re moving quickly.

If the light starts to get dim, I’ll just crank the ISO up a little bit. That first shot above was made at ISO 800, which holds up extremely well with the Fuji X cameras; there’s a little bit of noise, but it’s got a look that’s very much akin to old film grain, so it’s not obtrusive.

The XF 14mm comes in very handy when I want to get in close and show even more environment. Also, since it’s an f/2.8 lens, I can shoot in even lower light. The extra stop combined with the slightly wider view lets me get the shutter speed down into the teens and twenties and still get sharp imagery.

For the shot below, I hand held the camera out in front of me, tight against the strap, focused on the hoar frost and shot at 1/20 sec. By then, it was getting pretty dark, so I had to go up to ISO 1250, but even that seems to hold up quite well.

You can read my review of both of these lenses. Here’s the link for the XF 14mm lens review, and here’s the XF 18-135mm review.

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Shot with the Fuji XF 14mm f/2.8 lens. 1/20 sec. @ f/2.8, ISO 1250

 

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Shot with the Fuji X-T1 and XF 18-135mm lens, 1/140 sec., @ f/5.6, ISO 800

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Shot with the Fuji X-T1 and and XF 14mm f/2.8 lens, 1/150 sec., @ f/3.2, ISO 800

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Shooting Ultra High Shutter Speeds with the Fuji X-T1

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