Join us in Peru and/or Iceland!
Feb19

Join us in Peru and/or Iceland!

Of all the places we get requests to run tours, Peru and Iceland and far and away the most popular.  I get emails almost every week asking when our next Peru travel photography workshop will be.  I get about the same amount of emails for Iceland.  So, it was just a matter of time before we’d go back to Peru, and initiate our first workshop in Iceland. Going Back to Peru Our trip to Peru in 2014 was a massive success.  Not only did we have a great tour filled with incredible imagery, but we had an amazing group of participants which made the tour even more special. Peru is one of the most photogenic countries in the world.  It’s also one of the most diverse places in the world for photography.  In just a 2 week period, we’ll photograph the desert, the coast, the Andes Mountains, and even parts of the rain forest.  As far as subjects are concerned, there will be people, mountains, wildlife, seascapes, and so much more to photograph in the country.  As usual, Jeff Bartlett will be co-leading this tour with me. You can download the full itinerary for Peru here. And, for more information on the trip to Peru or to book, visit this page. Iceland! I can’t tell you how excited I am to be heading back to Iceland.  It’s one of my favourite countries to shoot, and definitely one of the most impressive places I’ve ever been.  As usual, I’ll be running the Iceland photography workshop alongside my buddy and fantastic photographer, Jeff Bartlett.  He has also spent a lot of time in Iceland scouting locations and organizing this trip.  We’ll also have with us a local photographer named Ivan Olaffson who will help guide us around and show us some of the secret photo spots off the usual beaten path. For the full itinerary for Iceland, click here. And, to book, or for some more information on the trip, click here. Images from Peru and Iceland If you’re interested in seeing some of the imagery you can come up with in these two incredible countries, check out the videos below.  The first one is a piece I put together from my first time in Iceland in which I spent a week exploring the ring road of the country location scouting. The second video is from my last photography workshop in Peru: Can’t Join These Ones? If you can’t join these photography workshops, but are interested in potentially joining one in the future, be sure to sign up to the form below.  That way, when we launch future workshops you’ll be...

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Manila, Sagada & First Impressions of The Philippines
Feb16

Manila, Sagada & First Impressions of The Philippines

After a visit to Spain that felt shorter than it actually was, I was off again. This time, I was heading to The Philippines – a new country for me. Not only is The Philippines a new country for me, but one of which I had absolutely no expectations. Honestly, I knew very little about The Philippines. My knowledge of Filipino people, too, is limited to those I’ve met. Those I met, I knew to be very friendly, and love photography and basketball. So, I assumed we’d get along. So far, I’m right. Manila I landed in Manila really late, and really didn’t have any time planned there. To be honest, I have little to no interest in Manila. I want to see the nature, countryside, and landscapes of the country. So, the next day, I was already off again. However, on the couple hours I had free in Manila, I did get out and explore a little bit. In doing so, I came up with some of my first impressions, and observations of The Philippines: People are extremely friendly and welcoming. Jeepneys are awesome – local transport. I want one. The people do seem to love basketball – there’s always a game on somewhere. There’s a lot of foreign guys living there and dating local girls – not prostitution, but dating. There is no way I wont stand out – I’m a foot taller than the average person. I’m like a giant Q-Tip wandering around the streets. That night, I caught the bus north on the same island as Manila. It was a 12 hour journey to the town of Sagada. Jet Lagged in Sagada When I arrived in Sagada I was on a bit of a high. And, looking back, there’s a good chance it was more of an adrenaline rush keeping me going. The drive into Sagada as the sun rose was stunning, and I couldn’t wait to get out and explore. However, as I got settled into my hotel in Sagada, it became apparent to me that jet lag was finally catching up with me. I took what was meant to be an hour’s nap before exploring. It ended up being a 3 hour sleep and I nearly missed sunset because of it. With no idea where to go and shoot photos, I made the mistake of asking the hotel receptionists. She recommended a place called Lake Banum. But, after hiking an hour to get there, I realized it wasn’t much of a lake, but more of a swamp. And, the reason I was pointed in this direction wasn’t because the landscape is beautiful, but...

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Travel Diaries: Colombia
Jan18

Travel Diaries: Colombia

There’s this funny thing that happens to you when you travel the world. At first, you start to feel like you don’t really belong anywhere. You feel like you’re searching for your home, but can’t seem to find it. Then, after a while, you start to realize that there are a dozen of different places pulling you in each direction. When you travel so much, different destination, people, and experiences that you know, and are comfortable with, start to make you feel like you want to be in 10 different places at once. Before heading to Colombia, I felt that way. And, honestly, that feeling beat me up a bit. Obviously, I couldn’t be everywhere at once. Obviously, I couldn’t be with all the people I wanted to be with at once; not when they’re scattered all over the globe. I’m a believer that you have to listen to the signals that your mind gives you. You have to give in to the ideas that spring to life in your conscious.  And for whatever reason, it felt like the energies of the world were all pulling me back to South America. In the end, I decided I needed to make a trip down to Medellin. I needed to see if I still had the same love for Medellin I had back when I was living there. And, so on a bit of a whim, I booked a flight to Colombia. A Colombian Road Trip I landed in Medellin after a sleep-free night flying from Phoenix via LAX and Panama City. As soon as I got there, I rolled over to the family finca (country home) of an old friend. There, we sprung plans to head out on a road trip. Because, you know, sleep is over-rated when you can drive across a country. So, we drove through the night to the city of Pereira. The next day, we drove out to Salento and the Valle de Cocora – both places I’ve been before. With no desperate need to take photos, I kind of just enjoyed spending time with friends and not worrying about getting shots. It’s kind of nice to be a tourist every now and then. I need to remember to do that more often. It reminds be that travel is about more than just getting some shots. That night, we went out on the town. And, yeah, we kind of over-did it. We woke up complete disasters. But, we had a long drive ahead of us back to Medellin. On the way, we stopped at some hot springs in Santa Rosa de Cabral. It was actually the perfect...

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Travel Diaries: Home for the Holidays
Jan09

Travel Diaries: Home for the Holidays

It’s been a funny couple of months.  The end of 2016 was crazy. In just 2 months I spent time in 11 different countries on 5 different continents. I was a part of two big campaigns – one in India and the other in Spain and Italy.  I taught a travel photography workshop in Cuba, and also solo travelled all over Southern Africa.  If I’m being honest, by the time I got home to Phoenix, I was exhausted. Home in Phoenix? Now, you’re probably thinking: aren’t you Canadian? How is Phoenix home?  Well, to be fair I use the term “home” fairly loosely.  And, I have plenty of “homes” around the world.  Phoenix is one of them.  My parents bought a house there a few years ago when the housing crisis in the US meant for extremely good deals on properties.  They’re retired now, and spend the winters there playing pickle ball and avoiding the cold weather of Canada. It was so good to be back around family.  I’m pretty sure I drove them mental though.  My past couple months of craziness left me a little rough around the edges, I think.  And, I think my levels of patience and “chill” were at an all time low.  Still, it was so good to have them around.  There’s nothing better to ground a person than being around family who really reminds them where they came from, and who they really are.  I’m very thankful for them.  They always keep me humble – or at least, they try. Patience at the Devil’s Bridge I didn’t just chill out while in Phoenix, though.  There are so many places to see and so many awesome photo locations that I had to get out and do some shooting as well.  Plus, I was way behind on some work for a couple clients, so getting out and shooting was kind of a priority. One of the locations I really wanted to shoot was the Devil’s Bridge in Sedona.  I’ve been up to Sedona a couple times, but never knew about the Devil’s Bridge. So, when I saw some photos I realized that it would be a great place to get some cool shots, and also get some images for my clients. Of course, like nearly every photogenic spot in the US it took some patience to get the shot I wanted. The Devil’s Bridge was packed with people right up until the minute the light disappeared.  It was a Friday right before the holidays, so it might have been more busy than normal.  But, the shots came out cool – despite a lack of good light...

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Melatsunyane Falls is Crazy!
Nov08

Melatsunyane Falls is Crazy!

I’m falling behind a bit on the blog again, so I’m going to try to be a bit quick with this update.  Basically, all I have to say is that Melatsunyane Falls is crazy! Like, legit incredible.  I’m not really sure how no one knows about these waterfalls, or how Lesotho in general is so under the radar as a tourism destination. Melatsunyane Falls might actually be my favourite location for photography in 2016, it was that good.  Moreover, I wasn’t even there during the right season. I’d love to be at the falls during the wet season when the falls are really roaring. I also put together a little video about using filters in your photography when I was at the falls, so check that out if you would like. Hiking to Melatsunyane Falls If you want to get to the falls, the best way is likely on foot.  If you go to the Semonkong Lodge, there’s an activity desk and they can give you a map to get there. But, it’s fairly simple.  Alternatively, you can also hire a guide to take you there.  You can also hire a horse or donkey to take you there as well.  It’s about a 45 minute walk to the falls from Semonkong Lodge, and it’s pretty pleasant. You wander through villages and there are lots of friendly people along the way. Some Photos from Melatsunyane Falls I didn’t really have much luck with the light at Melatsunyane Falls.  It’s the very start of the rainy season in Lesotho and it was really cloudy when I was shooting.  Then, on the way home from the falls I got absolutely smashed by a mix of rain and hail.  That said, I did get a couple shots I’m pretty happy with. What’s Next? I’m going to catch up on this blog as quick as I can!  Next, I’m off to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park which might be the best places in Africa to see...

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Food Photography in Emilia Romagna
Oct20

Food Photography in Emilia Romagna

When I decided that I needed to be more dynamic with the vlog, I asked people what sort of episodes they wanted to see. Overwhelmingly, people wanted to see a video style that I used to shoot before moving to a vlog format I called “Getting the Shot”. Essentially, in these episodes, I take people through the process of getting a specific shot. Pretty self-explanatory, right? The idea is to tell people of my vision for a shot, and then walk them through the process of making that photo happen. Sometimes, it might take a whole day to shoot, film and edit. Other times, I’ll be able to knock out that image in 15 minutes. Now, while the concept behind this style of episode is old, I really wanted to keep the vlog format so, it’s not stale – I hope. It’s still me out in the world, I just have a very specific goal for the day. In the first installment of this style, I tackle one of the trickiest styles of photography that exists: food photography.  And, is there a better place on the planet to do a video about food than Emilia Romanga, Italy? Quick Info on Shooting Food Photography Tip #1: Lighting is Important In food photography, the goal is to make the food look appetizing. To do so, you need to light the food properly. If you don’t the food will just not look tasty. It’ll have shadows, or be dark, or even a different colour. With this type of photography, having a nice even light, and as few shadows as possible, is so key. Of course, in travel, you won’t have ideal light, nor will you likely have the tools you need to create the light. So, you have to be creative. Find an open window with soft light flowing in, or a nice white over-heat light. Also, one of the greatest food photography hacks out on the road is to use your cell phone’s flashlight to add some fill light. Tip #2: Composition is King Maybe more than any other type of photography, composition is king in food photography. Not only should you have a visually appealing plate, but also a visually appealing composition of your plate and setting. Moreover, it’s important to style the scene as best you can – from the cutlery to the napkins, everything in your frame should have a purpose. Tip #3: Tell The Whole Food Story Don’t just photograph the food. You should be creating a food photo essay. From the farm to the plate, and everything in between, you should be capturing the evolution and...

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