Archive for December, 2011

My Favorite Images of 2011

Posted in Instructional Photo Tours with tags , on December 27, 2011 by roamin with roman

Hard to believe that 2011 is coming to a close!  Another magical year and while it is often hard to choose the best image you took over the year, “The Crossing” image above was a pretty easy selection as my favorite overall image of 2011. I just may also be one of my favorite pictures I ever took!  Ever since I was a little child growing up watching “Wild Kingdom” it has been a dream of mine to witness the wildebeest crossing the Mara River.  I finally had an opportunity to photograph that spectacle this August on my Tanzania tour and I was not disappointed.  As fate would have it, this image is from our first afternoon at the river and it is something my clients and I will never forget!  We did have the opportunity at the river crossings four more times, but of all the images I took that trip, the image above for me really captures all the amazing power and chaos of the event.  I will share some more images with my Tanzania trip report in a few weeks.

Without doubt, I take more images of birds during the course of the year than any other subject so it is very difficult to pick a favorite bird image!  When I created the “Osprey’s Prize” image above, I was standing in knee-deep water with good friend and awesome bird photographer James Shadle as we were out on his boat for a morning shoot for Roseate Spoonbills.  As a matter of fact, we were photographing the spoonbills when I noticed this osprey hunting about 200 feet away from us.  A bit too far, even for the Sigmonster (my  300-800 mm lens)!  We watched the osprey dive into the water, completely submerge, struggle to pull out of the water with the fish, and then fly right at us but to our left, off sun angle.  With our itchy trigger fingers on the shutter button, you could hear both of us mutter for the osprey to turn as he was flying away from us and into the sun.  About 30 feet away he obliged us and as the shutters unloaded, filling the 30 frame buffer, we both knew that we had just witnessed one extraordinary moment!  I am forever hooked on the 10 frames per second speed of the pro line bodies!

I definitely take more images of birds and animals during the course of the year than anything else and while the slower pace of landscape photography doesn’t allow for quite the same volume of images, it more than makes up for it when all the conditions come together at the magical hours of sunrise or sunset.  Making a favorite landscape selection was another tough call as I am fortunate to visit some of the most beautiful places on earth and the opportunities I get there are simply astounding.  I was going to call it a tie as I narrowed my choices down to two images but I finally chose the image above of “Sunset at the Green River Overlook” over “Snowy Morning at Bryce”.  I chose the Green River image because I have stood at that overlook 100’s of times waiting for the sunset.  It is a breathtaking location and while the sunsets often don’t materialize, on this one day, by using a handful of filters including the reverse graduated neutral density filter, I was able to capture the sunset in all its glory!  As I said, it was a tough choice because I always wanted snow in Bryce but I gave the nod to the image above.

My favorite macro choice may have been the most difficult because I photograph both flowers and insects.  While many people may not find insects all that beautiful, I am just amazed at  just how interesting our small insect world can be!  I was going to take the easy way out and choose one of my flower images.  Pura knows that I have bought her flowers when she walks into the door and the living room has pot and pan lids (which I use as reflectors) all over the sofa and chair.  That would be too easy of a choice so instead, I chose the image of the cicada killer above.  Why?  I had started out that summer morning with fellow photographer and friend Nick Palmieri  by going to 3 local parks, looking for subjects.  After driving around for a while, we decided to head to another park to try our luck at dragonflies.  I don’t know what it was about the conditions, but the activity that day was very slow.  While walking along the shoreline, I noticed a swarm of what I thought was bees….low to the ground.  It wound up being 100’s of Cicada Killers having what appeared to be both territorial disputes and trying to mate!  Grabbing our gear, we laid on the ground for over 2 hours as the battles continued all around us.  This image truly represents my philosophy when it comes to macro photography; that patience and perseverance will rule the day so that is why I chose it as my favorite macro image of the year.

I had many exciting new workshop locations this year so I had some cool “other stuff images” to choose from.  I could have chosen from one of the castles, old cars, or even the graffiti bus and trolleys. Interestingly enough, I chose an image from the 4th of July as my favorite “other stuff” from the year.  Like everyone else who photographs, images carry a special memory attached to it when you revisit it.  The image above is just such an image from the Macy’s fireworks display.  The reason it was so special to me is that I got to spend the day just a relaxing with great friends Susan and Anthony Candelario.  Did I forget to mention that it was also my first time at the fireworks?!!!  Susan and Anthony got to the location around 9am to hold a spot for Nick and myself.  I have photographed fireworks elsewhere but after being at the Macy’s show, I want to take Pura and the boys there next year!

There it is!  Another fantastic year and I hope you can join me next year on one of my tours. As many of you now know, you never know where we will wind up when we are roaming around but I can assure you that I will get you into the best possible spot, so you can make your own


Happy Holidays!!!

Posted in Instructional Photo Tours on December 21, 2011 by roamin with roman

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my friends a Happy Holiday season and for making 2011 the best year ever for Roamin’ with Roman Photo Tours!  As I look back at the past year, I am grateful that I made many new friends and a bit humbled that you are chosing me for your photographic tours.  From the release of my night e-book to some very exciting tours , I just wanted to thank you all and I look forward to 2012 and the experiences we will share.  Whatever Holiday traditions you observe my family and I just want to wish you all the best in the upcoming year and hope it is filled with health, hope, and joy.  Cheers to you my family and friends!!!

Water Drop Photography e-book Released!

Posted in Instructional Photo Tours on December 14, 2011 by roamin with roman

I am thrilled to announce that my great friend Susan Candelario has just released her e-book on high speed water drop photography. Susan is the one who got me into this exciting world of photography and I have been hooked ever since. If you want to create some of your own liquid art than this is the book for you. This easy to follow e-book will give you a big head start on your efforts and help you avoid some of the common mistakes people make when they set out to try this branch of photography for themselves. She has taken all her lessons over the years and put them in one easy to follow package. With winter approaching, it is the perfect indoor activity and will give you hours of fun as you create your own liquid art. The cost is $25 for this one of a kind guide and you can download it on her blog. The image at the top is just one example of what you can get and with a bit of creativity and perseverance even an image likes the ones below. I can honestly say it is tons of fun and this guide will make your learning curve much shorter!

2012 Full and Half Day Workshops Announced!!!

Posted in Instructional Photo Tours on December 9, 2011 by roamin with roman

I just completed my last HDR workshops of the 2011 season.  On the trolley and train workshop last Saturday, which was co-led by Susan Candelario,  I had a few models there which represents a bit of a departure for me.  I am constantly looking for new locations or ideas to provide my clients unique photographic opportunities and 2012 is looking to be even more exciting!  I have posted my schedule here on my blog which includes the short 1/2 day workshops as well as the full day workshops.  Those are all being co-led by Susan Candelario.  I will be adding some new locations shortly but since many of you have asked me about some of my local workshops already, I decided to release the dates now.  Below are 3 of my favorite images from the HDR workshops in 2011.  One from Fonthill Castle, one from Eastern State Penitentiary, and one from Gillette Castle .

Another of my favorite images from the Trolley and Train workshops is the Graffiti Bus.  We did have models posing in the bus this workshop but I am sorry to report that I haven’t had a chance to work on them yet!  I did another image that I have worked on of Ginelle (she will be there in May 5th) as she posed on one of the trains below.

Besides the HDR workshops to Fonthill Castle, Gillette Castle, Trolleys and Trains, and Eastern State Penitentiary, I am running a half day macro workshop that will concentrate on lighting to Longwood Gardens on May 20th.  I will cover the use of reflectors and flash in-depth and how to achieve the maximum depth of field when taking your images.  Flowers will be the primary focus of this workshop but I wanted to share with you my favorite insect photo from 2011.  The proper use of flash and the concepts of lighting you learn in the flower workshop will allow you to branch out and apply those techniques to insects or even models!!!  Ginelle was lit with only a reflector in both images and in the image of the cicada killer below I used my flash, powered down, to get the results you see below.

I will be announcing new  local workshops shortly and if you want to be included on my e-mail list, where I announce the workshops first, drop me an e-mail at: and I will gladly add you to my preferred client list.  I always update my schedule here on the blog first, so be sure to check out the upcoming workshops page  regularly as I will be adding more instructional workshops shortly!  There you will find my longer instructional tours as well and as you will see…..many are filling up fast!  If you prefer to contact me by phone, feel free to call me at: 908-591-3321 with any questions that you may have about any of my small group instructional tours  or workshops.

Bryce and Zion Trip Report

Posted in Instructional Photo Tours with tags , on December 2, 2011 by roamin with roman


I need to play a bit of catch up on my tour reports so I figured I would start with the last one to Zion and Bryce. As usual, weather plays a big factor when it comes to landscape photography and being able to deal with it and adapt has been a big part of my growth as a photographer! In Zion NP we were greeted with warm temps in the low 80’s and clear skies at night. This was very good news for night-time outings and I was even able to explore some new areas, like the historic “ghost town” in Grafton outside the park. The image below is of the schoolhouse and barn and I lit the inside of each structure with a few well positioned flashlights. 

As usual for this time of year, the bighorn sheep come down the slopes usually in the afternoon.  We headed out to try to capture them on the beautiful red rock of Zion and we were fortunate enough to get him on a slope with great sandstone lines.  I took a bunch of images with tighter compositions but I like this one below the best with the sweeping lines of the sandstone.


As we made our way to Bryce, the weather was starting to change and get much colder.  I was really hoping for snow and with a forecast one night of 7 inches……I was worried that we would get too much and it would cover the hoodoos!  Knowing that forecasts out there are very unpredictable we ventured out the next morning with just about an inch of the frozen stuff and I was able to realize a dream I had of snow in Bryce for a very long time.  I had missed it by just a day the previous trips out there and the image at the top shows just how the little bit of snow made Bryce even more beautiful!  By later that afternoon it was mostly gone.

I was able to explore a new location a bit more this year outside of Vegas called Valley of Fire state park.  It has numerous mini arches and caves all ranging in size but mostly 2 to 3 feet.  The arch above is inside a cave and it is only about 2 feet tall!  I will be exploring this area a bit more on next year’s tour and try to do some night photography there as well. 

As usual, given the opportunity, I will stop to do some cool HDR’s!  The image below was just outside Bryce.

As I updated my other tours report shortly from Tanzania, Yellowstone, and Arches, I just wanted to give everyone a heads up that my first tour to Florida on March 3-10th has only 1 (male) or one female (single supplement) slot available.  The tour from the 10-17th is sold out.

You can e-mail me at: if you are interested or have any questions on my other tours in 2012.