Archive for May, 2012

Radio City Music Hall Workshop New Date Announcement!

Posted in Instructional Photo Tours on May 18, 2012 by roamin with roman

My first Radio City Music Hall workshop sold out quickly and many of you were unable to attend so I am pleased to announce that I have secured September 16th for another private workshop there.  This historic landmark is an Art Deco treasure and we will have exclusive access to photograph the remarkable architecture with our tripods and explore both HDR photography or just single exposures or this magnificent structure.  Susan Candelario will be co-leading this event with me.  The image at top is from the lower lobby looking up into the main lobby upstairs.

We will have opportunities to photograph the main theater, the grand lobby (pictured below), multiple powder room (including the magnificent ladies lounge pictured above), and many other areas not available to the general public.  You can see some images of the areas from my first Radio City blog post here

The date is September 16th, 2012 and the time is from 8am till 11:30am.  We will meet under the historic marquee promptly at 8am to go over setting and provide instruction before we head in to maximize the shooting time. As always, Susan and I will also be there with you to answer any additional questions that may arise.  The cost of this private instructional workshop is $90.  The price increase reflects a bit more time inside the interior as well as additional helpers once inside.  While the group size seems large (27) we will break them up into 3 smaller groups (novice, intermediate, and advanced).  I am always adjusting my workshops in this manner to foster a better learning environment for all my participants.  A door prize and special photo contest with a prize will also be part of this experience!

 The first workshop had a waiting list of 10 people that we were not able to accommodate, so if you missed the first one, don’t delay as I expect this one to sell out just as quickly and I have no idea if/when I can get another date inside! The fastest way to secure your spot is to use the Pay Now Button on the bottom of the page and use a credit card or PayPal.  Just enter the amount and then follow the credit card instructions or log into your PayPal account.

As always you can email me personally at: so that I can answer any other questions that you may have.


Five New Florida Bird Photography Tours Announced!

Posted in Instructional Photo Tours on May 15, 2012 by roamin with roman

I am thrilled to announce that in 2013 my schedule will have 5 instructional Florida Bird Photography tours!  They are timed at different times of year to offer you a variety of species and opportunities.

The first tour, from February 16th – 23rd, is timed to coincide with Presidents Day here in the US.  The images in this post represent a small example of the variety of birds you can expect to photograph both as portraits and in flight.  On this workshop we will also be doing some butterfly macro photography as well!  As many of you are now aware, I can quickly change our itinerary as different photographic opportunities present themselves!  Unlike other tours, I do not pass you off to an assistant!  I am there to personally instruct you and help with any technical photographic questions you may have. Many tours try to call themselves small and take 6 or more clients.  I take only 4 (US locations) to maximize your learning experience. That also allows me to teach you a bit more in-depth and give you a more personalized environment.

Shortly thereafter, I have my second group of tours but this time to the southwest coast of Florida.  I only have one week available, from March 9th – 16th, as the week of the 17th – 24th sold out to my advanced notice e-mail list.  I give that group a 2 week exclusive opportunity to sign up for any tour before I make an announcement here on my blog.  If you would like to be put on that list, just email me and I will add your name to that list.  The highlight of this tour has to be the 2 days (weather permitting) of a private charter to photograph Roseate Spoonbills.  I have been going to Florida for over 17 years now and have never had an opportunity for spoonbills like you do on the boat.  We do get off the boat and into the water to get the best shooting angle.  You can see some examples of images on previous blog posts here, here, and here.

My last tours down to Florida are to the East Coast.  The departure point is Jacksonville and the week available is from May 12th – 14th.   The week of May 4th – 11th sold out to my advance notice list.  This tours highlights are the baby chicks as well as the courting and mating rituals of many of the other species.  I have a few HDR locations on the agenda as well! 

Many of you may not be aware that my costs include lodging (based on double occupancy) and transportation after your arrival at the departure point airport.  While we travel together in the vehicle, we often discuss technical photographic subjects and share post processing tips and techniques.  My goal on every tour is to teach you how to get the best possible image in camera so you don’t have to rely on post processing to “save” a bad image but rather use post processing as a tool to enhance an outstanding capture.  You can find all the specifics, such as cost and departure point, on my schedule page and as always you can email me personally at: so that I can answer any questions that you may have.


March Arches/Monument Valley Tour Report

Posted in Instructional Photo Tours on May 12, 2012 by roamin with roman

I’m started working on some images from my late March instructional tour to the Arches area.  The group photographed some popular areas in Arches and Canyonlands national park as well as a private tour into Monument Valley and the Slot Canyons.  We did get out for a lot of night photography in all those areas…..including Monument Valley but the clouds weren’t as cooperative as I would have liked.  Our last night there those clouds brought some snow!  The opening image shows the 2 plus inches or so of snow on our last morning of photography.  The temps were a bit too warm and as we wrapped up the morning shoot, the snow had all but disappeared.  The image below of the tree reminds me how different Arches NP is when there is even just a bit of snow!

As many of you know by now, I have been to the Arches/Canyonlands/Monument Valley area more than any other place I lead tours to.  I stopped counting after 20 visits but I never get tired of shooting it!  While landscape photography may not be as challenging technically as bird photography, the ingredients needed to come together to create a successful image are often much more difficult to come by!  Visiting the same location over and over (I learned this from the late Galen Rowell’s example) gives you a better chance of capturing a more dramatic image of any iconic location.  I have many similar images to the ones below but on every trip the ever-changing skies present unique opportunities for everyone…… matter how many times you have been there! A perfect example is of the last image of the mittens below when at this time of year, the West Mitten casts its shadow on the East Mitten.

I am always looking for new or obscure locations to diversify my clients shooting opportunities.  On cloudy days, I like to go shoot a little known waterfall just south of Moab called Faux Falls.  In the image below, I concentrated on smaller cascade areas as I have 100’s of images of the falls that I haven’t even processed!

The detail image below is from one of our travel days where we stopped to do HDR’s of old cars, trucks, and barns.  We spent over 3 hours in one junkyard alone this year!

One big advantage I have over other tours is that I can change my itinerary at a moment’s notice. Instead of driving the loop road of Monument Valley one cloudy afternoon, I had the group switch gears and do some HDR work inside the old trading post instead as I knew we would have another opportunity to photograph the loop road on another day.  That is the luxury we have on the 10 day tour but I also try to be this flexible on all of my tours.

My quest for the unusual at iconic locations is constant.  I don’t pass up opportunities for the “standard” shot but because I have been to these locations that many times, I can look for some less explored shots.  While I have done “flowing sand” in the slot canyons before, the image below of the triple sand falls surprised even me! 

The final image below is also another great example as I have photographed that particular tree in Castle Valley numerous times. The tips of the tree only glow that white-hot for a brief moment in late afternoon light and only during certain seasons.  My experience in the Arches area allows me to change locations no matter what the weather throws at me!

I have 2 slots left for my week-long October tour and 1 slot left on the 10 day February tour which will concentrate more on night photography.  You can find all the information on my schedule page or as always, feel free to e-mail me at: .



Radio City Music Hall Report and Photo Contest Announcement!

Posted in Instructional Photo Tours on May 9, 2012 by roamin with roman

I just finished up my first Radio City Music Hall workshop and I am thrilled to announce that it was a great success!  Susan Candelario co-led this workshop with me.  Her husband Anthony was along to guide the most experienced group. They didn’t need HDR instruction, but wanted to be part of this exciting and unique workshop.  Susan and I were there to teach and help the less experienced group which ranged from the novices in HDR to the intermediate students.  As usual on these workshops, the time passed by way too quickly but we did manage to cover most of the historic building.  Rest assured that we are working on our next date!  The day ended when we raffled off some door prizes including some shirts, thumb drive, and the grand prize of a choice of any Topaz Labs software.  The group went home very happy although the pace left a few exhausted but wanting to sign up for the next date.


Susan and I are thrilled to also announce an exclusive Radio City Music Hall Photo Contest.  This contest is only open to the workshop participants.  The rules are simple; you can use any image taken during the workshop but you must use one of Topaz Labs software to process it.  Don’t have Topaz Labs software?  You can download a fully functional trial hereRemember that you need to enter your email address to get you 30 day activation key!!! The deadline is June 8th and the winner will be announced by June 15th.  The winner will receive their choice of any Topaz Labs software!  By entering this contest you agree that I can post your image on a special page on my blog but I will not use it for any other reason and you retain all rights to it.  Send a small jpeg of 1024ppi on the longest dimension sent to my email address to enter. 

Good luck and thanks for a memorable day!!!

PS Check out my latest gear review here.

Home for Now and Check This Photographer Out!

Posted in Instructional Photo Tours on May 3, 2012 by roamin with roman

I just returned from the Florida Birding Festival where I was an advertiser/vendor for the first time and got a chance to meet a photographer with whom I share a very similar macro photography philosophy and whose work I really admire: Mike Moats.  I first learned about Mike when we were both macro moderators on so it was a real treat to finally meet him in person and chat a bit.  Even though the current trend is to create blurs, we both enjoy photographing at the f/22 – f/32 spectrum of the macro world to get everything tack sharp.  We both chuckled at the pundits who say that your macro lens isn’t the sharpest at that range.  While on some NASA scientist level that may be technically true……I always tell people to look at our images and tell us it isn’t sharp enough!!!  Mike also shared with me his thoughts and observations on shallow depth of field images and blurs.  He mentioned that at his tradeshows; where he sells prints, people would often negatively comment on that type of image……even point and shooters!!! Most feel that they do better themselves comparatively.  He has since stopped selling those images although he still enjoys creating them for himself. We both feel that more people struggle with creating sharp images with excellent depth of field so we both teach people in our workshops how to achieve that goal.  You can check out more of his work here for yourself.

While some may say that I may be crazy for recommending another macro photography workshop… I only do a few ½ day macro workshops a year and often, just in the local area, why not recommend someone whose work I admire and respect?  If you are in an area that Mike Moats is giving one of his macro boot camps and can’t attend one of mine, I highly recommend you get to one of his “boot camps” and learn how to get tack sharp images with maximum depth of field for yourself.  Check out his schedule for more details and locations.

I wanted to share one quick bird image with you all so that you didn’t think I went totally crazy by going down to Florida and not creating any bird images!  The image above was taken early one morning before the festival doors opened.  I don’t get to go out often for myself anymore, so I was thrilled to be able to get out with the Sigmonster for a few mornings and photograph.  Nothing like a lot of bird action to get the adrenaline pumping!!!  I have a lot of catching up to do on blogs and images and I hope to get to some updates and gear reviews in the coming weeks. Stay tuned…….