Philmont Scout Ranch Photo Adventure

Philmont Ranch, NM captured by Z 6II / Z24-70f2.8

The vast, open, and historic New Mexico landscape is our classroom as we explore every aspect of photography you can imagine! A wild herd of Bison, Cowboys, and old-time reenactors, mountain valleys full of fall color, New Mexico sunrises and sunsets, daily classroom presentations, great fellowship, and a ton of fun. This is just part of your experience at this workshop at the world-famous Philmont Scout Ranch. We’d love to have you join us! The link is in the middle of the register page in the month of October with the dates of the event 09-15 October, 2022. This is our second annual event at The Ranch and is almost filled. I look forward to sharing with you and your camera this magical locale! Want a sample, the video below tells the whole story.

The Brilliant Think Tank Retro 20 v2!

Think Tank Retro 20 v2 on the road, rather airport gate ready to head home
I find myself often now needing a smaller kit for some projects. My big MP-1v2 or Airport Security or Int’l were just too big for a body and a couple of lenses. Did a whole bunch of bag looking and came upon a delight, the Think Tank Retro 20 v2. You see it pictured above, what you can see is all that’s in it. There’s the Z 30 (what I used to take the photo), a Z 9 with a Z24-120 attached. The Z70-200f2.8, Z14-24f2.8, Z40f2, SB-5000, filters, Rode Mic, ML-17, WR-R11a, business cards and some other small odds and ends. You can zip the main compartment closed so nothing can fall out which I do when flying (no one can help themselves) which folds out of the way and attaches to the main flap for quick access while shooting. There are a number of vertical pockets and an end one. All providing plenty of space and quick access. It fits under the seat on the plane and ride easily on the shoulder. It’s the perfect quick kit bag I highly recommend to you!

Moose Podcast #305 – “Knowledge isn’t Skill”

Aero C-104

“Sly” immature male Rufous Hummingbird captured by Z 9 / Z400f4.5

This episode of the Moose Podcast #305 – “Knowledge isn’t Skill “, We spend a lot of time acquiring knowledge in our pursuit grow our photography. But is knowledge all it takes? Because when you think about it, knowledge isn’t skill, knowledge though leads to skill

Click to listen to Episode 305

and you can listen to it here:

Howdy and welcome to the Moose Podcast! Thanks for taking the time to drop in from your week to listen! Thank you folks for listening and continually rising the Moose Podcast in the ratings … thank you ever so much! Please be so kind and continue to Tweet and/or share on the Moose Podcast on Facebook! I’d be grateful for your continuation in doing that. Want to hear about a particular topic, send in the suggestion … send them to Moose Podcast. THANKS! (sorry, emails sent to this address will get no direct response).

People, Companies, Products Mentioned during Podcast:
Bedford Camera

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A Great 100 yard Photowalk!

Broadway Street Bridge, Little Rock captured by Z 9 / Z24-120

Bedford Camera has his marvelous event going on this weekend, their Photo Expo in Little Rock. I was very fortunate to be invited to speak last night and then lead a photowalk this morning. It was a complete joy to do both as these are marvelous, passionate photographers hungering to learn more. How so? They got up and joined me this morning at 06:00 for a photowalk along the River Walkway. It was to be just a 90 minute walk. With the classes that started at 09:00 and the incredible heat and humidity, besides being my favorite time out shooting, it just made sense. And in those 90 minutes, we might have gotten only 100 yards but they were a great, 100 yards!

Na, there was no amazing photographic opportunity that kept us in place, just a real teachable moment and a group of very willing and open minded visual storytellers. What you see above it the Broadway Street Bridge. It has some elegance to it but the skies, they couldn’t be any balder if you tried. How do you make a click of it bringing some drama to the engineering? That what we explored for 90 minutes. The photo on the left was taken at 06:31 and on the right at 06:51. There is just 20 minutes and -1 stop difference (photo on right was shot at -1) between the two technically. But visually, there is quite a distance. And that’s what made the morning so great as we talked through the technical and mental hoops to jump through for each photographer to bring their own drama to the moment. It was a great morning and I was honored to be amongst such a great group of folks! And for me in this humidity, I so welcomed a great 100 yard photowalk!

Birds of the World

Knowledge is power and in photography, knowledge is better photographs! This is really a no-brainer Cornell Lab of Ornithology Birds of the World is an online, subscription database to lieterally ALL the birds of the world! I’m not talkin about just IDing this or that species, I’m talking volumes upon volumes of biological information from where to find them, weight of an egg, world range and population, threats, everything! There is so much information at this site you could write a book from the information to accompany YOUR photographs! Really, check it out and sign up for a month and when you get hooked, go for the year knowing your funds support this incredibly important resource and all the science being conducted to present it!

For 10 Years, the Answer Was Right In Front of Me!

Z 9 w / Z24-120f4 captured by Z 9 / 70-180mc & Profoto B1

Keep It Simple Stupid! I’ve said that a lot to folks and quite often, to myself so when I discover that I’ve shot myself in the foot by not following this, well it’s normally not pretty! I needed to get some product shots done, I was behind and I like to do them when I first get gear while it still looks new. It’s a personal thing, but I like to make my product shots shine and look better than the last time I took them. Like in the past, I pulled out the Profoto B10s, and 3′ Octa. Then, as I was unzipping the Think Tank roller that holds my B10 kit, I thought I might need more light as I was going to photograph a bigger product and would like more DoF. So I went to the gear locker and pulled out the B1 kit Think Tank roller.

The B10 set up is normally a 3 light affair. I set up the main light first, dial it in and then add the fill light dialing it in and then the background light. It normally takes some time and when I change subjects, I often has to retune the light positions. It works but I’m never 100% satisfied with the results. And too often, I have to do tweaking in post to get something I will hang my hat on. Well, I set up the B1 with the 5′ Octa and took my first click and when the image popped on the LCD, well let’s just say Sharon ran into the studio thinking something really bad had happened. My exclamation was because I realized my being lazy and using the smaller lights all these years was making more work for me, not less. The B1 and 5′ Octa did all the lighting, bam! Talk about KISS. And there was nothing to do in post but file images.

The answer was right in front of me for over ten years in my quest to a clean, simple lighting system for my product shots and it never clicked. I know all to well the power of a giant light compared to a small subject. The wrap around effect is so easy to use, limit where need be while sucking up all the rest of that luscious light. The moral? There’s now a big message on my desk that I cannot miss. KISS! While looking for solutions in photography, KISS not only works, often saves time and money. I’m just glad it didn’t take another ten years to find this simple solution.

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