zen.tog.ra.phy: rhythm in reflection

Recently after returning from a weekend workshop, we stopped in the lazy lakeside town of Harbor Springs Michigan. As I strolled along the pier on that warm fall day, I found myself drawn to the re…

Source: zen.tog.ra.phy: rhythm in reflection


Flowing Water and Neutral Density Filters.

With fall color and flowing water shooting season upon us, this is a good time to talk about using ND filters.

Mighty Mac image captured midday with a 5 stop Breakthrough Photography ND filter.

What are ND or Neutral Density Filters?

ND filters reduce the amount of light reaching the camera’s sensor. Kind of like a welder wearing a welders mask.

By reducing the light reaching the sensor, it will allow you to shoot at lower shutter speeds allowing for longer or slower exposures.

This image was captured in late afternoon sun on my Vanguard tripod at 15 seconds with a 10 stop ND filter.

By shooting for 15 seconds, it allowed me to achieve the silky or milky flowing effect.

They make many different types of ND filters with different strengths or “stops” ranging from 3, 5, 10, and variable.

I will go over the different filter options and types of filters in my next blog.

Thank you for reading


zen.tog.ra.phy: I have to make mistakes in order to grow

I recently attended one of my  photographer friends first photography exhibit and opening reception.


The show focused on her travel and street photography.


After the opening reception she held a short slide show and talked about why she loves photography and how she has grown as a photographer.

Lynn (the artist) showed her very first image and how she has progressed to the level she is at today. She talked about making mistakes and how every image doesn’t have to be perfect, thats part of the creative process.

As I sat there reflecting back on my first days with a camera, it reminded me of all the mistakes and “bad” images I have captured in my career and where I am today.


(one of my favorite images, that is actually a mistake)

I still make mistakes and produce “unworthy” images, and to be honest…I’m Ok with that.

In making mistakes we learn from them and how we can better ourselves to grow into the artist and ultimately the  creative person we want to be.

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”- Henri Cartier-Bresson

Thank you for reading


zen.tog.ra.phy: If you truly love what you do, you will never work another day in your life.

We all have that moment when we say “man I don’t want to go to work today”.

For years I would do the daily grind hating every moment and really having nothing to show for it.

Over 20 years ago I decided it was time to make a change to dedicate my life and time to photography. Was I scared you bet, but I haven’t looked back since.

Sure there are times I miss the steady paycheck, but nothing I repeat nothing beats the peace and purpose I receive from truly doing what I love.

Thanx for reading.


Shooting Sunsets in RMNP

Last week we packed up the car and drove west to Rocky Mountain National Park for a week of photography and taking in the majesty of the west.


(shooting at 12.050′ atop Rock Cut on Trail Ridge Rd)

We wound up in Estes Park Colorado the gateway to The Rocky Mountains and RMNP.


The unfortunate Forrest fires to the North made for Spectacular Sunsets.

The more time we spent in RMNP, I found myself falling in love with the high mountain vistas, clean mountain air and abundant wildlife.


(loan Elk at sunset near The Alpine Visitors Center 12.250′)

As I write this sitting in my apartment back in Ann Arbor, I cant wait to return to this place of magnificent rugged beauty and wonder.

thank you for reading




Its wonderful what a difference a year can make.

A year ago today I was sitting in the middle of the Atlantic wondering why me?

I was in my cabin on a wonderful photo expidition crying myself to sleep at night and not knowing why? Feeling alone and lost at sea.


Today I am writing this from my roadside Motel somewhere in the middle of rural Iowa as We…yes I said we, my travel partner and I are returning to Ann Arbor from an AMAZING  Workshop in The Rocky Mountains and the West.


I sit here looking at the next couple days ahead before arriving home, I think WOW what a difference a year can really make.

I am truly blessed.



Vanguard Ventures to Waterfalls of North Carolina

I recently had the opportunity to visit The DuPont State Forrest in North Carolina after finishing up a photography workshop in Charleston SC.

Having a couple days to kill durning my drive North I decided to take a look around The North Carolina High Country.

After a quick Google search it didn’t take long to find over 200 waterfalls on my path home.

Being a loyal Michigander, I am spoiled buy my home states beautiful waterfalls in the U.P.

The Waterfalls in NC didn’t dissapoint and were easy to access and short hikes from the car.


Hooker Falls was my fist stop. The low flat rocks gave me the opportunity to use the multi angle center column on my Vanguard tri-pod.


I also decided to try out my Kirk BH-1 ball head on the sturdy carbon fiber legs. The Havana 33 messenger bag worked great for the short hikes to the falls.

My next stop on my way north was a Bridal Veil Falls, were the water literally cascades over the road.


I am now off to teach another photography workshop in The Smokey Mountains with my Vanguard tri-pods and Havana bag by my side.

Thank you for reading my blog and stay posted for more from the Smokies.




Vanguard at The Jefferson Memorial

One of my favorite locations to visit and reflect when visiting Washington DC is The Jefferson Memorial.


President Jefferson has always had some type of mysterious influence on my inner spirit and wandering soul.

veo at jefferson

When touring a city such as Washington DC I like to pack light and carry only my essentials for the day. The Vanguard Havana 33 messenger bag and VEO 265CB carbon fiber tri-pod  work wonderfully for my treks around town.

veo close up at the jefferson_HDR

The VEO 265CB supports my Fuji mirrorless effortlessly with plenty of flexibility for my creative eye.

I cant wait to re visit The Jefferson Memorial and the other Magnificent Monuments in DC this summer with my Vanguard gear and camera in hand.

Thank you for reading,


Vanguard Havana goes to Washington

Last week I packed up the car with my gear and headed to Washington DC for the annual Cherry Blossom Bloom.


The weather was wonderful and the colors were plentiful.

DSCF0053-2My Vanguard Tri-Pod and Havana messenger bag worked perfectly for strolling along The Tidal Basin and Cherry Trees. The small profile of the Havana and the light weight of the Vanguard Carbon fiber tri-pod made my walk easy and pleasant.


I cant wait to return to DC this summer to focus on the monuments and museums.

Thank you for reading.



Vanguard Visits Lake Michigan

This February I traveled to the west side of my home state of Michigan to capture images of frozen Lake Michigan and it’s numerous lighthouses.


With our unseasonably warm weather this year the lake was open water, but the lighthouse’s did have some ice on the pier. I decided what a great opportunity to try out my Vanguard ABEO PRO 283CT carbon fiber tripod.


I wanted to use the spiked feet feature on the slippery surface…and I have to say the ABEO PRO 283CT PRO preformed admirably.


After a couple cold hours of shooting my travel partner and I decided to drive North to the Sandy Beaches of Silver Lake Dunes and The Little Sable Lighthouse.


With strong wind gust and sand all around I figured this would be a great opportunity to try out the snow and sand attachments on my ABEO PRO 283CT.


And once again The ABEO PRO 283CT did not dissapoint.


The carbon fibre legs and adjustable center column worked wonders in the blowing wind and sand.

I want to thank Vanguard USA for all their support and excellent customer service.

Thank you for reading and follow me on FB and twitter.