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.




Vanguard at The Detroit Auto Show / NAIAS

So another year and another NAIAS (The Detroit Auto show) has come and gone.


I live in Ann Arbor so I attended The Detroit Auto Show almost every year, and yes I bring a camera and a small group of photographers from my Meetup group’s, Michigan Photo Adventures and National Photography Workshops.


This year I brought along my Vanguard Havana 38 messenger bag and my VEO 265CB carbon fiber tripod.


I figured this would be a great opportunity to show them in action and write a review.


I have been using the Havana 38 and the VEO 265CB for about six months now and I can say I have been very pleased with both.


I use the Havana as my every day messenger bag for my Fuji mirrorless setup. The bag holds my XT-1, X Pro-1, 10-24mm, 18-135, tablet and all of my other daily necessities.


The VEO 265CB is an amazing tri-pod for its size and weight. I have put every camera I own on that tri-pod and can say not once have I had an issue with it.


The size weight and portability make it a pleasure for when I’m on a photowalk, teaching a back country workshop or putting it under the seat when flying (yes it will fit under the seat with my Havana bag with no problems).


I am honored to be a Vanguard Professional and an Ambassador for there product line.

As my GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) fills my bags and empties my bank account I’m sure Vanguard will continue to make Bags, Tri-Pods and other accessories to fit my needs.

Thank you for reading and check out my Meetup sights and FB page for Photowalks, Meetups and Photography Workshops.







zen.tog.ra.phy Letting go of what is not

At times I have issues with memories from my past..sometimes they haunt and torment me..making me anxious of making right of what I feel was wrong. I can also get caught up in what the future may bring or may not bring..trying to right the wrongs so i can live in peace today.

“I tend to live in what is not and not in what is”-me

_DSF9927.jpg…then I stumble on this quote..and it seems a bit better..

“Meditation is not meant to help us avoid problems or run away from difficulties. It is meant to allow positive healing to take place. To meditate is to learn how to stop—to stop being carried away by our regrets about the past, our anger or despair in the present, or our worries about the future”.
~ Thich Nhat Hahn

thank you for reading


zen.tog.ra.phy: Finding Peace in Simplicity

I try to find objects that bring out a sense of peace and simplicity in my photographs.


When I find a subject that I want to capture,I will study my surroundings and the landscape,carefully looking at the details and shapes that move me at that moment.
I will look for the simple things that draw me to that particular spot or subject…the roots leading to the tree..the low lying fog in the background.. the softness in the air.
As I become intune with my surroundings… I start to feel a sense of peace,serenity and purpose.
That’s when I will press the shutter and capture that special moment.. knowing and most of all feeling it was the right time for capture.
Be part of the environment you want to photograph and share and you will find…
“Peace is in Simplicity”
Thanx for reading

zen·tog·ra·phy: eliminating distraction

I will often talk about “eliminating distraction” when looking for my next image.

standing on a rock

As I find my perfect perch,I will survey the landscape in front of me scanning the horizon for any distractions.

I place the camera up to my eye,looking through the viewfinder for that perfect composition, I say to myself “are there any distractions”?

When all looks right I gently press the shutter capturing that moment in time.

I review my new found masterpiece and reflect on what I just created thinking did I “eliminate all the distractions”…not just in my image but in me?

I feel good about my latest capture and I gain a new found sense of serenity from the creative process I just went through.

Sometimes just standing on a rock and looking at your surroundings can be more than a new image but a new way of “eliminating distraction”.

thank you for reading



 where you hang your Hat

Over the past few years I have been fortunate enough to travel and capture images in and around North America.


As I visit each new and exciting location I think to myself… “is this the place I want to hang my hat”?
I walk around taking in all the sights,sounds and smells,capturing the beauty of this new found land, and think…”is this the place I want to hang my hat”?
After filling my Camera with memories and moments. I return home to see my old familiar hat hanging on the rack.
I place my weathered and worn friend on my tired old head with that welcome and comforting feeling. Reminding me that “my home is where I hang my hat”.
Thank you for reading

zen.tog.ra.phy Is like soup for my soul

My Photography is like warm soup for my soul.


As I travel the back roads in search of that perfect image, I often stop when a subject grabs my attention.
I study my new found location and say to myself..”what do I see”…
I will sit and take in the sights,smells and almost taste what my image should convey.
I will put the camera to my eye and look through the viewfinder eliminating little,there..on the left on the right..until it looks just right.
It’s like adding salt and pepper to the soup until it tastes just right.
When all is done and I serve up my image for others to enjoy.
The pleasure I get is like soup for my soul.
Thanks for reading.

zen.tog.ra.phy I walk into the dark to see the light

I walk into the dark shadows of the forrest to find the light shining through the trees.


As I find myself wandering deeper into the woods I can feel the warmth of the sun shining on my back, the fresh smell of fall and leaves crunching under my feet.

I look around in amazement at the wonders this Planet offers me and how we are one.

Now that winter is just around the corner, a new warmth, new smells and a fresh view on what Mother Earth has to offer.

I will soon be wandering down a cold path to catch that warm winter light.

thank you for reading


zen.tog.ra.phy / It took me 35 years to go in a circle

I was handed my first camera back in 1978 to photograph a baseball game for my H.S. newspaper. A brand new Canon AE-1. It was the coolest thing I had ever seen,chrome,lots of buttons,the sound of the shutter..yes I was hooked.

Vanguard Havana 38 VEO 265CB carbon fiber tripod and Fuji Xt-1
Vanguard Havana 38 VEO 265CB carbon fiber tripod and Fuji Xt-1

That was my junior year and I continued on through my senior year and on to the local small town newspaper.
I remember the late nights in the darkroom eagerly processing and printing the TRI-X and watching the magic develop before my eyes. I would rush the still wet prints to the papers editor/owner and chief dishwasher for layout to go into print for that weeks paper. He would look up at me with a grin and say..”another great image Tom, good work”,yes I new I was hooked for sure.
Well then came sports,music,cars…the camera faded away.
I moved on to the 9-5 life all the while missing that beautiful sound the shutter made and the magic it produced.
35 years later I find myself pushing that familiar shutter button with the same beautiful sound and seeing the magic that little black box produces,(yes its digital and its still magic).
Today I get to go on these wonderful adventures helping others on their path of seeing and experiencing the magic that little black box produces,and getting to say to them “good eye keep up the good work”.
Yes I’m still hooked and it only took 35 years to go in that circle.
Thanx for reading