Why Small Towns in Winter are Perfect for Photography

No Need to Travel Far Imagine this: It's 14 degrees Fahrenheit in your quaint burg and you're trying to find the inspiration for making pictures. For those of us in the Midwest's finest snow belt, a decent pair of warm gloves and boots can be hard enough to find, let alone a dose of creativity.…

3 Simple Tips for Street Photography

Chicago, Illinois The gritty and storied streets of Chicago are only five hours away, by car and train, from our front door. Yet, it's on the extreme other end of the spectrum as far as worlds go. Grit, characters, flashing lights, buildings—so many tall, beautiful buildings—honking and life. Steam and smoke rise out of nowhere…

Why Quiet Moments in Photography are Important

Location: Bad Axe, Mich. It's one of my favorite stories about how a town was named; don't settle in for it though, the story is quick. Here it is: A piece of broken axe was discovered in a tree at an old camping site toward the mid 19th century. Short story made even shorter—where the…

Winter in the Mushroom Capital

Mesick, Mich The temperature was hovering around 15 degrees Fahrenheit in northern Michigan; that's not a bad temperature because it wasn't windy, you see. So the question becomes: Where should I travel to for pictures? Mesick, Mich.Camera: Leica M6 Most photographers would make their way to Lake Michigan, possibly to explore any of the nearby…

Copper Harbor, Mich.

Also: Why Less is More with Photography Gear It's usually at the five-hour mark of our nine-hour trip when our convoy of cars pulls over to eat something quick, fill up our gas tanks and stretch our legs and backs before continuing our travels northward. Copper Harbor, Mich.Camera: Canonet QL17GIII Our journey? Every year we…

Salton Sea, California

Forgotten but not Gone...Yet Water skiers buzzed by shorelines as they waved to onlookers from rich blue waters in California's Coachella Valley. Meanwhile, picnics by the plenty were had under palm trees as vacationers and seasonal folks enjoyed all that could be offered in this Southern California paradise. Salton Sea, CaliforniaCamera: Canon 1V This was…

Why You Don’t Have to Travel Far to Make Great Pictures

It Started with National Geographic When I was just starting out with photography, my main source of inspiration—and countless other photographers' inspiration—was National Geographic magazine. In its pages, you could be transported to a Hawaiian volcano, a Mongolian steppe or in an Italian village. Vanderbilt, Mich.Camera: Mamiya 7 Not only that, but National Geographic magazine…

Iceman Cometh Challenge on 35mm Film

The Biggest Single-Day Mountain Bike Race in the U.S. The saying goes,"If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes." In northern Michigan that weather could mean a 40-degree temperature fluctuation, rain, sun, snow...all of it, in one day. Add a 29-mile course of Michigan trails then combine thousands of riders and you have the…