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.…

Why the 28mm Lens Has Become a Favorite

Most Important Though: Use What You're Comfortable With Readers, my journey through photographic gear started many, many years ago. Gear can be the absolute kryptonite of creativity so what I'm offering here is a simple observation from my point of view. Take what you can from it but understand that it's not gear that makes…

Why Winter is a Great Season for Photography

Let It Snow If it sounds borderline insane to appreciate the benefits of photography in cold and snowy conditions, I understand. Making quality images is hard enough when the weather is perfect. Traverse City, Mich.Camera: Leica M6 Once the temperature descends to freezing and below, operating a camera can present challenges: batteries run out of…

Placencia, Belize: A True Caribbean Escape

Adventure, Rest and Everything In Between We were sitting in a plane, about to take off from a small airport toward Placencia. A pilot and co-pilot checked switches, controls and gauges while we passengers were facing a stretch of runway that ended at the sea. A couple of thoughts entered my mind here: This is…

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…

The Traverse City State Hospital

Exploring an Asylum When you think of an asylum for the mentally ill, you might think of old buildings with tall, decorative spires; wide hallways with checker-board floors; and of course, the residents who spent their time there. Traverse City, Mich.Camera: Canon 6D All of this existed and continues to exist today at the former…