In March of 2019, I spent a little over a week in Death Valley National Park, both scouting for personal work, as well as teaching a workshop there with Muench Workshops. I explored a few areas of the park I had never visited, and revisited some old locations. With such a wet winter, there was quite a bit of water in areas of the park I had never seen previously. I spent around three days driving and hiking around the park before the workshop started, which took us out to the Eureka Dunes.Read More
Almost daily, I wake up to an email, comment, or private message saying, "I want to start shooting large format, but I don't know where to start. What should I do and what should I buy?" Awesome! That's great news! After responding to each and every one of you (thank you for being so kind to ask me), I have decided to put together a list of recommended equipment for those of you who want to start shooting large format. Remember, the used market is your friend when trying to find equipment. There's a few good Facebook buy/sell/trade groups for film equipment, the Large Format Photography Forum can be a good source, but generally, I've had good luck on eBay.
*This is by no means a perfect solution and if you don't want to listen to me, by all means - don't. Everyone should has their own opinion and style and this is just what I have learned over the years. If I was starting fresh again, this is my guide.
**This is also guided towards 4x5 equipment, because of three reasons. 1) I guarantee you that you will make mistakes in this journey. A lot of them. You want those mistakes to be as inexpensive as possible. 4x5 is 4 times smaller by area than 8x10, thus making everything generally about 4 times less expensive. 2) Learning movements is a process and depth of field is always a challenge on large format. With 4x5, you have less of a challenge, which will lead to a more productive learning experience. 3) Everything is generally lighter and overall a less punishable experience than larger formats. Learning to compose on a ground glass can be tricky. 8x10 (and larger) is very rewarding, but I suggest you get your feet wet before diving in.Read More
The Flint Hills, to me, is home. The prairie is where I found my passion for landscape photography and it's where I fine-tuned my eye. The Flint Hills is a place where I can find peace in the busy world and the sights and sounds I miss daily. It's a different landscape. One in which you have to actively seek beauty -- it doesn't scream at you like so many other places. It has a subtle, whispering beauty that takes a trained eye and a love of the land. People always laughed when I said I was a landscape photographer living in Kansas. Kansas has its own unique identity, which in my opinion is incredibly beautiful.
This was the last image I took in the Flint Hills before moving from Kansas to California so it holds a very special place with me. I miss the wide open spaces and the unique light that Kansas has.
Kansas is still home and always will be, and I'm excited to be back for a few days this coming May.
After visiting Montana de Oro State Park for the first time this past weekend, I feel so fortunate that it's located right at my back door. Montana de Oro has an incredibly rugged coastline with incredible texture that I can't wait to explore. On Saturday evening, the thick marine layer stumped any chance of golden hour light, so I decided to try to photograph a composition I had found the evening before on black and white film. I very rarely shoot in black and white, mainly because my eye is drawn to color images, but I've been trying to learn to see in monochrome. The cloudy evening fit the mood well as tide was rushing in over the rocks in the foreground. I captured this photograph on Kodak T-Max 100, which has been my favorite black and white film I've tried so far. in order to add more contrast to the scene, I decided to use a Red 23 filter, which also helped me lengthen the exposure to around 12 seconds to ensure the smooth texture of the waves. As soon as I had packed up and finished my exposures for the evening, a large wave crashed against the rock to my immediate right, which would have drenched me along with all of my gear. Coming from Kansas, I've been accustomed to the power of thunderstorms, but the ocean is on another level. Watching the water raise and lower 20-30 feet alongside a sharp rock face with every wave is an unreal experience.Read More