Visiting Budapest and Bratislava
Jan14

Visiting Budapest and Bratislava

We ended our Viking River Cruise in style with stops in both Bratislava, Slovakia and Budapest, Hungary.  Both are places that I’ve visited in the past, and both are places I really enjoyed on previous visits.  In fact, I’ll be making Budapest my base in Europe for a while starting in March.  The last time I visited Bratislava, it was refreshing for me.  It was a little bit grittier than other places I’d visited in Europe previously, and seemed a bit more genuine as well.  This year, my affection for the city only grew.  It really is far too often over-looked as a destination.  As usual, below I have a video from the trip, and some information on this section of my travels. Visiting Bratislava Bratislava is cool.  It’s one of my favourite places to shoot in this part of Europe.  It’s got this gritty, yet comfortable feeling and really is the first place in Europe that you start to feel like you’re in the “east”.  I find the Slovaks to be extremely friendly people, too.  Maybe a bit shy, but very welcoming.  The Christmas markets in Bratislava were in full force during our visit, and seemed to be a bit more authentic than some of the bigger markets in bigger cities.  Our visit to the city, to be honest, was a bit too short.  Yes, you can see most of Bratislava in a half a day, but I felt that the race to get out of town and on to Budapest left me wishing I had time to chill out somewhere in the city and grab a beer rather than racing on down the river. Of course, Viking had good reason for pushing us on.  As you’ll find out. Some Photos of Bratislava Visiting Budapest The reason we pushed out of Bratislava so quickly was so that we’d arrive in Budapest at night before everyone had gone to bed, and well the city was lit up.  It was a smart move by Viking.  In many ways, this was one of the most special moments of the tour.  The fog on the Danube River was so thick just outside of Budapest that we could hardly see our hands in front of our faces.  Yet, there we all were stood on the top deck of the longship waiting for our arrival in the city. Then, just as we hit the city, the fog lifted and we were greeted by the spectacular sight of the Budapest lights.  The parliament buildings, the Citadella, and the Chain Bridge were all lit up so beautifully.  It was just a great way to arrive in our...

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Join Me in Peru AND Bolivia for a Photo Adventure
Apr08

Join Me in Peru AND Bolivia for a Photo Adventure

It’s with great pleasure that I announce that I’m now booking a second photo tour in South America in 2015! Since the booking for the first workshop – which is taking place in Peru, May 2015 – has been so successful, we decided to add another date to accommodate the people that couldn’t make the first trip’s dates.  Specifically, we had in mind the many teachers who let us know that they could only come in the summer months.  Well, here’s your chance. Get all the booking info here. A Bolivian Twist This tour, which will run starting July 13th in Cusco, Peru will not be the exact same workshop as the previous, however, as well be adding a Bolivian twist to it all. The tour will commence in Cusco, Peru where we will visit famous Peruvian sites like Ollantaytambo, Lake Titicaca and, of course, Machu Picchu.  From there, we will work into Bolivia and experience some incredible places such as the Uyuni Salt Flats, the Potosi Mines, and the great city of La Paz. All of the places we visit on this trip are tremendously photogenic, and we’re going to have a blast.  I hope you join us! Dates and Prices Start Date: July 13, 2015 in Cusco, Peru End Date: July 26, 2015 in La Paz, Peru Cost Per Person: $2,990usd For more information on the itinerary, FAQs, and what’s included in the tour, please head over to the info page for the photo workshop on Adventure.com What’s a Photography Workshop? I can’t speak for all photography workshops, because everyone operates differently.  However, in our workshops the goal is to have a genuine travel experience well not feeling rushed to take our photos, as well being in the right places at the right time for photography.  Moreover, these photo workshops give participants a look into what life is like as a professional travel photographer.   Our workshops also include 1-on-1 time with the professional photographers to discuss things like photo editing, and to do image critiques.  Of course, a big part of a photography tour is also meeting other people who have a passion for photography. So, whether you’re a professional photographer looking to build your portfolio quickly, an amateur photographer thinking about making the jump to pro, or just a hobbyist that doesn’t want to feel rush in the hobby, these trips are for you. More Information If you need some more information from me directly, you can always get a hold of me on my contact page.  So, if you have any questions, feel free to shoot me a quick...

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Join Me in Peru AND Bolivia for a Photo Adventure
Apr01

Join Me in Peru AND Bolivia for a Photo Adventure

It’s with great pleasure that I announce that I’m now booking a second photo tour in South America in 2015! Since the booking for the first workshop – which is taking place in Peru, May 2015 – has been so successful, we decided to add another date to accommodate the people that couldn’t make the first trip’s dates.  Specifically, we had in mind the many teachers who let us know that they could only come in the summer months.  Well, here’s your chance. Get all the booking info here. A Bolivian Twist This tour, which will run starting July 13th in Cusco, Peru will not be the exact same workshop as the previous, however, as well be adding a Bolivian twist to it all. The tour will commence in Cusco, Peru where we will visit famous Peruvian sites like Ollantaytambo, Lake Titicaca and, of course, Machu Picchu.  From there, we will work into Bolivia and experience some incredible places such as the Uyuni Salt Flats, the Potosi Mines, and the great city of La Paz. All of the places we visit on this trip are tremendously photogenic, and we’re going to have a blast.  I hope you join us! Dates and Prices Start Date: July 13, 2015 in Cusco, Peru End Date: July 26, 2015 in La Paz, Bolivia Cost Per Person: $2,990usd For more information on the itinerary, FAQs, and what’s included in the tour, please head over to the info page for the photo workshop on Adventure.com What’s a Photography Workshop? I can’t speak for all photography workshops, because everyone operates differently.  However, in our workshops the goal is to have a genuine travel experience well not feeling rushed to take our photos, as well being in the right places at the right time for photography.  Moreover, these photo workshops give participants a look into what life is like as a professional travel photographer.   Our workshops also include 1-on-1 time with the professional photographers to discuss things like photo editing, and to do image critiques.  Of course, a big part of a photography tour is also meeting other people who have a passion for photography. So, whether you’re a professional photographer looking to build your portfolio quickly, an amateur photographer thinking about making the jump to pro, or just a hobbyist that doesn’t want to feel rush in the hobby, these trips are for you. More Information If you need some more information from me directly, you can always get a hold of me on my contact page.  So, if you have any questions, feel free to shoot me a quick...

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Photo of the Week: Kananaskis Waterfall
Oct13

Photo of the Week: Kananaskis Waterfall

I honestly have no idea what this waterfall is called.  On the highway that leads into Kananaskis Country from the Trans-Canada Highway, this waterfall is right along the road.  In fact, it’s almost a little bit of a strange slice of nature.  Not only is it right alongside the road, but there’s also a little barrier and a park bench set up in front of it.  No trail, nothing. Just a bench staring off at the waterfall. My trip around Alberta has been two-fold.  On one hand, it’s been about strolling through my past.  It’s offered me a retrospective look into my former life and how far I’ve come.  On the other hand, it’s also allowed me to make up for skipping through the part of the world that I call home for so long.  I had been to Bow Lake hundreds of times before and never photographed it, I’d been through Canmore hundreds as well I’d never fired a shutter there either, and this waterfall I’d seen people sitting at that bench painting it before, and like almost everywhere in the province, I hadn’t photographed it before now. I am loving this stroll through Alberta, I feel like it’s letting me make up for all the neglect I may have previously laid to my home province. How I Got this Shot The best piece of advice you can ever get as a photographer is to look at a scene and ask yourself “where would no one before ever shot a photo of the scene from before”.  Since I’m sure this Kananaskis waterfall had been shot a million times before, I looked around and decided that to get a unique image of the site I’d have to get right into the creek.  It was cold.  My feet nearly froze to solid ice. But, I got the shot. The second best piece of advice you can ever get as a photographer is to see a scene not as your eyes see it, but as you imagine your camera will see it.  Search for the range of light your camera can capture, not what your eyes see.  Moreover, see how the image will look via long exposures and narrow apertures rather than how you see it with your eyes.  This image was easy to imagine, I wanted a framed waterfall with silky waters.  I also wanted the rocks to show below to show how clear the water was.  To get that, I shot this from right in the creek with a 10-20mm lens and a 3-stop ND filter. I think it worked out...

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Lake Louise: Photos of the Week
Oct06

Lake Louise: Photos of the Week

There’s not much left to be said or seen of Lake Louise is there?  I’m willing to bet this is the most photographed scene in all of Alberta, if not Canada (well, maybe second to Niagara Falls).  And, of course, there’s reason as to why it’s so often photographed: it’s stunning. The truth is that I didn’t spend much time photographing Lake Louise, it’s been shot and shot again.  And besides, I much prefer waking up to Moraine Lake and having that view all to myself.  But still, one can’t help but photograph this place, and though it rained on me the entire time I was in Lake Louise, I managed to pull myself away from the comfort of my room at the Deer Lodge to shoot a couple images of the lake one morning.  You’ll notice that all the images are almost identical, but composed slightly differently.  It’s the composition that makes all the difference in the world. Enjoy the images, and there’s a bit of information on how I shot these images and how I composed them below the photos. How I Got the Shots I’m not going to get too technical about how the shots were taken.  They were all taken fairly simply.  Like all my landscape shots, they were taken on a sturdy tripod, and at the right time of day.  However, the trick to these images is all on the composition.  You see, there are 4 billion photos of Lake Louise out there, thus to shoot an iconic scene like this you need either great light, or a clever composition.  I had decent, but not great light, so I had to make sure the image was pleasing.  You see, I’m a firm believer that a great scene is like a sandwich.  It has to have two pieces of bread holding together a great subject. In these photos, I used the rocks as the base for my image, it offers a pleasing slice of the image, but isn’t so distracting it takes away from the subject.  The sky is the other slice of bread.  The subject is the cottage and the beautiful colour to the water.  Now, you can also change the subject based on what you choose to put between the bread.  You can aim down and make the rocks and mountain the bread, and the water the subject.  You can make the water and sky the bread, and make the mountain the subject too.  In fact, just by tilting your camera up and down, you can create three different compositions all of which are completely...

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Photos of the Week: Canmore, Alberta
Sep27

Photos of the Week: Canmore, Alberta

I spent lots of time in Canmore as a young lad.  My grandparent’s lived out there for years, and visiting was always a highlight.  Since then, Canmore has changed quite a bit.  The highway leading into town is now coated in hotels, condos have seemed to spring out of nowhere, and loads of restaurants and gift shops speckle main street. Still, I’m always very impressed when I come into Canmore, Canada  I love how it still manages to feel local despite the fact that so many tourists are here in the area. The town, however, does somehow seem to attract the same type of people that live there.  At every café, restaurant, or shop, the people around you feel like locals from Canmore, and with a busy tourist town right next door like Banff, that’s a pretty cool feeling. Anyways, I was in Canmore for a couple days, so I went out shooting quite a bit.  One morning I headed out to Gap Lake, the next up to the Nordic Center area, then I shot an evening down on the Bow River.  These are the...

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