Take your Photography to the Next Level, and Support Amazing Causes

Every year my friend and colleague, Dave Seeram from PhotographyBB participates in what I personally consider to the be the biggest, most exciting photography event of the year. The Complete Photography Bundle will power-up your photography, no matter what your experience level is - there’s something in there for everyone.

Here’s just a few of the products included in the deal:

  • Newborn Photography for the On Location Photographer by Cole’s Classroom – $300 Value
  • Photographing Children – Naturally by Brent Mail – $300 Value
  • 5 Simple and Creative Lighting Setups + High Impact Images by Lindsay Adler – $198 Value
  • 24/7 Photo Pro by Dave Seeram – $497 Value
  • The Art of Sculpting Splashes by Alex Koloskov – $250 Value
  • Lightroom for Landscapes by Christopher O’Donnell – $199 Value
  • Wedding Photography Business Start Up Bundle by Jasmine Star – $50 Value

However, the best part of the whole thing is that a full 10% of the revenue from the sales goes directly to 4 awesome, specially chosen charities; Help Portrait, The BOMA Project, Camp Smile-A-Mile, and Flashes of Hope.

In addition, PhotographyBB (my eBook publisher), is committing an additional $10 per bundle to the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation to support cutting-edge children’s medical research.

They’re looking to raise over $300,000 for these charities this year, and to do that, they’ll need your help. Head over to The Complete Photography Bundle to check out the sale, and, even if you choose not to buy this year, please share the sale with your network to help raise awareness. Not only is this a great deal, it’s a great cause which I’m extremely proud to support, and I hope you will too.

How My Mirrorless Olympus Gear Worked in Iceland

10 days around Iceland and I chose to leave my full frame DSLR home and take an all mirrorless kit. It sounded crazy at first, but the results may surprise you. 

In my bag were the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and E-M10 along with two pro lenses, the 12-40mm f/2.8 and 40-150mm f/2.8. I also brought a 1.4 teleextender, a variety of filters, and lots of batteries. The only thing missing was the mirror inside the camera, and the extra weight of a DSLR kit. For those interested in potentially making the move to mirrorless cameras, check out my guest post for MirrorLessons

Idyllic Country Weekend at Glen Highland Farm

A gentle breeze blows over a field of freshly cut crab grass on an idyllic Saturday afternoon. We are at Glen Highland Farm in upstate New York. The dogs, Miles and Opal lounge by my side, just quiet enough to let me read a chapter of a Vonnegut novel. They are tired now, but only after a full day of activity. It started with coffee and breakfast prepared over a wood fire. Cooking here is not just for sustenance, but is quite the social event with lively conversation and good music. We met many wonderful couples who drove from various states as far north as Maine. After cleaning up, we hit the trails which included several hours of running, swimming, playing fetch, and rolling in the dirt. It may be doggy paradise, but Sue and I decompressed almost immediately as well. Part of this may be the cool country air, but the thoughtful amenities also made for stress free camping.

Our tent was put up for us on a wood platform and includes cots to sleep on. The staff left a bottle of white wine which we put on ice in the cooler. They even provided a battery powered lantern to get around in the dark. While we've done a good deal of tenting in the past, this was a different level of comfort. Around the farm, the general consensus is that it still qualifies as camping even if we don't have knobby tree roots digging into our backs. 


Later in the evening after dinner we warm around a roaring fire to toast marshmallows, make S'mores, and recount stories of our days adventures. It's a perfectly clear night with little light pollution or clouds.

I set up the tripod for a 45 minute exposure and capture the stars as they swirl in the sky. Around midnight we turn in as a gentle fog blankets the farm. The crickets congregate to form a soothing lullaby, the dogs curl up next to us, and we zip the sleeping bags a little tighter. 


Going the Extra Mile

From ground level, this was a crowded uninspiring scene with bus loads of tourists milling about. It was only after hiking the vertical equivalent of 28 stories that we found this beautiful vantage point. The better perspective usually requires that you go the extra mile. 

Seals in the Glacial Lagoon

Our zodiac driver killed the engine and we could hear the thunderous sound of ice breaking off the glacier in the distance. From there, it then enters this lagoon, giving the Seals something to rest on. These Harbor Seals were a ways off so I had to use a 1.4 extender on a 300mm bringing it to 420mm. Also had a super fast shutter speed to prevent any motion from the rocking boat. I was using the Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 with the extender which is far lighter than a prime 300mm would have been on a DSLR. I think this makes it a bit easier to handle.

Old Church with Turf Roof and Crepuscular Rays

This old structure was built in 1858, and is one of only six turf roof churches left in Iceland. Rain here is quite common making the microfiber cloth an essential part of my gear. Even with a lens hood, drops would collect on the lens and were visible in the shot. I was carefully wiping down the 3 stop ND filter when I looked up to see this scene forming. Crepuscular rays broke through the gaps and stretched towards the steeple. I had just enough time to make a few frames before they receded back into the clouds. 

Backlit Horse Under a Midnight Sun

This was captured around 10:30pm while the sun was low in the sky. Since Iceland is so far north they have about 24 hours of daylight in the summer, hence the term "midnight sun". This young Icelandic horse was still nursing, but walked away from its mother for a few minutes while keeping an eye on me. With the golden quality of light I made a number of photos before catching this frame with the horse's breath visible. 

When Light Passes Through

The light in Iceland has a special quality with undulating clouds that allow fleeting beams of sun to pass through and bathe the landscape below. While driving through a very rural area I noticed the sky growing darker with each passing mile. We eventually came to a wonderful rustic barn resting on a hillside and I pulled over to the shoulder and hopped out to make a photo. By looking at it, you might think it was taken with a wide angle lens, but it was actually a telephoto with an effective focal length of 300mm. 

OMD EM1, 40-150mm, f4, 1/800, ISO 400, grad ND filter.

OMD EM1, 40-150mm, f4, 1/800, ISO 400, grad ND filter.