Columbia River Gorge Workshop

Columbia River Gorge

Canon 5D mkIII, 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS II, f13 1 sec ISO 100

Looking forward to heading down to the Columbia River Gorge next week for my spring workshop as wildflowers are in bloom and water is flowing! Last week I was down on vacation scouting some new locations and found some great new spots and hidden gems I had no idea were there. Once you get off the beaten path, the Gorge reveals some amazing geography and beautiful falls. While I was down there I also had a lot of fun with Canon’s new 11-24mm which has been perfect for waterfalls and landscapes around the Gorge. The extra wide angle of view is still a little challenging to get used to and definitely requires a lot more thought when approaching certain subjects and scenes. But when you get it right, 11mm is pretty spectacular and can make for some pretty in-your-face foregrounds! I look forward to using it more on next week’s workshop. As for now, I’m back in Montana enjoying spring in the Rockies with our days alternating between 70 degrees and snow:) I hope to have some updates from my trips here soon while over in the Pacific Northwest. If you didn’t get a chance to get in on this year’s workshops, all of my 2016 workshops will be up and available later this week.

Columbia River Gorge

Canon 1DX, 11-24mm f4L, f19 .5 sec ISO100

Oregon Wildflowers

Canon 1DX 11-24mm f4L, f16 1/1000 ISO1600

Portland Japanese Garden

Canon 1DX, 11-24mm f4L, f16 1/90 ISO100

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Pacific Northwest Photography Workshops

Photography Workshops

I’m very excited for our upcoming 2015 Pacific Northwest Photography Workshops! This year I will be leading trips to some of my favorite locations at the Columbia River Gorge, Olympic National Park, and Washington’s Palouse. There’s only a few spots left on these so feel free to email me or visit my workshops page for details and to reserve your spot.

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Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Bison

Bison, Yellowstone. Canon 1DX 500mm f4L IS, 1.4X f8 1/750 ISO200

This last month I’ve had the pleasure of working with Natural Habitat Adventures on their Wolf Quest Photo Trips in Yellowstone National Park. We’ve had some amazing encounters so far and I look forward to sharing some images soon when I return home.

Weather throughout the west has been really warm and things are thawing rapidly in Yellowstone. Signs of spring are definitely here with bears out, migrating birds showing up, and remaining snow pack quickly disappearing.

This big bison was taken in the northeast corner of the park as he broke his way through some of the remaining deep snow on a cold morning in early March.

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Canon 11-24mm f/4L

5D markIII 11-24mm

Along with many other Canon users I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 11-24mm and it’s finally here! These are just a few of my initial thoughts so far and not a full in-depth review. Having a fair amount of experience with other Canon wide-angles, my use so far with the 11-24mm has given me a good sense on its quality and capabilities.

First off it’s big. This lens weighs close to my 70-200mm 2.8L IS II and its front heavy balance is very noticeable when handholding. The lens comes in at 2.6lbs, certainly a beast for a lens of this size, but necessary considering its huge front element and design. Continue reading »

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Great Blue Heron

Montana Wildlife

Great Blue Heron, Montana. Canon 1DX 500mm f4L IS II, 2Xtc III , f8 1/2000 ISO3200

Here’s a shot I captured last week of a Great Blue Heron fishing for breakfast in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. You’ve got to be quick to catch these guys in action!

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Montana’s Race to the Sky

Montana Dog Sledding

As night falls, racers head out into Montana’s wilderness. Canon 5DmkIII 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS II f5.6 1/180 ISO6400

Had a great time this weekend photographing the start to Montana’s Race to the Sky sled dog race over in Seeley Lake. Due to the insanely warm temperatures we’ve had around the west this winter, snow has been hard to find in some areas. Usually the race kicks off near Helena with another send off in Lincoln, but this year that definitely wasn’t happening. The teams took off near Seeley Lake with plenty of snow for the most part, but temperatures were still warm.

The race features both a 300 mile and 100 mile leg through Montana’s mountains and is also a qualifier for Alaska’s Iditirod. This year there were 29 teams participating in the race.

Shooting the race as night fell was challenging to say the least, especially with fast dogs and no light. I managed to pull off a few shots in the beginning, but as it got dark I had to get a little more creative

Sled Dogs

Dogs getting ready. Canon 5DMKIII 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS II f5.6 1/500 ISO3200

Montana Winter Sports

Dogs harnessed and ready to go. Canon 1DX 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS II f5.6 1/180 ISO6400

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World Wetlands Day

Snow Geese Audubon

Snow Geese, Freezeout Lake, Montana.

Happy World Wetlands Day!

Every spring hundreds of thousands of Snow Geese stopover at Montana’s Freezeout Lake and surrounding wetlands, creating an amazing display of birds against the Rocky Mountain Front. In little over a month we’ll be seeing scenes like this again.

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Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge

Montana Bitterroot Mountains

Early morning at Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge.

I had the opportunity to spend yesterday with a friend photographing  Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge on a spectacular Montana morning. As we wandered through the refuge we saw a lot of the usual suspects: ringed-necked pheasants, trumpeter swans, mallards and even a brief glimpse of a great horned owl. But the backdrop of the Bitterroot Mountains was what stole the show with their snow-capped peaks towering over the refuge.Further south the far off Como Peaks with cattails in the foreground looked like a painting in the early morning light.

Bitterroot Mountains

Como Peaks in the distance looking out across the refuge

As one of a handful of important wildlife refuges in Montana, Lee Metcalf encompasses 2800 acres of critical habit for nesting and migratory birds and other wildlife in the Bitterroot Valley. Over 240 different species of birds have been recorded on the refuge which is made up of wetland, grassland, and forest habitat.

Montana Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans lifting off at Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge

Its rich abundance of wildlife and habitat is a reminder of what’s at stake as our wild lands continue to shrink, but also what’s possible with our country’s conservation efforts and management of National Wildlife Refuges.

For more info on our National Wildlife Refuges and Lee Metcalf visit

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Islands of America

Antelope Island Utah

Bison on Antelope Island, Utah

Last year I had the opportunity to photograph some locations for author Anna Marlis Burgard’s Islands of America. Little did I know about all the fascinating, quirky, and unique locations there are! One of my favorites was Antelope Island in Utah with a very memorable fall bison roundup. Be sure to check out Anna’s latest article at Atlas Obscura.

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Montana Outdoors Photo Issue

Montana Outdoors

Montana Outdoors Annual Photo Issue


Honored to have two of my images published in this year’s Montana Outdoors Photo Issue, including my image of Rock & Ice. If you haven’t picked up a copy, be sure to do so, there is some outstanding work by some amazing photographers. Great job on this one Luke Duran!

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