Return to GTNP

Grand Teton National Park - Sept. 2016

It was that time again. Time to return to Grand Teton National Park. It has been two years, nearly to the day, since I was there with the Orange Chair Tour and my friends Shaun Peterson (Check out is work HERE.) and Sarah Johnson (her work is HERE). Read all about the trip HERE.

Grand Tetons Sept. 2016 (purchase at

So my wife and I spent a couple days getting up hours before dawn to find that perfect place in the dark. and staying up till after the sun was well behind Mount Moran and sky was growing dark. We would then head back to our wonderful room at the Parkway and catch a few hours of Z's before getting up and doing it all over again.

Grand Tetons Sept. 2016 (purchase at

To get the great shots you have to be at the right place when the light is just right. The life of a photographer is means being there before it's convenient and staying till after you have grown tired of the view. For that is when the light will be just right.

My wife was a trooper. After driving all night to make the first sunrise in the park she was up and out the door with me each day, and by the end of the voyage she was enthusiastically looking for wildlife and helping scout locations for the next day.

Although we were only there for three days, and the fourth day was a cloudy morning which just kills the great colors of the Teton morning, we managed to get some amazing captures. Not to mention enjoying the great park.

Grand Tetons Sept. 2016 (purchase at

But the most dramatic photo was taken that first morning, after driving through the night to be at Oxbow Bend before sunrise. The beautiful pastel morning became a little extra special when a moose briefly appeared near the river. 

Grand Tetons Sept. 2016 (purchase at

Later that day and the next morning I decided to break out the time-lapse slider and make a video of the exquisite morning light. I started with the alpenglow on he Tetons from the shores of Lake Jackson. But after it turned out so good it was time to get some more. The short video turned out to be a fun experience and I loved being in the park to create it.

The wonderful thing about shooting hundreds of photos for a time-lapse is the ability to pull the best individual frame in full resolution to edit and print for clients and my own walls.

The Elk scenese were shot as video from my 6D and I switched back and forth from video to photo to grab stills as well as the video you see.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the images and the video. Make sure and watch it full screen to get the full effect.

If you would like to purchase a print you can find them with all my other fine art prints HERE.

Great video of the Grand Tetons

Check out this amazing video from More than Just ParksI want this job!

Make sure and check out their other park videos too. They are all worth a look. And if you like what you see buy a print from these guys or donate to their project. They even take Bitcoins, which is sorta cool.

This video makes me miss Grand Teton National Park. I need to make a trip back up there this fall. Check out my last foray into the most beautiful place on earth.

An inspirational day

Mark Wollemann cruising across the plains on Hwy 95 between Glenrock and Douglas in Wyoming.

In the course of my day-job duties I was introduced to two amazing people from Chicago, Mark Wollemann and his wife Melody Gilbert. These two were a treat to speak with and an inspiration to anyone wanting to chase their dreams.

Mark is a 55 years old and riding across country on a bike. Melody, his wife, is a documentary film maker and is capturing the journey, the scenery and the people along the way from Oregon to Delaware.

I was able to spend about an hour talking to these two over dinner as they passed through Glenrock and Douglas this week.

On Wednesday, after riding more than 50 miles across Natrona and Converse counties, Mark and Melody sat down with me at the Depot in Douglas and had a beer.

Just sitting down with Mark, 15 years my senior, and who just days before had peddled over Teton Pass, was  enough to make me reevaluate my horrible physical state. This meeting was timely too, as I am staring down the barrel of my 40th birthday in a couple weeks, and not liking how sedentary my life has become.

Melody Gilbert getting some footage of the wind turbines near Rolling Hills Wyoming.

But watching him eat a well deserved carb packed meal, which would have probably been my first choice any other day, I figured the healthy chicken wrap was all I had earned, and I couldn't even finish my sweet potato fries. 

I know I am not enormous, but sitting next to someone as driven as Mark was motivating. I felt like Jabba the hut having dinner with Obi Wan.

Most of us just exist, but Mark has lived. He was a sports journalist for several large newspapers over his career and then he and Melody spent some time teaching in Bulgaria, which I would have loved to hear more about, but we were pressed for time as he was due for an internet radio show before we could crack that nut.

But sitting down to dinner as a reporter with a much more experienced journalist and a documentary filmmaker made for a very interesting interview. It was impossible to tell who was actually interviewing whom. However, Mark and Melody's personalities quickly allowed for a profoundly enlightening conversation where I felt comfortable answering and asking the deeper and more personal questions. 

So the next day I was asked to be interviewed for their documentary. I am still not super clear on why she chose me over all the interesting characters in our neck of the woods. But what I thought was going to just be a quick shot and a sound bite for the segment about "What makes you feel alive," quickly became an hour of bearing my soul and expressing thoughts and feelings that are all-to-often simply ignored in the routine of being a parent, photographer and reporter. 

I quickly realized while on the other side of the camera that I spend so much time prying other peoples thoughts and emotions out of them, that I had really overlooked some of my own.

Wollemann pushes himeself and crests 'Top of the world' near Rolling Hills, Wyoming and shouts "Now I get the pay-off" as he zips down long downhill section in front of him.

Melody cracked my shell and I began to introspect on some past experiences that had shaped who I am today. 

I worked at the Wyoming State Penitentiary for several years as a corrections officer and was specially trained in two seemingly diametrically opposed parts of that career. I was a special operations team member, trained to handle the most violent offenders, but I was also given the opportunity to be trained for the mental health block. In a nutshell I could kick ass, and then help you work through you issues afterward.

I developed two personality traits during my time in this role, and one is that I am not afraid of humans in any situation, one-on-one. But in helping inmates deal with their past baggage I learned a lot of amazing techniques that have helped me with my own past.

The ironic part of this interview with Melody was that it showed me some of my past experiences that I need to address were the same ones that taught me how to address them.

I was fundamentally changed as an officer. The same way that we grow and change to meet any challenges or career path. But I was changed to fit the mold of a corrections officer with mindsets that don't mesh with world outside very much.

While Mark Wollemann is challenging himself to bike across America, his filmmaker wife Melody Gilbert meets and films random people along the way. When she asked them what makes them feel alive, she got some surprising answers. (To read more about this project, go to:

One thing being an officer did do was help me see emotion in my photography. I am not sure if this was because of all the darkness I saw in the prisoners that I now search for the light in others, photographically. Or if It's just my internal-self trying to counterbalance all the negative emotions I absorbed as an officer. Maybe a bit of both. 

Either way, our experiences define us and the ability to analyze and introspect on those experiences allow us to change for the better.

I want to thank Melody for poking those old memories and asking the right questions. I hope this moment makes it into their movie, but if not, I am better for it.

Melody Gilbert photo

We met for the interview at the Douglas Locomotive Interpretive Center and she snapped a few shots of me doing my thing.

These are just my musings about Mark and Melody. Read all about their journey through Converse County in the July 13 and 14 edition of:
Douglas Budget
Glenrock Independent

Make sure and check out Mark and Melody as they travel across the country.
Mark's blog: 
Mark Wollemann: On the Move

Photographers make the shot, you give them the ingredients.

I get inquiries about portraits all the time. I love each and every connection I make with those who ask about my service. But I have noticed a pattern of those who are my clients and those who aren't.

Client A asks, "What do you charge for a wedding?" or "How much are senior portraits gong to run me?"

Client B says, "I have seen your work, and want to know how much you charge." ; or "I love what you did for my friend, what would you charge me for the same thing?"

These differences may not sound like much to you, but they mean the world of difference to the photographer. We egocentric artistic types want to hear that you appreciate our work, but that isn't why what separates them. 

It's about the mindset of the client. Client A wants pictures. Whereas, client B wants my vision, skill and technique in a portrait.

What's the difference? There really is a huge difference between photographers, and even interactions with the client. I have noticed that standing mere inches from fellow photographers while snapping landscape photos that our images turn out entirely unique to our own vision and sensibilities. This is even more true about the portrait artist.

The Lab demonstrated this variance of photographers and portraits in an impressive social experiment recently.

I have been trying to express this idea for years, and not just to my clients, but to other photographers.

I run into photographers that don't want to share their techniques because someone might steal their style, but photography, especially portrait photography, is so much more complicated than F/stops, lighting schematics or even what post processing software you use. It could all come down to the tone of the conversation you had with the client upon first meeting. There are no end to the variables involved and each photo shoot could produce an infinite number of outcomes.

That is why it's important to look at the photographer's body of work and discern if their vision is likely to line up with your own. If it does, you have found your photographer. You are their client, even if you aren't their customer yet. Prices, locations and prints can all be negotiated. Hiring a photographer is not like shopping at Wal-mart. You don't call around and find the lowest price. You look at the artists body of work and decide if they will represent you the way you want to be seen.

Click to enlarge

For instance, I have two baby photos that both express something very special to the parents. Both have heart and meaning, but one was much more expensive to produce than the other, but both carry similar meaning to the clients who purchased them. But neither chose me for my prices. They chose me for my vision and skill-set.

If you were looking for a different type of baby photography, then maybe you aren't my client. And I am OK with that. It is my job, as it is every photographer's job, to find my own clients, not all the clients. 

That is just how the business works. Most clients and photographers don't understand this philosophy and will take any work that presents itself, even it it isn't they type of work they do.

Click to enlarge

Both of these were a unique experiences with my client. One, the client showed me some ideas from Pinterest, and the other was left completely up to my interpretation of how to represent their child. 

Ultimately it comes down to this. If you aren't impressed by the photographers body of work, move on. Save a little more and find that artist that speaks to you, then negotiate prices. Not the other way around.

I would rather be paid a bit less and have happy customers, rather than be paid more and have customers upset because my work wasn't what they thought they were getting.


Why I don't use Apple!

I get asked all the time as a Photographer and digital artist why I don't use Apple. I've always had some sort of lame excuses, until I started using one for my day job. The Macbook Pro is a great machine, but it doesn't do anything more than my windows based laptop. It doesn't do it any faster. It is just does it with a bit of panache.

As a newspaper reporter, I type a lot on my office laptop, a Macbook pro. Typing on the Macbook has the same cumbersome drawbacks I've had on any laptop. While typing, my thumb gets too close to the trackpad, and boom, I'm adding letters to the middle of some word higher in the page. Sometimes complete sentences are injected into the wrong paragraph. 

So to solve this problem, I wanted an external keyboard. I have several cheap USB keyboards, still in their packages, that I have collected over the years, and even though they are for windows, they still work for typing text on the mac. The only drawback is that the Alt-key does not directly correspond to the Option-key in the software, which becomes a problem when editing. I have to bounce from the external keyboard to the laptop keyboard in order to cut and paste and rearrange things.

Same exact buttons, with  Crtl, Alt and windows key changed internally is worth nearly $20?

I thought, I would just buy a cheap USB keyboard for a mac. They shouldn't be too expensive, as you can get windows keyboards in the $8-$15 range. But here is what I found, over and over again (image)

Either the company making this keyboard just knows that mac owners will pay more, or Apple charges them considerably for the rights to make a compatible keyboard.

Either way, i think I will stick with my Windows based machines, as not only is their initial cost about one-third the price, but so is everything else.

Don't get me wrong, I do like my Macbook Pro, but only as long as someone else is paying for it.

Photo walk - Solo Version!

A local group of photography enthusiasts had scheduled a photo walk this morning at an interesting place in Glenrock, Wy. It's a public park on the Platte River at the Dave Johnston Power Plant. It's a strange combination of industrial backdrop, large field, playground, all set on a river vista.

Unfortunately, the weather moved in and what was supposed to be a fun social photography experience, ended up with another solo photo adventure. I really enjoyed the atmosphere, and the snow adding nature's grain to the images. It was a great time to look at something mundane, and commonplace and try and see it differently.

It is a great exercise to take an everyday scene and try and tell a story with it. But with the snow and the added contrast of wet and snow to make the scene very moody.

So, the next time the weather gets bad, go shoot it anyway, not all photos can be sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes the wet, cold, foggy, and snowy can make for some dynamic images. And try and see things that you have seen many times in a new way. I learned a little more about this lesson today.

One Mind Blowing Experience!

I recently was asked to shoot a life changing event. The fact that I was asked to shoot it was in fact an amazing honor, but I must admit that I was trepidatious to accept. But for all of you that know me, I say yes much easier than I say no. (Don't ask me to help you move.. I find it easy to say no to that.) But of course, as is my style, I said yes before I realized what I was getting into. And I am very glad I did.

So, what did I shoot? A birth. It was an amazing, mind-blowing, experience. As far as the photography aspect, it was super challenging.  For instance. When you are shooting a wedding, you don't want to disturb the ceremony, you have to stay out of the way of minister, and you don't get to stage anything or retake any shots. You have to have it right the first time, and be invisible, and not underfoot.

Ok, so take all those things, add 2 or 3 more ministers who are constantly moving around and picking up and moving shiny objects, and checking computer screens. Also you can't shoot from any open space in the room, because there are some angles during this that absolutely no one wants to see. And then do all this in a room smaller than my living room. Add in the insane lighting from the "spotlight" and dim room lights, and you have a real challenge.

The experience was beyond anything I have done with a camera ever. I am honored that I was asked to shoot this. I am also very pleased with the video that came from the shoot. Check it out here.

Remember, your memories fade, but Amanda will always have the photos and the video. This day will truly live on eternally, more than just a marker to start measuring Waylon's days.

POLL: Would you let some strange guy in the room, if you knew the outcome would be like this? (Answer in the comments). Bonus question: How much do you think this is worth to have these memories captured forever?

12 hours stuck in Denver

So what happens when you get up at 2:30 in the morning, drive four hours to Denver to drop off your daughter who is moving to Ohio, and you get there 10 minutes too late for her to board the plane?

click to enlarge

Well, you do like anyone would, and you bum around Denver for 12 hours with your Daughter, Granddaughter and Wife for an extra 12 hours until the next flight out. So we drove around and checked things out. Window shopped at all the stores we can't afford to shop at in the Cherry Creek Mall.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

But I got my camera out while we were waiting at the airport. And well, it's a full size DSLR with L glass, and gets a lot of attention from security, but I managed to play with some architecture photos. This is not something I have ever really done, but I enjoy how they turned out.

The moral of the story is. Try something new. When the opportunity arises, change your perspective.

click to enlarge

Let's talk about Copyright... uggh!

This is a conversation I hate having. This is something that I don't want to discuss or even deal with. I guess I am just someone who thinks that everyone will appreciate other peoples hard work. But this has come up several times in the last six months or so, and was really blatant recently. 

Let me start by saying that "I am not a lawyer, or have any formal law education." But I have studied people who are. And the best complete work on the topic is  - Photographer's Survival Manual; A legal guide for artists in the digital age" by Edward C. Greenberg, J.D. and Jack Reznicki. There is a link to it on Amazon, it is a must read if you are a photographer. This is written by a photographer and an intellectual property lawyer to help artists deal with the digital sharing revolution, and the majority of information on this page will be from this book.

There are two instances that I have dealt with recently. And I am going to address these circumstances directly. There is much more to copyright than I am able to write about, or am qualified to comment on.

1. Copying and sharing other peoples photos on social media or via electronic distribution. (Even if it's not for profit or promotion)

I got into a conversation with a photographer today who shared a school photo on their facebook that said "COPYRIGHT PROTECTED - DO NOT COPY" across the photo so that it covered the child's head. It also had a watermark in the lower right corner that said "Proof Preview - (studio name)"

So I sent this Photographer a private message explaining why I think this is a mistake. I politely explained that by violating the big corporate copyright so blatantly, they were hurting all photographers by way of horrible example.

The photographer proceeded to explain that they had not done anything wrong, and that because the image had the company's watermark, there was no copyright violation. Then proceeded to make sure that I knew they were  not a "moron" and that of course their photo lab wouldn't print it. 

But the fact of the matter is that by reproducing the image electronically on Facebook they had already violated the copyright of the image. But this person could not understand that, and I had to just apologize for wasting their time.


First off, let's define what Copyright or © actually says about this matter.

Title 17 of the U.S. Code state:

The Right of Reproduction: You have the right to control how, when, and where your work is reproduced. You can specify and control this through how you license your work.*

THIS INCLUDES ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION! So scanning those proofs from the wedding photographer to put on your social media is a copyright violation without a license to use the work for that purpose. And scanning that school photo and putting on social media (even with the studios watermark) is against the law without a written license to do so.

In this specific instance, the big studio did not give permission to the photographer on how, when, or where their work was reproduced, and the photographer reproduced it anyway.

*Updated for Clarity* So, let's give the photographer the benefit of the doubt. Let's say they have the license to reproduce an image that say "DO NOT REPRODUCE" in bold letters across it. The part of this that frustrates me the most, is that this photographer could not understand that by doing this, they are telling their clients (and possibly other photographers future clients) that it is ok to reproduce copyrighted proofs. This photographer just kept justifying their actions to me over and over, but couldn't understand the message it was sending to those who consume and pay for copyrighted material. All anyone sees in their post is someone who should be an authority on copyright, (it is their business after all), apparently, blatantly breaking copyright. Whether or not they are legally allowed to is irrelevant, it's about what is being perceived by those who see it. 

2. Do you have the right to know where your likeness (portrait) is being used?

The second circumstance was very blatant bad advice by another photographer to a modeling group. The advice was bad enough that I had to disassociate myself with the group. I could not stand by and watch a "Professional Photographer" give absolutely incorrect legal advice.

This is another one of those circumstances that I tried very politely to let them know they were wrong, but apparently the blog they had read was more accurate than my information from legal counsel. This particular photographer went so far as to assure me that her lawyer had told her that what she was spouting was accurate. 

So, what was she saying?

She was advising models that they had the RIGHT to know when and where their images were being used. And this may or may not be the case. In most situations, it is not the case. I don't shoot without a model release. The model signs it, and it is super simple. It says:

"I, as the model identified by the information herein, consent to be photographed in accordance with the shoot dates and other information indicated on this form. I future authorize that the photographs may be published for any purpose and in any form."

This is fairly common for a model release. I can use MY photograph of you for any purpose I want. Period. It gives the model absolutely no license to use the work for any reason. That is a separate agreement. But with a standard model release there is no RIGHT to inform the model of where and when you are publishing or exercising your 'Right to Reproduce' your copyrighted work.

Now, before you all jump all over me. I personally like a good relationship with people I work with, and I discuss what and when the images may be used. But let's face it. If you are a model, you probably want your photos to be seen. I have only once been asked to not "tag" a model in facebook, as she wanted to keep her personal and professional modelling pages completely separate. And I of course obliged.

If you want to work with people again, and not get a bad name in the community, it is a good idea to let models know if you are submitting their images to a magazine, but until I see something that says otherwise, my understanding is that I own the copyright to the images and can do whatever I want with them.

With that being said, I did hear of a case about a woman who was a "stock photo" model and the image was sold to the company that makes Herpes symptom control medication. She was, well let's say, less than happy about being the new Herpes poster girl. She sued, but I am not sure what the outcome was. And if I ever am in a situation that remotely resembles this situation I will contact an Intellectual Property Attorney and find out what is legal, and what is ethical.

One Week Until Deer Creek Days, Come join the Fun!

So, it is that time of year again. Deer Creek Days is nearly upon us. Ever since I was a kid we couldn't wait until that big weekend. The parade, the street dance, and the park was full of friends and neighbors. Everyone just gets along when standing next to an amazing show car in the park, or munching on a funnel cake. Just walk the sidewalks down the center of town during the hour before the parade and it is like a family reunion, class reunion, and church social all rolled into one short walk. For three days the streets are filled with warm greetings and hearty laughter. But as kids growing up, we knew that there would "Finally" be something to do in our little town. And we made the most of it.

There are many people that work on this event year round. Come check out some of the great events, gatherings, and contests. Come eat amazing food and see the great vendors at the park. Get a mud volleyball team together, or just enter one of the 5k runs. Come check out the amazing cars at the DCD car show. Live bands play saturday night, and the streets are full of friends. But most importantly, spend the day in the sun with great people, having a great time.

Hannah, Lydia, and Aden enjoying some ice cream in the park.

Click to Enlarge - Join Glenrock Area Chamber of Commerce on Facebook to keep up with announcements.

The tractor club finishes off the parade with some amazing antique farm equipment.

 Become "Glenrock Famous" and get in the parade. Or enjoy the show, but be careful running out for the candy! 

Become "Glenrock Famous" and get in the parade. Or enjoy the show, but be careful running out for the candy! 

 One of the hit's of Deer Creek Days is always the Mud Volleyball Tournament. Get dirty or just watch the fun, but check it  out.

One of the hit's of Deer Creek Days is always the Mud Volleyball Tournament. Get dirty or just watch the fun, but check it  out.

 Don't miss the awesome car show and competition in the town park. They always have rare and expensive cars entered, and the owners are there to chat with about their sweet rides.

Don't miss the awesome car show and competition in the town park. They always have rare and expensive cars entered, and the owners are there to chat with about their sweet rides.

The 307 Photographer - Using Flash in the Bright Sun

Let me start by apologizing to Kayla, the wonderful model, for not having a better photo to show as an example.

Shooting in bright Daylight can cause major issues with harsh lighting, and deep shadows. Digital cameras don't see the range of highlights and shadows that our eye does. So you look at the scene and think, wow, this gal looks amazing. Then your camera does this. The first image is straight out of the camera. No adjustments. The bright skin tones are expose properly, the back ground and water look acceptable, but our subject is the darkest part of the scene. As we know, they eye is drawn to the lightest part of a photo (In general).

So, how do we fix this issue? Most people will go into photoshop, or camera raw and raise the overal exposure of the image to make the majority of skin tones the proper exposure. But this does horrible things to rest of the image.

 No flash Natrual harsh sun - compensated

No flash Natrual harsh sun - compensated

Now we know from our original image that there is in fact details in those areas. But we essentially got rid of them by overexposing the majority of the image.

Now, before you start saying things like HDR, just remember that HDR on skin tones is a very delicate art, and if you can successfully HDR this image, why are you reading my blog? I know I could pull out the details by taking multiple exposure from the same Raw file and get details where I want them, but with skin tones that is a lot of work, and I would spend an hour on this one image. I am not looking to spend an hour on one image. 


 No Flash, natural bright sunlight.

No Flash, natural bright sunlight.

I raised the exposure on the exact same image approximately 2.5 stops to get the skin tone on her midriff exposed right. Now this doesn't look any better. All the amazing detail in the water is gone, and the rich blues of the lake are pale and desaturated. And the sky is well, nonexistent. All the details in the highlights of her skin are totally washed out. Now shooting in Raw can help recover some of this. I grabbed a threshold shot of this image to show you were there is no detail left. All the white areas on this image are without any details at all.

 Threshold mask of overexposed image. White areas have no detail.

Threshold mask of overexposed image. White areas have no detail.

There are other problems with this lighting that cannot be corrected with just a slider, or even hours of HDR work. And that is the amount of detail available in areas that are not exposed properly. This is something you can't just get back. The detail in the eyes is lacking. I focused on the eyes just like I normally do, and you can tell by the detail in the properly exposed areas near the eyes. But the underexposed shadows of the face have less detail. And then when we overexpose the image to compensate we lose the rest of the fine details in the original properly exposed areas. Thereby getting rid of ALL our fine details, and making the entire images soft.

Detail of original shot - Click to enlarge.

Detail of overexposed shot - Click to enlarge.

So, what is the solution?

Get it right in camera. Use a fill flash to properly expose your subject. These images are also straight out of the camera, and shot within a minute of the first one. The lighting didn't change at the lake, I just added light with my speedlight. It is better to use an off camera flash, like I did. But even your popup flash will work to help fill in the shadows and grab the detail.

There is an added benefit of the flash. You get that amazing catchlight in the eyes, which adds life to any portrait. Not to mention the amount of details that show up.

Now that all the details are visible, you also all the reasons I apologized about this image at the beginnin. But it illustrates my point to a great degree.

Detail of shot with flash - click to enlarge

 Shot with same settings and an off camera flash to fill in the shadows.

Shot with same settings and an off camera flash to fill in the shadows.

Now that you know, go out and use your flash in the bright daylight. It will make your images much easier to edit, and give you details you forgot your camera could capture.

Side by side comparison - click to enlarge

Side by side comparison - click to enlarge

Bikini Shoot

I had an amazing day last saturday shooting bikini models who are auditioning to be Bunny Couture models. I wish all the ladies luck. But even if they don't make the cut, we made some amazing photos. Although the shoot was scheduled from 10 am until 5 pm (the worst time of day to shoot anything) we managed to control the light with speedlites. I can't wait to do some more shoots with the ladies during the right time of day.

 If you want some of these beautiful Ladies on your desktop or mobile device get a FREE HD Wallpaper  HERE

If you want some of these beautiful Ladies on your desktop or mobile device get a FREE HD Wallpaper HERE

 Also available,  limited edition Photo Posters . Get your favorite beauty from right here in Wyoming.

Also available, limited edition Photo Posters. Get your favorite beauty from right here in Wyoming.

The 307 Photographer - Depth of Field

This is the best demonstration of Depth of Field I have ever seen. It demonstrates all three things that effect how DOF works. There are three things that affect how much will be in focus when you take your shot. Most people teach about the aperture, and then in advanced courses teach about distance to the subject. But most instructors don't try and get into the focal length of the lens, and how it changes your DOF.

Now that we have shown you the overall scope of how DOF works. If you aren't sure about what DOF is, I have added my demonstration page on DOF and aperture, which shows real world photos.

Exerpt from my Beginning Photography PDF.

This is a very basic description. There are lots of physics going on with the optics.

Go out and shoot with a purpose. Choose your DOF with intention.

The 307 Photographer interviews AZOOKIE

Azookie, an up and coming hard rock and metal band from Glenrock, WY is coming on strong with a unique attitude and outlook on metal music. This great group is Logan Peasley and Kolby Kuhlman on vocals, Kade Lehner - Guitar, Nick Humbracht - Bass, and Scott Tombroek on drums. And if you are anywhere near them, you need to hear them play. You will be entertained by both their tight sound and great lighthearted take on Metal. I had the privilege of interviewing them recently after a great photo shoot. The video of the interview is here, with exclusive recording of them playing.

Find them at:
Facebook - Make sure and "like" them
Twitter - Follow them
Youtube - Subscribe to their channel
Article in July Ageless Arts Magazine

(Abridged interview)

Who is Azookie?:

Logan: we're pretty much a small town band that started about two years ago. Originally we had just three members. At the time we had our old drummer Seth Brado and it was just me Nick and Seth. We just originated from Glenrock, except for Seth lived up in Casper, but we just sort of broke out and went through so many different singers and guitarists and eventually we just came up with a five piece band. And here we are.

How would you describe your sound?:

Nick: Energetic.
Logan: Goofy.
Nick: Alternative Metal, pretty much.
Scott: And with an underlying funk in part of it.
Logan: Yeah, we have a lot of slap bass, got a lot of whacko guitar, so. Pretty much a mix of everything.

So who inspired that sound?:

Nick: A lot of bands. Korn.
Logan: Korn.
Kade: A lot of everybody.
Nick: Deftones.
Logan: For my singing, probably Tool. A lot of other bands like Guano Apes and Primus for the bass. Oh, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. But all of us like different styles of music, like he (Scott) likes a lot of different bands than we do.
Scott: Yeah, I'm into Iron Maiden, being my number one, but I’m into a lot of death metal bands. God to Thrones, Flesh God Apocalypse, and stuff of that nature. I think I listen to a little bit more extreme sound than the rest of them. But we all unite on one thing and that's the important part.

What's your favorite song in your set list?:

Logan: For me it's 'Lost in My World'. That's by far my favorite song, but I'm sure these guys have a different opinion.
Nick: That one's cool. But I like 'Fantasy of a Friendship', 'Triangle Song'
Scott: 'Triangle Song'.
Kolby: And our new one, that we don't have a name for yet.
Logan: I haven't even hear this song yet.

How does having two vocalists set you guys apart?:

Logan: I quit the band a while ago, I just needed to stay away. While I was gone they already got Kolby on the crew, so when I came back we had to decide what we were going to do for the two lead vocalists. Then it was mentioned that I do all the screams and he does clean vocals but I didn't want to just scream so we both share really everything and harmonize. We choose who does what verse .
Kolby: And we sing together.
Logan: We share everything. He's my boy.

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?:

Nick: Naked!
Logan: yeah Naked in money!
Scott: I'd say in 5 years, maybe 2 full albums.
Nick: I think as long as we stick together and just keep writing, it will just get better.
Kade: Yeah with some US tours thrown in there somewhere.
Logan: I see big things happening for the band.
Nick: I think we have a unique tight sound.
Scott: I think determination, in general, is what's going to carry us more than anything else.

I hear you have some interesting antics on stage. What can people expect at your live shows?:

Kade: I don't know if we should share that yet.
Scott: Yeah, cause it's kind of a surprise.
Nick: A lot of it is kind a zoo themed, I guess. Cause we are AZOOKIE, so.
Logan: I'll tell you one thing. Since everyone who went to our last show has seen it. I wear a... I don't even know what the hell it is. It used to be an ape mask. Now it's just a mane. I'm a Ginger wearing a big black mane.
Nick: We just want to keep the excitement random.
Scott: Unexpected.

when can people expect to hear an album?:

Kade: We're thinking ep by the end of 2015?
Scott: I'm saying the beginning of 2015. I want to be working on it this winter.
Logan: It's either going to be at the begging of 2015, or the end of 2014.


- Phillip Harnen and Azookie


There are several things to consider when you are setting up an online modeling portfolio. Whether it is a dedicated page your own website, a Facebook Group, or ModelMayhem, there are certain things to remember. As a photographer who shoots model portfolios, and contracts models for commercial or training assignments, I look at lots of Model Portfolios, and there are a few things that almost all beginners do that can be avoided and result in a much more appealing experience.

This is a portfolio I shot for a local model. Notice, there is a variety of shots, looks, lighting, poses, outfits and emotions. This is all that is needed. And as she gets gigs she will add images, but only by removing one that is not as relevant to what she is modeling.


Treat your online portfolio like you would your physical portfolio book. No, I don't mean put your computer in your handbag and take it to the interview. I mean that you wouldn't tote around 1000 images in your physical portfolio. Because they take up real space, and have real weight, they are by necessity between 15-40 images. Depending on number 2!

Stop putting every shot ever taken in your online portfolio. Don't do it, nobody cares but you. In fact, when I am looking for a model to hire for one of my workshops, or a commercial shoot I will skip right by the portfolio that has 200 images in it. If you want a place to have every photo ever taken of you since the time you were born, then put it on your personal Facebook page. That is the only place that anyone might remotely care. And frankly, most people DON'T care.

I would rather see 10 great images than pages of mediocre images. I have never cared how often you have been photographed, I want to know how well you are photographed.


If an image doesn't make you say WOW! Leave it out. Period. Nothing else to be said.

You only get one chance at that first impression. Make sure you have at least 2-3 Jaw Dropper images. And the rest better be good. If they aren't just leave them out.


I'm not talking about different types of modeling, but rather variety in what you show. You shouldn't have more than 2 or three images that are "Obviously" from the same shot. I don't care if the same photographer shot them all on the same afternoon, but they better look like different shoots. Different lighting, different feel. Headshots, 3/4, bust, full body, different outfit. 

You might do one thing very great. You might be the best "Lay on your back and look up at the camera" lingerie model ever. But if I'm looking for a model for a commercial shoot for wedding lingerie, and all you have to show is pin-up, then I will be much more inclined to approach the model who has the two great swimsuit shots, the turtleneck catalog shot, and the steampunk WOW shot. I know this person can do what I am looking for.


If you have on online collection of images where you are promoting your services as a model, keep them small, 15-40 images, with a variety, and limit yourself to 1-2 shots from the same shoot, and only if they are very different.

This is all just my opinion. But as the target audience for your gallery, this is what I am looking for. When I have to get through 4 year old crappy photos, or scroll through 10 nearly identical poses, in the exact same outfit to find something new and interesting, then I'm already searching Craigslist for new talent!

Self improvement tip: Pretend you are looking for a photographer to do a shoot with. Then open  your model portfolio. Would you consider hiring that person?

Day 51 - Perspective - Thown Away!

Thrown away. Another perspective shot. I am learning how changing perspective can add enough interest that even the most mundane activities can have some interest. Well, one more perspective shot, and then next week is something new. Not sure what I should work on yet.

Anyone have any ideas? A subject for the weeks photos? Leave it in the comments.