1. Rudy
    December 17, 2010

    Great post.

  2. Jeffrey Newcomer
    January 24, 2011

    I greatly enjoy following your blog for its sensible practical informatiom.
    I had a similar experience in Equador a couple of years ago. Susan and I visited the Maquipucina Reserve in Andian cloud forest after an amazing week on a photography tour of the Galapagos. After spending days so close to the wildlife that you had to be careful not to step on them, the timid birds in mountains were quite a contrast. Even my 400mm was not really long enough. Still we saw a dizzying variety of fauna. The humming birds were great and the location was magical. Next time I think I will rent an 800 mm along with someone to carry it.

    Some of my images from the Galapagos are on my web site and in a Flickr Set



  3. Chuck Murphy (the guy who shouted "Fisher!"
    January 29, 2011

    Brilliant! Thanks much for these LR workflow tips, and for your great presentation at GNPA today. I’m going to consciously follow your suggestion about “telling a story” from now on, and I think it’s going to lead to a big improvement in the way I approach a project.

  4. Chuck Murphy
    January 29, 2011

    Great tips! I will be looking forward to your e-book on “How to Shoot Like a Pro.” I own, and have read, a whole bookshelf of photography books, but your tips on this site and your talk at GNPA today provide the best nuggets of information on this topic that I’ve ever seen. Thanks for sharing!

  5. bubble bunny
    February 12, 2011

    love them, particularly the second one. Dreamy.

  6. Bob B
    February 12, 2011

    David, thanks for sharing

    Particularly like the second image, been there many times, but have never gone that far over. I’ll give it a try next time I’m there

  7. Ike
    February 23, 2011

    Oh, the joys of a dairy farm i n winter.

    Nothing like being sloapped by a frozen manure tail on a 15 degree morn!


  8. Rudy
    February 24, 2011

    Glad you finally got in there David. The photo ops in there are absolutely amazing. Especially with a D3S. Happy shooting.

    I am sure Mike also has some amazing stories to tell.

  9. Amanda
    March 1, 2011

    ok, this just made me laugh

  10. Yuk Blades
    April 27, 2011

    I would like to acknowledge you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I have bookmarked your website and your writing abilities has inspired me.

  11. zaidimai
    May 25, 2011


  12. Ike
    May 26, 2011

    Thanks for sharing the Tofino ’11 pictures and letting me relive that experience.

    Tel me about the bear peering thru the shrubs — distance, lens, etc.

    Expect the Lobstering book to be out on time.


    • David
      June 6, 2011

      Hi Ike,
      The black bear looking through the shrubs was taken by Hanna as she was driving the main highway during a break in the workshop. It was just happenstance but she was out there looking when no one else was so she wins. This is what I know- the bear was along the roadside and Hanna was on the other side of the road. I don’t think she had a lens longer than a 300mm.

      Oh, and the Lobstering Life book is now available!

  13. brenda berry
    June 2, 2011

    I think it looks pretty darn cool! The scale of it is AMAZING, the mass of the rock. Puts counter tops in line with wet tissue doesn’t it? Be careful down there…B

  14. Rudy
    June 3, 2011

    Cool!!!! Be careful down there.

  15. Murray Robertson
    June 3, 2011

    I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to revisit and reconnect with a part of Canada I had forgotten was so beautiful and peaceful. I also feel finally that my photographic skills have taken a step(baby) forward. David, Brenda, Frank are to be commended on their instructional skills and highly personable interaction with us. I also sincerely thank my fellow students (even Jonathan!) for sharing their images and knowledge which has helped me a great deal. Hoped to meet some or all of you again

  16. Debbie
    July 22, 2011

    Hi David, We are neighbors. I have access to and visit two family homes. One is near a beautiful mountain top, not to mention, authentic farm in the Catskills, the other is nearer Vermont in Glens Falls. I have been captivated by your tales and images.
    Here is my question. There is a cliff that overlooks the Village of Altamont, in the ancient escarpments of Thacher Park. The Altamont Fair will be ablaze in all its glory, perfectly framed from above in the cliffs. I am so excited to climb up there and take nightime photos of the lights and activities at evening. When do you suggest is best? Should I go at dusk or would full the full hood of evening yield the best results. Thanks for the advice.
    I can’t wait to take a workshop with you, hopefully at Triple D Farm.
    As a single wage earner, counting my pennies for such an elaborate trip is compulsory. I dream and save so I can DO!!

    • David
      August 22, 2011

      HI Debbie
      go up at twilight- between sunset and 45 minutes later. At this time of night there is still enough light in the sky to make out the surroundings and the sky is a beautiful cobalt blue. If you go much later the sky is black and the surroundings are lost. Hope this helps!

  17. Monte Trumbull
    July 25, 2011

    I am so sorry to hear about your heart attack and glad to hear that you came through it in good condition. I wish you the best recovery and hope that kick that bastard!


  18. Mary Doo
    July 25, 2011

    Hi David,

    I am so very sorry to hear about your heart attack, while grateful that you have recovered. I believe you will feel better and get well completely, as you are on my prayer list.

    By the way, thank you for the wonderful “turning pro” workshop. It felt like a retreat. While things and emotions are calming down as one gets back to “reality”, the knowledge learned is invaluable, and I will never forget this wonderful workshop.

    Take care – God bless,

    Mary Doo

  19. Gail Watkins
    July 26, 2011

    I am so glad you are doing well enough to rant. Tell Claire I am praying for her… oh, and you too!

    Seriously, I am thankful Brenda is such an efficient person and you got the help you needed in such a timely manner. I am confident once you get through this little hiccup you will find a “normal” that works for you and allows you to continue on living a productive, satisfying life.

    God bless you!


  20. Nancy Camel
    July 26, 2011

    David, you may not remember me but I took Advanced Nature Photography with you in MIssoula through the RMSP. I too had that family history, though not as bad as yours. I exercised and watched my diet. But in 1999 I started having atrial fibrillation and didn’t like it one bit–slowed down my momentum. And the meds were awful. I had no energy. I went to the Cleveland Clinic in 2005, where I had a thorough check out followed by open heart surgery that cured my Afib and repaired a mitral valve. http://my.clevelandclinic.org/default.aspx I am better than ever and take no medications for the heart.

    I highly recommend going to the Cleveland Clinic, rated as the best heart care center in the world. Don’t let that “bastard” get you down. There are so many new procedures, technologies and medications now for the heart. Best of luck to you.

    Nancy Camel

  21. Pete Cross
    July 26, 2011

    Yes, I imagine the only thing you have no control over is what the genes have dealt you from your ancestors!!
    I am 79, been a serious amateur since age 15, and put my landscape/geology background and profession (teaching)aside in 1998 at retirement …….only to pick up my real passion of being a part-time health and fitness personal trainer. Nothing as satisfying at this time in my life than helping others attempt to keep the bastard at bay for as long as possible and maintain a fitness level that allows one to pursue activities that make the quality of life as good as it can be.
    Enough of this preaching…………. I have followed your publications, photos, publicity for years and hope to fall under your tutiledge in a coming workshop. Accepting whatever limits our bodies seem to have (that are real, unalterable limits) that are not just our self-imposed mental limits!)……..and then creating short-term goals where we can still give to the world our talents until that day when time is up…………..that, I know, is how your are going to respond as soon as time and rest and rehab gets you thinking of the future again.

    Good luck to you, Dave. We need your return to what you do best!

  22. Patrick Kriner
    July 27, 2011


    Have not talked to you for some time. Barbee informed me of your heart attack and, although an unfortunate incident, things worked out well. I am hearing other stories from friends about these thing happening on trips, vacations and workshops and marvel at where we have come with medical science where things that had a tragic end in the past, can now be treated and allow you to continue with your life, albeit under a constant shadow. God speed, I pray for a complete recovery. All the best to you and Claire.

    Patrick Kriner
    Sylvania, Ohio

  23. rod barbee
    August 6, 2011

    Speaking of Pinot Noirae, did you know there’s a wine shop at Devil’s Punchbowl State Park, right next to Mo’s? Well you do now. It’s the Flying Dutchman Winery. They’ve even won some awards. So of course I tried a little and bought a bottle.
    And, have you ever visited the teeny tiny wine shop in Depoe Bay? The Depoe Bay Winery. It has a ceiling like a cave: all Papier-mâché with signatures and dollar bills stuck to it.
    They do wine tastings too. In little tiny plastic cups. It was weird.

  24. brenda berry
    August 16, 2011

    Actually, looking at these photos I think I will shoot after all!!!!

    • David
      August 22, 2011

      she is just kidding!!!!!

  25. rod barbee
    September 2, 2011

    Seriously, go to Vermont. I’ve been there in the fall quite a few times and even if you’re a tad early or a tad late for the peak of the prime fall color, you’ll still love the streams, the towns, the churches and farms and all that there.
    And if you’re smart, you’ll sign up for David’s workshop. It’s right in his back yard. Literally!
    Just hope one of those hurricanes or tropical storms doesn’t visit while you’re visiting. Been there. Done that.

  26. Connie
    October 1, 2011

    I much prefer ifnoramtvie articles like this to that high brow literature.

  27. Tony
    October 10, 2011

    Oh my goodness! a tremendous article dude. Thank you Nevertheless I’m experiencing subject with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting equivalent rss drawback? Anyone who is aware of kindly respond. Thnkx

  28. Bryan Kotrba
    November 18, 2011

    Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a marvellous job! Add article to my site.

  29. Ciara F.
    November 21, 2011

    I love winter photographs, especially those taken during twilight. When the snow creates blankets on top of everything, I am reminded of many past memories. I will have to remember that tip next time I try to capture a good photo during this period.

    December 7, 2011


  31. Rudy
    December 24, 2011

    How true. Nice post David. Happy holidays.

  32. Fotograf
    January 3, 2012

    Several thanks for the fantastic posting. I am glad I’ve taken the time to see this.

  33. Serwis Laptopów Wrocław
    January 5, 2012

    Howdy! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any suggestions?

    • David
      January 13, 2012

      I don’t know about plugins to protect against hackers. I would suggest you ask Scott Rouse at the Lightroom Lab website. (www.thelightroomlab.com)


  34. Ron
    January 11, 2012

    Will you be doing a Oregon workshop in 2012?

    • David
      January 13, 2012

      Hi Ron,
      Yes I will. It is run through the Santa Fe Workshops. The dates are July 18 – 22. My schedule will be up on my blog tomorrow.


  35. Rudy
    January 12, 2012

    Thanks for the report David, Maybe I will get the motivation to look through mine too. I am sure my fire will be a lot larger than yours will be. LOL.

  36. Rod Barbee
    January 13, 2012

    Getting rid of old slides is just one of the things on my winter to-do list. The one I’ve had going since last century….
    I figure that if I can get rid of about half my slides that will leave room for more wine 🙂

  37. Joan Consani
    January 17, 2012

    David – i searched for Slide Cafe, but could not find a link. I did find a place called Scan Cafe – is that the same place? I am looking for a place to scan old slides like you did.

    • David
      January 22, 2012

      Sorry everyone, I made a mistake on the name of the scanning company- it is the ScanCafe as everyone has pointed out to me.

  38. Rod Barbee
    February 28, 2012

    Not only yeah, but HELL YEAH! I really can’t remember the last time I took a shooting trip just for the fun of it without it being for a workshop or a book project or to get a picture somebody else needed.

  39. Darin Reed
    February 28, 2012

    Dear David,

    My guess is that, for years, you have touched people with your images and through your writing. You have inspired and mentored with your teaching. Give yourself credit! Now you are discovering new ways to reach out and touch those you care for, in a very real and meaningful way. Congratulations for that. John was right…keep reaching out.

    Last year I sat in that same hospital chair. I Held my father’s hand for the first time in decades. We talked and laughed and cried…it was a tough time. One I will never forget. I hope it helped my Dad in his last days. I know it helped me. I can still feel his hand in mine and I’m so thankful for the countless ways he touched my life.

    Best wishes to you and those you care for…


  40. Martina
    March 2, 2012

    Touch, Magical indeed. Nicely written post.

  41. Stan Tetrault
    April 4, 2012

    Good article on camera setup and one that I am learning from. I have been using a Canon EOS Rebel XSi and have not mastered all its complexities yet. In step 5, can you please explain ’11 autofocus points ..’ a bit more?

    • David
      April 10, 2012

      Hi Stan,
      Most DSLR cameras give you the option to pick how many auto focus sensors (cross hairs) you want. Nikon gives you the option of 11, 21 or 55 auto focus points. I think Canon has something similar. I like fewer points. On your Rebel you may not have these choices. I don’t know that camera that well. Check out your menu under autofucus and see if you can select the number of autofocus points you will see in your viewfinder.


  42. My Blog » New Book
    April 6, 2012

    […] My friend David Middleton, who used to shoot strictly nature and things like harbors (no people), has more recently been stretching himself into people photography. He’s blogged about it. It’s a pretty good read. […]

  43. Bob Wildman
    June 11, 2012

    Dear David,

    Your writing, photos and conversation reveal a love for Hugh and his family. I am pleased that you could spend those last days with him. How sad it would be for both of you if you had been doing a workshop with the likes of me. +You were where you needed to be. It surely meant a lot to him as well as to you.

    Thanks for sharing his life with me.

    This tribute is fitting for both of you.

    Bob Wildman

  44. Larry Taylor
    June 11, 2012

    As a distant cousin of Hugh and former resident of Danby, I want to thank you for such a heart warming story, about a one of kind gentleman. Again thanks so very much.

  45. Kevin D
    July 12, 2012

    From just one visit to the farm (June 2011), of course I did not know Hugh very well. But he has a memorable face; you know what I mean. Even today, I know that he can make you smile.
    – Kevin D

  46. Allison DuPree
    July 27, 2012

    This is a moving and inspirational story. Although Hugh cannot be compared to the most popular of people all over the world, his genuine personality and the kind of life he lived is something that can inspire others to live better lives. I was definitely inspired and its sad that he passed away even before I got to know more about him.

  47. Craig L. Howe
    August 25, 2012

    Great advice. I have always said there is no such thing as great writing; only great editing. If you are a critical editor, you will spare yourself the heartache of rejection.

  48. Bob Wildman
    September 2, 2012

    In my other life as a psychotherapist I saw clients extremely frustrated after doing something different to improve their well-being. I point out to them that in one of the best children’s (and therefore adult) books, Charolette’s Web, the first sentence was rewritten 37 times. And E.B. White was one of the century’s best writers.

  49. Rod Barbee
    September 15, 2012

    Hah! I just blogged about this very same thing too. I recently heard this 1/3 nonsense from a very well known workshop leader. A cringe-worthy moment if ever there was one.

    • David
      September 19, 2012

      Hi Rod,
      It makes me CRAZY!!!! Still jealous of your trip to Iceland!

  50. Richard Ikenberry
    November 8, 2012

    Hope you enjoyed Paris!

    Excellent commentary on a subject not discussed often. I have shared with our camera club.


    • David
      November 8, 2012

      Hi Ike,
      Gesture is one of those subtle considerations that makes a big difference in compositions. It usually goes unappreciated but it never goes unnoticed even if it only subconsciously. A similar consideration is expression. In animals or people, expression can make or break an otherwise nice photo.


  51. Michelle
    November 10, 2012

    So sad, and so beautiful. I love the elderly. I love their stories, their hands, their faces.

  52. Bill Dennen
    November 26, 2012

    I enjoy your Blog. I had gone to one of your seminars in Connecticut in September and was hoping catch you when you came back in November but I had another commitment. Do you have any classes in Vermont between Christmas and New Years?

    The Vatican is something else. I was as impressed with this as much as the Grand Canyon which blew me away. I had a cheap camera and limited knowledge. I look forward to sharpening my limited photography skills so when I revisit these places I’ll be able to capture the grandeur of these places.

    • David
      November 27, 2012

      That’s a good analogy, Bill- the Grand Canyon. I realized the other morning that the Sistine chapel is the same outside dimensions as the milking barn I go to every morning here in Vermont. Vermont cow barn, Sistine Chapel, Grand Canyon- now there’s an interesting trio!

      I don’t have any more workshops this year. Probably a good thing…as the year goes on I get increasingly grumpier and my self editor more often misfires. Not a good combination.

  53. Bob Wildman
    December 19, 2012

    Thanks so much for these thoughts. I am forwarding this to Mike and my daughter.

    Several thoughts related to my 40 years as a mental health therapist: Freud was 95% unscientific baloney but a part of the other 5% is that he characterized guns as phallic symbols.

    We are failing miserably in our care of the mentally ill. I talked to a former co-worker just last week. She works in a community mental health center (as in mucho public funding) and told me that therapist are now allowed to see only one self-pay client per week. Those who are often the most disturbed no longer have access to mental health resources.

    I have no objection to persons owning weapons for shooting wildlife. Assault weapons are for people hunting. Handguns, as in Sig Sauers and the like, are for person hunters. Persons who carry handguns are more likely to be shot than those who do not.

    Thanks for your comments. Sounds like you have some neat and perceptive kids.


    • David
      December 19, 2012

      Thanks Bob,
      I will pass this on to Brenda. And you are a sweetie but I won’t tell anyone!


  54. Corey Hoppenrath
    December 20, 2012

    Have a great holiday season

    • David
      December 23, 2012

      thanks Corey, you too!

  55. Walt Duvall
    December 24, 2012

    Thank you for all that you have given me this year.

    Merry Christmas, and a Healthy, Happy New Year.


  56. Richard Ikenberry
    December 28, 2012


    I hope to participate in the Vermont workshop this year. I would plan to drive and spend addtional time. I would either travel early, and let Joyce fly home before the workshop starts; or, participate in the workshop, and plan for Joyce to fly and meet me there for an extended time.

    Your thoughts, please, on better timing considering the season there.

    Happy New Year.


    • David
      January 1, 2013

      HI Ike
      Miss the smell of a working dairy farm do you? Its basically impossible to predict if the color is going to be better before or after the October. This year the color was better in very early october and then declined but that is unusual. If you lingered afterward you could go and really work your favorite places we visited in the workshop. The odds are that the color will be okay before the workshop, great during the workshop and good after the workshop. In actuality, you really con’t go wrong.

      Glad I could be so unhelpful!

      Happy New Year to you too, Ike


  57. Rose Price
    December 28, 2012

    There’s plenty of blame to go around when our society continues to promote aggressive behavior in sports, and the media; and politicians are owned by corporations and special interests. Benjamin Franklin believed that all politicians should serve without pay of any kind!
    I’m with him. The founding fathers were dealing with a state of war in a frontier country not a sick society.
    In addition to Bob’s comment about the sorry state of our mental health system I would add that even if you’re fortunate to have insurance, the laws in Kentucky do more to protect the dangerously ill person’s freedom and prevent him/her from being identified and treated.
    I long for the days when we worked in a mental health system that did not require fees and patients could be committed to treatment for sixty days.
    I long for the days when politicians were “statesmen” and generally demonstrated integrity and moral fortitude in their lives.

  58. Melinda Eubel
    December 31, 2012

    Brenda and David,

    Thanks for putting into words the frustration and worries that so many of us have. The scary, but true part, is the short memories this country has and how the next big news event can simply push this huge issue(shootings and mental health) on the back burner. We simply appear to become tolerant, throw up our hands, and move on.

    Your quote from Elie Wiesel is a mantra for many human inflicted tragedies in our world today, just as he personally experienced during the Holocaust. Yes….why indeed?

    How many more tragedies must we witness. What will we be able to reflect upon next New Year’s eve, more of the same reflections of human horros or a glimmer of hope for our future because our leaders took action, inspired and demanded by the good people who did something!

    David, Thanks for sharing this on your blog.

    Hope to see you both again at a future workshop.


  59. Ruth
    January 2, 2013

    Thank you for this post, it is inspiring to me and to many others looking at the year ahead.
    happy new year to you and happy exploring!


  60. Richard Ikenberry
    January 2, 2013


    There is no experience like being slapped in the face by a manure tail(frozen) ona 26 degree morning. The experience lasts all day.

  61. Brenda
    January 3, 2013

    Where indeed? A map, a highlighter, and a sense of adventure could take you anywhere…..

  62. brenda
    January 8, 2013

    Thanks for sharing this. Nice job Jeff. I may have to try taking a bird photo or two…

  63. Bob Wildman
    January 12, 2013

    These look so much like a photo framed in a gold colored dime store frame of a yellow flower that I gave to my grandparents. I was so proud of that but look at it now as a reminder of where I have been and what I am becoming. When my grandmother died, it was returned to me–probably because everyone else knew how crappy it was. Thanks for the smile, David.

  64. Darin Reed
    January 22, 2013

    Time for your mid-winter lolligag? Can’t say that I blame you!

    • David
      January 24, 2013

      Hi Darin,
      Only in my dreams! Was at the barn this morning, -15. I guess I should get a hat now!

  65. Bob Wildman
    February 15, 2013

    Nice work David. When are you offering a workshop on shooting and basic editing? I am looking for help with that. I am currently stuck with the editing part now.


    • David
      February 18, 2013

      HI Bob,
      thanks but I don’t know shit about editing. (was that clear enough?) I am struggling with it as well. I just bought a couple of books on FCP X- do you have any favorites?
      I will try to get Bob Krist to offer a beginners video class- we’ll see.

  66. brenda
    February 17, 2013

    You should keep working on these! Nice start……. beautiful images….more please…..

  67. Darin Reed
    February 23, 2013

    One question…Does Krist know you were in his kitchen? For some reason, I keep picturing him at a cafe in Venice, camera in one hand and an espresso in the other. Patiently waiting for the perfect gondola to pass by his table in the morning light. Meanwhile, you and Brenda are breaking and blendering back home! Hope to see you at the Cannes Film Festival this spring. That is unless Bob decides to press charges!

  68. brenda
    February 23, 2013

    Thanks for the smoothie Breakfast Chump! I hear they just added a special academy award category – best video involving a banana blender. The other 2 are horror flicks so you have a chance.

  69. Bob Wildman
    March 7, 2013

    Having done this workshop, I fully agree that it is excellent.

  70. BonnieLynn
    May 8, 2013

    Been trying to reach you by email can’t get message out.Can you leave me your phone number so I can to talk to you about joining you when its a good time.I lost your number you gave me a number of months ago.BonnieLynn

    • David
      May 11, 2013

      Hi Bonnie
      I’m on the road now until mid June teaching workshops and traveling. I got your last email. I will answer tomorrow, promise. Calling is going to be difficult when I’m on the road. I haven’t forgotten you!


  71. Darin Reed
    May 14, 2013

    Hi David. I traveled a similar road recently and decided on the Olympus OMD – em5. It was the most DSLR’ish of the cameras I considered, plus it had a great selection of Oly & Panasonic lenses to choose from. True to form, I bought 4 of them. 17mm f1.8, 45mm 1.8, 75mm 1.8 (awesome lens!) and the 12-50mm kit lens. I must say, I’m really enjoying shooting with it. My entire kit weighs less than my D3S! Have a great time in Tofino! My regards to Brenda. See you both in Death Valley. Darin

    • David
      May 15, 2013

      Hi Darin,
      I think I like my little friend! It is not very DSLRish but so far it is doing what I want it too and I’m getting very nice results. I am beginning to think that there is not one best choice of little cameras but many good choices depending on what your desires are. I also think most take pretty darn good pictures. We can compare units out in Death Valley- how’s that for an offer?!?

  72. Rudy
    June 16, 2013

    Rob reminds me a lot of some of my friends. Others like me are in the cloud too much.

  73. Brenda
    June 18, 2013

    Quite a wonderful piece of writing….good capture….hope you saved it to the cloud. Thanks for the much needed smile, sir.

  74. Walt Duvall
    July 23, 2013

    Your right, there is no “perfect” of anything and knowing the limitations can spawn more creativty. I’m playing more with my iPhone and the varied number of apps makes this part of photography a live and energizing. I also find I appreciate more my Canon Mark III and its versatility.

  75. Brenda
    July 26, 2013

    That is a very beautiful spot.

  76. Dave
    July 29, 2013

    I just checked in to see what you’re up to and read this thoughtful article. I still remember you teaching our class that you can get pro results with just about any lens, a lesson that I pass on whenever I can. It’s human nature to lust for gear, eh?

    • David
      July 30, 2013

      Hey Dave!
      How the heck are you? Great to hear from you. And I agree, great results are possible from just about any camera but that will never stop the lust…thank goodness!


  77. Vanessa
    August 8, 2013

    Reminds me of a Winnie the Pooh conversation …

  78. Joan Gray
    August 8, 2013

    Excellent workshop, David! I feel like we really made the most of the December weather in our July workshop … your Plan B was always a winner! I’ve often thought of your comment regarding my rusty-nail-in-old-wood image: “What were you on when you shot this? And do you have enough to share with everyone?” Much thanks to you and Brenda!

  79. Bob Wildman
    October 24, 2013

    I share your thoughts about the shutdown. Mike and I managed to get kicked out of Yellowstone on the 2nd of 5 days we were to be there. We took what we could and had a great day shooting in Idaho on our way back to Jackson Hole. What we saw in Idaho reminded me of photos of the Palouse. Shooting near Grand Teton was productive. What an inept and self-serving bunch of legislators!

  80. Anne Hickey
    October 25, 2013

    Thanks David for a great workshop!

  81. Brenda
    December 8, 2013

    Always the best one, until the next one…. like dawn on the dunes, each one unique with a moment by moment beauty.

  82. Nick Nott
    December 17, 2013

    I have been looking for a small camera for my wife. She has had small cameras in the past, but the shutter lag was so slow that eye contact would be lost before the camera would fire, How is the shutter lag on the P7800?

    • David
      December 19, 2013

      Hi Nick!
      I really like the P7800. I don’t think there is much shutter lag at all. I’ve taken perhaps 400 pictures with it and I don’t recall any delay. It doesn’t have a really fast motor drive but it can’t have everything. the only delay is the delay in writing so you can’t take 5 in quick order but there is none in the taking of the picture.


  83. Sister Laurie
    December 29, 2013

    Actually, it’s a daily devotional that will have 366 prayers and 120 of those “best images.” I am particular, but grateful to have such a talented brother.

  84. Susan Regen
    January 17, 2014

    Hi David! This blog posting struck a chord because it has also been a hard year at my house. Harry and I were both sick, I had Lyme Disease, then he ended up in the hospital with a rare form of shingles (disseminated shingles) that resulted in encephalitis. We are both fine now, but most of the summer and early fall were kind of a loss. You speak so clearly of the importance of special moments and how they can change your whole outlook on life. It is fortunate when such an experience occurs, and especially at a time when life has been a test of endurance. So glad you and Abe found those tracks, and that you shared so beautifully with those around you.

    I stopped taking photographs for quite a while with everything that was going on. And when I had just taken some that I consider among my best! It has been difficult to get out and do it, especially with the recent bitterly cold weather (soon to return next week!). But I am gradually increasing the size (but not the quality just yet) of my photo library…

    Harry saw a Canada Lynx on two occasions about a year apart, right on our property. I have seen some tracks since, so there still might be a few living nearby. We have 15 acres, mixed fields and woods, and it connects with other properties that also offer good wildlife habitat. Perhaps one day it will be my turn to see one of these Cats!

    Have a great New Year!

    • David
      January 21, 2014

      HI Susan,
      Thanks for the nice reply. I, too, have had periods of no interest in photography- no interest in anything creative. I don’t know what brings these times on and I am not really sure what brings them to an end. Life does get in the way and that little creative glow that we each have can burn faintly at times. I guess just knowing that it still burns, that it will be there when life returns to more normal is all that matters. You know, when I was younger I had life all figured out- horizons were bright and clear and beckoning, possibilities lay ready at my feet. Now that I am older, I realize that I haven’t a clue about life and about how it will unfold. So I get up, put my teeth in, go for a walk and see if I can remember how to get home. That’s the only thing I’ve figured out- get home. It’s where we all are meant to be.

      Keep an eye out for those lynx- very, very special animals. It’s magic to share your home with them.

      • Susan Regen
        January 22, 2014

        Hi David,
        My mother-in-law shared an old saying with me: “We get too soon old, and too late smart! ” I have also heard (and come to understand) that a person is finally getting smart when having attained the realization that no matter how much we think we know, we really don’t know much.

        Perhaps I should follow your example and go for a walk out back more often. The combination of rainy weather and now extreme cold has put a damper on that. With the relatively fresh snow we have on the ground, perhaps I could find some tracks.

        In the meantime, the cats I share my house with will have to do. They can be mysterious as well!

  85. Rudy
    February 14, 2014

    Great story about Pete, Dave. He touched so many lives personally.

    I met him when I was living in Beacon in the early 80s and was walking along the waterfront looking at the sailboats. He was wading in the water. He comes up to and says, ” Hi I’m Pete Seeger, would you mind giving me a hand.” He was pulling up the waterchestnuts in the harbor. I remove my shoes and begin wading in the water to help him. He then tells me about the natural history of water chestnuts, the danger of using herbicides to control them and the various other ways to get rid of them.

    That started my 30 year on and off involvement with the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater including photographing the Clearwater festival for various internet blogs.

    Pete’s art and gift was the ability to move people to action through his song, words and his true humility. He will truly be missed by the world and especially here in NY.

  86. Walt Duvall
    February 22, 2014

    Last years workshop was an incredible experience. The drive to Tofino from my home town of Newport was beautiful especially the drive through BC. Tofino and surrounding area held many interesting photographic subjects, especially the harbor, buildings and back alleys of the town. Of course the boat ride to photograph the bears interweaving among the islands was beautiful. You and Brenda, with your unique personalities, really make the entire experience fun and informative. I always enjoy your critiques especially when I present a non traditional interpretive image.

    Due to some commitments I have this year I won’t be able to attend, but putting this on my radar for next year.


  87. Bob Wildman
    February 28, 2014

    I have an unopened Trader Joe’s Extra dark bar I would be glad to fax to you.


    • David
      March 4, 2014

      just send it to my phone!

  88. Bob Wildman
    February 28, 2014


    Thanks for taking on a project like this. sThe more I learn about you the more I appreciate your kindness and values.


    • David
      March 4, 2014

      thanks bob,
      I will let you know how it goes.


  89. Dyan
    March 10, 2014

    You mentioned Dark Chocolate. What about M & Ms, they pack and travel better.

    My experience with Dark Chocolate was to have it taken away from me at a checkpoint in Peru. I am sure they just wanted it to eat. M & Ms are easier to pack deep in the luggage, but you are already there so this doesn’t help you much.

    Where does the bottled water come in, and what about the sun glasses.


  90. Darin Reed
    March 11, 2014

    Dear D & B,

    Thinking about you guys and dying for details here! Please get home safe and share your story with us.


  91. Rudy
    March 15, 2014

    Looking forward to your words and pictures David.

  92. Melinda
    March 16, 2014

    Looking forward to sharing the journey and lessons learned, even if it is through your pictures and stories I know it will be a powerful testament to your experience and what we all need to stop and think about. We don’t realize how good we have it sometimes (most of the time).

  93. Susan Regen
    March 18, 2014

    I can imagine how this voyage has changed you. It is never easy to become a part of the extremes of experience, whether it is your own or someone else’s. The world is full of good and evil, joy and sorrow, success and failure, beauty and ugliness. If anyone can portray some of this in the faces and situations of those people, you are certainly very high up on the list. Looking forward to seeing your photos and reading about them. Welcome back!

  94. Bob Wildman
    March 25, 2014


    I have appreciated you for your skill as a teacher and practitioner of photography. I find you to be a pretty nice guy and I enjoy working with you. This series in your blog shows a sense of humility that I have missed. You are what a good person is all about.


    • David
      March 25, 2014

      thanks Bob,
      What’s this ‘pretty nice guy’ business? You can call me almost anything but please, not a nice guy! Trying to ruin my hard earned reputation? People might start to think that critiques could actually be fun and helpful!

      I’ll get back to my old grumpy self pretty soon, promise!!

  95. Rich From LI
    March 27, 2014

    OK, I am now touched by the story. I want to help change the life they have going forward. Where de we start?

    I have some friends, you have some friends, my friends have some friends. Please lets make the lives of two people better.

    Let’s come up with a plan!

    • David
      March 27, 2014

      Thank you Rich, thank you very much. Yours is not the first comment on helping these two children but it is not an easy solution. There are so many layers, so many issues. If Daniel leaves, he reduces the amount of money his family has to buy food- does this mean his sisters and brothers eat less, are at greater risk of starvation or disease? Same for Feebe- she is a primary income earner and provider for her family. What happens if she leaves? What are the repercussions? So many many ways for very well intentioned money to be misused, have unintended consequences, thrown away. This is not to say that I have given up- I’m not that kind of a person, I just don’t know right now what is the best way to make this right. I am asking smarter, more experienced friends about this and I will let you know. I will also blog about this very shortly. Helping Daniel and Feebe may not be possible but helping other children in northern Uganda will be. I have some thoughts, just want to make sure they are going to be effective.
      There is a saying by those who work in Africa that sums all this up- ‘Africa Always Wins’. This is said in frustration not celebration- it refers to the layers, odd consequences, unexpected outcomes that are characteristic of trying to do anything in Africa. I don’t plan and saying it. Promise.

  96. Kathy Elder
    April 3, 2014


    I have “enjoyed” your critiques. To this day even Greg says ” you know what David would say” as I delete images.
    I had tears in my eyes from reading about Feebe and Daniel. I would bet you did too but probably thought it was the dry air and dirt. Having grandchildren the same age brings their circumstances so close to home.
    I will continue to see what you come up with as a way to help.

    Take care

  97. Theresa Vinson
    May 29, 2014

    Hi Dave,

    I don’t know exactly how old the article/blog post is I just read is (I
    believe it was published in 2013) but you have in one article
    answered all of my questions regarding photo publishing and I wanted to
    say thanks to you. I have been searching the internet for answers to my
    questions mostly around when to submit what and I found your article.

    I am a wedding and event coordinator in Sacramento CA working with a
    wonderful photographer putting together a styled photo shoot. Both our
    businesses are fairly young and neither of us have had any of our work
    published. We have our theme and our first styled photo shoot is set
    for June. I was stuck trying to figure out if the photos should have
    text to tell a story – you have helped us with that too!

    I could go on and on but I wont. We plan to submit to wedding blogs,
    magazines and newspapers. Sacramento does not have as much going on in
    the way of social events or weddings as say San Francisco but for that which we do have there
    are some longtime local photographers and wedding planners that seem to
    have this town wrapped up so you probably know what we are up against.
    Still, we are soldiering on –
    please wish us luck and thanks again. You have truly helped. Here’s
    the article. Sent this to the email on the contact page of the article but it came back.


  98. Rod Barbee
    June 4, 2014

    Seriously, anybody reading this should drop what they’re doing and sign up for this workshop. Now!
    I’ve co-led this trip several times with David and can attest that it’s one of THE BEST places to photograph. And you’ll be learning from the best. And David is no slouch either.
    Plus he knows where the good wine stores are. (be sure to visit the Flying Dutchman winery tasting room at Devil’s Punchbowl State Park too — there’s ice cream next door to it!)

    • David
      June 9, 2014

      Hi Rod,
      As you know there are few better places to photograph than the coast of Oregon!

  99. Bob Wildman
    June 11, 2014


    I do believe Brenda has corrupted you sensibilities; I love it.


    • David
      June 11, 2014

      I have no doubt! Didn’t have much to begin with but now I have none!

  100. Walt Duvall
    June 13, 2014

    Welcome to my world!!

    • David
      June 16, 2014

      It’s a wonderful world, Walt!!

  101. Walt Duvall
    June 13, 2014

    Love the pictures!

  102. Bob Wildman
    July 7, 2014


    Another example of corporate welfare and this is OK for those folks who complain about human welfare. Kentucky takes many millions of dollars to subsidize the likes of Toyota and Amazon so they will build here. I know of no independent studies that say that this charity is a long term, much less short term, benefit to the tax payers of Kentucky.All of that is money that needs to be spent on education from elementary through college to provide a base of well educated employees that will attract companies without the bribery. Communities scramble for new jobs to “benefit” the community; however, property and related taxes continue to rise to support the growth. Of course, employment is good but is only part of the story.

    Best wishes,

  103. brenda
    July 14, 2014

    Don’t you think the real trick is learning to distinguish what is pretty light to the human eye, versus what is pretty light to the camera? Looking at your images, I know that you saw that dappled light in the forest and on the flowers as glorious, and it no doubt was; to your eyes and brain in real life! Problem is that it is to big a contrast range for your sensor ( dare i say your film in this case?) so the photo ultimately disappoints. One of the hardest things I had to learn is what is a beautiful moment or memory and what makes a beautiful photograph, sadly not always the same thing…

    …don’t need to publish this comment, it just got me reflecting on why I was so often flummoxed – thinking, “I know this is beautiful, I KNOW it is” and there is must be some photo technique that will allow me to reflect what I see… I will bear this in mind next week in the forest 😉

  104. Darin Reed
    August 5, 2014

    Here’s to blazing new trails, embracing opportunity and championing causes! Thank you to Ruth, Brenda and David for developing this exciting way to learn, give purpose to our photography, see the world from a different perspective and support worthy causes all at the same time. Well done!

    • David
      August 6, 2014

      Thanks Darin,
      Its been quite a journey so far and we haven’t even done a workshop yet! I will say that this is the type of thing that can happen when you combine an unlimited supply of sweet potato fries, gallons of ice tea and and the wafting aromas of a Maine harbor at low, low tide. It’s a potent combination!

  105. Don Toothaker
    August 7, 2014

    there you are….
    good to see you throwing around some prose.
    I hope all is well!

    Kindest Regards,


  106. Rudy
    August 8, 2014

    Great concept. Best wishes. You actually might get me to attend one. I have been playing with photojournalism here and there in my wanderings.

    • David
      August 11, 2014

      Rudy!! I think you would really love doing Crossroads workshops- your interior work and your pursuit of stories and themes is what we are teaching and you would pick up some great tips and practical experience. Plus, you’d get to spend a whole week with me!!! Okay, didn’t want to scare you. It would be great to have you along!

  107. Renee Giffroy
    August 11, 2014

    Hi David, I love the idea! I am really interested in the new workshop concept. I will keep watching for more into. FYI, we are now settled up in NH on the coast and loving – lots to photograph!

    • David
      August 11, 2014

      Hi Renee!
      Where have you been? thrilled your move has been successful! Have room for wandering photographers?

  108. Walt Duvall
    August 22, 2014

    Hi David,

    I’m glad to hear that you and Brenda have finally brought this concept to fruition. I remember you and Brenda talking about this idea at our last workshop and looking forward to hearing/reading more about it.

  109. Michelle
    October 13, 2014

    The photo you have at the top of your post is STUNNING!

  110. Bob Wildman
    October 22, 2014

    The spider image is exceptional! I gotta get there.

    • David
      October 24, 2014

      Hi Bob,
      The spider image is the best image I have ever had taken by a participant on a workshop as far as I can remember. I have seen lots of amazing images taken during my workshops but that spider shot is simply stunning. It was taken in a stinky and very murky Maine coast fish house with just a stab of light coming through a grimy window. And it was taken as a vertical and then flipped to horizontal.To see it big on a screen is really spectacular.Get up there next year!!!

  111. Walt Duvall
    October 25, 2014

    Question about two images DSC4578 and DSC_1546, they are tack sharp. How did you achieve the degree of sharpness? I enjoyed you slide show. I am eager to see what you will be offering in your 2015 workshop series.

    • David
      October 26, 2014

      Hi Walt,
      The horse portraits were taken by my students so I can’t say exactly what the settings were but I can tell you how to get that kind of sharpness- you have to have a very, very steady camera. This can be done two ways- 1. with a good tripod and good technique and 2. with a very fast shutter speed, probably a product of a high ISO (above 1000). The very fast shutter speed simulates a very still camera.

      I will be putting up my 2015 workshop schedule when I return from my trip to Uganda (mid-November). For the schedule of the new workshops I am doing that combine photography and philanthropy go to this website http://crossroadsphotographicworkshops.com​. How’s the coast, Walt?

  112. Bob Wildman
    October 27, 2014

    Right on!

    Simply stated. You are a good person.

    Good luck, safe journey and have fun.


  113. Hal Willens
    October 27, 2014

    What an engaging and fulfilling workshop. As I look at the shots I took, I am thrilled that I was able to capture the beauty of Acadia! The simple but direct guidance you and Brenda provided helped me not only be inspired, but enabled me to advance my technical acumen to bring home such a variety of beautiful images.
    And to prove that your unlucky string of lackluster sunsets on Cadillac Mountain is still there, I will send you the photo of the once in a lifetime sunset I experienced there the night after the workshop ended.
    Thank you and Brenda for a great workshop!

  114. Renee
    October 29, 2014

    Hi David, Looking forward to these workshops! Now I have to decide which one.

  115. brenda berry
    November 1, 2014

    Is there, or what is the relationship between the trip you took for NewCourse, this trip and the Luci lights? What is a Luci light anyway?

    • David
      November 9, 2014

      The trip I took for NewCourse in March is when I was introduced to Luci Lights and the powerful effect a Luci Light can have on a person. I hope to continue to work with NewCourse and push and publicize Luci Lights. Big ideas brewing in my small but perfectly formed brain! See my blog post to see what a Luci Light is.

  116. brenda
    November 12, 2014

    For more info on Luci Lights, check this link. New Course (www.anewcourse) is very proud to be partnering with mpowered.
    Thanks David for getting those out there into the hands of Ugandans’ for us all. And thank you for the beautiful photos.


    You could pass along the above link?

    Brenda, Jamie and Karl

  117. Dmitry
    November 13, 2014

    Hi David! Great work and great advice on your site!

    I was reading your “28” project and came across your Nikon Coolpix A with “full frame” sensor and 28mm lens. Can’t find this machine anywhere 🙂 When you’ll find a second, could you clear my confusion, please?

    Best Regards,
    D. Sinelov

    P.S. I also tried to contact you via email but my message was bounced back…

    • David
      December 9, 2014

      Hi Dmitry,
      Sorry for the long delay in my response- just now getting my head above water after all my fall travels. The Nikon Coolpix A is still being sold and supported. I just checked and Amazon has it as does several other online camera stores.Go to the Nikon website for more info on this little camera- I still really like it.


  118. brenda
    November 14, 2014

    Beautiful! All of them… where are those birds? And the mother and child is … well…heart stopper….

    Can’t wait until you get home and can load up a full gallery of images.


  119. brenda berry
    December 13, 2014

    Beautiful. Very beautiful.

  120. Bob Pizzurro
    December 16, 2014

    Nice images. These have motivated me to get out and shoot this winter. We had a lot of snow last year but I failed to take advantage of several good photographic opportunities.

  121. Mike
    December 29, 2014

    Hi David,
    What’s your email address? I tried contacting you with some feedback via your info@ email and it bounced back.

    • David
      December 30, 2014

      HI Mike,
      here is my email address- dmidfoto@sover.net

      My website is being rebuilt and getting the email through my website working is top on my list of fixes.


  122. Josie Jackson
    December 29, 2014

    Thank you for these lovely images and stories, It is magic, made me feel better when I gave and I love the lights myself and when I show them to other people they order and it goes on and on.

    They are fantastic lights, we have power blackouts quite often where I live so they come in so very handy, I hang one in my apple tree at night to keep the possums away, it seems to be working and they do go for 12 hours. Thanks for sharing these stories and photos. Happy New Year to everyone…. :o)xo

  123. Gary
    December 29, 2014

    Smart design products.
    It is very helpful to give the basic lighting for off-grid rural families.

  124. Darin Reed
    December 30, 2014

    Good choice David! There’s a million stories in those eyes. Your efforts are giving them a voice and an audience to listen. Funny, when you set out to do good for others, you are yourself rewarded with such meaningful images. A well deserved favorite! I’m so glad you’ve found this new purpose in your photography. – Darin

    • David
      December 31, 2014

      Thanks Darin. An open heart is a funny thing, leading you to places you never imagined- say, Uganda! I’ve been thinking about ‘meaningful’ photography a lot lately- can it happen at home? at your favorite photo places? by chance? by design? can it be fun as well or does it have to be solemn? I don’t have any answers but it keeps my small but perfectly formed mind happily churning away. Happy New Year to you, Darin.

  125. Bob Wildman
    December 31, 2014

    What a nice New Year message. I intend to.


  126. Monte Trumbull
    January 5, 2015

    I so love your sense of humor (and honesty)! Best of luck in the new year David.


  127. Bob Wildman
    January 13, 2015

    David, you should know better than to photograph a mechanic not wearing a white shirt with a tie and suit coat. What kind of a working world do you think you live in. I am certain the head of the publisher wears oily boots and dirty jeans with a muscle shirt.

  128. Dyan Nemec
    February 4, 2015

    Hey David,

    I though you taught us how to add meaning to a picture. You make sure that the pictures has a place in a story or sequence of events. Also, you might say that a picture has meaning when it represents or presents to the viewer a certain mood.

    But what can I say, I also feel that somehow when you can see the textures presented through nature in the photograph such as in the petals of the flowers, or the wings of the butterfly, it also gives it meaning because the viewer could possibly realize that there is more to nature than just color and shape and to study the photograph closely they begin to see more. Whether it has meaning to anyone besides me or not I don’t know.


  129. Darin Reed
    March 24, 2015

    Congratulations! The best part is all the good that your images will do those non-profits for months and years to come. Sorry I couldn’t join you! – Darin

  130. Sandy Zelasko
    March 26, 2015

    Great workshop David! You and Brenda made the experience fun and full of opportunities. It feels like the team did a wonderful job filling in the shot list, ultimately boosting exposure for the Nature Conservancy and Sante Fe Audubon. Glad to be a part of it and hope to join you in Stika!

    • David
      March 28, 2015

      Thanks Sandy,
      And great to have you in the workshop. I am looking forward to the first edition of the Photographer’s Guide to San Diego!


  131. Brenda
    April 12, 2015

    Ok, Looks amazing!!! Sign me up. 🙂
    Wait, it IS amazing – and I can’t wait to be back up there.

  132. bob wildman
    April 26, 2015

    And I suspect you were on the ground as part of the foreground.

    • David
      April 28, 2015

      Hi Bob,
      I am often on the ground when I am photographing- sometimes it is even on purpose. Here’s a story for you. Twenty years ago one of the pros I thought with told a funny story of photographing tiny mushrooms in his front yard of his new home in North Carolina. Sprawled out to get ultra close and trying not to move he succeeded to get some stunning photos. Later that day, his wife was at a get acquainted neighborhood ladies coffee when she was approached with sympathy and concern. “Dear, if you need to talk or need any help with your husband we are here for you.” Inquiring what they were talking about the woman said “It’s okay dear, we saw him passed out on your lawn this morning. You have nothing to hide.” As the story was told, the neighbors never did believe the photography story. See you soon, Bob!

  133. Robert Stillman
    May 4, 2015

    This is a very useful post for giving a presentation. Another useful tool in giving a presentation is the guide by Dale Carnegie: Presentation Effectiveness: A Free Guide to Effective Public Speaking. This guide will definitely give you the tools you need in giving a presentation that is effective and something your audience will remember. You check out the guide here http://www.dalecarnegie.com/ebook/presentation-effectiveness-speak-more-effectively-guide/b/

  134. Bob Hamilton
    May 6, 2015

    Hi David,

    You certainly took your own advice for your presentation at Optic. I found yours to be the most memorable and engaging program in a series of interesting topics with excellent speakers. keep up the great work!

  135. Darin Reed
    May 14, 2015

    This is indeed, sad news. David, on your recommendation, I read this book a couple of years ago. It transformed my writing and has afforded me so much enjoyment of the creative writing process. I’ve written many articles for and have since become, the editor of my camera club newsletter. I look forward to creating my own online blog in the near future. I owe it all to you and William Zinnser. It’s amazing the impact a book can have on someone’s life and a fitting legacy for William, that through his book and his students, he continues to inspire wonderful literature.

    • David
      May 14, 2015

      Nicely said, Darin. thank you

  136. brenda
    June 8, 2015

    Why not TTL, with the flash at -1 to the camera exposure like we used to do? How does BFF compare to TTL when you want to set the camera exposure separately from the flash exposure?

    I just bought a new flash, cause I figure, heck if DAVID can use a flash, well….and then there is Jeff just back from Costa Rica with the nicely fill flashed frogs….. David, and flash – kinda blows the mind. What’s next, social media?????

    Anyway, very very nice little critter! Very cute. Love your eft. Hey, what’s your eft stop? Get it? eFt stop? ha ha ha. Pretty funny. Time to lay off the cold meds?

    And, the flashed image looks warmer than i would expect, so did you warm the final image in LR?

    Now, go find the 3 witches on the heath…”.boil, boil, toil and trouble….”


    • David
      June 8, 2015

      Flashes these days are set to be in fill flash mode- it is their default mode. Balanced fill flash is done by through the lens metering- the camera communicates with the flash and tells it when to shut off to get the proper result. This is how it has been for 20 years. Today all the new flashes have technology that is called iTTL or intelligent TTL or intelligent through the lens metering.This just means that there is wireless technology built in to the flash and camera. On the most expensive flashes you can dial in all kinds of numbers and control all kinds of other flashes wirelessly but in the end they all work the same as the least expensive flashes (which is what I have). So BFF uses TTL metering. You no longer have to set the camera exposure separately from the flash exposure. The camera reads the scene (the shadows actually) and pops the flash to lighten them up according to what you set on the auto compensation.

      On my Nikon SB500 flash there is no place to dial in anything- Nikon knows the camera controls the flash, I know it, you know it, what’s the point to pretend? So dial in -.7 on your auto compensation on your camera (by doing so am saying that I want the shadows to be ⅔ of a stop darker than the lit areas) and blast away. And by the way, you don’t need a diffuser on the flash because it is so close to the subject you get very diffused light. And no I didn’t do anything in LR. I’m that good 😉

  137. Deborah
    July 7, 2015

    I agree 100%!

    • David
      July 7, 2015

      You are a very wise and discerning woman!

  138. Brenda
    July 8, 2015

    If more would bare it, would you find it easier to bear it?

    • David
      July 8, 2015

      I think not for those who choose to bare or barely wear bare baring as a wearing bear.

  139. Dyan
    July 12, 2015

    I agree with you. My thinking anyway is why would anyone want to take a picture of themselves.

  140. Bob Wildman
    July 20, 2015

    Selfies are overbearing and so are the bear puns. Puns are fun. I just returned from the Canadian Rockies, Glacier NP and Mt Rushmore. So many of those selfies were taken with a camera on a stick. I hope they were able to get enough shutter speed to overcome camera motion.

    A hearty amen to your original comment!

  141. Bob Wildman
    July 22, 2015

    You did not invite me. Besides, I was in the Canadian Rockies!

    • David
      July 24, 2015

      Hi Bob,
      To everyone else it wasn’t a serious invitation. To you though, it was!!!!

  142. Karsten Qvist
    July 29, 2015

    Loved your talk David, very inspirational!

  143. Julia Washburn
    July 31, 2015

    Enjoyed this presentation David! Since Crossroads Vermont, I’ve been meaning to ask if you are familiar with David duChemin (davidduchemin.com) and craftandvision.com, his brainchild. Your topic is so important and not addressed yet in any of the ebooks offered through his Craft & Vision site. I feel confident it would be a fit having followed his work for a few couple of years; perhaps he’d entertain an ebook pitch? I’m sure you’ve many plates spinning, but you keep inferring a publishing disillusionment; I’m not convinced you’re finished with it yet and vice versa. This could be a current, fresh way to spread your passion to just the audience you seek.

    BTW, I took your advice and offered my photography services to our city magazine editor. “Why don’t you go see what you can get at this weekend’s Helena BBQ Butt Cook-off ?” he said. Don’t you love it?? Humble beginnings, stellar launch…call it whatever, but it was a perfect get-your-feet-wet start to who-knows-what-will-be. I will keep on. Thanks for your inspiration! So grateful for my workshop experience. Greetings to Ruth and Lisa!

  144. Brenda
    August 14, 2015


  145. Brenda
    August 14, 2015

    very beautiful

  146. Renee
    August 16, 2015

    The lighting that day was perfect! Nice shots.

  147. Peter Felsenthal
    August 16, 2015

    Wonderful pics. They ( the Salmon) emphasize the mystery in which we live. Reminds me of our local alewife.

  148. Walt Duvall
    August 19, 2015

    Nice images!

  149. Walt Duvall
    August 19, 2015

    I like your picture but another good picture would have been of you taking this pic. Maybe one of your attendees took such a picture…..

  150. Walt Duvall
    August 19, 2015

    I especially like the first and third picture. The sharp focused eyes draw you in to each picture.

  151. Darin Reed
    August 21, 2015

    Ha! I don’t know if your Smoking Walt…but you’re clearly smoking something! Actually, I kind of like the fish photo. If Monet had a stream filled with Salmon instead of lilies, it surely would have looked like this.

    • David
      August 22, 2015

      that’s pretty good company! Thanks Darin!
      Just crank up the saturation and vibrance and crank down the highlights and whites and then add a touch of negative clarity. Walt’s techniques are much more sophisticated and the results are much much better but it is fun to play around with some images.

  152. Wade Morgan
    August 27, 2015

    ALWAYS do what your “first mind” aka you heart, tells you to do at the moment. If you overthink it, you will probably end up doing the wrong thing! He asked for help and you did just that. Move on! LOL

    • David
      September 2, 2015

      I like that advice, thanks Wade.

  153. Joe Jansen
    October 7, 2015

    You hit many nails on many heads. Thanks for this.

  154. Renee
    October 15, 2015

    you still got a nice shot!

  155. Darin Reed
    October 27, 2015

    When photographing near streams I often hear a little voice in my head saying, “Dry Rocks Suck”. Is that your voice?

    • David
      November 14, 2015

      Hi Darin,
      Gee, aren’t I a tad more eloquent?

  156. Marjorie Lilienthal
    November 5, 2015

    Hello Brenda and David – I am still in mourning over the loss of all my photos. But so glad to see yours, capturing the beauty of all those locations. Am grateful to you both for all the instruction. I really think that I learned a lot, and am much more comfortable and confident with my camera.I have every hope of repeating the workshop next year, God willing.

    Wishing you all the best, Marjorie Lilienthal

    • David
      November 14, 2015

      Hi Marjorie,
      It will be a pleasure to have you along next year- for you, anywhere, anytime!

      Keep photographing, Marjorie,


  157. Rudy
    November 30, 2015

    Thanks for the quick and dirty David. I will be off to Cuba in February with a friendship delegation. I am sure I will use your quick and dirty tips to struggle my way through photographing people in their ordinary settings.

  158. Rex Keep
    December 25, 2015

    Hi David! Long time ! I was sitting here at home on this Christmas Day, recovering from last week’s knee replacement and decided to check in and see what I’ve been missing from my Nikon site. I came across your name and enjoyed your photos from “the farm”, “Vermont” and more. I’m still living in Edwards, Co., shooting and keeping up with my wife and BMHS Senior (son) and Junior (daughter). Do you get back here in Co. For any of your travels or workshops? 36 years here this past Sept. for me! Seems like 10 though! I’ve always loved your work and “crusades”!
    Hope you’re having a nice Holiday! Best of luck in the New Year!
    Rex Keep.

    • David
      December 26, 2015

      Hi REx
      I’m sitting in Minturn as I type! Hope your knee feels better very soon. Great to hear from you. C says you are still shooting for VA. I’m still wandering the woods and wilds mostly tilting at windmills. Seems wisdom is harder to sell than energy.


  159. Michelle
    December 25, 2015

    This is one of those share worthy stories.

  160. jamie bechtel
    January 2, 2016

    Lens envy, travel envy, talent envy… amazing shots DM.

    • David
      January 4, 2016

      Thanks Jamie!

  161. Walt Duvall
    January 8, 2016

    Good question, one that had not occurred to me since retiring Jan 2015. After giving some thought here are four goals I have put off over this past year:
    1) Try taking minimalist pictures of gauzy ocean waters
    2) Photographic and take time to appreciate our beautiful Northwest coast line from OR to WA
    3) Photograph inland along small seldom traveled roads.
    4) Daily wear my camera.

    That should keep me busy.

    • David
      January 27, 2016

      Hi Walt,
      Great list. On my recent trip to Africa there were a couple of days when I hardly photographed at all. I decided to just watch the animals – it was a wonderful way to marvel and not worry about the photography. There are lots of little traveled logging roads near you- some lead to hidden pockets of old-growth or beautiful streams and falls. I explored there in the 80’s but I’m sure it is the same now.


  162. Bob Wildman
    January 26, 2016

    Happy year, David.

    What looks like a Rube Goldberg ring flash would be great for capturing ifts. Just think how all those dollars would enable you to balance light and shadows while they are flitting around.

    All of that fancy gear would at least make me look like a good photographer.

    Chher and good depth of field,

    • David
      January 27, 2016

      Hi Bob!
      I don’t know about trying to capture the elusive ift but around here efts are pretty hard find. I’ve oft tried the aft view but ufta! I’ll stick to simple. It is all my little head can manage.


  163. Darin Reed
    January 27, 2016

    Better not tell Roger you’re throwing all this good stuff out. He’ll come by and tell you a hundred different things he could do with it all. Steady every tippy table on the farm with slides, light a barn with a projector, wrap his sandwiches in the protective sleeves to keep them fresh, label every cow so he knows which one is missing. The possibilities are endless!

    Yep…better keep this on the down low and enjoy your purge.

    • David
      January 30, 2016

      Hi Darin,
      I have been keeping him informed of my progress every morning and his face keeps getting more and more sour. Luckily he hasn’t seen any of my toss outs. A few years ago you could rummage through the big recycling bin and pull out all kinds of goodies. Roger and Trish have pulled out brand new blouses, great boxes, perfectly bluejeans, lumber- it is quite amazing. Even I have jumped into the bin and rummaged around a bit!
      These days though, the open bin has been replaced by a high tech compactor so rummaging has to be either very quick or work in a small flat place. Roger is currently trying to figure out how he can use the compactor to his advantage!

  164. David Griggs
    February 4, 2016

    Wow, I’m a big fan of your photography (and someday hope to take a workshop or two).. but this story just made me a big fan of you as a person ! Well done !!

  165. brenda
    February 4, 2016

    No, you won’t feel “like a teenager again”. You, my friend, will feel like a stoned geezer and be asleep by 6pm instead of 8pm. Welcome to reality! From 55 in WA where we do love our brownies. I would like some of whatever Bernie is smoking – that guy has energy to spare…..putting us all to shame.

    • David
      February 7, 2016

      I’d argue with you but I need a nap

  166. Bob Wildman
    February 9, 2016


    The upper image is so unlike you. What did you like in what you saw? Were you fascinated by all of the icy debris on the right? Does the stuff on the right make the dangling icicles look better or draw your attention to them. A longer lens for me would have helped to zero in on the danglers. Maybe you should have kept the 70-200. Would you have told me to crop the right and a little bit from the top?

    For the your next workshop I attend I will put present image for a critique.

    I know one of my ruts can be shooting close and being in love with my 70-200. The danglers with the blurring background is closer to what I expect of you.

    Thanks for you and Brenda being my photo A-team.

    I just completed shooting several hundred images for the child development center. What great fun. There was one group of 10 (+4 teachers) which was extremely active. Trying to keep eyes in focus and a relatively clean background was a real challenge. I had to be as hyperactive as the kids and left soaking with sweat. I had many culls, some great shots and a lot of fun.

    • David
      February 10, 2016

      Hey Bob!
      Where have you been? Boy, you’re a tough nut! And you also happen to be right. the problem is not the composition it is the light. When I got to the stream the sun came out so I did the best I could. I think if the light was flat you wouldn’t notice it as much and your attention would stay on the danglers. That being said I am going back to take the shot again. Those icicles are gone now from yesterday’s warm weather but this weekend it is supposed to get down to -15 so there should be lots more to play with.
      The other issue is that the geometry of the stream is such that it was really hard to find a good angle that didn’t required me to lie down in the stream. That sound like an excuse? It was. But I am going to bring a longer lens next time. I’ll post the new ones and wait for your comments. Thanks Bob!
      BTW- the Dorset Equine Rescue that we photographed for Crossroads Vermont last year has a brand new website and it is loaded with images that we all took. What a huge improvement and Jen and Connie are very, very happy.

  167. brenda
    February 16, 2016

    Bob, does that sound like our fearless leader is making excuses? Hmmmm…. you made me smile today. Big fat, ha ha ha smile.

  168. Bob Wildman
    February 16, 2016

    Much better, David.

    -18 plus the wind chill. You are one hardy soul. Life with dairy cows at that temp might be a good essay and photo project. Instead of milking does Roger do ice creaming?

    I did something away from the Crossroads script and learned from it. I am working on photos for the child development center. After trashing more than half, I put them on my laptop and took it to meet with director. I showed how to rank them in Lightroom and talked about her decisions as she picked what she liked. I got an even clearer idea of what she likes for the next time I shoot for them.

    Even if Brenda might disagree, you really are an OK guy.


    • David
      February 18, 2016

      that’s a good approach. At Crossroads we are finding out that if we give an organization 100 nice photos with 10 absolute killers there is very little chance that they will recognize the killers. Oh well. Your idea of getting their input is a great one.

  169. Bob Wildman
    February 16, 2016

    For some reason the frost patterns reminded me of the salt flat in Death Valley. Crystals ill be crystals, regardless of the temperature.

    Do you get frost flowers in Vermont with the first hard freeze?

    • David
      February 18, 2016

      It has been such a manic winter that we have any number of ‘first’ freezes. Yes there were frost flowers but with my iPhone I wasn’t able to get the pic. At the farm though the frost was so thick on the inside of the windows sills that it was 3″ tall! It looked like growths of coral growing on the hay. The barn isn’t so bad when it is really cold, the catch is that Roger can’t milk cows with gloves on so his hands get cold. When the wind is howling and its below zero and the rest of the world is buried under thick layers of covers Roger casually refers to the weather as ‘some fresh.’ Everyone is cold but so what? You still have chores to do so you just do them. Roger had two pairs of pants on, three pairs of socks and more old shirts than I could count. All of which I am sure weren’t actually his size. It’s not always this cold but it is always that entertaining.

  170. Bob Wildman
    February 21, 2016

    It is not me but gravitational waves that cause camera shake and blurry photos.

    Let’s categorize backing into car spaces with selfies.

  171. Rod Barbee
    March 7, 2016

    I just went through the same thing, though I didn’t have nearly as much old slides to toss as you. But I was able to reduce seven drawers in two four-drawer filing cabinets down to just one drawer. And a second round will reduce that even further.
    It was fun and liberating. And a little embarrassing to see what I’d been keeping around all these years.
    The best part was that I was able to get rid a one 4-drawer cabinet plus two 2-drawer cabinets. That leaves me a whole lot of extra room for stacking up other crap I probably don’t need.

    • David
      March 10, 2016

      I agree Rod. I kept thinking ‘Why did I keep this?” and “Did I really once think this was good?” Some files I barely looked at- ‘Clouds’, ‘Grass’ ‘Stupid ugly stuff’ – they went directly into the trash. the back end of this is trying to get rid of the file cabinets (2 down, 2 to go) and especially the old hanging files. I have a huge box of perfectly good, slightly used (sound like anyone you might know?) hanging files that nobody seems to want. I hate throwing them away so now they are piled up where my file cabinets were! And Rod, what are you going to do with your old light tables? Who would want a light table now? It’s like giving away a collection of 8-track tapes!

  172. Brenda
    March 28, 2016

    Dang, I really liked that one… the iceberg looooming over them……

  173. Daniel
    March 29, 2016

    Agreed regarding the iceberg looming. I think the corner/edge placement helps with that effect. My suggested tweak would have been to get some visual separation between the penguins and their background–if only you were ten feet taller!

    • David
      March 30, 2016

      I agree Daniel. I would like to be presented with the same situation again and see what I would do now. At least I am looking back and seeing improvements I could make instead of wondering how I did so well!

  174. Anna (White, Dorman) Strong
    April 13, 2016

    Hi David,
    Glad to see that you have updated your blog for a reply. As you know, I am Michelle’s mother, now remarried and living in Prescott, AZ! For the past 10 years I actually was able to live in Colorado, and three of those years were spent in Ouray County. I share your story about Michelle in various ways and I often refer others to this very page. What you experienced when you happened upon Michelle’s marker, and the lovely photographs that you shared with me, are some of my fondest memories. I have a Facebook page at Anna Harwood Strong, please feel free to check it out and look through my many photos. My profile picture is of me at the Colorado National Monument rejoicing in the beauty of nature. Even though I lost Michelle way too soon, my life has been one of joy and love and travel. As I approach my 68th birthday I can look back and see that Michelle was truly my greatest accomplishment. Her story, and yours, continue to inspire others. Thank you! Anna Strong

    • David
      April 14, 2016

      Hi Anna,
      So wonderful to hear from you! I’ve been thinking about Michelle lately- wondering if I could find her plaque again (I know I could) and how it would look. It probably needs a bit of a cleaning off, something I would be honored to do. I am going to try to get up there this summer and will of course let you know.
      Sometimes stories move through you, they are not yours to keep. Michelle’s story still lingers with me, I know she always will and her story remains strong in me. She (and you!) are one of the greatest gifts I have ever received- it is a story I am honored to pass along. I’ll stay in touch and pass along pics when I get up to Michelle’s world. d

  175. Mitchell Preston
    June 9, 2016

    I took your course in Maine in 1999 and grew to appreciate the fragile balance of nature. Photographing the same areas in time can be a sad event. Home movies of the blue waters of Conesus Lake NY in the sixties to a mud hole today. Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie pollution. Acid rain effects on Mount Mitchell NC. In the mid eighties I was involved in guitar lessons down in the Southern Tier of NY with a good friend and musician, Tai Chi master and lover of nature. We had a conversation about the environment and future of our planet. To my amazement he had very little worry about all of it. He simply stated “Don’t ever worry about Mother Earth, if she ever tires of us she’ll shake us off like so many fleas and repair herself.” He passed away the spring after I took your course while I was photographing down in Texas, on the gulf shores near Galveston. Watching medical waste settle along the beaches.

  176. Corey Hoppenrath
    June 30, 2016

    I really enjoyed photographing with Lisa at your place when I took a class with you. I learned a lot.

  177. Brenda Berry
    June 30, 2016

    I like the dark one a lot.

  178. Brenda Berry
    August 19, 2016

    You should send that image to Bob, I am sure he would love to have it.

  179. Brenda Berry
    August 26, 2016

    Ok, I know where to find you.

  180. Walter Duvall
    August 27, 2016

    When can you signup??

    • David
      September 8, 2016

      Hi Walt!
      I haven’t the faintest idea! All the sign-ups are through the Santa Fe Workshops and will be posted on their website. I expect you’ll be able to sign up early in the coming year. You would love it!!!


  181. Brenda Berry
    October 3, 2016

    Those are wonderful, and the trip was wonderful. Thanks for getting these shots. Great light, inside and out.

  182. Brenda Berry
    October 5, 2016

    More pics please 🙂
    What about your prime 20?
    What you are doing for those kids is wonderful. You are making a very tangible and positive difference in their lives. It’s going to be a pleasure to follow their progress.

  183. Marion Laws
    October 20, 2016

    The Dai Middleton I knew (Marion Laws – previously Marion Meakin) enjoyed photography. I’d love to hear from you, if this is you?

    • David
      November 15, 2016

      probably is me!

  184. Richard Ikenberry
    October 24, 2016

    Amazing story about Gideon ! It is difficult to imagine their stark environments. I have an opportunity to go to Uganda in May with a Samaritans Purse volunteer project. Have to decide soon.

    Our best to yo. Thanks for sharing.


  185. Richard Ikenberry
    October 24, 2016

    Do you accept contributions?

    Thought about Brenda when a friend and i went to Olympic in early July, and on to Cascades Hwy., and Mount Baker. We drove across Whidbey after ferry from Port Townsend.

    • David
      November 15, 2016

      Hi Richard,
      thanks for looking at my site. If you want more information about the program I am doing giving solar lights away check out my non-profit All About the Light. there is a link to AATL site at the bottom of my home page.