Through The Lens 45 – Mail Pouch Memories

Mail Pouch Memories

Sometimes you’re in the right place at the right time. Last fall, I was on my way from Cass, WV to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and happened to drive by this Mail Pouch Barn on a beautiful foggy morning. The owner graciously allowed me to photograph the barn. These roadside treasures of America’s past are disappearing quickly. When you see one, make sure to stop and photograph it because it may not be there the next time.

Through The Lens 44 – Main Street Electrical Parade

Since the Main Street Electrical Parade ended it’s run at Walt Disney World last weekend, I thought it would be appropriate to share one of my favorite photos of the parade. A couple of years ago, I rented a fisheye lens to capture the parade as it moved through Town Square and all the way up to the Hub in the Magic Kingdom. After talking about photography for a few minutes, a kind family offered to trade spots with me so I could have the center spot on the upper level of the train station. Sometimes it helps to be lucky.

Through The Lens 43 – Cass Fall Photography Workshop

Its that time of year again. Tomorrow I’ll be attending the Cass Photography Workshop for the third year in a row. Even though I’m arriving a little late due to a prior commitment, I’m looking forward to seeing what Walter and Clayton have in store for us this year.

Book Review – Treasured Lands: A Photographic Odyssey Through America’s National Parks

The National Parks are some of America’s greatest treasures and photography has always played an important part in their history. Photos of Yosemite by Carleton E. Watkins and Yellowstone by William Henry Jackson helped convince Congress to preserve the earliest parks and it was photography that helped gain support to create the National Park Service in 1916. Now, in time for the Park Service’s 100th Anniversary, photographer Q.T. Luong has published a book showcasing the beauty of all 59 National Parks:  Treasured Lands: A Photographic Odyssey Through America’s National Parks

I first became aware of Mr. Luong’s work while watching Ken Burn’s documentary, The National Parks – America’s Best Idea in 2009 where Mr. Luong was introduced as the first photographer to capture all 58 (at that time) National Parks with a large format camera. He is now close to completing a second trip through all 59!  Since seeing the documentary, Mr. Luong’s work has served as an inspiration for my own quest to visit and photograph the parks and it is an incredible privilege to have been invited to review a pre-production copy of his latest book.

Treasured Lands: A Photographic Odyssey Through America’s National Parks is the culmination of a decades long odyssey to capture the beauty of the the parks utilizing large format cameras in the tradition of Ansel Adams and the early photographers of the parks.  The result is an absolutely stunning 500+ image, 456 page masterpiece (If you don’t believe me, sample pages are available here).  Along with an introduction to each park and technical information (size, location, number of annual visits), a map and location notes are included for each photo as well.

Whether you’re a photographer or a fan of our National Parks, you’ll want a copy of this book in your collection.  I know my copy will serve as inspiration for many years to come.

The book is available directly from the author (autographed and limited edition copies are available) at and from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Note:  A 15% discount using coupon code PRELAUNCH is available on orders placed directly with the author prior to October 1st, 2016.

Through The Lens 40 – Antietam National Battlefield

Tomorrow is the 154th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, so I thought a shot I took a couple of years ago of the 20th New York Monument would be appropriate.

Note: Due to technical difficulties user error this posted late.

Through The Lens 39 – Hangman’s Trestle

Sunrise at Hangman’s Trestle on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad. Legend has it that a locomotive was commandeered from the Antonito Colorado Yard and used to transport a Mr. Ferguson to the trestle, the first suitable structure from which he could be hanged for an unknown capital crime. Nobody knows if that really happened or not, but what we do know is that the trestle makes a great location to photograph a locomotive at sunrise. Next month I’ll be visiting the Cumbres and Toltec again, but will be attending a charter that focuses on the west end of the line, closer to Chama, New Mexico.

Note: Due to technical difficulties user error this posted late.

Through The Lens 38 – Domino Sugars

Domino Sugars

Domino Sugars is a Baltimore icon. While some of the other famous brands have moved out of town its nice that Domino is still part of the city.  All that red neon makes for a good blue hour subject too.

Sorry for the unannounced absence. I decided to take the month of August off.  I’ll do a better job of announcing any breaks in the future.

Note: Due to technical difficulties user error this posted late.

Through The Lens 37 – Fireworks!

Ever wondered what 709 seconds of fireworks looks like?  Here’s all of Illuminations from center stage at EPCOT in one shot.  Not perfect, but not bad for a first try.  Looking forward to trying it again later this year.