Winter Shooting Tip: Protect Your Gear From Fogging

Hey, just a quick reminder now that winter cold has set in and it’s the season for winter pix of the family or from the chairlift.  Take some precautions for your camera and lenses.

Some don’t realize that when your camera and other equipment have been out in the cold for even just a few minutes (the colder it is, the less time it takes), it can get a lot colder than the air temp.  That’s due to a bunch of things like radiant heat loss, bouncing molecules, air movement, and other factors that aren’t important to understand.   But, the results are crucial.

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“Old Prairie Church” Wins Contest Award


I’m really jazzed!   My image of “The Old Prairie Church” has been awarded First Place winner in the annual Cowboys & Indians Magazine’s® photography contest for the Landscape category.  Pardon me for puffing up a little, OK?

The Old Prairie Church

The image that won the Landscape category is “The Old Prairie Church”.  The location is the historic Eaves Ranch just south of Santa Fe, New Mexico.  This working ranch has a section that was used for the filming of a number of movies and TV westerns, going back as far as “The Cheyenne Social Club.”

I was with a group from Moose Peterson’s Digital Landscape Workshop Series (check out Moose’s website at ), and we had combed the old movie set for “western” shots for our portfolios.  The afternoon had been filled with cowboys, horses and even the old jail.

It was late in the afternoon on a day that had threatened with rain (snow back in Santa Fe) and some wind.  Then, just before the sun dropped below the  Sangre de Cristo mountains, a break in the clouds gave way to a brilliant, low-angle lighting of the old church, back-dropped by spectacular clouds and ensuing sunset.  And for a brief few moments, the image before me spoke volumes about the lonely prairie, the single church that kept faith, and how beautiful the simplicities of older days are, even for those who might not be from the West.

Moose, thanks for the great opportunity to stand there and to grab what is already one of my favorite shots.

Cowboys, Indians, Award, Prairie, ChurchIf you’re not familiar with Cowboys & Indians Magazine, it is the premier magazine of the West, highlighting western and ranch life and the people and places that make up that special part the American West.  It typically features one cover personality that is prominent in western film, literature or history along with other articles and stories for those who have an appreciation of western lore, wildlife, scenery, architecture, music and even poetry.


But once each year, the focus is on some of the most interesting and high-quality photography of the West that can be found anywhere in one place.

I know,  I know, it sounds like I’m just spouting off about a publication that chose to give me a little recognition.

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Fall Colors in the Eastern Sierras

I can’t quite let go of the colors of Fall and the smell of Autumn woodsmoke, even though Winter has clearly set in, and Christmas is here.   What better time to go back a few weeks and bring up some of the results of my October trip to the Eastern Sierra.

No, the western states don’t have the same reds and purples, at least in terms of intensity, that New England and the Mid-Atlantic have.  Yet, the yellow brilliance of seas of Aspens mixed with the lingering green and silver of their trunks, contrasted against California’s snow-covered High Sierra mountain range, is a breathtaking site (and a playground for landscape photographers).  Talk about target-rich environments!  The Eastern Sierra,  although less heralded in most circles than its Colorado, Utah and other cousins, is a wonderful and relative easy place to find many colorful and interesting places to set up your tripods.

Start your planning for this location for about the third week of October.  Remember that Fall starts usually later at this latitude vs. the better known northern venues.  I picked October 21st this year, and I hit it absolutely perfectly.

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