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Posts tagged ‘photography’


New “Photo of the Week” image is now live on the website!

Goldenrod and Mount Washington at Sunset

This week I choose an image from my latest trip to the White Mountains in New Hampshire, enjoy!

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Maple Decay

Maple Decay


While exploring the banks of the Ammonoosuc River below Mount Washington in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, I noticed a bunch of fallen leaves in a small pool of water. Upon closer inspection I was delighted to find a single maple leaf that had fallen from the canopy above mixed in with the oily decay of organic matter. As i moved around the pool of water, the oily sheen began to pick up and reflect the blue sky above. The color contrast was too wonderful to pass up. I used my Nikon 70-200mm with a 1.4 tele-convertor to frame the leaf. I choose a daylight balance to retail the cool blue reflection and used LIVE VIEW for critical focusing to make sure the entire image was sharp from edge to edge. 


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Harrison Wright Falls, Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania

Harrison Wright Falls

Harrison Wright Falls, 125 seconds at f16, raw capture

From last weeks waterfall hike in the Glens Natural Area, Ricketts Glen State Park, PA. The water levels were exceptionally low and although I did the entire circuit hike I was only inspired to shoot a total of 3 compositions. Either way I am pretty happy with my keepers!

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NEW eBook, Crafting Compelling Compositions just released!

My 64 page PDF eBook contains full color photographs, informative text, photo tips, captions and loads of inspiration. This is your guide to the art and technique of compositions that will WOW the viewer!!

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Back Packing to the Summit of Old Rag Mountain, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.

This past week I sumitted Old Rag Mountain and spent the night up top with friend and fellow photographer Chris Kayler.  This is not the first time I have done this hike to the summit of Old Rag, but was in fact the first time for me to sleep on the summit. In fact, this hike is featured in my book 50 Amazing Things You Must See and Do in the Greater D.C. Area: The Ultimate Outdoor Adventure Guide . In hopes of getting away from the record high temps and humidity crippling the DC area, we picked a day that forecasted a cold front moving in across the mountains in hopes of cooler temps in the mountains and the chance of thunderstorms at or near sunset.  

We started the hike in the afternoon and quickly realized just how hot and humid it still was!  With the temp hovering around 90 degrees and the humidity at 85%, we knew we were in for a long and hot haul up the trail!  As soon as I hoisted my 45 pound pack filled with camera gear, sleeping bag and pad, overnight food, rain gear and 5 liters of water for an overnight on a dry summit, we quickly hit the road on the 1/2 mile approach to the actual trailhead. By the time we arrived, I was already drenched in sweat and decided to take a did in the swimming hole along the river to cool off before tackling the upward climb towards the ridge and the approach to the summit proper.  

Chris Rock Hopping on the Ridge

After about 2 mile of an upward climb through the sweltering heat of the forest, we arrived at the summit ridge and were greeted with the most refreshing breeze sweeping from west to east across the ridge line. It was just what the doctor ordered! In contrast to the cooler temps and great vies now comes the most challenging section of the hike, a .9 mile summit approach across a boulder strewn ridge that involves constant rock hopping, over hand climbing, bouldering, chimneying and in a few spots crawling on your hands and knees through rock cuts and small caves. This is usually a pretty moderate climb with a day pack or just camera gear, but add-on an 45 pound overnight pack and it becomes strenuous and in some cases very difficult. Below are a few shots I snapped of our climb across the ridge towards the summit.  

Chris bouldering his way through the rocks

Chris in one of the small caves below the false summit

 We arrived on the summit of the mountain after a long and exhausting 2 hour climb across the ridge and were greeted with an afternoon thunderstorm raging across the mountains and huge thunder heads to the east. It rained but briefly over the summit followed by strong 30 to 40 mile an hour winds. We had some nice although brief light at sunset. I found a nice composition of a jumble of car sized boulders on the summit with dramatic sunset skies and painted light at sunset. After the light faded, we settled down into a rock depression of the summit for a quick diner of freeze-dried Chili Mac and then a long night under the stars. Myself or Chris did not get much sleep over night due to the constant battering of the wind sweeping across the summit. I awoke around 3am and spent the rest of the night until civil twilight watching shooting stars and the constellations track across the night sky. 

Boulders on the Summit at sunset

Moon set and summit rocks at Civil Twilight

Sunrise over the Appalachians from the summit

After a great sunrise session and feeling really exhausted from lack of sleep and a hard climb the day before, we settled back down at our camp for some calories and bit of caffeine before packing the gear and tackling the summit ridge back down into the woods. The temps were pleasant that morning and we arrived back to the trailhead parking a little before noon.  It was a great little adventure and yielded some new images for me! All in all, a great time in the back country of the mountains. 

Morning at camp on the summit of Old Rag


Lupine meadow at sunset, Gunnison National Forest, Colorado

Hinterlands Explosion

I found this wonderful meadow of blooming Lupine up Gothic road north of the quirky ski town of Mount Crested Butte. The monsoon was a little weak on this afternoon, but the clouds happened to hang around until sunset providing me with some great shapes and nice color. I used an ultra wide-angle lens getting in close to the most profuse blooms and framed in the spectacular sky waiting until the color in the clouds reached its peak before tripping the shutter.

See more of my Colorado images in the Mountain Magic gallery on my website.


North Window frames Turret Arch at sunrise, Arches National Park, Utah.

Window on the West

I got lucky on this shot of Turret Arch framed through North Window in Arches National Park. This iconic location is a tough spot to come away with original compositions, but with a little personal vision and a helping hand from Mother Nature anything is possible. First of all, the classic shot is a horizontal composition with north Window filling the frame and Turret Arch in the center. Add in some bold first morning light and you’ve got yourself the classic icon shot. For me, I pre visualized a vertical comp going way wide and a prayed for some interesting clouds above. To my delight,  the cloud shape formed a perfect V pushing the eye back down into the image and refocusing the viewers attention on the main subject,  Turret Arch framed by North Window. I also included a bit more of the bottom of the arch as well to create a sweeping C curve formed by North Window.


Behind the Rocks bathed in sunset light under the La Sal Mountains from Poision Spider Mesa, Moab, Utah

Fins on Fire

 I made this image on the last night of another epic western trip to Colorado to shoot wildflowers and monsoon light and then a brief foray into Moab to work some desert light before heading back. On this fateful eve, myself and fellow photographers Alex Mody and Chris Kayler took Alex’s tricked out 4×4 monster FJ up onto Poison Spider Mesa to shoot this not so iconic location from a spot about 2/3 of the way up the mesa. The trail was rough and involved some serious rock crawling and super technical 4×4 maneuvering to get to our intended spot. Arriving with a couple of hours to spare before sunset, we decided to venture onward and upward towards the top of the mesa. The road continued to deteriorate, but we landed safely on top with no problem, or so we thought!!

As we turned around at the top of the loop and began back down on flat and smooth packed dirt, we felt the truck buckle and bounce on the driver side. Thinking at first we had hit a rock or were perhaps dragging something, Alex stopped the truck to inspect. To our horror  the axle had snapped at the joint and the tire was buckled under the front of the car. Now that was an OH SHIT moment for sure! With no other options, we put on our backs what we could carry and began the long 5 mile walk down the mesa to the trail head where my Element was parked. Not being able to get to our original shooting location in time, I settled for a telephoto comp as the light broke and bathed the fins of Behind the Rocks in glowing red light for only moments before the sun disappeared once again behind monsoon clouds on the western horizon. As we made our way down the trail in the gathering darkness, I was struck by the unconditional beauty and unforgiving nature of the desert and just how lucky we were to have broken down on this evening in the the land of burning rock and big sky.


New Portfolio “Hinterlands” added to the website!

Dillon Pinnacles

I have been working on a new portfolio entitled “Hinterlands” inspired by my travels and adventures in the vast wide open wilds of the US. 12 new images just added (most from my travels this summer in Colorado).

Explore the Hinterlands


Notes from the field: Shrine Pass Sunset

You can now read my latest instalment of Notes from the field on my website!

 Click here to read more and view images from last nights sunset on Shrine Pass!