2014 Gift Guide the Discerning Photographer



Every year I try to create a Christmas Gift List that I think my readers might enjoy. It started out as a list of things I had that I thought others should have as well. But it has since morphed into both a list of things I can vouch for and things I am putting on my own wish list. I wanted to get this out before the notorious “Black Friday”. For those of you that are not American, this is the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday and it has proven to be the biggest shopping day of the entire year.  I think I gave you a real variety – but no fedoras or pipes this year. Sorry. I did manage to add a bow tie , though . They are in general price categories from the most costly to the least. This way if you have a budget you know where to look at a glance. So without further to-do here is my list.


christmas-divider- Continue reading

Marco Pierre White and Greatness


Recently I watch an episode of Master Chef Australia that featured Chef Marco White. This is Master Chef Australia  not US. I have always been amazed at the kind but gentle guidance that the chef Gary Mehigan, chef George Calombaris and food critic Matt Preston give each participants. Often  Master Chef Australia has celebrity chefs come to teach and inspire the contestants. This last episode featured Marco Pierre White. I have heard many people compare him to Hell’s Kitchen’s Gordon Ramsay. But there is no comparison, White discovered Ramsay and I would venture to say Ramsay patterned his gruff evil demeanor after White. Continue reading

Photography Tour of Bhutan 2015

Taktshang Monastery

Taktshang Monastery

All photos by Robert van Koesveld

Photography Tour of Bhutan  18 September – 2 October 2015

Leaders Matt Brandon, Robert van Koesveld and Libby Lloyd. Suitable for all levels of adventurous photographers & travelers.


Twice I have been able to shoot with Robert van Koesveld in extreme locations.  The first time was on the overland trip from Lhasa to Kathmandu, the second was last month in Ladakh, India and each time I was amazed at both his patience with people and his ability to draw people out in a conversation. This last trip to Ladakh Robert was joined by his wife Libby Lloyd. Robert and Libby are experts on Bhutan and it’s culture and thus quite knowlegable about Buddhism as well – always handy while traveling in Ladakh. You can’t travel with these two without hearing of their many travels to the mystical land of Bhutan. In fact they have published a gorgeous book on Bhutan titled, Bhutan Heartland. If you have ever travel with me you know Bhutan has been on my bucket list for sometime. So it is with great excitement that I announce the Photography Tour of Bhutan 2015 co-lead with  Robert van Koesveld & Libby Lloyd. Continue reading

Hipstamatic’s New TinType App Rocks

Ladakh boy

Ladakh boy – photographed by Mike Alexander on the Ladakh 2014 Workshop.


Screenshot 2014-10-23 14.38.41 Screenshot 2014-10-23 15.20.06


I have been a huge fan of tin type photography since, well… forever. In fact my very first Depth of Field wasn’t a podcast it was a written post on Robb Kendrick and his use of tin type in the 21 century on assignment with the National Geographic Magazine. So it is no wonder that when I got an email today from Hipstamatic informing me they have a new app called TinType that takes your iPhone photos and does it’s digital magic on them and make them the closest thing to a real tin type you can find digitally. The App is ¢.99 in the US App Store and if you like this kind of effect, it is well worth it. Continue reading

A Big Thank You



What a crazy few days. We have been riding the speeding train called the 5 Day Deal. Of course as a reader here you are well aware of that. It is over and life can now get back to normal. The sales of the 5 Day Deal bundle  earned four fortunate charities over $200,000! Seriously. How exciting is that?  As an affiliate, I was in line to make a tidy little profit off of each sale as well. But I was inspired by my good buddy Gavin Gough who was giving away all his profits from this sale to his charity SeedLight. What a quick and easy way to raise funds so I followed suite. All my earnings went towards my young non-profit, On Field Media Project. Affiliates are asked not to share the amount of their earnings, so let me just say we replenished our piggy bank. One of the biggest helps came from our friends over at FujiRumors.com. Patrick blogged and posted on his social media about what I was doing and encouraged his readers to support the effort. So a big thank you goes to him and the readers of FujiRumors.


Top 10 Reason *Not* to buy the 5 Day Deal



There are a lot of reasons I can tell you why to buy this photography deal. But I want to give you 10 of the top reasons why NOT to buy it. Here we go…

  1. This bundle makes learning too easy and enjoyable. Let’s face it, you’ve always enjoyed a struggle.
  2. 95% off just isn’t good enough of a saving for you.
  3. You have all your shopping done for Christmas.
  4. You are saving up your money to buy a Game of Thrones Iron Throne for $30,000.
  5. Because $89 USD is equivalent to 1,081,795  Indonesian rupiah and that means you’re a millionaire. And you didn’t get to be a millionaire by spending your money!
  6.  70 plus  hours of training video is too practical. You rather spend that amount of time watching cat videos on YouTube.
  7. You want to be able to slap yourself on the forehead and utter a “d’oh!” like Homer Simpson when you realize it is too late to purchased this bundle.
  8. There is not enough material in this bundle to help you with your photography. Yeah ’cause 23 contributing photographers and companies, with a total of 42 products, all different from the previous bundle isn’t enough.
  9. Success always scares you. You don’t want to grow in your photography. You know that if you buy this bundle you risk the high probability that you will get much better at your craft and you like being where you are.
  10. You don’t like helping charities. Over the past four and a half days the associates of the 5 Day Deal have raised over $160,000. and this bothers you for some reason.


Let’s be serious for a moment. None of these are good reasons. The fact is you want to grow in your skill as a photographer, that’s part of why you read this  blog and others like it. I could list numerous reasons to buy this bundle but frankly I just don’t have time because the sale ends today. In fact it ends in:



So let me conclude with these few facts.

  1. There are 6 products in the bundle that are worth over $89
  2. The average product price in the bundle is just under $50
  3. There are 42 different products included in the bundle
  4. Over 70 hours of video training is included in the bundle
  5. There are 5 different products that teach about lighting techniques
  6. All of my personal proceeds from this sale are being donated to the On Field Media Project. A charity that teaches other non-profits how to tell their story through photography, video and social media.


It’s your call, the Iron Throne or $2,000 worth of photographic resources for $89 and help several charities at the same time.



$2,000 Worth of Photography Tools for $89… Really!

Blog Post Image – 600 x 500

This is not a joke. This is one of the best deals in photography since.. well since ever. Seriously, this is not one of those events where some site is selling a piece of software that is on sale more than it is full price. $2,000 is the real value of this offer. Not only is it financially a great deal – it is product produced from the industry’s best. When I say the industry’s best I mean names like Darlene Hildebrandt, Zach Arias, Gavin Gough, Alex Aoloskov, Lindsay Adler, Trey Ratcliff, Nicole S. Young and more. Check out the list below of resources offered in the bundle.

But there is a catch to this deal. It is limited to 5 days. That’s right, you have 5 days to purchase (check out the timer)! So don’t wait too long.

As a reader of this blog, I have never asked you to support me financially. But I am, today. If you purchase this amazing bundle through the link here or in my social media links, you will be supporting the On Field Media Project. When you purchase this deal, as an affiliate, I receive a commission. I will give 100% of that commission to the On Field Media Project. OFMP is the charity that I started last year. We teach non-profits how to tell their story through photography, video and social media. But you are not just supporting OFMP, $8.95 will be donated to one of four charities of your choice. You can choose from Flashes of Hope, Mercy Ships, Camp Smile-A-Mile or Bethel.


This Deal Expires on





    • Advanced Techniques in Liquid and Splash Hi-Speed Photography

      Alex Aoloskov


    • Birds Through the Lens

      Juan Pons


    • Designing an Image

      Lindsay Adler


    • Midnight In Paris

      Trey Ratcliff


    • Take the Mystery Out of Lighting

      Joel Grimes


    • Mask it Like a Pro

      Klaus Herrman


    • The Photographer’s Post-Production

      Gavin Gough


    • Compositing Bundle

      Jaime Ibarra


    • Portrait Lighting on Location – your guide to using natural light and off-camera flash

      Darlene Hildebrandt


    • One Light 2.0

      Zach Arias


    • The Created Image Video Series Vol.1

      David duChemin


    • 10 Common Photography Mistakes (and how to fix them)

      James Brandon


    • Photoshop for Photographers + My Full 2014 Workflow Bundle

      Serge Ramelli


    $1,386.92 CATEGORY TOTAL


      David duChemin


    • Chasing the Look

      David duChemin


    • Drawing the Eye

      David duChemin


    • Light and Process – Landscape Photography

      Nicole S. Young


    • Time Is On Your Side ebook and Preset Bundle

      Scott Wyden


    • Absorbing Light

      Scott Wyden


    • Mastering Photography

      Andrew S. Gibson


    • Mastering Lightroom: Book One – The Library Module

      Andrew S. Gibson


    • Mastering Lightroom: Book Two – The Develop Module

      Andrew S. Gibson


    • Mastering Lightroom Book Three: Black & White

      Andrew S. Gibson


    • Bokeh – Creating Shallow Depth of Field

      Christopher O’Donnell


    • The Golden Hours and Exposure Blending

      Christopher O’Donnell


    • Tack Sharp: A Step By Step Guide To Nailing Focus (3rd Edition)

      James Brandon


    • Fashion Posing Guide

      Lindsay Adler


    • There’s No Excuse For Bad iPhone Photography

      Joseph Linaschke


    • Vision is Better 1, 2, 3

      David duChemin


    $235.59 CATEGORY TOTAL

    • Great Eight Preset Bundle

      Nicole S. Young


    • 5D Mark III Viewfinder Mockup Tool

      Martin Bailey


    • Amanda Diaz Product Bundle

      Amanda Diaz


    • Lightroom Develop Presets

      David duChemin


    • 25 Lightroom Fashion Presets 2014

      Lindsay Adler


    • Lucca Textures

      Lindsay Adler


    • JD Texture Pack Bundle 1-4

      Jessica Drossin


    • Stormy Skies Lightroom Presets

      James Brandon


    • Starry Nights Lightroom Presets

      James Brandon


    $299.94 CATEGORY TOTAL

    • ReMask

      Topaz Labs


    • 30 Days Free Trial of Lynda.com



    $107.49 CATEGORY TOTAL


Ladakh Photo Trek Part 3


f/9, 1/280 sec, at 18.8mm, 200 ISO, on a X-T1

Nubra Valley is being developed with guest houses and luxury tent accommodation. It is a good idea to visit it sooner rather than later.


After the official workshop ended, as often, we offered an extension on the trip. The planned extension was to Srinagar Kashmir and the surrounding valley But as you might know the Kashmir region was faced with unprecedented flooding and there was no way we would be able to lead a workshop in such surroundings. So Piet, Alou and I had to put our heads together in a hurry and come up with an alternative for Kashmir. The obvious choice became the one we went with: the amazing Nubra Valley. Continue reading