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I'm a Nature Photographer

Updates from Yellowstone and Death Valley ❄️ 🐺 🏜️ 🌼

Published 24 days agoΒ β€’Β 6 min read

Hello Reader,

We hope you're enjoying the winter season and finding opportunities to capture its beauty through your lens.

Currently, we're in Colorado, eagerly preparing for an upcoming journey to Death Valley. Our last visit in December left us awestruck, as the park's landscape was dramatically altered by historic floods in August. The floods revived Lake Manly in Badwater Basin, a rare sight that has yet to evaporate. On our explorations, we discovered unique salt formations, sculpted by windstorms, providing us with extraordinary foregrounds for our photographs.

An unexpected delight was the early bloom of wildflowers in December, a rarity in Death Valley, their fragrance permeating the air. Additionally, we encountered expansive new mud cracks, unlike anything we've seen before, stretching miles across the valley floor.

If you're planning a February visit to Death Valley and are interested in a personalized guide, please read on for more details – our availability is limited, and we're excited to share this experience with enthusiastic adventurers!

In early January, we led our Yellowstone Winter Expedition, an unforgettable adventure. The weather was spectacular, enhancing our clients' experiences as we explored the park in a private snowcoach and stayed in cozy yurts inside the park. The highlight was undoubtedly witnessing wolves against a pristine, snowy backdrop, framed by Yellowstone's iconic thermal features. For those interested in this unique experience, we have just ONE spot left for our 2025 expedition. Read on to learn more and secure your place quickly!

Warmly,
David and Jennifer

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Tips for Photographing in Extreme Cold

Fresh off the heels of our Yellowstone Winter Expedition, I thought there's no better time to share our tips for using your camera gear in extreme cold.

Your biggest enemy is going to be condensation. This develops when you take a very cold camera into the warmth of your vehicle or home. The dramatic change in temperature causes moisture to develop on the camera – not just on the outside, but potentially inside the camera and lens as well, which could be disastrous and lead to mold!

Preventing condensation is fairly simple. Before bringing your camera into a warm location, simply put it into your camera bag and zip it up. This allows your camera to warm up slowly, preventing a dramatic shift in temperature. Some people even place their camera in a plastic bag for added protection. I have photographed in conditions down to -40 degrees (-40Β°F is the same as -40Β°C!) and never had problems without a plastic bag.

Another related tip: when you're photographing and have your eye up to the viewfinder, try not to breathe. Your breath is full of moisture and will immediately fog up the viewfinder, and it can even create ice on your LCD. So, take a deep breath before shooting! The same applies to your lens. If there's a little snow on the front element that you want to remove, don't blow it off with your mouth unless you're going for a very foggy effect. Instead, use a rocket blower or lens cloth.

Finally, try to keep your camera batteries warm. Lithium batteries lose power much faster in the cold. Keep your spare batteries in a pocket close to your body to keep them warm. If you find yourself running low on power, try warming up one of your 'dead' batteries. Often, they're just cold and will still have a decent amount of charge left once warmed up.

~ David


Published in Elements Magazine

I'm excited to share that my "Perpetual Transformations" project, focusing on the mesmerizing salt flats of Death Valley, has once again been featured, this time in Elements Magazine. This digital publication is a fantastic resource for landscape photographers, and I'm honored to have my work showcased among its inspiring content.

~ David


2024 Workshop Opportunities

2024 has arrived! Why not make it a year filled with thrilling experiences and the growth of your creative vision? Join us for our transformative workshops and embark on a journey of artistic development and unforgettable moments.

Join Us In Death Valley This Month

We're heading to Death Valley soon and have some openings for private workshops – perfect for you and your friends! There’s never been a better time to explore Death Valley: the unique presence of water at Badwater Basin, vibrant flowers blooming across various areas, and extraordinary mud cracks like never before. After spending most of December in this mesmerizing landscape, we're eager to return and share its wonders with you. If you'll be in Death Valley in February and are interested in a private guided experience, please reach out. Our rates start at $1,000 per day for each participant, with discounts available for larger groups. Simply respond to this email to express your interest. Availability is limited, so act fast.


Yellowstone Winter Expedition 2025

Are you looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience? Our Yellowstone Winter Expedition is the perfect opportunity for those hearty souls willing to brave the cold! Unlike typical Yellowstone trips that focus on wildlife, we shift our attention to the stunning landscapes, although we welcome wildlife opportunities as they arise. This expedition offers the exceptionally unique experience of staying in yurts within the park for part of the journey. It's more than just a place to sleep – it's a magical experience you'll never forget. With only one spot remaining, you'll want to jump on this opportunity quickly!

See More of Our Photos From Yellowstone

David will be releasing a PDF eBook of over 50 images from our Yellowstone Winter trip this week. Be sure to subscribe to his photography specific newsletter to be notified of this new release.

Jennifer will also be releasing images soon, you can subscribe to her newsletter here.


Items of Interest

We're always on the lookout for new and exciting things to share with you; here's what we found this month:

​Welcoming Winter’s Dark Embrace: A Photographer’s Guide to Creative Exploration by Chrissy Donadi

Chrissy discusses the benefits of embracing winter's darkness as a nature photographer. Winter offers opportunities to capture unnoticed beauty, explore the senses, and practice minimalism. Winter also provides a personal "darkroom of creativity" for revisiting old photographs and experimenting with new editing skills. The author encourages photographers to step into the darkness and use it as a canvas for unique storytelling.

​What is Enough by Colleen Miniuk

In this talk, Colleen discusses the concept of "enough" and her personal journey towards understanding it. As a self-proclaimed recovering perfectionist, she shares how she pursued achievement after achievement, never feeling fulfilled. It wasn't until a life-changing experience in Lake Powell that she began to question societal expectations and her own assumptions. Colleen encourages photographers to adopt an autotelic approach, doing things for their own sake and finding joy in the process rather than constantly striving for a particular outcome. She emphasizes the importance of individual meaning and self-expression in photography.

​8 Ideas to Spark Your Creativity With Photography Projects by Mikko Lagerstedt

Starting a photography project can help channel creativity and lead to personal growth. Projects provide direction and purpose, allowing for exploration of specific subjects or themes, experimentation with techniques, and improvement of skills. Mikko provides eight project ideas covering different aspects of photography, such as exploring different genres and experimenting with lighting, composition, and post-processing techniques. The key to success is commitment, observation, and enjoying the process of discovery and learning.


Captivating Participant Images from Our Yellowstone Winter Expedition

I know, we can't stop talking about Yellowstone in the Winter, it's because we're so excited about it and had such a wonderful time!

Below, feast your eyes on some of the standout images from our participants.


Yellowstone Winter Workshop Testimonial

The winter workshop in Yellowstone was truly a unique experience and adventure that no other workshop offers. Being inside the park at the yurt camp gave us the advantage of being at locations much earlier and staying later than would have been possible had we travelled into and out of the park each day. The yurt camp was clean and cozy, and the hospitality of the staff was exceptional. David and Jennifer did an excellent job planning and coordinating with personnel at the camp, allowing us to concentrate on our photography and enjoy the experience of winter in Yellowstone.
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– Keith Lisk

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I'm a Nature Photographer

David Kingham of Exploring Exposure

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