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Chicago Food and Travel Photographer

Yosemite 2017

 


My past photo adventures have taken me all over the world. I actually began this photographic journey to capture the beauty in the world we live in. That is what drives me to travel and drives me to dedicate my time an energy to create these images. 

A trip like Yosemite is amazing but requires a lot of planning and extra gear. I’ll be working with a photographer that has been shooting in Yosemite Valley for over 35 years so I expect to come home with some amazing images.

Historically I've planned a trip and then and showed the world my images months later. But this trip is a little bit different. I didn't realize the amount of gear I would need to undertake a trip of this size. Most of the time my travels take me to somewhat urban locations or locations not far from the modern amenities we have become accustom to. Although I'm not camping on this trip, it did require more resources and planning that I originally expected. 

Due to the higher cost of the trip I wanted to find a way to involve my audience to help fund the project while providing value to everyone. At first I considered a Go Fund Me project but I quickly realized that this didn't provide the value I wanted to you (my audience). I quickly pivoted to the idea of selling discounted prints. This will allow you to help me fund this project while receiving a print at a heavily discounted price. You have been so great to me in the past with supporting my business and I want to find a way we can work together to fund more art from around the world. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your past support and I hope you will consider helping me fund this project!

Below are a few of the common questions that I anticipate you will have when considering participating. 

 

But What if you don’t like any of the images from Yosemite?


I'm working with a guide that has been photographing Yosemite for over 35 years so I expect to come back with some amazing images. But If you don’t like anything I create from Yosemite I’d be more than happy to make a print of any of my portfolio images as a replacement. 

I really like your work but I don’t need/want a print.  How can I get involved?


I get it. I’m running out of space on my walls and will need to clear some room for this next wave of images too. Consider buying me a cup of coffee for the road and you’ll also be in the loop of seeing all the pre-released work. 

If you are interested in helping me fund this trip click the link below and it will take you to the donation page. I'll have all the new images ready for the holiday season so if you are planning on giving one as a gift I can assure you it will be ready by early December. Thanks again for all your support!

Pricing
20x30 Paper Print - $125 (Normally $250)
12x18 Paper Print - $50 (Normally $150)
Cup of Coffee - $5

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Napa Valley Sunrise Photography

I recently vacationed in beautiful Napa Valley, California, where I enjoyed plenty of wine tasting, and more importantly, capturing the scenery in photos. My last trip to Napa this past spring was a whirlwind trip that left me with only a few quick photo opportunities between vineyard visits; this time I had four full days to drag myself out of bed each morning to shoot - and the lack of sleep was well worth it! Not shockingly, the pure beauty of Napa Valley gave me just enough energy to get up each morning to take photos.

 

 

We stayed near downtown Napa which gave me easy access to the entire valley. Our rental house had an impressive, picturesque view which I knew would be my first shoot, but I still had to figure out where else I was going to shoot.  As we explored the valley I bookmarked each location that looked perfect for a sunrise shot and kept a tally on my phone. GPS makes for a great photo shoot assistant.

 

I'm in the process of buying a roller bag to accommodate all of my gear.  In the meantime I've been packing up my Lowepro AW250 with as much as I can, which forces me to choose favorite lenses as I can't fit my Nikon 28-70 f2.8 , Nikon 80-200 f2.8 and my wide angle in the bag at the same time. I opted to bring my wide angle lens and my Nikon 28-70 f2.8 this time, which proved to work out. There were times I would have liked to have my Nikon 80-200 f2.8, but that's life. The moral of the story: stop being cheap and get a rolling bag!

 

Anyway, back to the adventure..... Day 1 and I'm up (amazingly) at 5:00 am. The sun is not up and I realized I made a slight miscalculation. Due to the mountain range the sun doesn't peak above the mountains until after sunrise. Luckily, the extra 20 minutes gave me time to make sure all the settings were ready to go on my Nikon D800, which I had forgotten being my first time shooting HDR since I got my D800. Settings... Check. Now it was time to play around with my new Lee Filter Set and my 0.9 ND Grad. Looks like I needed that extra time anyway.

 

In a place like Napa Valley you can't help but feel like one with nature as you are surrounded by this lush intense beauty. As the sun started to approach the mountain line I just sat there admiring the whole process in awe and of coursing shooting the whole time.

Later that day we headed out on our wine tour.  We wound our way from vineyard to vineyard and stopped at some old and new favorites: Silver Oak , Inglenook, Beaulieu Vineyard and Palmaz Winery - bookmarking of course along the way.

Day 2 was definitely harder to get out of bed than Day 1, but today I had car keys and was ready to travel. I explored the north area of the valley, near Yountville and got some great morning shots. It's hard to look for locations while driving but luckily there aren't many people on the road at that time. Shooting in Napa is pretty amazing but it can also be a challenge since the light I prefer lasts only about 25 minutes this time of year.

The final two days I made my way over to the Domain Carneros area and explored the surrounding miles. Unfortunately, there was one location that I wanted to shoot but didn't have time to go to. Pride Mountain is breathtaking from what I hear so I was a little disappointing that I didn't get to see it or shoot any pictures. Judging from the shots I got and what will end up going in my portfolio I'd say this was a very successful trip. Now that I'm home I wish I was back; I see how people fall in love with California and never come home. I'll just have to hang some of my sunrise shots in my condo to remind me of those early morning adventures...

Adventures in Napa Valley

I recently had the pleasure of traveling to Napa Valley and San Francisco for a week and I was extremely impressed with the beautiful scenery, amazing food, and wine.  One of my favorite vineyards on our tour was Beaulieu Vineyard and Provenance Vineyard.  Jeff and the crew at Beaulieu were superb hosts and their wine is top notch.  He did a great job of educating our group on what to look for in good wine and a twirl that could make a sommelier nervous.  Provenance also had amazing wine and plush grounds to match.

 

 

During our entire trip mother nature was very cooperative - we had almost no rain and several days of bright blue skies. One morning in Napa I managed to get up at dawn and get a few shots of the sunrise over the mountains.  It was an amazing experience and one that I will never forget. Every picture and view has mountainous back drops and plush rolling hills.  This was my first trip to the valley but I'm already planning a trip back.

After Napa Valley we headed back to San Francisco taking the "scenic route" with stops at Muir Woods and Muir Beach.  At Muir Beach we discovered a path that led up the mountain to a picturesque view of the beach and coastline.  The over 30 minute trek was well worth it.  And of course no trip to San Francisco is complete without a taste of some of its great restaurants - one of our favorites was lunch at Delarosa for pizza and Italian tapas.