The Photographer's Toolbox

Tools are things that help us accomplish a task. They can be physical objects like a carpenter's hammer, or intangible things like the skills and knowledge the carpenter has acquired over decades of building things.

When it comes to photography, many people think the only tool that is involved is the camera but that's just the beginning. Experience, knowledge and skill are also necessary in this craft. Anyone may be able to get a decent — or even great — shot every now and then, but it is with skill and understanding that a photographer can become proficient at finding great images regularly and predictably. This is critical to the kind of work that I do, as I often don't have a lot of time in any one place and I need to put all of my previous experiences to work in order to make the most out of the opportunity before me.

While I am ever more certain that I don't have all the answers, I want to use this space to share some of the things I've learned over the years. Nothing beats experience, but I have also learned much over the span of my career from others: reading their books and articles or chatting in person over a beer. These exchanges have always been valuable to me and I hope that some of what I write here is valuable to you.

The Plan

This section of my site will grow with time. I have plans for a series of articles, and some that will be expanded into e-books and traditional books. For now, I'll start with an article about what many people seem to want to knowwhat's in my bag? Keep checking back for more articles in the future as I continue to expand this section of my site to become more of a resource for those interested not only in the business of travel photography, but also for those who just want to take better photos.

Workshops and Teaching

Over the past few years I have led sessions on a number of topics. If you would like to talk to me about leading a class or workshop for your group, drop me an email and I'll get back to you as quickly as possible. Here is a partial list of sessions I've led in the past:

Travel Photography: First presented at the University of Kansas, this is a general overview of travel photography, what it ecompasses and how it can be a career. Variations of this presentation can fit general audiences interested only in travel and exotic destinations.

Travel Photography Workflow: This is always a popular topic for photographers of all levels and especially travel photographers. I've given this talk several times both solo and as a part of a panel. I cover how I prepare for a trip, what I take with me, keeping images safe while in the field, and what happens once I return home as Iadd my images to my ongoing catalog and deliver them to my various stock agencies or publications, as the case may be.

Handy Gadgets for Traveling Light: First presented in Egypt to the Freelance Council of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). Directed at practising photographers and/or writers who also take photos, this presentation focuses on how to be prepared for nearly any situation without traveling with 500 lbs of gear.

Getting Started in Video Podcasting: First presented to SATW's Freelance Council in Fiji, this is a first-person account of my own experience in transitioning from still photographer to videographer. Also covered are some options for getting your videos online or delivering them as a video podcast.

Specific Destinations: I can easily present talks on any of the many destinations I've shot, or combine destinations in to a regional or theme-centered presentation -- UNESCO sites, architecture, food around the world, etc.




Articles -
What's in My Bag?
Workflow: Trip Prep
Workflow: On Location
Workflow: Post-Processing

Actions -
Photoshop Actions (coming soon)

Presets -
Lightroom Presets (coming soon)