Monday, December 16, 2013

Announcing Hawaii Photography Tours!


I'm pleased to announce that beginning in March of 2014 I will be leading photography tours on the incredible Big Island of Hawaii. Joining me will be renowned Kauai-based landscape photographer Aaron Feinberg.  Together, we will take you on a photographic journey like no other. We will visit every corner of the island, including places that few other tours go to.

Sick of this insanely cold winter yet?  Needing some adventure to spice things up? Looking to get some world-class photos?  Well, stop looking!  This photography tour will cure all that ails you. :)

Click HERE to to get the details.

Until next time, thanks as always for reading.  And bundle up out there! ^_^



THIS. (My front yard in Minneapolis.)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sweetpea and me.

Sometimes in life you come across people who are special.  People who have an aura about them. You know the type:  they always command attention when they enter a room, always look fantastic, are successful and always have lots of friends and things going on.

Back in high school, I knew this guy Eric. My friends and I called him the Golden Boy. He had natural good looks, perfect grades, the attention of throngs of girls, and always did well at anything he tried. It would've been downright annoying if he wasn't such a nice, cool guy. But he was. The awesome times I had with him are too numerous to count.

A few months ago, I was at a friend's birthday party when I ran into another Special Person. She had a small, unintentional entourage around her. I say unintentional because I could tell she hadn't arranged for it to be that way, it just was that way. The way she looked and carried herself made me stop and stare -- beauty and confidence command anyone's attention.

Eventually, after what seemed like a fortnight, she and I got around to chatting. I learned the following things about her, in order of importance:  1. She's not single. (Dammit.) 2. Her name is Tawnya Konobeck. 3. She performs all over the US as an incredible burlesque dancer named Sweetpea.  

A few days later, we connected via Facebook and I learned that she works with a lot of photographers and is very photogenic. I told her that if she ever wanted to work together, I'd be game. She replied in the affirmative and invited me to an event she was hosting later that week. I went with a friend and we were both BLOWN AWAY.

Seriously, I knew she would be good, but she was beyond good. It was a Saturday night show at a popular club in downtown Minneapolis and the place was packed. When she took the stage, my friend and I exchanged astonished looks. "That's the gal you were telling me about?" my friend asked. All I could do is nod and grin.

The next day, I wrote her again and pretty much demanded that we shoot together, and soon. After seeing her on stage, I just knew we could make some very strong images. Long story short:  she agreed and we did.

Below are some images from our first couple of shoots. We have more shoots planned, so check my Facebook page for updates. And, if you haven't LIKED my FB page or Sweetpea's FB page yet, please do! Every little bit helps. ^_^

P.S. Yes, I still have lots of good ol' nature images coming down the pipeline. I'll be shooting in the southwest US the entire month of November with my good friend and world renowned landscape photographer Marc Adamus. Stay tuned and take care.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Treasure Hunting in the Minnesota Woods

As a kid growing up in southern Minnesota, I had two things in abundance:  close proximity to the woods and a vivid imagination.  I took advantage of both.

I made forts to protect me from the bad guys that I just knew were out there, searching for me with clearly nefarious intentions. I climbed trees to survey the land in case anyone was in distress and needed the assistance of a skinny, nine-year-old, self-proclaimed Master Of The Woods.  I skipped rocks on the river, practicing up for that big rock-skipping-contest that I was certain would happen any day now in the ravine behind my house.  Sometimes, things got heated and I had no choice but to take matters into my own hands, shooting the bad guys -- who bore an uncanny resemblance to glass bottles -- with my slingshot, grinning ear to ear when the bad guys smashed nicely into little pieces.  And, it goes without saying that I regularly searched for and found hidden treasures scattered throughout the woods.

This, of course, should not come as a surprise.  Any self-respecting kid simply knows that there is treasure in the woods.  It's just a matter of finding it.  Which was always an adrenaline rush because, for me at least, the treasure was actually real.  

Every spring, my family would grab some pillow cases, hit the woods and hunt for marvelous Morel mushrooms.  Morels are an easily identifiable, edible delight that can be found in the woods across the entire Midwest, New England and parts of the South.  Fried in butter, they are a tasty treat indeed.

Even better than the eating was the finding.  There's just something about tromping through the woods, knowing that just around the bend might be a treasure trove of goodies waiting to be found.  Or not.  Sometimes, we'd spend an entire day scouring the countryside and not find a thing.  Other days, it seemed we'd see Morels everywhere we looked.  Regardless, it was the thrill of the hunt that kept us addicted.  Much like how a slot machine keeps you playing with the promise that the next pull might be the jackpot, the woods keeps you hunting for that next delicious score.

Just over a week ago, for the first time in over twenty years, I decided to fuel my addiction once more and entered the woods just outside my hometown of Mankato, Minnesota. This time, I had a Morel virgin with me and I really wanted a successful hunt so that she would understand what all the fuss was about.  Literally within three minutes we struck gold.  There, like a diamond in the rough, was a cluster of three Morels poking through the leaves.  For the next hour, we weren't treasure hunters, we were treasure finders.

And another Morel mushroom addict was born. ^_^

Marvelous Morel Mushrooms
(Click HERE for larger version.)

Mushroom Hunter
(Click HERE for original version.)

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Wind, water, waves... and yoga.

During my stay at Kalani as the Artist-In-Residence, one of the things they assigned me with was making images of people doing yoga.  Kalani is renowned for their yoga, both for their many excellent instructors and for the wide variety of yoga styles that they teach.  As such, they wanted dynamic image of people practicing the craft.

While scouting, I found an area on the coast where the waves regularly slammed hard into the rocks, shooting high into the air.  The power of it was astounding!  Thinking that it would be a perfect spot to bond with nature and practice yoga, I set about creating an image of someone practicing yoga with the thundering waves as a backdrop.  After many days conceptualizing and then shooting, I came away with some great images.

Below are a couple images from the yoga shoots.  The first one was shot in the afternoon, and the next one was shot at sunrise the very next morning.  As you can see, the wind completely died during the night allowing for a perfectly still tidepool complete with reflections.  The end result are two images with similar concepts, but very different outcomes.  I want to give a shout out to my friend Lynn for posing for these shots for me.  She was very patient and resilient -- standing still for hours while being pummeled by high winds and waves is not easy.

I will have more images from the trip posted soon.  Until then, take care!



Thursday, February 28, 2013

Time for a teaser.

Aloha!  After an incredible month, my time here in Hawaii is coming to an end.  To say I've gotten some great shots here would be an understatement.  This has been one of the most productive trips I've ever had, both professionally and personally.

Next month, once I've had time to edit them, I will have more images from the trip to show you.  For now, I have a little teaser image for you.  It's an image from my first lava shoot.  Witnessing the ocean and lava battle it out was awe-inspiring.  It truly was.

Until next time, Mahalo.

"Creation Meets Destruction"
Click HERE for large version.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I found Hawaii hidden under my couch.

Ever found money hidden away in an old pants pocket or book?  Or under the couch cushions?  A hidden treasure you did not expect!  Awesome, right?  I know the feeling.

Earlier today, in preparation for my trip to Hawaii tomorrow, I went through some of my decade-old Hawaiian images and found a couple keepers that I hadn't noticed before.  I'll call them my Images From Under The Couch.

As I'm quite busy today, I'm going to keep this photoblog post short.  Suffice it to say that next month, I should have a bounty of tropical images for you to get you through the rest of the winter.  Until then, take care.  And keep warm! ^_^

A Long Way Down
(Click HERE for large version.)

Sunbathing Seaturtle
(Click HERE for large version.)

Monday, December 31, 2012

Some sick photos from a sick photographer.

adj. sick-er, sick-est

     1.  In poor health.
               He was sick all day with the flu.

     2.  Mentally unstable, disturbed.
     3.  In bad taste.
               That's a sick joke.

     4.  Having an urge to vomit.
     5.  (slang)  Very good, excellent, awesome.
               This photograph is sick!

Happy New Year from the Caribbean!

I sure as hell hope that 2013 goes a lot better for me than 2012 is ending. I've recently come down with Dengue Fever, a mosquito-borne illness that's sort of like the flu on steroids.  I'm not a doctor, but my personal opinion of this tropical malady is this:  IT SUCKS ASS. On top of the physical symptoms, the psychological horror of being cooped up while it's beautiful outside is a veritable hell.  Ugh.

Venting aside, I do actually have some new photographic sweetness to demonstrate. Last month, I entered the prestigious Ocean Views Photo Contest. It's an annual contest focusing on all things ocean related, from wildlife, to weather, to recreation. I entered almost 50 images, many of which you've seen here before. There were, however, some images from the Caribbean I entered that have never seen the "light of day" here, so I thought I'd share them with you. None of them have titles, but I wrote a small description below each.

That does it for this entry and for 2012 as a whole.  As always, thanks for your continued readership.  Wish me luck in the contest.  And Happy New Year!

Bachelor party hijinks.

The sun rises in the wee hours of an all-night beach party.

A man floats lazily in a rain shower.

One of many boats in the annual Christmas Boat Parade.

People relax on a yacht at Buck Island National Monument.