The Case Against Adding Vibrance and Saturation During Editing

The Case Against Adding Vibrance and Saturation During the Editing Process;

Too Much of a Good Thing can be a Bad Thing


Lightroom is the editing tool that most Nature photographers use. I do about 90% of my editing in Lightroom.

Don’t lie to yourself.  We’ve all juiced up the colour a bit when editing photographs, at least occasionally.

The Basis for my Editing Judgement

When I started editing my photographs in photoshop almost two decades ago I quickly learned about the cool emotional impact I could create by increasing the saturation in an image.  I could use saturation during editing to subtly, or to not so subtly add to the emotional message I was trying to send to my viewers.  As a result I routinely added a bit of a punch to my photographs by boosting the saturation slightly.  Most photographers will agree that good control over saturation and contrast helps to produce beautiful photographs.  This was something that I learned early on in my photographic journey.

Photoshop is widely accepted as the image editing standard.  But, I developed workflow before Photoshop was widely accepted in the industry.  I spent hours upon hours printing in my own B&W darkroom, and occasionally at the colour darkroom in The Banff Centre for the Arts.  I was fortunate to have Don Lee from the Banff Centre to give me some feedback on my prints.  He gave me some much appreciated comments on my colour and contrast decisions.  I appreciate his patience he demonstrated while commenting on my early photographs.

I quickly learned that adding too much saturation and contrast in a landscape photograph can easily take away from the quality of the photograph overall.  A photograph can quickly be “killed” by overdoing it.

Objective and Critical Evaluation

I want to encourage photographers to take a neutral and artistic second second look at their images when judging how much saturation and vibrance to add, or not to add in their images.  Sometimes taking a bit of time away from editing your photos for a few hours, or days to “recalibrate their colour perception” does help.

Erroring a little on the conservative side and not adding enough saturation and vibrance is often better than moving these sliders too far to the right and adding too much. This is a good example of too much of a good thing is actually a bad thing.

HDR, a Powerful Editing Tool or a Recipe for Disaster,.. Yes, it is!

HDR is another technique that is often overused by landscape photographers.  Honestly some of the images I see out there on Facebook make me wonder what some photographers are thinking.  I try you be sympathetic and believe that maybe their monitors haven’t been calibrated.  This is often the case and can lead to poorly images.  The take home message that I think photographers should keep in mind when using HDR is to keep it real.  Stepping away from the image for a while to return to it later with a fresh perspective will help you become a better editor.

In summary I want to say that the saturation and vibrance tools, along with HDR, are essential and powerful editing tools.  And, I hope photographers will use them in a realistic way to help them to communicate emotionally through their art.

Posted in Editing, Emotional Communication, Ethics, Path of the Artist, Technical side of photography

The ILPA Weekly featuring Landscape Risk Taking to Spur Creativity!

The ILPA Landscape and Wildlife Weekly newsletter

Featuring Lake O’Hara and Risk Taking to Spur your Creativity

Click here to skip this summary and go directly to the newsletter

We have another beautiful lineup of wildlife and landscape photography articles in this week’s edition of the International landscape and Wildlife Photographers’ Weekly newsletter.

The ILPA Landscape and Wildlife Photography Weekly is out!

The Headline:

Kicking off this week in the headlines is an article about “Creativity Risk Taking in your Outdoor Photography to Spur your Creativity.”  This article is written from the perspective of a photographer working through a creative block.  I talk about how I’ve dealt with creative blocks in the past and emerged from them into another creative growth spurt.   The article suggests different ways to help you to break through the creative plateau that you might be bumping up against.  Any artist who has experienced the creative doldrums will identify with the strategies I employ when I am searching for inspiration to get me creating.

The Wildlife:

We also included a photo of a Pale Red-Shouldered Hawk from our ILPA Vice President in Seattle, WA, Rich Leighton.  Rich is a certified naturalist in the United States and has been a nature photographer for almost three decades.  He’s worth putting on your watch list if you haven’t already done so.

Moose Meadows in Banff National Park on sunny late Spring afternoon. ©

The Discovery experience and Risk Taking:

I have a treat for those of you finding yourselves thinking about visiting Banff National Park next weekend too.  I’ve been leading a popular quarterly Banff National Park Landscape Photography Tour now for about a decade.  June 4th is the date for the next day tour is this series.  You can register on eventbrite if you’re interested.  Or, you can read up on what the Banff National Park Landscape Photography Day Tour is all about on my website and then sign up if you’re still interested.  The longevity of this tour series is a testament of it’s value.  It was risk taking to start these tours out on my own.  But from ten years it’s been worth it!  And now I’ve lower the price of the tour to only $195 and including transportation and lunch!  This is a good deal!

I’ve included a link to a location profile for Opabin Plateau in Lake O’Hara as well this week.  Opabin plateau is the best landscape photography destination in Lake O’Hara.  So, I thought it would be nice to write about it this week.

Beautiful Opabin Plateau in Lake O’Hara

I bet most people reading this have heard of Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park.  Access to the most beautiful little Valley in the Rockies is tightly controlled.  A human quota for Lake O’Hara has been in place for over a decade now to minimize human impact in this small, sensitive, and very beautiful alpine environment.  If you’ve been there I’m sure that you’ll agree with me. on that point.

The Landscape Photography Trip of a Lifetime:

I’ve managed to secure space for a landscape photography tour based in Alpine Club of Canada hut in Lake O’Hara, Elizabeth Parker Hut, once again this year!  That’s seven years in a row.  And, I’ve managed to do it for the usual peak of the spectacular Fall Colour season once again.  I can’t believe how lucky I’ve been to win space in the hut in the lottery draw once again this year.  Tickets are on sale now for the all inclusive tour to likely the most beautiful little valley in the Rockies.  Come and enjoy the hiking, photography and beautiful freshly cooked meals on September 21-22, 2017.

And,… The ILPA Weekly Newsletter:

So this is meant as a brief introduction to this week’s edition of the ILPA Weekly.  There are a total of 28 interesting articles and blogs posts in this week’s edition.  I’ve also included 14 beautiful landscape and wildlife photographs with 5 great videos in the ILPA Weekly.  Feel free to sign up to the newsletter in the top right of this page.  Better yet, sign up with the subscription box in the newsletter itself.  I hope you like this week’s edition of the International landscape Photographers’ Landscape and Wildlife Photography Weekly newsletter!  And, after you get inspired by reading the newsletter, get yourself outside and get shooting!!



Posted in Business, ILPA weekly newsletters, International Landscape Photographers, Landscape Photo Locations, Social Media, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Creative Risks in Photography is the Doorway to New Artistic Growth

Taking Risks in Photography is the Doorway to Your New Creative Growth Spurt

Have you ever felt like you’ve been creatively stagnating as you butt your head up against the barriers of yet another creative plateau.  Have these barriers prevented you from realizing the full potential of your next artistic growth spurt?

Well, I’ve felt this way…

I’ve felt this way a few times in my 20 year plus professional landscape photography career.  Yeah, I started shooting professionally in my 20s.  I was kinda young.  

Overall, I’ve been through a few “creative blocks” during my career as a photographer.  But, what I’ve noticed each time I felt that I was in a creative rut may surprise you.  Furthermore, what I learned in 2012 as I bumped up against yet another creative plateau was that I need to get a little excited about my artistic future.  My excitement as I realized that I was in a creative bloc in 2012 may seem strange to most people.  But. it isn’t.  Let me explain.

Over the years I’ve learned that when I feel that I’m in a creative block I correspondingly realize that it is time for me to redefine what “being creative” means to me.  Let me illustrate my point using the somewhat deep creative block that I found myself in about 5 years ago as an example.


About five years ago I was on the cusp of leaving a solid career with a good income in another field to become a full time struggling photographer, again.  I had started my professional photography career in 1997.  Since then I have been an off and on again full time career photographer for a number of years enjoying a roughly 75% full time/25% part time split over the years since 1997.  However, in 2012 I decided to go full time again and have basically been a fulltime photographer ever since, interjected with a few brief forays into a few short contracts working for Banff National Park.

Photography is part of who I am

I can’t imagine “not” being a photographer

But, I’m digressing.  Let’s get back onto the topic of how I periodically wrestle with, and overcome, my own creative plateaus.

Breaking through barriers

In 2012 the crux of the problem that I was dealing with was that I felt I was just photographing the same old, same old, over, and over again.  I was producing nice landscape photography.  But, I didn’t feel like I was contributing to the advancement of the landscape photography industry, or even to my own personal creative growth.  It was time to for me shake things up a bit.

I remember very clearly sitting down in front of my computer struggling with the editing of another “nice” photograph.  I knew that the photograph I was editing had a lot of potential.  Also, I knew that I more to give emotionally to others through the final print, my art print.   I knew that I was going to be able to use it to effectively emotionally communicate to others.  This ability for artists to emotionally communication to others through their medium of choice is the common thread that all successful artists possess, outdoor landscape photographers included.

The Road to Happiness, colour version.  I felt that this was a nice photograph, but I also felt that it had more to say…  © 2012


Looking to my mentors for guidance

I turned my emotional search for the meaning of this photograph inwards reflecting on the feelings I wanted to communicate to the viewers.  I looked back towards the beginning of my self directed learning in photography.  Early on in my artistic development I studied who I think are some of the Greats in the industry.  I studied the photography of Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Galen Rowell and Courtney Milne.  And, one of the influential emotional communicators I have ever studied is Freeman Patterson.  The influence of my mentors collectively shaped the type of photographer I’ve become.

Back to the Basics

I thought about the beginnings of photography.  I thought about platinum printing.  My mind wandered back to the beautiful black and white darkroom that I had in Banff about 15 years ago.  I Thought about how the sweet smell of the chemicals stimulated my creative juices as I dodged, burned and with short aggressive flicks of my wrist.  Recalling how I used to agitated my traditional photographic prints to life in the developer bath makes my forearms tingle.  I lovingly remember the gentle rocking motion I used as I rocked the exposed but yet undeveloped print back and forth in the developer tray.

It’s enjoyable to think about some of my favourite negatives that I took with my Linhof Technica III 4×5 and my Calumet 8×10 view cameras.  As I learned to previsualize the final print I became a better photographer

In the darkroom I can see, and feel the traditional black and white prints that I produced in my darkroom.  As I write this now I can vividly remember the sweet smell of the fixer solution in my wet darkroom.  I used the fixer to wash the excess developer from the print improving it’s stability.  Ahhhh…  My senses are awash with loving memories from my “wet” darkroom days as I write this.

I can FEEL my creative juices flowing as I write these words…

And then,… it struck me.

It struck me that I could similarly use the computer to simulate the traditionally abstract and artistic photographic processes that I had previously used in my wet darkroom.  This connection seems kind of obvious to me now as I write this.  But, five years ago it took a bit of a different way of thinking for me to make that connection.  In essence, I feel free now as I realize that my creative growth seems boundless, albeit punctuated.

Using my 15 years of photoshop experience I adapted a selection of my darkroom skills to the digital world.  I creatively thought about how I could apply abstract digital editing techniques to produce a simulated Infrared photograph.  Furthermore, I drew upon my photoshop experience and let my feelings guide me through the artistic editing decisions.  Generally speaking, I used my feelings as my editing guide.

The Art

Instead of moving the cursor around the screen following a preconceived set of editing steps, I let go of control.  My emotions guided me to the next menu item in photoshop.  With intention I moved away from applying the cookbook recipe set of steps that I had grown accustom to using regularly when editing my photographs.  I cleared my mind of the preconceptions that I had of what the photo editing process should be.

I began to FEEL the photograph…

As I looked down at my keyboard and I swept my hands across the keys.  Secondly, I arched my mouse across my desk in broad sweeping strokes like a painter sweeps their brush across their canvass.  While looking at the colour version of the nice photograph, I dreamt about the possibilities.  I “thought sideways,” as Freeman Patterson would challenge his students to do in his teachings.  Then, I let go of control allowing myself to correspondingly feel my way through the editing process.  In summary, I cautiously kept the pure emotional message I held close to my heart intact, as I worked towards the final print.

The Creation

During this creative process I created the first digital infrared interpretation of an RGB colour image that I had ever seen.

I separated out the preconceived emotions that I had for the colour version of this scene.  After that, I was able to package a deeper emotional message into my creation.  My heart spoke about mystery, fear and peace, beauty, caring and love.  My new creation strives to create enough separation between the viewer and reality help them to open up emotionally too.  Altogether, this separation prepares the viewer to receive the emotionally message that I am intentionally sending in this new version of “The Road to Happiness.”

Do you feel what I felt when I captured this image?

The Road to Happiness. An RBG file converted to simulate a traditional Infrared photograph.  © 2012

I feel that this photograph is now complete.

 Never stop learning, seeing, feeling, and communicating.

Never. Stop. Growing.

Posted in Business, Emotional Communication, Path of the Artist, philosophy, Photography, Technical side of photography, The Business of Art Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Landscape Photography Location Profile for Opabin Plateau in Lake O’Hara

Opabin Plateau, Lake O’Hara:

Location Profile

Hungabee Lake in Lake O’Hara on the Opabin Plateau is surrounded by the beautiful colour of yellow alpine larch trees in the Fall.  This is an award winning photograph from the Professional Photographers of Canada 2013 National Print Competition.  ©

People who know me though my photography only might think that I have an obsessive compulsive disorder when it comes to the Lake O’Hara region in Yoho National Park.  I’m not sure how many times I’ve been to Lake O’Hara.  My first visit there was in 1998.  And, I’ve been back for close to 50 visits in total spanning every season over the years.  There are so many amazing landscape photography locations in this little valley.  It’s crazy beautiful in Lake O’Hara, and the Opabin Plateau is possibly the most beautiful part of the region.  I’m only going to talk about Opabin Plateau in this post too in an effort to stay focused.  I also hope to instill a bit of desire in you to visit there one day.

The Valley

Opabin Plateau in spectacular Lake O’Hara is likely the single best area in the region.  It’s about an 8-10 km hiking loop with about 250 meters of elevation gain and loss from the Le Relais Day Shelter where the bus drops off the day hikers.  The best time to go to Lake O’Hara is definitely in September during the peak of the yellow Alpine Larch trees.  These beautiful trees hug the rocky moraine at treeline surrounded by towering mountains and turquoise alpine lakes.

There are about a half a dozen small alpine lakes on Opabin Plateau.  Take your time exploring the area up there.  It’s taken a bit of work for you to get up to the plateau.  So, you might as well milk it for all of it’s beauty.  You can easily spend the day up there exploring the plateau and still want to come back for more.

Opabin Plateau in Lake O’Hara during the 2016 Lake O’Hara Fall Colours Landscape Photography Tour.  A stand of larches in peak colour on a beautiful snowy overcast day.  ©

The Lake O’Hara Landscape Photography Tour

On my Lake O’Hara landscape photography tour (tickets here) during the peak of the Fall colours, we will be sending a hiking party of photographers up there on both days.  There will be other concurrent photography hikes happening at the same time to Lake McArthur and around Lake O’Hara itself too.  The tour occurs on September 21-22, 2017.  This will be my 8th time hosting an all inclusive overnight landscape photography tour to Lake O’Hara.  I know the region very, very well.

The details of the Lake O’Hara landscape photography tour are here.  This is your chance to photograph the most scenic little valley in the Canadian Rockies from A landscape photographers perspective!  

The valley has a user quota system in place too.  It is very hard to gain access to the Valley because of it’s popularity and this quota system.  I’m happy to be able to arrange access for the 7th year in a row during the usual peak of the Fall colours up there.

The Hiking

The hiking trail system in the valley is incredible too.  The very well thought out trail system seems to reveal a world class landscape photography scene around every corner.  It’s a little difficult to pick and choose the best locations to photograph and not feel like you may have missed out on something better.  There are so many beautiful scenes to photograph on the Opabin Plateau.  But, I know how to string the best locations together on an efficient hiking route to make the best use of our time up there.

Hungabee Lake on the Opabin Plateau in Lake O’Hara. ©

Inspired yet?

I hope you’ve been inspired to visit Lake O’Hara either on your own, or with me this Fall during the Lake O’Hara Fall Colours Landscape Photography tour.  I truly believe that this is the most beautiful little valley in the Canadian Rockies.  And, I hope you get to see it one day.


Posted in Fall, Hidden gem locations, hiking, International Landscape Photographers, Landscape, Location Profile, Photography, Travel Photography, Waterfalls Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The ILPA Weekly Featuring Gimp and Takakkaw Falls is Published, May 19, 2017 Edition

The International Landscape Photographers’

Association’s Summary of:

The ILPA Weekly!

Takakkaw Falls in Yoho National Park. ©

Welcome to another great edition of The ILPA Weekly, the weekly newsletter from the International landscape Photographers’ association.  In this issue you’ll feel the energy we have for the coming summer as we headline a few great articles about the Canadian rockies including an opportunity to go on a reasonably priced Banff Landscape Photography Tour of the Rockies between Banff and Lake Louise.  There were only 5 tickets remaining for this popular tour too at the time of writing this post.  I hope to see you in Banff on June 4th!

The newsletter opens with a feature titled “How to Plan a landscape Shoot and Nail the Shot!”  In this article there are a few good tips on how to prepare yourself for a successful shoot of a scene that’s been on your hit list for a while.  Some of those classic photographs that you have yet to capture for yourself are included on the itinerary of the Banff Landscape Photography Tour also included in the newsletter.  Members of ILPA will get a $50.00 refund on their registration fee for this tour too.  those details are on the the tour description page.

Takakkaw Falls:

We found a great article for you written by a travelling landscape photographer highlighting some of the best locations to shoot in Yoho National Park.  The photo included in this post is Takakkaw falls.  This waterfall is one of the highlights of visiting Yoho National Park in terms of roadside scenery.  It’s also a highlight of visiting the Canadian Rockies too.  The waterfall is that impressive!  

I wrote a location profile for Takakkaw Falls giving you the inside scoop on where the best spot is to photograph the Falls.  I also include the best time of the year for peak water flow over the Falls.  The article even mentions the best time of the day when the angle of the Sun lights them up perfectly.  Takakkaw falls should be on your hit list during your visit to the Canadian Rockies, and it would help to read the location profile if it is!

Google… now in the Photobook Market?

Google is also flexing it’s muscle when it comes to the photobook market too.  I’ve included an article in there on how you can use their publishing engine to produce a photo book too.  The article states that you’ll be able to produce personalized softcover books for $10.  And, hardcover books are starting at just $20 too.  The face recognition technology Google uses can identify people in the photos too.  Whoa!  I think I just heard the book publishing industry collectively cringe.  I’m sorry for them, and feel their pain too.  

A friendly word of caution though before you start to use their book publishing service;  The photos you use in the book need to be uploaded to Google first.  Unfortunately, and that may relieve you of your copyright for your photographs in the process, as per Google’s uploading policy.

GIMP is Back!

Have you ever heard of GIMP?  That’s an acronym for GMU Image Manipulation Program.  This FREE EDITING PROGRAM is competition for Adobe’s software suite.  Gimp is definitely a basic photo editor compared to Lightroom and Photoshop.  But, it is an option for people just want to do basic image editing and don’t want to subscribe to Adobe’s monthly subscription model for photoshop.  Their new version fixes some bugs found in the previous version that caused tit to crash so often that the program was very frustrating to use.  Let’s hope that this latest version keeps this software up and running for good! Check out GIMP’s free download website if this editing option interests you.

In Summary:

We have lots of other great articles highlighted this week too.  take a look at the full version of the newsletter to see them all.  Also check out the location profile for Takakkaw Falls too if you’d like to add the photograph featured in this blog post to your hit list.  If you link the newsletter please subscribe to it in the top right of this page in the header, or use the subscribe button under the title in the newsletter itself.  Thank you for your continued interest in the ILPA Weekly and in the International landscape Photographers too!  Check out all my other photography events that I’m hosting for landscape and wildlife photographers too on my eventbrite page.


Have a great week!

Posted in Hidden gem locations, ILPA weekly newsletters, International Landscape Photographers, Landscape, Landscape Photo Locations, Location Profile, Photography, Social Media, Summer, Waterfalls Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Location Profile for Takakkaw Falls, Yoho National Park


Landscape Photography

Location Profile for Takakkaw Falls,

Yoho National Park


Takakkaw Falls in Yoho National Park in the Canadian Rockies.   showing the correct use of a circular polarizing filter in landscape photography.

I had talked about this location before in my post on how to use a circular polarizing filter correctly.  That article outlines the pros and cons of using a circular polarizer in landscape photography.  It really is an essential filter for landscape photography, and that blog post is a good read.

But, I want talk specifically about Takakkaw Falls in this article highlighting and how, where and when to photograph them.  I’m going to mention the problems with photographing at this location as well.


Problems with Landscape Photography at this Location:

1/  The access road from to the waterfall from the Trans Canada Highway opens early in July.  The access road is a nice scenic alpine road about 8 kms long to the waterfall.  The turn off for the waterfall in Yoho National Park is about 2 KM East of the town of Field, BC.  The road crosses a few significantly large avalanche paths on the way up to the waterfall.  The road is usually threatened by potential slides until early Summer.  For this reason, the road only opens to the public about a week after Canada Day, July 1st.

This may seem strange when you’re in the Rockies on Canada Day.  You’ll see that the Valley bottoms are already dry and warm with Summer well underway.  However, the main problem with the road is that the high mountain slopes above the access road hold a significant amount of snow until early summer.  Parks Canada will only open the road once they are sure the risk from avalanches is over for the Summer.

2/  It is very crowded around the waterfall in the middle of the day too.  This is a particularly difficult problem for landscape photographers searching for the perfect lighting on the Falls and on the cliff.  More on the right time of day to take the photo later.

3/  Lastly, the water flow over the falls slows down by early September.  This is when the glaciers above the waterfall start to freeze up again for the Winter.

The Best Time to Photograph Takakkaw Falls:

The photo above was taken during peak water flow and at the perfect time of day to capture side lighting on the cliffs.  The side lighting on the cliffs creates small areas of contrast which helps to bring out the texture in the Rock.  Earlier in the Day and the cliff and the waterfall is a black mass against a light sky.  Later in the afternoon the sun lights up the entire cliff face with front lighting and the texture is disappears.  The result is a flat somewhat monochromatic rock surface.

The best time of year to photograph this Waterfall is around noontime in mid to late July.  The waterflow at this time of year is a peak flow and the Sun around 11:30am is just starting to light up the rocky cliff.  You’ll also want to be there on a clear day.  The glacier and icefield is behind the waterfall, just out of view.  All this snow and ice tends to create a wetter local climate than in the larger surrounding landscape.  The weather is often cloudy or raining around the waterfall, when it is partly cloudy in the Town of Banff and Lake Louise.

If the forecast from the day is 60% of showers or great, I’d advise going somewhere else and saving this location for a clear, bluebird day instead.  Try to time your visit to Takakkaw Falls during a period of a strong high pressure system.  Also, time your visit to this location to start before lunch and finish in the early afternoon.  This will give you the best chance to have a nice sky with puffy clouds to fill the top third of your frame for your photograph.

Where to Photograph the Falls:

Park your car in the parking lot across the Kicking Horse River from the Falls.  Then, walk downstream towards the bridge.  Don’t cross this bridge and walk towards the base of the waterfall though.  Not yet anyway.  The best location from which to photograph the waterfall is on the same side of the river where you park.  It’s not across the river closer towards the base of the waterfall though.

When you walk down the paved pathway towards the bridge you’ll notice that the pathway continues downstream for a short distance past the bridge and up a small hill.  There is a viewpoint about 25m past the bridge and up this small hill.  This viewpoint is the best place from which to view of the waterfall.  I took the photograph in this blog post above from this lookout.  Be careful not to miss it and cross the bridge though. It is easy to miss because the power of the waterfall literally thumping your chest tends to draw you across the river.  It’s easy to get tunnel vision and cross the bridge heading towards the waterfall walking right past this viewpoint.

Want Help Photographing this, and other Beautiful Landscapes?

If you would like a photography guide to take you to the hotspots in the Canadian Rockies for landscape photography then please check out my tours to see if I’d be the right fit to be your photography guide.  


Take care!


Posted in Fall, Hidden gem locations, Landscape, Landscape Photo Locations, Location Profile, Photography, Summer, Travel Photography, Waterfalls Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

The ILPA Weekly Featuring Death Valley Night Sky Photography is Published, May 12, 2017 Edition

The International Landscape

Photographers’ Weekly newsletter featuring

Night Sky Photography is Published!

May 12, 2017 Edition


We have another pretty good issue of the International Landscape Photographers’ Weekly Newsletter, May 12, 2017 edition, prepared for you again this week.  I’m not kidding either.  Check it out!  We have a night sky photography story from Japan and much more.  This is a great issue.

night sky photography japan mount fuji geminid meteor shower

A Geminid Meteor over Mount Fuji, Japan, Dec., 2012  ©

In the headlines this week we have a location profile from our Vice President in Seattle on the Fall colours found in the Cascade Mountains.  He highlights the beautiful photographs he found around Snoqualmie Pass during one of his frequent landscape photography excursions to the area.  We also have an article about coastal grizzly bears from the popular website, “”.  This article outlines ten popular spots to photograph bears on the West Coast of British Columbia.  A coastal fishing grizzlies photography tour is definitely on my hit list.  

The article on coastal grizzly bears is a good planning resource for photographers planning a trip to photograph fishing coastal grizzlies.  I’ll see you photographing the famous fishing grizzlies of the BC West Coast soon.  This list is a good place to start narrowing down your tour choices too.  This info will go well with what I’ve learned from my first scouting trip out to Stewart, BC late last Summer too.  More on that later…

Banff National Park Day Tour on June 4, 2017

I’ve included a link to another edition of my popular Banff National Park Landscape Photography Day Tour too.  This is a fun and popular landscape photography day tour I’ve been hosting since 2007.  This tour presents good value and it usually sells out.  It’s popularity has grown steadily for good reason too.  Check out those reasons, and all the other tour details via the link in the title of this section.  And feel free to sign up for it if you would like me to show you Banff National Park, my home for the past 21 years.  I love photography, and I love showing other engaged photographers around my beautiful home.  I’m also available for private tours if you would like a more personalized trip, or can’t make it on one of the group tours.

Death Valley Video Tour with Night Sky Photography 

If you read the ILPA Weekly regularly then you’ll already know that I include about 4-6 videos each week in the newsletter.  This issue has 5 videos and one then in particular really stood out for mr as really good.  It’s a video tour of Death Valley, CA, as seen from a photographer’s perspective.

Death Valley National Park is simply amazing!  Kazue and I visited Death Valley a few years ago and spend a few night camping near the Mystique Sand Dunes.  Kazue and I explored most of the Valley on that trip.  After proofing the video to see if it was good enough to include in the newsletter, I suddenly have a craving to head back there again this winter.    This video is well worth watching.  It features a piece on night sky photography too!  And, if you do watch it, I’m sure that I’ll see you there next winter because you’re going to want to go there too!

Related to night sky photography in Death Valley is another headline that I wrote about how to photograph the night sky during the Geminid Meteor Shower in Japan.  This is a good story and a good ‘how to’ article on night sky  photography.  In the article I go over the equipment that you’ll need for night sky photography.  Then, I relate those tools, and how I used them, back to a trip I took to photograph the Geminids over Mount Fuji in Japan.  That was a trip to remember.  Ah, good times!

Closing;  A Sincere Thank You for your Continuing Interest in “The ILPA Weekly”

I want to wrap up this week’s ILPA Weekly summary post featuring night sky photography by saying how much I appreciate the continuing interest ILPA has received from the World Landscape Photography Community.  You may already know about the landscape and wildlife photography regional Facebook groups  that I administer for ILPA.  We launched them all over North America last year.  These groups have caught on very well and now we’ve added more groups in Europe and Australia.  I think that the attraction people have for them is that the underlying premise of the groups’ success.  This underlying premise of the groups is to connect landscape and wildlife photographers from all over the World.  They enables us to share and to help each other to get more out of our love for photography.  

On behalf of the ILPA Board of Advisors, I want to send out my thanks to each and everyone of you for your continuing interest in The ILPA Weekly newsletter and in the parent organization, the International Landscape Photographers.  If it wasn’t for your interest as seen by your personal feedback, I’m not sure we would produce this newsletter.  It’s a lot of work each week.  But, we believe it’s a beautiful periodical, and your feedback and the high subscriber rate shows that you do too.

Thank you for subscribing to, and reading the newsletter.

Sincerely yours,


Brian Merry

ILPA President and “The ILPA Weekly” Editor




Posted in Hidden gem locations, ILPA weekly newsletters, International Landscape Photographers, Japan, Landscape, Landscape Photo Locations, Location Profile, Night Sky, Photography, Social Media, Technical side of photography, Travel, Travel Photography, Wildlife, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to post Photos from your Computer Harddrive onto Instagram: The Workaround

How to Post Edited Photos from your Computer

onto your Instagram Account using Two Workarounds:

I had the hardest time figuring out how to post my nicely edited photographs in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop from my computer onto Instagram.  I could easily figure out how to snap a photo from my phone and then post it.  But, my phone photos aren’t what I want to post on my Instagram account.  I’m a full time landscape photographer and an iphone photo usually doesn’t send the right quality message out to my people on my Instagram Account.


Click through to view my Instagram account

I needed to figure out a way to upload my edited lightroom and photoshop photographs to my IG account.  However, you can’t post to IG directly from a computer.  It took me a bit to figure out a workaround this.  In fact, I figured out two workarounds for this problem.  I’ll share them both with you here.

The Email workaround:

First, edit your photograph using your preferred method on your computer, and then save a web resolution version to your harddrive.  Then compose an email to yourself attaching the edited photograph you just saved on your harddrive to the email.  Open the email on your phone and then save the image to your phone.  If you don’t already have the Instagram app installed onto your phone then install it now.  You’ll have to have the Instagram app installed on your phone before you follow the next steps.  

Once you have instagram installed on your phone open the app and then click the “+” icon on the bottom center of the app home screen.  Browse your saved photos on your phone and select the photo you want to post.  Hit next, and next again.  Presto!  Your photo is on IG!  You’ll notice that you’ll have the option to edit the photo on your phone before you finish the upload.  I’ve found this is useful for phone photos, but I found it detrimental to the photo if you’ve already edited it on your computer.

The Dropbox, or any other cloud storage workaround:

Make sure that you’ve already created a free dropbox account and have the free Dropbox app installed on your phone.  If you don’t have Dropbox installed on your phone then you’ll have to do that first through your app store.  Then, back on your computer save the web version of the photograph you previously saved on your harddrive in your dropbox folder.  Wait for the file to sync up to dropbox.  This shouldn’t take too long since your dealing with a web sized version of your photograph.

Now, Upload your Photo to Instagram:

Once the file is synced up to dropbox or any other cloud storage, like icloud or google drive, you can move over to your phone.  Open the dropbox app and save the photo you want to upload to IG onto your phone.  After it’s saved open the Instagram app on your phone and select the photo you want to upload to IG as per usual.  Presto!  You uploaded another computer software edited photo to Instagram.

Don’t forget the benefits of adding #hashtags to your IG posts!

Now, you can go back to all the photographs that you edited in the past and use this method to upload them to IG too.  In no time at all you’ll be looking like a pro on your IG account!

The ILPA Weekly:

If you found this article useful, then you might want to sign up to receive the International Landscape Photographers’ weekly newsletter.  You can sign up via the subscription box in the top right of this page.  You can also look at the latest issue of The ILPA Weekly first to see if you like it.  I publish lots of great curated articles written by many different pro photographers each week in this newsletter.  This newsletter is all about sharing the best of the best.  If you like landscape and wildlife photography, then you’ll probably like The ILPA Weekly!

If you found this article useful then follow me on FB, and/or follow the International landscape Photographers on FB too.

Have a great day!

Posted in Business, ILPA weekly newsletters, International Landscape Photographers, Photography, Social Media, Technical side of photography Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

The May 5, 2017 Edition of the ILPA Weekly Featuring the Business of Outdoor Photography is Published!

The ILPA Weekly Newsletter from the

International Landscape Photographers’ association,

the Business of Photography Edition for May 5, 2017 is Published!


Outdoor photography is an amazing creative outlet for so many people, myself included.  And I think it’s probably a necessary creative outlet for you too.

In this week’s issue of the International landscape Photographers’ association’s newsletter, The ILPA Weekly, we have another great lineup of articles that we found for you again this week.  The article lineup includes the 3rd and final part in the series on landscape photography couples.  This engaging series highlights three partners in love and in their photography business and how they balance their business and their relationship.  This series has been particularly interesting to me and Kazue since we operate our landscape photography business together too.

A beautiful Winter Day near Lake Louise in Banff National Park. ©

We have another business related article entitled “Erin Babnik on Going Pro: Making Landscape Photography your Business.”  She gives you her touching and heartfelt perspective as she opens up on the real world of Landscape photography.

Another article that made the headlines this week is an article titled “Landscape photography is the escape from the Rat Race.”  This author discusses their hectic life and how photography brings renewable to their soul.  I think a lot of us feel the same way.  Sometimes I like to just go for a drive with my camera for an afternoon to reconnect with Nature.  That’s not hard to do considering that my home is in Banff National Park.  Grounding myself in Nature helps me continue moving forward with a strong vision of where I’m going.  Photography is an essential part of who I am.  And, I’m grateful to have been practicing the craft professionally now for more than two decades.

“Photography is an essential part of who I am…”

I’ve also included a link to my next Banff National Park Landscape Photography day Tour.  It’s no secret that I’ve been calling Banff my home for almost half of my life.  And, I love sharing it with other photographers.  I’ve been hosting this tour professionally since I started in the business in 1997.  And, I honestly never tire of it.  I love my home, and I love sharing it with others too!

Now let’s jump over the border to the United States where Rich Leighton, our ILPA Vice President, lives.  Rich has a great short blog post about Falling Creek Falls in North Florida.  Rich lived in Florida for almost two decades before moving to his present home in the Pacific NorthWest.  This is where he now operates his very busy photography business, Leighton Imaging, in Tacoma, WA.  Rich is not only a good friend of mine from WAAAAY back, he’s also a multi-decade professional photographer and an accredited Professional Naturist.  Be sure to check him out!

I hope you enjoy reading this week’s issue of The ILPA Weekly.  It is loaded with 23 great articles that I’ve collected and written over the past week to share with you.  There’s also 3 cool videos and 13 beautiful landscape photographs that I decided to share with you from other amazing photographers from around the world.  If you like the newsletter then please take the time to subscribe to it in the top right corner of this page in the subscription box located in the header.  Don’t forget to also check out the parent organization that I write this newsletter for too, the International landscape Photographers’ association.


Have a great week everybody!



Posted in Business, ILPA weekly newsletters, International Landscape Photographers, Landscape, Photography, Spring, Technical side of photography, Travel, Travel Photography, Wildlife Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The April 28 2017 Edition of the ILPA Weekly Featuring Outdoor Photography is Published!


Welcome to another issue of the ILPA Weekly from the International Landscape Photographers’ association.  We’ve search the web all week for interesting wildlife and landscape photography articles to include in this issue of The Weekly for you.  We hope you like reading them as much as we finding them for you.

From the ILPA Vice President

Some of the lead headlines in the ILPA Weekly this week include a naturalist’s profile of one of Florida’s wild native orchids from Rich Leighton.  Rich’s name might sound familiar because Rich is the Vice President of the International Landscape Photographers’ association.  Rich and I have known each other for decades and our paths have crossed many times over the years from coast to coast.  Rich is an amazing Nature photographer and I encourage you to check out his website, Leighton Imaging.

Brian and Kazue Merry, the ILPA President and ILPA Secretary, crawling through the cave on the top of the 350M Takakkaw Falls Rock Climb.  Partners in love and in their Landscape Photography Business.

Outdoor Photography Couples

Another pretty interesting story we found this week to include in the ILPA Weekly is the First in a three part series of articles titled “Photography Couples – Combining Romance and Photography.”  This week features three very successful couples and how they balance their relation as they work in the field and manage their business together.  I’m particularly interested in this series since Kazue, my wife, and I are partners in our own photography business.  We’ve been successfully managing both pretty well as we work in our business, and both sit on the Board of Advisors for ILPA together.  We’ve successfully thrown the saying “Never mix Business with Pleasure” out the window.

The Banff National Park Landscape Photography Day Tour

Some of you reading this are almost certainly members of the International Landscape Photographers’ association already.  You may have heard about the Banff National Park Landscape Photography Day Tours I’ve been hosting since 2007 too.  You can register for the June 4th Banff day tour here.  Members of ILPA will receive a $50 refund on their registration for this tour.  ILPA members simply have to contact me after purchasing their ticket to receive the $50 refund.  This offer expires the day before the tour starts.  Sorry, but I can’t process your ILPA member refund for you on the day of the tour or later.  Eventbrite won’t let me refund you after the event has started.

I have a special bonus for you too even if you’re not a member of ILPA.  Make sure you use the discount code “BanffRocks2017” when you register for the Banff Day Tour.  When you use this discount code during registration you’ll receive an additional $20 off of your ticket price.  That works out to a total of $70 in savings just for being a member of ILPA and reading this blog and the ILPA Weekly!  These discounts will bring the cost of the Banff day tour down to just $125.  This is an incredible price for a day tour of Banff National Park.  I think everyone with a Dslr or mirrorless camera can afford that!

I hope to see you in Banff on June 4th, 2017 for the photography tour!!


Click here to go directly to the ILPA Weekly to Read It!

Posted in Banff, ILPA weekly newsletters, International Landscape Photographers, Landscape, Photography, Wildlife Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,