June Newsletter: Photography Resources

 In Newsletter

For this month’s newsletter, I want to write about some photography resources that I like. I typically don’t make these types of recommendations, because I’m a bit old school and some of these resources are older and haven’t been updated for the digital age, and some won’t be updated because the author/photographer has passed away. But, at my last Lake Superior photography workshop, a student asked for a list and it occurred to me that because people learn differently, a list of resources could be a good thing. You’ll find the photography resource list below.

May Recap

I read somewhere that as we age, time seems to speed up. One idea that the researchers tested was whether or not new experiences could slow down the apparent speed of time. And they found that when you experience lots of newness, time does seem to slow down. I must not have experience much newness in May, because the month went by so quickly that I don’t even remember it. Or…

…it could have been because it was snowy and cold all through the month of May in the northland until Memorial Day Weekend. On that weekend, the weather switched and winter became summer.

In May, I visited Cascade River State Park countless times on my own, during workshop and during private photography workshops. Here are a selection of images from Cascade River (click to see it larger):

Upcoming Workshops

I still have space left in my upcoming kayak photography workshop. This will be the last year for this workshop, so if you want to photograph Lake Superior’s north shore by kayak, this would be a great way to do it.

Fall will be here soon, so it’s time to start thinking about fall workshops. My most popular fall workshop in my 5-day Lake Superior fall photography workshop. I have 5 spaces left. More info at the link below.

Late fall and early winter workshops are also starting to fill in. The Gales Workshop is a fun one, especially if we get the gales. I plan the workshop on the statistically stormiest weekend of the year, which gives us the best chance of seeing Gitche Gumee showing off its explosive nature. The Badlands workshop is a new one for this year and is planned around the full moon. You will come away with amazing otherworldly photos on this workshop.

Fun Testimony

I just got this email from a student who took one of my classes and wanted to share it, because it’s really exciting!

I have continued to keep my hand off the “automatic” sports setting and play with the Av settings instead, including under the challenging conditions on Saturday at the Section 7AA track meet. I was pressed for time so did not use Lightroom unfortunately which probably would have resulted in better image transfer/translation to the web without as much loss in quality/color adjustment, but sent in a few of my pics to the Duluth News Tribune at Melody’s suggestion (as we sat reviewing the photos while soaking wet with the heat cranked in the car on the way home!) – the DNT used two of my pics in their online and print editions, and yesterday had shared my night shot of the relays in the rain on their Facebook page.

Without the knowledge I gained from your photography workshop, I know I could not have captured these moments!

Thanks again,


Here’s a link to the online version of the story: Prep report: Thomsen adds discus to section titles

Photography Resources

The following photography resources are those that I love. The online ones are ones that I check out often for inspiration or just because they’re interesting. The books are ones that I return to now and then for inspiration, especially the Galen Rowell books.

On the Web

  • The Online Photographer:  Consistently the best and most intelligent photography resource on the Internet. Michael Johnston, the primary author, has figured out a way to make money in photography by running a blog and there’s good reason that he makes his living via the blog. It’s always good. It’s the first thing that I read on my RRS feed each day.
  • Shutter Revolve: I think the guy that runs this website is funny, but his photography is nothing like mine and I don’t use any of his techniques, so I have a hard time recommending it. He gives away a nice action panel for luminosity masks in Photoshop. There are better action panels that you can buy, but this one is free.
  • David Muench invented near/far but doesn’t have any books about it. You can visit his work on the website. He’s one of the photographers whose prints I own.
  • Digital Photography School: I have mixed feeling about Digital Photography School, but I read it now and then while keeping in mind that the website is designed specifically for SEO and selling their eBooks. I’ll pick up tips and tricks every now and then that make visiting the website worth it.
  • Reframe: Interesting and quirky photography news.
  • Nikon Rumors: I mainly shoot Nikon and like to read rumors about what is coming next. It helps me plan for future expenses and such. There are rumor sites for all major brands, so if you’re a gearhead, they can be fun. If you’re not, then not so much.


  • National Geographic Photography Field Guide: Landscape: This book is a solid introduction to landscape photography. It’s pithy and has beautiful photography. National Geo produces a number of photography field guides covering all kinds of subjects.
  • Galen Rowell’s Inner Game of Outdoor Photography: This is a good starting point to Galen Rowell and a book I come back to over and over, but I come back to his books all the time. He passed away before his time, but his look still feels modern and has impact. Once you finish this book, you should get the rest of his books. The subject matter is diverse and the tricks and tips you find in his books are like finding gold in the bottom of your pan.
  • Ansel Adams: Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs: Do you question whether or not you should use filters, develop your images using Photoshop? If so, pick up a copy of this book and you’ll see everything that Ansel Adams did both in the field, during developing and in the darkroom to make his prints. If you’ve never shot black and white, some of the technical terms will go over your head, but he talks about his vision and then what he did to make that vision happen on the print.
  • John Shaw’s Nature Photography Field Guide: Another book that needs an update to digital, but it’s still relevant — just ignore the parts about film and exposure (use expose-to-the-right). The rest of the techniques work pretty much the same.


  • Outdoor Photography Magazine: is a good magazine. I don’t subscribe anymore, because they recycle topics about every two years and I got sick of how to become a digital Ansel Adams articles, which haven’t really talked about Adams’ vision and have instead concentrated on how to make a color digital file black and white. I still read that magazine, but it isn’t one that I keep on the shelf.

Select Pictures from May

Here are a few select images from May. Click to make larger.

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  • Shirley Page

    Very interesting newsletter, Bryan. And as always your photography is excellent! Long winter wasn’t it?

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lunar eclipse over Grand MaraisThe moon rises next to the Grand Marais lighthouse. Lake Superior, Minnesota.