*The Topaz plugin half off sale is here with @topazlabs


Starting today through the end of the month, Topaz is offering everything for 50% off.  The entire collection (normally $500) is available for $250 HERE, and as an extra added bonus, for those of us who already own some or many Topaz plugins, we can still take advantage of the sale by logging into our account via the Topaz Labs website (here) and gaining the 50% off on additional plugins by using the code “BLACKFRIDAY2015” at checkout.  The Complete Collection is already at a 50% discount from the full price for all plugins individually ($1,010), so really, if starting from scratch, this is really a 75% discount from purchasing the plugins one by one, which is kind of nuts.  

I’ve never shied away from praise for the various Topaz plugins I use regularly, and feel that there are a handful of irreplaceable plugins in my workflow.  The complete collection includes 17 plugins from DeNoise, ReMask, Adjust and Clarity to the brand new Texture Effects.

Come on in for more details and to see the full list of plugins… 

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*Topaz Adjust, ‘a bit of everything Topaz’ plugin on sale! w/ @topazlabs

For many of us, Topaz Adjust was the first Topaz plugin that we bought.  It was a one click solution to enhance a variety of images in a multitude of ways.  Many of the newer Topaz plugins have even been born as an expansion from some of the filters in Adjust, so I guess you could call it the OG Topaz plugin.  It has grown over the years to include many more filters and is onto version 5.

It is currently on sale for $29.99, 40% off through July (normally $49.99) on Topaz Labs website HERE (use code julyadjust at checkout).

If you’d like to see and read more about my thoughts on Adjust, come on in!

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*Lensbaby Announces the Popular Velvet 56 in various Mirrorless Mounts along with new lenses for the Fuji X mount!


Now, I’ve yet to get my mitts on a Velvet 56 of my own, but I plan to, and I’ll review the crap out of it when I do 🙂  In the mean time, check out the announcement by Lensbaby today:

Lensbaby Announces Availability of Fuji X Mounts for Flagship Lenses 

   Company also adds popular mirrorless mounts for hugely successful Velvet 56 portrait lens

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*Congratulations to Pommes.Fritz123 for winning our February Flickr Photo Blog Challenge, Architecture! with @Mirrorlessons


“Kuppel10_24_7” by Pommes.Fritz123 (see more from Pomme.Fritz123 HERE)


With his sweeping lines, Pommes.Fritz123 has won our twelfth monthly Flickr Photo Blog Challenge, “Architecture.”  Congratulations P.F123!  You’ve now been entered into our semi-annual giveaway post which will happen within the next couple weeks to vie for our reader’s overall favorite image from the last 6 months, and a free plugin from Alien Skin, another plugin of your choice from Topaz, a Lensbaby LM-10 smart phone camera lens and a brand new, yet to be released TRP wrist strap for your camera!

This was yet another awesome month with remarkable images.  I feel like we’re all seeing a collective stepping up of our respective games, and I hope that for all who choose to participate, you’re also seeing these as a fun way to spur creativity.  For all of those who submitted, thank you again.  To everyone who has, who may and will continue to submit, keep your eyes peeled for this month’s theme.  Each month is a new opportunity to motivate and connect with a larger community.  We start a new 6 month cycle with March’s theme.

These monthly themes, co-hosted by myself along with Heather and Mat from Mirrorlessons.com were started as a fun way to collaborate and grow our community.  It has given us a way to share much of your photography with a larger audience while connecting with many more photographers, and hopefully aid in providing some motivation for all of us to get out and shoot.  Not that everyone needs it, but I find that being given new direction can help keep my shooting fresh.

Stay tuned for our new theme this month, and keep watch for our semi-annual giveaway vote in a week or so to help us decide who gets all that cool free stuff.  Visit Mirrorlessons.com to stay abreast of all things mirrorless and find me on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Instagram . To stay posted on new articles, feel free to add your email address at the top right of the page here.  You’ll get email alerts as new articles are released.

Thanks for the read and happy shooting,


*Thank you

Happy New Year


I’ve been photo blogging for over 6 years now, and this blog has been around for exactly 4 of those.  I don’t make my living doing this, nor do I want to.  I have a job and while I do make some money through photography, I choose to keep that at a minimum so that I can continue to do this for myself.  Not that being a full time pro can’t allow one to love what they do, I’ve just had experience in the past that has shown me that I like to try and minimize my job’s influence on something that serves as my creative getaway from the need to make an income personally.  That is where I am with my relationship with photography now, and while I never know which opportunities may present themselves in the future, I am very happy that it provides me with the enjoyment it does.  For that, and the things I’ve been able to accomplish through that, I am grateful.

I started this blog purely for the love of making and taking pictures while sharing and learning through interactive experience.  Over the past year, this project has grown leaps and bounds thanks to all of you guys and I hope to continue to grow the blog as a resource for insight and entertainment while continuing to collaborate and cross promote.  I have some new ideas and projects on the horizon, so stay tuned.  I’d also love to continue to connect and collaborate with others, so feel free to hit me up.

I hope that everyone is healthy and happy, and if you or your loved ones are not, I hope that any negative circumstances are remedied in the near future.  Photography has always been therapeutic for me in times of need, and a wonderful enhancement in life when all is well, so here’s to our common thread, our common passion and the ability to connect across borders and time zones, cultures and histories through this wonderful medium.


Happy new year and I look forward to our continuing and evolving conversation.


Happy shooting,


*The Hits Keep Rolling! Last day for Topaz sale and Alien Skin releases Snap Art 4!


While I usually become ill with all the Black Friday/Cyber Monday hoolabaloo ushering in a season of pure consumerism while we’re still recovering from the Thanksgiving celebrations, I find myself somewhat internally conflicted as I do find benefit to some of the deals on offer.  I’m a bit of an opportunist and in many ways like to save money when I spend it, if that makes sense.  I like to buy winter clothes in the spring and then shorts and tee shirts in the fall when everything is being pushed out to make way for a slightly different version of that which it replaces at twice or three times the price a few months down the road.

Enter the current software deals.  As I’d mentioned this last weekend, Topaz is offering everything they’ve got at nearly 50% off ($199 for 14 awesome plugins) and today is the last day.  Go to TopazLabs here and enter “blackfriday2013” to get the discount.  So if you’ve been waiting here’s a good chance to sneak in a deal on DeNoise (amazing), ReMask (awesome), Adjust (staple), Clarity (absolutely killer) or any of the other wonderful Topaz plugins.

On top of that, Alien Skin has just released Snap Art 4 (which I will have the full review up tomorrow or so) and they are offering any and all of their plugins at a 30% discount via AlienSkin.com until this Friday the 6th.

Happy holiday shopping season everyone, while a little crazy, it can be advantageous for those of us that have needed these tools in our post processing tool kits.

All the best and happy shooting,


MWL up for best new restaurant design on eater.com!


Hi friends, family, fellow bloggers and photo fans, the ELK Collective’s most recent project is up for best new restaurant design in Portland. Being that I have been fortunate enough to become part of the ELK collective, and provide all of the official photo documentation for our projects, I have a vested interest in seeing this amazing space rewarded for the design marvel that it is. If you have 10 seconds, we’d greatly appreciate your support in voting for the Multnomah Whiskey Library HERE.

Thank you and happy shooting!


*The Mirrorless Diet, how to lose weight instantly! Part 1

mirrorless diet

PART 1: Preparing for a trip

Have you ever had to pack for a trip, a hike, climb, vacation or another adventure where you’d be carrying everything on your back or slung over your shoulder?  Gear laid out on the floor the night before leaving for the trip after having unpacked and repacked to see if you could fit everything in less space getting rid of everything you can to save weight.  For those that saw their toothbrushes in half to shave off a few grams, or anyone that could stand to lose a little weight in the camera bag, this series of articles may be useful.  Now, the question is, can we do this, and still carry quality photographic gear with us?

This will be the first part in a three part article focused on capturing images while backpacking and wanting to keep weight down while not compromising image quality.  It is also potentially useful for any travel situation where gear weight may become cumbersome.

I’d like to thank Yukon Trading CompanyMarmotJetBoil, LEKI Trekking Poles43rumors.comExpert Shield screen protectors, and B&H Photo for the continued support, and particularly for much of the stuff provided for me during this trip.  Losing weight isn’t always fast and cheap, but they’ve helped make it sexy.  Throughout these articles, I’ll be mentioning and linking to various products that I use(d) and highly suggest looking into.  Fortunately for me, we got hooked up with companies that put quality at the top of their list.  It doesn’t hurt that they also engineer some of the best, lightest and highest performing gear on the market, so, thanks guys!

Never has weight been more a factor for me than when trying to stuff all my gear into a pack with the realization that I’m going to have to carry all this stuff on my back for days on end, all while climbing, hiking and sliding around in the snow. I will start by disclosing that I am far closer to resembling a photographer than a back country, mountaineering aficionado. I’ve certainly been adventurous throughout my life, spending many nights in the elements, climbing and hiking my way to the next spot so that I may eat dried fruit, ramen and nuts for dinner, or do my best to create aches in areas I was previously unaware my body had by forgoing any type of sleeping pad or pillow. Most of the time, when I travel, or set out on any type of adventure, photography is a very large part of it, and I’ve tended to sacrifice other comforts to enable the room for my camera gear. Since adopting a mirrorless setup, I’ve not had to sacrifice at all…

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*Am I insane? EOS M down below $300

Canon EOS M w/ 22mm f/2


Dear friends and fellow gear geeks, I apologize for the sales pitch here, but B&H just sent me an email showing that they’ve knocked the EOS M with 22mm f/2 lens kit down to $299 until July 9th.  While I was no where near impressed when this camera came out at $799 or whatever it was, I’d be lying if I said I’m not very curious now at this price point, especially after the new firmware has literally erased the biggest complaint about the camera, in the slow AF.

I have heard very good things about the 22mm lens, and feel that it can be a perfect companion camera either kept in the glove box or stashed away in a bag in and of itself, regardless if I choose to invest in the system any further.  For $299, I’m looking at this as my (very) poor man’s Sony RX1 🙂

So, I had to buy one.  I have a backpacking trip coming up where I will pit this against the OMD EM5 and the GX1 (assuming I can cram it all in the pack) and report back in due time.

This rebate at B&H lasts until July 9th, so if you’re interested, you can see them here:

EOS M w/ 22mm f/2 kit $299

EOS M w/ 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit $349

To all my fellow ‘Mericans, have a safe and happy 4th of July tomorrow and thanks to everyone for the continued support.


All the best and happy shooting,


*My, how the mighty (prices) have fallen. The GX1, best bang for the buck?

GX1 on sale!

I’m sure there are new cameras on the horizon.  With every camera manufacturer pumping a few new bells and whistles into newer body styles and wrapping it around warmed over sensor tech, those among us who play the patient opportunists really benefit.  I held off on the GX1 when it was released and opted for the G3 when upgrading from my GF1.  I gained the beautiful EVF, and at the time saved about $500 (when looking at the GX1 + add on EVF).  I’ve since been running a two camera setup (much as I do with my full frame work setup) as it allows me to always have a backup as well as be able to eliminate much in the way of lens changes.  Because I use the Olympus OM-D E-M5 as well, and I’ve recently traded my G3 to my brother in law for favors yet to be determined, I felt I could justify a compact body, sans EVF again.  Enter the GX1 which is now down to only $250 just about everywhere!  (it’s available at B&H – CLICK HERE – with 2% reward and free shipping).  C’mon in to see a couple shots of and with the GX1…

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