• Ask Charlotte, Camera Gear, Tips & Technics

    What’s the most important piece of gear in your camera bag?

    During a Colorado landscape photography workshop last Fall, a student asked for help on her composition. Approaching her, I noticed how she had setup her tripod. I cringed. Her very nice camera and lens were perched atop an unleveled, too-small tripod, center post fully extended, with two of its legs on the downhill side. This top-heavy system could go over with the slightest bump or gust of wind. The lesson on composition was put on hold and we did a little Tripod-Set-Up-Lesson right there on the spot.  If you are practicing landscape photography, then chances are you

  • Nature & Wildlife

    Could Yosemite’s iconic “Ahwahnee Meadow Cottonwoods” be Aspen trees instead?

    I recently made another series of photos of the Ahwahnee Meadow Cottonwoods in Yosemite Valley. I’ve photographed this cluster of trees, commonly called “The Ahwahnee Meadow Cottonwoods,” many times spanning several years. A few days ago, I posted a new photo of the trees. A friend, a biologist and someone whose opinion I respect, suggested that these trees might actually be Aspen, not Cottonwood. I had often pondered the same question. So, I promised to make a closer inspection upon my next visit to the trees, which just happened to be this week.  This photo was taken

  • Landscape, Mountain

    Revealing the ancient, quiet beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains

    When the opportunity presented itself to photograph the Great Smoky Mountains National Park last Spring, the decision to go was an easy one. I had envisioned photographing this place for some time. Anyway, I was scheduled to be a keynote speaker at the Georgia Nature Photographer’s Association annual conference outside of Atlanta. That’s about as close to Tennessee as I would get for some time. So, I packed my camera gear and headed out early in time to see the Smokies in all their Spring glory. Inspired by Eliot Porter’s colorful photographs made in the Great Smoky

  • Photography, Seasons, Spring, Winter, Yosemite

    Winter into Spring: Yosemite’s annual transformation explored

    Spring is one of my favorite seasons to thoroughly experience Yosemite National Park. Each month brings new, unique conditions and photographic opportunities. The following photographs were made over the course of three Spring visits to Yosemite Valley this year. March In March, the angle of the sun is still low, creating rainbows and other nice light on the waterfalls. Morning fog is not uncommon this time of year. Neither is the occasional snow shower. At lower elevations, California celebrates the return of green hills in March. However, Yosemite Valley, at 4,000

  • Yearbooks

    2018: A Nature Photographer’s Annual Review of Images

    It’s that time of year when I set about to candidly reflect upon my progress as a photographer. I sift through all of my nature photographs made the previous year, looking for the best of the best. The process can be brutal, striking images from the list for being “too pedantic” or “uninteresting” — or the most wounding, “unoriginal.” It is no time to be nice. Just honest. Making the cut Throughout the year, I had already picked through the nearly 20,000 images, so it was not as big as a job as it

  • Black & White, Fine Art

    Why Black and White Photography is Still Relevant

    I’ve been drawn to creating black and white photographs a little more than usual lately. Admittedly, this is likely because I was hanging out with Cole Thompson and Chuck Kimmerle at the Moab Photography Symposium in May. They are each enthusiastic masters of black and white photography. Those two can be pretty persuasive and I can be pretty impressionable. Although I am primarily a color photographer, my photographic journey originated with black and white film in the early 1980s. Back then, I wanted to be a journalist. Newspapers were printed in black and white, and newspaper darkrooms were only