2010 Workshops: New Partnership with M&M Photo Tours

I’m extremely excited to announce a new partnership with M&M Photo Tours as a guest pro at six workshops/tours this summer. See the official release below for details! Also–M&M has graciously agreed to offer any of my fans/followers a $100 discount off National Parks workshops and a $250 discount off the “Best of Italy” tour.

Landscape photographer has partnered with M&M Photo Tours as a guest pro at numerous workshops for 2010 including numerous National Parks and a "Best of Italy" tour.

Landscape photographer Adam Barker has partnered with M&M Photo Tours as a guest pro at numerous workshops for 2010 including several National Parks and a "Best of Italy" tour.

Adam Barker to Partner as Guest Pro with M&M Photo Tours

Tours Include National Parks and Italy

Salt Lake City (January 2010) – Award-winning landscape photographer and noted educator Adam Barker has partnered with M&M Photo Tours as the “guest pro” at numerous photo tours/workshops for 2010. Workshop locations include iconic National Parks such as Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and Arches National Park as well a “Best of Italy” tour.

Says Barker, “There truly is no better way to progress one’s photography than by visiting internationally recognized locations with experienced professionals for a fun, immersive educational experience.”

Adds Mike Gulbraa of M&M Photo Tours, “We are excited to welcome Adam Barker to our guest pro list which includes National Geographic and Canon Explorers of Light photographers.  We welcome his skills and keen sense of creativity & artistry to our workshops and Italy tour.  We are certain that Adam’s vast skills and expertise in teaching workshops and interacting with all levels of photographers will bring both M&M and Adam new experiences and appreciation for our art, while providing excellent education and resources to the workshop/tour attendees”.

Barker will lead a total of six workshops/tours for 2010 as follows:

  • Page & Monument Valley — May 6-9, 2010
  • Best of Italy Tour – May 15-24, 2010
  • South Rim of Grand Canyon — June 6-9, 2010
  • Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Park — July 6-9, 2010
  • Zion & Bryce National Parks — August 1-4, 2010
  • Arches National Park — October 4-7, 2010

For workshop details and itineraries, visit M&M Photo Tours at mmphototours.com

About AdamBarkerPhotography

Raised amongst the towering peaks of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains, Adam Barker has a passion for photography matched only by his zest for life. His affable nature, coupled with his workshop and seminar experience has helped many photographers to take their photographic endeavors to the next level. Obsessed with golden light and unforgettable vistas, his landscapes have sold as limited edition fine art prints to private and corporate collectors throughout the United States. His love affair with exceptional imagery has translated into stirring editorial work in skiing, fly fishing and numerous other lifestyle and adventure publications including Outdoor Photographer, Skiing, Ski, Powder, The Drake, USA Today, American Angler and many more. To find out more about Barker and view his work, visit AdamBarkerPhotography.com.

About M&M Photo Tours

Mike Gulbraa and Mike Montgomery established M&M Photo Tours to answer the call of photo enthusiasts with a knack for photographing the wonders of the world with the best instructors around. Both published and award-winning photographers themselves, the Mikes offer a wealth of travel experience in addition to their photographic foundations. Having traveled to over 150 countries on all continents and speaking several languages between them, their tour expertise is unmatched. Visit mmphototours.com for a complete list of photo tours and workshops for 2010.

Contacts:

AdamBarkerPhotography

Adam Barker

adam@adambarkerphotography.com

801-550-9141

www.AdamBarkerPhotography.com

M&M Photo Tours

Mike Gulbraa

mikeg@mmphototours.com

801-652-9316

mmphototours.com

Vancouver: Olympic City Revealed

I’ve had opportunity to visit the city of Vancouver, Canada several times in the past couple of years. As far as big cities go, I think it’s one of the coolest around. It buzzes with culture and is a melting pot of people, food and lifestyle. Given the fact that Vancouver will host the 2010 Winter Olympic Games here in the next month or so, I thought I’d post up a couple of images from my travels there, along with some interesting tidbits about this coastal hub.

Vancouver is surrounded by water from three sides. Its climate is one of the mildest in Canada not only because it is on the south side of Canada, but more because of Pacific Ocean and the prevailing south easterly winds that keeps Vancouver mild and damp.

Vancouver is surrounded by water from three sides. Its climate is one of the mildest in Canada not only because it is on the south side of Canada, but more because of Pacific Ocean and the prevailing south easterly winds that keeps Vancouver mild and damp.

Vancouver is very rich with parks having close to 200 parks including well known Stanley Park of Vancouver City (pictured here).

Vancouver is very rich with parks having close to 200 parks including well known Stanley Park of Vancouver City (pictured here).

Vancouver was rated the best in the world for quality of life in 2001. Pictured here is False Creek Bay.

Vancouver was rated the best in the world for quality of life in 2001. Pictured here is False Creek Bay.

Vancouver is North America's second largest Port (in tonnage & physical size - after New York) and one of the worlds major cruise ship ports.

Vancouver is North America's second largest Port (in tonnage & physical size - after New York) and one of the worlds major cruise ship ports.

Vancouver is Canada's 3rd largest city (Toronto is 1st and Montreal 2nd) with an area population of 2 to 2.6 million.

Vancouver is Canada's 3rd largest city (Toronto is 1st and Montreal 2nd) with an area population of 2 to 2.6 million.

False Creek Bay (pictured here) is a quiet residential area along the water and it’s also home to the Olympic Village.

False Creek Bay (pictured here) is a quiet residential area along the water and it’s also home to the Olympic Village.

The Lions Gate Bridge has become of landmark of Vancouver and the North Shore. In 1986 the Guinness family, as a gift to Vancouver, purchased decorative lights that make it a distinctive nighttime landmark. In July 2009, the bridge's lighting system was updated with new LED lights to replace this existing system of 100-watt mercury vapour bulbs. The switch to LEDs is expected to reduce power consumption on the bridge by 90 per cent and save the Province about $30,000 a year in energy and maintenance costs. With the new LED bulbs, which are designed to last 12 years, it could be a decade before any work crew is called out to do a replacement.

The Lions Gate Bridge has become of landmark of Vancouver and the North Shore. In 1986 the Guinness family, as a gift to Vancouver, purchased decorative lights that make it a distinctive nighttime landmark. In July 2009, the bridge's lighting system was updated with new LED lights to replace this existing system of 100-watt mercury vapour bulbs. The switch to LEDs is expected to reduce power consumption on the bridge by 90 per cent and save the Province about $30,000 a year in energy and maintenance costs. With the new LED bulbs, which are designed to last 12 years, it could be a decade before any work crew is called out to do a replacement.

Vancouver has the highest proportion (per capita) of Asians of any North American city. This makes for a great selection of Oriental restaurants. It has one of the largest and oldest Chinatowns in North America.

Vancouver has the highest proportion (per capita) of Asians of any North American city. This makes for a great selection of Oriental restaurants. It has one of the largest and oldest Chinatowns in North America.

Focusing Fast Action (Contest Post!)

For you antsy folks, there is a contest at the bottom, but you’ll have to have read the post to have a fighting chance!

Image 1: Julian Carr skis fresh Utah powder at Alta Ski Area

Image 1: Julian Carr skis fresh Utah powder at Alta Ski Area

Earlier this week we were blessed with a bounty of blower (read: ridiculously light Utah powder) here in the Wasatch. It was the first day of shooting skiing for me this season, and it did not disappoint. There are some days where most everything goes right, and this just happened to be one of those days.

Image 2: Jen Hudak skis fresh Utah powder at Alta Ski Area

Image 2: Jen Hudak skis fresh Utah powder at Alta Ski Area

Anyone that has ever attempted to shoot fast and unpredictable action knows well the challenges of coming away with a sharp image. It’s hard enough to frame it up exactly as you’d like, let alone focus. Any athlete that has ever shot with me knows my typical response when I see something I like on my camera LCD display–“that will be killer if it’s sharp”. IF IT’S SHARP….

Nowadays, the auto focus systems on pro (and even some prosumer) cameras are so advanced that it’s tough to screw things up. That said, it still happens, and it always seems to happen to the shot or frame that you wanted the most. There are a few things we can do as photographers to nail the shot every time. When shooting skiing, there are essentially two techniques I use to focus. I will use a focus tracking method where I’m utilizing the auto focus in my camera throughout the image sequence and at other times I may pre-focus on a specific spot where I’ve directed the athlete to go. Both techniques work well in certain situations–some better than others.

Carlo Travarelli skis fresh Utah powder at Alta Ski Area

Image 3: Carlo Travarelli skis fresh Utah powder at Alta Ski Area

Focus Tracking

Focus tracking works well when:

a) the athlete is moving towards or away from you at a rapid pace

b) you’re not sure where the climactic action will occur OR there are a number of images throughout the action sequence that you may want as keepers

c) there could be confusion between you and the athlete as to where exactly it is you’d like them to turn, air, etc.

d) generally speaking, the athlete will not remain parallel to the focal plane throughout the sequence

*Note: As a Canon shooter, I focus with my AF-On button instead of my shutter button. This allows the camera to continue micro-adjusting focus as the shutter clicks away.

*Note #2: It is best to manually select a focus zone in your camera. Place that focus zone over the part of the athlete you’d like in focus (most often the face). I typically start “tracking” focus about two seconds or so before I start clicking the shutter.

Image 4: Julian Carr skis fresh Utah powder at Alta Ski Area

Image 4: Julian Carr skis fresh Utah powder at Alta Ski Area

Pre Focus

Pre focus works well when:

a) you have a specific, mutually understood spot (between you and the athlete) where the climactic action will occur

b) the athlete is maintaining approximate equal distance from the focal plane throughout the action sequence

c) you’re shooting at infinity focus–in particular, this pertains to long lens, big line shots where the athlete is a great distance away OR wide angle shots where you’re shooting at infinity

d) there may be anything present (obstacles, weird lighting, atmospheric conditions) that would confuse your auto focus (there are ways to tweak your AF system so it doesn’t get thrown off as easily with things like this)

* Note that pre-focusing requires precise explanation and understanding on the part of the photographer and athlete as to where the action should occur. Generally speaking, the longer you have worked with an athlete, the better you will understand each other, and the more confident you will feel that the athlete can nail the spot on which you’ve pre-focused. Additionally, it’s wise to use larger apertures when possible, thus giving yourself and the athlete a margin for error across the focal plane if for some reason they are a bit closer or further away than the spot you mentioned.

Image 5: Julian Carr skis fresh Utah powder at Alta Ski Area

Image 5: Julian Carr skis fresh Utah powder at Alta Ski Area

So. Contest time. I’ve included images throughout this post from shooting at Alta Ski Area on New Year’s Eve Day. I have a super cool Clik Elite medium lens pouch (great for wide angle zooms or moderate primes) and t-shirt for the first person that can correctly state which focusing technique was used on each image in this post. The contest will end on Wednesday, Jan. 6. Good luck!

Image 6: Julian Carr skis fresh Utah powder at Alta Ski Area

Image 6: Julian Carr skis fresh Utah powder at Alta Ski Area