The Basics of Reading a Topographic Map

In this tutorial, I will be teaching you the basics of how to read and understand a topographic map. This is a skill that is critically important for anyone who plans on venturing out into the backcountry. Not only is it important that you always carry a paper, hard-copy map of where you will be going, it’s also important that you know how to read it!

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Calculating the Slowest Shutter Speed for Milky Way Images

When photographing the Milky Way, we want to let as much light hit the sensor as possible. With this in mind, it’s only natural to assume that we want to use a slower shutter speed. This is certainly true, but the fact that the Earth rotates can make things a little more complicated. This guide will teach you how to determine the slowest shutter speed you can use while still getting pin-sharp stars.

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How to Stack Milky Way Images in Starry Landscape Stacker

You’ve spent countless hours planning and obsessively checking the weather to go out and capture what you hope will be an epic Milky Way shot. You’ve got a great location, a killer composition, and took the time to carefully dial in your focus and camera settings. You get them home and realize that there is just too much noise for there to be a good image. What went wrong? How do people get these epic, low-noise Milky Way shots?

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In Search of A Smoky Mountains Sunrise on Mt. Leconte

During my last trip to The Great Smoky Mountains, I decided that I wanted to night hike up Mt. Leconte to Myrtle Point to attempt to photograph the sunrise. This is a trip I’ve been trying to do for several months, but the weather has never been particularly cooperative! 

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5 of My Favorite Natural Arches in Kentucky

Kentucky is just packed full of natural arches. In fact, it’s ranked either second or third in the United States for the most natural arches. We are behind only Utah and possibly Arizona. East of the Mississippi, however, we are ranked number one! 

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4 Tips for Shooting Landscape Photography in the Rain

Over the years I’ve come to spend more and more time shooting out in what some might call “bad weather”. There truly isn’t too much weather that I won’t get out and shoot in at this point (within reason, course). Your ability to shoot in challenging conditions (and even enjoy it) all comes down to the knowledge you have.

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My Minor Waterfall Obsession

If you look at my Instagram feed, Facebook Page, or anywhere else that I tend to post my photos, you’ll know that here lately I’ve had a small obsession with waterfalls. There’s just something about a cascade of water that is awe-inspiring and that leaves me no choice but to photograph it. Oh, and my home state of Kentucky just so happens to be full of wonderful waterfalls! I figured I’d take some time to show off some of my more recent waterfall shots, and maybe tell some of the stories behind them.

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Hiking to a Completely Frozen Copperas Falls in Red River Gorge

We’ve been in the midst of a deep freeze here in the Bluegrass state, and that has meant that the waterfalls across Kentucky have been freezing. Copperas Falls in the Red River Gorge portion of the Daniel Boone National Forest was certainly no exception! For weeks I had been seeing hints online that the falls off Copperas Creek had frozen to the point of being a solid pillar of ice. Some were even suggesting that it’s the most the falls have frozen in several years. This was just too good of an opportunity to pass up! I messaged @Brian2774 on Instagram and we made plans to head out to the falls shortly after daybreak on Saturday morning.

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My Top 10 Favorite Images from 2017

2017 is quickly coming to an end. This means that it’s time to look back over the past year and pick out my top 10 favorite shots from the last year.
2017 has been a great year full of adventure. I have advanced more in my photography over this last year than I think I have in all the past years that I’ve been heading out with my camera. To say I’m happy with my progress would be an understatement! I’ve had the chance to photograph some great places and even made a few awesome new friends along the way.

Enough of that, though. It’s time to jump right on into my top 10 favorite images from 2017!

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Making the Best of a Failed Photo Shoot – Smoky Mountains, December 2017

I’d been obsessively checking the weather reports for weeks in advance. It looked like I was finally going to have a weather window to get the sunrise shot I’d been envisioning. The plan was relatively straightforward. I’d drive down to the Great Smoky Mountains on Friday and get on the trail up to the summit of Mt. Leconte no later than 3 a.m. on Saturday. Then I’d simply wait around and photograph the sunrise from Myrtle Point. How hard could it be?

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