Stacking Milky Way Images in Starry Landscape Stacker Tutorial.

An Introduction to the Secret Weapon for Amazing Milky Way Shots - Stacking

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?

Well, one option would be to use a star tracking setup, but this is expensive and complicated to learn. An alternative, however, would be to use a method called stacking. Using this method, we can shoot the Milky Way at extremely high ISOs and end up with a final image that has little to no noise.

The best part? This works regardless of rather or not you're shooting on a low-end, crop-sensor DSLR or a multi-thousand dollar pro-body!

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Be Like a Goose

Want to Improve Your Photography? Just Be More Like a Goose!

So, you want to improve your photography, do you? Well, I say all you need to do is just act more like a goose! Think I've completely lost my mind? Well, I haven't (at least not yet!).

Don't believe me? Just hear me out on this one!

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4 Tips for Shooting Landscape Photography in the Rain

4 Tips for Shooting Landscape Photography in the Rain

It sure has been raining a lot here in Kentucky lately! I'm not complaining though since it's helped fuel my waterfall obsession. There's one fact that I can't escape, however... shooting in the rain can really suck!

Well, that is if you don't know how to deal with the challenges the rain brings with it. 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.

So, with that being said, I'd like to share my 4 tips for getting out and shooting landscape photography in the rain. Let's jump right in!

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Copperas Falls, Red River Gorge, Kentucky

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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McCammon Falls Frozen

A Frozen McCammon Falls - Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky

The temperatures have been downright cold here lately in Kentucky! To most people, this would mean that it's time to stay inside under a blanket drinking a hot cup of coffee. Not for me, however! I decided to venture out and see some of the many waterfalls The Bluegrass has to offer.
Throughout the day I hit up several waterfalls. Before heading home I decided to stop and check out McCammon Falls. Much to my delight, the falls had a decent amount of ice on them and I was able to capture this image that I'm moderately happy with.

Although it may not be a portfolio worthy shot, I'm still happy with it, which is a good thing considering what I went through to get it! The process of getting to the base of these falls requires climbing down into a fairly steep gorge. The climb down went fine, but on the way out I managed to slip and bang my knee up pretty good. Nothing all that serious, but enough for it to be sore the next day!

Top 10 Shots of 2017

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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Hollow Rock Arch

Hollow Rock Arch - Daniel Boone National Forest

This past Saturday I went arch hunting in the southern portion of the Daniel Boone National Forest with a fellow photographer, Mike Cochis. All in all, we visited 7 arches. Amongst these arches was Hollow Rock Arch.
Neither of us had been to this arch previously and Mike had it on good authority that his coordinates to the arch were incorrect but in the right general ballpark. We set out looking for the arch. It didn't take long until we found it.

Simply looking at pictures online (and seeing the arch from a distance), we didn't think it was going to be very impressive. After crossing to the other side, however, we discovered that we were wrong in that regard.

Unfortunately, Hollow Rock Arch is in an area plagued with vandalism. It's for this reason that I will not be sharing the exact location of this arch.

Snowy Cades Cove

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 straight-forward. 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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Sky View Arch, Red River Gorge, Kentucky.

Sky View Arch - A Hidden Gem in Red River Gorge

Visitors to Kentucky's Red River Gorge know that, at this point, there are very few truly hidden spots left in the area. There are some, however, and Sky View Arch is one of them.

If I were a betting man I'd say that this arch was formed out of a rock shelter whose roof partially collapsed. I found this arch quite reminiscent of Hopewell Arch, with the exception that this one has very few signs of visitors. There is virtually no worn path out to this spot and no vandalism that I noticed. It's for these reasons that I'll be keeping the location of this one a mystery!

Two Weekends on Ravens Rock

Two Weekends on Ravens Rock in Red River Gorge

My two previous weekends have been spent on top of an amazing rock formation located in Kentucky's Red River Gorge; Ravens Rock. This large rock formation can be seen throughout The Gorge (especially from Auxier Ridge), but people seldom go up there and take advantage of its breathtaking views. This means that Ravens Rock is a great place to find some solitude! I visited Ravens on two separate trips, a quick trip to photograph the sunset, and an overnight where I photographed the sunset, milky way, and the sunrise.

I should also mention that if you're interested in doing a trip like this yourself, you can check out my free trail guide to hiking Raven's Rock

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My First Attempts at Astrophotography

My plans for this past weekend originally included heading out to the Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia for a backpacking trip. Unfortunately, however, events unfolded that led me to cancel this trip. Such is life.
The upside was that I had three days with absolutely nothing planned. Rather than sit around and lament the fact that I couldn't go on my backpacking trip, I decided to throw my camera gear in the car and head down south to The Gorge. This wouldn't be my typical photo session though. This time the goal was to shoot for the stars... literally!

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Chasing Kentucky Waterfalls Roadtrip

Chasing Kentucky Waterfalls - Blitz Roadtrip Addition

This past Saturday I came up with a concept for a new adventure: see how many of Kentucky's waterfalls I could squeeze into one blitz roadtrip. I started researching some possible destinations and discovered that my home state is just full of waterfalls! I mapped out 7 waterfalls that I felt I could reasonably visit in one day. I did anticipate that I would probably have to skip one or two, however, as this trip included over 9 hours of just driving! In the end, I was able to hit up 5 of the 7 falls.

Not half bad for a single day trip!

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Top 3 iPhone Apps for Photography

My 3 Favorite iPhone Photography Apps

There is a lot that goes into landscape and adventure photography (just check out my previous post on backcountry photography). Anything that can help make my life easier is more than welcome. Throughout my journey, I have come across a number of iPhone apps that promise to aid me in my photography (specifically landscape photography). Some of these have delivered, while others have fallen flat on their face. With that in mind, I present to you my 3 favorite iPhone apps that I actually find helpful and use on a regular basis.

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