Sponsor Shout Out: Sirui Tripods

If you are interested in improving your compositiona skills, making pictures from a tripod is a must. Legendary photographer and teacher Fred Picker used to say he could see a difference in the quality and feeling of a photograph made by someone who used a tripod. I think he was right.

Sirui (pronounced sur-ay) make some of the best tripods out there including our favorites models, the N-3204 w/ K-30X head and the N2204X w/ K-20X head.

Check ’em out at the links above at our favorite photo retailer, B&H Photo.


From Behind the Lens: Finding my bliss . . .

My photographic work at White Sands National Monument is nearly coming to an end. It has been a gift to walk among those dunes, photographing those breath-taking confluences of light and feeling and upon occasion hear the sound of my own heartbeat echoing from the dunes themselves.

As I enter the home stretch, the words of Joseph Campbell have been running through my mind. Campbell once said, “If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are — if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.”

I was reminded of my bliss at White Sands.

-Craig Varjabedian

Camera: Nikon D810
Lens: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Lens
Tripod: Really Right Stuff TVC-24L Tripod with BH-40 LR Ballhead
Processing: Adobe Camera RAW and Photoshop
Lighting: Overcast Diffused Natural Light
Photographer: Craig Varjabedian

Check out the next Eloquent Light White Sands Workshop.


Photograph in the Land of Georgia O’Keeffe

I wish you could see what I see out the window – the earth pink and yellow cliffs to the north – the full pale moon about to go down in an early morning lavender sky behind a very long beautiful tree covered mesa to the west – pink and purple hills in front and the scrubby fine dull green cedars – and a feeling of much space – It is a very beautiful world – I wish you could see it.
— Georgia O’Keeffe

To many people Georgia O’Keeffe and New Mexico are synonymous. The colors, shapes and textures of the desert world stimulated O’Keeffe’s unique artistic vision. She in turn captured the elemental force of the region in which she chose to live. The resulting works became icons of twentieth-century art — dramatic and sensuous images that immortalized both the artist and the landscape.

This five-day workshop will draw on O’Keeffe’s distinctive techniques of composition as a means of understanding the complexity of the New Mexican landscape. While visiting many of the locales where Georgia O’Keeffe painted in New Mexico and those that inspired her, you will learn new ways to organize scenes and forms within the camera’s frame. You will explore this land with award-winning photographer Craig Varjabedian, who will share his own insights about approaches to developing your photographic eye and honing your skills as a photographer.

Learn more and register


The stars make me dream

I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.
~Vincent Van Gogh

This Bisti Star Trails photograph was made from 123 still images shot over a 45 minute period. The images are combined in Photoshop to create the star trails. It was a happy accident that, compositionally, the north star landed in the upper center of the image.

Camera: Nikon D600
Lens: Sigma 17-35mm Lens
Tripod: Really Right Stuff TVC-24L Tripod with BH-40 LR Ballhead
Processing: Adobe Photoshop
Lighting: Night
Photographer: Tye Hardison

Check out our upcoming Photographing the Bisti Badlands Workshop