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David Swindler (@actionphototours) — Based in Kanab, UT, we lead photo tours and workshops to amazing places in Utah, Arizona, and beyond!
What do you get excited about when monitoring the weather channel? As a photographer, I get excited about inclement weather. On those harsh days, sometimes you get a dud. But once a while, you get magic! At the Grand Canyon on this particular day, the winds were whipping and fog was swirling. Nature put on continuous show and the landscape morphed from second to second. What a treat that was!
Have you heard the exciting news? We are expanding into the Northwest with workshop opportunities in Olympic National Park, Glacier National Park, and the Palouse region! I have teamed up with Ryan McGinty and Kevin McNeal to bring you our first Palouse Spring Photo Workshop June 12-15, 2020. Visit our website for details! With gentle rolling hills, striking canola fields, and iconic barns surrounded by active farm-life, the Palouse region in Eastern Washington is picture perfect! It is one of my favorite places to photograph largely because it feels so exploratory! You never know what you're going to find and there are surprises around every corner. While out with Palouse expert Ryan McGinty, we spotted some beautiful horses on the grassy ridge. I used a long telephoto (500mm) to compress them against the plowed field in the distance (see 3rd image). First Photo: @kevinmcneal30 Second Photo: @rydmcginty Third Photo: @actionphototours
One of the most powerful composition techniques in landscape photography is using reflections and mimicry. That is what immediately caught my eye when I saw this dead cholla mimicking the live saguaro in the distance. When I work with people in the field, a common question I get asked is how do I deal with focus stacking and exposure blending all in the same shot? To answer that question, I recorded a video discussing the editing process of this shot. This video will be sent to our loyalty subscribers tomorrow. If you're not a loyalty member, join today and get free educational materials including e-books and video tutorials among many other perks! Learn more on our website.
Ahhh...the Pacific Northwest, a land of stunning beauty! I have had the opportunity to spend some time in the PNW the past few years scouting out photogenic locations. Working closely with Kevin Finn McNeal and Ryan McGinty, we have some new and exciting news in store for you. So stay tuned for our big announcement this Thursday, Oct. 10! Last weekend Evelyn and I did a quick overnight trip into the mountains. We were busy doing some chores around the house and got a little later start than we wanted. We hustled up the trail and soon emerged into sub-alpine meadows. Seeing the sunset was gearing up to be epic, we scrambled up a nearby ridge hoping to find a nice view. When I saw these lakes below, I knew our gamble had paid off! The clouds were reflecting amazing warm colors onto the lake on the left while the lake on the right still kept its glacial blue sheen. Fall colors on the center ridge really made the warm light pop. All in all, this was one of the best sunsets I've seen all year!
This little tree certainly didn't win the jackpot on the best place to grow. Positioned between rock cracks and rooted in sandy soil with limited nutrient, it also faces the brunt of the relentless alpine wind. But it stands tall and keeps on trying despite it all! The mountains of the Rockies are larger than life. I had to shoot this at 11mm to get everything in one frame! #explore#optoutside#seasons#falltime#ilovefall#october#adventure#foliage#canada#photooftheday#fallphotography#fallseason#wanderlust#love#autumnweather#color#larch
The Utah Badlands offers endless photographic opportunities throughout the seasons. In the Spring, beautiful yellow and purple wildflowers blossom and bring an awe-inspiring sign of life. This image was taken during the wildflower bloom this Spring. The yellow flowers really highlighted the erosion patterns in the soft soil. Dustin LeFevre and I are really excited to take our next group deep into the Badlands in March 2020. We only have a couple spots left, so visit our website if interested. https://actionphototours.com/beyond-the-badlands-2020/ #igsouthwest#werutah#badlands#utah#actionphototours
We took advantage of the dry summer conditions this year to descend a technical slot canyon in Zion. This particular slot is well known for potholes. In high water, potholes pose few problems and you can usually just swim and climb out of them. But when the water is low, you could be faced with a high slippery wall that is well above your head! These deep potholes require special gear and technique to escape from. This spot is probably the most photographed part of the canyon. Normally there would be a pool of water down where I was, but it was bone dry this year. Evelyn was the last one down in our group and I had her pose momentarily in the lighted shaft. This was a really fun day with some great friends!! #zionnationalpark#utah#zion#hiking#travel#nature#nationalpark#adventure#wanderlust#travelphotography#explore#hike#photography#naturephotography #outdoors#landscape#canyon#travelgram#hikingadventures#optoutside#landscapephotography#zioncanyon#instagood#photooftheday#canyoneering#slotcanyon#igsouthwest#werutah
We have teamed up with wildlife photographer, Juan Pons @jpons , to bring you an winter adventure of a lifetime in Yellowstone National Park. When we announced our 2020 workshop it sold out in just a few hours! Due to the enthusiastic reception, we have worked hard the past few days to secure our access for 2021. If you missed out, join us Jan. 29-Feb. 5, 2021. Visit our webpage for more information on this opportunity and make sure you join our Loyalty Program so you get first dibs on new announcements! Photo credit – Juan Pons @jpons
One of the most difficult things we have to manage as photographers is our own expectations. It's inevitable to have preconceived images of what we would like to capture when planning a shooting session. Occasionally, things do not turn out the way we imaged upon arrival. It's easy to get disappointed or frustrated and write the whole effort off. However, I have found it's much more fruitful to re-adjust my expectations and reframe my goals. I had planned a few days in Mt. Rainier during peak wildflower season this summer. Unfortunately, it poured for three straight days. Instead of driving home, I decided to shoot some waterfalls until the storm passed. It requires some patience as you need to wait for moments of clearing and the light to hit where you want it Since it was midday, I used a polarizer and 10-stop ND to achieve a 20 sec exposure. Soft filtered light poked through the clouds and illuminated the middle ridge but it wasn't harsh enough light to blow out the waterfall. I used a set of Gobe filters for this shot and I've been impressed with their quality and reasonable price!
Our inaugural Northern Utah Fall Colors workshop led by the talented Johnny Adolphson @johnnyadolphsonphotography was a flaming success! The hills of Wasatch were on fire and the weather Gods sure put on an exciting show! Each year, we offer a couple of Fall colors workshop. If you missed it this year, join us in 2020! Visit our website to see our lineup of exciting workshops!
One of the challenges with fall color is how to simplify a scene. As photographers we often want to "capture it all." But the full scene is often too busy and so much color can be distracting to the eye. Instead, it's often better to focus on one section of color or on several bands of color. In a shot like this, you can find a lone tree or strand of trees that allows for simplification. There was a ton of larch trees with brilliant color just a little further down this slope. But by staying higher, I was able to use this lone strand to good effect.
What do you feel when the first light hits and illuminates the landscape around you? For me, it's such a special moment to witness life awakening and to feel the Earth warming. This is an image from our recent Beyond The Badlands workshop. It was a clear morning without much interest in the sky. I resisted the urge to shoot the grand vast view but focused on a small section of the bentonite hills with the 400mm lens. Sometimes, when the sky does not cooperate, a telephoto shot gives you something intimate while utilizing the soft morning light.
It's time to bring on the fall colors! In the high country, Fall is in full swing! Earlier in the day Evelyn and I scrambled up a rocky outcrop to get a birds-eye view of the surrounding area. We saw this idyllic valley and decided to hike off-trail to explore it. It turned out to be an amazing foreground for the brilliant fall colors all around us. When dramatic light hit the trees, all I could think was "wow, this seriously can't get any better!" Fall is definitely my favorite season. Some of you have asked about prints. If you are interested, simply message me. Fall color looks so incredible when printed on metal! #instagood#leaves#nature#autumnleaves#fallfoliage#september#autumnvibes#ilovefall#autumnweather#falltime#ig#larch#autumnday#fallleaves#instaautumn#moodyphotography#photography#mountains#autumn
This is one of those mornings I won't soon forget. I left 4AM to try to find this old Mexican pueblo. I stopped at a small farming town in the vicinity and was surprised how many people were up and about in the pre-dawn darkness! I asked several people in the street where to find the ruins and I couldn't have found it without their help! The view was magnificent with Mexico's highest peak looming in the distance and the misty valley below. The birds were chirping and the only people that passed by were some farmers on horseback going to their fields. It felt like I was stepping back in time. In the US, there would probably be a line-up of tripods here at sunrise but in Mexico you can have moments like this all to yourself! I took this as a vertical panorama at 100mm to help maintain the telephoto perspective. #mexicocreativo#conocemexico#pueblamexico#mexicosorprendente#mexico_great_shots#estoesmexico#mexico#mexico_tour#viajemostodospormexico#modamexico#mexicodesconocido#mexicolove#mexico_maravilloso#mexico#mexicoenunaimagen#mexico_fotos#visitméxico#amomexico#streetartmexico#mexico_amazing#thisismexico#mexicoesfotografia#mexico_greatshots#mexicotrip#ideartemexico
2019 has been a blast with new friendships and successful workshops. Getting out to Reflection Canyon was certainly one of the highlights! Look close and you will see our close-knit group enjoying the glorious sunrise together. We have just released our 2020 Desert Southwest Workshop Schedule. Dream big and find your perfect adventure with us! Visit our website by clicking the link in our bio.
It has been a very atypical summer and, definitely, an atypical end to the summer. The temperatures cooled and the Fall colors sprung overnight! With the flip of a switch, my favorite season has begun. This weekend, Evelyn and I got up into the high country to enjoy the crisp air, golden larches, and rugged mountains. With some icing on the cake, the wind calmed to allow a beautiful reflection! #fallcolors#fall#autumn#color#autumncolors#larches#goldenlarches#leaves#nature#autumn-leaves#fallfoliage#ilovefall#autumnweather#autumnday#fallleaves