Wednesday, March 30, 2011

PATAGONIA - Testing F-Stop Tilopa BC camera pack

Greetings from Argentine Patagonia!

I'm using the Tilopa Backcountry pack down here and loving it. If you're going to be joining me for the Photo Tour in Torres del Paine, you may enjoy seeing specifically how I pack the bag. This is the setup I use when I'm trekking but staying in refugios or lodges at night like we will do on the Photo Tour. My backpacking setup (tent, sleeping bag, food, etc) is significantly more bulky.

The convenience and easy access to the camera is unsurpassed. It's held up to rain, snow, heat, and cold so far. The bag also fits great. I've enjoyed trail running with it down here in the high Andes.

According to your needs, F-Stop offers an array of different size packs and 3 Internal Camera Unit sizes (S, M, L) to custom outfit your gear securely within the pack. Get one at

Monday, March 28, 2011

PATAGONIA - Cerro Torre

My first ever sighting of Cerro Torre this morning!
Let me explain the significance.

It takes 48 hrs, 2 plane flights, and 2 bus rides to get here to El Chalten, Argentina. I've visited twice in the past 2 years. After a cumulative 12 days of waiting over the course of these visits, this gnarly mountain has remained mysteriously shrouded in cloud. My anticipation was growing the way it did as a toddler when I'd search all afternoon for four-leaf clovers in the yard. It felt like weeks were passing, of course.

Today, this Dr. Suess-story-book shaped mountain burst forth into view. It was a perfectly clear, blue bird sky. GIFT!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


(photo by my amazing girlfriend Nora Hutchison)

A pocket alarm pulses pain into my ear within my sleeping bag. Rolling over, I hear the violent roar of foliage in the trees outside our flapping tent walls. Gale-force winds discourage me right back to sleep. My

body wishes to stay put. But dynamic light might exist at the mountaintop in a couple hours. And as I've begun to say in these moments, "You don't know if you don't go."

I consult my tent-mate Lance. He replies with an audible smirk in the cold dark tent,

"Bro... It's your J--O--B."

He continues, “I thought your job was cool last night... but man, it really sucks this morning.”

“Seriously Lance, say something inspirational for crying out loud. I mean, what would Abraham Lincoln say right now?”

“Abe Lincoln would definitely not go outside in this sh-t!”

I laugh and lay my head back down. I try to snooze it off. But the call to Light is too strong. I emerge from the tent and thrash my way back up the mountain in the dark for a second morning. Though I was nearly carried off several times by wind like a kite at the beach, I arrive safely at the alpine lake. These are some of the miracles I saw.

I love my J--O--B.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Wake at 4:27am. Begin the slow slog up the mountain. Arrive at base of Fitz Roy 90 minutes later. Hunker down and wait in the dark behind a rock as storm passes. Witness first light strike Cerro Fitz Roy through blankets of fresh snow.

Your life will be rearranged… in an instant.

This was my day at the office Wednesday.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

PATAGONIA - by Full Moonlight

Moonlit mountains over El Chalten, Argentina!
The full moon was closer to earth Saturday night than it's been in 19 years.
The weather in Patagonia is notoriously foul, but the sky cleared all night upon our arrival.

I can't describe the gratitude within me to have witnessed this event, in this location, under these conditions.
I am a blessed man.

As the mountain was fully revealed around 1am, a car passed by on the main road in town. The driver's headlights painted the weathered tree in my foreground with just the right amount of light.

Can we say, "GIFT!"

(138 sec @ f/14, ISO 400 - 70-200mm lens @ 85mm)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rattlesnake Ridge - Appalachia

This is a promo piece I shot and edited for our friends in Kentucky last year.

There may not be a family in America who loves their neighbors quite like Hilton and Barbara Duncan. Join them in the hills and hollers of rural Kentucky. Take a glimpse into the movement of love that has begun to change lives and revive hope in Appalachia. Welcome to ICM!

Friday, March 11, 2011

NANPA Presentation on Social Media

Who's using Social Media in the nature photo community?
Video shot and edited on the fly last night in McAllen, TX.
Showed this to open my presentation. Here's some instant feedback from 4 folks...

"Wasn't sure anybody could convince me to do social media as part of my business, but you did!"
"Motivating! I'm going to try it... 65 and still willing to experiment."
"Don't Stop!"

Thanks NANPA for the opportunity to share the passion for Adventure and Light. Fun times.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sike! More winter in GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS

You just thought spring had come. Winter will have the last laugh. I was honored to be in the higher elevations of the Smokies this morning when an unexpected snow began to fall. Nearly six inches accumulated as the morning continued. The rivers were full and wild. The pine branches hung heavy with white. After my sunny Smokies day 36 hours ago shooting emerging jonquils, this weather was quite a shock. You just never know what nature will bring. Enjoy!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Spring is coming!

Taken this morning in Cades Cove. Join us for Spring Workshop in April!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

About.Me - New free bio page

Gorgeous layout to display photo and bio with social media links HERE.
Great for SEO!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Living for a Living: Paul Hassell's Light Business

My gifting, as I understand it. An article I wrote for the blog of author Austin L. Church.