2016 Photography Workshops

Posted August 18th, 2015 by   |  Travel, Workshops  |  Permalink

Four of our 2016 photo workshops are posted and ready for signups. We’ll be going to Tanzania, Galapagos, Iceland, and Prague. I’m looking forward to seeing you and I know you are going to love these photo adventures and workshops. Great photography. Great food. Great people. I take great pride in putting together incredible journeys to the most incredible locations on earth. Join me in 2016!


Our Czech Republic and Prague workshop is a new destination for us in 2016. We’ll be traveling to  during the second week of October, 2016 and our goal is to take advantage of the fall colors . Imagine photographing the Czech Republic’s castles, forests and cities with the backdrop of vibrant colors. It will be beautiful.

2016 Workshop Information Pages

Iceland: July 17-24, 2016

Galapagos: September 17-25, 2016

Czech Republic/Prague: October 8-16, 2016

Tanzania: November 4-15, 2016

Email me at [email protected] if you have any questions. I’ll get right back to you!

Packing for Iceland

Posted August 8th, 2014 by   |  Photography  |  Permalink

I’m packing up for a ten-day photo adventure trip to Iceland with a group of intrepid photographers. Our photographic goals are birds and landscapes, and we’ll be shooting like crazy from sun up to sun down – which is a really long time in the Icelandic summer! Each day will bring puffins, glaciers, icebergs, whales, gannets, skua, volcanoes, sheep and gorgeous light. Can’t wait.

Iceland photo gear

Here’s all the photo and digital gear I’m packing for a ten-day trip to Iceland. Cameras, lenses, tripods and computer.

Here’s the gear I’m bringing for this trip:

Gura Gear Bataflae 32L

Nikon 200-400mm f/4

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8

Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8

Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8

Nikon 50mm f/1.8

Nikon TC-14E II

Extension Tubes

Nikon SB-910

Nikon TTL Cable

Nikon MC-30 release cable

Nikon D800

Nikon D600

Peak Design Capture Clip Pro and Leash system (use code mhagen for 10% off)

Gitzo Mountaineer Carbon Fiber Tripod

B+W 10 stop ND filter

Canon Vixia HDV Video Camera

Olympus sound recorder

Dead cat (wind muff)

MacBook Pro Retina 15″

Buffalo Thunderbolt 1TB backup drives

Manfrotto 128RC compact video head

Lens pen

Gaffer tape

Protein bars

Plugs and adapters

This year’s trip is sold out, but I have two Iceland photo adventures planned for 2015, one in Winter and the other in Summer. Check them out on our workshops page if you are interested.


Cuba on the Horizon: The Caribbean’s Hidden Biological Treasure

Posted June 25th, 2014 by   |  Travel, Wildlife  |  Permalink

Cuba coral reefs



In preparation for our upcoming photography trip to Cuba, I’ve been posting news and articles related to the cultural, political and natural aspects of this island nation. Here’s a short article from my colleague, Alethea Paradis regarding the status of the little-known coral reefs off of the Cuban shores.

The upside of minimal economic growth since 1959? Pristine environmental beauty. Cuba’s coral reefs, coastal regions and jungles are home to the most diverse range of species in the Caribbean. Unlike most of the islands in the warm-water region, Cuba’s coastal gems have been spared the ravages of over-fishing, pollution and habitat destruction which invariably accompanies economic development. Cuba’s slow-to-act government agencies and cultural commitment to scientific exploration work together – paradoxically – to keep their environment in a state of preservation: natural equilibrium, by inertia. As access to the island increases for Americans, and the potential end to the U.S. embargo against Cuba looms ominously in the future, economic boom could mean environmental bust for the natural habitat. “You always have this feeling that it’s about to change—that you’ll be the last one there before it explodes,” observes travel writer Julian Smith. Read the full article and see the beautiful images from the Nature Conservancy June/July 2014 issue

Written by Alethea Tyner Paradis
Friendship Tours World Travel

Cuba’s Free-Market Reforms and Communism?

Posted June 4th, 2014 by   |  Photography, Travel  |  Permalink

As we prepare for our upcoming Cuba cultural photography trip, I am reading as much as I can about reforms in the Cuban political landscape and marketplace.

cuba wholesale

How many free-market reforms can Cuba make and still call itself Communist? The world’s last relic of Marxist-style economies relaxed their policies yet again this week to allow the first wholesale agricultural market farmers have seen for generations. Since 2008, when the reforms of Fidel’s brother Raul began altering the economic legacy of the infamous Cold War Castro regime, over one-half million small businesses have been encouraged to innovate, employ and operate in the service sector.

What impact will this incremental embrace of capitalism have upon the socio-political landscape? Can Cuba maintain a closed social order while it expands its economic principles and operations? Historians and culture-junkies, pundits and politicians, documentarians and artists speculate wildly divergent theories of the enchanted island’s future. Upon one thing they all agree: Cuba will change. See it now, and be a measure of that transformation.

Article: Reuters.com

(Special thanks to Alethea Paradis from Friendship Tours World Travel for the intro and the article link.)


Day on the Ranch, morning photo session

Posted April 6th, 2010 by   |  Photography, Travel, Workshops  |  Permalink

Sunrise and a cowgirl with her horse. Nikon D700, 70-200 f2.8.

Spent the morning taking some amazing photographs at our Day on the Ranch photography workshop. We are south of Mariposa, CA and the weather couldn’t be nicer. We have a bunch of ranch hands running horses and cattle while we photograph them on their turf. It is a lot of fun. Later, we’ll have a big BBQ around a fire pit. I’m headed home stuffed like a pig.


Steam in the morning light. Nikon D300s, 200-400mm f4.

Cowgirl portrait. Nikon D300s, 70-200 f2.8.

Cowgirl portrait. Nikon D300s, 70-200 f2.8.

This is the owner of the ranch. Nikon D300s, 70-200 f2.8, handheld reflector for lighting her face...

This is the owner of the ranch. Nikon D300s, 70-200 f2.8, handheld reflector for lighting her face...

Riding on the ridge. Nikon D300s, 200-400 f4.

Riding on the ridge. Nikon D300s, 200-400 f4.

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