Monthly Archives: September 2014

Big Sur and San Francisco

Big Sur and San Francisco are two of the most iconic locations in Northern California and we are headed there. Join us as we explore these amazing locations from January 22 through 26, 2015. Guided by Denise, who grew up in the Monterey Bay Area, as well as lived and worked in San Francisco for decades; her expert local knowledge will guide us to all the coolest spots!

So many people travel to Northern California in the middle of summer and are shocked to find the San Francisco Bay Area cold, rainy, and miserable… that is summer in San Francisco. One of the reasons that San Francisco is like that in the summer is the oppressive heat in the central regions of the state pull the fog in off the ocean on to the coastline, resulting in shocking cold temperatures. Locals know this. That is why we are visiting this area in one of the two best times of year, January.

To learn more and register for this trip, click here. Early bird discounts for this trip end November 16, 2014 at midnight.

Learn low light and evening photography while capturing stunning images of the iconic bridges spanning the Bay:



Visit classic neighborhoods like Chinatown, Little Italy, and Fisherman’s Wharf:


Be there for that special moment (which only happens two months of the year) when the sun glows through the archway in Big Sur:

_DSF2644-Edit-3 _DSF2265-Edit-4

Capture sunset on the rugged coastline of Northern California:

_DSF2108-Edit _DSF2112-Edit-2 _DSF2659-Edit-2 _DSF2745-Edit-2


Journey through Iceland

Iceland is a photographer’s paradise with its varied landscapes, massive waterfalls, and epic glacial lagoons. Our 2015 Epic Iceland Tour is open for registration… don’t miss out on visiting this amazing country. Over 8 days and nights, we will traverse Iceland, from Snaefellsnes Peninsula to Höfn, with stops in the Highlands, lava fields, and glacial lagoons. See the remains of a U.S. Navy DC-3. Stand at the foot of a glacier. Surround yourself in mossy lava. Stand in front of, behind, and under looming falls. There is no place like Iceland!

Don and I have mapped out a great trip. We are keeping our trip small, no more than 6 participants. This will keep our group flexible, allowing us to travel to lesser known places. With such limited space and great pricing, you’ll have to act fast. Also, we are running special pricing… get a single room at no additional cost. Our special pricing ends November 16 at Midnight. We are also traveling a bit later in the season, Sept 5-13. We have chosen this time to take advantage of the better weather while doing our best to give our participates an opportunity to capture images of the aurora borealis (weather cooperating)! Also, unlike other tours that go mid-summer when the sun never fully sets, September will also provide sunrises and sunsets with that amazing Icelandic light.

To learn more and register, click here.

Here is a quick video of our most recent journey.

_DSF8599-Edit-2   _XT15372 2-Edit-2 _XT16227-Edit-2 _DSF7428-3-Edit IMG_9920   _XT12265-Edit _XT14323-Edit _XT17703-Edit-2   _DSF7572-2-Edit

 _XT14506-Edit-Edit _DSF8768-Edit-3

The Potential of RAW

RAW or jpg


The proverbial question… which format should I be shooting in.

To me the answer is simple: RAW

RAW captures the most data and more data means more alternatives when post processing an image. For those folks new to RAW, you may notice that the image you download, don’t really look like the images you saw on the LCD right after you captured them. And this can be frustrating; at least it was for me.

I remember thinking, why isn’t this what I remember?! Followed by expletives. Then, through discussions with friends that shared their knowledge with me, I learned that RAW images were unaltered by my camera, unlike the jpg thumbnail of my images I viewed on the LCD.

After you capture an image, your camera creates a jpg thumbnail so that you can view your image on your camera’s LCD/viewfinder. To create the jpg, your camera runs algorithms, established by the manufacturer, to create a viewable image. These algorithms include contrast, hue/saturation, and compression, among other enhancements. If you set your camera to capture jpgs, then the images you download from the camera will look like the jpgs you reviewed on the LCD/viewfinder.

However, if your capture your images in RAW format, your images will seem flat and dull in comparison to the thumbnails. This is because when the camera is set to RAW, no algorithms are applied to the files (other than in the creation for the jpg thumbnail used for review). The benefit is that you have so much more data to work with when you go to post process your images. But it doesn’t change the frustration you may feel when initially reviewing your image files.

In this video, I demonstrate the potential of the RAW file by showing how just a few minor adjustments can take a dull RAW file to something worth sharing.

To view the video, click here!



HowToWow Tour with Nikon Ambassador Jerry Ghionis!

Road Runner Photo Tours is proudly sponsoring Jerry Ghionis’ HowToWow Tour. Jerry is a Nikon Ambassador who specializes in portrait, wedding, and boudoir photography.

Jerry will be in the Washington DC area on September 21! The full day program starts at 9am and runs until 8:30pm. An entire day packed with information, tips, and techniques to help build your portrait photography skills!

This is an area of photography that Don and I don’t specialize in, so we are not only sponsoring Jerry’s tour, but are also participating! In one day, Jerry will teach you how to use posing, expression and lighting to effectively transform any location into a perfect shot!

During this tour, Jerry will be sharing his tips and techniques for capturing beautiful portraits in a types of lighting conditions. Jerry will teach you HOW to WOW your clients every time with extraordinary images. Learn Jerry’s method of resourcefully transforming any location and utilizing available light to create timeless pieces. Get in on the action with professional models, all-day tethered shooting, multiple sets, real time problem-solving, tips and templates to market and grow your business.

This workshop is for anyone looking to learn or improve their portrait/wedding photography skills. We are promoting the tour through our Meetup because it is not a skill set we would be able to offer on our own.

To register for this event, you must sign up on the HowToWow Tour website, here:

There are 3 ways to participate in the program:

  1. The Daytime Workshop (9am – 4pm)
  2. The Evening Seminar (5pm – 8:30pm)
  3. The Full Experience (9am – 8:30pm)

The HowToWow website provides full descriptions of each level, including costs. To receive $10 off admission, use our discount code: HTWRRP.

A Perfect Shave




Standing in front of this bathroom sink I could envision the farmer who lived in this house shaving. Who knows, perhaps he had a beard and rarely shaved, but it’s what I thought about when I composed this shot. I used Perfect Photo Suite to edit and process this image. I shot this old farm house during our Palouse Tour last June. We plan to go back to the Palouse in June 2015 and would love to share the beautiful landscapes, abandoned houses and old trucks with you. The Palouse is wonderful location and never disappoints.

Speaking of Perfect. Our friends at OnOne Software are updating Perfect Photo Suite this fall and we wanted to be the first to tell you about it! We have not had a chance to get our hands on a beta version yet, but the new features sound exciting! Lightning fast RAW previews, improved selection tools, a Smart Photo feature that lets you reedit your photos with previous settings intact are, just a few. Of course there are discounts for existing users and introductory pricing for new users.

Click here to check out OnOne Perfect Photo Suite!