The National Parks, Americas Best Idea by Ken Burns

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Kenai Fjords, Miscellaneous, Photos, Travel 5 Comments

Cameraman Buddy Squires, producer Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns in Aialik Bay, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska.

Cameraman Buddy Squires, producer Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns in Aialik Bay, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska.

I thought I would do a quick reminder that the Ken Burns series on our National Parks will begin airing Sunday evening on PBS.

As you may know, I helped out a bit when Florentine Films was filming in Kenai Fjords back in 2003 – they have been working on this film for sometime.  Ken, Dayton and Buddy were some of the most interesting people I have ever met, and could tell fascinating stories about the people they have met and places they had seen thanks to their past projects.  What doesn’t come across in the television interviews I have seen is Ken’s wonderful sense of humor – the group of us sure had a lot of fun, I don’t think I have ever laughed so much while out in the field!

I had the chance to see much of the Alaska portion of the coverage of this series and it was really well done.  I can’t imagine the research that must go into a project like this.  The series talked at length about people like Adolph Murie, Bradford and Barbara Washburn, Charles Sheldon and Joe Quigley – all people that are well known to Alaskans, but may be unfamiliar to most Americans.  I look forward to learning about similar people from other parts of the United States who may be unfamiliar to me.

I don’t think I’ll have a chance to watch it right now – we don’t get much in the way of TV right now, and we are kinda busy, but I do look forward to watching it once we are back in Alaska.  Here is the PBS site with much more information including times for The National Parks, Americas Best Idea.

Ken Burns pretending to be deeply contaplating a rock as he hams it up for my camera.  He was halarious.  At the time I was sorry my flash didnt fire, but in hindsight, I like the shiouette.

Ken Burns pretending to be deeply engrossed by a beach stone as he hams it up for my camera. He was hilarious. At the time I was sorry my flash didn't fire, but in hindsight, I like the silhouette.

What do I do for Power on Extended Trips in the Field?

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Ask Ron, Chugach, Miscellaneous, Travel 11 Comments

Camping in the Chuach National Forest, Alaska.

How do I handle the power needs for my digital camera and file storage on long trips away from electricity?  This was an ask Ron question brought up by two fellow blog’en photographer friends of mine Richard Wong and Gary Crabbe.  Both guys operate great blogs – blogs I read everyday, so if you have extra time, do check them out.   Read More

In Deep with Steep and Cheap!

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Chugach, Miscellaneous, Photos, Travel 15 Comments

Culross Island, Prince William Sound, Chugach National Forest, Alaska.

Culross Island, Prince William Sound, Chugach National Forest, Alaska.

This is Troy Henkels in the pack raft on a beautful island in Prince William Sound.  I’m a bit tired of a brown and white world, and I’m now looking forward to the rich greens of summer!

Speaking of getting ready for summer – I have to admit, I’m a bit addicted to  Steep and Cheap is a bit like an online, outdoor gear version of QVC.  They only sell one item at a time, and the item is usally only up for 20 minutes or so, or until is sells out.  You never know what might appear, but it is usually at a killer price – so we find ourselves constantly checking back to see what we are missing out on – it is adicting!

PS:  Here is a site that feature numerous outdoor gear deals of the day.

Legal Advice for Photographers

Ron Niebrugge California, How to, Miscellaneous, Orange County, Photos 3 Comments


Palm Trees at sunset, Newport Beach, California.

Palm Trees at sunset, Newport Beach, California.

Let me start by saying, you shouldn’t get your legal advice from friends and fellow photographers.  Having said that, let me offer some advice.  🙂

The place I turn to when I have questions is the Photographer’s Legal Guide by Carolyn Wright.  The book covers most of the legal issues one might encounter when dealing with photo business and photography issues such as copyrights, model releases, insurance and paperwork.  I think most photographers will find it very valuable. 

I have known Carolyn for a number of years now and consider her a friend – she is a wonderful person, and as a fellow photographer, she understands the industry and issues photographers face.  We have hired her on occasions when we needed large contracts reviewed, and also successfully used her for a copyright infringement suit – who better to hire then the person who wrote the book!  Read More

An Easy to Use WordPress Theme ?!

Ron Niebrugge California, Miscellaneous, Photos, Travel 22 Comments

A sunset at the Salton Sea California from this past winter.

A sunset at the Salton Sea California from this past winter.

I have received numerous emails and comments over the past year asking me to post bigger photos.  Really, I haven’t been ignoring those requests, it just wasn’t possible because my old theme was so narrow.  It was probably fine in the days of 800 x 600 monitor resolutions, but today, I just ended up with a narrow blog and a bunch of gray space on either side! 

So I had enough of my old theme, and there was no way I was going to try to modify it – heck, just adding the photo to the banner took me a day!    So this past weekend I went on a search for a new theme.  I won’t bore you with the details, but there are thousands and thousands of themes out there – and of course none of them are just right.  That is when I found Thesis;  About Thesis — Find out more about Thesis and the DIYthemes philosophy 

With Thesis, I had total control.  To change to three columns instead of my previous two –  I just selected the 3 column option in the drop down menu.  I wanted an extra wide column for my large photos – all I did was type in the desired width in a little box and bingo, it changes!  Not only does it change, but everything lines up perfectly – something that was a constant battle before.  Would I prefer the side bars on each side, with the content down the middle?  You guessed it, just another click.  Rotating photos at the top of the sidebar – painless!  Supposedly they have great support, fortunately I didn’t need it, but I did drop by the online forum which has almost six thousand users.Read More

Favorite Photos from 2008

Ron Niebrugge Miscellaneous, Photos, Travel 13 Comments

Jim Goldstein had a good idea where he suggested photographers post their 10 best photos from 2008 on their blog.  I keep putting the post off as we are busy with our travels – but it did sound fun, so last night I made the time even if I am too late for Jim’s blog.   I have no idea which photos are my best or worst, so I just picked out my 10 favorites.

Since so many people receive the blog via email, I decided to limit this to small thumbnail sized images as to not over-load anyone’s email account.  I do have a link to a much larger size version next to each image.  Well, here it goes.


Just seeing this wild lynx in Denali National Park was the highlight of the year, having a photo from the experience made it an easy pick.


 The two Grizzly bears  in the fall Denali landscape don’t show as well in this small thumbnail, but are easy to see in the larger version. 

Horned Puffin, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.  These colorful birds were a blast to photograph.  This one made the list because I really liked the flowers above the bird.  I have some with mouths full of fish that were close honorable mentions.


Seeing the shorebird migration along the Copper River Delta, Alaska was another peak experience for the year.

A sow grizzly teaching a cub how to dig for clams, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.  We felt honored to watch such a tender moment between such powerful animals.


Desert Bighorn, Moab, Uath.   I really liked the setting for this Desert Bighorn image.

Wildflowers in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California.  Given I spent almost two months chasing beautiful wildflowers, you know at least one will make this list!

Mountain biking the Slickrock Trail, Moab, Utah.  A fun place to photograph and ride!

Breeching Orca, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska.  I had to have one from my own “back yard”!

Sea Otter, Chugach National Forest, Alaska.  He was too cute to leave off this list.

I really wanted to include a photo of the nesting great horned owls, or some of the rain forest grizzly bear images I worked so hard on near Seward this summer, or a few more desert landscapes, or even a desert tortoise, but I gotta stick to 10 – I hate to play favorites.

It is interesting to see 8 of the 10 are wildlife images as I did make a conscious effort to spend more time pursuing wildlife this year – photographing wildlife has always been something I really enjoyed, but in recent years, I had gotten away from that a bit.  Wildlife can be really tough because it can involve a lot of time, and can provide little in return.  It would have been interesting to see what the mix of images would have been from earlier years, or for next year!

The Real Deal

Ron Niebrugge Las Vegas, Miscellaneous, Nevada, Travel 11 Comments

Of all the poker players I photographed last week, it is interesting that the two I posted photos of were Doyle Brunson and Daniel Negreanu. Of course I picked them because they are two of the most famous and popular players – but get this – last night, Janine sat down and played Texas hold’em with the legendary Doyle Brunson! I’m serious – this isn’t April Fools!

And if that wasn’t enough, I did some side gambling on a prop bet with Daniel Negreanu! Now granted, I’m a gambling wimp, so it was only for a dollar, but still!Read More

Digital Camera Sensor Cleaning

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Chugach, How to, Miscellaneous, Photos 7 Comments


This was from last Saturday in the Chugach National Forest, about 12 miles from Seward, Alaska.  I used two graduated neutral density filters – one on the mountain, the other for the reflection.

Sensor dust can really show in images like this where you have a uniform color as you do with the sky, and when you are stopped down, because the increased depth of field helps to show your dust spots. Read More