Posts By Brad Moore

Who doesn’t like a good travel story, one that has a meaningful moral? Who doesn’t like to see captivating travel photographs—images that motivate and inspire? And who does not like going behind-the-scenes to learn what went into the making of a travel photograph?

That is where my 42nd book, Photo Pursuit: Stories Behind the Photographs – a travel photographer’s memoir (a Kindle book readable on all devices, including IOS devices, with the free Kindle reader) is all about.

In this guest blog post (thank you Scott and Brad), I’ll share three of my favorite Stories from the book, which features 38 Stories along with more than 40 full-color photographs.


But first, a bit about the book.

Through my storytelling for each photograph (some of my favorites from my travels to more than 100 countries), you will learn about important photographic techniques that you can apply to your own photographs—when traveling to faraway places or when photographing close to home. In fact, this info-packed book offers all the practical photo tip, tricks, and techniques that you can use to make pro-quality images.

And speaking of images, this book is best viewed on a full-color device for maximum photo quality.

Woven into my stories are camera settings, gear choices, and other important photographic techniques.

In reading this book, you will also learn something about the different locations and what it’s like photographing in those locales, which can help you make better photographs in similar situations.

So, in effect, this book is also a travelogue. You’ll get a taste of what it’s like photographing in Antarctica, Africa, Botswana, China, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, Myanmar, Iceland, Italy, Lake Baikal, The High Arctic, Provence, and Alaska, to name just a few fascinating places in which I have worked. 

Each of the 38 chapters is a story, and each story is accompanied by Morals of the Story. These takeaways are designed to reinforce the message of the story. In fact, in writing each story, I wrote the Morals first so I could weave in my most important tips and advice in an interesting storytelling fashion.

Virtually all of the photographs in this book were taken on my photo workshops or photo tours. I mention this because joining a photo workshop or tour is a wonderful way to see the world and to get photographs that perhaps you could not get on your own.

Again, this is a Kindle-only book. It is my first ebook-only book, and I am actually surprised at how easy it is to read and how good the images look on my iPhone and iPad.

This book was fun and rewarding to write. And now, perhaps because I am 71 years old and wrote this book during the pandemic of 2020/2021, this book has special meaning. Photo Pursuit is a recap of some of my favorite travels with my wife Susan Sammon, making the book a travel photographer’s memoir. Authors seem to put the most effort, passion, and love into memoirs.

The Appendix for the book features all the tech info for each photo. In addition to finding the EXIF date in the book, I set up a Gallery called Photo Pursuit, on my web set so readers can see each photograph along with the info. 

For readers of this book, I think you will find the exposure and location information useful if you find yourself in a similar situation.

Photo Pursuit is the third book in my recent “Photo” series. Photo Therapy was the first and Photo Quest was the second. You’ll find info on all my recent book on this page: https://ricksammon.com/ricks-books

Okay, here are the three Stories from my book. Enjoy!

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The Importance of Wildlife Ethics

Hi there, I’m Juan Pons. I’ve been a Wildlife Photographer leading workshops and seminars around the world for the last twenty years. I’m so honored to be one of the featured instructors at this year’s Outdoor Photography Conference on May 18-19th.

One topic I will be focusing on during the conference is fundamental to my work as a photographer and outdoor enthusiast- always exercising respect and protecting wildlife and the environment while capturing a memorable image.

No image, no matter how unique or special it may be, is worth stressing, endangering, or otherwise harming the wildlife or the landscape. As wildlife photographers, it is essential to be advocates for the environment and to lead others through our own actions and diligence.  If we as the storytellers, who love to photograph and observe the wildlife, do not prioritize protecting them, who will?

In my presentation, I will discuss a few of the areas of focus I always follow to ensure wildlife and their environment are being protected:

  1. Understanding Your Subjects
    The most beautiful wildlife photographs originate from natural behavior. We need to prepare ourselves to capture those critical moments, and the best way to do so is to research and understand our subjects, their behaviors, social structures, diet, migratory habits, and more. You can never really predict what wildlife will do at any moment, but by familiarizing ourselves intimately with our subjects, we can be ready to create those once in a lifetime images.
  2. Leaving No Trace
    The foundation of all wildlife photographers’ ethics should be to always leave no trace. This concept extends beyond the landscape- the wellbeing of your subject must be your priority at all times. We must never alter, modify, disturb or harm any habitat, food source, or surroundings. I advise all adventurers to understand they are a guest in the landscape they’re shooting. You should always consider the welfare of your subject first and foremost- ask yourself if the next action you are about to take will bring any harm in this moment or even in the distant future.
  3. Being In The Moment
    Oftentimes, we become engrossed in making images and neglect to fully appreciate the environment we’re in and the beauty we are witnessing. Take a moment to put your camera down, take a breath, and observe your surroundings. This practice deepens our connection and strengthens our appreciation of the environment and our subjects. As Baba Dioum well put it “In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.”

All of these topics, and many more, are imperative to our success as photographers and wildlife ambassadors. When we commit to the wellbeing of all wildlife, we create a symbiotic relationship with the environment.  I look forward to expanding on these topics during our time together in my seminar this week.

Juan Pons
Juan Pons Photography


You can learn more about Juan’s workshops, upcoming seminars, and newly released educational videos on Youtube, and check out his website at JuanPons.org

Blind Photo Critiques with Scott Kelby & Erik Kuna | The Grid Ep. 471

What’s your favorite Wednesday in May? If you said “Blind Critique Wednesday,” then you’ve answered correctly! Check out the latest round of blind photo critiques from Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna on this week’s episode of The Grid.

New KelbyOne Course: Creative Portraits with Everyday Objects with Mary Bel

Learn how to incorporate your personality into your portraits and let it shine through the camera! Join Mary Bel as she walks you through how to take everyday materials and turn them into something different that can give your photography a beautiful elevated feeling. Making something from nothing is super fun and completely attainable, and by the end of the class, you’re sure to take away inspiration, ideas, and tips that you can apply to your own creative journey.

The Surreal World of Long Exposure

Imagine…

How do you shoot something that hasn’t quite happened yet… or convey a sense of motion through your photography? Is it possible to capture a sense of time passing? How do you move past the snapshot into the realm of the surreal?

These are all things close to my heart and are questions I like to answer through my photography. I love to demonstrate what happens over time, whether it is a fraction of a second or several minutes or more. Yes, you guessed it, this is one of my favorite approaches to taking pictures! I visualize what may happen, most often I’m on target, and sometimes not quite, but the pursuit of what I imagine is exciting to me. 

About 45 minutes before sunrise, a 5 minute long exposure softly blurs clouds and water. Although pitch dark, the lifeguard stand is illuminated over time.

Through experience, I generally know what will happen when I shoot Atlantic Coast seascapes if I begin to shoot about an hour before sunrise. I may be lucky enough to capture a few stars, smooth the waves of the ocean, and stretch the clouds across the sky. It’s a familiar approach for me. I’ll often reach for the same camera, lens, and settings, varying my ISO to suit the composition.

I’m always surprised at how different each composition looks. Depending on cloud cover, weather, surf conditions, and moon phase, every shot is unique! Starting early gives me the opportunity to see what conditions may be like at sunrise and I truly enjoy being the first person on the beach.

If I’m shooting a San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge dawn shot, I will be the first person there, waiting for the first hint light while the rest of the city wakes up. The best light often occurs 45 minutes before sunrise. I love what happens with an exposure of 30 seconds or more. Watery reflections are smoothed out, and become almost magical, and clouds appear painted across the sky. 

A San Francisco dawn light up with vibrant color well before sunrise.

During sunrise, the light can be powerful and dramatic! It can also be a challenge to work with. At this point, I may reach the limits of my camera and lens, and I may need to use a graduated neutral density filter to help control the light. I love these creative controls. They’re like a paintbrush for the artist.

As I place a reverse graduated neutral density filter on the lens of my camera, the light is tamed, balanced, and the composition becomes more of what I envisioned. Taking the next step, I will use a solid neutral density filter to extend shutter speed. This takes my photography to next level, beyond the snapshot, into the surreal work of art.

Sunrise over a rocky beach in South Florida. My goal is to convey a sense of motion with the wave action.

The harsh light of mid-day gives me the opportunity and challenge to extend exposures in the 4-6 minute range. This makes for fascinating work in the world of long exposures. I use a 15-stop neutral density filter to create a shutter speed that will illustrate what transpires over time. With patience and practice, clouds can appear to be feather painted through the sky, water is blurred, and a surreal and unique photograph can be created.

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Avoid Misconceptions Learning Photography with Guest Mark Silber | The Grid Ep. 470

This week Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna are joined by photographer Marc Silber to talk about common misconceptions about learning photography! Marc brings years of experience as a photographer and educator to the discussion as he, Scott, and Erik hit these ideas head on and help beginners with their advice.


New KelbyOne Course: Photoshop for Beginners with Scott Kelby

If you’re new to Photoshop then this is the class for you! Join Scott Kelby as he takes you through the 12 essential techniques and concepts that you need to know to get started using Photoshop. Once you’ve got these under your belt you’ll be ready to head off into any Photoshop direction you choose.

In this class you’ll learn the essentials for opening and navigating around photos, using panels, using the most common tools, making selections, removing things from Photoshop, using brushes, using filters, and much more. These are exactly the techniques Scott would tell a friend to get them up and running with the most powerful image editor ever created, and by the end of the class you’ll feel confident to start diving deeper into more advanced techniques.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an underwater photographer? Imagine sitting on a boat, putting on this heavy gear (40-50 pounds) and then, after you giant stride into the water…. you’re weightless!

Actually, more than that, you’re floating (“wait, what?”), yep, floating. You get your camera rig handed to you from the boat, hook up with your buddy, let a little bit of air out of your BCD and descend, weightlessly gliding through the water in search of adventure, from the smallest sea critters to the largest pelagic predators, maybe even spotting a wreck!

You may be thinking “very cool, but how do I get there?”


Well, you have to start by being comfortable in the water – which takes education and practice – because when you are shooting on land, you don’t have to worry about breathing, but underwater, there is no air except what you bring with you.  Even the best swimmers can always use practice and improvement; though I grew up freediving and spearfishing, I recently took a freediving class just to hone those skills even more.

Depending on what type of underwater photography you want to do, if it’s in a pool or other shallow water or you’re looking for large pelagics like dolphins and whales you don’t need SCUBA – you can simply take a freedive course to learn how to handle that environment, but don’t neglect a water-based first-aid course to keep yourself and others safe.

Now you’re feeling good and your comfortable in the water, how do I get my camera in there with out ruining it? There are several answers anywhere from a $50 plastic bag off Amazon that I would advise against, up to a pro level DSLR with an aluminum underwater housing and strobes that would run you the price of a small car.

But let’s start with something that is good and won’t break the bank, if you are planning on just working in your pool or in the shallow waters of a spring or river (Less than 33 ft.), Outex makes a great solution around $400. If you are looking for something a little more robust like a surf housing from AquaTech you will be between $1000 and $1500. The pinnacle will be a full dive housing that’s rated to depths from 60 meters or more; like Ikelites ABS-PC housing going for $1600 up to a fully machined aluminum housing like the one from Seacam for $5000 and that’s just for the base housing no ports or lights.

This is all assuming you know the camera you want to use, which is a topic in and of itself because the optics underwater are more different than on land and what makes a great land lens might make it a poor underwater lens.

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