Category Archives: Landscapes

Mt. Olympus at Night

Happy New Year! I love the holidays but it’s always nice to get back to work and start a new year. Last week I came down with a pretty nasty cold and by the end of the week was feeling pretty stir crazy from lounging around trying to get better and need to get out and shoot something. I thought it would be nice to get a cool shot of Mt. Olympus at night so at 9pm set out to see what I could find. I drove for a bit to try and find a spot that I could get up on the foothills around Parleys Canyon. I figured that would be a good area to find a nice shot. I parked, put on some gaiters and headed up the mountain. I ended up finding a trail that met up the Bonneville Shoreline Trail and found a good spot that would work to get the shot.

Mt. Olympus at NightI love shooting at night. When I was in college I shot a lot of my assignments and projects at night. I think I like shooting landscapes and cityscapes at night at night because it is a nice change from my normal assignments from work. Here are a few tips for getting shots at night.

-Invest in a nice lightweight carbon tripod with a solid ball head. They are more expensive that aluminum tripods but when you are hiking around they are the way to go. Still stable but much lighter. I prefer ball heads they give you lots of options while shooting.

-Use a shutter release cable. I use my intervalometer. It has a shutter release built into it as most do. On almost DSLR cameras there is a max shutter of 30 sec. if you need to shoot longer than that you must put your camera on Bulb and use a shutter release cable to control the length of time the shutter is open.

-Use a sand bag or some rocks to hang on the bottom of the tripod. Adding some additional weight will keep you camera stable. The last thing you want is for your camera to move while getting your shot

-Use a lower ISO. You will have a tenancy to want to increase your ISO do decrease your exposure time but this will create more noise in your shot.

-Plan on taking some time. Night shots take much more time to take than shooting during the day. Depending on the available light for your shot, it will take at least 3-5 min per shot and sometimes longer. That is just for the exposure. After your camera is done taking the shot, it takes about the same amount of time to render longer exposure noise reduction to the image.  When I went out last week for this shot I ended up taking 8-10 shots and it took me an hour and half by the time and drove, hiked, found a spot, shot and came back down. That’s pretty fast I thought.

-Dress warm, especially this time of year. With a little wind and the cold on top of the fact that once you start shooting your not moving around much. Remember to dress in lots of layers.

Shooting at night is a lot of trial and error. A light meter isn’t much help in these situations. Finding the right focus and be tricky and being mindful of how motion will play into your shot are all challenges of getting the right exposure and shot while shooting at night. I love it and think it is really fun to and experiment with.

The image above is the shot I got last weekend. I’m pretty happy with it. Thanks for checking it out! I shot it at f/11 for about a min. and a half with an ISO of 100. Happy shooting!


Top 10 Images of 2014

I Hope everyone had a great Christmas Holiday. I can’t believe that 2014 is just about over. It has been a great year and I wanted to finish it out with my top 10 images from this past year along with a little background and info on how I shot them.

#1- Skaftafell National Park, Iceland

Iceland Glacier WalkNot a big shocker here for anyone that has been following me lately. Iceland was my favorite place to shoot this last year. I’m only going to include one shot from this trip even though I could easily add more. If you want to see more images I shot there you can check it out on a previous post here.  I love the texture and colors of this shot. It screams epic adventure to me and that is what Iceland is about, a giant epic adventure. Shot this with a Nikon D810 and the Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 lens 1/500 @ f/ll ISO 800

#2-Vickie Walker Portrait-Good Housekeeping Magazine

Vickie-1I was really honored to be able to photograph Vickie. She is an incredible person and was really nice to work with. Her husband was tragically killed in the Trolly Square shooting of 2007. She noticed a lack of support groups for people in her situation and went on to create a victims advocate group called Circle the Wagons. She is a great example of how to overcome tragic loss with something good to help others. Photographed with a Hasselblad H5D-40 and 80mm lens 1/125 @f4 ISO 400 Profoto B1 Air and large umbrella

#3-Rancher Portrait- SelectHealth

Rancher-1Nothing too crazy here. I Just loved how this portrait came together. Great location and its always nice when you can get the real deal for a model on an advertising shoot. Nikon D810 with a Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 1/640 @ f/2.8 ISO 125

#4-Railay Beach, Thailand

Thailand-1This shot ended up being my favorite shot from Thailand. Here again I could have included many more but you can see additional images on a previous post here. Thailand has the best beaches I’ve ever seen. This is also a huge rock climbing destination. Really amazing place. Nikon D4 with Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 1/80th sec @ f/14 ISO 200 on a tripod.

#5 Amaze Campaign-SelectHealth

C-1We got this shot early in the morning when the sun was coming up in Downtown SLC. Shot it with available light and a California Sunbounce to fill in the shadows a bit. Nikon D810 with Nikon 35mm 1.4 1/640th sec. @ f/2 ISO 125

#6 Police Officer Portrait-SelectHealth

Police Officer-1I have a great respect and appreciation for police officers. It was fun to work with Trevor he is a great family man and really nice guy to work with. Nikon D810 and Nikon 35mm 1/125th of sec @ f/2 ISO 400 with a Profoto B1 Air and a large shoot through umbrella.

#7 Ripstix Campaign-Zija International

Zija-1This shot of fitness model Debbie Tebbs we created for Zija and was one of my favorites. She is a natural athlete and really good to work with. The client wanted a bit grittier look for this campaign. Really fun shoot. Nikon D4 with Nikon 24-70mm 1/1600th of sec @ f/4 ISO 200 and the sun bounce.

#8-Antelope Island Trail Running

I had been wanting to shoot out at Antelope Island for sometime.  Fitness model Matt White called me up and asked if I wanted to go shoot something with him.  I thought he would be perfect for a nice Antelope Island trail run adventure. Matt and his friend Katy worked out great. Nikon D810 with Nikon 20mm 1.8 1/400th of Sec. @ f/5.6 ISO 64 all natural light.

#9 Cally Grindstaff Portrait-SelectHealth

Idaho-1Captured this image while on assignment in Idaho Falls, ID for a testimonial campaign for SelectHealth. We created this shot mixing available and strobe lighting. Shot mid afternoon on a Nikon D810 with Nikon 50mm 1.4 1/160 of sec. @ f/2.8 ISO 64 with a Profoto B1 Air and medium shoot through umbrella.

#10 Browning Clothing

Browning-2Lastly, I got this image while on a catalog shoot for Browning. After driving around our location I found this nice open field with a windmill that I thought would work well for the truck shot we needed for the catalog. We had a brand new Ford f350 for the shoot and it all came together nicely for this shot. I used a polarizer filter on the lens to bring out the sky better. Again on the Nikon D810 with Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 1/800th of Sec @ f/4 ISO 200 all natural light.

That concludes my top 10 images of 2014. Special thanks to all my clients, my assistants Cory Steffen and Stephen Bain, my stylists: Christie Somers, Michelle Bindrup, Kathy Exhenbrecht and lastly production help from Michelle Drier. I also need to thank my sweet wife Karri for holding down the fort and keeping tabs on our two daughters while I’m out shooting. I couldn’t do any of this without her help and support.

I hope you liked them and I look forward to what 2015 has to bring. Hopefully even more adventures and even better images and opportunities. Got to keep pushing! I’d also invite you check out my newly update website at Thanks for checking things out. I hope you have a Happy New Year!

2014 Annual Open House and Photo Exhibit

I’m happy to announce that I will be hosting my annual studio open house and exhibit for this year on Dec. 12th, 2014 from 6:30pm-9:30pm. I will be showing new work along with prints from my recent Iceland and Thailand trips that will be available for purchase. I will be giving away one of those prints to one lucky attendee. Please join me for this once a year event.

The exhibit will take place at my studio located on:

339 W. Pierpont Ave. Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Please bring your friends and join me this holiday season to check out my most recent work,  enjoy some good food and meet some new people. It will be a good time! Hope to see you then!

Happy Thanksgiving and as always you for your support!


Iceland, You Blew My Mind

BKF_5491As promised, I finally finished editing down my Iceland photos. I’m really happy with what I got. There are some shots that I would still like to go back and get. It’s definitely a place where I think you could go back time and time again and every time you would find something new. There are still some timelapse videos in the works but for now I wanted to get my favorite photos up.

Iceland is hands down the coolest place I’ve ever been to in my life. It’s clean, the people are super nice, the landscapes are epic and ever changing and it the light is a photographers dream. Getting around, unlike my experience in Thailand, is pretty easy. Although next time I go back I would like to get a bigger off road vehicle. The river crossings in Iceland can get serious.


The weather is Iceland was in the 50’s and 60’s during the day and in the 40’s at night. With the exception of a couple of nights when it dipped into the 30’s. I was super stoked that Sierra Designs sent me out with a new tent and sleeping bag. Especially the new Backcountry Bed sleeping bag by Sierra Designs is hands down the most comfortable bag I’ve ever slept in. The design is ingenious and it feels like I’m sleeping in my bed at home. When they sent me the bag and I first got it out I have to admit I was a little skeptical. Especially since I was going to be sleeping in it for 9 nights straight but I have to say that I was super stoked on it. I hate zippers in traditional sleeping bags and was glad to have it along for the trip. The Lightning 2UL tent was super easy to set up and super small to pack into my checked bag. Their stuff is super well designed and thought out. Perfect for the conditions I faced in Iceland.

BKF_4727 BKF_2365 Before I left on the trip I had to make sure and bring the right gear for the trip. I talked to Dave Ward at Pictureline about the trip. As we discussed things he mentioned that since I shoot Nikon it might be a good trip to test out the new Nikon TTLn remote trigger for the Profoto B1. He thought he might be able to get me a prototype version since they weren’t going to be released until yesterday the 15th of Sept. I was also super excited when Profoto agreed and sent out a couple of lights and the new unreleased prototype trigger.

With the strobe lined up, I did some research and these were the other items I ended up taking with me:

-Nikon D4 body
-Nikon D810 body
-Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 VR II lens
-Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 lens
-Nikon 50mm 1.4 lens
-Nikon 20mm 2.8 lens
-1 two stop and 1 three stop ND filter
-1 B+H Polarizer filter
-Step up rings
-Extra batteries for bodies and trigger
-Rode VideoMic Pro
-Tripod and head
-Sandbag (no sand while traveling) to put rocks in for weight
-13” Macbook pro
-2 Lacie rugged 1Tb drives
-1 Profoto B1 air 500w strobe with Nikon TTL trigger and extra battery
– I stand and 1 30” shoot through umbrella
-Finally cards, card readers, cables and other computer stuff

We were going to be camping but were going to have a car so I just put all my photo equipment into an F-stop backpack with a few clothes. The rest of what I needed including camping gear, food, extra clothing etc I fit into a rolling duffel bag that was water resistant and I could check. The B1 Air, extra battery, cables and all fit in a case to carry on. It all worked perfectly.


Once my friend Nate and I arrived in Iceland we got our car, gas, food, and other supplies in Reykjavik and meet our other friends, that arrived a week earlier, in the northern coast. Once there, we made a plan as to what parts of the country we were going to be able to get to and what we wanted to see. We decided we would head out on the southern peninsula for about 4 days days then hit a couple of spots outside Reykjavik. Following that, we would head back to Reykjavik get supplies and our friends would fly home. Then Nate and I would head out on the southern end of the Island for the remainder of our trip, which was another 4 days.

BKF_2316-Edit BKF_2196 Shooting in Iceland in the summer months is crazy because the sun sets so late and rises really early. What was just so amazing to me is that the light just hovers over the horizon for hours creating amazing golden light for hours. The weather was pretty good while we were there. We had about half the trip sunny and half overcast and rainy to so a good mix. It’s pretty chilly there most of the time and almost always windy. I spent most of my time shooting in pants and jacket and in thermals at night. Campfires weren’t an option because there isn’t any native trees to Iceland so no forests or wood around really.  Gas is crazy expensive also. It’s sold by the liter and come out to be about $9 gal. You have to plan where you are driving very or else you will end up spending a ton in gas. There is a road that goes around the entire Island. It takes 16 hours to drive it straight. Our friends did the entire loop over 2 weeks. Nate and I did about half of it over the time we were there and a bunch of extra little side trips. It is a fun place to drive around however.

BKF_6881Now lets talk about the new Profoto B1 Air 500 W strobe and the prototype Nikon TTLn remote. I was so stoked to have the opportunity to shoot with the light in Iceland.I was able to use it on a trail running shot, an ice cave shot and few other shots where I really needed it. It also worked really well for lighting up the tent I was shooting for Sierra Designs for night shots. I shot with it on the D4 and the D810. Worked great. When testing out the TTL function of the light most of the time I would start on TTL then just adjust it up or down, if needed, getting a pretty solid exposure. There were a few times that I shot it in manual mode and had to override the TTL setting. I’m sure with a little more practice and time with the light I could have trusted the TTL a bit more but since I needed to nail the light quickly and I was used to shooting in Manual mode I sometimes would just switch to that because I knew what the outcome would be. It is a great light to travel with due the small size. It easily fit in the top of backpack so I would have all my gear with me when I needed it without having to carry anything else in my hands which was great when crossing rivers, hiking etc.

BKF_5415 BKF_4009 BKF_3858BKF_5568Overall the trip was amazing. My favorite places I found were off the beaten path away from all the touristy places. Don’t be afraid to drive on some dirt roads to see where they go. The southern part of the island was my favorite. Big mountains, huge waterfalls, insane glaciers, and surreal landscapes.  It is hands down the best place to shoot.  I also want to go back with mountaineering gear, crampons, and an ice ax to really get where others aren’t. In conclusion if you are looking for an epic adventure that is also a photographers dream look no further than Iceland. It will not disappoint.

Special thanks to Marily MacDonald from Sierra Designs, Dave Ward at Pictureline, Michael Gray at Profoto,  Blake Hansen for letting tag along on your trip, Nate Gunn, Ty Thunell, Geoff McEntire, and Austin Owens for letting me get shots of you.

More Photos!

BKF_2077 BKF_2080 BKF_2087 BKF_2149 BKF_2158  BKF_2218 BKF_2335 BKF_2348 BKF_3254 BKF_3454 BKF_3504 BKF_3525 BKF_3606 BKF_3687 BKF_3830  BKF_3887 BKF_3998 BKF_4031 BKF_4820 BKF_4992-Edit BKF_5076 BKF_5096 BKF_5142 BKF_5209 BKF_5373  BKF_5601 BKF_5655 BKF_5871 BKF_5898 BKF_5950 BKF_5978 BKF_6048 BKF_6317 BKF_6494 BKF-60Thanks for checking everything out!