Tag Archives: Uganda

15 Images from 2011

I’m thankful to have had a chance to really stretch myself as a photographer in 2011.  Now – that doesn’t mean I nailed every shot I pointed my camera at (in fact – I missed quite a few images) – and it doesn’t mean that I shot everything on my “2011 list” – but it was a great year for learning – from having the chance to fly half around the world to deciphering some studio lighting.  In between – I had opportunities to shoot more rodeo and hot air balloons – and to teach an informal travel photography class and write an article for PhotographyBB (both were great learning curves!).

As I’ve done the last few years, I’m posting images from the year that I think sum up what could be considered some of my best work.  For folks new to this blog – I simply think this process of handpicking and culling photos from a year – the process of drawing a line in the sand – is a great exercise to really sharpen the proverbial pencil.  There’s no need to post your images on a blog or on Flickr  or Facebook – but I highly recommend trying this exercise.

In year’s past – I’ve posted 10 images – and then I quickly followed up with “ten more”.  Well – this year – I decided to simply post 15 images without a follow up.  Maybe next year – I can actually get myself to only 10.  🙂

It’s probably not surprising – but this year’s list is heavily weighted with images from Uganda (6 photos).

Also – maybe not surprising – buts something that struck me after I compiled this list – many of the images – at least in my opinion – had a lighting element that could be considered striking or extraordinary.

Are these my “15 best”?  Maybe some of these would make that list – it’s hard to say exactly.  Regardless – I hope they represent a range of some of my better images from the year.

So – here you go – in no particular order – 15 images from 2011.  And – if you have any feedback – please don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments.

Fishermen on Lake Victoria.

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Playing with sparklers (+ long exposure).

2011 top images-8 Traffic on Highway 99.

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I was taking some photos inside this classroom between classes – and this girl was just drawing on the board.

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At the Northwest Art & Air Festival.

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Boda-boda drivers outside of Kampala, Uganda.

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Steer wrestling at the Philomath Frolic & Rodeo.

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Rough stock riders prepare at the Benton County Rodeo.

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Green heron fledgling.

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Hot air balloons at sunrise.

2011 top images-17Rain at Rally for Life in Salem, Oregon.

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Sunrise.  Uganda.

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Carver at the carousel in Salem, Oregon.

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Boy playing at a school in Kampala.

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From the back of a boda-boda outside of Kampala.2011 top images-16

Bag Review: Timbuk2 Messenger + Domke Insert

For my “daily” shooting bag – I’ve been using the ThinkTank Retrospective 10.  A great bag that I reviewed last summer.  However – in Uganda – I figured I was going to be out in the field for some long hours – and I was probably going to want to a bit more gear on hand.bag reviews-6

What to do?  Well – I dug around the web for some options – but nothing really struck me as the solution I wanted to haul halfway across the world.  And as it turns out – I had this almost 10 year old Timbuk2 messenger around (medium) – and a Domke insert that I’d picked up out of curiosity.

So – how did the combo work?  In a word – great!

I could carry two cameras with lenses attached, another lens, a small water bottle or two, a table top Gitzo tripod, and the other stuff often found in camera bags – comfortably all day.

That’s not to say that it felt “weightless” – but it was quite comfortable.

The insert only extends to about 2/3 the width of the bag.  That extra space in the bag (below – it’s shown on the right side) – is where I stuffed my water bottles.  I had originally thought that I wanted water bottle holders or pockets on the outside of my bag – but – once in the field – it worked to be an advantage to have room in the bag for the bottles.

Of course – that extra room is also good for a light jacket, snack, and other stuff that you might want to throw in your bag.

As for the brown color – well – 10 years later – I might have ordered a black one (or a dark gray) – but hey, it was already in my closet.  And – it definitely didn’t look like a camera bag.

If you were to build this collection from scratch – it’ll probably be about $130-$140 after you add the Timbuk2 shoulder strap pad.

Bottom line?  Highly recommended for those times when you’d like to carry a bit more gear, have it quickly accessible, not spend a bunch of cash, and like to keep a low visual profile.

bag reviews-5


Bag Review: F-Stop Loka

Historically, I’ve picked my bags and backpacks with some rigor (really, that goes for most gear).  I’ll even admit that there have been times I’ve turned to spreadsheets to compare gear.

There I said it…   🙂

As for bags – I’m pretty picky.  Patagonia.  The North Face.  Mountainsmith.  Timbuk2.  Think Tank.  Dana Design.  MacPac (yes – my bag reviews-2current long trail pack beckons from New Zealand.  It’s a great pack).  And now F-Stop.

And though there appear to be a lot of great photo packs out there – I had some specific criteria:  slim design (overhead bin / carry-on friendly), could be considered for both trail and travel, and didn’t yell – “hey, look at me, I’m a camera bag.”

The reviews I found online were glowing for the F-stop Loka – but I wondered if it could really be that good?

So – it was with some nervousness that I ordered the pack and two ICU’s (Internal Camera Units) – the Small and Medium.  And, the next day, I received a very polite call from F-Stop letting me know that the color I wanted (green) was out of stock and not expected for 3-4 months.

With a bit of reluctance, I got the black one (which, of course, holds gear just as well as the green one).

The strategy with purchasing both the Small and Medium ICU’s was that when used together – they equal a large ICU – and maximizes the amount of photo gear that can be carried in the pack – but if I’m carrying less photo gear on a day hike – I could use one or the other – and have plenty of room for a jacket and lunch.

When the pack first arrived – it was quickly apparent that this was a backpack.  Maybe that sounds a bit funny – since it’s advertised as a backpack – but this isn’t simply a padded box with straps (which are great for some occasions) – this is a “real” backpack – ready for work.  (Woohoo!)

bag reviews-1My daughter saw the pack and said that it was a lot like her Hello Kitty backpack – except that this one was black – and a bit bigger.  Who am I to argue?  🙂

The first trip for the backpack was to Uganda.  I loaded it with cameras, lenses, batteries, chargers, filters, and a bunch of odds-n-ends.  After it was loaded – it both carried well – and fit easily in those cavernous overhead bins often found on the 747 / A300 type airplanes.

As for protection?  Well – I wasn’t keen on drop testing a fully loaded pack – but the padding seemed to be adequate – without being too much.

As for the zippers, straps, material, workmanship – all top notch.

The Cons?  Honestly – there’s not many – and mostly they’re my own nitpicks.

First: The waist belt is great – when you’re sloshing down a trail.  However – when trekking across an airport – I didn’t need it.  One of two things would help keep it out of the way when traveling: (1) a small little pocket/sleeve to slide it behind or (2) simply make it removable.

And second: I’m not super fond of F-Stop’s naming scheme for their backpacks.  Thankfully – it’s not plastered all over the pack.

Bottom line:  Of course, no camera bag is going to be perfect – but I was pleasantly surprised with this F-stop bag.  It’s a great pack.  Highly recommended.

Photos from Uganda: #7

OK – the last in my series “… from Uganda” (at least for now).  And – so I thought I’d just leave you with a few that I shot “from the road”.  These are shots from moving vehicles – either cars, buses, or motorcycles (and – no – I wasn’t driving 🙂 ).

from the bus-2 A boda on the back of a boda.

from the bus-3 from the bus-4As for the last one – well – that’s from the back of a boda-boda (motorcycle taxi).  Fortunately – he drove slow while I took photos.

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Photos from Uganda: #6

Just a few photos of  street vendors.

This first image is of a “drive up” of sorts.  After a few images – I had some of the beef on a stick (pictured here).  Not sure what the seasoning was – but it was quite good.vendors-34


Bought some pineapple from this guy one evening – and he was then kind enough to let me shoot a few photos while he worked.


Photos from Uganda: #5

A few from downtown Kampala.

The first photo is from a school that we passed by on our way to another neighborhood.  Elijah, from our group, starting an impromptu back flip show – and then the students joined in.

around Kampala-1 This is looking down onto a street in Kampala.  And though this may not be one to put on the wall – I’m intrigued by it.around Kampala-2 Just one from the hip while walking.

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Photos from Uganda: #4

Nearly 20,000 frequent flier miles later – and I brought home photos of cows.

So – here you go.  A mini cow portfolio.   🙂

more cows-1more cows-2

As for the last image – well – that one nibbled on my shirt while I snapped the photo of another.  Made me laugh.

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Photos from Uganda: #3

My first day in Uganda – the group I traveled with took a side trip to the headwaters of the Nile River at Lake Victoria – that included a boat ride / tour.

I took a lot of photos – but I kept coming back to the ones of the fishermen.

As for the top image – simply great light.

fishing-2 fishing-1

Photos from Uganda: #2

Over the next bit – I’m going to try and post more photos from my recent trip to Uganda.


Show Mercy International, the organization that I traveled with, has a primary mission to serve orphaned and abandoned children in Uganda.

This photo was from an afternoon out at Hope Children’s Home – located not too far outside of Kampala – where about 100 students live – and another 200 or so attend school.

Brittany – shown here to the right – leads the child sponsorship program at Show Mercy.

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Back from Uganda

Been back now for a few days from a week in Uganda where I had an opportunity to photograph alongside a short mission trip organized by Show Mercy International in and around Kampala.

Still working through a bunch of images – but I thought I’d throw one out there – if for nothing else – just to say “howdy”.

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