Two Amazing Wilderness Photographers & Educators

Saltworks, Death Valley National Park, CA


Podcast Highlights
0:02 Jay’s Favorite Images
11:05 Photographic Style
14:15 What Light is Ideal for Photography?
24:17 Best Photography Advice
28:49 What would you have done differently if you had to do things all over again?
35:09 Where are you going to be five years from now?
37: 39 Photography eBooks

Jay’s Favorite Images

Brent: Jay, are you ready to show us some of yours?  Is the first one The Garden of Eden that you want to talk about?

Punch Bowl Falls, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon (OR), USA

You’re completely transformed from a busy highway to this place which just looks like absolutely the greenest and the most breathtakingly beautiful place you’ve seen.

Jay:  Yup.  We love shooting in Pacific Northwest.  Like where I said earlier in the area that we would love to just go over there and settle down there, which we will most likely do once the kids are grown up.  One of the things we love about the Pacific Northwest is the amount of micro-climates that you find.  In a place called Eagle Creek in Columbia River Gorge, where the photo was taken, there is a micro-climate where you find temperate rain forest   You go into this environment and it’s a narrow, sort of a valley coming off of Mount Hood and it rains a lot and you go in there and you’re completely transformed from a busy highway to this place which just looks like absolutely the greenest and the most breathtakingly beautiful place you’ve seen.

On top of that, we like to photograph it when the spring colors are in full bloom.  If you notice all the moss on the rocks and things, they are probably at their height of spring colors when we went there to photograph them.  What we love to do is go out there when it’s raining because it provides richness to colors that you normally may or may not get because the grass is wet and wet surfaces tend to have a richer color tone.  Then combine that with a circular polarizer and you get the colors that are absolutely photoshopped without the use of Photoshop.

Brent: Lovely.

Jay: In order to take photographs like this, just for your viewers, we actually had to stand in freezing cold water.

Varina: It was cold.

Jay:  There’s an image somewhere on our blog that we had put together with Varina  standing in the cold water.  This water is snow melt and it is really cold and add to that the floor of the water carried away the heat so fast that your feet will pretty much go numb very quickly if you don’t have any protection.

Brent: That’s great.  Love this image, Jay.  You’ve got the waterfall in the background, kind of using the rule of thirds, the top third and on the left.  That’s obviously the focal point of this image, the line is part of this image and then you got the long exposure where it looks like the water is flowing towards us.  There’re some ripples in the water and you can see the pebbles under the water and the greenery is just amazing.  Love it.

Jay: Thanks.

Brent:  Love it.  I’ve never been to this area of the U.S. and I’ve definitely got to go there after seeing these images.  Lovely.  The next one, Jay, is it Salt Works?

Saltworks, Death Valley National Park, CA

 The objective of this image for me was to be able to highlight the beautiful geological formations of the Salt Flats in Death Valley.

Jay:  That’s a completely different terrain, so I picked out something that is not very different.  Salt works is in Death Valley.  If you look at the image, if you look closely at the large size, you’ll see that there’s actually a reflection in the water and there is a mix of reflection of the cloud and the textures.  The objective of this image for me was to be able to highlight the beautiful geological formations of the Salt Flats in Death Valley.  The sky was just putting on a show of its own to be able to capture that and this is a place which is one of the driest, hottest place on earth.  During our workshop a few years ago, we got incredibly lucky.  It had rained a few days before we got there.  There was an inch of water covering the entire salt flats.  So, you would walk in there and there are these salt formations that haven’t yet been destroyed by the water because the water was still pretty fresh.  We got a terrain which was absolutely unique.

We’ve been to this place 10 times in the last 10 years and we’ve seen the salt flats completely destroyed by the water.  I have photographs of this place with a lake from the floods and we have photographs of this place with no water, absolutely white surfaces of salt.  This was probably the only time when we got conditions which actually mix the salt formations and the water together.

Brent: Amazing.  Once in a lifetime photographs.

Jay: Yeah and the great thing about this was that we had a bunch of students with us and they were just awestruck.  They just stood there and looked at the sky and just oh, wow, this is awesome.

Varina:  With their jaws on the floor.

Brent: Yeah, and this is a sunset, is it?

Jay:  It is a sunset.  This particular location is good for both sunset and sunrise.  However, because of the terrain, the sunset has a better chance of producing colors because the mountains that you see to your left are further away than the mountains to your right, which you can’t really see in the photograph.  When the sun comes up, it comes up over fairly high mountains.  So you can’t really shoot looking into the sun very well, as you can during the sunset.

Brent: I can see the mountains must be high because they’ve got snow on them, the ones on the left.

Jay: That’s correct.  In fact, the mountain on the left is one of the highest peaks in Death Valley and probably somewhere to my left about a mile or so down is the lowest point in Death Valley and the lowest point in the Northern hemisphere.  You can actually see both the tallest mountains in Death Valley and the lowest point in the Northern hemisphere.

Brent: That’s below sea level, isn’t it?

Jay: It is about 248 feet below sea level.

Brent: Wow.  Amazing.  Another place that I’ve never been to.  I’m putting it on my bucket list, Jay.

Jay: I’ve been there several times.

Brent: Wow.  Great.  That’s awesome.  The last one that you sent me, Red River.  Can you tell us a little bit about this image?

Lower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park Wyoming (WY), USA

This is three different exposures we blended together with what we call our iHDR workflow. 

Jay: This highlights another very unique terrain in North America.  There are only a few places in the world where you can actually see geysers and hot springs and this is one of them.  In fact, the largest place in the world where you can see a collection of geysers and hot springs in Yellowstone National Park.  The image is actually taken in Yellowstone National Park.  The image actually showcases the extreme dynamic range that most landscape photographers actually deal with.  If you look at the right side of the image, there is a sunset and the steam is backlit and as you go and move your head towards the left image, the steam is not backlit.  You notice there’s a blue tint in this scene to the left of the image.  That blue tint is actually real.  If you were to stand there, you will actually see the steam turning blue.  What happens is the steam takes on the colors of the environment around it and the steam is rising off one of the largest hot springs in Yellowstone called the Grand Prismatic.  If you were to ever look at the Grand Prismatic from high up, it’s a beautiful rich absolutely blue gorgeous hot springs and the steam that hovers around it takes on this rich blue color, as well.

The image showcases the extreme dynamic range that most photographers will face and in today’s world, with digital cameras, you have tools to be able to capture that.  The foreground of the image is again a geological wonder itself.  The reds that you see are the work of the bacterial mass that thrive in the hot springs year round and that’s where the intent red colors come from.

Brent: Amazing.  Tell me, is this one exposure or did you use multiple exposures to get the dynamic range that you wanted?

Jay: This is three different exposures we blended together with what we call our iHDR workflow.  So, iHDR stands for intelligent HDR.  It’s essentially a manual blending workflow that Varina and I have developed over the last few years, I guess.  We have a series of webinars we sell through our website and what it does is it uses Photoshop layers and masks to preserve the visual perception that a person would experience while standing at a scene like this.

Brent: If people wanted to get that, they can just go to your website?

Jay: Yup.

Brent: Awesome.  That’s an amazing image, Jay.  Another place that I need to go visit. You’ve obviously showed me all the spots that I never got to when I lived in the U.S.

Jay: You’ve got visit these places and you’ll never want to come back.

Brent: Yeah, probably.  Definitely.  Well, thank you so much for that.  We’ll jump onto the next question.  Can you guys each, or maybe it’s the same for both of you, but can you describe your photographic style?

Photography Style

Varina:  Yeah, Jay and I actually have pretty different photographic styles.  A lot of times people assume that we do the same thing because we’re standing side by side shooting, but we actually very frequently come away with images that are completely different from one another.  For example, while I was photographing the spider web shot, Jay was photographing a stream not 10 feet from me, but he was interested in the rippling patterns that the water was making and the reflected light from the hillside nearby.  We come away with completely different images and our styles are very, very different, as well.  Jay tends to include as much as he can to tell a whole story.  He’ll include the sun beams coming down from the sky, the mountain in the distance, the river, the red flowers in the foreground, the trees.  He wants to show the amazing beauty of this wide vista in front of him.

I think Jay is looking to tell the whole story of the scene, whereas I’m trying to distill the scene down to its theme or its essence.

While he’s taking that photo, I might be taking a photograph of a tiny water droplet on a leaf.  Or I might be doing something where I’m using a long exposure to soften the surface of the lake as in the photo I showed you before.  My images tend to be very minimalist.  I look for a specific color to work with or two colors.  I’m looking for a monochromatic color scheme, where I’m using shades of blue or shades of green or I’m looking for something very, very simple with an analogous color scheme where I’m using colors that are side by side on the color wheel or complementary colors, where the colors are across from one another on a color wheel, creating a really extreme contrast where one object stands out against a background of something more subtle.

I think Jay is looking to tell the whole story of the scene, whereas I’m trying to distill the scene down to its theme or its essence.

Brent: That’s great.  Do you want to add to that, Jay?

Jay: I think Varina said for both of us, like mine is dramatic, while hers is very subtle.

Brent: And that’s really different.  That’s what I love about going photographing with different people.  You can be at the exact same location and people can come away with totally different images.  And you’ve probably seen that at your workshops, too?

Jay: We have over and over again and we also have influenced each other to our style.  A while ago we did a hangout on with Nik Software about how our styles influence each other.  If somebody wants to take a look at it, it should be posted on our blog under the video section.


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What Light is Ideal for Photography?

Brent: Great.  We’ll jump on to the next question, guys.  What light is ideal for your photography?

Jay: One of the things we learned a long time ago is that there’s nothing like bad light per se and by being influenced by each other over the years, what we have found out was that we are able to deal with any kind of light conditions.  A lot of landscape photographers will give you advice and hey, it’s great to photograph during the golden hours or get the sunset or the sunrise or twilight because it’s easier to deal with.  In today’s world with digital photography and being able to be influenced by each other, what we found out is when we go on a location; we can actually photograph in any conditions.  We will start photographing only in the morning and then just shoot sunsets and sunrises like any other photographers would and we wake up and go and do that.  But then, an hour or so passes by and the sun starts getting higher and what most photographers do is they pack up their gear, they go to Starbucks, find a place to hang out and chatting with their buddies on social media.

In today’s world with digital photography and being able to be influenced by each other, what we found out is when we go on a location; we can actually photograph in any conditions.

We, Varina and I, are usually out there being able to create photographs.  When the sun gets higher, we will look for photographs that are constrained in space.  We are looking for light conditions that are either all in shade or light conditions with very harsh light, but is reflecting.  For example, in the afternoons we’ll venture out into canyons if you’re in the right terrain and we’ll look at these intense reflecting colors in the harsh sunlight from one wall of the canyon to cast on the other wall of the canyon to be able to create the color and the abstract images we come away with.  Now, one can argue, you have to have special geology to be able to do that.  The truth is, you can find if you look hard enough and be creative hard enough to be able to find photograph in any light conditions.

For example, we were in Hawaii shooting the lava and it’s a pretty well-known fact that to get the intense colors of the lava, you need to shoot at twilight, but in the morning, in the afternoon, we ventured out and found just the right level of water and the beach and we needed that intense sunlight to be able to get the colors in the sky, so we were shooting what we call the wave action in midday at 2:00, trying to be able to photograph it.  So when you ask what are the right light conditions for your type of photography, we will say any light condition.  Even in the middle of the night, there are things you can photograph.  For example, the Milky Way, the star trails.

Brent: Yup and I think that’s what defines a great photographer, is they can produce great images under any conditions.

Varina: Sometimes it takes a special piece of equipment.  We always carry with us a reflector and a diffuser.  They’re very small ones, actually.  I think they’re 12 or 14 inches across and they fold up, fit neatly in our camera bags.  But this is something where if I’m trying to photograph a flower, for example or a detail in a rock at midday with very harsh light, I can use a diffuser to filter the light in a small area.  I have absolute control in that small area and then a lot of times, I’ll also use a reflector to bounce a little bit of that sunlight back onto my object from another angle so that I can give it a really nice soft light look.

There are always ways that you can use the light you have.  There are always ways you can get creative and honestly, a lot of times if the conditions are difficult, if it’s pouring rain or if it’s very hot and sunny, if we’re just not feeling it at that location, we’ll actually spend a lot of time exploring.  Even when we’re not shooting, we have our cameras and our bags on our back; we’re looking for the next shot.  We feel that there’s always one there and we’re exploring so that when the light is perfect, if the sky goes nuts at sunset or whenever it is, we know where to be, we know where our composition is and maybe it means we come back two years later, but we know the area well enough to make the most of the conditions as they shift.

Sometimes it takes a special piece of equipment. We always carry with us a reflector and a diffuser.

Brent: For sure.  I think, Varina, those are two great tips that you’ve just given us, carrying a diffuser or reflector with you when you’re shooting landscapes is a huge tip and also checking out the area that you’re going to photograph when the weather’s bad because when the weather turns good, if it’s a sunset or something, I know over here in Australia the sunsets don’t last too long, maybe two to five minutes and then it’s gone.  If you haven’t been to that spot before, you might not know what the best composition is when the sky does light up.  Those are great tips.

Varina: We frequently see photographers running with their stuff.  The sky is glorious and they are running like their life depends on it, trying to find composition and you know, when you arrive late, a lot of times you’re done.  It’s just not going to happen.  You don’t know where to setup your camera.  It’s not about just plopping your tripod down and getting the shot.  It really isn’t that simple.  It’s about finding your photograph, being ready for it and if you arrive a little bit late and you have to work quickly, that’s one thing.  If you arrive so late that it’s almost over by the time you get there, you’re probably not going to get the shot you wanted.

It’s about finding your photograph, being ready for it and if you arrive a little bit late and you have to work quickly, that’s one thing.

Brent: Yeah, totally.  Is that the height of stress for a landscape photographer, when you see a landscape photographer running over rocks with a tripod over his shoulder?

Varina: I think so.  I think that’s the moment where you just sort of cringe and go, “Oh, thank goodness that isn’t me.”  I have to say, we have missed a lot of sunsets.  We’re driving or we’re somewhere where we simply cannot get out of the car and that’s where the light is perfect or we can’t get the photograph and I know that when I first started shooting on location, it really was difficult to miss that shot.  I have gotten to the point where it honestly doesn’t bother me anymore.  The fact that I saw it is enough.  I love to have seen it, I love having been there.  It’s mine.  I saw it, so I have it in my mind.  If I can’t share it with the world, then   so be it.  There will always be another one.

Brent: I’m starting to do that now in my, I guess, my twilight years of photography, if you can call it that, because for quite a few years I was obsessed with getting every sunrise and sunset in my area.  I couldn’t miss anything.  The problem was that I didn’t enjoy them as much as I would have if I just sat there with a glass of wine and watched it happen, because I was running around and shooting HDR and trying different compositions and everything.  Maybe it’s actually quite good if you miss a sunset and you just enjoy it for a change.

Varina: I have a word for you, too.  You say you’re shooting in your twilight years; that’s wonderful.  The twilights are gorgeous.  There’s something about all that beautiful subtle light that I love.  Don’t worry, there’s plenty of time after that because you’ve still got the very last light and you still have the star trails and you still have the Milky Way.  You can shoot all night long, so you have a long time in front of you.

Brent: Definitely and I might be exaggerating there because I’m not much older than you guys.

Varina: Yeah.

Jay: Also, what you bring up is one good point.  If we photographers chase so much after golden light, that we miss the beauty that is in between those hours and a lot of times your creativity is lost because all you want to do is sit in Starbucks and chat with your buddies when you can be out there exploring.  We tend to try to capture photographs in not just sunsets and sunrises, but the blue sky shots.  To be honest with you, the emotional impact of blue sky shots, for somebody who hasn’t seen the location or hasn’t been to the location, it is just as tremendous as a fantastic sun shot like at Death Valley, for example.

 We tend to try to capture photographs in not just sunsets and sunrises, but the blue sky shots.

Brent: I agree with you, Jay and especially if you got like a 10 stop neutral density filter in there or if there are clouds around, you can really get some amazing stuff right in the middle of the day.

Jay: Yup.

Best Photography Advice

Brent: Awesome.  Great.  All right, let’s jump to the next question.  What’s the best advice you can give my audience.  These are people that have got a digital SLR camera, they may be beginners or intermediates or they’ve been in photography before and they’re just getting back in with the digital age, what advice can you give them?

Varina: That was a tough one.  This is something Jay and I talked a little beforehand, to narrow it down to something that wouldn’t take up your whole show.  There’s so many things that you can do, but I think for me, it comes down to always learning more, always looking for the next thing I can learn.  That’s what I love about photography, it’s always a challenge.  When I’ve mastered one thing, there’s something else I can work on and then I can go back to the thing I had mastered and realize I really haven’t mastered it at all and there’s so much more I can learn about that.  Every location is something new.  Every location is a different challenge and even coming back to the very same location again and again, each time it’s different.  There’s something else I can learn from it.

 There’s so many things that you can do, but I think for me, it comes down to always learning more, always looking for the next thing I can learn. 

The resources that are online are amazing right now.  There is more information available to photographers than there ever has been in history and it’s much easier to access.  So, get out there and look for the next thing.  Find out what you love and learn how to do it really well and then learn more, because there’s always more you can learn.  I think that that is the most important thing that I do.  I’m constantly looking for the next thing that I can learn how to do, the next bit of information that I can add to my collection and the next experience that I can have that’ll teach me something.

Jay: Another piece of advice that I can add to what Varina just said is to follow up with learning, it is not about the equipment.  It’s about the knowledge.  It’s about your skillset.  If somebody who has just acquired a digital SLR camera thinks that they can get the pro level camera and all of a sudden their photographs will be amazing, it’ll never be the case.  Even the Rebels or the amateur level digital SLR cameras right now are capable of producing photographs that are stunning.

Another way to look at it is, great photographs have been produced from the time photography was invented and throughout the ages, all the equipment that we are given, we have always taken photography and produced stunning photographs.  In order to think, for somebody who is just starting out, that your photographs are no good because you don’t have pro level equipment or because you need a certain kind of lens to produce is probably not the case.

With learning, it is not about the equipment. It’s about the knowledge. It’s about your skillset.

Varina: That comes back to what I was saying.  Learn to use the equipment you have.  Learn as much as you can about it and when you start to see what it is about your camera that’s holding you back, then it’s time to look for different equipment, but not until you truly understand why you need the new equipment.

Brent: That is great advice, guys.  I love it.  Work with what you’ve got.  You don’t have to get the next best lens if you don’t need it.  Work with what you’ve got.  When I first started, when I became a professional, I had two lenses, the 17-40 mm and the 70-200mm F 2.8 and that’s it.  I started my whole photography career with just two lenses.  The second part of that question is, if you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

What would you have done differently if you had to do things all over again?

Jay: Well, I would start a lot earlier than I did.  Let’s just put it that way.  I think, for me, I have never done any photography that I don’t like.  My photography was primarily landscape-based photography only.  I’ve done a few weddings just to try what they were like.  It was not really something I was interested in and luckily enough for me, I don’t really have to rely on it to make money enough, so I’d rather do photography.  Like I said, the only thing I would have done differently is I would have started sooner when I was younger.

… the only thing I would have done differently is I would have started sooner when I was younger.

Varina: Actually, when I was 14, 15, 16, I knew I wanted to be a photographer when I grew up.  I had a plan.  So, that meant that every decision I made between the ages of 14 and now has been about finding my way to that goal.  I think a lot of people don’t know what they want to do with their lives.  That’s a theme I hear again and again, “I just don’t know what I want to do.”  They’re 45 or 50 and they still don’t really know what it is that makes them feel whole, makes them feel complete.  I was really lucky because that was something I knew as a child.  For me, I wouldn’t do anything differently per se.  I think that the choices I’ve made have been careful.  They’ve been targeted towards my goal.  That doesn’t mean I went straight towards it.  Like I said before, I worked for Marriott  the hotel chain.  That wasn’t a part of my goal, but it did get my foot in the door.  It was a decision that I made that took me slightly off-track, but towards what I wanted to do.

When I was 14, 15, 16, I knew I wanted to be a photographer when I grew up

I think for me, what I would change, is that I spent a lot of years believing people who told me I couldn’t do it and even though I was working towards it, I didn’t quite believe it could be done.  There were times where that held me back.  There were several years where, rather than focusing on photography, I decided, “Okay, I’m going to be practical and I’m going to do something reasonable.  I’m going to do that.”  In a way that was a good thing.  Being practical is always good, but at the same time, it meant that it took me longer to get started.

Brent: Varina, I think you should have listened to Cole Thompson.  I just did an interview with him a week or so ago and I love the way his philosophy is “Don’t listen to anyone.  Listen to yourself.”

Don’t listen to anyone. Listen to yourself. ~ Cole Thompson

Varina: Right.  I think that’s very true.  My parents were supportive in a lot of ways.  They did not believe that photography was a good career choice for me.  They were not okay with the idea of majoring in art in college and really, in the end, I agree with them in a lot of ways.  Majoring in art in college is difficult.  It doesn’t give you the skills you need to be an artist and run a business.  I wish that I had realized that sooner.  Although I do appreciate having the art background, I’m happy that I graduated with a degree in information technology because that means that I can use those skills to run my business.  I’m good with computers.  I can program my own website.  I understand the technical side of digital files and things like that and so it really does make a big difference having that background.  We usually recommend that people, rather than majoring in art, they major in business or in marketing or something like that.  Then, they have art as a minor or as a double major because most of the skills for art are things that you don’t need to learn in a classroom.

Brent: They come from within.  Is that what you’re saying?

Varina: Yeah.  I think a lot of times they come from within.  There are a lot of skills that you do need as an artist, but I think they can be learned in informal classes.  They can be learned from a mentor, which is huge, if you can find a mentor, someone who can give you a little bit of hands-on help, a little bit of personal guidance.  Even just someone who will critique your photos or your artwork, whatever it is you’re doing, of course.  You can find that online in a way you never could before.  Post your photos online.  Get on there.  Listen to critique, ask for critique and be willing to hear what people have to say.

It can be tough to hear what people have to say about your work, but personally I’ve learned that a critique, especially a negative critique, is a wonderful thing.  My work has improved exponentially because I was willing to listen when somebody told me what they didn’t like, what wasn’t effective in my photos, what was distracting, what took them away from what I was trying to convey.  If you can listen to what people say about your work, you don’t have to agree with it.  You don’t have to change based upon what they say, but understanding what it is that someone else sees in your work can make you a more effective artist.

Listen to critique, ask for critique and be willing to hear what people have to say.

Where are you going to be five years from now?

Brent:  Well, thanks, guys.  We’re almost out of time.  I’ll ask the last question and maybe you can tell us a little bit about the products that you have on your website, the amazing eBooks and videos that you have.  Tell us where you guys are going to be in the future, five years from now.  I know you guys are really huge online and in the social media sphere.  Where are you going to be five years from now and tell us a little bit about your great products?

Jay: Hopefully, if I have to be where I am five years from now, I would say work less on photography and shoot more photographs.  The social media phenomenon is a recent one and we are fortunate enough to get into the tail end of it and sure, we’ve gotten a lot of attention on social media and it has helped our business grow, but our primary intention when we do photography is not to be huge on social media.  Our primary intention is to photograph.  What we would love to see in five years is to have more collection of eBooks, but in order to get the eBooks, I would love to see us do more traveling in places we haven’t been, like Down Under, New Zealand and Japan, Antarctica, South America and Africa.

I would say work less on photography and shoot more photographs.

Jay: Five years from now, what we would love to see is a bigger collection of eBooks and more travel.

Varina: I agree with Jay.  I think, for me, right now my children are at home, all of them.  They need a lot of attention and I have the freedom right now to build a business, so that when my children do move out, when they’ve moved on, I’ll still be relatively young.  I’ll be in my mid 40’s.  Jay will be in his mid 50’s and there’s still a lot of life left at that point.  But, at that point, we hope to have a business that is completely established, money coming in from our eBooks, which is, at this point, where we make most of our money anyway and to have a collection of eBooks, Webinars, things like that, that will sustain us so that we can do what we want to do more often.

Photography eBooks


Brent: Tell us a little bit about your eBooks.

Varina: Yeah, we have a collection of 18 eBooks on everything from creating vibrant colors in the field to composition and the gestalt theories of perception. We have books about layers and masks on Photoshop and histograms; all kinds of things. We have a variety of topics.

We have a Complete Collection that we sell where people can get the entire collection of eBooks by placing a single order.

We also have smaller collections for those that are interested in just getting a look at what we do, maybe giving a gift. That’s something a lot of people do. They’ll choose our Apprentice Series, which is three eBooks or our Workflow Series, which is four eBooks. They’ll give those as a gift or purchase those for themselves. We have a huge collection of those. And of course, we also have another in the works right no;we always have another one that’s up and coming. Hopefully that will be out within a few months.


Then we also have a Webinar Series that we sell, where we teach our iHDR process. That’s something that’s impossible to teach in a series of blog posts or you know, in a few minutes sitting down with someone. This is over 9 hours of instruction and it includes sample images and notes and a few videos to help. So that’s the whole series and it’s sold in four parts so that you can purchase the parts you need or purchase them one at a time as you’re ready for them.


We have a collection of 18 eBooks on everything from creating vibrant colors in the field to composition and the gestalt theories of perception.

Jay: We also do occasional workshops, but those are once a year and if anybody is interested in private workshop, they can email us and we’ll give quite a price. But like I said, they tend to be fairly expensive.

Brent: I’m really interested Jay, why don’t you and Varina and the kids come out to the Great Barrier Reef with me and run a workshop with me?

Jay: If you can schedule 100 photographers to run a workshop, we will certainly be interested in coming out.  We also do a lot of speaking engagements like in-classroom workshops, where we will have a mix of instructions, inspiration and processing techniques, as well as some hands-on camera techniques and photo walks.  We’ve successfully done those.  Typical audience sizes range from around 100 to 200 participants in these workshops.

Brent: Awesome.

Jay: If you guys have any interest in Down Under, we would be willing to entertain that.

Brent: For sure.  I just recently met Colby Brown, who came out and did a Photowalk. I drove a few hours to go meet him.  Do you know him?

Varina: He’s a great guy, wonderful photographer, wonderful guy.  We like him a lot.

Jay: We run workshops for The Giving Lens once a year and we also run workshops with Colby himself.  He’s kind of teaching advanced teacher arrangements in different cities and different locales around town.

Brent: Awesome.  Maybe we should all get together and run a couple of workshops.

Jay: That would be awesome.

Brent: Sounds good.  That’s great, guys.  Thank you.  This has been a huge interview for me having both of you on and we’ve gone through quite a lot of information, great information for anyone listening.  We’ve gone through Varina’s images, the droplets, the Hawaiian lava flowing into the water.  We’ve gone through the Iceland shot, the one with the ice on the beach.  It’s beautiful.  We’ve gone through some of Jay’s images, some beautiful.  The Salt Flats image was so amazing with the water pooled in the salt flats. Columbia Gorge, which is another place I want to go to.  We’ve run through your style, how your style is different.  Jay’s captures everything and Varina focuses on one element in the scene.  We’ve run through the light that you guys like to photograph in and also discussed that you can actually create great images in any light and also about running around and checking out things when the light’s not good.

We’ve gone through a huge amount today.  You guys have given us different tips, diffusers and checking out areas when the light isn’t good.  Also, Varina, your major tip to my audience is always keep learning and checking out locations, photographing at the same location over and over again, because it changes all the time.  Jay’s, yours I also like, it’s not about the camera.  I like that one.  I like your commitment to travel to Australia, that’s a good one 😉  I really appreciate you guys coming on the show.

Varina: Thanks so much for having us.  We really appreciate it.

Jay: Yup and just make sure you guys, all listeners, keep photographing.

Brent: Awesome.  Thanks, guys.


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