Moose, Denali National Park, Alaska
1/320 sec.,  f/6.3,  ISO 12,800 
Only 5 Spaces Left!!

Denali National Park
August 25 - 31, 2018

Alaska is our last frontier. Its unique beauty, its wildness, and its wildlife are among the best in the world. Filled with caribou, moose, bear, wolf, and some of the world's most beautiful scenery, Denali National Park is the stuff that dreams are made of. And this trip is a dream come true. Spend days deep inside the park where very few others get to go. Live in relative luxury with great food, our own naturalist driver and vehicle, and personal photographic instruction. If you have dreamed of traveling in Alaska, or if you have been and want to return, this trip was made for you!

Denali National Park in Autumn
August 25 - 31, 2018

One of our most popular photo tours, there are only 5 spaces left.

Autumn in Denali is the best time to be there. The tundra is alive with intense colors of red, yellow, and orange. And the wildlife is at its best, sporting healthy winter coats, full-grown antlers, and bulked up bodies.

-  Photograph an array of wildlife like brown bear, moose, and caribou. And be very close to Denali, "The Mountain,"  which towers above the Alaska Range at over 20,000 feet.

-  Stay in relative luxury at our lodge deep inside the park with chef-prepared meals, double occupancy rooms with private bath, and our own private vehicle with naturalist driver to get us to the best locations at the best times.  

-  Receive personal and group photographic instruction, both in advance of the trip, and in the field. The main goals of every trip are to help you improve your skills, tap into your creativity, and get spectacular images. 

Only a small handful of people ever get the chance to photograph the breathtaking scenery and wide array of wildlife so deep inside this unique national park. This is the opportunity of a lifetime. 

Limited to only 10 participants.
Only 5 spaces left.

Fee includes all ground transportation from Anchorage to Denali and back, our own dedicated vehicle with naturalist driver, all meals and lodging in Denali National Park, guide service, personalized photographic instruction, image critiques, and tips.

Very few photo tours are allowed to be this deep inside the park. In fact, Awake The Light is one of only two photo tour companies worldwide to have this invaluable privilege. So join me in Alaska for an exciting and unique adventure! Details and pricing at this link

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New Feature!

Learn "Lightroom Lights" tidbits in each newsletter
to help you improve the look of your images.

Lightroom is powerful image optimization software that is easy to learn and easy to use, once you know a few tricks. If you have been scared away from it before, I hope that these periodic Lightroom Lights articles will help you improve your skills and your comfort level.

This month  -  The First Steps To Take With Any Image

As with many things, sometimes knowing where to start can be the hardest decision. With Lightroom, learning where to start with a particular image can be easy, if you just give it a bit of thought.

Here are the first steps I use when beginning to work on an image.

1. First, observe  -  Sit back and just look at the image on your computer screen for a few moments. Look for the problem areas that are the worst. Regardless of your skill level, there will almost always be at least one or more problem areas. It might be shadows that are too dark, or highlights that are too light, or colors that are not punchy enough, or other issues.

2. Next, check the histogram  -  Before doing anything, you should look at the histogram. The histogram shows Blacks on the left side, and Whites on the right side ("White" rhymes with "Right" which makes it easy to remember which side is which). If there is a large empty area on the right side of the histogram, as shown here, you can use the Whites slider to expand the histogram farther to the right in order
to increase the brightness of the whites. Similarly, if there is a large empty area to the left, you can use the Blacks slider to expand the histogram farther to the left in order to deepen the blacks. Just be careful to not push information so far that it touches the right or left side of the histogram - you always want a little space between the sides of the histogram and the information. (NOTE that you should NOT use the Exposure slider or the Contrast slider to accomplish this. Regardless of what you might have learned in the past, you will rarely if ever need to use either of those sliders. They cause more harm than good. More details on that in another issue.) And ALWAYS pay attention to how the image looks as you move the sliders - some images may not need expansion of the histogram, especially if it is an image with primarily light tones or dark tones. The histogram does not always have to cover the full range.

3. Next, visually inspect the image. After moving the Whites and/or Blacks sliders, if the shadow areas are too dark, or the bright areas are too light, use the Shadows or the Highlights sliders to bring out the detail and improve the look of those areas.

One of the best attributes of Lightroom is that you can ALWAYS change your mind. Nothing you ever do is irrevocable. If you move sliders and then decide it does not suit your taste, you can always undo those actions. Lightroom never destroys or eliminates pixels, so your entire original image, regardless of what you have done to it, lives forever.

And you do not ever have to "save" your work in Lightroom. Your work is immediately saved as soon as you do it, AND you can undo it at anytime, even years later. Unlike other software, your History in Lightroom (every step you did on an image) lives forever and is always accessible.

Practice these techniques, and always strive to not overdo modifications. It is easy to go too far and impact negatively on the natural look of your images. Watch for more Lightroom Lights tidbits in future newsletters.

Mollie offers one-day and two-day Lightroom classes  
for small groups and camera clubs. Contact her for details.

Gear Corner
When I have great photo gear to recommend, or hear of great bargains, I will pass the information along to you. I do not recommend items that I do not use myself, or have had experience with. I do not receive any compensation for things I recommend.
There are many photo gear retailers out there, and you might already have a favorite. If you are not familiar with Hunt's Photo and Video, I highly recommend them. The owner, Gary Farber, makes sure that his sales staff takes a genuine interest in all their customers, and I really like the personal touch that you do not get with some of the larger companies. Not that Hunt's is small. It has many stores in the New England area, and serves clients worldwide through its website. Their personal service and attention to detail are the best I have ever experienced.
Here are Hunt's Black Friday / Cyber Monday Specials.
I find these to be good quality tripods at reasonable prices
20% off any THINK TANK Photo bag or backpack - My favorite brand of camera bags, I use the Roller Derby for carrying all my camera gear; great for airline travel
10% off any BREAKTHROUGH Neutral Density Filters - I have tried several other brands and find these to have the best optical quality with the least color shift
20% off VORTEX Storm Jackets - these are my favorite rain protection for cameras and lenses
20% off any MINDSHIFT bag or backpack (a subsidiary of Think Tank)

To see all Hunt's Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials, click on the link below. They tell me that new specials are posted every day.

Either order online, or order directly from Alan Samiljan at Hunt's. Email him at or OR call him at 781-462-2383.
Promos expire at the end of this month.
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