An artist spent an hour demonstrating his techniques to a class of budding artists. When finished, one student asked, “How much is that worth?”

The artist responded with an astronomical figure to which the student responded, “For an hour’s worth of work?”

The artist responded, “No, for forty years worth of work.”

Great photographic images seldom just happen; they must be discovered and created.  Even if all you have is a smartphone to take photos (would you believe my iPhone 5 will capture a digital image with the same MB as my first digital SLR which cost $3,500), plan a photo safari.  Here are some suggestions of planning a photo safari.

Scout a location- I travel a lot and am always looking for a place to spend more time. Once I determine a place, then I search the web for places- or photographs- of interest around the area. This is the Steamboat Barn in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  steamboat barn


Choose a geographic region- When my wife and I scout out places for a vacation, one factor of the decision-making process involves my camera.  I like going new places with my lenses in tow like the Valley of Fire in Nevada.

Valley of Fire


Choose a theme – Are you after wide-open vistas or more condenses areas of focus?  Do you like buildings in your landscape? Old barns? Skyscrapers? Cowboy? I like old vehicles so I sometimes wander for hours looking for old cars. I found “Mater” in Strong City, Kansas.



Surprise yourself – The most disappointing part of any safari is not having good light.  It is then that you have to work extra hard discovering beauty that might just be hidden around the next bend, at the end of the hike, or lying under a rock. Don’t stop exploring until you find the beautiful. This image was literally the last of the day- I had been largely unsuccessful until I dropped down on a low-water bridge.

Diamond Creek


Hire a pro or pay for a safari- If you are serious about capturing great images, you can learn so much from a pro.  Most pros I know are great teachers. Weldon Lee is one of my favorites; he is out in Rocky Mountain National Park.



Take someone with less skill than you – If you have some experience under your belt, take a budding photographer. You will discover a few new tricks yourself.

You don’t have to go to Africa to go on a photo safari.  There are images waiting to be captured right outside your door.  Just load up the camera and go!