apple_iceclimber_iMac_5k_finalLast fall, when Apple announced the new Retina 5K iMacs they used one of my surfing images to promote the new machine. Just recently I started seeing the ice climbing image shown above being featured on the 5K iMacs. As always, it is an honor to work with Apple. They are one of the most prestigious companies anywhere on Earth and they drive trends in a way few companies can.

In the image above, pro climber Dawn Glanc is ice climbing in the Ouray Ice Park in Ouray, Colorado. This image was created using powerful strobes to light up the ice climb and create something a bit different than your average ice climbing image. Earlier this year, I went back and worked with Dawn again to create a more dramatic set of images in the Ouray ICe Park using Hypersync lighting techniques. You can read about that shoot on the blog, on the Elinchrom website, or in my Spring 2015 Newsletter.

My thanks to the team at Apple for using my images for the latest marketing campaigns and to Dawn Glanc for helping to create such a stunning image.



I am happy to announce that I have updated my highly regarded e-book, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom: A Professional Photographer’s Workflow, which is now renamed A Professional Photographer’s Workflow: Using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, for Lightroom CC (2015) and Photoshop CC. This book is a 497-page digital workflow workshop and so much more in book form.


I have been working on revamping this book from front to back over the last four months or more. It has been completely revamped and now includes an entirely new chapter on Fine Art Printing and links to videos where you can watch me work up three images in both Lightroom and Photoshop. This book has been massively revamped and updated and includes the following new features:

Links to 3 Videos showing how I worked up three images from start to finish
A completely new Chapter: Making Fine Art Prints
Massively updated: Storage Options and Backup Strategies
Revised and Updated: Color Management Devices and Monitors
Revised and Updated: Printers for Color Management and Printing
Camera Maintenance and Sensor Cleaning
Lightroom: Dehaze Slider
Lightroom: Creating Panoramas in Lightroom
Lightroom: Creating HDR images in Lightroom
Advanced Photoshop Feature: Soft Proofing
Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC Compatibility
And much, much more…

Download this e-book and take your photography to the next level. Also, please note that this PDF is searchable and the Table of Contents are linked to the pages for quick and easy access to any part of the e-book.

The e-book is a downloadable PDF file that can be purchased for the low price of $24.95. It is an entire week-long workshop in book form. It looks stellar on an iPad or any similar tablet devices that can read PDF documents in color.


This week I updated my Workshops page on both my blog and my website. There are quite a few new workshop and seminar offerings for this fall and over the course of the next year, as can be seen below:

Adventure Sports Photography – Telluride Photo Festival – Telluride, CO – September 29 – October 1, 2015

Mentor Series Photo Trek – Montana and Yellowstone National Park – October 7-11, 2015

Adventure Travel Photography – National Geographic Traveler Seminar – Houston, TX – October 18, 2015

Adventure Photography Seminar – Photo Plus Expo – Javits Center, New York City – October 22, 2015

Outdoor Adventure Photography – National Geographic Traveler Seminar – San Francisco – October 25, 2015

Adventure Travel Photography – National Geographic Traveler Seminar – Seattle, WA – November 15, 2015

Across the Patagonian Ice Field – Vertical Shot Expeditions – Patagonia Ice Cap, Argentina – January 25 – February 4, 2016

Mentor Series Photo Workshop – Maui Video – February 10-14, 2016

Surfing Photography – North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii – February 18-21, 2016

Photography Sailing Expedition in Arctic Norway – Lofoten Islands, Norway – August 20 – 27, 2016

One of the latest additions to my calendar is giving a 2-hour Adventure Photography seminar at the Photo Plus Expo in New York City. The Photo Plus Expo is the largest photography related show anywhere in the world and a meeting place for many photographers. If you are in the NYC area during the expo (see the banner above) check out the wide array of seminars on offer for excellent prices. I hope to see you there. You can find more info and register for my seminar by clicking on the banner above or on this link.


Also, I will be giving one of the Keynote presentations at the Telluride Photo Festival in Telluride, Colorado in October. That keynote address is scheduled for 8 PM at the Sheridan Opera House in Telluride on Friday, October 2nd. Check out the Telluride Photo Festival website for more info and a schedule of events. I will also be giving a three-day adventure photography workshop while I am out at the Photo Festival and there are still a few spaces left.

In addition, I just posted three new National Geographic Traveler Seminars for this fall in Houston, San Francisco and Seattle. The Nat Geo Seminars are in-depth intensives that cover a wide range of topics on Adventure Travel Photography and Adventure Photography and they are very affordable compared to a full-on workshop.


Last, even though it is a year away, I just added another super cool workshop with the folks at Vertical Shot Expeditions where we will be Sailing through the Lofoten Islands in Norway in August 2016. This is definitely going to be one of the most amazing workshops I am a part of next year, along with the Patagonia Ice Cap Expedition.

if you have any questions about any of these workshops, seminars or speaking engagements please feel free to email me.

A few months ago, while in New York City meeting with various clients and sponsors, I met with the fine folks over at Popular Photography magazine. I showed them my portfolio and this wave image in my portfolio wowed them. Amazingly, just a few months later, this image (as seen below) is on the cover of the August 2015 issue of Popular Photography. They also used the image inside the magazine as a double page spread in an article on shooting at the beach.

This image was shot the day before the last Quiksilver in memory of Eddie Eikau big wave surf contest in December 2009, where the waves at Waimea Bay on the north shore of Oahu were close to 60-feet tall. This wave was only ten or twelve feet tall since it was one of the waves that reform about 60 feet in front of the beach. The rising sun had just hit the wave when this image was shot. Hence, all of the wild green and blue colors in the image. This image has been published a fair bit and even won an award in the 2011 PDN Great Outdoor Photo Competition. My thanks to Popular Photography for choosing my image and using it on the cover!

Kohl Christensen riding a mountain of water on a chaotic day at Pipeline on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii.

It’s official. We are holding our 4th Surfing Photography Workshop in February of 2016. This workshop has been so popular over the last four years that we are putting it on again. This workshop is by far one of the best workshops I have ever been a part of. In fact it is so much fun, we have had several people take it twice and a few of them even want to take it again in 2016. I have never had anyone take any of my other workshops more than once so that gives you some idea of the great time we have in this Surfing Photography Workshop. For all of the details read on…

Dates: February 18-21, 2016

Workshop Leaders: Brian Bielmann and Michael Clark

Location: Turtle Bay Hilton Resort, Oahu North Shore, Hawaii

About The Workshop

Join legendary surfing photographer Brian Bielmann and adventure sports photographer Michael Clark for an exciting one-of-a-kind workshop that delves into the world of surfing photography. Brian is a top surfing photographer who has been shooting the sport for more than 35 years. Michael brings his adventure photography skills and knowledge as well as his in-depth experience with digital workflow to round out the workshop.

This 4-day workshop combines daily photo shoots at world-class surfing locations, lifestyle photo shoots and classroom instruction. We will be spending half of our time shooting in the early mornings and in the late afternoon and evenings when the waves and the light are at their best. The other half of our time will be spent in the classroom. All of the classroom instruction will be centered around image critiques, discussions on gear, strategies and the business of photography as well as in-depth discussions on shooting surfing. We’ll also cover digital workflow in detail using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Photoshop.

The workshop is scheduled during a period where large waves hit the north shore frequently. Though we cannot predict or guarantee the wave size or surfing conditions, the north shore of Oahu serves up sizable waves on a nearly daily basis. Depending on the waves, we will choose the best locations for shooting and we will also schedule lifestyle shoots that help to fill out our coverage of the world of surfing.

Workshop Schedule

Day 1 – Morning
Introduction to surfing photography, gear selection, camera setup and shooting options.

Day 1 – Afternoon/Evening
Cover basic digital workflow and then head out to shoot at the world-famous Pipeline on the north shore of Oahu.

Day 2 – Morning
Dawn Patrol: Early morning surfing shoot on the north shore of Oahu – actual surf break to be determined depending on conditions.

Day 2 – Afternoon/Evening
Group critique of previous days images, discussion of underwater photography and shooting from the water. Evening shoot with strobes on the north shore of Oahu – actual surf break to be determined depending on conditions.

Day 3 – All Day
Dawn Patrol: Early morning surfing shoot on the north shore of Oahu – actual surf break to be determined depending on conditions.

Day 3 – Afternoon/Evening
Group critique of previous days images, portrait shoot on the beach with male and female surfers.

Day 4 – Morning
Dawn Patrol: Early morning surfing shoot on the north shore of Oahu – actual surf break to be determined depending on conditions.

Day 4 – Afternoon
Group critique of previous days images, wrap up and discussions on the art of surfing photography.

Please note that locations may change depending on conditions.

About the Instructors

Brian Bielman is a legendary surfing photographer. He has shot everything from fashion, to rock stars, to surf. From world champ surfers Mark Richards to Andy Irons, he has captured them all and just about everything else important that has happened on Hawaii’s North Shore since 1975. He was there to document the early days of Teahupo’o (Tahiti) and put a fresh perspective on it ten years later with his underwater images. He is well known for not only his above water surfing images but even more for his stunning underwater images of surfing. Able to shoot more than just the action Brian also captures the spirit and faces of surfing. You can see more of Brian’s work at

Michael Clark is an internationally published outdoor photographer specializing in adventure sports, travel and landscape photography. He produces intense, raw image of athletes pushing their sports to the limit and has risked life and limb on a variety of assignments to bring back stunning images of rock climbers, mountaineers, kayakers and mountain bikers in remote locations around the world. He contributes to National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, Outside, Men’s Journal, Backpacker, Outdoor Photographer, Digital Photo Pro, Climbing, Alpinist, Rock and Ice, Bike Magazine and The New York Times among many others. You can see Michael’s work at


The Cost

The cost of this workshop is $1,295.00 per person. The same rate applies for each participant regardless of whether they are doing photography and participating in the workshop, or not. A deposit of $500 is required to secure your spot on the workshop. Final balance will be due no later than January 15, 2016.

Please note: We will attempt to adhere to this itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions, such as bad weather, lack of waves, or other issues may necessitate changes in the itinerary. We reserve the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary.


The classroom portion of the workshop will be held at the Turtle Bay Resort on the north shore of Oahu. We have negotiated a group rate that is discounted from their advertised prices. To receive the discounted rate, please mention the Surfing Photography Workshop. Please note that there are few if any other hotels on this side of the island. If you would prefer to stay elsewhere there are also hotels in Haleiwa, which is 12 miles south of the hotel and approximately a 30 minute commute.


Most major airlines service the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Honolulu, the major city on the island is approximately one hour south of the north shore and our hotel. The Turtle Bay Reset is located on the northern tip of Oahu and is somewhat remote. The hotel has a restaurant, golf course, tennis courts and of course is located right next to the beach.

We do not provide transportation during the workshop. Please plan ahead and reserve a rental car. Rental cars are available in Honolulu. Of course, we will share vehicles and car pool to make life easier for all of us. We are not responsible for reimbursement of non-refundable airline tickets in the event of a workshop cancellation.

Workshop Materials

You will need to bring the following equipment with you:
• a 35mm digital SLR camera with interchangeable lenses
• a laptop computer with a USB memory key, DVD or external hard drive. Instructors will be using Apple Computers.
• Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software installed on your computer (you can download the 30-day trial version of Lightroom before the workshop if you don’t already have the software.)
• Digital memory cards with a card reader (preferably CompactFlash or Secure Digital Cards)
• power adapters and cables for laptop and digital camera
• camera manual
• batteries and charger for rechargeable batteries

It is expected that you know how to download images from your camera to the laptop, know basic editing techniques using your software, and are able to organize the edited images for critique.

Waves exploding in Waimea Bay on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii the morning of the 2009/2010 Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau big wave surfing competition.

Telephoto Lenses and Underwater Camera Housings

Also since surfing photography relies on large telephoto lenses, each participant will need to bring a telephoto lens that is at least 400mm. A 500mm or 600mm lens is preferred. If you don’t own one of these lenses please rent or borrow one to bring with you. Please contact Michael or Brian with any questions about lens selection and rental options. Both B&H and Samy’s Camera in the USA have rental houses that can rent these lenses. We also have a special deal with Hawaii Photo Rental Oahu who have 500mm and 600mm lenses for both Canon and Nikon and will be renting these to workshop participants at discounted rates ranging from $323 to $550. Call Josh Strickland at Hawaii Photo Rental Oahu at (808) 735-3838 for more information on renting one of these lenses.

Also, if you plan to shoot in the water please bring your underwater camera housing. Brian has several underwater housings for Canon cameras and will have these available for those that want to try them out.


If you’ve always wanted to shoot the amazing sport of surfing, then now is the time to register. Remember, there will be limited space available for this workshop. When they’re spoken for, that’s it. If you have any questions before registering, send us an e-mail with any inquiries to To register for the workshop send me an email and I’ll send you a payment request for the deposit and a packet of information about the workshop.

 We hope you can join us for this stellar workshop! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact either myself or Brian.

redbull_hypersyncMy thanks to for publishing a news piece on the Hypersync Surfing project. This project has already been featured on and there was also an in-depth, geek-fest piece on the Photoshelter Blog as well. I am super stoked to work with Hypersync flash techniques as it allows me to create wild images that were very difficult, if not impossible to create previously.

I was just talking with legendary surf photographer Brian Bielmann last week, who helped me out on the Hypersync Surfing project, and we were discussing how many things had to come together to get this shot. The autofocus had to nail it, all of the flashes had to fire, the flashes had to be lined up to hit the surfer who was moving all over the place and I had to anticipate the action, which was tricky because the waves were not so great, and finally Thomas Ihnken, the surfer, had to launch a decent air to make this image happen. That afternoon, Thomas only got a total of three decent airs and we caught one of them. As mentioned in the news piece, this may not be my greatest surf image, but it still boggles my mind how many things had to come together to create this image. For the full story click on the Elinchrom link above.

The Red Bull Photography website has a ton of cool content on it. If you haven’t checked it out before, I recommend taking some time to peruse the site and checking out some of the projects, which all have behind the scenes videos where you can see how the images were made.  As shown above, their site is very elegant.

Techno-babble disclaimer: This article contains quite a bit of jargon about RAID enclosures. For those not familiar with the various forms of RAID and how a RAID system works, I highly recommend reading the excellent Wikipedia page that discusses RAID in detail. 

Earlier this year, I taught a one day storage and archiving seminar with my good friend Tony Bonanno for the Santa Fe Workshops. I have also gotten a few calls from several pro photographers asking for recommendations for backing up large image collections and for backing up video content. This article appeared in my Winter 2015 Newsletter but I thought I would republish it here on the blog so it is more visible for those looking for a solution to back up their images. For those looking for a simple back up strategy, the diagram below will look ridiculously complex because I have a huge image collection to back up. I have over 72 TB of hard drives. For those with only 4 or 5 TB of images or less, I would suggest getting three hard drives that can accommodate all your images and using SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner to back up your images to all three drives. The critical part of that back up strategy would be to make sure one of those hard drives is offsite. At this point, I am updating my digital workflow e-book and I will have a much more in-depth chapter in that e-book that covers a wide range of topics concerning backing up and archiving your images, including specific recommendations.


Caption: Backing up huge quantities of images can be daunting. For most amateur photographers, the fewer number of images and hard drives can greatly simplify this process, but for the pro the terabytes add up quickly. Above you can see my entire storage and archive workflow. I use the G-Tech G-Dock and various portable G-Drive ev HDs to backup my images in the field and this system allows for a very quick and simple ingest workflow once I am back in the office. My office storage consists of three OWC ThunderBay 4 enclosures: one with a RAID 0 configuration and two with RAID 5 configurations.  All of my images are also archived onto individual 3 TB hard drives and stored in a safety deposit box at my bank. 

Last fall, I upgraded my entire computer setup and with that upgrade I was also forced to replace the hard drives and RAID enclosures that I use to store and backup my images and motion content. I realize a review of an external hard drive enclosure is not as exciting as a review of a new lens or camera, but for the pro photographer, having a fast, robust and well-thought out backup and storage system is paramount. Hence, when I upgraded my computer system, I set out to find the fastest and most reliable storage option available that could deal with huge image files and the 6K video footage produced by the RED Epic, which I use for motion projects..

My old system was an Apple Mac Pro tower with multiple internal hard drives and a series of external RAID 5 enclosures, which were all connected to my tower via Firewire 800. My old Mac Pro didn’t have the option to connect Thunderbolt devices. With the new computer, I chose to update all of my external RAID enclosures and all of my external hard drives with Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 devices. My new system is a top-end, maxed out 15-inch Retina Apple Macbook Pro laptop, which is wicked fast. I have the Macbook Pro mounted in a Henge Dock Vertical Docking Station, which helps to keep all the connecting cables coming out of it organized and out of sight. At some point, I may bring in an Apple Mac Pro for the office if I need more computing power, but for now the Macbook Pro is working quite well for my needs.

After a ton of research, including setting up a spread sheet to calculate, quantify and compare the Input/Output (I/O) speeds of various RAID enclosures vs. the price/terabyte, I purchased three of the Other World Computing (OWC) ThunderBay 4 RAID enclosures. In my research, I found quite a few respectable and very capable RAID enclosures that would work for my needs. CalDigit, G-Technology, and Areca all make fantastic products that will work for storing and backing up images in a robust manner, but it was the OWC ThunderBay 4 that was the most economical, and even more important, allowed for a much more flexible storage solution. The OWC ThunderBay 4 connects with a Thunderbolt 2 connection, which means it is a bit faster than the normal Thunderbolt options and also allows for a 4K monitor to be added to the daisy chain of hard drive enclosures. Going with a Thunderbolt 2 connection also means that the I/O speeds of the second, third, fourth and fifth hard drives connected in a daisy chain setup won’t suffer too much in terms of transfer speeds like they would using the older version of Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt allows up to six devices to be daisy-chained to one port.

The ThunderBay 4 can hold up to four 6 TB hard drives whereas some other Thunderbolt 2 RAID enclosures would only work with 5 TB hard drives. On top of these features, the ThunderBay 4 allows the hard drives to be set up as a JBOD (Just A Bunch of Drives) system or in any type of RAID configuration you could ever need. In fact, you can set up two of the drives as a RAID 1 or JBOD and the other two as a RAID 0 all within the same enclosure. Practically any configuration you can dream up is achievable with the OWC ThunderBay 4. This is possible because the ThunderBay 4 uses SoftRAID software to build and maintain the RAID configuration. In the past, software RAID systems have been less than reliable and a fair bit slower than hardware RAID solutions. SoftRAID has changed all of that so that the ThunderBay 4 is as fast, if not faster, than many hardware RAID enclosures (depending on the drives you put in the enclosure) and is just as reliable, if not more so, than their hardware RAID counterparts.

The SoftRAID software is very easy to use and also comes with some very advanced features, including the ability to monitor all of the hard drives in any and all RAID configurations, a much faster rebuild time than a normal hardware RAID if a hard drive fails and the software also has the ability to predict when a hard drive is about to fail so you can replace it before you get into too much trouble. One of the issues with using a program like SoftRAID is that you have to be careful when updating your computer operating system (like MAC OSX). Luckily, the fine folks at SoftRAID are super attentive to these issues and you can check their website for the latest info on when it is safe to update your OS, and if there are any issues, how to deal with them.

Aside from the stellar RAID configurations and the incredible versatility of the ThunderBay 4, it is also a very well built enclosure with all metal construction—save for the rubberized feet. It also includes an excellent cooling fan that keeps the HDs cool and is very quiet for how effective it is. I have these three enclosures sitting on my desktop just next to my monitor and while they are audible, they are a quiet whisper compared to my older RAID 5 enclosures. And since most hard drives fail due to overheating, I am pretty impressed with how cold these enclosures keep the hard drives. The ThunderBay 4 enclosures also have vibration dampening built into the enclosures, which helps to keep the hard drives safe from vibrations that might affect the needle reading the hard disks inside the hard drives.

In terms of speed, my 12 TB RAID 0 enclosure achieves read/write speeds of around 600 to 750 MB/sec, which is blazing fast for a non-SSD hard drive set up. My 24 TB RAID 5 enclosure clocks in with read/write speeds in the neighborhood of 490 to 580 MB/sec. For comparison, a normal hard disk drive on it’s own has read/write speeds anywhere from 80 to 180 MB/sec depending on the hard drive and the connection. With the blistering read/write speeds of my ThunderBay 4, I can easily work with high bit-rate, 1080p video in real time. These units also make data transfers a very quick and painless process.

As I said earlier in this review, there are many good options out there for storage, what you choose comes down to your needs, what you can afford and the options you need. Hence, this isn’t one of those reviews saying this is better than everything else out there. This is a review discussing how the ThunderBay 4 is more flexible than most other options and just as robust and secure. All of the other options I found on the market for RAID enclosures offered either RAID 0 or RAID 5, and a few offered JBOD as a separate option, but none of them were flexible enough to offer JBOD and RAID in the same enclosure. Besides flexibility, the hardware RAID options were anywhere from 50% to 110% more expensive than the OWC ThunderBay 4. In the end, it was a no-brainer to go for the ThunderBay 4. For more information on the OWC ThunderBay 4 visit the Other World Computing website.

  • Dave - Great article….love your photos and articles, but for someone to write such a detailed piece for amateurs is really outstanding. I thought I had allot of photos and data at 12TB, but 72TB……goodness. Thanks again, and I especially loved the article on the D810, great camera, great job.