Announcing National Parks at Night

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Seize the Night.

Thanks for being a subscriber on  I have a very special announcement:

I am teaming up with four other very talented photo educators to create a new night photography workshop series focused on teaching in some of the most beautiful locations to be found. It’s called National Parks at Night and I invite you to learn more about our program: Our stable of instructors include

Tim Cooper, Matt Hill, Lance Keimig, Chris Nicholson and myself.

Our first workshops in 2016 include:

Acadia National Park

Arches National Park

Crater Lake National Park

Death Valley National Park

And since time is both our friend and the enemy, we have decided to teach in each location only once. There are many National Parks and only so much time. So if you dream of photographing any of these, sign up soon!

We will have small class sizes, and that means you get personal attention. All our instructors teach first – your experience is most important. And we all want to have fun in the extraordinary locations. We hope to see you at one or more workshops!

Please sign up for the email list on to receive future announcements from the program.  

The website “goes live” Thursday October 23 at 10am. Until then, you can use the password, “seizethenight” to get a private preview.


Crater Lake National Park



Once in a blue moon…

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FullSizeRender (5)Once in a blue moon
…We have all used this expression to describe an exceedingly rare event. But where does this phrase come from? And why does it seem like these out of the blue occurrences are happening at a more frequent pace?

We used to live and count time by the seasons and the lunar calendar.  There would be 3 moons per season and 12 moons per year and it lasted 354.37 days. However, our Gregorian calendar streamlined us to a 12 month and 365 day calendar so every 3 years we would have an “extra moon”. We were fond of naming moons to define the seasons: Harvest Moon, Hunter’s Moon, Snow Moon, etc. This ritual held through to modern times, and when we had the extra full moon every three years, Maine Farmer’s Almanac dubbed it a Blue moon. I’m sure it was named a blue moon before the Almanac was ever published, but they were the one who standardized and listed when the moons would occur.

The modern version of the blue moon defines the blue moon as the second full moon in a Gregorian calendar month. We can thank James Hugh Pruett’s miscalculation in an article in Sky and Telescope Magazine in 1946 for this definition. It was quickly refuted, but because it’s definition was simpler, it gained a wider following with the general public. Today, this second definition of the blue moon is the one more communally accepted. The twice a month blue moons can happen a bit more frequently, though the last one was August 31st 2012.

To celebrate this year’s Blue Moon on July 31st, I’m leading a night photography workshop with the Center of Photography at Woodstock.   This is my 3rd year teaching at their school, and I wanted to go beyond the night instructions. So, to take the theme of the blue moon one step further, we will be utilizing the cyanotype process to printing our night images. This is something that I have been exploring for several years and I’m finally ready to share. I first got hooked on this historic process at the Maine Media Workshops during Brentan Hamiliton’s Alternative Process class. However, I definitely have to give a big shout out to Tom Persinger, of F295, who helped me successfully streamline my night digital negatives. Tom’s Historic Process Quick Cards are a simple and invaluable reference for creating Cyanotypes as well as many other alternative processes for printing out your images.

Cyanotype Fort, Delhi

I have missed the “process” of printing in this digital age. Yes, I do enjoy pulling all the details and stacking stars on computer programs. But the inkjet print can frequently lack any “essence”.   I’ve enjoyed results of prints on metal, but as a former darkroom guy, I wanted to get my hands and heart into creating a unique print. So now I can combine the digital wizardly with a one of kind print. I do all my manipulation on the computer and then invert it to a negative file. I print this negative on special clear inkjet transparency paper and I’m ready to make magic. The Cyanotype Process was invented in 1842, and utilizes two simple and inexpensive chemicals: ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide. The chemicals are mixed with water, brushed onto a watercolor paper of your choice, and then exposed to light for a certain amount of time. Once the paper is washed, they reveal the most beautiful Prussian blue tones.

We are also very fortunate to have access to shoot at the awe-inspiring Opus 40 during one of the nights of the workshop. This massive earthwork sculptural space was solely constructed by Harvey Fite, one of the founders of the Bard College of Fine Arts. It took Harvey 37 years to create the 6 ½ acre Opus 40. It looks like something ancient that has been unearthed at an archeological site. Ironically, the material he used were millions of pieces of indigenous bluestone. These stones were laid by hand to create a stone labyrinth that can lead you through subterranean pathways, up wide ramparts, and around the spectacular scenery of Overlook Mountain and the Catskills.

Though the moon has hardly ever been blue in color, the night has long been associated with the color blue. There are still a few spots left for the workshop, so I hope to see or share this once in a blue moon experience with you.

Waiting for the Ferryman

My favorite photos from 2014

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Tis the season to reflect back upon the year – your accomplishments, adventures, failures, and of course, pick yourself up and get ready to steamroll into another year.

Last year I took 29,521 pictures. I have yet to do a “hard” edit on several shoots and could probably delete a bunch more. A few thousand also fit in the timelapse category – which I am still searching for the best software to create these little flipbooks.   However you compare that to the 49, 217 in 2013 and 35,964 in 2012 and you can say I either wasn’t as prolific or I was more focused. How many photos did you take this year? Are you still working on them or are you ready to move onto the new 2015 folder?

One of my regrets for 2014 was that I didn’t blog and share my work as well as I could have. The book seemed to have drained me of any new words and I was busy now celebrating it and taking it on the road to various lectures, workshops, and travels. That was definitely a ton of fun and I enjoyed receiving lots of emails and feedback from all the people that I had shared my night visions with in 2014. I love teaching workshops; the moment when a student gets that “A-ha” is just as thrilling to me as it is for them. I was fortunate enough to have the workshop scene take me to some pretty fabulous places from Baja-Vegas-Zion-Bannerman-Missoula-Maine-Woodstock and Woodlawn. But it was just as important to plan some personal shoots where I could act the role of the student and explore new locations and challenge time and composition.

2015 looks to be another banner year with trips to Finland, Iceland, and Galapagos in the works. But without further ado – here are my 13 favorite images that I created in 2014.

Mother and Daughter ~ Sony A7 and Voigtlander 50mm 1.5 ~ 1/60s at f/2.8 ~ ISO 500

January 1st 2014 was probably one of the most soulful days that I have ever experienced. I was in the spiritual capital of India, Varanasi, with my Dad, my Indian sister Sujata, and a couple other friends. We had been given an amazing opportunity to visit several ashrams – safe spiritual houses for widows. In the caste system of India, widows are the lowest of the low and will often not be taken in by family and are left to die.

The Sulabh International Social Service has taken a very proactive roll in housing and protecting these widows in Varanasi and Vrindavan. The image above was taken at the first ashram we visited. I had taken my Fujifilm Instax camera on this trip and it has never been put to such good use, as it was that day. As their stories were translated to us, I took instant portraits of them and let the magic of photography take over. You have to understand that many of these women are photographed but very few prints are sent to them. As soon as I took the Instax of the woman on the right, she grabbed my arm and took me to her mother’s room and woke her – so they could get their picture taken together. They are one of the few mother and daughters who have both lost their husbands but were lucky enough to find a safe place together.


Las Cruces and the great Gulf ~ Nikon D800 and 14-24 2.8 lens ~ 11 stacked 8 minute shots at f/8 ~ ISO 100

A week after I returned from India, I was off to Sea of Cortez and Baja Mexico with Lindblad on one of their Land and Sea Photo Expeditions. I had taken a shot similar to this the year before but I wasn’t 100% thrilled with it. This image is 11 stacked 8-minute photographs. I love how the star trails create a complimentary half circle to the breakwater.   I recently went back to this shot and converted it to black and white, which took it from a 3 to a 5 star in my book.


Confetti Snow ~ Fujifilm X Pro 1 ~ 23mm lens ~ 1/15s at f/5.6 ~ ISO 3200

Boy, it snowed a lot last year!   But I loved it – the challenge of taking on the elements and how they make us see the world in a different light. This is my subway entrance, a place I pass by 400+ times a year and I’ve never seen it look as magical as it did this night. I learned a long time ago to always have a camera on you. I stood at the entrance and fired off a burst of photos varying the shutter speeds from 1/4s to 1/15s to find just the right type of confetti snow.


The Night Island ~ Fujifilm X Pro 1 & 23mm lens ~ 20m at f/8 ~ ISO 400

Probably my favorite night image from 2014. This was a shot that had been percolating in my mind for a long time – the Night Island. I braced myself at the top of one of the twin peaks as the winds tried its best to knock my rig over. This is a single shot, twenty minutes, and pretty much exactly as I pre-visualized. It was great to check this image off my to do list and to create instead of capture.


Breakwater Light ~ Fujifilm XT1 & 23mm lens ~ 8m at f/5.6 ~ ISO 1250

Another location that was on my to shoot list was the Breakwater Lighthouse in Maine. I had visited this dramatic spot several times over the years and filed it away as a cool place to photograph at night. As luck would have it, the fog was in and I was able abstract the lighthouse to its essence – a beacon of light.


A Maine Milky Way

This year I was fortunate enough to work with the Maine Media Workshops and give a lecture on night photography as well as lead a bunch of students on their first night shoot. I was up there for a week and shot almost every night, which is a great challenge to put on your self. You get attuned to the different types of night-light and can feel the earth rotating around the stars. I was lucky enough to be up there for a new moon and witness the Milky Way just outside Camden. I set up this composition and as the few spotty clouds rolled in I knew it would make a great timelapse. It was also featured in Resource Magazine’s interactive digital version of their Fall 2014 issue


Devils Tower ~ Fujifilm X Pro 1 & 10-24 lens ~ 1m at f/4 ~ ISO 3200

This was created on a scouting mission for an upcoming Devil’s Tower workshop that I will be teaching with Matt Hill through the Rocky Mountain School of Photography. Devil’s Tower is one of the best places to view the Milky Way and I only had one night that I could shoot it. The weather forecast was not good – overcast, but I continued my 10 hour drive through torrential storms, dramatic skies, and a rainbow or three. When I finally got to the tower – it seemed as if there was an invisible beam shooting upwards – pushing the clouds away from the top of the tower. I took advantage of this magical time and was rewarded with a few peaks of the milky stars in between some quickly moving clouds. It only lasted an hour or so before the blanket of clouds returned – it is said that this is a very spiritual place and it certainly answered my prayers.


The Cabin in the Woods ~ Fujifilm XT1 & Zeiss Touit 12mm lens ~ 18 stacked shots at 4m & f/5.6 ~ ISO 800

I created this lightpainting/star trail combo as an example of what we can do with time during my night photography workshop at The Center for Photography at Woodstock this summer. I’m always looking for dramatic foreground to play against the star trails and this sculptured cabin was prime for the picking! I practiced the light painting at several angles and in the end it was the bounce light of a 80-lumen flashlight off the ground that produced the best light and shadows. The exposure was 18 stacked 4-minute exposures that created the 1 hour and 12 minute star trail.


Twilight Lake ~ Sony RX100m3 ~ 4s at f/9 ~ IS0 125

I was taxed with the mission of pushing the Sony RX100III to the low light limits for a video that B&H made about the RX series of cameras with David Brommer and Alan Arkin. I own the V1 of this camera, that is often hailed as the best advanced point and shoot camera on the market. I’ve also always pooh-pooh’d P&S cameras for serious night photography. So I packed this camera and went out to push those pixels along on a trip to Salt Lake City. I was able to successfully get exposures up to 30 seconds with minimal loss of image quality. This was my favorite shot of the night – a 4 second shot making the most of the blue hour.


Wanderlust in the Rain ~ Sony RX100m3 ~ 1/50s at f/5.6 ~ ISO 200

Here’s another story of overcoming the elements. When traveling to Portland, Oregon you gotta take some time to visit the coast. We only had 1 day to do it and the forecast was torrential rain the entire time. We could have easily just stayed in one of the many microbreweries in Portland – but we got our rain gear together and carried on! This was just one of those spontaneous shots that comes together. We were searching for a beach with a skeletal shipwreck but when we pulled into this parking lot and I saw the arrow I slammed on the breaks. We all got out and saw the composition – but Paige took it to the next level and ran out there and jumped!


Greenwood Cemetery I ~ Fujifilm XT1 & 23mm lens ~ 4m at f/8 ~ ISO 200

I want to create not capture. I want to challenge the way I see and I want you to see my vision of this space. Deconstruct and let your mind wander.


Enter the Fountain of Youth ~ Fujifilm XT1 & 10-24 lens ~ 4m at f/5.6 ~ ISO 400

Tom and I were shooting this hidden gem of a spot in Pittsburgh but it was missing something. I had been working the lightpainting on the outside and we knew we needed to add an element to the black hole of an entrance. I asked Tom to go inside and fire up a flash a few times to open it up. As Tom approached the entrance, and before the bat flew out, I knew that was the shot. By adding the human element, the mysterious explorer, I found just what the shot needed.


In search ~ Theta 360

When creating, photography can be an amazing art form to explore your emotions. I gravitate to cameras or lenses that can help you see in a new way. I recently picked up this super simple and fun Theta camera, which captures the world in a 360-degree view. That’s a pretty outstanding starting point for vision and I have just begun to manipulate it and create these new worlds.


Take your Lightpainting to the next level at the Woodlawn Cemetery Workshop

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Woodlawn_Reisinger ~ Fujifiilm XT1 with 10-24 lens ~ 15 minutes ! f/5.6 ~ ISO 200


Matt Hill and I got to visit Woodlawn the other night and prep for our workshop next week.  There are so many cool sculptures and structures to lightpaint there – that we didn’t want to leave!  One of the first rules of light painting is not to “paint” from the same angle as your camera – that creates the most uninteresting light that lacks shadows and depth.

The Reisinger memorial provides a very nice challenge of how to paint.  I took a flash with a 3/4 cut CTO gel and stood behind or to a 90 degree angle to each column.  This pop of warm light created the dramatic shadow from the center far column and wonderful side or rim light to the others.  I was surprised to also see so many stars could be seen – note the vivid start trails that popped here in the city.

There are still a few spots left for next week’s workshop and the moon will not be up while we are shooting so we will have the darkest skies, brightest stars, and a ton of fun things to paint!

Carpe Noctem!

Resource Magazine Article, PhotoPlus, and some fun upcoming events

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Night Photography with Gabriel Biderman by Billy Murray-1

I’m thrilled to be featured in the latest issue of Resource Magazine.  The Biz section focuses on educators in the industry and I gotta say, it was the coolest interview I’ve ever done.  I met up with writer, Billy Murray, one night this summer – it ended up being a mix of one-on-one workshop and just hanging out and talking about creativity.  Billy’s weapon of choice is the pen, so he was blown away with the type of images you can capture when you let those long exposures rip for more than a fraction of a second.  The above photo was one of Billy’s first successful shots taken that night.

Resource Magazine Fall 2014 Issue Cover

The main spread in the Fall Issue of Resource Magazine focuses on YouTube icon and renowned filmmaker, Casey Niestat.  I’m a big fan of Casey, and was psyched to slurp down some Vietnamese food with him and (founder/president of Resource Mag) Alex during one of the videos they were making for the issue.  I’m inspired by Casey , who continually questions the rules that most of society accepts.  His classic videos – iPod’s Dirty Secret and Bike Lanes were pivotal in changing Apple and NYC’s policies.

 You can order the Fall Issue to be delivered or purchase the interactive online version.

This week is “Photo Week” in NYC, as the largest photographic tradeshow in the States – PhotoPlus Expo – comes to the Javits Center.  PPE is a great place to network and meet and geek out with friends!  The expo hall features all the latest gear from vendors from around the world and hundreds of influencers in the industry offer lectures, portfolio critiques, and lead photowalks.

You can pick up a free Expo Only pass until October 28th by registering here.

B&H kicks off this famous photo week by hosting their annual Maine Media Workshop Party at a special after-hours party!   Come see Gabe wear his famous clown tie and mingle with the who’s who in the photo community!  There will be a photo booth, Canon will have a print station, and you’ll have a chance to win some very cool prizes.  Plus did I mention how cool it is to party at B&H once the store is closed?  In order to get past security – you’ll have to RSVP here.

If you can’t come to the party – make sure you get those free expo passes and come check out the show.  I’ll be at the B&H booth (455) Thursday and Friday – we will be handing out our famous Show Specials and candy!  I’ll also be speaking with Jill Waterman and Matt Hill on Saturday November 1st from 10:15am-12:15pm.  Yes, I know that is an early time for any night photographer to be up but  a cup of coffee and our lecture Night Photography:  Step by Step is a great combo to start your day!  After the lecture, I’ll be signing copies of my book, Night Photography:  From Snapshots to Great Shots on the Expo Floor.  This is the first year that Photo Plus has featured an official Book Signing and they have gathered some amazing artists.  So come by and say hello to me or one of your favorite photographers!

PPE_Book Signing[7][3][13][1]