Today: Don Tredinnick of Frozen Hiker Photography. He does photo hikes at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Bloomington, and teaches classes at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, among his many other creative pursuits.

Reading

My two primary periodicals are Outdoor Photographer and Outdoor Photography. Both provide excellent information related to both techniques that can be used in the field as well as great locations to visit. I am often amazed at some of the articles related to places I have been or wildlife that I have photographed, and how other photographers approach the same subject. Everyone has a unique vision. There have been stories about places where I have spent quite a bit of time visiting and revisiting and I will see something that the photographer captured that is different from anything that I have shot. I see the same sort of thing in the workshops and classes that I teach. As a photographer, I find this really inspiring.

Following

I am always looking to expand my skills. As a nature photographer, there are so many interesting and exciting subgenres, but also require different skills. I recently have been spending a lot of energy in two areas. The first area is night photography, or more correctly capturing images after dark. For example, with astrophotography, finding great locations to capture the night sky. You need to be concerned with foreground elements, light pollution, weather patterns, moon phases, time of year, and access to the location. I first began capturing images of the night sky back in 2011. Last year, I spent time in the California redwoods, Beaver Bay and Ely, Minn., Lone Pine, Calif., and Badlands National Park capturing everything from constellations to the Milky Way.

This past year, I began to experiment with light painting. My main approach is to light paint natural scenes using flashlights and LED panels. The photographer literally moves through the scene while the camera’s shutter is open, applying varying amounts of light to different elements in the scene. What I discovered is light painting is a great way to isolate subject matter in places that are heavily forested or where there is background clutter.

Watching

As odd as it may seem, I enjoy watching shows on Discovery’s Velocity network and the Food Network, specifically, “Wheeler Dealers,” “FantomWorks,” “Chopped,” and “Beat Bobby Flay.” There is an aesthetic element to both automotive restoration and food preparation. They say that the dining experience is based on all of the senses. There was a lot of artistic design that went into older cars. It was less about aerodynamics, and more about flowing lines and decorative elements.

Doing

I have been fortunate to capture images of landscapes and wildlife on four continents. This has led to some amazing experiences and photo opportunities, recently in the Galápagos Islands and northern Alaska. Every year we also try to visit at least one national park. Every park is unique and interesting. I have yet to visit a national park and not be amazed. I just can’t get enough of these places. This year, we will explore the jungles of Borneo on our first visit to Asia. I can’t wait to see what we encounter and experience.