Sony Zoom Zoom: Going from 24 to 70 for 3x the price

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So first of all, was the above photo taken with a $600 zoom or a $2200 zoom?  Can’t tell?  Then keep reading. Or cheat by scrolling to the end. Decisions, Decisions When Sony announced the first mirrorless full frame camera system back in technological prehistory – three years ago – they also released two mid-range […]

Sony A7Rii with Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF ED VR, Handheld. Read: Big camera, big lens, not so heavy.

New Camera: Confessions of a Gearhound

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The joy of a new toy. I mean, camera. Let’s be honest: there is nothing quite like unboxing a new camera with new lenses, particularly if they are from an entirely new and unfamiliar system. A Sony Alpha A7Rii Review


Afghanistan: Wartime Tourism

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Afghanistan is not technically at war and I was not strictly a tourist. But much of the country is driven by fear and uncertainty. In Kabul, helicopters thunder overhead – two crashed while I was there. SUV’s vie with herds of goats, meandering donkey carts and zipping minibuses – doors and throttles wide open – in […]

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Five Miles High

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This was probably the most difficult photo I have ever taken, not just because it took three years of planning and one prior failed expedition to get to this spot, but also because it was -15°F and my fingers were too cold to move. It was about 6:00am, just after dawn, near the summit of Mustagh Ata, a fabled peak in the Chinese Pamirs. It’s name translates as “Father of Ice Mountains” in the Tadjik language.

Sand Storm - 1979

Beijing Dust Storm, 1979

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Beijing is on the edge of the Loess Plateau, an area bound by a huge 500-mile bend of the Yellow River and known for its fine sand, almost like ground flour. Each spring, the sand would descend upon Beijing like Bartholomew’s Oobleck – there was no way to keep it out of your mouth or any other part of your body, even if you kept your windows closed. It was just everywhere. 1980- (2)Sometimes it blew in with a storm, other times it just descended quietly overnight like the first snow of winter – as it did in this photo. At the time I was staying in the Minzu Hotel with a group of advertising executives from McCann-Erickson.