Dear digital devotees,

Phase out your iphone, interrupt your internet, cancel your cable and cast aside your computer. Cauterize the outlet in which your acuity is hemorrhaging. Do yourself a favor: instead of spending the hours working on that monitor tan and changing your facebook status (because no one really cares that you’re standing in line at the grocery store), do something in the real world. Unplug and thou shalt be free! My goal is clear: starting September 1st, no internet, no computer, no email and no TV for 30 days. I urge you to do the same!

So ditch your devices and detox with me, I’ll see you in a month with photos and words to share.

– Your dear friend Dan

PS. You can stop reading now, or you can continue reading about the reasoning behind my endeavor.

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Here are a few from a recent camping trip with some friends on the playa during the Perseid meteor showers.

My humble abode. The tent is lit inside by a coleman lantern and the forground is illuminated by the camp-fire. Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm 2.8
My humble abode: The tent was lit inside by a Coleman lantern and the foreground was illuminated by the camp-fire. Specs: Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm, Performance lens wipes 🙂

     The Milky Way over the two small towns of Gerlach and Empire, Nv (where I grew up). The Milky Way over the two small towns of Gerlach and Empire, Nv (where I grew up).
The Milky Way over the two small towns of Gerlach and Empire, Nv (where I grew up): For this shot, I painted the foreground from the side with a mag-light and proceeded to make a total of eight exposures vertically. The original panorama was 180 degrees, however I decided to crop it due to the light pollution produced by Black Rock City. I’m not sure which I like better, the color or the B&W version. Which is your favorite?


Trails over Mt. Rose: I thought I’d throw this in randomly. I took this back in May at Mt. Rose. I didn’t really think it was post worthy before, but I needed some filler for this post.

 Sleeping ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz.....  I can see three meteors.

Meteors and Star Trails over the Blackrock Desert: Exposed for 3.5 hours with me sleeping inside. The sky is so bright because the moon rose during the end of the exposure. The glowing embers from our camp fire created a nice warm glow foreground and a short burst of the lantern lit up the tent.


Stay tuned for some timelapses of the stars and meteors!

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Explosions in the Sky (2 new photos)

July 6, 2009 | Category: Nocturnal Photography, Photography | Comments Off on Explosions in the Sky (2 new photos)

I had a great time with a few friends watching and photographing the fireworks show at Lake Tahoe. One of my goals was to get a combination star-trails/fireworks photo and the result isn’t too shabby.

The rocks are illuminated by a warm incandescent torch from both sides. After the fireworks show, I left the camera exposing for another 30 mins or so.
Specs above: Nikon D300, 11-16mm 2.8, roughly an hour of exposures + 5min foreground exposure. The rocks were lit twice with an incandescent torch: once from the left and once from the right. 

The show begins! 
Specs above: Nikon D2Xs, Nikon 17-55mm 2.8 @ f11 for 30 seconds, ISO 200

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Tour de Nez 2009

June 22, 2009 | Category: Photography | Comments Off on Tour de Nez 2009

Here is a small selection of shots from the pro race during the 2009 Tour de Nez in downtown Reno. For lighting, I used a single Quantum Q-flash on the corner of the chicane. I still have a bunch of photos to go through, but these were my initial picks from the most important race.


Another chicane shot

A twilight slow sync pan


And yes, I got to ride on a motorcycle as a race photographer! This was the women's race.

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Here are some from last night’s audio trigger adventures! I’ve had the idea for the fish shot from some time now and I think it turned out pretty well.

Hopeless: We all feel like this sometime.

The setup for both shots was as follows:

  • 6x Nikon Sb-800s set at 1/128th power 1x audio trigger
  • .22 cal pistol with “primer only” rounds
  • audio sensitive flash trigger with programmable delay
  • Nikon D300
  • Nikon 80-200mm 2.8

The camera was set to ISO 500 to achieve f/8. By setting the flashes to 1/128th power, the effective duration was around 1/40,000 sec, fast enough to freeze exploding glass.

If you look closely, you can see the bullet!

Thanks to John, Kevin, Fielding and Andy for bringing the extra equipment and ideas. Oh and by the way, NO FISH WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THESE PHOTOS!

Here are some setup shots by Kevin Clifford:

Setting the cams up. That's John's 4x5 and me with my D300. We are shooting in my messy basement. An array of SB-800s held together by Gaffers tape and hope. 2 More SB-800s coming from the top. You can see the aftermath of the shoot here. My basement is trashed.

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Stairway to….

June 1, 2009 | Category: Photography | 2 Comments

I’m not even going to finish the cliché title. We’ve been getting some beautiful stormy weather this week and today I took advantage of the gorgeous skies.


This was shot with my Infrared converted Nikon D100 + 17-55mm f/2.8 lens @ f/14, ISO 200, 1/40 of a sec.

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Camera and mud courtesy of Fielding Cathcart, photo by me.

Oh and by the way, the camera and lens are absolutely fine and functioning PERFECTLY. This is why I shoot Nikon.

A very slightly used Nikon D3 and 70-200mm Vr lens

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Here are a few from last week. The street event was a time trial put on by the Reno Wheelmen. You can see the lighting setup that I used on the last photo. The off-road, downhill bikers are friends of Fielding. Both shoots were good times. Click on the photos to see the technical specs.


©2009 Daniel Newton. Specs: Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm 2.8, Quantum Qflash to camera right and 2x SB800s to camera right. I dragged the shutter a bit and panned with the cyclist (who was probably doing 30mph). ©2009 Daniel Newton. Specs: Nikon D300, Nikon 80-200mm 2.8, Sb-800 to camera left for flying dirt and Quantum Q-flash + sb-800 to camera right for fill.

©2009 Daniel Newton. Specs: Nikon D300, Nikon 10.5mm fisheye, flashes setup on either side of cyclist who jumped over me.

 ©2009 Daniel Newton. Specs: Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm 2.8, Quantum Qflash to camera right and 2x SB800s to camera right. I dragged the shutter a bit and panned with the cyclist (who was probably doing 30mph).

©2009 Daniel Newton. Specs: Nikon D300, Nikon 10.5mm 2.8 fisheye, Q-flash to the right, SB-800 on bottom left (you can see it if you look carefully) 

 ©2009 Daniel Newton. This was my setup for the Geiger Grade downhill shoot: Thats a Quantum Q-flash on the left and 2x SB-800s on the right. I setup right where Tom is standing and show very wide panning about 2 feet away from the cyclists.

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I got lucky trying to time some splash shots with a strawberry and some extra Cristal we happened to have laying around. Rather than using an audio trigger (which would’ve been way easier), Field and I decided to test our hand eye coordination (and patience) by manually timing the shots. The cameras were set to bulb in a completely dark room. I dropped the strawberry in one hand and fired a radio trigger in the other. We did get some splashes, but this was my favorite shot. If you look closely at the top left corner you can see strawberry guts from me “bricking” the shot in the dark.

 Good timing

Gridzilla: 2x sb-800s + 1x Honl 1/8" grid

The lighting was provided using my expertly constructed double flashed grid setup. I gaffers taped the hell out of carefully adjoined two Nikon SB800s together and precisely installed (velcro and a prayer) a honl 1/8” grid to the front. This allowed the enough light to operate at 1/64 power for action freezing flash duration. 

Final Specs: Nikon D300, 80-200mm 2.8 @ f/8, ISO 200, bulb.

Lighting: 2x sb800s gridded behind and lower than glass,  2x more sb800s, one on either side though large softboxes. All lights triggered by Skyports. 


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Kris through the viewfinder


1- Digital SLR
1- Older Twin Lens Reflex camera (Rollie, Yashica, etc. I used a $5.00 eBay Kodak Duaflex IV)
1- Macro Lens (mine is a 60mm 1:1)
1- Heavy duty cardboard tubing
1- Roll of gaffers tape

Remove the popup shade covering the viewfinder on the top of the Twin Lens camera. Combine ingredients. Enjoy!



What exactly is this going to accomplish?
Nostalgia of coarse! More specifically, your photos should have a distressed border and added textures from the focusing screen on the twin lens camera. Every camera is different and each will give a unique look. I’ve also noticed that by tilting your SLR slightly, you can accomplish partial focus effects similar to that of lensbabies. Welcome to the world of TTV (Through The Viewfinder) photography!

Through the viewfinder

  • Shoot at a super high ISO for that extra “graininess”  (I used 1600 for most of these shots).
  • Keep in mind that the more you stop down, the more imperfections, dust, scratches will show up.
  • For expired film looking color, experiment with different “incorrect” white-balance settings.
  • This camera setup makes for great candid shots because the camera doesn’t appear to be pointing at your subject
  • Don’t permanently attach the D-SLR to the tube. This allows for camera tilting to achieve a partial focus effect.
        A few more….

      ParadeParade 2Parade 3


      Here’s the setup.

      The setup    

      For more on this style of photography, google “through the viewfinder” or “TTV photography.”

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