Join Me at the Out of Olympic Photo Conference!


I’m thrilled to be joining the Out of Chicago team once again for a photography conference – this time in Olympic National Park and the Olympic Peninsula. This will be an in-person event taking place next May 7-11, 2023.

I’m looking forward to photographing this beautiful place, with lush, moss-draped rain forests, wild coastal beaches, and rugged sea stacks. And I’ll be joining a wonderful cast of instructors: Nick Page, Charlotte Gibb, Sean Bagshaw, Sarah Marino, Anna Morgan, Joseph Rossbach, Kurt Budliger, TJ Thorne, Anna Morgan, Mark Denney, Benjamin Williamson, and Eric Bennett.


Creating Composition Out of Chaos Webinar


This Friday I’ll be joining the Out of Chicago team for a live webinar called Creating Composition Out of Chaos. My fellow panelists include some of my favorite photographers, like Charlotte Gibb, Sean Bagshaw, Anna Morgan, TJ Thorne, Sarah Marino, and Kurt Budliger. We’re sharing how we were able to create a compelling landscape or intimate scene composition when challenged by a chaotic environment. Register below to join us live and be notified when the recording is available.

Register for the Creating Composition Out of Chaos webinar, 1 p.m. Eastern time, 10 a.m. Pacific, Friday, August 19th

I hope to see some of you there!


Oak Fire Update

The slope below it burned, but our house is still intact.

The slope below our house burned, but the house is still intact.

First, thanks so much to all of you who have sent messages since my last post. While Claudia and I don’t have time to respond to them all individually right now, rest assured that we’ve read them all, and are very grateful for all the expressions of support. Your kindness is overwhelming, and greatly appreciated.

Please know that we’re fine, and our house is fine too. We were able to get into our neighborhood on Monday to assess our property, and the house and office are intact, with no damage that we can find. The fire burned almost to the edge of the house on the north side, and the edge of the deck on the west side, but didn’t reach the other sides, nor my office/studio building. We may have lost a few trees on our property, but the shade trees near our house and deck all seem okay.


Oak Fire

Pyrocumulus cloud from the Oak Fire, Mariposa County, CA, USA, 7-23-22

Pyrocumulus cloud from the Oak Fire, Mariposa County, California, on Saturday afternoon. The dark areas near the bottom of the frame are actually black smoke.

I’ve received many messages expressing concern for Claudia and I about the Oak Fire near our home outside of Mariposa. So first, thank you all very much for your concern! Claudia and I are safe (and our four kitties too). We had to evacuate Friday night, and are staying at a friend’s house in town. Shortly after we evacuated the fire came through our neighborhood and property, but we’ve heard that our house is still standing. We also heard that fire crews worked through the night to save homes in our area, including ours, and were apparently successful in doing so, as no homes in our neighborhood have been lost as far as we can tell. We’re not out of the woods yet, but hopeful, and feeling very grateful to the firefighters for all they have done and continue to do. Some people have lost their homes in this fire, and our hearts go out to them. Fortunately no one has been injured so far.

I’d also like to express my appreciation to the volunteers from CCADT (Central California Animal Disaster Team) for taking such good care of our cats, and all the creatures in their care. This is a stressful situation for all the animals that have been abruptly moved from their homes, but most of them seem quite calm once they’ve settled into the routine at the shelter. Our cats certainly like being there a lot more than being in our cars.


NANPA Fine Art in Nature Photography Award

"Twins" - sun breaking through fog in a redwood forest, northern California, USA

“Twins” – sun breaking through fog in a redwood forest, northern California

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be receiving the Fine Art in Nature Photography Award for 2023 from the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA).

The award “honors photographers who create fine art nature imagery and/or who educate/instruct other nature photographers about the techniques critical to fine art imagery.” It’s a relatively new award; the only previous recipients were Ron Rosenstock and Art Wolfe from 2021, and I’m very honored to be in such good company.

Frank Gallagher has written a blog post on NANPA’s website about the award, including some of my thoughts about how nature photographers can affect positive change. Also, along with this award I’ll be doing a keynote presentation at the NANPA Summit on May 4th, 2023.

What an honor! Thanks very much to the NANPA Awards Committee!

— Michael Frye


New Zealand

Milford Sound, by Phillip Bartlett

Milford Sound, by Phillip Bartlett. I love the moodiness of this photo by my co-instructor – very Lord of the Rings.

I’m so looking forward to going to New Zealand!

I remember seeing a National Geographic article about New Zealand when I was growing up, with a captivating cover photo of Milford Sound. It seemed like such an exotic, even mystical place, with mountains plunging into the sea, rainforests, peaks draped with glaciers, flightless birds, and on and on. I dreamed of going there.

And then I saw Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies, famously filmed in New Zealand. The landscapes fit so perfectly with the mythical, other-worldly realm of these stories. That made me want to go even more.

So I’m thrilled to finally get that chance this October, when I’ll be co-leading a photography expedition to South Island for Visionary Wild. My co-instructor is Phillip Bartlett, a fantastic photographer and New Zealand native, who has scoured the area to find lots of beautiful, lesser-known, but highly-photogenic locations, and put together an amazing itinerary for this trip.