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.


Podcast Interview With Brenda Petrella

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

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

A few weeks ago, before rafting down the Grand Canyon, I did an interview with Brenda Petrella for her Outdoor Photography Podcast. I thought Brenda asked a lot of great questions, and I really enjoyed the conversation. We talked about a wide range of topics, including light, my early photography career working at The Ansel Adams Gallery, the difference between style and vision, immersing yourself in nature, and so much more.

Brenda just released the podcast, so you can listen to it on her website, or through all the usual podcast sources like iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and so on. I hope you enjoy the interview!


New Lightroom Course from Chrissy Donadi: Let’s Get Organized!

Let's Get Organized!

My online Lightroom courses concentrate on processing your images in the Develop Module. They’re designed to help you get the most out of your photographs, and enhance your original vision without making the images look unnatural.

But of course there are other aspects of Lightroom. The most important of these – and the part that often causes the most trouble and confusion for people – is the organizational part: importing, setting up folder structures, sorting images, finding images, and so on.

I often get asked whether I can recommend a book or course about that organizational aspect of Lightroom, and I’m happy to say that I finally can. Our friend Chrissy Donadi just launched her Lightroom course called Let’s Get Organized! It’s a thorough, comprehensive look at how to efficiently setup, organize, and maintain your photo library in Lightroom Classic. Chrissy does a great job of explaining everything clearly, with all the information you need – but not more than you need.


Join Me Again at the Night Photo Summit!


I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be teaching at the second annual Night Photo Summit next month!

The Night Photo Summit is produced by the folks who created the National Parks at Night workshop series. I gave a presentation at their first summit last year, and that was a really fun event, so I’m excited to be invited back! This online conference is devoted exclusively to night photography, and I’ll be joining over 25 other distinguished instructors, including Art Wolfe, Lance Keimig, Tim Cooper, Colleen Miniuk, Adam Woodworth, Jess Santos, Kevin Adams, Chris Nicholson, Royce Bair, and many more.