Wild Arctic Photography - Part I

This is Part I.  Click here to watch Part II - Waterfalls, Polar Bear Cubs and Arctic FoxI venture to the far north with Mckay Photography Academy and Poseidon Expeditions. We cruise the waters of Svalbard, Norway looking for Polar bears and finding amazing scenery!https://youtu.be/Xyi9zkr30O0The Poseidon Expedition crew was awesome, the ship the M/V Sea Spirit was comfortable and packed full of nice little touches including the 24/7 cookies and coffee bar. There was also a regular bar but I was more interested in the cookies :) A full tour of the ship is in part 2.   I am full of praise, the knowledge, and friendliness of the guides and the crew was just fantastic. See all our locations in part II.


Sony a7RIIISony 100-400 GMSony 1.4x TeleconverterSony 2.0x TeleconverterCanon 24-70 f/2.8 USM L IISigma MC-11 Adapter82mm CPL FilterPanasonic GH5Panasonic 12-35Panasonic 45-200Mavic ProQuiet PropsDrone Float SystemPolar Pro ND Filters for Mavic ProPlatypod SystemBuddiesman CF TripodOutex Waterproof housingHave questions about the gear? Send me an email toby@photorec.tvSee it all on KIT.com

A few of my favorite photos (Follow me on Instagram for more)

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Location List

  Have questions about the trip? Send me an email toby@photorec.tv

Locations of In-Flight Photos


So what the heck did you just shoot a photo of out the plane? As we’re back from Joshua Tree here’s a quick tip for traveling if your the type that loves the window seat for photos. It’s not that hard and gives you a rough idea where you took the shot.

  • So when you take photos off your phone typically it stays in the time zone that you started in which works out in this case. That gets saved to the photo's metadata which you can get to by hitting info (under … at the top right in android) or pulling it up in Lightroom (bottom of the right panel in the library).

  • Go to flightradar24.com or flightaware.com and pull up your flight info. Without paying for a plan Flightradar24 only gives you the last 7 days free, Flightaware is 14 days or 4 months with a free account. I’m including both as you might miss the first one coming back from a trip.


Flightradar24 (www.flightradar24.com)Flightradar, in this case, is the easy one. Simply convert your time to UTC, in my case “5:59pm edt to utc” in google brings up 9:59 PM which is 21:59 in military time. So then hit play, skip to that time, and there we go. Albeit the data is usually off a bit but gets you in the ballpark. I shooting a bit behind the plane so this shot is a bit northeast of what the site says. Making this Bullfrog Bay in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area with Mt Ellsworth and Mt Holmes in the background.FlightAware (flightaware.com)

  1. Get your takeoff time off the site.

  1. Go to www.calculator.net/time-calculator.html and subtract your shot time by the takeoff time.

  1. Hit play and skip ahead to your shot time. In comparison, this map isn’t as helpful but overall you get the area and can find it in google maps. If you click on the three lines at the top right of the map you can switch between map sources to get some city names to find in google maps.

Travel Adapters and Charging on the Go

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBsy4J4U39gWhen traveling you still need to keep everything charged and ready to go. From camera batteries to your phone there are a few items out there that will make your next trip a bit easier. 

Passport: First Fail-Safe Global Travel Adapter

  • Univeral adapter good for traveling in multiple countries
  • Includes four USB ports to charge devices
  • Built-in circuit breaker to protect devices

Zendure 26800mAh Quick Charge 3.0 Portable Charger

  • Capable of charging your devices multiple times
  • Supports quick charging to charge your devices quickly and recharging the battery itself
  • Pass-through charging to act as a hub

Zendure 10000mAH Portable Charger

  • A smaller size and cheaper version to charge devices


UPWADE 2 Outlet Travel Power Strip 

  • A long winding cord to give you room from the outlet
  • Includes two power ports and four USB ports to charge devices

Check out more gear!➨ My Recommended Gear: https://kit.com/photorectoby➨ Recommended Travel Gear: https://kit.com/photorectoby/travel-gear

Vietnam Photography Adventures - Part Three!

We left Vietnam and head for Cambodia and Siam Reap- amazing floating villages of Tonlé Sap and explorations of Angkor Wat and all the surrounding temples like Ta Prohm!Watch the SeriesVietnam Photography Adventures Part 2Vietnam Photography Adventures Part 1

Vietnam Photography Adventures - Part Two!

Leaving the amazing Halong bay behind we venture south through the city of lanterns, Hoi An, the city of Hue and of course Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City and exploring the Mekong Delta - Snakes on me, Snakes in a bottle and so much more.Watch the SeriesVietnam Photography Adventures Part 3 Vietnam Photography Adventures Part 1

Would you? On our #mckaylive travels up the Mekong river, we came across Bebe, 7 year old, 50lb boa. I think he liked me! Traveling with the McKay crew is as much about fun experiences as it is about the photos.

A post shared by Toby (@photorectoby) on Feb 4, 2018 at 7:59am PST

Vietnam Photography Adventures - Part One!

Dark alleyways of Hanoi, remote mountain villages outside Sa Pa, and the awesome Halong Bay are some of our destinations in part 1 of our Vietnam Adventures!

Watch the SeriesVietnam Photography Adventures Part 2Vietnam Photography Adventures Part 3 

Gear Talk - Wide Angle Lenses and Travel Friendly Systems

First Impressions of the Canon 6D Mark II, Fuji X-T2, Irix 15mm f/2.4, Sigma 14mm f/1.8, Samyang 14mm f/2.8, Rokinon 35mm f/1.8, DJI Spark and a discussion of the best travel camera system. Which of these items are you most interested in hear/seeing a full review about?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwoprlMPzsESee a complete list of the gear I am taking to Joshua Tree for Star Photography - https://kit.com/photorectoby/joshua-tree-adventure

Iceland Travel - 2017

Sometimes it feels like everyone you know has been or is in Iceland - if you haven't visited you might be wondering why - is it the Donuts?[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_T-30mjDCg&feature=youtu.be[/embed]

Shots from Iceland!

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Grand Teton National Park Photography Adventure

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0ts4wAlKRcWe just spent a fantastic week photographing with Animals of Montana and the beautiful landscapes of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park - Scenery, wildlife and photo tips all packed into this trip report from some of the most beautiful landscapes of North America!Cover Photo from Ryan B - http://www.ryanbarnesfoto.comThank you very much to those trip participants that shared photos with me - You can see more of their work atAdi V - https://www.facebook.com/adivaxmanTim L - https://www.instagram.com/designlucasphotos/Vince T - https://www.instagram.com/bytesofcreativity/Ryan B - http://www.ryanbarnesfoto.comKate M - https://www.instagram.com/kmcaptured/David N - https://www.instagram.com/newbold_d/Follow me on Instagram Filmed withPanasonic GH5Sony A7RII Thank you to the sponsors that made the trip and prize package so awesome!!Round-trip airfare from anywhere in the USA and Accommodations on the trip provided by McKaylive.comMindshift Gear 36L UltraLight BackpackSpider Holster Kit & Spider Holster Hand StrapMeFOTO GlobeTrotter Air Travel Tripod$300 Gear Credit to LensProToGo$500 Gift Card to B&H PhotoOne year subscription to Photorec.tv Silver plan membership

Featured Photos Weekly Challenge - Tiny Planet

This Week’s Challenge: #PRTV_tinyplanetAs a bit of a mix up this week we wanted you to show us this tiny planet. We had some great tiny planet edits, tilt-shift, macro, and more this week with some neat photos.Next Week’s Challenge: #PRTV_freedomFind out more about upcoming challenges and past winners at photorec.tv/prtvYou can follow Photorec.TV on Instagram at @Photorec.tv and the team:

Team FeatureTeam FeatureTeam Feature
Toby’s Features:

Perfect execution of the Tiny Planet look - love the watery world surrounding a beach island and skyrise! 

Something about the monotone macro caught my eye and pulled me in - love this little guy! 

Good Macro Morning! Later today, on my instagram stories, I will show you the antique-looking clock in my home that is currently the home to three grey tree frogs and a hermit crab. #Homeandgarden can call me when they are ready for a segment on stylish creature habitats for the home. 😉The grey tree frog is a favorite summer pet for my kids because it changes colors from this light white, to green, to a dark brown. We have lots here in Central Pa, but they hang out well camouflaged in trees so you probably only ever hear them. Have you spotted one this summer? 🐸 🐸 🐸 #macro #macro_captures #macrophotography #macro_x #macro_freaks #macro_spotlight #creation @nikonusa @nikontop #nikontop #naturephotography #outdoorphotographer #asi_es_macro_ #macro_holic #macro_highlight #insects_of_our_world #insta180 #thepathtoprofitability #pawildlife #risingtidesociety #macro_parahyangan #macrophotographyworld #majestic_macros #prtv @#pocket_macro #macroaroundworld #macro_art_syndicate #susquehannavoice #excellent_macros #frog #prtv_tinyplanet _creative_pictures Shares welcome to those tagged by me

A post shared by Macro Wildlife • Tonya Wilhelm (@wp.macro.wildlife) on

Roy’s Features:

Tiny people for the tiny planet, it’s a nice shot that really shows the scale of the people. 

A tiny planet! Getting up from a higher vantage point makes for a great planet as buildings pop up past the horizon. 

Going small with this silk moth, I love those antennae!

Good Macro Morning! The polyphemus moth is a giant silk moth. The male (pictured here) has feathery antenna. He uses these to detect the pheremones released by the female. A male can "smell" a female miles away and will fly to her. #mothlovestory . . #macro #macro_captures #macrophotography #macro_x #macro_freaks #macro_spotlight #creation @nikonusa @nikontop #nikontop #naturephotography #outdoorphotographer #asi_es_macro_ #macro_holic #macro_highlight #insects_of_our_world #insta180 #thepathtoprofitability #pawildlife #risingtidesociety #macro_parahyangan #macrophotographyworld #majestic_macros #prtv @#pocket_macro #9vega_naturemiracles9 #macroaroundworld #macro_art_syndicate #susquehannavoice #excellent_macros #macro #prtv_tinyplanet _creative_pictures Shares welcome to those tagged by me

A post shared by Macro Wildlife • Tonya Wilhelm (@wp.macro.wildlife) on

Featured Photos Weekly Challenge - Travel

This Week’s Challenge: #PRTV_travelTravel as a place or genre was your goal for this week’s challenge. Hiking, cars, cruise ships, and more... whether you were traveling with the McKay’s or picked up a travel shot you all had some really nice shots this week. Next Week’s Challenge: #PRTV_tinyplanetFind out more about upcoming challenges and past winners at photorec.tv/prtvYou can follow Photorec.TV on Instagram at @Photorec.tv and the team:

Team FeatureTeam FeatureTeam Feature
Toby’s Features:

Love the curve of the road (do we think that car strengthens or weakens the shot?)

Simple tight shot that says TRAVEL

I typically don’t love colorful edits like this but it really works and I love just the little framing in the shot.

Fancy Free

A post shared by Martin Snicer Photography (@martinsnicerphotography) on

Roy’s Features:


We will return to Croatia for a photo tour - This tour will likely sell out quickly. Add your name to the pre-notice list to be notified when it opens for sign up.   Please notify me of the next Croatia Tourhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pz4JRlKer2g&feature=youtu.beComplete List of gear - GH5, DJI Mavic (and more)Itinerary and Photos -We started our Journey in Trogir- a fascinating old town with twisting alleyways and a medieval castle that protected the harbor.
 Our Guide - Tanya Jucik Braculj was awesome - contact her to arrange any type of fantastic trip in and around Croatia - tanja.jukicb@gmail.com        

My Favorite Non-Photography Gear

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pk0m0e5Ways[/embed]With Toby traveling across the globe we've got a few MUST HAVE gear that always comes along on every trip/shoot. Here are our favorite pieces of non-photo gear with links to buy below.

USB Chargers
[vc_row][vc_column width="1/4"]Anker PowerCore 10000[/vc_column][vc_column width="3/4"]Anker PowerCore 10000[/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/4"]Neewer LP-E6 Charger[/vc_column][vc_column width="3/4"]Neewer Micro USB Battery Charger forCanon LP-E6 Rechargeable Battery[/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/4"]RAVPower Sony NP FW50 Battery Charger[/vc_column][vc_column width="3/4"]RAVPower Sony NP FW50 Battery Charger Set[/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/4"]Wasabi Power Battery (2-Pack) and Dual Charger for Panasonic DMW-BLF19[/vc_column][vc_column width="3/4"]Wasabi Power Battery (2-Pack) andDual Charger for Panasonic DMW-BLF19[/vc_column][/vc_row]
[vc_row][vc_column width="1/4"]Vitchelo V800 Headlamp[/vc_column][vc_column width="3/4"]Vitchelo V800 Headlamp Flashlight with Red LED[/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/4"]Hydro Flask[/vc_column][vc_column width="3/4"]Hydro Flask Double Wall Water Bottle[/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/4"]Mini Pocket Outdoor Blanket[/vc_column][vc_column width="3/4"]Mini Pocket Outdoor Blanket[/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/4"] Leatherman Squirt PS4[/vc_column][vc_column width="3/4"]Leatherman Squirt PS4[/vc_column][/vc_row]
[vc_row][vc_column width="1/4"]Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero Hat[/vc_column][vc_column width="3/4"]Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero Hat[/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/4"]BUFF Fleece Hat[/vc_column][vc_column width="3/4"]BUFF Fleece Hat[/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/4"]Buff Headwear[/vc_column][vc_column width="3/4"]BUFF Lightweight Merino WoolMultifunctional Headwear[/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/4"]Patagonia Men's Ultralight Down Vest[/vc_column][vc_column width="3/4"]Patagonia Men's Ultralight Down Vest[/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/4"]Outdoor Research Helium II Rain Jacket[/vc_column][vc_column width="3/4"]Outdoor Research Helium II Rain Jacket[/vc_column][/vc_row]


Photographing Washington DC - Cherry Blossoms, Sunrise Monuments - Tips, Tricks and Adventure!

I spent a weekend with McKay Photography Academy in Washington DC - Photographing the monuments and memorials at sunrise, sunset, the Cherry Blossom festival and all the cherry blossom trees around the tidal basin and Jefferson Memorials. Watch for tips on photographing sunrise, sunset and the monuments plus all our adventures!https://youtu.be/TmeuOMguXJk TWO MORE DAYS TO ENTER TO WIN A TRIPJoin me on a future trip - Yosemite NP, Glacier NP, the Arctic - learn more at http://photorec.tv/travel

Photographing Cities - Tips & Tricks for Better Photos

I have some tips and recommendations for getting better photos in historic cities like Edinburgh Scotland- What to look for, how to frame, what is the best focal length for city photography and the best time of day for photographing in the old historic streets. Filmed on location in Edinburgh Scotland and London England.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAv0gxRVbQg  

Safari Photo Adventure #3 - Leopard in a Tree

https://youtu.be/h6qskQ0JueoIt's like we are in the middle of a National Geographic documentary! Watching lions on the hunt, leopard climbing trees, elephants just feet away from the car and some amazing views of Ngorongoro crater and Karatu. Like my epic wooden sunglasses?  Back them on Kickstarter - tons of great looks and I love the fact that they are an eco–conscious company! Learn More and snag a pair of awesome sunglasses at a great price. 

Photography Tips for Havana/Cuba

After spending three weeks in Cuba I share some tips for photographing Havana, the old buildings, the American cars and the people of Cuba!

Cuba Photography DO NOTs:

  • Never photo the police in uniform
  • Don't photo all white dressed people

Don't be rude and stick your camera in people's faces.   You are visiting their home not a zoo.  

Cuba Photography DOs:

Strike up a conversation before asking if you may take a photo. 

Puebo toma una photo.

If you know a little more Spanish you could strike up a conversation with people and ask if you can see or visit their home.  As I said I was invited into multiple homes and I feel it's pretty special to be treated so generously.  Feel free to offer something in exchange. Another way to make friends is to bring gifts.  Stickers for the kids,  candy too.  Pens are highly valued by the people at the market and is a nice gesture if you spend a few minutes with a camera in their face.  And on our McKay trips a few people brought the Insta print cameras and those were a huge hit with the young and the old,  it's very nice to share the images with the people you are capturing.  Watch your step.  Holes,  poop,  slippery marble and more.


I shot for most of the trip with a full frame camera and a 50mm lens.  Great combination.https://www.instagram.com/p/BFxhtL3NMCU/?taken-by=photorectobySony a7RII with Sigma MC-11 Adapter and Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART series lens.  (links go to B&H Photo for prices - Your purchase of gear through my links is part of my income and keeps me in business)If I saw an interesting person I would have my camera ready before I asked for permission.  You get a more natural look if you are ready to snap the photo right after you ask. The longer you take the less likely you are to get a genuine expression.Wide angle lenses can be fun with all of the curves of the car. Crop: Tokina 11-16 f/2.8Telephoto for sneakier street photography - Suggested 70-200 F/4

Locations for shooting.  

There is no shortage of photo ops in Havana no matter where you explore but for the most authentic Havana experience I would stay near Central ParkPrado Ave Also listed on maps as Paseo de Marti separates central Havana from the old city.  Fantastic photo opportunities on the broad Ave and central park has a great collection of old American cars for hire and photography.  If you want the less shiny American cars, just head down any back street,  they really are everywhere. https://www.instagram.com/p/BGZIkpTNMHE/?taken-by=photorectobyWander a few blocks left or right off Prado and you will quickly find the colors,  the crumbling walls and more to photograph,  really you even get that on Prado though they are trying to restore the buildings along the Avenue.  https://www.instagram.com/p/BF7P65BNMNh/?taken-by=photorectobyFountain square,  Cathedral square and arms square give you a taste of restored and historic Havana.  Obispo Avenue is a car free Avenue that runs from arms square to central park.  This is a more touristy stretch but offers lots to see and places to eat.  Again I encourage you to venture off onto the side streets,  I did this day and night and felt safe at all times. Sunrise and sunset from Malecón, Havana, Cuba(sea wall) and the fort is great for sunset and city skyline plus the Cannon shot ceremony at 9pm every night.  You pay to get in but consider paying 1 cuc more to get up on the roof which comes with a free drink,  best view of the ceremony and a good view of the city.  If you only want the city view stay down below on the fort walls.  https://www.instagram.com/p/BGEnlrctMLd/?taken-by=photorectobyMarti theater,  across from Central Park is lit beautifully at night. And the capital currently being restored will be beautiful. https://www.instagram.com/p/BGQYud7tMKC/?taken-by=photorectobyIt will be interesting to see what happens to Cuba and especially havana over the next few years as tourism increases.  McKay Photography is making plans to return, Email David Here I’m interested in Cuba next year!More photos from Cuba: Want to travel with me to some place other than Cuba? Maybe Croatia? Vietname? Iceland? More information and more locations listed at Photorec.tv/Travel