Blog Post

Photo Tip - What I carry In My Bag


Scott’s Bi-Weekly Photo Tip

Hi everyone, hope you are having a great week. I’m always being asked what I use or what I take with me, so this week I’m going to go through what I carry in my bag every time I go out, whether its for Portrait Sessions or Landscapes, you’ll always see these items in my back.

I have 2 camera bags, a larger Tamrac bag that I bought many years ago, and a much smaller Alturo bag that I picked up a couple of years ago before Pam and I headed out west for a road trip. I lean towards travelling as light as possible, even when doing portraits close to home, so I rarely use my larger Tamrac these days.

I always have my bag packed and ready to go. These items are a staple of my bag:

  • Microfiber cloth - I have a few packs of these as they are invaluable for a multitude of reasons.

  • Spare Memory Cards - My primary camera has dual memory card slots so I have redundancy there, but I always have a spare in the bag just in case.

  • Backup camera - I shoot everything with my Sony A7Riii, but in my bag, charged and ready to go is my Sony A6300 just in case. It is no where near a comparison of the A7Riii, but it’ll get the job done in a pinch if something drastic were to happen.

  • Spare batteries - I have great results with my Sony cameras and their batteries. They do not kill a battery through multiple sessions, so normally I’m in the clear. On super cold days I’ll always find the batteries drain faster of course, and you never know what might happen, so I always have at least 1 space (fully charged) batter for each of my 2 cameras.

  • (2) Head Lamps - You just never know. I have thought I would never use these and they have come in handy so many times I’ll never go without.

  • Lenses - I usually carry my 10-18mm wide angle and my 24-70 2.8 lenses with me. Sometimes I’ll take my 70-200 2.8 if I know I need a little ready or for portraits, but rarely these days.

  • Filters - I do have some neutral density and polarizing filters that I take along in case I want to do long exposures in a brighter setting. I honestly don’t have the use for them much anymore since my A7Riii can go to ISO 50.

And that’s about it. Light and nimble is my motto. Of course, if I’m going to do landscape photos them I’m carrying along my carbon fiber tripod as well, but I can easily attach that to my backpack and through it on my shoulders and hike as long as I want.

What are the must haves that you want in your bag every day?

Don’t forget to check out my workshops and classes to learn more about photography. We have so many different ones to offer and they are always a great time.

Have a great night.


Blog Post

Full April Weekend of Classes and Workshops Coming Up


Hello everyone. Thanks for following me.

Spring is upon us, flowers are sprouting and blooming, grass is starting to green up and the temps are slowly climbing. That means we are approaching one of our busiest weekends of the spring.

Next weekend, April 5, 6 and 7th, I’ll be doing multiple workshops and classes, and topped off on Saturday evening by our 2nd Annual Spring Photography Exhibition and Show.

This time a change of location. I’ve been doing my classes and exhibitions in Front Royal, and for this spring weekend we will be in downtown Winchester. The workshops of course will be outdoors, hopefully in the National Park (if its fully open by then). We are super excited to visit our friend and fans in Winchester and cannot wait to see you all.

Here is a run down of the full weekend. Registrations for the classes and workshops are still open and can be done HERE!!

Friday, April 5th:

I have 2 events this evening, both are outdoor workshops, so weather permitting.

  1. Sunset Photography Workshop with me in the Shenandoah National Park (or other location picked by me if the park is closed) - in this workshop we get out the tripods and shoot the long exposures of one or more of my favorite sunset spots. Location of the workshop will be determined by the weather as always. I’ll be there to give you tips and tricks, read the weather, get you framed up with composition and more. Cost $30 (spots available)

  2. Astrophotography Workshop with me - I always try to have this one in closer proximity to where we do the sunset one, so I can make it there and people can join both if they like. This is always fun as I help you with long exposure astrophotography. I help with tips and tricks, framing the shot, different techniques and we may even do a little light painting if you like. Cost $30 (spots available)

Saturday, April 6th

  1. Photography Class - Composing Your Shot 9:00am - Cost $25 (spots available) - This is one of the fundamental classes that I recommend to EVERYONE. Composition is one of the 2 most important aspects in taking good photos, and this class will instantly make your photos better. Good for any type of camera, even phones.

  2. Photography Class - Reading the Light - 10:30am -Cost $25 (spots available) - This is the other fundamental class that I recommend to EVERYONE. Lighting goes hand in hand with composition to create the photo. Without understand and being able to read the light, your photos will not excel, and you will not get better as a photographer. Good for any type of camera, even phones.

  3. Photography Class - Shooting in Manual Mode Part 1 - 12:30pm - Cost $45 (spots available) This is my most popular class, I call it the money class because this class separates the photographers from everyone else. If you have a camera that has manual settings and you are shooting everything in automatic mode, then this is the class for you. I teach you with in class instruction, hands on learning and a 30-45 minute outdoor session on how to get off of manual mode and get the real power out of your camera. You’ll learn ISO, Aperture, Shutter speed and more. I go through real world scenarios to teach you my thought process in figuring out what settings to start with.

  4. Photography Class - Shooting in Manual Mode Part 2 - 3:00pm - Cost $45 (spots available) This class is the more advanced followup to the Part 1 class above. Learn more advanced techniques like long exposures, high speed shooting, low light shooting, exposure and focus stacking and more.

  5. 2nd Annual Scott Turnmeyer Spring Photography Exhibitions/Show - Cost FREE - View on our Event Page - Come by and show me your support by visiting us for the Exhibition. No cost to the public, and no buy pressure at all. Come in a view my work first hand, printed and mounted. There will be well over 100 different photos of mine from around the area (and world), and I’ll be there to talk about how I get them, tell stories about our escapades, talk photography or answer questions. Of course, everything will be for sale as well, and items will range in pricing from $5 - $500, and everything in between. Guaranteed to have something for everyone. There will be door prizes given away as well!!!! We’ll have prints in paper, mounted on foam and METAL (Gorgeous), holiday cards, ornaments, puzzles and a ton more.

Sunday, April 7th:

  1. Sunrise Photography Workshop with me in the Shenandoah National Park (or other location picked by me if the park is closed) - in this workshop we get out the tripods and shoot the long exposures of one or more of my favorite sunset spots. Location of the workshop will be determined by the weather as always. I’ll be there to give you tips and tricks, read the weather, get you framed up with composition and more. Cost $30 (spots available)

Thank so much, and we sincerely appreciate the following and support of our fans. We hope to see all of you next weekend either at a class, workshop or especially our Exhibition/Show. Please check out all of our events HERE on our Facebook page for location information and other upcoming events.

Have a great evening,


Blog Post, Photo Critique

Public Photo Critiques - March 9, 2019

Good afternoon everyone, thanks for following.

I’ve started a new bi-weekly public photo critique that I’ll be doing here on my blog, as well as tied in with my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages. I’ll be posting the call for photos every other Wednesday, and you have until Friday evening of that week to send me something that you would like critiqued. I’ll do a blog post like this and post the critiques to all of my social media accounts that evening or the next day (today is Saturday because I was super busy last night).

That’s it. I would love to see more people take advantage of this.

Most of my photo comments will come from the items that I teach in my composition and lighting classes, which you can check out here. Those two are good for all photographer levels and any camera (even phones).

Let’s get to the photos.

Our first photo is from Sydney Haney from our Facebook page. Sydney sends in a landscape shot with a beautiful waterfall, some still water, and cliffs. Looks to be in the fall time range maybe. Here is the shot.


Thanks so much for submitting. I appreciate it.

Okay, so this reminds me of some photos that I have done in the past. It’s clear to me what you are trying to show me. It’s obviously a long exposure shot of a gorgeous waterfall (where is this BTW?), and looks to be late fall time frame since I see the ice around the waterfall.

This photo I like, look likes you did very well on the long exposure. You possibly exposed it too long as the detail in the waterfall’s center is hardly noticeable. When taking a shot like this I would take multiples and varying exposure lengths to see which one I liked. You may have, and this may be what it is, not sure. I do find interesting the look of the water below the waterfall. It’s not a glassy and flat as I would expect it to be with a really long exposure, so given the fact that its a cloudy day I would say this is possibly a 2 second exposure? I like very much that the waterfall, as well at the surface of the water are on the rule of thirds lines, I am clearly drawn there first.

With that said, I am a bit lost in the left side. I feel like the photo is over-weighted to one side because everything in the left is small and busy. What I do catch is the one tree half way up and what looks to be a walkway, which instantly makes me cringe. :) Sorry, the reason I say that is I am thinking nature nature nature, beautiful waterfall, nice cliff, tranquil water, man made walkway. Ugh. Now, you cannot move it, for sure. So what I would do differently is forget about the landscape orientated shot. I would love to see more reflection of this waterfall in the water, so I would turn the camera to portrait mode, put that waterfall in the top of the frame and have it’s reflection in the bottom of the frame. Almost a mirror image in it. I could see that working out well and you lose the walkway and “sort of” deadspace on the left. One other little personal note, it looks like you have a filter on this for something. I am not a fan at all of filters, but that’s just my personal taste.

Still a great photo. Thanks for sharing. Hope to see more.

Next up we have a landscape photo from April Atwood from the Facebook page. April sent in a landscape type shot, but not your wide vista type. This is a small scale shot of a tree during a snow event. Here is the shot.


Thanks for submitting April. I really appreciate it.

In looking at your photo I actually have more questions that I feel like I have answers. My main question was what are you trying to show me here? I believe it is the tree with the snow. I feel like the photo is very busy with a lot happening in it, which is where I am getting a bit confused on what I am trying to be shown. To me, I feel like the wood behind the tree is very distracting, as well as the huge fence behind it. I get caught up in the color off to the left and the slight red (possibly a tail light) on the right.

I’m going to go with you are showing me the tree. I do see the limbs on one of the rule of third lines, I like that. It catches my attention. I do like some of the snow on the ground a bit.

What would I do differently? I’d look for a less busy spot. I feel like shots of the snow coming down are very difficult. You walk a line of landscape and action photography that I don’t think I’ve ever been happy with any of the ones that I’ve taken :). If I was shooting just right here then I would get down on the ground and take a shot along the top of the snow. This will give a different perspective that may work out. Another thing that you could do is crop the photo to be less busy. You are already cutting off the top and some branches, so maybe trim is some more. I took the liberty to show an example. Just what I would do,


Thanks again for sharing. Hope to see more.

So that’s it for this photo critique. Thanks again to those who submitted. I’ll be looking forward to seeing more photos for my next one in 2 weeks. Until then, don’t forget to follow me on all of the social medial platforms and check out my events page for a TON of upcoming classes, workshops and exhibitions.

Blog Post

Getting Ready for Spring and Summer Hiking and Photography


Hello everyone. Thanks for following me.

I’m going to write a slightly different blog post tonight. It is photography related in a way, but I’ve been working very hard on getting back in shape and I have had a ton of people ask me what I did. So one of the main reasons why I did it was to be in better shape for our landscape photography sessions and hiking, I figured I’d do it as a blog post. At the time of writing this I have been doing this for 2 months and have lost 30lbs and over 8% body fat. How I got here and what I did is listed below, but it is a multi-pronged approached, as you will read.

Now I will first start off with a disclaimer. I am not a certified physical trainer, nutritionist or anything in that area. I know photography and that I was out of shape and needed to fix that. So what worked for me may or may not work from you. As with anything physical or dietary, consult with your doctor first, and if you don’t feel right then STOP!

How it started:

So coming through the holidays last year I was approaching my heaviest that I had been probably ever. Scaling in at 247 lbs. I have always been an athletic person, so while this did affect me on our hiking to do our landscape photos, I still stayed very active. I use our gym at work and usually would hit it 3 or 4 days a week, but maybe for 30 minutes at a time.

What I started with:

First off I did my research. There are so many diets out there these days and they all have the pros and cons. KETO is the big thing these days, but I know that I need my energy, so I was not wanting to completely cut out the carbs. I knew I wanted to keep them low because carbs retain water just like sodium does. 1g of carbs holds on to 2g of water. Most people think sodium makes you retain water, well that bag of no sodium chips does the exact same thing!!!

So I knew I was going to go Low Carb and Low Sodium, which isn’t the easiest as a lot of the Low Carb stuff like jerky is high in sodium.

To keep track of my meals I’ve been using Under Armour’s app on my phone “My Fitness Pal". I’ve been using that app for a long time but not REALLY using it. It allows you to keep a food diary during the day and set you goals and limits for calories, protein, carbs, sodium or any other macro nutrients that you want to track.

The next prong of attack:

I knew what I wanted to do with my diet, now I went to my exercises. I knew I needed to step up my game. I had been doing 15-20 minutes on the elliptical in my gym then would do some weight lifting. I decided to take the first week and incrementally increase my cardio on the elliptical up to 45 minutes, then shortly after that I challenged myself to do 60 minutes and had no issues.

Before you start doing your cardio or exercising get you a good band, watch or whatever that will show you your heart rate and track you exercise. I have an Apple Watch and us the Under Armour “Record” app on my watch and phone. Works amazing, and the Record app ties in directly with the My Fitness Pal app so when you finish your workouts it sends what calories you burned over to My Fitness Pal.

Why do you want to monitor your heart rate? Well your hear rate has different zones. Most people get on the elliptical and just slowly move along looking at only the time. You MUST get your heart rate into the proper zone for fat burning, which is called the aerobic zone. Usually that is around 128-138 beats per minute, but it is different for each person. A quick Google Search on how to determine your Aerobic heart rate will bring up multiple calculators where you can calculate what yours is. If you go too high you switch into Anaerobic, which your body starts burning sugar and not fat, which is not what you want.

After I do my cardio I also do some light weight/high number of reps weight training. I do that for another 30 minutes or so. Pick lower weight that you can do 15-20 reps and do 3 sets of those with 30 seconds rest in between. Key here is you are building lean muscle that will burn more fat and you are keeping your heart rate up. I like to mix up my weights and continuously go. Example - bicep curls, tricep push downs, drink of water and repeat, without stopping.

Another prong of attack:

Okay, if you are overweight then there is a high probably that your brain is confused and completely controlling your eating.

I went out to eat 2 days after I started this and decided I was only going to eat half of my dinner to see how it worked. I ate half, asked for a box, and walked out of Carraba’s completely content. I realized right then that my brain had been seeing food in front of me and telling me that I had to eat all of it. Perhaps this came from my childhood of “eat everything on your plate”, LOL I don’t know. What I do know is that after doing this for about a week I had completely reprogrammed my brain into stopping when I feel content, not stuffing myself. That has literally cut my calorie intake in half without even making myself starve.

Putting it all together:

Pretty soon after all of this started I began to feel and see a difference. Low carb, low sodium and my calorie intake was lower. By pushing my cardio to 60 minutes (at 138bpm) and doing weights after I soon was burning 1500 and now 2000 calories a day. All of this while only consuming 1000-1500 calories a day in food. If you figure I’m in a calorie deficit from my workouts and that is not even figuring in my normal daily metabolic rate of calorie burn, the fat is burning off so quickly.

I’m also looking for other ways to exercise, not just the gym. We take the dogs for 3 miles walks around our neighborhood. We try to do at least a 3 or 4 mile hike each weekend if the weather allows it. Anything. Walk some place if you can. Do whatever you can.

The biggest thing that I cannot stress enough. Set small goals for yourself and check the scale once every 2 weeks. Don’t do it every day because you will have good and bad days. And push yourself. If you feel great then don’t stop at 60min of cardio, go more!!!!!!! Always challenge yourself to do more!!!

I hope this helps someone out. This has worked out really well for me and I’m still going. I’m ready for some long hikes to get out and get some great photos.

Enjoy and be safe!!!!

Trip Report

Trip Report: FREE Diving With sharks in florida


Thank you so much for checking out my blog and following me. Occasionally you’ll find me posting about travels that my wife and I take for photography purposes.

Today we are talking underwater photography. Sharks to be specific.

i have always loved the water, the ocean, and especially sharks. They are the apex predators of the ocean and arguably one of the most important species in that eco system. One of my bucket list items has been to cage dive with sharks and get some photos of these amazing animals.

A couple of months ago my wife and I decided to do a quick trip to Florida in February. Partly to get away for some photos, but also to escape the cold weather a bit and act as a recharge to get us to spring.

As I was planning the trip I decided to check out what kind of diving options there were in the area. While there are many options throughout Florida I found the little company in Jupiter, FL that offered shark cage diving. I was on it!!! Trip booked!

Fast forward to mid February and we are getting in the boat to head out. The weather is perfect, mid 70s and bright blue skies with a few clouds.

We headed out bouncing the swells for quite a few miles, I think we were close to 5 miles out. During the ride out our guide was telling us that Jupiter is different than anywhere on the east coast of Florida because the underwater shelf that drops off drastically is the closest to the coastline. It’s easier to get out to it and that is ideal for diving. That’s where we were headed because we were going for Bull Sharks and they like to stay along that ridge and come up, where more shallow water Lemons would be found closer to the coast.

We also got some good “training” on swimming with sharks on the way out. Wait, what? Where does the cage come into play. We found out very quickly that the cage was staying on the boat and we were free diving with the sharks. Okay, was hoping to start in the cage and then venture out, but it looks like I was going to speed that up. 😊 I’m game.

The guide started telling us about the sharks and what to expect. He said that sharks are not looking to kill everything in the water. He compared them to dogs, where they are more inquisitive to find out what we are. He said that the Bull sharks would stay deep and occasionally come up to grab the bait in the water and maybe check us out. Whereas the Lemon sharks stay shallow and do a lot more “bumping” into everything to find out what it is. We were instructed to not reach out and touch the sharks but if we need to guide them around us then feel free to lightly push them to the side.

Finally, we arrived. All wetsuits were on, masks and snorkels ready to go, and fins handed out. The guide takes a fin and smacks the water really really hard to make a loud SNAP. Then the chum and the bait hit the water. We were told that the smacking sound is loud and the sharks will come to check out what is going on, where they find the bait and stay. I am sure the sharks have realized some reward coming with that sound as well because within 5 minutes we had 7 or 8 Bull sharks below us. Time to hit the water.


Obviously I am about taking photos, so I had two setups going in the water with me.

  1. I had my backup camera, my sony a6300 ready to go in an underwater housing. I was shooting in manual mode and had set my settings to what I thought was a good start. I knew there would be motion, but probably not too fast. 1/400 of a second for shutter speed should be fine, but I could adjust. For my aperture, I wanted to make sure that I had a deep enough depth of field to have most things in focus. I went with f8 to start with. Now ISO was a bit tougher as I had not seen the lighting conditions. I knew I may want to put some shots in a larger format, so a I wanted to keep it as low as possible. I decided to start with 400 ISO.

  2. My secondary camera, which I was using as a backup as well, was my goPro Hero Black 7. This was mounted on my mask and I decided to do 4K video the entire time because I probably could get still shots from it if needed.

It’s time for me to hit the water. I was ready. GoPro started, Sony attached to wrist, away I go jumping in with sharks. I hit the water and immediately my underwater housing for my Sony starts alerting me to a water leak. Wasting no time, I come up and turn back to the boat. I unstrap the camera from my wrist and hand it to my wife. I figured I acted fast enough that it was hopefully okay, but I had sharks to swim with. It was now GoPro only. I turned away from the boat and headed out to sea. Sharks were everywhere and they were beautiful.

For the next 30 minutes I swam with Bull and Lemon sharks. Some as close as 1 foot to me. I can guarantee you that it was an amazing experience and not one time did I feel in danger or that they wanted to bite me. These creatures are sleek and stealthy, disappearing in the deep and then suddenly another one appearing somewhere else. Absolutely unbelievable to witness first hand.


I ended up getting 26 minutes of 4K video and happily got some shots for stills. I was so happy that we went out in the afternoon because they sun was directly at my back as I swam. This caused this amazing looking in the photos from my shadow and the sun rays.

After it was all said and done I made a few mistakes. I should have jumped in the water and then had them hand me my camera (there was only a drop or two in the housing, camera is fine). Secondly, I need to learn which angle is better for my GoPro on my mask. I found that i had it tilted down a bit so when I looked at something it actually was shooting lower than i thought. My field of view on the camera was wide enough so i was fine, but I can do better. This was also my first time diving with this mask and a GoPro, so i learn something ever time out. I will do it again, so i will be back to get even better shots.

I hope you enjoy the video and shots, and enjoyed reading this post. Please feel free to share with your friends and follow me on social media. Please understand that sharks are not enemies to us. They are very important to the earth’s oceans and are some of the most amazing animals on it. I know that Hollywood likes to make them out to be massive killers like in the movies Jaws and The Meg. They paint sharks in a horribly incorrect light, it’s truly not how they are or how they work. Hopefully this post will help some people understand that.

Have a great day, and thanks for reading!


Blog Post

Photo Tip - At Least Two of Everything!


Scott’s Bi-Weekly Photo Tip

Good evening everyone, thanks for checking out my blog. Now that 2019 is going strong we have reworked a few things. I’ll be doing bi-weekly public photo critiques and bi-weekly Photo Tips that alternate. So one week you’ll see me to critiques and the following week I’ll post a tip.

All of the photo tips are things that I teach in my classes and/or private lessons. Most are things I’ve done or noticed through my many years of shooting, and each should help you in some way. They will be short and sweet most of the time. I welcome any questions on any of the social media platforms or on here, comments are allowed.

This Photo Tip is titled “At Least Two of Everything”, and I mean everything.

When you go out to shoot, make sure you have extra everything, ready to go. I have learned my lesson so many times, getting there and not having cards, or the cold zaps my batter and I didn’t bring a second one. You just never know what will happen, so do your best to be prepared.

I’ll start with some items that I make sure I at least double up on each time I go out.

Memory Cards - Memory cards can break very easily, no matter what type you have. I have been instances where I’m shooting away and suddenly I get a message that my card is corrupt. Ouch, that one hurt. At the time it wasn’t for client related work so I was okay, but I learned my lesson. Now I not only bring multiple cards but throughout my shoot I also switch the cards out so if one crashes I don’t lose everything. My latest camera actually has two card slots so I have each photo writing to both cards for redundancy.

Batteries - This is a no brainer, but you would be surprised as to how many people don’t have backups. You should have a fully charged backup at all times, but especially if it is cold. The cold will zap your batteries very quickly.

Flashlights - When I go out before sunrise or after sunset I usually have a headset to light my way. What happens if that dies? I always have two just in case.

Tripod - If you are out taking landscape photos, especially long exposures, then you MUST be using a tripod. If you are in a position that you have to use a tripod, then always bring a spare. I have had people show up at workshops and their tripod breaks. Luckily I usually hand them mine, but if I didn’t have one then they would be lost.

These are just a few things to think about before you walk out the door There are many more, but these are always on my mind.

Don’t forget to check out my workshops and classes to learn more about photography. We have so many different ones to offer and they are always a great time.

Have a great night.


Blog Post, Photo Critique

Public Photo Critiques - Feb 1, 2019

Good afternoon everyone, thanks for following.

I’ve started a new bi-weekly public photo critique that I’ll be doing here on my blog, as well as tied in with my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages. I’ll be posting the call for photos every other Wednesday, the next one will be Feb 13, and you have until Friday evening of that week to send me something that you would like critiqued. I’ll do a blog post like this and post the critiques to all of my social media accounts that evening or the next day (today is Saturday because I was super busy last night).

That’s it. I would love to see more people take advantage of this.

Most of my photo comments will come from the items that I teach in my composition and lighting classes, which you can check out here. Those two are good for all photographer levels and any camera (even phones).

Let’s get to the photos.

Our first photo is from Jose Pacheco from our Facebook page. He sends over this cool little snow man looking to be in an urban area with a lit tree up behind it.


Thanks so much for submitting Jose. This is a very unique snowman. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one with the foil and scarf like that, and I really like it. I can definitely see why you wanted to get a shot of this.

So when you have a subject like this you really have 2 options. 1. Treat it like a portrait 2. Add more background into it to create a little more like a landscape. Here it looks like you went with Option 2, and I believe it was probably because of the lit tree in the background. Great thought, and it would work out great probably if you didn’t have all of the urban lights behind it.

Given the background here, I probably would go with Option 1, treat it like a portrait. This means you will crop into the photo and remove most of the background. You lose your lit tree, but with it being so busy behind it I think you would have to do that. Also the tree is blurred from the depth of field that you had, so It is what it is.

Another distraction in the photo is the pole on the left. Long lines grab the audience’s attention more often than not, and I personally find myself looking right at that pole. So when you crop the photo I would get that out of it as well.

I took the liberty of throwing a quick crop on to demonstrate what I was walking about, I hope you don’t mind.


Another think I like about this crop is that it puts the face on the rule of thirds, which really brings the focus into that area. Which I believe you want.

Thanks again for posting. Hope to see more photos!

Next up we have a landscape photo from Nancy Hausrath from the Facebook page. Nance sends in this small scale landscape photo taken in the winter near a river. Some nice frozen drops and moss on the rocks. Thanks for submitting Nancy.


I like this photo a lot. The frozen branch at the bottom creates a long line and really draws you right in. The moss adds in some detail and color into the composition as well. I feel like I could easily put myself right here and feel the experience.

One thing I would do here is a crop on the photo. You have a shallow depth of field, which is giving you plenty of blue in the background. I’d forget the little fall in the back and focus on the super sharp foreground with those unique ice formations and the reflection in the water (that kind of hides itself in this shot because there is so much more going on).

I’ve taken the liberty to do a crop to explain what I meant, hope you don’t mind.


As you can see, it completely changes the photo. I LOVE it like that. The background is no longer busy, focus is brought in on this very cool ice formation and the stick and reflection balance each other out.

Now that I’m looking at it cropped I’d say the whites are a tiny bit blown out. Maybe just a little less exposure on it and you’d be there.

Great photo. Thanks again for posting. Hope to see more photos!

So that’s it for this photo critique. Thanks again to those who submitted. I’ll be looking forward to seeing more photos for my next one in 2 weeks. Until then, don’t forget to follow me on all of the social medial platforms and check out my events page for a TON of upcoming classes, workshops and exhibitions.

Gear Review

Gear Review: KUVRD Universal Lens Cap

Evening everyone, thanks for checking out my blog. I’m going to start doing more gear reviews and such, so I wanted to get started with probably my favorite tool in my bag right now.

Have you ever lost your lens cap? Have you had your lens cap get knocked off in your bag or if you hit it just the right way when hiking? All of these have happened to me.

When I’m out doing my landscape shots, my wife and I are trekking everyone. Rocks, boulders, hiking, sea spray, sand, dust, you name it, we’ve seen it. I found these awesome universal lens caps a couple of months back and decided to try one.

Here is my Sony A7Riii with my Sony 10-18mm with it on. My landscape setup.


There are a few out there, but I went with the KUVRD Universal Lens Cap. They claim it’ll fit 99% of DSLR lenses and has a limited lifetime warranty. This thing is silicone and from what I’ve seen the best lens cap out there. It’s water, sand, dirt, whatever resistant, and is even shock absorbent when you are banging around. In fact, you can take a lens that is not on your camera and put one on each side for a great lens protection in your bag.

You simply slide it over your lens. The silicone allows it to expand onto different sizes without a problem. If you get some dirt in it, simply rinse it off. It’s great and I need to get more.

You can find them on Amazon really easily and they come in packs from 1 up to 10. Pricing is around $24.99 for 1 and you get price breaks the larger the pack you buy. Here is a link to them on Amazon.

Thanks for checking out my blog. Don’t forget while you are here to visit my workshops and classes section for all of my upcoming events. Also my store has a ton of items available.


Releases, Blog Post

New Online Print Store Open to the Public with 15% off

Hello everyone, thanks for following me. 

We're happy to announce a brand new online store for my fine art prints. We'd love for everyone to check it out and to celebrate the grand opening we are offering 15% off any of my fine art prints. Simply enter the promo code may15 at checkout. 

Here are a few screen shots, but please click the button below to check it out. 


2018-05-10 (18).jpg
2018-05-10 (19).jpg

Attend one of my classes or workshops!!!

Don't forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter

Releases, Blog Post

New Photos Added to the Shenandoah National Park Collection

Hello everyone, thanks for following me. 

We're happy to announce that 4 new prints are now available in the Shenandoah National Park Collection in my print store, which can be found here

These 4 photos were taken during a beautiful sunrise in the Shenandoah National Park on a cool spring morning in April, 2018. This location is one of my favorite spots for sunrises this time of the year, because as you can see, the sun will come up right behind this very cool tree. Luckily, on this morning, we saw low level clouds in the east as it came up. This equals great colors and a brilliant sun for photography. 

These prints are available in many formats and print sizes. 

Want to get shots like this in the Shenandoah National Park? Attend one of my workshops!!!

Don't forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter

Logo Contest!!!!


I need a new logo and am thinking outside of the box here, so let's crowdsource it. I'm running a contest through the end of April.

For the rest of April I'll be running a contest where YOU design my logo and the one I choose will get a FREE class or workshop that is currently registering. So on April 30th I'll go through and pick a winner.

1. Must have Scott Turnmeyer Photography in the logo and needs to be very professional with a little new edge to it. 
2. Must be easily used on web, print, etc. 
3. You may use anything that I have posted if you wish. I'm not specifically thinking of one with a photo, but I'm open to absolutely anything. So feel free to pull from my posts, we can remove watermarks if you are chosen. 
4. To submit your logo just comment with your submission on my Facebook page, email it to me, or direct message me on Facebook or Twitter. 
5. You can submit as many as you like, no LIMIT!!

Blog Post

How I Got The Shot - Blue Moon

 In this post I go through how I got the shot below of the Blue Moon Easter weekend in Virginia. 


To get a really detailed shot of the full moon, quite a few things are needed. You have to have a camera with manual setting capabilities and a really long lens at a minimum. Most people use a 100-400mm lens, but that still doesn’t have the reach needed to get good detail. You will have to crop in too much and lose a lot of quality in doing so. 

 “Can’t I use an extender and basically double my lens length?” You say. Yes, you certainly can, and you will effectively go from 400mm to 800mm, but you have drawbacks in doing so. The first is quality. The 800mm that you are getting with you 2x extender is nowhere near the quality that you’d get by having a dedicated 800mm lens. You lose sharpness when you extend, which is fine for a lot of situations, but the moon has a great deal of detail. The second issue is aperture. When you use an extender not only are you doubling the length of lens, but cutting in half the amount of light coming into the lens. You 400mm f5.6 is now a 800mm f11.2. Ouch. Depending on the camera you now have to boost your ISO to compensate and that will give you noise. 

So so how did I get this shot? With a gigantic lens of 1100mm, which is my Meade ETX telescope.  


I have a handy dandy eyepiece projection adapter allowing me to set my Sony A6300 up to use my telescope as a lens. I do still have a small aperture, but it is fine for this task. 

‘So do I just go out, plop my telescope on its tripod and shoot away? Not really. The earth spins about 25,000 mph (if I remember correctly). That is fast and you see it when you are using a lens that big on a tripod. To stop the action, I needed to increase shutter speed.  

‘My settings here with the telescope as the lens as 500 as my shutter speed and ISO2600. But I had 1 more problem, the lens was too large as the moon would not fit in frame. 😊 Okay, then how did I get this shot? I took 2 shots and merged them into 1 in Photoshop. 

Well that’s how I got the shot. Hope that answered a question or two. I’m setting up some moon workshops right now, so come out and shoot with me. As always, feel free to ask questions on Twitter or Facebook, and please follow me on each. 


Have fun!  


Blog Post

Busy Weekend of Classes, Workshops and Photo Exhibitions

Hello everyone, thanks for following along. 

It's Monday evening and one of my busiest weekends of the year is quickly approaching. I'm so excited for my very first photography showing/exhibition this Saturday from 4-8pm at the Warren County Community Center in Front Royal, VA. 

This showing will showcase over 50 of my images throughout the years. Some of our favorites, varying on subjects. All will be for sale, and there will be some of the largest acrylics all the way down to the smaller print only variations. I'll be there to talk about the photos, how I got them, what I was thinking and sign your print if you like.  Please stop by and let me show you my work. Oh, we'll be doing some Facebook Lives and giveaways there too!!!



Saturday morning we'll be up bright and early for a sunrise photography workshop in the Shenandoah National Park. Weather is looking promising and I have a couple of spots available. 



10am brings my first class of the day, Photo 101. Spots are still available. This class is my first in series and I teach lighting and composition. It's great for anyone with any type of camera, even phones. Coming out of there you will instantly be taking better photos and seeing what you can do better. 

Mid day is my most popular class, Photo 201. This is the big one, getting off of automatic mode and learning how to use those manual settings on your camera. It's all about aperture, shutter speed and ISO, and I'll have you putting them all together in no time. You definitely need a camera with manual setting options. Spots still available. 

It's going to be a fantastic weekend, and Pam and I are looking forward to seeing everyone!. 


Blog Post

5 Reason Why Your Photos Suck

We’ve all been in there. You like a photo that you took, but it’s not getting the reaction on social media that you thought it would. Why? Is it that they don’t know a good photo when they see one? I mean this thing belongs in a gallery!!! 

Well....cupcake...perhaps your photo sucks. 

I am the first person to stand on a soapbox and say that social media has become the worst enemy for photography simply because even the worst photos get likes and loves. Really? Trust me, if you have friends you could put up a photo with someone’s head half cut off and the photo off weight and you’ll still get likes. So how does a photo not get likes if that is the case? Well here are 5 things that you can look at to determine if your photo sucks. Feel free to use this as a guide for looking at other photos as well 😊


Reason 1 - Bad Lighting 

Lighting is one of two critical components to a photo, so it goes without saying that it could easily be a contributing factor to suckage. Is the subject dark? Is the subject too bright? Are there weird and distracting shadows? All great things to think about when shooting.


Reason 2 - Shooting at the wrong time of day

This ties in to Reason 1 above, but when are you shooting your outdoor photos? If you say in the middle of the day then you are shooting in bad light (unless it is cloudy). A clear blue sky during mid day will give you the worst light of the day. Over exposed highlights and far too dark shadows because the sun’s light is so intense. The contrast kills you. How many portrait sessions have you had where the photographer chooses 1pm on Saturday? Hmmm. Why not go have a picnic or a walk and come back a few hours later when the sun is going down and the light is much much better.  


Reason 3 - Too much Photoshop 

Photoshop is a tool, just like your camera and lens. It can be used too much however. A good photo, unless you are doing compositions, will have very minimal, and hardly noticeable edits to it. Slight sharpness tweak, slight vignette, maybe a tiny white balance correction. They don’t take away from the photo you took, but enhance it a bit.  

Addition-faking a blurred background by using the blur tool in Photoshop looks horrible and is very easy to notice. If you don’t know how to do it in the camera then learn it (see Reason 4 below) 


Reason 4 - You’re trying to impress others

You feel great because you got 25 likes and a comment that you are an amazing photographer on your first photo posting on Facebook. Now it’s go time. So instead of staying within your skill level you decide to go for the gusto and hit the high and hard stuff. You are a great photographer, remember, you can do anything. Let’s charge money, let’s offer every type of service, etc. etc. 

This choice will more than likely kill your photos. Everyone is learning at photography, no matter what skill level you are at. I always recommend getting good where you are at before moving up a notch in the difficulty scale. A good rule of thumb is if you don’t know how hard a type of shot is then you are not ready for it. Research research research. Do your homework. Definitely challenge yourself but arm yourself with everything that you can beforehand.  


Reason 5 - blur or out of focus

With the extremely advanced cameras that we have today, it is extremely painful to see a photo posted of something blurry (if it wasn’t intended to be). A sharp photo brings in people’s attention. Maybe you were out of focus, maybe it’s motion blur, either way don’t post it because it sucks!  


These are just a handful of a thousand reasons why your photos might suck. Take a closer look, not just your photos, but those posted by others as well. Can you see some of the things that I point out? I bet so. 


If if you have any questions about your photos, need a critique, whatever, shoot me a message. I am happy to help. 


You may want to look into attending one of my Photo101 classes as well. I teach lighting and composition to help you take far better photos, with any type of camera. I have classes registering right now! Just check out my Classes section.  


Take care, have fun, enjoy photos.  


Blog Post, Trip Report

Total Eclipse 2017 from KY

Solar Eclipse 2017 by Scott Turnmeyer

Solar Eclipse 2017 by Scott Turnmeyer

The entire country knew that there would be a solar eclipse on Aug. 21. When I first found out, all that I could think about was getting shots of totality, especially since I never had seen anything but a partial before. It was time to research. 


As I looked at all of the information, it was clear that the best place to be was Western Kentucky, IF the weather was good. Hopkinsville, KY to be exact, the spot with the longest amount of totality, a whopping 2 min and 40 seconds.  


As luck would have it, Pam has family in Owensboro, KY, roughly 80 miles north of the most sought after spot on the planet for this event. We had been wanting to visit anyway, so a gracious invite from family had our plans set. Arrive Saturday, enjoy family. Head down Monday for the eclipse, back up to Owensboro, then the 9.5 hour trek back to Virginia on Tuesday. Done! 


Trip down was easy enough as a 9.5 hour drive could be. We arrived morning, and not long after I was already researching and planning for Monday. I spent quite a bit of Saturday, and most of Sunday checking weather forecasts, cloud patterns, crowd predictions, and so much more. I knew Hopkinsville was going to get inundated with people, the local news was estimating near 150,000, so we really didn't want to be in the middle of that.  So I wanted to find a place as near to the center line as possible so that we'd have more time in totality for photos, but to the north so it would be less distance back through traffic to Owensboro, but not too crowded. We'll finally late Sunday afternoon the decision was made to hit quiet little Crofton, KY, about 10 miles north of Hopkinsville. There were having an event in their park, bathroom facilities, food for only $20. Okay, sign us up. 

We left Owensboro Monday morning around 6amexpecting our 1hr drive to take about 3x that. Surprisingly it didn't. There was little to no traffic, so apparently everyone was already there or coming down later.

Just arrived!! 

Just arrived!! 

We we showed up as one of the first cars there, gave our name for the reservation, paid our fee and found a nice spot in the middle of their field to setup shop. We setup our 10x10 canopy right at the back of the car, then we relaxed some as we had 4 hours until the moon would begin making its way across the face of the sun.  


With about an hour left until the eclipse started, I began setting up the equipment. I had (3) cameras, (2) telephoto lenses, telescope and a solar filter. I had my Canon 7D with my 70-200 2.8, Pam’s Sony a5000 usin my Meade ETX 125 as a 1900mm lens, and my Sony a6300 locked onto my Canon 100-400mm 3.5-5.6. The solar filter would work on either of my telephoto lenses so I started on the 100-400 as my test shots the day before showed that 400mm was pretty good, even giving up the detail of sunspots. So let’s start there. I had all (3) on tripods. 

Setup and Ready!  

Setup and Ready!  

2017 Solar Eclipse Photo 4

Our weather that day was absolutely perfect. A mostly cloudless sky, about 90 degrees for a high but you didn’t feel it because there was a nice easy breeze all day keeping it tolerable.  


As 11:30am CT came around you could see the energy in the field begin to rise. People were getting their Eclipse glasses on, cameras set, etc. the countdown to 11:56am had started. 


2017 Solar Eclipse Photo 3

It was a great crowd though. We had plenty of room and people on both sides of us were super nice. Everyone was in a great mood.   

I knew that besides the shot of the corona during totality, there were 2 others specific photos that I wanted to go after.  The first was the difficult to get Diamond Ring, and the second was a progression composite of the entire event, from the point the moon first starts across the sun, through totality and all the way to the moon coming off of the sun. 

The diamond ring was going to be tough, but I knew that would have to be shot without a solar filter at just the right moment, so I had time to prepare for that. 

The progression composite I decided to go with the Sony a6300 with the 100-400 Canon lens. Canon lens you ask? Yes, I have always shot Canon but moved into the Sony arena last year with my favorite little tool the Metabonz adapter. It allows me to shoot Canon glass on my Sony. LOVE it. Has one little drawback with autofocus tracking, but I am confident that might be fixed in a firmware update soon. Everything else is right on point. 

Eclipse starting as the moon begins to cover the sun. 

Eclipse starting as the moon begins to cover the sun. 

So I begin by getting a bracket of exposures right as the moon started, then set my alarm on my Apple Watch to remind me in 5 minutes. I would do the same thing every 5 minutes throughout the entire event to give me the shots for the composite. Of course, I'm shooting at the sun before and after totality, so I was using a solar filter on the 100-300mm lens. 

As the moon crossed the sun I was shooting on a tripod and popped out the Sony LCD do I didn't have to crank my neck to look through the viewfinder. Awesome option there. I was shooting at ISO 100, 400mm, f/5.6 and 1/1000 shutter speed. I decided to bracket my shots every 5 minutes by adjusting the shutter speed only, so I would take 1 at 1/1000, 1 at 1/750, 1 at 1/500 and 1 at 1/1500. I ended up liking the 1/1000 the best. 

As the time to totality decreased, I'd say things go really interesting at the point where the sun was a smaller crescent than you would see from the moon. Things were really close then. I now moved on to getting a shot every 15 seconds, and was using my self timer on the Sony to make sure there was no camera shake. I should have any as my shutter speeds were high enough, but I knew that to get the diamond ring I needed to take off the solar filter and then the shutter speeds was going to have to come down significantly. Needed to be prepared. 

Unfortunately as you read this, I can tell you all day long about how amazing totality is, but you will never truly get it unless you see it. It's different than anything you've ever seen before, and watching it online is NOTHING compared to the real thing. 

I'm busy snapping away as the moon begins to get to the last bit of the sun. The energy in the field where we were was growing exponentially. I looked up at the sun and even though a small amount was showing you still could not look at it without turning away. Amazing. At this point I decided it was time to take the solar filter off because I wanted that diamond ring. As soon as I took the filter off I had to speed up the camera as now it was getting a TON of light. My shutter speeds quickly went to 1/3000 to compensate. This is another benefit of the Sony a6300. Being able to adjust your settings and actually see what you are going to get before you snap the photo is so valuable. Especially when seconds count, as I would soon find out. 

Minutes away from totality

Minutes away from totality

I was sitting at 1/3000 because I was still getting the last curvature of the sun and these shots were part of the composite. I watched closely in the LCD as I shot waiting for the moment to drop my shutter speed for the diamond ring. Why would I do that? Well the diamond ring is the last little sliver of light from the sun and you are starting to see the corona around the moon. So if you have your exposure spot on then you will get a ring of corona and a superbright shot of that last sliver of the sun. Looks like a diamond ring. 

The Diamond Ring. Notice the red on the right side of the corona. 

The Diamond Ring. Notice the red on the right side of the corona. 

When I felt like the time was right I dropped the shutter speed down to 1/1500 and snapped as quickly as I could. It worked. Shot 1 of three that I was going for was accomplished. 

Now totality was seconds away. The energy in the field was crazy. It was getting very dark outside. Street lights were coming on, and then it happened. The sun was finally fully covered and the entire crowd all gasped at one time as the corona light up like someone hit a switch from around the moon. There was yelling and cheering, crickets were chirping. My wife and daughter could not believe their eyes, and neither could I. 

Once totality started I had planned on going back and forth between my Sony with the 100-400 and the Sony a5000 on my Meade telescope. Well that didn't happen. I made the judgement call to stick with the 100-400 through the entire thing as it was happening fast and this was working just fine. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I pulled back on the lens some so I could get more field of view. I didn't know how much corona I'd get, and I knew there were a few stars showing up nearby that I'd love to get in a shot or two. I pulled back from 400mm to 260mm and dropped the shutter speed down to 1/90. YES, that is right. I went from 1/1500 with just a speck of the sun showing to 1/90 in about 2 seconds. It got that dark. When I did, what I saw in the LCD made me emotional. There it was, a 100% total eclipse and the corona was glowing around it. Shot 2 is now accomplished. 

People were still yelling and cheering, my wife was smiling and just amazed, my daughter jumped on her phone and started taking a Youtube-ish selfie video of herself in the experience, I'll see if I can add that that to this blog. She did really well with it. 

I'm now shooting totality and still varying my shutter speeds some to get different aspects of the event. Shots with 1/90 shutter speed were not showing the brightness of the corona as much, and this allowed me to actually seen in the LCD, and the photos, the red on the surface of the sun showing around the moon. It was like fire. AMAZING. When I wanted to bright corona to return I'd drop the shutter speed down to 1/15 and kept varying through to make sure I took a gammit of shots. I can tell you right now that 2min and 33seconds isn't long at all. LOL

So about mid way through I stopped shooting. I looked up instead of at my LCD. Why? Simple. I have taken a ton of event photos and this one I was not going to pass up experiencing it as well as photographing it. It felt amazing. I was awe inspiring. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen in my life. It was so strong, so powerful. It put life into a bit more perspective, and showed how small we really are. I was EXTREMELY emotional, and seeing the reactions of my wife and daughter made it even more so. 

2017 Total Solar Eclipse

But now it was time to get back to business as I knew the sun would be showing back up in a few seconds. If didn't let me down as suddenly the world got lighter again. I basically got the other diamond ring shot then put the filter back on the camera and followed my exact sequence into totality but in reverse order. 

2017 Total Solar Eclipse Photo 2

As people packed up and headed out, we waited the next hour and a half to get those shots every 5 minutes for my composite. Finally it was time and the last little bit of the moon was about to move off of the sun. I should have the shots to make Shot 3 an accomplishment. I've got 300 photos on the card and will transfer them to my laptop (so I will have the photos in 2 places) as soon as I am back. 

We left, turned on Waze to head back to Owensboro, and drove the next hour and 20 minutes back talking about the experience the entire time. Oh, yes, the interstate was a parking lot, but its why I use Waze. It kept routing us around the traffic and we were back in no time. No traffic for us :) 

That evening we had a great dinner, and packed up for our trip home the next morning. 

This trip was absolutely amazing. In my 45 years I had never seen a live total eclipse, and I kick myself for not making that happen. We are now hooked,  and are planning on hitting as many as possible. Not just for photos, but more for the experience, the joy, the adrenaline, the emotion, the ENERGY. Please do yourself a favor, make the opportunity to see one with people you love. Don't skimp out and not see a 100% total. There is another one in 7 years here in the US. See it. I guarantee you we will. 

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed it. The photos you see here, and others, will be released as an Eclipse17 collection in the Fine Art this weekend. I'll be running a special on the entire collection for that first weekend. I hope you like what you see. 


Shot 1 - The Diamond Ring - Accomplished

Shot 1 - The Diamond Ring - Accomplished

Shot 2 - Totality - Accomplished

Shot 2 - Totality - Accomplished

Shot 3 - Composite of the entire eclipse progression - Accomplished

Shot 3 - Composite of the entire eclipse progression - Accomplished

Blog Post

4 New Workshop Dates Announced and Open for Registration

Scott announced yesterday 4 brand new workshops that are now open for registration. 

Sunset Photo Workshop in the Shenandoah National Park

Sunset Photo Workshop in the Shenandoah National Park will allow individuals to visit this beautiful park with Scott, setup in a location picked by Scott and then get some great sunset photos while Scott is there to assist. Two dates for this workshop. 

Friday, June 30, 2017 - Special pricing is 50% off as this is the first Sunset Workshop. Cost is $25

Friday, July 28, 2017 - Cost is $25


Sunrise Photo Workshop in the Shenandoah National Park

Sunrise Photo Workshop in the Shenandoah National Park will allow individuals to visit this beautiful park with Scott, setup in a location picked by Scott and then get some stunning sunrise photos while Scott is there to assist. Two dates for this workshop. 

Saturday, July 1, 2017 - Special pricing is 50% off as this is the first Sunset Workshop. Cost is $25

Friday, July 28, 2017 - Cost is $25