This is Karen's shot of me during one of the night time shooting sessions in Bodie.

This past week was really exciting, photographically. As you may know, one of my favorite techniques is light-painting, which is done completely in the dark. Well it just so happened that there was a workshop going on in the Mono Lake area, called the Nocturnes Night Photography Festival. We were just leaving Las Vegas and were planning to visit Yosemite, Mono Lake and the nearby ghost town of Bodie. I posted a facebook status about our plans and Adobe's Russell Brown jumped in to tell me about the event, as he would be attending as well. Our timing couldn't have been better!

Russell Brown and I are goofing off a bit with our light[painting]-sabers prior to an evening shoot.

We arrived in Mono Lake on the day the festival started, and were literally parked across the street from the center where the daytime sessions were held. The classroom lectures were really interesting because there were a wide range of speakers with a wide range of night photography styles. The speakers/instructors included Scott Martin, Lance Keimig, Troy Paiva, Tom Paiva and Tim Baskerville, who are all amazing night shooters.

I'm still editing my images from the festival, so here's another of Karen's. It's a light-painting of the Bodie church.

For the shooting part of it, we got special night time access to Bodie which closes at 6 pm for all other guests. We had the whole place to ourselves, from 8 pm to 1 am. This ghost town consists of MANY old buildings with several old cars and trucks mixed in, so it wasn't hard to find a nice dark spot to yourself. I'm still in the process of finishing my images from the week, so I'm posting some of Karen's photos so you can get an idea of the place.

It was total coincidence that we met up with friend and fellow Photoshop World instructor, Bill Fortney!

We also visited Bodie during the day to shoot while it was actually light out, and while we were there, we ran into a fellow photographer and Photoshop World instructor, Bill Fortney. Total coincidence! That's one of the great things about living on the road and being all over the place. You never know when you're going to run into friends and colleagues, and it happens more often than you would think!

Outside of Bodie, the Mono Lake area was a beautiful place to stay. We actually didn't get enough time there so we may be returning in the next few weeks. Karen got to explore the South Tufas there while I was in a session and that's one place I'd really like to shoot.

We had to move on though, because I would soon be flying out of Reno to present my Kelby Training From Focus to Finished seminar in both Milwaukee and Nashville. We pulled into the Lake Tahoe area just in time for my birthday weekend! To celebrate, Karen took me to the Tahoe City Wine Walk, which was right on the lake and featured over 30 wineries and restaurants from the area. She also got me a Scottevest, which is the perfect jacket for a techy gadget nut. There is even a special pocket for my iPad!

Karen and I dont eat cake or traditional sweets, so for my birthday, she made me a home made cake out of fruit! The base is cantelope and the "candles" are made of blueberries.

Here is me and Dewitt Jones. We had been acquainted for a while and finally got to meet in person during our stay in the Lake Tahoe area.

While we were in the Tahoe area I was also able to meet up with Dewitt Jones, who I've been in contact with for a while but never actually met in person. Dewitt is an amazing photographer who worked at National Geographic and is now a motivational speaker. We had an awesome lunch and it was great to get to know each other better. Once again, here's another example of one of the benefits to being all over the place: The amazing people you meet and re-unite with!

More to come…