New Business Name and Website

We’ve rebranded our business as Visual Adventures and have moved to our new website at Come and check us out!

When to Crop in Lightroom, Aperture & Photoshop?

The Question
Over the last few weeks I’ve been involved with three different conversations with photographers about when to crop a photo in post processing. One person suggested cropping at the beginning of the process, one suggested cropping at the end and the other just wasn’t sure.
I tend to crop differently depending on what software I’m [...]

Incredible VR Panoramas from Luc Villeneuve

Luc Villeneuve is a colleague of mine and shoots some of the best 360 degree VR panoramas I’ve seen. His work is incredible and he’s posted his “Christmas Card” from Quebec City over at his website:
Luc tells me, “These images are done with 72 different HDR images, merged then stitched together. I use a Nikon [...]

November in Tanzania

Just back from a few weeks in Tanzania with the Nikonians Academy. Our 11 intrepid explorers had an incredible journey through Northern Tanzania. We took lots of great images of the usual suspects (lion, hyena, cheetah, etc.), but I wanted to show a bit of a different side of Tanzania with this post. Tanzania has [...]

Guest Post, DIY GPS for Your DSLR Camera.

Ron Gasser is a colleague I’ve known for years. He and I regularly email back and forth regarding technology, cameras, lenses, Photoshop and other techniques. He’s a great photographer and he’s also intently interested in incorporating technology into his craft.
Recently, he sent me information on making your own GPS unit for a Nikon camera. It [...] Portfolio

I’ve jumped on the bandwagon and really like the beautiful interface. Right now, I’ll be posting city and architectural images.

MikeJHagen on 500px

Here’s a direct link to my portfolio where I’ll continue adding images over time.

Power Interview

I do a lot of volunteer work for my children’s elementary school. Every year I put on slide shows of African wildlife and I also take portraits of the kids at Christmas. Because of that, I have the great privilege of getting to know many of the kids and have developed great friendships over the [...]

The sub-$500 Camera?

Lots of people write me asking for recommendations on new cameras. The questions generally fall into one of these two categories:
1. I’m going on a big trip to Africa next week and I need to get a new camera. I’m willing to spend up to $500 for a nice camera. Which one should I buy?
2. [...]

Nikon D7000 Technique - Mirror Lock UP and HDR

The new Nikon D7000 camera keeps on impressing me. There are a lot of little improvements in the software that really benefit photographers trying to get the most performance out of their gear. One of these is being able to shoot a bracketed HDR burst while also using Mirror Lock-up.

Let me explain why [...]

How to Display and Find Over 30,000 Images on the Internet. Guest Blog by Lloyd Smith

How to display and find over 30,000 images on the internet.
By Lloyd Smith
It all began in a Mexican Restaurant seven years ago…

In 2004, Missionary David Wagner from Builders International spoke at our church in Longview, WA (Columbia Heights Assembly of God). After the service, Pastor Kent asked my wife Helen and I to join them [...]