• Coyote Buttes – Cottonwood Cove

    R.L. Charpentier Photography: Limited Edition &emdash; Sky pocket

    It’s been years since my first visit to the Vermillion Cliffs  National Monument.  And yet when I look through images shot in Coyote Buttes, Paw Hole, Cottonwood Cove, or White Pocket I’m still wowed and amazed by all of the beauty your find there.

    This image, “Sky Pocket,” was shot on my 6th or 7th visit to the area.  I’d explored White Pocket at length before I ever spent a lot of time in Coyote Buttes South.  And Cottonwood Cover is one of many “features” at Coyote Buttes South.  In total now, I’ve been into Cottonwood Cove 4 times.  Once alone, once with a few friends, and two other occasions with only one other photographer.  And every visit felt new to me!

    This particular formation has held a special fascination for me.  The sweeping curve of the sandstone, the large dune next to the sandstone that helps grind it down every day, and the thin “fins” of sandstone that are no thicker than a dime.  It’s an awesome location to sit an marvel at how wind, sand, and time can change a landscape on a daily basis.

    It’s also a great location to prove that lens filters are a good idea if you don’t want to walk away with a $2,000 lens being pitted by blowing sand.  I’d rather ruin a UV-0 filter!

    When most people think of Coyote Buttes, they think of The Wave.  And I’m sorry that many visitors to the area miss out on the rest of the amazing locations in the Vermillion Cliffs.  Honestly, there are so many more amazing things to see if you open up your eyes and walk a little further.  Also, there are so many opportunities to create your own original image from locations that haven’t received as much attention from photographers and adventure minded visitors!

    To purchase this limited edition image, simply click on the image itself and it will bring you to my online sales site.  :)


    March 5, 2015 • Arizona, Limited Edition Prints, Photography • Views: 45

  • An online travel guide, and so much more

    This morning I’ve been working on another new article for LivinginTin.com.  That’s the sister site to the Airstream Chronicles now, where we do more in depth travel guides, photo tutorials, and more.  The site is really coming together when it comes to content, and I’m happy where it’s going.

    Living In Tin's Latest Posts

    Living In Tin’s Latest Posts

    Travel, Tutorials, Photography…and Living in Tin

    Living in Tin is growing into something more than what it started out as.  Initially the site was created as an online e-book travel guide for RV’ers and campers.  But as I’ve worked on the site, and worked on developing guides to the National Monuments of the Southwest I’ve found I wanted to do more.  Sharing amazing images is one thing this site, The Airstream Chronicles, is well known for.  And Living In Tin takes the images to a new level with the layout and formatting.  But I wanted to take it beyond just that…..

    If you haven’t stopped by Living In Tin lately to check it out, we’re adding much more than just travel guides.  We’re now including photography guides and tutorials.  We’ll be doing more tutorials on the software we use while on the road for managing and post processing all of our travel images.  And we’ll be talking more about travel photography in general.  Just this past week I put up a very lengthy article on selling your travel images in a gallery setting.  And I think I know a little about that after being a gallery and studio owner for over 4 years.

    The Latest at Living In Tin

    So, what’s been posted recently at Living in Tin?

    That’s just a sampling of what’s up at Living In Tin.  And the site will be growing.  This month we’re planning to post on Tuzigoot, Montezuma’s Castle, and the surrounding area.  We’re also planning an article on the basics of good travel photography, so the next time you’re visiting an amazing place you’ll have some new ideas on the images you want to capture.

    Subscribe today….it’s more reasonable then you think

    Recently we updated the subscriber costs at Living In Tin.  You can subscribe for 1 month for $6 (a trip to Starbucks), or for a full year for only $49.  When I used to run my intro to Lightroom Class the rate for the day was $79.  My full class on Lightroom is available at Living in Tin, and is part of any subscription.

    If you think that’s a little pricey for travel guides and travel photography tutorials, you should check out the launch of SeeUniversity.  One year membership is $497, Lifetime membership $997, and VIP membership is $2997.  I was going to sign up as I admire the photographer who runs it and his work, but $500 for a year is a little steep.  Instead, I think I’ll continue with what we’re doing for readers over at Living In Tin.


    March 4, 2015 • Adventure, Airstream, Notes from Rich, Photography, Travel • Views: 87

  • Limited Edition Images

    Over the years I’ve accumulated some pretty amazing images.  And since I’m no longer showing in any galleries, none of the images are being sold.  Last week I had the idea of doing some limited edition prints of some of my favorite images.  So here we are, announcing something new at the Airstream Chronicles.

    Limited Edition Metal Prints

    Going forward on the website I’ll be listing a few limited edition metal prints over time.  Each image will have a run of only 25 metal prints each.  Once we’ve hit 25, no further prints of that image will be sold (in any print format).  The metal prints come ready to hang, and are pretty amazing to see in person.  Sizes and prices are:

    • 12×18 – $75.00
    • 16×24 – $125.00
    • 20×30 – $175.00
    • 24×36 Metal Mural:  $275.33

    No matter what the size, once 25 metal prints of an image have been created, the image will be removed from my sales site, and no further prints of that image will be created for resale.

    Selling Images Online

    Over the years I’ve had potential customers comment on the color quality of images listed at my sales site.  One potential client told me they’d love one of my prints, but that they’re too dark.  That assessment was incorrect.  The image wasn’t the issue, their monitor settings were the issue.  And that makes selling prints online a little difficult.

    Before offering any image for print I make sure that the image color quality looks great in final printed format.  Not too dark, not too bright.  Unfortunately, that cannot be relayed on every monitor out there.  If you don’t have a properly color calibrated monitor I don’t know what you’re seeing.  But I can promise you, I’ve already checked the final print quality, and you will be wowed.

    Want to have a good idea of the actual color quality of the prints?  Check out the images on an iPad or iPhone with the brightness turned to 100%.  That will give you a good idea of the color quality.

    The Dells Defined

    R.L. Charpentier Photography: Limited Edition &emdash; The Dells Defined

    The first limited edition print to be offered here is an image that took me years to capture.  Sure, for many years I lived right next to Watson Lake in Prescott.  But just being right there doesn’t mean you get the shot you want immediately.  In fact, it took 4 years to get the lighting exactly how I wanted it.  And this image is the result.

    Yes, I have hundreds of images from the Granite Dells and Watson Lake.  Out of all of them, this image shows the Dells as I know them!

    Clicking on the image above will bring you to my Zenfolio site (my image sales site), and to the ordering information.  I sure would like to see some sales go through, as we’re still trying to fund work on the National Monuments of the Southwest.

    March 2, 2015 • Limited Edition Prints, Photography • Views: 113

  • A stroll through the Promised Land

    Andy climbing in Promised Land

    Andy climbing in Promised Land

    Today we’re experiencing another gray and rainy day.  We’ve been back in Prescott for a week now, and I’m missing the climate down in the Organ Pipe area.  Apparently we might even see some snow tonight.  Welcome to March at high elevation.

    The other day, with cloud cover and super chilly temperatures we took another couple out to see the Promised Land climbing area and canyon.  It’s not shown on any maps of the area, there are no amazing guide books written about it, and when I first visited the area and took two days of driving around in the desert just trying to find the place.  It is a hidden gem to be sure!

    Walking into the canyon this time I found myself getting a little nostalgic.  Back in 2008 I went there almost weekly with a few climbing friends.  Each time we’d check out a new climb, a new wall, and explore the canyon further.  Bags were loaded with climbing gear, and hiking in an out were as tiring as the climbs.

    This trip in I only had a small camera bag, one Nalgene full of water, and my camera.  No sense in carrying a bunch of gear in when you aren’t going to be climbing, and also when you’re in no shape to even consider doing a 5.10 climb.  :)

    Climbing Promised Land

    Yes, that’s me climbing in Promised Land back in 07′

    One of the big draws for this trip were the petroglyphs located in the canyon.  Throughout the canyon as you hike along you will spot petroglyphs here and there throughout the canyon.  And in the case of this rock art, very few have ever seen it or photographed it.  Our guests for the day, Dick & Pam, were pretty happy to see some new rock art that they’d never even seen photos of before.  It’s like being an explorer or something!

    Overall it was a great day.  A fun hike in and out, and several photos of petroglyphs.  Several cows greeted us when we arrived, and several said hi as we were leaving as well.  Pam & Dick got to see something that’s not in any guidebook anywhere, and they’ll have a fun story to tell about their photos of some unknown petroglyphs.

    Here’s the really fun part…..  I haven’t been rock hopping in the Dells like I used to.  So, after an hour drive back to Prescott my legs froze into position.  Getting out of the Titan I hobbled around like an old guy with joint issues (eeek).  Looks like somebody needs to spend more time rock hopping, and less time in front of the computer!

    Remember when I used to post gear photos on this site?

    Remember when I used to post gear photos on this site?



    March 1, 2015 • Adventure, Arizona, hiking, Prescott, Travel • Views: 113

  • I don’t have any real money

    Yesterday was a little strange.  Internet in Northern Arizona went totally wonky.  The explanation that we’ve gotten has to do with some vandalism done to some fiber.  There were other net issues throughout the country, but we won’t go all aluminum foil hat on this one.  We don’t have to.  I live in an Airstream, it’s better than a tin foil hat!

    At 11:30 a.m. I popped by Pangaea bakery in downtown Prescott to get myself a baguette.  It’s nice to treat yourself now and again, and Pangaea is always a treat!

    When I got to the bakery the line wasn’t moving well.  A sweet elderly woman was at the counter paying for her lunch.  Well, she was trying to pay for her lunch.  The young lady at the counter swiped her card….and nothing.  So she moved to the next register and tried it again.  Nothing again.

    The puzzled look on the girl’s face said it all.  “What am I doing wrong..?  I’ve got all these customers here.”  The line didn’t move.

    Finally, a young man behind the counter saw me holding my $3, and asked what I wanted.  Ah, cash on hand is good!  And as I received my baguette I heard the sweet lady trying to pay say the following…..

    I don’t have any real money.  I just use that card.

    Real Money

    The Airstream’s Emergency Slush Fund…aka…Laundry money

    No real money!

    Hearing her statement really hit home.  99% of my transactions these days are completed with my debit card.  No cash on hand at all.  Only when we’re traveling between state parks do I keep some cash on hand for the self pay stations.  Beyond $20 – $40 cash, there’s nothing else but cards in the wallet.

    The internet outage here in Northern Arizona had some impact.  Well more than some impact.  A lot of impact.  Banks closed because they couldn’t complete transactions without their communications.  The gas station near where the Airstream is parked couldn’t process credit or debit cards, so people didn’t get their gas.  The gas station’s ATM was down, so the folks trying to get cash to pay for their gas were out of luck.  911 calls weren’t completing, many folks had no phone service……  The list goes on.

    Fortunately, what happened yesterday was a minor outage.  It didn’t extend beyond 24 hours, and things seem to be better networkwise today.  All is well in the northern desert.

    But the whole thing goes to show you how dependent we are on network services.  And it was a reminder to me, keep some cash on hand, people still accept it!  I can only imagine what a week without Internet would do…….

    February 26, 2015 • Notes from Rich • Views: 182

  • Must be a short life…..

    It’s been a while since I’ve done any kind of real tech review here at The Airstream Chronicles, but I’ve got a good one for you today.  The LifeProof case for my iPhone 5.

    I lead a very “mobile” life.  Travel with an Airstream, wandering across the country, hooking up to mobile internet, and using my iPhone a lot.  The iPhone is key to my mobile communications, internet, and much of my business.  So I want to protect it as best I can.  That’s why in November of 2013 when I purchased my new iPhone 5, I also purchased a LifeProof case.

    Last fall I found the plastic covering over my main iPhone button (you know the one, dead center of the bottom of your phone…..the one that gets all of the use) actually peeled away.  With that plastic breaking away, the phone was no longer protected.  Dust and dirt quickly got in under the case’s covering.

    Additionally, the gasket that covers the charger port has disintegrated as well.  Unfortunately, I didn’t immediately contact LifeProof about the first issue, and that was a mistake.

    Looking at the phone this morning I asked myself, “Hey, what’s their warranty?”  For $89 I do expect the case to handle daily life.  The failure of the case wasn’t from dropping my phone off a building or running it through a washing machine.  It was just daily use.  I’m sorry to say though, checking LifeProof’s website, I’ve already missed my warranty.

    LifeProof and its affiliated companies worldwide (“LifeProof”) warrants our LifeProof products against defects in material or workmanship for a period of one year from the original date of purchase of the product by a consumer (the “Warranty Period”).

    The above statement comes directly from LifeProof’s website and their warranty.  So, one year from original date of purchase.  That sure is one short life span for something that is “LifeProof”.  Now we could pick that apart.  Fruit flies have super short lives.  In their case, one day, yes…the case is LifeProof.  But in my case, yeah not so much.

    Take you further

    The whole thing reminds me of my Garmont hiking shoes.  Back in 2001 I bought the greatest pair of hiking shoes ever, made by Garmont.  And there was a label on the tongue of each boot.  “These boots will take you further than you think.”  And they did.  Thousands of miles, over 9 years of ownership, and comfortable all the way.

    The new Garmonts that I replaced that old pair with didn’t last at all roaming through the Granite Dells and the Vermillion Cliffs.  But they also didn’t have that promise labeled on the tongues of the new boots either.

    Now as I consider what to do with my LifeProof case I think back on companies that have made a quality product for me.  Since LifeProof believes that 1 year is a reasonable lifespan, I need to think about companies who think bigger.

    And I’m thinking….let’s go look for a Pelican case.  After all, Pelican has housed my camera gear, strobes, and miscellaneous gear for over a decade, I abuse the tar out of those cases, and they keep holding up.  Or maybe an Otter Box case, I have several of those too.  We’ll just have to see what the local Best Buy carries….

    Pelican Case Cooler

    My Pelican cases have done great for me over the years! And my Pelican cooler is AWESOME!

    February 25, 2015 • Tech Reviews, Tech Tips • Views: 150

  • Allergies and the Airstream

    Coming up from Organ Pipe the other day I was feeling wonderful and physically fit!  This morning I feel like I’ve been on a drinking bender for the last month, and no stopping any time soon.  What changed?


    So I have not been on a bender.  I do not have a cold.  It is already allergy season and my head is swimming, my nose is running, and my throat is on FIRE.

    I hadn’t thought about what pollen is doing its thing, and where it is in a while.  But Jodi pointed out to me that one of our friends just went in for shots because their allergies are so bad.  And once I heard that I knew why I’ve been feeling “Wonky”.

    The junipers are doing their thing now here in Prescott Arizona.  And they’re doing it in a big way.  This morning I popped by Pollen.com to see what’s going on, and what I found wasn’t super exciting.

    Allergies and the Airstream

    Oh yeah, the pollen count!

    Fortunately, the Airstream can help me deal with the nasty pollen count.  Sometimes smaller is better, and this is one of those times.

    One of the key pieces of gear that has been with the Airstream since I first hit the road in 2006 is a HEPA filter.  The pollen can be going nuts outside, but inside the Airstream (when I remember to turn it on) the HEPA filter gives me an allergy free environment.  Of course, I’ve got to remember to kick the filter on.

    Returning from our southern trip the other day it was beautiful here.  I opened all the windows, ran the fans, and coated the inside of the Airstream with plenty of pollen.  Our second day back my throat was on fire, which probably had a lot to do with leaving the windows open.  Now that I’m aware pollen season has started early?

    The Airstream is going fully sealed!

    Today I’ll be working on research for our next client.  I’ll also be vacuuming the entire Airstream, putting the HEPA on high, and wiping everything down inside.  In a day or two I should be back to feeling perfectly normal.

    So, a 200 sq ft space is easy to clean up and keep pollen free.  My old 2600 sq ft house was never as easy!  That’s a win for the Airstream!

    February 24, 2015 • Notes from Rich • Views: 130

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