Santa Barbara Zoo Photo Workshop

Join Ralph for a half-day workshop at the zoo.


Upcoming Photo Workshops

I have a couple of workshops coming up.
Click on the posters below to learn more or contact me if you have any questions.


SBZoo Workshop



My Favorite Photos of 2014

Photographer Jim M. Goldstein has been hosting a project on his blog called “the best photos of the year”.  He solicits other photographers to post their favorite images of 2014.

Here are seven of my favorites from 2014.  Be sure to check out his blog.  Hope you enjoy.


best of 2014 blog 1

best of 2014 blog 2

best of 2014 blog 3

best of 2014 blog 4

best of 2014 blog 5

Brasilian Gold

Watching the World Cup this year reminded me of our last trip to Brasil. We spent six weeks visiting three of the premiere natural ecosystems in South America; the Pantanal, the Amazon, and Mata Atlântica or Atlantic Rainforest. There’s only about 7% of the Mata Atlântica left, mainly in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Living in this unique forest are Golden Lion Tamarins (GLT), one of the most endangered and beautiful monkeys in the world. It is estimated that less than 1,600 are left in the wild.

We spent two days watching these active little tamarins in the Poço das Antas Biological Reserve northeast of Rio de Janeiro. The groups we photographed are part of a research project, being conducted by the Golden Lion Tamarin Association (Associação Mico-Leão-Dourado).  The GLTs in the research area are captured about twice a year, get a physical, and then get marked with a safe black dye so they can be identified by family group. We were at the border between 2 different “tribes” of GLTs and they would chase each other across the path dividing their territories.

This is a “composite” of 3 images, each having a different Tamarin running across the path in front of my camera. They were so fast I had to use a flash to freeze their motion. 14mm, ISO 400, f/6.3, 1/250sec.


tamarin brown

Lighting Magic

I’ve been fascinated by “light painting” ever since seeing some of O. Winston Link’s amazing steam locomotive images from the 50’s.

Combining multiple images lit with only a single light is a favorite of today’s architectural photographers and I wanted to see if I could apply the technique to camping scenes. So I read Eric Curry’s great book, Painting with Light, Lighting and Photoshop Techniques for Photographers published by Amherst Media and watched some great behind-the-scenes videos of him lighting his complex scenes at his website: American Pride and Passion.




One of my latest images is of a tent in a stand of Aspen trees. There are not as many details to worry about in this scene so it was a little easier to light. I used five different images, lit with a flashlight plus a fluorescent lantern in the tent. All images were shot at f/5.6, 15sec, ISO 400 with the 14-24mm lens.