John Levandoski: Blog en-us (C) John Levandoski (John Levandoski) Sat, 23 Jun 2018 01:16:00 GMT Sat, 23 Jun 2018 01:16:00 GMT John Levandoski: Blog 96 120 Program titled "Living, Working and Photographing in Yellowstone" Living, Working & PhotographingLiving, Working & Photographing


So after spending two summers workamping in Yellowstone I have put together a one hour program titled "Living, Working and Photographing In Yellowstone" to share my experience. I can also talk about the workamping experience and how it can relate to a retirement option to make it a two hour program.

I have a few dates available in NEPA in Sept. and early October. It is a very informative program for photo clubs and associations or your civic minded or other groups.

Also, I will be in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas from November through March for available dates.

Send me a private message for further details.

See you soon.

]]> (John Levandoski) john levandoski national park nature photography RV Blog travel wildlife workamping yellowstone Sat, 23 Jun 2018 01:10:55 GMT
Guest on a podcast by Jarrod Ross
This week I was a guest on a podcast by Jarrod Ross. He and Sara Passios Ross were two of the first people we met in Yellowstone in 2016 and we are now spending our 3rd fabulous summer with them. They inspire us with their zest for adventure and have become a major part of our workamper family. Enjoy the podcast!

Episode II - Wanderers: Life on the Road
Finding Inspiration while Wonkamping in Yellowstone NP

This week I spoke with (semi) retired photographer John Levandoski. John and his wife Marie were two of the first friends we made working in Yellowstone National Park. I talk to John about transitioning into RV living after 30 years in the photography business, how retirement snuck up on him, and the benefits of living on the road. We also took time to discuss how the opportunity to workamp in Yellowstone National Park and its natural beauty brought a renewed inspiration to his personal artwork.
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]]> (John Levandoski) finding inspiration jarrod ross john levandoski life on the road national park photo photography travel wanderers workampers workamping Mon, 18 Jun 2018 00:12:41 GMT
Another Season Workamping Sunset In TucsonSunset In TucsonSunset in Tucson, AZ taken from the Coronado Ntl Forest


The sun has set on another workamping season. This photo was taken in Tucson, AZ where we spent the winter workamping at Far Horizons Resort for Cal-Am Resorts. This was our first time in the activities department and also working at a resort. Our job details included setting up and tearing down for the different events and activities, bartending, cooking and/or serving food and making sure our residents were taken care of.


John Frying PancakesJohn Frying PancakesJohn & Earl frying pancakes for the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast at Far Horizons Resort in Tucson, AZ.

Here's me and Earl, another workamper, frying pancakes for an all you can eat breakfast. I would cook and Marie would serve.


Marie BartendingMarie BartendingMarie pours a beer for a resident during happy hour at Far Horizons Resort In Tucson, AZ.


And here Marie's pouring a beer at happy hour. We served the Wednesday night hour. There was also one on Monday and Friday. They were all poolside with a band and free to the residents. Needless to say there was usually a big crowd.


John At The SoundboardJohn At The SoundboardJohn works the soundboard for the Sunday Morning Social program.


I also got to work the soundboard for some Sunday morning socials. Working in a busy resort gave us the opportunity to work many different jobs.


untitled butterflyuntitled butterflyuntitled butterfly


Our resort had a photo club and I just had to partake of the activities. We had a few photo shoot day trips which were a lot of fun. This unidentified butterfly was from a trip to the Tucson Botanical Gardens. These butterflies were in a greenhouse type building that was extremely humid and fogged my lens and glasses when I walked in. I kept cleaning them for ten minutes before they stayed clear. For these photos I used my Nikon D7000 and my Nikkor 105mm f2.8 AF-D micro lens. This is a mid-late nineties film lens. This image was shot handheld at ISO 640, 1/200th at f6.3. There's more butterflies in the Tucson gallery under Travel.


Far Horizons Foto Fun Club, Botanical GardensFar Horizons Foto Fun Club, Botanical GardensFar Horizons Foto Fun Club at Tucson Botanical Gardens, 03/13/18


Here's the group that went to the Botanical Gardens. Obviously these ladies like to have fun and I joined right in. It was nice being in a photo club again and sharing images and ideas.


Ukulele BandUkulele BandJohn plays in the ukulele band recital at Far Horizons Resort in Tucson, AZ.

The resort also offers free ukulele lessons. This was so much fun. We weren't really following music so everyone sang along as we strummed. At the end of the season we gave a recital at the Wednesday morning manager's meeting. There's a 10 sec video on my FB page;


Well now we're on our way to our summer workamping job at Cape Cod Maple RV Park and Campground in MA and looking forward to a great summer. We're so grateful for all of the wonderful experiences we have had since we started workamping. Every season is a new adventure and pushes our boundaries in a new direction. Every day is a new learning experience.


I'll leave you with this photo of a super moon rising behind a saguaro cactus. Best wishes to all of you and see you soon!


Super Moon & Saguaro CactusSuper Moon & Saguaro CactusA super moon rises behind a Saguaro cactus in the Coronado Ntl Forest near Tucson, AZ on New Years Day 2018






]]> (John Levandoski) john levandoski photography workamping workamping in tucson az Sun, 08 Apr 2018 01:44:45 GMT
Ghost Town Ruby, AZ Ruby, AZ Town SignRuby, AZ Town SignThe Ruby, AZ mining ghost town sign.


Recently I had the privilege to to lead our photo club on an adventure to the ghost town of Ruby, AZ. This photo club is based in a 55+ retirement/snowbird park in Tucson, AZ. I mention this because I was the youngest at 63 years old and there were some mixed reviews about visiting Ruby. I admit now that I was a bit nervous about taking this group there. But I've been photographing old ghost towns for 20 years so I had to go and it was on their list of possibilities.


Travel Caution Sign, Ruby, AZTravel Caution Sign, Ruby, AZA travel caution sign along the dirt road to Ruby, AZ, a mining ghost town.

Ruby is in the middle of nowhere. It is 12 miles from Arivaca, a small town with a general store, bar/restaurant, an art gallery, a humanitarian aid office and a coffee shop on the outskirts of town. About 6 of those 12 miles are down a dusty dirt road, 4 miles from the Mexican border with little or no cell service. The border patrol had a very heavy presence, as would be expected after seeing the sign above.


Bookshelf, Ruby Schoolhouse, AZBookshelf, Ruby Schoolhouse, AZAn old bookshelf in the one room schoolhouse in the old mining ghostown of Ruby, AZ.


After checking in with Michael the caretaker, we took off on our search for images. The old schoolhouse probably had the most opportunity with the classroom, an old piano, the sliding board and more to aim our cameras at.


Old Worn Out Keys, Ruby Schoolhouse, AZOld Worn Out Keys, Ruby Schoolhouse, AZOld worn out piano keys of the piano at Ruby Ghost Town, AZ.


As I drive to these out of the way places in my air conditioned, 4x4 pickup truck, I wonder what would possess someone to come way out here, probably on a mule, and start digging. But mining and these mining towns are what built up the western part of our country. Railroads and fortune seekers followed. As the towns prospered their populations grew. Businesses opened.


Children's Sliding Board, Ruby, AZChildren's Sliding Board, Ruby, AZThe children's sliding board outside the schoolhouse in the old mining ghost town of Ruby, AZ.


And then the mines run out. A slow exodus follows. People leave what they can't carry. It's picked through by the people still there and then by gypsies and thieves looking for something to cash in for a quick buck. What's left eventually rots away and is reclaimed by nature.


Ruby Ghost Truck, AZRuby Ghost Truck, AZAn old Ford dump truck sits rusting along the dirt road into Ruby, AZ.


Ruby is on private property and they are trying to make a tourist destination out of it. I saw about 30 visitors there that day counting the 12 of us. The website is quite modern and somewhat up to date. I called the phone number to get a group rate but a message stated they would not return calls. The caretaker said he couldn't oblige us with that request. The only other discrepancy was the condition of the restrooms and the gate wasn't opened until almost 10:00. I think the restrooms are the original outhouses from the early 1900's, but the ladies in our group didn't complain at all. Bring your own paper unless you like using an old Sears catalog.


Ruby Bunkhouse, AZRuby Bunkhouse, AZRemains of old bunkhouses in Ruby Mining Ghost Town, AZ.


All in all our adventure to Ruby was a great day. We had a good lunch at the Cow Palace in Amado and there were some nice images shown at our next photo club meeting. I certainly wouldn't mind making another trip to Ruby, maybe later in the day to get a different light.


Ruby Mercantile, AZRuby Mercantile, AZ


For this trip I used my Nikon D7000 with the Nikon 18-105 f3.5-5.6 G ED and a Bogen 055XB tripod with a 3047 head. On the piano keys photo I used a Nikon 105 f2.8 D AF micro lens. This is a mid-late 90's film lens. All images are shot in camera RAW format, then converted to Adobe DNG files and then edited in Lightroom.


The Beach At Ruby, AZThe Beach At Ruby, AZ"The beach" at Ruby mining ghost town, AZ.


Thanks for taking the time to read my post. If you are interested in purchasing any photos, use this one time code " Ruby " for a 20% discount on any Ruby image.

See ya soon.


]]> (John Levandoski) art az ghost towns az mining towns fine art ghost towns john levandoski mining towns photography ruby az travel Wed, 07 Mar 2018 20:35:10 GMT
Happy Birthday Yellowstone! Morning Glory Pool, YellowstoneMorning Glory Pool, Yellowstone


Happy Birthday Yellowstone! In honor of Yellowstone National Park's 146th birthday today I'm offering a 14.6% discount on all prints for today only from my Yellowstone gallery. Enter discount code Happy 146 at checkout.

It was such an awesome experience spending two summers working there. Hopefully we'll be able to return for a summer again someday.

Feel free to contact me with any questions. Thanks!


]]> (John Levandoski) fine art john levandoski national park nature photography print sale travel wildlife yellowstone Thu, 01 Mar 2018 07:01:00 GMT
It's a Super-Blue-Blood Moon! The alarm is set for 3:00 am. Coffee is on the timer so it will be ready when I crawl out of a nice warm bed. Camera, lens and tripod are ready. This morning we'll have the opportunity to witness a rare lunar eclipse. One that hasn't been seen since March 31,1866, 152 years ago. It's going to be a Super Blue Blood Moon!


Super-Blue MoonSuper-Blue MoonA super blue moon soon to become a super-blue-blood moon. Photographed in Tucson, AZ on 01/31/18.


We start with the super blue moon. It's super because at this time the moon is in it's closest position to Earth. It looks larger and is brighter. It's called a blue moon because it's the second full moon this month. The moon does not have any blue color to it. This usually only happens about once every two or three years. And this is where we get the phrase "once in a blue moon".


First Quarter Super-Blue-Blood Moon EclipseFirst Quarter Super-Blue-Blood Moon EclipseThe Earth's shadow starts to creep across the super-blue moon. When complete, it will be a super-blue-blood moon. Photographed in Tucson, AZ on 01/31/18.


As we're watching the super blue moon, the lunar eclipse starts. This is when the earth's shadow from the sun crosses the moon. This type of eclipse can occur up to three or four times a year depending on your location.


Half Of Super-Blue-Blood Moon EclipseHalf Of Super-Blue-Blood Moon EclipseThe Earth's creeps across the super-blue moon. When complete, it will be a super-blue-blood moon. Photographed in Tucson, AZ on 01/31/18.


It took approximately one hour for the shadow to completely cross the moon.


Last Quarter Super-Blue-Blood Moon EclipseLast Quarter Super-Blue-Blood Moon EclipseThe Earth's creeps across the super-blue moon. When complete, it will be a super-blue-blood moon. Photographed in Tucson, AZ on 01/31/18.


Once the moon is completely in the shadow of Earth it takes on the reddish color. This is where it gets the name "blood moon" and is applied to all lunar eclipses today.


Super-Blue-Blood Moon EclipseSuper-Blue-Blood Moon EclipseA rare super-blue-blood moon lunar eclipse. Photographed in Tucson, AZ on 01/31/18.


The blood moon photo has had no color adjustments to enhance the red color. Though I did make some minor adjustments to sharpness, clarity, contrast and shadows, the color is how it came out of the camera. The montage was put together in photoshop. I used a Nikon D800E with a Sigma 150-600mm f6.3 Sport Edition on a tripod.


montage super-blue-blood moon eclipsemontage super-blue-blood moon eclipse


I hope you enjoyed this little photo essay on the super blue blood moon as much as I enjoyed photographing it. The next one visible in the U.S. will be January 31, 2037. At 82 years old, I don't know if I'll be able to lift the big lens anymore but I'll try! Workamping in Tucson, AZ put us in the right place at the right time for this experience.

]]> (John Levandoski) blood moon blue moon john levandoski lunar eclipse super blue blood moon super moon Wed, 31 Jan 2018 19:06:12 GMT
Gettin' Some Booty(s) From Old Mexico Since we're workamping in Tucson, AZ for the winter, we couldn't resist the temptation to go to Mexico and see what the hoopla is all about. We heard about cheap dentists, pharmacies, leather goods, knickknacks and more. And yes, we also heard about the drug smuggling and human trafficking that goes on around these border towns. Some research told us to stay on the main tourist streets during daylight hours. So we got together with another couple and headed south to the border.



Nogales Letters Sign, Nogales, MexicoNogales Letters Sign, Nogales, MexicoNogales spelled out in large letters in the park.


Our point of entry was Nogales. The town was split by the border so there is a Nogales in the U.S. and Mexico. We parked in the U.S. at Ed's for $5.00 a day and walked across the border. Ed's had a lot of good reviews and it was the first lot we came to. Crossing the border was easy, no questions asked and no one to ask them.


Buses, Nogales, MexicoBuses, Nogales, MexicoBuses parked on the street in Nogales, Mexico

You could easily see why they call it "Old Mexico". The bus in the above photo is the public transportation bus. Buildings are old, stores are closed and there are holes in the sidewalk. A lot of merchants stand outside and try to sell you right from the sidewalk, even yelling from across the street.

Coca-Cola Light, aka Diet Coke, In A Bottle, Nogales, MexicoCoca-Cola Light, aka Diet Coke, In A Bottle, Nogales, MexicoTourist drinking a Coca-Cola Light, aka Diet Coke, from a bottle in Nogales, Mexico, December 2017.

Another warning was to not drink the water which includes ice in your margaritas. We found a nice looking restaurant at the Olivia Hotel in the middle of that district. We ordered bottled drinks and Marie's Diet Coke was a Coca-Cola Light in a bottle. We haven't seen Coke in a bottle for quite some time. The fish tacos were great but the tostadas had way too much lettuce on them. Even a rabbit couldn't have eaten it all. But all in all, it was good and we would eat there again.

Pro Photo Express Sign, Nogales, MexicoPro Photo Express Sign, Nogales, MexicoAn old Kodak sign, Pro Photo Express, hangs on Avenida Obregon street in Nogales, Mexico. December 2017.

Being a semi-retired photographer and having owned a camera shop, I got a big kick out of the old Kodak signs still hanging around town. This first one was at a small wedding studio. They had some very nice framed portraits hanging on display. I think that camera on the sign looks like a Mamiya 645.

Street Scene With Kodak Sign, Nogales, MexicoStreet Scene With Kodak Sign, Nogales, MexicoAn old Kodak sign hangs on Avenida Obregon street in Nogales, Mexico. December 2017.

We were warned there may be lines when crossing back to the U.S. so we planned on getting there early. We finished our shopping and headed back. Our time in line was about a half an hour, from 3:30 to 4:00. Entry was easy, just showing your passport to the agent and if he asks, just tell him what you bought. At no time during our trip did we feel we were in any type of danger. Naturally though, being in a foreign country with such a reputation we were very cautious.

Booty(s) From MexicoBooty(s) From MexicoTourists show off the Mexican boots they got in Nogales, Mexico.

Here's us back in the U.S. after "gettin' some booty(s) in Old Mexico". We both bought a pair of leather boots at a great price. There are a number of boot stores with good prices. We also got some tequila at a good price. But here in Tucson the grocery stores have sales on hard liquor. On sale, prices are about the same. We couldn't communicate with the liquor merchant because of language. Personally, I'll leave the dentists and pharmacies for someone else. We had a really great experience and now we can say we did it. With such a great price on boots and tacos, maybe we'll go back for more. And yes, that is "the wall" behind us.

Thanks for reading and we'll see you soon.



]]> (John Levandoski) border crossing john levandoski kodak mexico nogales signs the wall travel travel destination Fri, 29 Dec 2017 21:42:06 GMT
Workamping in Tucson, Winter 2017/18 After a while on the road from Yellowstone, WY to PA and from PA to AZ, we're finally settled in Tucson, AZ  for the winter working for Far Horizons Resort in Tucson, AZ. Far Horizons is a 55+ community with mostly snowbirds and a lot of perks and activities for the residents. We work in the activities department and are always setting up or taking down for the many different clubs and groups. After a month, it's a great place to live and work.

Tucson is certainly different from Yellowstone. We've gone from two to twelve lane highways and traded bears, bison and thermal features for stores, casinos and shopping plazas. A good point is that a pizza isn't an hour away.

The first photo is us serving up dinner at the welcome back party. Hard work but somebody's gotta do it. Also there are photos of the pool area and the lobby.

The last photo is a Saguaro cactus at sunset in Saguaro Ntl Park, just 8 miles away. So we'll be working on some cactus photos over the season.

See you soon.


Workamping, Far Horizons, Tucson, AZ, 12/17Workamping, Far Horizons, Tucson, AZ, 12/17John & Marie serving up the "Welcome Back" dinner at Far Horizons RV Resort, Tucson, AZ.

Pool Area, Far Horizons, Tucson, AZPool Area, Far Horizons, Tucson, AZThe pool area at Far Horizons Resort, Tucson, AZ at sunset.

Lobby, Far Horizons, Tucson, AZLobby, Far Horizons, Tucson, AZThe lobby at Far Horizons Resort in Tucson, AZ


Saguaro Cactus At Sunset 1Saguaro Cactus At Sunset 1




]]> (John Levandoski) john levandoski landscape national park nature photography rv resort travel workamping Fri, 29 Dec 2017 01:42:00 GMT
Elk Rut In Yellowstone Elk Rut #1, YellowstoneElk Rut #1, YellowstoneA bull elk appproaches a cow during the September rut in Yellowstone

It's September. As we sit around the campfire with a million stars above you can hear the elk bugling off in the distance. September is the rut or mating season here in Yellowstone.  As soon as the sun goes down they start and continue until morning. This bull has a harem of at least six cows that I can see and about four yearlings.


Elk Rut #2, YellowstoneElk Rut #2, YellowstoneA bull elk gets close to a female during the rut in Yellowstone


The bulls bugle to challenge other bulls for the females and then engage in battle for dominance. The stronger bull gains access to the females while the loser wanders off usually only hurting his pride. Calves are born in the spring, usually May and June, and are walking within an hour.


Young Elk Eating GrassesYoung Elk Eating GrassesA young female elk with her winter coat eating grasses in Yellowstone Rocky Mountains in the spring


During the summer there are between 10,000 and 20,000 elk in Yellowstone but less than 5,000 in winter. Because snowfall and colder temperatures make food scarce the elk migrate to lower elevations to find better food sources.


Bull Elk, Cow And Yearlings, YellowstoneBull Elk, Cow And Yearlings, YellowstoneA bull elk watches as 3 yearlings run and a cow grazes during the rut in Yellowstone.


The bulls have antlers which start growing in the spring and fall off in March or April. They are usually symmetrical and are the biggest when a bull is between eleven and twelve years old. The bulls with large antlers are one of the most photographed animals in Yellowstone.


Bull Elk In An Autumn Field, YellowstoneBull Elk In An Autumn Field, YellowstoneA bull elk stands majestically in an autumn field in Yellowstone.


Well, the campfire's out and the stars are fading under the brightness of the moon so I guess I'll leave you with this tip; bring a few extra memory cards and a long, long lens when coming to Yellowstone.


Thanks for taking the time to read my travel blog and I wish you the best!


]]> (John Levandoski) art bull elk elk elk rut fine art john levandoski national park nature photo blog rv blog travel blog wildlife wildlife photography yellowstone Sat, 23 Sep 2017 21:12:31 GMT
And the Raven says "Here comes an Eagle!" We've been in Yellowstone four days and there's an Elk carcass about a quarter mile from our campground. There's ravens, eagles and a coyote getting their fill of protein. And that's the pecking order. The eagles chase away the ravens and the coyote chases away the eagles. There's two score of photographers with big lenses waiting patiently for the next one up the pecking order, the grizzly bear. He doesn't show tonight but we'll be there bright and early the next morning with a new memory card and hopes of more excitement and great images. The Raven Cries "Here Comes An Eagle"The Raven Cries "Here Comes An Eagle" Hunting Bald EagleHunting Bald Eagle Juvenile Bald Eagle Moving InJuvenile Bald Eagle Moving In Coyote Moving InCoyote Moving In

]]> (John Levandoski) John Levandoski RV blog Yellowstone coyotes eagles fine art national park nature snow wildlife Sun, 07 May 2017 05:35:56 GMT
Yellowstone 2017 & Sale We are very excited to be starting our 2nd year working in Yellowstone National Park. Seeing last years friends, majestic mountains and magnificent wildlife makes us feel blessed and lucky to be here.

I am also reopening my website for displaying my photo work and the sale of my images. To kick this off I am offering 25% off any order from my Yellowstone National Park images until 5/14/17. Use the code " Yellowstone 2017 " at checkout. You can find the images under " Fine Art ". Feel free to contact me with any questions. Thanks.

]]> (John Levandoski) John Levandoski RV Blog fine art grizzly bear sale wildlife yellowstone Tue, 02 May 2017 02:18:09 GMT
Adios Amigos! Adios Amigos! We're saying goodbye to our friends at The Mustang Hollow CG (photo below) in South Texas and heading to Yellowstone NP for another season there. Our first stop is San Antonio and then on to The Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce. We also hope to see the slot canyons of Page AZ and Lake Powell.

Best wishes to everyone!

]]> (John Levandoski) John Levandoski RV Blog clouds lake landscapes palm photos sunset travel trees Sun, 02 Apr 2017 22:20:16 GMT
Thank You


After approximately 38 years in the photography business I am closing and retiring. I am extremely grateful for the patronage and everything everyone has done for me. I couldn't have done it without you. It has been a wonderful life and career.


Hopefully my future life will be just as exciting. My wife and I bought an RV, are selling the house and plan to travel and work in our National Parks. We are awfully excited about this and hope to be working at The Grand Canyon next summer. Everyone is telling me I'll still be taking photos so this will be the place to find them, under Blogs and special galleries in my Portfolio page. We welcome you to follow our adventures here on my new blog and website and soon to be Facebook page.


If anyone would like their files, at no charge, please contact me at 570-283-0795 by July 6th, 2015. Also I have some of my b&w art available for sale at retirement prices along with studio gear for photographers and hobbyists.


Once again, thank you and hope to see you here. And please stay in touch.


]]> (John Levandoski) John Levandoski RV RV Blog art blog camera camera pro fine art gear national park pro sale thank you Sun, 28 Jun 2015 23:36:55 GMT
Fine Art Sale!

Call John Levandoski @ Camera Pro Studio for more information 570-283-0795.

]]> (John Levandoski) art fine john levandoski photography sale Mon, 09 Feb 2015 18:48:40 GMT