Mission Statement The goal of DestinationWildWest.com is to provide a western tourism resource that promotes the conservation of western wilderness habitats and the preservation of antiquities for future generations.
Author Hello and welcome to a world of western adventure! My name is JD Lane and I am the administrator of this website. I earned a High Honors BA Degree in Culinary Management (2015) and I am currently working on a Masters Degree in adult education. My background includes over 30 years in the hospitality industry as a chef. I worked in remote resorts throughout the west and this provided the opportunity to explore regional destinations. The destinationwest.org project began 10 years ago as a casual blog that generated income during college. Material for over 800 articles has been compiled since then, so my photo journalism hobby has evolved into an extensive western tourism resource. My goal is to inspire interest in the great outdoors and conservation of public lands by means of tourism with a sustainably green approach!
Photography & Media Photographs of majestic western destinations naturally captivate viewers, so plenty of high quality images are provided in this western travel website. Each article has cover photos and most articles have a Flickr photo album attached that contains up to 300 images. The large photo albums provide information that the written material may not cover, as well as entertaining material to browse. Speaking from personal experience, people that have suffered through catastrophic illness, severe injuries or traumatic events do tend to like browsing photos of the great outdoors, because the viewing experience enables a pleasant escape that can elevate one's own spirit.
For those who seek a unique landscape to photograph or paint, browsing the travel article photo albums will yield plenty of interesting locations. Most of the old Nikon D90 photos were shot hand-held in automatic mode, simply because this style worked so well with the old kit lenses. Creating a better photo than one shot in automatic mode is easy for any experienced photographer to do, especially when inspiration enters the composition.
The photo image content goal for the blog is to present high quality images that are as realistic as possible, with minimal artistic interpretation. Slight adjustments for exposure and cropping are all that are employed when processing the blog photos, so a destination is not misrepresented.
Most of the hand held travel destination photos were captured with an all weather Nikon D90 DSLR camera with a Nikon DX 18-105mm or Nikon AFS 70-300mm Lens. After 8 years of rough outdoor usage in all weather conditions, the old durable 12.5 megapixel camera still worked perfectly, although it was outdated by modern standards. The original kit lenses showed extreme wear, so purchasing a new field camera kit was necessary.
As of August 2020, I switched to a 20.9 megapixel Nikon D7500, which is a very capable lightweight crop sensor field camera. When pared with a telephoto lens, this fast DX camera can be used for wildlife photography and birding. The high ISO and high dynamic range enable better low light performance, so night landscape photography is now an option. Basically, the D7500 does what I could only dream of doing with the old D90 camera.
A 24 megapixel Nikon Z5 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera was also acquired for landscape photography. This simple mirrorless camera is designed for stills, so it is a great choice for tripod work. Basically, the Z5 is the mirrorless version of the classic Nikon D750 full frame camera with many new improvements and a low budget price. This all adds up to a good choice for a dedicated landscape camera that can get the most out of a wide angle lens.
The better the lens, the better the image quality! The new lens includes: •Nikon 14-24mm ED ƒ.2.8 Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens (high resolution day & night landscapes) •Nikon 24-70mm ED ƒ/2.8 Zoom Lens (high resolution day & night landscapes) •Nikon AF 50mm D ƒ/1.8 Prime Lens (lightweight for hiking, day & night landscapes) •Nikkor 200-500mm ƒ/5.6 Zoom Lens (daylight wildlife, birding) •Nikon 18-140mm DX ƒ/3.5-5.6 Zoom Lens (daylight general purpose, snapshots) •Tamron 10-24mm ƒ3.5-4.5 Wide Angle Zoom Lens (DX format daylight landscapes)
All photos for articles in this website are published in" j.peg" format. The hand held snapshot style photos for the travel articles are free to download at Flickr. By clicking on a Flickr album that is attached to an article, a link to all Flickr albums can be found. Flickr also offers slide-show options. The Flickr photo albums contain the full resolution originals, so it is best to download photos for personal use directly from Flickr by following the album link.
The tripod landscape photos in the Gallery Pages require specialized lenses and the process is more time consuming, so they are marketed to generate income for destinationwest.org. Some of the locations require a long bumpy Jeep ride or a hike, so some effort is involved. Enduring brutally cold weather just to do a moonlit landscape shot is also part of the game. I use a tripod and professional quality lenses to create the gallery landscape photos. The raw images and brackets are processed with Aurora High Dynamic Range software and Apple Photos, which yields stunningly good results.
All Destination West website photos are protected by copyright regulations. Non-profit and personal use of the photos is allowed. Waving the original photo copyright protections for profit based news agencies or publishers can be accommodated by written request.
Website Sustainability Continually improving the quality of the content and adding new material to DestinationWest.org is what I currently do. In order to preserve the content, I designed this website so it operates with minimal costs and with the goal of creating a self generating source of income to maintain this domain well into the future.
Expenses Major expenses incurred with the DestinationWest.org project amount to travel expenses, vehicle maintenance and equipment costs. I minimize expenses by choosing less expensive venues, like opting for camping rather than a motel room stay. Over 50 hours per week is what it takes to keep the travel destination information flowing. The average cost per year for gathering material ranges between $15k and $22k, which is an indicator of how efficiently this project performs.
Advertising Google Adsense was recently added a a source of income. A campaign for selling advertising space is in the planning stages.
Funding The DestinationWest.Org project is a 10 year non profit photo journalism work in progress with no end in sight! All funding in the past has been provided by myself, JD Lane. Now that I am forced to retire from my chief occupation because of the Covid 19 Pandemic, contributions by means of personal donation are now accepted. Donations are solely appropriated for the preservation and maintenance of this website and expenses incurred while gathering new content. Any and all donations for the DestinationWest.org project are greatly appreciated and deep heartfelt thanks is honestly expressed on my own part!