Archive for October, 2011

Wild Light Fall Color Reflection – Eastern Sierra

October 24, 2011

Wild light and fall color reflection at North Lake in the Eastern Sierra

Maybe this is my perception but I feel most photographers go nuts over a sunset reflection, if it’s in front of them. Maybe even prefer it over the golden hour when the best light hits the land and creates interesting light and shadows on the subjects that are important in our photographs. Most of the time I think these sunset colored clouds are just background decor to add a little something extra to a scene that doesn’t have the greatest light. Something to just accent an image. Am I the only one that feels this way?

Field notes: Early that morning at North Lake in the Eastern Sierra, as soon as light of dawn revealed there was cloud cover and we could see that the holes in the clouds would likely let some good light through in a few a places. I was with a couple of friends but we all had different agendas, one of them did not want to go into the mess of crowded photographers at the creek outlet of North Lake so he went of into the aspen groves and we never saw him again until we were ready to leave hours later. We had parked on the north side of the lake where it’s a longer walk to the popular spot there. I chatted with a few strangers but kept it short. I took a photo looking towards the White Mountains and figured I’d at least better get into a position where I could at least shoot into multiple directions. There is a creek you must cross or take the long way around, it was at least 32 degrees out and I didn’t want to get my feet wet but I had a change of pants, shoes, and socks in the car if needed. Before I knew it I was crossing the creek to take a couple of different shots in both directions.

North Lake Eastern Sierra in the fall.

The light was good and I was only spending between 30 seconds and a couple of minutes composing scenes, usually I take longer then. There was a sense of rush but I still very calm in between exposures.

This photo does't really show how crowded it gets in this one spot here at North Lake but I'm sure you could imagine.

This photo does’t really show how crowded it gets in this one spot here at North Lake but I’m sure you could imagine.

Workshop info: Scenic Photo Workshops
Website: Portfolio
Private or small group workshop info: Learn.
Steve’s Photo Tips and How To Page
Steve’s Landscape Photographer Tools Page

Finding New Arches in Likely Places

October 20, 2011

Unpopular arch in the Alabama Hills.

Occasionally from time to time I spend a few hours looking for new arches in different places likely to have them. Here in the Alabama Hills I found 2 of them and not sure if anyone has seen them yet or at least the average photographer. The first photo in this series is one of them. The other one is pretty hard to get to and you have to climb a little but it might have some good potential if the roads don’t ruin the view. I’ll have to see next time I’m out there. On a separate trip while zooming into a snapshot of one arch I took from the road I found another on top of the boulder piles, even with it’s location in sight, it is still hard to find because you loose your depth perception as the walls get bigger and your surroundings enclose on you. It’s no doubt it takes time to find these unknown arches.

I’m really curious if anyone ever really spends the time trying to find them or is it just common practice to wait for someone else to direct them to these arches. I’ve driven the roads and spotted some of them from the roadside but now there was about 4 well known arches Mobius, Lathe, Heart and Whitney Portal arch. In recent years Cyclops and Lady Boot arch have become very well known. Cyclops is shown below with the rainbow. Does anyone feel that any of new found arches should be kept hidden or revealed?

I asked David Muench where his famous Kissing Meercats arch in the Alabama Hills was and he politely said it is so fragile that he cares enough not to reveal where it is, before asking him, I kind of thought he better not tell me. I didn’t beg and say, “C’mon, I won’t tell anybody!” I really respect that he didn’t tell me because it just encouraged me even more to do my own explorations. When a place is mysterious and full of unkowns the build up to exploring it is a giant lure for me as a creative photographer. Does anyone have any feelings on what they think the future of the Alabama Hills and it’s many unknown arches? David, wants it to become a protected monument, it’s one of his favorite places. It’s likely in the future there may be a handout with about 25 arches sometime in the near future. Some are fragile and some are not, do you feel this would hurt the environment or not?

Cyclops Arch - Alabama Hills, recently in the last couple of years it's becoming a very popular arch.

The Lobster Claw Arch in Joshua Tree National Park.  It's a boulder hop to get to this one.
Here is an arch off the beaten path at Joshua Tree National Park. I don’t think it’s location will be popularized because of the difficulties getting to it, from certain directions at least.

Website: Portfolio
Workshop info: Scenic Photo Workshops
Private or small group workshop info: Learn.
Steve’s Photo Tips and How To Page
Steve’s Landscape Photographer Tools Page

Free Nature Photography Presentation

October 12, 2011

We'll be photographing the Santa Monica Mountains or the beaches of the Santa Monicas after the event.

I’ll be making a presentation which is free and open to the public.

Saturday, October 15 at 1:30 pm at the Visitor Center for the Santa Monica Mountains Nat’l Recreation Area (Thousand Oaks, CA).

The lecture and photo critique will be held next door to the visitor center.
Directions

This presentation will be on creating dramatic landscape photography.

This presentation will help you focus and better connect with nature while in field with your camera.

This presentation will help you blend art into your photography.

This presentation will provoke thoughts and help you become a more creative photographer.

Stop by and show your support for landscape photography as art in Los Angeles.

We will be shooting the local mountain or beaches after the event so please do bring your camera.

Please bring your camera for a shoot afterwards!

Join me for an exciting afternoon!

Website: Portfolio
Workshop info: Scenic Photo Workshops
Private or small group workshop info: Learn.
Steve’s Photo Tips and How To Page
Steve’s Landscape Photographer Tools Page

Light Painting Thoughts

October 6, 2011

One of Ansel Adams iconic images was taken here, intead of trying to duplicate his I did something completely different with the place. Eastern Sierra 2007
One of Ansel Adams iconic images was taken here, intead of trying to duplicate his photograph, I did something completely different with the place. Here are my field notes, this was taken at very end of twilight. The trees were lit with a head lamp during a 30 sec exposure. I left my intervolometer/cable relase at home so 30 secs for every shot with the self timer was getting to me. It’s the moon around 9pm taken over an hour past sunset. The moon isn’t close to setting yet but the peaks around 11,900 ft elevation and the lake is at around 10,900ft so it actually not setting until about midnight. The intervolometer is a just a cable release w/ some timer funtions on it. The device is made by Canon and is no better then a cheap calculator watch. It’s a good tool to have in case your sleepy and forget that you left your DSLR on bulb all night long. After backpacking the 8.5 miles to get here and missing sunset I felt the need create something. I gave it a touch of the orton effect (learned from Marc Muench) to give it just a touch of dreaminess.
Eastern Sierra Nevada Range, CA
Canon 5D 17-40mm at 17mm Iso 200
August 2007

After reading Richard Wong’s In the Field blog last week I thought I would share my thoughts and a few experiences on light painting.

Light painting brings out some of the best traits a photography can carry, creativity, visualization and enjoyment. The easier the idea the easier the execution can be. I’ve been told by other biasd photographers that there are only certain ways of light painting, I find that idea too limiting and it only steals all the fun out of it! I’ve even seen some of these light painting biasd photographer change their mind and now teach it as well. Some of these shared limiting beliefs are only use LED lights, the stars must be a certain way, and you must only use a single exposure. In light painting you become the only source of light besides the stars and moon if it’s out there. When you get an idea and begin to wonder how much “fun” it could be putting the idea together, there shouldn’t be anything that limits you.

Lone Juniper Tree & Balanced Rock in Joshua Tree National Park
Lone Juniper Tree & Balanced Rock in Joshua Tree National Park. With help from a friend I was able to capture this scene in one exposure, otherwise I would of had to of used an intervolumeter(programable cable release).

Shared image location on a google map.

Website: Portfolio
Workshop info: Scenic Photo Workshops
Private or small group workshop info: Learn.
Steve’s Photo Tips and How To Page
Steve’s Landscape Photographer Tools Page

Art Without Photoshop

October 5, 2011

Havasu Falls at Dusk, Havasu Canyon, Grand Canyon, Arizona

Do You Really Need Photoshop to Make an Artistic Photograph?

If anyone tells you yes, that’s BULLSHIT!! If the light hits the sensor in an appealing way then you can get away without using photoshop or elements. You will need to convert the RAW image to a jpeg with a basic converter. Many times we will need need photoshop to make local adjustments meaning specific areas of a photograph. But yes there are times when the light is perfectly fine within the frame of what was photographed and if the composition is fine then it just may be artistic enough.

Just to clarify, this is not an anti photoshop blogpost, I wouldn’t own Photoshop CS5, 4, 3, 2 and other versions if I didn’t use them.

Havasu Falls at Dusk, Havasu Canyon, Grand Canyon, Arizona

Website: Portfolio
Workshop info: Scenic Photo Workshops
Private or small group workshop info: Learn.
Steve’s Photo Tips and How To Page
Steve’s Landscape Photographer Tools Page


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 168 other followers