Archive for June, 2012

Composing for the Edges

June 27, 2012

Plush greens at McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, California

While composing this photograph I had to imagine the merged files together as one because the 2×6 or 4×6, etc box of the viewfinder didn’t fit the format I was looking for. When we create panoramics we have to use our imagination and establishing the borders or edges of the frame are probably one of the most important parts of doing this. Here I took note on where there were dark areas around the bright waterfall so as the image is viewed there is more of flow downward without distractions along the edges of the frame. Any bright water on the edges would of pulled the eye towards it and disrupted the path and flow of where the water leads the eye through the scene. Here I chose to have an exit at the bottom where the water comes out of the frame. You can compose differently and keep the eye in the frame by keeping the white water away from the edges, this doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t want to have any bright water near the frame just keep conscious thought of where you place it. Conscious thought is what composition is all about. Have you ever felt you placed all elements of frame exactly where they needed to be?

We can create typical images of scenes such as this one but another thing to keep in mind is has it been done this way? If so fine take the picture then move on to the next scene while looking for something different.

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

Backpacking in Kings Canyon under the Milky Way.

June 25, 2012

Backpacking tent in Kings Canyon under the Milky Way.

Had a little teamwork on this one, Christina had her headlamp set up in the perfect spot with out knowing it! She was feeling the altitude on this trip so I had to carry a little more then I expected to keep her moving along. With the strong winds out I thought Christina might of wanted to turn around but she toughed it out and I’m glad! I came to shoot the alpen glow but think I like the night view more then the day stuff. This little old tent is about 10 years old and this may be it’s last photo. Too bad we don’t get the trade ins on tents or customer loyalty discounts!! It certainly lasted a lot longer then I though they would have, it was less then a 100 bucks and all I could afford at the time. I’ll get a lighter one next time!

It was a cool trip, meaning on the cold side. We didn’t jump into any of the mountain lakes or broke much of sweat because there was a constant breeze to keep our temps cool while hiking. Christina saw her first yellow bellied marmot and thought it would make a great friend for her pet dog to play with, that would be funny, a giant chihuahua playing w/ a marmot! We pitched the tent up next to the tallest boulder to block the wind, it’s blurring parts of the tent in this shot but it was stretched out pretty far with guy lines so you can’t really see much blur in it all unless you look closely. This was just a random unplanned shot where I knew I could use the 3 different layers make the scene work and fill the frame with interesting subject matter.

The Sierra has been pretty cloudless this late spring and early summer season. I love to frequent the places I shoot to get know the weather that isn’t the same every year. Some years we have almost cloudless summers and some we get more then the usual fair of afternoon thunder storms. I love going light with out a tent but haven’t been caught in a rain, hail or thunder storm with out a tent, but maybe someday I’ll get pelted to no end by baseball sized hail!!

Have you ever been caught without a tent while backpacking?

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

Green Dreams – Mt. Whitney Abrstract Reflection

June 19, 2012

Mt Whitney abstact reflection

Abstract reflection of Mt Whitney in a high elevation tarn above the tree line in the John Muir Wilderness.

What I liked about this viewpoint is you have one the Sierra’s most famous icons but it’s so different from just looking at it from highway 395 or the Alabama Hills. We are creative photographers right? We can come up with a new view right? We don’t have a list of photos we intend to copy or slightly twist to call our own idea, do we? Sometimes we just stand in a place where we fall into deep thought… .

The sky is so heavy and full of rocks in the scene it’s hard to make out what is correct if the scene is real? You can stand underneath these California Sky Scrapers and feel the rise from the bottom. I couldn’t imagine climbing up the face of one of those peaks but who knows maybe someday.. . You can almost make out the East Buttress or the East Face. I didn’t take either one of those routes, instead I took the mountaineer’s route up to the top which only involved a 500ft section of some mixed class 3 and 4 climbing. I’ve been yet to try any alpine class 5 yet but my friends are pushing me to do it. I had the chance to speak to a free soloist at the campsites, an older man http://www.sierenphotography.com/photos/i-976cBDx/0/M/i-976cBDx-M.jpg from Canada. He gave me thoughts on how to improve my climbing just by breathing consciously but he also gave me the impression that there was no other place he’d rather be but in the Sierra where the mountains are much warmer then Canada. It likely to be the last place he will ever lays eyes on. (I took that photo so it’s not me in the photo). The guy is actually chatting with my friends who are very small in this picture somewhere. . .

I really enjoy any challenge I can handle with preparation. For the most part I love photography and little climbing here and there keeps me on my toes and fingers.

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


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