Posts Tagged ‘Eastern Sierra’

Change of Perspective

October 7, 2013

Image

 

A slightly different perspective on the Owens River

How often do you make it a point to find a different perspective while out photographing the usual places???

If you put yourself in an unusual place then that problem disappears.. .

 

“Lone Tree Bend”

http://www.EasternSierraPhoto.com

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

New Take on Mt Whitney

December 9, 2011

Icey reflecion of Mt Whitney covered in alpen glow in the high country of the Eastern Sierra.

Icey reflection of Mt. Whitney covered in alpen glow in the high country of the Eastern Sierra

As a creative goal I attempt to create unique photographs so if anyone would like to help find a similar photograph please send me a link because I couldn’t find one. It’s give me a reason to go back again! Thanks for viewing folks!

I’ll talk more on the experience up there in a later post, thanks for reading and viewing.

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

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

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

California Skies

April 12, 2011

Mono Lake's South Tufa at dawn.

Here’s a shot from the Eastern Sierra Death Valley Experience Workshop that I lead last month in March. There wasn’t much for clouds that morning Mono Lake just a few on the horizon so I used a mid range lens to fill the frame with what I found interesting. It was a weekday but there was still quite a few people on the shoreline so we were mainly shooting into the water to avoid the crowd. Some people might consider a lack of clouds or shooting crowded place a bad idea but you can always make something out of it and have a great time while photographing.

You might be surprised at many landscape photographers need clouds or will not take a shot. I’ve seen some throw fits, throw things and curse at the sky. Being from Southern California, I do not mind it one bit and am very used to it. You don’t need the sky, you can just minimize interesting subjects in the scene you are photographing. It’s best to take advantage of time out there and excercise your eye. In the shot here the colorful band on the horizon is interesting but it merely just background decoration.

During post processing I desaturated the cyans along with a few other color during the process to match my taste. This kept the color managed to avoid a garished look and feel. I also had to make adjustments for the polarization in certain parts of the image. It’s a single exposure since there was enough information on the histogram.

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

The Power of Subject

March 26, 2011

Mobius Arch in the Alabama Hills with a dusting of snow.

During my Death Valley Eastern Sierra Experience Workshop I was taking some candid shots of the participants while they were in their moments of shooting the light at it’s peak. In the first image the arch is the main subject and in the second image it’s the photographer and what he is doing. I noticed the 2nd image to be even more powerful then the first and with a little bit of patience I was able to capture both images.

A photographer photographing Mobius Arch in the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, California.

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

Catching a Rainbow

October 22, 2010

Sometimes rain will send us running for cover but sometimes we seem to enjoy it.

Most of the time we see a rainbow we are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Eventually we will be in the right place at the right time. When the sun light is coming from behind your camera while it’s raining overhead you’re chances of catching a rainbow are a lot better. Of course if don’t mind getting wet your luck could pay off.

Fall Color Photo Tips; Part 1

September 23, 2010

A few tips and ideas to keep in mind.

Backlighting can be the most dramatic light for fall color.

• Back lighting can be the most dramatic light for fall color scenes and you can capture it all in one exposure most of the time as seen here. Backlit foliage can make some of the dullest pop. Next time you see a colorful tree take a walk around it and see how the vibrancy and glow of leaves change as you walk around the tree. In the image above I decided to angle the camera so I could pick up a hint of side lighting for the shadows on the trunks which added depth to the mostly backlit subject.

Singling out a set of trees against a contrasting backdrop can improve your composition.

• Singling out a set of trees against a contrasting backdrop can improve your composition. Look for patterns to lead your viewers into your scene. In the image above, the partially submerged rounded stones and the diagonal lines created by the moving water were used a two lead ins from both corners of the scene. These lead ins pull the viewer into the simplified middle ground and background.

You can simplify your composition by finding shapes and patterns

• The majority of landscape photography is shot in the golden hour and sunset sunrise light, but fall foliage photography is done all kinds of light. How many times have stood in the bottom of a canyon near the middelo fthe day and noticed one minute you were in shade and the next minute you were in full sun. You can point the camera straight up into the sky in the middle of the day. This image was photographed at noon, you can photograph autumn scenery all day long so make sure you have enough batteries to keep you out from twilight to twilight.

Autumn in Los Angeles

Don't knock your local fall color it can surprise even the best of photographers!

• Don’t knock your local fall color it can surprise even the best of photographers! I would be pretty upset if I missed out on this place that is only 15 minutes from my home. Try finding a creek full of trees close to your home and practice there before you make that long trip and spend all that money on airline tickets, car rentals and gasoline. A little knowledge might be worth more then cost of a trip.

Part II : Fall Color Photo Tips

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 167 other followers