Posts Tagged ‘fine art’

Fall Color in Southern California December 2013

December 19, 2013

Fall Color in Southern California December 2013

For anyone interested in autumn color in Southern California right now 12/18/2013, you can easily find it in just about any creek below a 1,000 ft elevation. Creeks with some flow will have more vibrant trees, sycamore trees vary in color from gold to bright rusty reds. Even a dull tree can become illuminated by backlight so you be surprised what you’ll find close to home. Some of the creeks that are known to more water then others may still be green such as many of the springs in the local mountains.

The creek shown here is located in the Front Range of the San Gabriel Mountains near Santa Clarita, California. Just how long will these colorful leaves stay on the trees? It really depends and can change from one canyon to the next. Temperature, exposure to wind, and the amount of water are big factors of how long the leaves linger into January. There are too many canyons to name in Southern California so I encourage you to keep an eye out as drive through any canyons or going out exploring for local gems you never really knew about!!

Lone Cottonwood at Zion National Park

November 27, 2012

Virgin River Cotton at Zion National Park

Every year at Zion you find a tree that has changed color, this is this year’s tree. I’d ask if you guys were sick of seeing photos from Zion but this isn’t one of those icons that you’ve seen a thousand times before… This lone cottonwood tree stands all by itself next to this emerald river in Zion National Park. Per request, this photo can be deleted and replaced with a bridge shot of the watchman!

See it larger here.

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

Awareness

November 12, 2012

Canyon juction in Zion National Park

Do you ever notice when you’re out there taking pictures your level of awareness fluctuates?

It would be egotistical if if I said I’m aware 100% of the time when the camera is in hand, regardless of high end camera or Iphone. A person’s awareness fluctuates most of the time otherwise we wouldn’t have car accidents or a broken camera here and there, had a few occasions of both myself! I’ve past this scene so many times before and standing in this spot looking through the viewfinder wouldn’t show me this scene the way it’s being displayed on the screen. First you have the idea come to you at some point in time, either at the moment you’re there, or before or after. This isn’t one of the checklist shots where photographers gather and point the camera in certain general directions. It’s an idea that came to me just like every other photographer gets ideas. The idea was worked until everything that didn’t relate was excluded. Connect with your ideas until you are fully satisfied!

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 Arch in the Mojave Desert

July 11, 2012

New arch in the Mojave Desert

A small arch in Red Rock Canyon State Park, California. This small overlooks the Mojave Desert from the cliffs above the desert floor. A clearing storm brings soft light to the El Paso Mountain Range in the background. This was only a little over an hour drive from the Northern Los Angeles area. There are plenty of arches that haven’t been photographed yet, so for the curious keep exploring.. .

See it larger here.

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

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

American Galapagos Sunset

February 14, 2012

Channel Island National Park Seascape Image

American Galapagos Sunset – Channel Island National Park

Okay you got me it’s not the Galapagos Islands (I wish) but we like to refer to California’s Channel Islands as the American Galapagos because of their abundant variety of endemic species and plentiful sea life. It’s most certainly beautiful out there!

You can see the path of wind of in the distance. It’s partial evidence of how these high coastal sea cliffs are shaped.

The Channel Islands are some of the most beautiful islands on the West Coast. If you ever get a chance to see them it’s worth while. The weather is not the same compared to the mainland. You can be covered in fog while everyone is out on the beach back in Los Angeles.

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

Triple Arch at Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

December 8, 2011

Triple Arch at Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada

Triple Arch at Valley of Fire

I’ve been sharing a few arch photographs on the internet from the Valley of Fire, well here are a few more to add to the series, “The Land of Little Arches”. Years ago my parents used to live out in Colorado Springs, CO so I’d have a great time looking at a map and trying to figure out how long I could make the trip getting there, the average amount of time getting there was 3 to 4 days and same thing with the way back so I’d visit some fantastic places of the Southwest & Rocky Mountains in good light and scout out a few others in the harsher hours of the day. Unless I could find some kind of canyon full of shade or canyon light then I’d just be there for hours with out a time limit.

Some of you may wonder how decisions are made on what to photograph. Some photographers use a book or a guide, sometimes GPS coordinates. This gives them a little bit of certainty and eliminates some of the risks of taking a possibly bad photograph and not coming home with anything. Of course no one can control the light and weather but some photographers are good at adapting to it so this increases their certainty of pulling off a great photograph such as the one they want to duplicate or hopefully improve upon and later submit to a contest for some kind of validation or just share it with friends. Is this true or not true?

A valley view of the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada

I love to drive down a road and just look for interesting backdrops such as desert mountains or large rock formations. Especially something I haven’t seen shot over and over again. I might have to spend a little more time being out there exploring but the payoff to me is well worth it. It really helps one’s creativity when you are working with something you can’t duplicate. I guess you could compare it to visiting restaurants when traveling, do you judge the place by it’s exterior or look up the reviews online at home or smart phone, personally I don’t care, if I see a BBQ house that looks like shit I immediately think “I’m going in to find out what it’s like”. I’ve had good and bad experiences this way, an eatery known for it’s margaritas called the Loop in the town of Manitou Springs, CO. The margaritas were great but I like spicy food so I ordered “The Plate from Hell”. Let’s just leave it at the plate defeated me, but the experiences from the road are part of what motivate me to keep going.

Photographers often fly to Vegas to visit the Crown Jewels of the Southwest, places such as Bryce Canyon, Zion, and the Grand Canyon. Collect a few images and be gone. They may see Valley of Fire on the map and think I’ll visit sometime and some stop by shoot the Fire Wave, Fire Cave (Windstone Arch), Elephant Rock, and Atlai Rock then check it off the list and say been there done that. Valley of Fire and Lake Mead are so full of photographic opportunities I often found it hard to leave. Even during fun trips to Las Vegas with my friends during the summer I’d find some time sneak off and explore a few canyons here and there. The heat alone was enough to kill me and my water had to be frozen solid before any hikes began. There were many finds in bad light that require more trips into the desert to wait for the good light! As landscape photographers it helps to live in a place where we can be close to beautiful locations we can photograph only minutes away and Las Vegas has no shortage for the icon hunter or the explorer.

See more Valley of Fire images here or find workshop info here.

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


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,488 other followers