Posts Tagged ‘photography’

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

Fake Sky Landscape Photography

July 14, 2013

Fake Sky Landscape Photography

After watching this video – http://youtu.be/XrgxQzHhBl0?t=58m30s

Never had a day where there wasn’t a fabulous sunset and the moon appeared where ever or as big as I wanted it to be ….

Briefly at 58 minutes 30 seconds into the video the photographer states, “I was on vacation and I’m never coming back so I’ll just add clouds to the scene.” The video link is set to start right at that point.

To clear up questions this is a composite, the clouds were not there that morning at Fin Dome in the Sierra. I do not mention that I’m a documentary photographer in my bio but all shots I take have a RAW file or series of RAW files to match the scene or at least show the path I took in editing so I don’t share any images that don’t match up between sky and land other then bracketing beyond the dynamic range of a single image. No Delicate Arch photos from a Friday evening with a sunset from the porch here in Los Angeles on Tuesday. This is just my own personal belief that will vary from other landscape photographers sharing on social media.

Ansel Adams was known for heavily manipulating his captured film but he did not add a new sky from another time and place. If someone wanted to purchase the photo above or I shared it I WOULD SAY IT THE SKY WAS FROM ANOTHER DAY ADDED IN PHOTOSHOP. I couldn’t sell it or share it any other way.

Has landscape photography changed since the days of Ansel Adams?

This is not an anti art post, I love creating art

Example http://bit.ly/10URZO5

A few photographers I know that are really good at creating similar art photographs that I love to see are Klaus Priebe and Rich Martinez. They post some very interesting composites that just make you wonder how their imagination works. The art photographs that they create need no explanation or disclosure it’s in the work as you see it. I recommend friending or following these two guys because they do have some excellent work!!

Beliefs are highly varied when it comes to editing as to what people do and what they do not do. Should people have limits? No! Definitely not! An artist should do exactly what they feel helps them express their art in the way they see most fit. Art has no limits. If you feel you can’t compete with other photographers because they composite much better then you do then I recommend taking lots of graphic artist classes or watch many tutorials to get you up to speed with the people you want to compete with. Either way if you work as an artist or a photographer it will help you. Just make sure you put in the 1,000’s of hour of practice and you will see much improvement.

Merely looking for opinions on adding skies to images depicted as the way it was.

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

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

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

Dealing with Lens Flare in Back Lit Scenes

December 29, 2011

Back lit Cholla cactus in the Maricopa Mountain Wilderness section of the Sonoran Desert National Monument
Maricopa Mountain Wilderness, Sonoran Desert, Arizona

Flare was the hardest thing to control when shooting this back lit desert scene. If you can control the lens flare you’ll get some very dramatic results. If you don’t block the flare you will lose much of the saturation and contrast that initially drew you to photograph the scene. As if you were looking through a pair old and dirty reading glasses. Since this shot has a higher percentage of shadows and minimal high lights it fooled the meter reading into thinking it needed to over expose the scene. I under exposed this scene but kept the high lights from overexposing on the histogram. Then pulled detail out of the shadows with a few layer adjustments and masks. Only a little detail was brought back to keep the stark contrast between light and shadow. Most cameras have a blinking highlight indicator you can use but sometimes that isn’t enough. Even if the highlights are not blinking, the percentage may be to small to blink, you may not be able to recover all the highlights that have been over exposed so be sure to check your histogram.

Here is a what the scene looked with the lens hood and hand to block out some of the flare.

The same scene with out blocking all of the lens flare.

Of course there are many other methods of blocking the sun.. .

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

Half Dome’s North Face

November 20, 2011

Half Dome's North Face from Olmstead Point

Half Dome is no doubt the most heavily photographed icon in Yosemite Valley. It can be seen from so many vantage points through out the national park. This particular view is photographed very often and has a popular pull out parking called Olmstead Point. You’ll find many photographers and families shooting portraits up there. For us landscape photographers wanting the good light we can get a great view of Half Dome’s North Face from here. In this photograph it’s late light in the afternoon hitting the face of the icon with enough mixture of light and shadows to give it a three dimensional effect. Olmstead Point is located off highway 120 also known as the Tioga Pass road, it’s high elevation makes it’s easy access only available in the very late, early fall and summer months. In the winter you’ll need to snowshoe or cross country ski to access it, there is at least on company out there that will help you if you’re coming up from the bottom of the Tioga Pass on the East Side of the Sierra during winter.

Marmot at Olmstead Point Yosemite

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

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


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