Posts Tagged ‘peaks’

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.

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Visualization Before a Trip Into the Mountains

August 9, 2011

Light and Shadow Sketch Sierra Nevada Peaks and Lakes
┬ęSteve Sieren 2011, all work in this blog is copyrighted and may not be used in other blogs with out my written permission.

I sketched out my Plan A idea as shown here. I knew getting up to this spot would take a lot of effort for just a one night trip and I didn’t have the extra amount of energy to climb the 800 ft up the ridge at 2 or 3am in the morning so there’s always next time. I had a plan B shot that turned out to be great but I’d rather spend the extra efforts in getting something not photographed yet. Of course it would of been a lot easier to photograph the lake that I rolled out of bed next to. Instead we walked a few lakes over for a more dominant peak to photograph that was just slightly out of view from our campsite. I pretty much had to trust my photographer friend Floris van Breugel who researched a great spot for sunset and vice versa for my sunrise options, anyhow the place was great for multiple options at both sunrise and sunset.

In California we don’t always have clouds so we learn to shoot with out them, it’s part of the plan. The location in the sketch was removed in photoshop because I don’t broadcast exact locations. The wilderness is too big to have us all flock to one certain place.

Plan B location

Diamond of Sierra Nevada

Visualization is only small bit of what goes into creating great photographs and you’ll find many other options along the trail, near the trailhead and at camp or off in the distance. I have come across many photographic opportunities that I’ve made mental notes of planning on coming back to photograph but in time I forget about many of them. For example I came across an interesting sea arch along the Central Coast of California and completely forgot about until I visited the area again and saw it. I really thought how could I forget about such a great opportunity? In long the run it will help you to keep all of your ideas written down during or at just after a trip. This really helps a photographer keep their views a little fresher in the landscape photography market.

Peaks next to camp.

A quickly composed photograph on the short dawn hike to another lake before sunrise.

An elevated view into the Earth's Shadow from high in the Sierra

An elevated view into the Earth’s Shadow from high in the Sierra Nevada.

Elements of Design - Sierra Nevada Mountains

You can’t always count on colorful fiery clouds at sunset or sunrise in the Sierra Nevada so you’ll find if you practice on working with design of elements under the sky you’ll soon realize you don’t need the sky at all.

I simplified the scene here by making the peak and the grass tussock dominate most of the frame.

I use visualization to maximize what I take home, some of the images were edited years apart but were all photographed within 10 hours of each other in the same one night trip into the mountains. Visualization is a great tool to take advantage of during short trips where you spending a great deal of effort to get to these far out of reach places. It also helps in so many other forms of photography and other aspects of everyday life.

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