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on Nov 4, 2015 in Landscape Photography

Seeing the Trees from the Woods

While fall color is on its way out, I pose this question to give you a year to think of YOUR right answer. I do love saying, “less is more” and in this instance, it might give way to a better photograph. I shot all three images with a Df / 24-70AFS and used my favorite tool, my feet to change the photograph. But before you move your feet or change your lenses, you gotta answer the question, “can you see the trees from the woods?” What are the factors that might help you answer this question? For me, it’s the light, that’s the biggest factor. With fall color, you have the “color” that sucks the viewer into your photograph. Be it yellow, red or a combination thereof, those colors help the mind’s eye see into the frame and travel about. Next then are all the vertical lines, the trunks. Light does help here but what if there is no magical beam of light, how does the eye move...

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on Nov 3, 2015 in Landscape Photography

It’s Here!

Ya baby, it snowed! Only 5″ so far but that means the fire danger is reduced for the moment and that’s huge. It also means our Beagle needs more outside time, she loves the snow. More importantly, I get to photograph birds in the snow again. I used the opportunity to take the 24-70VR out in the inclement weather to see how it would do. It was only 36 degrees, pretty warm, but it had no effect on its operation. It got plenty of snow on it, no effect either. I know for some it’s too early to be seeing or dealing with snow but for drought ridden California, it’s good timing. Let it...

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on Oct 30, 2015 in Landscape Photography

Greeting the Sun

I have a well earned reputation, I love greeting the sun each day! Ya, this means getting up early but the rewards out weigh the pain (and afternoon naps feel so good!). On our recent visit to Bryce, we greeted the sun each day and while some days were not as spectacular as others, just listening to the world come to life as the birds sing and the deer stroll, makes each and everyone one a celebration for the soul. And those mornings when we did see the sun, it didn’t disappoint! Shooting is really rather simple. Armed with the D750 / 14-24AFS and closing the lens down to f/22, all one had to do was look and click. The first thing you might be asking is, “what about exposure?” Well, I’m “pinching” the sun to increase the starburst at the same time, minimizing its brightness lowering the range of light, slightly. So I dial in -1.7, shooting Landscape Tone Curve and then simply finish in ACR. I run...

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on Oct 28, 2015 in Landscape Photography


The breeze is cool, the ground is moist and the clouds have rolled in. You’re standing on the rim of Bryce Canyon and what you see above is what your eyes and senses are delivering to you mind and heart … You insert your best settings into the camera and go click and the camera’s LCD delivers you what you see above. What went wrong? Actually, nothing! The image you see above came directly from the image below and the image below is exactly what I wanted to capture. Shot with the D750 / 24-70AFS, it’s kinda a simple click (processed ACR / Nik). One of the keys to photography in the digital age is understanding all our cameras can and cannot do, capture, communicate. At the same time, understand all our digital darkroom, can and cannot do, translate and communicate. You start with understanding that there is a computer we’re working with and computers like data. Our cameras have the biggest sample base in collecting data with the...

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on Oct 22, 2015 in Landscape Photography

Fall Color WB

Fall color has a mental, emotional, romantic value to it that centers around color. This comes from the combination of the color of the leaves and the color of the light in fall. Personally, I love the quality of the light in the fall of all light during the year. So when you go to take your fall color, often the “fall” value of the light is not considered in the fall color photograph. Light is considered but not the natural warmth the light has as the sun heads north. I put these images up to illustrate my thought. The top photo uses the WB the camera assigned to the photo. This is what it says the WB was using AWB, the camera assigning 4265k to the scene. You can see the blue content in the photo making the trunks whiter and colors colder. The bottom photo was shot with the WB in the camera set to Cloudy, or 6000k. You can now see the fall light warmth in...

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on Oct 19, 2015 in Landscape Photography

Reflecting on Reflections

Reflections, there is this thing with reflections and photographers that they just have to incorporate them even if the photo still sucks. Yes, I said sucks. Reflections are beautiful but that knowledge doesn’t make a photograph with reflections automatically beautifully. I’m not suggesting what you see here as beautiful or as suckie, but rather just photographs to talk about a couple of points. For the record, I like this reflection, both versions. Reflections obvious reflect some object. In this discussion we have reality and perceptions, reality is the object and perceptions are the reflections. The most common question I ask when I see reflection photos is, “which has the better exposure, the reality or the perception?” Typically its the perception because water, what creates the reflection, automatically sucks up one stop of light. That generally gives the perception the better exposure. The better exposure brings out better colors and blacks. So, in this scenario as I was being lazy, I used a split grad in post to make the...

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