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on Mar 9, 2016 in Landscape Photography

Last Days of Winter

Next fall I’ll look through my files of the images I took this winter looking for inspiration and I know I’ll say, “Why didn’t I get out and shoot more?!” I know already I didn’t shoot enough of the birds at the office this winter and I’ll regret that. My gut tells me I didn’t get out and brave the wx enough and shoot the magnificent landscape right out my front door. So all I want to do is enlighten to the mistakes I know I’ve made this winter so in these last days, you might not make the same. I was fortunate enough to spend a grand week in Yellowstone in January and was able to scratch one off the bucket list, shoot at West Thumb in winter. That hint of color in the white landscape is something I love to do. Shooting the 18-35AFS, in the cold to capture the steam, in the overcast to create a monochromatic landscape, with a sweeping view, is one winter scene...

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on Feb 2, 2016 in Landscape Photography

Hoar Frost Heaven

With greeting the sun comes surprises and photographically, always something fun to work. In the 21 degree fog of Fargo, Hoar Frost blanked the landscape. Chuck had never, ever, never, seen Hoar frost let alone photographed it! His head was spinning and spinning and it wasn’t from the Clover coffee and Starbucks, so off we went looking for great examples to photograph before he jumped on his flight home. What really made this location so sweet was the light on the horizon. The sun was up and hidden in the overcast but there was a stripe of light still with the morning glow. That stripe of light sets the mood and being yellow, makes the white that much visually white. The last element to setting off the hoar frost were the dark tree trunks. The shooting was simple, D4s / 70-200f4 AFS and the finishing was ACR, Nik Pro Contrast, Tonal Contrast and Detail Extractor. And Chuck, he was all smiles when he boarded his flight. Can’t ask more...

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on Feb 1, 2016 in Landscape Photography

Trees in the Fog

It was like a syfy movie, one moment blue skies and the next a dark, ominous fog rolled in and covered the landscape. At first, it kinda put a blanket on our fun but then we started to drive about looking for targets of opportunity. There are rows of trees between the large plots with most not having any real character, just serving their roll as wind breaks. This particular row though with its shape and the fog caught our imagination so we stopped. The photos came easily, the top photo taken with the 24-70VR and the bottom taken with the 70-200f4AFS. The finishing is right out of ACR, even easier. I really love these kinds of photos and simply don’t get the opportunity enough to make...

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on Jan 21, 2016 in Landscape Photography

Let It Snow!

Simply put, I love the white stuff! I realize at the same time that not everyone shares the same passion for snow, that being cold thing. With that in mind, I’m always looking for photographic opportunities where I can give the viewer the feeling of snow without them having to get cold. Whenever it’s actually snowing, the flakes are falling, my mind turns to this challenge. On our adventure in Yellowstone last week, had a number of opportunities to explore this challenge and one time in Hayden Valley was the best! What were the conditions that made it great? The first was the light which is always essential. The light was sidelight and spotty which means it was playing dodgeball with the clouds. Next, the clouds themselves were dark and ominous in the west. This combo, the light on the white snow and the dark cloud in the background provided the contrast to see the snow in the photo. Lastly, the snowflakes themselves were large and blowin pretty hard....

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on Jan 20, 2016 in Landscape Photography

The Explosion!

The vast underground plumbing at Yellowstone provides a lifetime of fascination watching it in action. The geysers, something like 1400 strong, have a life of their own, each being very unique based on hydrology, geology and ologies over my pay grade. But that doesn’t stop my watching them in amazement as they put on their shows. One of the reasons why I love being in Yellowstone in the winter and want it cold is because the geyser steam takes on a life of its own once caught in the wind. You take that and add great light and skies, and the photographic possibilities are really limitless! How to tell this story of site and sound in a still image? The first thing I think is key is the light. I prefer sidelight and a little diffused. Too diffused and the ripples in the steam cloud are lost. Too strong and the same thing, the shades of gray are lost. It’s the shades of gray the help give texture and...

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on Jan 18, 2016 in Landscape Photography

Silence of Snow

I’m back at home watching the snowfall after an amazing week in what is truly a winter wonderland, Yellowstone NP. Most go there for the critters which is understandable. Personally, I love being in Hayden Valley which, while it can have critters, it’s its vast expanse of white that grabs my imagination. The snow blows in from the west and blankets the landscape in white, molding and sculpting the hills and valleys, the creeks and draws into seductive forms and shapes the wind howls through in an unique call of the wild. That chill of the wind bites at your cheeks and numbs the finger making the whole experience personal and very real. It tells you that you’re alive and witnessing Mother Nature at her finiest. We had the opportunity to shoot in Hayden twice when the sky added the needed backdrop of speak of the drama. For me, just any old sky doesn’t work for this white sculptures. Nor does any old finishing, here one is in color...

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