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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

“Seeing”

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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on Oct 15, 2015 in Landscape Photography

St Elmo a Blaze!

When in the Rockies a week back, at Cripple Creek, we decided to take a road trip to St Elmo, CO. It’s a “ghost town” that’s nearly 10,000 feet in altitude. We’d never been there but long on the bucket list of locales to explore with our camera. The key was to be there in fall when the valley it’s nestled in comes to life with color. After the two hour ride, we arrived and I can honestly say, it did not disappoint! As you can see from the photos, we hit the fall color at the exact right time. That was huge as it really made every turn a great photo opp. St Elmo has a very free and western lifestyle which translates to everyone is friendly until you cross the line. We had a grand time walking the streets with all the other tourists who venture up into the hills to see the sites. The General Store which is the heart of the tourism closed the next...

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on Oct 12, 2015 in B&W Photography, Landscape Photography

Alaska B&W

Our first day in Alaska found what most consider as normal Alaska weather, rain. It wasn’t that bad but it was heavy enough to preclude hiking up in the mountains to look for Moose. While not perfect for Moose, it was for landscape photography, especially B&W photography. The wet rock and earth made it real simple to find those clean blacks I want in my B&W photos. I then turned to the skies to find the rest of the tones I what to make up a B&W photo. One thing I want to bring your attention to is that I use Dehaze in all of these images to bring out the character in the clouds. How did Dehaze work in these conditions? I worked really well but the technical side I’ll share this week in a video where you can easily see it in action. Hopefully these photos bring to life the big world that is Alaska because it really is magical, Alaska Black &...

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