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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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on Sep 29, 2015 in Landscape Photography

Simply Overwhelming!

Yep, the amount, variety, intensity and quantity of fall color we experienced this last week in Cripple Creek, CO was simply … overwhelming! As I kept saying to Sharon the whole time, while we’ve got great fall color in the Eastern Sierra, we don’t have any of the grand vistas of slope after slope blazing yellow like we experienced in CO. It was truly hard at times to narrow your vision down to just the viewfinder because no matter the lens in use, you couldn’t take it all in. And you wanted to take in this blaze of color! But for us photographers, put our eyes to the viewfinder we must. These three photos along with a lot of what I shot this past week was with the Df / 80-400VR3 and for a very simple reason. The overwhelming vistas we experienced often didn’t translate perfectly into the viewfinder with a lens like the 24-70AFS. I did use that lens a lot, but not nearly as much as the...

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on Sep 25, 2015 in Landscape Photography

Struck Colorado Gold

It’s just … gorgeous! We’re here in Cripple Creek, CO just a tad before peak fall color and it’s truly spectacular! The right combination of water and temperature has been right cause the landscape is celebrating the end of summer and the start of fall in grand fashion. So far we’ve been working almost within walking distance of of where we’re staying (the magnificent Carr Manor) there is just so much to see and work with. We have just begun our explorations for the week and we’ve struck gold! One of the truly fun things once you have found great fall color is then exploring it photographically. One of the key things I personally do is always include some element(s) in the frame. That’s because the mind’s eye sees that green and then by association makes the yellow much more vibrant. By doing a number of basic in camera basics like this, you have to depend on far fewer in post (like the saturation slider which I never use)...

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on Sep 18, 2015 in Landscape Photography

It’s Fall Time

This past weekend in the Eastern Sierra, the calendar turned a page and fall descended upon the region. There is now that chill in the air in the morning that lingers once the sun rises making one seek its light and warmth. Critters seem to take an extra minute to sleep in, rising only once they can take advantage of the mellow light to remove the nights chill. The Aspens in the meadow have just one or two yellow leaves. And the light itself, it’s turned the corner so even at noon, it wraps around all it touches so even the shadows seem inviting. This past weekend it all came together in one visual poem saying fall is in the works. If there is a time of the year I look forward to more than any other at home, it’s now, fall. It’s hard to stay focused, itching to get out and walk amongst the trees and watch the small critters as they go at panic speed to store...

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