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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 Feb 1, 2016 in B&W Photography

The ‘Ol Farm

Had a marvelous week up in Minnesota with some great folks enjoying new territory for me. Cruising the countryside, we meet some more nice folks and saw some really cool pieces of Americana. Originally when we stopped for this photo I was seeing it in color but as we shot I went from long lens to short and from full sun to partial. After I switched to the 24-70VR, the sun went behind the clouds and that combination changed my mind from color to B&W. What changed is the play of whites from the foreground and the sky when the cloud came. It sounds likes a simple thing but it’s all it took for my mind to see this in color and then B&W. It’s a small thing but it’s the little details that make all the...

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on Jan 26, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

Winter Heat Shimmer

Most think of heat shimmer as a summer issue when in reality, it can happen anytime. The last place folks think heat shimmer might occur is in winter and with snow on the ground. What you have here are two images, soft images because of heat shimmer. The top image is the most common example of heat shimmer issues, a photo that you know should be tack sharp but simply isn’t. The bottom photo if you look at the elements behind the Coyote, you will see a “shimmer” in them, elements not sharp but lines are just not straight. Both were taken with the 800mm / TC-14eIII with the subject across an expanse of snow. There is only one way I know of dealing with heat shimmer when it occurs, wind. When there is a breeze heat shimmer disappears. So in this case I watched the grasses around the Coyote and when I saw them moving in the breeze, I would shoot. And when I saw the grasses still,...

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on Jan 22, 2016 in Wildlife Photography

Half An Hour Later

We’d past it some time back on the road, a bunch of vehicles had gone by the coyote, it just kept on trotting down the road. Along the Firehole River in Yellowstone, the groomed road the NPS maintains is a highway for critters as much as folks because it’s easy walking for them. This individual seemed very much on a mission so we went passed it and up towards Fountain Pots and began photographing the steam on the landscape. We shot with the wide lenses (24-70VR) and pulled out the really long lenses (800mm) and even drank some coffee. We spent some time just taking in the gorgeous view! Then we saw the coyotes make the bend in the road still walking on the road and coming our direction. Then the wait began. Where we were parked in a pullout that was alongside a massive meadow so figured the Coyote would leave the road and start across it to go hunting. It did for a short moment and then...

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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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