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on Feb 9, 2017 in Landscape Photography

The Whites

When a storm breaks in the Sierra, it’s a gorgeous thing! The question is, where to the point the lens. The moon made it a pretty simple answer. I grabbed the D5 / 70-200f4 AFS and made the click above. I liked it but it just didn’t seem complete. Then I took a simple two image pano putting the moon dead center (below) and I knew it that was the answer. It was easy after that, Photoshop to make the pano and Luminar for the B&W. I love it when making the story is so...

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on Jan 13, 2017 in Landscape Photography

Height of the Storm

Ever since Saturday, we’ve been in the grip of a pretty big winter storm here in the Sierra. There are times, like when the drive has just been cleared of snow and a big dump of new snow covers it, that we mumble about the storm. But then there are moments like what you see here that we really treasure being able to be amongst the clouds. Making the photos simply required being out in the elements waiting for the right moment to go click. Shooting with my favorite, D5 / 24-70VR, I ventured out when I saw the wind gauge on our wx station hit 20mph. Why that wind? Well with the nice powder that was falling, I new that with that wind, it would be blowing about dramatically. That drama in the blowing snow and being backlit is what makes the intensity in the storm come to life. Once the combo comes to life in the viewfinder, I make the click. Then I came back into the...

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on Dec 27, 2016 in Landscape Photography

Can Winter Be Warm?

Winter has the instant feeling of being cold. In large part because when people see snow, they think cold. Add to this the normal preponderance of the color of blue, and folks just feel cold looking at a snow covered landscape. Now if you want that cold feeling to come through (misery likes company, right?) than that’s good. But what if you what folks to feel the warmth of the sun on that cold day? It’s really easy to do, especially if you get up to greet the sun. You just need the smallest amount of that warm color (yellow/orange) in your frame and folks will feel the warmth. The trick? You’ve gotta know light and white balance. You’ve got to get it right in the camera to start with and then finish it accordingly in post. I’ve used two examples here of what I’m talking about. Just remember, it’s all about light and emotion, so along with WB has to be exposure to tell a story the viewer...

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on Dec 20, 2016 in Landscape Photography

Ice and Sun

Like most right now, we’ve been experiencing low temps of late. And we had a weird ice storm with our last snow storm. So the combo has created some great icicles. Well when I took Sadie out to decorate the snow at sunrise, I was greeted by this simple yet gorgeous view. The D5 / 70-180 macro were right there so I made a quick and simple click. Good thing, twenty minutes later and the icicles were...

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on Dec 16, 2016 in Landscape Photography

The Season of B&W …. White!

It’s not rocket science, it’s winter and with winter comes snow. What we affectionately call, the white stuff. That abundance of the white stuff is our hint to think B&W when we’re shooting our landscapes. The trick? Use the white to support the other elements in the frame and not make white THE element in the frame. Even if the subject is the snow, keep in mind that the other elements in the frame are what say it’s snow, the white stuff. This means having detail in all the snow is not required to say it’s snow. Let the imagination fill in the blanks and your landscapes, your B&W, your snow will be visually stronger. Oh ya, remember to dress warmly...

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on Nov 26, 2016 in Landscape Photography

Heat Shimmer … Good?

Heat shimmer especially with long glass can cause a real issue with sharpness. But isn’t there times when we want to limit sharpness? First thing that comes to mind is DoF, something we use very mechanically to limit the focus to help tell the story. So why then couldn’t heat shimmer do the same thing? Here, the Very Large Array, those dishes way in the distance are blurred out by the heat shimmer. But do you need to see them sharply to know they are there? Doesn’t it add mystery to this mysterious place with them being out of focus, kinda “out of this world” mystery? So shooting D5 / 800mm / TC-14eIII then not only compacts the three miles of track, but brings into play the heat shimmer to finish the storytelling. Just a...

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