Reflecting on New Hampshire Color

Willey’s Pond captured by Z 6II / Z105mc

The White Mountains of New Hampshire are about to all go ablaze with fall color! I’m there right now and in the last 48hours, the color has ignited!!! This is reflection is just a small hint of the spectacular show. Nothing really tricky about the shot, include no shore, a tad of wind to give the reflection a base, shot in Vivid and right out of the camera to here. I Gotta run, that color is changing fast and I don’t want to miss a leaf!!!!

The Snap has Snapped

Miranda Aspens, NM captured by Z 6II / Z24-70f2.8

I was taught long ago that great fall color comes from a wet spring and a sudden cold snap in the fall. While we didn’t have a real wet spring, the temp was 28 this morning and that has set the clocking ticking. Fall color has begun here in the Bitterroots so it’s time to head out and get me some!
I have two approaches I like to start with when photographing fall color, long and short. I like shooting with the Z70-200f2.8 & Z24-70f2.8 from “outside” the color looking in. I look for a green background for the fall color which makes it pop. I underexpose to saturate the color. And I use a polarizer, rotating it so the majority of the leaves have the blue reflection from the sky removed.
Then I love to move right into a grove of fall color with the Z14-24 and simply lookup. I prefer says when there are whispy clouds and look for a pattern in them to place the fall color against. Well, nough said, time to grab the camera and head out, the clock is ticking, the snap has snapped!

Where’s the Light?!

Philmont Training Center captured by Z6II / Z24-70f2.8

04:45 as I headed to the truck, I can see the moon play hide and seek in the clouds. That’s exactly the clouds I wanted for sunrise. Once on the knoll, the faint glow on the horizon told me the sun was coming, but now the clouds had slid east past the horizon. Would we see the light?

To bring The Ranch to you, I shot a five vertical image pano, handheld and assembled quickly in ACR. The scene I shot though was much different. What you see is my response to the view and not actually the view. I want you to fall into this vast and beautiful place. The overcast which prevented the sun from bringing a glow never shinned. So I brought the light into the scene in post. If I hadn’t told you, I don’t think you would have known. I just want you to feel the warmth and not wonder, where’s the light.

Sheba Moment

Sheba captured by Z 6II / Z14-24f2.8

From a mile away we saw that “white spot” on the black sands of the Oregon Beach. We knew instantly it was a Great Pyrenees which we have a huge soft spot for so we headed over. On the way, I had to make a click as they seemed very much alone. By the time we had walked up to Sheba, we could see she is old and we go on to learn she’s 13, really old for a Pyrenees. Its owner said we could greet Sheba and she felt old as well. We found out she’s on her last days and her owner wanted the last few to be the best possible. It seemed Sheba loves the beach, this quiet section so it’s where she’s spending her last moments. We took in Sheba’s view, made a couple of clicks and then said goodbye. I like Sheba’s beach!

The Romance of B&W

Monument Valley landscape captured by Z 6II / Z70-200f2.8

In the perfect world, all could venture to the same locale that inspires us and take in the wonders we are so fortunate to do with our hearts and cameras. The next best thing is to invite those we share our images with to step into that moment with us through our photographs. When it comes to landscape photography the B&W screams that love affair we had. It permits to make the most of black to hide certain elements while including them. It permits us to speak in visual depth. And most importantly, it permits us to communicate with the power of light to the viewer that, “they need to be there!” Straight out of the camera, B&W is also very simple to bring home. Great memories and photographs, the romance of B&W!

14mm Sometimes is Not Enough!

Walker Lake 2 image pano captured by Z 6II / Z14-24f2.8

The winds were howling in Hawthorne, NV as we pulled over on the shore of Walker Lake. The clouds we’d seen long before arriving at the lake were already in NY by the time we parked. The scene was charging that fast so my original thought about an image had changed many times. I stepped out of the truck at first with the Z70-200 but by the time I turned, I knew I needed wide. Grabbed the Z14-24f2.8 and put the camera to my eye and knew that wasn’t wide enough either. I love shooting at 14mm but as you can see here, a bunch of drama was not in the viewfinder. That’s when I knew I had to take a two image pano to bring in the all the drama. It’s so easy to do today! In ACR, bring in both images, click on making a pano, and done. The morale of the story, when working with a fleeting scene and you need to do wide, a two image pano can be faster than changing lenses!

Walker Lake captured by Z 6II / Z14-24f2.8

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