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on Jul 16, 2019 in Landscape Photography

4600 Miles Later

My sweetie and I pulled into the garage after a seventeen-hour straight drive home last night culminating a 4600-mile road trip. And it was great!!! We saw so much new parts of our country making tons of notes of locales to go back and explore to a greater depth with the camera. Meet lots of incredible folks like the lead engineer for the Apollo LEM who worked for Gruman and WWII Navy engineer who landed on Iwo Jima in the first wave. The best part might have been the quiet time to just drive, look and think. I hope you have a road trip planned for this summer and if not, you just might consider it. I might move your photography forward without even having to pick a camera...

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on Jul 11, 2019 in Landscape Photography, B&W Photography

Dead Center Continues

I have a thing for barns, especially lonely old barns. And in Montana, it’s pretty easy to find them. The challenge is finding them when light and mood makes it worth stopping and photographing them. In the past week, I’ve been able to photograph over a dozen as the skies just keep performing. And they all have ended up being dead center in the photograph. Dead center you say? I thought that was bad! You’ve probably read or heard that dead center is bad. Did you know that dead center is the most powerful form of composition we have, if … if the elements in the frame support it. In photographing the lonely barn or building then, being lonely in part supports being dead center. The sky is what really makes it all work. I wish I had a formula for you when it comes to the skies, but I don’t. The main element in skies I look for is mood which is a combination of lights and darks....

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on Jul 11, 2019 in Landscape Photography

Math Map Geek

There is a section of track up by Big Timber MT that goes for miles dead straight nearly due east. If you are lucky, you’re at the right section so when the sun rises, you have it dead center over the tracks right on the horizon. Or if you’re me, you geek out a little with a map, compass and sunrise chart to put yourself at the right section at the right moment. It’s really no big deal, it’s just one of those little challenges that if everything works out, you have a photo of shinny railroad tracks. If not, you don’t. In this case, Z7 / Z24-70f2.8 (-2exp comp, 8kWB) was in the right place. Not earth shattering but in its own way,...

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on Jul 9, 2019 in Landscape Photography, B&W Photography

Big Sky Country

When you put your camera up to your eye, how do you arrange the elements? How do you expose? And most importantly, how do you tell the story of your subject, your find? These are very common questions that either goes unasked in the picture making process or, if asked, stump the photographer. Perhaps putting the photograph into simple terms might help in this quest. Been up in Montana shooting, such a gorgeous place with a great history. How do you put that into a photo? You might by summing it up with three thoughts: big sky, the west, romance. With those thoughts, you might go wide rather than long. You might find a subject that looks old and western and you might tie that all up in black and white. For me, this meant shooting with the Z7 / Z14-30 and putting it into B&W mode which then turned the whole process to a basic, “point and shoot.” That’s simple and with that simplicity, fun! It starts in...

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on Jun 21, 2019 in Landscape Photography

Eastern Sierra Cloud Report

Summer means afternoon thunderstorms in the Eastern Sierra (so carry your Miops lightning trigger, always!). The normal process is traces of clouds at sunrise and by late afternoon … kabommmm! Well, the wx pattern has set up so we have no thunderstorms for the next two weeks. Clouds are forming over the crest in the afternoon so it’s not totally bald skies. You wanna find a location that is going to have good afternoon light and think B&W. This shot taken a week ago at Rock Creek Lake with the Z7 / Z24-70f2.8 is a morning shot. It was a gorgeous morning but our last thunderstorm day. This kind of morning shot might be possible now, briefly, just as the sun rises at 04:30. Otherwise, you gotta scrap for clouds. It’s still gorgeous but the extra drama just isn’t happening at the...

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on Jun 11, 2019 in Landscape Photography

Them Cold Sands …

When you first lay down in the sand, a chill instantly runs through you! At 6700′, the below freezing night temps put a chill on the sand that is only replaced when you look up. Cause that’s the only way you want to photograph the Sand Tufas, with your cheek (you decide which one I’m referring to), down in that sand with the camera pointing up. I first ventured to the Sand Tufas in 1959 and I’m just as hooked and intrigued by them today as I was then. These features are no more than four feet tall take on fairy tale shapes and SciFi mystery when you meet them at their level. The hardest part of making the shot (besides getting up from the sand and not coating your gear with sand) is walking around and thinking what the photo would look like from a crickets point of view. The key is remembering the photo is all about texture which requires shadows to bring it out. Shooting the...

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