Red Sky in the Morning …

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

There wasn’t even a hint of light on the horizon when we pulled away from the lodge. This time of year in the north, sunrise is nice and late, if you’re an early riser. As we ventured up the road, the first hints of light wiggled through the clouds and then, the clouds began to disappear. The glorious sunrise burst on the scene with a great screech of rubber on the road. Within seconds I was standing on the edge of the Yellowstone River soaking in what the great west is all about!
Photographers, everyone for that matter, is sucked in by the color red. When it wraps a scene in its entirety as it does here, it can make it hard to know where to look and more importantly, say in your photograph what’s the subject. Bringing out that red required setting the WB to 9000k and underexposing by one full stop. More importantly, though was the inclusion of the tall trees to the right of the frame. I bring in the old west, it keeps the eye in the frame, gives the water an anchor point for flowing, ties the red sky in with the foreground. As you arrange all the elements, bounce off what you see in the viewfinder with what words you are using to express the moment. You might be saying out loud what you need to say in your photograph. It is a special moment, red sky in the morning.

The Storm Rolls In

Chugach Mountains captured by Z 6II / 180-400VR

Is the storm coming, hammering the mountain top, already pounding the mountains or about to blow out? You can tell your story in camera simply with the push of a button and turn of a dial. Exposure must equal emotion, emotion that comes from you! When you see them clouds, how do YOU respond to them? Are they good or bad, about to ruin your photographic opportunity, or do they create one? Since only you know when you depress the shutter release, you can make them whatever you want and tell your story, yours!

In this case, they were bringing snow to the Chugach Mountains and causing me to hike out earlier than I planned. The storm while not a big one was causing me a big change in my plans. With that, I underexposed -1 stops to say the storm was incoming and bigger than it really was. Shooting B&W was a natural for the moment, underexposing for telling the story I was feeling. That’s what writing with light is all about, reaching down to your emotions and using the tools of photography to tell them. That brings out the power in the photograph as the storm rolls in.

The Great One

Denali captured by Z 6II / Z70-200f2.8

I’m up in Alaska not for landscape photography but when it fills the horizon, I can’t ignore it! As the sun rose at 09:08 Denali, the Great One was visible to the north. A mountain that makes its own weather, it’s not visible most days so when it is, it’s special. From up on the mountain, looking across to The Great One the first light lit it up, and wow, what a view! We were very fortunate to see it all day which made being skunked a little less disappointing.

Panos – Easier Than Ever

3 Image Pano of Buggy Barn Museum captured by Z 6II / Z14-24f2.8

I’ve always loved panos, I do a lot of them just for myself as they are such a great reminder of a great memory. Back in the early days of digital, they were incredibly time intensive and just not fun. With ACR today, they are a snap and funner then ever! As far as I’m concerned, the Z bodies make them faster and better than the iphone. This is a really quick one I did with the Z 6II / Z14-24f2.8 using Mode #17. I shot the panos in a rush setting up for the day’s shoot. I then grabbed the three Nefs in Photo Mechanic, Cmd E to open in ACR, Selected the three images, right click and selected Merge Panorama and that was it, done!

What you’re seeing is the fabulous Buggy Barn Museum in Texas. This is a brilliant place to go and shoot and I can’t recommend it enough to you!

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!

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