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on Dec 18, 2019 in Landscape Photography

New Mexico Sunrises

New Mexico skies are so very unique! The colors they produce at sunrise and sunset are never the same with the most subtle shades of orange and red. The combination of wind and dust scatters the light and with the slightest degree of cloud wisp, the skies come to life like nowhere else. The challenge often though is turning a blind eye to all the cranes and geese and other birds to actually work the heavens. This morning, we lucked out as the birds were “late” giving us a few moments to find a great place to take in the sunrise show. The challenge for me was deciding where the photograph I was feeling resided in the viewfinder. Looking south (I think my favorite view) the graphics of the two clouds really caught my imagination. The view north, I really like the shoreline and the clouds. Both of those views were taken at 30mm (I was shooting Z6 / Z14-30) and when I went to 14mm, you see from...

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on Dec 5, 2019 in Landscape Photography

95 on 95

As everyone in the US knows, we’ve had some wild weather this past week. Knowing bad weather was en route, Sharon and I of coarse made the wise choice, Road Trip! The timing actually worked out perfectly only dealing with snow-covered roads going over the Blue Mountains of Oregon on our way to Washington. Otherwise, cruising the backroads at 80mph (maybe, higher) was smooth going. Like normal for me, when in route to a location, I tend to not want to stop to take photos, I’m on the mindset to get to the destination. But the trip home, I tend to plan in lots of time to stop and shoot. So we were cruising down Hwy 95 through Oregon on the way home and there was a spooky, thick layer of fog. At times, it was causing us to radically slow down. For nearly eight hours, we were under the same dark, gray, foggy skies. My plan for having time to shoot was working, but there wasn’t anything to...

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on Dec 4, 2019 in Landscape Photography

Bird’s Eye View

While we were turning to check out Magee below, we were about 200-300 above the forest. I love pine trees and seeing them looking straight down is such a fascinating and cool pattern. All I had with me was the Z6 / Z24-70f2.8 which I had set to Monochrome (B&W to you and me). With the viewfinder smashed against my face and my hand holding the front element as so to not scratch up the window, I shot when I saw a pattern I liked. I don’t do a ton of aerial shooting so I kinda go the easy way out. I raised my ISO to 1600 so I had a 1/500 shutter speed. I use autofocus which isn’t the best policy as we were moving 138mph ground speed so there was about 50% out of focus images that got deleted. Then I would start shooting just as the pattern appeared in the viewfinder and kept shooting until I saw it disappear. These are some of my favorites from...

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on Nov 27, 2019 in Landscape Photography

How I Expose for Winter

With the new snows of the season (coming down at the house right now), I thought I’d answer a common question that floods in this time of year. “How do you (as in Moose) expose for snow?” Of course, living in snow I’ll get to the heart of the question as I look at it. What color is snow? Unless a Moose or dog has passed by, it’s white, right? The common belief that if there is snow in the scene, automatically dial in +1. A recommendation that comes from the meters of the 1970s. We’re not in the ’70s. I honestly don’t think there are viewers of your snow photograph who wouldn’t recognize the white stuff on the ground as snow. With that being true, then seeing detail in every crystal of the snow (what +1 might do for you) is not mission-critical to tell the viewer the white stuff they are looking at is indeed, snow. With that storytelling in place then, how do I expose for...

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on Oct 31, 2019 in Landscape Photography

Love Zoom Landscape

There are times when the wide-angle just doesn’t do it for that landscape photograph. There can be many reasons for that, the most common is simply you can’t zoom with your feet to do the dance: remove elements that take your eye away from the subject while including those elements that support the subject. That was the case this week when in Mammoth Hot Springs and wanting to work the gorgeous light and cold temp making the steam come to life. The water flows of Mammoth Hot Springs is not what it once was so much of its glory has dried up. There is one edge though where you can still see that spectacular formation and color. It’s a ways off the road with no path to it so can’t zoom with your feet. In order to get the shot, you gotta pull out the big guns. Shooting with the Z7 / 180-400VR with the internal 1.4x engaged, it was possible to literally zoom right in on that detail...

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on Oct 18, 2019 in Landscape Photography

Ah, Friday Morning

There is a certain calm that comes with Friday morning and that’s the knowledge tomorrow is the weekend. When you’re able to train your lens than on a landscape with the rolling ground fog constantly transforming your view, it’s just the perfect start to it all. That was our morning this morning. Went to Plan A site to find no ground fog so went to Plan B site and bam … there is was!!! There are many approaches one can take to shooting the landscape draped in ground fog. For example, color or black and white. Another is wide or long and this morning overlooking Townsend, TN, I went with long. That’s because I wanted to bring the calm beauty of the wrapping ground fog up close and personal. The Z7 / 180-400VR made it real simple shooting at times at 180mm and then 560mm and anything in between. And each time I saw a new detail, graphic, in the viewfinder I would decide to go either B&W or...

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