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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 14, 2019 in B&W Photography

Ben & Marykate

I got up at 01:00, drove to the airport and headed off to Spokane to spend the weekend with the kids. I had planned on doing a couple of more pilot portraits for my long term project while in Spokane so brought my studio lights, the Profoto B10 kit (now three heads). When I touched down, Brent informed me that if I wanted to get one of the pilots, I needed to shoot it that night as he was heading out to fly and then off to a conference for a week. I reached out to the pilot, made the plans for 18:30 and I soon found myself at the airport again, a different one and for a lot more fun. Little did I know, I’d be running into “competition” (in a fun way)! We arrived at the hangar only to find Brent’s flight instructor Ben, having his engagement photo being taken (Congrats again Ben & Mary Kate!) by the bride’s to be mom. While the kids looked nice...

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on Jun 13, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

Yeah, That’s Too Small

There is one overwhelming temptation in wildlife photography that almost no photographer can pass up. And that’s the minute detail that you see and miraculously captured and so you want to share that photo with the world saying, “Look what I captured.” The problem is, the detail is so small, only you see it cause it’s your photo. I learned this a long time ago at the merciless hands of a photo editor who asked if I was going to supply all their readers with a magnifying glass so they could see what I saw. Yeah, that comment left a mark but it was an important lesson I’ve never forgotten. Case in point … I was at the marvelous Magee Marsh a couple of weeks ago. Such a brilliant locale for great bird photography. I was shooting with the Z6 / 800mm cause my subjects are already really small, about the size of your thumb. This Blackpoll Warbler like many of the warblers were fueling up for the trip...

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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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on May 30, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

Years Later … No Smarter

We’ve been seeing their tracks a lot but not them, then today, two decided to say hello at the ‘ol homestead. Our Black Bears (brown phase) can be pistols, raising havoc with our bird feeders. So when they show up, I had two things in hand, Sadie and my camera! I have both at hand almost all the time, in this case I had the Z6 / Z24-70f2.8. With both in hand, I walked out onto the deck to say hello. This bear knew me, it was instantly not happy to see me emerge from the door (it could be Sadie too). I instantly recognized the bear from a few years back. Then, mom was below and had sent the kid up to try to raid my bird feeders. It didn’t go well then for the cub and it did not go any better today. After I got my photos (cause a photographer does have to have priorities), I politely told the bear to get the $#*(@# off my...

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on May 29, 2019 in Landscape Photography

White Makes the Red, Redder

At the moment, there are at least 445 named shades of red. Yikes! Red is one of the most powerful colors when it comes to grabbing our attention, fast! That’s why Stop signs are red. But what color is the word, STOP? It’s white and why, because red and white is the most powerful color combo to grab our vision. When you’re shooting a landscape like the Grand Canyon or Bryce, anytime you have snow, the red looks better. The same holds true for sunrises and sunsets but finding white at those moments is really challenging. How can we “introduce” white into our sunrises and sunsets to make the red, redder? There are actually lots of ways when you think about it. A person in a white shirt or dress popped by a flash in one way. A white building or vehicle is another. And here you see another way I like to do it. It starts with a white lighthouse but it’s pretty small in the frame so...

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