Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Journey To Vertigo

Finding new compositions can definitely be challenging especially in places that are shot by so many photographers. I thought I would share a way that may help you with your search for something new as it helped me. This can start with your current images right on your computer. I shot an image titled Technicolor about five years ago now and always loved the image, in fact it has become fairly well known around here as it is now running on the cover of the Experience Sedona magazine for the third straight year! Well about two and a half years ago while I was looking at the image I began to realize that there was a lot of very interesting landscape features within the image and decided that there had to be another completely different shot somewhere within the boundaries of this composition, and I don't mean by merely cropping the image, I mean by actually traveling by foot into a location that is part of the this image. So I set out to where I believe there was something new to photograph and there it was, a very special and also different composition within Technicolor that I had taken years before. Once I found what I thought was a potential composition I started to go through what are my steps in creating a new edition. There was a trip in just average lighting to get a few sheets of film exposed with different focal lengths of lenses plus slight variations on the angles and proportions. Then I would process them put them and put them on my light table and analyze what I had done to see what the right thing to do was for the final shot. Once I had settled on the shot and the lens required to capture it, now began the search for the right conditions, this entailed a series of trips to see the light develop at sunrise and sunset. Then after deciding on sunset it needed something else for that finishing touch, and with most shots that include sky, this was clouds. I got lucky on this image it only took me about four trips to capture the magic.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Death Valley Photo Workshop

Next month is the Death Valley, Alabama Foothills workshop. 2/10-2/12, 2011

675.00 This workshop is put on by the Sedona Arts Center (928) 282-3809

Join us for a photo adventure on the planet of Death Valley, Ca. Improve your composition and technicals skills photography at the Mesquite Dunes, Zabriske Pt, Race Track, Artist Palette, Bad Water, and more then we'll head over to Lone Pine for more photography at the Alabama Foothills where Mt Whitney of the Eastern Sierras a is framed under the iconic Mobius Arch.

Contact me for more info.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Ever Changing Light

Happy New Year,

A lot of us are traveling all over the country or even all over the world seeing new places and new things but also trying to improve our photography skills along the way. I hear from people all the time, how lucky I am to live in the southwest and to have all these amazing photo opportunities around me within a short reach of my home and as I may agree with them yes, I also believe if you take a look around where you live there probably are some great places to photograph not far from where you live. The southwest is just not the only place in the country with great state parks or even great national parks, Acadia N.P. for example is a place far from me that looks abosultely fabulous, how about the Great Smokey Mountains another amazing looking location that I have not been to yet. While we should keep seeing new places and new things I believe one of the best opportunities to improve our photography is to return to those locations that are within our reach in doing this we can gain all kinds of valuable knowledge about weather, light conditions at different times of the day, or even different times of the year. For example I have hiked into the Narrows in Zion N. P. six or seven times over the course of about the same number of years and every time I would shift the time I would enter the canyon in hopes of seeing something different or under different conditions that would completely change the look of the composition. On a trip this last Sept. with some friends and after trying different times such as early morning, late day, mid day, etc. etc. I decided to shift my time again and enter late morning. At a point not far up, walking on those slippery rocks through the water, I turned around to look for my friends, I seem to walk fast, I saw the conditions in the photo here......something I have never seen before, an incredible display of color and light that is nothing close to what I had seen in this very specific location on all other trips into the canyon. Revisit the beautiful places that are close to your home, it is where you have the best opportunity to learn about the ever changing light.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Summer 2010 update

Ok it's been a while since I have been on this, stay tuned though I will get back into the swing of things soon! Meanwhile I wanted to tell you about some of the things I have been working on. I have all the sites updated with new workshops through 2011, so check those out when you get a moment. There also may be an opportunity to go down into Havasupai in early April, so get in touch with me if you may be interested and we'll see if we can put together an informal small group workshop. As far as my new venture in architectural photography is going, I myself just completed a workshop with Scott Hargis on interior lighting and it was outstanding! Anyone that is interested in this sort of thing should take one when you have the opportunity, he is a great teacher and has a very simple step by step approach to exposing interiors with multiple off camera flashes.

My new architectural photography website is now up, if you get a chance take a peek.
Take care!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Antelope Canyon/ Sedona, AZ Workshop 4/24 - 4/25

We have a Sedona Antelope Canyon workshop coming up 4/24 to 4/25, 2010.
We will be visiting a few locations in Sedona the first day, including
West Fork Canyon and Red Rock Crossing and on the second day we will be heading up to Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and possibly Coalmine Canyon if time allows.
If you are interested in coming along for great scenery and photo instruction give me a call. (928) 821-1078 or call the Sedona Arts Center at (928) 282-3809. The attached photograph was taken by Armando Manipon who attended this workshop last fall. In this photo he has captured a ghost like image of light shining on the dust particles floating high above where he was standing. These types of opportunities are always present and always evolving, not only throughout the day but through out the year as suns angle is constantly changing.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Big Sur Photography Workshop 6/3 to 6/6, 2010

I grew up on the coast of California and spent most of the summers of my youth camping either at Jalama Beach or in Big Sur, these are the locations, as a surfer, where I was alway's chasing the perfect wave. Well, many years have gone by and as my surfing days have come to a close, what I have been chasing for more than a decade now, is the perfect light.

I will be teaching a photography workshop along the Big Sur coast this spring. This workshop is for those who are new to photography along with those that have been shooting for years. By limiting the group sizes to six or less and spending all instructional time in the field instead of in a classroom, allows me to work with photographers of all levels. Whether it's just learning to control your camera and geting more predictable results or learning to design a better composition, you have the opportunity to set the agenda and get the one on one time to improve your photography. We will be visiting McWay Falls, Garrapata, Point Lobos and more.
The price for this trip is 1050 with three nights lodging included or there are price options without the lodging so you can arrange your own. Feel free to write or call me to answer your questions.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Death Valley Trip Feb. 2010

We just returned from a trip to Death Valley, what a trip! black clouds, filtered light, snow capped mountains all the way around us, comfortable temps...wonderful.
I will be posting a few pics in the next couple of weeks from what I took and from those that attended this excursion with me. Next year I will officially offer this trip on my schedule, probably in mid Feb 2011 so that we can all get away from the cold
and get out, have some fun, learn some new photo skills and come away with some cool images.

The first image is a composition of the well known Manly Peak taken by Jim Lamorter at Zabriske Pt, usually shot wider and in a horizontal fashion, this is an excellent example, in my opinion, of a "less is more" capture. I have seen many views of Zabriske and this verticle capture to me is quite striking. The second posted image was taken by Harry Hitzeman who also attended this recent trip.
It is an outstanding capture of this very iconic composition. As we were waiting for the light to come up and hit the Sierras we decided to paint the arch with a flashlight. After interpreting the scene for its tonal values, metering off the sky
is what made most sense for retaining the mood along with getting a proper exposure throughout the rest of the scene. This was not one of those bracket twenty shots and pick the best one type of situations, after deciding on how best to capture the scene a couple of thirty second exposures were taken and that was it.....

I believe one lesson here is, don't get trapped into pre visualizing and waiting for a set of conditions that may or may not come along, take what is in front of you and "see" what you can do with it!