What to do with a Bald Sky?

I spent a lot of time looking at the trees, the banks, the colors and I was having a heck of a time trying to find a photo on the water this day. It just wasn’t coming to me. Maybe that’s because I haven’t been shooting a lot lately, maybe it was just the day. But I took a couple of pictures regardless to try and get over that mental block. In the computer I could see a little clearly that the bald skies that were dogging me, were actually kind of nice. The photo is less about the scenery and more just pure color. That works for me. For now.

Images captured with Nikon D5, 24-70f2.8, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Be Ready For Winter

Winter is definitely coming as the latest snow storm has made it clear. That means a lot of days of cold fingers and toes. It is really important if you go out this winter that your hands and feet are properly protected. It’s not fun taking pictures if you’re cold. Been there, done that. For years I’ve used XC Skiing gloves to keep my hands warm and boots from Northern Face and Alpha. XC’s gloves are thin which are great for pressing the buttons on the camera body. Northern Face boots are lighter while the Alpha’s are for the negative digits. Winter sales are coming up and if you’re planning on doing a lot of shooting this winter be sure to be prepared.

How Much Color Do You Need?

This may seem like an odd title given that the definition of a black and white photo and a non-black and white photo is the additive of color, but there is a point to be made of how much is needed? We’ve all seen those amazing sunsets or sunrises where the color is amazing. Well, there are plenty of times where it looks like this. There’s just a faint amount of color in the sky but not really enough to get excited about. Nothing grand happened, just enough before the sun went down. Is more needed? Depends on what you are trying to communicate in your story. In this case, it’s just another Fall day.

Image Captured with Nikon D5, 24-70 AF-S f/2.8, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Fall is Officially Here

It’s most definitely Fall again. The year has gone flying by and the mountain tops are already getting coated with snow. The Cottonwoods and Aspens are starting to turn that wonderful range of greens, yellows, oranges, and reds. It’s a great time to be in the Rockies where there are endless opportunities around the bend to photograph. The Gallatin River is surrounded with Cottonwood trees and this time of the year it’s great to be on that river for two reasons, big fish moving through and all the colorful trees.

Image Captured with Nikon D5, 24-70 AF-S, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Fall Storms Bring Lots of Opportunities

Fall is definitely here! The temps are dropping into the 40’s at night on a regular basis, rainstorms and snow in certain areas, and the days already feel shorter as the skies stay darker. With these days comes great opportunities. From wide-angle to close up the cloud formations allow for a lot of different options. This one stormy evening last year proved very fruitful as the small window of god beams came through the clouds lighting up the Bridger Mountains.

Images Captured with Nikon D5, 24-70 AF-S, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Seemingly Natural Tunnels

There must be a million and one of these kinds of photos. A trail going through a forest makes for a simple yet perfect composition. Is it a cliche in the photo world? Yea, but if you don’t have the image in your files why not take it? There are those photos that we’ve all seen in magazines and social media and those are the ones we enjoy seeing.

Summer Storms Coming to an End

The year has gone by fast yet again and already the fall storms seem to be rolling through the valley. Nights in the forties are already starting to become normal which for August is pretty abnormal. Last night we had one heck of a storm blow through, very much like the ones we would have in the spring. Unfortunately, I was nowhere near a good spot to stop for it but it reminded me of this encounter in a previous year.

Image Captured with Nikon D5, 24-70 AF-S, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

The View From Above is Sure Pretty

I haven’t done much aerial photography in my life but the view from above can sure be pretty at times. From the ground, everything always seems so big and open but from above everything seems so perfectly placed. Either way, working with landscapes is the same. The way the light carries you through an image then back out is extremely important in your composition. The way the earth moves needs to correlate with the light. Flying in a Travel Air 5000 with the Nikon D5 and 24-70 AF-S, it wasn’t hard to sit back and enjoy the scenery.

Light and Shadows make for Good Landscapes

Heavy darks and blacks have always fascinated me with landscapes. In most photographs, there is a balance between the two creating contrast but sometimes there is an overwhelming amount of one or the other which can make for some interesting photos. High mountain lakes often offer these types of occasions because of the way the light either comes up or down behind the mountains. The result is a spotlight in one area or another. Using a longer lens like the 70-200 VRII along with the D5, I was able to isolate this section of pine trees. In post, I used a couple of split graduated filters, along with the shadow slider in ACR to enhance that dark shadow background. Simple tricks for some good results.

 

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