Fall Contrast

Fall is all about the changing of the seasons and seeing that dramatic pop in color in the trees. Some of us are lucky enough to live in areas where that is more prevalent than others. What I’ve always loved about this time of the year is when an afternoon storm rolls through and the sky becomes very dark. All of a sudden there is this great contrast between the dark sky and the bright leaves on the trees which makes for some great drama.

A Little Sunday Drive

Spring is around the corner and these sixty degrees March days are really starting to get addictive but if you’ve lived in the Rocky Mountains for any period of time then you know not to get hooked on them. The weather can change awfully fast going into April and become very unpredictable so it’s important to get and enjoy while you can. I think that advice is good for anyone. After a long week of work, it’s good to get out for a drive with the camera and enjoy the scenery.

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 Fishing Fun

Fall color is great but finding those days where the color pops without a grey sky sure are hard to find here in the Rockies. So what do you do? I struggle with this question a lot of times because the color of the trees is always so seductive but I know that having any sky will just suck. Even so I have to try and get something out of it. When I came upon this scene I actually wanted to pass it over but Alex stepped in and made it a little more interesting. The big thing that I found really helps in these scenarios is your exposure compensation. It was a dark day so pumping up the exposure comp made a huge difference. Beyond that trying to minimize the amount of sky in the composition also helps.

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

Fall Color is Around the Corner

It’s so close I can feel the pixels ready to be burned. Fall coloring will happen soon and I can’t wait until it does. Every year becomes another challenge trying to make an image worth remembering that fall season. It overwhelms the senses, the color, the temps, the feeling that comes with end of each year.

When it comes to fall color it’s important if you’re working with a small section of foliage to have something dark behind the leaves so that those leaves pop. Now is a great time to be scouting and doing homework to find those great clumps of trees that will eventually turn into something splendid.

Gotta Be Respectful

When it comes to working with wildlife every species deserves respect. Each one lives a life that we try to understand but we truly can’t since critters can’t talk to us with words, only body language and sounds. As photographers it is our jobs to interpret theses signals and acknowledge them. Well aquatic species are no different, in fact they are even more fragile and deserve that much more respect.

The best way to work with these species is with an underwater housing but most of us don’t have that so we do the next best thing which is to take the subject out of the water. This is hard on any fish species because they don’t have lungs. They breath through their gills. This means that there is very little time when they are removed from the water. Right now in Montana Hoot Owl restrictions have started on some of the rivers which means it’s even more imperative to get the pictures done fast so that every subject is safe.

Getting Over the PSW Blues

This is actually a real thing. Last I week I was teaching at Photoshop World and I had a great time. Thank you to all that came out and attended the event. But now that’s over and we’re all back home in our regular routines, we have to deal with that lull. When you’re at Photoshop World you’re on a learning high, everything is new and exciting and you just don’t want it to end. But now that it has you have to get past it.

The best way to beat it is to go out shooting. Don’t make a big deal out of it just pick up the camera and go out somewhere. It can be anywhere or anything. Make it a fun simple trip to keep those juices flowing and that excitement alive from being at Photoshop World. Believe me it will help.

Work the Light

If there is one thing that is all to common in the mountains is that in winter you don’t get many days with clear skies. The great sunsets we know and love often happen in the spring and summer, so when those days come around where you don’t get some light it’s best to be ready for them. Often preceding or succeeding a major storm is going to be your best bet. One of my local fishing whole that I marked out as a good shooting spot is a place I have been going to for many years now. It’s close, has lots of subjects, and always provides. Finding these locals for yourself is important to keep your skills sharp.


Is it Possible To Always Get the Shot?

I spent Saturday by an Otter den waiting for them to come out. They didn’t. Wanting to still shoot but ready to call it on the Otters I then headed over to known Yellow Bellied Marmot spot to see if they would be more cooperative. They didn’t. Finally on Sunday I went down to the river to see if the birds would be cooperative. They weren’t. That is truly a skunked weekend. What do you do in that scenario?


If you have ever been in that scenario where there is no good alternatives left then you probably did what I did. You forced an image. After spending so much time out in the field with nothing to show for it, except that it felt good to go out, then odds are you ready to make any image happen no matter what. In that last instance I grabbed the D4 and 18-35 f/3.5 and walked over to the entrance road of where I had parked. I’ve often incorporated roads in my landscapes if they are interesting enough. They are a good lead in and can be an easy way for the eye to move through an image. As you can see sunset was boring but I had to make that click. This is what happens. Can you always get that shot? No, I don’t think anyone can get THE shot every time but everyone can get A shot every time. Even if it’s forced.

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