I love it when projects start coming together. There is always that animosity before taking on a task, especially if it’s one that you have been putting off but then you start working on it and slowly but surely it gets done. Over this past weekend I spent some time and got the next installment of my Gallery updated. The Landscape section has been filled with almost 200 new images, some seen on the blog before, some not. They are all up now.
The title probably seems a little misleading doesn’t it. Well in the Winter time back when i was skiing Mammoth on a daily basis one of my favorite runs was at Pine City. Pine city is an old mining town in the Lakes Basin which is in easy walk to and kinda fun place to visit if you’re in the area. In the Winter time the main road that goes through the town groomed for a cross country ski run as are all the runs in the Lakes Basin. It’s the start of the down hill portion which goes into Mine Shaft and Lucky Strike. In order to get to the top of this hill you have to go through Cold Water Campground, as the name states it is the frozen version of the popular summer camping destination. Too put things into perspective the family home in Mammoth sits at 8200ft, the top of Cold Water sits over 10000ft. It’s a big hill.
I don’t know what it was about this particular visit but something just made me work these smaller buildings. I believe they are both outhouses but they had character to them. Little shanties in the middle of the woods, i don’t know something just caught my eye. Now I know some of you might be saying, “Oh those have to be HDR’s he was in a forest.” Nope they aren’t. I originally thought that too, that I would need to take a bracketed set and go through my HDR process. But the range of dark’s and lights wasn’t great enough that i losing information and with the great features in ACR nowadays, it really wasn’t needed. It might my life real easy which I like.
In the Camera Bag:
Nikon D3, AF-S 24-70 f/2.8, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film
During our walk around in the Lakes Basin we went to Lake George and found some great boats. Boats are a great foreground subject because they always tell a story even the aluminum fishing boats. Probably the best thing about living on a coast is having access to all the different boats. For us simple mountain folk we make do with fishing boats and canoes.
In the Camera Bag:
Nikon D3, AF-S 24-70 F/2.8, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film
After three weeks of being on the road I’m finally back up in Bozeman. It was a great few weeks and I’m still getting through the work load. The best apart of the last few weeks is that i got to spend the majority of that time with the family. The house being Mammoth Lakes makes for a perfect place to rest between trips. I am very fortunate in the way. Well even with all the submissions, Dad and I still had to get out, once for a PT that he was doing and the other just because we could.
In Mammoth we have what’s called the Lakes Basin which is where tourists love to come to during the summer to fish and even more like to visit in the winter to ski. I personally have spent many hours up there doing both. It’s also one of the best places to go for a quick outing. With the right clouds anything is possible from great fall color to stunning black and whites. I think it’s safe to say which route i went with here.
This happens to be Lake Mary which is sorta the center of the Lakes Basin and the largest lake by far. I had an interesting time playing around with this scenario. The lake is a lot lower then usual and as a result more stumps, rocks and sandbars are visible. Some spots add more character to the scene while other spots really don’t. I put this example up for just that reason. Up top is a really wide shot, with that ugly tanish sandbar on the left. I liked going wide for this shot because of the ripples. I have no doubt that i am not the only person here who has had thought that. The problem is that sandbar, it just don’t work. A stump would be better, at least that can be removed. Even bringing down the tone of that spot won’t help. The best scenario was zooming in and getting a much tighter shot. No sandbar and a stronger composition as a result. The moral behind this story is when you are planning out your black and whites in the camera be very careful of that foreground. If it’s too bright the eye will get stuck there and never leave. Black and Whites are not nearly as forgiving due to the relationship between light and dark.
In the Camera Bag:
Nkkon D3, AF-S 24-70 f/2.8, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film
It’s not always necessary to capture the whole area to describe what is happening. Sometimes it is the simplest of things, the very patterns and elements that is needed to convey what is happening. Micro details can be just as important as the macro ones.
One of last week’s adventures took us up to the familiar Lakes Basin, where i have spent many a time fishing and cross country skiing. There are multiple lakes up in the basin and one of the best for shooting has always been horseshoe. It is also one of the most challenging. Earlier this month i spent some time at that same lake photographing the clouds that were hanging around as well as a picnic bench; well this time had a much more ominous feeling.
We were literally watching the storm move over the crest and then down over Mammoth Mountain. It was a black and white paradise with drama everywhere. It was also a particular challenge to the group to get into, myself included. You could say my mind was elsewhere…where’s the snow gotta ski, gotta ski! Sorry momentary lapse. The storm and the lake brought back good memories of skiing across the lake when it was frozen. Mom loved hearing that.
Knowing that the sun would never set in the sense of giving us an actual warm toned sky, everything shot was in the mind frame of B&W. Well towards the end of the evening which was around 7:30, a small opening popped up and a light color came through. It wasn’t much but it gave a nice finally before the drama disappeared and we were left with grey.
I always hate it when i get the feeling that i should be out shooting because if i don’t then i while miss something truly spectacular. A couple nights ago while eating dinner i had that very feeling. The sky’s at the time were just socked in grey but right around six one section opened up as the clouds moved south-east and the light struck the Sherwin’s. Boy was i kicking myself then.
I grabbed the 24-70 and 200-400 and went out onto to the deck and started blasting. The light was just incredible on the clouds in front of me and on the mountains in the distance. I honestly can’t remember seeing a sunset that good in the Sierra’s before then, but that could be more of a reflection of my memory then the actual sky’s. There wasn’t even anything in post that i wanted to do, except remove two annoying dust spots.