National Park

Pilgrim Creek

I am putting together some final touches for our Grand Teton Photography Workshop and I am getting super excited about it!  I am getting the opportunity to visit a few cool locations several days prior to the start of this workshop. 

Here's a scene I hope we get fortunate enough to see again this year.  This is Pilgrim Creek.  The lupine in the foreground and reflections in the water made this scene incredible.

ISO 100, 61mm, F/16 @ 10 images stitched to create pano 

Hover over the image to view camera settings used.  Click the image to view it larger.

This is a panoramic shot I took before sunrise.  I took ten images and stitched them together in Photoshop.  This image was made with my Sony A7R and Tamron 24-70mm Lens.

To learn more about this workshop you can click here: http://www.natureinfocusworkshops.com/photo-workshops/2016-spring-in-the-grand-tetons

Nature In Focus Photography Workshops is an authorized permittee of The National Park Service.

Schwabachers Landing

Today I'm sharing another image from the Tetons.  This image was made at Schwabachers Landing.  Although it wasn't made at the "iconic" location that you see most of the images from this area.  It was made just up the road a bit.

I actually prefer this spot over the "iconic" spot.  To tell you the truth, I've never really gotten fired up about the "iconic" spot.  It's just a scene that doesn't do much for me.  I've been there several times and it's just never gotten me excited, even when the light has been great.

I like this spot because of the way you can include the river rocks as a foreground anchor.  I also like how you are able to use the river as a lead in line.  You do give up the reflections, though, so that's the trade off. And, I'm OK with that, personally.

ISO 100, 35mm, F/11 @ 1/40th second

So, this image was made with my Sony A7R, LA-EA4 Lens Adapter and Tamron 24-70mm Lens.  I also used a Marumi Circular Polarizer to kill glare off of the rocks and water's surface.  

Then I processed the image using Lightroom and On1's Perfect Effects.  I used a preset in Perfect Effects called "Vecchio".  This effect was nice, but much too strong for me out of the box.  Since everything in Perfect Effects is in layers and works very similarly to Photoshop in that regard, I simply dialed back the opacity of this effect until I was pleased.  That's it...nothing fancy at all.  Just pushed a few buttons. ;)

More Yellowstone Sunset

Keeping with the theme of the last few posts...

Here's another sunset image I made in Yellowstone.  I was super excited to get these sunset images at Yellowstone.  I had this conversation with more than a handful of people that Yellowstone isn't really a "landscape" park.  Meaning, it's real tough to find a good landscape image there.  The people that had been there, totally agreed, while the folks that hadn't visited the park before couldn't figure out why I would say such a thing.  

The Yellowstone area is a lot of thick forest, which makes things a bit difficult.  The other thing about the park is if you want to include any of the geysers into your image, then you have to work on the geyser's schedule.  Many times that isn't the same as the sun's or yours.  

So, being able to get a few landscape images of sunset in Yellowstone I was super excited.  Here's one of those.

ISO 100, 35mm, F/16 @ 1/10th second

This area was one of the many pools scattered along the Upper Geyser Basin in The Old Faithful area.  I'm not even sure this pool had a name.  It should be called The "this is where I knew sunset was going to be awesome" Pool.

This image was made with my Sony A7R, LA-EA4 Adapter and Tamron 24-70mm Lens.  All mounted a top my Vanguard Alta Pro 283CT Tripod and BBH-200 Ballhead.

Sometimes it IS luck

Ok, so sometimes luck plays a very important role in a photographer walking away with a fantastic image or a dud.  You, as a photographer, still need to have the skills to know how to quickly adapt.  You need to be able to quickly setup your tripod, compose properly, adjust your focus, select an aperture, shutter speed, ISO...quickly, without even really "thinking" about it.  Then you can take advantage of the lucky moments.

On my first day in Yellowstone I wrote off sunrise because I got in very later because of travel issues.  My only hope for "magic light" was at sunset.  I put a plan together and took off that evening.  I knew I was going to stay in the Upper Geyser Basin that was near Old Faithful.  I shot Old Faithful at the last eruption that would occur before the sunset.  Then I started making my way down the trail to the Morning Glory Hot Spring, which is about a 1.5 mile walk.  Well, about half way on my journey the cloud cover rolled in and I had pretty much written off any kind of sunset, but I was halfway to my destination and I might as well finish the trip.  In a very lucky moment, as I got to the bridge that crossed The Firehole River, the clouds broke up just enough, the sun dropped below the horizon and lit up all of those clouds that had rolled in and created a pretty magical sunset.  I took a few images and quickly ran to Morning Glory to capture it at sunset.  Well, it was nice, but the reflections coming off of the river with the steam from the nearby geysers made a much stronger image, so after a quick few snaps at Morning Glory, back to the bridge I went.  It seems the longer I waited, the better the color got.  Well, until it gave way to rain.  That's right, rain.  I was 2 miles from my car and it's raining.  In another lucky twist, it only rained for about 15 minutes and not very hard.  I like to think I was being rewarded for suffering a horrible travel day on the previous day. ;)

ISO 100, 35mm, F/16 @ 0.4 seconds

This image was made with my Sony A7R, LA-EA4 Lens Adapter and Tamron 24-70mm Lens.  All gear was mounted on my Vanguard Alta Pro 283CT tripod and BBH-200 Ballhead.