Back from the East Coast!

Wow—another week away from Utah and I’m ready to stick around for a while. Stops on this whirlwind business/pleasure trip included NYC, Boston, Lake Winnipesaukee and Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

I was super stoked to be able to get to Boothbay. For some reason, I’ve been wanting to get to Maine for some time. So many cool images to be made there. While the weather didn’t fully cooperate, I did come away with some great stuff. How could you not in a place that quaint, cozy and beautiful? Lighthouses and miles of rugged coastline provide endless shooting options. One thing’s for certain—if you’re going to shoot (or do anything for that matter) in Maine, be prepared for rain. I learned first-hand how difficult it is to set up shots while trying to adjust the tripod, hold the umbrella, and keep my camera dry. Stinging wind and sea spray were just salt in the wound. Where’s my assistant!?! Riiiight…..

Weather, however is such a key player in making beautiful images. In fact—shooting in good weather—i.e. searing sunshine—is quite often the worst photographing weather around. My point is, if you want to make lasting, dynamic images, be prepared for weather. A good photographer doesn’t necessarily have to welcome diverse weather, but he/she will always find a way to produce keepers—rain or shine.

When confronted with flat lighting conditions, look for scenes with rich tonal contrasts. These scenes will translate into great black and white images. After shooting more and more in B/W, you’ll learn to view scenes in tones instead of colors. I’m definitely still working on it…now you should too!

Until next blog—cheers!

Sunset at Ocean Point, ME

Fall in the Wasatch

It’s fall in the Wasatch, and that means breathtaking images, 24-7. Well—almost 24-7. There’s no time that makes me want to be a full time photog more than fall—it’s just so beautiful, so unpredictable, and so easy to make awesome photos.

We had a strong cold front move through the area last weekend, and with it came the first snow of the season. Booyeah! Not only does it get me excited for skiing, it makes for amazing images. After getting lost in Wasatch Mtn. State Park at 5:30 am, I managed to work my way down to a spot overlooking Deer Creek Reservoir. Green farmland, whispy fog and fading storm clouds made for an engaging sunrise shoot. As is frequently the case, I was overcome with the beauty of this area! As the clouds turned bright pink with the rising sun, I was glad to have my Grad ND filter. As I’ve mentioned before, this could be the single most helpful tool in capturing heartstopping images. It allows you to capture detail in the foreground AND detail and color in the sky—which was really the focal point of this image with the pink clouds. If you are serious about scenic photography, and don’t own one—go out and get one now.

The greatest thing about fall is the opportunity to shoot all day long. Not just confined to sunrise and sunset, you can search the forest floors for pleasant “isolated landscapes” in open shade. Fallen leaves, early morning frost, or rushing streams or rivers lined by fall foliage all make for dynamic images. When mid-day approaches and the light gets more harsh, look for backlighting. Aspens literally turn neon with the sun behind them. Make sure to take a polarizer with you, as it helps to reduce glare and intensify colors—making golds and reds pop against a deep blue sky.

If you can’t manage to get to a location with the classic sprawling landscape composition, screw on a macro lens and take a walk through a park or a mountain trail. There are countless isolated scenics waiting for a creative eye. Happy fall shooting!

Guardsman Pass Aspen Pano Big Cottonwood Creek Fall Snowstorm, Deer Creek Reservoir Sunrise over Deer Creek Reservoir