ABP MVP: In-Depth Review of Sony RX100 III on a Backpacking Trip

Gallery

This gallery contains 29 photos.

I recently returned from the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in southern Utah. Despite living just a few hours away, I’d never visited the area and I was ecstatic to be headed down to a new spot with good friends. … Continue reading

Snippet: AdamBarkerPhotography/Telluride Photo Festival 2011


Here’s a quick look inside (well, really, outside!) my workshop at the 2011 Telluride Photo Festival. As always, many thanks to my sponsors Mark Miller Subaru, Arc’teryx, Mountain Khakis, Singh Ray Filters, Manfrotto School of Xcellence and Clikelite Backpacks. Many thanks to my assistant Nate Sorensen for putting the video together!

Recap: Telluride Photo Festival

AdamBarkerPhotography image of Dusk at the Dallas Divide near Telluride, Colorado

I had the recent pleasure of participating in the Telluride Photo Festival. As its namesake implies, this festival is located in one of the premier locations for fall foliage in the Rocky Mountains. Telluride is hopelessly beautiful, rugged and even a bit remote. It’s a classic mountain town, with over the top log homes, deluxe lodges and a bustling main street with an eclectic array of galleries, eateries and boutiques.

AdamBarkerPhotography image of Telluride, Colorado in fall.

My focus throughout the week was threefold: teaching a  three-day workshop on capturing the complete outdoor image, attendee portfolio reviews, and a seminar on environmental active lifestyle imagery. All told, it was a busy week full of beautiful imagery, lots of laughs and new relationships forged with wonderful people. I was joined by my trusty assistant/sidekick, Nate Sorensen and we had a blast driving countless dirt roads through a winding maze of foliage, underbrush and cattle guards in search of inspiring locations for my workshop. The Mark Miller Subaru Outback was a rally machine! Minor note, however: the road tires that came with Suby are not meant for some of Colorado’s finer dirt road shred sessions.

AdamBarkerPhotography image of Mark Miller Subaru Outback at Dallas Divide near Telluride, Colorado

Located at the head of a deep box canyon, Telluride (elev. 8,750 ft.) is already a significant hop, skip and jump above sea level. That should give some indication as to how tall the surrounding peaks are. The San Juan mountain range makes up a healthy portion of those surrounding peaks, and they’ve long been a fall photography destination at the top of my list. They did not disappoint.

An AdamBarkerPhotography image of fall foliage in first light at the Dallas Divide near Telluride, Colorado

Huge, sprawling stands of aspen were peppered with yellow, orange and green splotches of color, only to stand in stark contrast against sky scraping peaks like Wilson Peak and Mt. Sneffels. Spending the whole week in the area, it was interesting to see nature’s subtle nuances as colors ebbed and flowed each day. It’s amazing how much an area can change overnight, and we were certainly witness to this in many of the classic drives in the area.

Photo of Adam Barker teaching a workshop at the Telluride Photo Festival

There are countless sunrise/sunset photo locations in the area, and we were fortunate to have gorgeous dawn skies at both the Dallas Divide and West Dallas Creek Road. Especially with clear skies and uninteresting weather, dawn/dusk are some of the best times to capture saturated, even colors with deep skies. The lack of direct light, and the glow emanating from the far horizon make for fantastically detailed landscapes that have a rich, subtle glow to them. It wasn’t uncommon to see most people show up to similar locations 20 minutes or so after we’d begun shooting. By that time, skies were pale, and we were preparing for first light.

AdamBarkerPhotography image of fall color at sunset at Lizard Head Pass during the Telluride Photo Festival

We were blessed with ominous clouds and killer color at Lizard Head Pass one evening for sunset. Low light and intermittent overcast skies made for fantastic directional lighting as well as soft, diffused indirect light. The greatest thing about fall is the way the landscape and color changes with different types of light. The workshop was a huge success, and my group of students was fantastic–always eager to learn and practice some of the new technique they’d learned with their Singh Ray Filters.

AdamBarkerPhotography image of Mark Miller Subaru Outback at Dallas Divide near Telluride, Colorado

Towards the end of the week, five straight days of 5 am wakeup calls had caught up to us. I took a breather from sunrise shoots and focused my efforts on portfolio reviews. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of work. It’s always an inspiration to see work from other photographers (whether aspiring or veteran) and it never fails to give me a new outlook on the world in which we live.

I wrapped up the week with a seminar on environmental active lifestyle imagery. Many thanks to my sponsors Arc’teryx, Clikelite Backpacks and Mountain Khakis for providing some schwag to share with the crowd. I can honestly say there are few places as majestic as Telluride. The photographic opportunities are endless, the people are kind-hearted and the Telluride Photo Festival proved a perfect forum for learning and photographic enrichment from some huge names in the business (Tim Kemple, Rob Haggart, Kristen Fortier (Men’s Journal), Mark Lesh (Skiing mag), Julia Vandenoever (Backpacker Mag) Tom Till and many, many more. Keep an eye out for next year’s lineup–should be a doozy!

ABP Showcase Slideshow: Environmental Active Lifestyle Imagery

I had a blast at the recent PDN Outdoor Photo Expo here in Salt Lake City. It was fantastic to attend seminars by many other talented photographers, and I had a great turnout to my presentation as well. For all those who couldn’t make it, I’ve included my feature slideshow below. The focus of my seminar was on the fusion of scenic landscape and active lifestyle imagery. Hint: Get the HD uploading, take a lunch/snooze/whatever break, and enjoy the show when you get back!

Upcoming: PDN Outdoor Photo Expo, Aug 4-5 2011

If you have even the most minute desire to better your photography, and you live within even a couple hours’ drive of Salt Lake City, pack your bags and get on your horse for the first annual PDN Outdoor Photo Expo sponsored by Pictureline. I am ecstatic to be presenting among names like Art Wolfe, Frans Lanting, George Lepp, Scott Markewitz, Kevin Winzeler, David Stoecklein, Jimmy Chin, Tim Kemple and many, many others. Holy wow! Look at that lineup. It’s like an all-you-can-learn smorgasbord of photography technique and vision from a cast of all-stars.

My presentation on capturing engaging Environmental Active Lifestyle images takes place August 5 from 3-5 pm. Register for my seminar, and many others here. I’ll be sharing insight into where, when and how to create stunning active lifestyle images that speak to viewers and connect on a level that makes them want to go, do and see. We’ll talk composition, exposure, athlete communication and how to use landscape filters to eclipse all the other average imagery out there. There will be giveaways from my sponsors including Clikelite backpacks and Mountain Khakis and Singh Ray Filters. Come check out the AdamBarkerPhotography/Mark Miller Subaru Outback. It’s even cooler in person!  Finally, I’ll be presenting a slideshow of some of my most prized active lifestyle imagery from the past several years.

Recap: Bavaria Photo Workshop

Curious cows. Captured during an AdamBarkerPhotography Photo Workshop near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

I’ve been back from Germany now for a week or so, but it feels like just yesterday that I was dining on schnitzel and watching the sun rise and set over some of the more fantastic shooting locations I’ve experienced behind the lens. This workshop was conducted in cooperation with the Edelweiss Lodge & Resort, located in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. The facilities were great, and as a vacation resort catering solely to our United States Military service men and women (and spouses), it was a pleasure to be amongst so many that contribute on a daily basis to the freedom that we enjoy in this great country.

Photographer Adam Barker with student during Germany Photo Workshop p: Brad Hayes

Garmisch is quintessential storybook Germany. When you think of spending time in a classic German setting, you’re thinking of Garmisch-Partenkirchen–you just don’t realize it. Aesthetic church steeples, colorful window flowerboxes, quaint chalets with painted murals on the walls, cobblestone streets, beer steins served full to the brim with the best Bavarian brews, towering limestone peaks, lush green farm fields and rolling valleys, misty mornings, and yes–guys sporting their lederhosen loud and proud–it’s all there, and it’s all a part of every day life in this unique part of the world.

Endless shooting opportunities on an AdamBarkerPhotography Photo Workshop near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Needless to say, there was no lack of photographic subject matter. If anything, there were times when it was all a bit overwhelming–difficult, even, to capture in multiple clicks of the shutter. I taught two 3-day workshops back to back (14 and 17 students respectively). Mother nature was here and there and…everywhere. The weather in Garmisch moves in and out quicker that you can imagine, and thus–we needed to be flexible with our schedule. The students were fantastic, all very open to changes in schedule and shooting location. I was fortunate to be paired up with Edelweiss Dir. of Marketing Brad Hays, a legit photographer in his own right. Brad has lived in the area for ten years, and was indispensable in helping me to become familiar with the locations and shooting options.

Workshop students at an AdamBarkerPhotography Photo Workshop in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

I quickly found that sunrise and sunset were a crapshoot on any given morning or evening. The weather was always in and out, which really, was much more desirable than clear blue skies each morning/evening. Many times we would arrive at a location, shrouded in dawn mist, only to be spat out of the clouds minutes later witnessing rose-colored peaks in the distance with rolling farm fields in the foreground. I discovered that the minutes and hours just after sunrise, and leading up to sunset were the most reliable for direct light. We did have one or two morning and evening shoots where the clouds just exploded with color, and it was a riot to see eager photographers scrambling every which way trying to capitalize on the gift from above.

Farmer's shed and Bavarian Alps at an AdamBarkerPhotography Photo Workshop near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

The landscape was ideal for mid to long focal length shots. Wide angle images were just a bit tougher to come by as there wasn’t an overabundance of foreground objects to plant in the immediate in-your-face foreground. Curious cows, of course, were the rare exception, if you could persuade them to stand still! We worked extensively on finding dynamic compositions, and balancing the light that made for challenging exposures at times. It was the ideal setting to instruct everyone on how to use Singh Ray Filters to capture the scene as our eyes saw it. It’s always amazing to see the light bulb go on when students finally overcome the hurdles that have challenged them in their photography.

Students at an AdamBarkerPhotography photo workshop near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

All in all, and despite some particularly inclement weather for the second workshop, it was a fantastic experience (see attendee comments on the workshop below). I hope to return to Garmisch-Partenkirchen again some time–it looks to be a stunning photography location during the fall season! Are you interested in having a spectacular time learning how to take you photographic skills and creative vision to the next level? I’ve got domestic and international workshops/photo tours coming up this fall that are calling your name! Check out my workshop at the upcoming Telluride Photo Festival, or travel across the pond to the Far East with myself and M&M Photo Tours during our Southeast Asia photo tour.

Misty morning shoot near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany during an AdamBarkerPhotography Workshop

Bavaria Workshop Attendee Comments:

“Adam Barker is a fantastic instructor. So much energy and passion for photography. He was very patient with everyone
and a whole lot of fun to hang out with. I truly enjoyed this workshop and would attend another Adam Barker workshop if
you bring him back.”

“All I can say, it was an awesome workshop and will do it again if Adam comes back!”

“Let’s just say there was no bad memories. Garmisch, Adam Barker and Edelweiss Lodge & Resort. It was a win-win-win
situation…”

“The additional evening shoot that we did on Friday night was incredible. It really left me excited and inspired to get out
and really focus more on my photography. It was truly a fantastic workshop. Adam Barker was INCREDIBLE!”

All Time Agua Canyon

First light at Agua Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Situated near the southern tip of Bryce Canyon National Park, Agua Canyon is a jaw-dropping collection of colors, shapes and textures. It’s less iconic than the typical amphitheater shots, but no less gorgeous. Perhaps it’s this lesser known status that draws me back time and time again to this glorious location. More than anything else, Agua Canyon is a challenge in composition and “getting it all” in the frame. It’s tall, and can be challenging to fit into the frame of capture. Other than that, Mother Nature does 99% of the work. Scout your location. Be there a the right time. And click away.

First light at Agua Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

AdamBarkerPhotography Bio Video (revised edit)

Just in case you missed it the first time around, here’s a revised edit on a bio video done by the boys over at HIP Visual Arts. I can’t forget to mention my wonderful partners and sponsors that help me to do what I do! Special thanks to Gitzo tripods, Clikelite Backpacks, Arc’teryx, Mountain Khakis, Singh Ray Filters and the Manfrotto School of Xcellence.

Adam Barker Profile from HIP VISUAL ARTS on Vimeo.

AdamBarkerPhotography Video Bio

Three minutes with yours truly. That may be three minutes too many for some of you. And if it is, escape is just a mouse click away. Otherwise, you’re mine! (or I’m yours…)

Many thanks to Garrett Smith, Dustin Butcher and Nate Balli for putting this video together. If you’re local here in Salt Lake City, I’d love to see you at the upcoming Hammers Inc Arts Festival. Great artists and fantastic work on display, all for a worthy cause. For more details on attending, and how you can help donate to the Access Fund (for which the Arts Fest will be raising money), click here.

Artist Profile: Adam Barker from Hammers Inc. Photography on Vimeo.

AdamBarkerPhotography Top 10 Gear List from Asia Workshop

The Bayon at Twilight, Angkor Thom, Cambodia

The Bayon at Twilight, Angkor Thom, Cambodia

Having just spent nearly three weeks traveling across the world, I became very well acquainted with the gear I chose to take. Putting equipment through its paces on a consistent, daily basis really allows the cream to rise to the top. The standouts perform, and the rest gets tossed. Below is a list of the gear that was essential in capturing unique imagery while far away from home in a different climate and environment. Some were obvious producers from past experience, some were new found favorites! (all listings are linked for easy access–just roll over with your mouse cursor)

MGCC_swatch1_Ash1. Mountain Khakis Granite Creek Convertible Pant. I typically steer clear of pant/short combos cause it seems like very few actually look moderately normal. Read: I feel goofy in them. Not so with the MK’s. Light and comfortable, these convertible pants are extremely functional, and look great too. My favorite part? Zippered pockets that keep your valuables safe (passport, wallet, memory card wallet, etc.)

small_CLIK_Escape_gray2. Clikelite Escape Photo Pack. I spent nearly 17 days straight with a backpack on for at least 8 hours a day. Make no mistake, I’ve now reached “BFF” status with the Escape. It’s small enough to travel well, yet packs a load of gear and wears comfortably. It’s also super handy to open the entire pack, clam shell style with one pull on the dual zippers in hurried situations. Next year’s version has some small, but worthy improvements. Should be out soon!

warmpolinhand3. Singh Ray LB Warming Polarizer. In a word? Indispensable. We were consistently shooting in wet or hazy conditions. The LB Warming Polarizer helped to take the sheen off of foliage or reflective tile or other materials. It also helped to cut down on the haze for longer lens shots. I can’t tell you how many times I reminded the photo tour attendees to put on their polarizing filters if they hadn’t already done so. It hardly ever leaves my lens.

79495_4934. Patagonia Men’s Drifter Gore Tex Hiker. Like the rest of the gear listed on here, I used these nearly all day every day on tour. In short, they were a bear and a fluffy pillow all at once. Handled the mileage with aplomb, and kept my feet happy and comfortable. Gore Tex is essential to keeping feet dry, and the capilene liner wicked moisture from the inside. Believe it or not, even in 100 degree heat for two weeks plus, my feet never felt sweaty. Sweet!

unnamed5. Lacie Rugged 500 GB Portable Hard Drive. These puppies travel with me everywhere. Tried and trusted, they are fast (Firewire 800) and reliable. I took two to Asia, partitioning one into two 250gb drives and having another as a second and separate backup.

11009_0826. Patagonia Capilene 1 Silkweight T-shirt. Light, well-fitting and incredibly comfortable. This shirt looks snazzy, wicks moisture extremely well and dries in a hurry. It also packs super well. Take a half dozen on your next hot weather journey–you won’t regret it.

mbp7. 13″ Macbook Pro. Small enough to work on comfortably in tight spaces (read: airplane), fast and functional. I’m a Mac snob, but I can’t imagine anyone ever passing up this sexy beast. It’s the perfect companion for any photographer looking for the primo travel laptop. It should be noted that due to general color and accuracy discrepancies on laptop screens, I typically just edit on my laptops and do very minimal processing other than for blog posts or Facebook updates.

chatingmail8. Google G-Chat Video Chat. What I can say? Even when on the road, I’m a bit of a home body. G Chat is super easy and quick–there’s nothing better than saying hello to my wife and boys to start the day off on the right foot.

41cff4ywuWL._AA300_PIbundle-1,TopRight,0,0AA300_SH20_

9. Canon 5D MkII and 24-105mm 4.0L IS. A lethal combination in terms of image quality, usability and versatility. The full frame sensor and 21 mp output on the 5D MkII produces images unrivaled in the 35mm digital SLR realm (according to this photog). The 24-105mm is as good a one lens wonder as there ever was. Wide enough to be wide, and long enough to be moderately long, it is extremely sharp edge to edge, and the image stabilization is an added bonus.

buystrip_ipad_2010022510. iPad. It’s a life saver on long flights, bus rides and even longer layovers. It also works incredibly well as a visual aide when teaching to small groups. I used it repeatedly in the van on the way to different shooting locations, and even at dinner when reviewing the day’s teaching points, or discussing the next day’s photographic goals. I should also mention it’s a fantastic piece for showing your work quickly and efficiently.