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Len Saltiel
Works at Photographer
Attended Rutgers University
Lives in Avon, CT
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Len Saltiel

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Remains - Cook Bank, Rhyolite, Nevada

Most ghost towns have a unique story and Rhyolite, Nevada is no exception. Located near Death Valley and 120 miles from Las Vegas, the town was a mere teenager before its death. Its lifespan lasted only 15 years. It was founded in 1905, like many towns of its time, as a result of he discovery of gold. It was made home by thousands of prospectors and miners looking to get rich. Investors came in to build the town, providing it with telephone, electricity, buildings, a hospital, a newspaper and an opera house. By 1907, the population approximated 4,000. In 1908, as the main mine began to dry up, an investor ordered a study and the results were not promising. The exodus began, with only about 1,000 remaining by 1910. It took another 10 years for the remaining residents to vacate the town. Since then, it has been used in motion pictures and is also a tourist attraction. The building in the photo was the Cook Bank which also served as a Stock Exchange
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Johnson Lake Clouds - Banff National Park, Alberta

Banff. So many amazing locations to shoot. Way too many to shoot during the golden hours over a four day visit. After a number of visits (five, if you are counting), it gets easier to prioritize which ones are the best at sunrise and sunset. That leaves other times of the day for everything else. Some photographers will tell you that for a photo to be good, you must shoot during the golden hours. I agree with them to a degree. If you are lucky enough to have good weather with nice cumulous clouds, the light that you get at sunrise and sunset can't be matched (it's not called golden hours for nothing). But to stop shooting because the golden light is gone is simply hogwash to me. Take this photo of Johnson Lake that I took in mid-afternoon. It wasn't the best conditions that I had on this visit. In fact, it was dreary most of the afternoon. If you are patient and wait long enough, you might get a little sunlight breaking through and lighting the treetops and clouds.
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Museum Covered Bridge - Shelburne, Vermont

One of the sad things about progress is that remnants of the past slowly disappear. Sometimes, it is not obvious as the disappearance happens slowly over a long period of time. All of a sudden, we realize that what we once treasured is now hard to find. Take windmills for instance. At one time before the advent of the Industrial Revolution, there were over 200,000 windmills in Europe. Today, there are very few windmills to be found there. North America's version of the windmill are covered bridges. Many were built when horses were still the main method of transportation for individuals. Their decline started with the introduction of the automobile. Many have been replaced by modern roads and bridges. Do a search for covered bridges in your state and you will find quite a small number.

One sign that covered bridges are facing distinction is that some can now be found in museums. My wife and I spent some time in Vermont this past September and visited the terrific Shelburne Museum, which has a covered bridge on its grounds. The bridge once crossed the Lamoille River in Cambridge, Vermont. It was dismantled in 1949 and was moved to the museum grounds, situated over a small pond. The bridge is only open to foot traffic and I captured this photo of the pond and this one-room schoolhouse that was also relocated to the museum grounds. If you are in the Burlington area, please take a day visiting this unique museum. It is one of my favorites.
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Desert Sky - Mesquite Dunes, Death Valley National Park, California

Happy New Year! My week of not posting on the Blog or Social Media turned into two weeks. It was a time to reflect and I am looking forward to getting back in gear in 2017. 2016 was one of my most traveled years, and I am still behind in culling through last years photos. So let's get going.

This photo was taken last month in Death Valley. We got to the dunes well before sunrise and faced a half-mile to mile hike out from the parking lot. Donning our headlamps, we all headed out in different directions. As we hiked, the early morning light began to appear, revealing some great clouds in the sky. This is a bit unusual in that Death Valley doesn't usually have a lot of cloud cover (we were blessed with clouds all week). I kept checking eastward to see how the clouds were being lit and realized early on that we were going to get quite a light show. I snapped this image just before the sun peeked over the mountains.
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Dante's View - Death Valley National Park, California

When one thinks about Death Valley there are two things that usually come to mind: the scorching heat and the lowest point in North America. There is no dispute on either claims. The average summer temperature is about 120° Fahrenheit, with the hottest day on record hitting an unbelievable 134° Fahrenheit. The lowest point in North America is pictured in this photo, Badwater Basin at 283 feet below sea level. This view, known as Dante's View, is from the north side of Coffin Peak (the location names in Death Valley are cool, but I am sure that there are many sad stories of how they got them). Dante's View is actually at 5,476 feet above sea level, giving you an idea of how far we were above the basin.

A few of us visited this overlook on a pre-photo tour scouting trip. It wasn't a particularly cold morning and we had some great clouds. I hiked from the parking lot far enough to get a full shot of the salt flat down below. The clouds had a great pattern to them and I was lucky to get a shot of the sunrise hitting the tops of the Amargosa Mountain Range at the end of the basin to the right. Just another great day in Death Valley.
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Fire Wave - Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Before joining Jeff Clow​'s Death Valley Photo Tour (a must do) earlier this month, Jaki Good Miller and I headed to the Valley of Fire to visit this stellar Nevada State Park. According to its website, "The Valley of Fire derives its name from red sandstone formations, formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs, 150 million years ago. Complex uplifting and faulting of the region, followed by extensive erosion, have created the present landscape." I can attest to the uniqueness of the formations and their color.

One of the parks must do and see locations is the Fire Wave. Unlike the more famous wave in neighboring Arizona, the Fire Wave does not require permits and it is a grueling hike to get there. Yes, there is a decent hike involved, but it isn't that bad and well worth it. Unfortunately for Jaki, her new camera started freezing up. Even though I have the same camera, we both couldn't figure out what was going wrong. When we finally got to the Fire Wave, Jaki sat down to see if she could get it working and I headed down the wave. That's Jaki in the upper right corner of my photo. The good news was that we were able to get the camera working somewhat sporadically and she was able to shoot the wave.
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Glowing Mountaintop - Two Jack Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta

Anticipation. It builds up from when the second the alarm goes off at 3:30am. After you shake off your groggy head and begin to think clearly, you check your weather app. Great news. Sunny with clouds. You peek your head outside your hotel room and look at the sky. Yep, it might be a killer sunrise. As you drive to your location, the anticipation begins to build. Once you arrive, it is still dark. You don your head lamp and determine where you want to set up your tripod. Check your settings. Take a couple of test shots. You are always amazed what today's camera sensors register in the darkness. And then you wait. You take a few more shots because there is nothing else to do even though you know they will never see the light of day. The it finally happens. The clouds start lighting up. You now know it is going to be a killer sunrise. The minutes pass by like hours until you start to see the tops of the mountain start to glow. This is when you can't be distracted because you know that this light show will last mere minutes. After the sun is up high enough to light the mountain, you begin to relax because you know you got some good photos. You know that you will shoot the rest of the day, but already the anticipation is beginning subconsciously for tomorrow's sunrise.
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Len Saltiel

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Tree - Palouse, Washington

Last August, I took Jeff Clow to the Palouse for a scouting trip. Many of the photos that I have posted from this beautiful area center on barns in all stages of repair (or disrepair); occupied or abandoned farmhouses; farm machinery; rolling farmland; and, of course, the iconic views from the top of Steptoe Butte at sunrise and sunset. The butte towers about 3,600 feet above the surrounding farmland. There you get a 360-degree view from its top. I thought I would post a different shot of the butte (instead of from the butte) from below. I really like the grand old tree and used it to frame the butte.
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Mesa Arch Flare - Canyonlands, National Park, Utah

One of the most iconic and most challenging images to capture of the American Southwest is Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park. Why is it so challenging? It is not because it is difficult to find or get to. It is really all about its popularity with photographers; getting "the" shot during a small window of time (sunrise); and a very small area for photographers to get a good position. In fact, there may be space for only 10-12 people, and there are some that camp out overnight to get a prime spot. So, even when you get up well before sunrise, drive 45 minutes from Moab, hike to its location, you may well be totally shut out.

Last March, we arrived before sunrise and more than half of the space to shoot the arch was taken. That left few areas to get any shot of the sunrise. I was able to get a position on the right side which enabled me to get this photo as the sun rose above the distant La Sal Mountains. I wasn't able to get the full arch into my composition until later in the morning. All in all, I was pretty happy with this image and liked the sun burst and sun flare.
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Wash View - Artist Palette, Death Valley National Park, California

One of our stops on Jeff Clow's Photo Tour to Death Valley was to Artist Palette. The main attraction at this stop is the palette itself that you can see in the upper left, although the colors from this angle are not that pronounced. Trust me, from the parking lot, you can get a great straight-on shot of the palette where the colors are really apparent and I do have those shots. For whatever reason, I was in an exploring mood during the whole week of my trip and so, after getting the straight-on shots, I climbed and hiked out to get a composition looking up the wash. From this point, you can see where the water would run on the very few occasions that it rains in Death Valley. It also gives a better view of the Black Mountains in the background. If you look at this photo large, you can see four of my fellow photographers shooting the palette.
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Evening Drive - Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada

On our way to join Jeff Clow's Death Valley Photo Tour, Jaki Good Miller and I headed to the Valley of Fire for a couple of days. After landing in Las Vegas, we were ready to head there for the hour-long drive on the highway. Using Google Maps, I saw that there was a much slower route that looked to travel on the west side of Lake Mead. Being a landscape lover, I opted to head on the hopefully more scenic route.

What a great decision that turned out to be. After getting out of Vegas, we came to the entrance to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. I hadn't realized that we were actually driving on Federal land. After getting through the gate, the scenery was absolutely fabulous. With a sunset scheduled at a very early 4:30pm, we were blessed with great golden hour light most of the way to our hotel. Near the end of the park lands, we pulled over for a road shot of this amazing scene. If you look at this photo large, you can see a bright red car coming toward us, giving you a sense of how big these rock formations are. I don't know the name of them, so if you do, let me know.
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Dune Top - Death Valley National Park, California

Last week I posted a photo of the highest dune in Mesquite Dunes at sunrise. I knew as soon as I saw it that I wanted to climb to the very top of the dune before I left that morning. So off I went toward that dune very slowly (slow is the key word as walking in the sand is never fast). Along the way, I ran into fellow photographer and great friend, Jaki Good Miller. She asked where I was going and I told here that as soon as I saw the height of that dune, I was going to stand on top of it. Of course, Jaki said she had that same thought, so off we went trudging though the sand.

Let me tell you, climbing to the top of that dune was no easy feat. Every step you would take up the steep incline, you seemed to sink backwards three quarters of a step. I even tried running up (I must have looked like one of those cartoon characters) but it did not really make any difference. I was determined to make it and, if I didn't walk five miles a day, I am not sure I would have. Jaki, on the other hand, was an All-American athlete, but she was hampered with a bad foot. I made it up first and her first words after taking my photo was, I don't think I can make it. I knew that she would not let me stand there alone (she is quite competitive) and allow the old guy to beat her there. Minutes later she was standing next to me.

This photo shows the view looking down along the dune's ridge line.
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Work
Occupation
| Photographer | Traveler | Hiker |
Employment
  • Photographer
    2007 - present
    Retired early from corporate life to pursue travel and photography.
  • Hartford Investment Management
    Chief Operating Officer, 2002 - 2007
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Avon, CT
Previously
Simsbury, CT - Langhorne, PA - Oaklyn, NJ - Gibbsboro, NJ
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Education
  • Rutgers University
    BS Accounting
  • Temple University
    MBA Finance
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Male
Len Saltiel's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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Being a long time photographer, I really appreciate a business that is run by other photographers, especially when they produce top notch products. Until I used Atlanta Canvas and Prints, I had been pretty disappointed with canvas prints and avoided that medium altogether. My recent canvas print that Bob produced was top notch and I would highly recommend his company to anyone looking for great results.
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