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Len Saltiel
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Attended Rutgers University
Lives in Avon, CT
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Len Saltiel

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Chapel Bridge

Visiting Europe is always a history lesson, where I always walk away with a greater appreciation of the past. That was so on our visit to Lucerne, Switzerland, after our Rhine River cruise a couple of years ago. Lucerne is a great city that lies next to the blue waters of Lake Lucerne, and it is surrounded by towering mountains. One of the most beautiful areas of the city is where the Reuss River passes under the Kapellbrücke (literally the Chapel Bridge) on its way to Lake Lucerne.
The Chapel Bridge is the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe, as well as the world's oldest surviving truss bridge. The bridge is so named, as it starts on one side of the Reuss River near Saint Peter's Chapel. Originally built in 1333, it is 560 feet in length and is unique, as it houses many interior paintings that originate from the 17th century. Today, the bridge serves as one of Lucerne's main tourist attractions, and is prominent in almost any scene along the main thoroughfare. 
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Len Saltiel

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Orange Mounds of the Badlands
It is very hard to describe Badlands National Park to someone who hasn't been there. The diversity of rock formations range from jagged peaks to erosion-carved rock. The park has one main road that runs 31 miles from end-to-end. Every curve in the road brings you to a different type of scene. This composition shows the road curving around what are known as the Orange Mounds toward a section of the famed 100-mile "Wall" that acts as the spine of the park. I left the cars on the road to give viewers an idea of how expansive Badlands is, keeping in mind that this photo shows only a small section of the road.
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Len Saltiel

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Lenticular Goodness
About a month ago, I posted this image when I headed off to Moab. It was taken last year in April when my son and I drove cross-country to Oregon. I know that I have been posting a lot of images from my trip, which is quite unusual for me. I tend to vary my locations on the blog. Starting next week, I will resume that tradition. I wanted to post an image today to close out the Moab series, and decided to post a different composition to the one I posted before leaving on the trip.

The image in this post also brings back some great memories of shooting with old friends and meeting new ones. Our group stopped at Balanced Rock to work the scene. It was early evening, and the light and clouds were amazing. As we were finishing shooting, a few of us decided to wander  in the field toward the Windows Area of Arches National Park. As we walked toward the distant rock formations and La Sal Mountains, two things happened. First, these lenticular clouds became more prominent in the sky. Their unique shapes really stood out agains the blue sky. The second thing that happened was that this huge group of clouds blocked the sun. 

Even though we had plans to head to Delicate Arch later that evening, we all had the same thought: Let's ditch that plan and hang out on the ridge that we were standing on until the clouds blocking the sun cleared. Patience is not my strongest suit, but spending almost 45 minutes waiting for the sun to break through was instead quite enjoyable. We all talked photography, knowing that the scene would be worth it in the end. 

Once the clouds cleared the sun, the rock formations were bathed in great light and shadows, with parts of them being quite bright and other parts being in shadow. The La Sal Mountains were lit perfectly and were as clear as I ever had seen them. Finally, those great lenticular clouds looked like some artist had painted them on the sky. All in all, a wonderful evening in the desert.
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Very nice. Love the clarity of the mountains.
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On the Rocky Shoreline
On my trip to the Oregon Coast last summer, we drove up the coast from Gold Beach in southern Oregon and ended up staying overnight in the coastal town of Yachats. Visitors to the coast of Oregon can oftentimes find fog and rain in bunches. This day was no exception, and the wind and cold, even for August, was challenging. After checking into the hotel and having dinner, I was determined to go outside and shoot, especially since the hotel was right on the Pacific Ocean. This scene was shot maybe a block from the hotel, and I decided to shoot a long exposure that would have the water match the same texture as the storm clouds in the distance. When I looked to edit this, I decided to dial back a bit of the rocky shoreline's color to match the mood of the scene.
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Len Saltiel

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Sometimes it is the little things that catch your eye and just pop out of a scene. We had spent the day sailing slowly down the Rhine River from Amsterdam to view the amazing castles that tower above the river. The weather was not good most of the day, with heavy rains. As we neared our destination of Rudesheim, Germany, the weather broke, and, once docked, we went to explore the town. 

Rudesheim is a nice place with lots of shops and restaurants. Whenever my wife and friends went into the stores to do a little shopping, I looked around for subjects to shoot on the streets. When I saw this postbriefkasten (translation: mailbox), I knew that it was going to make a cool subject. The ornateness of it was unlike anything that you might find in the US (I have yet to see a public mailbox that I would describe as ornate). The deep blue color is what first attracted my eye.
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Len Saltiel

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The Tree
One of the challenges we were given by our Moab tour leader +Jeff Clow  was to photograph one (or both) of two great trees on Potash Road. The challenge in shooting the trees is that the formations on both sides of the road are quite high, and the shadows wreak havoc on capturing them. From a composition point of view, a decision needs to be made on whether to include the road, or exclude it in a way that made a compelling image. After shooting from a few different angles, I wasn't happy with the results, as whenever I excluded the road, the tree wasn't prominent in the scene. When I included the road,  it seemed to run away from the tree as opposed to leading to it. I finally got the idea of using the railroad tracks as a complementary leading line to the road and am quite happy with the result. I processed this in black and white, as the colors took away from the tree, and I felt the tones popped better without the color. 
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Fall Flow
One of the best places to take in the New England foliage each year is the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire. Affectionally known as the "Kanc", it is the destination of leaf peepers from all over the world. The highway can be quite crowded, especially on Columbus Day weekend, when I shot this scene. The Kanc (aka Route 112) runs for almost 35 miles, and during peak foliage season can give a wonderful display of colors. Along its route, you can find numerous hiking trails, a covered bridge, and six campgrounds. 

When I setup for this long exposure shot, I had to work my way through a crowd of people just hanging out on the rocks. As it was mid-afternoon with harsh light, I decided to compose this shot taking advantage of the shade while keeping a glimpse of the color in the distance. 
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Len Saltiel

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Autumn at the Lake
When the leaves change in New England every fall, I always head to Lake Waramaug State Park to shoot some of the foliage. It is a great place to capture the brilliant colors of the changing seasons, especially if you are looking for great reflections. The lake also has some wonderful amenities such as camping, fishing, swimming and picnicking. The best time to go is in the late afternoon when the sun is shining on the opposite shore. The kids are in school and with the daylight getting shorter, there is a golden glow to everything. The lake is named after an Indian chief of the Wyantenock tribe who had hunting grounds near falls on the Housatonic River. For more information about the park, visit it's website.

This shot was taken along the western shore in between the beach and the picnic area. While the opposite shore was still bathed in the late afternoon light, the bright foliage on the nearby trees contrasted nicely with the tree trunk.
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Beautiful shot Len! 
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Len Saltiel

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Potash Road
Another place that is often missed by visitors to Moab, Utah, is the drive down Potash Road. The road is roughly 17 miles long and runs parallel to the Colorado River. The scenery is terrific, with rock formations literally right next to the road, which is quite close to the river.  This area being a favorite destination of rock climbers, you can almost always spot them at various stages of their climbs. On this visit, we stopped for a while, and shot a few climbers as they ascended the sheer rock wall. About 5 miles from Moab, there are a number of petroglyphs that are visible on walls.

At one of our stops, I wanted to shoot an image that emphasized the steepness of the cliffs and how narrow the space is where the road runs (the Colorado River is mere feet to the right of the road). I also wanted to use the road as a leading line that would make viewers wonder what was around the bend.
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Len Saltiel

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The Iconic Southwest
One of the musts when shooting scenes with canyons is to shoot when the sun is very low. Besides the fact that you get that great golden hour light, the real reason is that the shadows add tremendous depth to the image. Shooting with the sun higher in the sky will eliminate the shadows, and the resulting image will appear extremely flat. When planning to shoot such a location, knowing whether it is a sunrise shot or a sunset spot (maybe both) is very important. 

Dead Horse Point State Park, pictured here, is one of the most iconic scenes of the southwest. It definitely is a sunrise location, and the light adds a lot of interest, especially with the reflections in the Colorado River as it "goosenecks" around the formations. I really wanted to add some anchor to the scene, and when I saw this lone tree with the leaves lit up, I knew I found it.
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One of my favorite places!
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  • Rutgers University
    BS Accounting
  • Temple University
    MBA Finance
Basic Information
| Photographer | Traveler | Hiker |
  • Photographer
    2007 - present
    Retired early from corporate life to pursue travel and photography.
  • Hartford Investment Management
    Chief Operating Office, 2002 - 2007
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Avon, CT
Simsbury, CT - Langhorne, PA - Oaklyn, NJ - Gibbsboro, NJ
Len Saltiel's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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