Photo: Through The Woods

When I visit a location, I always try to give myself time to really explore the location. When we visited Rainbow Falls on The Big Island of Hawaii, I took a few shots of the waterfall, and then want to see what else I could find. I climbed the steps to the top of the falls, and then followed the path off into the woods. The path was soaked with water from intermittent downpours, so I sloshed along... letting the mud ooze over my slippers and between my toes. I loved these trees with their echoing curves that created a beautiful tunnel of greenery.

A couple of tips for photographing in the woods:

1. Forests can be full of "clutter", so getting a pleasing composition can be hard. Look for repeating patterns, and eliminate distracting elements if you can.

2. Pay close attention to your histogram. Getting the right exposure in the woods can be tough because the sky is usually visible through the leaves - and is much brighter than the trunks and leaves in the shadows. In this case, I let the sky blow out in order to ensure that the trees were properly exposed.

Do you find it difficult to produce nice compositions when you are shooting in the woods? Or is it just me? :)

#landscapephotography   #phototips  
Photo: Lost in the Woods

I wasn't really lost. But this is a beautiful place to lose yourself. I was looking for something different out there this time, because I've photographed these falls many times before. I wanted to show the simple beauty of the location. Even in winter, the moss and the hemlock trees gave me lots of color to work with - and relatively warm temperatures and recent rains gave me a nicely flowing waterfall.

So, I went in search of a simplified composition. That's never easy in the woods - there's so much clutter out there... leaves, rocks, trees... it's easy to come away with a really busy composition. For this shot, I tried to remove as much as possible. That way, the brilliant greens, the leading lines, and the pretty falls through the trees get all the attention.

Time slows down when I'm in the woods... there's no clutter... no schedule, no assignment, no stress. Just fresh air and the sound of the falls. So, the photograph is my attempt to share that with you.
Photo: Fire in the Valley of Fire

Crazy-beautiful skies create a color cast than enhances the brilliant colors at Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada.

Thanks to those who share my work. I appreciate your efforts to help me find a wider audience.

The ground really is a brilliant pink in the Valley of Fire - at least in this spot. In other places, it's bright orange, or crazy yellow, or smooth white. Spots and stripes and bumps and curves make it even more incredible. But the skies on this particular night were just as breathtaking.

It's hard to get the colors right when you are shooting in the place like this. The default color balance settings in the RAW converter just can't handle unusual lighting conditions - so it comes down to remembering the scene as it was. Are my settings just right? Probably not - but they are as close as I can get to the reality of the scene as I remember it.

It's important to realize that color casts are sometimes real - removing the cast would actually make the image feel wrong to the viewer. If the blinds in my bedroom are half-lowered, I can see only the street outside my window... not the sky. In the evenings sometimes, I'll look out through those half lowered blinds and see that the street is an odd color - there's a hint of magenta that wasn't there before. When that happens, I'll pull up the blinds or step outside because I know that the sky must be amazing. And it always is. That color cast is quite real - and I want it to remain in my image.

So on a night like this one, the sky was actually enhancing the colors on the ground. The color shift isn't always subtle - at least to someone who is used to looking for it - and in this case, the beautiful pinks stood out even more as they reflected the light from the sky.

Have you seen the color casts I'm talking about? Sometimes it's magenta, sometimes golden... but always beautiful! :)
Photo: The Wave, Coyote Buttes - Arizona, USA
Photo: Sunbeams

I spent a good chunk of my childhood growing up in a beautiful valley in the Rockies... and every time I find myself back in those mountains, it feels like coming home. We're waiting for our next flight, here in Denver - so it won't be long. A few more hours and I can get my wilderness fix. Our workshop starts on Thursday.
Loading...
Varina
Public
Fire in the Valley of Fire

Crazy-beautiful skies create a color cast than enhances the brilliant colors at Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada.

Thanks to those who share my work. I appreciate your efforts to help me find a wider audience.

The ground really is a brilliant pink in the Valley of Fire - at least in this spot. In other places, it's bright orange, or crazy yellow, or smooth white. Spots and stripes and bumps and curves make it even more incredible. But the skies on this particular night were just as breathtaking.

It's hard to get the colors right when you are shooting in the place like this. The default color balance settings in the RAW converter just can't handle unusual lighting conditions - so it comes down to remembering the scene as it was. Are my settings just right? Probably not - but they are as close as I can get to the reality of the scene as I remember it.

It's important to realize that color casts are sometimes real - removing the cast would actually make the image feel wrong to the viewer. If the blinds in my bedroom are half-lowered, I can see only the street outside my window... not the sky. In the evenings sometimes, I'll look out through those half lowered blinds and see that the street is an odd color - there's a hint of magenta that wasn't there before. When that happens, I'll pull up the blinds or step outside because I know that the sky must be amazing. And it always is. That color cast is quite real - and I want it to remain in my image.

So on a night like this one, the sky was actually enhancing the colors on the ground. The color shift isn't always subtle - at least to someone who is used to looking for it - and in this case, the beautiful pinks stood out even more as they reflected the light from the sky.

Have you seen the color casts I'm talking about? Sometimes it's magenta, sometimes golden... but always beautiful! :)

168 plus ones
32 comments