Here in California, we do not have the autumn hues to rival New Hampshire or Colorado. Nevertheless, the Sierra Nevada mountain range attracts a good number of photographers and seekers of fall colors every autumn. Yosemite Valley, situated on the western slopes of the Sierras has its own display, thanks to the Black Oaks, Maple, Cottonwoods and Dogwoods, which flourish here. Apart from these, there is the famous Elm tree in Cook’s meadow, which in peak color offers a memorable light show at sunrise and I believe it to be the most photographed Elm in the world.
The B&H Photo Video mega store is definitely one of the must-see attractions of New York. If you have never been there before, I highly recommend to check it out, because it is one of those unique places that you will not experience anywhere else in the world. Last week, our team member Tom Redd and I had a chance to visit the PDN PhotoPlus Expo in New York (summary of the conference to be posted today). Since it has been a while since I visited New York and I have never been to the B&H store before, I requested a quick tour of the store and asked for permission to take some pictures for our website. B&H kindly agreed to do it for us and we had a great experience that I would like to share with our readers.
I had the good fortune to join Nasim again this year on his annual Landscape Photography Workshop in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. While I regularly communicate with Nasim and others from Photography Life via email and phone, time and distance do not afford us with many chances to meet in person. I also appreciated the chance to spend some quality time with avid Photography Life readers, who share an appreciation of photography, camera technology, and the outdoors. Their comments, suggestions, constructive criticism, and support have helped make the Photography Life site better over time. Last year’s adventure allowed me to meet some wonderful people and share some memorable moments. I expected no less from this year’s trip.
1) San Juan Mountains
The San Juan and Uncompahgre forests offer an incredible panorama of Aspen and fir tree covered woodlands against majestic mountain peaks. Telluride, Durango, Silverton, Ouray, and Ridgway are the main towns in this scenic Southwestern Corner of Colorado. These towns have their roots in mining operations dating back to the mid-to-late 1800s, when gold, silver, copper, zinc, lead, and precious minerals were discovered in the region.
This year’s vacation choice was a simple one. Based on last year’s trip to the Canmore/Banff area, we realized there was much more to see of this beautiful region than time allowed. Many of the Photography Life readers were kind enough to suggest possible itineraries for our next trip. In particular, Cindy (a.k.a. “Alberta Girl”) gave us a detailed listing rivaling the length of my original article! Her recommendations served as the foundation for this year’s itinerary. If you are seeking to combine your love of photography with hiking, wildlife viewing, and breathtaking scenery, I would strongly urge you to consider the area around Banff National Park. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
1) Canmore – Home Away From Home
We stayed at Canmore’s Falcon Crest Lodge for our vacation last year. After we decided to return for another visit, we initially thought we might travel around the region, staying in different lodges located in Canmore, Lake Louise, Kananaskis, and Jasper every few 2-3 days. But the more we considered the areas we wished to visit, the more we liked the idea of using Canmore as our home base once again. The notion of packing up our belongings every few days and checking into a new lodge lost its appeal when we considered the logistics and time involved.
This guest post is a little different than the ones that we have been posting here at Photography Life. It is not coming from an established pro photographer. It is from an aspiring photographer, Kim Leuenberger, who works hard on bringing something unique to the world of photography, something we do not get to see every day in the never-ending sea of imagery on the Internet. I think a lot of our readers can relate to her and might find her work inspiring. I really liked her concept of Traveling Cars and asked Kim to share a little tip on how she post-processes her car photos.
My pondering and wondering
My name is Kim Leuenberger, I’m 21 and I’m a big dreamer! My imagination is so wide and over productive, so I have to find ways to let things go off of my head (so I don’t explode). I’m very close to nature, and I spend most of my time alone, which can be quite heavy at times. I love to get my feelings out through art. As a kid I used to have my own “throw-away” Kodak, and we would develop it and put it in a small album. My parents would tell me how to improve, and it went on like this for years, until The family got a digital camera. After the purchase I could practice as much as i wanted.
Photographers are always looking for something new to invigorate their photography. Sometimes visiting the same old haunts or taking the same types of photographs can get stale. When I mention that I love visiting historic cemeteries, I get quite a few strange looks. Some consider it a bit morbid. Others, uncomfortable with the subject of death, can’t seem to fathom going to a cemetery unless they have no choice! Suffice to say that the notion of visiting a cemetery is not usually at the top of people’s “Things I Would Most LikeTo Do This Weekend” lists!
1) Why Cemeteries?
It may be that having a cemetery just beyond my backyard fence or being within a 5 minute walk of another for much of my youth caused me to think of and look at cemeteries a bit differently than most. I never considered them spooky, haunting, or intimidating in any way. To the contrary, I was always fascinated by the older gravestones and more elaborate sculptures. I found cemeteries to be peaceful and calming – quite the opposite from how many are portrayed in television and films.
This is a guest post by one of our Landscape Photography Workshop participants, Emily Fagan (check out her excellent RV blog), who sent me the article along with some pictures, after attending our workshop earlier this year. She sent it to me a while ago, but after getting swamped with too much work and trying to balance things at home with a new baby in our house, my mailbox eventually got flooded with emails and I did not have a chance to get to it for a long time. I hope you enjoy this guest post and get to participate in our future workshops!
Landscape Photography Workshop in Colorado’s Peak Fall Foliage
Major Topics Covered:
– Sunrise tripod shot with manual camera settings
– Use of polarizing and graduated neutral density filters
– Composition using leading lines, triangles and the rule of thirds
– Use of hyperfocal distance to maximize depth of field
– West Dallas Creek, Dallas Creek and Last Dollar Roads between Ridgway and Telluride, Colorado.
– A fantastic 5-star day of photography and instruction in one of Colorado’s most scenic locales.
Getting Started: The Morning Shot
In the cold pre-dawn hours of September 22nd, 2012, my husband Mark and I crawled out of our warm bed and piled into our truck with all our camera gear and a couple of peanut-butter sandwiches to take part in Nasim Mansurov’s Colorado Fall Foliage Landscape Photography Workshop. Mark and I each take about 15,000 photos per year with our twin Nikon D5100′s, but this was our first photography workshop.
We are two weeks away from the first workshops this year and I wanted to provide an update on the content and location of the workshops. Due to a busy and hectic summer schedule, it was a little tough to keep up with the site, so I apologize ahead of time for not being able to provide all the details earlier.
1) Workshops and Dates
Once again, the workshops and the dates are the following:
- September 8, 2012 – Flash Photography Workshop (FULL)
- September 9, 2012 – Post-Processing Workshop (FULL)
- September 22, 2012 – Landscape Photography Workshop (FULL)
My wife, Tanya, and I recently vacationed in the Canmore/Banff area of Alberta, Canada. We settled on this location after reading a variety of reviews and looking over some stunning photos of the many attractions and wildlife. We planned a series of activities that would take us to some of the most scenic, historical, and cultural locations, provide some challenging hiking expeditions, and enable us to take a “few” photographs along the way. After receiving a new Nikon D800 (review), which I tested thoroughly, I was eager to put it to work in the field. Most of the photos in this article were taken with the D800, although some were shot with my infrared D90 (converted by Lifepixel.com). For those of you reading this on an RSS feed, you may want to consider linking to the main Mansurovs site, as there are quite a few photos associated with this post.
From Calgary To Canmore
We flew into the Calgary airport, and after renting a car, began the 74 mile drive from the Calgary Airport to the town of Canmore. This trip is an interesting study in transitions. Near Calgary, everything seems to be under construction. Bulldozers, heavy earth movers, building cranes, and construction signs dot the landscape in every direction. The terrain is pretty flat apart from a gentle mountainside slope on the western side of the city. Off in the distance, we could see some purplish mountains but didn’t have a good sense of their scale. 25 miles or so outside of Calgary, the scenery changes quite a bit. Green rolling hillsides of farm land become the dominant theme, with the familiar golden yellow hay bales lining the bright green fields. The purplish mountains have risen in stature quite a bit and we quickly realize that they are far different than those we left behind in western Pennsylvania. We also unfortunately discover that there are few exits for gas or food!
At the 50 mile mark, the landscape is changing quite a bit. Those little purple mountains seem to grow larger by the minute. Green fir trees that seem to have been cloned, now begin to populate the landscape like huge blades of grass. At the 60 mile mark, we are at the base of the mountains. The term “majestic” doesn’t quite rise to the occasion in describing what we now see. The mountain peaks require you to edge closer to the car window and strain your neck in order to see them. Even in August, we can identify snow patches that never completely melt.
The road begins to roll gently as we wind toward the valley between the mountain peaks. The number of signs warning you about the local wildlife population increase, and based on the fences that line the woods along the road, we suspect that the signs are not to be taken lightly. We had taken 3 exits hoping to find a restaurant or gas station only to conclude that the notion of modern facilities next within 25 miles of the exit is a mirage. We begin to imagine that grizzly bears and wolves have posted these exit signs to lure gullible travelers, low on gas and food, off the main highway where the animals can leisurely dine on them.
Within 5 miles of Canmore, we are deep into the mountains that seem be growing larger before our eyes. I am constantly trying to keep my eyes on the road as the rocky towers on both sides of the road continue to command my attention. By now, we are seriously wondering if we have been transported to another planet, since it couldn’t possibly be part of the one which we came from. Soon we arrived at the Falcon Crest Lodge, which proved to be the excellent “base camp” for our adventures.
Many of our readers have been asking about our photography workshop schedule for this year. While I initially planned for the summer, due to the increased interest from local photographers (many of whom are pros), we decided to postpone the workshops till the end of the summer. The summer schedule is pretty hectic for most photographers, including us, due to weddings and other photo shoots, so we decided that it would be best to conduct workshops in early September instead. Below you will find the more or less finalized schedule for our upcoming photography workshops.
1) Workshops and Dates
So far we have decided to conduct two workshops on two different topics:
- September 8, 2012 – Flash Photography Workshop
- September 9, 2012 – Post-Processing Workshop
- September 22, 2012 – Landscape Photography Workshop (FULL)