Guest Post by Emily Fagan on our Landscape Photography Workshop

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

Location:
– West Dallas Creek, Dallas Creek and Last Dollar Roads between Ridgway and Telluride, Colorado.

Overall Impression:
– A fantastic 5-star day of photography and instruction in one of Colorado’s most scenic locales.

Workshop Participants #3

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.

At the Ridgway Lodge parking lot about 15 or so attendees stood shivering in the pitch black morning, eager to get started. Rides and drivers weren’t pre-planned, but within minutes the whole group had squeezed into four vehicles and we were off to the location of our sunrise shot. The night before, Nasim had gathered us together in the hotel to give us a quick overview of the day’s itinerary along with a brief equipment review. I have never seen so many professional Nikon cameras in one room. It seemed that everyone had a Nikon D800 with an assortment of extraordinary lenses. All these camera buffs were very generous exchanging information about their gear, and at times I suddenly found myself holding a camera and lens that I never imagined I’d see in person.

He discussed polarizing filters and graduated neutral density filters and the roles they would play in our shoot. He also discussed composition, describing two methods for obtaining maximum depth of field in our landscape photos by utilizing the concept of hyperfocal distance. “Imagine you have a nearby seashell and a distant lighthouse and you want the whole image to be in focus.” Aside from the complex method of using depth of field calculators, he explained two simpler methods for accomplishing that objective. One method is to focus on the distant background and then check the image on the back of the camera, coming in closer and closer until the image first loses focus. That point is where the real shot should be focused so that both foreground and background objects are in focus. The other, simpler method, which might not be always accurate is to focus about ⅓ of the distance into the photo. “And try not to go higher than f/8 on a crop sensor camera or f/11 on a full-frame camera or you will get diffraction.” Nasim added. Then he talked about camera to subject distance and the fact that one might never achieve perfect focus on everything with a standard camera setup, that a tilt-shift lens or special bellows might be needed in certain situations.

Sunrise

These concepts were still rattling around in my mind as we arrived at our first shot of the day, a scenic overlook on Route 62, a few miles south of Ridgway. A long wooden fence faced the San Juan mountains with pointy Mt. Sneffels towering on the left side. Nasim explained that the sun would be rising over our left shoulders, and as it rose it would light up the left edges of the peaks. In no time a row of tripods faced the dim view in the lightening sky, and a row of shivering photographers stood just behind, patiently waiting.

“Now to get this shot you need your polarizing filter and you want your camera to be in manual mode,” Nasim called out to everyone. His marching orders continued as he walked down the line, and a flurry of fingers, button clicks and flashlights responded. “If you have an older Nikon like D300, set the ISO to 200. If you have a newer one that has a lower base ISO, set it to 100.” He paused to help someone. “Now turn off Auto ISO.” I frantically ran through the menus to get these things set. I don’t usually shoot in manual mode because my camera knows more about exposure than I do. But I was here to learn, so I followed each instruction carefully.

“Now focus your lens, and then set it to manual focus. And turn off VR.” He paused. “Then set your aperture to f/8.”

A growing glow and series of shutter clicks heralded the arrival of the sun. As it threw its first shafts of light across the mountain peaks the excitement in our ranks grew. I tried a shot and was thrilled with what I saw on the back of the camera: vibrant colors and craggy mountain contours. I tried a few more and then ran to a new spot to get a different angle on the scene.

“I sure wish I had a remote,” I muttered to the guy next to me who was manning two tripods and two elaborate cameras simultaneously.

“Do you have a self-timer?” He asked me. YES! I set it up and found myself jumping up and down with excitement as one gorgeous image after another appeared on the back of my camera.

I put a portion of the wooden fence in the foreground of my image and was exhilarated when the sun suddenly highlighted it in shades of bright orange. I waved enthusiastically at my husband Mark who had chosen a spot on the top of a hill. Checking our photos later, we were delighted that our images were completely different.

Sunrise Fence

Leading Lines and Hyperfocal Distance

Once the sun was all the way up, we all climbed back into our cars and headed to our next shot down West Dallas Creek Road. Thick swatches of vibrant yellow and orange aspens striped the hillsides between the evergreens, while the jagged grey mountain peaks rose majestically behind. Our heads whipped from side to side as we drove down this spectacular dirt road. In between “oohs” and “aahs” at the stunning scenery, there was a rapid-fire discussion in our car about polarizing filters, neutral density filters and the merits of the latest lenses from Nikon.

We stopped on the roadside in a spot where the vivid yellow of the aspen flooded the whole landscape, and began our daylong drill of clambering out of the car, running around to get some shots, and then climbing over each other again to get back in. We had all used tripods for the sunrise shot, but the rest of the day would be hand-held, as the sun was strong and we needed maneuverability to grab the beautiful images that surrounded us.

Fence

Attendees hailed from all over the US: Washington, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and “locals” from other parts of Colorado. Besides having a chance to further our photography skills, many of us were seeing fall foliage in the mountains of Colorado for the first time, a memorable experience in itself. “You don’t have red maples out here,” Photography Life’s team member Bob Vishneski from Pennsylvania commented while feasting his eyes on the views out the car window. “Yeah, and the season is 2 weeks earlier out here than in New England,” I added, noting that it would be possible to see both in one year.

Workshop Participants #2

We descended into a valley and turned a corner to park near a meadow where there was a wonderful old crooked wooden fence. Nasim bounded out of the car and leapt up onto the fence. “This is the perfect place to think about composition,” he began as we all gathered around him. “Think about leading lines. Look at this fence and those mountains and think about triangles. Put the fence in the foreground and use its lines to lead to the yellow aspens in the mid-ground and then use those to frame the shape of Mt. Sneffels in the background. By putting the foreground with the fences in 2/3 of the frame, you are also following the rule of thirds.” All eyes followed his hands as pointed everything out and explained the shot.

“Rule of thirds is an ancient concept,” he continued. “If you go to Rome, Athens and other ancient cultural centers, you will see that the artists and architects of ancient times used it in many of their works. They used triangles and the rule of thirds to lead your eye through the scene. Bring the lines in from the corners…” He jumped off the fence. Instantly several people hopped onto the fence where he had been standing and began setting up their shots. Suddenly we had the crazy situation of people getting into each other’s photos. We sorted it out, taking turns. I loved the paparazzi nature of it all. What fun!

Workshop Participants #1

As we each struggled to find creative ways to use the fence to lead to the mountains, Nasim mingled among us. “Guys, listen! This is also a great place to think about hyper focal length. Remember the sea shell and lighthouse I was talking about last night?” I was challenged enough by incorporating the weird lines of the fence that worrying about depth of field was beyond me at the moment, but Mark tried the two methods and then tried focusing manually, all of which worked well for him.

A bow-hunter camped in the meadow caught my eye and I wandered over to chat with him. He had been camped in this spot and elk hunting for three weeks but hadn’t gotten an elk yet. More intriguing, he had been here the year before when the daughter of Ralph Lauren (who owns much of the most majestic land in this area) and the son of ex-Governor Jeb Bush got married on Lauren’s property over Labor Day Weekend. Every road had been shut down and guarded by the Secret Service as two ex-presidents and untold celebrities gathered for the event.

More Leading Lines and a Canopy of Aspen

Back out on the main highway, our caravan traveled a bit further south to awe-inspiring Dallas Creek Road. This dirt road took us deep into the heart of brilliant fall color once again, giving us the bright reds and oranges of scrub brush as well as the yellows of the aspen, ideal for framing a red-roofed hunter’s cabin we passed. We stopped by a pond with a long, narrow, wooden pier, and again Nasim explained to us about leading lines. “Get right down in there and bring the pier in from the lower left corner of the frame,” he said. He borrowed Mark’s camera and took a great shot. “Like this.” Our group stood and squatted in the tall reeds trying to get the angle of the bridge just right.

Perhaps the best part of the day, however, was the drive along Last Dollar Road where we immersed ourselves in a thick stand of aspen. “This is where I get my own camera out,” Nasim said, grabbing his Nikon D800E and starting to shoot. “Look at the patterns of lines of these trees, and look up at the contrasts of the yellow leaves, white bark, and blue sky.” He held us all back at the entrance to this magical corridor of aspens until we had each gotten a shot of the canopied road, and then let us wander into the interior where we craned our necks and marveled at the exotic beauty.

Aspens with Sky

Last Dollar Road descends into Telluride, making wide sweeping turns through a patchwork of brilliant hillsides that lit up for us in a dazzling display in the late afternoon sun. We didn’t have time to visit Telluride itself during the workshop, but at least half of the attendees were staying in the area a day or two longer, and we had all been making mental notes of places we wanted to return to on our own. Nasim wanted us to get a sunset shot on our way back to Ridgway, putting round hay bales in the foreground with golden mountains in the background — like the header photo on his website — but we were 15 minutes too late and grey shadows had already stolen the scene. Next time!

Aspen Carvings

By the time we returned to the Ridgway Lodge it was pitch dark and we had been buzzing around taking photos for 13 hours. Most everyone was too tired to gather for dinner, but tentative plans were made to meet again the next day at sunrise. Mark and I were too pooped to participate, but we spent the next day happily reviewing our photos, comparing images and savoring the memories of a great workshop amid some of the most splendid landscapes the US has to offer.

The 2012 Landscape Photography Workshop by Photography Life in Colorado will rank right up there for us as one of the best weekends we have ever experienced: peak fall foliage color, a terrific instructor and guide, and a fun group of fellow photography enthusiasts.

Mountain Colors

Comments

  1. 1
    ) Pascal
    October 25, 2012 at 2:45 am

    Wow is all I can say. Great images!
    It really pays off to go on the road with a talented photographer. Nasim, any plans to arrange a few workshops in Europe? Would love to attend!

    I’m attending to a 4 day nature photography workshop myself next week. It takes place in a very nice environment and I hope to grab a few great looking images too.

    • October 25, 2012 at 11:06 pm

      Pascal, Europe sounds good, but I would have to do some scouting before trying to organize a workshop. Coordination would also be a bit more difficult in a foreign environment, but it is manageable. I will definitely look at it as an option for next year…

      • 16
        ) Egami
        October 26, 2012 at 3:39 am

        it an honor to attend one of your landscape workshop, since i live in Africa (Sudan), workshop in Europe will be more feasible to me :) , i hope you will manage to conduct one there

  2. 2
    ) atif
    October 25, 2012 at 5:41 am

    Nasim,
    Greetings!

    I have been taking wealth of knowledge through your website past few years, I would like to appreciate your great work and efforts.

    I was thrilled by your approach of conducting workshops. I would like to ask you, do you have any plans to conduct workshops in Europe? it will be a pleasure to attend.

    Once again thanking you for enriching many people through your in-dept analysis on photography.

    kind regads,
    atif peshimam

    • October 25, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      Atif, I will definitely consider it for next year…

      • 32
        ) Ranger
        October 28, 2012 at 4:06 pm

        Nasim, one word for you: Iceland!

  3. 3
    ) Mark
    October 25, 2012 at 5:47 am

    Hi Nasim

    It would be great if you do some fotoworkshops here in Central Europe.

    Greetings
    Mark

    • October 25, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      Mark, looks like there is great interest for our workshops in Europe, will definitely look into it next year.

  4. 4
    ) Jay Gosdin
    October 25, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Emily,

    Great article. Thanks so much. Would you mind answering a few questions and Nasim may want to kick in.

    1. I planned to travel to Ridgway the next week to take pictures of the same area. I have been there several times before and the peak always seemed to be at the end of September to the first week of October. I ended up cancelling my trip, because I heard and reviewed pictures on line that showed peaking a week early. Which would have been the time you were there. So please comment on the conditions at the time you were there.

    2. It appeared that the first day was very long, to the point of being exhasting. I guess you have to take the pictures while you can, but to miss the next day seems like a waste of money. Also there appeared to be no time for a review of your pictures by the instructors and classmates. This is fine with me, but just let us know if this was the case.

    3. I liked the idea of using your own cars, that probably helped with the pricing. Many of these workshops are very cost prohibitive. Thus the reason I “go it alone”. But I might change my mind with a workshop like this. Please comment more on this subject if you can.

    Thanks again for your article and thank Nasim for allowing her to comment on your website.

    • October 25, 2012 at 11:22 pm

      Jay, I apologize for stepping in and responding. I believe both Emily and Mark are currently traveling, so they might not be able to respond anytime soon.

      1) I personally don’t heavily rely on reports. I first try to go mid to third week of September, then come back later if necessary. Last year it peaked around the same time, which is the third week of September. We definitely were there at the right time, because two days earlier many of the aspens were still green and it started snowing as soon as we left. Another week would have been great with the fresh snow, but only at some parts of the area – many leaves were already off the trees.

      2) The first day was rather tiring, because we started an hour before sunrise and shot past sunset. Some people made it next day, but others were tired and did not want to go. I can understand, especially because some were from different states and not very used to high elevation. Many of the pictures were reviewed on site as we were taking them and I provided as much help as possible with composition, framing, exposure, etc. A post-processing workshop took place about two weeks before and I did not really plan on showing post-processing techniques during this workshop…

      3) Yes, that was one of the reasons why we were able to keep the cost of the workshop low, because food and transportation was not included. I just did not want to deal with too much planning and logistics. We coordinated carpooling before the workshop, so it all worked out quite well in my opinion.

    • October 26, 2012 at 7:59 pm

      Nasim, thank you for stepping in. We have arrived in Chiapas, Mexico and finally resurfaced on the internet too. The only thing I would add here is that there is no way to catch sunrise and sunset in one day without it being a long day, and the area is so photogenic that you can get fabulous shots all day in between… So we were thrilled to keep pushing all day long. We came to Colorado thinking it was a one-day workshop, so when it spilled into a second day we were very happily surprised. However, the weather was very grey and unappealing the second day, so it did not bother us one bit to stay home in our camper and absorb all that we had learned. If another gorgeous sunny day had been forecast, we would have been right there to capture it…

  5. 5
    ) Elderin
    October 25, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Nice report Emily. Well written. Very entertaining and i like your pictures as well.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • October 26, 2012 at 8:01 pm

      Thank you. And thank you, Nasim, for allowing me to post a guest article on this really informative website.

  6. 6
    ) JR
    October 25, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Hi Emily,

    Great image of the San Juans with the flowers and the trees being divided by the fence leading toward the background! If that one is sharp, it merits printing and framing. Perfect light and composition. Congrats!

    Was reading through the home page of your blog where you say….”If you are contemplating a lifestyle like this ……” LOL!!! I nearly fell out of my chair! That’s about all I can do is “contemplate” a lifestyle like the one you guys are living! Reality….well, that’s another thing.

    You must admit that even though you’re living “off the grid” and “skinny”, you have some pretty nice gear. This RV is nicer than the majority of the homes you see in Mexico. And your boat…welll….I’ll stop there. You’re not roughing it too much. You’re sneaking some champagne into that RV every once in a while, aren’t ya? ;-)

    Speaking of Mexico…..I’ve travelled quite a bit through the country and I admire that you guys have the guts to take your camper into a place that is not the safest. I have friends who are from, and travel to, Oaxaca and they didn’t recommend that I take a road trip down there; although I’m dying to go. You guys are gutsy for taking an RV into the depths of Mexico!

    Cheers and may you live long and enjoy your adventures!

    • October 26, 2012 at 8:22 pm

      JR – I’m so glad you liked that image of the fence and the flowers, and I wish I could take credit for it. However, it was taken by my husband Mark on his D5100. It was at the end of the day, and a group of us had stopped shooting because the lighting just wasn’t that inspiring any more and we had already taken so many great photos. But Mark got this wonderful shot and Nasim got his beautiful image of the hay bales he posted recently at the same time. I learned from both of them that you just gotta keep shooting — you can’t get a great image if you don’t use that shutter button!!

      As for our lifestyle, we are very fortunate to live this way. We chose to put our resources into our homes (RV and boat) and to keep our daily expenses to a minimum. Other people living this way (and there are tens of thousands of them in the US) spend less on their homes and more on their day to day expenses. For instance, until the photo workshop in Colorado, we did not pay for a single campground or RV park site for 4 months. We also shoot with entry-level D5100’s rather than semi-pro or pro gear (and I’ve been lucky enough to publish five magazine covers in the RV/camping industry, all taken with my old D40). We feel blessed every day, but truly, the champagne is our freedom to watch the sunset every night…

      We have never taken our RV into Mexico, however the RVers we’ve met there seem to love it and say they feel safe. My biggest concern would be the gazillions of steep speedbumps on the roads. We travel in Mexico by boat — although we’ve had some of our best adventures traveling by bus around the state of Chiapas.

  7. 7
    ) Timothy Behuniak
    October 25, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Hi Nasim.
    Thanks for this awesome post I truly enjoyed reading it. If you can try and get to with the new baby in the house (CONGRATULATIONS!) you should come to New York and have a workshop in the Adirondacks!! You will not be disappointed at the beauty that this park, one of the largest in the country, if not the largest, has to offer!! Great article and great shooting!!! :)

    • October 25, 2012 at 11:26 pm

      Thank you Timothy! Emily is surely a great writer! Would love to come and see Adirondacks – the pics on the web look great. There are so many beautiful places to see in America, what a beautiful place we are lucky to live in!

  8. 8
    ) Kevin
    October 25, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Well written, congrats on a great trip and workshop. I had so hoped to attend but couldn’t swing the time with work. Looks like it was an amazing timing of the workshop, with blue skies, with peak color. Could have easily been bad weather. SW Colorado is truly spectacular. Last time I was there was 35 yrs ago on a motorcycle.

    I like the style and pace the workshop seems to have offered, perhaps next time. Thanks so much for the report.

    • October 25, 2012 at 11:27 pm

      Kevin, indeed, it was beautiful and we were lucky with the weather. We will definitely host more workshops next year, so I hope to see you then!

  9. October 26, 2012 at 1:58 am

    Nice article and pictures Emily! Thanks I also loved the one with the fence and the flowers. Nice eye.
    Best regards,
    jason

    • October 26, 2012 at 8:25 pm

      Hi Jason — It was a fantastic workshop, wasn’t it?? Mark took that photo and I love it too!!!

  10. 17
    ) Nishant Rana
    October 26, 2012 at 4:21 am

    Hi Nasim,

    I know that this is not the right place to say what i’m about to say but …. The new logo of the website is not looking good. Previous one was far better then this. Please retain that or design something else. This one does not reflect the purpose and quality of this website and looks to ordinary.

    Sorry if you feel offended by my comments but it was my duty to tell you what i feel.

  11. 18
    ) Nishant Rana
    October 26, 2012 at 4:28 am

    Hi Emily,

    Knowing that you are using a DX format camera, I’ll say that your pictures can surprise someone who thinks that DX is for novices(My reference is to some pro’s here in India who think this). Extraordinary work and details. Loved your pic “Mountain Colors”. The way you have used the Maple Trees for the leading lines, it’s very inspiring. Also the contrast of colorful foreground and dark grey background. It’s awesome.

    Keep up the good work

    • October 26, 2012 at 8:31 pm

      We LOVE our cameras — and until two months ago we didn’t even know what a crop sensor was…!! The shot looking up at the “leading lines” of the aspens trees is Mark’s too — he has a great eye.

  12. 19
    ) Johny Wong
    October 26, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Hi Nasim & Emily,

    I would like to comment about photo no 2 to 5. In my opinion, the color is too saturated & kinda look like a fail HDR. When I looked it for the first time, I thought my monitor has color problem. But when I saw other photos, the color was fine.

    I always believe Nasim is a great instructor for landscape photography workshop. But why Nasim let Emily post those 3 photos. I know this post is used for testimonial, but if there are people who has the same opinion as me, they will begin questioning how useful this workshop is.

    I don’t mean to offense anybody in here. So if there is somebody who know the artistic reason behind it, please let me know. Btw, I live on tropical country & I’ve never seen fall season. So, if the color of tree in fall season look like that, please inform me.

    • October 26, 2012 at 8:40 pm

      Well, Johnny, all I can say is that the colors in Colorado at that time of year are beyond stunning — they are dramatic, spectacular and highly saturated. I didn’t think mountains could look like that until I saw them.

      I know what tropical colors are like in Mexico and the Caribbean, and there is a lot of turquoise, white and green, often with pastel skies at dawn and dusk. The fall foliage colors in Colorado are nothing like that. They are knock-your-socks-off yellow, orange, dark green and vivid royal blue. Literally jaw-dropping stuff.

      Nasim kindly included my husband’s and my photos with this guest post because they reflect our experience at the workshop, which is what the article is about — it’s a personal account of what this very exciting workshop was like.

      Come on over to Colorado some day, around the 3rd week of September, and get inspired!!!

      • 27
        ) Johny Wong
        October 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm

        Hi Emily,

        Thank you for your explanation. I can understand that is the way you interpreting the beautiful color of fall in Colorado. Your photos reminded me of one tip, that I read in the internet, “photography is not an exact copy of real life, but photographer’s interpretation of real life” :)

        I guess this workshop is very interesting because Nasim, as the instructor, is a talented photographer and humble person.

    • 28
      ) JR
      October 27, 2012 at 9:16 pm

      Johnny,

      The saturated, out of this world colors is the REASON why people go that part of the world, during that time of the year. When I was there a few weeks ago, I ran into people from various European countries who were in awe of the colors. Although they’d traveled all over the world, they’d never seen anything like it before; including the Alps and Andes. It’s not Photoshop. It’s the REAL DEAL.

      And…the interesting thing is that, given enough cloud cover, you don’t have to wait until the so-called “golden hour” to shoot. Sometimes, the best light(depends on taste, I suppose) is in the middle of the afternoon. The clouds diffuse the sun enough that the colors(ALL OF THEM) are saturated to their max. During sunset, the colors are less saturated and offer a more peaceful, flat pallet.

      That part of the USA can be compared Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. If you’ve seen any pictures of the latter you will see that the water looks fake. A saturated turquoise. I’ve heard where photographers de-saturate their images so others don’t accuse them of over-saturating them.

      I think it’s sad to have to do that. If I shoot a scene that has saturated colors, I will produce a final image with saturated colors. I won’t tone the colors down to appease photographers on the net.

      I was at Maroon Bells in Aspen some years ago and it had rained right before we go there. There was very light cloud cover and the sun was complete shrouded, but there as enough light to saturate the grass to a point that it looked like it was neon! That’s what my wife and I saw and that’s what made us drop our jaws to the ground. If you see that picture you may think it’s super-saturated. Well, it isn’t. It’s nature, given us its best.

  13. 20
    ) Jaganath
    October 26, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Great pictures and writeup.

    Nasim,

    Any plans of a workshop in California? Wouldn’t it be great to have one in Yosemite during Spring? Count me in. :)

  14. 29
    ) Peter
    October 28, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Let me try, one more time, to get an answer to a very simple question that nobody seems to be able to or wants to answer. It is directed at non-professional photograpers, i.e. those that do not make a living from their photography work. Note: I am not trying to be facetious or confrontational. I am just very curious about this process.

    Question: What do you do with all those photos you take (exclusive of family photos)?

    Possible answers:
    1- Store them on my hard drive for posterity and for my kids to muse over when I pass on
    2- Put them on my personal website in order to share with others and possibly make some money
    3- Use them to support local organizations and newspapers
    4- Use them as a reminder of a scene I’m painting
    5-It gives me a reason to travel and to go on photo shoots like the one mentioned here
    6-etc., etc.

    For me, my answer is #3 above.

  15. 30
    ) Jay
    October 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Peter,

    For me it is number 5. Even 40 years ago, photography drove me places that I would not go otherwise. In 1975 as a young man, I hitch hiked across Europe. I remember once in Finland, I hitched up to the artic circle on June 21st just to get a picture of the midnight sun with my Nikon F and 50mm lense. I got that shot and a lot more. A raindeer roundup for instance, and staying with a wonderful family going into the sauna with the men of the house, and then jumping into a cold lake afterwards. Today photography drives me still to places. Maybe not as extreme in my older days, but with the same passion.

    • 31
      ) Peter
      October 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      Thanks for the reply. I wish I were with you in Finland.

  16. 33
    ) Luc Poirier
    February 24, 2013 at 12:36 am

    Hi all
    Scott Kelby in his training on travel photography while he was in Paris gave us a few good tips on security that can be use by every photographers:
    1- change your camera strap for one that do not advertise the brand of camera you own.
    2- Use electric or black masking tape to mask the brand name, and model. This has the effect to keep professionnal thieves away by not knowing if you carry a 400$ or 4000$ camera. Is stealing a 400$ camera worth the chance to go to jail ?
    3- Do not use a LowePro bag or any well known brand of camera bag.
    4- Use a single lens such as the 18-200mm lens, intead a carrying many prime lenses.
    5- avoid to show you have expensive equipment with you.
    6- Do not place your camera bag on the floor, always have it around your neck. People forget them in cab, train, seat or on the floor. In a word never leave your gear where your eyes are not 100% looking at it.
    7- backup every night at your hotel your pics taken during the day, in case something bad happen.

  17. 34
    ) Michael
    March 24, 2013 at 4:14 am

    Hi Nasim,

    I would like to ask a technical question regarding the landscape pic in this article with the wooden fence coming into the frame from left to right.

    Using a 21 Zeiss lens on a D800 at f8 or f11 I could not get this image sharp from front to back. I believe this is due to the much smaller circle of confusion [ twice the pixel size, about 10 microns ] necessary to get a sharp image when viewed at pixel level, which Is required for my work.

    Even with a 24mm shift/Tilt lens the top of the closest fence posts would lose some of their sharpness due to the wedge shaped depth of field associated with the Tilt.

    At f8 with infinity sharp, the nearest point which is very sharp is at 12 feet away on the 21mm lens and the D800, using a Circle of Confusion of 10 microns.

    My ways around this problem are to use focus stacking or simply stand further back, for example, more than 12 feet from the fence and shoot. Because of the high res of the D800 I can afford to crop out some of the bottom area to make the fence appear closer to the camera as in your shot.

    Your comments would be appreciated.

    Regards
    Michael

    • April 14, 2013 at 9:24 pm

      Hi Michael, Mark here… I am Emily’s Husband and I am the guy who took that photograph.

      I looked at my EXIF info for that photo and the lens was set to 38mm and f/5, 1/60. So the hyper focal distance was around 40′ on my dx format Nikon D5100.

      I focus out to what I thought was about 40′ and I got lucky. I’m glad you enjoyed the photo. If you have any other questions you can contact me at masiman@hotmail.com or through our website. http://roadslesstraveled.us

      Best regards, Mark

  18. 36
    ) Tom Crossan
    July 10, 2013 at 2:54 am

    I live in Australia, and I have just come across your article and the wonderful images.

    A great read.

    • July 11, 2013 at 8:11 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed my post, Tom. Thank you!! If you ever have a chance to visit southwestern Colorado in (northern) autumn, definitely do it!! Especially if Nasim hosts another workshop there!!

  19. 38
    ) Susan Daw
    January 11, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    I live in Australia too, and I have just come across your article on what must have been a mind blowing nature fix! (My discovery came after looking up moire and seeing a ‘Tours and Travel’ advertisement on the side column of the page).

    I cannot believe the pics shown aren’t photoshopped. In Australia there is always haze in distant landscapes where there is a range or series of ranges but in the shots above the atmosphere is so clear, so sharp that it looks false to my eye! Extraordinary! Unbelievable colours and great composition.

    I’d just about kill to come to the Ridgway/Telluride region in September with my humble D300!

    Thank you, I’ve bookmarked this site.

  20. 39
    ) Susan Daw
    January 11, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    BTW, Tom Crossan, from one Aussie to another, coincidentally I live in Crossen Street!

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