Lower Falls, Yellowstone River

On February 16, 2017, in Wyoming, by admin
Lower Falls, Yellowstone River

Lower Falls, Yellowstone River (click to enlarge)

This is the lower falls of the Yellowstone River as seen from Artist Point at Yellowstone National Park.  This is a nice sunrise spot with interesting compositions as the sun works its way up and across the canyon.

Before heading to Yellowstone I read Photographing Yellowstone National Park.  The book talks about the falls and how the cloud of mist turns luminous when lit by the sun at 9:45 in the morning.  When I read this I wondered if it was 9:45 day light savings time, mountain time, eastern time or what time was it really?  We were at Artist Point for sunrise and hung around to see if the mist would light up at 9:45.  We watched the sun march up and across the canyon and sure enough, at 9:45 as advertised, the mist started to light up.  Amazing, simply amazing.  The colored mist lasted about 15 minutes and then faded away.

One tip regarding a polarizing filter.  I initially had my polarizer set up to block reflections.  I could see the colored mist with my naked eye but not through my viewfinder.  I finally spun the polarizer and the colors popped right out.

Artist Point N44 43 12.50 W110 28 47.20

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Cadillac Mountain Sunrise

On April 8, 2014, in Maine, by admin
Cadillac Mountain Sunrise

Cadillac Mountain Sunrise (click to enlarge)

I think there is an Acadia National Park rule that requires you to see at least one sunrise from the top of Cadillac Mountain.  Here is one of my sunrise images.  As you can plainly see, you will not be alone.

The Cadillac Mountain summit was a 15 minute drive from our hotel.  Add time to get your gear out of the car, walk 10-15 minutes for a good spot, combine with sunrise at 0515, and you have one early morning wake-up call!

Cadillac Mountain: N44 21 07.85 W068 13 26.73

Color or Black and White?

On February 13, 2011, in California, by admin

Death Vally Sand Dunes – Original and Black and White

For Christmas my son gave me the book Ansel Adams in the National Parks. Two of my favorite things in one book!  Having traveled to many of our national parks, I was somewhat surprised that I had images similar to several of those in the Adams book.  The major difference is that mine are color while the entire Adams book is black and white.

This got me to thinking how my images would look in black and white.  The image above is similar to one Adams did in 1948 (Sand Dunes, Death Valley National Park).  On the left is my original image, on the right is a black and white rendering of the same image.  Photoshop and other stand alone applications make converting and image from color to black and white easy.  Many digital cameras  allow you to do black and white in the camera.

The black and white image is a significant improvement over the original.  I think the black and white really accentuates the waves in the sand and highlights the dune edges.  This greatly increases the impact of the image.

Some might say that altering the image in Photoshop is “cheating”.  The book describes the process Adams followed to print each copy of the Mount McKinley and Wonder Lake image.  The text says that each of these prints required seven minutes of dodging and burning.  Photoshop and other such applications allow one to do many of these same techniques in a fraction of the time without the chemicals.

The most interesting line I read in the book was that “Ansel found photographing in Hawaii difficult”.  Oh no, I have a trip to Maui planned for the spring…

This is a great book for photography ideas when you travel to many of our National Parks.  I will use this book as a reference whenever I plan a trip to any of the parks mentioned in the book.