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Moonlight illuminates Glen Canyon and the Colorado River near Page, Arizona.
In Part 1, I discussed the ideal settings for shooting a dark night sky under a new moon, as well as what all those settings mean. If you’re not comfortable working in Manual Mode (M) on your camera, you should go back and read it to make sure you’re up to speed. This section will assume that you’ve got the basic understanding of M Mode and how it works.
This time around, I’ll be discussing how to alter those settings to account for a full moon, how to capture star trails, and also how to photograph the northern or southern lights, aka the Aurora Borealis or Australis, respectively.
Understanding The Histogram
Before moving further, it’s important to understand the histogram as displayed within the camera. Put simply, the histogram shows you the light that was captured in a given … Continue reading
Pilgrim Mountain in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming rests under glowing sunset clouds.
I found myself rather unproductive in early 2011 in terms of stills. With the recent purchase of a 7D and getting it up to working order, as well as discovering time-lapse photography, my still photography became a bit stagnant. As a result, most of my work was in the form of a time-lapse and before finding a good balance of time-lapse, video and still, I even wondered if I would move entirely into video. Eventually the balance did work itself out and once I had my 7D back and functioning properly the following spring, it was full-steam ahead in every direction!
I discovered this image during that time after forgetting about it. I was looking back through a day in January where I hadn’t shot very much at all, but saw potential in a nice sunset … Continue reading
Sunrise lights up the bottom of Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Note: This is a minimally processed photo. I’m on my laptop so the final version may or may not change in terms of processing once I’m back home.
I’ve spent the last few days here in Moab, Utah, which I like to describe as a Jackson Hole in the desert. It’s a beautiful place with all kinds of outdoor activities, set in dramatically natural, sandstone carvings all over the landscape.
One of the more iconic spots is sunrise on Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park’s, Island in the Sky District. The high altitude of the landscape looking above the valley below is just high enough for the first light of day to illuminate the bottom of the arch, creating a unique glow hard to find in any other location.
Before Moab, I was in Hovenweep National Monument … Continue reading
The ruins at Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Culture National Historic Park, New Mexico lie beneath a sun-lit canyon wall.
Sometimes, if you don’t go into a road trip with the right mindset, it can be just as stressful as staying home and working. Friends and I poke fun at people all the time for taking hurried vacations where we witness them arguing with each other and frantically trying to reach point B as quickly as they can, passing by amazing sights and experiences along the way.
Yet when I left on my trip last week, I was anxious to get to the southwest, so I blew right through western Colorado. Once I made it to southwestern Colorado, I began trying to dodge a snow storm a few days out and found myself jumping from one site to another in a hurried pace to make it farther south to warmer temperatures. … Continue reading
Showy Daisy wildflowers flourish among other wildflowers in the Alaska Basin of the Teton Mountains.
Earlier this week myself and another hiker headed out into the Alaska Basin for the first time. While still in the Teton Mountains, it’s technically just outside of the National Park located inside the Jedediah Smith Wilderness bordering the western edge of the park. August has been described as the best time to go for the dramatic wildflowers displays.
We hiked into the Alaska Basin via the Static Peak Divide through Grand Teton National Park on August 18th and while the wildflowers were on the decline, they were still out in amazing displays! It was almost as if Jackson Pollock was painting from the sky in purples, reds, blues and yellows on a canvas of green. It’s an incredibly dynamic place with an obvious abundance of wildflowers surrounded by enormous peaks, all pouring water into … Continue reading
A black and white photo of moonlight lighting up a section of Coyote Gulch in southern Utah.
Finding a good black and white photo isn’t always as easy as many people might think at first. The most important thing to remember is that color photos will always convert to a better black and white image than a photo shot as a black and white in the camera. Why is that? Because the camera is simply making an arbitrary conversion and once it’s saved, that’s what you get. On the other hand, if you start with a color image and proceed to make the black and white conversion in a program such as Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop, you have full control over the intensity of each color. Using these tools you can decide if you want an intense, bold look, much like Ansel Adams, or scale it all back for a … Continue reading