Monthly Archives: December 2011

Monterey, California in Black and White


Black and white image of California coast, Monterey Peninsula taken with 8x10 inch film camera.

Monterey Dusk

 Using a large format film camera, like the 8×10 I used for this image, really slows my artistic process down and enables me to simplify my compositions and focus on the mood of the image. I took this picture about 10 minutes after sunset, as the light softened and the atmosphere became blue. The low light required an 8 minute exposure, which caused the waves to “dissapear” into an ethereal mist. The strong rock formations anchored the image, giving it strength and power. I chose black and white for both the classic, almost vintage look, as well as to simplify the  final print. I believe this image evokes a mood of relaxation and mystery that can only be found on the coast.

Photo Tip: Be there when the natural conditions enable you to take the shot. This sounds simple enough, but many people I know have become lazy, and aren’t willing to do the work necessary to get the shot right to begin with. If you would like to take a long exposure and create a misty look with moving water, don’t expect your 8 stop ND filter to make things right in the middle of the day. Shoot before sunrise, after sunset or on a cloudy day. Part of the joy in photographing nature is earning the image by experiencing nature when the light is right. Get out there, enjoy the experience and be proud that you earned the shot in the best natural light possible.

Equipment Used: Canham 8×10 Metal Field Camera, Rodenstock 240mm Sironar-S lens, Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ball Head, Gitzo 1325 Carbon Tripod, Fuji 8×10 Film.

Posted in 8x10 film, Beach, black and white, California, dusk, jon paul gallery, Landscape, large format, monterey, photo techniques, Photo Tip, Sunset, time lapse, Twilight, Uncategorized, waves Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Bison Portrait- Simple Symbolism


Bison Portrait, Yellowstone National Park

Bison Portrait, Yellowstone National Park

Most of my images are produced using feeling and emotion. My strongest images “just felt right” when I took them. This image, a portrait of a lone Bison bull wandering the open grassland in Yellowstone National Park, had that feeling. I had just taught a seminar in Grand Teton National Park and chose to take a longer route home, giving myself the opportunity to spend an evening in West Yellowstone. I was glad to be in such a secluded location, I was glad to be alone with my thoughts and emotions, I was enjoying the simplicity of being away. When this Bison wandered along, solitary, powerful, just being, I felt priveledged to share that time with him. This portrait symbolizes the power it takes to be strong, self reliant, alone and in the wild. Our wild spaces, and the creatures that inhabit them, do more than just create a healthy balanced ecosystem (which is very important); they are symbols of the strength and power we have within us (or strive toward building in ourselves). We need these wild places and creatures to exist for more reasons than most people realize. I hope this image shares that strength with you.

Photo Tip: Photographing wildlife is exciting. It can bring great joy to our lives. Unfortunately, many people get caught up in the moment and don’t respect the animals they want to photograph, taking a “get the shot at all costs” approach. Animals have a hard enough time making a living without people interfering. Study their habits and the natural signals they give. If you are causing them to alter their behaviour, back off. Wait until the opportunity presents itself appropriately. Not only can the animals be harmed by our thoughtless behaviour, you might get what you deserve in the end. Be respectful, revel in the experience, be grateful that you can come back another day and do it again.

Equipment used: Nikon D300, Nikon 200-400 F4 AF VR lens, Nikon 1.4x teleconverter, Gitzo 1325 Carbon Tripod, Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ball Head. No camouflage was used in the making of this image! 🙂

Posted in Bison, digital photography, Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole, jon paul gallery, photo techniques, Photo Tip, Sunset, Twilight, Uncategorized, western, wildlife photography, Wyoming, Yellowstone Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |