Tag Archives: clouds

New Workshops / Tours Update! (dates approaching)

Field Photography Workshops / Tours

workshop sunrise, Lake Tahoe

NEW- February 22-24 Yosemite Semi-Private Tour – SOLD OUT
I will only take 4 people, offering us amazing camaraderie and teamwork. The intention is to enable you to experience the type of photography experience often reserved for my close friends and fellow pros. This will be a budget friendly trip with total immersion into the photographic experience, day and night. We will share in decision making, scouting and shooting. Weather, as always, dictates our shooting choices. This is the right time of year to capture the famous “fire fall” (conditions permitting). While I will be shooting with you, my main focus is your learning experience! You come first. I get us there, get us set up and answer EVERY question. I am working for you:)
Call me for specifics and to reserve your spot 530-545-2896.
Cost: only $479

Storm Light Tunnel View news

Grand Teton National Park Workshop / Tour Dates Set! (see flyer below)

Grand Tetons in the Spring, 2013:
June 20-23:
This will be a four day adventure focussing on iconic Teton landscape images, as well as wildlife photography (baby critters will be out and about). Along with putting us in the right place at the right time to capture our dream photos, I will be teaching about composition, exposure, light, perspective and proper technique. 100% of our time will be spent in the field, where we will learn while doing. While our days are long and tiring, they are also extremely rewarding both photographically and personally. Comeraderie is a huge part of our experience. We will have a great time in a world class wilderness environment and come away better photographers for it. This will be limited to a small number of participants so everyone has all the personal attention required to get the most out of the experience. This is not a physically demanding tour, but participants should be able to walk on uneven ground. You will be expected to rise early to start the day, and be considerate to the groups time requirements in order to ensure that we can meet our “magic light” timelines!  Please call to discuss any details that may help you make your decision.
Dates: June 20-23, 2013
Cost: $975
jonpaul@jonpaulgallery.com
530-544-4269
NEW Private Workshop Days available in both Grand Teton and Yellowstone!
I have added the option of private, one-on-one workshops, both before and after the official Grand Teton dates. I will offer these private sessions at the same price as my local private sessions!
Call to arrange your custom dates 530-545-2896.
Cost: only $500/day

Teton Workshop Flyer 2013 web

Winter in Lake Tahoe

I have left a large number of dates open and available for private one-on-one or small group workshops / tours here in Lake Tahoe (or wherever you would like). This is a beautiful time of year to photograph Lake Tahoe, aspen groves, rivers, waterfalls, ice patterns, mist, black & white, sunrises and sunsets. The sun is low in the sky, providing soft light and long shadows. We can generally shoot a little later in the morning, and earlier in the evening. Snow and ice provide a new look to the land, and very different opportunities for familiar subjects. Composition and metering, along with managing the cold and snowy conditions, however, become unfamiliar. Join me in the field and allow me to share my experience with you. Let’s create some unique images, while I help you gain confidence in the snow covered photographic world!
Cost: $750/day only $500/day

Spring in Lake Tahoe

Dates will be announced shortly! Private workshops / tours are still available!
This is the most popular time of year to photograph Lake Tahoe! A majority of my signature Lake Tahoe images were composed at this time of year.
Often the lake is calm, providing iconic clear water images, along with beautiful sunrise and sunset reflections. Waterfalls are rushing with snow melt, rivers are full, and there are still very few visitors. We have the place to ourselves! Honestly, this is the stuff photographers dreams are made of:) Please join me, as I share the most outstanding locations to photograph in this region, along with my knowledge and understanding of the art of landscape and wildlife photography. As one of the few successful gallery photographers in the country, I have a different approach to this art. I am not attempting to create huge volumes of work to fill magazine space. Nor am I attempting to produce “digital art” from mediocre images. I will share with you the simple steps and tools necessary to capture “the fine art of nature”, eliminating the intimidation factor of the digital world. All questions are answered, as we learn by doing. Let’s look through the lens together, create amazing images, and learn to become more successful photographers in the field.


Posted in California, death valley, digital photography, Eastern Sierras, fine art, Grand Tetons, impressionist, Jackson Hole, jon paul gallery, Landscape, large format, light painting, Moose, Mountains, National Parks, oxbow bend, Panorama, photo techniques, Photo Tip, photo tour, photo workshop, Salt Flat, spring, Sunrise, Sunset, Tutorial, Uncategorized, western, wildlife photography, Winter Photography, Wyoming, Yellowstone, Yosemite Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Special Moments Transcend Mere “Picture Taking”

Spirit of Yellowstone

The Spirit of Yellowstone:
Yellowstone is a place that evokes great emotion in people who appreciate solitude in the wilderness. I happen to be one of those people. I arose early on my last Fall morning in Yellowstone and set out for a sunrise photo excursion. With cold temperatures at night, the Hayden Valley filled with mist from the steam rising off the Yellowstone River. With only the Bison and Elk sharing the valley, there was a  feeling of solitude and peace that permeated the air. I found this quiet bend in the river that offered a visual translation of the tranquility I experienced at this perfect moment in time. Everything appeared soft, yet powerful, as the hint of sunrise color filtered through the mist and cloud. This is a truly special image. It is also an example of the type of experience that moves me to share my vision the way I do. My purpose in using the large format film cameras is to remind myself that my work is not about immediacy and volume. I only take my camera out when I am truly moved by a scene in nature that evokes an emotion I feel is worthy of sharing. When I believe a scene, combined with the light and atmospheric conditions present, have the possibility of transporting my viewers to a special place (inside or out), I know I am going to create a special piece of art. There is meaning in what I do, and my methods dictate how that meaning is presented and the impact that presentation has on the viewer. This is where my motto, “Bringing Home the Fine Art of Nature” was born. I hope this new image, as well as my others, brings you that inner peace I feel in these magical places!

Photo Tip:
Ironically, the simplicity of this scene is what gives it such great impact. The simplicity creates the ambiance. Quite often we will try to add everything we can into a scene; a strong foreground, a fiery sky, etc. This type of scene, which is based upon atmospheric conditions, has just enough landscape structure to draw the viewer in, and let the imagination run wild. The eye is drawn in along the river, through the mist, and around the corner disappearing into the distance toward the brightest part of the scene, the rising sun. With the simple foreground, we are left to wonder what is hidden beyond the bend, where we really wish we could go. The lesson here is, less is often more. Don’t force a composition, but feel it. Let it happen. Compose, with the camera locked on the tripod, then whittle away at everything that is unnecessary. Eliminate distractions whenever possible.

Equipment Used:
Canham 5×7 Metal Field Camera, Canham 6×17 cm panoramic film back, Rodenstock Sironar-S 150mm lens, Singh-Ray 2 stop split ND Filter (soft gradation), Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ball Head, Gitzo Carbon Tripod, Fuji Provia RDPIII 100 Transparency Film.

Posted in 617cm film, Back Light, digital photography, fine art, fog, forest, Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole, jon paul gallery, Landscape, large format, Mountains, National Parks, Panorama, panorama film, photo techniques, Photo Tip, reflection, Sunrise, Tutorial, Uncategorized, western, Winter Photography, Wyoming, Yellowstone Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Joy of Sunrise!

Sunrise, Misty Reflection, The Oxbow

Sunrise is a special time for landscape photographers. We venture out into a dark world with great hope and expectation. The world is quiet and still, with most creatures (at least humans) still asleep, and the wind waiting to be pushed by the suns first warming rays. Often times it is quite cold, but we come prepared. To endure the lack of sleep, darkness and bitter temperatures is a small price to pay to witness the first glimmers of light on a new day. At times this is looked upon as sacrifice. However, for those of us that have experienced the new dawn in a spectacular, and perhaps remote wild location, this is food for our soul. The image a reminder of the feelings we experienced in that spiritual place.
I have continued to use large format film in the hopes of doing justice to these special moments and places. I hope to share  more than just an image, but to give you, my collectors, the ability to be in that place, at that time, so your life can also benefit from what nature has to offer, if I am willing to endure a little discomfort. Soul food. May it fill you up.

The Story
Sunrise at Oxbow Bend is a classic! The anticipation of waiting for the sun to rise to the east and illuminate Mount Moran, the Teton Range and the yellow aspens in the foreground is fantastic. However, on this Fall morning, Mother Nature shared a visual appetizer! I looked over my shoulder to the east and realized the show was starting early, and in the opposite direction. Fortunately, I had time to move my 4×5 setup, compose and focus in time to capture this incredible light show. The shape of the clouds, the mirrored reflection and the mist rising from the river were capped off by the pastel colors of sunrise. The depth of this image draws us in, as this location draws me back year after year. Enjoy the view!

Photo Tip:
Everyone loves a colorful sunrise reflected in a still body of water. It’s a classic type of scenic image. Depending on the physical conditions of the location, it can also be very challenging to create a solid exposure. Most often, the sky is lit with the best color before the sun actually rises above the horizon. This leaves us with a larger dynamic range (from highlight to shadows) that the film or digital sensor can’t  handle in one exposure. You either end up with accurately exposed sky and black foreground and mountains, or accurately exposed foreground and blown out / white sky. While many people choose to use HDR software or image blending to put together two or more exposures in the computer, I prefer the simplicity of using a split level ND filter. This filter enables you to hold back the amount of light entering the camera from the sky, reducing the dynamic range, and enabling you to capture the scene in one exposure.
In the example above, I used a 3-stop split ND filter with a soft gradation. I was then able to expose for the foreground (bushes and fall color in mist), giving me an exposure latitude easily handleable by my transparency film. The result is a very true exposure in which I held the highlight detail and pastel color in the clouds, along with retaining shadow detail and subtle fall colors through the mist in the middle of the scene. Another bonus; very little computer time and a clean image that can be printed to 48×65 inches!
NOTE: Many people use split filters or image blending / HDR  and forget the fact that reflections are always 1 stop darker that what they are reflecting. To keep a natural look to your image (albeit subtle), make sure the reflection is a little darker than the reflected subject. It’s all about the details!

Equipment Used:
Canham 5×7 Metal Field Camera, 4×5 reducing back, Caltar IIN (Rodenstock) 90mm lens, Singh Ray 3-stop soft gradation split ND filter, Gitzo Carbon Tripod, Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ball Head, Fuji Provia 100 4×5 inch Transparency Film.

Posted in 4x5 film, digital photography, Fall color, fog, Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole, jon paul gallery, Landscape, large format, Mountains, National Parks, oxbow bend, photo techniques, Photo Tip, reflection, Sunrise, Tutorial, Uncategorized, western, Wyoming Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Fall Photographic Workshop in Grand Teton National Park!

A Fall Photographic Adventure in Grand Teton National Park

Grand Tetons in the Fall, 2012: September 27-30.

This will be a four day adventure focussing on iconic Teton landscape images, as well as wildlife photography. Along with putting us in the right place at the right time to capture our dream photos, I will be teaching about composition, exposure, light, perspective and proper technique. 100% of our time will be spent in the field, where we will learn while doing. While our days are long and tiring, they are also extremely rewarding both photographically and personally. Comeraderie is a huge part of our experience. We will have a great time in a world class wilderness environment and come away better photographers for it. This will be limited to a small number of participants so everyone has all the personal attention required to get the most out of the experience.Please call to discuss any details that may help you make your decision.Please call the gallery directly to inquire! 530-544-4269

Posted in 4x5 film, 617cm film, 8x10 film, aspen grove, Back Light, Barn, Bears, beaver pond, Bison, black and white, digital photography, Elk, Fall color, Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole, jon paul gallery, Landscape, large format, light painting, Moose, Mountains, National Parks, Panorama, panorama film, photo techniques, Photo Tip, Pine Forest, Ranch, reflection, Sunrise, Sunset, Twilight, Uncategorized, western, wildlife photography, Wyoming Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Making Our Artistic Choices at Capture, Not as an Afterthought

Joshua Trees & The High Sierras

After a few days creating images in Death Valley National Park, my friend (and fellow photographer) Christian Fleury, and I ventured out of the park and into the desert for one final photographic opportunity. I was enamored with the starkness of the desert and wanted to share the feeling of vastness. I knew black and white film was a natural choice for the mood I was trying to convey, and the amazing cloud display begged for a this classic look.  I chose my 6x17cm film format for the wide view that accentuated the expanse of the desert. The widely spread Joshua trees growing in the sand redefined the traditional vision of “forest”. The wispy clouds danced overhead, celebrating the openness of this wild place. The mighty Sierra Nevada Mountains in the distance pulled the scene together. I truly felt the mood of this location, and reveled in the artistic process of choosing how to visually interpret, compose and capture this image. If I had taken a modern approach of shooting hundreds of frames in color, weeding through them on the computer, and finally deciding “how the image should look”, I would have lost the mood and message I wanted to convey.  As an artist in nature, I enjoy taking the responsibility of choosing my final vision while in the field. It is very gratifying to have that vision come to fruition through that initial emotion, successful choices, and an individual capture. That is the art I enjoy. Enjoy the View!

Photo Tip:
Slow down and trust your feelings. In a fast digital world, it is easy to get caught up in the whole mindset of not wanting to miss anything. Note that this is a human nature & societal problem, not a digital problem. The issue becomes a lack of focus on what is moving us and drawing us to the subject we want to photograph. In a familiar location near home, try the old method of giving yourself just one sheet of film (or one last spot on the memory card:) ). Observe what you are drawn to and take the time to conceive of the expected light, choose the composition carefully, clean up those edges, refine the focal length, pick the optimal camera position, carefully select the exposure, use solid technique with your tripod, cable release, etc. Make this one exposure important relative to what it makes you feel, and what it might communicate to a viewer. Enjoy the process, and take control of your art. Don’t go home with hundreds, or even thousands of images wondering if you may hove gotten anything. This practice will build your confidence in your skills, refine your artistic eye, and enable you to create a higher percentage of “successful images” in the future.

Equipment used:
Canham 5×7 metal field camera, Canham 6x17cm roll film back,  Caltar II-n (Rodenstock) 90mm lens, Gitzo 1325 Carbon Tripod, Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ball Head, Acros 100 black and white film, Singh Ray LB Warming Polarizer, Red Filter.

Posted in 617cm film, black and white, California, death valley, desert photography, digital photography, Eastern Sierras, jon paul gallery, joshua tree, Landscape, large format, Mountains, National Parks, Panorama, panorama film, photo techniques, Photo Tip, Uncategorized, western Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

One Evening in Yellowstone

Madison River Sunset Panorama, Yellowstone N.P.

After photographing my last sunrise in Grand Teton National Park this Fall, I quickly closed up my camper and headed for Yellowstone. I only had enough time to visit the Madison area for sunset before I started my journey home to Lake Tahoe. Fortunately, a storm rolled in and made my 1/2 day a real treat. After a torrential downpour, the sky began to clear and the last light of day created some peaceful magic.

The expansive nature of Yellowstone has me intrigued. In this scene, the meandering Madison River, complete with a glorious sunset reflection, is set off against the simplicity of Yellowstone’s grassland. The two geysers in the background remind me how unique this environment is. The storm clouds above, complete with sunset light, add a mood and power to the scene.  This new image is a reminder of the tranquility I find through the power of natural experiences. I hope this image enables you to, “Bring the Fine Art of Nature Home”. I am motivated to return this coming Spring. Let me know if you might like to join me.

This image is now available for purchase through the Jon Paul Gallery !

Photo Tip: When the weather gets really bad, be patient and stay out there! Quite often, the most dramatic light exists on the edges of storms. Especially when dealing with an expansive landscape, clouds and reflection can open up the image and add depth and perspective. So, when everyone else runs for cover, put on the Gore-Tex, cover your camera with a plastic bag and wait for the magic.

Equipment: Canham 5×7 metal field camera, Canham 6×17 cm panoramic roll film back, Rodenstock 150mm Sironar-S lens, Gitzo 1325 carbon tripod, Really Right Stuff BH-55 ball head, Fuji Provia 100 transparency film.

Posted in Geyser, Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole, jon paul gallery, Landscape, large format, Mountains, National Parks, Panorama, photo techniques, Photo Tip, reflection, Sunset, Uncategorized, western, Wyoming, Yellowstone Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Black & White adds Drama and Mood

Moulton Barn Panorama Black & White

This image, taken along Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park, has as western a feel as one could ask for. While the image was “nice” in color, I knew it didn’t have that something special that I look for, especially in an iconic scene. The dramatic clouds, mottled light and vintage theme made this an obvious choice for black and white. The wide range of tones from pure white to deep black gave the punch I had envisioned. While it takes some practice to get a feel for tone v.s. color, the results are well worth the effort. Importantly, as a large format photographer, I make all of my choices relative to the final image I envision before clicking the shutter. This is good practice, and helps increase your chances of success. (Don’t have the attitude that you can “fix it” later!)

Photo Tip: Pre-visualize whether the scene you are composing will be strongest in color or black and white. At  that point you can use your judgement as to how to expose for the image, and whether to use different filters to prepare for the processing it may require. (ie-strongly polarizing an image to darken the sky in anticipation of greater contrast against white clouds in a black and white).

Posted in Barn, black and white, Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole, jon paul gallery, Landscape, large format, Mountains, National Parks, Panorama, photo techniques, Photo Tip, reflection, Sunrise, Uncategorized, western, Wyoming Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Stay Open to Something Different!

Schwabacher's Beaver Pond Reflection

This is one of my favorite landscape images from my recent trip to Grand Teton National Park. I had a morning to myself during my Fall “shoot with the pro” field workshop, so I visited the iconic Schwabacher’s Landing. After the sunrise at the most popular spot fizzled, I wandered around and took advantage of the soft, mottled light that was produced by the encroaching storm clouds just 30 minutes into the day. The low sun at this time of year makes this possible. This beaver pond held a perfect mirror reflection. I was able to include a beaver hut, dramatic clouds , fall color, moody dead trees, and the dramatic peaks in the background. Normally this is a lot to include in one composition, but the reflection helped balance and calm the image. I captured the image on 4×5 inch transparency film, so the detail is amazing. As with most of my images, this composition has a real wow factor, but the viewer will be awed by the subtle details in a large gallery print. Another amazing experience that will endure the ages!

Photo Tip: During Fall and Spring, don’t disregard the soft light one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset. Especially when combined with dramatic skies in these changing seasons, early and late light can be a nice compliment to colorful compositions. While dramatic alpenglow and sunrise/sunset colors are exciting, warm light can be more subtle and pleasing for fine art images that will hang in someone’s home. Take advantage of the magic hour at these times of year and you may be greatly rewarded!

Equipment: Canham 5×7 Metal Field Camera, 4×5 reducing back, Rodenstock 150mm APO Sironar-S lens, Gitzo 1325 Carbon Tirpod, Really Right Stuff BH-55 ball head, Fuji Velia 100F transparency film. Film scanned on a Hasselblad/Imacon 646 drum scanner.

Posted in 4x5 film, beaver pond, Fall color, forest, Grand Tetons, jon paul gallery, Landscape, large format, Mountains, National Parks, photo techniques, Photo Tip, reflection, Sunrise, Uncategorized, western, Wyoming Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

A Peaceful Maui Sunrise

Pastel Sunrise, Maui, Hawaii

What better way to start your day than with a soul full of tranquility!  As I enjoyed the peace and solitude of the pre-dawn hour in reflection here on the beach in Maui, Mother Nature added just enough pastel color to spice things up. Given that the sun had not yet risen, there was an even, soft light that projects little contrast, and enables us to feel the calmness of the moment. The relatively long exposure time softened what little wave activity there was, the outgoing water blended nicely with the sand, and the puffy clouds were washed in the same colors and tones as the rest of the scene. The light reflection of of the water, mirroring the sky added to the cohesiveness. The different elements add a bit of interest, yet they are blending together in such a way that the feeling of peace is strengthened. I hope this image shares the with you the joy I felt while composing this amazing moment in time. Enjoy the view!

Photo Tip: Shooting pre-dawn or post sunset can enable you to capture soft glowing light not seen at other times of day. As opposed to direct light, these special times provide an other worldly mood created by light filtering through greater amounts of atmosphere and reflecting off of the atmosphere. This is a sure way to add drama to otherwise common or familiar locations. Given the low light, a longer exposure time will be required. Remember to use a sturdy tripod along with a cable release to avoid camera shake.

Details: Canham 5×7 metal field camera with 4×5 reducing back, 150mm Rodenstock Sironar-S lens, Fuji Provia 100 speed 4×5 quickload film, Gitzo 1325 carbon tripod, Really Right Stuff BH-55 ball head, Singh-Ray 2-stop split ND filter.

Posted in 4x5 film, Beach, Hawaii, jon paul gallery, Landscape, large format, Maui, photo techniques, Photo Tip, Sunrise, Sunset, Twilight, Uncategorized Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Landscape Without the Land

Evening Cloud Reflections Panorama - Lake Tahoe

Late in the Fall (2010) Lake Tahoe was graced with a lot of stormy weather and dramatic skies. I happen to be a fan of softer, more pastel colored skies, as opposed to the over the top neon colors that have huge “wow-factor” (but I find hard to live with). This particular evening I visited the shore of Lake Tahoe to observe the sunset. While I enjoyed the softness of the sky, I wasn’t drawn to any particular foreground / background combination. I was, however, drawn to the reflection of the sky. The water turned my pastel “painting” into a water color. A bit of detail below the water adds a hint of perspective. This is the type of tranquility nature brings to me, and I hope to share with you. Enjoy!
(this image now available to collectors)

Photo Tip:
Remember, rules are a good starting point for composing images (they became rules for a reason), but the most important aspect of landscape photography as art is, paying attention to how the image makes you feel. The image above has no real foreground or background. I did, however, pay attention to the colors, tones and shapes in the image to make sure it had a natural flow and conveyed what I was feeling. I believe this image works because, it makes me feel the way I felt when I experienced this beautiful evening in person. Remember, it is easy to get caught up in technical minutia in this age of digital art. Try to put the technical aspects aside (or relax after you have mastered the basics) and focus on that feeling that gets you out the door to begin with!

Equipment:
Canham 5×7 Metal Field Camera with 6×17 cm panoramic back, 210mm lens, Fuji Provia RDPIII transparency film, Singh Ray LB Warming Polarizer, Gitzo 1325 carbon tripod, Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ball Head, Hasselblad/Imacon 646 virtual drum scanner.

Posted in California, impressionist, jon paul gallery, Lake Tahoe, Landscape, large format, light painting, Mountains, Nevada, Panorama, photo techniques, Sunset Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |