I was excited to receive my copy of the May 2013 Maine Boats & Harbors, which featured one of my coastal landscapes in the "The Maine I Love" section. The photograph was taken at La Verna Preserve, a lesser known but spectacular piece of rocky coast near Bristol. The good folks at Maine Boats & Harbors also put up a permanent link to my website, along with a small gallery of some of my other work. One thing I learned during the process is how long the publishing cycle can be - editors plan things well in advance - 6 months or more may pass between submitting ones work and actually seeing it in print.
I led a small group of photographers from my Meetup Group, Tucson Outdoor Photographers, along the Sutherland Trail yesterday afternoon in search of wildflowers. We started down the trail about 4:30 and walked about a mile to some of the most reliable spots for poppies. Unfortunately, coverage was sparse and generally speaking it was a lackluster showing. Fortunately there is plenty of other subject matter nearby, including a wash that had running water, graced by mesquite trees blooming. I spent most of my time wading through the water in the wash, photographing the rocks and trees.
While driving on a back road in Rio Rico I noticed a particularly photogenic set of clouds. I kept my eyes open for a pull off that would allow me access to the unfolding scene, as the clouds slowly shifted and evolved in their form. I spotted a pull off and quickly took a few pictures with my iPhone. I love the spontaneity available with the camera phone.
Tucson Botanical Gardens is an interesting place to visit - a variety of desert plants and gardens, as well as a butterfly garden. Here is a picture of an Agave plant I took there the other day with my iPhone. Processing was done with Snapseed, and the blog post generated via the WordPress mobile app.
Chiricahua Monument is 2 hours southeast of Tucson and just 35 miles north of the Mexico border. This area is remote and retains a wild west atmosphere. You're as likely to see the US Border Patrol as you are to see other photographers, as the area surrounding the monument is an active smuggling corridor. Once you get in the monument, however, you'll soon be fascinated by the hoodoo like rock formations - remnants of a volcanic eruption some 27 million years ago. Along with the hoodoos, there are gnarled trees, wildflowers, rugged canyons and creeks, as well as black bear, mountain lions, rattlesnakes and coatimundi. This picture was taken in the backcountry of the monument, after hiking 4 miles into an area known as the Wilderness of Rocks, and is a 3 image panoramic taken with a tilt-shift lens. The square format is a direct result of using the tilt-shift lens, and the 3 photos were stitched together in Photoshop.
I came upon this scene recently while exploring a section of the Coronado National Forest, just east of Tucson. I really liked how the rising moon was framed within the Ocotillo branches, and that the distant mountains were getting bathed in evening light.
What is an Ocotillo?
Ocotillo: a spiny, woody shrub, Fouqueria splendens, of arid regions of thesouthwestern U.S. and Mexico, having a tight cluster of redflowers at the tip of each branch.
Having just left Portland, Maine to live in Tucson, AZ, I thought it would be timely to reflect on who my all-time favorite Maine photographer is. Like most places, Maine has it's share of talented folks - a search on Flickr or Google+ for Maine photography will give you more material than you can digest in one sitting. Long before the proliferation of the web and digital imaging however, Peter Ralston was quietly photographing the Maine Coast and islands from his home in Penobscot Bay. His work offers an intimate glimpse into both the landscape and the people, and ultimately captures a way of life. My favorite images include "Sun Dog", "Clearing", and "Solus". While I never had the chance to meet him, I did get to see some of his prints at the now defunct DoMaine Gallery, which was on Portland's Commercial Street back in 2006. Last summer he opened the Ralston Gallery in Rockport, so if you are visiting Maine and in the mid-coast area stop in.
If you're a digital landscape photographer interested in the mechanics of black & white I highly recommend Guy Tal's Creative Black & White Processing Techniques ebook. A companion to his Creative Processing Techniques title, Creative Black & White excels at filling in the gaps of the modern landscape photographer by explaining both the science of the black & white image as well as a post-processing framework designed to empower the photographer to have complete creative control over the final image. While the book's techniques are illustrated using Lightroom & Photoshop, the underlying concepts can be applied irregardless of your software tools. This ebook is a great resource if you're looking for more control of your black & white processing. For more information visit Guy Tal Books.
I've been using Singh-Ray filters in my landscape work for at least 5 years now. The build quality is top-notch, and their products don't induce color casts and other aberrations found in some of the cheaper filters on the market. It wasn't a big stretch then for me to assemble a few images that were made using their filters and put together a small story on how I used their products in the field. My guest blog entry can be found here .
Lately I've been photographing scenes both with and without optical glass filters so I can record the effect a filter has on a given photograph. After all, photographers are visually oriented and viewing the change a filter can have on an image may be more educational than simply reading about the physics behind it. Among filters, the polarizer is one that is still carried by most outdoor photographers, primarily because it's effects cannot be reproduced in post-processing. Polarizers come in both a linear and circular flavor. Unless you are using a manual focus camera, you'll want to use the circular variety as linear polarizers don't play well with the auto-focus and metering systems of modern slr and dslr cameras.Read More