With Santa sessions coming up and family portraits to take care of, I have a busy schedule. But when my good friend and photographer called I jumped at the opportunity to get away. Her dad likes to hike and the two of them were wondering if I would like to get out and climb a mountain. Why not! Meeting at the trailhead we headed up the trail. With all the wildfire smoke we had this summer I hadn't been out very much so I was wondering how I would do. As things turned out I found the hike, though steep, not bad at all. The body was doing fine, even with a couple of water bottles and a camera on my back. I took the camera along to record some record images. For me it's not serious unless I have a tripod with me to slow the creativity and hold the camera still. But I took a few photographs and enjoyed the trek to a beautiful spot below a waterfall on the trail. The trip took about 4 hours. Time spent conversing, admiring the changing leaves and spectacular beauty of the granite cliffs. What a great time to refresh and find motivation for the next job to do back at the studio!
My last post referred to a post about Yellowstone that I thought I posted. Turned out I only thought I posted it. Guess I'm getting old! But never mind, here goes. I did a trip up to Yellowstone National Park about a week and a half ago. I had been watching the weather reports for any signs of snow. It was looking good so I loaded up the gear and drove the 5 hours up to West Yellowstone and checked into a hotel. That night it did just what I wanted it to do, it snowed. When we entered the park the next morning it was a winter wonderland. I couldn't have asked for more. I drove as far as the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, before finally heading for home, have captured some great images. I'm sharing a photograph of the lower falls capture with my new 50mm tilt shift lens that allowed me to focus on both the falls and the nearby pine that I used to create depth in the image. Five to Six hours is a long way to drive not knowing if things will pan out, but in this case it did and was well worth the effort. (ISO 100, 1/80 sec f-22 50mm tilt shift)
Last time I posted it was about my trip to Yellowstone, a little over 5 hours from my home. It was a great trip and I got some great images, but sometimes all you have to do is go out onto your front porch. Actually I went a little further, passing through my neighbor's yard and up the hill a little to get away from the trees that are getting taller every year. The first round of color wasn't much to write home about, but I waited a little longer hoping for something to happen and it did. I went to work rotating the camera around on the tripod as the light changed on various points of the mountains. I had to work fast because it doesn't often does not last long. Finally I packed it up and descended the hill into the Neighbor's yard and headed for home. It was nice this morning that I didn't have to go far. (This image is a 6 image stitch. It was shot at 400 ISO, 1/80th of a sec, f-5, 100mm with a Canon 5DSR.)
Every year I enter the Intermountain Professional photographer Association's (IPPA) annual print competition. This year was not exception. The IPPA's event is the beginning step as I work my way up to the Professional Photographer of America's (PPA) International Print Competition (IPC). The purpose of print competition is to stretch yourself and make yourself a better photographer. Oh it's fun to get awards and receive accolades from your good friends and peers, but the important thing is your own personal development. I'm a much better photographer than I was ten years ago. That is the reason I compete in the IPPA annual print competition. Wish me luck as I move on to IPC.
Three siblings, ages two, four, and six entered the room to find Santa Claus sleeping in his chair. Leaving the wary two-year-old behind, the other two approached Santa. He woke up with a, "Ho Ho Ho" and addressed them by name. Seeing his older brother and sister interact with Santa the youngest eventually joined the fun. The magic began! becoming lost in Santa's world the kids enjoyed an evening like no other. First they watched Santa find their names on the "nice" list and then go to the globe to have them point out where they lived to make sure he could find them on Christmas Eve. Spreading a special dust on the globe he confirmed their location. The children stared as the sparkling dust left Santa's fingers and fell to the globe. Next the Claus pulled out a small wooden chest and filled it with more special dust. Then with two hands he gave the chest to the now attentive children and explained to them that they needed to put the magic dust out in the yard in front of the house on Christmas Eve so Santa would be sure to find them. The kids painted with magic paint, helping Santa to finish toys. They decorated his tree and listened to the man in red read The Night Before Christmas. They shared cookies and milk and looked into Santa's bag to see all of the decorated gifts that filled the inside. All to soon their hour with Santa was over. Goodbyes were said. The family left the room with Mom carrying the small wooden chest with the special dust that would guarantee a visit from Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. What an unforgettable evening they had had, their own private time with someone known the world over! The time was absolutely magical!