I’ve been home for two hectic weeks now wanted to share with you some new stuff I did during my 2 weeks in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons! I’ve been fortunate to have visited both parks numerous times over the years, but this year I had a vision of trying to capture some of the iconic locations with a twist! Over the years I have been there many times but the clouds don’t usually cooperate. I got up in NJ at 4am to catch my flight and when I arrived in Jackson Hole airport that afternoon I was greeted with unseasonable warm weather and peak fall colors! I headed off to the grocery store to stock up and after checking the weather forecast for the evening knew that I would be in for a long night! In all the years I have been going I usually only get a few opportunities for the night photography and in most cases…..only a few hours. The forecast was calling for 5 straight days of clear nights! While this would usually be disappointing news for daytime photography, I couldn’t believe my luck as I set out specifically for night-time shooting! Needless to say, I didn’t go to sleep that night and went to bed around 7am the next day. 27 hours of no sleep was well worth it as that night I covered many of the normal day time stops with not another soul around!
I’m sure many of you have been to the barns on Mormon Row….elbow to elbow with other photographers so you can appreciate what a treat it was to be at the barn all alone able to explore different compositions that you aren’t able to because of the usual crowds.
As I headed up to Yellowstone driving through the spectacular colors and forests another project popped into my head; how do I capture the essence of them? Of course Denise Ippolito and Susan Candelario immediately came to mind and I decided to take a page out of their book and try my hand at tree blurs. No, that is not a typo….Roman was doing blurs during this trip and I have done them in previous years but this time instead of being an afterthought for me I really tried to focus my attention as to what drew me into the many scenes that I was driving by. I enjoyed exploring places of the park that intrigued me all this years but I had always passed by because I wasn’t able to see the image hiding in there so when all was said and done……I had over 2000 images when I returned home and both Denise and Susan were behind the inspiration. Many of you may not be aware but back in my short-lived college career I went to art school for graphic design. They are responsible for re-awakened the artist in me that has been dormant way too long. Check out Denise’s and Susan’s websites if you want more proof! http://www.deniseippolito.smugmug.com/ http://www.sdcphotography.com/
I would also take the time now to congratulate Denise Ippolito for her highly honored image in Natures Best Photography magazine. Wooooo Hooooo!!!
Below are a few examples of what I was working on but I also want to give a special shout out to Jacki Dickert who has also been a big influence…..although she may not be aware of it!
It’s always nice to explore the creative side of photography but I don’t want to get anyone into a panic that I didn’t do more traditional type of photography but I was able to be more selective this trip and revisit some familiar places with fresh eyes. One such place was Orange Mound Spring, just above Mammoth Hot Springs. The park service cut down some evergreens that were close to the road and used to block the view from one side. I spent a few hours exploring all the colors and patterns as the fresh angle allowed me many more compositional possibilities!
I also had an opportunity to re-visit the base of Gibbon Falls. While there was ongoing road construction in the area for the last few years, they have almost completed the project but to get to the base requires about a quarter mile hike up the Gibbon river leapfrogging many downed trees and crossing the river a few times which in places is mid thigh deep. I remember it being easier 12 years ago……….might be the added years or the extra few beer pounds since then……..my wife says combo!
As most of you I too have my “favorite” spots. White Dome Geyser is definitely one in Yellowstone and I re-visit in often when I am in the area. I also realized that in all the years I have been going to the park that I have never captured “Old Faithful” at night! When I got there around 11pm and saw the crowd with all the flashes going off…..I soon realized why! Nothing a return at 3am didn’t take care of with not a soul in sight! I was able to capture star point images as well, but something about the star trail image just captivated me more. It may have been sleep deprivation also!!!
I remember calling my wife back home one day late in the trip and telling her I was stinky (camping the entire time up to then), tired (self-explanatory) , hungry (started a much-needed diet), and really dying for a beer (over a week without one because of the night photography)…..and I was having a blast!!! Just laying there during the long exposures, listening to the elks bugleing and looking at all the stars…..it doesn’t get much better than that!
On that note I am pleased to announce my Fall Yellowstone/Grand Tetons tour from September 22nd till October 2 of 2011. No camping involved in this one! The cost is $2,595 and departs at Jackson Hole airport and is limited to 4 participants. Transportation after arrival as well as lodging and entrance fees are all included in the price and check the website or e-mail me for further details.
I also have local workshops with a few remaining slots left on 2 half day workshops; December 12th the Christmas Spectacular at Longwood Gardens and December 18th, with the rain date on the 19th, at the Barnegat Jetty. Check the workshop page or e-mail for more details.
…..and some exciting new HDR workshops with Denise Ippolito and Susan Candelario co-leading……both are designed to get you from capture to output. Morning sessions are in the field with the afternoons spent in a classroom type setting post processing the images you took earlier. Laptop is highly recommended for both with the first being in Sandy Hook on January 15th and we visit the Eastern State Penitentiary on March 20th. More info can be found on the workshop page or just e-mail me with any additional questions.
I’m off to my Bryce and Zion tour so I hope to share some different views from there shortly!