3 nights past a full moon + some light noise from Tacoma + no Aurora = a nice night chatting with other folks and getting a shot of Mt Rainier and Reflection Lake in moonlight. I have to say the Fuji X-T1 performed great—VERY little noise at ISO 1600 ( F4 17 second exposure) using the 10-14mm lens. No auroras, but oh well—it was a nice night on the mountain! —JG
For any of you who can get over to Eastern Washington and the Palouse Region… it’s now prime time to do so. The greens are at its richest hue and the temperatures are still comfortable. I stay in the town of Colfax centrally located with easy access to Steptoe Butte and the rest of the Palouse region.
The old barns make great subjects. be sure to ask permission if you want to go on private property
Explore the primitive as well as the seasonal roads. Take a GPS.
You’ll love everything about this place. As a photographer, its a never ending area of possibilities.
Send me a shot!
PHOTOGRAPH THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
JACK GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY www.jackgrahamphoto.com
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Creating Mood, Motion and Emotion with Water
© Jack Graham / Jack Graham Photography
While driving down from a workshops at Olympic National Park and Whidbey Island recently, I was thinking about some of the locations we visited. Though there are hundreds of miles of rainforest in the park, much of the park contains some diverse locations that feature water. There are some of the most picturesque rivers, waterfalls, shorelines and small spring fed streams, within the park, all with different dynamics that make for some great photos ops. So I made some notes to include within this essay.
Water is very important to me and my photography. Weather taking an image of a grand landscape, or a macro image I love including water as either a subject or as an accompaniment to the subject itself. In other words, water is often included in many of my favorite images. An ocean scene as well as dew drops on a leaf, both containing a water feature can convey a special feeling, that is unique different from scenes without water.
Water adds mood, reflects light, and depending on the light can be many different hues. Water is an unpredictable feature and therefore can be used to create photographs that transmit varied feelings.
Unlike mountains, canyons, forests, etc, one must be prudent in observing how water interacts within a scene. We need to take the textures, colors, tones, and form into account when including water in our images. Depending on the time of day, the light and shape of the water can change drastically. Knowing an area and the potential can really help when considering an image including water.
Like other aspects of nature photography, we must take the overall visual design into affect when photographing all types of water. Is one area detracting from others? Is the light working for you or against you? Do you need to relocate your position?
Water movement will change the mood of the image as well. Calm water, in great light before sunrise transmits a totally different feeling than moving water in similar locations. Time your trips, pay attention to the weather and do some scouting and return if necessary at the right time if needed. Experiment with different lenses. I love wide angle lenses on mirrors lakes with great skies.
Often we choose not to shoot when a breeze creates ripples on the water. I would suggest that you experiment with different shutter speeds. You can create impressionistic effects on the water by varying your shutter speed. Today we have access to a ND filter made by Singh-Ray ( www.singh-ray.com ) that can stop down to 8 stops.
Select a telephoto lens to move in and capture specific areas like reflections, rocks, plants or even a reflection of the land or even a building. Different times of the year yield more color and different effects as well. I love photographing the reflection of the fall color in water. The lower the camera is to the ground, the more color you’ll pick up. Include some leaves on rocks to add more interest to your photograph.
If you read many of the books written on general photography, we are told to use a polarizer when photography water to take the glare off the ware. Be careful, sometimes you shouldn’t use one. I rarely use a polarizer when photographing water at sunrise. The polarizer will remove a lot of the reflected light, color and subject matter from the water. I also like to photograph small intimate areas of streams with colored rocks, moss covered rocks that are under the water. I never use a polarizer when doing this. (TIP: when trying this look for smooth water, not white-water, and look for dips created by rocks to evoke the motion in the water).
When photographing waterfalls, take into account your shutter speeds. I suggest reading my article on waterfall photography. http://www.outdoorphotogear.com/blog/?s=waterfalls
Varying your shutter speed also creates different and at times surreal looks on moving water. Choose weather you want to freeze the water, or let it go to that silky effect to create the mood you want in your image. Use shutter speeds longer than ¼ second to create the silky effect. Conversely, I love to photographing crashing waves at high shitter speeds to capture the spray, frozen in the image that tells the viewer where I was and the dramatic sense of power in the wave itself. However, the ocean can convey a wonderful feeling using low shutter speeds, especially at low tide. The bottom line is to experiment!
I really love photographing at the ocean taking all the previously mentioned things into consideration. I especially love the tide pools found here on thePacificCoast. Use these as foregrounds if at all possible. Watch the tide, it can come in quick. Recently I just made it back on shore and only had to wade knee deep as the tide came in quicker than I thought. Always be aware of your surroundings and never turn your back on the ocean!
Experiment with different ISO’S. This will adjust your shutter speeds, while leaving your aperture of choice in place. (And of course remember your tripod and quality head). If you have leaves moving in a pool of water try a 5-10 second, or longer exposure and capture them moving for some interesting abstract images.
Consider where you have water in your location and how you can use it to create some special photographs. Go back to the same location at different times and use the water along with the subject matter to make some interesting images. Water adds never-ending possibilities to photography.
Bored between Xmas and New Years in the Seattle Area? Check out Deception Pass State Park.
Deception Pass State Park is a 4,134-acre marine and camping park with 77,000 feet of saltwater shoreline, and 33,900 feet of freshwater shoreline on three lakes. Rugged cliffs drop to meet the turbulent waters of Deception Pass. The park is outstanding for breath-taking views, old-growth forests and abundant wildlife.
Deception Pass is mostly known for its endless views of the surrounding waterways, and famous bridge, featured in lots of car commercials. Deception Pass is almost empty this time of the year. Yes, if can get windy & rainy, but it can be pretty nice at times as well. You will have no trouble parking and getting onto some of the great drift-wooded shorelines to photograph or just enjoy the views and the passing bald eagles.
I spent an afternoon there last week and if it wasn’t for having to get the ferry back to Port Townsend , and Whidbey Island ,( they get really packed around Xmas) I might have stayed another day.
The image above was mad last Thursday from one of the lakes in the park. This is Cranberry lake, my favorite.
So of you get cabin fever, and you can get over there, check it out!!!
Drive north on I-5 to exit 230, then travel 18 miles west on SR 20 toward Oak Harbor. Park entrance is on right, one mile south of Deception Pass Bridge.
Yes, it can be cold, Windy and uncomfortable if you’re not dressed for it, but snow in the Columbia River Gorge is wonderful. The curvy roads are sometimes tough to navigate but if you’re careful you’ll be fine.
Snow is now on the ground starting east of Cascade Locks ( about 20 miles west
of Hood River) For those of you out of the area Interstate 84 runs from Portland East along the Columbia River for about 100+ miles before heading south then eventually east toward Boise.
More snow is coming tonight and we might get some a little close to Portland. Tis’ the season.
This HDR image was made yesterday SE of the Dalles (East of Hood River). The fairly remote area is much like the Palouse, but on a smaller scale.
This site is a work in progress. I hope with a short period it will be filling up with lots of good information about photographing nature and travel in the Pacific Northwest. Please check back often . If you have any interesting information let me know and I’ll try and get it up on the site. as well. I’ll be featuring information on interesting locations, events, happenings and workshops here often. You can also visit me at www.jackgrahamphoto.com and www.jackgrahamsblog.com.
Like your American Express Card, don’t leave home without Greg Vaughn’s publication Photographing Oregon. Without a doubt this is a must read and a must have for any photographer, or visitor to Oregon. This 304 page book is jammed packed with over 240 images, location information and travel tips.
I actually have one here in my office and one in my truck! Way to go Greg.!!!
Bob Hitchman of Photograph America is a longtime friend and quite a photographer! Photograph America Newsletter is a 12-page travel newsletter for photographers, published since 1989. Each issue of the newsletter describes in detail where to photograph North American landscapes, wildlife, hidden waterfalls, remote beaches, slot canyons, wildlife migrations, and much more. Learn where, when, and how to discover the best nature photography in America. www.photographamerica.com
Newsletters are available individually, in regional collections, as complete collections, and by subscription. A one-year subscription includes four issues, as printed newsletters and/or PDF files via email download links. PDF files are now being published with color photographs.
You can but just the issues for the pacific northwest if you want, but once you see this valuable, time-saving publication, you’ll want them all.http://shop.photographamerica.com/category-s/29.htm
Finally, if you like Waterfalls, The WATERFALL LOVERS GUIDE to the Pacific Northwest is a must have. Greg Plumb has been updating this book for many years. Over 530 waterfalls are discussed, diagrams and rated for photographic appeal. Precise directions and trailhead marking as included. Again, I keep one in my office and one in the truck.
Pick these up for holiday presents! You wont regret it.