Mormon Row

Mormon Row is located in the Antelope Flats area of Grand Teton National Park. Mormon Row is a rural historic landscape including the construction of the Moulton Farmsteads. These farmsteads and may others were constructed by a settlement of Mormons from 1908 to 1950 henceforth the name Mormon Row. To get to this Moulton barn you will head north past the Jackson Hole Airport, then turn east onto Antelope Flats Rd. Then turn back to the south on Mormon Row. It's a dirt road with a turn around at the end by the barn.

This location in the park is one of the most scenic. The peaks of the barn roof match the peaks of the Tetons. In the fall the fog and low clouds tend to hide the Tetons, but in this case it worked out. The best time to photograph Mormon Row is at sunrise. The sun will rise striking the face of the barn and in turn the Grand Tetons Mountain Range. Be careful of your shadow. The best spot to stand will be on the south corner of the property at an angle from the barn, otherwise your shadow will be in the image and many other photographers will give you evil glares.

I was one getting glared at but quickly realized what I was doing and moved. So when you arrive and wonder why all the photographers are standing in one spot its worth investigating and may save yourself from one of those embarrassing oops, sorry, moments.

This weeks post picture was taken on a cloudy morning with a tripod mounted 16-35mm at 27mm @ f8. I used a ND grand filter handheld to balance out the sky and foreground while triggering the camera with a remote release.

Mormon row is worth the trip to the park alone. It's a must see right behind Schwabacher Landing.

 

Point Betsie Lighthouse

Point Betsie Lighthouse is located near Frankfort Michigan and just south of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. According to PointBetsie.org, Point Betsie Lighthouse was built in 1858 and cost a whopping five thousand dollars. For more information on Point Betsie Lighthouse click on the link above.

Ken and Lori Snyder of Unified Photography had contacted me to see if I wanted to go out and shoot. They were in town for the Worldwide Photo Walk and wanted to get out and make some pictures. Obviously I said yes but where should we go? Well it just so happened a massive cold front was moving in and the winds were picking up. When the winds pick up lighthouses, piers, break-walls are always good subjects to photograph. The crashing waves make compelling and interesting images. So my goal was to get an image of Point Betsie Lighthouse with a big crashing wave in the foreground. That turned out to be harder than it sounds.

The waves were big but caused lots of spray that kept getting the lens front element wet. I had to repeatedly wipe off my lens in order to get a photograph of good quality. It was a difficult task. I never did get a crashing wave photograph to my liking.

Near the end of the night I wanted to try to get a long exposure image to see if I could capture the moving clouds. That turned out to be one of my best images of the night.

The weeks post picture was taken at 20mm on my 16-35mm lens. I had my camera mounted on a tripod, and to achieve the cloud blur my exposure was 30 seconds.

The cold, wet, and wind made this photograph a tough one to make. 4 hours of waiting for the "right" image was my payoff and I am glad I toughed it out.

Point Betsie Lighthouse is a great photographic subject in any condition, but watch the weather for those cold fronts that bring the clouds, winds and waves, and Point Betsie Lighthouse turns into a magical shooting location.

Dead Horse Point State Park

Dead Horse Point State Park is a Utah State Park that is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Canyonlands National Park. It's a small state park about 30 miles from Moab Utah which offers some camping and views of the surrounding landscape. Click here for more information. Dead Horse Point is off HWY 313 and sits on the northern end of Canyonlands.  When Driving to Canyonlands from Moab you will see signs for Dead Horse Point. Real easy to find. Dead Horse Point State Park does charge an entrance fee, and if my memory serves me, it's $10 per vehicle.

How Dead Horse Point State Park got it's name is very interesting. The unique shape of Dead Horse Point narrows down to 90 feet surrounded by two thousand feet sheer cliffs that fall to the Colorado River. During the 19th century cowboys would herd wild mustangs to Dead Horse Point and gate off the narrow neck, thus trapping the wild horses and preventing them from running away. Legend states that a group of horses was inadvertently left fenced in and eventually died of thirst within view of the Colorado River.

Dead Horse Point State Park was a nice compliment to Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. It's something you can easily tour during your time in Moab and it's worth seeing a sunset.

This post picture was taken during a sunset in July. I used a 16-35mm lens to capture the vast landscape. I also used a ND Grad filter to help balance out the sky and give my foreground a little more depth. I also had a polarizing filter attached to give the red rock a little more pop and to take some of the reflection out of the river.

Hope you enjoy!

 

HDR Photography

HDR Photography has an ongoing debate among the professionals. Photographers either love or hate HDR Photography. Those of you that don't have a clue what HDR is, it's the blending of multiple exposures into one photograph. This process usually takes place in a software program such as Photomatix or Photoshop. This isn't going to be a tutorial just an opinion on HDR. To learn more about HDR  check out the king of HDR Photography Trey Ratcliff.

The people that like HDR photography the most seem to be the average person that has no idea what HDR Photography is. The people that hate HDR the most is the photography purists that believe that it has no place in photography and believe its more a graphic art.

I myself don't really care one way or the other as long as the photograph looks good. This weeks post picture was taken handheld using the HDR technique. In a situation like this I would normally use my ND grad filters to darken the sky a bit so I could get the exposure I was looking for but in this case I was driving when I happened upon the scene. Instead of getting out my tripod, getting out my filters and making this a long drawn out ordeal (besides I was trying to get to a spot for sunset) I decided to use HDR.

You can see what I was faced with in terms of the back lighting and the bright sky with the dark foreground. Not very appealing

HDR photography is just another tool in the photographers toolbox. Whether you choose to use the HDR "tool" is up to you, but for me it's a tool I will always have in-case I need it.

 

 

Prints

There is nothing better than seeing your photographs printed. A recent trip to Yosemite and the Ansel Adams Gallery has inspired me to print my photographs with the best quality and craftsmanship that I can. When in Yosemite valley visit the gallery. Even the restaurants in the valley display the beautiful work of Michael Frye and others. The work and detail in the prints are gorgeous. With that being said this is how I develop my prints. After editing (click here for more on editing) I will print from Photoshop. I will go to lightroom select the photo I want to print in the library tab, right click on that photo and select edit in: then select edit in Photoshop. Once I have it in Photoshop I do very little to the image since it's already been through the edit ringer. What I do is add some sharpening. The easiest way to do this is with a Nik plugin called Sharpener Pro. This makes sharpening a simple process based on your needs.

Once you have your photo loaded in Photoshop and Sharpener Pro loaded, go to filter, Nik Software, Sharpener Pro: Output Sharpener. Nik will then open up your photograph in the Nik Plugin. Under output sharpening I change it from display to ink jet. It will then give you a few options you will have to fill in based on your needs and printer. Under viewing distance I usually select the 4-8 ft range on my 13x19 prints. I then select my paper type. Last but not least is the printer resolution. My Canon Printer is a 4800 x 2400 but refer to your printer manual for proper resolution. That's it! Nik also has a selective sharpening option if you want to apply sharpening to some areas and not others. This is helpful if you want to sharpen the foreground but don't need sharpening for things like water and clouds. When that is completed press OK.

Once Nik applied the sharpening you should set up your printer to get the best possible prints. In Photoshop click file, then print. I then click Print Settings... This opens up the setting for my Canon printer. The menu for other brand printers may vary but the same concept remains.  The main thing we want to do is have Photoshop manage the colors not the printer. So after you select your media type, paper size, and print quality, we want to click the box for "color/intensity manual adjustment".

Next click the main tab near the top. Double check media type, paper source, print quality and make sure color/intensity is on manual. Next click the set button. This will bring up the color adjustment tab, click on the matching tab next to that and click "none" under color correction. Press ok, press ok again and now you are ready to print. Double check the settings in the Photoshop print menu. Select color management; and document. Under color handling select "Photoshop Manages Colors". Pick your printer profile based on the paper you are using. Most manufactures have the paper profiles available for download on the manufactures website. I use Canon Paper and a Canon printer so paper profiles came preloaded. Now under "rendering intent" I either use "Relative Colorimetric" or "Preceptual". I normally do a couple 4x6 test prints to see which one comes out best, but sometimes you can see the effects in the Photoshop print setup page. I click the black point compensation box and now I am ready to print my photograph.

All in all the process takes just a few minutes. I am using Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS5. Process may vary based on different versions of  software. I am using a Canon 9000 mark II printer, Epson and other printer procedures will vary so consult your manual when trying to set up your printer. The main thing we need to remember is to sharpen your photographs based on our needs and allow Photoshop to manage colors. When you have a calibrated monitor your print will look like what you see on your computer. This will save you time and money when trying to match your monitor with your prints.

After the printer prints, I let the print sit on the printer for a couple hours before I even touch it. This allows the print to dry. I then take the print and place it in a shaded area at my office and let it completely dry for a couple days before I frame it or ship it. I ship using a hard density tube with the print placed in an archival plastic bag. I also place a pair of white cotton gloves in the tube so when the buyer receives the print they will be able to safely handle it. A good idea for your customers is to have it shipped right to the framer. This way the customer won't have to handle it at all!

Happy Easter & Happy printing!