Friday, January 28, 2011

Looking back and Giving back

  My travels awhile back to the Middle Eastern countries were mostly peaceful, until I stayed in Northern Israel and suddenly the border with Lebanon became a war zone. The above photograph is one I took while in Northern Israel, the men were burning tires to protest Israel's ongoing war with Hezzbollah. Staying in a bomb shelter for a few days was an experience I don't want to repeat, yet many people have to live with this on and off their whole life. I'm not about to take sides or try to explain the conflict, to be honest wars in the Middle East confuse me. All I know is that many innocent people suffer, people that want nothing to do with war at all.

Burning tires blocking traffic

  As a professional landscape photographer I feel I'm only suppose to show beautiful scenes of Mother Nature, yet as I look back through my old slide film from trips I've taken over the years I see I was also inspired by people along the way. There was even a time I daydreamed about being a photojournalist traveling the world covering stories, like war and innocent people dying, and the front lines of disease and poverty. I guess you can say I wanted to save the world through my photography, or at least make it a better place by exposing the world's most pressing humanitarian needs.
  Yet, in a way I do help make the world a better place by creating art through which people feel uplifted and by teaching others how to do the same. As an artist and also a citizen of the world I feel it is important to know what is going on in the world around me. I feel grateful that my life with Landscape Photography as well as with my family and friends is peaceful. When I look back at my past slides I am reminded of how I got to where I am today, and where I want to be tomorrow. I look forward to new travels and sharing images from past journeys.

Zambian Grocery Store
My time spent in Zambia and Mozambique was amazing. Although I've seen the worst of what poverty and disease can do, I've also witnessed true happiness in people being content with nothing but food, water, shelter and each other.

Zambian family
Here's a link to an organization we have supported- This company does humanitarian work all over the world with an emphasis on development and education.

Snow Dreams
Here are a couple other organizations we like to support.
These two organizations help protect the landscapes I've come to love.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bad Weather = Good Pictures, Sometimes.

 Dusting of Snow
 A light dusting of snow coats the foreground while low clouds linger below the rim of the canyon.

Bad weather, or what some refer to as bad weather is actually good weather for landscape photographers seeking to stand out from the crowd. Good landscape images can also be made without a cloud in the sky, but clouds and moisture help add drama and a distinct mood. Although every storm I venture out into may not result in an image, at least I get some exercise and fresh air. Many times I find myself soaking wet from head to toe, or shivering cold waiting for an image in my minds eye that never materializes. It's OK though, that just means I get to return to the same beautiful spot and try again when the next storm rolls in. Both of these images are taken with my H4D.

Flooded Trail
Taken along the East Rim Trail during the recent torrential Rain storm, this image shows the trail covered by flood water. To get here during the storm was an adventure. I had to cross a narrow space where the water ran deep, it felt like I would be washed away into the canyon with one wrong move. When I came to the deep section I debated on turning around and calling it a day on this trail, but my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to wade through it. I wanted to see what was further up the canyon. When I reached the top of the east rim it was covered in a dense fog and the image I imagined was nowhere to be found, so I came back to this location and composed the image you see here. I've hiked this trail many times and never have I seen it flood like this.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Film or Digital?

Snow Covered Court of the Patriarchs

Camera- Hasselblad H4D40, Lens- HCD 35-90mm Lens @ 35. Exposure- 1/30 sec @f-27- ISO 100. It consists of 5 images, each a 40 megapixel image taken with the same exposure merged together in Photo Shop, making it a 200 megapixel image.

I'm often asked whether I shoot digital or film, the answer is both. Lately, I've been shooting with my newest camera, a Hasselblad H4D40. It has a 40-mega pixel medium format sensor that produces unbeatable image quality. Yet, I also cant seem to pull myself away from film, even though there is no doubt digital technology is stunning. As a professional, I feel Its important to know where photography came from and to where its going. There is nothing to compare with a perfectly exposed piece of transparency film and the way it seems to jump out off the light box. The image below was taken with my Linhof 6x17 film camera, which produces a piece of film about 2x7 inches. The film is then professionally scanned. An Imacon or Tango Drum scanner creates a ultra high resolution digital image from the original transparency. Is film or digital better than the other? It depends on whom you ask. You can come to my gallery and see they are both capable of producing large high quality photographs with exquisite detail,  especially when higher end lenses and cameras are used.

Wall Street

For this classic location in the Narrows of Zion, I wanted to expose it in a unique way I've never seen before and show off the steep- canyon walls and the Virgin River below so I chose my Linhof Technorama 617. The lens used was a 72mm Schneider Super Angulon XLS. Exposure was 14 seconds at f-32 on Fuji Velvia ISO100 Film.


Camera- Linhof Technorama 617, Lens- 72mm Schneider Super Angulon XLS. Exposure not recorded. Film- Fuji Velvia 100. Photographs like this never cease to amaze me when I see a landscape so beautiful it's able to draw my eye away from such an epic sky.

Sandstone Falls

Camera- Hasselblad H4D40, Lens- HCD 35-90mm @35,  Exposure- 32 seconds @ f-27 ISO 100
In this image I wanted to make you feel as though you can touch the sandstone wall and here the water rushing by. To achieve this, I composed the image close to the canyon wall and set my aperture to allow for a sharp foreground and background. The small aperture opening also enabled me to create a longer exposure making the water appear silky. The dynamic composition of water and stone help pull you into the image.