Sunday, August 28, 2016

Alaska Beauty

Once again Alaska delivered on its superb wildlife. During our spectacular week in Denali National Park we saw many caribou, like this male who was perfectly posed on a tundra-covered hillside, as well as moose, brown bear, and willow ptarmigan.

This is the end of the season, and all the wildlife we saw were in superb condition with healthy coats and strong bodies. This is their last chance to stock up on nutrition for the impending winter season. It is also the mating season for caribou and moose.

The fall colors on the tundra were wonderful as always and created a lovely carpet of color for all the wildlife.

We had a wonderful trip, and now I am moving on to the next leg of my Alaska sojourn with a new group. Tomorrow morning we leave for Glacier Bay National Park for whales, sea otters, puffins, bear, mountain goats and whatever else Mother Nature provides.

1/2000 sec., f/13, ISO 800.  Canon 100-400mm f/4-5.6L IS II lens on Canon 7D Mark II body. Handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "There is harmony in autumn, and a lustre in its sky."  --Percy Bysshe Shelley

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Alaska, The Last Frontier

I am back in Alaska for my annual photo tours here, and happy to be here. Flying in yesterday we were greeted by snow-capped mountains and glaciers down below. The cool 60 degree afternoon was a welcome respite from the 90 degree summer heat back home.

The first of three photo tours over the next several weeks officially begins tomorrow  -  first Denali National Park, then Glacier Bay National Park for whales and glaciers, and finally Lake Clark National Park for brown bears  -  so today we took a short jaunt outside Anchorage along Turnagain Arm. The dramatic clouds were very punchy against the craggy mountains that flank the waterway. This black-and-white conversion was done in Lightroom to accentuate the contrast and texture.

The overall light level was low because of the heavy cloud cover, throwing the closest mountains into shadow. The brighter areas in the background stand out, and the large dark cloud adds drama to the scene.

Soon we will leave the coastal areas and head deep into the beautiful mountain country of Denali National Park. Stay tuned for photos and stories of adventure over the next few weeks.

1/640 sec., f/18, ISO 400. Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens set at 70mm on Canon 7D Mark II body, handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "It is only in adventure that some people succeed in finding themselves."  --Andre Gide

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Bring Out The Beauty

In Lightroom you can go from yucky to yummy in a few easy steps. This gorgeous Lady's Slipper was on display at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. Lightroom helped to make this a more pleasing image. Compare the image below to the one above. 

Yes it is the same image. But the power of Lightroom helped to bring out the latent beauty and color, and also helped to darken a too-light background. This sort of improvement is easy to do and does not take much time. Usually an image can be optimized in Lightroom in 5 minutes or less. And of course you do not have to optimize each and every image, just the ones you like the best.

The main differences were created using three main aspects of Lightroom:
1. The Shadows and Highlights sliders;
2. Increasing saturation of the flower in the HSL (Hue Saturation Luminance) box; and
3. Darkening the green background in the HSL (Hue Saturation Luminance) box.

That's all there was to it. Quick and easy. 

1/125 sec at f/4.  ISO 1600.  Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens on Canon 5D Mark III body. Handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Strive for continuous improvement instead of perfection."  -- Kim Collins

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

August Newsletter Is Here!

The August newsletter is out and ready for viewing. If you are not a subscriber you can see it here

As always, it has important information on photography and photo tours and workshops. 

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But we hope you will find it helpful and will enjoy reading it.

This month's image is from Denali National Park in Alaska. I will be heading there in a few days to lead a group of excited photographers. We will see the sweeping Alaska mountain range, caribou, moose, grizzly bear and more. The 2017 trip has been announced and there are only 6 spaces left. Join me September 4 - 9, 2017 for the trip of a lifetime!

1/640 sec at f/13. ISO 400. Canon 17-40mm f/4L lens set at 37mm, on Canon 5D Mark III body. Handheld.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world."  --John Muir