One must be willing to declare the process of making their images; it is an act of essential self-awareness. I firmly believe that not revealing the process leads to darkness whether or not the truth is eventually exposed.
Wildlife photography presents the nature photographer with many challenges. One of the foremost is getting close enough to the animal to create an effective image, while not disturbing the animal, affecting it’s behavior, or putting oneself in danger. Because wildlife is often most sensitive to the presence of things that look like humans or other large mammals, when possible many wildlife photographers will make use of a blind–a general term for any sort of structure, tent, or what have you, that renders the photographer less visible. Numerous styles of blinds exist, some are as simple as camouflaged tarps that disguise the form of the photographer, while some are elaborate structures. While dedicated blinds have their place, I’ve often had good success photographing using my car as a blind. (more…)
The coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) of California’s north coast include the tallest trees on Earth, with several examples of individual trees over 370 feet tall and provide amazing photographic and sometimes challenging photographic opportunities. This weekend I’ll be travelling to the California’s north coast (roughly betwen the towns of Trinidad, California and Crescent City, California) to visit the constellation of four parks (Redwood National Park, Prarie Creek Redwoods State Park, Del Norte State Park, and Jedediah Smith State Park) that to my mind represent some of the finest redwoods photography opportunities available. In this article, I hope to give you a taste of those incredible areas and add a few words about the opportunities and challenges they present.
Starting from the south, Redwood National Park is the most natural place to begin our virtual tour, the National Park Service maintains a visitor center there (actually just south of Orick, CA) and in Crescent City which can provide excellent information and maps of both this park and the three state parks as well. A trip along the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway (which runs through Redwood NP and Prairie Creek SP) makes an excellent first introduction to the redwood environment, as the road wanders through enormous columns of tree creating a vast virtual room, carpeted with fern and trillium. The strangely-named Cal-Barrel Road (a quick turn off the parkway) offers an excellent introductory location to start your explorations. (more…)
Mono Lake is one of the most famous California nature photography sites, that fame is a consequence of both it’s photographic and environmental history. Environmentally it supports the second largest population of California gulls (the first, paradoxically, being in Utah), that support was threatened by the diversion of streams that provide water to the late for use by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, 300 miles away. Photographically, tufa, the strange limestone formations exposed by the lowering lake level, the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada to the west, and the gull population provide a rich source of photographic opportunities. In this post, I hope to excite you (just a little bit) about the area, and suggest a few places you might want to begin your photographic exploration of the area.
The most frequented area of the lake is the “South Tufa Area”, located along the south side of the lake. While often a busy and well-frequented area, the number, size and variety of the tufa formations there are unparalleled. Your biggest challenge many times of year will be other photographers, but the area is large and gets interesting light both at sunrise (both toward the Sun and toward the Sierra) and just past suns, when the geography and elevation often provide strong, saturated earth shadows such as the one in the image I’ve included above. (more…)