You have spoken; the results are in. You have chosen your favorite Big Sur photograph from 2013. And the voting for first and second place was very close. But this is your your clear favorite – Pfeiffer Beach Tunnel.
Pfeiffer Beach is always exciting in winter when the sun’s rays penetrate the tunnel as the waves come roaring through. It’s exhilarating to say the least. I chose this one from the scores that I shot that afternoon because, in addition to the golden glow the rays cast on the inside walls of the tunnel, the water appears as a wall about to sweep through. It’s the moment right before the explosion. You can sense the power about to be unleashed.
For a limited time you can purchase a gorgeous 16X20 gallery-warp canvas of this beautiful photograph on Fine Art America for only $70. That’s a 30% discount from the regular price. But hurry, this offer ends at 5:00 PM Pacific Time on July 3, 2014 and there are only five canvases available at this sharply reduced price. Check out this special offer.
“So, what was the close second?” you ask. I don’t think you’ll be surprised when you see it – another display of awesome power.
Continue reading “Best Big Sur Photograph of 2013” »
Tags: beach, Big Sur, California, Garrapata, Julia Pfeiffer Burns, Limekiln, McWay Cove, Pacific Valley, Pfeiffer, Point Lobos, San Simeon, Sand Dollar, State Park, Surf, waterfall
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Composition is one of the four pillars of a strong landscape photograph (See Making a Photograph – The Four Pillars). There are many approaches to mastering composition and certainly countless excellent books on the topic. Many books discuss the elements of design and how they relate to composition – line, shape, form, texture, pattern and color. Others go into the various rules of composition – rule of thirds, golden rule, leading lines, near / far, layers, frames, etc.
All of these rules or principles are very analytical and, I think, are necessary and useful building blocks. Often creating a strong composition is very much of a problem-solving endeavor. But in the end I believe the goal of the composition is to support what the artist wants to communicate through the image. And this comes more from compositions that just feel right, not ones that are mechanically created from the rules. That’s not to say that one is not aware of these principles as the composition is being worked out. Rather these principles are like words in a sentence. They are carefully chosen so that the sentence as a whole communicates the author’s message. There are several techniques that lead us to this goal. And one of them is to ask yourself, ‘’”What am I photographing?”
Continue reading “Mastering Composition – What?” »
Tags: balance, Big Sur, blue, coast, color, composition, cool, design, form, hue, isolate, landscape, leading line, line, pacific, pattern, photograph, photography, rule of thirds, Salmon Falls, shape, simplify, texture, warm, waterfall, workshop
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There’s so much to learn from studying Ansel Adams’ photographs, especially when you read what he has to say about them in “Examples – The Making of 40 Photographs”. Each narrative seems to have its own distinct lesson. The narrative associated with Nevada Falls is a study in working a composition.
Continue reading “Ansel Adams – The Making of 40 Photographs: Nevada Falls” »
Tags: Adams, Ansel, art, border, cedar, cliff, comment, composition, conversation, defect, down, envision, express, falls, lesson, National, Nevada, Park, patrol, perfection, photograph, photography, power, problems, rainbow, slow, solving, subject, trees, tripod, Valley, vision, waterfall, workshop, Yosemite
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The next step in selecting the best photograph from among the photographs I captured in 2012 is completed. And you have spoken in a loud and clear voice.
We are doing this one area at a time. The first was the California Deserts. Next came the Eastern Sierra. This round was magnificent Big Sur. And since I was there three times in 2012 there were a host of photographs to choose from – ten in all.
How did it turn out you ask? Let’s get right into the results and this time we’ll start with the most popular photograph.
In the number 1 position is Sunset, Pfeiffer Beach.
Everyone loves a beautiful sunset. But Mother Nature doesn’t pass them out freely. So you need to be patient and ready for them when they happen.
Sunset photographs have the best color when they’re underexposed a bit. But they are so inspiring that too often not enough attention is paid to the foreground. On this evening I sprinted 100 yards or so down the sandy beach to work the rock outcrop into the composition. And it worked well with the triangular shape of the rock mirroring the diagonal sweep of the clouds.
But that wasn’t enough for an strong foreground. It was important to capture an interesting pattern in the surf which completed the composition.
Continue reading “Best Photograph of 2012 – Big Sur” »
Tags: anticipation, beach, Big, bixby, Bridge, cathedral, china, clouds, composition, cove, dawn, diagonal, Earth, energy, falls, foreground, god, gold, gothic, green, light, line, lobos, mc way, middle, morning, National Park, ocean, pattern, Pfeiffer, photography, pier, Point, power, powerful, rays, Rock, rocky, sacred, salmon, San Simeon, shore, static, sun, sunrise, sunset, sur, Surf, tranquil, triangle, Tunnel, twilight, warmth, waterfall, waves, winter, workshop, Zion
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I don’t know when I’ve felt so connected to a place as I felt on the North Shore of Lake Superior in October 2010. I’m sure being with my brother Roger and his good friend Travis Novitsky had a lot to do with it. Also visiting the Spirit Tree for sunrise Saturday morning surely made the connection stronger.
But the land is also really ancient up there. The young rocks are a mere billion years old; yes, that’s billion with a B. And not far away are rocks that are more than four billion years old. These are some of the oldest rocks on the planet and somehow I could feel their age. I guess the best way I can describe the feeling is one of reverence.
So I’m returning to the October Minnesota brother shoot for this month’s pick for photo of the month. I have other photos that are begging to be recognized but I really want to start the year with this Minnesota image.
Partridge Falls 2 (2010)
Continue reading “Print of the Month–January 2011” »
Tags: autumn, Lake Superior, Minnesota, waterfall
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Latourell Falls is one of many falls along the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge. It is particularly beautiful because it takes a long slender down a spectacular basalt cliff. I was shooting up there over the Memorial Day weekend and have these three different views of the falls to share. Each is distinct and carrys its own unique message. Enjoy
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Tags: basalt, Columbia River Gorge, Latourell Falls, lava, morning, nature, Oregon, spring, waterfall
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