From The Ansel Adams Gallery – Unique Offer in Fine Art Photography by William Neill

August 4th, 2014
Blue Icebergs, Cierva Cove, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica January 29th, 2014 09:42:19

Blue Icebergs, Cierva Cove, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica January 29th, 2014 09:42:19

Greetings from the Sierra Nevada,

I am happy to announce that The Ansel Adams Gallery is offering three of my images in their latest “Unique Offer in Fine Art Photography.”

The Unique Opportunity The Ansel Adams Gallery is thrilled to offer its collectors, friends and fellow art lovers, a chance to participate in a unique opportunity. From time to time on our website, we will be featuring a never-before-printed, hand-made image from one of our distinguished Gallery artists at a discounted price, prior to its availability within the general market place. This month, we have arranged to present three 16”x24” images from William Neill: two images from the photogenic landscape of Yosemite, “Winter Twilight over Half Dome, Yosemite,” and “Raindrops and Pollen on Corn Lilly Leaves, Yosemite,” both in an edition of 75, with the third in honor of his recent trip to another unique photographic frontier titled “Blue Icebergs, Cierva Cove, Antarctic Peninsula,” in an edition of only 30. While Bill’s original 16”x24” prints normally range in price up to $3,000, you can now add one to your private collection for 25% off the initial retail price. Each photograph is made by Mr. Neill, printed to current archival standards, signed and numbered, as well as mounted, matted and ready for framing. The time to purchase will begin at 9:00 AM Pacific Time on Monday, August 4th, and will expire upon the close of business, Sunday, August 10th at 6:00 PM.Once the offer has expired, we anticipate an order fulfillment time of approximately four weeks to ensure the quality of each individual order. This inaugural printing offer is available for a very limited time, after which, the print will return to full price.

Email our curator, Evan Russel, at evan@anseladams.com if you have any additional questions about the prints or shipping.

 

The Story of the Images – text by William Neill

Winter Twilight over Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California 2012 by William Neill

  Winter Twilight over Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California
© William Neill, All rights reserved (text by William Neill)

Yosemite Valley after a fresh snowfall is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I’ve been photographing for 38 years in the national park, and winter is my favorite season. Taken after a late December snowfall, I was lucky enough to arrive at Tunnel View with great light and snow still sticking to the trees. Although more dramatic light occurred earlier this evening, I preferred these more subtle colors of twilight. While I have often avoided photographing the icons, focusing in on more intimate views of Yosemite, I am still entranced by the epic landscape of soaring cliffs.
To purchase, please click here.

 

Raindrops and Pollen on Corn Lily Leaves, Yosemite National Park, California 2013

Raindrops and Pollen on Corn Lily Leaves, Yosemite National Park, California 2013

Raindrops and Pollen on Corn Lilly Leaves, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
© William Neill. All rights reserved (text by William Neill)

Patterns in nature have been a major theme of my photography for decades. When the corn lily plants spread their leaves during high country summers, I search for dense patterns of leaves like these to photograph. Living nearby, I timed my arrival in hopes of rain from an approaching thunderstorm. The rain drops combined with pollen to form a galaxy of water beads which heightened the magic of these leaves and their patterns. Processed as a Black and White image, I feel that the graphical pattern and mysterious field of possibilities shine through.
To purchase, please click here.

 

 

Blue Icebergs, Cierva Cove, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica January 29th, 2014 09:42:19

Blue Icebergs, Cierva Cove, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica January 29th, 2014 09:42:19

Blue Icebergs, Cierva Cove, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica January 29th, 2014 09:42:19
© William Neill. All rights reserved (text by William Neill)

On my recent trip to the Antarctic Peninsula, our group floated in Zodiac boats through sculpture gardens of ancient ice. The deeper the blues, the older is the ice. The crystalline icebergs glowed like magic in the morning light, revealing the patterns of weather and waves. It was especially challenging to compose precisely while moving, requiring speed in terms of focus, analyzing exposures that constantly changed, and timing to capture good spacing and compositions. It was a spectacular journey. A sweet Antarctic dream.
To purchase, please click here.

Story of the Artist
William Neill has been photographing continuously in his backyard of Yosemite National Park since 1977. Reared in California and Virginia, and educated at the University of Colorado (BA in Environmental Conservation, 1976), he has found his balance in the Sierra Nevada . In the early 1980s, he served as staff photographer at The Ansel Adams Gallery, where he was introduced to the work of Ansel Adams and other fine art photographers. The natural environment and spirit of Yosemite remains the constant inspiration for Neill. He pays special attention to the intimate detail and design of nature. His elegant color photographs celebrate the magic of our natural world.

“The reason I photograph is to experience the beauty of nature, of wild places. I explore the essential elements of rock and tree, of cloud and rushing water to discover the magic and mystery of the landscape. It is the spirit of the land I seek to reveal in my images.

“Photography is a quiet, meditative activity for me. I enjoy isolating the details of a scene. By creating photographs where the content or orientation is not obvious, an intimate and enigmatic feeling can come through. I enjoy making an image that asks a question, one that intrigues and arouses curiosity in the viewer.” He is the photographic author of many books including The Sense of Wonder, The Tree,By Nature’s DesignThe Color of Nature and Traces of Time. A portfolio of his Yosemite photographs has been published Yosemite: The Promise of Wildness as well as a retrospective monograph of his landscape photography entitled Landscapes Of The Spirit. In 1995, the Sierra Club honored Neill with the Ansel Adams Award for conservation photography. Also, he writes a monthly column, On Landscape, for Outdoor Photographermagazine. Neill’s assignment and published credits include National Geographic Special Publications, Smithsonian, Conde Nast Traveler, Gentlemen’s Quarterly, Travel & Leisure, Wilderness, Sunset, Vogue, Sierra and Outside magazines. Feature articles about his work have appeared in Life, Camera and Darkroom, American Photo, Photographer’s Forum, Outdoor Photographer and Communication Arts, from whom he has received four Awards of Excellence. Neill’s fine limited edition prints have been collected and exhibited nationally. Bill Neill resides with his wife, Sahdna, and their children in Oakhurst, California.

Please be sure to view more of William Neill’s photographs at http://www.williamneill.com/as well as at the Gallery’s site, www.anseladams.com

What You Need to Know

August 1st, 2014
201310_2857-Edit

Clearing Autumn Storm, Yosemite National Park, California, 2013

Here is my most recent On Landscape column published in Outdoor Photographer. I have added a few other images from October 28, 2013 to give you a broader sense of the epic quality of the day,  I would love to hear feedback on your favorite images, and share links to any “epic day” images you wish to share!
_______________________________________________________________________
This is the golden age of information. Photographers have access to endless amounts of guides, tutorials, ebooks and websites about making perfect photographs, any kind of photograph, and that includes landscape photographs. Need to learn techniques for composing, exposing or postprocessing your images? Many sources are available, offered by excellent photographers and teachers. Outdoor Photographer covers those subjects in depth, in the magazine and on the website, leading the way forward since 1985. Need to know where to photograph and when at a new location? With a smartphone, you can learn where to stand, as well as the sunrise/sunset times so you know how early to set your alarm—no exploration or scouting needed!

My own photographic path started in the “old days,” with 35mm film cameras in the 1970s. Then I used a 4×5 view camera and sheet film for 25 years. I began making digital prints in 1994, and since 2005, have switched entirely to digital capture. My digital skills have evolved slowly, steadily into a simple, but effective toolset. When I can’t make my images say what I want them to say, when lack of technique is blocking my artistic expression, I update my skill set. I learn more. But in those early years, I made some very strong images with very little knowledge of technique.

With all of this in mind, a question has been bouncing around my head: How much does a photographer need to know before he or she can make a great photograph? The focus on consuming every possible technique drives me crazy sometimes, or maybe I’m just lazy! Seriously, the way I stay creative is to keep it simple. If my mind is too full of tech thoughts, they get in my way.

Autumn Oaks and Snowstorm, El Capitan Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California, 2013

Autumn Oaks and Snowstorm, El Capitan Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California, 2013

201310_2772-Edit

Dogwood Leaves, Yosemite National Park, California 2013

Last fall, I worked with a student from Hawaii who had never been to Yosemite before. The autumn color was peaking, especially the oaks and maples. A storm was coming the morning we started. The forecast was for a rainy day, but I looked forward to taking advantage of the soft light to photograph the saturated colors and patterns of autumn leaves. A strong wind that night had brought down most of the yellow maple leaves, covering the forest floor, especially at Fern Springs. Our workshop was off to a great start, but then it began to pour, so we decided to wait out the rain over breakfast at the Lodge. As we sat, we were thrilled to see that it started to snow! A few gulps later, we were out the door.

One of our first stops was El Capitan Meadow, where we photographed golden oak leaves in the snowstorm. I helped Sean work out his compositions and made sure he tried various shutter speeds. As with moving water, each change in shutter speed conveys a slightly different effect, with blurring or freezing the rapidly falling snowflakes. I showed him how to create panoramic images like “Autumn Oaks and Snowstorm” using multiple frames to stitch in Photoshop.

The conditions were thrilling, and next I found a deep-red dogwood tree with snow gathering on the leaves. I helped him find the best angles for simple and clear image designs. My instructions were simple, such as improving his camera angle and helping him find the right balance between shutter speed and aperture.

Soon the clouds began to clear, so we headed to Tunnel View. Looking east at El Capitan and Half Dome, snow had dusted the trees and cliffs, with dramatic clouds hanging around the cliffs. We immediately set up before the classic view. He had never photographed at Tunnel View before! I suggested to Sean that he visualize postprocessing this image as a black-and-white photo, which could heighten the forms of clouds and cliffs. This approach worked out very well for him for his final rendition of this scene.

As he photographed, I turned around to simply enjoy the clearing storm. To my pleasant surprise, I saw the magnificent conditions so sought after by photographers at Tunnel View when looking east during sunrise or sunset. The nearby cliffs, not the iconic view, were beautifully backlit and shrouded with clouds, beams of sun streaming through the mist. The light was changing quickly, so we had little time to think or analyze. We worked on this new composition thoroughly, watching his histograms carefully in the brilliant and rapidly changing light. I’ve included my own version in this article.

How much does a photographer need to know before he or she can make a great photograph? The focus on consuming every possible technique drives me crazy sometimes, or maybe I’m just lazy! Seriously, the way I stay creative is to keep it simple. If my mind is too full of tech thoughts, they get in my way.
201310_3256_57_58_59_60_61_62MergedPMP_removeghosts-Edit

Autumn Sunset, El Capitan and the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2013

Cottonwood leaves and cloud reflections, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California  2013

Cottonwood leaves and cloud reflections, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2013

Snowflakes and cedars, Yosemite Lodge, Yosemite National Park, California  2013

Snowflakes and cedars, Yosemite Lodge, Yosemite National Park, California 2013

The day continued with more spectacular photography of both intimate details and grand views, focusing on the experience and the basics of making good exposures: clean design and great light. We had the next day’s session to analyze, delve into technical issues and discuss post-processing options. To summarize, Sean had an epic first day in Yosemite. The question remains: How much do we need to know? Hunger for more knowledge and better technique is a good thing. Sure, spend hours in front of your computer editing your images. But when you feel the inspiration, whether in front of a grand landscape or a flower in your backyard, let go of the rules and regulations, and embrace the Beauty. Be in the moment. Connect with your senses. Art will come through your emotions when most intense.
On that October day, all we “needed to know” was that we were there to see it.

___________________________________________________________

William Neill, an American photographer and resident of the Yosemite National Park area since 1977, is a renowned nature and landscape photographer. Neill’s award-winning photography has been widely published in books, magazines, calendars, posters, and his limited-edition prints have been collected and exhibited in museums and galleries nationally, including the Museum of Fine Art Boston, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, The Vernon Collection, and The Polaroid Collection. Neill has received the Sierra Club’s Ansel Adams Award for conservation photography.

He is the photographic author of many books including The Sense of Wonder, The Tree,  By Nature’s Design,  The Color of Nature  and  Traces of Time.  A portfolio of his Yosemite photographs has been published Yosemite: The Promise of Wildness and a retrospective monograph of his landscape photography entitled Landscapes Of The Spirit

To learn about William Neill‘s one-on-one Yosemite workshops, ebooks and iPad app, see his latest images and learn about his online courses with BetterPhoto.com, visit www.williamneill.com. If you like this post, please sign up HERE to receive the latest updates to my Light on the Landscape Photoblog.

New Work from Olympic National Park

July 19th, 2014


Seastacks at Sunset, Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park. Washington 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
3 second at f/22, ISO 100

I recently returned from a family vacation to the Pacific Northwest. We visited family and friends in Ashland, Portland and Bellingham in Washington.  In between, we visited Olympic National Park where I hadn’t photographed since 1996 and managed to squeeze in some photo sessions.  The first two images I made during an evening trek on Rialto Beach.  The tide was high, which required me to do a lot of wave dodging and climbing around, over and under driftwood to avoid the waves.  After seeing no clouds all day, the marine layer brought great excitement to the sunset!

Early the next morning it remained overcast on my trip to the Hoh Rain Forest, giving me the soft light I was hoping for.  I walked two of the NPS nature trails, relishing the quiet peace of the lush forest, finding a few photographs along the way.  Like I’ve done for the past forty years, I found sanctuary in Nature, even if for a brief couple of hours.  My photographs come from the deep love I have for those moments.  And from the sense of wonder for what I’ve seen.

Enjoy!  Please add your comments here, share any summer vacation stories or photos.    Let me know which image here is your favorite.

 


Rialto Beach at sunset, Olympic National Park. Washington 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/60 second at f/22, ISO 100

 


Alder Forest, Hoh River Valley, Olympic National Park. Washington 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/20 second at f/11, ISO 320

 


Ferns, Hoh Rain Forest, Olympic National Park, Washington 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM,
15 second at f/19, ISO 100

 


Hoh Rain Forest, Olympic National Park, Washington 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM,
2 second at f/22, ISO 320

 


Ferns, Hoh Rain Forest, Olympic National Park, Washington 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM,
15 second at f/19, ISO 100

 


Avalanche Lily, Hurricane Ridge. Olympic National Park, Washington 2014
iPhone 5
Copyright © 2014 William Neill

 

 

Return to the Field of Possibilities

June 26th, 2014
201406_6581-Edit

Corn Lilies, Summit Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California 2014

Last week, I spent four days filming an interview with the crew from The Luminous Landscape website.  For years, they have offered excellent videos such as the Luminous Landscape Video Journal which features interviews with photographers such as Jay Maisel, Art Wolfe, Charlie Cramer, Bill Atkinson, and Jack Dykinga: Luminous Landscape Store.  They are launching a new series called Seeing with the Masters, for which my interview is the first. Luminous Landscape also ran the Antarctica photographic adventure for which I was an instructor early this year.  To learn about this ultimate journey, see Antarctica 2014 – A Most Amazing Trip. I plan on returning to Antarctic in 2016 with Luminous Landscape! I am also a contributor to the site with a series of essays: Essays by William Neill.

One location I had to share was my favorite meadow along the Glacier Point Road.  Here I found this above group of corn lilies.  In order to find a high, downward view, I had to jump up on two fallen logs, balance my tripod to aim down to capture this pattern.  This high-angled view also allowed me to find another image, shown below.

201406_6612-Edit

Last year, I photographed in the same meadow, and wrote the following article for my Outdoor Photographer “On Landscape” column.  Enjoy and share!

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Field Of Possibilities

Using technology like focus stacking, William Neill creates an otherworldly photo of a roadside subject

Corn Lily Leaves, Yosemite National Park, California  2013

Corn Lily Leaves, Yosemite National Park, California 2013

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF 50mm ƒ/2.5 Compact Macro, five frames at ƒ/11, ISO 200, focus stacking by Zerene Stacker.

“To see a World in a
Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour…” —William Blake

One of the main dilemmas for nature photographers is how to frame an image. The choice of camera position and lens angle greatly affects the image design. Nature often provides us with chaotic lines, shapes and colors from which we must distill and extract the essence of our subject. What we include in the frame, as well as what we exclude, is a key factor in the success of our compositions.

I was in Yosemite National Park recently photographing one of my favorite subjects, corn lilies. Returning to a favorite patch, I was happy to see they were still fresh green in spite of recent hot weather. The leaves were covered with pollen and a light rainfall added some water drops. The wind was blowing, which meant the leaves rarely held still for my camera. On top of that, the best camera position was on the shoulder of the road, with tons of traffic moving the plants as it zoomed past a few feet away.

I tried dozens of framings, using a 24mm tilt-shift, 90mm tilt-shift and 50mm macro. The black-and-white photograph was made using my macro lens [left]. The depth of these leaves was too great to capture, so I tried a simple, but effective application called Zerene Stacker. I exposed five frames, focusing the nearest edge of the leaf, and incrementally turned my macro focus slightly until I had focused on the deepest area of corn lily. Then, I added those five files to the software, which created an image with good sharpness throughout the field of view. While processing the final image, I adjusted the contrast and density to make the spots of pollen and leaf lines stand out.

From my past experiences, I was a little late for most of the corn lilies since they had grown tall, making it difficult to aim downward where the leaf patterns are most strongly visible. Also, other plants in amongst them made for a difficult composition to simplify. I usually prefer to zoom in tightly for a very graphic portrayal. In the wider composition shown here [below], I chose to embrace the chaos by using my 24mm tilt-shift lens. The tilt-shift function helped me retain focus from front to back of the subject area, just like I often did with my 4×5 camera while still using a fast enough shutter speed. I shuffled my location around, trying to find a pleasing and well-balanced pattern in the lush vegetation.

201306_5760-Edit

Field of Corn Lily Leaves, Yosemite National Park, California 2013

While creating the black-and-white corn lily image, I clearly remembered one of Paul Caponigro’s finest and most famous photographs. It’s a photograph of an apple that reminds most who see it of a galaxy of stars. I happily acknowledge that inspiration. You can read John Paul Caponigro’s blog post (Paul Caponigro’s son) at www.johnpaulcaponigro.com/blog/7846/masterworks-in-my-collection-paul-caponigro-apple-new-york-city-1964/. I highly recommend that you visit the link or Google to see the image! As I photographed the corn lily, time vanished. Wind, rain showers and sunbeams came and went. I waited for still moments in the wind and for breaks in the traffic. I hid from the mosquitoes inside my parka hood and slapped away the ones that broke through my defenses. In spite of the challenges, I was “in the zone,” blissfully focused on the beauty I saw and felt, and on finding ways to convey it all photographically. Before I knew it, I had spent two-and-a-half hours photographing within a 10-foot section along the road and made over 200 images. That’s my job, and I felt blessed. As I drove home, I was greeted by the most amazing sunset, with golden light shining through pouring rain accented by red clouds. As the rain drenched me, I howled loudly simply for the joy of it all!
__________________________________

William Neill, an American photographer and resident of the Yosemite National Park area since 1977, is a renowned nature and landscape photographer. Neill’s award-winning photography has been widely published in books, magazines, calendars, posters, and his limited-edition prints have been collected and exhibited in museums and galleries nationally, including the Museum of Fine Art Boston, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, The Vernon Collection, and The Polaroid Collection. Neill has received the Sierra Club’s Ansel Adams Award for conservation photography.

He is the photographic author of many books including The Sense of Wonder, The Tree, By Nature’s Design, The Color of Nature  and Traces of Time. A portfolio of his Yosemite photographs has been published Yosemite: The Promise of Wildness and a retrospective monograph of his landscape photography entitled Landscapes Of The Spirit

To learn about William Neill‘s one-on-one Yosemite workshops, ebooks and iPad app, see his latest images and learn about his online courses with BetterPhoto.com, visit www.williamneill.com.

If you like this post, please sign up HERE to receive the latest updates to my Light on the Landscape Photoblog.

A thank you gift for following my photography!

May 12th, 2014

As a thank you gift for following my photography and signing up for my eNewsletter, I want to give you a $5 discount on my ebook Collection, normally a $15 value.  Sign up in the box to the right, and your discount code will be sent to you.

I will be posting more articles and images to my blog, so stay tuned in!  I am working on a new ebook of my Antarctic Dreams photographs, processing new Impressions of Light image and more…

Thanks again,  Bill

High quality PDF eBooks by William Neill