Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24th, 2016

201610_7088__© William Neill-2

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I am thankful for all of my friends and family. I have so much love from my wife Sadhna and my two children Tara and Ravi.  The support and encouragement I received from them, and the rest of my family and friends, is a true blessing.

I am also thankful for having the great opportunity to share my photographs, and teach others what I’ve learned, and make a good living at what I love to do.  In 1984, I made a decision to pursue my dream of becoming a landscape photographer, and 32 years later I am still living that dream.

To all of you who have taken classes from me, who follow my photography online, thank you so much!  Your encouragement and support keeps me going, keeps me pushing myself creatively, learning and seeing deeply everyday.

Enjoy your holiday with family and friends.  And take a moment to truly see the beauty of the world that surrounds us everyday.

Peace,  Bill

201610_6759__© William Neill-2

Autumn in Yosemite 2016

November 22nd, 2016

During late October and early November, I spent eight days in Yosemite Valley working with private students.  We explored many of my favorite locations along the Merced River and in the many meadows around the Valley.

During these sessions, I worked closely with each student on refining their compositions, handling various lighting conditions and dealing with any technical issues that arose.  One of my main focuses while teaching is helping with aesthetic decisions to better enable them to express their own personal response and vision of the landscape before them.  When working one to one and side by side, I can show you my own decision-making process as I create new images. I also worked with those students interested in how I create my Impressions of Light images.

if you are interested in learning from me, see my Yosemite Private Workshops!

Below is a small portfolio from our sessions. Please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below, tell your favorite photographs, and share with friends.

Peace,  Bill

To see my latest images and offerings, be sure to visit my William Neill Photography Facebook page, Twitter or visit my Instagram page!

 

 


Autumn Elm and Mist, Yosemite National Park, California
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/30 second at f/25, ISO 125

 


Maple Leaves and Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/3 second at f/25, ISO 320

 


Cottonwoods, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/4 second at f/22, ISO 100

 


Raven and Autumn Oaks, Yosemite National Park, California
iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s Plus back camera 4.15mm f/2.2,
1/450 second at f/2.2, ISO 25

 


Half Dome, Elm and Sunbeams, Yosemite National Park, California
ILCE-7RM2, 24-105mm F4 G SSM OSS,
1/250 second at f/16, ISO 400

 


Half Dome and Elm at sunrise, Yosemite National Park, California
ILCE-7RM2, 24-105mm F4 G SSM OSS,
1/1000 second at f/20, ISO 400

 


Maple Leaves along the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2016
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1.60 second at f/22, ISO 100

 


Maple Leaves and along the Merced River, autumn, Yosemite National Park, California 2016
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1 second at f/18, ISO 100

 


Rock, Tree and Waterfall, Yosemite National Park, California 2016
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
2 second at f/19, ISO 100

 


Cliffs and Mist, Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park, California 2016
ILCE-7RM2, 24-105mm F4 G SSM OSS,
1/30 second at f/18, ISO 100

 


Gathering Autumn Storm, Yosemite National Park, California 2016
ILCE-7RM2, 24-105mm F4 G SSM OSS,
1/60 second at f/18, ISO 100

 


Clouds at Sunset, El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, California 2016
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/13 second at f/18, ISO 100

 


Rapids and Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2016
ILCE-7RM2, 24-105mm F4 G SSM OSS,
5.00 second at f/22, ISO 100

 


Forest Reflections, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/5 second at f/14, ISO 100

 


Forest Reflections and Rapids, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
2 second at f/32, ISO 100

 


Maple Leaves, the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2016
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/2 second at f/29, ISO 100

 

Reminder: There are two days left for the Special Ansel Adams Gallery Print Sale

September 17th, 2016

Reminder: There are two days left for the Special Ansel Adams Gallery Print Sale, which ends on Sunday at 6PM West Coast time!

​​​​​​​Thanks so much to all of you who have purchased prints already. I am excited to start making the photographs and to have my art in your home!


Cheers, William Neill
​​​​​​​

Unique Offer from The Ansel Adams Gallery – Photographs by William Neill

September 11th, 2016

 

It is my pleasure to announce that The Ansel Adams Gallery is once again sponsoring a special print sale of two of my photographs, offering a 25% discount off the normal price. The two images we selected for this offer are Autumn Elm and Sunbeams, Cook’s Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California, and Autumn Sunset on El Capitan and the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California. These two photographs have never been exhibited at a gallery or sold before. My signed, open edition 13×20 prints usually sell for $325, but during this sale, you can get one for only $243.75. Or you can purchase a 16×24 print, normally $450, for only $337.50. Most of my prints have been issued as limited-edition and are more expensive than the open-edition photographs. This is a rare chance to purchase one of my photographs at a reduced price, but the sale lasts for just six days until Sunday, September 18th at 6:00 PM Pacific time. Please visit The Ansel Adams Gallery website to purchase a print or get more details.

Making photographs is not only about the technical “capturing” of the image but also about the sensory experience with the landscape itself. Strong images can reconnect us with the experience and the people with whom we shared that time. Here are the stories behind the making of these two images.

Autumn Elm and Sunbeams, Cook’s Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California, 2014 (image above)

One October morning in 2014, I was teaching a private student in Cook’s Meadow at sunrise. As a longtime Yosemite resident, I anticipated great photographic potential there. We started out photographing with a classic view of Half Dome, but as the sun first struck the damp meadow, we raced to where the sun was rising directly behind this extraordinary elm tree. An amazing confluence of peak autumn color and morning mist unfolded before us, with sunbeams bursting through the graceful branches. Knowing that the mist would burn off soon, we worked rapidly to find a strong composition, shading our lenses from the sun using the tree’s limbs. As the sun rose higher, the beams shifted with the rising mist until they disappeared after only ten minutes. To me, this image captures a sense of hope, of “a new day shining out of the darkness.” This elm, which I’ve been photographing for 40 years, was once again a magical and wondrous sight.

 

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

I have been photographing Yosemite and living in the area for nearly forty years. The wonders of this cathedral in stone never ceases to amaze me, especially during the changing seasons. The day I made this photograph began with pouring rain at dawn. Then by mid-morning, it began to snow leaving a white dusting on red dogwood and golden oak leaves. By noon, the storm began to clear with clouds and mist ascending off of granite cliffs. After a thrilling day of chasing this extraordinary light and weather around the valley, I started for home. The clouds looked like they were closing in, how could any more epic conditions appear after so many blessings of the day? While driving past El Capitan, I noticed a small patch of light breaking through the clouds on its cliffs. I raced down to set up my camera along the Merced River, finding these wonderful reflections and sunset colors. The incredible light lasted only a few minutes. After a day full of catching my breath in awe of such beauty, I finally, slowly exhaled with a peaceful sense of bliss.

If you have any questions, contact me by email or post below in my blog. Please click here to purchase or for more information.

 

Focus Your Fall Portfolio

September 4th, 2016
Autumn Elm and Sunbeams, Cook's Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California, 2014

Autumn Elm and Sunbeams, Cook’s Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California, 2014

Focus Your Fall Portfolio

Below is an essay  I wrote last year for my On Landscape column published in Outdoor Photographer Magazine. I would love to hear feedback on your favorite images, and share links to any “epic day” images you wish to share!

With autumn photography approaching soon, I want to share some ideas that may help you develop an excellent portfolio for this fall season. I have found it useful, for myself and for teaching my students, to think about creating a story line, or clear thematic focus, for your work. Consider what specific locations or aspects of autumn inspire you the most. The location could be your backyard, a nearby park or reserve, or a travel location where you can spend at least a few days to explore the area fully. A favorite aspect might include colorful reflections, or the patterns of fallen leaves, or a series focused on branch-filled tapestries of color. This approach of specialization will help distinguish your autumn images from other photographers’ work.

Two key elements needed for your selection of an autumn theme are passion for the subject and easy access during the season. Passion is a must-have ingredient for creative, insightful imagery. Repeated access to your location will build your knowledge of the light, weather and seasonal changes, helping you find the best conditions for making great photographs. One idea would be to photograph the transition of autumn in your area, from the first hints of color in green trees to the last clinging leaves. This transition offers us great opportunities to communicate that visceral sense that we all feel of time moving forward.

Instead of trophy hunting for singular, spectacular scenic images, I like to explore around for quiet images, ones that don’t shout too loud. In Yosemite, for example, I often find exciting details on the forest floor, in river reflections or cliff details. I have included some examples here from last fall in Yosemite Valley. Over a two-week period in late October and early November, I worked with private students in Yosemite Valley. I enjoy the one-to-one process of helping photographers find their own vision, and share mine with them. Even though I usually focus on intimate details, that doesn’t mean I will avoid those epic, rare events where weather and/or light explode with drama and energy.

On one such dramatic morning, an amazing confluence of peak autumn color and morning mist, rising off a frosted meadow, unfolded before me and my student. We started out photographing from one excellent vantage point, then raced to where the sun was directly behind this extraordinary tree where we witnessed sunbeams bursting through the graceful branches. Knowing that the mist would burn off soon, we worked rapidly to find the best camera position for him to block the rising sun with the tree’s limbs. Even though the lens was shaded from direct sun, the high contrast and rapidly changing situation called for bracketing exposures to ensure a full range of data was captured. The end result, for both of us, were top portfolio “keepers!” The images portray the symbolism of “a new day” and “light shining through the darkness.”

Just as exciting to me were several quiet Yosemite images I photographed last fall. Quiet intensity in an image can endure and engage the viewer for longer in my opinion. With subtle imagery comes a depth that can be enjoyed more over time.


Yellow Maples, Cedar and Pine, Yosemite Valley.

When I pull together a group of photographs such as from last autumn, I edit by looking for the highest and most consistent quality, as well as looking for a balance of scale, light, weather and subject matter. I might use a wide-angle view or two to set the context of the portfolio in Yosemite Valley. However, my intimate landscapes would be my main focus, such as the river and trees reflections, or leaves floating through autumn-colored river reflections. When you see the selected images as a group such as in an exhibit or online gallery, they should create a visual story, a personal exploration, a creative viewpoint.

This fall, think about what thematic project you could develop. Selecting a title, even if you change it later, can give you additional focus for both your shooting sessions and editing. Think about what you want to say with your images. Your unique viewpoint will be better revealed, and the concept behind the photographs will heighten the portfolio’s impact.

Best wishes for great light, wondrous color and creative autumn photographs!