Archive for the ‘Zion National Park’ Category

LIGHT ON THE LANDSCAPE

Saturday, August 31st, 2019

Spring storm, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 1986

I am happy to announce my next book!

LIGHT ON THE LANDSCAPE: Photographs and Lessons from a Life in Photography.

To be published by Rocky Nook in the spring of 2020. A collection of photographs and essays based on my On Landscape column for Outdoor Photographer Magazine.

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

“For more than two decades, William Neill has been offering his thoughts and insights about photography and the beauty of nature in essays that cover the techniques, business, and spirit of his photographic life. Curated and collected here for the first time, these essays are both pragmatic and profound, offering readers an intimate look behind the scenes at Neill’s creative process behind individual photographs as well as a discussion of the larger and more foundational topics that are key to his philosophy and approach to work.

Drawing from the tradition of behind-the-scenes books like Ansel Adams’ Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs and Galen Rowell’s Mountain Light: In Search of the Dynamic Landscape, Light on the Landscape covers in detail the core photographic fundamentals such as light, composition, camera angle, and exposure choices, but it also deftly considers those subjects that are less frequently examined: portfolio development, marketing, printmaking, nature stewardship, inspiration, preparation, self-improvement, and more. The result is a profound and wide-ranging exploration of that magical convergence of light, land, and camera.

Filled with beautiful and inspiring photographs, Light on the Landscape is also full of the kind of wisdom that only comes from a deeply thoughtful photographer who has spent a lifetime communicating with a camera. Incorporating the lessons within the book, you too can learn to achieve not only technically excellent and beautiful images, but photographs that truly rise above your best and reveal your deeply personal and creative perspective—your vision, your voice.”

High Country Spring!

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Greetings from the Sierra Nevada,

In my past two blogs posts, I’ve shared new work from this spring and early summer.  Here are four more, with comments and details below each image.
If you have a favorite image from below, or comments, please add below!  My favorite is the first one!

Ride the Light,

Bill
William Neill Private Yosemite Workshops

 

Corn Lily Leaves, Yosemite National Park, California
This photograph is made from four frames with bracketed focus points, blended with Zerene Stacker software (http://zerenesystems.com/cms/stacker).
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


Corn Lily Leaves, Yosemite National Park, California
This photograph is made from four frames with bracketed focus points, blended with Zerene Stacker software (http://zerenesystems.com/cms/stacker). 
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

While creating the first two Corn Lily images, I clearly remembered one of Paul Caponigro’s finest photographs, of an apple that reminds most who see it of a galaxy of stars. I happily acknowledge that inspiration. Be sure to read John Paul Caponigros blog post here:http://www.johnpaulcaponigro.com/blog/7846/masterworks-in-my-collection-paul-caponigro-apple-new-york-city-1964/

“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.

Or a galaxy in these Corn Lily leaves.

I created the two versions, trying to best heighten the “galaxy” effect of rain drops and pollen I was inspired by on these leaves.

 


Sunbeam on Corn Lily Leaves, Yosemite National Park, California
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, TS-E90mm f/2.8,
1/4 second at f/22, ISO 400
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

When photographing corn lilies a couple of weeks ago, the weather was just what I wanted, overcast and dizzily. But for a few minutes, the sun burst through to backlight the wondrous leaves.

Sometimes the light is all shining on me…

 


Sunset over the Merced River Canyon, Yosemite National Park, California
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/10 second at f/9.5, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

I was near Glacier Point when photographing the corn lilies above, and could have arrived in time for an incredible rainbow at sunset (not that it bugs me AT ALL). But I didn’t… I did see amazing light and colorful clouds on my way home to Oakhurst with sunset light streaming through pouring rain over the Merced River Canyon, my home for 20 years. Stopped to photograph, and here is one of them. I created it using the 32-bit plugin from Photomatix Pro, selecting the images in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom which blends the images through the plugin and brings the TIFF back to LR. I also used Lens Correction to straighten out the trees.

 

Emotion – The Magic Element

Monday, August 20th, 2012

 …this essay was recently added to my collection of essays at The Luminous Landscape website as posted recently here in my blog, but am now including the full essay here…  Enjoy, and please share any of your own stories about how emotion has “appeared” in your own images.

 


Mudcracks, Zion National Park, Utah  1983
Camera: Wista 45,  Lens: Rodenstock Sironar-N 210mm f/5.6

One important characteristic of an artist is the ability and willingness to express emotions in his or her work.  For example, paintings can show anger, or a sculpture can convey joy.  Of course, the viewer can only imagine the state of the artist’s mind but if the work is successful, one can often gain an insight into the artist’s experience or mood. A strong work of art can elicit emotions in the viewer both obvious and unexpected whether they are the same emotions the artist felt or not.

Apparent or not, the artist’s emotions will, and should, affect the work.  Most of my best images are a result of a passionate response to the subject.  Many years ago, I was exploring in Zion National Park.  One day, when returning from a solo hike up a narrow canyon, I slipped on some steep sandstone and slid (in shorts of course) down about 30 feet into a pothole full of water.  All my gear was in a pack on my back and the water was five feet deep.  It took me several minutes to get my pack off, throw it out of the pothole, and climb out.  Meanwhile, my gear, which included my 4×5 and 35mm cameras and lenses, got soaked.

I was scrapped up pretty good, and so I cleaned up the “rug burns” on my arms and legs, and then spent hours trying to dry out my equipment.  I remember using a hand dryer in a local campground restroom, and leaving lenses on my car’s dashboard, to dry them out!  At the end of the day, I called home only to hear some more bad news.

Needless to say, I was seriously bummed out – half my camera gear wasn’t working plus some personal issues were not helping any.  Fortunately, my 4×5 dried out nicely, and the lenses and film were ok so the next day I went exploring again.  As I wandered though a stream bed, I found these incredible mud cracks.  They had formed in a depression so that somehow the cracks were small at the top of the slope and progressively got bigger lower down where the moisture had stayed longer.  The composition was made to show this transition.  Making the exposure was straightforward due to the even lighting in the shaded canyon.

I liked the image when I exposed it, and I liked it even more when I saw the processed film.  But I didn’t really stop to think about how my emotional state of mind might have affected it. It was only months later, when printing the image, did it strike me that the image reflected my mood that day.  My emotions had surfaced, and I don’t think it was a coincidence. Looking back, I am happy to have made something good out of a bad situation!

Thinking about my own work, the way emotions effect my image making varies from image to image.  Most often, it is the excitement of discovery, the passion for the subject, of finding a captivating subject in extraordinary light, that demands that I make the photograph.  On occasion, I have found that some images are also influenced by my overall frame of mind like my Mud Crack image shown here.  If one can accept that there is an artistic advantage to creating emotional work, perhaps those feelings will come through more often.  The best suggestion I can think of for doing this is give yourself permission to do so.  I don’t think there is an easy formula for doing this, nor do I believe it can be done every time out. It is more a matter of feeling and seeing, rather than deliberating and analyzing, the subject. Also, trusting one’s one own instincts about what or how to photograph is a vital link in the equation.

 
Waterfall and Sunbeam, Sierra Nevada Foothills, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III__EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM__1.5 sec at f / 27__ISO 200

 

 

Fortunately, most of us don’t have bad days too often.  I am glad I went out for those hike that day in spite of my mood.  I know that experiencing the beauty of nature was therapeutic.  So often nature’s beauty has restored my spirits and sometimes even resulted in a good photograph!  My waterfall image is another excellent example of this.  Just a few days after the passing of my father, I led a private student to this local falls for an early morning field session.  As the sun rose through the surrounding forest, the spray was lit with radiant sunbeams right in front of the waterfall!   As I wrote in my Light on the Landscape blog a few days later,
I am unsure of the right words to describe the emotions 
I felt when standing before this scene, 
but “powerfully uplifting” is what comes to mind. 
It caught my breath 
and soothed my soul at a moment when it was most needed.”

It is beneficial for our photographs to convey emotion – those of joy, curiosity, of quiet meditation, or even those bummer days.  Rather than make an ordinary photograph, I hope that you will let your emotions make their way into your images.  How else will we see your special way of seeing?

“Seeing, in the finest and broadest sense, means using your senses, your intellect, and your emotions.
It means encountering your subject matter with your whole being.
It means looking beyond the labels of things and discovering the remarkable world around you
.”  
-Freeman Patterson

Mudcracks, Zion National Park, Utah 1983

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

 

Mudcracks, Zion National Park, Utah 1983

Here is the link to my latest essay at The Luminous Landscape, entitled, Emotion – The Magic Element.

Enjoy, and I invite you to share your own experiences and thoughts here on my blog!

Bill

From “Landscapes of the Spirit”
Available for immediate download, high quality PDF file:
http://www.williamneill.com/store/ebooks/landscapes-of-the-spirit/index.html

William Neill’s Top Forty Images for 2011

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

I have just put together a collection of my favorite photographs from 2011. Usually, I edited this collection more tightly but I think it might be helpful to show the wide range of creative tangents I took this past year.  To read more about my perspective on the importance of annual assessments, I suggest that you read my On Landscape column in Outdoor Photographer: Best Of The Year – An annual review of your images can point you in new directions of creativity

To see my collection of images from 2010, see My Favorite Images of 2010.

Please tell me which photographs of mine from 2011 are your favorites.  It is always interesting to hear this feedback, so select your fav 3-5 images and tell me why you like them!

Thanks, and best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.

Bill


Winter Fog and Oaks, Coarsegold, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/4 second at f/6.7, ISO 100
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Calla Leaves, Ahwanhee, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1.5000005191107″ second at f/22, ISO 100
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


White Orchid, Ahwahnee, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro,
1/20 second at f/2.5, ISO 100
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Clearing storm, Foothills of the Sierra Nevada, Madera County, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/3 second at f/8, ISO 100
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Foothills and Winter Storm,Table Mountain,California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/1 second at f/6.7, ISO 100
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Almond Trees Blooming, Kern County, California  2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/2 second at f/8, ISO 100
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Almond Trees in Bloom, Kern County, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/1 second at f/9.5, ISO 100
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Buckeye, Foothills of the Sierra Nevada, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/3 second at f/19, ISO 200
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Pear Blossoms, Coarsegold, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/4 second at f/4.5, ISO 100
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Pathway and Pear Blossoms, Coarsegold, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/1 second at f/9.5, ISO 100
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Plum Blossoms and snow, Ahwahnee, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, TS-E90mm f/2.8,
1/2 second at f/22, ISO 100
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Pond and Fog, Coarsegold,, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/10 second at f/22, ISO 100
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Buckeye and Oaks, Foothills of the Sierra Nevada, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/1 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Morning Mist and Pines, Foothills of the Sierra Nevada, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/250 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Spring Oak, Coarsegold, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM,
HDR at f/16, ISO 160
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Roots and Rocks, Merced River at Happy Isles, Yosemite National Park, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
2″ second at f/19, ISO 100
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Dogwood blossoms and the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
3.0000010382213″ second at f/32, ISO 400
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Hosta Leaves, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/15 second at f/16, ISO 400
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Pine and Waterfall, Tioga Road, Yosemite National Park, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/4 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Rock, Water and Tree, Cascade Falls, Yosemite National Park, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/2 second at f/27, ISO 320
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Evening Light, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/1 second at f/22, ISO 400
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Flower Impressions, Pier 39, San Francisco, California 2011
Apple iPhone 3GS,
2″ second
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Waterfall in Morning Light, Sierra Nevada Foothills, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/4 second at f/9.5, ISO 200
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Waterfall and Sunbeam, Sierra Nevada Foothills, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1.5 second at f/27, ISO 200
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Sunbeam on waterfall, Sierra Nevada Foothills, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
2″ second at f/16, ISO 200
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Late Summer Meadow, Ahwahnee, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, TS-E90mm f/2.8,
1/8 second at f/13, ISO 320
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Maple Leaf, Ahwahnee, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro,
1″ second at f/32, ISO 200
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 

Autumn forest and slickrock wall, Zion National Park, Utah 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/1 second at f/16, ISO 400
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Reflections, Virgin River, Zion National Park, Utah 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, TS-E90mm f/2.8,
1/8 second at f/19, ISO 400
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Virgin River Reflections, Zion National Park, Utah 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, TS-E90mm f/2.8,
1/4 second at f/19, ISO 100
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


River of Light, Virgin River in the Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM,
second atf/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Sandstone Sculpture, Arizona 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM,
3.0000010382213″ second at f/19, ISO 200
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Canyon Sculpture, Arizona 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM,
1.5000005191107″ second at f/16, ISO 200
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Slot Canyon Sculpture, Arizona 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1.5000005191107″ second at f/22, ISO 200
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Hoodoo, Stud Horse Point, Arizona 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/2 second at f/22, ISO 100
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Eroded Rock, Stud Horse Point, Arizona 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1″ second at f/19, ISO 100
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Rocks, Stud Horse Point, Arizona 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
3.0000010382213″ second at f/19, ISO 100
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Morning Fog and Oaks, Ahwanhnee, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
second atf/19, ISO 100
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Sandhill Cranes landing at sunset, Consumnes River Preserve, California 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF300mm f/4L USM +2.0x,
1/250 second at f/8, ISO 1250
Copyright © 2011 William Neill

 


Yellow Orchids, 2011
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, TS-E90mm f/2.8,
2″ second at f/22, ISO 100
Copyright © 2011 William Neill