Posts Tagged ‘fog’

Focus Your Fall Portfolio

Sunday, 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!

 

Yosemite Spring!

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

During the past month, I made many trips to nearby Yosemite Valley, and so I’d like to share a collection of these new images.  Even though I have lived in or near Yosemite since 1977, I found fresh compositions and light/weather conditions that made for invigorating sessions, and new work for my ongoing Yosemite portfolio.  What made this spring season more special was that I was able to share my love and vision of Yosemite with private workshop students.

Many of my students have shared the photographs created on my  William Neill Private Yosemite Workshops Flickr Group page.  This collection also includes images from last fall and winter, which will give you an idea of the photographic opportunities for those seasons too.  Here are some of my images from last fall: Yosemite Autumn. One of the images was the feature image in my Outdoor Photographer column entitled Natural HDR.

If you are interested in exploring Yosemite’s autumn color season, now is the time to make room reservations, and book a day or two with me.  The peak of color is generally late October and early November. Please note that I am also happy to work with small groups.  If you have any questions about the possibilities, just send me an email.

William Neill Private Yosemite Workshops 


If you have a favorite image from below, or comments, please add below!

Ride the Light,

Bill

 


Wind-Blown, Bridal Veil Fall, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM +2.0x,
1/3000 second at f/5.6, ISO 200
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


Cascade Falls, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/4 second at f/9.5, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


Dogwood Forest and Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
6 second at f/16, ISO 200
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


Dogwood Blossoms, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
2 second at f/11, ISO 200
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


Dogwood and Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1.50 second at f/22, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


Rock and Water, Cascade Falls, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1.50 second at f/22, ISO 400
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


Morning Mist over Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/10 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


Morning Storm Light, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/125 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


Dogwood and Morning Light, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/1 second at f/32, ISO 200
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


Sunrise over Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/45 second at f/9.5, ISO 400
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


Dogwood and Merced River Impressions, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/1 second at f/5.6, ISO 400
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


Dogwood Blossom, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1 second at f/32, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

Oaks and Sunbeams, Ahwahnee Hills Regional Park, Ahwahnee, California 2012

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Here is another image from last week, taken next door to my son’s school in Ahwahnee. The fog was gone a few minutes later…

Oaks and Sunbeams, Ahwahnee Hills Regional Park, Ahwahnee, California 2012
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM, 1/125 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2012 William Neill

Oaks and Fog, Ahwahnee Hills Regional Park, Ahwahnee, California 2012

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Last week, we had some wonderful mornings of fog at sunrise. After dropping my son off at school, I walked into the nearby field of Ahwahnee Hills Regional Park. This image continues my Morning Light series, most of which I’ve photographed after taking my kids to school!  I will have one or two more to share from this morning, as soon as I find time finish post-processing…  Let me know your thoughts.

Enjoy!  Bill


Oaks and Fog, Ahwahnee Hills Regional Park, Ahwahnee, California 2012
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/125 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2012 William Neill

Other Morning Light images:

Late Summer Meadow, Ahwahnee, California 2011

Spring Oak, Coarsegold, California 2011

Buckeye, Foothills of the Sierra Nevada, California 2011

Sunbeams and Forest, Sierra Nevada Foothills, California 2010

Autumn oak and snowstorm, Ahwahnee, California 2010

Waterfall and Sunbeam, Sierra Nevada Foothills, California 2011

Morning Fog and Oaks, Ahwanhnee, California 2011

A foggy trip to the Oregon coast.

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III__EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM__10.0 sec at f / 32__ISO 100

Last week, I traveled with my family on a camping trip to the Bandon area of the Oregon coast.  It was cold and windy, which not unusual and a refreshing break from the heat here.  If you’ve been to my Facebook page, I’ve already posted a very foggy image from the first evening there.  The next two evenings, I was on the main Bandon beach, photographing in the wind and fog.  Heaven!

For the image above, I used a Singh Ray Vari-ND to get more blurring action.  There were some subtle tones in the sky, but the monochrome evening lent itself to Black and White. John O’Conner did a wonderful job of doing the conversion and bringing out the textures in the surf and rocks that I wanted to show.

In case you missed it, here is the image from the first session.  More to come from this trip!

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III__EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM__15.0 sec at f / 32__ISO 100