Posts Tagged ‘Macro Photograph’

Best Photographs of 2015

Friday, December 16th, 2016

It is that time of year again for Best of the Year photographs. Except that last year I did not post a Best of 2015. So here it is. Better late than never they say. I’ve included 40 photographs shown in chronological order, enough to give you a sense of the range of styles and subjects I explored.  No exotic adventurous travel in 2015 like my Antarctica trip in 2014.

In August, I made a switch in to the Sony A7R2 camera. I wrote an essay about the switch in my Outdoor Photographer Magazine column. Nothing revolutionary or new in my thoughts, just some excitement about the improved technology of the latest sensors.

I’d love to get your feedback in the Comments below.

NOTE:   I still am using my Canon lenses using the Metabones Canon EF Lens to Sony E-Mount Camera Lens Mount Mark IV Adapter. When I exported these images from Adobe Lightroom to my WordPress, the software reads the file data to show the wrong lenses, Sony instead of Canon.

 


Crystalline ice formation Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2015
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, TS-E90mm f/2.8,
3 second at f/16, ISO 100

 


Ice Crystals, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2015
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, TS-E90mm f/2.8,
1/2 second at f/6.7, ISO 100

 


Crystal Ice and oak leaf, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2015
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, TS-E90mm f/2.8,
1/1 second at f/16, ISO 100

 


Ice and Grasses, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2015
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, TS-E90mm f/2.8,
1 second at f/19, ISO 100

 


Ice and Grass, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2015
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, TS-E90mm f/2.8,
1.50 second at f/19, ISO 100

 


Cottonwood Impressions, Yosemite National Park, California 2015
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/6 second at f/32, ISO 100

 


Winter Forest, Pocono Mountains, Deleware State Forest, Pennsylvania 2015
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/6 second at f/22, ISO 100

 


Dogwood Blossoms and Sky, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2015
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/750 second at f/9.5, ISO 800

 


Dogwood Blossom, early spring, Yosemite National Park, California 2015
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/90 second at f/5.6, ISO 400

 


Dogwood blooming, Yosemite National Park, California 2015
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1.50 second at f/32, ISO 200

 


Dogwood Blossoms, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2015
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1 second at f/27, ISO 200

 


Dogwood Blossom Tapestry, Yosemite National Park, California 2015
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/1 second at f/22, ISO 400

 


Dogwood Blossom Sunset, Yosemite National Park, California 2015
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1.50 second at f/32, ISO 800

 


Bridalveil Fall, Yosemite National Park, California 2015
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/2000 second at f/8, ISO 200

 


Lupine Impressions, Yosemite National Park, California 2015
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/1 second at f/8, ISO 200

 


El Capitan reflected in Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2015
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM +2x,
1/4 second at f/19, ISO 100

 


Bridalveil Fall and clouds, Yosemite National Park, California 2015
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/1000 second at f/3.5, ISO 100

 


Half Dome and Clearing Spring Storm, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/350 second at f/19, ISO 200

 


Morro Bay Impressions, Morro Bay, California 2015
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/1 second at f/13, ISO 100

 


Sunset , Morro Bay, California 2015
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/1 second at f/27, ISO 100

 


Sunset and surf, Morro Bay, California 2015
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/2 second at f/22, ISO 100

 


Gull, surf and fog, Morro Bay, California 2015
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/1 second at f/27, ISO 100

 


Ripples and reflection #2, La Mirada, California 2015
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/1000 second at f/2.8, ISO 100

 


Ripples and reflection, La Mirada, California 2015
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/1000 second at f/2.8, ISO 100

 


Ripples and reflection #3, La Mirada, California 2015
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/640 second at f/2.8, ISO 100

 


Japanese Sea Nettle (Chrysaora pacifica), Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, California
ILCE-7RM2, 16-35mm F2.8 G SSM II,
1/250 second at f/8, ISO 3200

 


Japanese Sea Nettle (Chrysaora pacifica), Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, California
ILCE-7RM2, 16-35mm F2.8 G SSM II,
1/200 second at f/8, ISO 3200

 


Pebbles 2015
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1 second at f/16, ISO 100

 


Rocks and Surf, Big Sur, California
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
30 second at f/14, ISO 400

 


Sunrise, Rocks and Surf, Monterey Bay, Pacific Grove, California
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
8 second at f/22, ISO 100

 


Rocks and Surf, Pacific Grove, California
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
30 second at f/29, ISO 100

 


Calla Lily Flowers 2015
PureShot for Apple iPhone 5, iPhone 5 back camera 4.12mm f/2.4,
1/20 second at f/2.4, ISO 50

 


Big-Leaf Maple fallen on windshield, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park,
PureShot for iOS, iPhone 6s Plus back camera 4.15mm f/2.2,
1/30 second at f/2.2, ISO 160

 


Autumn Snowstorm, Yosemite National Park, California 2015
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/8 second at f/16, ISO 400

 


Autumn Snowstorm, Yosemite National Park, California 2015
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/10 second at f/13, ISO 400

 


Autumn Oaks and Snowstorm, Yosemite National Park, California 2015
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/5 second at f/16, ISO 400

 


Fog and Pecan Grove, Clovis, California 2015
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/2 second at f/25, ISO 200

 


Pecan Grove, Clovis, California 2015
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/2 second at f/22, ISO 100

 


Pecan Grove and fog, Clovis, California 2015
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1.30 second at f/29, ISO 100

 


Forest, Padden Creek, Bellingham, Washington
ILCE-7RM2, 16-35mm F2.8 G SSM II,
3 second at f/16, ISO 125

 

My Favorite Photographs from 2014

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

Happy New Year!  I finally put together my favorite photographs from 2014.  It is always helpful to take the occasional assessment of our own creative progress. You might be interested in reading an essay I wrote on the subject five years ago in my On Landscape column for Outdoor Photographer on this subject.  Since I started teaching private workshop sessions in Yosemite, I’ve been visiting Yosemite Valley much more often so you will see a batch of new Yosemite images taken this past year.

If you have been following my work this past year, you know that my big trip of the year was to Antarctica last January. Click here to read my Outdoor Photographer magazine On Landscape column, and recent Antarctic Dreams portfolio in OP and see below!

I have numbered each image, which will make it easier for you to let me know which ones are your favorites.  It will be fun and helpful for me to have your feedback.  I will value a list of favs, or general thoughts on what work you respond to the most.  After I assess your feedback, I will then make a final edit of 10-15 that are my top selects of the year.  My criteria for that final selection will be based on which images I feel best represent my personal vision and style rather than the most popular ones.  If you have your own post of top images for 2014, please add your link in your comments below.

I look forward to your comments and favorites for my 2014 portfolio.  Enjoy and please share with your friends!

I wish you a year full of the gifts of nature, peace and love,  Bill

PS  The photographs  below are in chronological order.

Yosemite Private Workshops

 

wpid4923-Clouds-and-Shadows-Bransfield-Strait-Antarctica-2014__Copyright-©-2014-William-Neill.jpg
1.  Clouds and Shadows, Bransfield Strait, Antarctica 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM +2x III,
1/8000 second at f/9.5, ISO 800

 

 


2.  Morning light, Gerlache Strait, Antarctica 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM +2x III,
1/1000 second at f/11, ISO 1600

 

 


3.  Icebergs, Cierva Cove, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM +2x III,
1/350 second at f/16, ISO 1000

 

 


4.  Ancient crystal Iceberg, Cierva Cove, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/750 second at f/16, ISO 1600

 

 


5.  Blue Icebergs, Cierva Cove, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/750 second at f/22, ISO 1600

 

 


6.  Two Humpback Whales and Iceberg, Cierva Cove, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM,
1/1500 second at f/11, ISO 800

 

 


7.  Iceberg Caves, Cierva Cove, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM,
1/4000 second at f/11, ISO 800

 


8.  Chinstrap Penguin, Hydrurga Rocks, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM,
1/180 second at f/19, ISO 800

 

 


9.  Iceberg formations, Pleneau Bay, Antarctic Peninsula 2014 January 30, 2014 05:54:08
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM,
1/350 second at f/8, ISO 400

 

 


10.  Iceberg Towers at Dawn, Pleneau Bay, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica 2014
January 30, 2014 05:58:54
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM,
1/4000 second at f/2.8, ISO 400

 

 


11.  Iceberg Arch, Pleneau Bay, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/500 second at f/9.5, ISO 400

 

 


12.  Sculpted Iceberg Wall, Pléneau Bay, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM,
1/2000 second at f/13, ISO 400

 

 


13.  Crabeater seal resting on an iceberg, Pléneau Bay, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM,
1/350 second at f/9.5, ISO 400

 

 


14.  Sunset, Pleneau Bay, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica 2014 January 30, 2014 22:04:34
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM,
1/1500 second at f/6.7, ISO 800

 

 


15.  Glaciers, Scontorp Cove in Paradise Bay, Antarctic Peninsia, Antarctica 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM +1.4x III,
1/1500 second at f/19, ISO 800

 

 


16.  Mountains and Glaciers at Scontorp Cove, Paradise Bay, Antarctic Peninsia, Antarctica 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM +1.4x III,
1/1500 second at f/16, ISO 800

 

 


17.  Gentoo Penguin and two chicks, Cuverville Island, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM +2x III,
1/1000 second at f/9.5, ISO 400

 

 


18.  Gentoo Penguin colony, Cuverville Island, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM,
1/250 second at f/32, ISO 400

 

 


19.  Chinstrap Penguins, Baily Head on Deception Island, Antarctica 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM +2x III,
1/350 second at f/16, ISO 800

 

 


20.  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

 

 


21.  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

 

 


22.  Avalanche Lily, Olympic National Park, Washington 2014
iPhone 5, iPhone 5 back camera 4.12mm f/2.4,
1/200 second at f/2.4, ISO 50

 

 


23.  Lavendar Fields, Sequim, Washington 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, TS-E90mm f/2.8,
1/90 second at f/16, ISO 400

 

 


24.  Aspen Forest Impressions , June Lake Loop, Inyo National Forest, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1 second at f/19, ISO 100

 

 


25.  Backlit Aspen, June Lake Loop, Inyo National Forest, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM,
1/250 second at f/16, ISO 640

 

 


26.  Autumn Reflections, Lundy Canyon, Inyo National Forest, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/15 second at f/32, ISO 400

 

 


27.  Last Light, Conway Summit, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/15 second at f/19, ISO 200

 

 


28.  Aspen Forest Impressions , Lee Vining Canyon, Inyo National Forest, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
3 second at f/9.5, ISO 100

 

 


29.  Aspen Leaves, Lee Vining Canyon, Inyo National Forest, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
3 second at f/32, ISO 200

 

 


30.  Autumn Elm and Sunbeams, Cook’s Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/180 second at f/22, ISO 200

 

 


31.  Yellow Maples, Cedar and Pine, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1.50 second at f/16, ISO 640

 

 


32.  Cottonwoods reflected, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/6 second at f/22, ISO 100

 

 


33.  Maples Leaves and Merced River Reflections, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM +2x,
1/1 second at f/45, ISO 400

 

 


34.  Grasses and El Capitan reflected in the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/6 second at f/32, ISO 200

 

 


35.  Autumn Leaves and Ripples, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, TS-E90mm f/2.8,
1/250 second at f/2.8, ISO 800

 

 


36.  Grasses reflected, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/1000 second at f/2.8, ISO 800

 

 


37.  Grasses and reflections in the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/350 second at f/2.8, ISO 200

 

 


38.  Maple leaf and autumn reflections, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/60 second at f/4.5, ISO 320

 

 


39.  Thimbleberry Leaves, autumn, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
2 second at f/32, ISO 400

 

 


40.  River otters, American River, Sacramento, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM,
1/350 second at f/5.6, ISO 1250

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

Monday, 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

Return to the Field of Possibilities

Thursday, 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.

Yosemite Autumn 2012 Collection / Private Workshops

Friday, August 9th, 2013

If you have dreamed of photographing Yosemite Valley during the best autumn color, now is time to reserve a private Yosemite workshop with me. I welcome single students, as well small groups for 1 or 2 day sessions.

The dates for prime fall color run from the last two weeks of October, and the first week of November.

If you have any questions, message me or contact me through my website:

William Neill Private Yosemite Workshops
http://www.williamneill.com/one-on-one-workshops/yosemite_private_workshops.html

Below is a small collection of photographs made during last year’s autumn season.  Enjoy and share!

I hope to see you in Yosemite this fall!


Yellow Maple Leaves, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2012
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/125 second at f/4.5, ISO 400
Copyright © 2012 William Neill

 

 


Yellow Maple Leave Impressions, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2012
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/2 second at f/5.6, ISO 100
Copyright © 2012 William Neill

 

 


Oak and Pine, autumn, Yosemite National Park, California 2012
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/90 second at f/4, ISO 100
Copyright © 2012 William Neill

 

 


Backlit Black Oaks, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2012
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/15 second at f/22, ISO 400
Copyright © 2012 William Neill

 

 


Bigleaf Maple and Merced River, autumn, Yosemite National Park, California 2012
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
6 second at f/27, ISO 100
Copyright © 2012 William Neill

 


Black Oaks in afternoon backlight, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2012
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/8 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2012 William Neill

 

 


Merced River reflections, Yosemite National Park, California 2012
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1.50 second at f/22, ISO 100
Copyright © 2012 William Neill

 


Oak reflections and the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2012
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/2 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2012 William Neill

 

 


Oak reflections, El Capitan and the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2012
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2012 William Neill