Mountains of Color Fall Foliage Workshop.

Join me for a Weekend of Color in the White Mountains of New Hampshire ~ October 6th – 9th.

 

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This years forecast calls for one of the best fall foliage seasons in a long time, and the White Mountains of New Hampshire are one of the most spectacular places to see and photograph the brilliant colors of Autumn.

Come along for 2 1/2 days during what is historically the peak of the fall color, where I’ll be taking a small number of clients to some of my favorite scenic destinations through the White Mountains Region as we photograph the beauty of autumn in New Hampshire.

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From iconic New England white steepled churches, to grand mountain vistas, I’ll share tips and techniques for capturing the brilliant beauty of autumn.

mountain views, Zealand Valley in Autumn

What to expect.

2 1/2 days of guiding and instruction on photographing the northern New Hampshire landscape during the most colorful time of year.

We’ll start our adventure Friday afternoon as we head out on a short and easy hike to one of the most scenic views in New Hampshire.

Then we’ll get up bright and early Saturday morning to greet the sunrise. Afterwards we’ll go over the mornings images as well as some post processing techniques using Adobe Lightroom and the Nik Collection by Google suit of plugins. (Get the Nik plugins for FREE HERE*

Then, after the mid-day break to rest, recharge, and get a bite to eat, we’ll head back out until sunset.

Beautiful autumn color and a mirror reflection on Wildlife Pond.

 

What to bring.

Camera, – any DSLR, mirrorless, or advanced point and shoot will do – as long as it can be controlled manually or in aperture priority mode. I strongly advise learning how to change the various settings, Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO, etc., BEFORE you arrive for the workshop.

Wide angle zoom lens.

Tripod.

Lens filters – if you have them, especially a good quality circular polarizer is highly recommended.

Backpack – a small day pack or camera backpack is fine.

Shoes with good traction – there will be light to moderate hiking on uneven surfaces throughout the weekend.

Headlamp – nothing fancy, but we will be walking in the dark either before sunrise or after sunset.

If you have any further questions about what to bring feel free to use the Contact page to get in touch or leave a comment below.

Your Investment.

Your investment in this weekend of foliage photography is $725 for the full 2 1/2 days.

New For This Workshop, Lodging is included! That’s right, free lodging. I’ve rented a house for the weekend so all participants can be under one roof. This workshop coincides with the Columbus Day holiday weekend, and for any of you who have tried to book a room during this peak foliage viewing weekend the cost of the workshop alone is less than what you may expect to pay for two nights lodging in the North Conway area.

Space Is Limited, so don’t miss out! Contact me to reserve your spot today!

 

*Nik plugins have been an integral part of my post processing workflow, however Google has chosen to no longer support or offer updates to these fantastic image enhancement tools. As such while they still work with the latest version of Lightroom, they are only supported in Photoshop up to CC 2015. 

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Waterfalls at Mid-Day?

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Ideal Waterfall Light.

If you’d ask me to describe my ideal weather and lighting conditions for photographing waterfalls I would tell you that I hope for an overcast day and with any luck a slight drizzle. I would also tell you that it is definitely not during the middle of the day under harsh sunlight.

If I can’t have the even light of an overcast day, or at the very least the waterfall is in full shade, I wouldn’t even try to photograph flowing water.

And yet I was working under the harsh light of the mid-day sun when I made the above photograph of Jackson Falls in Jackson, NH.

Even Is Even.

Last weekend I was out with a workshop client and during a break we stopped to check out this beautiful road side waterfall. I was certainly not thinking it was going to be at all photographable since it was 2 in the afternoon. As we admired the flow I started to notice something about the light. It occurred to me that the waterfall was indeed illuminated by even light. It wasn’t the beautifully soft light of an overcast day, but it was even light nonetheless. So to satisfy my own curiosity I set up my Fujifilm X-T2 with XF16mm f/1.4 lens. Knowing I was going to need help getting a long enough exposure time to blur the water I attached my Formatt-Hitech Firecrest filter holder to the lens and inserted a 10-stop neutral density filter. As I was setting up my composition I set the aperture to f/16 and the ISO to 200. Much to my surprise with the 10-stop ND filter I found I was indeed able to get a long enough exposure, to the tune of 26 second! After I took my first shot I knew I was on to something.

Lesson learned.

I’d still prefer to photograph waterfalls when its overcast and rainy out, but at least now I don’t automatically put the camera away when it’s not.

 

The Art Of Seeing Differently. 

Been There, Done That. 

Now do it differently.

The world is full of iconic locations that have been photographed extensively, Mount Chocorua in New Hampshire, especially as seen from this bridge, is one of them.

The challenge for me was to come away with an image that wasn’t a cookie-cutter copy of many of the other images, including many of my own,  taken at this scenic, very recognizable, and oh so often photographed place.

To do this required seeing differently.

How could I capture the essence of this beautiful view, ensureing the recognizability of one of  New Hampshire’s most iconic scenic vistas? Composition, choice of aperture and focus point, thus affecting the depth of field and final image, were all questions I had to answer prior to pressing the shutter.

With this image I believe I’ve captured one of the most recognizable and most often photographed mountains in New Hampshire in unique way. Has a similar photo been made? I have no doubt there has. As the saying goes, “there’s nothing new in art.” My goal was not to reinvent the wheel, my goal was to see the mountain in a way I had never seen it before.

See the mountain, then, see it differently.

 

Below is are several ways I’ve seen the mountain in the past. 

 

Sleeklens, Lightroom Workflow Made Easy(er).

Finish your photos faster.

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About a month ago the good people at Sleeklens asked me if I would be interested in trying out some of their workflow products for Lightroom and Photoshop. I figured anything that could speed up my workflow was worth trying, so I agreed to take a look at their Through the Woods collection of presets and adjustment brushes.

Due to the hectic Holiday Season being upon us this is just a brief overview and my initial impressions. Stay tuned for a more in-depth review.

First a few words of disclosure. I am not in any way affiliated with, nor do I receive any monetary gain from using/reviewing/promoting their products, however I was provided the Through The Woods workflow bundle free of charge.  

Tools to help speed up your landscape workflow.

The Through the Woods bundle consists of 50 landscape presets and 30 adjustment brushes that can greatly speed your image enhancement workflow.

The presets are divided into 7 separate categories, All-In-One, Base, Exposure, Color Correct, Tone/Tint, Polish, and Vignette. The majority of the presets are stackable, allowing you to globally add effects to your photos.

The 30 adjustment brushes ranging from Add Golden Sun to Darken Shadows can be used to further enhance your images in a more selective fashion by controlling the size and opacity.

The results speak for themselves.

Below are a few before and after images, none of which took more than a few minutes to go from the straight out of camera before to the finished after.

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Before

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After

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Before

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After

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After

Even though I haven’t had a chance to really dig into these presets and brushes, so far I’m impressed with the results I was able to get with just a few clicks and a few brush strokes.

For more information on the workflow products offered by Sleeklens you can visit them at the following links.

Through the Woods Workflow  This is the one I used for the above images.

Lightroom Presets Here you’ll find a complete collection of the workflow products offered by Sleeklens.

Image Editing Service If you’re too busy to enhance your own photos, or maybe you’ve got a photo you’re having a problem with, let the experts at Sleeklens handle the task for you with their image editing service.

The last word, for now.

As with any other Lightroom presets the presets offered by Sleeklens don’t all work perfectly on every image. Once applied you may need to go to the adjustment panel and play around with the sliders a bit in order the fine tune the preset to each individual image.

Are they worth it? To that I answer your question with a question, what is less time behind the computer worth to you? The Through the Woods collection sells for $39, and based on the time I can see the presets saving me is quite a deal.

You Have To Be There!

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Why Do My Landscape Photos Still Suck?

You’ve bought a new camera, spent a boat-load of money on it too. You’ve studied every last thing you can find on how to use it. You can change camera settings like ISO, shutter speed, and aperture pretty much blindfolded. You’re a master of your new toy.

However your photos are still missing something. Ok, lets be honest, they’re boring.

Be There And Make Them Better.

Here’s my super secret tip that is guaranteed to take your photos from Ho-Hum to Oh My!

Over the dunes and to the sea. Parker River NWR.

 

It’s so simple you’ll wonder why you never thought of it.

Are you ready for it?

Sunrise Over Glacial Striations, Fort Foster, Kittery, Maine

 

You Need To Be There When Mother Nature Is Showing Off!

It really is that simple.

 

You know your camera inside and out, you have at least a basic idea of how to compose a decent photo, so what else is missing?

The right light. Dramatic weather. Both at the same time! These are the things that can add greatly to the quality and impact of your photos.

This means being on the seacoast for sunrise at least 30-45 minutes prior to actual sunrise. So sleep becomes a casualty in your pursuit of great photos. No more showing up at 9 a.m. to that scene you’ve seen in so many photos and wondering why your photos don’t even come close.

It means long early morning hikes in the dark so you can be on that mountain top for sunrise or equally long and dark hikes down after sunset. Better get a good headlamp. Make that two, just in case.

It also means freezing your butt off and often coming away with nothing because the forecast was way wrong. It means getting rained on because you gambled, and lost, on the sun coming up before the approaching storm clouds reached the horizon to block it out. You will get blown by high winds. You will suffer.

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And when you make that amazing dramatic photograph, you’ll forget all of that. You’ll only remember the light, the drama, the magic.

Morning Gold, Hampton Beach, NH

Somewhere right at this moment Mother Nature is putting on a show, are you missing it?

 

Want Great Sunrise Photos? Get Up Early!

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The glow on the horizon starts to take over the blue hour.

Rookie mistake #1 when photographing sunrises – show up just before the sun rises.

When you should have been there at least 30 minutes earlier.

While out photographing a sunrise I almost always have the place to myself. That is right up until just a few minutes prior to the sun peeking over the horizon. That’s when other photographers start showing up.

Sadly for them quite often they’ve already missed the best part of sunrise.

Fire Over The Ridge. Sunrise In Crawford Notch, NH

The sky is on fire, 23 minutes before sunrise.

With the technology we have available as photographers today there are easily dozens, if not hundreds of sources to find out what time sunrise is. From smartphone apps to a quick Google search an aspiring sunrise photographer can easily find out what time that big fiery ball in the sky will be making its daily appearance.

What none of these apps will tell you is that by showing up right at sunrise, or even just a few minutes before, may very well cost you the best light of the morning.

Which is why I always recommend showing up 30-45 minutes prior to sunrise,  the best light is often long before actual sunrise(each of the above photos was taken at least 20 minutes before).

No more running around while the light is fading.

Reason number two for showing up early is choosing compositions. By showing up early you then have plenty of time to chose your composition, or possibly multiple compositions. Light changes fast, if you know ahead of time exactly which compositions you would like to capture you can capture each one quickly because you’ve done a little scouting having arrived with plenty of time before the sun comes up. If on the other hand you show up right as the light is at its best, or the sun is just peeking over the horizon you then end up rushing around and having to settle on a composition that may not be the best one on that particular day.

The photo below illustrates this point. Nubble Light is one of themes photographed lighthouses in the U.S., therefor I like to try for something a little different each time I photograph it. By arriving at the parking lot 45 minutes before the sun came up I was able to wander around the rocks until I found just the composition and point of view I wanted. Had I shown up just as the sun rose above the horizon I would have had considerably less time to chose my composition and then set up my camera and tripod.

Sunrise and Rough Seas at Nubble Light

The composition I wanted, not the one I had to settle for. 

While the early bird is out catching their worms, the early photographers are capturing the best light.

Making Better Waterfall Photos

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Everyone loves to photograph waterfalls, by clicking HERE, or on the image above, to learn four of my most used tips for making better waterfall photos.