Waterfall Wednesday

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I love waterfalls!

Give me water cascading over rock ledges and I’m in photographer’s paradise. Over the last few weeks I’ve been spending as much time as I can scouting out and photographing waterfalls. All in preparation for my upcoming White Mountains Waterfalls Photography Workshop.

Do you like waterfalls?

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If so, join me June 17th thru the 19th for 2+ days of waterfall photography adventure and instruction.

Over the course of the weekend we’ll head out bright and early each morning to capture a few of New Hampshire’s most spectacular waterfalls, followed by a mid day break for image review, some post processing tips, lunch and some much needed rest.

Then, it’s back out to do it all over again for the afternoon and into the evening.

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Be prepared to get wet and make some great photos!

I’ll be going over how I decide on composition.

Using long exposure to give en ethereal look to the flowing cascade.

Camera settings that I guarantee will make your life easier.

During the post processing sessions I’ll be going over my workflow from import to final image using Adobe Lightroom and the full suit of Nik Collection by Google creative plugins.

Your investment for 2+ days of waterfall magic in some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable is $725*

Space is very limited so I may provide the utmost in personalized attention to each attendee. Please use the Contact form for any questions or to reserve your spot today!

*Meals and lodging not included. Transportation during the workshop is included.

 

And One Filter To Rule Them All

The One Filter You Can’t Live Without.

The Weekly Photo Challenge topic is Landscape, so rather than simply share a few landscape photos I’m going to talk about the one filter that should be in every nature and landscape photographers camera bag.

The one filter that cannot be duplicated in the computer, and the one filter I never leave home without.

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Straight out of camera, without polarizer.

 

That filter is the Circular Polarizer.

You can duplicate graduated neutral density filters all day long in Lightroom.

You can even simulate the effect of a straight neutral density filter simply by photographing in lower light, using smaller apertures, or lower ISO settings, thus allowing you to get longer exposure times.

However when it comes to removing the glare on shiny reflective surfaces like wet rocks and leaves, or the reflections on the surface of a flowing stream to reveal the stream bed below, there is only one way to do it. And that is with a good quality Circular Polarizer filter, or CPL for short.

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Same scene and camera settings, this time using a polarizer.

What does a Circular Polarizer do?

A circular polarizer is a filter that attaches to the front of your lens, usually by screwing onto the front filter threads. (Now you know why those threads are thereūüėČ )

What does a CPL do?

Notice how in the first image the colors are much less saturated and the details below the waters surface are much less visible. The is cause by glare. Notice how in the second image, shot using the same exposure settings,* the colors are richer, more saturated, and there is more visible detail under the water.

While a CPL can also help increase contrast and saturation in a photo, ¬†both of these¬†can be duplicated in the computer, glare and reflection removal can’t.

*Note: The second image is darker due to the ability of the Circular Polarizer to reduce the amount of light by as much as 2-stops. This is an added benefit when trying to use longer exposure times to capture flowing water with that silky smooth look.

The Benefits Continue Into The Final Image.

The better the image you get straight out of the camera the better the final image will be after post processing. The following are the above two images, processed as identically as I could. While this is totally subjective on my part the second image, the one where the circular polarizer was used, is the better final image.

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Final enhanced image using the RAW file captured without the use of a CPL

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Final enhanced image using the RAW file captured using a CPL

Tips On Buying And Using A Circular Polarizer.

1 РBuy the best you can afford. 

Cheap CPL filters can cause image softness as well as impart a color cast on your photo. I’ve used CPLs from B+W, Lee, and Singh Ray with excellent results. Be forewarned, good filters are not inexpensive, though in my opinion you get what you pay for. For more budget friendly CPL filters, check out Tiffen, or Hoya. I have no experience with the latter two, but I have read good things about their line of filters.

2 – Avoid using a CPL when photographing wide scenes.

One thing polarizers do very well is darken blue sky. Too well if you over adjust the filter. BUT, and it’s a big but, the effect of a CPL is greatest at 90¬į to the light source, for a landscape photographer this is likely the sun. The effect is reduced more and more as the angle to the sun changes. This is a big problem when photographing wide scenic landscapes with a lot of sky. The result will be part of the sky will be noticeably darker when gradually fading across the frame. This is a royal pain in the backside – by that I mean darn near impossible – ¬†to correct in the computer.

3 – Don’t for get to readjust when you recompose.

You can adjust the amount of polarization on the image by rotating the filter. As mentioned above the greatest effect is at 90¬į to the sun. So once you adjust the amount of polarization you want in an image and then move the camera for another composition, don’t forget to readjust the filter. I find it to be much easier to see the effect in live view rather than looking thru the viewfinder, but that could just be my aging eyes.

4 РYou only need one.  

Some of you may be thinking, “I have more than one lens that I use for landscape/waterfalls. Do I need a filter for each lens?” The answer is no.

Buy a filter that will fit the lens you own with the largest diameter filter threads. The buy inexpensive step-down rings to fit the filter to all of your other lenses.

 

NH Waterfall Workshop June 17-19

Cairn At Beaver Brook Falls

Join me for 2+ days of wet and wild waterfall fun as we photograph some of the amazing waterfalls in and around the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire.

Curves Of Time

On this 2+ day workshop we’ll visit some of the most beautiful waterfalls anywhere, some will be well known and popular, with a few secret treasures thrown in for good measure.

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Let The Fun Begin!

The workshops start on Friday afternoon with a short meet and greet where we will go over the weekends itinerary with the possibility of getting in a few waterfalls that evening.

Then each morning we will rise bright and early in order to photograph under the best light. With any luck it will be overcast and drizzly, ideal conditions for waterfall photography.

After each mornings shooting we’ll take a mid-day break to get some rest, go over the mornings images, as well as work on some post processing techniques using Adobe Lightroom*, Photoshop*, and the Nik Collection by Google* suit of creative plugins.

*If you don’t have any of these I strongly recommend downloading the free trial of each just prior to the workshop. (I have no affiliation with any of these products, they are however what I use to creatively enhance¬†my images).

Then, after we’ve had a much needed rest, had a bite to eat, gone over some of your images and created a few masterpieces, in the afternoon we head out to do it all over again!

The only downside to the waterfall extravaganza is that there are so many spectacular waterfalls located in the area there is no way we could possibly visit them all.

Workshops are based out the very clean and extremely friendly White Mountain Hostel in Conway, NH. While it is not required to stay at the hostel( I know the hostel experience is not for everyone) I strongly recommend it to get the most out of your workshop experience. A limited number of private rooms are available.

Join me June 17-19, 2016.

Space is limited in order to be able to provide the maximum amount of personalized attention per client.

Your investment in this photographic adventure is $725*. Please use the contact form if you have any questions or to reserve your spot today.

*Meals and lodging are not included. Transportation during the workshop is provided be me.

Let Me Show You The Granite State.

Planning a visit to New Hampshire and don’t want to waste any of your precious vacation time trying to find the best spots to photograph?

Let me be your guide.

I now offer both personal and small group photo workshops and tours throughout New Hampshire.

From the rocky seacoast to the White Mountains, waterfalls to fall foliage, the Granite State is host to a wide variety of photographic opportunity.

My workshops are small, limited to 3 participants maximum, so I’m able to provide more personal attention to each individual. Plus, since most of my workshops are scheduled on an as requested basis, they are more often than not a private one-on-one experience tailored specifically to your photographic needs, wants, and physical abilities.

Here are a few of the scenic New Hampshire locations you could be photographing when you book a workshop with me.

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Whether it’s a spectacular sunrise on the rocky coast, or a winter sunset from the summit of one of New Hampshire’s tallest mountains, or anything in between, I will put together a custom photographic experience based on both your physical and photographic abilities.

The options are almost limitless.

Some examples of the workshop experiences I offer:

1 – The “Ride-along”¬†

On a ride-along though the focus will be on my own photos and scouting new locations, we’ll spend the day, usually in the White Mountains, taking pictures, scouting new locations, and discussing photography as we drive through some of New Hampshire’s most beautiful scenery. At only $125 the “Ride-along” is a very affordable investment in your photography where you’ll receive a good amount of the same personalized attention that you would on a half or full day workshop minus the ability to choose the locations visited.

2 – Half and Full day workshops custom made for you.

“Half-day” workshops ($250) usually run between 4-6 hours long, with a “Full day”($425) being from sunrise to sunset (with a break of an hour or so mid-day to rest up for the remainder to the day)

3 – Two Day Workshops and Tours. ($675)

On a two day workshop you’ll had better bring a lot of memory cards because we’ll be photographing a wide range of scenic locations and subjects throughout the state. Most of my two day workshops will be focused on a particular subject, such as waterfalls or autumn foliage, will often combine multiple types of landscape subjects. The vast majority of which are easily accessible from the road or via short and easy hike, making them perfect for people of all physical abilities.

4 РMulti-Day Backcountry Excursions. ($675 and up) 

If you’re an experienced hiker and backpacker looking to improve your photography, or you’re simply looking to capture landscapes that haven’t been photographed nearly as frequently as the more accessible locations, I offer 2, 3, or more days of photographing some of the most picturesque wilderness areas you’ll find in New Hampshire. Each day we’ll see and photograph majestic mountain vistas where we may be the only people for miles. Prior to all backcountry excursions a list of mandatory gear will be provided to each prospective participant with a full gear inspection made prior to hitting the trail. I reserve the right to refuse to lead someone I deem unprepared or who overstated their experience level. Safety is my primary concern while traveling in the wilderness. These trips are NOT for the inexperienced, or casual hiker.

And now the fine print.

To book a workshop contact me by clicking on the CONTACT page,

or call me at;  603-973-9886

A 50% deposit is required at least 60 days prior to your anticipated workshop to reserve your space on either a previously scheduled workshop or to book a private workshop, with the balance due within 30 days of the date. Cancelations made at least 30 days prior to the date of your workshop will receive a full refund. Cancelations made less than 30 days prior will be refunded less a $100 cancelation fee.

Meals, lodging, and transportation are not included in the workshop fee.

All workshops are rain or shine, within reason. In fact, in the case of a waterfall workshop you couldn’t ask for better weather than an overcast drizzley day. No refunds are given due to weather, though full or partial credit towards a future workshop will be given if the weather turns out to be truly terrible. Bad weather can result in great photos, but I’m not interested in venturing out if we’ll all be miserable.

Over the course of a multi day workshop, excluding backcountry, if time, location, and accommodations permitting, there may be some image review and post processing sessions during the mid-day.

Whether you’re an experienced photographer visiting the area and don’t want to spend your time searching out the best places to photograph, or a beginner who just bought their first camera, let me help you with your photography

Up Close And Personal

When photographing landscapes, especially with a wide angle lens, I often place my lens closeup to my foreground element. Doing so accentuates the prominence of your foreground in the composition by giving the illusion that it is larger than it really is.

Below are a few examples of how I used a wide angle lens to showcase the importance of the foreground within each scene.

Take a look at these other Closeups in this weeks photo challenge.

Forces Of Nature

Long exposure image of The Basin, Franconia, NH

Patience

 Nature has a design known only to her,

Slowly revealing her artistic intent with the passing of ages.

As the river flows, sculpting the landscape,

To the Forces of Nature even the granite succumbs.

*   *   *

Rocky Gorge, Autumn Fog.

And Now, By Popular Demand.

Over the last few years I’ve often been asked¬†if I offer workshops. The answer has always been, “Some day.”

I’m pleased to announce that “Some Day” has finally arrived!

Whether you’re looking for a private¬†one-on-one¬†or a small group experience, I can taylor a workshop to your needs.

Seascapes, both morning and evening, along the rugged New Hampshire seacoast, I do that.

Or is photographing the historic charm of a classic New England seacoast town more to your liking? Let me be your guide as we walk around the Portsmouth, NH area in search of iconic New England architecture.

Waterfalls, waterfalls, waterfalls. The White Mountains of New Hampshire has some of the most picturesque waterfalls to be found anywhere.

From roadside to secluded, my June 19-21 White Mountain Waterfalls workshop and photo tour may be just the thing for you.

And then there’s Autumn.

Fall in New Hampshire is a sight to behold, with its vibrant color and mountain views, you’ll experience the spectacular beauty only autumn in New Hampshire can provide. From October 4th to the 6th I’ll be hosting a small group of photographers and helping them capture some of the beautiful color people come from the world over to witness.

For more information on rates or to reserve either a spot on one of my scheduled workshops or a private one-on-one experience, please visit my Workshop page.

As always, don’t hesitate to Contact¬†me.