Photography’s Creativity Triad: Light

Photography’s Creativity Triad Rather than attempting to reproduce a scene exactly as we see it, enduring photographs reveal unseen aspects of our world. Capturing this hidden world requires understanding and mastery of photography’s “creativity triad,” the three aspects of a scene that distinguish the camera’s vision from human vision: motion, light, and depth. Light is arguably the single most important element in an image….

A simple how and when of fall color

  Few things get a photographer’s heart racing more than the vivid yellows, oranges, and reds of autumn. And the excitement isn’t limited to photographers—to appreciate that reality, just try navigating New England backroads on a Sunday afternoon in October. Innkeeper logic But despite all the attention, the annual autumn extravaganza is fraught mystery and misconception. Showing up at at the spot that guy in your camera club told you was peaking…

Stupid cold

We warm blooded humans have lots of ways to express the discomfort induced by low temperatures, ranging from brisk to chilly to freezing to frigid. But because I’ve always felt that we need something beyond frigid, something that adequately conveys the potential suffering, let me submit: stupid cold. At the risk of stating the obvious, “stupid cold” is when it’s so cold, the only people without…

Up a creek…

(Okay, so technically it’s a river.) Spending last week co-leading Don Smith’s Bryce/Zion workshop, I got a taste of my own medicine: the first opportunity to photograph something I’ve long wanted to photograph (usually I’m the one showing others something for the first time). In this case it was Zion’s (aptly named) Narrows, a deep gouge carved in red sandstone by millions of years of…

You had to be there

If you read my blog enough, you know that I do lots of advance planning, particularly when I want to put the moon in my frame. I have my own workflow for determining the moon’s position relative to the landscape, a workflow I established long before tools like “The Photographer’s Ephemeris”  simplified the process immensely. (TPE is a new trick, and I’m an old…

Monument Valley by moonlight

After a successful and satisfying week co-leading Don Smith’s Arches/Canyonlands workshop, Don and I detoured to Monument Valley on our way home. The evening of our arrival we hired a guide to take us to Teardrop Arch at sunset, but with cloudless skies and a 14+ hour drive home to Central California, we decided to pass on a sunrise shoot that was unlikely to…