The Nature, Wildlife and Pet Photography Forum - Fine Art Landscape Photography

10 day visit to the Southwest...

Posted By: ddietiker

10 day visit to the Southwest... - 02/05/10 12:01 AM

Zion, Canyonlands and Arches NP's.





Posted By: Tony Bynum

Re: 10 day visit to the Southwest... - 02/05/10 12:41 AM

Looks like you caught some nice light! Thanks for sharing.
Posted By: Jim Garvie

Re: 10 day visit to the Southwest... - 02/05/10 01:48 PM

Outstanding images and, as Tony says, fabulous light!

Jim
Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: 10 day visit to the Southwest... - 02/05/10 02:12 PM

Hey Douglas,

Great work, as usual. You got a great shot of Mesa Arch in particular. Were you fortunate to be the only one there? Your angle is really good...and much better than the one I got in November.

James
Posted By: ddietiker

Re: 10 day visit to the Southwest... - 02/05/10 04:54 PM

thanks all,

James, not so lucky as to be the only ones. When we arrived, there were two others there set up about 30 feet from the arch with wide angle lenses. Not sure why they were so far back, they were capturing all the dirty footprints in the snow and none of the layering you get from shooting through the arch. I gave them time to take a few shots then moved in to get mine. I have one similar to yours too. It's not a bad angle...

Posted By: Tony Bynum

Re: 10 day visit to the Southwest... - 02/05/10 09:37 PM

nicely done!

I dont know how to properly ask this without it sounding bad, so i'll just ask, do you have anything you can show us thats unique or original? I'm asking not because I dont like what you posted but because I have been to all the those places and seen them printed 100 times over, but seldom see anything else. I have always wanted to see original images from that part of the country and i'm not there enough to put my self to the challange - though i wish i were.

I know it's fun to shoot the icons and for stock you should own it, and you do have some stellar images, but would you mind posting a few that come from your own unique perspective?

you do such a nice job with the iconic images i'd just like to see what you can do with the not so usual stuff.

Thanks Doug!



Tony
Posted By: ddietiker

Re: 10 day visit to the Southwest... - 02/06/10 06:33 AM

I doubt I could bring back an original image from many of these places, they have been photographed many, many times over. To get something truly original, I would need to spend days hiking and exploring these areas. Even areas hard to get to like the subway have been shot to death.

It is far easier to get what you request from an area I visit often and has a lot more area to explore such as this



Places like this have been done

Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: 10 day visit to the Southwest... - 02/08/10 04:36 AM

Hey Douglas,

Beautiful images - both of them. Tony's question is an interesting one. How do you make a well known landscape truly different? Particularly if you only have 10 days to visit? Chanthee and I are working on our new website (not the often spoken of but elusive new NWP forum software, but our business site) and finding 15 shots of Yellowstone/Grand Teton (where I am truly most at home) that are unique and exciting has been tough. Really tough...and I have been going there for nearly 15 years.

Tony, do you feel you have been able to do this in Glacier (which is, while very well documented, perhaps a bit less than many of the other parks)?

James
Posted By: ddietiker

Re: 10 day visit to the Southwest... - 02/08/10 05:16 PM

Realizing these areas have been shot many times over was the reason we went during winter and snow. We were hoping to capture something at least a little different. The North Window shot was done before sunrise because I hadn't seen any like the one above from that area. I also havent seen many shots of the Watchman during winter with the dark storm/snow clouds you get during that season. Most are done in spring and fall, I thought my shot was a bit different than the others. True it is from the same view point, but at least an attempt was made to get it looking a little more original
Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: 10 day visit to the Southwest... - 02/09/10 09:57 PM

Hey Douglas,

I 100% hear you and agree with you. I think the shot is really nice. Tony's point about trying to re-shoot these places though brings up several good questions. Personally, I LIKE going for the iconic shot every once in a while and attempting to put my own spin on it. Going in the winter was your spin - and totally cool. The question then is what else can we do? Is going and getting the iconic shot enough? For those of us who are doing this for fun - I think it is. For those who are looking to make a living out of this and have to go out every day and provide something different, it may not be.
Posted By: Tyler

Re: 10 day visit to the Southwest... - 02/25/10 02:56 PM

This may sound a bit lame, but in my one cheap community college photography class, we were challenged with taking 10 different pictures of 10 different things while standing in the same spot. As a result, one of my personal favorite pictures I have taken was from the first time I did this. Just some feathers caught in the grass at the edge of a creek (sorry I don't have a digital version to share). I went to this creek weekly for pictures, trying to get a nice sunset off the water or some duck and geese nesting, I was always focusing on other areas instead of straight down.

I still keep that assignment in mind when I'm on the trails trying to do my own personal NW Waterfall collection. I always aim to get the whole falls in the shot, but unique photos from weird angles or of objects I don't initially consider are a result of me challenging myself to redo that class assignment, and almost always result in a "Keeper"
Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: 10 day visit to the Southwest... - 02/25/10 04:32 PM

Hi Tyler,

This does not sound lame at all. I guess I really have two questions (1) how do you shoot an iconic image differently (LOL, and still have it be an icon), (2) do you really n-e-e-d to shoot it differently?

James

PS Tyler, do you have a scanner?
Posted By: Tony Bynum

Re: 10 day visit to the Southwest... - 02/26/10 03:25 PM

Hey guys, sorry I lost track of this post, i tried to find it a week or so ago but could not, i'm glad it's back for me to find.

I think a great deal of my glacier park images are original because i shoot the park all the and i seldom shoot the cliche images, although i have them for stock purposes. Check my blog for example, i'll bet you'll not find most of my glacier park images in anyone's collection . . .













But I think about 80% of my stuff is unique from the standpoint of unique lighting and seasonal variations as well as location and perspective control either through lens selection or camera positioning or both. . .

Thanks Doug, love the sol duc shot . . .

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Posted By: Tyler

Re: 10 day visit to the Southwest... - 03/04/10 11:53 AM

My local fed-ex store has a scanner, I'll try to go down there this weekend. Only copy of the photo is a 4x6 so won't make for an amazing scan.

As far as the questions:
1. How do you shoot an Iconic image differently? Just walk around and see what looks interesting. Get that head on a swivel. My first trip to Australia my bags got lost and I didn't have my good camera with me for my days in Sydney, just a P-a-S. I took this photo of an extremely iconic building.



I was just walking around in "explorer mode" just outside of the Opera House and looked up and thought 'Oh Neat' <click>. I don't think I would have if I was lugging around my SLR and tripod, I would have been with everyone else standing back trying to get the whole thing in a picture and maybe get the Harbour Bridge or the cityscape in the background.

Once my luggage was found and I had my SLR, an A-1 at the time, I took this on my way back thru Sydney just before flying out.



The second photo answers the second question. No, of course you don't need to shoot it differently. The classic image is classic for a reason. Plus I like having one I can call my own. I think the second photo is better, it was taking with better equipment too, but the first still kinda intrigues me a little. When I go back in June I want to redo the tile shot with my digital, have it not be off-center, then who knows which shot is better?
Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: 10 day visit to the Southwest... - 03/04/10 05:24 PM

Hey Tyler and Tony,

LOL, sometimes it is easier than others. Thanks to you and Tony for your photos. I agree, Tony, that your pieces are really quite decent - and very good..all while maintaining the iconic sense of the place. That is the great advantage of being able to cover the same space over time - something you have a wonderful luxury and remarkable talent for.

James
Posted By: Tony Bynum

Re: 10 day visit to the Southwest... - 03/05/10 12:19 AM

great thread and no matter what, i'm very impressed with the iconic images posted by the thread owner! Well done I wish those shots were mine. . . bring some more to the table, your stuff is clean, crisp and sharp!
Posted By: ddietiker

Re: 10 day visit to the Southwest... - 03/15/10 09:40 PM

When I shoot, I dont go looking for original shots, just ones I can sell as fine art. Though this is one that has never been done and I wont reveal where it was taken from either this isnt in the national park, but you can see it from here I spent a day and a half bush wacking and treking the river looking for a good spot.

I call this "The Horse Shoe" and that is the eastern sierra's in the background and it makes a really great 24 x 36 print.

Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: 10 day visit to the Southwest... - 03/16/10 09:39 PM

Hey Douglas,

Beautiful photo, as usual.

James
Posted By: RomanJohnston

Re: 10 day visit to the Southwest... - 03/31/10 11:30 AM

"Seeing" in and of itself is an artform. Appreciation, love, and emotion, are key in seeing. Patience and the ability to walk your scene can help quite a bit as well....even in the most iconic spots.

Waiting also for new weather related phenomena also helps (as was the goal of the OP looking to add snow to his compositions). I have started to look for new concepts like taking pictures at night for stars in my shots.

As your eyes open to a place, often minor tewaks can give big results. Especially with wide angle lenses...moving a foot over can totally change perspective. I often use branches of trees to frame subjects like this.



Or use wide zooms but up close instead of far back....like for this very over shot falls.



I think when many people arrive to an iconic location, they get so excited about where they are...and the natural beauty the they (and everyone else) sees when they first get there, they kinda loose their head.

I always stop....thank god...or the universe....or whatever you think is responsable for creating such beauty, and ask to be guided to new perspectives...then I start hunting. Some of my best shots are due to me lying on the ground looking up into a shot, or climbing safely up on somthing (not somwhere posted for no trasspassing..lets be safe...as well as respectful...as you all are I am sure!) But when in an iconic location...remember to try to change the view from human eye level.

But as others have posted here...there is nothing wrong with getting your copy of an iconic shot either.

I am rambling on here...lol....so will return the floor to all of you.

Roman
Posted By: ddietiker

Re: 10 day visit to the Southwest... - 03/31/10 04:57 PM

But as others have posted here...there is nothing wrong with getting your copy of an iconic shot either.

I am rambling on here...lol....so will return the floor to all of you.

Roman




Couldn't agree more Roman, beautiful shots by the way. Since this was my first trip to Zion, I have a few shots in mind now that I had no way of knowing about before the visit. That is why we go back to places over, and over, and over again. You learn something new every time. Unless of course, you were the first person there then it isnt an Icon yet
Posted By: Tucson Jim

Re: 10 day visit to the Southwest... - 03/31/10 06:56 PM

I've been following this thread with great interest. As a relatively new amateur photographer who shoots primarily to memorialize my travel experiences, I think my perspective is probably a little different than a working pro who needs to consider the saleability of his/her images.

When I visit those locations that have been photographed a bazillion times by thousands of photographers imminently more skilled than I, my goal is primarily to attempt to emulate, if not actually replicate, those 'iconic images'. Sure, there might be hundreds or even thousands of almost identical shots out there, but mine are different and special because I took them. If I come away unsuccessful, I always feel like I have somehow done a disservice to the subject.

Granted, I have reached the stage where I would also like to be better at putting some of my own unique personality and perspective into my shots. But, as Roman points out, some of these places are so wondrous, that it is difficult not to be overwhelmed by them. When we went to Antarctica a couple of years ago, I was so awestruck by the beauty and serenity of my surroundings that I saw wonderful photographs every time I blinked my eyes. I added thousands of activations to my shutter count. When I returned home, I discovered that, with a few exceptions, all I had were a bunch of snapshots that did not capture the essence of the location or the feelings it inspired.

BTW, Douglas, your shots of the Zion, the Canyon and Mesa Arch have really set the bar high. Having stood in almost the exact same spots as you, I certainly did not do as well as you at capturing the essence of the location. Stunning work. Thanks!

Jim
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