One early morning the year before the pandemic I visited Great Smokey National Park. It’s about an 8-hour drive from my home and I like to explore the Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounding areas. This morning I enter the park way before sunrise stopped at a spot I was familiar with and waited. I knew that every morning around sunrise the horses that have been out in pasture are called back to the barn for breakfast. This particular morning it was foggy with a deep yellow sky as sunrose started. Sure enough, like clockwork, the horses showed up. I took my photos and moved on to the next location. Shot on a Sony a7r iii with a 100-400mm lens.
Over the Thanksgiving Holiday, I shut myself in my office, asked Siri to play some classic rock and I started to explore my old files and refine them using the new tools in Capture One 22. I started with Iceland in 2010. I did two trips to Iceland in 2010 and, as always came back with way too many keepers. Iceland is magic and a photographer’s paradise. It serves as therapy for many of us as in surrounds us with its ever-changing beauty.
These two images are a good example of the specialness that this land gives us. The one image was taken at sunset – dawn. I was there at a time where it never gets dark. The sun goes down and in 15 minutes it’s coming back up. As it dips below the horizon, the warm and sometimes odd light reflects onto the clouds and, in this case, the water of the Iceberg Lagoon. (please don’t ask me to spell the name. ). The second shot was made in the Highlands and once again nature and light played a big part in obtaining an incredible image of this canyon with waterfalls and a river that flows out to the horizon.
You can join me next year to explore Iceland again. Visit rockhopperworkshops.com for information.
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Kevin also runs workshops for photographers all over the world at Rockhopper Workshops
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December 23, 2021
There is no question that Patagonia is a great place for landscape photographers. This can be seen every day when you view social media. Every photographer in the world seems to be heading there to shoot landscape images. I have visited the location several times and yes, I will go back again. The stunning landscape, sunsets and sunrises and the dynamic landscape make me want to stay there for months just to see what I may be missing.
This image was made on a two-day hike and was shot just after sunrise.
It’s been several years since I had been to Bryce Canyon National Park. I visited Bryve back in the fall and just now I’m really getting a chnce to edit and work my images. I like to photograph Bryce with long lenses. I have done way too many postcard shots of Bryce. So, I set my tripod up and put on a 100-400mm lens on my Sony a7r III and started to search through the viewfinder. The landscape would change as the sun would rise and shadows and light would dance. It was great and I had a chance to make some real nice expsoures. This is one of them.
Ok, I’m not one for the iconic image of a place but I must confess I shot it. It was crazy when taking this photo. It was made from a bridge just a short walk from the hotel – cabins we were staying in. The bridge must have had 50 photographers on it all shooting the same things. I absolutely hate that. i don’t like being where there are other photographers. It disturbs to no end. Seems everyone wants the same shot and here I was just as bad as them. So, enjoy the photo but know I feel bad about putting up an image so many other have done.
I just returned from nearly two weeks in Lofoten, Norway. It was an interesting trip. I was an instructor along with Art Wolfe and Ignacio Palacios with 18 photographers. The weather was challenging and even more challenging were all the other photographers. I am really re-thinking how I do my workshops in the future as there are so many photographers offering workshops these days and all of them are going to the same places. I am asking myself why. I used to have a spot to myself and now there can literally be 50 plus photographers all trying to get to one position. Add on to that the boom in Asian tourists who have no clue and walk right into the shots and it’s not getting to be any fun anymore. In any case, I walked away with a series of images that are different than most and then again like the image above iconic like everyone else. So over the coming days look for more Lofoten images.
Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Iceland is a beautiful place to visit. Iceland has a ton of iconic locations like this. I have been shooting there for years and at this location. Typically all of us at a workshop pile out of the van and head to the waterfalls. We try to duplicate other iconic images made from this spot. This year was different. I got out of the van and headed off in my own direction determined to find a different shot. The image above is what I found. The light was right. The lead in composition worked. Mission accomplished.
I really enjoy doing panorama photos. Not only do they make large files that I can print large but they also allow a viewer to see a lot more in an image than a traditional single shot frame does. There are a lot of photographers that make a big point out of doing perfect panoramas using special rigs and aligning the nodel points to perfection. While I do that sometimes most of the time I just don’t the gear or the time. As a matter of fact a lot of time I can really good panos just by panning the camera handheld. And, that’s exactly what I did with this image. I was on a moving ship traveling through the Lemaire Channel. It’s a most amazing place in Antarctica and while you can get great single frame images I saw an opportunity and thought I’d give it a shot by doing a handheld pano while the ship was moving. The water was calm and the sunrise was just happening. A gorgeous, moment is the only way to describe it. So I did two series of pans and one turned out. Photoshop where I did the stitching together of the images, was brilliant at compensating for the movement of the ship and thus this is the image I ended up with. The channel can be seen from one end to the other.
There are few things better than standing on a hill in Tuscany, Italy and watching the sun come up. Tuscany is a magical place with a charm and feel all its own. Small villages and magnificent landscapes are everywhere. I enjoy sunrises when you get the low fog in the valley showing up. It adds depth and layers to the landscape and the photograph.
On our trip to South Georgia and Antarctica, it was the early bird that saw spectacular sunrises. Being the leader of this trip it wasn’t unusual for me to wake the ship up early to see and photograph a sunrise like this. Shot with a Fuji Xt-2 and the 16-55mm. This was pure South Georgia, color and clouds.
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