Tag Archives: Landscape

Iceland Bound

 

The blog has been a little quieter than we would like, so an update is overdue. We finished another fantastic year making images and leading photography tours with a week in Iceland being our last tour of the year. The image above was shot at Oxararfoss in Thingvellir National Park in Iceland.

December was a bit on the warm side for Iceland and as a result there had been no snow. The only disappointment was the Ice Caves were flooded due to warm temperatures and rain. But as a result of the warmer temperatures the glacier lagoon was not frozen and we had lots of ice chunks on the black sand beach. So Mother Nature took one thing from us but gave us another.

We leave again in a couple of days for another week in Iceland. What a great way to end one year and start another!

Playing Catch Up

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The last several weeks have been a whirlwind and I have just now found time to update the blog. Our last post was about our annual star party at Spruce Knob. We followed that up with a Labor Day Weekend tour again in West Virginia. A number of our clients were concerned because heading into that weekend Hurricane Hermine was making her way up the east coast and rain was predicted. We were optimistic that everything would be fine and we were treated to really nice conditions throughout the weekend.

The image above was shot at Seneca Rocks at noon. I used an infrared converted Nikon D200 and then to get the motion of the clouds, I used a Singh-Ray 15 stop neutral density filter. This allowed me to expose for 5 minutes under the bright mid-day sun. We recommend Life Pixel for camera conversions. Click this link for more information on LifePixel.

P.S.  Don’t forget to use our code to “ROADRUNNER10” to save 10% on Singh-Ray Filters!

 

 

 

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Solitude

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When I started thinking about this blog, I was going to title it “How’s Your Friday Night?”. The only reason for that question is that I see others post pictures on social media asking such questions when they perceive their location is better at that moment in time than yours.

I’m not convinced that everyone would want to be standing in 3 feet of cold mountain water on a Friday Night. But this is how I spent last Friday evening and I can’t think of any place that I would rather have been. Even considering the mild case of poison ivy that was a result of this evening.

This little spot is hidden away on the upper part of the Rapidan River just inside of Shenandoah National Park. The road getting there is a bit of a rough ride and not something I would want to travel without a 4×4 truck. The entire evening I had this little portion of the park all to myself. I love doing tours, workshops and meetups but last Friday evening I really enjoyed the solitude of having this little spot all to myself.

A Passing Storm

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The meteorologist is predicting a thunderstorm. When this happens do you think about the photographic opportunities? I must admit that I do not always think about getting out when storms are imminent. But I do have a device called the Lightning Bug that makes capturing images of lightning much easier. The Lightning Bug plugs into the Hot Shoe on your DLSR and connects to the camera by cable, you set the sensitivity on the Lightning Bug and sit back and let the camera and Lightning Bug do all the work.

Perhaps it’s a little more difficult than that, you still need to make judgements about exposure and composition, but the Lightning Bug handles the difficult task of timing the exact moments of capture.

If your DLSR is not handy, I have had great results using an iPhone App called iLightning Cam to capture lightening with my iPhone.

Our Friends at Hunt’s also have a blog on using the Lightning Bug to capture Fireworks.

Our friend Alan Samiljan, at Hunt’s Photo and Video is having a sale this month on the Lightning Bug. It’s $20 off and includes a free cable. Give Alan a call at 781-662- 8822 if you would like to add this to your camera bag.

P.S. While Lightning can be a great subject for us landscape photographers, please be safe and don’t put yourself in harm’s way!!

The Return of Mother Nature

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This past weekend while my partner Denise was busy leading a Meetup in Assateague,  I decided to drive out to Shenandoah National Park.  My first plan was to spend the cloudy afternoon shooting waterfalls, but I lost a couple of hours due to a nail in one of my tires and the subsequent trip back to the city to get the tire repaired.   I still made it to the park in plenty of time for sunset.  The clouds were looking quite promising leading up to sunset, but the magical light never happened.

That’s okay, I still had plenty of time to shoot landscapes, abstracts and even do a little light painting after dark.   Just a few weeks ago the park suffered a forest fire that affected over 10,000 acres.  In the shot above you can see the fire damaged trees but at the same time other trees are leafing out.  I have no idea what the long term damage might be to some of the trees, but to this untrained observer it looks like Mother Nature is quickly repairing the damage.

 

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On The Move!

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It just occurred to me the last time I blogged was almost a month ago after wrapping up our Charleston Tour.  Since then I have been super busy with our Meetup Group, and traveling the camera club lecture circuit.  No complaints, it’s always a blast getting out and meeting new people who share this passion we call photography!

The image above is the latest in my Motion Abstracts Series.  I prefer a cloudy day for this type of work and of course try to keep the sky out of the image.  Even though the tree does a nice job breaking up the boring gray sky, I decided a couple Flypaper Textures were just what I needed to take the problem with the gray sky “out of the picture”, so to speak.

If you want to learn more about Textures, my partner Denise regularly lectures on textures to camera clubs in the Mid-Atlantic area. Her next lecture on Textures will be at NIH Photo Club on June 14th.  If you want to check out Flypaper Textures, be sure to use our discount code to save a few bucks.

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Charleston

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We just concluded our first tour of Charleston, South Carolina! I was last in Charleston about 8 years and revisiting this fantastic city was even more fun than I remembered. Charleston has so much to offer photographers. The beautiful architecture of the old city, beaches for sunrise, plantations and gardens to just name a few of the great shooting locations.
 

We are looking forward to returning to this great city! Drop us an email at info@roadrunnerphotographytours.com if you would like to be notified when we offer our next tour in Charleston.

 

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Too Much of a Good Thing

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As I write this blog people in the mid-Atlantic states are digging out of a historic snowstorm. This time the predictions were amazingly accurate with almost a week’s warning prior to this historic storm. At the start of the storm I was hopeful that we would get a nice snow, but not so much that I could not get out and make some images. By the time the weekend was over we had well over 2 feet of snow. Getting out to make images in the fresh snow was not an option this time.

So instead of getting out to make some images, I have been stuck behind the computer working on presentations, website updates, and of course doing some image processing.

The image above was shot 2 years ago in Maine. During that trip there was only about a foot of snow as I recall and getting around was pretty easy compared to the leftovers from the current storm.

Smokies Wrap-up

_DTR0039A couple of weeks ago we wrapped up our Fall Foliage Tour in the Smokies. Temperatures were great during the day and cool evenings produced some fantastic fog. Overall fall color was a little late this year, but we were able to get peak color on the last days of our tour. This made for happy photographers!
Next year Denise and I will be doing our fall color tour in the Finger Lakes region of New York and we are super excited to share this new destination with our clients.

Speaking of next year, to celebrate the Nature Visions Expo were are offering a discount on our 2016 tours until the end of the month. Come visit us at Nature Visions or sign up on our website.

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Cape May and the making of Lemonade

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We just finished our annual Cape May Photo Tour weekend and as usual we had a great group of talented and energetic photographers. Cape May is such a wonderful venue that even though we arrived 2 days early to scout the locations, we still did not cover all of our favorite spots!

In regard to making Lemonade. That’s a term of art that I use to illustrate how to deal with the challenges that photography can sometimes present. The shot above was our first stop with the tour group last Friday evening. The access to this point is very narrow allowing for only one photographer at a time. I needed to get my tripod in the water to get the reflection and wanted to show the shot to our clients as an example of one of the possible shots from this location. Considering that I had 10 people in line behind me, I just took a quick snap and on the back of the camera everything looked fine. When I started to process this shot I realized that while I had the foreground sharp, my depth of field was not sufficient to render the lighthouse as sharp as I would have preferred. So I used a couple of Flypaper Textures to give the shot a different feel and I think with the use of textures the importance of sharpness in the image becomes less important.

I also use and recommend the plugin “Dirty Pictures” from Totally Rad Software for managing and working with Textures in Photoshop.

We are planning to do our annual Cape May Weekend next year a littler earlier so we can photograph the iconic Cape May Boats that line the beach! Registration is open and it’s not too early to secure your spot on this tour… . If you want to keep up with all things Road Runner, please join our Meetup and our Mailing List (on the right side of this page).