Archive for winter

Fire and Ice Photo Tour Results – Earl Merrimen

Posted in Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2011 by Darwin

Below are Earl’s favorite six photos from his time on the Fire and Ice Photo Tour. Earl decided to ‘stretch’ himself and shoot most of the time in black-n-white.

©Earl Merrimen

©Earl Merrimen

©Earl Merrimen

©Earl Merrimen

©Earl Merrimen

©Earl Merrimen

Fire and Ice Photo Tour Results – Jagjit (Monty) Dhillon

Posted in Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2011 by Darwin

Below are Jagjit Dhillon’s six favorite photos from the Fire and Ice Photo Tour.

©Jagjit Dhillon

©Jagjit Dhillon

©Jagjit Dhillon

©Jagjit Dhillon

©Jagjit Dhillon

©Jagjit Dhillon

Fire and Ice Photo Tour Results – Fikret Onal

Posted in Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2011 by Darwin

Below are Fikret Onal’s six favorite images from the Fire and Ice Photo Tour.

©Fikret Onal

©Fikret Onal

©Fikret Onal

©Fikret Onal

©Fikret Onal

©Fikret Onal

The Weekly Photo – Nov 21, 2011

Posted in TCBlog, Weekly Photo, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2011 by Darwin

I just got back from the final Fire and Ice Photo Tour this year. We were ‘blessed’ with cold temps (-25 degrees over night) and therefore some nice ice and even a little bit of fire (sunrises and sunsets). The gang of shooters were a blast and everyone was open to the amazing possibilities nature tossed our way.

Part of each tour is a safety meeting about ice conditions. You can see here what happens when someone does not listen to the safety spiel! The good news is with my super long exposure of the scene (5 minutes using a Lee Big Stopper ND filter), the waves and bubbles of the struggling participant did not even register in the image. So let this be a lesson, always listen to your instructor….

This one is dedicated to Joe (thanks for leaving the camera gear on shore) 😉

©Darwin Wiggett

The colour version – Canon EOS-1ds Mark III, Canon 24 TSE, 5 minutes at f11, Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer, Singh-Ray 3-stop soft-edge grad, Lee 10-stop Big Stopper ND filter.

©Darwin Wiggett

The B+W version (conversion done in Nik Silver Efex Pro) – which version do you prefer?

2011 Tours and Workshops – Something for Everyone

Posted in Art of Photography, Artistic Development, Good News, Instruction, Techniques, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2011 by Darwin

Below is a listing of tours and workshops available for 2011 and into 2012. Their are only a few spots left in these events so if you want to boost your learning in photography then come join us for a great time:

Fire and Ice Photo Tour – November 10 – 13, 2011

This event is sold out but to be added to the wait list contact the Aurum Lodge or sign up for the 2012 photo tour. This is one of my favorite tours because of the short days with great light and the intersection of new ice with the fiery skies of late fall.

Just Announced! Do to popular demand we have added a second Fire and Ice as of Oct 10. Tour starts Wed. Nov. 16th 5pm to Sunday Nov. 20th 1:30 pm (four nights at Aurum Lodge!), with the option to join a day later (Nov. 17th) for those who cannot make the four nights, but wish to come for three nights only. Cost is C$ 1,359 for the four night tour or C$ 1,019 for the three night tour all in. Contact Alan at Aurum Lodge info@aurumlodge.com to book. Only two spots left

©Darwin Wiggett

Ice Bubbles on Abraham Lake – Winter Magic Tours 2012 – Feb. 23-26, and Feb. 29 – March 4, 2012

It seems that the Ice Bubbles out on Abraham Lake have now gotten a bit famous especially after my 2008 Travel Photographer of the Year Win which featured my Abraham Lake shots. I have taken many photographers out on the ice at Abraham Lake and now their great photos are circulating around and getting lots of views. I have been leading these tours since 2005 (see the results from back then when almost everyone was still shooting film!).

It might seem an easy proposition to just drive up to the lake in winter and get great shots on your own; and yes that is possible. But the ice bubble locations change from year to year, and most people are unaware of the extreme dangers of Abraham Lake and of the other great locations near the lake. That is where your guides (Alan who lives on the shores of Abraham Lake) and I can make sure we get you to the best spots in the best light no matter the weather. And plus you get the fantastic accommodations of the Aurum Lodge which is a nice retreat after a few hours out on the ice at -25 degrees C!

In 2012, there are two tours available; Feb 23-26, and Feb. 29 – March 4 (this latter tour is already sold out). So if you are keen to photograph Abraham Lake and other great spots this coming winter, then sign up for the Feb23-26 tour before it sells out!

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett - could you find this place on your own?

Inspirations – Stanley Rose

Posted in Inspirations with tags , , , , on June 22, 2011 by sabrina

© Stanley Rose

Canon 5D MkII 70-300mm at 150 mm 1/100s at f/16 ISO 100
Processed in LR2 and cropped approximately 25% on sides.

Hanging Lakes is a popular attraction just off Interstate 70 east of Glenwood Springs in Glenwood Canyon, Colorado. It is a short but steep hike to some small waterfalls and colorful pools. In the Summer, there can be quite a crowd at the small lakes, but in Winter, thanks to deep snow and ice on the steep trail, you can usually have the place to yourself. I took this shot as part of a collection of photos of frozen Colorado waterfalls. I was particularly attracted to the vertical lines of the icicles and opposing horizontals in the reflection, along with the dripping water. I used a telephoto to zoom in on the pattern and a relatively fast exposure to get some of the detail in the dripping water. I just wished I had a dry-suit so that I could wade out amongst all those icicles! ~ Stanley Rose

Photographer of the Month – Örvar Þorgeirsson

Posted in Inspirations, Photographer of the Month, Techniques with tags , , , , , , on June 15, 2011 by sabrina

© Örvar Þorgeirsson

Darwin: You have an eye for images that are contextual (tell a story) but are full of mood and drama and a sense of the pulsating of life. In short you are a cross between a documentary journalist and an expressionary artist. The combination is rare. What advice do you have for photographers interested in developing their own signature style?

Örvar: I believe you will get your best results photographing things that interest you in an environment that you enjoy. I started out trying to photograph various things like street photography, events and even still life but I quickly found out that landscape photography was where I enjoyed myself the most and got the best results. Looking back I think it was inevitable that I would end up in this part of the photography spectrum as the outdoors and wilderness have always fascinated me and the photography is really an extension of that. I study the work of other photographers a lot for inspiration. There are a lot of good photographers out there and getting input from the ones you like and applying it to your field of photography for the environment where you shoot will help develop your own signature style.

Darwin: You live in Iceland, which over the last decade has become the place to go for evocative landscapes. What is it about your country that appeals to so many photographers?

Örvar: I think the variety of different landscapes in a relatively small area is what makes Iceland interesting as a photographer’s destination. Volcanoes, glaciers, waterfalls, deserts, deep green valleys and rugged coastlines can be found at many places elsewhere in the world but all these features in an area the size of a small US state is what makes Iceland appealing. For most people being located in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, near the Arctic Circle is not an ideal place to be but for landscape photographers this has two major advantages.

The biggest one is probably that the turbulent weather combined with often hours of continuous low angled sun (specially around summer and winter solstice when the sun travels horizontally just under or above the horizon) creates some really colorful and interesting light on top of the scenery found here. The other one is that the open landscape of this windy island, lacking much forest, makes interesting features easily visible from a distance. These two advantages combined, will enable traveling photographers to spend more of their hard earned free time shooting and less time on hanging around waiting for the right light and finding locations. Our recent total economic meltdown also means that Iceland went from a very expensive travel destination to being affordable.

Darwin: I am sure everyone wants to know a few technical tips and making great Aurora. What camera settings, lens choice, etc. are good starting points for beginners shooting the Aurora?

Örvar: The basic technical principle behind Aurora photography is to capture as much light as your gear can without degrading your image quality too much. This means high ISO settings, larger aperture lenses and fairly long exposures. In a typical shot, I use ISO 800 at f/2.8 for 20-30 seconds. This works well for low intensity and static displays of Aurora, which are the most common ones. When things start to heat up and the Aurora really lights up and starts dancing around the sky, I shorten my exposure time as much I can, going 3 to 5 seconds to avoid blurring the Aurora by its movement during the exposure. This means that I have to increase my ISO up to 3200 on my Canon 5D MKII.

If one plans a trip to shoot Aurora then the best time is to do so during half moon. The full moon will render daytime-like light for the long exposures and the new moon makes the foreground too dark. Very wide-angled lenses with large apertures work best for Aurora shooting. I have tried many of them including Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L, Canon 14mm f/2.8L and adapted Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lenses. Although the Nikon is much better than the Canon lenses, they all suffer from bad to really bad corner sharpness at f2.8. Recently I a friend recommended I try a little known 14mm lens from Samyang. To my surprise in Aurora photography, it outperformed all the above-mentioned lenses by far. And the best part yet–at 350USD it cost only a fraction of what the Canons and Nikons do. The lens is fully manual including aperture but it does not really matter anyway for nighttime shooting. And no, I am not sponsored by Samyang.

Darwin: How many years have you been shooting? It seems like you have accomplished a large number of top tier images in a relatively short time. What’s your secret?

Örvar: I have been into photography for 5 years now. Before that, during my mountaineering years, I loved documenting my adventures through a camera but I really did not know what I was doing back then. During these years I read through hundreds of magazines and books often beautifully illustrated by mountain scenery. Unaware of it but soaking up in all those images and beautiful scenery probably helped my development as a photographer. I am also one of those that really dives into things once I get interested in them. I have put a lot of time and effort into photography during these 5 years. But also having relatively easy access to varied landscapes here in Iceland helped build my portfolio quickly.

Darwin: One part of your signature style is the dramatic use of near/far perspective. It is difficult for many photographers to make a cohesive composition with a wide-angle lens because there is so much of the environment taken in. How do you make such clean cohesive compositions with a wide-angle lens?

Örvar: This is a difficult question. As you say the wide angle grabs a lot of the environment and much of that will often be in your foreground. One therefore needs to find places with a simple foreground that does not clutter the image. Some locations work better for wide angles than others. Seascapes and water surfaces, frozen lakes, deserts, snowfields and rivers are where you most often find those uncluttered foregrounds. Most of my portfolio is from Iceland, which suits wide angles very well. I quickly run into trouble shooting wide when traveling abroad in areas with forests and heavy vegetation. So I guess it might be more the environment where I shoot mostly rather than a special skill that I have.

© Örvar Þorgeirsson

© Örvar Þorgeirsson

© Örvar Þorgeirsson

© Örvar Þorgeirsson

© Örvar Þorgeirsson

© Örvar Þorgeirsson

© Örvar Þorgeirsson

© Örvar Þorgeirsson

© Örvar Þorgeirsson