Thursday, November 25, 2010

Red-necked Grebe

Red-necked Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Originally uploaded by right2roam
Chain Lakes is at the top of my list of favorite photography destinations. An easy drive from Spokane in Eastern Washington State, this secluded lake in Scotia Canyon provides a rare refuge from the larger and noisier recreational lakes in the area. Paddle out on the water in the quiet of early morning, or just before sunset to get at eye level with the abundant wildlife living on the shores.

For this shot I got out on the lake in a kayak just before sunrise. Normally in the low light of early morning I would use a tripod for this sort of photography, but setting up with a tripod in a kayak isn't so easy. I used the fastest shutter speed I could manage in the dim light and braced my elbows against the cockpit to stabilize the camera as much as possible. The beauty of being on the water in a kayak is that you make almost no noise. And because kayaks set so low to the water's surface, you're already at eye level with everything roaming about the lake shore. You're often able to get much closer to your subjects than if you were walking, and a modest zoom lens can be used where a large expensive telephoto would normally be needed.

As for visiting Chain Lakes... the entire shoreline is privately owned except for one narrow walk-in access strip maintained by the Washington Fish and Game Department. If you want to visit this lake, get permission to use a resident's private dock, or be prepared to carry your kayak or canoe a couple hundred meters through the public access area.

Canon EOS 20D
Focal Length: 290 mm
Aperature: f/5.6
Exposure: 1/500 second
ISO 200

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Shells on Petras Beach

Shells on Petras Beach II
Shells on Petras Beach
Originally uploaded by right2roam
This post is from my running series on pattern and texture in nature. I hope you enjoy. I confess that this arrangement of shells isn't completely natural. During a morning of beach photography during an extended stay on Crete, I had been gathering these colorful shells as I was walking down the beach with my camera. I came to an area of dunes with blowing sand and thought I'd experiment a little. I tossed a handful of shells down at the top of one of the dunes and watched the sand fill in around the shells creating the frame you see here.

Believe it or not this photo won the nature category of a juried contest/exhibition I entered during my stay on Crete.

Canon EOS 5D
Focal Length: 100 mm
Aperature: f/10
Exposure: 1/100 second
ISO 100

Saturday, November 20, 2010

El Capitan

El Capitan
El Capitan
Originally uploaded by right2roam
For my first photo post I chose this image that I brought back from my trip to Yosemite National Park last weekend. I spent a couple of mornings exploring the valley looking for impressions of the fall colors. This trip was a little late for the brighter colors that appear earlier in the fall, but the colors were still stunning, especially on this given weekend with clear blue skies providing for interesting contrast between warm and cool tones.

A similar shot should be easy for anyone with minimal gear to pull off. On the south side of the valley there are a number of pull-outs along the road as you're passing beneath El Capitan. You'll have to hike in a few hundred yards to get to the river, and look for any number of openings along the river bank where you can compose your shot. To find this composition I had to study the reflections in the river carefully, looking for just the right spot for my tripod, so that the floating leaves would partially frame the rock face of El Capitan.

Canon EOS 5D
Focal Length: 21mm
Aperature: f/18
Exposure: 1/2 second
ISO 50

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Right2Roam Photography

The idea for Right2Roam Photography has followed me through over a decade of traveling, living, and working in various locations around the world. It came to me on my first trip to the Scottish Highlands where the "Right to Roam" is respected as long the land and its inhabitants are respected. And this label for my photography stuck as I traveled to other locations and developed, and continue to develop my skills and techniques as a photographer. This blog will be a part of my creative outlet where I will occasionally share in my development, successes and possibly lessons learned as a photographer.