San Juan Mountians Day 2+

So I finally was able to sort through the several hundred pictures I took on day 2.  I just finished reading a great article by Jack Brauer on the website about working on your composition before getting around to setting up your camera.  He commented that doing this before you set up and start snapping away will help you take less photographs with a higher percentage of keepers.

I definitely learned how this advice would be beneficial after wading through a couple of thousand shots trying to find the 50 or so pictures I really found great.

Day 2 of the landscape workshop was awesome.  Unfortunately many participants couldn’t continue all day the second day.  While I feel bad for them for missing much we photographed that day, I am also very grateful as it allowed me to spend more one on one time with Nasim Mansurov his brother-in-law Zufar and Tom Redd.  These great photographers were very helpful in setting up composition and choosing an appropriate foreground.  The great picture of the mountain with the logs in the left foreground was the result of Nasim convincing us to go “the extra mile”to get the right shot.    I learned to look for a different perspective by either climbing up on a fence to get a higher view or moving 30 feet to the left over a gate to line up the right angle. 

These shots of this great dirt road we were on were a result of Nasim helping me understand how to place the curve in the road and what to look for in the composition.

Day 2 and the morning of day 3,(I made a pest of myself and tagged along the following morning, Nasim was very gracious and allowed me to come), taught me the importance of light, timing and patience in landscape photography.  Day 1 it was hazy for long distance shots making a lot of the grand views to hazy to produce great landscape photographs.  By the next afternoon and evening a storm was coming in and most of the haze was blown away.  Also by being patient and spending the extra time we were able to capture some awesome views of Mt. Snuffles after a light autumn snow fall.  I also have a couple hundred shots of Mt. Snuffles from day 3 sunrise trying to catch the light at the right moment.  If I would have been more patient and better at selecting the right times to take a photograph I could have only taken a few dozen shots and kept far more of them.  As the sun rose over the horizon it filtered through the clouds and literally you would have the right lighting for 3 to 5 seconds at most.

Earlier on day one we had taken some shots of the round hay bales at sunset.  As we drove down a road I saw these stacked bales and saw the potential for a great photograph.  The weather was a little stormy and the lighting wasn’t the best, but by playing around with the color temperature and other settings in post processing I was able to create this shot which, I at least, find pleasing to the eye.

The morning of Day 2 we went back to a great spot we had photographed the day before.   

Because it was a still morning with little to no wind, we went over to a small pond for some great reflection shots.  Here is where I regretted having a cropped sensor as my 24mm lens wasn’t quit wide enough to get all I wanted into the picture.

We took pictures at the pond for 20 minutes or so before the wind picked up making reflections impossible.  Once again pointing out how quickly the conditions can change in landscape photography.

Here is a shot I took of the storm passing over the mountain range to the left of Mt. Snuffles.

  I love the cloud formations in this shot.  A saying I always remember when I am going through a “stormy time in life” is that storms and cloudy weather create the most beautiful sunrise and sunset photographs. So when you are going through troubled times look for the beauty it creates.

Once again I had a blast at the landscape photography workshop the end of September in Colorado.  I am starting to go through the 500+ pictures I took of my day in Zion’s National Park so look for those to be posted in the next week or so.  Here are the rest of the photographs I selected from day 2 of the workshop.

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  1. Thanks so much Sathya, yes the lighting was better although intermittant with all of the cloud cover and the haze cleared out that afternoon as the wind picked up.

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