Four Horses

TWIT Photography Show 2

Here’s another show for you full of helpful tips! It was a good one with Lisa Bettany and Leo Laporte. We talked a lot about mobile photography, and I spoke a lot about creativity. We also touched on things like the Space Shuttle launch, some fun gear from my bag, and more. If you have comments for the hosts, it’s best to leave the on the YouTube page.

And… shhh… this isn’t officially announced, yet, but it is available in the App Store. Version 3.0 of 100 Cameras in 1 is out — featuring a brand new camera interface! (see screenshot)

Daily Photo – Four Horses

It was one of those long summer afternoons when you are sure it must be 5 PM, and you check the clock and it’s only 2 PM! You know these days. Anyway, I decided to pick up my camera and walk around the ranch in Yellowstone for a little while The stable area is always a target, rich environment, so I headed right over there to find these four horses lined up so nicely.

High Dynamic Range Photo

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Jack Horner De-choppering

Less than a week until the big PhotoWalk!

Coming up this Sunday is the PhotoWalk here in Austin! It’s a family-friendly event, so feel free to bring your kids and this sort of thing. We’re just walking together in one big group through the streets of Austin, having a good old time.

See Event Details on Plancast here. It’s totally free, and you don’t need a SXSW badge to attend. I’m looking forward to it!

EG Conference – About a Month Away

So, today’s photo is Jack Horner, the famous paleontologist (dinosaur-guy). He’s also speaking at the EG Conference in Monterey with me. The tickets are a little pricey (about $4,000 per person), and I think there are some remaining on the conference website.

Daily Photo – Jack Horner De-choppering

This is another picture from that mysterious ranch in Montana that I hint at from time to time. The only way to get there is a 3 to 4 hour horse ride or to take a private helicopter over the Rockies… it descends into a secret green valley… something right out of Galt’s Gulch.

Every few days, new guests arrive and depart. And, on this day, the chopper brought in the great Jack Horner. He’s one of those guys that’s awesome and doesn’t even try to be. He just is. Later that night, he gave a talk in front of everyone about some of his new discoveries in the world of dinosaurs. It turns out that Triceratops and Torosaurus are the same dinosaur! Cool. He had shown me research a year earlier at his underground (literally) lab in Montana that rests underneath the dinosaur museum. He had huge computer screens showing the bone histology, and how it changes as the dinosaurs age. Very interesting stuff.

High Dynamic Range Photo

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The Mark Nason Bag

My New Laptop Bag!

This is one of my favorite Christmas presents!  For the full scoop, see my Mark Nason Bags review here on the site…  You can see Mark Nason’s store on Amazon here. — it’s kind of expensive, but you can check out the pros and cons for yourself on the review page.

Here are a few images of the bag…  I think I have six or so on the review page.

Mark Nason Bag Photo

One aspect this image doesn't portray is how soft this thing is. It is like a soft cuddly cow crawled up and died on your lap.

Mark Nason Bag Photo

The big pouch on the outside is too small for most of my guns (perhaps a small ladies' gun), but it does fit a ziplock full of pork and beans for those lonely nights on the range... This side pocket is pretty handy too for your mobile phone or 18th-century Western iPod.

Mark Nason Bag Photo

The bag is big enough for me to fit my 17" Macbook Pro. It's not big enough to also hold my camera equipment, but... that's not what I use it for...

Daily Photo – Liftoff at the Ranch

I ran out into the field to capture this just as the helicopter takes off after unloading another group of guests. The lighting and angle were perfect, so I was curious to see if I could catch the helicopter blade totally still. I did! A good experiment… note that many of my experiments fail… but this one worked out.

And yes, obviously, this is an HDR from a single RAW.

High Dynamic Range Photography

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Yellowstone Through the Years

Thanks SmugMug!

You guys know I love SmugMug, and we’ve sent thousands of people over there to share their photos online. If you want to learn more, see my SmugMug Review here on the site. They are great, even if they have that not-so-great Comic Sans font in their logo. Let’s all talk them into upgrading their logo! hehe…

So, I’ve been putting up a lot of images this week, and the SmugMug servers have been cranking away. We are up to 29 million views this year, all served up from SmugMug. Here is a little SmugMug trick for you:

This website is wide, yes? Yes. I did this on purpose since I think a lot of people that love looking at art online have good resolution and good bandwidth. It cuts some people out, which is too bad, but it is a decision I went forward with. Anyway, the blog portion of this is 900 pixels across. Now, when images come in, I can bring them in at a higher resolution and then put width=”900″ in the HTML. However, this is bad because it makes the browser do all the recalculation AND it is a waste of bandwidth since we are sending down a version that is too big.

So something you can do with SmugMug is make their servers do the work of resizing. I change the JPG address from

http://stuckincustoms.smugmug.com/Portfolio-The-Best/your-favorites/267567676784ab64209bo/742621320_wMyz5-XL.jpg

to

http://stuckincustoms.smugmug.com/Portfolio-The-Best/your-favorites/267567676784ab64209bo/742621320_wMyz5-900×900.jpg

And that ensures that the image will be 900 pixels across (or tall). It helps everything load quickly!

Yellowstone Through the Years

The first photo below is a new one from just on the north side of Yellowstone. I took it just after one of those afternoon thunderstorms that sometimes pass across the countryside. This path was made by many years of horse-drawn wagons. There’s a ranch out this way, and motorized cars are forbidden… so it took a long time to make these tracks.

High Dynamic Range Photo

And here are some of my favorites from Yellowstone from over the years.

Below: The Stable

High Dynamic Range Photo

Below: A Storm Brewing in the Valley

High Dynamic Range Photo

Below:Sun Through the Trees
High Dynamic Range Photo

Below: Horses Wild

Below: Wall of Fog

Below: Horses of Yellowstone
High Dynamic Range Photo

Below: Morning. Coffee.  Yellowstone.
HDR Photo

Below: The Particolored Stream

High Dynamic Range Photo

Below:  The Atomic Mushroom Cloud
High Dynamic Range Photo

Below: The Falls of Yellowstone

HDR Photo

A Painting of Yellowstone

In case you missed this earlier in the year – I did a painting of Yellowstone that I put below. If you want to see more, see “Yellowstone on Fire“.

HDR-Photo

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Horse in Window

Daily Photo – Horse in Window

I can never decide if I enjoy naming photos or not!

I think I enjoy it when I come up with a good name, and I don’t like when I come up with a boring name. Let’s take this one for example: “Horse in Window.” I mean, how uncreative can I be? What’s wrong with me?

When I am editing photos, and the muse visits, I am like a man possessed. I can rip through a bunch of photos and make some nice little creations. But then I click “Save As…”, and I just blank out on a name. I think the creative part of my brain for making photos is different than the part for naming things.

I do enjoy writing, and I often find that the words flow easily. This bit of me seems disconnected from the photo-editing bit, though.

There is a small slice of solace, I think, in considering the names of some of the great paintings from my impressionist heroes. They have names like “Girl in Field” and “Sun on Water.” Not too exciting, but they do stand the test of time. But “Horse in Window”? I think not!

HDR Photo

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Horses at f/1.4

Review Update

House in Queenstown

Click to Zoom

Have you seen the Nikon 50mm Review? It’s been recently updated with a few new photos for you.

Staying in Queenstown

I had a heck of a time finding a house that looks to the west, so I can selfishly take photos every evening at sunset! Here is a quick photo of a place in Queenstown in an area called Kelvin Heights. We found this spot on Bookabach.co.nz — which is a great resource for finding rental houses. Thanks for all the suggestions to use that site from visitors here on the site. I appreciate it!

Daily Photo – Horses at f/1.4

Everything looks better at f/1.4! Kids, flowers, horses, and anything else with nice details really look amazing at f/1.4. In fact, this is a tiny little secret in the photography world. Even a rookie can make something look pretty special when using this lens! Sure, it doesn’t always work out, and you still need good composition, but some extremely unique photos pop out from time to time.

By the way, if you get one of these lenses, a simple tip is to focus on the inside part of the closest eye. That usually works out very well.

I saw this guy on a little photowalk in Yellowstone. I gave the photowalk group an assignment — to find interesting stuff and take photos on aperture priority. This is one of the ones I came back with to present on the big screen. It was fun to sit there with everyone after the walk and compare/critique photos. I usually don’t have a chance to do that on photowalks, but the leisurely pace was a welcome change in my too-busy life!

HDR Photo

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Horse in Field

Compression

Do you enjoy taking photos while making use of compression?  It’s sort of a geeky photography technique that involves zoom levels beyond what the eye can do on its own.  These end up having a bit of an “interesting” look, just because these view cones are impossible to the naked eye.  Personally, I don’t do a lot of it because my wide-angle lens is usually on… but I do enjoy the look.

I have this photo included in the full Nikon 200-400 Review.

Daily Photo – Horse in Field

In the afternoon, the horses at the ranch where I was staying are let out of the corral to graze in the meadow.  The sun gets low, and just before sunset, everything is lit with a very strong light at a low level of incidence.

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The Rainbow After the Storm

Taking photos of Rainbows

I’ve taken a few of these in my life… mostly out of luck! But, I wondered about your experiences with rainbows. Do you get many photos? What is your favorite lens to use to capture the whole thing? In the one below, I used a Nikon 14-24 on a full frame body (the D3X).

Daily Photo – The Rainbow After the Storm

In the afternoons in Montana, sometimes a summer storm would come rolling through the Rockies. I think everyone loves a good storm, mostly because it changes the mood. An unexpected mood change always adds a bit of spice to the day, don’t you think? And, since these afternoon storms come and go, the sun comes back out again, giving us the opportunity for rainbow shots.

All that’s missing from this one is a unicorn. This is one reason I am excited about genetic engineering. I think that some odd-ball researcher is going to make a real unicorn one day… and everyone (well, MOST everyone) will love it. Hey future-unicorn-genetic-engineer, please contact me after you successfully bring one of these to term so I can take the first photo. That would be very cool.

HDR Photo

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The Storm Hitting the Barn

Tripod as an Easel

I recently swtiched to some Really Right Stuff tripod legs. They are awesome! I have them linked up on the HDR Camera Equipment page.

So, there are plusses and minuses to carrying around a tripod. Here is a “plus” that not many people think about.

Whenever you are carrying around the tripod, it takes a bit of effort and forethought to set up a shot. You need to positing it in a special place, at a certain height, and at a particular angle. I compare it to Renoir or Monet taking their time to set up their easel and canvas in the perfect spot. It makes a big difference if you walk 10 steps closer to the target area or 10 steps further from the target area. There is an extra consideration photographers have to use because of the lens that is on board, but it’s still a similar process. So, as much as I lament the extra hassle of a tripod, I do like that it requires me to go through a thoughtful process of setting up the shot.

Daily Photo – The Storm Hitting the Barn

It was about 3 in the afternoon and things were getting over-the-top warm. You know that feeling when the weather gets so uncomfortably warm that you expect something to happen soon? This feeling washed over me about 30 minutes before these violent clouds form to sweep over the Rocky Mountains towards the barn.

The tripod was nearby, so I grabbed it to go outside and set up the easel.

HDR Photo

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The Falls of Yellowstone and The Best of London?

Where are the best places for photography in London?

Update: See the POLL here !

I’m going to start a poll soon, but I wanted to go ahead and get the list together first! I’ll be in London for about a week, and I’m excited to have that big PhotoWalk on Friday, Sep 10th at 6 PM. Exact location to be announced soon! I look forward to meeting photographers from London and going out to have some fun, and get some great shots! As usual, I’ll be talking through my process, answering questions, and all that good stuff.

But, since I will be there a full week, what are some of the best places to go for some awesome photography? You guys and gals already know the kinds of things I like to shoot, so let me have it! I don’t mind going a bit out of the city either. So rattle off your suggestions of cool spots, architecture, places at night, secret places, etc, down in the comments.  Soon, I can put up a poll in coming days to see what gets the most votes!

Daily Photo – The Falls of Yellowstone

This is a very famous waterfall in Yellowstone National Park. I was there smack dab in the middle of the day, which is just about the worst time to take photos. So be it, Jedi.

I got out the old trusty and handy 200-400mm lens to take a shot. It’s not that big. It’ll fit right in your back pocket. (BTW, see my Nikon 200-400 Review for more).

The colors of the freshly spawned earth are beautiful, especially when right up against the beautiful water from the falls. I believe I shot this with the Nikon D3S, and I got a little video while I was at it too. I’m not sure what the heck I’ll do with the video, but I have a few ideas. Mostly bad.

HDR Photo

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