Success during a nature photography shoot can be a bit of a crapshoot. Weather conditions often dictate the mood, drama or lack of, during any shoot in the great outdoors. However, long range planning is vital as you want to arrive at the optimal times for wildflowers to bloom, peak color in autumn trees and when wildlife or birds are most prevalent. I have been paying close attention to the El Nino weather. It is starting to bring precious precipitation to southwestern desert areas that have been hit hard with drought over the last few years. A wet fall and winter could translate to possibly one of the best wildflower blooms that the deserts have seen in many years this coming spring. The last time we had an El Nino year, Death Valley National Park had a tremendous wildflower spring. I was quick to catch a flight to Las Vegas to capitalize on this rare natural event. I may have to repeat the scenario this coming spring. The October epic rainfall in Death Valley which washed out roads and caused much damage at places like Scotty’s Castle could also bring an amazing bounty of life and color in a few months. This also bodes well for the Arizona Photography Workshop that I am hosting next March in the Sonoran Desert. I had a cancellation, so there are still a few spots left! Act quickly to secure your spot in what could be an epic spring!
I cannot stress the importance of backing up your precious image files. Hard drives will eventually fail! I THOUGHT I had all of my movie files stored onto two external hard drives, then one of them died. When I checked the drive that was still operating I found missing folders. Needless to say, it is a real bummer to lose files that cannot be replaced. I recommend that you duplicate your images, movies, and important documents in at least two places.
I have two upcoming shows scheduled in December. First, I will be doing a show for the Northwest Montana Nature Photographers on Thursday, December 17th at 7pm at the Summit in Kalispell.
Then a Celebration of Winter Solstice on Monday, December 21st will be my annual end of the year benefit for the local North Valley Food Bank in my hometown of Whitefish. This year the event will be at the O’Shaughnessy Center in downtown Whitefish @ 7pm. If you’re in the area, please plan to attend as it will be an eventful evening. I have put together excellent and exciting presentations, including: the magical sandstone of The Wave and White Pocket along the Arizona-Utah state line; a fun look at my favorite city, San Francisco; and a look back at an epic year of travel and photography that lead me across this great country.
It is a fun winter project for me to put together my multi-media shows. I mix in video clips with my still photos and then top it off with music to accent the visuals. I use FotoMagico software that is easy to use and allows me to finish the shows in many different formats. I then use a Canon projector that I have carefully calibrated to ensure the truest colors. It is great fun to tell the stories behind some of my images and see them on a really big screen.
My new images from late fall/early winter here in NW Montana. http://www.agpix.com/platform7/AGPix_chaney/
I am busy getting together Christmas orders for my fine art prints. In my next newsletter in January, I will post my annual “Top 30” images from the past year. I always enjoy the challenge of whittling down thousands of images into a select few that really stand out or are extra memorable on a personal level. I will also post a viewing platform of my workshop students’ favorite images from my classes during 2015.