Shooting a wide variety of subject matter:
One of the best things about photography is that you can capture the subjects that really interest you the most. In fact, the number one thing when I am dispensing sage advice to novice photographers, is to follow your heart and shoot things that you are really into. Personally, I find the world itself quite interesting and have many passions. My portfolio is probably as vast as any photographer out there. One day I am photographing sports action and the next day landscapes. I really like the challenge of learning new techniques and applying them to make successful images. For example, setting up for an interior architectural image is vastly different than sitting in a blind for birds or waiting for just the right light to capture a landscape. There is an advantage to being versatile and learning to shoot many different styles. With all of that being said, I’d like to show you a viewing platform highlighting all the unique shooting styles that I have accumulated over the years. You’ll see that I surely don’t have all my eggs in one basket (Did I just reveal too much of myself? LOL) This should dispel the myth that I am only a landscape photographer.
Photo shoot for North Country Builders in Whitefish, Montana
First Tracks on Evans Heaven on sunny powder morning at Whitefish Mountain Resort, Montana, USA model released
Tip of the Month
Clean that camera sensor!
Did you know… if you own an slr camera, each time that you change a lens you are exposing your camera sensor to potential dust particles? If left unattended, dust can cling to that sensor and mar all of the images that you take. To test your camera, take a shot of the sky with the lens stopped down (like f16), then review the image at 100%. If you have dust spots they will appear. Now, if you only take pictures to display on social media, it may not be a big deal; but, if you ever want to print your beautiful capture or be published, you would have to spend an inordinate amount of time removing each spot for every image. If not, the spots will show up and ruin your print.
What to do? Prevention is the key to keeping your sensor clean in the first place. When changing lenses, make sure to turn your camera off (the static charge seems to increase with the camera on). Point the opening of the camera down and then change lenses quickly. Avoid dusty situations when changing lenses. If your sensor is already dirty, you can attempt to clean it yourself. There are tutorials out there on youtube showing you the way. Or you can visit your local camera shop, they will clean it for a fee. Personally, I don’t have to clean mine very often as I practice what I preach about changing the lenses. I did invest in Visible Dust products as I did not want to send my camera off each time it needed cleaning.
There are plenty of instructional videos available. Note: I use a large bellows pump designed to inflate rafts to blow a large volume of air into the sensor as I find canned air a bit risky to use as the freon could shoot out and you don’t want that happening.
Ear Mountain reflcts into calm Lake Theboe along the Rocky Mountain Front in Montana
Fiery sunrise light strikes Ear Mountain along the Rocky Mountain Front near Choteau, Montana, USA
Favorite Places: Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front Range
As a professional photographer I am often asked, “where is your favorite place to photograph in Montana”? I would have to rank the region called the Rocky Mountain Front as my number one spot. From the east, literally a thousand miles of prairie grasslands meet up with the dramatic Rocky Mountains and the visual result is stunning. This area is south of Glacier Park along the Front Range.
Here, at dawn, morning sunlight greets the mountain peaks, often bathing them in a reddish glow called alpenglow. I love the fact that it is still wild enough that grizzly bears wander out to their ancestral home on the prairies here. When I take photography students to the Front Range, their faces just light up after seeing the vast stands of vibrant wildflowers that grace the foothill grasslands with towering mountain peaks as the backdrop. You never know what you will see around the next bend when driving the gravel roads of the Front Range. It’s good to have a set of binoculars or a long lens to spot large herds of elk, pronghorn antelope grazing or nesting birds like long billed curlews. A bit further up the road local ranchers and cowboys are out tending to their beef cattle. The Front Range has been spared from overdevelopment and drilling interests in the past and is one of Montana’s most treasured assets.
I’ve added the Front Range to my 2016 workshop series. Come join me in June at “Glacier Park south“, for stunning scenics without the crowds.
Skier and snowboarder down the fresh groom on Inspiration at Whitefish Mountain Resort in Whitefish, Montana, USA model released
It’s literally the lull before the storm as I gear up for a super busy spring and early summer season of travel and photography. As I mentioned last month, I will be heading to Iceland very soon for my first visit to this amazing land. I’ve been busy doing my homework on locations and just have to hope mother nature cooperates with the right conditions for northern lights and dramatic skies. I am then home for just a couple of days before heading south to Arizona for the first workshop class of the year. I have a feeling that the warm weather of the Sonoran desert will feel pretty good after months of winter, albeit, a mild one this year. I hope to have many new images and stories for you in next month’s newsletter.