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The usual response I get when someone is viewing one of my abstract photographs is, “What is it?”

My reply is, “What do you see in it?” That is what I like about interpretive imagery. It is all subjective and I feel it when a photo touches and entices the viewer to stop and investigate, it is a success.

Asteroids

Northern Lights

Solar Flare

Abstract photographs are all how about the subject makes you feel. When your subject is color, texture and shapes assembled into a dynamic composition that departs from reality the challenge is on to grab the viewer’s attention.
Working on interpretive imagery goes beyond the usual rules of landscape photography. It is both fascinating and compelling changing one’s perception.
A visual encounter with some watercolor painting presented splashes of blending colors and non-uniform shapes. These macro images are but small pieces and parts of the overall scene.
What do these compositions suggest to you? Perhaps they are asteroids racing through the cosmos or the Aurora Borealis shinning in the heavens of another world? It is all up to your imagination to complete the communication process.
Related posts:
https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/abstract-from-a-land-of-landscapes/
https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/challenge-your-photographic-vision/
https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/water-the-meditation-of-liquid-music/
https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/fear-and-persistance-of-expression/
https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/sense-what-the-landscape-is-telling-you/
Photographs used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr,
Range of Vision Photography, 2012, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any
manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of
Vision Photography. My image catalog can be viewed at http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com.
You can contact me through this blog or email at: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

Mindful Moments, the fifth publication from Wayne Scherr and Range of Vision Photography has been published and is now offered to the public for viewing and purchase. Mindful Moments is a collection of images is a cross section of imagery that ranges from the mountain landscapes of Glacier National Park to garden florals water movement and abstract photographs. All are from my home in Montana.

Mystery Creek cover for Mindful Moments

Mystery Creek cover for Mindful Moments

From the introduction:
It was the weathered wood fence and floral garden beyond at my brother’s home that defined Mindful Moments for me. This was where photographic images offered themselves to my camera and opened my heart.
Together as photographers we have discovered brief seconds of light that sculpt the natural world and in the creative process developed connections that define one’s life.
Mindful Moments have since shadowed my footsteps as I focus on broader landscapes and experimental visions. It is with great respect for the encouragement and support of my brother, Greg, that I offer these images to the viewer in hopes that sharing them will transcend my experiences into a greater awareness of thought and be moved by these, visual, Mindful Moments.
120 pages illustrated with 99 photographs
Standard landscape format 10 x 8 inches (25 x 20 cm) with soft cover $37.95
To preview and purchase your copy of Mindful Moments, go to

 

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/abstract-from-a-land-of-landscapes/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/challenge-your-photographic-vision/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/water-the-meditation-of-liquid-music/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/fear-and-persistance-of-expression/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/sense-what-the-landscape-is-telling-you/

Photographs used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr,
Range of Vision Photography, 2012, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any
manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of
Vision Photography. My image catalog can be viewed at http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com.

You can contact me through this blog or email at: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

 

I cherish concentrated moments in time with no distractions of busy thoughts and mind ramblings. It is what I look for each time I pick up my camera and go on the hunt for something new to record.

abstract photograph red dunes

Red Dunes - Limited Edition Print

Having recently viewed an online website gallery looking for new and different directions to pursue I found a series of abstract images that offered splashes of color with little form or shape.  I couldn’t decipher what the photos content was but I was inspired to think and imagine what I could do as a result of this inspiration.

I like to try and react spontaneously to the moment at hand even if I have assembled some of the elements to be used in the photo session.  My goal is always to get lost in the creative process.

Without obsessively thinking I approached the subject knowing I wanted to construct abstract prints. A straight forward, documentary approach didn’t work for my vision. Depicting an abstract scene is done by using key elements to develop a visual appeal. It is not about rules or established concepts. It is about how you perceive the subject and interpret the elements before you.

Blueshift - Limited Edition Print

Blueshift - Limited Edition Print

I believe abstracts should challenge the viewer and draw them into the image so they can use their experiences to engage, challenge and excite them. That is the communication process, viewer involvement.

My key element was static color without any real shape or form. I like implied motion and movement and I thought this would give some shape and form to the subject. Using a panning and slow shutter combination technique I achieved the texture and form I was after.

What were these images of? Where they sand dunes at sunset? Highlights reflected in a pond? Where they foreign skies from a distant planet? I want the viewer to decide for themselves. What is it that you see in this form of artistic expression? Let me know what you think.

Curvature - Limited Edition Print

Curvature - Limited Edition Print

Related Posts:

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/abstract-from-a-land-of-landscapes/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/challenge-your-photographic-vision/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/water-the-meditation-of-liquid-music/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/fear-and-persistance-of-expression/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/sense-what-the-landscape-is-telling-you/

Photographs used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr,
Range of Vision Photography, 2012, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any
manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of
Vision Photography. My image catalog can be viewed at http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com.

You can contact me through this blog or email at: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

Touching the West

Image

Touching the WestA Visual Journal

Photography by Wayne Scherr

 

 

Touching the West is a photographic journal by Fine Art Photographer and Photojournalist Wayne Scherr.   Based in Montana, Wayne’s images presented in this book are a selection of Western Heritage photographs made in pursuit of self discovery and expression.

Touching the West is a full color book depicting time spent exploring the Northern Rockies recording experiences and in the process discovering the history held within this dynamic landscape.

Sun, wind and the ravages of both time and man have taken their toll on these western relics and the stories they have to tell. It is easy to sense the ghostly memories and the personal tales of mountain men and rendezvous, pioneers, miners and cattlemen that swirl from the weathered and worn buildings. Investigating their wooden planked walls, glassless windows and squeaky door frames you cannot help but wonder who has passed this way.

80 pages illustrated with 76 photographs.

Standard landscape format 10 x 8 inches (25 x 20 cm) with soft cover $37.95

To preview and purchase your copy of Touching the West, go to

 http://www.blurb.com/books/2840862

 

 

 

The pristine ecosystem of Montana’s Glacier National Park was made for landscape
photography. Called the “Crown of the Continent” its’ graphic glacier carved
geography and flow of energy is nothing short of stunning.

Known as the “Backbone of the World” by Native Americans, Glacier has more
than a million acres of aspen and pine forests, flowery alpine meadows, clear lakes,
jagged peaks and prominent glacial-carved valleys.

The Park’s diversity is also home to nearly 70 species of mammals including the grizzly bear, and wolf, Mountain Goats and Bighorn sheep. Everywhere you turn it’s easy to get
electrified by the view and the life that surrounds you.

Up at Many Glacier on the eastern side of the Park I intended to photograph Swiftcurrent
Falls.

Swiftcurrent Falls Glacier National Park Montana
Swiftcurrent Falls

I wanted my images to be powerful and dynamic. I scouted the location and climbed down to small ledge facing the deafening cascade. You could feel the energy of the thunderous falls charge through your body.

To convey its’ power and flow I chose a 20mm wide angle lens and got in close, careful not to slip into the stream and get flushed down into the gorge and river
below.

I used the juxtaposition of background and fore ground to create an illusion of perspective. I feel it gives the viewer a sense of being there in the image, itself. It expands the experience and gives the viewer a further sense of your perception. In this
case a sweeping wide angle of power and strength.

Near far compositions create scale and interest. Coupled with the slight zigzag pattern of diagonal lines in the composition it keeps the viewer’s eyes moving back and forth
within the picture.

Swiftcurrent Falls Glacier National Park Montana
Morning at Swiftcurrent

When photographing waterscapes it’s a good idea to eliminate as much of the sky as
possible because the sky can be a distraction drawing the viewers eye away from
the essentials, the dynamics of the composition.

Overcast light, even haze is good when photographing water because it diffuses the light
so that you can employ slower shutter speeds and not get hot spots that are
created by bright light. A polarizing filter also comes in handy.

The use of motion blur and the texture that forms with water from a timed exposure is
essential in capturing the vitality of a waterfall.  Applying a full depth of field and an ISO of
100 with shutter speeds from ¼ to ½ second and you’ve got the shot. Slower
shutter speeds in brighter light would have washed out the highlights and
faster speeds would have distracted from the impression of movement and flow I
wanted to portray.

I encourage readers to get out and photograph water. Experiment with liquid movement,
motion and blur as design elements to express yourself. Be in the moment. Let
me know how it goes.

Get helpful information from these websites:

Glacier
National Park – www.nps.gov/glac

Glacier’s webcams – www.nps.gov/glac/photosmultimedia/webcams.html

Lodging and activities – www.glacierparkinc.com

Montana Visitor’s Guide – www.visitmt.com

Sunrise Sunset calendars – www.sunrisesunset.com

The Photographer’s Ephemeris – www.photoephemeris.com

Related Posts:

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2011/09/24/astracts-from-a-land-of-landscapes/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/salty-legs-and-mountain-goats/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/05/02/crown-of-the-continent-glacier-national-park-montana/

Photographs used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography, 2011, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography. My image catalog can be viewed at http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com.

You can contact me through this blog or email at: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

Entering Glacier from Babb on the eastern side of this National Park in Montana
I drove the potholed two lane road toward Many Glacier.
Aspen trees lined the road and whipped by my car window.

Bursts of laser white pulsed backlighting the aspens’ deeper shadows. Traveling at 40 miles per
hour sunlight reflecting off Lake Sherburne flashed bright specular highlights
across my face like a strobe. The sub alpine lake shimmered in the afternoon
light drawing my attention.

Lake Sherburne Glacier National Park Montana

Lake Sherburne Glacier National Park Montana

It was abeautiful day with blue skies, fresh mountain air and no one else on the road.
Each time I explore Glacier I am inspired by the dramatic landscapes that
blanket both sides of the Continental Divide, here in this Crown Jewel of
Montana. This sparkling day was no different.

I grabbed my camera that is always waiting at my side and opened the window. A quarter of
a second exposure, the lens set at infinity and with the car rolling down the
road, I couldn’t resist tripping the shutter.

Implied motion within a still image has always been intriguing to me.  Obviously composition is difficult but leaning toward spontaneity keeps the adrenalin going and in this situation it is all
trial and error anyway.

swift current creek glacier national  park montana

Swiftcurrent Creek Montana

I don’t know what the aperture was. It doesn’t matter. That kind of thing is
immaterial. What counts is inspiration and being there. This kind of exercise
is more primal. It is recording the flow of energy. Trying something different,
experimenting with what comes your way keeps the photographer’s creativity in flux.

I was excited by the revelations that followed.

The extended exposures formed the definition of an abstract image with patterns,
harmonies of color and touchable textures. They ask the viewer to participate
by projecting their thoughts and experiences into the question of what these
pictures are about.

What do you see in these turbulent shifts of light and motion? Is it something new?
Do they engage you in thought?

Let me know your impressions or comments.

Related Posts:

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/challenge-your-photographic-vision/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/water-the-meditation-of-liquid-music/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/fear-and-persistance-of-expression/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/sense-what-the-landscape-is-telling-you/

Photographs used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr,
Range of Vision Photography, 2011, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any
manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of
Vision Photography. My image catalog can be viewed at http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com.

You can contact me through this blog or email at: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

In Photography with the capture of form, texture and color, we
depict what we perceive as real and meld it into a more fantasy style of illustration.
This is called an abstract.

The visual connection between the subject and viewer is formed by
the viewer’s imagination, perception and experiences. Their insight transcends
the visual elements of the image in the communication process.

Storm on the Horizon is actually moving water
rushing over colorful rocks in an alpine mountain stream high in the Absaroka
Beartooth Wilderness of Montana. I used a timed exposure of three seconds and
this implied the motion I wanted to convey. Depth was created by the horizontal
lines of surging water and specular highlights it picked up in the foreground.

Photographic abstract water movement

Storm on the Horizon

Incorporating a second layer of flowing water gave the composition
added depth and movement developing a translucent curtain above the underlying
streambed. This gave the image a windswept driving rain illusion. Perhaps a
hurricane or tropical storm in thought.

During post processing, using Photoshop, I enhanced color
saturation in the submerged rocks focusing on the red hues. I felt this gave
life to the image with an almost sunset feeling.

So what do you perceive when viewing this photograph, a sunset? Is
this a storm front on the ocean? Does it matter what the photographer saw or
thought he saw when composing in the viewfinder? Is it up to the viewer and
their experiences that actually determine the final communication between the
image, viewer and photographer?

Forget me not – In this floral abstract photograph I went for
the color effect of bright blue for its visual appeal.

abstract photograph blue florals

Forget me nots

Over the last few summers I have tried to depict Forget- me -not
flowers in a direct way. I have used them as background splashes of color,
as distinctive out of focus bokeh (boquet) successfully but when isolating them
as a single documentary image it just didn’t work the way I envisioned.

Earlier this season I worked with panning the camera during
exposures, especially on trees, and was happy with the results. When these
brilliant sky blue flowers blanketed the garden midsummer I thought of this
technique again and used it to capture the color and texture of this ground
cover.

In order to slow the shutter speed to convey this style of motion
I added a polarizing filter to my wide angle lens and shot a series of one
quarter to one half second exposures. With the shutter open I panned the
camera, while attached to a tripod, and liked the results.

In post processing, again, I utilized Photoshop to enhance the
blue hues resulting in a dynamic color abstract photograph.

When photographing abstracts you have to kind of forget what your
subject matter really is, and be open to different uses of lenses, camera
settings and post processing techniques.

Imagination plays the most important role in determining the final
results of the finished print. Think in terms of shapes, textures and color
combining them to make a unique image that is not what it is but what your
imagination sees.

Related Posts:

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/challenge-your-photographic-vision/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/water-the-meditation-of-liquid-music/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/fear-and-persistance-of-expression/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/sense-what-the-landscape-is-telling-you/

Photographs used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr,
Range of Vision Photography, 2010, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any
manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of
Vision Photography. My image catalog can be viewed at http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com.

You can contact me through this blog or email at: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

Outside it was minus 5 degrees with crystal clear skies and a feathery frost forming on my windowpane. It stopped snowing during the night but there was still enough moisture in the air to freeze and form tiny crystal patterns.

I had been checking this window for frost almost every morning throughout the winter. Most of the time there’s nothing interesting.  There were usually just small streaks of grey granular frost with no real graphic pattern or distinctive texture.

Frostscape

Frostscape 12x12

But, once in awhile the elements seem to line up and it’s a race to capture the scene before it melts away with the warmth of the direct light of sunrise. Crystalline frost is formed directly from the water vapor in the air.  As the vapor runs along the contours of the glass it goes right from being a gas to a frozen solid, without transforming from a liquid state first. These are the intriguing textures and designs that can be worked into surreal compositions.

I quickly set up my camera and used only ambient outside light to backlight the delicate structure of the hoar frost. I wanted to hold the viewer’s attention within the frame of composition so I focused just on the crystal formations looking for patterns.

Using a shallow depth of field gave me the separation I wanted to keep the distracting vertical lines of a backyard shed out of the background.

Frost Pattern

Frost Pattern 11x17

I had about ten minutes to check out several compositions and prepare visually before the light would begin to melt the intricate designs.  It was some of the most delicate hoar frost I’ve seen. In this image I liked how the crystals have just caught the first light of day creating dimension and texture within the scene.

The sparkle within the ice crystals changed quickly and within seconds all the little lines dividing the dynamic crystal structures filled in and pooled and like an ancestry tree forked into branches before running down the glass.

All photographs used in this entry are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography, 2011, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction of any kind is prohibited. If you wish reproduction rights please contact: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

Been working on a rebuild and design of my website http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com for several weeks now and finally after some trouble shooting this weekend and a long phone call into my host server have things up and running.

I have changed some of the galleries deleting some older images and collections. Along with the update I have added a special gallery. It is one that highlights water and movement featuring the magical flow and energies that only water can provide to the viewer.

I particularly like the images entitled Breaking Through, River Shaman and Water Spirits. Each is very distinct and emote a unique connection with the spiritual side of nature and my interpretation.

Water Movement - Breaking Through

11x17 Reproduction entitled Breaking Through

The abstract collection contains many new images and in particular I like Planetary Storm, Signs and Quaking Aspens. They have a tendency to create thought provoking conversations with Storm and Signs being close ups of ice and the Aspens a dreamy blur of implied motion.

In the Panorama Collection both the Garden Panorama and Color Pallet are new and very different in image presentation. Color Pallet is an abstract interpretation of the Garden pan image location.

Included in the Landscape collection are photographs from Montana, Idaho, Hawaii and Utah. All are intriguing locations to enjoy and contemplate their distinctive settings. Twin Lakes and Honopu Valley are awe inspiring sites.

Abstract interpretation Quaking Aspens

11x17 Reproduction - Quaking Aspens

My Floral Collection is the most extensive with numerous possibilities of picture pairs and sets that can be combined for outstanding wall décor and layouts with everything from Bunny Tails and Dahlias to Orchids and tulips. Jewels and Floral Harmony have recently appeared in calendars showcasing Montana Photographers.

So I invite readers of this Blog to visit my website: www.rangeofvisionphotos.com  and I hope you find something of interest and stimulation to your senses.

You will also find connections to two books that I published since December. Range of Vision – Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment and Horizon of Stars – A Photographic Journal of an African Safari.

Layouts on a third publication entitled Edge of Heaven – A Photo Essay on Hawaii is in the works and should be available in April/May.

All photographs used in this entry are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography, 2011, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction of any kind is prohibited. If you wish reproduction rights please contact: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

Out of curiosity and in an effort to continue forward movement regarding my creative efforts  I have been doing a little research and decided to learn some new technology regarding HDR photography.

HDR or High Dynamic Range photography is a post processing activity that combines a number of images with different contrast ratios that are unfeasible to complete with just one exposure. Usually you take three photos of the same scene at different shutter speeds and then combine them into one image. I have also tried this simply by bracketing, adjusting the exposure settings to plus one stop your normal exposure and minus one stop.

So you get three images, one overexposed, one for midtones and then one underexposed.  These are combined with software, I used Photoshop CS3. This process gives you details in both highlights and shadows that are joined with the medium or normal exposure giving you results that seem to be more accurate to what your eyes actually perceived at the scene.

What I found in working out the process is that it can work great for some images and not so much for others. My first attempts looked fake and artificial. The colors were exaggerated to the point that the scenic landscape I was working on looked gaudy.

However, when the HDR process really worked the image was much more suggestive of what I actually saw when I tripped the shutter on location. Shadow details were crisp and clear and the highlight information was bright and smooth. The final print represented what was much closer to actually being there and what I saw.

I have included a couple of examples of what I found in this post for your review.

Blackeyed Susans

Normal range image - Blackeyed Susans

HDR Blackeyed Susans

High Dynamic Range image - Blackeyed Susans

There are many HDR software applications out there along with numerous books and
Elephant Brothers

Normal range image - Elephant Brothers

tutorials on how to apply the process. Like most things this is just another tool that you can

HDR photograph - Elephant Brothers

High Dynamic Range image - Elephant Brothers

apply to your visual interpretations. It is always good to learn and experiment.  See what works for your style of photography.

I like the distinguishing details HDR portrays and as long as the colors are not overstated I’ll continue to have this method in my arsenal and use it to interpret different scenes and express my creativity. I encourage you to take a look at the HDR practice. It is definitely worth the time and effort.

All photographs used in this entry are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography, 2011, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction of any kind is prohibited. If you wish reproduction rights please contact: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

Range of Vision – Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment

New Book by Wayne Scherr

Range of Vision is a photographic portfolio by Fine Art Photographer and Photojournalist Wayne Scherr.   Based in Montana, Wayne’s images presented in this book are a selection of nature photographs made in pursuit of self discovery and expression.

The Still Point is at the heart of the creative process. To be “Still” or “In the Moment” means to empty your psyche from the incessant flow of thoughts and create a state of consciousness that is open and receptive to your surroundings.

The Range of Vision portrayed in this full color book conveys a meditative approach to the design elements of  implied motion and movement of falling water, creeks and streams and features garden florals and interpretive abstracts.

80 pages illustrated with 87 photographs.

Standard landscape format 10 x 8 inches (25 x 20 cm) with soft cover $37.95

To preview and purchase your copy of Range of Vision , go to

http://www.blurb.com/books/1877388

Black-eyed Susans, garden image

Black-eyed Susans

 

Web site: http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com

Blog: www.myphotovisions.wordpress.com

Contact: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

Horizon of Stars, a Photographic Safari Journal

New Book by Wayne Scherr 

Horizon of Stars is a photographic journal with text depicting a wildlife safari to Eastern Africa and the country of Tanzania. The adventurous journey covers Serengeti, Tarangeri, Manyara, Arusha and Ngorongoro National Parks. Wildlife encounters and photographic illustrations include tree climbing lions, charging elephants and screaming baboons.

Photojournalist and Fine Art Photographer Wayne Scherr documented this savanna sojourn while preparing a marketing plan for a safari outfitter that operated out of Arusha, Tanzania.

80 pages (106 color photographs)

Standard Landscape 10×8 inches (25×20 cm) with soft cover ($39.95)

To preview and purchase your copy: Horizon of Stars http://www.blurb.com/books/1924512

 
 
 

Lion in Ngorongoro crater, Tanzania

Lion in Ngorongoro crater, Tanzania

 

Web site: http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com

Blog: www.myphotovisions.wordpress.com

Contact: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

The southern end of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness complex pushes up nearly a vertical mile. This Wilderness Unit shows off a glaciated history that left its rugged mark carving out jagged pinnacles, broad u-shaped valleys and high alpine cirques in the Taylor Hilgard mountain range of Southwest Montana.

We drove up Beaverhead Creek Road to Potamogeton trail head in the Beaverhead National Forest and began our moderate to strenuous journey into the Wilderness Area.

echo peak lee metcalf wilderness

Echo Peak Hilgard Basin Montana

We headed up Sentinel Creek, trail 202 all the way to Expedition Pass  then we turned south on trail 201 and followed it into the basin all the way to Blue Paradise Lake.

There are several sharp summits and ridges etched along the Divide with Hilgard Peak at 11,316 ft., being the highest point in Montana outside of the Beartooth Mountains a hundred miles to the east.  The Basin is a great glaciated relief to investigate and photograph.

Most of the high altitude 70 blue gem-like lakes that are scattered on both sides of the divide in this Wilderness Unit are in Hilgard Basin. Expedition Lake is at 9,600 feet just below the pass. It is easy to get around most of the lakes and mountain creeks which makes’ for better access to light and composition for landscape work.

Depending on where you settle for camp this adventure is a MINIMUM of a 15 to 20 mile backpack trek not counting side trips for photography and exploration.

Expedition Pass into Hilgard Basin

Expedition Pass into Hilgard Basin

Once you are up into the Basin area there are many moderate to much more strenuous side trails and bushwhacking scrambles up numerous ridges and peaks for excellent panoramic views.

Yellowstone National Park and the Tetons are to the south. Lone Mountain, the Sphinx and Helmet are to the northwest.

Among the Madison Range’s awesome landscapes, the Hilgard Basin is an unusual high-altitude, lake-filled basin.  Both early morning and evening light can be inspirational.  

The highlight of this trip was Echo Peak. At 11,214 feet, Echo is the third highest peak in the Madison Range of southwestern Montana and has a doable steady scramble route up its north ridge. It only took a few hours to climb and lunch was on top with outstanding views.

The best hiking is from midsummer into the fall season. This high country usually does not clear of snow until the middle of July. So the trail can get a little busy at times.

Some people can take in this trip as a long day hike but I feel you miss out a lot if you don’t spend at least a night or two exploring the Basin. Setting up a base camp in the main basin is the way to go.

Any time one is fortunate to experience a wilderness setting with a camera is always an opportunity to jump at.  It sharpens your senses and critical focus. The efforts made will come back to you in many ways besides the potential of good images.

For more information on the Lee Metcalf Wilderness contact the Gallatin National Forest at 406-587-2520 or http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/gallatin/

 Related Post:
https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/03/14/absaroka-beartooth-wilderness

All photographs used in this entry are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photos, 2009, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction of any kind is prohibited. If you wish reproduction rights please contact: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

Entering my brother’s garden, I already knew that I was too late in the season to photograph the Persian Jewel flowers he previously recorded, but I didn’t expect the inflated seed pods to be so bright and colorful, like the blossoms were.

Snaking through several raised multicolored plant beds full of hundreds of blossoms with my tripod held high, there they were, crowding out an old weathered wood trough about five feet long and seven inches wide. They looked like a mini hedge of little gem-colored aliens, with ferny feelers reaching out into the surrounding air.

Jeweled Capsules - 12x 12 print

Persian Jewels are also known as Wild Fennel and by the Botanical name of Nigella damaascena. The flowers themselves are a bright mixture of saturated shades of mauve, light blue and white, lavender, purple, rose. They are excellent annual flower garden plants belonging to the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae).

But as they presented their balloon shaped seed pods to the camera this morning it was just as exciting as any floral display because it was so unexpected.

We photographed the Jewels at different time of the day portraying at least three unique interpretations. Early morning just after sunrise direct backlight added to the gem quality by catching highlights off the dew.

flowers, seed pods, persian jewels

Persian Jewels seed pods 11x17 print

A white reflector was used to fill light into the shadows of the pods which then gave some emphasis to the veins and lines in the capsules’ skin.

Open shadow light presented a much softer scene and when combined with a shallow depth of field, it helped draw out a different character of the seed pods nested in fibrous greenery.

A bright afternoon and a parting of clouds brought the most intense color to the capsules. This cheerful image has been included in a 2011 calendar promoting Montana Photographers.

Persian Jewels 11x17 print

These photographs illustrate the reasoning behind the idea of studying your subject matter and how to utilize the elements of light to interpret what you record.

If you have any comments or thoughts about these images please let me know.

Related posts:

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/challenge-your-photographic-vision/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/water-the-meditation-of-liquid-music/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/fear-and-persistance-of-expression/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/sense-what-the-landscape-is-telling-you/

Photographs used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography, 2010, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography. My image catalog can be viewed at http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com. You can contact me through this blog or email at: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

Not being able to travel as much as I would like to seek out and photograph the big dramatic landscapes of the Rockies, I have begun focusing on more intimate scenes.

Discovering abstract patterns in nature’s details and then capturing that energy flow through the magic of light has become just as powerful and exciting for me.

In spending more garden time instead of mountain -time I’ve learned to be more observant, detailed and to move at a much slower pace. Less ground to cover and an excellent opportunity to watch the movement of light throughout the day.

You still use your vision and consciousness conceiving the image in thought and reacting to details, composition and patterns with emotion, capturing the moment. The process is just on a smaller scale.

Three new garden images are being released through my website gallery.

Bunny Tail grasses, blue forget me not flower

Summer Light

The first which is part of a series of images I am assembling on a decorative grass called Bunny Tails. This photograph came together with the very last warm reflective sun light of a summer’s day.

Summer Light”, has the added touch of a single blue forget me not flower that enhances the background tying both elements together creating depth. These were the only blooming plants in my yard when I set out to make an image.

Throughout the day I walked past the foot tall Bunnies swaying in the wind waiting for the moment of inspiration to grab me. Just before dusk they signaled they were ready. I saw a new composition and exposed for four different views as the sun sank below the horizon.

Beckworth Garden”, is an 8×24 inch panorama.

flower garden panorama yellow Black eyed Susan's

Beckworth Garden Panorama

Three times a growing season this family garden is awash with the radiant colors of thousands of tulips in spring then in summer poppies are blooming everywhere. Late summers’ Black-Eye Susan’s flowers were what brought our cameras out.  We rose before dawn and on location making exposures before any direct light greeted us.

Garden flowers, yellow black eyed susan's blooming

Black eyed Susan's

With “Black Eyed Susan’s” the challenge of making a simple composition was made more difficult with the use of only a wide angle lens. With thousands of blossoms filling the viewfinder directing attention to the scene’s essence was the object.

I previewed a shallow depth of field and used that setting range to explore the semi circle view of the garden we had access to.

The subtleties of morning light and the vibrant color tone of the flowers combined to convey different emotions from the same garden view.

Changing one’s perspective in the way we would normally approach a familiar subject to photograph inspires us with new ideas and refines our studies in light and composition. It gives us new directions for our vision.

Related posts:

http;//myphotovisions.wordpress.com/water-the-meditation-of-liquid-music/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/fear-and-persistance-of-expression/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/sense-what-the-landscape-is-telling-you/

Photographs used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography, 2010, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography. My image catalog can be viewed at http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com. You can contact me through this blog or email at: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

Water, the essence of life, its constant movement has always drawn my attention both in my search for spirituality, a catalyst for meditation, and as a means of creative expression through fine art photography.

I find there is something extremely soothing about water. Flowing water comes alive with a vibrancy that is gripping to ones soul, sparkling and dancing in a blur of movement and light.

Fluid water movement

Fluid - 11x17 Giclee watercolor print

Just as water has a lot of physical benefits to the body, it also has a lot of mental benefits when utilized in meditation.  Ever wonder why a person feels refreshed while standing near the ocean, a waterfall or a stream?

Besides how calming the sound of flowing water is, water produces negative ions. When near a cascading waterfall or stream these negative ions get absorbed into the bloodstream and we feel both calm and invigorated.

Feeling its peacefulness is what I want my images to portray.  I want viewers to close their eyes and take long deep breaths and feel refreshed. I want them to imagine the sounds that emanate from a flowing creek and trigger a sense of serenity into their subconscious.

Unlike my work in photojournalism, fine art photography, for me, is all about the pure pleasure of creating the image.

Custom giclee print, water movement, implied motion

Liquidity - 11x17 Giclee print

My approach is to interpret the mood of the waterfall, river or creek before I photograph it. A fast shutter speed freezes the movement and in a sense documents the action. Using a slower shutter speed begins to transform the mood with a more mystical feeling.

Those long multi second exposures present a scene with a silky flow and a more dreamlike sensation. Illustrating the point of view of what water meditation can convey to the psyche is part of the creative process in capturing the image.

Sometimes enhancing the color saturation of the rocks that lie under the water may best define your vision. Capturing bright specular highlights is another way to convey your feelings to the viewer. It is a personal matter of interpretation and creative vision.

Proper print display culminates your invitation to extend your private experience and share it with others. Water meditation exemplified through Giclee prints on watercolor paper can invoke calm, soothing feelings both for the mind and body. They can help bring about a feeling of well being while washing away stress. It is the whirl of the moment caught in an image that draws attention and captivates the viewer developing a meditative state.

Related posts:

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/fear-and-persistance-of-expression/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/sense-what-the-landscape-is-telling-you/

Photographs used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography, 2010, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography. My image catalog can be viewed at http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com. You can contact me through this blog or email at: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

 

There are times when I don’t seem to have, “the vision”, anymore and with this comes the depression that can plague you and drag you down with disbelief in your work and in yourself.

I have photographic skills. I’ve learned the trade with a degree in photojournalism, working for newspapers, freelancing to magazines and various book publishers. I learned enough to have expressed those skills through teaching photography at a University and since that time I gathered those proficiencies and had a twenty year run with my own publishing company.

floral color pallet abstract nature giclee print

Color Pallet - 11x17 Giclee Print

But just as the day I was mesmerized by the click of a shutter on my first camera many years ago, the excitement is sometimes followed by the anxiety and self judgment of myself and the success of the image.

Sometimes, I feel that I am just playing with the, “wanna be”, thoughts of being a photographer, even though I have been driven’ to the viewfinder almost all my life.

Now my work in fine art photography is more conceptualized, sometimes only seconds before it happens but it can flow freely.

I have learned that it is the process of making images that counts. It is what shapes us as artists. What happens with the final image is only important to the viewer. Our art is made through our private vision and the execution that gathered all the elements necessary to communicate this vision to another person.

abstract photograph garden gate

Garden Gate - 11x17 Giclee Print

I still get the anxiety rushes sometimes but I have learned to accept myself and in doing so my vision and art has grown.

The creation of images is always at work in one’s subconscious. We feed it through the action of doing. Reading, viewing other artwork, studying, adopting and applying what you like and works for you leads to your distinctive style. The work itself develops who we are.

I have taken and at times created tens of thousands of images over the years. Many others were thrown in the trash seconds after I saw the developed film or deleted after capture. Each of those images was an expression of who I was at that time.

floral abstract fine art photograph

Dreaming Bamboo - 11x17 Giclee Print

Unhappy times created mediocre photographs. Depressive times left me without expression. Eventually the desire to communicate lured me back and after each personal pitfall the quality of my art grew and the vision was easier to grasp the next time around.

My point here is that one must keep working developing new image after new image, trying one thing after another with a belief that a breakthrough will come. Believing in yourself is key yet it is the hardest hurdle to overcome in the making of one’s art and the discovery of who you are.

Sometimes it will take a hundred or more failed photos to pull yourself through but faith that the next plateau is out there and you can get to it will make you art soar.

It is not an easy task but to some the drive just will not let go.

Related post:

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/sense-what-the-landscape-is-telling-you/

Photographs used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography, 2010, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography. My image catalog can be viewed at http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com. You can contact me through this blog or email at: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

As a follow up to my last post,” Vision and Experimentation Creates Expression”, I wanted to make note of another photo session in an effort to push my thoughts on what makes a Fine Art Photography print and how to expand my interpretation of landscape images.

Driving back from Missoula to Bozeman, Montana last weekend I took a detour and drove the Pintler Scenic Route, MT Hwy 1. Through the Sapphire Mountains and along Georgetown Lake’s cobalt blue waters where the views were mostly pine forest and snow capped peaks.

I had photographed the area many times before when I was the publisher of a regional travel guide some years back.  It was the familiarity of the scene that was a problem for me. I didn’t want the same style landscape I already had in my stock files.

aspen grove abstract landscape image

Aspen Grove Abstract Giclee Print

In making a change from a photojournalist to fine art photographer I am always trying to leave behind a documentary style of communication to a more interpretive and personal one. I am always asking what if?

Among the tens of thousands of pine trees I found a small grove of aspens dressed in bright spring green color.  I have more than a dozen aspen grove images in all seasons. What could I do that would be different this time?

Walking along the road I felt the sense of movement of the aspens in my vision. How could I capture this feeling and compose it in the viewfinder?

Setting up my tripod I began panning across the trees. With a slow shutter speed of ¼ second I exposed a shot.  It just wasn’t the right motion.

I stood there and stared at the white bark surrounded by fluttering green leaves. Then the image came. A vertical pan or tilt with the same shutter speed.

It captured the mood I felt and it was visually different from my stock landscapes of aspens.

Experimenting, trying something a bit unorthodox is always a good thing. It doesn’t matter if the results work or not as an image that communicates. The point is that you try something different to make changes in your vision.

Expand awareness of your surroundings be in the moment and the images will reach out to you as connections are made.

Related Posts:

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2010/06/10/vision-and-experimentation-creates-expression/

 https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/twenty-minute-challenge-photograph-an-orchid/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2010/02/21/use-red-accent-photographs-to-capture-attention/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2010/1/12/what-can-orange-do-for-you?/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/11/17/purple-an-element-of-fire/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/09/11/can-color-photgraphs-enhance-positive-feelings-of-well-being?/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/09/28/photography-and-feng-shui-for-interior-design/

Photographs used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography, 2010, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography. My image catalog can be viewed at http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com. You can contact me through this blog or email at: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

 

I have read that the key to a creative effort is trying to achieve what your imagination sees. This can be a challenge. 

Working on extremes of color is one way to enhance creative vision. This is especially true when working with abstract images where you can be free to experiment in different ways such as increasing or decreasing color hue and saturation, middle tone adjustments or contrast levels.

Apricot Tulip petals

Apricot Tulip Petals

Seeing color in your imagination is one way to begin to make your images more expressive. This is called color interpretation and boosting saturation levels in individual colors is a good starting point to see how an image can evolve into something that can be a bit surreal in impact or subtle and softer in presentation.

Sometimes the simple task of adjusting individual channels for color alterations will give you the most dramatic changes that correspond to your ideas and thoughts of expression.

On the apricot tulip petals, illustrated, the original image had a faded orange-yellow cast that I felt required a little manipulation to match what my imagination saw when I composed the photograph.

I enhanced just the red saturation channel which gave the image just a bit more visual texture adding more impact to the overall interpretation.  By adding the red and then a bit of contrast I now felt that the image conveyed what I saw, or wanted to see, in the viewfinder.

White Iris

White Iris

The iris image actually had slight lavender cast along its white inner petals that caught my attention. I cropped the image to isolate the subtlety I was after and increased the magenta hue and saturation levels. This picked up the delicate color quality giving the image just a bit more dimension and depth.

A very pastel larkspur floral image was originally desaturated from the overall capture. The middle tones were devalued then just the magenta hue channel was adjusted which saturated and isolated the flower from a distracting background.

The color enhancements used on these images became part of a series of prints that delivered a nice velvety appearance when printed on Museo matte archival watercolor substrate.

Pastel Larkspur Flower

Pastel Larkspur

The most important part of experimenting is really how it makes you feel. You do not need an audience although of course this is nice to be able to communicate your vision to others. If the image completes your expression of the scene then that is all that matters. The image is pure and successful.

Good photography requires an understanding and application of the principles of color and design – this takes intuition, study and experience. It is through the knowledge of your craft and how you use it that creates the art expressed in your soul. It holds our attention and makes us feel.

Related Posts:

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/twenty-minute-challenge-%e2%80%93-photograph-an-orchid/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2010/02/21/use-red-accent-photographs-to-capture-attention/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2010/1/12/what-can-orange-do-for-you?/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/11/17/purple-an-element-of-fire/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/09/11/can-color-photgraphs-enhance-positive-feelings-of-well-being?/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/09/28/photography-and-feng-shui-for-interior-design/

Photographs used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography, 2010, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography. My image catalog can be viewed at http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com. You can contact me through this blog or email at: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

After almost stepping on a rattler hidden under a prickly pear cactus, my heart pumped adrenaline through my body so fast I turned bright red, flushed from being scared. I leaped vertically onto a two foot tall red sandstone boulder as the snake slithered away.

Barely fifty feet from the car, this, was my introduction to Arches National Park in southeastern Utah. Arches, is the center of the world’s largest congregation of natural stone arches. http://www.nps.gov/arch/index.htm, www.arches.nationalpark.com/

73,000 acres and more than 2000 natural sandstone arches to explore and photograph. It’s a great location to rejuvenate and feel inspired by the landscape. Arches Park has an arid desert climate. With red sandstone formations called spires, fins, arches and balanced rocks in all directions it is hard to choose which way to go. www.utah.com/nationalparks/arches.htm

Sillouetted hiker under Double Arch

Hiker at Double Arch

Arches’ is actually one of my favorite places. Located just outside of Moab, Utah Arches’ is about 119 square miles in size. Its highest elevation is 5,653 feet (1,723 m) at the top of Elephant Butte, and its lowest elevation is 4,085 feet (1,245 m) which is at the Park’s visitor’s center.

Nature’s forces that created the landscape throughout the park reveal rock layers depicting millions of years of erosion and deposition. These elements continue to shape life in Arches today.

A 40-mile round trip paved road will lead you to all the major sights and trails throughout the Park.

For landscape photography the park’s most famous geologic feature is Delicate Arch but other major areas include: Skyline Arch, Double Arch and Balanced Rock in the Windows Section of the Park. Hikes into the Devils Garden will expose Landscape Arch and Double O Arch. The Fiery Furnace section of the Park is a labyrinth of salmon-colored sandstone cliffs.

Land formations sculpted by wind and water

Arches National Park, Utah

Understanding the process that creates the landscape gives the photographer a more exacting choice in deciding on interpretation and which compositional elements to include when capturing the image. Time, water and wind sculpted both the Entrada and Navajo Sandstone creating layer cake lines and swirls that spark design ideas.

Light can get harsh very fast here and for the best photography early morning and especially the evening hours are the best for drama. That’s when you have to decide if you should include those intriguing snow-capped La Sal Mountains that are always looming on the horizon into another image.

Hiker in the Devil's Garden

Hiker in Devil's Garden

Arches National Park receives only an average of 10 inches of rain a year. Each season offers something different in light quality and weather conditions to experience. Hot in summer, cold in winter just like nature intended.

An excellent book to help capture the spirit of the Park into your images before you travel is by Edward Abbey who was a park ranger at Arches National Monument. He kept journals that became his inspirational book Desert Solitaire.  

Canyonlands National Park, www.canyonlands.nationalpark.com/ and Dead Horse Point State Park, www.discovermoab.com/stateparks are both close by, each is distinct and worth more than just a side trip but even a day trip to each is worth the effort and they will expand the opportunities for quality landscape photography. The views are amazing.

Related post:

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/11/03/what-flies-beyond-imagination/

Photographs used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography, 2010, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography. My image catalog can be viewed at http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com. You can contact me through this blog or email at: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

An ice mass emerged from the deep shadows and cold waters of the glacial cirque that holds Iceberg Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana. www.visitmt.com . As it floated by in the sun and crossed the background for some reason I saw a hawk formation within the composition of my viewfinder. An abstract image of course but it was a noteworthy shutter release.

Iceberg Lake in Glacier Park Montana

Iceberg Lake Glacier National Park Montana

Many Glacier Valley is located on the east side of the Continental Divide in Glacier National Park, to the north of St. Mary. www.nps.gov/glac/ Iceberg Lake is an aquamarine colored jewel. The lake was named for the icebergs that float in the lake after the spring/summer melt occurs. It lies deep in the shadows on the northern flank of Mt. Wilbur – receiving very little sun.

Because of this, the lake develops a thick coat of ice during the winter. It slowly melts away during the summer. Adjacent snowfields also drop icy chunks into the lake. Consequently, even in August, the lake usually is full of floating ice.

The trail to Iceberg Lake is 9 miles roundtrip and passes through prime Grizzly Bear territory, so it is not a good idea to be hiking after dark.

The hike begins behind the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, www.NationalParkReservations.com, and follows the Ptarmigan Wall through some spectacular scenery. There is an elevation gain of 1200 feet. For most of its length, it passes through very open terrain, with lots of wildflowers and a few forested sections along the south slopes of Altyn Peak and Mt. Henkel.

Incredible views are all around with the turquoise waters of the lake, 3,000 foot towering cliffs and the clear cold marshy wetland waters of Wilbur Creek below the trail make for a fantastic day hike with amazing photographic opportunities.

On the southwestern end of Montana and into northern Wyoming, www.WyomingTourism.org lays Yellowstone National Park with all its geysers and hot springs. Deep into the heart of this the world’s first National Park is Midway Geyser Basin and the Grand Prismatic Hot Spring.

Prismatic Hot Spring Yellowstone National Park Wyoming

Prismatic Hot Spring In Yellowstone Park

The Grand Prismatic Hot Spring bubbles and steams from the depths of the earth. The scent of sulphur clings to the heated mist. It is the largest hot spring in the US and is the third largest on earth.

Yellowstone, www.yellowstonenationalpark.com, itself contains the most concentrated display of hot springs and geysers in the world. The Grand Prismatic Spring is spectacular. It is large 90 meters (300 feet) across and 50 meters (160 feet) deep.  The dark blue water in the center of the pool is 87° C (188° F). Along the cooler edges of the pool heat-loving bacteria and algae thrive.

The bacteria produce colorful tints in the mineral rich waters and as a result, the pool shows off with a spectrum of colors.  In the summer, the algae mats are likely to be orange and red, whereas in the winter the mats are usually a dark green color. The deep blue color in the center is a result of the high purity and depth of the water and is sterile because of the extreme heat. Grand Prismatic discharges an estimated 560 gallons of the heated water per minute.

Rudyard Kipling, who visited Yellowstone in 1889, gave this basin the name of, “Hell’s Half Acre.” All of Midway Geyser Basin is packed with photographic opportunities. Several trails crisscross this volcanic area giving the photographer a chance to view things from all directions with changing light patterns. It is another unworldly location for the travel and outdoor photographer to capture moments of nature’s beautiful exhibition.

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https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/03/14/absaroka-beartooth-wilderness/

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https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/09/05/track-of-the-grizzly-bear/

Photographs used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography, 2010, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography. My image catalog can be viewed at http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com. You can contact me through this blog or email at: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

Some people think that Daylilies and in particular the Stargazer Daylily are the most perfect perennial flower. With this in mind when I came across a few stems in the store the other day I couldn’t pass them up.

Their intoxicating fragrance alone made it worth the $3.99 I spent on them. A heavenly scent first filled my car and then my kitchen with its sweet and heady perfume. They are one of my favorites as well reminding me of the tropics.

Stargazer Lily

Stargazer - 11x17 Giclee Prnt

Remnants of this season’s winter snow was still in my yard, the soil was softening from Spring’s warm sun but still frozen just a few inches below the surface so nothing was growing or ready to photograph in my garden yet. So I opted for store bought to have something to work with.

Its unique graceful form and showy decorative value make Stargazers easy to photograph which in turn makes it harder to find the right angle and lighting scheme to depict something a little more unusual in composition.  You have got to put a personal touch on these things or your photographs look just like everyone else’s.

A slight turn of the stem to elongate a shadow or a raise in the tripod makes a difference.

Stargazer lily

Stargazer - 12x12 Giclee Print

In the art of Feng Shui both colors, red and pink, denote an expression of love but while red is more passionate, pink indicates lighter feelings of romance being more soothing to the heart as a color.

Stargazers, like all lilies, are native to Asia and are related to lily-of-the-valley, daylily and hyacinth. They all have an unforgettable scent with more than one hundred different species of lily alone.

In one of the images shown here as viewed from the front of the bloom, the flower segments tend to be long and pointed and their shape looks like a three or six-pointed star, hence their name.  The second image is a little more abstracted, closer to the stamens and utilizes shadow to create depth within the image.

This week I have noticed that little green shoots are popping up in the soil all around town. Another week and tulips and daffodils will be on parade in front of photographer’s lenses everywhere.

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https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/twenty-minute-challenge-%e2%80%93-photograph-an-orchid/

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https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2010/1/12/what-can-orange-do-for-you?/

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https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/09/28/photography-and-feng-shui-for-interior-design/

Photographs used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography, 2010, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography. My image catalog can be viewed at http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com. You can contact me through this blog or through email at: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

In preparing for a photographic wildlife safari in Eastern Africa there are several things to consider when organizing and packing your gear. First it is very important that your clothing should be in neutral colors. Light brown and khaki are the most popular followed by dark green.

When viewing wildlife you do not want to attract an animal’s attention with your bright red or yellow shirts. Blending in is the way to go. You want to view and photograph animals in their natural environment doing their own thing, not paying attention to your movements.

Lion in wait

Out of the Bush

The same goes for waving your arms or calling out to wildlife to get them to look at you for a portrait. Respect for wildlife should be your number one goal before capturing an image.  You are not in a zoo environment and every animal needs all their strength and energies just to survive.

So you want to dress comfortably in non restrictive, lightweight clothing. You need protection from the sun during the day and from mosquitoes especially at night. Most safari guides request that you do not wear any type of military clothing.

Some in town restaurants do require more formal clothes however I found that casual was the mainstay wherever I went.  When I attended several business meetings in Arusha safari casual was still very acceptable. I guess they expected me to be coming in from the bush.

Khaki shorts and lightweight hiking boots or sneakers are popular everywhere.  Tee shirts and a long sleeved shirt are quite acceptable just watch the colors you take.  A light weight jacket or rain coat is necessary. Weather changes and evenings can get chilly especially at elevation.

Bull Elephant in Tarangeri National Park

Bull Elephant Tarangeri National Park

Many of the main safari lodges have swimming pools so a bathing suit is a good idea. For me I spent all my daylight hours being jostled around on dirt roads seeking and observing wildlife never making it poolside. It just depends on your preferences.

Socks, undies a belt and a sun hat make up the jest of required clothing. Packing light makes travel easier and with modern synthetic materials you can always wash your things out in your room at night.

Small bottles of sunscreen, shampoo, lotions and repellents will cut down on space and weight. A small flashlight, sunglasses, binoculars, batteries, shaving kit and eyeglass cleaners should find their way into your duffle.

Keep your medications and travel papers in your carryon bag along with your camera equipment and laptop if you take one.

Wildebeest on the Serengeti

Wildebeest on the Sarengeti

Luggage choice is another important item to consider. Most safari operators have restrictions on hard sided luggage. Keep you gear down to one duffle styled pack plus your personal carryon bag. Major international airlines and especially the smaller charter carriers have restrictions and it is important to check with them before you leave home.

Photography Equipment:

First remember that for most people on safari it is a once in a life time experience of seeing wild animals in their natural habitat along with unique cultures and exotic environments. You want to make sure you have enough film or compact flash cards. Both are hard to find and are very expensive on location. Extra batteries and a charger with the proper converter are also essential.

If you can afford it take two camera bodies and a minimum of a 300mm, 70mm to 210mm zoom and a wide angle complement of lenses. Changing lenses in a dusty environment or when an animal sets the action takes precious seconds. You always need to be ready for the unexpected.

Maasai men

Maasai Men in red sukas - Kisura

Tripods are next to impossible to use from a Land Rover so a bean bag is recommended for camera stability.  Hang onto all your gear you don’t want to get out of your vehicle with a pride of lions outside your door to pick up a filter or lens brush.

Clean and check your equipment each night. Dust gets into everything. I kept everything in plastic zip bags.  I noticed other photographers on the road had their entire camera bag in a trash bag because of the dust potential. They also help with protection from rain and condensation from air conditioned rooms.

If you decide to purchase new equipment before you go get it a few weeks beforehand and study the manuals and use the gear so that you are familiar with it and won’t fumble when an elephant rushes at your vehicle. A little practice will make a big difference.

So this covers the basics of safari preparation. Always inquire about other specifics from your safari operator when you book your adventure. Be adaptable and patient, two main travel essentials.

Related posts:

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2010/04/10/how -to-prepare-for-an-african-safari-part-2/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/how-to-prepare-for-an-african-safari/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/flamingos-baboons-and-a-bull-elephant/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/04/15/safari-notes-part-one/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/04/18/safari-notes-part-two/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/safari-road/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/horizon-of-stars/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2010/02/13/kopjes-rock-islands-for-lions/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/03/06/tree-climbing-lions 

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/tracking-lions 

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/elephant-brothers 

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/07/27/altered-images/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/05/24/zebras-and-wild-horses/

Photographs used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography, 2010, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography. My image catalog can be viewed at http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com. You can contact me through this blog or through email at: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

In my last post I wrote about how to find the proper safari guide and outfitter for your African adventure. Remember that is very important to find a properly sanctioned guide and get references from past clients before you make a reservation and commit to your travels. www.atta.travel – African Travel and Tourism Association.

With this post I want to give you an idea of what to do before you pack for your safari adventure.

Lions on safari

Range Rover with lions

Most people who have been on safari are eager to answer questions so when you seek out travelers it is good to have some questions in mind. The more specific inquiries you have regarding your particular trip the better.

The US dollar is the main travel currency in Africa. However, it is a good idea to know the exchange rates for the country you are headed to or passing through.

Some countries have an airport tax that is due before you can depart. Check with the airlines that you may be using to get specific information.

Always make copies of your passport and itinerary. Leave a set at home with someone you can contact if the need arises.  In addition always take a copy with you but keep them in a separate place just like you would some extra emergency cash.

Elephants in Manyara National Park, Tanzania

Crossing the road

Check with the US Embassy to see if there are any travel restrictions regarding the country or countries you plan to visit. The political world can change quickly in some places. www.usembassy.gov/ It is always a good idea to let the embassy know your travel plans for security.
http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/tips_1232.html

Contact your destination country about any Visas you may need several months in advance of your trip in case there are problems. See your personal physician and secure any reentry medical documents regarding smallpox and hepatitis shots and medicine prescriptions like Malaria well in advance. For further information contact the US Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.hhs.gov/ .

Travel insurance isn’t a must but Safari businesses have been known to shut their doors without warning or if they do not book enough clients they may cancel the trip just as you are ready to depart. You may have an unforeseen problem and have to cancel yourself. You should at least check into travel insurance and weigh the logistics. www.TravelGuard.com/Compare

Check to see if you own health insurance will cover you if there were to be an accident or you are injured on location. Be sure it will cover an air extract from remote locations. You may be a long way away from a major airport or real hospital.

Lion cub on kopje rock island

Lion cub, Serengeti National Park

Electricity in Africa is 220-240V AC50HZ. You can obtain adapter plugs from companies like Magellan’s catalog online, www.magellans.com. They also have reliable travel gear and clothing. Travel Smith is another company that has safari gear and clothing. www.travelsmith.com.

Now, for some information about clothing tips and safari gear, it is important to note that while on a wildlife safari do not make the mistake of wearing bright colored clothes.  Safari clothing should be in neutral colors like light brown, khaki and darker green. For wildlife viewing you want to blend in.

To enhance your travel safari experience get yourself a language dictionary and learn some of the local words for better communication and showing an interest in the country’s culture. I did pick up English – Swahili pocket book for useful phrases and it did bring more smiles from locals. Just making an effort can mean a lot. www.taboraonline.com

The next post part 3 will finish with information on clothing, personal and camera gear to consider before you go on your safari.

Related posts:

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/how-to-prepare-for-an-african-safari/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/flamingos-baboons-and-a-bull-elephant/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/04/15/safari-notes-part-one/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/04/18/safari-notes-part-two/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/safari-road/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/horizon-of-stars/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2010/02/13/kopjes-rock-islands-for-lions/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/03/06/tree-climbing-lions 

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/tracking-lions 

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/elephant-brothers 

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/07/27/altered-images/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/05/24/zebras-and-wild-horses/

Photographs used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography, 2010, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography. My image catalog can be viewed at http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com. You can contact me through this blog or through email at: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com

Not long ago I had a chance of a lifetime opportunity to go on an African Photo Safari. My client arranged and paid for the trip as payback for developing a marketing plan and web design for his Safari business in Tanzania, east Africa. 

The thoughts of photographing wild animals in their habitat, ancient native cultures and diverse landscapes from savannah to volcanic craters couldn’t be more exciting for a nature photographer. Preparation for such an adventure is a must if you want to have your trip go smooth.

What follows are some suggestions that may help you along.

 First, if there is time before your trip begins get some books to read. Find as much information on your destination as you can so that you are familiar with what to expect.

 Since my destination was Tanzania, www.tanzaniatouristboard.com , I picked up Lonely Planet’s Tanzania, www.lonelyplanet.com, they offer a series of other travel books for Africa so check out their website for highlights and pre-planning information.

safari vehicle Manyara National Park Tanzania

Safari Vehicle Manyara, Tanzania

 Wildlife of East Africa, by Martin B. Withers and David Hosking is valuable for getting a background of animal behavior and identification. Published by Princeton Pocket Guides, www.pupress.princeton.edu

I also found that a book by Peter Matthiessen called The Tree Where Man Was Born was an intriguing story about traditional Africa and the melding of Western culture. www.penguin.com

Searching the internet is another way of doing valuable research about wildlife, National Parks and Heritage Sites that you may visit. www.tanzaniaparks.com , www.serengeti.org/, www.ngorongoro-crater-africa.org/ . There are many sanctioned Safari operators that also have excellent websites specifically for your destination.

Cheetah on the prowl

Cheetah on the Serengeti savannah

It must be stressed that finding an honest safari operator is very important. As in all things you must do some homework before committing to spend a lot of money and travel half way around the world.

Get recommendations for Safari operators and check out their credentials. If you are going to Tanzania or Kenya check out listings from KATO – Kenya Association of Tour Operators, www.katokenya.org TATO – Tanzania Association of Tour Operators, www.tatotz.org .

 Find out how many other people will be on your trip. The fewer people the better. Trying to photograph wildlife from a crammed vehicle takes the experience down more than a notch or two.

Equally important is to find out what their payment policies are and get a clear explanation of their cancellation and refund policies.

Elephants near Sopa Serengeti Lodge

Elephants near Sopa Serengeti Lodge

Once you have narrowed the potential field down ask for recommendations from their past clients. Then contact them and ask serious questions regarding their experience and professional treatment while on safari. Find out how environmentally conscious the tour operator is. A clean camp with minimal impact is essential. Are the guides and owner knowledgeable of the geography, customs and wildlife you intend to photograph?

 I have heard of one safari operator who took guests half way up Mt. Kilimanjaro then said he did not have enough money to pay his support staff and unless the clients paid more on the spot he and his guides would leave them there. Bad things can happen. Be sure to investigate. Getting bargain prices is not always the best way to go and you do not want hidden fees to pop up while on your trip.

 Before you pack your gear you need to know what your safari operator will provide. If you are going on a trekking/camping safari do they provide sleeping bags, all weather gear, mosquito nets, etc. Do they have baggage restrictions? Most do. All operators should provide a pre-packing list of what to bring. Use this as a guide.

Large suitcases will be a problem for transport even if you are not going on a trekking trip. It is imperative to pack light. Dealing with heavy bags on hot dusty days can be a real pain. Besides you will be amazed with how much you don’t really need.

 In my next post I will cover what to pack regarding personal gear and photographic equipment.

 Related posts:

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/flamingos-baboons-and-a-bull-elephant/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/04/15/safari-notes-part-one/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/04/18/safari-notes-part-two/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/safari-road/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/horizon-of-stars/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2010/02/13/kopjes-rock-islands-for-lions/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/03/06/tree-climbing-lions 

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/tracking-lions 

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/elephant-brothers 

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/07/27/altered-images/

https://myphotovisions.wordpress.com/2009/05/24/zebras-and-wild-horses/

Photographs used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography, 2010, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography. My image catalog can be viewed at http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com. You can contact me through this blog or through email at: wayne@rangeofvisionphotos.com