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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

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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