I have recently learned that I LOVE to travel spontaneously and without plans. In the past, I have been a thorough trip planner, almost to an excessive point. Last fall, I planned a road trip through the European Alps down to almost the second! It seemed like a good idea because; hey… planning is good, right? The problem came when I realized that I hadn’t planned for what I would do if I didn’t like what I’d planned!
Case in point, I’d planned a day to drive up to Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. I had heard that it was a beautiful, rustic old village (one of the oldest in Europe) so I figured I’d give it a shot. The landscape was pretty, but when I rolled into town from the southwest corner, I accidently drove through a very creepy looking gypsy camp. I’ve had problems with Romanian Gypsies in the past, so it automatically left a bad taste in my mouth. When I got into the city center, the whole town gave off a weird vibe and I just wasn’t “feeling it”. So I decided to turn back into Austria, where I’d come.
Now, I had abandoned my plans (including my lodging for the night in a Czech hostel) so I had no idea where I would stay that night. I was throwing caution to the wind. So, I just started burning down the highway, jamming my way towards Salzburg.
On the way, I was struck by a beautiful sunset and pulled over. By the time I climbed to higher ground for a better view, I missed the best part of the sunset, but I noticed the sun setting above a beautiful little town along the lake, at the base of a mountain. I decided to explore this town and discovered a nice little bed and breakfast for an affordable cost. I felt so proud of myself in being able to accomplish this alone.
After I settled into my room, I decided to go out and explore the lake for some interesting shots. I found this dock and began snapping off long exposure shots until I grabbed the image I wanted. So, for me, this image represents that experience of adapting to ones surroundings and being rewarded for it
Image Code: A096
Red Rock Crossing
Red Rock crossing is probably the most beautiful spots in one of the most beautiful places on Earth: Sedona, Arizona. My wonderful girlfriend grew up walking distance from this majestic place, and I can't even imagine what it would be like to call this majestic area your back yard through childhood!
As a photographer, this beautiful location offers countless possibilities for amazing compositions, making it one of the most photogenic landscapes in the nation (and maybe even the world?) No exaggeration! Every time I go back to this location, I find more and more interesting ways to compose and frame the landscape.
This photo was taken on my first trip to Red Rock Crossing. By using a neutral density filter (a piece of dark glass that sits in front of the lens and blocks out light) I was able to slow the shutter speed to six seconds – enough time to blur the rivers motion.
Image Code: A020
La Jolla, San Diego
There is nothing quite like a beautiful sunset. As a photographer you must be prepared, experienced and knowledgeable of the proper techniques of photography. Otherwise, you won’t be able to capture the full impact of the sunset.
This was one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever experienced, and it was also one of the most successful I 've ever shot! I captured at least four “keeper” shots from this one sunset.
Capturing this sunset required multiple shots, each being exposed for the sky, the foreground and the mid ground. By doing so, I was able to keep a full dynamic range between the bright colors in the sky and the darker foreground tones.
Image Code: A041