Yosemite National Park, California
From this prime shooting location in the stunning Yosemite Valley, it is incredibly easy to find countless compositional possibilities. The trick is to get to your location at least one hour before sunset to allow enough time in finding the best shot. Select your composition, then wait for the sun to set just enough until it projects its light strongly onto the mountains. Be sure to have a strong foreground element, and consider using a longer shutter speed to give the water a glassy surface!
Image Code: A027
I will never forget my time in Norway. It was before I started taking my photography as seriously as I do now, so I only captured a few “keepers” while there.
I had flown into the country alone, rented a car and began touring the countryside (this is how I prefer to travel). After a couple days on the road, the skies filled up with thick clouds and it poured rain for well over a day.
When I set forth on the ferry north of Bergen, I was feeling pretty bummed over the weather. To my delight, as soon as the ferry landed on the other end of one of Norway’s many fjords, the clouds broke and the sun brilliantly shined through! In life, there are precious memories that you will never forget. I will never forget that evening I drove along Norway’s fjords listening to ambient music and soaking up the beautiful scenery.
As a photographer, we tend prefer two times of the day to shoot – either one hour after sunrise or one hour before sunset. We call it “The Golden Hour” because it is when the sun is at just the right position to cast the best light on the land. The great thing about southern Norway is that, due to the longitude of the nation, the sun never fully sets and stays at the golden hour position for hours and hours!
Image Code: A049
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