Showing posts with label Landscape. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Landscape. Show all posts

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Sunlit Lawn - Central Park

On A Clear Day


New York's Central Park is a busy place. This lawn is typically full of people, hundreds of people who come here to read, sunbathe, toss footballs and Frisbees, or just to enjoy some fresh air while spending time with friends.

On this day, too, the people where there. They were behind me, crammed onto smaller patches of grass. The park was not nearly as peaceful as it seems in the photo.

Nevertheless, and to my great delight, this popular meadow was closed. I'm not sure why; I didn't take time to read the sign. I saw the opportunity to take a very special photo of a park without people, and I got to work on that. 

The weather was perfectly clear. The grass was an amazing rich green for late in the season. And that streak of sunlight channeling through the buildings, that was just pure magic.

This is my favorite photo of the year.



a photo of a sunlit meadow in central park new york
Sunlit Meadow - Central Park




Camera:    Sony a7R IV
Lens:        Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L


Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright © 2020 Daniel R. South
www.dansouthphoto.com
All Rights Reserved



Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Big Sur Coast At Sunset

Last Light At Land's End



a photo of the big sur coast at sunset california
Big Sur Coast At Sunset




Camera:    Nikon D810
Lens:        Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED


Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2020 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved


Saturday, November 10, 2018

Twilight Tranquility

Last Light On Florida's Gulf Coast



a photo of a person on a florida beach taking a photo with a mobile phone at twilight
Twilight Tranquility



Camera:    Sony a7R III
Lens:        Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM


Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2018 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved




Sunday, October 21, 2018

Florida Fishing Pier In Black and White

Mood And Motion



a photo of a fishing pier on a florida beach in black and white
Florida Fishing Pier in Black and White



The black and white rendering brings out the drama of the clouds and the waves as a storm brews over the Gulf of Mexico.


Camera:    Sony a7R III
Lens:        Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM

Black and White conversion in Adobe Lightroom

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2018 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved



Saturday, November 25, 2017

November Morning on the Big Sur Coast

Adventures In Black And White


I had intended to take some black and white seascape photos on my recent trip to California. Actually, I had been planning this for about two years. 


While I was out there, someone nominated me for the "7 days, no explanations" fad. So, in addition to these shots crafted meticulously with camera, tripod, and special long-exposure filters, I had fun taking some quick snaps with my iPhone.



a photo of the big sur coast in black and white by daniel south photography



It's funny how things work out. Fortunately, people seem to be enjoying all of the shots, even the ones from my phone. 



Camera:    Sony a7R II
Lens:        Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2017 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Sunset Over Point Lobos - Carmel, California

Coast Highway Detour

In May of 2017, a massive landslide destroyed a significant portion of California's coastal highway south of Big Sur. Six months later, the roadway is still closed and may remain closed for another year. Motorists are forced to follow a very long detour along an inland route.

I arrived in Carmel later than expected due to delays incurred along this detour. Desperate to grab a shot of something (anything) before the last light faded, I parked by the outlet of the Carmel River, grabbed my camera, and pushed through a thicket of poison oak to find a vantage point on the beach.

I set my tripod up as quickly as I could and composed a frame with the line of the beach running through the foreground. I focused on the distant trees, locked it in, and bracketed a few exposures before the light disappeared.



a photo of a sunset over point lobos near carmel california
Sunset Over Point Lobos - Carmel, California



It's amazing how often you have to scramble like mad in order to capture a landscape photo. The landscape doesn't move around, but the light can change rapidly. Miss that light by a few seconds, and you'll lose your chance completely.


Camera:    Sony A7R II
Lens:        Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2017 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Desert Highway - Death Valley

Converging Lines and Calculated Risks

I made my first trip to Death Valley on a clear day in June when the temperature hit 122 F. I had recently become a photography enthusiast and wanted to capture some images of this majestic wilderness. 

In extreme temperatures, however, one shouldn't venture too far from the car. I made an attempt to hike to the Mesquite dunes but turned back quickly due to concerns over dehydration and heat exhaustion. For the rest of the day, I stayed close to the car.

I exposed the most memorable image of the day as sunset approached. I pulled the car off to the side of a stretch of roadway that had been freshly paved with deep black asphalt and painted with bright yellow lines. I mounted a 24mm lens on my trust Nikon F100 - yes, a film camera - and had my travel companion watch for cars approaching from behind me.

Of the handful of shots that I snapped, one of them turned out particularly well. I had several copies of it printed; a few of my friends still have that image hanging in their homes.

Returning to Death Valley some years later, I wanted to capture a similar image with the help of a tilt-shift lens. The tilt feature on this special-purpose lens enables focus to be repositioned from a vertical plane (typical for most cameras) to a ground-hugging plane that extends infinitely off into the distance. When the lens is adjusted correctly - which is a bit tricky - focus will be sharp on both the foreground features in the frame (e.g. the yellow lines and pavement near my feet) and distant objects as well (mountains, sky, brush, distant lines on the roadway). 



a photo of a desert highway at dusk in death valley



The stretch of highway that I had photographed years earlier was now gray and worn, but I found another location that appealed to my eyes. The surface was in good condition, it had been painted recently, and it stretched straight off into the distance where the last light of sunset was still visible. 

I was set except for one major complication. On this trip, I didn't have a travel companion. I had to rely on my ears and frequent glances behind me to keep from getting run over while focusing my camera in the middle of a highway. (Luckily, no one was drag racing through the valley that evening.)

As I mentioned before, focusing a tilt-shift lens can be tricky, and it becomes increasingly more difficult as the light fades. It's a manual process, but you have to focus for the near and far objects separately. By adding a small amount of tilt, typically only a degree or two, you can reach a point where both near and far objects are sharp. It's very each to add too much tilt, however, which messes everything up.

The process typically takes a few minutes even for skilled photographers - and even when you're not in mortal danger of being struck by a fast-moving automobile. Luckily, I had a lot of experience with my tilt-shift setup, so I was able to acquire the proper focus fairly quickly - while looking over my shoulder every ten seconds or so. 

Please don't attempt a shot like this without spotters. Even if you have someone - hopefully more than one person - watching your back, this kind of shot is risky to say the least. Just because I got away with it doesn't mean that it was a good idea. 

You'll think about it. It's tempting. My advice is to think about the future as you relax and enjoy the sunset a safe distance from traffic.


Camera:    Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Lens:        Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2017 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved


Saturday, March 18, 2017

McWay Waterfall - Big Sur California

Sea of Tranquility

Add the McWay Waterfall in Big Sur California to your list of places to visit. It's heavenly - so tranquil, so inspiring, so breathtakingly beautiful. See it once, and you'll never be the same.


a photo of the mcway waterfall in big sur california by daniel south
McWay Waterfall - Big Sur Coast


Camera:    Nikon D810
Lens:        Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2017 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved



Monday, February 20, 2017

Springtime on the California Coast

Season of Renewal

I have spent a lot of time photographing the California Coast over the years. I have countless happy memories from those adventures, everything from the sights that I have seen and the images that I captured, to the restaurants where I stopped for lunch. Every detail mattered. Every experience was meaningful. 

Each year about this time, I feel a longing to return, not just to take more pictures, but to experience the beauty of California first hand, to renew mind, body, and spirit in this magical, incomparable part of the world.



Springtime on the California Coast



The photograph above was taken at sunrise. It might appear to be a sunset, since the color in the western sky. But that's the amazing thing about the Pacific Coast. The skies are unpredictable and dynamic. The color of a sunrise or a sunset can appear in any direction. It keeps you on your toes. If you're not in tune with what's happening in the moment, you'll miss an opportunity like this one. Be in tune with the moment is critical not only to getting the shot, but to making the most of or your California adventures.


Camera:    Nikon D810

Lens:        PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5 ED Tilt/Shift

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2017 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved



Wednesday, January 13, 2016

McWay Waterfall in Black and White

Sea Of Tranquility



a black and white photography of mcway waterfalls in big sur california
McWay Waterfall - Pacific Coast



McWay Waterfall in Black and White

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Sur, California


Camera:    Nikon D810

Lens:        Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED



Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2016 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved


Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sunset Over Point Sur

The Race For Peak Light

A friend suggested that the Earth Color Magic blog shouldn't wrap up its year with a black and white photo. I realized that he had a point. So here, for my color appreciating friends, is one last entry for what has been a fulfilling and enjoyable 2015.

People sometimes find this hard to believe, but landscape photography is a fast paced activity. Subjects like mountains and coastlines don't move around, but the light and the atmosphere change constantly. It's not unusual to have to work fast to get the shots that you want.

The best color of a sunset, for instance, rarely lasts for more than a couple of minutes. In order to capture peak moments, the photographer needs to interpret changing conditions, get his gear into position, compose, focus, and execute the exposure quickly and accurately.



a photo of a lighthouse at sunset at big sur california
Sunset Over the Lighthouse at Point Sur



I was photographing a line of trees about a mile from the lighthouse when I realized that a terrific sunset was about to reveal itself. I grabbed my gear, jumped in the car, and drove up the road for a more promising shooting location - being mindful of traffic, of course!

The Lighthouse at Point Sur is one of my favorite West Coast subjects. It sits atop a massive rock that juts out into the relentless surf of the Pacific Ocean.

I set up the camera again in a spot where I could silhouette the lighthouse against the most colorful part of the sky. I pulled out a couple of my best lenses and raced to get as many shots as I could. 

This was one of my favorites. It reminds me of the great fun that I have had over the years chasing fantastic light along this magical stretch of the California coastline. 



Camera:    Nikon D810

Lens:        Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED



Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2015 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved




Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Pacific Dream

Tales From Monochromatic Oceans


a photo in black and white of waves and rocks in the pacific ocean
Pacific Dream - Tales from Monochromatic Oceans




Camera:    Nikon D810

Lens:        Nikon AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR



Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2015 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved




Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Along The Road

Unexpected Opportunities

National parks, thriving cities, architectural marvels. We love to visit these visually remarkable places. They offer extensive photographic opportunities. If we travel to Grand Canyon or Yosemite, Paris or San Francisco, Alaska or the Serengeti, we expect to come home with a gallery of amazing images.

But we live on a big, beautiful planet. Celebrated destinations don't hold a monopoly on scenic wonders. 

Breathtaking vistas are everywhere. We might notice something extraordinary when we're simply driving down the road.  



a photo of wildflowers in the sierra nevada mountains california
Along The Road - Eastern Sierra Region


When we see a beautiful view as we drive along the road, it's natural to want to pull over and take a photo. Just be careful. Safety is always the first priority. No photograph is worth risking serious injury. 


Never put yourself or your family in danger by diverting attention from your driving, or by parking in or shooting from a dangerous location.

But when it is feasible to stop your car safely, to park it in a location where other drivers aren't likely to collide with it, and to operate your camera safely away from hazards such as traffic and cliffs, you might just capture a roadside vista to remember.

Your "along the road" photos offer two distinct advantages over the oft-photographed view of big cities and national parks. 

Firstly, your photos will be more distinctive and personal. Rather than photographing the same scenes that everyone else has snapped (and published), you are creating a portfolio that reflects your own personality and tastes.

Secondly, you stand a better chance of optimizing the quality of light. Keep watching. When the light hints that it might take on a magical quality, you can shoot in that moment, in the place where you are, rather than racing to some pre-decided destination.

Will the photos work out every time? No, of course not. Some locations might be obscured by power lines or other features that you can't control. Or when the light looks interesting, you might find yourself in a place where it's too dangerous to park. 

Don't worry about missed opportunities. There are lots of frustrating days in the life of a photographer. The important thing is to keep yourself open to possibilities no matter where you are. Over time, you'll get better at recognizing those opportunities, at capturing the magic wherever you happen to be.




Camera:    Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Lens:        Canon TS-E24mm f/3.5L II 



Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2015 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved





Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Misty Pacific Sunrise

Photography And The Folly Of Expectation

It was a dull, gray, misty morning. I was thinking that I should have stayed in bed. And then this happened.



a photo of the misty big sur coast at sunrise
Misty Sunrise - Big Sur Coast




Camera:    Nikon D810
Lens:        Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2015 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved