Goodbye, Winter

Do you think it’s finally safe to say “Goodbye” to winter?

Photo from a few seasons back, my buddy Benji and I ski-mountaineered 11,000 ft Lone Peak, part of the Wasatch Range in Northern Utah.
We did it in the spring, when the snow would be most stable and avalanche danger would be much more manageable. The down side was that we had to start our ascent hiking on dry trails because the valley is only about 4500 ft high, and all the snow in the sunny desert valley had already melted. Hiking with camping gear, skis AND SKI BOOTS, food, and climbing gear… each of our packs easily weighed at least 50 lbs, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were closer to 70! Felt like 90 by the time we reached our base camp spot…
Epic adventure though… would do it again in a second!

6 Steps to Image Stacking for Long Exposure

Here’s a quick-tip/full tutorial about an image processing technique that’s both versatile and powerful- and it only takes a few clicks!  Like so many features in Photoshop, the software does the heavy lifting for us… we just need to know where to click to get it going.  So let’s dig in…

    Image stacking, or just “stacking”, is actually a pretty broad term that means taking multiple images and, one way or another, combining them.  This tutorial focuses on stacking to extend the duration of your capture, resulting in a long exposure / slow shutter image.  I’ll run through it click-by-click in Photoshop (and you’ll be surprised how easy it is!), as well as how to do it manually- so users of other programs can still easily use this technique.  I’ll run through a couple of the pro’s and con’s of stacking a long exposure, and finally I will glance over a couple alternate uses of stacking to maybe help spark some creativity and further exploration…

Continue reading “6 Steps to Image Stacking for Long Exposure”

The Widow Jane Mine, Rosendale NY

After getting that taste of warmer weather just a few days ago, it was extra hard to accept the cold-and-rainy day yesterday.  What’s an adventure-photog to do?!

Thinking outside the box a little, I remembered a place that caught my curiosity… a place that would hopefully provide cover from the monsoon-like wetness pouring from above…

The Widow Jane Mine, which is found basically roadside (just behind the Snyder Estate historical house) in Rosendale NY, is rich in history.  It’s origins go back to a time when “Rosendale Cement” was known world-wide as the very best available, and now this room-and-pillar mine is open for exploration… and some other very interesting things, too!

This time of year most of the mine is filled with water… which limits the exploring one can do… but also presents a very neat photographic opportunity, with the body of water protected underground it sits perfectly still, giving a glassy mirror-like reflection of the pillars and ceiling.

QUICK-and-DIRTY Details:

  • In 1891 almost half of the cement in America was manufactured in the Rosendale Cement Region.
  • Rosendale Natural Cement was used in the building of the most enduring landmarks of the nation. The Brooklyn Bridge, the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, the wings of the U.S. Capitol, the Washington Monument, Grand Central Terminal, the Croton Aqueduct and dams, the Pennsylvania Railroad tunnels, the New York State Thruway, and thousands of public works projects all got their start underground in the cement mines of Rosendale.
  • The mine is now used as a venue for historic interpretation and special events, including musical performances because of it’s unique acoustics.
  • The water of this mine, which gets purified from flowing through the rock, is used by a distillery in Red Hook, Brooklyn for their Widow Jane Bourbon Whiskey!  Check them out!
  • The mine is owned and managed by:
    The Century House Historical Society at the Snyder Estate

Waterfall Workshop – April 14th

We’re excited to announce the date is set for our 2018 Waterfall Workshop!

This is event brings photo-enthusiasts together for a sharing of ideas… all are welcome, totally regardless of experience behind a camera!  As a professional art and adventure photographer myself, I unafraid to say there is so much more for me to learn!  So this meet-up is designed to not just help give newer/aspiring photographers a jump start into creating beautiful waterfall imagery… it is also to get deeply experienced photogs together- everyone has their own style, and we can inspire each other’s creativity by infusing some fresh perspective.

We will first meet for breakfast at The Market in Gardiner, NY.  If you’ve never been, everything they serve is fresh and delectable… and they have some of the best coffee around.  After we’ve had a chance to meet each other and mingle for a few, I’d like to go over just a couple basic guidelines to ensure everyone has the best possible experience, as well as talk just briefly about some strategies well-suited to what we’ll be shooting.

What we’ll be shooting is a waterfall, of course!  Awosting Falls.  From Gardiner it’s a quick roll up Rt 44/55 to Lake Minnewaska State Park, and from the lower parking lot it’s a short “hike” (walk, really) to Awosting Falls.  The State Park charges an entry fee of $10 per vehicle, unless you already have an Empire Pass which gets you access to ALL New York State Parks.  At breakfast I’ll suggest/encourage we carpool up to the park; save some bucks, and some dinosaurs.

Once we’re at Awosting Falls, it’s time to go swimming!  Just kidding… there’s actually no swimming allowed at the Falls.  We’ll have to settle for taking pictures…

I will be entirely available to everyone in the group, and eager to provide coaching, share tips and tricks, answer questions… whatever I can do for you!  I want to assist and inspire everyone to “level up” in this thing they enjoy doing; Photography.  It does not matter what camera you bring- cameras, lenses, flashes, whatever… they are just the tools and they work scientifically.  It’s the operator that adds the ART to the picture…

We’ll aim to be back at The Market by noon (and anyone that needs or wants to leave earlier is free to do so).  If any of the group is interested in sticking around for a few I’ll demonstrate a little of my processing and image development workflow… but that is an entire massive topic in itself, and THIS meet-up is primarily about capturing beautiful images IN-CAMERA.  Maybe it’s just me, but I would much rather spend more time out shooting and getting it captured the way I want, than sitting behind a computer tweaking things and manipulating the captured image.  Speaking of sitting behind a computer… time to wrap this up!

Here are the specifics:

  • Meet at 9am @ The Market in Gardiner, NY
  • $10/car entry fee into Minnewaska State Park
  • Awosting Falls is a quick, easy walk along a well-maintained carriage road
  • I will be 100% available to coach, assist, Q and A, etc
  • Back to The Market in Gardiner around noon
    There is no catch.  I am not trying to sell anyone anything here.  This is about connecting people with a shared interest and passion, that is all.  I do ask everyone attending also embraces this same philosophy- no sales talk please!

What you need to bring:

  • A camera.  Any camera.  Yes, ANY camera.  Yes, even a cell phone will work- if you have the interest, and that’s all you’ve got, yes definitely come!
  • A tripod is highly recommended, but not a requirement.
  • Sunglasses are highly recommended, but not a requirement.
  • Proper footwear for walking on a gravel carriage road, and potentially moving around some rocky terrain (depending how adventurous you want to get- it’s NOT necessary).  Sneakers should be fine, hiking boots are great.  Wouldn’t recommend flip-flops though…

Attendance and RSVP
I have created an EVENT ON FACEBOOK for this meet-up, and I will be monitoring that to see how many people will be attending.  Please, PLEASE! RSVP by clicking “attending” on the event page on Facebook.

If you have any QUESTIONS, or if you do not have a Facebook account and want to RSVP, please drop me an email at [email protected]

Carpe Noctem

Carpe Diem is a well-known latin phrase, meaning seize the day.  It’s an excellent philosophy for any photographer, be it a pro or hobbiest/enthusiast.  Carpe Noctem, you might have guessed, means seize the NIGHT.

If you’re not afraid of the dark, and willing to give up some precious sleep… and dress warm… night time photography has a lot to offer, and can be hugely rewarding!

This image was captured for a client working on a community farming project, and- along with the rest of the images we provided- are meant to convey the beauty of the area and visually convey the opportunities present in living/raising a family in this area rather than in the Metro NY area.

Why are we posting about this today?  Well, this weekend is the New Moon- which is kind of a funny name for what really appears to be no moon at all.  This upcoming Saturday, March 17, the moon will be almost entirely in the Earth’s shadow… Continue reading “Carpe Noctem”

Happy Snowy Day

Remember when you were a kid, waking up in the morning and seeing that blanket of white outside… and you just knew, NO SCHOOL TODAY!!!

As we grow older, our view- and appreciation- of that morning “winter grace” tends to fade.  It’s no less beautiful… but now it means needing to shovel, plow, or snow-blow.  It probably means having to wake up even earlier, and it adds time to your workday commute.

And then… if you’re a loony-tune like me… Continue reading “Happy Snowy Day”

Stony Kill Falls

Hope everyone is goin’ with the flow this fine Waterfall Wednesday!

Grabbed this one a couple weeks ago at Stony Kill Falls.

#stonykill #stonykillfalls #waterfall #waterfallwednesday #mohonkpreserve #longexposure #slowshutter #hudsonvalley #photography #photographer #iloveny #shawangunks #gunks #gardinerny #newpaltz #kerhonkson #ulstercounty #canon5dmarkiv

Cool Stars

Last Friday we posted a photo-tip on social media; This recent cold snap brings with it excellent opportunity for some night sky photography.

Cloud cover acts like a blanket over the Earth, reflecting the overnight radiated heat back down.  So it’s not totally coincidental when you see an unusually low temp one night, to also find the skies to be clear of clouds.  And cold air holds another perk for the night owl shooter- colder air can not carry as much moisture in it, and humidity creates an awful “haze” that downs out all but the brightest of stars (or planets).

We took the opportunity on Friday to capture some artistic photos on a local farm for one of our clients, capturing how beautiful it is living here in the Hudson Valley of New York.

Afterwards- since I was already bundled up (and already frozen), and already out late with all my gear- I headed over to capture a different shot that’s been on my mind lately.  Inspired by my buddy Benji, who’s a wicked talented photographer I might add, I ended up with this image.



Quite pleased with how it turned out, especially considering by this point in the night the moon was pretty high overhead, reflecting sunlight that usually detracts from crisp star captures… but in this case the moonlight helped illuminate the path, the ridge, and even a bit of Skytop Tower at the Mohonk Mountain House!

We are curious… did anyone else brave the cold and capture anything cool?  If you have something you’d like to share email us and we’ll feature you on your blog and social media channels!  [email protected]