Sunday, March 28, 2010

Five best things: Pictures

I've been taking pictures in a serious way for about 20 years. Here are my favorite five images.


5. (tie) Antelope Canyon, Arizona. My first visit to Antelope Canyon in 1998 was my most photographically rewarding. It was early spring and the sun was out, with no danger of a flash flood. I spent the afternoon there, shooting Velvia slide film. This iconic shot came early in the afternoon, with a 10-second exposure at f.22. I confess: I tossed some sand in the air near the light beam to increase the contrast between the light and its surroundings.













5. (tie) This rarely seen perspective of Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park is available only by scrambling up a mountainside to a point several hundred feet above the spring. As the trees that were burned during the 1988 fires re-grow, the view from this spot becomes less open. Taken with 100 ISO Kodachrome.







4. We were in the crocodile-infested Tortuguero Canals in Costa Rica when I saw a couple of boys swimming in the water about 50 yards from our boat. I grabbed my 500mm lens and got one shot -- this one, set on automatic exposure and focus. The enigmatic gaze of the boy on the left makes it hard to take your eyes away.







3. Over the New Year's break of 2000, Jeremy, Brad and I went to the Havasupai Reservation on the edge of the Grand Canyon and I took this shot of Havasu Falls. Shot with Velvia film at f.22 for three seconds, this kind of image is no longer possible. In the summer of 2008, massive flash flooding forever changed the falls (again -- this is not an unusual happening), and it now has a single stream.















2. I find so much to like about this shot. Photographically it's well-framed and uses the natural lighting well. In one picture it says so much about the Olympic Peninsula, which is so wet and fertile that plants grow from fence posts. Taken in the fall of 2009 with my Pentax K100D, f.16 (I didn't write down the exposure time, but I was using a tripod so it was longer than 1/60th).


1. I love this picture of Kathleen (I Photoshopped it to soften it and give it the "glowy" look). Taken in the Bahamas in 2008, it catches her unaware that I was shooting, which is always the best way to photograph people -- candidly. This says so much about Kathleen. Besides showing her beauty, to me it bespeaks kindness, class, and elegance, with just a little mischief afoot. Shot with my K100D on automatic settings.

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