Greg Fugate Photography: Blog https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog en-us All photos (C) Greg Fugate gregfugatephotography@gmail.com (Greg Fugate Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:39:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:39:00 GMT https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/img/s/v-12/u125030330-o460357690-50.jpg Greg Fugate Photography: Blog https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog 120 96 Creating False Moonlight https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog/2014/7/creating-false-moonlight False MoonlightFalse MoonlightBoulder, CO

This image is not how the scene looked to the naked eye. In fact, I photographed this old truck at about 10 a.m. on a bright overcast day in mid-July. So, how do you photograph a subject in full daylight yet make it look like it was shot under a full moon using a flashlight to illuminate the subject?

As is the case with all photography, the answer is: you have to control the light

SETUP

Approximately 3 years ago, I was on a photography workshop with Tim Cooper and the Rocky Mountain School of Photography. We were at a junk yard in Jerome, Arizona. During our visit, I watched Tim photograph an old truck, only he was using a technique that I had never before seen or even contemplated. I observed carefully as he explained the steps to me, and I filed the information away in some remote part of my brain.

Recently, I was in Boulder, Colorado, photographing an old truck. In planning my shoot, I decided that I would try the technique Tim showed me.

 

Background GridBackground Grid PHASE 1: GET THE BASELINE IMAGE

Find your composition. Set up your tripod and camera and don't move them. In my case, I used a 38mm focal length. By shooting with a wide angle, I was able to get the entire truck in the frame and include some of the surrounding area.

Get your focus and turn off auto-focus. You don't want your focal point to change from image to image. I focused on the hood of the truck.

Determine your depth of field and dial in your aperture. I set my aperture at f/22 to ensure that the whole scene was in focus from front to back.

Set your white balance to Daylight.

Set your shutter speed and take your baseline image. I used a shutterspeed of 1/13 second (top photo).

Once you are happy with everything, move on to the next phase.

 

PHASE 2: GET YOUR BACKGROUND IMAGE

Part of this technique requires blending images together in Photoshop. Therefore, it's important to take what I'm calling the background image. Essentially, this is how the image will appear without the additional illumination on the subject.

 Adjust your shutterspeed to underexpose the image by about 2 stops. In my case, I increased my shutterspeed to 1/50 second (middle photo).

Set your white balance to Tungsten. Because you are shooting in warm daylight, altering this setting will create a strong blue color cast to the image (bottom photo). There is your false moonlight!

Once you are happy with the background image, move on to the next phase.

 

Flash GridFlash Grid PHASE 3: BRING ON THE FLASH

This is where the fun begins! I should also say that your technique may differ at this point depending on what type of equipment you have. In my case, I have a single speedlight (Nikon SB-900) and a couple of remote triggers (PocketWizard Plus X) which allow me to use the flash off-camera. I also put a warming gel over the flash.

Once I had my flash all set up, I took a number of photos using the flash to illuminate different parts of the truck. I left the flash in manual mode and on full power. If an image was too dim, I moved the flash closer to the truck. If an image was too bright, I moved the flash further away from the truck. The grid at the right shows the sequence of images I took, ensuring that I had complete coverage of everything I wanted illuminated. I even took one image with the flash in the cab of the truck. In some of the images, you can see me standing off to the side with flash in hand! 

Once you have complete coverage, move on to the next phase.

 

PHASE 4: BLEND IMAGES TOGETHER IN POST-PROCESSING

Blend all the images together. I am not a Photoshop expert. In fact, this was perhaps the most complicated blending I've attempted to date. Nothing like jumping right in to make you learn the software!

I did some basic editing of each image (background image and all flash images) in Lightroom before opening all of the images in Photoshop. Using layers and masks, I blended all 17 images together. One final crop, and the image was finished.

 

LESSONS LEARNED

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the end product. I think the final image False Moonlight successfully captures the look and feel I was going for. The most challenging part of this process for me was dealing with the grass surrounding the truck while blending the various images together. Because the wind was blowing, the grass was in a slightly different location for each image I took. When I layered each image on top of one another, this created a ghosting effect, which is pretty prominent around the truck's grille and right fender.

The next time I try this technique, I either need to find a subject that isn't surrounded by tall grass, or be sure it's not a windy day!

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gregfugatephotography@gmail.com (Greg Fugate Photography) Boulder, Colorado Rocky Mountain School of Photography Tim Cooper flash photography light painting old truck https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog/2014/7/creating-false-moonlight Mon, 21 Jul 2014 00:28:09 GMT
Horseshoes Are Lucky, Aren't They? https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog/2014/6/horseshoes-are-lucky-arent-they Have you ever gone back to the same location at different times of the day and noticed how the entire look and feel of the place can be so different? It’s because the light is different.

Some of the very best landscape photographers go back to the same location again and again, studying the light, and waiting until the quality of the light is exactly right to take the photo they’re envisioning.

On my recent trip through Utah and Arizona, I visited some of those iconic landscape photography locations that I’d never been to—Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend along the Colorado River.

I was fortunate that my travel schedule allowed me to frequent Horseshoe Bend near Page, Arizona on three different days and at three different times of day—sunset, sunrise, and mid-morning. I don’t think there is necessarily a bad time of day to photograph Horseshoe Bend, but the time of day you shoot matters significantly for the overall mood and feel of the resulting image.

Last Light Over Horseshoe BendLast Light Over Horseshoe BendThe sun sets behind Horseshoe Bend and the Colorado River near Page, Arizona. The cliffs below are bathed in a warm light. Sunset

My first shoot at Horseshoe Bend was at sunset. This was also my first time seeing this geologic feature. It’s really quite amazing! I chose sunset because I wanted time to hike to the canyon rim (it’s a ¾-mile hike) and scout the location while it was still light out. Trying to navigate with my camera gear, in unfamiliar territory, in the dark before sunrise, while standing on the edge of a 1,000-foot sheer cliff wall is not a scenario I wanted to experience.

I found a location that gave me the composition I wanted, and I got my camera settings dialed in. With sunset at Horseshoe Bend, you are basically shooting right into the sun, which presents some challenges for exposure. The sky is bright, most of the canyon is in shadow, and the cliff wall right below you is all aglow in the warm light of the setting sun. I love the drama created by the high contrast light in this photograph, and that setting sun right at the horizon is just the finishing touch I was looking for.

Sunrise Sunrise Over Horseshoe BendSunrise Over Horseshoe BendThe rising sun illuminates Horseshoe Bend and the Colorado River near Page, Arizona. The Vermillion Cliffs on the distant horizon glow a brilliant red.

My next shoot at Horseshoe Bend was the following morning. I got up well before sunrise, drank some coffee, and made my way to the cliff’s edge. No one else was around, and it was a beautiful morning. The air was fresh and crisp. Mornings really are my favorite time to shoot (if I can manage to get out of bed). I generally kept the same composition as the night before. What I wanted to be different between my photographs was the light. I started shooting in earnest about 20 minutes before sunrise. As the clock crept forward, the sandstone cliffs of the canyon gradually shifted from dark purple-blue tones into warm purple-pink tones. Then, once the sun crossed the horizon, the Vermillion Cliffs on the distant horizon began to glow a brilliant red color. There is still drama in this photograph, but this time it comes from the intense colors and details of the canyon walls. The light is more even and just draws you in.

MID-MORNING Mid-Morning Over Horseshoe BendMid-Morning Over Horseshoe BendEven in the mid-morning sun, parts of Horseshoe Bend and the Colorado River near Page, Arizona, remain in shadow. A small blue raft can be seen on the beach 1,000 feet below.

My final shoot at Horseshoe Bend was the following day. My goal for this third photograph was to capture the canyon and the river below in full sun. I showed up about 8:30 a.m., and most of the scene was fully lit. However, I had to wait an additional 2 hours before the cliff’s shadow cleared the beach and river below. During this time, I just sat at the cliff’s edge studying the scene as the sun behind me rose higher in the sky. I watched people come and go. More than one person got down on hands and knees and crawled up to the edge to get their photo. The light in this photograph is pretty intense, but I think it allows the drama of the geologic feature itself to shine through. For me, this photograph is all about showing off Horseshoe Bend—an entrenched meander along the Colorado River.

 

So there you have it; three very different photographs of the same location. Of all the times I visited Horseshoe Bend during my trip, the sunrise shoot was my favorite. The light was the most subdued and the colors were the most brilliant. And, I didn’t have to battle crowds of other people. I was the only one there. That sunrise was just for me. Lucky me.

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gregfugatephotography@gmail.com (Greg Fugate Photography) Arizona Colorado River Glen Canyon Horseshoe Bend Page, Arizona Vermillion Cliffs desert entrenched meander https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog/2014/6/horseshoes-are-lucky-arent-they Fri, 06 Jun 2014 03:12:57 GMT
Now I Know My ABCs https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog/2013/11/now-i-know-my-abcs The ABC ProjectThe ABC Project A few weeks ago, I went out trick-or-treating with my 3-year-old nephew. Such fun. At one point while we were walking in between houses, Jack started singing the alphabet song. I couldn't believe how well he recited all of the letters, their order, and their pronunciation. It was quite clear Jack had worked hard at school and at home practicing his ABCs. 

So what does my nephew learning his ABCs have to do with photography? Well, it was 1 year ago that I attended my first photography workshop with Tim Cooper and Rocky Mountain School of Photography. In many ways, that workshop was like the first day of school for me, and for this past year, I've been working hard learning and practicing the ABCs of photography.

Reading books. Watching countless numbers of online tutorials. Venturing out before sunrise and staying out after dark. Attending workshops and seminars. Finding an online community of photographers. Friends and family willing to offer words of encouragement and advice.

As I reflect on the past year, I can honestly say that the time spent exploring and practicing has paid off. If you put in the hours and the effort, you will get better.

I also find it very apropos that I ended the first year of my photographic journey by participating in an ABC Project. For 26 days in October, I shot and posted one new photograph per day--one for each letter of the alphabet. It was a fun and engaging project that forced me to think outside the box and plan on getting the shots. I even put together a short compilation slideshow to commemorate completing the project. (See the gallery at http://bit.ly/1afK6Hn and the slideshow at http://bit.ly/HYIw2E).

I still have a long way to go on this journey that I've started. There is lots to learn, see, and do. But for now, however, I can say that I've learned my photography ABCs. I’ve even started to formulate some words.

With these building blocks, the future is full of promise and possibilities!

 

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gregfugatephotography@gmail.com (Greg Fugate Photography) ABC Project Rocky Mountain School of Photography Tim Cooper https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog/2013/11/now-i-know-my-abcs Sat, 16 Nov 2013 17:08:37 GMT
Summertime! https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog/2013/6/summertime Plain and simple, I love summer! I love everything about it—the activities, the weather, and the fact that everything is green and alive. As a kid, summer was the time to go camping, go on road trips, stay out after dark, and explore. As an adult, the months from May through September continue to be some of the most enjoyable of the year for me. Well, this summer I get to go camping, go on road trips, stay out after dark, and explore. And I’m bringing my camera along! Indeed, through my camera I'm going to reconnect with what I enjoy most about summer.

Okay, so now on to the real topic of inspiration for this month’s blog...

When I was growing up, there was a vacant lot located one block from our house. It was the classic dirt lot where you could play kickball, catch, or just get into mischief. One summer, the carnival came to town and set up in that vacant lot. It was intriguing to watch the crews set everything up like clockwork. Then, at dusk on a Friday night, the lights came on and the rides began to whir and spin to entice us neighborhood kids (and our parents) from our homes. The carnival lasted all weekend. What fun. Then, come Monday morning, the space was once again returned to a vacant lot, only leaving the odd empty popcorn container as evidence of what had been.

I haven’t thought about that vacant lot or the carnival for years. That is, until last night. I was out shooting some photos at sunset for a project I’m participating in on Google+. On the way home, I passed by a shopping area that I frequent, and there was a carnival in the parking lot. I could see the lights from a distance and, as I got closer, I could hear the noise of the rides and the crowd. It was a mixture of machinery, laughter, and screams. The whole scene practically shouted summer evening to me, so I pulled into the parking lot and grabbed my camera!

Carnivals and amusement parks have such great opportunities for photography. They have lots of vibrant, saturated colors; fun shapes; and motion. If you are into street photography, carnivals and amusement parks are a crossroads of people and culture. I decided that last night’s photo shoot was all about the lights and the motion, which meant slow shutter speeds.

I played around with different camera settings to see what provided the best image. The challenge was finding a shutter speed that was slow enough to blur the motion of whatever ride I was photographing without letting in too much light and overexposing the image. Depth of field was not my primary concern, so I varied the aperture between f/5.6 and f/16 to maintain my desired shutter speed. (I shot in manual mode, but I guess I could have changed over to aperture-priority mode.)

I found that a 1/5-second shutter speed was good for the spinning of the carousel. It gave enough blur in the lights to convey the spinning motion while still leaving recognizable ghosts of people and horses.

In between groups of riders, I was also able to get some up-close shots of the horses and detail on the carousel. I used the on-camera flash at -3.0 flash compensation to add just a bit of fill light.

When it came to the Ferris wheel, I opted for a 1-second exposure. Not only was the wheel spinning, but the lights were also constantly changing. After some experimentation, I discovered that a longer shutter speed brought out the pattern in the lights. I took a series of shots, all from the same vantage point, creating a Ferris Wheel Frenzy!

What a fun and impromptu evening of photography I had at the carnival last night! Summer is off to a great start!

(P.S. - No, I didn't buy a corn dog or funnel cake.)

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gregfugatephotography@gmail.com (Greg Fugate Photography) Ferris wheel amusement park carnival carousel night photography summer https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog/2013/6/summertime Mon, 03 Jun 2013 03:37:05 GMT
Defining a Photographic Identity https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog/2013/4/defining-a-photographic-identity There is a lot of pressure out there (some of it self-imposed) for new photographers to define their photographic style. However, I don’t think that I’ve been behind the camera lens long enough to have developed a specific style. I feel like a freshman in college being asked what my major will be! To be honest, I’m drawn to many different types of photography. I’m beginning to explore macro photography, which, for me, embodies the line from the William Blake poem “To see a World in a grain of sand and Heaven in a wild flower.” Recent discussions on Google+ have introduced me to stock photography, which is something I never before considered doing. However, landscape photography holds my heart.

I’m perpetually drawn to photographing the grand landscape. I admire those photographers who hike for days on end into the backcountry to capture amazing images. Well one of the things I have come to accept is that I'm not one of those photographers! Recently, I explained to a good friend that I’m the type of person who likes to explore the paved road off the beaten path. I like national parks and state parks with their defined trails and more-than-primitive campgrounds. Car camping is just fine in my book! I enjoy traveling those scenic byways and backroads. I love a good road trip.

For the past several months I've been poring over images from the landscape photography community on Google+. There are so many great photographers out there to learn from and who are so willing to offer me words of support and helpful suggestions and feedback. One accomplished landscape photographer whom I follow is Jim Warthman. I highly recommend that you check out his photography at http://www.warthmanphotography.com. Just yesterday I exchanged posts with Jim about one of his photos of the Fisher Towers near Moab, Utah. The exchange reminded me that you don’t have to stray far from the beaten path to find something beautiful, interesting, intriguing, or compelling in this world. You can capture some amazing photographs right next to the road!

I took the following photo from the Green River Overlook in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. Perhaps it’s not the most technically proficient photo, but it is one of my favorites. I also wish I could say that I hiked some big cliff wall to get to this vantage point. No. I simply drove up to the overlook and stepped out of my car. I’m amazed that such beauty is so very accessible to everyone. I realize that many others have taken pictures from this very same place, but I also know that they didn’t make the same photograph that I did. I brought my own perspective to the scene and saw the light differently than they did. I was the one to press the shutter release and capture that moment in time from my point of view.

The more I’ve reflected on how to define myself as a landscape photographer, the more I’ve realized that the key is simply to spend time photographing what I love and all will be revealed to me. So for now I’m just going to focus on taking great photographs while exploring the paved road off the beaten path!

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gregfugatephotography@gmail.com (Greg Fugate Photography) Canyonlands National Park Fisher Towers Green River Green River Overlook Jim Warthman Moab Utah William Blake https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog/2013/4/defining-a-photographic-identity Mon, 29 Apr 2013 02:12:13 GMT
Be Prepared, Otherwise Adapt! https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog/2013/3/be-prepared-otherwise-adapt It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve been able to get out shooting with my camera. This morning I ventured up to Boulder to photograph sunrise on the famed Flatirons from Chautauqua Park. However, let me tell you about how this particular photo shoot echoed a life lesson in preparation—or lack thereof.

Like a good photographer, I had been planning my trip to Boulder for the last week. I researched the times for nautical and civil twilight and sunrise. Although I used to live there, I looked up the location on GoogleMaps just in case for some reason I forgot where Boulder and Chautauqua Park are located. I also kept an eye on the weather forecast. All week long the local news outlets were talking about potentially the biggest storm to hit the Front Range this season arriving on Saturday. The impending storm didn’t really phase me too much because I would be able to catch the sunrise on Sunday morning with a fresh blanket of snow covering everything. I would capture one of those quintessential blue-sky filled Colorado winter photographs!

Continuing my preparations, I also went through my camera bag to be sure my equipment was in order. Camera? Check. Batteries charged? Check. Tripod? Check. Filters, lens hoods, and head lamp (a pre-dawn necessity)? Check. Warm winter clothes, hat, and gloves? Check. I laid everything out last night because I knew I would be getting up this morning earlier than my normal wake time. Oh yes, did I mention that Daylight Saving Time started today? Reset clocks? Check.

So, here’s what happened…

I grabbed my gear, loaded it into the car, and made it to Boulder with plenty of time to spare. I put on my coat, hat, and gloves. I reached for my camera bag (backpack really) and then suddenly realized I had left my tripod sitting on the floor of my office at home! Despite all of my apparent preparations, I had forgotten what is arguably the second-most important piece of equipment for a landscape photographer. (Yes, the camera is the first-most important piece of equipment.)

Without a tripod, I would be forced to hand hold the camera. My hopes for a tack sharp image were now pretty much impossible because of the longer shutter speed required for shooting in the low-light pre-dawn environment and the smaller aperture required for the depth of field I wanted.

Once I stopped kicking myself for my absentmindedness, I decided to get out there anyway and make the most of a less-than-ideal situation. First, I increased my ISO to 400, but didn’t go higher to keep as much noise out of the image as possible. Second, I found a flat rock that I could lay my backpack on and, with the help of a blanket from my car, I created a platform that allowed me to set my camera down. Combined with a 2-second delay and a remote shutter release, I had about as a stable of a platform as I was going to get without a tripod. I took a series of shots with this setup. Finally, once the sun hit the horizon, I had enough ambient light allowing a fast enough shutter speed for me to hand hold the camera.

So, the first life lesson reinforced by this morning’s photo shoot is to always be prepared. Preparation is important. The second life lesson reinforced by this morning’s photo shoot is that you can’t prepare for every possible scenario. Sometimes you have to take what you know, apply it, and adapt to the situation life presents you with. You may not get what you originally expected, but the outcome can be just as rewarding.

In my case, I got out in the fresh air surrounded by some amazing scenery. Plus, in the end, I still got my quintessential, blue-sky filled Colorado winter photograph!

 

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gregfugatephotography@gmail.com (Greg Fugate Photography) Boulder Chautauqua Park Colorado Flatirons https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog/2013/3/be-prepared-otherwise-adapt Sun, 10 Mar 2013 21:57:13 GMT
Focus https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog/2013/1/focus A good friend of mine, Chariti, is doing great things with her personal coaching business, Chariti Gent Coaching & Consulting. Check it out at http://www.charitigent.com and perhaps you’ll find a new resource for you and your life!

Anyway, this year Chariti’s theme is FOCUS. Well, I think this is a fantastic theme and one that really resonates with me. Focus is literally the lifeblood of photography. You have to focus through the lens. But to make a quality photograph, I think you also have to have focus of mind and spirit. I learned this on a recent photography workshop in Sedona, Arizona, with Tim Cooper and Rocky Mountain School of Photography. In fact, the title of the workshop was Finding Your Focus In Sedona!

These last few weeks I've been concentrating on understanding and applying the rules of hyperfocal distance to help ensure that my landscape photographs are sharp from front to back. I’m not an expert on the intricacies of hyperfocal distance, but basically, when the lens is focused at this distance, all objects at distances from half of the hyperfocal distance out to infinity will be acceptably sharp. For example, on a full-frame camera with a 18mm lens and an aperture of f/8, if you set your focus at about 4 ½ feet, then everything from 2 ¼ feet to infinity will be sharp. The hyperfocal distance varies depending on the focal length of your lens and your aperture. Well, that about exhausts the extent of my technical knowledge on the subject. Let’s just say that I’m going on a little bit of faith that it really does work!

I took the following shot of Cathedral Rock from Red Rock State Park just outside of Sedona. There are some things about this photograph that I'm not crazy about, such as the fact that I couldn't get closer to the trees and had to use a 200mm focal length to zoom in and get the crop I wanted. It's not a wide-angle shot. Unfortunately, this compressed the image and made the rocks, which were much bigger and farther away, appear to be about the same size as the trees in the foreground. Nevertheless, my intention in taking this photo was to practice using hyperfocal distance, which worked out very well! I also do like the composition of the photo.

I’ve also been working on using selective focus and a shallow depth of field to create an entirely different mood. I took the following photograph while walking around my neighborhood on a recent bitterly cold January morning. I was struck by the simplicity and serenity of this single blade of prairie grass encrusted in snow from the previous night’s snow storm. This was a perfect opportunity to use selective focus and a shallow depth of field. I used a long focal length (200mm) to zoom in tight and spot focus on the blade of grass, which was about 20 feet away. When combined with a wide aperture (f/5.6), the background was rendered as this lovely, soft blur of colors. This is one of my favorite photographs!

Well, I hope to follow my friend Chariti’s inspired direction and make FOCUS—both literally and figuratively—the foundation of my photographic journey.

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gregfugatephotography@gmail.com (Greg Fugate Photography) Arizona Cathedral Rock Chariti Gent Coaching & Consulting Red Rock State Park Rocky Mountain School of Photography Sedona Tim Cooper hyperfocal distance https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog/2013/1/focus Thu, 31 Jan 2013 05:07:56 GMT
Going to the Desert https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog/2012/12/going-to-the-desert Every year during our summer vacation, my uncle would take my brothers and I on a camping trip somewhere in the Desert Southwest. We started looking forward to these trips months in advance. As an adult, I still look forward to time spent going to the desert.

I spent several days hiking through the Utah desert during Memorial Day weekend in 2011. I told everyone the purpose of the trip was to practice using my then relatively new DSLR camera. This statement was not entirely untrue. However, in reality, I was still reeling from some events at work that forced me to rethink many things about what I wanted out of my career. I needed time to get away and clear my head, and that's exactly what my time behind the camera lens gave me.

I hadn't been to Arches National Park in 10 years, and it was perhaps 20 years since I'd been to Canyonlands National Park. At first, I found myself looking through the camera lens frantically trying to capture the beauty and vastness of these remarkable places. But soon my pace slowed, and I found each park's (and my) natural rhythm. I recall one hike in Canyonlands along the canyon rim from Grand View Point Overlook. The trail ended at a sheer cliff edge. There I stood with this open rugged terrain stretching out below me as far as I could see. Not another person was around. The birds flying on the wind were my only company. I understood perfectly why this area of the park is called Island in the Sky.

Recently, I attended a week-long photography workshop in Sedona, Arizona, with Tim Cooper and the Rocky Mountain School of Photography. I'll write more blog posts as I continue to reflect on the experience. However, a fundamental lesson that my time in Sedona taught me is that photography isn't about rushing to get as many shots as possible. A memory card full of snapshots is no substitute for one or two well-made photographs. The key is to slow down and think about what I want out of each photograph. Why do I want to take this photograph? What do I want to communicate? What is the subject? Once these fundamental questions are answered, then I move on to the technical questions. What lens and focal length do I want to use? What depth of field do I want? Where will I set my focus point? What combination of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO will give me a good exposure?

My time spent last year at Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and more recently in Sedona reinforced what I have come to value about going to the desert. Going to the desert allows me to slow down, listen to the universe, reconnect with myself, and rejuvenate my soul. A welcomed byproduct of this process is that I find countless opportunities for making great photographs!

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gregfugatephotography@gmail.com (Greg Fugate Photography) Arches National Park Arizona Canyonlands National Park Grand View Point Overlook Island in the Sky Rocky Mountain School of Photography Sedona Tim Cooper Utah https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog/2012/12/going-to-the-desert Mon, 10 Dec 2012 16:23:16 GMT
Do I Know What I Don't Know? https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog/2012/10/do-i-know-what-i-dont-know I recently upgraded my camera equipment to a Nikon D700 with a couple of new lenses. I am very excited about this purchase and where I believe this new tool will take me. Like any good consumer, I did a lot of research on what camera body and lenses would fit best with what I want to accomplish. I read a lot of customer reviews. I must say that I am very impressed with the photographic community for the openness with which people share their experiences, opinions, and advice! My research helped me decide which camera and lenses to buy. However, what I value most from this process is that it helped me in my journey to discover what I don't know.

I have always considered myself to be a life-long learner. Even in my day job, I am constantly learning new things. As I delve more into photography, what I'm learning (and have come to accept) is that there is so much about photography I don't know! Some might think this is a bad thing, but I really don't see it that way. You see, the process of learning and understanding always begins with a self-awareness that there is something new to learn and understand. In my case, knowing what I don't know is the necessary first step toward finding the answer.

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gregfugatephotography@gmail.com (Greg Fugate Photography) https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog/2012/10/do-i-know-what-i-dont-know Sun, 28 Oct 2012 05:39:01 GMT
Finding Wilson https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog/2012/8/finding-wilson I don't have many photographs of sunrises because I never seem to get up in time. However, these past three days, while leaving my neighborhood to drive to work, I've witnessed some amazing sunrises in my rear-view mirror. The colors have been phenomenal (thanks to some of the haze in the air from western forest fires), and the clouds have been quite dramatic. So every morning this week I've been driving while trying to use my rear-view mirror to frame the shots I wish I could have stopped and taken. If it weren't for the need of that paycheck, I would have pulled a U-turn and headed straight for where the east side of my neighborhood meets the open plains.

So you may be thinking, Greg, "What do sunrises have to do with the title of your blog entry?" I have this response to offer you. Do you remember Tom Hanks' character's friend in the movie Cast Away? It was a volleyball named Wilson. They were inseparable, until a rather touching moment later in the movie. Then toward the end of the movie, once Tom Hanks' character makes it back to civilization, we see him driving with a new volleyball companion in the passenger seat of his car. Well, as I was looking at the sunrises this past week, I realized that my camera was sitting at home on my dining room table. Even if I had the time to stop and take a picture of the sunrise, I couldn't have because I didn't have my camera with me. Why wasn't my camera next to me in the front passenger seat of the car like Wilson was in Cast Away?

An old friend of the family, Jeanette Lamb, is an amazing photographer (http://jnetjnet.wordpress.com). She has her camera with her all the time, turning otherwise ordinary and perhaps fleeting moments into stellar photographs. Jeanette has found her Wilson in her camera and in her dog, Captain Stig.

I need to follow Jeanette's lead and treat my camera like Wilson. I need to carry my camera with me everywhere possible, lest I continue to miss the amazing shots and only see them in my rear-view mirror as I drive away.

Also, perhaps I can be a little late to work next time...

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gregfugatephotography@gmail.com (Greg Fugate Photography) Jeanette Lamb https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog/2012/8/finding-wilson Thu, 30 Aug 2012 03:08:28 GMT
Starting My Photographic Journey https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog/2012/8/starting-my-photographic-journey I was at the Colorado Photography Festival recently, and one of the presenters, Mark Muench, described his photographic journey and how he became addicted to landscape photography through his adventures as a child. (The influence of his father and grandfather probably helped too.) Well, this discussion made me realize that I've been on my own photographic journey these past two years, but didn't really know it.

When I bought my DSLR camera two years ago, I could hardly imagine the path that I'm on today. Owning the camera led me to take more pictures and start to experiment with settings other than "auto." Experimenting made me want a better understanding of my camera and how to take great photos, which led me to take some photography classes. The photography classes gave me a foundation and forced me to practice and apply what I'd learned. (Like most dedicated enthusiasts, I also spent money to "get the right equipment.") Taking better photos made me want to share them with friends and family, which led me to create a website. Getting feedback from friends, family, and others makes me want to hone my skills and take even better photos and share those! There's definitely a momentum building.

Photography has so many great things to offer me. My left brain loves the technical detail--exposure, aperture, ISO, depth of field. My right brain loves the creativity--composition, color, texture, line. It's a perfect combination. Those who know me can tell you that I rarely do anything with less than 100% dedication, especially if it's something that I'm passionate about. Well, I'm fully committed. All in. The whole enchilada. I can't wait to see where the camera lens will take me next!

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gregfugatephotography@gmail.com (Greg Fugate Photography) Colorado Photography Festival Mark Muench https://www.gregfugatephotography.com/blog/2012/8/starting-my-photographic-journey Thu, 16 Aug 2012 03:14:51 GMT