Spring in Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks

Red-knaped Woodpecker in Flight, Beartooth Mountains The first leg of my trip to USA has now finished and we have moved on to Alaska. While I managed to take many and varied photographs in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks my Internet connection wasn’t sufficiently strong or stable to allow for anything other than the odd e-mail.  Instead, I’ve put together a selection of photographs, which I hope to upload shortly. In the meantime, I’ve uploaded some representative images from Grand Teton and Yellowstone.

Our first few days were spent around Jackson (Wyoming). We visited all of the usual favourite locations in Grand Teton National Park along with some of the more photogenic areas just outside of there park proper. The wildflower meadows at Antelope Flats were a mass of colour with Arrow-root Balsam, Mules Ears, Penstemons, Skyrockets, Lupins, Paintbrush, etc. The scene really looked quite spectacular with the Teton mountain range as a backdrop.

Wild Flower Meadow, & Grand Tetons, Grand Teton National Park

Wild Flower Meadow, Grand Tetons, Grand Teton National Park

Our day tends to start quite early, and on two occassions we were up and out by 4.30am. This allowed us to capture sunrise although the lack of clouds meant that the spectacular colours we had hoped for didn’t materialise. Nevertheless, some very nice images were captured. The following shot of the Teton mountains reflecting on the still water of the Snake River at Schwabacher’s Landing is a particulr favourite.

Teton Sunrise, Schwabacher's Landing, Grand Teton National Park

Teton Sunrise, Schwabacher’s Landing, Grand Teton National Park

After a few days we moved on to Yellowstone National Park. As is usual when we visit Yellowstone we based ourselves in West Yellowstone. The town and park were both very busy with much larger numbers of visitors than we expected, and it was extremely hot. Early morning was best as the park was quiet and lighting much better for photography. Also, during late spring and summer the steam and mists coming off the rivers and hot springs burns off quite quickly. The photograph shown directly below was captured just after sunrise.

Morning Mist, Madison River, Yellowstone National Park

Morning Mist, Madison River, Yellowstone National Park

The Upper Geyser basin (location of Old Faithful) is another early morning favourite and the following image of Geyser Hill is a particular favourite from our visit to the area.

Early Morning, Geyser Hill, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

Early Morning, Geyser Hill, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

One of the most disappointing aspects of this trip was that the herds of Bison and Elk normally found along the Madison River were missing. Fortunately, we eventually located a huge herd of Bison in the Lamar Valley. Elk were much more difficult to find, but we did manage to find a few. Other sought after wildlife in Yellowstone are the bears, namely the Grizzly Bear. Again, fortune was on our side and we came a across a cub playing in amongst the wild flowers high up in the Dunraven Pass.

Playful Grizzly Cub, Dunraven Pass, Yellowstone National Park

Playful Grizzly Cub, Dunraven Pass, Yellowstone National Park

Mammoth Hot Springs is another popular location, but on previous recent visits we had noticed that the thermal pools and springs were becoming less acessible as they moved further from the boardwalks. This next image is virtually all that remains accessible at the upper section of Canary Spring.

Upper Camary Spring, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park

Upper Canary Spring, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park

After best part of a week based in West Yellowstone we moved across to the south side of the park to Cooke City. From there we had easy access to the Beartooth Mountains.

We had two visits up high up into the mountains via the Beartooth Pass. These gave us plenty of opportunities to photograph the wild Mountain Goats that roam high up in the mountains, and the wild flowers.

Mountain Goat, Twin Lakes Overlook, Beartooth Mountains

Mountain Goats, Twin Lakes Overlook, Beartooth Mountains

Gardner Lake Overlook, Beartooth Mountains

Wild Flowers, Gardner Lake Overlook, Beartooth Mountains

As with our previous spring trip to the Beartooth Mountains we had arranged to meet up with a local wildlife photographer. He had sought out many good nesting sites for birds such as: Great Grey Owls, Great Horned Owls, Red-naped Woodpeckers, American There-toed Woodpeckers, Wrens, Mountain Bluebirds and few others I can’t recall the names of.

Wren in Flight, Beartooth Mountains

Wren in Flight, Beartooth Mountains

Red-knaped Woodpecker in Flight, Beartooth Mountains

Red-knaped Woodpecker in Flight, Beartooth Mountains

Images are GPS tagged and edited in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC 2015

** Disclaimer** Above images are quick previews specifically for this blog so that family and friends can see how things are going.

Posted in Beartooth Mountains, Geotagging, GPS, Grand Teton National Park, Lightroom CC, Photography, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park | Comments Off on Spring in Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks

Off to the United States

geyserI’m off tomorrow for the United States on a 24 day photo tour. The tour takes in two major locations and was arranged by Roger Reynolds at Photoventures. For the first part of the tour we plan to explore a wide variety of locations around the greater Yellowstone area. Obviously, we’ll take in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, but a good chunk of our time will be spent photographing the flora and fauna found in the Beartooth Mountains. This is a really amazing location in South Central Montana and Northwest Wyoming. The mountains and forests around them are part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. I made a similar trip back in the late spring of 2012 and got some really nice photos (see the gallery here).  In case you’re wondering why you haven’t seen this gallery before; it’s because I didn’t publish it until very recently. Many of the photos were posted as part of my daily Blog for the trip, but I must have forgotten to upload the final gallery. I’ve posted a couple here as reminders.

IL_120624_03978_Edit

Skeleton Trees at Tangled Creek

We were actually quite lucky on that trip because our local wildlife guide had located a Great Grey Owl’s nest deep in one of the forests on the edge of the Beartooth.

IL_120628_07045_Edit

Great Grey Owlet, Beartooth Mountains

Hopefully, we’ll be lucky again this time. If not then I suspect the the second part of this tour will make up for any disappointments in so far as it takes us over to Alaska. Yep, Alaska! There we’ll be spending few days at Brook’s Lodge in Katmai National Park photographing the bears as they feed on the salmon making their way up the Brooks River.

Brooks-Camp-map

Map of Brooks Lodge Area, Katmai National Park

We’ll also spend the remainder of our time photographing around Homer, Eagle River, and the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

All being well, I’ll post a few photos during the trip. Something tells me that I will have used the Canon EOS 7D MkII and EF 100-400m MkII combination for a high proportion of them.

Note: I don’t allow comments on Blog pages, but am more than happy to receive your thoughts on the photos and/or the tutorials etc. Just send an email to ilyons@msn.com

Posted in Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area, Grand Teton National Park, Photography, USA, Yellowstone National Park | Comments Off on Off to the United States

June updates to Adobe CC Photography

lr-cc-logo Lightroom CC 2015.1 and Lightroom 6.1 are now available on Adobe.com. Adobe has stated that the goal of this release is to provide additional camera raw support, lens profile support and address bugs that were introduced in previous releases of Lightroom. Lightroom mobile for iOS v1.5 is also now available. In addition, Creative Cloud customers receive a bonus in the form of two new features.

Lightroom CC on the desktop

Dehaze
Photographers of every skill level will be aware that many outdoor scenes have some amount of haze due to atmospheric conditions. Dehaze is a new feature introduced in Lightroom CC 2015.1 for removing/adding haze and fog to/from your photos. You can control how much haze to remove by adjusting a new slider in the Effects panel in the Dehaze section. This feature can also be used in the other direction to increase the amount of haze.

dehaze

Lightroom CC 2015.1 Effects Panel

Adobe have recommended  a workflow for getting the best results from this new too – Adjust the white balance of the image before applying the Dehaze control. You may also find that the saturation levels in some images needs to be reduced slightly relative to what would be normal had Dehaze not been applied. Below you’ll see a Before/After example of an image where the Dehaze control has been used to reduce the atmospheric haze in the distant mountains. This example also required that I applied a slightly smaller amount of saturation/vibrance than what I’d normally apply.

dehaze-example-1

Before / After Example of Dehaze in Use

Local White and Black Adjustment Sliders

The second new feature and potentially more useful than Dehaze are a pair of sliders within each of the 3 local adjustment tools: Gradient Filter, Radial Filter and Local adjustment brush. These sliders are useful for fine­tuning tonality near the brightest and darkest parts of the picture. For instance, they can be used to increase the contrast of highlights.

blacks-and-whites

Lightroom CC 2015.1 Graduated Filter Panel

As with Dehaze above Adobe have recommended a workflow when using the Blacks and Whites sliders – Make your global adjustments first and then use the local adjustments to fine tune. Use the clip warning indicators in the Histogram to help avoid clipping highlights and shadows.

Again, note that the features described above are only available in Lightroom CC 2015

Lightroom mobile on iOS:

Lightroom mobile has also been updated as part of the June release. Areas updated include:

Video support: You can now import, and sync your iPhone and iPad created videos from Lightroom on iOS to the web and desktop. More adjustment tools

Vignettes: Adjust the Color channel and B&W mix Tone Curve

New Camera Support

Fujifilm X­T10 Nikon 1 J5
Nikon D810A Panasonic DMC­G7 Pentax K­S2 Pentax K3 II (*)

* Preliminary support. The multi­shot Pixel Shift Resolution and HDR features are still under investigation.

For a full list of newly supported lenses and bug fixes refer to the Lightroom Journal Blog on Adobe Blogs

Posted in Adobe, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Lightroom 6, Lightroom CC | Comments Off on June updates to Adobe CC Photography

Victoria Bampton releases Adobe Lightroom CC / 6 – The Missing FAQ

lr6faq-sq300-150x150Victoria Bampton (aka The Lightroom Queen) recently dropped me a note to say that the 6th edition of her Lightroom – The  Missing FAQ book is now available.

As a long established member of the Lightroom Pre-release Group Victoria is well placed to get the inside track on the new features found within Lightroom CC/6. In this latest edition of her well regarded Missing FAQ series of books Victoria again shares this information and knowledge in an easy to read format. Anyone serious about getting the best from Lightroom CC/6 shouldn’t think twice about getting a copy.

So, what’s new in the Lightroom CC/6 book?

Victoria writes – When you have a Lightroom question, where do you look? Do you spend hours searching the web? From now on, you look right here.

About the Book

As the name suggests, Adobe Lightroom CC/6 – The Missing FAQ is primarily designed as a conversational FAQ-style reference book, giving you the detailed information you need to make informed choices, whether you’ve been using Lightroom for a few months or a few years. No more pressing buttons without understanding the repercussions!

Unlike most other Lightroom books, this isn’t just the theory of how Lightroom’s supposed to work, but also the workarounds and solutions for the times when it doesn’t behave the way you’d expect.

Who’s the book written for?

For less experienced users, the Fast Track weaves its way through the book, with short tutorials that guide you through a simple workflow, allowing you to gain confidence before diving into the more advanced questions. To get an idea of the style, download my free Quick Start eBook.

The book then switches to a conversational question & answer format, going into greater detail for intermediate and advanced users. There are questions ranging from simple ones like how to import photos, to much more in-depth details about how the previews are used and how to create your own camera profiles. Check the Table of Contents tab to see the full list of questions covered in this release.

What’s new?

The LR CC/6 version is a major rewrite that’s taken 2 years to complete, and I’m confident it’s my best yet. The information is now easier for less experienced users to understand, and easier to find using the comprehensive new index. If you’ve read previous versions, don’t worry, all of the advanced information is still there and has been expanded too.  The book’s also available in color print for the first time. To learn more about the rewrite, check the “A Major Rewrite” tab on this page.

Is it worth reading?

For many years, the Adobe Lightroom – The Missing FAQ books have been among the most popular Lightroom books available. They have almost all 5 star reviews on both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Some of my favorites from the Lightroom 5 book are copied on the Reviews tab. Many of the Articles on this website are taken directly from the book, if you’d like to read some excerpts.

When you have a Lightroom question, where do you look? Do you spend hours searching the web? From now on, you look right here.

About the Book

As the name suggests, Adobe Lightroom CC/6 – The Missing FAQ is primarily designed as a conversational FAQ-style reference book, giving you the detailed information you need to make informed choices, whether you’ve been using Lightroom for a few months or a few years. No more pressing buttons without understanding the repercussions!

Unlike most other Lightroom books, this isn’t just the theory of how Lightroom’s supposed to work, but also the workarounds and solutions for the times when it doesn’t behave the way you’d expect.

Who’s the book written for?

For less experienced users, the Fast Track weaves its way through the book, with short tutorials that guide you through a simple workflow, allowing you to gain confidence before diving into the more advanced questions. To get an idea of the style, download my free Quick Start eBook.

The book then switches to a conversational question & answer format, going into greater detail for intermediate and advanced users. There are questions ranging from simple ones like how to import photos, to much more in-depth details about how the previews are used and how to create your own camera profiles. Check the Table of Contents tab to see the full list of questions covered in this release.

What’s new?

The LR CC/6 version is a major rewrite that’s taken 2 years to complete, and I’m confident it’s my best yet. The information is now easier for less experienced users to understand, and easier to find using the comprehensive new index. If you’ve read previous versions, don’t worry, all of the advanced information is still there and has been expanded too.  The book’s also available in color print for the first time. To learn more about the rewrite, check the “A Major Rewrite” tab on this page.

Is it worth reading?

For many years, the Adobe Lightroom – The Missing FAQ books have been among the most popular Lightroom books available. They have almost all 5 star reviews on both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Some of my favorites from the Lightroom 5 book are copied on the Reviews tab. Many of the Articles on this website are taken directly from the book, if you’d like to read some excerpts.

Posted in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Books, Lightroom 6, Lightroom mobile | Comments Off on Victoria Bampton releases Adobe Lightroom CC / 6 – The Missing FAQ

Updated Photo Galleries

watchmanDuring a recent Lightroom catalog tidy up I noticed that there were quite a few of my favourite photos that for some reason had not been included in my photo galleries. For example, the workshops I participated in with Michael Reichmann in 2001, 2002 and 2004. These took in various locations in the US and Iceland. Likewise, my first visit to White Sands and Bosque del Apache with Roger Reynolds in 2003, and my second visit to Iceland with Daniel Bergmann in 2005. So, having rediscovered these gems from the past I decided to build new expanded galleries using the Web module in Adobe Lightroom. I’ve included some sample images from each gallery below. The actual galleries can be accessed from the Galleries page. Over the summer I hope to update some others. In the meantime, I’ve preparations to make for an upcoming trip to the US – more in a few days.

Note: I don’t allow comments on Blog pages, but am more than happy to receive your thoughts on the photos and/or the tutorials etc. Just send an email to ilyons@msn.com

Checkerboard Mesa, Zion Plateau, 2001

Checkerboard Mesa, Zion Plateau – USA 2001

Kwagunt Camp, Colorado River, 2002

Kwagunt Camp, Colorado River – USA 2002

River Runners, Hance Rapid, Mile 76, 2002

River Runners, Hance Rapid, Mile 76 – USA 2002

Cave Formations, Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico, 2003

Cave Formations, Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico – USA 2003

Yucca Plants And Dunes, White Sands National Monument

Yucca Plants & Dunes, White Sands National Monument – USA 2003

Snowgeese at Sunrise, Bosque del Apache, 2003

Snowgeese at Sunrise, Bosque del Apache – USA 2003

Lutheran Church, Vik, 2004

Lutheran Church, Vik – Iceland 2004

Porvaldsfjall Lighthosue, Vatsnes Peninsula, 2004

Porvaldsfjall Lighthosue, Vatsnes Peninsula – Iceland 2004

Ice Sculptures, Jokulsarlon, 2005

Ice Sculptures, Jokulsarlon Iceberg Lagoon – Iceland 2005

Mt Torfatindar, Emstrur Route, Hvanngil, 2005

Mt Torfatindar, Emstrur Route, Hvanngil – Iceland 2005

Posted in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Bosque del Apache, Colorado, Iceland, New Mexico, Photography, White Sands National Monument, Zion National Park | Comments Off on Updated Photo Galleries