If you think you’ve “seen” Glacier Bay from the deck of a cruise ship, be prepared to be pleasantly surprised and amazed by the things you’ll see on this trip. Glacier Bay is one of the largest national parks in the United States and yes, it does feature a lot of ice. However, there’s so much more. Traveling on a 50-foot boat that we use for our sleeping and eating, we take up to eight passengers. You’ll get closeup photos of humpback whales, sea lions, sea otters and often, brown and black bears as they forage along the ocean shoreline. Although we can get many amazing photos right from the deck of the boat, we’ll also kayak and do short hikes. I’m partnering yet again on this trip with Juneau resident and photographer extraordinaire Mark Kelley. Mark is a NANPA member who has been a Showcase winner many times. He has produced numerous coffee table books and calendars on Alaska and is an all-around nice guy. This will be my seventh trip to Glacier Bay. Our parent company, Dolphin Charters, has been traveling Glacier Bay for some 40 years. The captain knows the area intimately, and as a former whale biologist, intimately understands the behaviors of these magnificent marine mammals.
Story and photographs by Jennifer King
Summer is here, and a great time to get out and photograph. As you are capturing all that summer has to offer, I want to remind you of the impact that fundamental design principles can have on your photography.
Are you photographing a mountain or beach? Where you place your horizon line can help you to create depth and dimension in your photo and also help call attention to the hero in your photograph. Consider referencing design tools like the Golden Ratio, Rule of Thirds or the Fibonacci Spiral when setting up your composition.
I tend to get stuck in my ways for photographing landscapes: sharp and focused. But I’ve started experimenting with another technique that I refer to as ambient light painting.
Ambient light painting may not be what you think. It is not using artificial light sources at night to paint light on a tree, old barn or other subject. Instead, ambient light painting uses both natural light and slow camera movements to create abstract compositions. The results can be something resembling a Monet painting.
When I discovered how much my students embraced this technique, I decided to include it in my workshop resources to help them develop their own vision of nature. Turns out, ambient light painting is fun for them, and that fits right in with my goal to get folks to love nature through their photography.
I’m often amazed at just how much subconscious thought and planning goes into the creation of a “simple” photograph.
A couple of years ago I was in the Thain Family Forest of the New York Botanical Garden. Located in the center of the 250-acre garden, this forest is the last remaining tract of original forest that once covered most of New York City.
I was initially attracted to a rustic log fence at the entrance to one of the forest trails. Seeing it as the perfect foreground element to lead a viewer’s eye into the photo, I positioned my tripod in the center of the trail and leveled it to the height of the fence. This was the best perspective to show the lines converging as they disappeared around the bend in the distance. Continue reading