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The old pathway

When we arrived at the lake, those mountains looked so massive and ancient. We all know that’s what mountains are, but the feeling was different. This lake and the valley surrounded by them made everything different. Of course, the storm was helping create a different atmosphere. This scenery seems to come out straight from the movies. I think they should come and do a Jurrasic Park movie there.

One time, I want to go through that path, in between the mountains, a see what’s over there. It seems like it would just be nature that no one has seen before.

Help me choose my new logo!!!

I am trying to create a new logo, come to my facebook page to vote for it (https://www.facebook.com/yael.photography.1). A winner will pick which will receive 20% off one of my prints or one on my classes.

I am looking for a bold, dynamic and light (as not heavy) logo. Also, I might not be looking for one that is linked only to photography. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll add something else other than photography.

Logo A:
Bold. Strong gray and the red colors makes it stand out anywhere.
Dynamic. The red arrows on the Y represent the movement.
Light. The logo is rather heavy.
Subject. Photography only logo.

Logo B:
Bold. Different fonts are beings used included a home made one for the Y. The dot is a 3D cube with 3 different shade of gray.
Dynamic. The arrows on the Y represent the movement.
Light. Airy design.
Subject. Symbolic, representing my initials. It has to be seen in large-format.

Logo C:
Bold. 3D isometric object with shadow.
Dynamic. The shadow represents time and something that can evolve and show different aspect.
Light. The logo is a bit heavy through the thickness of the lettering but still, shows lots of empty background.
Subject. Represent my first name. Should work good in small-scale for icon and watermark.

The B logo is the best, though I’m worried what it would look like at a small scale. I use a small-scale for the icon of my website, and my watermark is rather small too, I may have to do some testing there. My second will go to the Logo C and last go to the A since it’s not light and specific to photography.

Which one do you prefer?

Closer from home

I have been posting lots of pictures from around Pagosa lately. Today, we’re heading back home with our Great Sand Dunes. Black and white are just perfect to show the contrast you get with the sun hitting the dunes. As well, it’s easier to see the purity of the curves that the wind created during all those years. In about a week, I will have a photoshoot there with some new friends. Getting back there and doing modeling is going to be interesting and offer new perspectives.

Fencing the storm

I love how this one turned out with its foreground being bright and the background so dark. That fence was just perfect. Though, at the same time, I wish I wasn’t there so I could have explored more the area. While going out taking pictures, I love the chance to explore and move around. I spend my days seating at a desk, so chances like those are perfect for me.

Cold, mud and a puddle

If we have to have so much water in our area, I would prefer this instead! The rain has brought us some awesome clouds for my pictures. But a little bit of warmth, a beach, and the sea would be a lot better than our cold, mud and a puddle.

Always learning – 2 new Godox products

If you are looking into using artificial to enhance your pictures, you have lots of options. Some really expensive, some too cheaply made, and finally, others that just do the right job for the right amount of money. Godox (Flashpoint, Cheetahstand, Pixapro, etc) is in that territory, they have been very creative lately with their products and I would like to share with you 2 products.

The first one is a flash for your phone Godox A1. For now, we know it will be for iPhones but there is no reason it won’t come to Android. Godox hasn’t given any information on that yet. What you get is a transmitter that can fire any of the latest flash/strobe made by Godox. It will allow you to take greater portraits and be more creative. I think it’s a great solution for phone photography. The only down side is that the shutter speed seems to be limited to 1/30s which isn’t very fast at all, but that product is going in the right direction and we’ll have to see the real test to make our conclusion.

image source: http://www.godox.com/CN/NewsPage75.html

The second product is the Godox AD-B2, which allows you to mount 2 Godox AD200 into one mount. The Godox AD200 ($300) is a small portable medium flash/strobe with its own battery. The AD-B2 is a mount that can connect a stand, AD200s, and any Bowen diffuser. This video explains very well what it is for and gives example on how to use them.

 

Always learning – Create amazing black and white

Even though I do offer classes and workshops, I always come around some great little videos or websites. I would like to share those with you every week. So I’ll be posting 1 or 2 posts a week on some great educational material regarding photography.

This first one is about creating great black and white images from almost any photograph. Sean Tucker is using his phone to do that but you could be using Adobe Lightroom or any other image editing program. To sum it up, you are playing with the contrast, curves, and HSL to create a very contrasty black and white image.

If you have any photography questions you would like me to go, just leave me a comment below.

Hiking to the waterfall

That was back in June, hiking to that one waterfall without any trails. I took that picture and then we figured out we had to cross the creek in order to reach that it. We looked for the easiest and shortest crossing. Looking at it, I thought I could just jump it. One foot made it across just fine, the other got a bit wet.  On the contrary, on the way back, it was even worse! Next time, I should bring flip-flops. They are small and should dry fairly fast. Exploring is fun, you always learn a lot, mostly by making mistakes. Luckily they are small ones, through experience and research I feel I can explore more and plan longer trips.

Into the abyss

Before mountains existed, your plain of view was all flat. It provided no surprises to your journey. It was either grass, dirt, rock, sand or water. Through diverse monumental earthly events, the earth took its shape and offered us its full beauty. We can take all the benefit from its view. Explorers had the chance to be the first ones to see its wonders. Today, everyone with a camera gets to memorize them forever and even share them with all its inhabitant.

Gorgeous day

I had the chance to have a good friend coming to the valley for the weekend and she gladly volunteered to be my model for a few hours. We went to Zapata falls, the road to get there is really bad. But that could be a post all to itself! Lots of people were present there which didn’t help the shoot we had planned. We walked to the trail towards Zapata lake and took a few pictures along the way, including this one. She looks amazing with her beautiful dark hair.

To the lake

After all those amazing stops, we managed to get to the lake we were aiming for. It was pretty gray nevertheless, we did get the ray of light once in a while. Which lit up the ground and gave dimension to the already amazing location. The light wasn’t what I imagined, I was hoping for something different, but with the time we had, we were limited. I do love that picture. Showing the contrast between the storm and those flowers. That day was just beautiful and I cannot wait to go back.

First stop

That was it, the first time we stopped on our way to Williams Reservoir. As you remember, we loved the light that was coming through the big storming clouds. I had my wide angles on to try to capture this gorgeous scenery. It wasn’t wide enough to see what needed to be seen. Yes, I could have done a panorama. I think it still would have had to be a very long one to see all of this. I’ve tried to do a black and white to show more the contrast of the shadows and highlights. I might need to work a bit more on it especially the mountain section. I do love the clouds, that day was just perfect for that!

Winding road

We were heading towards a lake. Hoping to be able to get some good lights in-between the stormy clouds before it took over all the sky. We saw those rolling hills and could see the shadows of the clouds and the light passing through them to hit the unleveled ground. We had to stop! Yes, there was a chance we wouldn’t have enough light by the lake but it was so worth it. So we stopped and took our times to get all the pictures we could there. Later on, we drove back towards the lake but had to make a stop due to a marvelous place. We did made it to the lake, did miss the light, but we were happy we did!

Fabulous family reunion

A few weeks ago, I received a call from a friend of a friend who wanted family pictures at his cabin. It has his family and his extended family there. Some of them couldn’t make it to the family reunion but they had a group of 26 of them together. They were all lovely to work with. It was really a fun time at a beautiful place. In the next few days, I will post several pictures of this photo session.

Summer storm

The weather has been so amazing this week with those beautiful storms. Bob and I had to go somewhere to take pictures. We decided to go beyond our San Luis Valley and head towards Pagosa. We took lots of pictures. Meaning lots of editing time need to be done, and that’s always fun.

I was using my widest angle most of the time and switching once in a while with my Canon 80-200mm L f4. It will take me a few weeks to go through all of them since I have to edit wedding and family pictures first. I just wanted to show you what I have been up to during my vacation!

Alamosa Air Show No More

Yesterday, someone requested if I knew when the Alamosa air show was going to happen. I though it would be late July. I contact a friend to see what he has heard. The sad news is there won’t be one next year and there is no plan has of yet to bring it back. I think it’s very sad. The closest one would be in Canyon City on September 16. I’m not sure what we can do, but it would be nice to bring this back into our San Luis Valley!!! If anyone knows what to do, or why they have stopped, feel free to share that in the comments below.

An old journey

I like revisiting old pictures and test my new photo editing skills on them. Trying to make them look what I remember is a challenge. New technics can help you do recreate that look.

I like the roughness of the mountains tops. It gives then texture and shows their old age. It’s a great contrast with the sky and its newest clouds. I wish I would have had a good ND filter at the time and show the trail of those clouds. The picture would have had a different aspect and playing with a lower saturation or even black and white would have been great.

A long hike

This was an unexpected, we turned around and saw this waterfall. Well, it did look smaller at the time so we decided to head that way. The trail didn’t exist, we knew a few went there but most of it, we had to make our trail. We ended crossing a creek so we could get closer to it. We hike for a while, going up and down the mountain several times but we made it. Who said photography wasn’t an exercise all to itself?

11,760 feet

11,760 feet high. We thought we could get there by truck but the top of the mountain still had snow. We had to climb hard and we could feel the rarity of the oxygen. The view was just amazing. We’ll have to get back and take a sunrise and sunset pictures there once the snow is gone.

Exploring day

Finally, the day came where we could both go out and explore an area. We had a few places we wanted to check out while leaving open to anything that could seem interesting. We went to an overlook at 11,760 ft. Due to the snow that was still on top, we had to hike part of the way. It was getting harder to breathe up there. We got some anything pictures and you will see some during the next few days and weeks.

I had located a waterfall, of course, I had to go check it out and it was amazing as you can see here. Getting into some hard spots with different filters, something bad had to happen. Lucky it wasn’t the worse. I didn’t fall, neither did my camera but I did lose my CPL and ND 0.6 filters. I would have checked my filters, I would have found out they were getting loose and I could have avoided this. A lesson for next time.

Also, looking behind us, we saw another waterfall. We decided to go explore. It was a hard hike. You will see pictures next week.