Upcoming 2015 Photo Workshops at Point Reyes

Posted April 24th, 2015 by
Categories: California, Coast, Photo Workshops and Tours, Point Reyes

Photo: Photographers shooting the sunset over the headlands at Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, California

Image: Photographers shooting the sunset over the headlands at Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, California

I’ll be spending this weekend teaching another great photo workshop at the beautiful Point Reyes National Seashore just north of San Francisco. I haven’t bothered mentioning this or promoting it lately since it sold out months ago and has an extensive waiting list. However, I’m very pleased and delighted to announce that I’ll be doing several more upcoming photo workshops throughout the rest of 2015. All of these classes are put on by the non-profit Point Reyes Field Institute, part of the National Park’s System’s partner organization, the Point Reyes National Seashore Association.

I’ll be teaching two one-day workshops. The first is a Discovery Nature Photo Walk which will take place on June 20, 2015, and the other is my Panoramic Point Reyes class which will be on September 12, 2015.

I also have two more 3-day workshops coming up, both of which include accommodations at the Historic Lifeboat Station on Drakes Bay. One will be a repeat of the class I’m teaching this weekend, which will be Photographing the Beaches of Point Reyes, and will take place on October 2 – 4, 2015. (Fri. – Sun.) A month later, I’ll be leading Photographing the Natural Wonders of Point Reyes, which takes place November 6 – 8, 2015. (Fri. – Sun.)

Please visit my California Photo Workshops page for additional information. Each listing contains a link to the PRFI web site where you can register or contact with any logistical (non-photographic) questions. If you have any photographic questions regarding the workshops, you’re welcome to contact me directly. The cost for the workshops are posted on the PFRI web site. Given how this weekend’s workshop had been sold out for months ahead of time and had an extensive waiting list, if there’s a course you’re interested in taking, my advice would be to sign up and register early.

Read the rest of this post »

The irony of my last post; My Best Yosemite Shot Ever!

Posted April 22nd, 2015 by
Categories: California, Mountains, Photos, Sunrise, Yosemite

Picture: Morning clouds and fog fill Yosemite Valley at sunrise from Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park, California

Image: Morning clouds and fog fill Yosemite Valley at sunrise from Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park, California

For those of you who saw my last post, My Best Yosemite Shot Ever, you hopefully realized that posted on April 1st, it was indeed an April Fools joke. I was part of a group of friends who combined efforts to create a circular story of folks who lined up to shoot one of the best known landscape icon locations in the United States, if not the world. The post was pure fiction, but was meant to poke playful fun at those who seek out or say “Wow,” to the most boring, bland, or sometimes over-processed shots from these icon locations.

The irony was that exactly a week later, and with no foresight at the time of the original April 1st post, I wound up standing at that exact spot taking what would become one of my best Yosemite photos… maybe not ever, but at least in the last couple years. I had gone to Yosemite several days in advance of a storm that was forecast to bring snow levels down to the 4,000′ elevation, which was low enough for it to snow on the valley floor. On this morning, I actually arrived a bit late, having shot a few other frames at the other end of the valley. And in similar vein to my April 1st fictional account: Yes, there was a line of other photographers already in place, and yes, I did have to find a spot in the line.

As I stood there, I was hit with a sudden realization that despite my aforementioned April 1st post, it had actually been a really long time since I shot from the famous Tunnel View. I admit that I’ll occasionally join the line of photographers at certain icon locations, but I’ve always been a strong proponent of saying that once you’ve grabbed your icon shot, move on and go find something where you can express a more personal vision. So how long had it been since I stood in the line at Tunnel View? Well… probably too long by most standards. Prior to this trip, the last time I shot a sunset from Tunnel View was more than 5 years ago, and the last time I photographed from this location at sunrise… sufficed to say I was still using film.

There are photographers out there, myself included, who consider these sorts of iconic landscape photography locations a bit like the low-hanging fruit on the photographic tree, in part because as our April Fools post pointed out, it’s very easy to line up and get a good shot. But from a professional photographer’s perspective, and as someone who values and appreciates a strong personal vision over just another ‘Me Too” trophy shot, we can become very judicious of knowing when a shot is right or not-right. In fact, this is a key hallmark of the progression most photographers make through their skill development, namely transitioning from taking a picture of everything trying to make a good photo happen, to becoming more thoughtful about when and where to point your camera. There have actually been many times that I’ve been to Tunnel View in the last number of years and never taken a shot. Typically it’s been to pull in, look at the line of tourists, look at the scene, (and from someone who considers this my ‘Home Park’) – realized the conditions weren’t special enough, so I’d move on. On this day, the conditions were indeed special enough, such that even though it may be low-hanging photographic fruit, it was indeed especially ripe for the picking.

*Special Note: To celebrate this wonderful shot, I’m offering a chance for ten people to acquire a print of this image at 40% off my normal print costs. If you’d like to get the special discount code, simply use the Contact form on my web site and let me know you’re interested in this special offer and I’ll email you the code and purchase details. Once ten of these coupons have been redeemed, the offer expires.



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Image ID#: 150408b_YOS-0415



Popular Photographic Print Sizes

Traditional Prints feature:
* a luster surface
* no watermarks
* white paper border




Click here for Information & Pricing on larger paper, canvas, or metallic prints, incl. matted & framed prints. For complete purchase options, please contact me directly.


Gary Crabbe is an award-winning commercial and editorial outdoor travel photographer and author based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, California. He has seven published books on California to his credit, including “Photographing California; v1-North”, which won the prestigious 2013 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal award as Best Regional title. His client and publication credits include the National Geographic Society, the New York Times, Forbes Magazine, TIME, The North Face, Subaru, L.L. Bean, Victoria’s Secret, Sunset Magazine, The Nature Conservancy, and many more. Gary is also a photography instructor and consultant, offering both public and private photo workshops. He also works occasionally a professional freelance Photo Editor.

My Best Yosemite Shot Ever

Posted April 1st, 2015 by
Categories: Fossil Beds

Photo: Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park, California

Image: Storm cloud over Lake Tahoe at sunset, from South Lake Tahoe, California

I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately. I feel like I haven’t created any true masterworks of photography in at least a few weeks. Inspired by countless images of Yosemite shared in photo-havens like Flickr, Facebook, and Instagram, and wow’d by the millions of double-tap likes they generated, I finally convinced myself I had to get my own true masterpiece. But I didn’t want to have just any old shot that no one else had, I wanted THE SHOT. So I did as much research as I could. I looked on 500px and fav’d every uber-dramatic Yosemite picture I could find. But I was determined to out-do them all. I then turned to Google Maps for more detailed research, then to Google Earth. But that wasn’t good enough, so I bribed a security guard at NASA Ames Research Center with 13 Canadian dollars to let me see some LANDSAT Satellite photos which I downloaded into my iPhone-17 4k uranium-plated wristwatch. Once I had my coordinates, I set off to get what I was sure would be the most unique shot I could muster.

After 5 hours of driving the speed limit, I finally burst out of a long tunnel to one of the most amazing views I’ve ever seen. I knew right away, this was it: THE SHOT! I would GET THE SHOT. But my enthusiasm for thinking I would be photographing this grandeur in solitude was quickly shattered when I saw a long line of inter-locked tripod legs stretched across the length of the viewpoint. I walked up to the phalanx muttering to myself, “Gotta get the shot.” Fortunately I saw a buddy of mine, Youssef, who was just stepping out of the line and offered me his spot. As soon as I got in line, the guy on my left comments to me, “Hey, that’s a pretty expensive camera. I bet it takes good pictures, huh?” “That’s nothing,” says the guy on the other side of me, who then proceeds to explain to the first guy how his 835Mp Point-n-shoot is simply the greatest camera ever invented, and how it was reverse-engineered from a crashed alien spaceship. The only thing I could hear through all this techno-gibberish was my own brain repeating “Gotta get the shot; gotta get the shot; gotta get the shot,” drilling itself deeper into my head like a gopher on speed.

Finally, at that moment when the sun was about 54% degrees above the horizon in the western sky, the light was perfect, and yes, by Gosh, I got the shot. Just as I was turning to leave, I saw my good friend, Jim Goldstein looking to get his own shot. So with a swift elbow to ribs of the guy on my right, and an ‘accidental’ tripod shot to the guy on my left, I was able to let Jim take over my spot. I heard he also pulled off a pretty amazing shot, and I think you owe it to yourself to check his shot out here. His is almost as good as mine.

Btw, a note about processing: Even though I always shoot in the middle of the day, I still think Read the rest of this post »

Yosemite Valley in Spring; A mini-portfolio at Behance

Posted March 30th, 2015 by
Categories: California, National Parks, Photos, Travel, Yosemite

Picture: Clouds on Half Dome at sunset from Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California

Image: Clouds on Half Dome at sunset from Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California

I’ve recently processed a bunch of images from Yosemite Valley in spring. They are all images I shot over the course of several days while working on my last book project.

Image: Detail of Upper Yosemite Falls in spring, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, CaliforniaImage: Dogwood blossoms in spring along the Merced River, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California

Click here to see a select mini-portfolio of Yosemite Valley in Spring that can be seen over on Behance.

These images, and many more from this particular shoot, have now been added to my searchable online Image Archive Library, and are available for purchase as either fine art prints or murals for decorating home or office walls, or they can be licensed for use in publications. You’ll also find a link to the complete set of images processed from this shoot on the Behance mini-portfolio page.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Behance or know what it is, let me just say that it’s something I’ve tried a few times, and I like it for its ability to create these kind of singular mini-portfolios. So what is Behance? If subscribe to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, the new monthly subscription service for using the Adobe Suite of products like Photoshop and Lightroom, you get Behance included with your Creative Cloud subscription. In essence, it’s a place on the web where you and other creatives can show off your creative projects or works in progress. Part of me has an internal debate about whether it’s better to show a full mini-portfolio project like this using Behance, or simply try to do the same thing with posting the same exact thing here on my blog. Technically I could do both, but for the meantime I figure I’ll give the edge to Behance and see if there’s any real benefit to using the service that’s included with my Creative Cloud subscription.

By the way, if you’re already posting or sharing work over on Behance, I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments, or feedback as well, and please feel free to include a link to your Behance profile inthe comments section below. You can find mine at: https://www.behance.net/enlightphoto

Finally, as a Special Offer to readers of my blog, and in celebration of these new images being added to my archive, you can use the promotional code “A121030YOS” to save 30% on the purchase of any image from this set of Yosemite in Spring, as well as any image from the complete collection (also linked on the Behance page), or on any other image with an order placed through my Image Archive. This offer is valid only through April 30, 2015. The promotional coupon code is valid for one order per person, with no minimum purchase. However, there are only ten (10) redeemable coupons available through this special offer, so act now and save 30% on any order.



If you like this post , I would greatly appreciate it if you’d consider sharing this with your friends using one of the Social Media sharing buttons located at the top of this post. You can also sign up to receive free updates by email when future posts are made to this blog.


 


Gary Crabbe is an award-winning commercial and editorial outdoor travel photographer and author based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, California. He has seven published books on California to his credit, including “Photographing California; v1-North”, which won the prestigious 2013 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal award as Best Regional title. His client and publication credits include the National Geographic Society, the New York Times, Forbes Magazine, TIME, The North Face, Subaru, L.L. Bean, Victoria’s Secret, Sunset Magazine, The Nature Conservancy, and many more. Gary is also a photography instructor and consultant, offering both public and private photo workshops. He also works occasionally a professional freelance Photo Editor.

Book Review – Crusade For Your Art

Posted March 24th, 2015 by
Categories: ART, Books, Photo Business, Reviews

Picture: Freshly framed fine art photographic print getting ready for shipment to a client.

Image: Freshly framed fine art photographic print getting ready for shipment to a client

I wanted to share with you this post about a book I recently had a chance to review. Crusade for Your Art – Best Practices for Fine Art Photographers is written by Jennifer Schwartz, and includes contributions from more than two dozen notable photographers, editors, publishers, and gallery directors. Jennifer is also the founder and Executive Director of CursadeforArt.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting artists and their artwork together with new audiences. And while I don’t consider myself a true ‘Fine Art’ photographer, I’ve had enough experience selling fine art prints and dealing with a variety of galleries over my 25 years to feel like I have a pretty solid handle on what it takes to enter this niche of the art world.

Image: Crusade for Your Art - Best Practices for Fine Art PhotographersCrusade for Your Art – Best Practices for Fine Art Photographers is just over 100 pages of an easy to read, well-written guide to successfully entering the world of Fine Art Photography. It seems best targeted for those who have already developed a strong passion for photography as a medium, and those who are looking into avenues of creating and selling photographic works as fine art prints. The first third of the book addresses some of the very basic and primary considerations such as what it means to establish a body of work, editing that work, and then moving on to more technical aspects like identifying what choices can be made regarding sizing, whether you should do limited editions, and pricing your work. She also addresses some of the other important supporting aspects which will help to establish any artist like the need for a website and a presence on Social Media sites. The meat of the book is tailored to Read the rest of this post »

Something wrong in Shangri La – Using photos to communicate

Posted March 23rd, 2015 by
Categories: Bay Area, California, Environment, Outdoors, Photos, Rants and Raves

Photo: The fresh green hills of Briones Regional Park in spring, looking toward Mount Diablo, Contra Costa County, California

Image: The fresh green hills of Briones Regional Park in spring, looking toward Mount Diablo, Contra Costa County, California

One of the things I always tell participants in my workshops, presentations, and especially when I’m doing professional image critiques or portfolio reviews, is something that is often lost or not truly recognized by many beginning photographers; namely that photography is all about communication. This is especially true for most of the ‘I-just-like-taking-pretty-pictures’ crowd. Simply put, as a media, photography is a form of visual communication. As photographers, we use the frame of the camera as a conduit for expressing our vision of the world around us. Our goal as a visual communicator should be to have a clear and focused idea of what story we are trying to convey with our photos. It should then be much easier for the viewer to pick up on that story. Hopefully, the result will be that a viewer will share in your emotional connection with your subject, and can internally relate to the message that your image is trying to convey. If you don’t have a clear idea of the story you are trying to convey, or are unable to frame that story in a visually concise manner, you’re very likely to get a quick and dismissive “that’s nice,” as the viewer oh-so briefly looks at, and just as quickly moves on from your photo.

In a recent workshop, a participant asked, “How many photos does it take to make a story?” The simple answer is just One. Every picture should tell a story. If any of your photos aren’t telling a story, then the question begs to be asked, “Why did you take the picture?”

When you are able to take a series of photos, each reinforcing or adding to the others, then the strength and clarity of your story becomes clearer. This works for books filled with beautiful landscape pictures, a diary of travel scenes, to photojournalism-style essays involving any aspect of life, especially the harsh, gritty, or ugly truth that sometimes surrounds us.

Take for example the lead photo in this post. This is Briones Regional Park here in the East Bay hills of the San Francisco Bay Area. It my personal Shangri-La. It is where I hike to get my exercise, to clear my thoughts, refresh my soul, escape, and rejuvenate. The photo shows the fresh green landscape looking as lush as you might expect to find in the rolling hills of the English or Irish countryside, yet it’s mere miles from some of the largest population centers in California.

But what other kind of story about this beautiful place could I tell with my photography? Well, let’s take a look at some of the scenery I encountered on a single day’s hike last week. A friend of mine didn’t think I should waste my time with this, yet I felt a strong personal drive that this was a story that needed to be told. Furthermore, under the ‘Pictures are worth a thousand words’-category, I felt I could use my photography to tell this story in a much stronger fashion than I could than with words alone. What do you think?

This is an image of a plastic doggie waste litter bag. I’ve been seeing more and more of these left along the trails, as if some ‘responsible’ pet owners think that someone is employed by the park to provide trailside pick-up service for their pet’s waste. This is clearly not the case, as it is well posted that dog owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets AND packing out the trash; NOT leaving it for others to see or deal with. It’s becoming such an epidemic at our local park that it’s starting to negatively impact on the visitor experience. In fact, just the other day I saw a father walking ahead of me with his family and pointed out a bright orange baggie of dog waste that someone left a few hundred yards from the trailhead and garbage can. In fact, the photo here was taken approximately 100 feet from the parking lot and a trash can. On this hike I encountered nearly a dozen such instances of inconsiderate pet ownership waste. The sadness of it all leaves me feeling like these dog owners are what they leave behind.

These first four images were all taken within one-quarter mile of the parking lot. But wait… there’s more… Read the rest of this post »

What is, and how do you develop a Personal Vision and Style?

Posted March 10th, 2015 by
Categories: Coast, Photographers, Photos

Picture: Wave breaking on coastal rocks at sunset near Stinson Beach, Marin County, California

Image: Storm cloud over Lake Tahoe at sunset, from South Lake Tahoe, California

This month I have the privilege of being an invited guest photography mentor for an online photographic community where I get to provide advice, critiques, and insights regarding the participant members’ photos. In the forum, a member asked what I think is probably one of the most important and preeminent questions that any beginning or developing photographer could ask. It far and away supersedes any basic query regarding composition, equipment, or technique. In short, the question is, “What is Personal Vision or Style, and how do you develop it?” I thought the question is so important that I feel a need to share and expand upon my reply for all to consume.

Personal Vision is something that is created through a natural progression and growth of your own photographic pursuits and activities. It is not something that can be learned over a weekend workshop. It can take years of repeated trips out into the field, followed by critical and honest reviews of your work with an eye towards continually refining how you visually and photographically interpret the world around you. It’s that sort of personal interpretation that defines your personal vision. How you shape and process that vision becomes your style.

Image: Storm cloud over Lake Tahoe at sunset, from South Lake Tahoe, California

Personal Vision can also be partly defined through a natural or innate photographic talent; it’s what we refer to when we say that somebody has a “good eye.” For those people, the path towards developing a strong personal vision can be shorter, but it is a path nonetheless. I recently had a chance to Read the rest of this post »

All Quiet on the Western Front

Posted February 26th, 2015 by
Categories: Fossil Beds

Picture: Mist rising of unnamed lake in the Hope Valley, Alpine County, California

Image: Mist rising of unnamed lake in the Hope Valley, Alpine County, California

Regular readers of my blog posts might have noticed a longer than usual gap in my blog posts, so I thought I better chime in to let people know I’m still here. Typically I try to post something on the blog about once every week or two. I like to try and have something relatively significant to say when I post, vs. just spouting out random puffs of hot air. However, every so often, a combination of life, travels, or sometimes simply my desire to ‘unplug’ for a little while can impact the schedule or frequency of when I post new material. In this instance, things mostly outside of the photography realm have forced my attention in other directions. Fortunately those distractions aren’t anything major or bad. I will say that I’ve had way more than my desired share of technical issues with my computers, hard drives, electronics, web hosts, and cell phones over the last few months. At this point, just about everything has been fixed or replaced at least once, and in some cases, as many as four or times before being resolved. I’m not a very technical person, and at this point I’d rather have several root canals without novocaine than deal with another … nevermind… knock on wood… I’m not even gonna say it.

But things have settled down again. (Fi nge rsc ro sse d.) I do have a backlog of posts and other items that have been shuffled across the stove-top, and looking forward to sharing those over the number of weeks. In the meantime, stay tuned.

I continue to share images 3-4 times a week over on my Facebook Business Page, which I hope you’ve “Liked” and also selected ‘Get Notifications’ for when I post new items. (If you’re not familiar with the ‘Get Notifications’, Go to my business page, hover your mouse over the “LIKE” button, and you should see the option to select ‘Get Notifications’ appear. Notifications appear when you click on the globe on the top right of the facebook page.)

I also share images over on Google+, and less frequently on 500px.

If you hang out in any of these social sites, I hope you’ll connect with me there if you haven’t already. :)



If you like this post , I would greatly appreciate it if you’d consider sharing this with your friends using one of the Social Media sharing buttons located at the top of this post. You can also sign up to receive free updates by email when future posts are made to this blog.


 



Image ID#: alpn-2075



Popular Photographic Print Sizes

Traditional Prints feature:
* a luster surface
* no watermarks
* white paper border




Click here for Information & Pricing on larger paper, canvas, or metallic prints, incl. matted & framed prints. For complete purchase options, please contact me directly.


Gary Crabbe is an award-winning commercial and editorial outdoor travel photographer and author based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, California. He has seven published books on California to his credit, including “Photographing California; v1-North”, which won the prestigious 2013 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal award as Best Regional title. His client and publication credits include the National Geographic Society, the New York Times, Forbes Magazine, TIME, The North Face, Subaru, L.L. Bean, Victoria’s Secret, Sunset Magazine, The Nature Conservancy, and many more. Gary is also a photography instructor and consultant, offering both public and private photo workshops. He also works occasionally a professional freelance Photo Editor.

Point Reyes On-Assignment Photo Workshop Feb 20-22

Posted January 15th, 2015 by
Categories: California, Coast, Photo Workshops and Tours, Point Reyes, Workshops

Picture: Morning light at Drakes Bay, Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, California

Image: Morning light at Drakes Bay, Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, California

I’m again leading a 3-day Photo Workshop, “Point Reyes – On Assignment” at the beautiful Point Reyes National Seashore on September 26-28, 2014. This workshop is sponsored by the National Park’s non-profit partnership organization, the Point Reyes National Seashore Association and their Field Institute. For an amazingly friendly price, this special workshop includes accommodations at the Point Reyes Historic Lifeboat Station.

This workshop will focus on developing a creative and personal vision of a place, combined with visual storytelling. In addition, we’ll conclude the workshop with a wonderful image critique and review. For more information or to register, visit the Point Reyes Field Institute’s Photography web page. If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, or coming to Northern California in late September, this would be a fantastic chance to learn from me while out in the field at one of California’s most-scenic locations.

I hope you’ll join me for this fun weekend filled with photography. Also, if you know anyone in the area who loves outdoor photography and might be interested in this course, please consider forwarding this information or letting them know about the class. Thanks! – Gary. :)

Read the rest of this post »

My Favorite Photos of 2014

Posted December 30th, 2014 by
Categories: Photos

I’m delighted to present this collection containing some of my favorite photos that I’ve taken throughout 2014. I hope you enjoy them, and I’d love to know which are your favorite(s).

(As with all of my work, all of these pictures are available as decor via fine art prints and wall murals, or can be licensed for use in publications. Please contact me if you’re interested or would like more information.)

Picture #01: Morning light on clouds over surfers along the North Shore of Maui, Hawaii (Click here to see a larger version)

Image: Morning light on clouds over surfers along the North Shore of Maui, Hawaii

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Picture #02: Rainbow over sea stack, Bandon, Oregon

Image: Rainbow over sea stack, Bandon, Oregon

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Picture #03: Photographers shooting the sunset at the Point Reyes Headlands, Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, California

Image: Photographers shooting the sunset at the Point Reyes Headlands, Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, California

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Picture #04: Sunset light on cloud over dirt road in the Inyo National Forest, Inyo County, Eastern Sierra, California

Image: Sunset light on cloud over dirt road in the Inyo National Forest, Inyo County, Eastern Sierra, California

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Picture #05: Sunset over rolling green hills in spring, Briones Regional Park, Contra Costa County, California

Image: Storm Sunset over rolling green hills in spring, Briones Regional Park, Contra Costa County, California

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Read the rest of this post »