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Travel Guide: Glacier National Park, Montana • All-In-One Zooms

Tamron’s 18.8x 16-300MM F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro

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SCENIC

WILDLIFE

TRAVEL

SPORTS

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National Parks CENTENNIAL SPECIAL ISSUE

Carr Clifton America’s Crown Jewels

Philip Hyde The Art Of Making Parks

EQUIPMENT

Day Hike Checklist

George Grant Parks For The People

June 2016


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•FEATUR ES • 30 WILDLANDS OF THE NATIONAL PARKS Grand landscapes and intimate details await photographers willing to explore Text & Photography By Carr Clifton

36 THE ART OF MAKING NATIONAL PARKS Philip Hyde’s work continues to inspire the conservation of America’s treasures

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By David Leland Hyde / Photography By Philip Hyde

44 PARKS FOR THE PEOPLE

George Grant toiled in obscurity for nearly three decades as the first official photographer of the National Park Service. Ren and Helen Davis want to make sure his story isn’t lost to history. By William Sawalich / Photography By George Grant

50 A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON THE PARKS

For unique photo opportunities, leave the signs behind Text & Photography By Ben Horton

•HOW-TO •

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56 USING SELECTIVE FOCUS

For singular images that highlight your subject’s details, experiment with shallow depth of field Text & Photography By Gary Hart

•TR AVEL • 60 EVERYMAN’S ALASKA

Exploring the alpine meadows and dramatic vistas of Montana’s Glacier National Park Text & Photography By Josh Miller

60 4 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com

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68 HIKING GEAR CHECKLIST Apparel and accessories for photo-scouting adventures By The Editors

22 Tech Tips Light On Wildlife By George D. Lepp And Kathryn Vincent Lepp

24 Wild By Nature Celebrating Our National Wildlife Refuges By Melissa Groo

26 Fleeting Vistas Happy Birthday, National Parks! By Elizabeth Carmel

D E PA R T M E N T S

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9 Cover Shot 12 In This Issue 14 Showcase 18 In Focus 28 Favorite Places: Turkey Creek Falls New River Gorge National River, West Virginia 70 Classes, Tours & Workshops 80 Last Frame

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contributors, including Jason Bradley, Michael Clark, Michael Frye, Jay Goodrich, Ben Horton, George Lepp, Jerry Monkman, Ian Plant and Adam Woodworth.


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Editorial Editorial Director/Editor Wes Pitts Associate Editors Kristan Ashworth, Scott Younker Field Editor George D. Lepp Columnists

Elizabeth Carmel, Melissa Groo, Amy Gulick Bill Hatcher, Dewitt Jones, Frans Lanting George D. Lepp, David Muench, William Neill Contributing Technical Editor

David Schloss Contributing Editors

Jim Clark, Mark Edward Harris, David Leland Hyde, Lewis Kemper Theano Nikitas, William Sawalich Professional Advisors

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Daryl Benson, Jim Brandenburg, Carr Clifton, Daniel J. Cox Bruce Dale, James Kay, Robert Glenn Ketchum David Muench, Marc Muench, Michael Nichols John Shaw, Art Wolfe Art Art Director Michael O’Leary Graphic Designer Eric Beckett Production Design Associate Jaron Cote outdoorphotographer.com VP, Audience Development Heidi Strong Technical Product Manager Michael Ma Senior Digital Designer Mike Decker Digital Media Production Associate Lisette Rose

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PRINTED IN THE U.S.A. Outdoor Photographer (ISSN: 0890-5304)—Vol. 32 No. 5—is published monthly except bimonthly Jan./Feb. by Madavor Media, LLC. Executive, editorial and advertising offices: 25 Braintree Hill Office Park, Suite 404, Braintree, MA 02184, (617) 706-9110. Periodicals Postage Paid at Boston, MA, and additional mailing offices. Single copy price—$5.99. Annual subscription in U.S., Possessions, APO/ FPO—$23.94. Canada—$38.94; other foreign—$38.94, including postage and taxes. Payable in U.S. funds. For orders, address changes and all other customer service, phone toll-free (800) 283-4410. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Outdoor Photographer, Box 37857, Boone, IA 50037-0857. Canada Post Publications Mail Class Agreement No. 1559788. Email us (editorial matters only) editors@outdoorphotographer.com or visit our website at www.outdoorphotographer.com. Copyright ©2016 by Madavor Media, LLC. No material may be reproduced without written permission. This publication is purchased with the understanding that information presented is from many sources for which there can be no warranty or responsibility by the publisher as to accuracy, originality or completeness. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering product endorsements or providing instruction as a substitute for appropriate training by qualified sources. EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS: Outdoor Photographer assumes no responsibility for solicited or unsolicited contributions and materials. We do not accept original transparencies or negatives. Otherwise, insurance for such materials, in transit or in our possession, must be the responsibility of the writer or photographer. Outdoor Photographer does not accept or agree to the conditions and stipulations printed on delivery memos, packing slips and related correspondence as they are presented without prior notice accompanying submission materials. Exceptions to this disclaimer of liability on the part of Outdoor Photographer must be prearranged, executed in writing and signed by both parties prior to the shipment of materials in question. All submissions must be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) with sufficient postage to cover the cost of return. The class of mail and insurance coverage for returns will be determined by the amount provided for on the SASE. SUBSCRIBERS: Any obligation we owe to you, including delivery of your magazine, is contingent upon you providing us with your correct mailing address. If the Post Office notifies us that your magazine is undeliverable, we have no further obligation to you unless we receive a corrected address from you within two years of the Post Office notification. BACK ISSUES are available for one year prior to the current issue. To order within the U.S., send $7.00 plus $4.00 postage and handling (Canada: $7.00 plus $5.00; International: $7.00 plus $10.00) for each issue to Back Issue Dept., Outdoor Photographer Magazine, 25 Braintree Hill Office Park, Suite 404, Braintree, MA 02184, or go online and visit the eStore. No orders processed without proper funds and specific issue information. Outdoor Photographer is a registered trademark of Madavor Media, LLC. Copyright ©2016 Madavor Media, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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cover shot

Photographer: Carr Clifton Location: Mount Deception, Brooks

and Silverthrone, Wonder Lake, the Alaska Range, Denali National Park & Preserve, Alaska Equipment: Toyo 45AR view camera, NIKKOR-W 240 ƒ/5.6, Gitzo tripod, Fujichrome Velvia Situation: One of America’s premier parks, Denali National Park & Preserve offers photographers the rare opportunity to photograph a true wilderness landscape with over six million acres of tundra, spruce forest, river valleys, glaciers and spectacular snowcapped peaks, including Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley), the tallest peak in North America. Professional photographers have the opportunity to apply for a permit to access the park with their private vehicle, which allows them entrance into an amazing ecosystem of stunning beauty and wildlife. This image was taken from iconic Wonder Lake on my first of several visits utilizing the permit system. Wonder Lake is located in roughly the middle of this vast park, where the Alaska Range looms impressively over this majestic body of water. Weather conditions can be severe and wet, but with some patience and perseverance, you may be rewarded with Alaska’s incredible light and a breathtaking view of Denali and the Alaska Range. Come prepared: Alaska mosquitoes can be fierce (head net required), and much of this landscape is boggy and brushy. Expect to work long, hard days—at the summer solstice, there are about 19-plus hours of daylight, making for lots of photo opportunities. —Carr Clifton


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in this issue

This quote from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and environmentalist, featured prominently on the National Park Service website, eloquently expresses what so many of us believe about our public wildlands, areas that embody a philosophy of good stewardship and a balancing of human needs with the well-being of life on this planet, preserving places of rare beauty and ecological imperative for the enjoyment of all of us, and for future generations. As the National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary, in this special issue dedicated to the parks, we’re proud to present several feature articles that explore the parks and their history from diverse points of view. Stegner edited the 1955 Sierra Club book, This Is Dinosaur: Echo Park Country and Its Magic Rivers, which included images by master conservation photographer Philip Hyde. “Environmental writers including [Martin] Litton, Jon Cosco and others have credited it as the first book ever published for an environmental cause,” notes David Leland Hyde, Philip’s son, in his article “The Art Of Making National Parks,” which considers the significant influence of his father’s photography in helping to establish and protect many of our most celebrated parks. “Our national parks, seashores and historic sites receive close to 300 million visitors a year,” Hyde writes, “but the process of establishing most of the parks was nearly always an allout war between development or resource extraction interests and those who wanted to preserve wildlands for perpetuity.” Photography has played a central role in helping to establish and promote the national parks from the beginning. In “Parks For The People,” William Sawalich spotlights the work of Ren and Helen Davis to tell the story of George Grant, who served the National Park Service as its chief photographer for 25 years, but whose work went largely uncredited. “George Grant was one of the most important and influential outdoor photographers of the first half of the 20th century,” reports Sawalich, “but few know his name.” Though he worked in relative anonymity, “Grant’s beautiful landscape images—many of which contained visitors not just for scale, but also to reinforce the idea of the parks as truly ‘for the people’—played a large part in the improved awareness, increased attendance and, ultimately, the clamor for conservation of these wildlands.” Among the great landscape photographers working today, Carr Clifton is one of the most influential and respected. A selection of Clifton’s stunning images from national parks

George Grant

“National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.” —Wallace Stegner

across the country are showcased in “Wildlands Of The National Parks.” Clifton reflects on what has drawn so many celebrated artists like himself to these places: “The crown jewels of North America, America’s national parks, are the ultimate inspiration for anyone who admires beauty, art and the natural world. They offer photographers an increasingly rare opportunity to photograph some of the remaining wild landscapes in North America.” It’s interesting to note that Clifton’s neighbor and photographic mentor was none other than Philip Hyde. Creating personal images in the parks is increasingly a challenge, as the multitude of visitors tend to flock to familiar locations. In “A New Perspective On The Parks,” Ben Horton emphasizes that to make distinctive images, you need to break from the crowd. “I try to skip the viewpoints where a constant onslaught of tripods have all but worn three dents in the end of a well-paved trail,” quips Horton. “It means more work and far more failed attempts, but when everything comes together, it also means having something unique. It won’t just be an image that stands out in our collection—it will stand out from everyone’s collections.” One way to approach this is to seek and highlight intimate details of the landscape in your compositions. Gary Hart shares one of his favorite methods for achieving this in “Using Selective Focus,” which describes the in-camera techniques he employs when he wants to isolate a particular attribute of his subject. Hart explains, “Often, I make a quality of an object my subject—not the entire poppy, but the curve of a petal; not the entire maple leaf, but its intricate network of veins.” Whether you’re drawn to the grand vistas or to the tiny hidden gems of nature preserved in our national parks and wildlands, we hope you’ll soon have the opportunity to enjoy photography in these very special places, and to support the conservation efforts that protect them. —Wes Pitts, Editor

Questions, comments? Email us at editors@outdoorphotographer.com. 12 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com


Jordan Edgcomb

Sunset On Schwabacher’s Landing | By Jordan Edgcomb In late May in Grand Teton National Park, the snow still rests on the peaks of the iconic Tetons, outside of Jackson, Wyoming. Using a B+W 10-stop neutral-density filter, I was able to get an exposure of 171 seconds at ƒ/22, ISO 50, rendering all the movement in the clouds and water of the beaver pond at the ever-popular Schwabacher’s Landing. This oft-photographed location commonly has many artists plying their craft at both sunrise and sunset. This evening was no different, as I had to get there a few hours before the “golden hour” to get my desired location right on the banks with the awe-inspiring Grand Teton front and center in my image. The clouds luckily provided me with motion and color in the sky. Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 16-35mm ƒ/2.8L II USM, Gitzo tripod with Manfrotto ballhead, Canon remote 14 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com


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Twilight At The Devil’s Golf Course

Michel Hersen

By Michel Hersen The photo was taken on a cold January day. I walked gingerly between the salt crystals to avoid trampling the environment. I finally found my spot at about 4:00 p.m., and settled on the composition. Things didn’t look too promising, at first. It was overcast with no discernible break in the clouds. For about an hour, I was on my knees, ensconced between the sharp crystals, hoping for that proverbial break in the clouds. And, then, a little after 5:00 p.m., the heavens opened up and there was one of these glorious ephemeral moments in nature. I shot away for five minutes, but this one was the winner for the evening. Nikon D300, AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR II, 0.5 sec., ƒ/13, ISO 200, Cokin 3-stop graduated neutraldensity filter, Gitzo tripod with Arca-Swiss ballhead

Mesmer Back in January, I arrived in Yosemite National Park just as the valley was being consumed by fog. I was entranced! I had been to the park many times, but these were, by far, the best conditions I had ever seen for photography. After capturing the glorious, but typical Tunnel View, I became mesmerized by the trees on the valley floor. I decided to pull in for some detail shots and get a little more creative with the scene. Even though my excitement level was at a fever pitch, I became one with the moment and the peaceful feeling of seeing the fog hovering there between the trees. I must say, I had mixed feelings about the results. While, yes, it’s sad there are so many dead trees on the valley floor, I couldn’t help but see how beautiful nature is. Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF 70-300mm ƒ/4-5.6L IS USM, 1/8 sec., ƒ/5.6, ISO 100, Gitzo tripod with Manfrotto ballhead

16 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com

Vincent James

By Vincent James


SONY CYBER-SHOT RX10 III S

SONY CYBER-SHOT HX80 S Delivering a slightly longer focal length than the RX10 III in a tiny body, the new Sony Cyber-shot HX80 features an image-stabilized 30x zoom with a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 24-720mm. This 18-megapixel camera is equipped with Sony’s innovative pop-up OLED viewfinder, a 3-inch LCD that tilts 180º and a small pop-up flash. WiFi/NFC and full HD video capture round out this highly capable little camera’s many features. List Price: $350. Contact: Sony, sony.com.

The latest iteration of Sony’s advanced fixed-lens Cyber-shot RX family, the RX10 III is built around a 20-megapixel, stacked 1-inch BSI sensor. More notably, the camera now features an ƒ/2.4-4, 25x zoom lens with a tremendous focal range of 24-600mm. Along with its extended telephoto reach, the lens’ Optical SteadyShot delivers up to 4.5 steps of image stabilization. In addition to a wide range of still features, the RX10 III is capable of shooting 4K video with full pixel readout without pixel binning; for added creativity, check out the camera’s super-slow-motion options. List Price: $1,499. Contact: Sony, sony.com.

W NEW SONY FE LENSES Small, lightweight, fast and highly affordable at $250, the new Sony FE 50mm F1.8 will find its way into many photographers’ gear bags. Weighing in at less than 7 ounces, this compact lens features a new optical design, a metal mount and promises beautiful bokeh. At the same time, Sony introduced the FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS telephoto zoom. This high-quality lens is designed for still and video shooting, and offers a minimum focusing distance of less than three feet for close-ups. List Price: $1,200 (70-300mm); $250 (50mm). Contact: Sony, sony.com.

18 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com

CANON EOS REBEL T6 S Building on its Rebel line of DSLRs, Canon’s new 18-megapixel EOS Rebel T6 uses the company’s DIGIC 4+ image processor to deliver up to 3 fps continuous shooting with predictive autofocus using its 9-point AF system and AI Servo AF. A native 100-6400 ISO range can be expanded to 12800 for low-light shooting, and WiFi/NFC delivers easy image transfer. You’ll also find a high-resolution, 3-inch LCD and a variety of manual and automatic features, including a new “white priority” auto white balance for more neutral tones under incandescent lighting. List Price: $550 (with 18-55mm kit lens). Contact: Canon, usa.canon.com.


W COTTON CARRIER 2 CAMERA VEST When you want—or need—to keep your hands free (or just want to take the weight of your gear off your shoulder), the Cotton Carrier 2 Camera Vest may be the perfect solution. More like a fabric harness than a full, traditional photo vest, the Cotton Carrier is designed to hold one DSLR—or two, with the included side holster—providing quick and easy access when you’re ready to shoot. It even will comfortably, and safely, hold a DSLR with up to a 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 lens. The cameras lock into the vest with anodized aluminum hubs threaded into the bottom of the tripod mount. Connections are secure and built to last. List Price: $189. Contact: Cotton Carrier, cottoncarrier.com.

TAMRAC HOODOO DAYPACK T Constructed with water-resistant waxed canvas and PU-coated ripstop, the Tamrac Hoodoo Daypack is designed for the outdoors. For a quick day hike with a compact DSLR or mirrorless system, check out the Hoodoo 18, with plenty of room for personal gear and up to a 13-inch laptop, too. For larger gear or more intensive adventures, the Hoodoo 20 may be the better choice, with its larger, removable module and ability to pack personal gear and most 15-inch laptops. The latter doubles as a shoulder bag for non-photo outings. List Price: $80 (Hoodoo 18); $130 (Hoodoo 20). Contact: Tamrac, tamrac.com.

outdoorphotographer.com June 2016 19


MARMOT YURT T This sleeping bag does double-duty as a cozy and warm wrap when you’re on an overnight trek and opens up to a queen-sized quilt for keeping warm at home. The full-sized rectangular Marmot Yurt is filled with 650-fill water-resistant goose down to keep you warm and dry in temperatures as low as 35º F. The Yurt, which measures 78x78x78 inches and weighs 2 pounds, 8 ounces, also features a brushed lining in the head/chest area for extra comfort. List Price: $249. Contact: Marmot, marmot.com.

KELTY TRAIL RIDGE 2 S The Kelty Trail Ridge 2 tent almost makes camping seem luxurious, with near-vertical walls, dual doors and two vestibules for storing gear. It’s backpack-friendly, with a packed size of 16x10x4 inches. With a floor area of 34 square feet, there’s enough room for two people. Add a long footprint, night light pockets and, for those clear nights, a special stargazing fly, and this tent may be the ideal home away from home on your next camping trip. List Price: $230. Contact: Kelty, kelty.com.

SIERRA DESIGNS NIGHT GLOW S If you’re out in the field overnight, chances are good that a headlamp is part of your gear kit. Rather than taking a separate light to illuminate your tent at night, simply lock the headlamp into the Sierra Designs Night Glow. Constructed of polyester, the Night Glow weighs less than an ounce and features a foam top to add structure. It comes with an adjustable cord and hooks, and can be added to any tent with ceiling loops. It’s a great affordable lighting solution. List Price: $15. Contact: Sierra Designs, sierradesigns.com.

20 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com


BAY PHOTO XPOZER X New from Bay Photo, Xpozer combines prints on a Vivid Satin material with an innovative aluminum mounting and hanging system. The print and hardware come in an easy-to-carry/ship package, which is great for the exhibiting photographer. Just unroll the print, attach the tension bars to the print’s four corner pieces, and the print is ready to hang—no frame needed. You even can order Xchange prints to swap images without purchasing new hardware. Available in four sizes from 16x16 to 24x36 inches. List Price: From $27. Contact: Bay Photo, bayphoto.com.

G-TECHNOLOGY G-DRIVE MOBILE S Available with the latest USB Type-C connection or USB 3.0, if you prefer, the slender G-Technology G-DRIVE mobile drives are highly portable and surrounded by a stylish aluminum case in space gray, gold or silver for the Type-C model, black for the USB 3.0 models. The former, which provides 1 TB of storage and transfer rates of up to 136 MB/s, is bundled with two cables, while the USB 3.0 models come in 2 TB and 3 TB capacities. List Price: $120 (Type-C); $130 (USB 3.0 2 TB); $180 (USB 3.0 3 TB). Contact: G-Technology, g-technology.com.

outdoorphotographer.com June 2016 21


tech tips

Light On Wildlife The Eyes Have It! • Animals And Flash Photography How Far Can You Take It? • Sharing A Bunch Of Images By George D. Lepp and Kathryn Vincent Lepp

Eyeshine On A Rufous Hummingbird. Photographed with a long lens and projected flash attached to the camera’s hot-shoe, this hummer shows some serious blue eyeshine, predictable when the light source is on the same axis as the lens. Canon EOS 5DS, Canon EF 800mm ƒ/5.6L IS USM with Canon Extender EF 2X (1600mm), 1/180 sec., ƒ/16, ISO 400, Better Beamer Flash X-Tender

The Eyes Have It! I’m using flash in my wildlife photography both as a fill and as a main light source. Sometimes I get eyeshine, and sometimes I don’t. What’s the answer to consistently get rid of it? B. Jamison Salt Lake City, Utah Eyeshine is a problem when light enters an animal’s dilated eye; the intensity and color depend on the size of the pupil and the anatomy of the eye. It is, of course, more problematic in lowlight photography since the animal’s pupils are more likely to be dilated and the photographer is more likely to be using flash. But it’s also possible when using projected flash in daylight to open shadows or expand detail. Here, we can take a lesson from wedding photographers who are always fighting the red-eyed demon bride. 22 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com

You’ll notice that the pros position the flash on a tall arm above the camera. Getting the flash as far as possible off the axis of the lens is the answer, for brides and all the other wild creatures. Some species, especially night hunters, are very susceptible to eyeshine, and others seldom exhibit the problem. In a stationary setup, position the light stands on either side of, and away from, the camera. Don’t mount a flash on the camera’s hot-shoe. If you’re working with a flash attached to the camera because you’re moving around, get a system where the flash is raised as far as possible above the camera, higher than the standard wedding photography rigs. Or, have an assistant hold the flash and position the light on the subject from an angle away from the camera. You’ll need a focusing light on the camera to show the assistant where you’re focusing, and to actually focus. If you have

the chance, get into a zoo or find someone who has a pet animal that normally would show eyeshine, so you can try out your system in a controlled situation. Photoshop, Lightroom and Elements all have tools to eliminate red-eye in people, and they do a reasonable job on some animals, as well. Or, dust off your Photoshop skills to convincingly remove that red, green, white or yellow reflection in the animal’s eye. Animals and Flash Photography At my recent Salt Lake City seminar on wildlife photography, the question of whether animals in the field are affected by electronic flash was raised. I’ve used flash for decades, both as a fill and main light source, for bird and animal photography, in daylight and darkness; in that time, only one animal has actually rejected me and the flash. The big silverback gorilla at the Miami Zoo was


pretty clear about it: After the first shot from my projected flash (to fill in all the black on his body), he turned away from me with a disgusted look and wouldn’t show me his face again. I’ve used flash at close range and projected flash from a distance on subjects as diverse as big cats in Africa, big-horned sheep in Yellowstone, polar bears in Canada, grizzly bears in Alaska, marmots in the Rockies, and foxes and black bears in my backyard in Colorado, and a huge variety of birds on all continents, all with no reaction whatsoever. Flash directly into the dilated eyes of night hunters can disorient them; for this reason, flash photography often isn’t permitted in African reserves in darkness. While flash photography is still banned at all times in some controlled locations, the biologists in charge have never been able to provide me with a reason, except in the Galápagos Islands, where the purpose is to minimize the litter from flash bulbs, clearly, a long-standing rule. Here’s the rule I’ve established for myself: No photograph is worth jeopardizing your subject, and some subjects just aren’t meant to be photographed. Be alert to reactions to your flash (and your presence), especially when photographing vulnerable subjects such as nesting birds. Back away if feeding is disrupted. Discontinue the use of flash if the animal repeatedly reacts to it, changes behavior, gives you some form of the one-finger salute or tries to leave. Be respectful. After all, we’re nature photographers, not paparazzi. How Far Can You Take It? I’m about to start a photo project where higher ISOs will be needed. I’m photographing early in the morning and later in the evening. I hope to publish the results and maybe even enter the images into contests, so I need good quality. How far can I take the ISO and still get excellent image quality, and what camera might I need to accomplish the highest ISOs possible? G. Brent Via email Everyone has his or her own standard of quality when it comes to images. In this case, we’re talking technical quality, and your intended use of the images for publication and competition narrows it (Cont’d on page 75)


wild by nature

Celebrating Our National Wildlife Refuges For amazing photo opportunities, flock to your nearest wildlife haven By Melissa Groo

of them, or confuse them with other federal land. The NWR System is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with the mission “to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.” Back in 1948, legendary naturalist and ornithologist Roger Tory Peterson wrote: “The insignia of the flying goose marks the Fish and Wildlife Service refuges. These sanctuaries are usually the best places for wildlife for miles around, and bird watchers who live within striking distance of one often make it A yellow-headed blackbird performs its courtship display at the edge of a marsh in Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Utah.

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o you love wildlife photography, but come up short on ideas for destinations? Did you know there are almost 600 areas set aside all across the U.S. that are havens for wildlife? That these havens are actively managed to attract birds and other animals, and are often sited along migratory pathways? That they’re places eager for people to visit, observe and photograph nature? These places offer auto tours, hiking trails, occasional photo blinds and thousands of acres to roam. Some of these havens are located in remote areas, while others lie within an hour’s drive of major cities. These places provide habitat for more than 700 species of birds, 220 species of mammals, 1,000 species of fish, and 250 reptile and amphibian species. More than 380 of our endangered or threatened species find refuge here, 24 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com

Twilight falls on Bowdoin Lake National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Montana in early spring.

from the Florida panther to the leatherback sea turtle. These are our National Wildlife Refuges. They’re all over the United States, yet many Americans are barely aware

their headquarters on weekend trips.” My own immersion in refuges first took place a couple of years ago when I planned a trip to Medicine Lake and Bowdoin Lake NWRs in Montana.


From a blind, I photographed sharptailed grouse displaying on a lek, and I spent many hours lying flat on my belly along the edge of the lakes, my camera trained on dozens of grebes, avocets, phalaropes and stilts. Hours would go by, and I wouldn’t see another soul. Sometimes I would only see a couple of other cars the entire day. Though I was grateful for the solitude, I also wondered why these places weren’t better visited. Some of the photos I left with went on to win awards and garner magazine covers. And now I have a long list of refuges I want to visit. I hope you’ll make a list, too. Let me help you with some tips. Research and Plan Your Trip • Find a refuge by visiting the FWS page, fws.gov/refuges/. You may be surprised to find there’s one or more within driving distance of your home. • Pore over the refuge’s website. Make sure you locate their wildlife and plants checklists to find out what’s there. • Download the myRefuge app; it locates nearby refuges and features maps. • Look for refuges with a tour road or wildlife drive. Birds and other animals tend to be more comfortable with you when you’re in a car, and this is how I’ve best been able to photograph many shy species such as meadowlarks and pronghorn. Refuge tour routes are generally open sunrise to sunset, but check this, as hours vary across refuges and seasons. • Do an image search on Google and Flickr by plugging in the name of the refuge to see what others have photographed there and what the landscape looks like. • Make sure you’re not going during hunting season, as hunting is allowed on some refuges, and all animals will be more difficult to find during those times. • Pay attention to tide charts for coastal refuges like Ding Darling, Bombay Hook or Merritt Island. (I once went to Ding Darling at high tide and it was a complete bust with no birds to be found.) • If traveling, find a nearby motel or camping spot. Camping isn’t allowed in most refuges. • Call a refuge’s Visitor Services and ask to speak to a biologist or refuge officer. You can determine likelihood and locations of species you’re interested in, as well as whether any areas will be closed off while you’re there.

Offering to contribute photos of sensitive species to refuge literature is a nice exchange for useful information. • Build in an extra day or two at the outset of your trip, both to stop by the visitor center and speak with staff in person, and to spend time scouting for locations, determining sun angle and possibility for natural cover to shoot from, etc. Consider joining a guided tour. Blinds Blinds are often available for photography, free of charge. Some blinds are on a first-come basis; others require advance reservations. Ask for a map and directions to the blind, and try to scout out the location the day before so you can find it in the dark. Don’t forget your headlamp! Fees and Rules Some refuges are free to enter, some charge a nominal fee. The best bet is to buy a Duck Stamp (at the refuge, or in advance at your post office or online). With that stamp, you’re entitled to free admission to any U.S. refuge. What’s more, your monies go directly to acquisition of wetland habitat and conservation easements for the NWR System. It’s wonderful to be able to directly support the critical habitat these refuges provide the wild animals we love. Will you need to purchase a photography permit? There’s been a lot of confusion about this, but what you need to know is that as stated in 43 CFR 5.2, Code of Federal Regulations, still photography doesn’t require a permit unless: • It uses a model, set, or prop; or • The agency determines a permit is necessary because: a) It takes place at a location where or when members of the public are not allowed; or b) The agency would incur costs for providing on-site management and oversight to protect agency resources or minimize visitor use conflicts. These conditions apply to very few of us photographers. Know the other regulations of refuges that may pertain to photography. Operating drones on refuges is illegal, as are trail cameras or remotely controlled cameras. Baiting of wildlife and altering their habitat is illegal. Keep a safe and respectful distance from animals.

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(Cont’d on page 75) outdoorphotographer.com June 2016 25


fleeting vistas

Happy Birthday, National Parks! Preserving the legacy of our public lands for generations to come By Elizabeth Carmel

Enchanted Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah

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lmost everyone reading this article has at some point visited and photographed one of our spectacular national parks. (If not, stop reading and go do that now!) As a child growing up in the South, I hadn’t witnessed the beauty of the western parks until I was a young adult. I had only seen photos in books. I remember arriving at night on my first visit to Yosemite, when the dramatic cliffs were hidden in darkness. In the morning, I walked out of Yosemite Lodge and was stunned by the sight of Yosemite Falls and the surrounding cliffs. It was a moment that I’ll always remember as my introduction to the grandeur of the national parks. Many years later, a hike up into the mountains of the Sierra Nevada in the John Muir Wilderness would kindle my love 26 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com

of landscape photography and the desire to share what I saw with others who couldn’t visit these places. Access to our country’s national parks and wilderness areas has made my career as a professional landscape photographer possible. I can photograph them because previous generations recognized the intrinsic value of our wildlands, and also understood the importance of protecting the public’s access to our nation’s most spectacular landscapes. President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service (NPS) on August 25, 1916. Many of our most beloved parks were protected long before the creation of the agency that now oversees them. Yellowstone National Park, the world’s first national park, was designated in 1872, establishing the United States as a leader in the protection of lands for public use and enjoyment. Yosemite began as a state park in 1864 and eventually came under the management of the National Park System in 1890. Since each of these early parks was managed independently, issues arose with mismanagement and lack of adequate resource protection. The NPS was established to provide a single management agency for all the national parks to ensure their continued protection. The legislation establishing the NPS mandates the agency “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” Today, the National Park System covers more than 84 million acres and includes not only national parks, but national monuments, seashores, parkways and rivers. The origins of landscape and nature photography are closely linked to the evolution of our National Park System. The images created by early landscape photographers brought public awareness to the grandeur of the American West and laid the groundwork for the establishment of our National Park System. The pioneers of landscape photography, including William Henry Jackson, Carleton Watkins, Eadweard Muybridge, Ansel Adams and, more recently, Galen Rowell, were all inspired by the scenic grandeur of places now protected as national parks. Among the first photographers to establish a livelihood in the field of landscape photography was George Fiske, a Watkins protégé who lived in Yosemite and transported his cumbersome camera equipment in a cart pulled by a donkey. He made his living selling prints to Yosemite tourists, paving the way for future photographers like me to do the same. Jay Haynes, a photography pioneer in Yellowstone National


Park, started a photography concession there in 1884. His work helped bring attention to the spectacular beauty of Yellowstone and facilitated its protection as a national park. While the NPS has made its share of management mistakes (does anyone remember the “firefall” off Glacier Point in Yosemite or the bleachers set up in Curry Village for spectators to watch bears feeding on trash?), they usually have remedied errors of the past and led the way in finding solutions to vexing problems faced by the parks. One example of their leadership is the effective mandatory bus service in Zion National Park, which has vastly improved the visitor experience there. Park scientists and managers often develop innovative techniques for environmental restoration, traffic management, fire management, wildlife conservation and historic preservation. Since there’s always room for improvement, the NPS has established General Management Plans, which guide the management of each park over a 15- to 20-year time frame. The plans set the basic philosophy and broad guidance for management decisions that affect each park’s resources and visitor experience. Development of these plans is open to a public process, providing all interested people a chance to be involved in a park’s plan for the future. Establishment of national parks was followed by other forms of public lands protection, most notably the Wilderness Act of 1964. The Wilderness Act protects lands in their primeval condition as places of solitude “where people can renew the human spirit through association with the natural world.” Some of the most spectacular places on earth can be found in designated wilderness areas of the United States. Originating in the United States, the concept of protection of lands for public use has spread throughout the world. Now almost all countries have national parks or a similar designation to protect their natural wonders for future generations. As populations increase, there’s mounting pressure on our public lands. The next 100 years of the National Park Service will bring untold challenges to the continued protection of our nation’s most treasured places. Threats to be grappled with include pressures to extract coal and natural gas resources on lands near or in park boundaries

(currently an issue in Arches National Park), threats from climate change (think receding glaciers in Glacier National Park), and air pollution from traffic and encroaching urban development. A quick review of #parksinperil on Twitter reveals a long list of threats to our national parks. Most importantly, we must educate the next generation who will be left with the legacy of our public lands and the caretaking responsibility over the next 100 years. The NPS has been a leader in providing natural history education to our nation’s students through its excellent visitor centers and Junior Ranger programs. As photographers who love the access and beauty provided by these parks, we can play a crucial role in educating the next generation about the importance of these lands. Our images are a window into these beautiful places that not all are

fortunate to see in person. We can still share with others the magnificence of these places first photographed 150 years ago, following the examples set by founders of the landscape photography movement in the 1800s. Happy 100th Birthday, National Park Service! I hope on your 200th birthday, future generations can look back and appreciate how the parks were cared for under our watch. OP Elizabeth Carmel is a professional landscape and travel photographer. She and her husband Olof Carmel own and operate two art galleries in California, the Carmel Gallery in Calistoga and the Carmel Gallery in Truckee. You can get more information about her prints, galleries, workshops and books at ElizabethCarmel.com and TheCarmel Gallery.com. For more information about her videos, go to VistaChannel.tv.

Alpenglow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California outdoorphotographer.com June 2016 27


FAVORITE W ES T VI R G I NI A

PL ACES

TEXT & PHOTOGRAPHY BY ED REHBEIN

TURKEY CREEK FALLS

New River Gorge National River, West Virginia

LOCATION

WEATHER

The New River slashes through southern West Virginia, cutting the deepest and longest river gorge in Appalachia. This spectacular sight draws visitors from around the world to the 70,000-acre New River Gorge National River, a part of the National Park Service. Running from Fayetteville, West Virginia, in the north to Hinton, West Virginia, in the south, the NRGNR stretches 53 miles from end to end. Nestled in the steep slopes of the gorge are hundreds of rugged waterfalls that are fertile ground for challenging hikes and striking photos.

In the Appalachian Mountains, weather can change quickly. Summer thunderstorms can pop up, and winters can be snowy. During the summer, temperatures are moderate, averaging in the 50s for lows and the 70s for highs. Precipitation is fairly evenly spread throughout the year, with July being the wettest month.

PHOTO EXPERIENCE Of the hundreds of waterfalls in the New River Gorge, I have five favorites. Cathedral Falls is located on U.S. Highway 60 at a roadside rest stop one mile east of Gauley Bridge. Descend-

What’s Your Favorite Place? 28 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com

ing 60 feet in a series of three dramatic drops, Cathedral Falls is as photogenic as they come. Sitting at the end of the Fisherman’s Trail, Turkey Creek Falls, pictured here, is just six miles down the road at Hawks Nest State Park and is best photographed after some heavy summer rains. Setups are limited to a bridge that crosses Turkey Creek right at the base of the falls. Sitting so close to the falls, a wide-angle lens is essential. Flanked by 60-foot-high sandstone cliffs, Fern Creek Falls near the Canyon Rim Visitor Center epitomizes a New River Gorge waterfall—rough and rocky. During average runoff, the falls are confined to a deep, vertical cleft in the cliff, but at high water, part of the waterfall shoots over the cliff edge and plunges 50 feet into a pool below. Wolf Creek Falls, located by the Kaymoor trailhead on Fayette Station Road, is rough and rugged, too. The falls are below the road and a little downstream from the trailhead parking. A bushwhacked trail to the falls is steep and rocky, and choked with rhododendron. The trail opens up halfway down, with spectacular

views of the falls to your right. No tour of the New River Gorge waterfalls would be complete without a stop at Sandstone Falls, which is nine miles north of Hinton. Worldwide, Sandstone Falls ranks 19th by width and 33rd by volume. The falls are easily explored by a quartermile, handicapped-accessible boardwalk that leads to observation decks, but for the finest views, take a bushwhacked trail to the right near the end of the boardwalk. It leads to an island with panoramic views of the falls.

BEST TIMES Waterfall prime time in the gorge extends from March through May. At this time, the streams are full from spring thaw and rains. Moreover, by May, the forest canopy has leafed out, gracing the landscape in lush greens. Summer works well if you can catch the streams after a few days of rain. Due to high contrasts, waterfalls are best photographed under overcast skies. OP Contact: New River Gorge National River, nps.gov/neri. For real-time stream levels, check waterdata.usgs.gov/wv/nwis/rt. See more of Ed Rehbein’s work at edrehbeinphoto.foliosnap.net.

Essential Gear Neutral-density and polarizing filters are crucial for waterfall shoots an ND filter like the HOYA PROND4 to reduce the light entering your lens, allowing for longer shutter speeds to blur the falls. A circular polarizer eliminates glare on the foli age and water. Contact: HOYA (Kenko Tokina USA), kenkotokinausa.com.

Explore exciting nature imagery in the Your Favorite Places gallery at outdoorphotographer.com. Submit your photos for a chance to be published!


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ULTIMATE TRAVEL LENS SIGMA’S ALL-IN-ONE 18-300MM ZOOM COVERS CLOSE-UPS, WIDE-ANGLE AND SUPER-TELE IN A COMPACT PACKAGE

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The lens’ 28-450mm equivalent zoom range gives you the flexibility to capture wide-angle scenic images or to zoom in for super-telephoto details. Photography by David FitzSimmons

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WILDLANDS Grand landscapes and intimate details await photographers willing to explore he crown jewels of North America, America’s national parks, are the ultimate inspiration for anyone who admires beauty, art and the natural world. Whether you’re an artist—painter, writer or photographer—or just an admirer of the natural world, the national parks continue to inspire all who take the time to absorb their amazing beauty and wildness. They offer photographers an increasingly rare opportunity to photograph some of the remaining wild landscapes in North America. For me, creativity begins with my mindset. Achieving artistically satisfying photographs not only is about framing the image in the camera, but inspiring myself to look past those images that are the typical pretty postcard, or just a visual recording of a beautiful place. I’m more interested, when making photographs, to go beyond the literal and create something unique and altogether new. How do you accomplish this? Inspiration. Get out of your vehicle, walk slowly through the forest and tundra, paddle the lakes and rivers, climb the mountains, boat in the ocean—and, yes, sit still and observe. Don’t just be satisfied to visit the parks for a few days; live in the parks and take the time to get to know them. Revisit the ones that inspire you the most, and keep going back until you’re sure you’ve experienced the area thoroughly, and that the photographs you’ve made represent you and your relationship with that park. My inspiration begins with my love of water, wilderness and adventure, so I tend to travel to the wildest parks where I do my best work. Whether it’s boating in Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore or Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, or rafting Canyonlands National Park and Grand Canyon National Park, my goal is to seek places and adventures that personally inspire me and cultivate my creativity. 30 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com

OF THE


NATIONAL PARKS TEXT & PHOTOGRAPHY BY CARR CLIFTON

Canyonlands National Park This park is a geological wonder with many photographic adventure opportunities, from rafting the Colorado and Green Rivers to four-wheeling the White Rim Road. It’s an amazing desert landscape with incredible hiking, camping, petroglyphs and pictographs, and endless photo opportunities.


Redwood National Park The constantly changing weather conditions in this park provide incredible misty, moody conditions in a prehistoric forest filled with great subject matter below the horizon. Everyone, not just photographers, should experience this ancient forest.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park The spectacularly diverse hardwood forest of this park, both in spring and fall, provides photographers with endless subject matter. In spring, the flowers and flowering plants and trees abound in the densely lime-green forest, and in fall, the variety of plants creates a dramatic display of color.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore This beautiful hardwood forest, especially in fall, along the shores of Lake Superior, offers photographers both big scenic and below-the-horizon photo opportunities. Boating in this Great Lake can be challenging, but if you have the skills, it’s a fantastic way to visit this park.


WILDLANDS

The variety of terrain and habitat diversity in the national parks of North America is astounding, with each type of park requiring a different photographic approach. In the West, the large grandeur landscape tends to dominate, while in the East, a subtler, but no less photogenic beauty prevails. The grand landscapes tend to overwhelm photographers and they miss the opportunity to discover the amazing world below the horizon and at their feet. I remind myself when photographing a grand

OF THE

NATIONAL PARKS

landscape such as Yosemite to make photographs at Yosemite and not to make photographs of Yosemite. This helps me avoid the cliché images that have been overdone and allows me to concentrate on making great photographs regardless if I’m photographing Half Dome or lichen on rocks. My suggestion to photographers, professional or amateur, is to focus initially on photographing below the horizon in parks that aren’t dominated by massive peaks or amazing skylines. The misty,

moody forests of Redwood National Park, or the delicate hardwood forests of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Acadia National Park, provide the perfect opportunity to experiment seeing landscapes filled with intimate details full of patterns and textures. In the end, photography is about being inspired regardless of the landscape. It’s important when creating great images that you’re true to yourself, you’re original and don’t copy or emulate what you’ve seen before. outdoorphotographer.com June 2016 33


WILDLANDS

OF THE

NATIONAL PARKS

Death Valley National Park A very distinctive landscape, Death Valley offers photographers the opportunity to look beyond what they have already seen photographed of this park. If you visit at the right time of year, you may be presented with some spectacular weather and lighting.

Above all else, photograph what truly inspires you! And don’t forget: Tread lightly amongst our most amazing crown jewels. OP Carr Clifton has been making photographs for more than 35 years. With hundreds of magazine covers and thousands of photo credits in every major magazine, his influence on nature and landscape photography is unparalleled. Carr began his career with a 4x5 view camera, shooting film long before the personal computer, the Internet, websites or digital technology. From this beginning, the basis of his career always has been to stay true to his personal vision. See more of his work at www.carrclifton.com. 34 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com

Acadia National Park One of my favorite parks for fall color, Acadia’s hardwood forests offer a rich palette, with weather conditions that create amazing light. This park is the ultimate in eastern national parks.


Denali National Park & Preserve If you’re lucky enough to obtain a photographer’s permit, this park offers a true wilderness experience. The spectacular backdrop of the Alaska Range, coupled with the amazing wildlife, makes this park really worth the effort to apply for a permit that allows you entrance with your private vehicle. Weather conditions can be harsh, but well worth tolerating to witness this magnificent landscape and incredible wildlife. Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve Another favorite, this park offers amazing lighting, wildlife (both land and sea creatures), spectacular scenery and a true wilderness adventure. Access by boat—motorized or paddle—provides entry to a special landscape full of photo opportunities. Be prepared for some severe, wet weather, and beware of the bears!


Alder, Redwoods, Fog, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California, 1962. From “The Last Redwoods: Photographs and Story of a Vanishing Scenic Resource” by Francois Leydet (1963), central to the campaign to make Redwood National Park.

The Art Of Making

NATIONAL PARKS BY DAVID LELAND HYDE / PHOTOGRAPHY BY PHILIP HYDE


I

Philip Hyde’s work continues to inspire the conservation of America’s treasures

n 1965, Harvey Manning wrote the text for the Sierra Club Exhibit Format Series book The Wild Cascades: Forgotten Parkland. My father, Philip Hyde, was the primary photographer for the coffee-table photography book, though 15 other photographers also contributed to it, including names such as Ansel Adams, Martin Litton and David Simons. The book played a core role in the campaign to establish North Cascades National Park in the state of Washington. In Manning’s history tome, Wilderness Alps: Conservation and Conflict in Washington’s North Cascades, his editor Ken Wilcox observed how Manning’s perception of conservationists evolved over time. “As his boots carried him across the landscape,” Wilcox wrote in the editor’s note, “he experienced firsthand the damage that was being done to wilderness.” “They’ve logged my memories,” Manning wrote in 1980. “They’ve cut me adrift from my human youth, they’ve left me no changeless wilderness to connect the ‘Whatever-I-wasthen’ to the ‘Whatever-I-am-now.’” Dad’s purpose in making photographs was to help people see both the beauty in wilderness undisturbed and man’s destruction of nature. The comparison, he hoped, would help people make the shift that Harvey Manning did in a short time rather than having to observe the degradation of loved places over decades before having the conviction to join protection efforts. In this spirit, editor, mountain climber, pack trip leader and the Sierra Club’s first executive director David Brower, with the help of Ansel Adams and photo historian Nancy Newhall, started the Exhibit Format Series to help preserve national parks and other wilderness by showing the world places that were worth keeping wild. The first book, This is the American Earth, when released in 1960, became a sensation, as did its accompanying exhibition that toured worldwide. This is the American Earth made a splash as the first book in the series, but as color reproduction quality improved and the books shifted to color, Dad and Eliot Porter became the primary photographers of future volumes. The Exhibit Format Series went on to popularize the coffee-table photography book, which paved the way for subsequent generations of photographers to make a living

in photography. The series also “put the fledgling environmental movement on the map,” Dad said. Brower, Porter, Wallace Stegner, John McPhee and many other authors and critics made similar observations about the photo book series. The template for the Exhibit Format Series was an earlier Sierra Club book from 1955, This Is Dinosaur: Echo Park Country and Its Magic Rivers, edited and with a chapter by Pulitzer Prize winner Wallace Stegner, with photographs by Martin Litton and Dad. Environmental writers including Litton, Jon Cosco and others have credited it as the first book ever published for an environmental cause. Before the Sierra Club sent Dad to Dinosaur National Monument on the Utah-Colorado border up near Wyoming in 1951, Adams and photographer Cedric Wright had published images on behalf of conservation campaigns, but Dad was the first photographer sent on a conservation photography assignment. Dusty, remote dirt-road-accessed 1951 Dinosaur was the perfect proving ground for Dad. The year before, he had just begun photographing under Brower on an annual summer Sierra Club pack trip in the High Sierra. Also in 1950, he had finished the program at the California School of Fine Arts, now the San Francisco Art Institute. It was the first school to teach creative photography as a profession, founded by Ansel Adams, instruction led by Minor White, with guest lectures by luminaries such as Imogen Cunningham, Edward Weston, Dorothea Lange, Lisette Model and others. The canyons of Dinosaur reveal even more geological time than the Grand Canyon, more than a billion years of rock layers. Today, the majority of tourists visit only the Dinosaur Quarry, but the national monument consists of over 209,000 acres of shale, slate and sandstone bluffs, outcroppings, rolling hills and deep, narrow canyons. Despite the singular geology and scenic beauty of the Yampa and Green River canyons in Dinosaur, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation saw it as the strategic location for two dams that not only would store water, but could act as “cash registers” by generating electricity and funding other planned dams downstream along the Colorado River and her tributaries. The proposed dams, one at Split Mountain and one in Echo Park, would flood 96 out of 104 river miles within the national monument. outdoorphotographer.com June 2016 37


Escalante River Near Willow Canyon, Glen Canyon, Utah, 1964. From Glen Canyon Portfolio (1979).

The Sierra Club sent Dad to this remote corner of the West for photographs that showed the board and club membership that Dinosaur was worth saving in its own right, beyond the membership’s strong desire to maintain the sanctity of the National Park System. These points drew the Sierra Club to venture outside its previous limits of influence in California. The early preservationists, led by John Muir at the turn of the century, lost Hetch Hetchy, the second most beautiful valley in the Sierra, to damming for San Francisco’s water source. At that time, such a water source was considered a good reason to invade Yosemite National Park, but by the 1950s, the national parks had grown in prominence and popularity. Brower and other Sierra Club leaders brought together a coalition of conservation groups to oppose the dams in Dinosaur, including The Wilderness Society, National Audubon Society, Izaak Walton League, National Parks Conservation Association and many others. 38 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com

“Brower wanted to capture the imagination of many more Americans,” Dad said, “not just members of the Sierra Club. He wanted to stir people into action, to show them that Dinosaur, like the rest of the park system, was dedicated country, hallowed ground to leave as beautiful as we have found it.” Between 1951 and 1955, while This is Dinosaur was in the works, another conservation battle with national implications began to brew in the Pacific Northwest. The Sierra Club in 1954 formed the Northwest Chapter, the first outside California. Sierra Club leaders first visited the Glacier Peak and North Cascades wildernesses in 1956. Brower and Edgar Wayburn, Sierra Club President, commissioned Dad to make a series of photographs of the Glacier Peak area. They also raised a small amount of funds to support 19-year-old explorer and photographer Dave Simons, who spent his 20th summer backpacking and photographing the North Cascades, using a club member’s cabin as a base.

Michael P. Cohen in The History of the Sierra Club explained that Dad mentored Simons in conservation photography: “He had much to learn as a photographer and picked up what he could from Hyde. At the end of 1956, [Grant] McConnell wrote a piece for the annual Sierra Club Bulletin on ‘the nation’s finest alpine area and one of its most untouched primeval regions,’ illustrated with Hyde photographs of the North Cascades. But the area itself was so vast and so complex that the real work would be done by Simons over the next few years.” Simons wrote to Howard Zahniser, author of the Wilderness Act, and to Olaus Murie, president of The Wilderness Society, about whether to pursue U.S. Forest Service-managed wilderness standing or national park status for the North Cascades. Simons emerged as one of the leaders of the campaign to make the national park, writing, photographing, working closely with Brower and helping to establish strategy that became the template for campaigns


nationwide in following decades. Simons, the perfect model of a developing activist photographer, got to know the wilderness first, then jumped right into the center of the debate and the actions underway to protect that wilderness, using his photographs at every opportunity. He also promoted the photography of my father, his mentor. Dad’s photograph of Tenpeak Range became the emblematic image of the campaign and appeared on the poster and in the book, The Wild Cascades: Forgotten Parkland. Our national parks, seashores and historic sites receive close to 300 million visitors a year, but the process of establishing most of the parks was nearly always an all-out war between development or resource extraction interests and those who wanted to preserve wildlands for perpetuity. The United States, especially in the West, is dotted with areas proposed as national parks that the opposition shot down. Advocates for Canyonlands struggled to get it expanded and upgraded

from monument to national park. Dad’s project that became the Sierra Club book, Slickrock: Endangered Canyons of the Southwest, with text by Edward Abbey, originally started on behalf of Canyonlands, as well as the Escalante River watershed. Those opposed to wilderness or national park protection for the Escalante region kept the area from becoming a park for 25 years after the publishing of Slickrock in 1971. Bill Clinton finally slid through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument on his last day in office in 1996. Challenges crop up in and around existing national parks, too. What Dad called “the high water mark” of the Bureau of Reclamation occurred when it reached for the Grand Canyon in 1964, proposing a dam in Marble Gorge just upstream from the national park and at Bridge Canyon below the park. The Sierra Club and another coalition of groups mounted an international letterwriting campaign, published full-page ads against the dams, flooded the media, lobbied Congress and published Time

and the River Flowing: Grand Canyon, with Dad as the primary illustrator. An outpouring of support and deluge of letters from all over the world showed opposition to development within one of the seven wonders of the world. Today, the Grand Canyon is under threat again. Proposed developments could deplete the canyon’s water seeps vital to wildlife, some of the world’s most famous views and overrun the park’s already over-capacity facilities and trails. Recently, the Navajo Tribe decided against a tramway to the canyon bottom at a sacred site, and the Forest Service refused to consider rightof-way for a road that would enable a large development near the South Rim. Our generation must remain vigilant and prepared to save national parks and other wild places over and over again, as many times as necessary. The process of making Point Reyes National Seashore was completely different because, rather than being carved out of existing public lands, it was the only entity in the entire national

Steamboat Rock, Echo Park, Dinosaur National Monument, Utah-Colorado, 1955. Cropped vertical for “This Is Dinosaur: Echo Park Country and Its Magic Rivers,” edited and with essays by Pulitzer Prize winner Wallace Stegner and others (1955), the first book ever published for an environmental cause.


Tenpeak Range, Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington, 1956. From “The Wild Cascades: Forgotten Parkland” by Harvey Manning (1965). Poster image for North Cascades National Park campaign. Green River at Anderson Bottom, Canyonlands National Park, Utah, 1971. From “Slickrock: The Canyon Country of Southeast Utah” by Edward Abbey (1971). Part of the campaign to expand Canyonlands and eventually led to the establishment of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

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park system formed from private land, besides its East Coast sister, Cape Cod National Seashore. The year 1962 became known as the year color came to landscape photography. Eliot Porter brought his finished all-color In Wildness is the Preservation of the World to the Sierra Club, complete with quotes from Henry David Thoreau and the funding necessary for production. Brower and the rest of the Sierra Club Board, after walking the windswept moors at Point Reyes, also decided to put together a book as fast as possible to help raise funds to buy up the ranches that were still for sale on the open market and then try to isolate and convince the developers to sell who had already bought some of the land and were drawing up plans to build housing developments. Brower said in an interview with writer and photographer Lewis Kemper in 1989 that Dad had been his go-to photographer because he was young, eager, talented, could drop what he was doing at short notice to travel for projects, and could be counted on to come home with enough good images for a book. Dad’s photographs of Point Reyes were quickly gathered into the book, Island In Time: The Point Reyes Peninsula. It wasn’t a planned art book like Porter’s In Wildness, but it helped raise the funds necessary to make the national seashore, and it, too, introduced color to the medium the same year. Island In Time was part color and part black-and-white. A copy of Island In Time landed on the desk of every member of Congress. When President John F. Kennedy signed the bill to authorize Point Reyes National Seashore in September of 1962, not all the land had been secured. Logging continued on Inverness Ridge, speculators continued to buy land and subdividers continued to build roads and sell lots. As property prices soared, not enough funds were available to finish making the national seashore. A Save Our Seashore campaign, including a new 1973 edition of Island In Time with additional Hyde photographs, finally enabled the completion of fundraising for the national seashore. Between the two editions of Island In Time, farther up California’s north coast, logging of coast redwoods devastated watersheds, affected salmon fisheries and quickly ate up large clear-cut


sections of limited remaining forests of giants. The Save the Redwoods League proposed to make a national park out of the existing state parks, but the Sierra Club set out to convince Congress, the League and other leaders in Washington that a national park would best serve the areas right around and including Redwood Creek at the heart of the greatest devastation. Brower and Litton wanted a park that would also protect the upstream forests and prevent more destruction by flooding of areas downstream from clear-cuts. Litton flew Dad over the area for photographs, carried Dad up the Klamath River by boat and helped show Dad where many of the most sensitive areas and tallest trees were to photograph. The resulting 1963 Exhibit Format Series book, The Last Redwoods: Photographs and Story of a Vanishing Scenic Resource, celebrated by a major exhibition and opening at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, stirred up considerable support for the Sierra Club’s version of the national park, but it didn’t sell as well as other books in the series. Brower thought the old historic photographs of stripped hillsides and uprooted giants along tornup creek banks suppressed sales: “People didn’t want that much carnage on their coffee tables,” he said in his oral history. More than 90 percent of Dad’s images were of the beauty of the redwoods, only a small number were of logging waste and ruin, but Wayburn spearheaded the reissuing of the book with a different subtitle, insisting on completely different photographs. This was demoralizing for Dad as a young photographer on his third book and first title officially in the Exhibit Format Series. However, The Last Redwoods and the Parkland of Redwood Creek reprint with no Hyde photographs and no images of destruction sold fewer copies than the original book. Even in those days, many conservation leaders treated photographers as though they were expendable. Writers were usually more respected. Dad often had to fight to get paid, or even to have his expenses covered as promised. However, Brower had a deep belief that photographs were the most powerful way to convince people of the merit of wild places for their protection. He supported photographers and was loyal to them as much as he could be within an organization full of strong opinions. Brower also fought for his series of

large-format books that many on the Sierra Club Board, including Adams, thought would bankrupt the organization. However, Brower had a close eye on the membership numbers and attributed the geometric growth of the club and the rest of the environmental movement to the increasing popularity of the large coffee-table books. The books also turned out to be the most effective way of convincing decision makers in Washington to support the making of parks and other wilderness. Gary Braasch, who later became one of the world’s leading environmental photojournalists and a founder of the International League of Conservation Photographers, and who died recently photographing the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, early in his career interviewed Dad for Backpacker Magazine. The interview also inspired Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Jack Dykinga to leave the city of Chicago, move to the West and take up large-format landscape photography for conservation. Addressing Braasch’s question about how photographers can use their creativity for conservation, Dad said in the Backpacker interview, “On a local

level, an individual can do a lot by becoming familiar with a place that needs protection and by studying the issues. The camera can be an important tool to him. The person can make himself an ad hoc committee on a project and carry it along until something gets done. The weekend photographer may have an even more important role in such cases than the professional, who is always hung up on having to make a living from photography.” Besides Braasch, Dykinga, William Neill, Christopher Brown, James Randklev and Lewis Kemper, there have been many others in several generations now who were inspired by Dad to pursue the defense of wildlands with a camera. Carr Clifton, who grew up down the road from us, had his mother introduce him to Dad at age 14. Clifton, more than any other photographer, has emulated Dad’s philosophy that each photographer must find his or her own voice and get away from the crowd to make meaningful nature photographs. Dad first photographed Alaska for the Sierra Club book Alaska: The Great Land that assisted campaigns to expand Denali National Park, establish wilderness areas in the Tongass National For-

View Upriver from Toroweap Overlook, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, 1964. From “Time and the River Flowing: Grand Canyon” by Francois Leydet (1964). Helped in efforts to keep dams out of the Grand Canyon. outdoorphotographer.com June 2016 41


Drake’s Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore, California, 1972. From “Island In Time: The Point Reyes Peninsula” by Harold Gilliam (1962 and 1973). Raised funds to establish Point Reyes National Seashore and introduce color to nature photography. Mt. Denali, Reflection Pond, Denali National Park, Alaska, 1971. Cover of “Alaska: The Great Land” by Mike Miller and Peggy Wayburn (1974), which resulted in successful expansion of Denali National Park, Tongass National Forest and other wilderness.

est and change Glacier Bay from a national monument to a park. Clifton photographed Alaska and Canada also to help establish new wilderness areas and protect existing areas from new threats. Clifton recently was the primary illustrator for The Sacred Headwaters: The Fight to Save The Stikine, Skeena, and Nass, a large-format photography book with text by bestselling Canadian author Wade Davis. The Sacred Headwaters was a bestseller in Canada, unusual for a photography book. Dad was known for making images much farther from pavement than anyone else, but Clifton has taken that even farther, especially in Alaska and Canada. He continues to travel often hundreds of miles into the icy wilderness alone or with a single companion with a pontoon boat on the fiords and hidden passageways of coastal waters, or a whitewater raft down wild and sometimes uncharted rivers in the interior. “Philip Hyde had a unique view on life,” Clifton said. “That’s what really impressed me—his lifestyle and what he stood for.” “When I left the city for good in 1959 to live in the mountains,” Dad said, “I knew that I was leaving behind the opportunity to make lots of money. I think that when I first chose photography, I was choosing the pleasures of creativity over the consolation of wealth. I define success for myself in terms of my lifestyle. Success is freedom and opportunity to do what I want to do. But some people seem to think that once you’re successful, you can just coast from then on. That’s certainly not true for me; I have to keep working hard, which is a good thing, or I might sit back on OP the oars and float downstream.” David Leland Hyde has been a concrete worker, actor, stage manager, radio host, feature reporter, mortgage broker, advertising agent and realtor. His stories have been nationally syndicated, picked up by the AP Wire and made into plays. He has made over 40,000 photographs since switching to digital in 2009 and has appeared on TV with his father twice. His blog LandscapePhotographyBlogger.com has followers in over 67 countries. To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service, Philip Hyde’s original silver prints will be featured with other pioneers’ work in “Photography and America’s National Parks” at the George Eastman Museum, June 4–October 2, 2016, eastman.org/photographynational-parks. Curated by Jamie M. Allen, with an accompanying book, “Picturing America’s National Parks,” co-published by Aperture and George Eastman Museum


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PHOTOGRAPHY BY GEORGE GRANT

George Grant toiled in obscurity for nearly three decades as the first official photographer of the National Park Service. Ren and Helen Davis want to make sure his legacy isn’t lost to history.


Gathering at the summit of Logan Pass during the dedication of the Going-to-the-Sun Road. The crowd is singing “America the Beautiful,” Glacier National Park ( July 15, 1933).

eorge Grant was one of the most important and influential outdoor photographers of the first half of the 20th century, but few know his name. For the duration of his 25-year career as chief photographer of the National Park Service, anytime one of his 30,000plus images was published, it was credited solely to his employer. One Georgia couple is working to correct this injustice by bringing Grant’s story to the fore with their new book, Landscapes for the People: George Alexander Grant, First Chief Photographer of the National Park Service. “He was the unknown elder of landscape photography,” says author Helen Davis. “So many people have seen his images throughout the years. We learned they were in textbooks, brochures, magazines, National Geographic, on the walls of congressmen’s offices. There were big displays of them, and they always said ‘National Park Service.’ We think this is a story that needs to be told.” “He’s recognized,” adds Ren Davis, her husband and coauthor, “as quite possibly the finest staff photographer the Park Service ever had.” In 1929, after more than five years petitioning officials in the Department of the Interior to create a position, Grant was appointed as the first official photographer of the National Park Service. At that time, most of the country’s population centers were in the East, while all of the major national parks were in the West. The American people had neither the time nor the money to visit the national parks, so Grant’s work brought the beauty and grandeur of these then unknown places to them. This was, in fact, the government’s goal all along: to increase appreciation for the national parks and inspire Americans to experience them firsthand. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a strong advocate for outdoor recreation, in general, and for the national parks, in particular. He wanted to make it clear that the parks were literal landscapes for the people, and he wanted depictions of everyday Americans enjoying them. “That became a primary objective of Grant’s work,” Ren says, “to visually document everyday people outdoorphotographer.com June 2016 45


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enjoying the parks, hiking and on horseback, and things like that. He loved to create images where the people in the photograph are small to really express the grandeur of the landscape.” The plan worked. Even during the Great Depression, visitation to the national parks tripled and quadrupled throughout the 1930s. Grant’s beautiful landscape images—many of which contained visitors not just for scale, but also to reinforce the idea of the parks as truly “for the people”—played a large part in the improved awareness, increased attendance and, ultimately, the clamor for conservation of these wildlands. Grant’s Beginnings Helen and Ren Davis discovered Grant’s work while researching another project at the National Park Service Historic Photograph Collection near Charles Town, West Virginia. They were looking for images of the Civilian Conservation Corps when they kept stumbling upon black-and-white 5x7 contact prints of beautiful landscapes. “We came to one,” Helen says, “and I looked at it and said, ‘Ren, I think this might be an Ansel Adams.’ We turned it over and were introduced to George Grant.” 46 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com

Half Dome from the crossroads of Camp Curry Road and South Side Road, Yosemite National Park ( June 11, 1931).

Grant and Adams actually were working concurrently in many of the same places, and, in fact, have produced photographs from some of the same vantage points. While there’s evidence that they knew one another (Grant listed Adams, along with Edward Steichen, as a character reference on a government employment document in 1946), they had different approaches and largely focused on different parks. Adams, of course, is known for his work in Yosemite, while Grant, it appears, didn’t spend much time there—perhaps because he knew the Park Service could get everything it needed from Adams. Instead, Grant traveled all over the West. His favorite places were the desert Southwest and, more than likely, Glacier National Park—the folder of images the Davises uncovered contained many more prints from there than any other park. Grant did occasionally photograph back East, where he wintered, but it was the American West that first spurred his love of the outdoors, the national parks and photography, in general. ••• In 1917, with the United States’ entry into World War I, Grant quit his job and enlisted in the Army. Within a year, he was promoted and subsequently stationed

at Fort D.A. Russell near Cheyenne, Wyoming. This first experience in the American West changed his life forever. “He fell in love with the wide-open spaces,” the Davises write in their book, “the rugged landscapes, the scenic grandeur of the Rocky Mountains, and the sense of freedom that the West offered. At war’s end in 1918, he was discharged from the Army and reluctantly headed back to the industrial East, making a promise to himself to return someday to live in the West.” A few years later, Grant successfully lobbied for the position of a temporary Ranger in Yellowstone National Park. It was during that summer that he began to take pictures with regularity, where he taught himself to develop and print negatives, and where his future plans galvanized. He declined a promotion to full-time Ranger, fearing that it would derail his path to becoming a photographer, “a profession that I have fully made up my mind to master,” he noted. Grant did so, spending the next several years studying photography in New York and then working various jobs, including briefly as a photography instructor at Pennsylvania State College. It was there that Grant’s annual correspondence with Horace Albright,


the longtime assistant director of the National Park Service, finally took a positive turn. After years of championing Grant to his superiors, Albright was promoted to director of the Park Service and immediately created the position of Chief Photographer. The director believed not only in the importance of photography in promoting the national parks, but that George Grant was the ideal man for the job, bar none. In 1929, Grant began his 25-year career with the National Park Service. Year after year, as spring gave way to summer, Grant would leave his base in Washington, D.C., and head west with his 5x7 view camera in tow. “When he went into his field seasons,” Ren says, “he would invariably travel out to the West, usually by train, and then he would have his panel truck stationed at one of the parks, where it was overhauled during the winter, and he would take it out into the field for two or three or four months to do his fieldwork. He would be out for months at a time, going from park to park to park.” He affectionately referred to his panel truck as “the hearse.” “In there,” Helen says, “he had the chemicals to develop film each night, and load the holders in a lighttight bag. He had to take his camping gear, his provisions, and then enough equipment in case there was any type of mechanical problem to take care of his vehicle, and he would process the film and then drop it off when he would get back to the headquarters at Estes Park or one of the other large parks that might have a darkroom. If he had to go on to another park, he would leave it for a technician to finish the process.” “The quality of his photography is quite good,” Ren says, “but Grant rarely, if ever, entered his work in fineart competitions. The one example we have in the book is a photograph he took at Death Valley in 1935, ‘Sand Dunes Near Stove Pipe Wells.’ He entered it into the inaugural New York Explorers Club photography competition in 1937, and among 300 entries—including at least one by Ansel Adams—George’s picture won first place.” Grant’s work appeared in U.S. Camera’s annual juried photography issue, in National Geographic multiple times and even in the acclaimed book and film on the national parks made by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan. A series of 10 national park commemorative post-

Hiker enjoying the sun streaks, Muir Woods National Monument (October 14, 1936).

Aerial view of sandstone formations on top of a reef, Arches National Park (November 17, 1936).

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Part of Pat’s Hole, junction of Yampa and Green Rivers and east side of Steamboat Rock, Dinosaur National Monument (August 9, 1935).

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Sand Dunes Near Stove Pipe Wells. The Cottonwood Mountains are in the background, Death Valley National Park (1935). This image won first prize in the New York Explorers Club’s photography competition in 1937.

age stamps, issued in 1934, featured five from George Grant. Rarely, though, was the photographer credited by name. “There’s a wonderful interview with him back in 1962,” Helen says, “after he was retired. The more we delved in, the more we found that he thought the parks were important and he felt that his work was underappreciated. His career ended because funding ended. And there was no 48 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com

funding available for him to train someone. And he felt like, all this knowledge I have, I can’t even share with someone. He was very frustrated by that. But I think he was excited that he could share the story of the national parks. And he loved photography. I think it was those two things that kept him going.” In retirement, Grant was honored by the National Park Service with a

Meritorious Service Award. His pension remained $40 per month, though, as he lived a meager existence in his beloved Southwest. After his death in 1964, he was named an Eminent Photographer by the Park Service. “He never sought a lot of personal fame or renown in his life,” says Ren, “but he was a very gifted photographer who literally was going to be lost to history.” “This was a federal employee who did such amazing things,” Helen adds, “but because of the nature of the job, he’s so unknown. We want to make sure that people learn about who he was and what he did, and get some recognition before those pictures that have been sitting in folders for decades, untouched, disappear, as the amount of money available for the National Park Service Historic Photograph Collection has diminished year after year. There will be no one left who knows about him if we don’t get the story out.” OP “Landscapes for the People” was published by University of Georgia Press (ugapress.org). The Davises are coauthors of several books, including “Georgia Walks” and “Atlanta Walks.”


A New

Perspective On The Parks For unique photo opportunities, leave the signs behind

T

he road ahead was in chaos. My friend Alan and I were in Death Valley for the weekend, and we hadn’t expected to come across this many people in one place. Dozens of cars were jostling for parking and people were running through traffic. Some of them didn’t bother parking at all; they stopped in the middle of the road, leaned out their window and took photos from the car. All were photographing something in the same direction. 50 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com

TEXT & PHOTOGRAPHY BY BEN HORTON

We reached down for our cameras and flicked the power on. It felt like the Wild West, and we were preparing for a showdown. Whatever was making everybody so frantic was hidden from us, but as we approached the masses, we slowed down along with the crowd and searched the horizon for what was causing the commotion. Alan spotted it, just a few feet from the road. It was a sign displaying a graphic of a camera, with an arrow

pointing west toward the mountains. Every single person in that crowd was pointing their camera west with the arrow—some with their smartphones, others with tablets, and some with professional DSLRs stacked with filters and mounted on tripods. There was a distant mountain range, but the light was actually optimal to shoot in the opposite direction—toward a range that looked nearly identical. On that other side, the alpenglow was


Glacier National Park, Montana, has some of the most stunning landscapes of any of the national parks, which easily hide the crowds from view.

lighting up the peaks and bringing out the bright, earthy colors for which the Mojave Desert is known. In contrast, the subject of everyone’s attention was dark and backlit. We hesitated there, sure we were missing something, but eventually decided that there was nothing to explain it other than that sign, pointing with confidence to the west. Perhaps their goals were different from ours. We had the goal of finding unique landscapes and details that most

might miss, whereas they may have been using their cameras as a journal, to document their adventures in the park. These are two very different ways to look at photography, and it’s why I almost never come home with any personal images. The chaotic scene stayed with me over the weekend. It was fascinating, the influence that the sign had. It had turned an average view of the park into something that would no doubt be pho-

tographed thousands of times a day. That landscape is now, in effect, iconic, recognizable, and has been shared with millions of people who have never seen Death Valley for themselves. For many years, the primary role of photography in the national parks has been to serve as a means of conservation, to popularize the efforts to save these places for future generations. A photograph brings the parks into clear view of people who have never had the outdoorphotographer.com June 2016 51


chance to visit one themselves. Famous images have been etched into our minds as if we were standing there with the artist when the image was captured. Landscapes we’ve never visited are familiar to us, down to the small details. National parks are like that sign, in a way, drawing us toward a place we might ignore if it didn’t have that auspicious title. Take Joshua Tree as an example. Before it was made a national park, less than a million people visited it every year. Even with its close proximity to Los Angeles, it was more of a hidden gem for climbers, writers and rock stars. Until 1994, it was “only” a national monument, though it was managed by the National Park Service. After being designated a national park, people began going out of their way to visit Joshua Tree, and now there are over two million visitors a year. Every year, that number climbs. The title “national park” is powerful marketing. We know that a place with that distinction is raw, natural, with dramatic and unique landscapes. As photographers, these places draw us with the promise of capturing that distinct feeling in an image. As a culture, we go to them to escape, feel refreshed, and reconnect with nature, but we also want to see for ourselves the places that have inspired us through photographs. Those photos never show crowds. As more people visit the parks, the chance that we’ll find these iconic views unoccupied is nearing zero. The Narrows of Zion National Park, Utah, are crowded for the first few miles, even chaotic, at times. Few go through the process of getting a permit to hike from the top down, but those few often find themselves alone.

Photographing the Narrows requires a tripod, waterproof protection for your camera and a keen eye for framing. The most important thing I learned on this journey was to avoid any sky or sunlight in my framing, and to be patient enough to use a tripod for every shot. 52 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com


During the day, there was a long line of cars stretching along this road through Zion National Park. When I returned to take this image at night, I had to wait 20 minutes for a car to come along and light up the switchbacks.

For the photographer looking to create something unique, staying motivated when so many people are filtering through the parks presents some challenges. When standing on Glacier Point in Yosemite, or after the short hike to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, it can feel impossible. The outline of Delicate Arch has become a symbol that represents the state of Utah, not just the park. It’s the primary graphic on the state license plate, and it has its own billboard as you cross the border from Colorado into Utah, welcoming visitors who seek the arch. I’d never done the short hike to see it for myself, though I’d tried at least a half-dozen times. I always turned around when I saw the parking lot overflowing with people and the trail looking more like a queue. Avoiding lines isn’t something I only do in nature; I’m that way in the city, as well. On my last visit to the arch, I would have turned around again, but I was there with my girlfriend who had joined me on an 8,000-mile road trip through several

national parks. By now, she knew when I needed to be pushed out of the car. With her pressuring me to get out of the driver’s seat for a while, we put our heads down and got in line. We reached the overlook and were among hundreds of people, all standing there waiting to have a photo taken with the arch, one after another, posing with their arms raised. The procession was endless—we waited no less than two hours for an image of the arch without people in it, and in that time, the light had long since turned gray and flat, so I gave up. My only captures were photojournalistic documentation of the crowd itself. I get grumpy in these situations. I know that being a professional doesn’t mean I have any more right to use the space than they do—some might argue that it means I have less of a right to the space, and there’s perhaps some validity to that. I was there hoping to take something that would add to my portfolio, while they were there to document their experiences. The path to the arch follows a ledge

along a sandstone bluff. On the walk back to the parking lot, I came across a break in the rock only a short climb above us. Had I taken a satisfactory image of the arch, I wouldn’t have bothered climbing the 20 feet or so to see what was there, but just above the trail, I found an angle I’d never seen photographed before. It wasn’t ideal for a landscape photo, but it was perfect for an image that would convey a sense of place. The rock opened up to a view that framed Delicate Arch, and from here, there was no crowd blocking the view. Walking the trail, following the signs and waiting in line, I had put blinders on. I’d assumed the best angle was the one where everybody else was, where the signs led us. Although it may have been the ideal spot for a landscape had I been alone, it wasn’t the best angle in that moment. When the goal is to create a unique photograph, I try to skip the viewpoints where a constant onslaught of tripods have all but worn three dents in the end of a well-paved trail. I believe that we outdoorphotographer.com June 2016 53


The three-mile round-trip walk to Delicate Arch and back is Utah’s most popular hike. To experience the arch alone, consider going in winter when Arches National Park is at its emptiest. Sometimes all it takes to find a unique view is to break off of the main trail. This keyhole view of Delicate Arch is only 20 feet from the main trail, yet I’d never come across an image from this vantage.

must go further, and put more effort into our search for images than the crowd in order to find a new perspective on the landscape. It means more work and far more failed attempts, but when everything comes together, it also means having something unique. It won’t just be an image that stands out in our collection—it will stand out from everyone’s collections. The parks are more popular now than ever before. Portions of them have, by 54 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com

necessity, been pacified to keep visitors safe and organized. In the national parks, the domestication ends when the pavement ends. Step out of the queue, and onto the dirt, and suddenly the parks are as we imagine they should be. Rarely is it a long walk to solitude. The best part of being a photographer is the freedom it gives us to wander. With cameras in our hands, our paths don’t follow the trail, but wind between subjects. No sign can predict the light

or point you toward a moment. Leave the signs behind and the blinders come off, our creativity begins to wake up. We trade the iconic for the remarkable. OP Ben Horton is a National Geographic Explorer and photographer. His passion is telling stories of adventure that can inspire people to access the outdoors and to care about the world in which they live. See more of his work at benhorton.biz.


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Ho

2

>

Using Selective Focus TEXT & PHOTOGRAPHY BY GARY HART

A

ttempting to convey our three-dimensional world in a two-dimensional medium creates both challenges and opportunities for photographers. The challenge of capturing an image that differs from the world we see is compensated by the opportunity to reveal it in unique and exciting ways. A particularly effective method for handling the depth that’s missing from a photograph is to use selective focus creatively, restricting depth of field to create focus blur that emphasizes or disguises specific elements in the frame. Background focus blur is a valued and frequently applied technique in many styles of photography—portrait, wed-

ding and product photographers, to name a few, use it to great effect—but the benefits are often overlooked by landscape photographers who zealously strive for front-to-back sharpness. Executed properly, creative selective focus can: • Guide your viewer’s eye to a specific subject • Enhance the primary subject with a complementary background • Smooth or eliminate a distracting background • Give a subject context (location, weather, time of day, season and so on) without competing • Provide photo ops at any location • Create an image nobody can duplicate

No Special Equipment Required While there’s equipment that might make the job easier, creative selective focus doesn’t require special or expensive equipment—if you have a camera and lens, you have all the gear you need. Lens Considerations Because depth of field shrinks with focus distance and focal length, macro and telephoto lenses are great for limiting it. But any lens, at any focal length, when focused near its closest focus distance, can soften the background. For example, I have great fun filling my frame with a single flower or leaf by focusing a wide-angle lens just inches away, and while it’s difficult to blur a


Raindrops on Orchid, Lava Tree State Park, Hawaii. I stacked three extension tubes on my macro lens to get as close as possible to this raindrop-festooned orchid and smooth a busy background. Because the focus point for the reflection is different from the focus point for the reflected subject, I stopped down to ƒ/16 to increase my depth of field. Focal Length: 100mm (macro) with 68mm extension tube; Exposure: 1/50 sec., ƒ/16, ISO 800

can be stacked—the more extension you add, the closer you can focus, and the shallower your depth of field. Of course, there’s no such thing as a free lunch in photography—the downside is that the amount of light reaching the sensor decreases with the amount of extension, and you can’t focus at infinity with an extension tube attached. The Camera There are camera considerations, as well. A DSLR viewfinder won’t display your scene’s depth by default. If you’re not using your DSLR’s widest aperture, you must use its depth-of-field preview button to see the depth as it will be recorded, but the darkened view can make it difficult to see. One solution is your live-view screen, which will show you the scene as it will be photographed, but LCDs can be washed out and difficult to view in bright sunlight. While I used DSLRs for my creative selective focus images for years, and certainly valued the addition of live view, I’ve come to appreciate how well my mirrorless camera’s (electronic) viewfinder shows my image exactly as my camera will capture it, without being affected by ambient light.

background beyond recognition with a wide-angle lens, you can soften it enough that the sharpness of your subject stands out boldly in contrast. You can further reduce your depth of field, regardless of the lens (without breaking the bank), with an extension tube. Extension tubes are empty (no optics), relatively inexpensive cylinders that attach between your camera and lens, shortening the minimum focus distance by moving the lens farther from the sensor. With no optics, there’s no glass to compromise the quality of the image. The best extension tubes communicate with the camera, allowing you to meter and autofocus. Another bonus is that extension tubes

Don’t Forget the Tripod Let’s not overlook the importance of a solid tripod. In general, the thinner the area of sharpness in an image, the more essential it is to nail the focus point. Even if you’re shooting at shutter speeds fast enough to eliminate camera shake, the unavoidable micro-millimeter shifts possible while handholding can shift the focus point enough to make the difference between a brilliant success and an absolute failure. Composing your scenes on a sturdy tripod also makes it easier to evaluate your most recent frame and make the refinements that can improve your image. Because many of my selective focus subjects are at or near the ground, I prefer a tripod without a center post. Managing Depth of Field Creative selective focus requires understanding the difference between

your view of the world and your camera’s view, and a mastery of the composition, exposure and focus variables that allow you to manage those differences. The anchor of a creative selective focus image is a tack-sharp subject. The subject’s background blur ranges from soft, but easily recognizable to impossible to distinguish color, lines or shapes. Where your image’s background blur falls on this continuum is your choice. Your depth of field will be shallower and your background more blurred: • the closer your focus point • the longer your focal length • the larger your aperture Which and how many of these variables you employ are determined by your creative vision. There’s more than one way to blur your background, and each approach renders the scene a little differently. Your lens choice, framing, subject distance, focus point and depth of field can vary greatly for any subject/background combination. For example, you could fill your frame with a poppy by moving very close with a wide-angle lens, or you could move back and use a telephoto to fill the frame with the same poppy. Even though the poppy occupies the same amount of the frame, the wide-angle version will have a much broader, more defined background than the telephoto version. Experiment—the more you play with options, the better you’ll recognize the possibilities next time. Choosing the Foreground/ Background Combination Composing a creative selective focus image usually starts with finding a foreground subject on which to focus, then positioning your camera so your subject stands out against a complementary background. Of course, you can do this in reverse, too—if you see a background you think would look great blurred, find a foreground subject that would stand out against that background. Stick to the Subject As the anchor of your frame, it’s generally best if your subject possesses an inherent appeal that you can outdoorphotographer.com June 2016 57


Dogwood and Bridalveil Fall, Yosemite National Park. I drove around in a light rain all morning, looking for dogwood blooms to juxtapose against a soft-focus Yosemite icon, before finding this flower just across the Merced River from Bridalveil Fall. I had to climb onto a log to get high enough to align the flower and the fall. My focus point was so close that part of the flower touched my lens; focused that close, I stopped all the way down to ƒ/22 to get enough definition in the fall. Focal Length: 48mm with 20mm extension tube; Exposure: 1/15 sec., ƒ/22, ISO 100

further emphasize with your composition. For example, a poppy probably (but not necessarily) will work better than a dandelion. I scan for a subject that I can isolate from its surroundings, something that stands out by virtue of its position, color or illumination. Often, I make a quality of an object my subject—not the entire poppy, but the curve of a petal; not the entire maple leaf, but its intricate network of veins. Backlight will enhance any translucent subject, creating the illusion that it’s illuminated from within. Background Check A strong foreground subject can appear even more striking when juxtaposed against a homogenous dark or complementary-colored background. On the other hand, when I want a background with soft, but distinct detail, I look for things like parallel tree trunks, splashes of sunlit leaves or flowers in an otherwise shaded forest, pinpoint jewels of daylight shining through the trees, flowers or leaves that blur to 58 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com

color and soft shapes, or sunlight sparkling on water. Most scenes offer an array of options. When the background contains qualities possessing visual weight that might tug the eye—such as a splash of color or light—use that weight to balance or frame your subject, avoiding merging these background elements with your subject. Keep strong background elements away from the edges, where they might draw the eye out of the frame. Another great background option is a recognizable landscape feature that reveals more about the scene— even when out of focus, nothing says Yosemite like a waterfall or the ocean like background surf. In popular locations like Yosemite, I often start with the background I want to blur and look for a strong subject to juxtapose with it. What’s the Point? Once you’ve identified your foreground/background combination, the next piece of the composition puzzle is selecting a focus point. Because the

point of maximum sharpness is where your viewer’s eyes will land and linger, the focus point can make or break an image. In one composition, you might need to choose between a focus point emphasizing a leaf’s serrated edge or its intricate vein pattern. Or you might need to decide between the pollen clinging to a poppy’s stamen or the sensual curve of the poppy’s petals. Whatever your choice, try shooting it both ways so you can decide later which version you prefer. One Step at a Time Virtually all of my creative selective focus images are achieved in incremental steps as I become familiar with my camera’s take on the scene. I start with a general concept that includes a subject and background. If I’m struggling to find something, I’ll pop my camera off the tripod, put it to my eye and move the view around the scene until something stops me. Once I’ve identified a foreground/ background combination, the camera


goes back on the tripod and I start creating an image. I consider my initial composition a rough draft that gets refined in click-evaluate-refine-click cycles until I’m satisfied. Refinements can range from micro-adjustments of framing and focus to complete reorientation, repositioning or lens changes.

Poppies, Sierra Foothills. I identified my primary subject, the trio of foreground poppies, fairly quickly, then moved around quite a bit to get the background just right. Focal Length: 100mm (macro) with 32mm extension tube; Exposure: 1/125 sec., ƒ/4, ISO 400

Your Camera’s Vision The key to creative selective focus landscape photography is recognizing that your camera will record the scene differently than you see it. Choosing and composing an image that could differ significantly from the way you see it takes practice and patience. Even armed with those virtues, you might not appreciate the full potential of a scene until you start shooting it, but once you do, OP you might find it hard to stop. Gary Hart is a Northern Californiabased professional photographer and writer who conducts photo workshops in Death Valley, the Eastern Sierra, Grand Canyon, Hawaii and Yosemite. Visit his website at garyhartphotography.com.

outdoorphotographer.com June 2016 59


Travel

EVERYMAN’S

ALASKA

H

ave you ever wanted to photograph Alaska, but didn’t have the time or money to make it happen? Have you ever wanted a chance to photograph glaciers, wildlife and meadows in the same day? If so, Glacier National Park in Montana may need to be your next photo adventure. Glacier offers photographers the opportunity to photograph big game and dramatic landscapes without the need for an expensive multi-week trip to Alaska. The park’s unique mix of alpine topography, wildlife and great hiking is as close to a true Alaskan experience as a photog-

60 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com

TEXT & PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOSH MILLER

Exploring the alpine meadows and dramatic vistas of Montana’s Glacier National Park

rapher can have in the lower 48 states. Like many of the larger national parks, Glacier offers a lifetime supply of scenes and subjects. Many photographers find that the park is actually easier and more productive to photograph than Alaska because of its greater road access and comparatively predictable weather. While non-photographers

may grumble at the thought of stormy sunrises and afternoon thunderstorms, photographers know that “bad” weather is the key ingredient to great nature photography. Unlike Alaska, where it’s common to get days or even weeks of nothing but rain, the summer storms in Glacier are generally short and almost always provide amazing light. Best Times All seasons in Glacier offer something different, but, by far, the most popular time to visit the park is late summer. The exact timing is difficult because it depends on the remaining


Considered one of the best trails in North America, Highline Trail along the top of Logan Pass is not to be missed. While you can sample the views with a short out-and-back hike, to experience the entire trail and see the Granite Park Chalet, you need to be ready to spend the entire day hiking nearly 12 miles.

winter snowpack, but usually the middle of July to early August is ideal. The key is to time your visit shortly after the Going-to-the-Sun Road opens for the season. Driving this 50-mile steep and winding road can be an adventure in its own right and offers photographers easy access into the heart of the park (while scaring some passengers half to death). In fact, many park visitors say this road is the most spectacular road they have ever driven in their lives. If you’re a skier, you may want to plan your trip right when the road opens for some end-of-season turns on the pass, but otherwise wait a week or

two to allow time for wildflowers to replace dirty melting snow in the meadows around Logan Pass. If your trip dates are flexible, call the ranger station in late June to get an update on when the meadows around Logan Pass will be melted out and filled with flowers to plan your trip accordingly. If you must plan your trip months in advance, there still may be flowers and active wildlife to be found if you vary your elevation on the pass and thus change the timing of the spring bloom.

Where to Go Once the road opens for the summer, it’s best to base yourself on the eastern side of the park to allow easier access for shooting early-morning light. This area is also more alpine and less forested, making it easier to spot wildlife. While all three access roads on the eastern side of the park offer great photographic potential, if time is limited, I prefer to base myself in St. Mary along the eastern end of the Going-to-the-Sun Road because it allows prime access

St. Mary Lake is one of the classic views of Glacier National Park. While good for sunset, if the sky lights up, it’s more of a sunrise location. Be here early and hope for a clearing storm at sunrise. outdoorphotographer.com June 2016 61


you may end up losing track of time and spending all day exploring. Recommended Photo Opportunities Sunrise and Sunset. While there are many great locations to photograph sunrise and sunset in Glacier, there are a few classic locations that should be a must on every photographer’s list. For sunrise, the shores of St. Mary Lake offer some of the most classic views. When driving east down from the summit of Logan Pass along St. Mary Lake, the first spot is Sun Point, which has a clearly marked parking area. Walk a few hundred yards to a grand vista overlooking the lake. For the more motivated, there’s a trail that leaves Sun Point and heads west along the shore of St. Mary Lake, which offers lessphotographed views of the mountains reflected in the lake. Perhaps the most classic Glacier sunrise shot is from a little farther east along the lake. To reach it, continue east beyond the Sun Point parking area. After the road bends to the right around the lake, Wild Goose Island will be clearly visible on your right through the trees. Watch for a break in the trees and an obvious pullout that gives you a great view of the lake, as well as the peaks in the background. Depending on to different elevations and ecosystems along Logan Pass (depending on what the weather is doing). There are several hotels in St. Mary, and for those willing to rough it, there are two campgrounds along St. Mary Lake that make great base camps. If time allows after exploring the St. Mary Lake and Logan Pass areas, Many Glacier offers great photographic potential, as well. It has fields of wildflowers, several waterfalls, wonderful hikes and the famous Swiss chalet-styled Many Glacier Lodge, which is worth a visit in itself. While in Many Glacier, drive the main road in the early mornings for likely sightings of bears, bighorn sheep and possibly moose near the park entrance. After breakfast, hike the nearly 10-mile Iceberg Lake Trail, or catch the boat across Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine. The boat tours are a great way to escape your car and photograph the deeper wilds of the park. Either way, make sure you pack a lunch, because 62 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com

TOP: On the western side of the park, Avalanche Creek has easy access to a dramatic slot canyon-style cascade. Shooting early in the morning or late in the day when the area is in complete shade allows for longer shutter speeds and softer, less harsh light. ABOVE: While all the mountains on the eastern side of the park get great sunrise light, the Many Glacier area is a favorite among photographers because of mountain reflections in Swiftcurrent Lake.


your composition, you can also include Wild Goose Island in the foreground. While sunset can be amazing in Glacier, it’s less of a guarantee than sunrise. For sunset, I prefer to focus my energies on the top of Logan Pass, with commanding views in many directions, which helps take advantage of any weather that may be brewing. The hike from the visitor’s center to Hidden Lake frequently offers close encounters with wildlife, and while waiting for the sunset, there are many opportunities to photograph wildflowers or the bighorn sheep that seem to gather close to the parking lot at the end of the day. Waterfalls. While everyone comes to Glacier National Park to see glaciers, there are also several dramatic waterfalls close to the road, and even more for those willing to walk a couple of miles. Perhaps the most classic waterfall view in the park is Avalanche Creek. With its easy approach and dramatic cascade cutting through mist-soaked rocks, it should be on every photographer’s hit list during their visit. As with most waterfalls, it’s best photographed in the early morning or late afternoon when in complete shade. Two other unique waterfalls that are close to the road are Sunrift Gorge and Baring Falls. Both are accessed from the same parking area along the shores of St. Mary Lake and are a short walk from the car. While Sunrift Gorge is more of a slot canyon, Baring Falls is a classic waterfall with dramatic cascades and colorful river rocks that make great foregrounds. My favorite waterfalls are those that take a bit of hiking to reach. St. Mary and Virginia Falls together make a great day hike and offer endless cascades and compositions. If you start your hike early in the morning, you can avoid the harsh shadows that make photographing the falls difficult later in the day, but be on the lookout for interesting shafts of light hitting the blowing mist during other parts of the day. Hiking and Backcountry Wildlife.

While Glacier National Park is popular among photographers, it’s known even more as a hiker’s park. Yes, there’s amazing road access for less active photographers, but if you hike a mile or two from the road, the photographic potential explodes. For hikers, there are alpine lakes, waterfalls, meadows filled with flowers and abundant wildlife that avoids getting close to the

Getting There No matter when you plan your visit, the simple logistics of Glacier National Park make it great for a trip of any length. In addition to being within a day’s drive from many major West Coast cities, flying is also easy, with Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell, Montana, less than an hour’s drive from the park’s west entrance. If you have more time, you might pair a visit to Glacier with a few days in Canada’s Banff and Jasper National Parks. If you’re considering hitting both locations, Glacier is a large park, so don’t spread yourself too thin. Unlike that big trip to Alaska, you don’t have to hit every spot on your first trip—Glacier is closer and cheaper than Alaska, so you can return many times and focus on a new area. Not only will this allow you to really get to know the park, you’ll develop a much deeper portfolio of what many photographers consider their favorite national park. Go to nps.gov/glac for more information.

crowds and the noise of the busy roads. Remember, you’re in grizzly bear country, so make sure you stay safe by making lots of noise, hiking with a friend and carrying bear spray. If you’re a hiker, but the potential of bear encounters intimidates you, stick to the more popular trails along Iceberg Lake, Avalanche Lake and St. Mary Falls, all of which offer a wide variety of photo ops while never being far from other hikers. For the motivated hiking photographer, Highline Trail is often considered one of the best day hikes in the entire country. This 11.5-mile trail leads photographers through alpine meadows with grand vistas of distant peaks and offers some of the best wildlife viewing in the park. Just remember to carry your telephoto lens on the outside of your pack so you’re ready for any wildlife you may come across. OP Josh Miller’s images have been featured in Outdoor Photographer and in publications throughout the world. To see more of his work and for information on his workshops, visit his website at joshmillerphotography.com. outdoorphotographer.com June 2016 63


All-In-One

Zooms These compact, affordable lenses cover wide to telephoto focal lengths when you want to travel light BY THE EDITORS

M

aybe you’re looking to reduce the size and weight of the gear you’ll be carrying on a long day hike. Or, you might be after a big range of focal lengths that typically would require several lenses to cover, but aren’t ready to make the investment in numerous lenses. All-inone zooms like those we feature here provide extreme focal-length ranges in a single lens that’s relatively lightweight and compact, and more affordable than a collection of multiple primes and zooms. For the purposes of this article, we’re defining all-in-one zooms as those that provide at least a 10x range, covering wide-angle to moderate or longer telephoto focal lengths.

Performance Considerations The primary advantage of a single lens that can handle most common subjects, from expansive landscapes to telephoto details, in addition to reducing the size, weight and price of your system as a whole, is that you can explore a variety of compositions and perspectives without needing to change lenses. This is a benefit for two reasons. First, you can react more quickly to your subject. Second, anytime you switch lenses, you’re exposing your rear lens element and your camera sensor, potentially introducing dust and moisture. Careful handling of your gear when swapping lenses will help mitigate this, but it’s a concern you won’t have with an all-in-one zoom. These lenses aren’t without limitation, however. All of them, to date, have 64 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com

Canon EF 28-300mm F3.5-5.6L IS USM

Olympus M.Zuiko ED 14-150mm F4.0-5.6 II

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR

a variable maximum aperture. Most start at ƒ/3.5 or ƒ/4 at the wide end of the range and stop down to ƒ/5.6 or even ƒ/6.3 at telephoto lengths. When working in low-light conditions, this translates to a darker viewfinder, and may mean using a higher ISO setting than you’d prefer, or a longer shutter speed

that requires a tripod, which is a compromise when you’re trying to travel light. Thankfully, most of these lenses include some form of image stabilization for camera systems that don’t incorporate this feature in the camera body. Another trade-off to keep in mind is that while these lenses are typically a


Brand

Model

Mount(s)

Sensor Format

Zoom Range

Min. Focusing Distance

Dimensions (D x L) (in.) Weight

Est. Street Price

Canon

EF-S 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 IS

Canon

APS-C

11.1x

17.8 inches

3.1 x 6.4

20.9 oz.

$699

Canon

EF 28-300mm ƒ/3.5-5.6L IS USM

Canon

Full-Frame

10.7x

27.6 inches

3.6 x 7.2

59.2 oz.

$2,449

Nikon

1 NIKKOR VR 10-100mm ƒ/4-5.6

Nikon 1

CX (1-inch)

10x

Variable

2.4 x 2.8

10.5 oz.

$549

Nikon

1 NIKKOR VR 10-100mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 PD-ZOOM

Nikon 1

CX (1-inch)

10x

Variable

3.0 x 3.7

18.2 oz.

$749

Nikon

AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR II

Nikon

DX (APS-C )

11.1x

19.2 inches

3.0 x 3.8

19.8 oz.

$649

Nikon

AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm ƒ/3.5-6.3G ED VR

Nikon

DX (APS-C)

16.7x

19.2 inches

3.0 x 3.8

19.4 oz.

$699

Nikon

AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR

Nikon

DX (APS-C)

16.7x

Variable

3.3 x 4.7

29.3 oz.

$999

Nikon

AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR

Nikon

FX (Full-Frame)

10.7x

19.2 inches

3.3 x 4.5

28.2 oz.

$949

Olympus

M.Zuiko ED 14-150mm ƒ/4.0-5.6 II

Micro Four Thirds

Micro Four Thirds

10.7x

19.7 inches

2.5 x 3.3

10.0 oz.

$499

Panasonic

LUMIX G Vario 14-140mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 POWER O.I.S. Micro Four Thirds

Micro Four Thirds

10x

Variable

2.6 x 3.0

9.4 oz.

$599

Pentax

smc DA 18-270mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 ED SDM

Pentax K

APS-C

15x

19.2 inches

3.0 x 3.5

16 oz.

$599

Sigma

18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM | C

Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma, Sony

APS-C

11.1x

15.4 inches

2.8 x 3.4

15.2 oz.

$399

Sigma

18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS MACRO HSM

Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma, Sony

APS-C

13.9x

13.8 inches

2.9 x 3.5

16.6 oz.

$349

Sigma

18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM | C

Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma, Sony

APS-C

16.7x

15.3 inches

3.1 x 4.0

20.6 oz.

$499

Sony

E 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS LE

Sony

APS-C

11.1x

19.7 inches

2.7 x 3.8

16.2 oz.

$849

Sony

E 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS

Sony

APS-C

11.1x

Variable

3.0 x 3.9

18.5 oz.

$899

Sony

E PZ 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS

Sony

APS-C

11.1x

Variable

3.3 x 3.5

22.9 oz.

$1,199

Sony

FE 24-240mm F3.5-6.3 OSS

Sony

Full-Frame

10x

Variable

3.2 x 4.8

27.6 oz.

$999

Tamron

14-150mm F/3.5-5.8 Di III

Micro Four Thirds

Micro Four Thirds

10.7x

19.7 inches

2.5 x 3.2

10.1 oz.

$459

Tamron

18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC

Canon EF-M, Sony E-Mount

APS-C

11.1x

19.7 inches

2.7 x 4.0

16.2 oz.

$739

Tamron

16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro

Canon, Nikon, Sony

APS-C

18.8x

15.3 inches

2.9 x 3.9

19 oz.

$549

Tamron

18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC

Canon, Nikon, Sony

APS-C

11.1x

Variable

2.9 x 3.8

14.1 oz.

$199

Tamron

18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di II

Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony

APS-C

11.1x

17.7 inches

2.9 x 3.3

14 oz.

$199

Tamron

18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD

Canon, Nikon, Sony

APS-C

15x

19.3 inches

2.9 x 3.5

15.9 oz.

$449

Tamron

28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD

Canon, Nikon, Sony

Full-Frame

10.7x

19.3 inches

2.9 x 3.8

19 oz.

$849

great value, they’re unable to offer the same level of optical performance than a more limited-range zoom or a prime lens can, all things being equal. Correcting a lens for multiple focal lengths is an engineering challenge, and the greater the range of the lens, the more difficult this becomes. Lenses designed with multiple optical elements to correct for chromatic aberration and distortion are necessarily larger, heavier and more costly to produce. While the convenience of all-in-one zooms isn’t without compromise, advances in lens technology continue to improve their performance, and the most common aberrations and distortions are relatively easy to address with software.

Panasonic LUMIX G Vario 14-140mm F/3.5-5.6 POWER O.I.S.

Current Models Canon offers two extreme zoom

lenses, one for their APS-C-sensor cameras and one for full-frame systems. The EF-S 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 IS for APS-C offers an equivalent range of 29-320mm and image stabilization for up to four stops of correction. For full-frame cameras, the EF 28-300mm ƒ/3.5-5.6L IS USM is a premium-quality lens, but that quality comes with added

Pentax smc DA 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 ED SDM outdoorphotographer.com June 2016 65


All-In-One

Zooms

MACRO HSM, which has the distinc-

tion of the closest-focusing capability of any current all-in-one zoom—just 13.8 inches across the whole range. Sony’s all-in-one lens lineup includes three models for E-mount APS-C cameras and one for full-frame models. The top model of the three 18-200mm zooms for APS-C is the E PZ 18-200mm F3.56.3 OSS, featuring a powered zoom mechanism with three speed settings, and provides an equivalent focal-length range of 27-300mm. For Sony’s popular full-frame E-mount cameras, the FE 24-240mm F3.5-6.3 OSS includes Optical SteadyShot image stabilization for handheld shooting. Tamron offers the most lenses in this class—seven in total—including the 14-150mm F/3.5-5.8 Di III for Micro Four Thirds system cameras, the 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD for full-frame models from Canon, Nikon and Sony, and five models for APS-C-sensor cameras, including the 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro, which boasts the biggest range

Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM | C

Sony FE 24-240mm F3.5-6.3 OSS

size and weight—at 7.2 inches long and 59.2 ounces, it’s the largest and, by far, the heaviest of the all-in-one zooms. Nikon offers a total of six zooms with 10x or greater range, some of which are iterative. For their CX-format 1 Nikon cameras, the 1 NIKKOR VR 10-100mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 PD-ZOOM has the benefit of a three-speed-powered zoom, a key feature for video work, and an equivalent range of 27-270mm. There are two 18-300mm models for DX-format cameras with mostly similar specs; the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR (model 2196) is the higher quality of

the two, with more lens elements, but it’s also larger, heavier and more expensive. FX Nikon users have the AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR, which incorporates Nikon’s VR II stabilization for up to 3.5 stops of shake reduction when shooting handheld. From Olympus for Micro Four Thirds system cameras, the M.Zuiko ED 14-150mm ƒ/4.0-5.6 II is among

of any all-in-one zoom at 18.8x, with a minimum focusing distance of just 15.3 inches throughout the zoom range. Tamron is also the only lens maker with an all-in-one zoom for Canon’s EOS M mirrorless cameras, the 18-200mm OP F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC.

the lightest and most compact all-inone zooms, providing an equivalent focal range of 28-300mm, and also includes weather sealing. Panasonic’s offering for Micro Four Thirds is the LUMIX G Vario 14-140mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 POWER O.I.S.

Though its range is slightly less than the Olympus model, with an equivalence of 28-280mm, it’s the smallest and lightest all-in-one zoom currently available, weighing in at just 9.4 ounces. There’s no all-in-one zoom yet for the new full-frame K-1, but for APS-C Pentax cameras, the smc DA 18-270mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 ED SDM delivers a 15x zoomrange equivalent to 27.5-414mm. Sigma also offers three big-range zooms for use with Pentax APS-C cameras, as well as Canon, Nikon, Sigma and Sony models. The 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM | C

has the biggest range of the three, equivalent to 27-450mm. Also noteworthy is the 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS

Tamron 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro


Outdoor Photographer

travel

wildlifescenics www.outdoorphotographer.com

2016 FIFTH ANNUAL PHOTO CONTEST

THE AMERICAN LANDSCAPE Now in its fifth year, Outdoor Photographer’s American Landscape Photo Contest celebrates the beauty of our country’s natural spaces. Your most stunning landscape photographs could get you published in the magazine and win great prizes. Enter your best nature photos today! Presented By

Visit outdoorphotographer.com/tal2016 for complete contest details outdoorphotographer.com June 2016 67


Hiking Gear Apparel and accessories for photo-scouting adventures

Checklist BY THE EDITORS

E

xploring our national parks and other wild places for photo opportunities is more enjoyable when you’re properly outfitted. The key is to protect yourself from sun exposure and changing weather conditions with lightweight, packable clothes, plus carry multipurpose accessories, that all can be stowed in or attached to your camera pack. Here are recommendations for key items to bring with you for photo hikes.

Convertible Pants Wicking Baselayer

They’re pants and they’re shorts. The Outdoor Research Equinox Convert spandex-blend pants for men and women provide UPF 50+ protection from the sun, and are treated to help repel rain from a sudden shower. Wear them long at the end of the day, and pull off the lower legs when it heats up. A zipping pocket on the thigh is perfect for carrying small accessories securely, and an ankle zipper makes it easier to remove the leg bottoms with your boots on when converting from pants to shorts. List Price: $85. outdoorresearch.com

Worn alone or as a baselayer, Patagonia’s Long-Sleeved Capilene Daily T-Shirt offers 50+ UPF protection and Polygiene permanent odor control when you’re working up a sweat on the trail. Made from a combination of polyester (35% of which is recycled) and spandex, the shirt’s jersey face is soft to the skin, and underarm gussets allow for range of motion when wrangling photo gear. Available in a variety of colors in men’s and women’s sizes. List Price: $39. patagonia.com

Lightweight Long-Sleeved Shirt Packable Jacket The forecast called for sunny and calm, but the wind is picking up and those clouds have rain written all over them. A lightweight, packable jacket like The North Face Cyclone Hoodie, available in men’s and women’s (pictured) designs, features WindWall nylon ripstop fabric for serious windchill protection, with a durable water-repellent (DWR) finish for unexpected showers. When you’re not wearing the Cyclone, you can fold it and stow it in its own hand pocket, taking up minimal room in your bag. List Price: $60. thenorthface.com 68 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com

When you’ll be out all day from dawn until dusk or later, layering is smart. A lightweight shirt like the Columbia PFG Tamiami II adds an extra layer of warmth for the chillier hours of the day. Made from UPF 40 ripstop fabric with Omni-Wick technology to keep you dry, the shirt features a mesh-lined vent at the center of your back—a “cool” feature when you’re carrying a camera backpack. The women’s version has a more sculpted silhouette than the men’s version shown here. List Price: $48 (men’s); $45 (women’s). columbia.com

Wide-Brimmed Hat Perfect for sun protection and a little shade when reviewing images on your LCD, the Filson Tin Bush Hat offers an extra-wide, three-inch brim, ventilation to keep your head cool and a built-in cotton sweatband. It’s waterrepellent and wind-resistant and available in five sizes for the most comfortable fit, with an adjustable chin strap to keep it on if the wind kicks up. List Price: $65. filson.com


Cushioned Socks Rule number one for hiking safety and comfort: Protect your feet! Socks with moisture wicking and padding like REI’s Lightweight Merino Wool Hiking Crew help shield you from blisters and keep your feet dry. The stretchy nylon midsection adapts to your foot to keep the cushioned heel and toe in the right place. Four size options ensure a proper fit. List Price: $14.50. rei.com

Breathable Hiking Boots Generous Water Bottle Staying hydrated is critical, and if you’ll be away from camp all day and don’t want to carry portable filtration, a large water bottle like the Klean Kanteen Wide 64oz holds a hike’s worth of hydration. The stainless-steel bottle features an extra-wide mouth that can accommodate ice cubes, is durable and dishwasher-safe, and can be clipped to your pack with a carabiner via the oversized loop on its cap. List Price: $35. kleankanteen.com

Don’t ask your sneakers to do a hiking boot’s job—quality footwear for the trail is the best investment you can make. The Vasque Inhaler II GTX has an athletic, modern design with a waterproof liner if you need to cross a stream. With ample ventilation at the toe and heel, it’s especially well-suited for warm-weather hikes. The Vibram Pneumatic sole features Megagrip rubber for traction. List Price: $159. vasque.com

Trekking Pole Plus Monopod Many hikers prefer to carry a trekking pole for extra stability on rough, inclined sections of the trail. One that can also serve as a monopod like the Trekker FX from Mountainsmith is a nice option. The three-section, adjustable-height design extends from 28 to 54 inches and features a spring-loaded anti-shock system for vibration dampening. Unscrew the handle to reveal a standard threaded camera mount. List Price: $29. mountainsmith.com

Night Vision Headlamp Versatile Multi-Tool A pocket-sized multi-tool like the Leatherman Wave can come in handy in a variety of ways on the trail and around the campsite. Among the 17 tools in the Wave are needlenose pliers, standard and serrated knives, a saw blade, bottle and can openers, screwdrivers, scissors and more. List Price: $99. leatherman.com

Packable First-Aid Kit Handle common injuries on the trail with a pack-friendly solution like the Adventure First Aid 2.0 from Adventure Medical Kits. It holds enough supplies for a group of up to four people for a day trip, with remedies for cuts and scrapes, headaches and allergic reactions, and even sprains and fractures. It includes instruction cards for handling a variety of first-aid emergencies. List Price: $23. adventuremedicalkits.com

Photographing sunrise and sunset light means being on the trail before dawn and after dusk. A headlamp like the Black Diamond Storm provides hands-free illumination of the trail ahead, and makes it easier to find you in an emergency. Completely waterproof for year-round, all-weather use, the Storm delivers max output of 160 lumens at up to 70 meters, is dimmable and features two red LEDs for night vision mode. List Price: $49. blackdiamondequipment.com

Double-Duty Carabiner Useful for clipping items like water bottles and ball caps to your camera bag, the Nite Ize S-Biner Ahhh has another trick, too: It’s also a bottle opener for end-of-day refreshments. Made of stainless steel, it’s available in black and stainless versions. List Price: $4. niteize.com outdoorphotographer.com June 2016 69


Classes,Tours

&Workshops

St Paul Island Tour

Tom Dwyer Nature Photography Retreats

“Take it all in, relax, breathe, enjoy & learn.” It’s not about how many photos we take, it’s about each photo and its story. Enjoy the beauty of NY’s Adirondacks or Finger Lakes regions while discovering the magic of putting the story to your images. Small groups, one-on-one instruction, great photography, lasting friendships & lots of fun.

Scott Schuette | 907-762-8429

Tom@TomDwyerPhotography.com

www.stpaultour.com

www.TomDwyerPhotography.com

Don Smith Photography Photo Workshops

Polar Bear Photo Tours The Polar Bears of Churchill offer one of nature’s greatest wildlife photography opportunities. Come face to face with the king of the arctic on a Natural Habitat Photo Tour - featuring the smallest groups, led by premier naturalist Photo Expedition Leaders. You simply won’t find a more intimate encounter with polar bears!

Join acclaimed landscape photographer/instructor Don Smith as he guides you to the most scenic locations in the Western U.S. Don has been leading successful workshops for the past 11 years in areas he knows intimately. Classes includes image reviews and workflow.

800-543-8917 |

don@donsmithphotography.com

www.donsmithphotography.com

www.nathab.com

Adventure Photography

Wildside Photo Adventures

With Cathy & Gordon Illg

We’d love to have you join us! Small groups, great locations, 16 years of putting you in the best places at the right times. We’ll take care of your lodg-

ing, meals and do all the driving--just come along and enjoy the photography! Beauty & the Beasts Northern Lights Grouse Galore TX birds

Join us in Alaska’s Pribilof Islands where you can view and photograph swarms of nesting seabirds including two kinds of puffins, Arctic Foxes, Northern Fur Seals, and an amazing Alaskan wildflower display in the summer. The location in the Bering Sea provides an experience that is unique in North America. Our guides are in residence from May to October with peak activity occurring from late June to mid-August. Contact us for more information on photography, bird, or general tours.

LA Bayou Wildlife Babies AK Eagles AK Bears

Rocky Mtn Nat’l Park Bryce & Zion Arches/Canyonlands Falklands/Patagonia

Gordon Illg or Cathy Illg | 303-237-7086

www.advenphoto.com

70 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com

▶▶

Wildside Photo Adventures will get you there and show you how! Nature photography is 98% patience... 1% luck... and 1% skill. You need to be in the right spot at the right time when everything comes together, with the skills to capture the moment as it unfolds. Wildside offers fun and inspirational wildlife adventures, for all skill levels, worldwide. Our passionate and energetic leaders are experienced photographers, naturalists and teachers.

Kevin Loughlin | 888-875-9453

WildsidePhotoAdventures.com For more workshop listings, go to www.outdoorphotographer.com


Photograph in Monet’s Garden with Private Access

www.charlesneedlephoto.com

WOLVES-WOLVES-WOLVES a photo center in the east

Best photo ops available anywhere and you don’t have to leave“home�. Timber, Arctic and British Columbian Wolves in natural settings. photography@lakotawolf.com | 877.SEE.WOLF

www.lakotawolf.com

www.BCphotoadventures.com

First Light Photo Workshops Leading photo workshops since 1992, Andy Long shares his keen eye for composition and new techniques on all trips. Whether in the field or the room, take home new ideas to bring your photography to the next level. With trip locations from Alaska to Florida and points between along with numerous foreign locations, he will get you to the right place at the right time for images you’ll enjoy for years. Experience his passion and enthusiasm for subjects and participants.

&Workshops

Charles Needle Photography | 425.968.2884

0DUJR 3LQNHUWRQ DQG $UQLH =DQQ UXQ VPDOO LQWHQVLYH IXQ¿OOHG workshops to great locations here and abroad. They encourage you to seek your own vision and improve your artistic skills. With groups limited to 12 participants, you’ll have lots of individual attention, help and daily critiques.

Classes,Tours

Ignite your artistic passion in 2016! Join award-winning fine art nature photographer Charles Needle for creative macro, flower/ garden and iPhoneography workshops that will challenge and inspire you to see in new ways, and take your photography to the next level. Locations in 2016 include: Monet’s Garden (Giverny, France) with private access, co-taught by National Geographic freelance photographer and OP columnist, Dewitt Jones; The Butchart Gardens (Victoria, Canada); Atlanta Botanical Garden (Atlanta, GA.); Seattle, WA; Alaska and Nova Scotia.

UPCOMING TRIPS Kodiak Bear Northern Lights Tetons in Fall Acadia Raptor Rendezvous

andy@ďŹ rstlighttours.com | 303-601-2828

www.firstlighttours.com

S

ince 1990, we’ve been unwavering in our commitment to provide educational excellence for photographers from beginners to professionals,� says Reid Callanan, founder and director. Workshop topics range from the basics to landscape, portraiture, lighting, multimedia, fine art, creative vision, and more. Producing over 150 programs annually in Santa Fe, New Mexico; San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; and Cuba, The Workshops attracts the world’s most influential photographers as instructors who work with the staff to develop unique, inclusive, and supportive learning experiences.

505.983.1400 x111 | info@santafeworkshops.com

www.santafeworkshops.com

and click on Classes, Tours & Workshops

outdoorphotographer.com June 2016 71


Classes,Tours

&Workshops

Osprey Photo Workshops & Tours

MUENCH WORKSHOPS ALL INCLUSIVE, TOTAL-IMMERSION PHOTO WORKSHOPS WHERE THE FOCUS IS YOU.

I have been dedicated to developing and leading unique photo workshops & tours for more than 30 years. Programs are wellorganized, informative, and fun, with small groups as my specialty. Destinations -- Chincoteague NWR; Assateague Island National Seashore; Tangier Island, VA; West Virginia Mountains; Outer Banks, NC; the Brazil’s Pantanal, South Dakota… For details contact:

SCOTLAND • ACADIA • ANTARCTICA • CUBA TANZANIA • SLOVENIA • ICELAND • OLYMPIC NP KAMCHATKA • NORWAY • GREENLAND • MORE!

info@muenchworkshops.com

Irene Hinke-Sacilotto | 410.679.2873

1-917-854-8118

www.ospreyphoto.com

Bob Evans Photography workshops for 2016 If you are looking for the best value in skill-based workshops, then Scenic Light with Bob Evans is not to be missed. Our 2016 line up includes Fall Colors in the Eastern Sierra, Grand Tetons , Columbia River Gorge, then finish in Bryce and Zion canyons shooting Hoodoos and colors of Zion. Workshops include all lodging, a luncheon and a dinner. They also include critiques sessions, lectures on composition, Lightroom, Photoshop, and the newest techniques of Luminosity selections. We have been conducting workshops for over 19 years and are proud that up to 90% are repeat students.

916.223.5211 | Bobevans@sceniclight.com

www.sceniclight.com

72 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com

▶▶

For more workshop listings, go to www.outdoorphotographer.com


Vern Clevenger PRIVATE AND GROUP WORKSHOPS WITH THE PREMIERE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE SIERRA NEVADA

The Patagonia Specialists These unique photo safaris are timed for the absolute peak windows for photography during the Patagonian spring and autumn. Led by photographer/guide Rex Bryngelson, a full-time resident of Patagonia for over 25 years, these tours go well beyond just the icons of Fitzroy and Torres del Paine to visit several off-the-beaten-path locations not found on any other Patagonia tours. Custom tours for private groups and individuals can also be arranged. Tours to Easter Island, the Atacama Desert and the Falkland Islands also available.

760.934.5100 | vern@vernclevenger.com

011-56-9-82909371 | rex@patagoniaphoto.com

Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris

Strabo Photo Tour Collection

The allure of Morocco – with it’s color, contrasts, and subtleties. Travel and photograph amidst the immense Sahara desert, the winding medina streets, and varied spice colors in the souk. Strabo Photo Tour Collection offers photo tours all year with various photography leaders. Contact us and we will assist you in choosing the right leader for you. Frank Lavelle

We focus on maximum time ashore and Zodiac cruising made possible with our 17 experienced Antarctic leaders. Join our quintessential 19-day South Georgia and Falkland Islands expedition in Oct 2016.

800.527.5330 |

www.patagoniaphoto.com

&Workshops

www.vernclevenger.com

Classes,Tours

Vern Clevenger’s spectacular photographs capture the magnificence of the Sierra Nevada mountains, streams, lakes and sky. His “unerring sense of place” has evolved over 40 years of an “adventure-filled life of sojourning” in these mountains. Learn the techniques of capturing the powerful images of the Range of Light directly from a master landscape artist. Vern invites you to take a photographic journey with him in individualized private, or group workshops, to his favorite places in the mountains he calls home.

www.cheesemans.com

info@phototc.com | 607.756.8676

www.phototc.com

EXPERIENCE NUNAVIK’S PARKS THROUGH INUIT SEASONS

Land of the Inuit people, Nunavik’s national parks shelter true gems of nature that will make the perfect backdrop to stunning photos of your next adventure, up in Quebec’s Far North. While you’re immersed into the age-old yet vibrant Inuit culture, you’ll be mesmerized by the meteoritic Pingualuit crater’s crystal-clear lake nestled on moon-like tundra; soak in the spirit of Kuururjuaq’s mythical Torngat Mountains in the majestic Koroc River valley; or flow to the rhythm of Tursujuq’s inland seas bound by fabulous cuestas.

NUNAVIK PARKS | 1-844-NUNAVIK | NUNAVIKPARKS.CA and click on Classes, Tours & Workshops

outdoorphotographer.com June 2016 73


Classes,Tours

&Workshops

Pumas of Patagonia 2017 WILD PUMAS (a.k.a. mountain lions/cougars)! Photograph free-ranging wild cats in their natural habitat against the dramatic backdrop of Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile. Also featured: Andean Condors, rheas, guanacos, flamingos, and breathtaking scenery. An experience like no other—absolutely amazing! Limited to six (6) photographers; all-inclusive (double-occupancy). $6795

Galápagos Travel Specializing in comprehensive, professionally-led, natural history and photo tours in the Galápagos Islands. In-depth monthly departures on 16 passenger yachts spend either 11 or 15 days fully exploring the islands, including early morning and late afternoon wildlife viewing sessions.

Other in-depth photography destinations: Cuba, Madagascar, Easter Island, Antarctica, South Georgia

(800) 969-9014 or +1 (831) 689-9192

Jeff Parker | 512.378.3355

www.galapagostravel.com

ExploreinFocus.com

WIN A TRIP TO THE CANADIAN ARCTIC ADVENTURE CANADA’S PHOTO CONTEST Join an amazing voyage though Greenland and the Canadian Arctic aboard the Ocean Endeavour next summer. Win by submitting your best photo of depicting adventure in Canada. Look out for #myadventurecanada in the usual places. Contest runs March 21–May 21, 2016.

1.800.363.7566 adventurecanada.com

Images In Africa Safaris Africa is wilderness at its most untamed; the landscape, textures and stunning light. While on a Photo Safari with Images in Africa Safaris you will track the big five, experience leopard rich Sabi Sand, South Africa; go birding in Botswana or experience the Great Migration of the Maasai Mara, Kenya. Gavin Slabbert | 916.759.0776

imagesinafricasafaris.com 74 Outdoor Photographer outdoorphotographer.com

▶▶

For more workshop listings, go to www.outdoorphotographer.com


tech tips (Cont’d from page 23)

down a bit. Of course, editors and photo judges also have different ideas about what constitutes “good quality.” Each new generation of cameras offers expanded ISO capabilities—that is, improved sensitivity of the image sensor. With increased sensitivity (higher ISOs), faster shutter speeds are possible, improving capture in low-light situations, but increasing the grain, or noise. While our ability to use higher and higher ISOs and still maintain acceptable noise levels in our images improves in each generation of cameras, some cameras are particularly designed to best accomplish this. I work primarily with Canon DSLR cameras and will use Canon’s latest cameras for my analogies. If you’re looking for a camera mainly designed for studio and landscape work (unmoving subjects), the ISO isn’t that critical. You can expect incredible image quality, but you’ll use lower ISOs. These cameras aren’t designed for going after the very fastest shutter speeds for sports and other action. I use a Canon EOS 5DS R, and with 50 megapixels, I can easily go up to ISO 800 and make huge prints showing no noise. But because I do make large blowups, I’m conservative in what ISOs I use. Now I’m testing the new EOS-1D X Mark II, at 20.2 megapixels, which is designed for speed in sports and wildlife imaging, and the camera is incredible at ISO 1600, and still very good at ISO 6400. Keep in mind that we’re talking about the criteria for publication and competition you mentioned. In the Nikon area, these criteria would be covered by the just-introduced D5. Other manufacturers also have excellent cameras with a high ISO capability that allows for “good quality.” All the cameras available to us have ISO capabilities far greater than what I actually use, and in many cases, an ISO of over 100,000 might solve a problem and yield an excellent image that otherwise couldn’t be captured, but not within the quality standards you seek. Some noise mitigation can be accomplished in post-capture software; I use Canon’s DPP software and also “Luminance and Color” noise elimination in Adobe’s Raw Converter found within Photoshop. There’s always a trade-off; if you use software to minimize noise, expect to lose some sharpness.

So the answer to your dilemma is to purchase a camera designed for the work you’re trying to accomplish (still subjects, or subjects in motion), perfect your technique, and become proficient with the software to help you get just a bit more quality out of those images with a little noise. In either case, even slightly expanded ISOs will improve your low-light options.

wild by nature (Cont’d from page 25)

Refuge Suggestions A couple of other personal favorites:

• Chincoteague, Virginia, for its wading birds, seabirds and shorebirds. • Bear River in Utah, has a 12-mile auto tour around water impoundment areas, with waterfowl, raptors and shorebirds. Some crowd favorites:

Sharing a Bunch of Images I’ve scanned about 400 portraits of family ancestors to TIFF, because I plan to clean up the files in Photoshop. The files and the folders have descriptive file names I wish to keep and economically send to 15 cousins and brothers. Is there a way to put them into a program and/or send them by email? Skeet Via email

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• Bosque del Apache, New Mexico, known for its fly-ins and fly-outs of thousands of snow geese and sandhill cranes in fall and winter. • Aransas, Texas, winter home for endangered whooping cranes. • Ding Darling, Florida, for its four-mile Wildlife Drive that winds through mangrove forest, cordgrass marsh and hardwood hammocks. • Cape May, New Jersey. Kenn Kaufman, leading birder and conservationist, shares with us some of his recommendations: • Santa Ana, Texas, for its sheer variety of both birds and butterflies. • Ottawa, Ohio, for its concentrations of eagles and waterbirds, and warblers during spring migration. • Salt Plains, Oklahoma, critical habitat for endangered whooping cranes, least terns, threatened snowy plovers, bald eagles and peregrine falcons, and one of the most important habitats for shorebirds in the Western Hemisphere. • Pea Island, North Carolina, is fabulous for shorebirds during spring and fall migration, and waterfowl in winter. • Quivira, Kansas, has a wonderful number of birds, as they do a particularly good job managing their water levels. This, plus its proximity to the Central Flyway migration route, yields birds uncommon in other parts of Kansas or even the central part of the continent. • Tamarac, Minnesota, little-visited, but boasting more than 250 species of birds and 50 mammal species. It’s a premier site for trumpeter swans, nesting bald eagles, golden-winged warblers, otters, porcupine, wolves and more. Recently, I asked my Facebook followers to name their favorite NWRs. My favorite response was from someone who simply wrote, “Mine is wherever I can go….” OP

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My suggestion is to do your cleanup in Photoshop and save the work in TIFF somewhere on your computer system (be sure to back up the files) and then convert the files to JPEGs in either Photoshop or Lightroom. Keep the compression at a lower level (JPEG image quality 8 or higher) so the people receiving the files can print them with good results. You can organize the files in folders in any way that you wish. When I send out a number of large files, I use Dropbox (dropbox.com). The first 2 GB of space is free; you won’t use that much with this project. You upload the folders and enter the email addresses of the folks with whom you want to share the images. Dropbox sends a message to each of the recipients, who then can download the folders to their own computers, even if they don’t have their own Dropbox account. Once all the downloads are completed, you can delete the files off your Dropbox account and use the space for other projects. It’s all very simple OP and secure.

outdoorphotographer.com June 2016 75


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Known as fleet runners capable of jumping distances of up to 33 feet, impalas use this ability as a way to escape predators and, as it’s believed, to purely entertain themselves. Wilderness photographer George Sanker captured this image of impalas in the Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, in 1999. “The impalas were just running and playing, which was started by the babies; there was no predator involved,” he explains. “This was back in the film days, so I used Fujichrome Provia slide film. I panned the baby impala, using a relatively slow shutter speed, to blur the background.” To see more of George Sanker’s work, visit georgesanker.com.

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