Monthly Archives

April 2009

Photo of El Capitan, Yosemite National Park

California, Landscape, National Parks, Sierra Nevada, Yosemite

El Capitan, the massive granite monolith overlooking the western end of Yosemite Valley, is my favorite attraction in the park. It is beautiful and impressive from sunrise to sunset, under moonlight, in rain and when shrouded in mist. El Capitan, the largest known exposed granite block in the world, stands on the north side of the entrance to Yosemite Valley. Its name is Spanish for “the chief”, and this rock is indeed the most prominent feature of the west end of the Yosemite Valley, rivaled in significance only by Half Dome at the valley’s east end. At 3593 feet (1096 m) high, this massive rock is a popular — though difficult — climbing spot, attracting skilled big rock climbers from around the world. Visitors with binoculars can relax in El Capitan meadow to watch the climbers slowly make their way up the epic cliffs. Each year a few climbers are plucked off the sheer sides of El Capitan by a helicopter rescue team when they get in trouble. Ribbon Falls, on El Capitan’s west side, is Yosemite National Park’s highest unbroken waterfall (1612 ft, 492 m) and indeed one of the tallest in the world. Horsetail Falls, which flows off El Capitan for a few months in winter, produces a natural “firefall” for a few weeks in winter, if the conditions are right.

El Capitan eastern face, sunrise, Yosemite National Park, California

El Capitan eastern face, sunrise.
Image ID: 22745
Location: El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

As an alternative to the usual view of El Capitan above, a couple days ago I posted an infrared photo of El Capitan, in which the granite face stood in stark contrast to the tree below it and the cloud-free sky above. If you like this, please see more of my Yosemite National Park stock photos.

Infrared Photo of Yosemite Falls and Leidig Meadow

California, Icons, Infrared, Landscape, National Parks, Sierra Nevada, Yosemite

I used the same digital infrared camera to photograph Leidig Meadow with upper Yosemite Falls. The skies were totally socked in, there was light rain and virtually no color, so normal color photographs were unappealing and immediately deleted. But a black and white conversion of one of the color channels from an infrared photograph gave what I felt was an attractive rendition of this picturesque Yosemite meadow. If you like this be sure to see more photos of Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite Falls, mist and and storm clouds, Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite Falls, mist and and storm clouds.
Image ID: 22767
Location: Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

More infrared photographs.

Infrared Photo of El Capitan, Yosemite

California, Infrared, National Parks, Sierra Nevada, Yosemite

Here is an image of El Capitan, one of Yosemite Valley’s most iconic iconistic icons, made with an digital infrared camera. The camera senses infrared light only, rather than visible spectrum light, resulting in dark skies and foliage that glows. See more Yosemite National Park stock photos.

El Capitan eastern face, sunrise, Yosemite National Park, California

El Capitan eastern face, sunrise.
Image ID: 22770
Location: El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

More infrared photographs.

WTH?

Infrared

Exciting new initiatives in photography? Pushing the envelope? Outside my comfort zone? Bah, just a load of feel-good jargon nonsense …

Once again, I am not sure what I am doing. See the photos below as evidence. This is about as far removed from underwater film photography (which is where I started about 20 years ago) as I have ventured, to date. I got my hands on a infrared-converted camera and have started taking pictures with it trying to figure out what, if anything, it is good for. This may end up being yet another in the long series of photographic mistakes I have made over the years. I’ll know more in a few weeks whether this is worth pursuing.

Eucalyptus trees and sky

Eucalyptus trees and sky.
Image ID: 22740
Location: California, USA

Coastal bluffs, waves, sky and clouds, Carlsbad, California

Coastal bluffs, waves, sky and clouds.
Image ID: 22741
Location: Carlsbad, California, USA

This is where the infrared photos will go as I make more.

Bald Eagle on the Beach, Alaska

Alaska, Bald Eagle

See the new bald eagle photos.

This adult bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) was observed foraging for bits of food in a shallow tidal stream on a broad sand beach. The bits of white in the air are snowflakes — it was a wet snow and made the eagle look pretty miserable.

Bald eagle forages in tide waters on sand beach, snow falling, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis, Kachemak Bay, Homer, Alaska

Bald eagle forages in tide waters on sand beach, snow falling.
Image ID: 22609
Species: Bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis
Location: Kachemak Bay, Homer, Alaska, USA

More bald eagle photos from my recent trip to Homer will be posted in the coming days.

Bald Eagle Landing, Alaska

Alaska, Bald Eagle, Icons

See the new bald eagle photos.

A large group of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) was gathered on the snow-covered ground when periodically another eagle would arrive, in flight, and join the group by skimming just over their heads, slowing with wings outstretched, finding a suitable spot amid the crush, and landing with talons scratching across the ice and a clash of raised wings. I got this shot by laying down on the snow directly upwind and waiting for one eagle to land into the wind right at me. I crossed my fingers that the focus on the camera would work. It did.

Bald eagle spreads its wings to land amid a large group of bald eagles, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis, Kachemak Bay, Homer, Alaska

Bald eagle spreads its wings to land amid a large group of bald eagles.
Image ID: 22588
Species: Bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis
Location: Kachemak Bay, Homer, Alaska, USA

More bald eagle photos from my recent trip to Homer will be posted in the coming days.

Two Bald Eagles on a Perch, Alaska

Alaska, Bald Eagle

See the new bald eagle photos.

There were several perches that the bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) would use each morning. The broad wooden perches could typically accomodate several eagles each. In this image the eagle on the left, which has been on the perch for a while, throws its head back and vocalizes at the sudden appearance of the eagle on the right which has just landed and is finding its balance with wings outstretched.

Two bald eagles on perch, one with wings spread as it has just landed and is adjusting its balance, the second with its head thrown back, calling vocalizing, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis, Kachemak Bay, Homer, Alaska

Two bald eagles on perch, one with wings spread as it has just landed and is adjusting its balance, the second with its head thrown back, calling vocalizing.
Image ID: 22583
Species: Bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis
Location: Kachemak Bay, Homer, Alaska, USA

More bald eagle photos from my recent trip to Homer will be posted in the coming days.

Two Bald Eagles in Flight, Alaska

Alaska, Bald Eagle

See the new bald eagle photos.

Having over 200 bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) nearby would seem to make it easy to gather a variety of photos. But I was tempted to shoot the same few compositions repeatedly and had to make an effort to look for different compositions and angles to ensure I did not end up with a 100 versions of the same shot when I finally got home. The sun came out two mornings and offered the opportunity of really strong, well lit flight shots. So, for a few hours on each of those mornings, I concentrated on flight shots only. It was easy to shoot single birds but shooting an appealing image with multiple eagles was considerably more difficult. This is one of the frames I was happiest with:

Two bald eagles in flight, wings spread, soaring, aloft, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis, Kachemak Bay, Homer, Alaska

Two bald eagles in flight, wings spread, soaring, aloft.
Image ID: 22590
Species: Bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis
Location: Kachemak Bay, Homer, Alaska, USA

More bald eagle photos from my recent trip to Homer will be posted in the coming days.

Correction to Yesterday’s Post

Wisdom

It appears my contacts in Washington and London reported partially incorrect information yesterday, which “I” ** in turn passed on to my reader. Actually, the whole post was a lie, except for the part about the Federal government making a rights grab for all the images on the internet which I think is in the planning stages. This blog will refocus, renew, rededicate and reenergize by displaying imagery only and staying away from news and information, until at least next April. And of course, this blog will continue to maintain the lofty level of truthiness for which it is known.

** “I” have fired my celebrity blogger and resumed all blogging duties “myself”. However, “I” will continue to maintain my celebrity twitter-writer for now.

Here is an eagle photo!

Bald eagle in flight, Kachemak Bay and the Kenai Mountains in the background, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis, Homer, Alaska

Bald eagle in flight, Kachemak Bay and the Kenai Mountains in the background.
Image ID: 22586
Species: Bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis
Location: Kachemak Bay, Homer, Alaska, USA

Economic Recovery Plan for Photographers

Wisdom

This is an exciting time to be a photographer in America!

Just a few days after Inauguration, the Obama Administration quietly created the Presidential Digital Imaging and Photography Commission. This blue ribbon panel of industry experts was tasked with devising market incentives, rather than bailouts, for the photography industry, in an effort to keep major camera companies from bankruptcy. The Commission made public their plan this morning, and the Obama Administration has put all recommendations of the commission on a fast track, scheduling a special session of Congress to enact the new laws in time to benefit those who have not yet filed their income tax returns. From President Obama, in London to attend the G-20 meetings:

“Tough economic times and crisis call for creative and aggressive solutions. Today, the DIP Comission, which I formed two months ago expressly to save the photography industry during this financial crisis, charted a new path and created new tools with which photography professionals can do their part to rebuild our economy and avert the crisis.”

Some notable elements of the DIP Commission’s plan are:

Tax credits. New tax incentives are now established for the purchase of digital imaging equipment, retroactive to January 1, 2008. Specifically, purchase of digital cameras, lenses and tripods can take advantage of a 45% credit on 2008 and future income tax returns. This means that, if you have not yet filed your 2008 tax return, you are eligible for a tax credit equal to nearly half the purchase price of new camera equipment purchased in the last 16 months. Unlike some tax credits which are gradually phased out with income, this egalitarian credit is available even if you did not owe any taxes in 2007 or 2008.

Travel vouchers. Expenses for photography-related travel will now be reimbursed through the Congressional Office of Tourism and Travel. “In these difficult times, we in Washington understand that it is difficult for struggling photographers to afford both quality equipment and the travel expense required to make fine photographs. The federal government is stepping up, doing its part and becoming a partner in the photography travel industry. If you’ve got a camera, we’ll get you where you need to be to get that once-in-a-lifetime shot!” said Gilsten Marsten, assistant deputy vice director of the Office of Tourism and Travel. To apply for reimbursement up to $12,500 per trip, a traveler needs to provide copies of receipts along with the COTT reimbursement application. A one-time exception to the receipt requirement is permitted whereby travelers can simply provide a letter of participation from their workshop leader.

DIP-STOCK, a New Internet Stock Photography Agency. The DIP Commission, along with the U.S. Copyright Office, is forming a new stock photography agency “DIP-STOCK”, inspired in part by the “Hope” poster, the Obama campaign graphic created by innovative and original leading edge artist Shepard Fairy and some photographer. The essence of this innovative new plan is to leverage new and innovative copyright regulations to form a innovative, expansive and worldwide stock photography agency positioned to compete in innovative ways with industry giants such Gettty Images. Effective April 1, 2009 and retroactive to January 1 2008, all images posted on the internet are eligible to be represented by DIP-STOCK. By posting images on the World Wide Wide (invented by Al Gore who has now ceded majority control to President Obama), all rights to the image are implicitly transferred to DIP-STOCK. Licensing revenues based on these images will be used primarily to expand the TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) in coming months and to facilitate employee retention at such strategically crucial companies as AIG and Madoff Funds. (A small portion of each photo sale will be placed in escrow to cover legal representation for certain, i.e., most, of the Administration’s Cabinet members.) DIP-STOCK’s automated search bot, DIP-Finder, which has been crawling the internet acquiring images for the past two months, has slurped full rights to 73% of the images currently on the internet.

Kevster Glossten, director and CEO of DIP-STOCK: “This is indeed an exciting time to be a photographer. The Administration has developed new copyright tools that allow us unprecedented opportunity in this time of crisis. By simply posting an image to the internet, perhaps on a blog or as part of an online photo collection with Flacker or Yophoto, photographers automatically become ‘members’ of the largest stock photo agency in the world. If you have a website already, your images are already in place in the DIP-STOCK library. Photographers continue to retain the right to print their images on their home inkjets, as they always have! DIP-STOCK will now handle all other bothersome licensing matters using industry-accepted emerging market microstock pricing models. And, as a special value-added service for professionals, there is no need to update records for images already registered with the copyright office — rights for these images were transferred to DIP-STOCK automatically last week. By granting DIP-STOCK exclusive rights to manage the licensing of all of their online photos, photographers are now contributing to the economic recovery. And sometimes photographers receive a photo credit! It is a win-win situation for everyone, and helps to fight the economic crisis.”

Further information about these and other exciting developments in the federal photography funding and acquisition initiative is available on the Presidential Digital Imaging and Photography Commission’s website: www.dip.gov.

No guarantee, warranty or trustee is offered for the truthiness of this release.