The Hidden Draw (Creating Depth of Field)

The Hidden Drawword

Early March on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park was cold and brought the unexpected surprise of snow.  Most of us think of the Grand Canyon as a high desert and are surprised to see pictures of the canyon in snow.  Although the cold and snow was not something I was thrilled about I took full advantage of the opportunity.  Here the canyon stretches for miles disappearing into the fog.

In order to capture the vastness of the Grand Canyon I took a seat on a rock in order to get lower to the ground and stabilize myself.  By placing myself lower and getting the trees and bushes in the picture it gives the viewer a new perspective.  I don’t usually use people so I use pieces of nature to give a perception of size.  The snow also allows the viewer to feel the coolness of the moment.  Shooting from different angles in the same places can create uniquely different photos.  So give it a try.

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Old Relic

Old Relic

One of the projects that I am currently working on is highlighting the state of Kansas.  I am working on photographing the landscape, historical places, but also some abandoned towns (ghost towns).  This building is the last remains of Silkville, KS in Franklin County.  The schoolhouse sits close to the current town of Williamsburg.

The town was established in 1870 by French immigrants who wanted to establish a town that relied on the silk trade.  The town was prosperous at first, but slowly declined.  In 1916 the remains of the town burned leaving the only three stone buildings, the school and two barns.  The school is all that fully remains today.

I spent some time photographing the schoolhouse as mist fell.  The fog created left a kind of eery feeling on the day as I photographed this historical and abandoned building.  As I photograph more I find that old buildings have a great story to tell.

Dawn’s Early Light

Dawn's Early Light word

Sunrise on an early morning shoot at Shiloh National Military Park in Tennessee.  This is one of my favorite places to shoot, especially in the late winter and early spring.  I went down this weekend to photograph one of the nesting pairs of Bald Eagles, unfortunately, they were not very active around the nest.  I go early because I always want to try to catch the sunrise and sometimes I get lucky to capture the fog lifting from the battlefield.  The National Military Parks serve as great reminders of the past, but they also serve as places of conservation.  When you visit, listen to the voices of the past and captivate yourself in the here and now.

Changing of the Weather: Warming by the Geyser

Warming by the Geyser

As the weather starts to change and winter starts to make an appearance I am reminded of a special moment I experienced at Yellowstone National Park.  I was checking out the thermal features in Black Sand Basin between periods of snow.  I was struggling to capture the color of the thermal pools because of the steam rising up from them as the heat mixed with the cold.  I had decided to put my camera down in order to just enjoy some of the special places nature has to offer.

I was just beginning to get really serious about wildlife photography and really learning my craft, not to say that I am still not learning my craft.  As a broadcaster I look at the world as though I am looking through a camera lens and I was learning to adjust from moving pictures to stills.  I was trying to figure out how I could capture the beauty of the fog on a gray day, then a small bluebird flew in adding a bit of color to the scene.

I watched as the bird landed on a dead tree stump that was sitting above a small geyser.  The bird seemed to be trying to warm itself as the snow started to fall again.  It sat on the stump just behind the mist created by the mixing of the cold and warm air.  The bird sat there for several minutes as I took several shot hoping the fog would clear enough to see the bird.  At some point the mist cleared in front of the bird framing it perfectly revealing a bright blue figure in the midst of all the gray.  It serves as a reminder that beauty can be anywhere, so as a photographer I always have to be prepared.

Mysterious Wonder

Mysterious Wonderword

Over spring break in March of 2013 I was fortunate to spend a couple of days at the Grand Canyon.  It was a thrill to experience the fantastic sunrises and sunsets the landscape offers.  This photograph was taken on my first evening in the Grand Canyon.  I was traveling with some of my family and we arrived about an hour or so before sunset.  I was hoping to scout out a good place to photograph the sunrise the next morning while I took some shots.

We made our way along a paved pathway and past the visitors center on the on the south rim of the canyon.  I would stop occasionally when I found a potential shot.  As the fog started to fall over the canyon and the sun began to set shadows bounced around all over the canyon.  Even though it was not the height of the season there were still several people there.  I knew I was not going to really find an empty or unexplored spot, but there are always possibilities if you look and work at it.

The snow in the late winter added a new dimension to the canyon that many people are not familiar with.  I found this spot as I was moving around.  I liked how the trees could frame the canyon and add a sense of depth and size to the place.  I took several shots from different angles.  Finally, I knelt down in the snow and took some shots from almost ground level.  Luckily for me in this shot the light hit the canyon perfectly reflecting off of the canyon walls and the clouds.  For the first night this was a wonderful experience and a perfect example of trying different angles and getting new perspectives.

Enjoy and Thank you,

Pamela Peters