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Landscape Marine Nature Wildlife Photography

“Photography Tips to Create Images with Impact!”

“Rainbow Falls California"

Rainbow, waterfall, pine trees, mountains
JOHN MUIR TRAIL, San Joaquin River, Devils Postpile National Monument,
Inyo National Forest, California
09-1501-DYM © 2011 © 2011 Don Kreuter ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This is my signature photograph for the Eastern Sierra and the image on my business card. It represents the hope and faith in following your passion to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. This photo also represents living in the moment and capturing an image of an illusive rainbow that was flickering and dancing around the river gorge as the photograph was made. My research told me that this would be an afternoon photograph for the best rainbow, but I hiked in early in the morining to scout the area and photograph the falls from all angles before the rainbow really was illuminated next to the waterfall. The hike into the waterfall was a contrast between the old burned out fire scarred pine trees from a recent forest fire, then the new growth and wildflowers poking up from the ashes in what had once been a mature pine forest. The cycle of life was displayed with the dead and dying old growth trees being recycled into new growth and blooming wildflowers.

Camera Settings:
Camera: Nikon N80 SLR 35mm film camera
Lens: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm wide-angle zoom f 3.5-4 G
Filter: Hoya 67mm Circular Polarizing
Settings: 1/15” f 19
Tripod: Manfrotto 055XPROB Carbon Fiber Tripod
Lens Shade: Nikon HB 28 - to prevent lens flare from the sun
Shutter release cable – to prevent camera shake
Film: Fujichrome Provia RDP-135-36 100 ISO Professional Film
Bracketed Exposures: +1 / -.5 f stop on multiple exposures
Photo Date: 9/10/09
Time: 1000 am 1000 PST

Photography Tips and Information:
In any canyon or river bottom if you want sunlight to light the subject then the timing has to be perfect for the canyon or river bottom to be fully lit. I asked the National Park rangers and they helped and gave me the right information. Then make sure to arrive early to enjoy the scenery and let nature take her course and give yourself time to enjoy the experience. The use of the polarizing filter helped to eliminate the reflections on the water and also made the highlights pop vividly in the waterfall, rainbow, clouds and sky.

The shutter speed of 1/15 is slow enough to create the cotton candy effect of motion of the waterfall tumbling over the rocks. With no wind or breeze the trees and bushes are not moving or blurred with the long shutter speed. Research on this photograph was critical, finding out the time of day the falls would be lit with sunlight in the canyon and the best month with enough water going over the falls to make an image with impact. This was also an opportunity for me to return to my roots and make a photograph in the High Sierra, which completely overwhelmed me with the awesome beauty as an eight-year-old child. I was frustrated as a child since I could not duplicate the grandeur of the panoramas in the High Sierra with my Brownie Instamatic camera on film and normal lens. Imagine that. So for years I made mental photographs instead and burned the images into my mind. Those mental images always were perfect and did not require any equipment. Years later as a professional photographer I realized that landscapes are difficult to photograph properly with the range of light and the sheer scope of a landscape, unless using the right equipment - like with any photograph. It may have benefited me by allowing me to revert back to what impressed me as a child and try and photograph if from a child’s perspective, full of excitement and joy discovering all the new sights on each fascinating adventure.

“A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.” Ansel Adams

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"Rainbow Falls California" 09-1501