Save The Date! ABP Neighborhood Social, August 5

ABP 2010 Neighborhood Social

If you happen to be in the Salt Lake area, please mark your calendars for August 5. We’ll be having a neighborhood open house showcasing some of my latest prints and gifts. See below for details.

What: Join us! For a sneak preview of Adam Barker’s latest and greatest work to be showcased in numerous exhibits this summer. Fine art limited edition prints ranging in size from 12 x 18 to 24 x 36 will be on display and available for purchase and perusal. Adam will be available for questions and conversation all evening. Receive a free matted 5×7 print just for showing up!
When: Thursday, August 5, 2010, 6-9 pm

Where: 2641 Kenwood St. (1730 E.)

We hope to see you there!

Instinct: Use It

Lupine Wildflowers and sunstar at sunset along the Duchesne Ridge, UT

Lupine Wildflowers and sunstar at sunset along the Duchesne Ridge, UT

Simply put, last night was a gift. It was amazing. It was perfect. It was everything you could ever want behind the lens bottled up into four minutes of ridiculous organized chaos and color and mosquitos and sore knees and…wonder.

I wondered if I captured “it”. I wondered how “it” could be so overwhelmingly gorgeous. I wondered if anyone else had seen “it”. I was certain no one else had seen it like I had. It was impossible. In fact, it was UNpossible. There was no way that anyone else in the world had witnessed nature in such harmony as I had.

At least, that’s what I was telling myself. And I believed it.

Instinct is what you rely on when logic leaves your brain. And believe me, when you get conditions like this in front of your lens, logic will depart. In a hurry. You’ll be left with the most beautiful scene anyone on this earth has ever laid eyes on, and you’ll be bumbling around like a teenager in a Victoria’s Secret store.

Take a deep breath. And rely on what you have done so many times before. Which brings me to my point–if you haven’t done it “so many times before”, you’ll not have much to fall back on when things hit the fan in a good way.

Practice really does make perfect. And in the end, it is a simple practice of sorts that will capture moments like this for all of time. The more you shoot, the more you learn. The more you learn, the more capable you are of handling whatever happens to present itself in front of your lens. Interestingly enough, we only think of practice coming in handy when things go bad. But what about when things go…good??? When conditions are best for capturing five-star imagery is when you will feel the most pressure to perform. Because there’s no reason you shouldn’t come home with something spectacular. And really, there’s no excuse if you’ve done your homework and have…practiced.

Shot with Canon 5D MkII, 16-35 2.8 II, Singh Ray 4-stop Reverse ND Grad, Gitzo tripod

Create More Dynamic Images

A hiker backpacks through the Mt. Timpanogos Wilderness Area, UT

A hiker backpacks through the Mt. Timpanogos Wilderness Area, UT

If you follow my blog posts, Facebook posts, or have ever been to one of my seminars or workshops, you know that I use the word “dynamic” like nobody’s business. I talk about creating DYNAMIC images to no end.

What does that mean in layman’s terms? Sure it’s a nice word that sounds legit, but what does it mean to create a dynamic image? Let’s examine this image a bit and see what it is about it that makes it dynamic (IMHO–of course).

1. Light. This image sings with life because of the broken light highlighting both the hiker in the FG and distant rolling hills in the BG.

2. Subject. The hiker is dressed in appropriate clothing for the activity, and most importantly, he’s wearing colors (including the backpack) that help him to stand out and draw the viewer’s attention. It was simply good fortune that the colors on him happen to match the colors in his surroundings to a T, but I’ll take it!

3. Composition. By getting low to the ground, I’m able to include another element of color and shadow adding depth and dimension to the overall scene. I always look for areas of contrast within the frame that will carry the viewer through the image. We see that here with a shadow/highlight/shadow/highlight pattern from FG to BG. Additionally, the subject has been placed in one of the thirds intersects of the frame, giving it aesthetic balance and plenty of context for where the hiker is headed.

4. Exposure. I intentionally underexposed this image by a 1/2 stop or so to give it a bit more drama and to make sure and not overexpose the greens in the flowers. Additionally, this underexposure deepens the shadows and emphasizes the contrast between bright and dark areas of the image.

The next time you’re out shooting, write the word “dynamic” on the back of your hand, and give yourself a little reminder!

Shot with Canon 5D, 70-200 2.8IS, Singh Ray LB Warming Polarizer

Asian Photo Adventure, October 7-24, 2010

Looking for your next unforgettable photo adventure? Join me on a photo tour through Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam this October. We will be visiting and photographing some of the most culturally treasured locations in the world, bursting at the seams with travel, religious, scenic, cultural and countless other photo opportunities. With only the best and most experienced local guides, this tour is sure exceed any and all expectations. We still have several spots available on this tour. Visit this link for a full itinerary and detailed tour info. See below for tour highlights.

1) We start in Luang Prabang which been claimed by the UNESCO as “the
best-preserved city in South East Asia”.  During our time here, we shoot
the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham, Wat Mai,
then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of
the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic view of the city at sunset
and the Mekong River–excellent opportunity for sunset and landscape
shots.

2) Still in Luang Prabang, we start with a shoot of the city’s oldest
temple of Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs
sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian
architecture.  We then embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River,
which also gives us a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside as
well as explore the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with
thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes
left by pilgrims.  This a great opportunity to shoot landscape and people
shots.

3) A morning cruise on Halong Bay for sunrise.  The Bay is a World
Heritage as designated by UNESCO in 1994, with thousands limestone islets
and offers a great chance for landscape work as we weave between the
limestone islets.

4) Near Sapa we have the terraced paddy fields, small waterfalls and
pinewoods.  This is an awesome location to capture the terraced fields and other
landscape opportunities of this ancient area.

5)  Visit and capture the vitality of the weekly market of the hill tribes
living around Sapa.  The Can Cau market, Bac Ha market or Coc Ly market or
we’ll enjoy the market of Black H’Mong and Dzay people.  This is a
opportunity to capture shots where hundreds of people from the tribes of
the H’Mong, Tay, Dzay, Dzao, Kinh gather for meeting, shopping and
exchanging their goods, especially fabrics and handicrafts weekly.

6) The iconic Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom complex along with the Banteay
Srey Temple which means “Citadel of Women”, made of pink sandstone and
presents the most graceful carvings in stone we might ever see in our
life.