Who loves photography in the fall? I do! And I can imagine you do too. It’s one of my absolute favorite times of year to capture Mother Nature at her finest. Join me this year in one of the most scenic locations for fall photography (as noted by MSN.com!) in the spectacular Ogden Valley. Click on the image for workshop details, and I hope to see you there!
I had the wonderful opportunity to spend some time with the awesome crew of employees at Kata Bags this past November. Based in Jerusalem, Israel, Kata has been a legit player in the photo backpack arena for some time now. While I don’t “officially” endorse Kata Bags, they make a stellar product, and I truly enjoyed the time spent with them in their beautiful country. Check out the video above for a look at our time together, or visit http://www.kata-bags.com/About+Kata/Activities/Falling+For+Kata/FALLING+FOR+KATA/18164170 for a more in depth look.
Here’s a quick look inside (well, really, outside!) my workshop at the 2011 Telluride Photo Festival. As always, many thanks to my sponsors Mark Miller Subaru, Arc’teryx, Mountain Khakis, Singh Ray Filters, Manfrotto School of Xcellence and Clikelite Backpacks. Many thanks to my assistant Nate Sorensen for putting the video together!
I’ve been back from Germany now for a week or so, but it feels like just yesterday that I was dining on schnitzel and watching the sun rise and set over some of the more fantastic shooting locations I’ve experienced behind the lens. This workshop was conducted in cooperation with the Edelweiss Lodge & Resort, located in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. The facilities were great, and as a vacation resort catering solely to our United States Military service men and women (and spouses), it was a pleasure to be amongst so many that contribute on a daily basis to the freedom that we enjoy in this great country.
Garmisch is quintessential storybook Germany. When you think of spending time in a classic German setting, you’re thinking of Garmisch-Partenkirchen–you just don’t realize it. Aesthetic church steeples, colorful window flowerboxes, quaint chalets with painted murals on the walls, cobblestone streets, beer steins served full to the brim with the best Bavarian brews, towering limestone peaks, lush green farm fields and rolling valleys, misty mornings, and yes–guys sporting their lederhosen loud and proud–it’s all there, and it’s all a part of every day life in this unique part of the world.
Needless to say, there was no lack of photographic subject matter. If anything, there were times when it was all a bit overwhelming–difficult, even, to capture in multiple clicks of the shutter. I taught two 3-day workshops back to back (14 and 17 students respectively). Mother nature was here and there and…everywhere. The weather in Garmisch moves in and out quicker that you can imagine, and thus–we needed to be flexible with our schedule. The students were fantastic, all very open to changes in schedule and shooting location. I was fortunate to be paired up with Edelweiss Dir. of Marketing Brad Hays, a legit photographer in his own right. Brad has lived in the area for ten years, and was indispensable in helping me to become familiar with the locations and shooting options.
I quickly found that sunrise and sunset were a crapshoot on any given morning or evening. The weather was always in and out, which really, was much more desirable than clear blue skies each morning/evening. Many times we would arrive at a location, shrouded in dawn mist, only to be spat out of the clouds minutes later witnessing rose-colored peaks in the distance with rolling farm fields in the foreground. I discovered that the minutes and hours just after sunrise, and leading up to sunset were the most reliable for direct light. We did have one or two morning and evening shoots where the clouds just exploded with color, and it was a riot to see eager photographers scrambling every which way trying to capitalize on the gift from above.
The landscape was ideal for mid to long focal length shots. Wide angle images were just a bit tougher to come by as there wasn’t an overabundance of foreground objects to plant in the immediate in-your-face foreground. Curious cows, of course, were the rare exception, if you could persuade them to stand still! We worked extensively on finding dynamic compositions, and balancing the light that made for challenging exposures at times. It was the ideal setting to instruct everyone on how to use Singh Ray Filters to capture the scene as our eyes saw it. It’s always amazing to see the light bulb go on when students finally overcome the hurdles that have challenged them in their photography.
All in all, and despite some particularly inclement weather for the second workshop, it was a fantastic experience (see attendee comments on the workshop below). I hope to return to Garmisch-Partenkirchen again some time–it looks to be a stunning photography location during the fall season! Are you interested in having a spectacular time learning how to take you photographic skills and creative vision to the next level? I’ve got domestic and international workshops/photo tours coming up this fall that are calling your name! Check out my workshop at the upcoming Telluride Photo Festival, or travel across the pond to the Far East with myself and M&M Photo Tours during our Southeast Asia photo tour.
Bavaria Workshop Attendee Comments:
“Adam Barker is a fantastic instructor. So much energy and passion for photography. He was very patient with everyone
and a whole lot of fun to hang out with. I truly enjoyed this workshop and would attend another Adam Barker workshop if
you bring him back.”
“All I can say, it was an awesome workshop and will do it again if Adam comes back!”
“Let’s just say there was no bad memories. Garmisch, Adam Barker and Edelweiss Lodge & Resort. It was a win-win-win
“The additional evening shoot that we did on Friday night was incredible. It really left me excited and inspired to get out
and really focus more on my photography. It was truly a fantastic workshop. Adam Barker was INCREDIBLE!”
What an awesome event last night at Pictureline (read: better than Disneyland for every photographer). I presented some of my favorite images from my 2010 SE Asia Photo Tour with M&M Photo Tours to a packed house. The audience participation was fantastic, M&M shared some useful travel tips and great travel imagery, and everyone left with their entry fee returned to them in the form of a Pictureline gift card. I’ve included several images from the event, as well as some of the imagery I wasn’t able to share. Click this link to check out more images from the event and some commentary from the attendees.
Southeast Asia was an unbelievable experience on so many fronts. It really is difficult to encompass even a fraction of it in a slideshow. Many thanks to M&M Photo tours for giving me this fantastic opportunity to lead this trip as a guest pro! In a nutshell:
- Over 7,000 images shot
- 1,000 keepers
- 104 selects presented in this slideshow.
Shoot like it’s your last day on earth. EDIT RELENTLESSLY. And enjoy the show!
Fall is quite possibly my favorite season. Perhaps it’s because the change in the air is so dramatic. Color, crispness, cooler temps–it’s allllll good. Fall pushes photographers everywhere to dig out both their camera and their personal commitment to creating meaningful imagery. It’s exciting to see the lanscape change so drastically, and quite honestly–there’s beauty in nearly every direction. Nothing fuels a photographer’s fire like gorgeous subject matter at a stone’s throw from nearly every canyon drive.
I’ve had opportunity to get out quite a bit with several workshop students and shoot some of fall’s finest here in northern Utah. The weather, however, has been challenging for the most part, with clear skies and warm temperatures. It has forced us to get creative and really search for meaningful shots without dramatic skies. We did luck out one morning with fantastic storm clouds, and we took full advantage, knowing it was a gift.
While gorgeous in their own right, colorful leaves don’t themselves a memorable image make. I imagine you, just as countless others, have come home from your fall photography forays only to find your images were flat and struggled to convey the sense of grandeur that you witnessed in person. The challenge, is depth. Conveying depth in our fall images is what really helps to take the viewer “there”. A flat mountainside with pretty leaves just won’t cut it. Sure, it’s pretty. But does it have impact? Probably not. Read below for a couple of tips on creating fall images with depth.
1. Establish compositional zones. Find foregrounds, middle grounds and backgrounds for your images. Longer lens shots fall images here in the Wasatch are particularly well suited to this, with intersecting ridge lines and areas of strong color.
2. Search out broken light. Spotty clouds cast spotty or broken light. This random placement of lit and shaded areas carries viewers through the frame and creates that near/far perspective that helps to convey three dimensionality.
3. Use a polarizing filter. Even better, know where and how to use it most effectively. A polarizer will help to reveal full color in the foliage, by removing the natural sheen or reflection. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly (especially on those boring, crystal clear days), a polarizer will deepen skies, helping to add depth and interest to your fall photos. A polarizer is most effective when shot at 90 degrees to the sun–find those compositions that help the polarizer help you!
4. Change your angle to the sun. Fall color takes on a completely different look, depending on your angle to the sun. Front lit aspens can appear dull and washed out, but as soon as place that light source behind them, they glow with life. This is a technique you can use to capture stunning imagery even into the mid-day hours.
5. Use Grad ND Filters. Not sure what they are? Search this blog or get on the Google. I use Singh Ray filters–the best! There’s absolutely no better tool out there for balancing difficult dynamic ranges and allowing you to capture dramatic skies.
6. Get out there. The golden rule of landscape photography. Simply being there will allow you to make magic. It’s too easy to stay home and wait for what you think might be the perfect conditions to capture that five-star fall keeper. How do you know that you haven’t already missed it? Nothing helps to get the creative juices flowing like being out in nature. You’re sure to find something that floats your boat, and then some. Forget the boring weather forecasts or lackluster color-get out there and find a way to excel behind the lens.
Interested in putting this into practice in the field with yours truly? Check out my workshop page for details.
I’m extremely excited to announce a new partnership with M&M Photo Tours as a guest pro at six workshops/tours this summer. See the official release below for details! Also–M&M has graciously agreed to offer any of my fans/followers a $100 discount off National Parks workshops and a $250 discount off the “Best of Italy” tour.
Adam Barker to Partner as Guest Pro with M&M Photo Tours
Tours Include National Parks and Italy
Salt Lake City (January 2010) – Award-winning landscape photographer and noted educator Adam Barker has partnered with M&M Photo Tours as the “guest pro” at numerous photo tours/workshops for 2010. Workshop locations include iconic National Parks such as Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and Arches National Park as well a “Best of Italy” tour.
Says Barker, “There truly is no better way to progress one’s photography than by visiting internationally recognized locations with experienced professionals for a fun, immersive educational experience.”
Adds Mike Gulbraa of M&M Photo Tours, “We are excited to welcome Adam Barker to our guest pro list which includes National Geographic and Canon Explorers of Light photographers. We welcome his skills and keen sense of creativity & artistry to our workshops and Italy tour. We are certain that Adam’s vast skills and expertise in teaching workshops and interacting with all levels of photographers will bring both M&M and Adam new experiences and appreciation for our art, while providing excellent education and resources to the workshop/tour attendees”.
Barker will lead a total of six workshops/tours for 2010 as follows:
- Page & Monument Valley — May 6-9, 2010
- Best of Italy Tour – May 15-24, 2010
- South Rim of Grand Canyon — June 6-9, 2010
- Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Park — July 6-9, 2010
- Zion & Bryce National Parks — August 1-4, 2010
- Arches National Park — October 4-7, 2010
For workshop details and itineraries, visit M&M Photo Tours at mmphototours.com
Raised amongst the towering peaks of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains, Adam Barker has a passion for photography matched only by his zest for life. His affable nature, coupled with his workshop and seminar experience has helped many photographers to take their photographic endeavors to the next level. Obsessed with golden light and unforgettable vistas, his landscapes have sold as limited edition fine art prints to private and corporate collectors throughout the United States. His love affair with exceptional imagery has translated into stirring editorial work in skiing, fly fishing and numerous other lifestyle and adventure publications including Outdoor Photographer, Skiing, Ski, Powder, The Drake, USA Today, American Angler and many more. To find out more about Barker and view his work, visit AdamBarkerPhotography.com.
About M&M Photo Tours
Mike Gulbraa and Mike Montgomery established M&M Photo Tours to answer the call of photo enthusiasts with a knack for photographing the wonders of the world with the best instructors around. Both published and award-winning photographers themselves, the Mikes offer a wealth of travel experience in addition to their photographic foundations. Having traveled to over 150 countries on all continents and speaking several languages between them, their tour expertise is unmatched. Visit mmphototours.com for a complete list of photo tours and workshops for 2010.
M&M Photo Tours
Here is a small snippet from my DVD to be released this February by Master Photo Workshops. The DVD will focus on mastering landscape filters. Stay tuned for a pre-order sale announcement. There will be free goodies to go with the DVD for a select number of early purchasers!
Edit: Here’s the link for the DVD Pre-order: http://masterphotodvd.com/site/catalog/dvds/mastering-the-art-of-landscape-filters
Day three marked the end of my 2009 Fall Foliage workshop. We made the bumpy drive yet one more time over Guardsman Pass and to the Alpine Loop. Arriving with plenty of time to spare, we set up our tripods overlooking intense groupings of red and orange leaves. The maples and oaks were on fire with color! One of the most serene moments of the workshop was watching the dawn glow fade to grey, soon welcoming the rising sun. All was quiet, except for the clicking of shutters, and the subtle grunts of approval as five-star images appeared on everyone’s LCD displays. In addition to the exciting field sessions, we were also able to spend ample time in the classroom, discussing composition, exposure, use of Grad ND filters and numerous other topics pertinent to capturing memorable and meaningful imagery. Many thanks to Cliff Velinga, Todd Smith, Lewie Edwards, Kit Smith, Jon Sheppard and Guy Moore for a fantastic weekend of photography, and maybe just a little bit of fun too…