Video: We Speak as One…


So pleased to share my favorite video produced from a shoot for the new Manfrotto BeFree tripod. We spent a week traveling to some of the most iconic photography locations in California–it was a dream job, with unbelievable locations and even better teammates. This video was produced by The Bui Bros–mad skills! Check out the full BeFree campaign here, and stay tuned for an in-depth blog post on the entire experience.

 

Joshua Tree Sunrise (Study in Light and DOF)

Intimate sunrise in the Cholla Garden, Joshua Tree National Park, CA.

Intimate sunrise in the Cholla Garden, Joshua Tree National Park, CA.

Who’s ready for a quick study in light and DOF???

This intimate sunrise image from the Cholla Garden in Joshua Tree NP is the perfect candidate.

Firstly–light. We all know that superb light is the lifeblood of any meaningful landscape image. Know light. Study it. Understand what it can do for your images. This image illustrates the qualities of having the light source behind your subject. “Backlighting” is perfect for accentuating shape and adding drama to your images. ItĀ filters through translucent, or light colored objects, and infuses tehm with life. Notice how each little needle on these cholla cacti are lit up, showcasing both the sheer magnitude and quirky nature of this location.

Secondly–this image is a legit study in depth of field. To help people better understand depth of field, I often compare my photographic frame to a loaf of bread. Think of the image in a three-dimensional way–the foreground is your front slice of bread, the background is your back slice of bread. Depth of field pertains to how many “slices” of bread will appear sharp or in focus within our image.

This image illustrates shallow depth of field. You can see that I’ve utilized a technique called selective focus to steer the viewer to a certain part of my frame, focusing on a certain cholla cactus. So, in reference to the loaf of bread example, I have very few slices of bread in focus. Selective focus (utilizing shallow DOF), is a very useful technique when you have busy compositions that would otherwise leave viewers confused and searching frantically for something to settle on visually.

Try this technique the next time you find yourself amidst a challenging, busy composition–and pay attention to that light source, give a go with backlighting!

We’re Back!

Skier Parker Cook rallies some classic Alta powder.

Skier Parker Cook rallies some classic Alta powder.

Or maybe, I should say…I’M back. Funny how so many of us photographer/entrepreneurial types throw that plural form around like it’s half-cooked noodle–just waiting to see if it sticks. “We” like to make you think that there’s a huge entourage of bustling interns working themselves to the bone each and every day while this well-oiled machine of a photography brand is in cruise control, taking the world by storm while I field calls from clients that want to overpay me for work that is far easier than it looks.

The truth is, the “we” that I throw around so often is basically me, my wife and my three boys. There. I said it. SURPRISE!!! The other truths?

1. I could never work this hard for anyone else but myself.

2. I’m not rich.

3. But I make a fine and decent living.

4. I have a quality of life that far exceeds anything I could have ever imagined in my wildest dreams.

5. I have a creative appetite that must be fed whether it’s being paid for or not.

6. This means I love what I do, and I do what I love.

7. I drink way too much Coke.

8. I abhor mediocrity.

Every day I wake up and think that I must be one of the most fortunate people on this planet. I wonder, for a moment, what my life would be like were I not to have taken that enormous leap of faith and chosen to follow my heart and pursue a career that would make me happy for the rest of my life.

I have been pushed to the brink of sanity and then welcomed back with a nugget of success. I have progressed at alarming rates, only to then face the same simple challenges I did as a rookie. I have achieved and I have failed. I have been buoyed up and I have been incredibly let down. And through it all, I continue to believe that the path of photography as a career is viable, noble, engaging, feasible, crazy and super cool.

So why the introspective diary entry of a blog post??? Why the hell not? As in so many other cases, I do it because I can. And on this Tuesday morning, it felt right. I have many, many of you to thank. You really do know who you are. I have many that have inspired me, and in turn, I hope to have been a source of inspiration and aspiration to many of you at some point in time.

Whatever pursuit it is in which you are engaged at this moment. If it is worthy, don’t ever stop. Go till you can’t manage another labored breath, and then pick yourself up, and go some more. It is all worth it.

The things we do…the places we go…

Skier Drew Stoecklein skinning through old growth forest in the Trinity Alps, CA.

The things we do…the places we go…

Is that not what this whole photography thing is all about??? The first memory I have of picking up a camera for any purpose beyond simply documenting what was occurring in front of me was to simply share with others. Share the beauty. Share the wonder. Share the ridiculous. Share the inspiring. Share something that made someone say “wow”. Share something that made someone want to go and explore their backyard, go adventuring and lose t

hemselves in that to which they are impassioned.

While some things have changed about my approach to photography, one thing remains constant–and that is my desire to share with others that which I see. I am fortunate to see crazy cool stuff in unbelievable locations all over the world. I count myself lucky each and every day.

This image reminded me of that this morning. Shot deep in the Trinity Alps of northern California, this locale felt like something out of a fairy tale. Skinning through old growth forests plastered with moss and lichen–so cool!

A telephoto lens was key in compressing the scene, enhancing the layers of forest, and filling the frame with color and texture. Understand your equipment, and how it can help you maximize each location and each shooting opportunity. Know what you want, and have the technical backing to go out and get it. Finally, share! Share your work. Share your vision. Inspire and be inspired!

Recap: Pictureline Seminar–Conquering Composition

I want to take a quick moment and thank everyone who came out to the sold out event last night at Pictureline Inc. As always, it was a fantastic experience with a wonderful audience that was engaged and full of energy. If you didn’t make it out last night, you can check out my presentation above, thought it obviously won’t include my commentary throughout the presentation. As always, many thanks to all of my sponsors that help to do what I do! Thank you Arcteryx, Suunto, Mountain Khakis, Singh Ray Filters, Manfrotto School of Xcellence and Mark Miller Subaru!

Still Loving Still (photography)

Vietnamese Junks settle in for an evening's repose in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.

What can I say? Even in the current craziness of the generation Y multimedia gobble-fest, I am still in love with a medium that has changed relatively little since its inception over a century ago. Sure, the way in which we create the photograph has changed quite drastically for most, but the end result remains rather unchanged. Simply put, still imagery can convey a message or tell a story quicker than any other medium out there. It’s ability to produce instantaneous thought provocation is undeniable. Joy. Sadness. Anxiety. Awe. Sympathy. Empathy. Desire. Disdain. You can’t help but FEEL SOMETHING in an immediate fashion when you look at meaningful imagery. It can send you reeling into the future, or transport you back in time. And that’s why I for one, (and many others out there I imagine) will ever fall out of love with this timeless medium.

ABP Black Friday Sales 2011

This is the first of several sales we’ll be posting throughout the day!

These are matted 12″x 18″ signed/limited edition prints. Paper is Epson Ultra Premium Matte. Prints ship in protective plastic sleeves and are frame-ready. Single white archival mat. Outer dimensions are 16″ x 22″.

Save more than 50%! MSRP is $175.00. Black Friday sale price is $80.00 (plus shipping). See below for prints selections. Quantities are extremely limited and will go quickly! Email adam@adambarkerphotography.com or call 801-550-9141 to order.

Southeast Asia Slideshow

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!