In the Moment:
Michael Frye's Landscape Photography Blog

Same Scene, Different View

Sunset, Oregon Coast, USA

Sunset, Oregon Coast

Claudia and I have been on the road again. We made our way up the Oregon Coast, then to Bellingham, Washington, to visit family, then back to Oregon again.

We’ve been enjoying some wild weather along the coast. While California has been mostly dry, we’ve encountered clouds, rain, fog, wind, and big waves – all fun stuff for a landscape photographer, despite sometimes having to dodge sheets of rain blowing sideways.

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Canyon Mood

Dusk light, Grand Canyon NP, AZ, USA

Dusk light, Grand Canyon, Arizona

In a recent post I described how Claudia and I made a spur-of-the-moment detour to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We arrived in the afternoon, and spent the rest of the day checking out various viewpoints.

As sunset approached we had just enough light to check out one more spot. We made it there just after sunset, and in the gathering dusk I thought the light in the canyon to the west was exquisite: soft, with a beautiful backlit glow, and a slight haze to add atmosphere and depth.

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One More Day


 

Just a quick reminder that there’s still one day left to get a discount on my new Lightroom course, Landscapes in Lightroom: Advanced Techniques. Use the coupon code FALL2020 to get 20% off all my Lightroom course until midnight tomorrow (November 11th):

Landscapes in Lightroom: Advanced Techniques

The response to this new course has been amazing! A big thank you to everyone who already purchased it!

— Michael Frye

North Rim

Morning sunlight from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, AZ, USA

Morning sunlight from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona. I used the “thumb technique” to reduce flare in this image; see the post for more details.

On our road trip last month Claudia and I found ourselves in Kanab, Utah. We cooked breakfast at a picnic table in a small park in town, and discussed our next move. There are a lot of options from Kanab. Should we head to Zion? Detour east toward the Paria River area? Drive the Cottonwood Canyon Road?

And then I thought, we’re pretty close to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. And neither of us had ever been there. So the North Rim it was.

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New Lightroom Course!


 

I’m excited to announce a new online course, called Landscapes in Lightroom: Advanced Techniques.

I know many of you have purchased and used my original Lightroom course, Landscapes in Lightroom: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide. (I used to refer to this as an ebook, but it’s evolved into much more than that.) This new, advanced course takes you further, showing you how to add sophisticated touches to your images that you might have thought were only possible in Photoshop. Things like…

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Lightroom’s New Color Grading Panel

(If you don’t see the video, click here to view it on YouTube.)

On October 20th Adobe released an update to Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, and Adobe Camera Raw that included a new tool – the Color Grading panel. It replaces the old Split Toning panel.

What is color grading? I guess I have a broader definition of that term than Adobe does. To me, color grading includes a wide range of color adjustments that go beyond the basics of setting a white balance and adjusting saturation. Mainly I think about adjusting individual hues to either bring the colors of an image into better harmony, or to separate and differentiate hues to create more color contrast.

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Autumn Light

First light on aspens, Grand Mesa-Uncompahgre-Gunnison NF, CO, USA

First light on aspens, Colorado. I waited for the sun to come up over a ridge and rake across this hillside, thinking that the first light catching the tops of the trees might be interesting. This turned out to be one of my favorite images from the trip. 297mm, 1/45th sec. at f/11, ISO 100.

After photographing fall color in northern Utah, and then having our course deflected toward Dinosaur National Monument, Claudia and I did finally make our way to the aspen groves in Colorado.

As we were quickly discovering on this trip, the pandemic has made outdoor recreation especially popular this fall, so well-known spots were busier than usual, and campsites hard to come by.

But there are lots of aspens in Colorado. Millions of them. If you’re in Colorado at elevations between 8,000 and 10,000 feet, there are bound to be aspens nearby. We didn’t have a particular timetable, so we looked at maps, picked out some likely spots, and just went.

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Land of Dinosaurs

Sandstone formations, Dinosaur National Monument, Utah

Sandstone formations, Dinosaur National Monument, Utah

After visiting northern Utah on our recent road trip, we headed toward Colorado, but on the spur of the moment we decided to make a detour to Dinosaur National Monument.

When our son Kevin was five years old we made a trip to Dinosaur. Kevin was totally into dinosaurs at that age, and was thrilled to visit a place where dinosaurs had once lived, and to see actual dinosaur fossils in place in the dinosaur quarry. It was a magical experience for him.

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On the Road

Backlit aspens, northern Utah, USA

Backlit aspens, northern Utah

Claudia and I have been on a road trip for about two weeks now. It’s been a fun, relaxing journey. We don’t have any specific plans, so we’re exploring some out-of-the-way places we’ve never been to before, looking for fall color and anything else that seems interesting.

We started in northern Utah. where the maples weren’t as vibrant as last year, but we saw some nice patches of color. And then we ventured farther into the boonies and found beautiful mountains, aspens, and some moose.

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From the Archives: Tule Elk in Fog

Tule elk bulls in fog, Pt. Reyes National Seashore, CA, USA

Tule elk bulls in fog, Pt. Reyes National Seashore, California

This photograph is from very deep in my archives: 1988. At that point I had only been photographing seriously for a few years. Claudia and I met in ’84, got married in ’86, and in ’88 were both working at The Ansel Adams Gallery and living in Yosemite Valley.

In those early years the main focus of my photography was wildlife. I also photographed landscapes and other nature subjects, but wildlife was my passion. I used to spend hours in the wonderful Yosemite Research Library, reading studies about wildlife habitats and animal behavior.

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