Ten Pictures

I keep a rolling collection of ten photos that are personal favorites.  When a shot moves in, another has to move out.  You could think of it as a portfolio,  but sometimes it is the story behind the shot that makes it part of the Gang of Ten.  Enjoy!

Kodiak Cotton
I got this shot on an outing on Kodiak Island.   The Alaska cotton (genus Dreyfus I think) made this beautiful line that just pulls your eye into the photo.  

This shot happened on a  spectacular spring day in the Gulch.  I saw the skier in front of us about to cross the shaded horizon line and the intersection with that perfect ski line (Angela T.’s).  I sprinted on my skis to get to the right spot, focusing the camera and working out the exposure while I puffed up the hill.  There would only be one shot at this!
“Soap Creek Rapids, Colorado River” 
Late afternoon light in the Grand Canyon is simply magical.  Light reflected by the canyon walls dances on the water and softens the shadows allowing photos like this one.  I like the lines of light along the rocks and balance of mass and void, light and dark.  

“Time and the River”
How do you comprehend the passage of ten and hundreds of millions of years?  This shot made me pause to ponder the passage of time and the gift to be here, in this place, at this time.  

“Pasque Flowers at Man Eaten Lake”
There I was, skinny dippin’ at Man Eaten Lake when this photo started to “blossom”.  I dashed back to our campsite (good thing we were the only ones there:)) and grabbed the camera, tripod and strobe.  Wading back into the lake, (I was already “dressed” for swimming) I set up the tripod in chest deep water and very carefully attached the camera.  I wanted the late afternoon sun to illuminate the flowers, but to do that, I had to fill in the shadows on the backside of the flowers without washing out the sunlight.  Holding the strobe a little below the camera with a diffuser to soften the light, I worked the exposure so the the sunlit side of the flowers remained just a little brighter than the strobe-lit backside.  With the sunlight on one side, and the fill-in strobe on the other, the flowers really pop.  

The Dawn Patrol on the morning of a clearing storm.  The air is finger-numbing cold but ten inches of untracked powder snow and the view make it worth it.  I’ve seen at least a hundred dawns here but this one was special.  Just when you thought it couldn’t get better, the clouds would shift and a new pattern of light and shadow would emerge.  Even if you do this a lot, there are not very many mornings like this one.  

“Lunch Break”
It’s hard to get a grip on scale and distance in Avalanche Gulch.   I like this shot because the skiers create a sense of scale.  The grey tones in the snow weren’t too bad either.  

“Playing the Slots”
The East Fork of Tuckup Creek in the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River.  This shot is about layers of color.  The canyon walls act like a giant diffusing filter that softens the light and bathes everything in this soft yellow afterglow.  
The challenge of getting this shot makes it one of my favorites. This is in 3 meter seas between Tasman Island and Tasmania. The water pouring off of the rocks captures the feeling of the restless sea.
“Milford Sound, New Zealand”
This shot was a real challenge.  It was taken from a rocking boat.  I wanted to use a slow shutter speed for the falling water, but that doesn’t work too well on a moving boat.  I got the exposure worked out for the water, and then timed my shots with instant when the boat was at the top of its roll and still.  Out of about 20 attempts,  I got this one.  


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