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Outdoor Photography And Great Photographers
#1
One of my favorite pastimes has always been photography.  As a boy scout, one of the first merit badges I went after was Photography.  It was a lot of fun, but when I was shipped off to military school, I lost interest until going through OCS in the military.  I picked it up again and was the company photographer there.  I had used an old Leica for years, but with the advent of excellent cheap Japanese cameras, I switched over to a Yashica Electro 35, a wonderful little rangefinder with  "aperature priority" metering.  After that taking fast, easy shots suddenly became a breeze.

When I was stationed overseas, I moved up to SLRs and picked up a Minolta SRT-101 and lens assortment, which I still have stored away in the walk-in closet.  But by the 1980s, with the advent of Minolta's auto-focus coup, I moved up to the Maxxum system, which also included all the accessories.  That's when I really had fun, and went practically everywhere in East Tennessee and Blue Ridge.  

Well, I still love using the camera, but have moved up to Digital with the newer Sony Alpha line of SLRs.  They're really just Minolta cameras that have switched names.  I've been married to Minoltas for over fifty years now, so why change.  And on top of all that, my older Maxxum lenses work on the newer digital camera, so that saves me a lot of cost.   My next camera will probably be a shutterless Sony, like that used by the famous photographer Trey Ratcliff.   He gave up his Leicas and Nikons for them.

I still love outdoor photography, and frequently scour the internet for the latest great shots that will work as wallpaper for my desktop monitors.  And since The Donald has pretty much sewn up the nomination, I have switched interest a bit from politics to other interesting things, such as photography.  Yeah!!

I've really been having a lot of fun these last few days, going back and forth between photography sites, and some very talented professional photographers.  And there are a lot of good shooters out there, thanks to the Internet.  The Internet has done a fantastic job of opening up the profession to the world in general, and it is blossoming.  


What I am going to do is try to expose those, who are interested in outdoor photography, to some of the various photographers who are taking some of the greatest shots everywhere.  

Here's someone I discovered yesterday, and he is from Minsk, Belarus.  His name is "Алексей Угальников", or "Alex Ugalnikov".  He's a hobby photographer, but he is very good, and should enter the professional ranks.  From what I can gather, he is very new to all this, because all of his work is from late summer to winter.  This means he has not been at this long enough to incorporate spring and early summer yet.   His work can be found on this Russian site, right here.

Here's a nice evening transition exposure, that only comes with practice.

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He knows how to use filters, has great composition skills, and loves catching the sun coming up early in the day.  Most of his shots are done locally, but he knows how to exploit his surroundings and he frequently returns for follow up pictures such as this.

This is an early shot, with the mist rising, and the sun still just at the horizon.  Makes you feel like you are right there.

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He obviously came back for this follow-up, because the sun is up above the picture.   And on the small bushes to the left, just in front of the fence, the snow has been melting, from a few hours.  

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This kid has talent.  S22
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"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#2
I am so much in love with Lofoten(Lou-fou-ten), Norway.  I have got to go there sometime ahead.

Travel to Lofoten Islands Norway? Take a look at this! Best of 2015




The Lofoten Archipelago is the Most Beautiful Part of Norway




Völkl BMT Lofoten Webisode EP4


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"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#3
I dunno, John, I didn't see many automobiles there - nor parking spaces for tourists. You're gonna hafta hump your way in there on snowshoes, or bum a ride on a fishing boat. It sure is pretty - probably because it stays secluded.
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#4
(05-17-2016, 05:43 PM)WmLambert Wrote: I dunno, John, I didn't see many automobiles there - nor parking spaces for tourists. You're gonna hafta hump your way in there on snowshoes, or bum a ride on a fishing boat. It sure is pretty - probably because it stays secluded.

I dunno, William, perhaps they have a teleportation device where all the tourists can just step in and "poof" they're there.   S5

Hey, I've got a question that has been in the back of my mind, actually for years now, but never got around to it.  Anthropologically, where did the "I dunno" phrase come from?  Is it something from your family, from Michigan, no particular 'tie-in'.  I keep thinking that its a cultural thing.  

Just curious.  You know me, I'm forever asking questions about practically everything.  S22

Incidentally, if you actually watch a couple of the videos, much of that will be shown/explained.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#5
(05-17-2016, 05:43 PM)WmLambert Wrote: I dunno, John, I didn't see many automobiles there - nor parking spaces for tourists. You're gonna hafta hump your way in there on snowshoes, or bum a ride on a fishing boat. It sure is pretty - probably because it stays secluded.

I dunno, William, perhaps they have a teleportation device where all the tourists can just step in and "poof" they're there.   S5

Hey, I've got a question that has been in the back of my mind, actually for years now, but never got around to it.  Anthropology, where did the "I dunno" phrase come from?  Is it something from your family, from Michigan, something else.  It has to be a cultural thing.  

Just curious.  You know me, I'm forever asking questions.  S22

Incidentally, if you actually watch a couple of the videos, much of that will be shown/explained.  


Oh, and you can also get all this information from right here.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#6
Dunno is an internet slang term for Don't know, which you do know. Everyone knows, which is intriguing on its own. It is also a "calming down" framing term in conversations when twenty-five cent words are too often used instead of nickel words. A few authors use such argot to position themselves away from the snootiness that often intrudes and puts their characters at a distance from the readers.

As for Lofoten, I see you can get to Bode, and then you ask the locals how to get the rest of the way. It is more secluded than most tourist destinations. It is more a pilgrimage than a vacation trip, which probably enhances its desirability for those who can make it.
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#7
(05-17-2016, 08:10 PM)WmLambert Wrote: Dunno is an internet slang term for Don't know, which you do know. Everyone knows, which is intriguing on its own. It is also a "calming down" framing term in conversations when twenty-five cent words are too often used instead of nickel words. A few authors use such argot to position themselves away from the snootiness that often intrudes and puts their characters at a distance from the readers.

As for Lofoten, I see you can get to Bode, and then you ask the locals how to get the rest of the way. It is more secluded than most tourist destinations. It is more a pilgrimage than a vacation trip, which probably enhances its desirability for those who can make it.

Ok, I guess I'm just not part of "everyone" yet. Spiteful

As for Lofoten, their official travel agency, responsible for making them famous, is doing a tremendous job. Of course, there is more to Lofoton than just the archipelago. There is also the quaint little town of Reine, which seems to be filled with very friendly folks. Its one of those, "If you love nature, this is the place. And if you love people, this is also the place."

Since I have been spending a lot of time going through all these major photography sites, and the professional photographers, who are churning out all of the great images, there are a few places that everyone MUST go and shoot. There's Iceland, the South Island of N.Z., Patagonia, the Western US, Namibian area, Saxony, and this lovely spot in Norway. I may have left out some others, but these are the Big Boys for professional photographers.

With Russians, it is a bit different, because many of them are still not fluent enough to fly all over the planet. Of course, Russia has more than its share of great Shoots too.

Right now, I am busily downloading great images, and hopefully as many as possible for filling up a screen, as in wallpaper. I Love great Wallpapers.

Now, I really do need a great program for enlarging and enhancing smaller pictures. Have you ever used "Perfect Resize" from ON1?
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#8
I think the best image manipulation program is the latest version of Photoshop. There are very few photographers who are aware of all its capabilities. At one time I could tell you what was happening under the hood. At the beginning, everything was handled using matrix math and one line of code doing the heavy lifting. I knew that algorithm backwards and forwards, but fairies and magic must have crept in, because it can now do things that seem to be beyond logic. You want magic? it's in there somewhere.
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#9
Does everyone remember this little event two years ago?  

Meteor Hits Russia Feb 15, 2013 - Event Archive




I'm mentioning this again because I am currently going through a host of Russian landscape photographers, who are very prolific in the quality of their work.  

So, I'm going through this particular fellow, named marateaman, and he is from "Челябинск", which in English means "Chelyabinsk", out in the South Ural Mountains.  And he's got a large reportoire of photos.  I'm almost at the end, and I come on this one series of shots, where he is out one February morning, bright and early, doing what all serious landscape photographers tend to do: taking pictures, of course.   S22

Lo and behold, he is in the right place to catch the celestial event in First person singular.  He's right in the middle of shooting a river sunrise scene, when he catches the asteroid explode over his position.

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Interestingly enough the main trail is after the explosion, as it continues across the sky.

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And not to let the perfect opportunity escape him, he managed to incorporate this event into his magnificent sun rise shots on that cold showy early morning.

And here is the perfect shot, with the sun perfectly highlighting the tree across the river bank, in the cold crisp February morning in the Urals.  I'll bet he has sold more than a few of this picture in the last couple of years.  

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___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#10
I don't claim this is great art, but I wanted to photograph the Azalea bushes that are a flood of red blossoms just outside my bedroom window. Since my mother has only been out of the house once in the past two years, this was the only way I could show her. Note that they are on the north side of the house. Azaleas seem to do well in mostly shade. Oh, and yes, I like ferns.

   
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#11
You're not a professional photographer Ron? You certainly had me fooled there. S22


Here's a little more information on the young man directly above, at Live Journal. The fact that he was the right man at the right time, in at least getting the asteroid's fiery trail in one of his landscape shots is quite unusual.

It explains things much better, and the translation from Russian to English is easier to read.

The explosion of a meteorite in the sky over the Chelyabinsk (Meteorite "Chelyabinsk"). Full photo report with comments.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#12
Thanks John. It's easy to get good photographs with my Sony DSC-W800 digital camera. Digital cameras seem to be able to handle a wider range of lighting conditions and focusing depths than the old film cameras (which in years past I did use a lot). I think one of the reasons for the big drop in price for silver is that it is no longer needed to make photographic emulsions, or at least, because of the much smaller market for same. This was a major part of the industrial demand for silver. It is a good electrical conductor, better than copper, but usually copper is good enough. I don't know of any industrial use for gold (though I think I read that it is an even better electrical conductor than silver), so it probably maintains its value better.

Those photos of the meteoroid streaking through the sky are amazing--that photographer was really lucky. Reminds you of all the times people claim they have seen UFOs but did not have a camera handy.
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#13
Yeah, that marateaman fellow is really a serious amateur photographer, who can't stay out of the field, he loves his hobby so much.  

His work is every bit as good as a professional, but he has trouble promoting things, and explaining his work.  Also, the fact that he doesn't travel around the world, and sticks to the Southern Russian territory, means that he isn't professionally promoting a particular travel agency.  

That seems to be one of the marks of a professional photographer, because travel agencies pay for their travel, room, and board. That way they get to go all over the world.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#14
One of the things I have learned since checking out all these wonderful landscape photographers is just how far the Russians have come in their quality.  But I can't help but be constantly bemused by their general attitude toward life in general.  Most of you know that I studied Russian History quite a bit as an undergraduate, and even traveled to Moscow in the 1960s while my Dad was stationed in Germany.  

Having lived under centuries of Tzarist oppression, of which there was practically no middle class to speak of, and then followed by Communism for almost a century, Russians have become perhaps the poster children for paranoia, cynicism, and secrecy.  MV, Michael, was the same way, even after having lived in the US for several decades.  If I ever revealed anything about himself, he would have a hissy fit.  

Well, these Russian landscape photographers are the same way.  Many of them just use a pseudo-name, and almost nothing whatsoever about themselves.  Their avatars are never smiling, or displaying happiness.  When they describe themselves, they are cloaked in mystery.  All of them!  Its as though the secret police will come and whisk them away, at any time, no matter where they are living.  

Here's what I mean: This Valeriy Shcherbina fellow.  Why would anyone want to advertise themselves with an awful mug shot like this?

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And even on a Western photography site, this is the best he can do.

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Its just amazing how they almost uniformly lack any ability to look, or act, happy in any way, shape, or form.  Its almost as though the gene pool has been forever altered.   S4

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Lago Antorno, Italian Alps

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Bryce Canyon, USA

He's been all over the world, does very well for himself, and can live anywhere he chooses.  Yet he still can't escape the paranoia that comes with being Russian.  What a total shame, and for such wonderful people.

Contrast all that with this German landscape photographer, Daniel Herr.  He's all over the place, talks about his native Bavaria, has a large picture of himself.  And even though there is no big smile there, you can tell that it is just ready to blossom at the slightest notice.   The American photographer Trey Ratcliff is alway smiling, offers seminars, and gives public talks on a regular basis.   He's everywhere.

Russians have this terrible burden placed upon them, by their society.  No wonder they feel the need to have a dash cam going all the time when they drive anywhere.  They have to protect themselves from others, but mostly the authorities.  What a terrible way to go through life.   S11
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"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#15
I recently photographed a rhododendron blossom amid my azaleas. I had to remove a few of the ferns that were getting a little out of hand. Filling a photo with a picture of one flower always seems impressive. God made the flower, not me, but I like to admire it.

   
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#16
About the somber mood exhibited by so many Russians over the years--John, do you think the Russians will ever learn to be happy and cheerful, if they can go long enough without being ground into the dirt by oppression and tyranny of one sort or another? And does life under Putin and the Russian crime syndicates really count as something positive, or is it just more of the same?
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#17
(06-06-2016, 10:36 AM)Ron Lambert Wrote: About the somber mood exhibited by so many Russians over the years--John, do you think the Russians will ever learn to be happy and cheerful, if they can go long enough without being ground into the dirt by oppression and tyranny of one sort or another? And does life under Putin and the Russian crime syndicates really count as something positive, or is it just more of the same?

If you consider a move from Marxism, down to Fascism, I guess is really is. But they still have a long way to go.

Its really a damned shame, because Russians are the salt of the earth folk. What they have had to go through over the centuries would screw up anyone.

But keep this in mind. Russia is in a very untenable position. It is a rich country, that has the misfortune to be located in awful location. Granted it has two outlets to the rest of the world(Balkans and Bosporus), but they must depend on the good will of others. They're basically land locked, because the Arctic region is not worthy of consideration. And also, the far eastern shore of Siberia is so far away, as to be insignificant. The cost of moving goods via the Trans-Siberian RR are not really worth the effort.

They're caught between a rock and a hard place. And as the climate gets colder, it will only get worse. And with the advent of the next glaciation, I don't know what they will be able to do about it, short mass migration south. Its a real mess in the making.

I feel a lot of compassion for those folks, because they have so much working against them. But their leadership is the one thing that can help or hinder.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#18
Just another side-note.  The biggest successes in the landscape photography field all seem to be very good business people as well.  Trey Ratcliff, at the beginning of this thread, is only one of many.  Here's another one, who is an Aussie: Timothy Poulton.

He is really big in panoramic shooting, as you can easily see from the link above.   He and another person have set up a company that caters to an assortment of things associated with photography.  Its OneofaKind.Photography.  And get this: his own company actually runs all the photography tours he leads.  And according to them, they have been 100% booked for the last five years.  And they have thirteen set up for 2017 already.  

Obviously he is doing very well for himself. S5

Here's the tour schedule for anyone interested in a special place to go shoot.

This guy is really good.  And from what I can see so far, he relies on more traditional use of lense filters, rather than HDR(High Dynamic Range) imaging, unlike Trey Ratcliff, and Elia Locardi, two big American heavyweights.  The outcome is different and more natural with the use of filters, whereas HDR can do just about anything they want the shot to look like.  

This shot, by Timothy, is fantastic.  Its from Alberta, Canada, and as you can tell, there is no HDR manipulation here.  

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Awakening The Beast

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The Kingdom's Similitude

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The Unrelenting Light
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#19
Ever since becoming once again interested in landscape photography, I have noticed one troubling thing going on.  And this can only have one cause here: the emasculation, i.e. Wussification of even photography itself.  It is so unnecessary, because it really accomplishes nothing positive, and is totally frustrating.  

I'm talking about the almost universal need to take running water, such as rushing streams, surfs, and almost any moving bodies of water in general  Rather than show water to be one of the most elemental forces in nature, something that can even wear away mountains, shipwrecks, and other  'so called', everything now has to be Pussified, so as not to offend the sensitive masses.  

Here's what I am talking about.  On this site is a 'supposedly' rugged Scot, who comes from a rough and tumble past.  He takes pictures of his native land, which is anything but placid and people friendly.  But when it comes to running water, here is what he does, and almost everyone else does.  If you scroll down ten rows, you will see what I mean. : https://www.flickr.com/photos/highlandscape/page3

And no offense to this man personally, because he is the only one who takes the time to bring up this subject.  Nobody else seems to even care, or consider it.
 
Click to Enlarge
Marmite _ Well you either love it or hate it!
   

I despise the one on the left.  It is so emasculating, and pussifying, that I almost want to retch.   Water is supposed to be Alive!.  Its supposed to have Force!  And yes, even Danger!  Its what rushing water does.  After all its one of the more overpowering elemental forces on this planet.  And yet everyone is going bonkers to produce waterfalls, beaches, and roaring rivers, that are so devoid of passion and force, that it is nothing more than the emasculation of nature itself.  What is this world coming to?  Gah

Iain MacDiarmid states the following, right under his post: "I prefer a long exposure myself but I do see lots of them on the internet and can understand the opposite point of view."

Everywhere one turns, no matter who is taking excellent shots, most of the quality stuff is ruined by the castration of the elemental water in the picture.  As a Real Man, and someone who Never, Ever, succumbed to having my manhood castrated by any anyone, I find this absolutely beyond the pale.  Gah

What in the Hell is coming over us?
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#20
I think what MacDiarmid is discussing is adding the effect of motion to a still photo. A pond or a lake is still water. A waterfall or rapids is all about movement. In photography, a blurry image over a still background screams motion. It might not show details of what exists for a hundredth of a second, but shows many such hundredths combined into a larger gestalt. I actually like both images for different reasons. Neither one is wussified. The eye of the beholder and all that.

To me, I would prefer the blurring of the water falling, but more detail of the surface of the pond - a combination of both. The water under the surface is interesting, but doesn't show at all on the blurry one.
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