Friday, September 05, 2008

Arizona landscape photographer is off to a fast start after getting some helpful advice

After looking at these three images from Jarrod Mosier, you might be surprised to learn he's only been into photography for a little more than a year. "My story is a bit non-inspiring," says Jarrod. "Basically I had been busy for a long time with college and medical school in Arizona. I was too busy, in fact, to enjoy all the outdoor wonders around me. During my last year of school, I had some time on my hands and decided photography would be my creative release -- as well as an excuse to get outside and see the beautiful places I was neglecting. So I bought my camera as a graduation present and started going to Lake Tahoe for sunrise shots.

"About that time a picture of Crater Lake at sunrise by Marc Adamus was published in Outdoor Photographer. After about 500 disappointing pictures that looked nothing like his, I took my photos to a local shop and asked the man what I needed. He said I needed three things: photoshop, to shoot in RAW, and graduated neutral density filters. He recommended Singh-Ray as the top of the line. I promptly ordered my first filter, the Galen Rowell 2-stop soft-step Graduated ND filter. The next week I called Singh-Ray with some questions about how to use the filter and was transferred to 'someone who could help me.' Little did I know they transferred me to Bob Singh! He spent about half an hour answering all my questions and -- after that conversation -- I am now a lifelong Singh-Ray customer.

"Landscapes are my favorite subject to shoot, and I'm willing to hike with all my gear to reach the right locations. When I backpacked into Havasu Falls, I had about 50 pounds of camera gear! I go to the nearby Desert Museum and Saguaro National Park all the time. The latter, In fact, is one of the best places for lightning and sunset pictures. The difficult part is getting a shot that is different from the many popular images of a silhouetted saguaro cactus at sunset. I have spent countless hours hiking and driving around looking for the perfect cactus shot. There is a small area down on the Mexican border that has sand dunes and each March there are wildflowers that blanket the sand. I waited all year to go. Finally I had one whole day off between shifts. I drove all the way out there, 65 miles on a 4-wheel-drive-only road and broke the drive shaft on my truck, only to find I was five days late!

"The beauty of Arizona is that you have in one state every kind of landscape from deserts to mountains and lakes. For example, Havasu Falls, seen in the image above, is one of the most photographic icons in the American Southwest. Located in Supai, AZ, on the edge of the Grand Canyon, photographers must travel 10 miles by foot, horse, or helicopter to capture this magical wonder. The water is bright blue due to the calcium deposits lining the creek bed and flows between red-rock banks. The landscape makes it difficult to capture an image of the falls in a new way. Luckily I had my Singh-Ray filters with me on my trip to the falls in March. As the morning sun lit up the falls, the light provided a wonderful contrast of colors that I was able to capture thanks to my filters. This image was captured on a tripod mounted Canon 30D with a Canon 17-40mm f4L lens with a Singh-Ray LB ColorCombo, Galen Rowell 2-Stop ND, and Daryl Benson 3-stop Reverse ND Grad. Shot at a low ISO, the filter combination was perfect. The LB ColorCombo reduced the glare from the pools and allowed the natural color of the water to show with perfect saturation. The ND Grads balanced the exposure between the highlights and shadows, and the combination allowed a longer shutter speed to blur the flow of the water.

"Monsoon season in Southern Arizona is a photographer’s paradise. The afternoon thunderstorms provide incredible light during the golden hour and spectacular sunsets. One day in July, I noticed an afternoon thunderstorm approaching the Catalina Mountains from the northeast. I went to Windy Point Vista, approximately half way up the highway to Mount Lemmon, hoping to find some magical light. A break in the storm late in the afternoon provided the perfect sunset with warm light on the canyons and the hoodoos of the Catalinas. This image was captured with a Canon 30D with a Canon 17-40mm f4L lens with a 2-stop hard-step ND grad.

"Sedona’s Red rocks at sunset provide unparalleled warm light and amazing images if the exposure is balanced with Singh-Ray ND Grad filters. This image was taken on Schnebly Hill Road in Sedona at sunset while on a trip for fall colors in October. The sunset was tracking perfectly to provide a nicely lit canyon, however the sky was much brighter than the canyon. The exposure was balanced with a Daryl Benson 3-stop Reverse ND filter with a Singh-Ray LB ColorCombo. The camera used was a tripod mounted Canon 30D with a Canon 17-40mm f4L lens."

Jarrod has recently returned from a two-week photo trip to Oregon and Washington, so you may soon be able to share more of recent efforts by visiting his web gallery.


Anthony Mosier said...

Go Jarrod!!! I am glad to say you are my brother =)

Donna Hull said...

We spent time on the Oregon Coast last year with Marc Adamus. My husband attended a private workshop and I tagged along. Marc is a very gifted photographer. He introduced my husband to Singh-Ray filters and they have improved his shots tremendously.

Jeroen Akershoek said...

Good luck with the Outdoorphotographer photo contest.
Regards, Jeroen