"If you have a fast connection make sure and dial up the resolution to full 1080 HD!"
In the ever changing world of photography there is a new skill that many of us are starting to embrace. The capability of the new DSLRs to shoot in full HD video with limited depth of field has taken the world by storm. Some folks argue that this is just a fad but in my opinion video is here to stay. Combined with still photography, video creates a visual storytelling powerhouse.
To start wrapping my head around the world of video I decided to shoot a thirty second TV commercial for my good friend Wesley King, owner of Tahoe Trail Bar. I teamed up with fellow photographer Shea Evans and we began setting up the shoot. After coming up with a basic storyboard and shot list we instituted our good friend Corey Welsh to act as the "talent." We shot the entire commercial in one afternoon on the most scenic trail in Lake Tahoe, The Flume Trail. We then had Nate Ceko over at Outside TV edit the piece for us. The learning curve was steep but I learned a lot and am happy with the end result.
The commercial is now running on Outside TV. I can't wait to start the next project!
Last week I was driving home from a great hike up Mount Tallac and noticed Lower Glen Alpine Falls was really pumping. I came back several days later and shot a few landscape images of the waterfalls. They turned out ok but I felt like something was missing. The next morning my fiancée was walking out the door to her yoga class and the idea dawned on me for a photo shoot. Originally I was thinking about putting a hiker in front of the falls to give them some scale but I realized that a person doing yoga would compliment the scene much better.
The next evening we styled out Regina (my fiancée) in some proper yoga attire and headed down to the waterfalls. The clothing was really important in this shoot because she needed to wear something that would make her “pop” in front of the falls. We settled on a bright red top and gray tights.
The time of day was also extremely important for this shoot. The waterfalls needed to be in the shade. Long exposures would be crucial to blur out the water and give the images an ethereal effect. From my previous shoot I knew that the waterfalls stopped getting sun after 6pm.
We got to falls around 7pm and began shooting. I think the hardest part about this shoot was in Regina’s hands. All of my exposures needed to be just shy of a second to produce the ethereal effect I was looking for. This meant that Regina had to remain perfectly still for each exposure. Taking into account the difficulty of some of the poses that I wanted her to perform, this was no small feat. Any movement at all would render the image unusable. After we shot a couple test images, it was clear that she was more than capable of holding all of her poses without moving a muscle. What a rock star!
I am really happy with this set of images. It was such a fun project to shoot. I don’t always like putting people in my landscape images but this seemed like the perfect scenario to implement the idea. This shoot has opened my eyes to some really cool possibilities for future projects. Did I mention that I LOVE WHAT I DO!
When I think of an iconic image of Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay is it. This glacier carved masterpiece on the southwest corner of Lake Tahoe is truly a site to behold. No matter how many times I visit the bay I am always awestruck by its sheer beauty and prowess. The sound of Eagle Falls echoes off the canyon walls cascading down to the shoreline with Fannette Island situated perfectly in the center of this natural wonder.
Admittedly, I don’t go to Emerald Bay as much as I used to. I have photographed the bay countless times, in each season and in all different types of light. It’s not that the mystique has worn off; I just feel like I have a solid portfolio of the bay and should concentrate my creative efforts elsewhere.
A few days ago a good friend and fellow photographer Brad Beck happened to be passing through Lake Tahoe and wanted me to show him around. It was his first visit to the lake and he only had one day to photograph before his departure. “Where should we shoot sunrise?” he asked. “Well, that’s easy,” I said, “if I take you anywhere but Emerald Bay you’ll probably never forgive me.”
An early wake up at 4:45am and we were at the first overlook by 5:15am photographing the bay with ambient light pouring over the horizon. After five minutes of shooting I told Brad we should head over to Eagle Falls. The large snow pack from a record winter was still melting and the falls were pumping in mid-July, which is very rare. The sunrise turned out to be spectacular. Clouds on the horizon illuminated and the light was incredible. I could tell Brad was really stoked on the situation.
We photographed until a half an hour after sunrise and then called it quits. “What did you think?” I asked. “Incredible!” he replied.
It was great to revisit Emerald Bay with a photographer witnessing it for the first time. His enthusiasm definitely rubbed off on me and the images I came away with are the proof. It just goes to show that sometimes no matter how many times you photograph something you can still create images that are fresh and rewarding. Cheers to that!
What an EPIC day! Great weather and even better snow prompted my friend Sean Cronin and I to go ski and snowboard a line we both had been looking at for sometime, Emerald Chute above Emerald Bay. Because of the south facing aspect of the chute it was important we descend it in the early morning before the avalanche danger became too high. It took us about an hour and a half to gain the ridge from the road and about another 45 minutes to negotiate the top of the ridge to the entrance of the chute. The views from the top of the chute are absolutely unreal. It feels like you could just dive right into Emerald Bay. After we were back at the car, all Sean and I could talk about was how privileged we are to call such an amazing place home.
"Sean Cronin skis Emerald Chute with Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe in the background"