Road

Road

While still living in Norway I wondered why there are so many nature & landscape photographers in the USA that incorporate roads in their shots.

After living here for 2+ years I have come to realize the big difference of the access to land in the US vs Norway. In Norway we have “Allemansretten” , while in the US the right of the landowner stands highest. Where I live you only risk getting prosecuted for trespassing.

So I have ended up taking shots with the road too…

 

Inspirations

Last week I was with my wife on our honeymoon in New Orleans. What a special and exciting place. Well first I didn’t think so, we went to the French Quarter and my first impression how dirty and hot it was there, and how small it was compared to what I thought it was. Well that was all to change, I now understand why people really love that place. I soon discovered there where many gems for the visual, the taste and cultural everywhere. It was quite the surprise.
Anyhow that isn’t what this blog post is about. It is about Inspirations. Being in New Orleans I got inspired, not by the insane sunsets I didn’t get to photograph because I just had basic equipment with me. My wife probably don’t think it was that, with a camera taking half our lunch tables. I didn’t bring tripod and I didn’t bring any filters… Well back to subject.
We stumbled upon the gallery of Photographer Frank Relle. I really recommend everyone to check out his art. He is doing great stuff. And if I not just had bought a house I wouldn’t mind buying some of his art. Especially shooting landscapes myself knowing some of the work he has put into these pieces. Although my equipment with a DSLR is way easier than his full format camera.
Wandering his gallery I loved one of his quotes. “Landscape photography is about access. Access means trespassing”. Where I am from in Norway i can go where ever I want to shoot beautiful landscapes. Here in New York state where I live now, everything I would love to access has signs of trespassers will be prosecuted. I have been very tempted to take some shots regardless. Maybe one day when autumn comes one very early morning. We will see. His words resonated with me about landscapes in the USA. Difficult to make being all lawful there.
But what really inspired me was that all his shots where from New Orleans and the surrounding area. They where all portraying what makes that area special. For someone who lives in the area it is all normal. For someone that isn’t living there it gives a deep insight in all the special aspects of the area. I spoke with the curator of the gallery and she said that some of the locals didn’t really understand the art in the shots, as it was their neighborhood. At the same time Frank Relle has won dozen of awards for his photography.
My lesson from his photography is to look for what is special in my surroundings and shoot that. It may be totally normal for me here, and nothing special. For someone living somewhere else it may really touch them.

Retrospective 50 shoulder bag

So now vacation time is over us and that means travel for many of us. If you travel with car it is no problem, the challenges arise when you need to pack a limited amount of things. So for my vacation this is the case I am flying to NYC, and will spend vacation in the Capital region of NY State. Since I fly economy I cannot take limitless of stuff with me. For a photographer what counts is to be able to get the equipment you think you will need with you in a safe as possible way. I do only pack tripod and  chargers in my checked in luggage. It basically drills down to, what can I live without and what can I afford to replace. It isn’t given that the travel insurance covers unlimited amount of pro grade equipment lost in the luggage.
So I have purchased myself a bag with the intention of travels. Well that was the intention, the result is that it is the main bag I use for everything. I went with a larger bag, and I read some reviews of it before buying it and one of the cons with it was that it was to easy to fill it, which again will hurt your back. For me it is genius when it comes to travel, I can have it with me on the plane, it takes most of what I would consider brining on a travel, it doesn’t scream photographer, and it has good space for other stuff I need, like sun glasses, my Bose Headphones, a novel to read, a notebook (analog) to write on, some pens, some food, some water bottles, a laptop. In addition I have for this vacation packed my main camera body Canon EOS 1D Mark IV attached is the Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS, and I have also with me the Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L lens. I have some filters from Lee and the brackets for this. I could also have packed some flashes, but decided I didn’t need that this time, will see if I am right there. I think it takes things really nice.
bag
The camera bag packed, with camera, lenses, filters, food, water, book and so on
The bag I have bought  myself is the Think Tank Retrospective 50, I got it in the black color. I would highly recommend this bag for others that need a bag for similar tasks. And yes the review I read that time that said it could make your back hurts is right, I can easily pack it that heavy.
The problem I saw with going with a too small bag was exactly the same reason it said many places not to go for a bigger bag,  “You will never use it” And I feared choosing a too small bag would just make me end up having two bags when traveling.

Streetphotography

Not my best genere. I feel that if I take photos of people I invade their lives, even though the expectation of privacy should be rather slim out in the streets. As I also have a rather bulky and large camera rig I do not come off as a random tourist either, and I tend to get reactions; Some very positive and some negative.

Well enough excuses.

into the street

What street-photography is very useful for is to learn yourself to see interesting moments, and then to frame them. To be able to talk to people and make them help you creating the expression you want to.

In the one below it was a street musician who for the easter occasion had taken on ears.

Artist

At the foothills of the Adirondacks

When traveling to see other places of the world there are several things that are important to consider:

  • Equipment, what should I bring
  • What do I plan on photographing. This dictates or is being dictated by the equipment I bring.
  • Bring a good rucksack for equipment, that also enables you to carry water, food and some clothing.

As I was going to visit the love of my life and she knows I enjoy being out in nature, hiking and taking landscapes I decided to specialise on that. For camera I brought my Canon 1D Mark IV with only Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L lens. I brought the tripod in the suitcase, as well as some filters. Lee Big Stopper, Little Stopper, a pack of gradient ND filters as well as a coloured sunset filter pack. In other words a light little package, that is specialised towards taking landscapes, but offers the versatility to take other photos, like generally holiday photos as well.

She took me to a Summit called the Sleeping Beauty. Not sure where the name comes from. It is at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. The Adirondacks is a massive mountain range north in NY state.

We had a great walk trough forrest terrain first at a dirt road, later on steep single track. I carried everything in a durable Norrøna 45L rucksack. I like this as it provides both good carry comfort and enough space to have with whatever needed. It has been a travel companion of me since I bought it in 96.

After close to two hour walk upwards being much alone in the forrest, seeing chip-monks and some different birds we came out on a clearing that was the summit. The view here was both surprising as well as fantastic. A tight layer of forrest in many different green colors, and hills upon hills as long as the eye could see.

As there where a few clouds I decided to go for a long time exposure both with the Lee Big Stopper and the Lee Graduate ND filter, chose the 0.9 version and took this shot at ISO 50 with aperture of f16 for 25 seconds.

Took a panorama with my iPhone to get the feel of the landscape as well.

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