Tag Archives: landscape photography

Visit To The Valley Of Fire State Park

 

Valley of Fire State Park

Valley Of Fire

Jean Lafontaine shooting in the Valley of Fire

Had a chance to spend a day in the Valley of Fire National State Park in Nevada with some of my customers. We had a great day at admiring and photographing this beautiful area. I was hoping that the desert was going to be in full bloom but we were a bit early so maybe next year I will show up when the desert is in full bloom.

The scenery is just incredible and breath taking and the beauty of this place is that it’s only a 45 minute drive  from Vegas and the fees are $ 10 per car quite affordable for such a great place to visit.

If you are a landscape photographer this place is a must. The park is open all year. Valley of Fire State Park is six miles from Lake Mead and 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas via Interstate 15 and on exit 75.  CONTACT the park at 702-397-2088 for more information or email to vof@mvdsl.com.

 

Shooting In Good Company

Hooting the Valley of Fire

Jean Lafontaine Trying to convert Joe to Nikon

I had the chance to spend the day in good company with Jean Lafontaine and his son Samuel from Photo CDM and Alain Berthiaume from Photo ABS, we are all in the photo business so it was fun to do some shooting rather than selling gear.

During the day we made some stops to take pictures of the red sandstone formations, formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs. The weird part of the day was that we met people that we know very well such as Jean-François O’kane from Montreal that appeared out of nowhere and Joe Todd from Forest City Image Center and Harry Mac from Downtown Camera. These encounters were really fun, who could imagine to meet people from home. Look like the park was invaded on that day with people from the photo trade. It says a lot about independent photo retailers they don’t only sell boxes they are also great lovers of photography and avid shooters. We did not see anybody from Best Buy or Future Shop that day shooting pictures.

 

The Valley Of Fire Road

The main road  that crosses the park was designated as one of the 19 Nevada Scenic Byway on June 30th, 1995 and is worth the drive. The landscape is incredible and its a photographer’s heaven. From the sandtone formations to limestones, sand dunes and rock art (petroglyphs) your visit will be worthwhile.

Valley Of Fire

Nevada Scenic Byway – Valley Of Fire

 

 More of the pictures taken that day at the Valley of Fire

 

Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire

 

Valley Of Fire

Valley of Fire

 

Valley of Fire

Samuel Lafontaine in quest of a great Image

 

Valley of Fire

Jean-François O’kane in the Valley of Fire

 

Valley of Fire

Alain Berthiaume walking the valley of Fire

In conclusion it was a great day despite that both Jean and Samuel tried to convert me to Nikon we had a fantastic day together, The discussion went from  gear usage to rules of photography, social media and business in general, the pact that we made not to talk about business did not last long, what do you want we are all passionate about the photography business.

Thanks Jean, Samuel and Alain for a great day in your company it was a privilege and an honor to spend that day in your company. Keep spreading the passion of photography this is what differentiate us from big boxes. Hope you enjoyed this small post. Now let’s see your pictures, are they still stuck in your Nikon’s menus? maybe I can help.

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My Fascination With Rocks And Rivers

 

Falls

Whenever I shoot landscape I am always drawn to subjects that have water and rocks. I like the movement of water and the silky look that long exposure produces. I also like the textures that we find in rocks they are rich in details and often in colors.

 

Here is a first example of a picture I captured in the Parc National de la Gaspésie while I was walking a trail. I used a tripod and a combination of an Hoya ND 8 filter and a polarizer to keep the reflections in the water and capture the rich colors available in the bed of that stream. The picture was taken at ISO 100, 0,5 s. at f/18. I kept  my post-processing to a minimum by adding a bit of saturation in the river bed and added some texture in the rock formation. I finally finished by sharpening with Nik Sharpener Pro. The result is very pleasing and looks natural.

The next picture was taken the same day as I progressed in the trail. I came upon a river that was pack with rocks and the water flow was very low compared to spring. It was the perfect time to take my boots off and position myself at the same level as the rocks. Once I figured where to put my tripod, I took 3 exposures with a compensation of 2 stops and processed the file with  Photomatix. You can see why I like rocks and water

During the rest of that week I also visited another Park in Gaspésie called Forrilon National Parc. I also practice and experiment with HDR and really enjoyed the rest of my trip. I will probably go back in a few years to visit other parts of this beautiful region of Québec. Here are a few pictures for your enjoyment.

By the way, I am weary of bears when I walk in trails alone, signs like the one in the next picture are nothing to reassure me but it won’t prevent me from continuing to capture the beauty that nature has to offer. it’s me on the right with a friend and I figured that if that day we were going to have an encounter with an hungry bear he was going to have a big snack and it was not going to be me.


 
Michel Nadeau
 

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Finally Kept My Word And Shot That Scene

Today, I new I had about an hour to shoot an area that I have been promising myself to photograph for years in St-Jérôme, QC. Everytime I go by that bridge, I look at my right and see that river surrounded by trees and a bridge at the other end. To me, this scene would make a perfect peaceful dreamy landscape. Well this is exactly what I did this morning, took 7 exposures with a 1 stop increment and processed it with Photomatix 4.2 and re-process it again through Nik Software Color Efex 4.0 with a few filters that I thought would give some sort of a dreamy feeling and look to that scene.

Here is the unprocessed  raw file with the normal exposure

This is the look that I got after processing it through Photomatix & Nik Software.

The result is OK but could of been much better if I had a bit of clouds to create a more dramatic scene. I will go back again until I create the shot that I like and it may not be a HDR shot this time. Many times in the past I have shot subjects and areas that did not please me or satisfied me after my first shoot. I have learned over the years that if you are not satisfied, go back and shoot it again if it is  possible until your are completely satisfied. There is always something new that you will see when you go back, better light, better perspective etc… Finally after that shoot, I drove to that bridge in the scene and took   this very grungy  shot of the river under the bridge. After all I was using my new toy ” Promote Control ” and I had to experiment with it to understand it’s potential and weakness.

Hope you have enjoyed this post
 
Michel Nadeau
 

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