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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Assignments: January/February 2014

The Best Of The Assignments Submissions From outdoorphotographer.com

Labels: Locations
This Article Features Photo Zoom

1) Deserts Assignment Winner
Photographer: Darren White
Location: Death Valley National Park, California
Equipment: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 17-40mm ƒ/4L USM, 2-stop soft grad filter

The photo was taken in Death Valley National Park on Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes near Stovepipe Wells, Calif. My buddy and I were traveling for a photo vacation. We arrived early in the afternoon and were out exploring the dunes. Finding a good ridge without any footprints was the real challenge. I walked up over a dune and saw this ridge without any footprints and the composition looked good. I could see some clouds building as the sun was going down. I knew if I was just patient and waited it would be a good shot. About two hours after this shot was taken, the entire dunes turned into a massive sandstorm as the winds kicked up for several hours.

In this issue of OP, I'm spotlighting the winners of several of the recent Assignments at outdoorphotographer.com. Each weekly Assignment is like a contest. When the entry period ends, the editors look at all of the submissions and choose a winner whose photo is highlighted on our home page and, as you see on these pages, in the magazine. To be in the running, all you have to do is enter.
—Christopher Robinson, Editor

2) Waterfalls Assignment Winner
Anthony Bonafede
Location: Yosemite National Park, California
Equipment: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40mm ƒ/4L USM, Really Right Stuff L bracket, SUNWAYFOTO DB-44 ballhead, SLIK 700DX tripod, Satechi Smart Trigger, Nik Silver Efex Pro 2

Yosemite has become a very special place for me to enjoy my photography. Recently, I've been sharing this with my son, Vincent, who started with his first DSLR when he was 11. We arrived at the park on an extremely busy day of the Memorial Day weekend in 2013. Parking was tough, so we had to hike from the opposite end of Cook's Meadow to get to the falls. The moonbow was predicted to occur around 11:30 p.m., and we had ample time to find our locations and frame our shots. I wanted to include some foreground to give depth to my image, but still wanted stars included in the frame. It was luck that I included enough room for the Big Dipper to be seen! I tried to use the shortest exposure time to minimize the movement of the stars, yet I didn't want noise to ruin my image. I chose an ISO of 800 and a 43-second exposure; I felt it was a good balance. We were fortunate that the waterfall had enough flow and the winds were relatively calm to minimize the mist landing on our lenses. By the end of the night, we all had the system down of "shoot, cover, wipe lens, shoot again." We all came back with great images. One process that worked well for the image was to make an adjustment layer with Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 to bring out the structure and lighten/darken areas of the image that I felt needed to be adjusted. I feel this gave me a lot of control over the scene.


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