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Assignments: July 2011

Photo Assignments From The Editor Of Outdoor Photographer Magazine
This Article Features Photo Zoom

Photographer: Matt Ludin
Location: Trail Camp on the Mount Whitney Trail, California
Equipment: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 17-40mm ƒ/4L USM, SLIK tripod

In the fall of each year, Matt Ludin makes a one-day hike up and down the Mount Whitney Trail with a group of friends. In 2010, he made a point to bring his camera and a tripod to catch the sunrise hitting the mountain. At Trail Camp, the light coming off the peaks was so intense that the best way to capture it seemed to be from the small lake’s reflection. Although a bout of fighting altitude sickness, Ludin was able to compose and capture this shot. Mountain vistas can be overwhelming and difficult to photograph as one tries to incorporate everything. We found this image to be a unique solution; using the reflection gives the scene focus.

The In The Mountains Assignment drew a number of excellent submissions to the gallery on the OP website. The solitude is what draws me to the mountains, and as I went through the gallery, I saw a number of images that gave me a sense of the place and a feeling of the solitude that comes from being on top of the world looking down. Some of the best from the gallery are shown here.

A new Assignment is posted every week on the OP website. Take a look and submit your photos, and comment on the others you see in the gallery. The OP community is unique in the number of helpful and constructive comments that are posted. I’ll be looking for images to publish in the August issue.
—Christopher Robinson, Editor

Photographer: Allen Price
Location: Glacier National Park/St. Mary Lake Region, Montana
Equipment: Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, Canon EF 16-35mm ƒ/2.8L USM

Along with his wife, Allen Price was hiking along a trail near the west end of St. Mary Lake. The route eventually goes past Baring Falls and St. Mary Falls, and for those who are especially adventurous, it goes up to Virginia Falls. Allen credits his wife for being an excellent spotter of potential images. But in this case, Price was waiting for her to free a rock from her shoe when he spotted the framing for this photograph.

Photographer: Sarah So
Location: Huangshan, China
Equipment: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 24-105mm ƒ/4L IS USM

Starting from the Yuping cable-car station, Sarah So hiked the three-and-a-half hours up this mountain. There’s a hotel near the top of the climb, and it’s a popular adventure in the Huangshan region. When she arrived there in the afternoon of April 14, 2010, a freezing rain covered the mountain, the visibility was very poor, and the pine trees were coated with snow and ice. On the 15th, the weather cleared, and there were brief moments when the clouds thinned out to reveal the majestic peaks of Huangshan and their breathtaking vertical drops. The pine tree, with its branch extending into the center of the frame, is called “Reaching for the Sea” because it resembles an arm and hand. When loaded with snow, the pine bends as if to reach for the sea of clouds that float by.

Photographer: Charles Baxter
Location: Culebra Range, Colorado
Equipment: Composite image of two film captures taken with an Olympus OM-1N and Zuiko 35-70mm lens, Epson scanner, Corel PaintShop Photo Pro X3

Anyone who has climbed a mountain has seen handmade rock cairns like this near some peaks. Often, climbers make them to give a few more feet of altitude to the mountain or, as in this case, to frame part of the view. Charles Baxter made this composite to maintain clarity and proper exposure in the distant peak and the near rock formation. In making this composite, Baxter had, in essence, made an HDR photograph. Instead of multiple digital captures combined automatically in software, he did it with a pair of film frames that were manually composited.