Assignments: November 2012

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

Photographer: Michael Warwick
Location: Vermont Cemetery
Situation: I discovered that the largest, sometimes most colorful maple trees in New England were in cemeteries because they hadn’t been cut down over the generations. It was an overcast day, and I shot this with a Mamiya RZ67 and Fujichrome Velvia 50 film. The biggest challenge was positioning the shot to compress the tree in the foreground and background, and to eliminate bright or hot spots coming through that would be distracting.

I’VE MADE MORE THAN 100 ASSIGNMENTS ON OUTDOORPHOTOGRAPHER.COM, and nature photographers have sent in thousands of photographs. Every day I spend some time looking through those galleries to choose the Photo Of The Day, which you can see on the website, and to find candidates for this department in the magazine. It’s often the best part of the day for me, when I can tune out the world and just look at photos. I find the images in the galleries really inspiring. With autumn at its peak, I’ve selected some of the best fall color submissions for this issue of OP.

We’ve made a number of improvements to the galleries throughout the OP website. Go to the Assignments section of, browse the submissions and submit your photographs to the current Assignment. When you submit, you’ll automatically be in the running to be chosen for Photo Of The Day and for the Assignments section in the printed magazine.
—Christopher Robinson, Editor

Photographer: John Vinson
Location: Near Telluride, Colorado
Situation: This photograph was taken in the autumn of 2008. Not only were there great fall colors that weekend, but a lot of weather changes created some remarkable events. This spot is a popular one, which I usually try to avoid. I happened to be nearby, though, and when I saw some breaking clouds, I sped to this roadside location. I jumped out of my car and set up in time to get some work in before the slivers of light were consumed by an incoming storm. I like the sense of drama, and what creates that is the rarest of weather events—it becomes the greatest challenge of preparation and opportunity. I love when it becomes the ultimate test of will that pushes us to a higher level. The greater the challenge, the bigger the prize.

Photographer: Sherry Bell
Location: Silver Lake, Wasatch Mountains, Utah
Situation: This is an easy lake to get to, located high in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. I made several trips to Silver Lake for about two weeks, trying to find the day I could get a good range of changing colors. This lake is a popular spot for walking the trails, fishing and playing. The day I took this shot, there had been thunderstorms off and on throughout the morning. I wanted to capture the sunlight coming through the clouds with light concentrated on the colors. The best vantage point I had was on a bridge, which put me out over the water with the best view of the mountains and the best bank of trees with their changing colors. Just as the sun would break through the clouds to create the perfect light on the bank of colors, people would cross or play on the bridge and cause camera shake. I stayed in my spot on the bridge for more than an hour and got several good shots.

Photographer: Garry Everett
Location: Near Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Situation: The photo was taken while I was on vacation in the Tetons and Yellowstone area. It was a very cold, windy and overcast day. After lunch in Jackson Hole, we decided to drive to the Gros Ventre Slide and Lower Slide Lake areas. I didn’t have very high expectations, but during the drive along Gros Ventre Road, I noticed a contrasting group of yellow aspen trees on the mountainside, which was covered in conifer trees. There were several challenges in getting this shot—the distance and location of the subject (I couldn’t get any closer), the windy and cold conditions, and ensuring the correct exposure of the yellow aspen against the green conifers. To achieve the final shot, I used a long 400mm telephoto zoom, opened up the aperture to get the fastest shutter speed possible and underexposed by one full stop to get the contrast I was looking for between the yellow aspen and green conifers.