The American Landscape Photo Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of The American Landscape 2019 photo contest

Grand Prize Matt Meisenheimer
Jurassic
The cliffs of the Nā Pali Coast rise over 4,000 feet from the shoreline below. It’s a magnificent thing to see. The mountains of Kauai are some of the most unique out there. They give you the feeling that you’re living in a prehistoric environment that existed millions of years ago. I ran into some phenomenal conditions while hiking around the Kalalau Valley during a recent trip. I scrambled to find a suitable composition and came across this scene. I liked how the lone tree was catching light and I felt the rainbows were spaced perfectly with the tree. It was very windy and wet so the challenge was freezing motion in the vegetation and keeping my lens dry. I shot at a higher ISO to get a faster shutter speed and used a towel to dry my lens. I’d shoot a few frames, dry and cover my lens, take a few frames and repeat. Thankfully, my effort paid off and my resulting images were clean and sharp. This image portrays one of the most incredible events that I have had the opportunity to photograph.
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Second Prize Jemma Lee
Pink Lady Nipple
As each labored step forward resulted in two slippery steps back on the rocky mountainside ascend on this humid August day, I had naively assumed that we had reached our destination on the difficult hour long trek from the Cinder Cone parking lot. I begrudgingly continued the climb for two more hours and was grateful to be rewarded with an extraordinary view on the other side. At the base of the mountain a small cluster of pink mountains appeared in the distance, only to be revealed through my telephoto lens. This breathtaking view reminded me of being upon my mother’s breast when I was a young child. The vivid pinks, reds, purples and blues portrayed in the photograph are from the minerals on the ground below that were created from volcanoes erupted in the past.
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Finalist Craig Bill
Moonquest
Night photography in the scared slot canyons of the Navajo, Upper Antelope Canyon
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Finalist Jason Frye
Eventuality
The trees that line certain sections of the South Carolina coast are haunting yet beautiful, witnessing countless sunrises, sunsets, storms and rainbows…but their time is limited. Enjoy the moment, get out, you never know when an opportunity to photography something is your last chance.
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Finalist MWPhotography2
Glacial Stream -Two Medicine Lake – Glacier National Park
Two medicine lake lies about an hour south of St. Mary, Montana, on the east side of Glacier National Park. This lake one of the prettiest in the park and is not as well traveled as most parts of the park. At certain times of year, when the glacial run off is high, swift streams flow down into the lake. I bushwhacked for a few miles through the pristine evergreen forest to find this magical spot. There was an ample presence of bear scat along the way, prompting me to engage in my usual discussion with the trees and nature around me in order alert wildlife of my presence. I returned a few years later only to find this once vibrant stream had been reduced to a trickle by climate change.
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The American Landscape Photo Contest Winners
more at Outdoor Photographer

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Open-Minded Illumination

If the conditions prevent you from taking great images, dig a bit deeper into your creativity to come away with winners
Text & Photography by Russ Burden

Words of wisdom come from places you least expect to hear them. Not in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be enlightened by a total stranger seated next to me at the airport. His words were something to the effect of, “My initial flight was canceled, my aisle seat was changed to a middle one, the weather delay is messing with my mind and the kid behind me on my first flight kept kicking my seat, but a bad two days of air travel is still better than two days at work when your destination is where you’ve dreamed about going all your life.”

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Open-Minded Illumination
read more at Outdoor Photographer

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The Art Of Seeing

In this three-part article series, we take a deep dive into the fundamentals of composing landscape photographs
Text & Photography By Marc Muench

There’s a magical moment in landscape photography when you find the right position, the subject is at the correct angle, bathed in perfect light, and, with your camera in hand, you capture “The Shot”—the perfect composition for the scene. These are the moments we all want to repeat, but for whatever reason, they are difficult to find. The more you learn about how much goes into creating such moments, the more you realize just how complex and involved they are to repeat.

This is the “Art of Seeing.”

I break the process of seeing down into three elements that I call the “creative trinity.” Subject, light and composition make up the trinity, and the fuel that fires it is timing.

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The Art Of Seeing
more at Outdoor Photographer

part 1part 2part 3

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Beyond Visible Light

For a different look at color photography, try these shooting and processing tips using infrared digital capture
Text & Photography by Russell Hart

Cranes Feeding At Sunset, Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
The light was pretty warm already when I photographed these cranes eating the corn that’s fed to them in winter at New Mexico’s Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Infrared turned the sky yellowish-orange, and that color is reflected in the marshy pools of the Rio Grande Valley. I took the photograph handheld, braced on the top of my car, with a Nikon 70-200mm ƒ/4 and 1.4x teleconverter. The lens was zoomed all the way in, giving me an effective focal length of 280mm that helped create the picture’s flat, “compressed” appearance. I kept the shutter speed high enough (1/250 sec.) to reasonably freeze the redwinged blackbirds flying in front of the mountains and stopped down to ƒ/13 to make sure everything was sharp from front to back.

The trees on the mountains, and, to a lesser extent, the brush surrounding the water, have the typical blue-green (cyan) color that digital infrared capture renders foliage. It was a little too blue for my taste, so I altered it in Photoshop to make it greener and therefore natural, though I didn’t take it all the way. Instead of using saturation sliders to do this, I went into the Selective Color control, increasing the yellow in the image’s blues and reducing magenta in the image’s greens, among a few other adjustments. Selective Color isn’t a control typically used much by photographers but is one I’ve found useful for subtle tweaking of color with infrared.
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Beyond Visible Light
by Russell Hart

more in: Outdoor Photographer Magazine
Vol. 35 No. 8 | September 2019

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Take Better Travel Photos

How to make the most of your next trip and return home with a portfolio of memorable images
Text & Photography By Ken Kaminesky

The Four Ps To Take Better Travel Photos
Practice. No artist will ever get better at their craft without serious amounts of practice. The good thing is, practicing in photography is fun. Keep shooting in new ways and experimenting with new techniques.

Patience. Don’t expect every shot to be amazing nor think that every time you try something new it will be a giant success. You’ll learn a lot from your failures. The trick is, only show people your best work.

Persistence. Don’t give up! Good things don’t happen to those who simply wait; they happen to those who work their butts off. Don’t be distracted by negative thoughts and give up. The next shot may be the perfect one.

Photoshop. Capturing a great image is just the beginning. Learning how to bring your vision to life by post-processing with the powerful software available to photographers today is the icing on the cake. You’ll never regret getting really good at Photoshop. Trust me.
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Take Better Travel Photos
By Ken Kaminesky

more at outdoor photographer

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Natural Framing In Landscape Photography

Use framing to direct the viewer’s attention to a specific location within the composition.

Natural framing is a popular technique in landscape photography where the photographer deliberately places the primary subject in a position where accompanying elements surround it, highlight it or call attention to it. A connection between the objects framing the subject and the subject itself should exist. The goal of the frame is to direct the viewer’s attention to a specific location within the composition. It unifies the primary focal point with natural or man-made objects that surround it. These objects add a sense of depth and also help identify the environment in which the image was created.

Text & Photography by Russ Burden
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Natural Framing In Landscape Photography
more at Outdoor Photographer

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Take Better Travel Photographs

How to make the most of your next trip and return home with a portfolio of memorable images.
Text & Photography by Ken Kaminesky

One of the challenge of making portfolio-worthy photographs when traveling in new places is fnding a balance between focusing on image making and simply being present and absorbing the experience …
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Take Better Travel Photographs
more in Outdoor Photographer – May 2019

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