As an aspiring landscape photographer, I have the opportunity to explore less traveled parks and remote wilderness areas. This blog shares of my "notes from the field," including photography techniques, hiking tips and lessons learned the hard way ... like the time I fell through the ice in the Merced River, Yosemite National Park. I welcome your comments and thank you for visiting our site. Marcus W. Reinkensmeyer, Field Photographer
Our photo, Sunflower Graced Mountain Road, has been named as a Judges' Favorite in the AAA Highroads Arizona Wild Flowers photography contest.
One of my colleagues and a fellow photographer was kind enough to tell me about this scenic area just North of Wupakti Look Road, near Flagstaff, Arizona. This road leads to Sunset Crater Volcanic National Monument, a unique geological wonderland of volcanic cinder fields. We were delighted to hike this scenic hillside in the aftermath of heavy monsoon rains, which support vibrant plant life in Northern Arizona mountains.
Our visit to this site is memorable, not only due to the abundant Sunflowers, but also given the extremely windy conditions on that day. During most of our hike, it was not possible to photograph detailed landscape scene having an extended depth of field, at least not without moving to unacceptably high ISO camera settings, e.g., 1,600 and above.
After fighting the wind and these technical limitations for some time, I decided to photography a series of time exposures depicting the raw energy of sunflowers in motion. For more information on the time exposures and wildlife photography, see Photography on a Windy Hillside.
My sincere thanks to the contest judges at AAA Highroads for their recognition of my wild flower photography.
Today, I’m honored to have one of my photos used as artwork on New Zealand born Composer Annea Lockwood’s Ground of Being CD album cover. An Emeritus Professor at Vassar University, Ms. Lockwood creates music from sounds in nature – wind, water and rocks - and “found instruments.”
Her expansive body of work explores unique acoustic and electronic instrument sounds in natural settings. The album is available at http://www.recitalprogram.com/ground-of-being/.
The featured photo, Nature’s Grand Design, is apropos for sounds in nature, showing a cross section of striated Navajo Sandstone at the iconic Wave, North Coyote Buttes, Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness Area, Arizona-Utah Border. This same image was featured in Capture My Arizona’s 2013 calendar.
For more information on the unique geology of the Wave and nearby areas, see: The Wave: Landscape Photography in a Geological Wonderland; White Pocket Landscape Photography: Weather on the Plateau; Whirlwind Photography Trek: Arizona and Utah – Lake Powell.
< Nature's Grand Design, Striated Navajo Sandstone, Capture My Arizona Photo of the Day, Nikon D70 0.3s at f/25
My thanks to Producer Sean McCann (Recital Records) and Ms. Lockwood for the opportunity to be part of such a creative, far reaching project.
< The Wave, Nikon D70, 1/15 at f/22
Marcus W. Reinkensmeyer
Another first for your's truly: I've just been been interviewed for a podcast on landscape photography. This is the third podcast in a new series from Lens and Landscape. Earlier podcasts have addressed astrophotography and various facets of nature photography.
My interview delves into favorite shooting and hiking locations like White Sands National Park, Vermilion Cliffs (Arizona-Utah border) and the Oregon coast; getting your images published; composition; and pre-visualization.
- Misty Morning Surf, Maui, Hawaii
My sincere thanks to Fred Weymouth, the founder of Lens and Landscape and an avid photographer based in Tucson, Arizona. Fred tells me that many other podcasts are in the works, addressing a wide array of photography trends and techniques.
Marcus W. Reinkensmeyer
Related posts: Natural Coastline Shift: Big Beach, Maui, Hawaii; New Mexico Landscape Photography, Part 1: White Sands Dunes to Carlsbad Caverns; Grand Staircase - Escalante Photography Part 2: Zebra Canyon & Red Breaks; and The Wave: Landscape Photography in a Geological Wonderland.
We’re pleased to present a new line of sweatshirts from People’s Choice Apparel (PCA), featuring some of our favorite photographs. The full collection of my photo shirts can be found at: http://www.peopleschoiceapparel.com/marcus-reinkensmeyer.html.
As a part-time landscape photographer, I‘ve never had the time or the expertise needed to actively market my images outside of traditional publication channels such as magazines, calendars and prints. The folks at People’s Choice Apparel have opened up a whole new world of possibilities, as they are now my work on offering phone cases as well as various styles of shirts.
Located in Los Angeles, this family owned business produces tasteful, high quality customized merchandise at reasonable prices. I’m grateful to work with the PCA team, given their strong sense of design and deep commitment to customer service.
- The Havasu Falls shows the cascading waters and pools at the foot of this iconic waterfall, located in a side canyon of the Grand Canyon. Everyone asks about the blue waters, which may look “fake” unless you visited in the falls in person. The crystal clear waters really do appear to be a lovely blue-green color, as the rock and sand in this area is made of a crisp white Bicarbonate mineral. A great hiking area, with other water falls down stream leading to the Colorado River.
- With the low tide at Cannon Beach, Oregon, tidal pools made for wonderful reflections and abstract patterns in the sand. At sundown, what a great way to end an perfect day, with the ever changing weather so typical of the Pacific Coast. This shoot always holds special memories, as I brought my lovely to for the weekend, celebrating our 30th Anniversary.
- The image Cathedral Rock was taken on New Year’s Day, when the iconic Sedona red rock was blanketed in snow and ice. We lucked out on that day, as we were actually heading up to Flagstaff, Arizona, but decided to make “a quick stop” in Sedona.
My sincere thanks to People’s Choice Apparel for the opportunity to present my photography and to all of you for your continuing support.
Related posts: Snow Laced Sedona, Whirlwind Photography Trek: Arizona & Utah – Part 2 Havasupai Falls; Coastal Photography: Point Reyes National Seashore, California; Lighthouses and Piers: Ten Tips for Coastal Photography.
Marcus W. Reinkensmeyer
“I was happy anywhere I could see the ocean.” Ai Yazawa, Japanese Author
Driving about an hour north from bustling San Francisco, we’re transported to largely uninhabited Point Reyes National Seashore. Here, at Point Reyes Peninsula, dramatic shoreline cliffs converge with crashing ocean waves.
< Drake's Beach, Evening Reflection, Nikon D800E 1/60 at f/16, ISO 250
Located on the San Andreas earthquake fault line, the 71,000 acre national nature preserve is home to countless wildlife species, marine ecosystems and the Point Reyes Lighthouse.
< Drake's Beach Golden Hour, Nikon D800E 1/15 at f/20, ISO 250
With photo opportunities galore, our first challenge was determining where to start and how to spend our limited time in this vast scenic park. Intially, we visited the lighthouse and each of the beach areas. With the exception of readily accessible Drake’s Beach, hiking was required to access the shoreline areas. Thus, we saw few other people along the highly photogenic shoreline - a huge expanse of sandy beaches separated by steep, impassible cliffs.
< Limantour Beach at Dawn, Nikon D800E, 1/50 at f/18, ISO 400
This being a January trip, we encountered fierce winds and bitter cold on our ridgeline hikes and a quick visit to the lighthouse. Our most tasking hike was on the exposed Tomales Point Trail, flanked by the ocean on one side and Tomales Bay on the other. We had the peninsula pretty much to ourselves, encountering only one other hiking party and herds of Tule Elk during this six hour trek.
About three miles into the Tamales Point hike, we were rewarded with a truly spectacular view of the rugged coastline. We made a mental note of our vista point, opting to shoot the scene on our return hike in the late afternoon light under less windy conditions. On our return hike, we were blessed with wonderful lighting, but no break in the wind.
< Kehoe Beach, River to Sea, Nikon D800E 1/20 at f/18, ISO 160
Our Bear Valley Trail hike to Mt. Wittenberg (1,407 feet) was also quite a challenge, given gusting winds and cold spitting rain. We started on this venture too late in the afternoon, making for a rushed hike and little time for serious photography. Still, the sights from the Bear Valley summit trail remain vivid in my mind’s eye, drawing me back for a return visit to Point Reyes.
A special thanks to my brother and fellow photographer, Brian Reinkensmeyer, for his great company on yet another unforgettable photo trek. We’re both grateful for times like these, out in nature with cameras in hand.
< Tamales Point Trail View, Nikon D800E, 1/160 at f/16, ISO 320
< Tomales Bay, First Light, Nikon D800E
1/25 at f/22, ISO 500
Marcus W. Reinkensmeyer
Landscape photography techniques, photo expedition travel planning and hiking tips.