Camera play at Red River

Red River, New Mexico.

Taking a hiatus from anything is good and bad.

Good = a renewed excitement after a break

Bad = forgotten skills

When I picked my camera back up this summer, there were a lot of things I'd forgotten. Before I took a break, I bought a "hobby" camera that was light and easy to carry around, an Olympus OM-D 1. It was the latest and greatest mirrorless 4/3s camera on the market at the time (it's old now). I liked it because it was light to carry for this old woman after a long day and hot day of hiking to get to stories. (You should never be caught without a camera when on assignment.)

While on vacation this summer with family, I pulled out this "hobby" camera and tried to learn about long exposure photography. I planned to teach a chapter on landscape photography in the fall and needed to dust off those skills and upgrade.

First up was to remember how to use a tripod. As a writer and occasional photojournalist, I don't carry a tripod. It just weighs you down. But with landscape, it sure helps and allows you to take long exposure so you can catch some of the colors and detail better while keeping a higher f-stop with a low ISO.

Second involved scouting out areas each day. I'd drive or hike to new spots each afternoon when the light was harsh. Find a good place, grab a few frames with my iPhone and mark it on the gps, then I returned in the golden hours (morning and evening) and even sometimes hit blue hour.

Fawn Lake, Red River, New Mexico

Third was working the light. I didn't want to do much post-production work in photoshop. My goal was to shoot and just do a color balance. Some mornings I woke up before 5 a.m. to get to my spot.

As I played with long exposure landscape, I rediscovered my joy in hand-held photos with people doing their thing. They had no idea I was taking their picture. These ended up being my favorites of the trip and not even the landscape. HA! Guess I failed at my grand experiment.

Mama Duck


Family Hike