Travel Photography – Storm Brewing

Texas is in a drought. The entire state is way behind in rainfall and we’re really praying for some wet weather. I took this shot on State Hwy 36 on my way out of Brenham, Texas last weekend. You can see just how dry things look and the storm that was brewing never came to be.

Storm Brewing

Storm Brewing
Copyright 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 50D set on aperture priority (Av), using an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM hand-held. The exposure was taken at 24mm, f/9.5 for 1/250th of a second at ISO 100 on Lexar Professional UDMA digital film. Post capture processing was done in Lightroom 2. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Posted in Photography Tagged: Canon, Canon 50D, Texas Towns, Travel Photography

Workshop Tip #1 – Packing for Stealth

Back in late December I wrote a rather lengthy post about Photographic Safety and one of my main points was to pack for stealth. Since then, I’ve received several emails asking for more details about how I pack my camera gear to remain “anonymous” and “stealthy” in the field. Here are the main points illustrated with the two images below.

Your Gear Looks Inviting to Everyone (Including Thieves)
We photographers love our “stuff”. We obsess about our photographic gear and will buy just about anything to help us in our quest to become better photographers. Both amateurs and professionals fall prey to this obsession and it’s what drives the entire industry. It’s also what makes photographers such a “lure” for potential thieves.

Drive through any state park in Texas on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and you’ll see dozens of folks walking around with a DSLR and a telephoto lens. I’ve seen a few intrepid adventurers carrying around a full-size Gitzo tripod and Wimberley gimbal head with an 800mm super-telephoto lens attached to a very high-end DSLR worth over $20,000. The back of their SUV is crammed full of other tempting gear like spare lenses, filters, tripods, etc. and to a thief, this is like holding up a neon sign which spells out “ROB ME”. Even an open camera bag sitting in the passenger seat can be an invitation to a knowledgeable thief and believe me, most thieves can spot a Think Tank roller or Lowepro Trekker in a heartbeat.

Packing for Stealth
A little foreknowledge goes along way and packing for stealth can be as easy as using something other than an easily recognizable camera bag as your camera bag. Today I use a Filson Sportsman’s Bag (shown open above) to hold all my photo/travel gear including two DSLR bodies, four or five lenses, filters, batteries, etc. and as you can see it functions just like my old Domke bags did.

Filson Sportsman's Bag (Open)

The key difference is that this bag doesn’t look like a camera bag, it looks like a typical overnight bag any camper might carry full of clothes and stuff. When closed up and sitting on the passenger seat of my SUV, it doesn’t attract anymore attention than a duffle bag would and after a few years of normal wear & tear it will attract even less attention. Few thieves these days are looking to steal someone’s socks and underwear.

Filson Sportsman's Bag (Closed)

So the next time you’re in the market for a new camera bag, take a moment to look at the bag from the perspective of a thief. There are dozens of great luggage makers including Filson, Eddie Bauer, Lands End, and LL Bean that make “sportsman’s bags” or “rollers” that can function perfectly as your main camera bag without attracting the unwanted attention that a name-brand camera bag will. When you’re out in the field transporting thousands of dollars in photo gear, the best advice I can give you is to pack for stealth!

Filed under: Photography Tagged: Canon, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Texas Hill Country, Texas Landscapes, Travel Photography

Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages – Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas
Copyright 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 70mm, f/16 for 1/4th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS5.
Click on the image above for a larger version.

Filed under: Photography Tagged: Adobe Photoshop CS5, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Palo Duro Canyon, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Photography, Texas High Plains, Texas Landscapes, Travel Photography

Circle of Life?

Another landscape self portrait in a long series of shots from the great state of Texas!

Circle of Life

Circle of Life – Big Bend National Park, Texas
Copyright 2011 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 19mm, f/14 for 1/15th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter and 2-stop graduated neutral density filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.
Click on the image above for a larger version.

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Filed under: Photography Tagged: Adobe Photoshop CS5, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, Big Bend National Park, Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Texas, Texas Landscapes, Travel Photography, West Texas

Back on Singh-Ray’s Front Page

I’m back on the front page of Singh-Ray’s web site for a few days and you can read all about my exploits on Singh-Ray’s blog. Man, are my friends at Singh-Ray filters some of the coolest folks in the business or what! With the drought here in Texas and the overall economy, I’ll take all the free publicity I can get.

Singh-Ray Web Site

While you’re feasting your eyes, take a look at the Singh-Ray LB Warming Polarizer, the Galen Rowell Graduated Neutral Density Filters and the brand new Vari-N-Trio. These are three essential filters for any landscape photographer and the same three that I use again and again in the field.

No, the folks at Singh-Ray do not sponsor me. I just think the world of their products and you will too!

Filed under: Photography Tagged: Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Singh-Ray Filters, Singh-Ray LB Warming Polarizer, Singh-Ray Vari-N-Trio Filter, Texas, Travel Photography, West Texas

The Path We Take Through Big Bend National Park

The path you choose to explore in a place as large as Big Bend National Park is a very personal choice. Many folks drive through the park and rarely leave the comfort of their vehicle to venture forth and explore the deep desert regions of the park. Some brave souls hike countless miles throughout the back country trails in search of solitude and tranquility with only a backpack and bed roll for their comfort. Luckily, Big Bend National Park has something special to offer to almost everyone that visits. And like me, many just can’t get enough of this incredible jewel hidden in the reaches of far West Texas.

Ernst Tinaja Wash

Ernst Tinaja – Big Bend National Park, Texas
Copyright 2011 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 24mm, f/14 for 1/30th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.
Click on the image above for a larger version.

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Filed under: Photography Tagged: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, Big Bend National Park, Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Texas, Texas Landscapes, Travel Photography, West Texas

Heaven’s Foothills

If there’s one place in Texas that can best be described as “stunning”, it’s the view south from Grapevine Hills in Big Bend National Park. This is a spot in far west Texas I like to call “Heaven’s Foothills” and I sure hope the rest of Heaven looks this beautiful.

Heaven's Foothills

Heaven’s Foothills – Big Bend National Park, Texas
Copyright 2011 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 28mm, f/14 for 1/30th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.
Click on the image above for a larger version.

Follow @jefflynchphoto
Filed under: Photography Tagged: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Texas, Texas Landscapes, Travel Photography, West Texas