Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Colors of Summer, Big Sur

I recently did a quick 3 day trip down to Big Sur to attend a workshop on book publishing put on by the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel. It was taught by Chris Pichler of Nazraeli Press, and David Gardiner, master printer of some of the finest photography books available. The workshop was well worth attending for me since they covered some technical issues about paper, binding, and color management that pertained to self-publishing fine art books.

I also had the opportunity to go to a few sunset spots along the Big Sur coast to do some photography. The fog retreated enough in the evenings to allow for some nice sunset lighting along the coast. Big Sur is a dramatic landscape within a fairly compact geographic area south of Carmel, and offers wonderful opportunities for landscape photography. I have posted the shots from the trip on my website - the new ones are the first 4 shots in the Pacific Coast portfolio. They were taken at Point Lobos State Park and Pfeiffer Beach State Park. The images are all combinations of exposures - one exposure for highlights is merged with an exposure for the midtones and shadows to give a higher dynamic range than can be accomplished with one exposure. This allows creation of images and prints that are closer to what the human eye can perceive in color range and shadow/ highlight detail. I think that digital high dynamic range imagery is revolutionizing landscape photography by making it possible to create prints with a broader range of exposure and color detail. This shot below would have resulted in the arch shot being completely in dark shadow, but with a combination of a shot exposed for the sky combined with one exposed for the rock (combined with layers in Photoshop) the result is closer to what I saw that evening. The difficult part is combining the layers so there is no fringing between the darker areas and the highlights.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Panoramas in PS CS3

I have been experimenting with the photomerge feature in the new Photoshop CS3 and find that it does a wonderful job merging multiple foreground and background images for a panorama. On my recent trip to the Emigrant Wilderness I took only an 80mm lens to save weight, so in order to get a wide angle shot I needed to stitch multiple images together. Somehow PS CS 3 does this seamlessly and corrects the color so the final image does not have a variety of different color temps and exposures. The image below was a combination of 7 different exposures that were merged together. These are huge 100 megabyte 39 megapixel files, and the program was able to handle all of them and merge them into this panorama, which I can print at a 90 inch x 35 inch size with no upsampling needed. The scale of this view is hard to describe, it is a large granitic basin that is as spectacular as any I have seen in Yosemite. I plan on trying to capture more panoramas in the future and have added a category on my website to feature more of these as I complete them.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Elizabeth Carmel Website Update

I just finished uploading my new website design to I used the new Apple iweb software to redo the site, since I do not know alot of html, and I am pleased with the result. I consider the site in "beta" form, if you notice any glitches or things that need improvement please drop me an email. I can now update the site more easily and add pages by myself instead of waiting for a web master to do everything for me. I added a new category called "High Sierra" in the online image portfolio, and a category called "Winter's Grace". The High Sierra category has some shots from my recent backpacking trip, which I am also posting in a gallery here on the photoblog. I have also added a page for Workshop Announcements.


Thursday, August 9, 2007

Photo Backpacking in the High Sierra

I recently returned from a backpack trip with some friends in the Emigrant Wilderness Area of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We traveled cross-country to a remote lake in a large glaciated granite basin. Since we had to carry 5 days worth of food and all our backpacking gear, I had to travel with a very lightweight camera system. I took my 39 mp H3D in a small pack which I carried in front, which helped counterbalance the weight of my backpack. In the camera pack I only took the very lightweight 80 mm lens, 3 charged batteries, 2 16gb flash cards, and some cleaning stuff and multi-tool. I also took a gitzo carbon fiber tripod (the small light one) and an acratech ballhead. I only photographed at sunrise and sunset since I had limited storage and battery power, but I was able to make storage and batteries last throughout the trip. In hindsight I would have preferred a wider angle lens, and probably would have taken the 35mm instead even though it weighs more. I took a number of shots that I am planning to stitch together to give a wider angle view since the 80mm view is not very wide or dramatic. Having a 39 megapixel camera in the Sierra high country is quite a treat - I am still working on my images and will post some here when they are done. I was very pleased and feel that I was able to get a number of portfolio quality shots. The area I was in has not been extensively photographed since it is somewhat difficult to access. This time of the year is wonderful in the Sierra - it is very warm (but not hot) and the bugs are not too bad. I hope to get one more backpack trip in before the end of the month, probably to the Yosemite high country.

Photo Backpack Survey

Calumet is designing a new Photo Backpack and is interested in feedback from photographers on the design. If you are interested in taking the survey here is the link:

Calumet Backpack Survey

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Speaking Engagements at Calumet

It has been a busy summer so I have fallen behind on my weekly postings, but I will catch up after Labor Day. I have scheduled some speaking engagements at Calumet Locations in New York and Chicago. Hasselblad is sponsoring these events. I will also be presenting at some Calumet locations in California later in the year, and will post those dates when they are confirmed. The confirmed New York and Chicago dates are:

Wednesday October 17 from 2 to 4 PM at the Calumet in New York (this is scheduled to occur the day before the start of PDN PhotoPlus Expo in NYC), and Monday October 22 from 2-4 PM at the Calumet in Chicago. For locations you can go to the Calumet Web site.

The topic of my presentation is described in the following press release:

Fine Art Landscape Photographer Elizabeth Carmel, a 2006 Hasselblad Master Photographer, will give a presentation on how she successfully self – published her book "Brilliant Waters: Portraits of Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, and the High Sierra". Elizabeth will also discuss how she uses the Hasselblad H3D, a 39 megapixel Medium Format Camera System, to create her award winning landscape images, which are often taken in remote wilderness locations.

A book of your photography is a great way to increase the audience for your work and put your photography career into high gear. In this session, learn important tips for publishing your own photography book, getting a book distributor, getting press coverage, and making your book project profitable. This is your chance to learn from fine art photographer Elizabeth Carmel, whose photography book “Brilliant Waters” is currently in its third printing and has been successfully released to a nationwide audience via major bookstores and independent booksellers. In her first self-publishing project, Elizabeth Carmel got Robert Redford to write her book’s foreword, secured nationwide book distribution, and obtained major press coverage for her book in People Magazine, Outdoor Photographer, Sierra Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, and many other publications. Elizabeth will give a detailed power-point presentation on the process of designing her book, selecting an off shore printer, working with a print broker, obtaining a distributor, and getting nationwide press coverage. Elizabeth will sign copies of her book which can be purchased by seminar attendees. This event is sponsored by Hasselblad and Calumet. There is no charge to attend.