Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Gallery Opening DEC 20

We are finally ready to open the doors to our new 2600 square foot gallery! I have been so focused on getting this done that I had to put my blog on hold for a few months. If you are in the area and can attend our grand opening party on Saturday please come. Here are the details:

New Carmel Gallery Opening Party!

 December 20, 2008

invited to a Grand Opening Party and Holiday Open House at our new
gallery building, located at 9940 Donner Pass Road in Truckee. This new
building is located on the same property as our current gallery, but
fronts onto Donner Pass Road instead of Church Street. Olof Carmel has
spent the last 2 years designing, drafting and constructing from start
to finish our new building. 

The  grand
opening event will be from 3-7 PM on December 20, and will feature wine
tasting from the Truckee River Winery and Charles Krug Winery, special offers, and door prizes. We are very
excited about offering an expanded selection of our fine art prints,
including new works not previously available. With the large 2600
square foot space, we will also have room to showcase woodwork and
sculpture by selected artisans, along with a wonderful selection of
Wabi Sabi* art & antiques, available for the first time in the
Truckee /Tahoe region.

*Wabi Sabi: See section below for an explanation.

Introducing An Exciting Collection of

Wabi - Sabi Art & Antiques

Wabi What???

Wabi - Sabi is the art of finding beauty in simple, organic objects
that gracefully wear the patina of time. It is an aesthetic that
celebrates  the simple, uncluttered, and authentic. Wabi Sabi is a
Japanese term meaning rustic simplicity, freshness, or quietness. It
can be applied to both natural and human-made objects that reflect an
understated elegance.

Wabi Sabi character is reflected in the
Carmel Gallery's new selection of antiques and artifacts originating in
the countryside and antique markets of Asia. The Gallery's new Wabi
Sabi collection features unique wooden tansu chests, bronze vases,
wood-fired pottery, ancient stone sculptures, iron tea pots &
lanterns, hand-woven baskets, hand painted shoji screens, and many more
unique treasures that can provide a perfect accent for your home. Join
us on December 20th to see our new Wabi-Sabi Collection!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hotter and Drier: The West’s Changed Climate

If you are a photographer who works with western landscapes please take note of a recent report from the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization:
Human activities are already changing the climate of the American West.
A new report by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization (RMCO) and
the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), drawn from 50 scientific
studies, 125 other government and scientific sources, and the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization's new analyses, documents that the West is being affected more by a changed climate than any other part of the United States outside of Alaska. When compared to the 20th century average, the West has experienced an increase in average temperature during the last five years that is 70 percent greater
than the world as a whole. Responding quickly at all levels of government by
embracing available solutions is critical to minimizing further disruption of
this region’s climate and economy. To read the full report on  the impacts of global  warming in the West, you can download the report at the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization home page.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Time to Start Autumn Foliage Watch

The leaves here in the Sierra are starting to turn yellow, so it will not be long before we start to reach peak foliage in the higher elevations. In case you are not aware of Calphoto fall foliage hot sheet, here is a link to their autumn foliage page where you can post your foliage findings in the Sierra and read what other photographers have found. Since we are in the final stages of completing our new gallery building, which is scheduled to open in December, I will not have alot of time to go to some of my favorite spots in the Wasatch of Utah, but I hope to buzz down to the North Lake area near Bishop in California. If you are interested in coming to our opening party for the new gallery on December 19, be sure to sign up for our email newsletter  since we will be sending out invitations via our email newsletter. You can sign up on our gallery home page if you would like to receive more info.

The image below was taken at a new spot I discovered last year, the Little Truckee River north of Truckee, CA near Jackson Meadows.

Autumn Fine Art Photography 23

Friday, September 12, 2008

Landscape & Politics

I believe that part of being a  landscape photographer is spreading a message of environmental protection to the world. The stakes are too high with the upcoming election to risk electing leaders who feel our earth is here to be plundered, and who do not see the urgency of combating global warming. We need to elect leaders who understand the importance of protecting the Earth's ecosystems. It is in this spirit of urgency that I publish the following:

Drill, Drill, Drill
By Eve

I am having  Sarah Palin nightmares. I
dreamt last night that she was a member of a club  where they rode
snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar  bears
around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears. Maybe
 it's their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they
live in  the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or
touched one. Maybe it  is the fact that they live so comfortably on
ice. Whatever it is, I need the  polar bears.

I don't like
raging at women. I am a Feminist and have  spent my life trying to
build community, help empower women and stop  violence against them.
It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why  the Sarah Palin
choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people  who made
this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of

But everything Sarah Palin believes in and
practices is  antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one
story -- connected to  saving the earth, ending racism, empowering
women, giving young girls  options, opening our minds, deepening
tolerance, and ending violence and  war.

I believe that the
McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most  dangerous choices of my
lifetime, and should this country choose those  candidates the
fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many  areas
that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the
 impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately,
this is  not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the
inept, the bizarre  be elected to the presidency with

Sarah Palin does not  believe in evolution. I take
this as a metaphor. In her world and the world  of Fundamentalists
nothing changes or gets better or evolves. She does not  believe in
global warming. The melting of the arctic, the storms that are
 destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all
part of  God's plan. She is fighting to take the polar bears off the
endangered  species list. The earth, in Palin's view, is here to be
taken and plundered.  The wolves and the bears are here to be shot
and plundered. The oil is here  to be taken and plundered. Iraq is
here to be taken and plundered. As she  said herself of the Iraqi
war, "It was a task from God."

Sarah Palin  does not believe
in abortion. She does not believe women who are raped and  incested
and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine
 whether they have their rapist's baby or not.

She obviously
does not  believe in sex education or birth control. I imagine her
daughter was  practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that

Sarah  Palin does not much believe in thinking. From
what I gather she has tried to  ban books from the library, has a
tendency to dispense with people who think  independently. She cannot
tolerate an environment of ambiguity and  difference. This is a woman
who could and might very well be the next  president of the United
States. She would govern one of the most diverse  populations on the

Sarah believes in guns. She has her own  custom
Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a
 clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air.

believes in  God. That is of course her right, her private right. But
when God and Guns  come together in the public sector, when war is
declared in God's name, when  the rights of women are denied in his
name, that is the end of separation of  church and state and the
undoing of everything America has ever tried to  be.

I write
to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this  election in
our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future  not
just of the U.S., but of the planet. It will determine whether we create
 policies to save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable for
humans. It  will determine whether we move towards dialogue and
diplomacy in the world  or whether we escalate violence through
invasion, undermining and attack. It  will determine whether we go
for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest  our money in
alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction.  It
will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether
 we build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether
America  is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear,
fundamentalism  and aggression.

If the Polar Bears don't move
you to go and do  everything in your power to get Obama elected then
consider the chant that  filled the hall after Palin spoke at the
RNC, "Drill, Drill, Drill." I think  of teeth when I think of drills.
I think of rape. I think of destruction. I  think of domination. I
think of military exercises that force mindless  repetition, emptying
the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I  think of

Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the
 ozone, in the floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the
trust  between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this
precious thing  we call

Monday, September 8, 2008

International Photography Awards 2008

I was thrilled that my series on the Pacific Coast won a 2nd place award in the profeesional photographer 'Waterscapes" Category of the 2008 International Photography Awards. There are many great photographs to look at in the list of winners, you can check them out at:

I also really enjoyed the series that won 2nd place in the landscapes category:
JOSEF HOFLEHNER - 2nd place - entry 52327 - Title: Niagara Falls - WELS, AT - you can see his work by clicking on the link in the winners list. I enjoy seeing a new interpretation of a place that has been photographed alot, in this case Niagra Falls. 

Pacific Coast Art09

Thursday, September 4, 2008

New Sierra Wildflower Images

Back in July I spent some time photographing the wildflower bloom in the high Sierra near Carson Pass. The Indian Paintbrush flowers were really wonderful, as were the flower blooms along the creeks in the area. These images were all taken at sunset or sunrise to avoid harsh midday light on the flowers. The wind cooperated fortunately, because it is very difficult to do low light wildflower photography when it is windy for obvious reasons. The new images are the first 4 in my wildflower portfolio which can be accessed here.

The wildflower season has ended in the Sierra, now we have some of the colorful   flowers going to seed creating pockets of yellow and gold in the landscape, which signals the imminent arrival of autumn.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

High Sierra Images

I returned from my trip to the Sequoia High Country a few weeks ago and have finally completed a portfolio of 10 images from the trip. Here is a link to the images, the new ones are the first 10 in the High Sierra portfolio on my web site. The trip was amazing - thanks to the Sequoia Foundation we were able to have all of our equipment hauled in via mule to a beautiful base camp located about 12 miles into the backcountry at 11,000 feet in elevation. It took me a few days to get used to the altitude, even though I live at about 7000 feet in Truckee. Fortunately we had some interesting weather to create dramatic skies. One of the amazing spots close to our basecamp is known as "Siberian Outpost" - even though it is in the southern Sierra it looks like a vast plain that you would see in Mongolia. It was blooming with beautiful pink primrose wildflowers and I was able to get some colorful shots of this unique and wonderful landscape. Another highlight was a bivouac trip to 12,800 foot Arc Pass, from which it is possible to view an up close panorama of the Mount Whitney massif at sunrise.  This shot required hauling my H3D, lenses, and tripod up the pass, so I am indebted to a few of my fellow travelers for helping me get all my stuff up to the pass for a sunrise shot, which was an overnight trip away from base camp. Joining me on this excursion were author Kim Stanley Robinson (who dubbed our Arc pass trip the "Carmelite Expedition"),author Jordan Fisher Smith, trip coordinator Armano Quintero, and trip chef Ariana Noelke. There were many talented artists on the trip, and the synergy was wonderful. We hope to produce an exhibition of our work from the trip over the next year. I also want to mention the very important work of David Liittshwager, who was on the trip to complete his documentation of flora and fauna present in a transect of Rock Creek. The high Sierra is truly one of the most magical places on Earth, and I feel very blessed to live so close to such spectacular places.

Mount Whitey Massif at Sunrise:


Tarn in the Miter Basin:



Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sequoia Parks Foundation - ARTISTS IN THE BACKCOUNTRY

From August 2-10 I will be in the high country of Sequoia National Park with other invited artists from around the country. This trip is sponsored by the Sequoia Parks Foundation and The Irvine Foundation.  Here is a quick summary of the mission of this trip:

The arts initiative of the Sequoia Parks Foundation began in 2005 when the foundation (then called the Sequoia Fund) presented a “Fine Art of the Sierra” exhibition and sale in conjunction with  its Spring Feast fundraising event. Building on relationships formed with artists through the Spring Feast, and with funding from The James Irvine Foundation, the Sequoia Parks Foundation in 2007 launched its ambitious Artists in the Backcountry (ABC) program. Through ABC, a cadre of exceptional  artists participate in a one-week summer residency at a backcountry site in either Sequoia  or Kings Canyon National Parks. There, they create new work inspired by their experience while  entering into dialogue with one another, and with park service personnel, regarding future  collaborations on behalf of the parks.

The goals of not only ABC, but of the foundation’s larger arts initiative, are to: 1) support
California-based artists in the creation of new work based on the natural world; 2) develop new  audiences for the visual arts in California’s Central Valley, particularly among the valley’s growing  communities of color; 3) maintain our nation’s tradition of wedding art of the natural world with  environmental messages designed to save it in order to increase popular support for park protection; and 4) expose new audiences to work  created by professional artists in order to encourage youth to explore their own artistic sensibilities.

More information is available on their website at:

Here is a link to a short video featuring my friend artist Tom Killion, who participated last year:

I look forward to sharing my experiences on this blog when I return, I plan to take my Hasselblad H3D up to over 14,000 feet while bagging Mt. Langley - I wonder if an H3D has been up that high before (outside of an airplane)?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sierra Wildflowers are in Bloom / High Sierra Expedition

The wildflower bloom here in the Tahoe Sierra is in full swing. Despite the smoke & haze from all the wildfires the wildflowers seem to be doing very well this year. Maybe the hazy skies are prolonging the lives of the fragile blossoms for a little longer, sparing them the worst of the harsh mountain sun. The fire haze has made this a very difficult season for sweeping landscape vistas, but has actually made the macro and detail shots a little easier thanks to the filtered sunlight. This shot of Squaw creek, near Squaw Valley  was taken on a smoky evening when ash was falling from the sky!  I will be working on photographs from other high country locations over the next month.

My major expedition this summer will be a trip for 1 week into the high country of Sequoia near Mt. Whitney. I will have more details on this trip in a future post, but at this time I can share that it will be a fully supported pack mule trip to the very highest reaches of the Sierra, and also include a complete solar charging station for all the photo & computer gear.  A variety of artists will be going, including invited writers & painters from around the country. I was pleased to be invited as the landscape photographer. This will be an unprecedented opportunity for me to work at remote locations and high elevations that are difficult to reach without a supported expedition.

I will be posting more of my wildflower discoveries here as I capture them. Many readers have probably heard about the new 50 megapixel Hasselblad that was introduced - the megapixel arms race continues!


Sunday, June 22, 2008

New Tahoe Images / Black & White Portfolio

I was pleased to be able to join David Muench and the participants of the Mountain Light 2007 Lake Tahoe workshop  for an evening session on the east shore of Lake Tahoe last week. David is one of the "grand masters" of landscape photography and a source of inspiration for so many, including me. Photography in June is a very early morning or very late evening affair, so the best evening light was happening after 7:30 p.m. I was able to get a vertical shot  and a horizontal shot  that worked out thanks to some rare clouds that floated in during the day.

I have also started to put together a portfolio of black and white images based on converting the color versions to monochrome in Apple Aperture. I compared the Photoshop B&W conversion image adjustment to the one in Aperture and found that I was able to get better initial results with the aperture workflow, then using photoshop for adjustment layers as needed. I am printing the black and white images on Museo Silver Rag, which gives the images a wonderful warm tone and the luster of photographic paper. I am partial to papers which are a little warmer and not so stark white, so Silver Rag fits that preference well. Here is a link to the new black and white portfolio on my web site.

I tend to get very busy in the summer but stay committed to my blog postings, so please be patient if I do not post for a while, I will be back - just subscribe in an rss  reader and it will be easy to keep track when there are new posts.

Lake Tahoe

Monday, June 9, 2008

Online Postcards

I have been looking for an online service that would allow people to send my images as online postcards, so I was glad to receive an inquiry from a new company called requesting that I participate in their online postcard site. Here is a link to the section with some of my images:
It seems like a win-win situation - I get a broader audience and a link to my website, and they get images for their postcard service. I will also putting a link on my website to allow my website visitors to access the postcards.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Pomegranate Greeting Cards / Brilliant Waters 09 Calendar

I have a new series of greeting cards unsing my "Morning Frost" image that have been released by Pomegranate Publishing. The cards say "Season's Greetings" on the inside so they are for the holiday season. They can  be ordered from Pomegranate's website. Seller's Publishing also has printed a 2009 calendar based on my Brilliant Waters book. More information is available at this link. I will be selling the calendars and notecards in our Truckee gallery later this year. The calendar has some new images that will also be in my upcoming book "The Changing Range of Light" which I hope to release later this year.



Saturday, May 31, 2008

Upcoming Tahoe Workshop

I will be partnering with the Mountain Light Gallery in Bishop, California to teach a field workshop on Lake Tahoe photography in 2009. You can be notified when the sign ups begin by contacting Mountain Light directly, they are handling all of the sign ups and logistics. It will be in June 2009, when there should still be snow on the high peaks of the surrounding mountains. We will do a combination of field work in some of my favorite Tahoe locations, and some computer workshop time as well. Mountain Light Gallery will also be hosting a show of my work in later 2009, based on my upcoming book "The Changing Range of Light, Portraits of the Sierra Nevada."
Lake Tahoe Art 03

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Rangefinder Cover Story

I was pleased that one of my images was selected for the cover of this month's RANGEFINDER magazine. Here is a link to a pdf of the article:

I will soon be announcing some upcoming field workshops and Exhibitions - stay tuned!


Friday, May 2, 2008

Ansel Adams Gallery Blog / Flickr

There was an article on the Ansel Adams gallery on the front page of the New York Times a few days ago. I also discovered the new blog from the gallery staff, which is a great way for photographers to stay in touch with what is happening in Yosemite.

I also finally started uploading images to my Flickr account. If blog readers are interested in being a contact on Flickr, you can access my images & info via the Flickr bar to the left. I have just uploaded some of my poppy images, but will be adding more later. There is a great plug in for Aperture that makes it easy to upload any image via the Export menu.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Traveling Heavy

I have given up on traveling light. I am used to being ridiculed for all my luggage and carry ons, so I don't really care anymore. The Europeans are particularly amused by all the stuff Olof and I lug around. The only restraints we worry about are the 2 checked bag limit of 50 lbs each, and the carry on size restrictions (but not the weight). I have read that some airlines are going to start charging for the 2nd check bag, which is not good news. One of our blog readers recently asked:

Elizabeth, I'm curious -- how do you carry that much expensive gear to a location which is only accessible by air? I don't imagine you can take it all as carry-on. I'd sure hate to get to my destination only to find an empty camera case sliding down the luggage chute. :^( -- Roger

Well, one thing that helps is traveling with our 8 year old daughter, since she comes with an allowance for 2 extra 50 lb checked bags and 2 extra carry ons, which we use up while only including a few pounds of her stuff. I have found that I usually can take all my photo gear when I use the following:

1. Large tripod and ball head packed in a checked suitcase.

2. Carry-on Camera backpack (Lowe Vertex or Tamrac Expedition 8, which is long but not too thick). In the camera backpack I put the H3D body and 2 lenses, and the D3 body and 1 lens. Long but not too thick makes it easier to fit in overhead bins. It will always fit under the seat in a pinch, but will encroach into the adjacent under seat space.

3. Rolling Pelican case Exec Series wheeled camera attache - carries remaining camera lenses, chargers, etc. This comes with a zip off laptop case, so if I get busted for having 3 carry ons I can always zip the laptop bag to the case as I get on the plane, then unzip it to fit in the overhead bin. It fits better in the bin when unzipped & removed from main case, and I usually put it under my seat so I can work on my laptop during a flight.

We also always try to board the plane as soon as possible so all the overhead bin space does not get taken. I would never put my lenses or cameras in checked luggage, even though they are all insured through NANPA. You do not want to get behind us in the security checkpoint line, it is quite a production. I am rarely hassled about the contents of the camera bags, although Mexican authorities have been known to give us extra scrutiny when we come through.

This system works well for domestic air travel. I do run into problems in international flights where they weigh your carry ons. I had to check some lenses once in a hard sided case so I could get on a flight to Italy, and they arrived safely but I was not happy about it. I am not sure what I will do next time I have to fly overseas, I will probably wear a camera vest and stuff alot in there while they are weighing my carry ons.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

New Maui Images / Apple Aperture

I have completed a series of 6 images from our recent trip to Maui and have posted those as the first six images in my Hawaii Portfolio.

I used both the H3D and the Nikon D3 on this trip - The Nikon allowed me to capture the very wide angle shots of the Banyan Trees along with some fast shutter speed wave action, so I was pleased I had it along. The Hasselblad worked great for the sunsets and the Rainbow Eucalyptus shots where I could use a tripod and capture alot of detail and color range. I also experimented with some high key imagery in the Eucalyptus forest, and liked the blown out background on one of my images (Rainbow Forest) that gives it a more minimalist / zen feel.

Thanks to the suggestion of my friend Tom Deyerle I decided to try out Apple's Aperture 2.1 - the main reason being that it can read Hasselblad H3D raw files (Lightroom and ACR cannot unless they are converted to DNG files). I really enjoy the Aperture workflow and the file processing tools. I think it does a great job processing H3D raw files, I was able to pull alot of color range out of the H3D files using aperture's tools. There is a bit of a learning curve with such a robust program, but it has a wonderful elegance to it that will appeal to any artist. It also supports plug ins, including one that I am using now to upload a batch of images to Photoshelter.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Back from the Islands / Earth Day Throughts

We had a great trip to Maui and enjoyed meeting up with Randy Braun, Photographer Extraordinaire, a local who showed us some wonderful locations along the Hana Highway. Randy has a great gallery in Makawao, a must see if you visit Maui. I hope to have some new pictures from the trip posted in the next few weeks. We did not do as much snorkeling this trip since the surf was high and made the water a little cloudy, but I did get some nice sunsets and some interesting shots of the "rainbow eucalyptus."

Since Earth Day is tomorrow I added a page to our Carmel Gallery website which outlines some of our "green business" practices. I think two issues of particular interest to photographers are the need to recycle used ink cartridges ( I have been told they contain trace amounts of cyanide and are often disposed of improperly in landfills), and the need to be aware of the woods used in picture frame moulding. I will be posting some information soon on a major new non-profit organization being formed to bring awareness to the problem of printer cartridge disposal and the need for better cartridge recycling programs. My previous posts have highlighted the issue of the use of endangered woods for picture frame moulding. Everyone who buys frames and bulk moulding should be aware of the type of wood used and pressure suppliers to provide non-endangered woods.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Off to Maui

We are off to Maui for a week, so I hope to have some new Hawaii images to share when I return. We hope to have a chance to visit with our friend Randy Braun while we are there.

A recent interview has been posted at the website Photography Sites, so you can check that out for some additional info on my work.


Monday, April 7, 2008

New Wildflower Images

I have completed a selection of 9 images from my recent photo shoot in the Sierra Foothills using the new Nikon D3 and the 14-24 zoom. It was mildly windy so I used the D3 at iso 400 to 600 and shot with a small aperture to maximize depth of field. Using the high iso I was able to get shutter speeds of over 1/200 second, enough to stop the blur of wind movement and still maintain depth of field. I love the wide angle 14mm - all of the close up shots were taken at the widest angle possible. I was able to get very close to the poppies and still get a large range of view to make dramatic images. I am very pleased with the image quality from this system. While it cannot even begin to compare with the detail of the H3D, I was able to get shots that would not have been possible with the H3D due to the wide angle and need for fast shutter speeds with small aperture.

Here is a link to the images on my web site:

I only spotted one rattlesnake, laying across the trail on my way back. I'm glad one did not surprise me while I was crawling around in the poppies! I almost stepped on one a few years back in a similar area, so I keep an eye and ear out for them when I am in areas like this in the Sierra foothills.


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Nikon D3

I have had an opportunity this week to try both the Nikon D300 and the D3, and I have decided that the D3 will work best for me since it has a full frame sensor to allow very wide angle work, and I think the AF system is a little quicker and more foolproof for action / wildlife shots. I also really like to double CF card slots for in camera back ups, and the weather proof seals. I have "lost" a number of good shots over the years due to wind blur and lack of ability to hand hold the H3D in low light, so I think this will help be broaden my creative opportunities. It will not be a replacement for the H3D but will be a tool for uses the H3D is not suited for - low light handheld, action / wildlife, windy conditions, super wide angle, super telephoto. I do think a full frame sensor has an edge over the smaller sensors in regards image quality and noise, especially when I need to make a 100" long blow up (which I have had to do a few times this last month) . I will be photographing wildflowers in the Sierra foothills this coming week and will post some shots with the D3 after that trip. I am then off to Hawaii, where I will try it out underwater in an Ewa Marine Bag (yes I'm Crazy, but I insure all my gear in case of the worst.....). The underwater housings for the D3 run $6K, so that is out of my range unless I get a sweet photo assignment from a dive magazine...highly unlikely given all the great underwater photogs out there. The live view feature should be a good tool for underwater shots of turtles and colorful fish.

I think the D300 is a great second body to have in addition to a D3 - it is a good backup and nice to have a different lens on when doing a photo shoot. I found some good info on the D3 on Moose Peterson's site. Alot of his info also applies to the D300.

As far as lenses, I am going with the awesome new 14-24 (one of the main reasons for getting the full frame D3), and the 24-70 f2.8. I also got a lower priced 70-300 VR lens, which would need to be upgraded prior to any serious wildlife photography to the 200-400 VR.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Nikon D300

I am going to be checking out the Nikon D300 this week. I need a digital slr that I can use for handheld / low light shots for an upcoming project. This camera seems to have great high iso performance and some nice features such as live view with autofocus on the lcd screen (good for underwater I would think). I have always had an affinity for Nikons - I used to have one of the early Nikon D1x cameras, but sold that to pay for the higher res Canon 1ds that I used until I got the Hasselblad system. I also think the Nikon D3 is very interesting, and it has a full frame sensor so it would be possible to get some nice wide angle shots with the new nikon 14-24 mm zoom. The problem with the D3 cameras is that they are hard to get and about $3.5k more than the D300. Once Nikon introduces a higher resolution sensor in a D3 style camera, and retains the extreme high iso quality, it could give a big boost to the possibilities of handheld landscape photography. I think that Nikon is finally back in the Dslr game after getting dusted by Canon over the last few years. I will report my impressions of the D300 later this week.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Picture Frames and Endangered Rainforests

I have been researching picture frame mouldings and stretcher bars that do not result in environmental damage. The plot thickens the more I learn about the framing / moulding industry. There is an excellent resource I found that discussed woods to avoid:

One company I have found is very in tune with this issue: Framerica moulding seems to be one of the most eco-friendly moulding companies. Here is an excerpt from the Decor Article on Green Framing Products:

Framerica’s products have earned Environmentally Preferred Product (EPP) certification from the Composite Panel Association of wood manufacturers, and BonanzaWood saves deforestation from solid wood and the oil consumption attributed to plastics. Framerica has used BonanzaWood as the primary core for its mouldings for more than 10 years. BonanzaWood contributes to absolutely zero deforestation, in many instances utilizing wood waste from post-consumer products that would otherwise be destined for landfills.

I must also point out that Omega moulding has been very helpful with my inquiries about moulding wood, and referred me to this website: UNEP.

I am still doing research on some of their mouldings I have been using to see if they are FSC certified.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pro Digital Imaging Article

There is an online version of my article in Pro Digital Imaging Magazine now available. It can be accessed at the following link: Profile: Elizabeth Carmel

Monday, March 17, 2008

Green Business Practices

I am putting together a list of ways our gallery is a "green business" along with areas where we can be more eco-friendly. I will soon be adding a new page to our Carmel Gallery website that describes our green business philosophy. As part of my research, I found an interesting document from Epson that details their environmental conservation program - it is contained on pages 24-44 of this pdf document.

Since we use Epson papers, inks, and printers it is important for us to understand their commitment to green business practices. From reading the details in this pdf document it appears they are putting a fair amount of effort into environmental sustainability. The company which we purchase our inks from in Berkeley also has a very good ink recycling program - information on their program is available at this link: Bytes2Print recycling

Since we use 100% cotton papers for our prints, I found this statement on the Crane website very interesting - they list 7 reasons why cotton is better than wood based paper. We use the textured fine art paper by Crane and the Epson Ultrasmooth cotton paper.

As far as paper and canvas coatings, alot of credit should be given to the Premier Art company for their formulation of Eco Print Shield, and environmentally friendly coating that "protects all water resistant ink jet prints from moisture, light, humidity, atmospheric contaminants, abrasion and even fingerprints."

I am also doing some research on eco-friendly framing materials. I think that a lot of frame moulding comes from wood that is not sustainably harvested, and the frame companies need to do a better job of disclosing the source of their wood. This article in Decor Magazine helps bring to light some of the things frame suppliers can do. I will be posting my findings here. Feel free to comment on any eco-friendly product recommendations readers have for printing and framing.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Wildflower Season is Starting

There is still alot of snow on the ground here in Truckee, but the lower elevations are starting to bloom. There are 2 good sites for getting wildflower information. One is a new one hosted by my friend in Big Sur Tom Deyerle. The link to his blog is:

The other is the Photocal website which can be found here:

I will be working on images in the high Sierra this summer, the bloom in the high country does not happen until July. I am planning photo shoots in Kings Canyon, Sequoia, and Yosemite. I will also be working on photographing some of the Sierra glaciers, which are rapidly disappearing due to global warming. THese will be part of my upcoming book "The Changing Range of Light, Portraits of the Sierra Nevada." If you are interested in knowing when the book is available, please sign up for my email newsletter. Here is a link:

For Email Marketing you can trust

Monday, March 3, 2008

Amazing Yosemite

I went to Yosemite this past week to attend the Yosemite Renaissance opening at the Yosemite Museum, and ended up getting some photos I am very pleased with. Here is the link to the images on my website. Late February is a great time to get shots of the last rays of light on Horsetail Falls. I had the perfect combination of clear weather and good flow in the falls to get a great shot of this iconic image, which was taken on Feb. 28 - the following night the falls did not put on quote the same show since the sun went behind the clouds, so I felt lucky to get this image. I was pleased to have a chance to meet William Neil and Michael Frye, who both had wonderful images in the Yosemite Renaissance show - all 3 of us were next to the Merced River getting shots of horsetail falls right before the opening party started on Feb 29th.


I also ended up with an amazing shot of a colored rainbow on upper yosemite falls - I was actually photographing another subject when I turned around and noticed a rainbow forming around the top of the falls. The color slowly moved down the falls as the sun rose, and near the base of the upper falls I captured this shot. It was a singularly amazing moment for me, it seemed as if the water from the falls was raining down color in vast multichrome sheets. This was taken with the Hasselblad HC 300 mm lens and 1.7 teleconverter.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Online Licensing via Photoshelter

I have recently completed an online image archive powered by Photoshelter. I am reluctant to send my "A list" images into a stock agency I use since I need to retain control over how they are used, and this is not possible with stock. Many of my licensing clients want rights managed usage and exclusive use for a certain time period and format. I found a good solution to manage this using Photoshelter. I have a new licensing site integrated with my main web site that allows key word searches and online purchase of rights managed licenses. I think it will also help me manage the various requests for hi resolution images since I can authorize clients to download them from the site, saving me time and expense of mailing dvds. The new site can be accessed from the "Image licensing" link on my home page, and from the photoshelter link.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Pro Digital Imaging Article / Calypso Imaging

Thanks to the folks over at Pro Digital Imaging Magazine for their cover story on my work in their March 2008 issue. The did a great job accurately reproducing the color in all my images that they published, and also did a detailed (flattering) article on my career.

I am in the process of doing a very large 80" x 55" print of Dogwood's Grace for a client. It will be mounted onto thin Aluminum so it can be placed onto a curved wall. We determined the best way to protect the image was to laminate it to the aluminum sheet. This is a very cutting edge display, but thanks to Joe at Calypso Imaging in Santa Cruz we were able to figure out how to get this done and shipped across the country. He is doing the laminating and mounting. I will be shipping him the 80 x 55" print rolled up. This will be printed on our Epson 11880. This will be the biggest print I have made so far, I am hoping Joe can send me a picture of him standing next to the final mounted version, since I will not see it before it is shipped.

Monday, February 11, 2008

New Book Underway

I have started to put together my new book, which is scheduled for a publication date of November 2008. The title is still being fleshed out, but currently I am leaning toward: "CHANGES IN THE RANGE OF LIGHT, Contemporary Portraits of the Sierra Nevada". The book will be similar in layout and design to BRILLIANT WATERS, but will focus on the changes to the Sierra ecosystem brought on by global warming. This will be a huge undertaking in terms of getting the text content for the book - I have already completed most of the images with the exception of some high country shots I will be getting in the summer. I also need some shots from the glaciated areas of the Sierra that are in the more southern region of the state. If any blog readers are experts in the field of climate change in the Sierra Nevada (or know of an expert) please contact me via email.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tahoe Snowstorms

We are having a great, snowy winter here in the Tahoe area. We must have about 8 feet of snow on the ground and more is on the way. The powder skiing is great, and even though the storms have been windy the trees are still holding snow on their branches. I went out yesterday and took this shot in the Mount Rose area of Nevada - the trees are plastered with snow at the higher elevations, and make for wonderful winter shots. I liked the different needle patterns of the various tree species, and the way the snow emphasizes these differences. I lightened the shadows up on the tree trunks - this image almost has the look of an pen/ink drawing. It was taken with the Hasselblad 300 mm lens. I have posted the image on my website in the Winter's Grace portfolio

I have also had a chance to catch up on completing my portfolio of images from Venice and Burano - even though I went there in 2006 I did not finalize all the images until recently. I have posted them on my website at this link:Venice and Burano. Most people know about Venice, however many are not aware of the charm of Burano. It is an island in the Venetian Lagoon that is sort of a rural, countrified version of Venice. The streets are all canals, and the colors of the buildings and boats are wonderful. It is a must see for anyone going to that part of Italy.

This series uses the sepia / handcolored toning technique I explained in one of my earlier blog posts:

Tritone & Color Technique


Crystalline Forest

Friday, January 25, 2008

Yosemite Renaissance Exhibit

Yosemite Renaissance is the name of a non profit foundation that exists to support the arts in Yosemite Valley. Every year they hold a juried exhibition, the purpose of which is to:

"encourage diverse artistic interpretations of Yosemite. Its goals are to bring together the works of serious contemporary artists that do not simply duplicate traditional representations; to establish a continuum with past generations of Yosemite artists; and to help re-establish visual art as a major interpretive medium of the landscape and a stimulus to the protection of the environment. Historically, the arts have played a very important role in the establishment of our State and National Parks. It is our hope that they can be just as important in future efforts to preserve and protect that heritage."

I was pleased to find out that one of my entries for this year's exhibit was selected - "Tuolumne River in Summer." The opening will be Feb. 29, 2008: Yosemite Renaissance XXIII opens at the Yosemite Museum Gallery. Awards will be presented at the opening reception, 5:30-7:30 p.m. I am planning on attending the opening - it is open to the public and is a great way to support the arts in Yosemite. Most of the pieces that are on display are for sale, with a portion of the proceeds going to support Yosemite Renaissance. The exhibit is well worth viewing if you are planning a trip to Yosemite - it will be on display at the Yosemite Museum until May 2008.


Tuolumne River in Summer

Sunday, January 20, 2008

New Winter Portfolio

I have posted a new portfolio of contemporary Sierra landscapes, which I have titled the "Pale Sun" series. These were all inspired by the pale winter sun of early January. The images were taken in the north Tahoe area, including the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe and the Truckee river. The portfolio can be seen on my web site under the Pale Sun series link.

I am also experimenting with an assortment of new papers that have more of a luster finish, so far my favorite is the Crane Museo Silver Rag, which has great depth and warm tone.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Epson 11880 First Impressions / Photo LA Favorites

We were able to get the 11880 up the stairs and installed in the studio, thanks to service above and beyond by John Maneira, the owner of Bytes to Print in Berkeley. He not only helped carry it up icy stairs, but also helped us get it configured and running in no time. It is much quieter and much faster than the 9800. As soon as it was up and running I did a few comparison prints of the same file. I printed Autumn Passage (shown below) on both printers with the maximum print resolution settings in place. The 11880 provided more detail in the color ranges reproduced, and also in the amount of detail visible to the naked eye. I was able to see small veins on the leaves from prints on the 11880 that were not visible from the 9800, and also more subtle tones in the reds were visible from the 11880 print. Since I was printing a 16 bit file, I also did a comparison with and without the 16 bit printing enabled, and found no visible difference between the 8 bit and 16 bit printing. This feature may become more important in areas where there is the potential for banding in one color, such as a blue/cyan sky. I will be doing more tests with this on those types of images. At this point I am very pleased with the results from the 11880, all done from the Epson Print Driver and Leopard OS on a Mac.

We did a whirlwind visit to Photo LA yesterday to see what was happening in the world of very high-end photo collecting and exhibition. A wall of about 6 original Ansel Adams prints, including the famous Moonrise, Hernandez image, was completely sold by the time we arrived - they were selling in the stratospheric price range. There was a good mixture of both contemporary work and work from the traditional "masters". It was interesting to see how galleries were displaying very large (40 x 60" +) prints - many are no longer using glass in the framing, and instead mounting the image on aluminum or acrylic. Some are face mounting the image to acrylic to provide more protection, but the images with no glass or acrylic in front looked great - there was an immediacy and impact provided by this type of display that is not available when the image is behind glass. This type of display was very effectively done on Jill Greenburg's large prints in the ClampArt booth. Other work I enjoyed was from Michael Eastman , and Stephen Wilkes, particularly his work on China. I also enjoy Nick Brandt's images of Africa.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Arrival of the 11880, Photo LA, Calumet Event & Thanks Scott!

Our new Epson 11880 has arrived, it is in a box the size of a small car, in our garage. We will start unpacking it and attempt to get it into our studio tomorrow.

We are off to Photo LA on Saturday - we are just staying there for a day to see what is going on in the world of photography collecting, and to help out Crista Dix at the Wall Space Booth, who is representing my work at the show. I always find Photo LA an inspiration to visit, from the print materials to the framing, booth set ups, and of course the wonderful array of photographic visions represented.

Next week I am planning on being at the San Francisco Calumet from 2-4 PM on January 17th, there is no charge to attend, and I give lots of pointers on book publishing and photography. I will also be attending Macworld Expo the following day to see what is new and exciting there.

Scott Kelby gave me a shout out on his blog the other day, resulting in a massive spike of hits on my web site - Thanks Scott! I always appreciate links to my web site.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Snowed In / Epson 11880

We are enjoying a classic blizzard up here in Truckee, we are expecting 5+ feet of snow at our elevation of around 7000 feet, so we will be out photographing as soon as the weather clears tomorrow. Below a shot of this morning's satellite imagery which shows the storm winding up over California, with a direct hit on the Tahoe region.

Yesterday Olof and I decided to order a new Epson 11880 from our supplier Bytes 2 Print in Berkeley. We buy all our ink and paper from this company and have been pleased with their service over the years. The advantages of the Epson 11880 that helped us decide to upgrade to this pinter are:

1. Larger print size - the Epson 9800 has a max width of 44 inches, and the 11880 has a max width of 64".

2. No more ink switching - I never print on the luster or glossy papers because changing the inks is such a hassle, but the 11880 allows for both photo black and matte black inks to be installed. I am looking forward to trying the new exhibition fiber paper and luster papers from Epson.

3. New anti-clogging heads - our 9800 is prone to clogging from the dry climate / high altitude, this may help

4. 700 ml ink cartridges - the ink is more economical when purchased in large volumes.

5. Wider color gamut with the new vivid magenta ink

6. 16 bit printing - this may result in improved print quality, only testing will tell if the improvement is visible to the naked eye.

We take delivery next week - the hard part will be getting a 300+ pound printer up a flight of snowy outside stairs and into the studio! I already have a large 50 x 70" canvas order to fill, so I ordered a roll of the 60" wide smooth matte canvas from Premier Imaging - this is going to be fun pushing the limits of current technology to create such large prints for interior wall display. Stay tuned for test results and print comparisons with the 9800....