I’ve decided to finish out 2021 with two of my favorite weekend workshops here in Montana! Both of these workshops I’ve had the privilege of teaching over the years and they have some of my favorite locations to photograph in the fall. These workshops will be held in October and will be limited to a small group size. I will be offering the Bitterroot Valley Workshop Oct. 15-17 and the Seeley-Swan Valley Workshop Oct. 22-24, please see the workshops page for more details or to reserve your spot. Here are a few images from our previous trips over the years.
I’ve finally wrapped up a few of my fall trips here in Big Sky Country for September and October. Talk about a weird fall! Our September had some beautiful weather and fall colors were slowly coming in until we had a crazy arctic blast from the north putting things in a deep freeze throughout October. Unfortunately this took a lot of the fall color with it. We had a record breaking snowstorm the week after my September Glacier National Park trip that dropped up to four feet of snow in some areas of the state. Crazy!
So it’s been an interesting fall here in Montana to say the least. Despite the lack of color, we still managed to get some great stuff. One tree that was immune to the early freeze was the Larch and these were going full force during my Seeley-Swan Valley trip. Really breathtaking up there this year and even more so with some fresh snow.
All in all it’s been a great fall, now shifting gears and looking forward to some upcoming winter trips! Here’s a few from the last couple months in Montana.
2019 Montana Fall Weekend Workshops are now listed!
We had probably one of the best fall seasons I’ve seen in all the years I’ve been photographing Montana. Colors were really popping in the western part of the state and we had some great opportunities on our trips.
Both of my Fall Weekend Workshops are located in western Montana, so if you want to visit Montana and don’t have the extra time to commit to a longer workshop, these trips are a great way to get a taste of the Montana landscape in fall.
Here are a few images from this year’s trips.
One spot just opened up on my 2018 Fall Glacier National Park Workshop, September 19-23! Email or message me on social media to grab this spot.
Now that fall is on its way out and things in the photo world are giving me a slight break, I thought I would share a few images from our fall workshops this year.
September and October had me up in Glacier National Park, Seeley Swan Valley and my own backyard of the Bitterroot Valley in western Montana chasing fall colors and leading workshops. In mid September the smoke finally cleared from the fires that we were having out west and ushered in snow for the mountains and gorgeous colors throughout Montana.
So this last month I started working with Canon’s new large megapixel camera the 5Dsr and decided to test it out in Arches National Park on some classic landscapes. I thought I would share a few of my initial impressions of the camera’s performance regarding resolution and overall image quality.
The 5Dsr packs a whopping 50 megapixels into a 35mm full frame sensor and initially I was somewhat skeptical at how the camera would perform noise-wise. And of course in processing all those pixels I was also concerned with speed and storage space.
I was previously using Canon’s 5D markIII for most of my shooting when it came to landscapes. The 5D markIII in my opinion is one of the best well rounded do-all cameras in Canon’s lineup and as far as image quality goes, it’s color rendition, resolution and ISO noise performance are superb. Of course there is always room for improvement and I think for landscape shooters, the new 5Dsr fills some of those areas.
The 5Dsr is an exact replica, body-wise, of the 5D markIII. So for those already shooting with the 5D markIII, you should feel right at home. Inside however, the 5Dsr is a completely different camera. The sensor packs in 50 megapixels and for the “r” version there is also an anti-aliasing filter cancellation, which essentially is providing ultimate sharpness straight out of camera, without the need for more aggressive post process sharpening.
The processors are also different using dual Digic 6 processors which gives the camera great speed for how much data you are actually moving around. This also puts the 5Dsr at 5fps for action, which when you think about it, is pretty impressive for 50 megapixels. It also gives you the ability to switch “in camera” to different crop modes, imitating either an APS-H or APS-C crop sensor at either 1.3X or 1.6X. This in turn provides extra reach for those photographing wildlife. On a side note, you do get a crop preview in camera in these modes, however the imported file is still the original full resolution file with a crop applied after bringing into Lightroom. I have used this for wildlife and it works well giving you a good visual and at 5fps, it’s still fast enough to capture most encounters.
For high ISO noise, the 5Dsr performs exactly like the Canon 7D markII and for good reason. Both cameras have the same pixel pitch of 4.14 microns. In my opinion, I am happy shooting up to ISO 1600 for most situations. However most people using this camera are going to be landscape shooters and once on a tripod at ISO 100, noise and quality are excellent.
My overall impressions so far are very positive. The main impact of this camera is resolution and for those making large prints, this is the camera to get if you’re shooting Canon. I compared a 20X30 print out of the 5Dsr to an up-ressed 20X30 from a 1DX and there’s simply no comparison, the 5Dsr produces amazing detail and refined resolution. At low ISOs it’s simply amazing quality.
I haven’t had too many gripes so far with this body other than a couple of small complaints:
The battery life is not the greatest. I haven’t tested specifically how many shots out of each battery, but it’s noticeably less than the 5D markIII. Also for some reason both on this camera and the 7D markII, the color balance on the LCD screen is a very warm yellowish tint, not a huge thing, but a noticable departure from previous EOS bodies and somewhat annoying.
Other than that it’s been a lot of fun to shoot with and I would highly recommend it for landscape shooters and those making large prints. Hard to believe we’re now seeing 40-50 megapixels becoming the norm in digital photography. Now time to start shopping for some more hard drives….
You never know when an image is going to happen, that’s one of the great things I love about photography, the unexpected. Yesterday morning after dropping my son off at school I spotted some patchy fog nearby and decided to investigate. Turns out some geese were getting ready to head out against some great backlight. I usually try to travel with a body and 100-400mm on my seat, just for these sort of occasions and glad I had it with me this time!
During my search for more fall colors yesterday, I stumbled across this great barn and white fence just after sunrise. I really liked the way the fence was able to add a prominent foreground element, but also add some very strong lines and contrast to the image.
Canon 1DX 24-70mm 2.8L II f16 1/20 ISO100
On my way home tonight through Montana’s Bitterroot Valley.
Canon 5D markIII 100-400 4.5-5.6L IS f8 1/500 ISO400
I’m still traveling in western Montana this week, chasing elk, bison and fall colors before winter arrives. Peaks are now snow-capped and it’s looking spectacular out here! Here’s one from last night as the last light of day was touching the massive peaks of the Mission Mountains near St. Ignatius. Rising abruptly from the valley floor, the Missions make an impressive backdrop with McDonald Peak, the highest peak in the range, topping out at almost 10,000 feet.
Canon 5D markIII 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS f8 1/750 ISO800