2009 Website Newsletter – 5

New Book Project – A Photographer’s Guide To Ohio

During the past thirty years I have been privileged to travel more than half a million miles in Ohio, exploring the natural, rural, historical and garden areas of the Buckeye State. These travels have produced thousands of color photographs, on film and flash card, the best of which have been showcased in more than a dozen books, as well as fifty Ohio calendars published by Browntrout Publishers. I’m often asked at my photography workshops, and by radio, TV or magazine interviewers, to name my favorite places in Ohio for taking pictures. My tongue- in- cheek response is usually “Wherever in Ohio I happen to be at the time!” This is an honest answer, because I have found wonderful places to photograph in every corner of the Buckeye State.

A few months ago, I signed a book contract with Ohio University Press for A Photographer’s Guide To Ohio, to be published in 2011. I worked with Ohio University Press on another book, Our First Family’s Home: The Ohio Governor’s Residence And Heritage Garden, which was published in 2008, and I was impressed with the excellent book design and promotional work carried out by the OU Press staff. The book will include an opening chapter on selecting and using digital cameras for travel photography, followed by five regional chapters highlighting the best locations for outdoor photography in northwest, northeast, central, southwest, and southeast Ohio.  Sidebars will list my favorite places in Ohio for photographing scenic vistas, spring wildflowers, sunrise/sunset, fall color, public gardens and other favorite subjects showcased over the years in my Ohio books and calendars. My deadline for finishing the book manuscript is May 1, 2010 (just in time for some spring photography) and I expect to devote several hundred hours to completing the writing for the book over the next 4 – 1/2 months.

In the meantime, you can still obtain copies of Browntrout’s 2010 Wild & Scenic Ohio, Ohio Nature, and Ohio Places calendars from your local Ohio booksellers or from www.browntrout.com.  Signed copies of many of my Ohio and other published books can be obtained from www.ianadamsphotography.com

Photography Workshops And Seminars

stebbins Icicles
Icicles At Stebbins Gulch, The Holden Arboretum

The Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio will host an Ice Photography Workshop on January 16, 2010 from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. After a classroom slide program on winter photography, we will hike through the woods to Stebbins Gulch to photograph the icicles and frozen waterfalls that line the Gulch in winter. We’ll meet again on January 27, from 7-9 pm, for a review/critique of participants’ photos taken during the photo hike.  For more information visit www.holdenarb.org or call Vonna Zahler at (440)-602-3833.

Climatron & Pools, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis
Climatron & Pools, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis

I will be presenting a 3-hour seminar, Composition And Lighting For Great Garden Photographs, in Columbus, Ohio on Sunday, January 24, from 1-4 pm during the CENTS symposium at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.  This program includes a 1-hour classroom session, followed by a 2-hour session in which 15-20 participants will have 5-6 of their digital garden photographs reviewed and critiqued by yours truly.  For more information, visit the CENTS website at:  http://onla.org/cents/ShortCourse_Booklet_2010_FINAL.pdf

Slide Programs

Kelleys Island in northwest Ohio
Kelleys Island in northwest Ohio

The Master Gardeners of Cuyahoga County wil host my presentation of Ohio’s Natural Areas And Preserves on Friday, January 8, 2010 at 1:00 pm in Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio.  For more information contact Katherine Geralds via email: katherinegeralds@sbcglobal.net

Tulips at Inniswood Gardens, Columbus, Ohio
Tulips at Inniswood Gardens, Columbus, Ohio

The Sam Wharram Nature Club in Ashtabula, Ohio will be hosting my presentation of Ohio’s Public Gardens And Arboretums on Saturday, February 13, 2010 at 6:00 pm. For more information contact Marc Hanneman at (440)-576-5050 or via email:  mhanneman@infinexgroup.com

Birches at the Ledge, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, Maine
Birches at the Ledge, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, Maine

On Sunday, February 14, from 2-4 pm, I will be participating in Holden Arboretum’s Fireside Chat series with a presentation of A Tale Of Two Gardens: Missouri And Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.  For more information visit Holden’s website at   http://www.holdenarb.org/visit/FiresideLectureSeries.asp

Technical Tip – Don’t Forget Your Memory Card

I had a “middle-aged moment” recently when I visited Tinker’s Creek State Nature Reserve near Twinsburg, Ohio to photograph on a beautiful foggy morning.  The sunrise was not very photogenic due to low cloud cover, but the early morning fog provided moody lighting and enhanced the reflections of  trees and marsh plants in the many ponds at this wetland preserve. I used my Nikon D700 camera and took several dozen exposures during my visit.  When I arrived home, I was dismayed to find that I had neglected to put a memory card in the camera prior to my shoot!

On the Nikon D2X, there is a Custom Function, #F7, that can be used to lock the shutter release, or enable it, when there is no memory card in the camera.  By default, the shutter release is locked.  However, on the newer Nikon D700, the equivalent Custom Function, #F11, enables the shutter to be released by default. Somehow, this function had been reset in my D700 to the default value.  I agree with Nikon guru Thom Hogan that locking the shutter release when there is no memory card in the camera makes more sense as a default for most of us.  Needless to say, this setting is now locked into my Nikon D700!

To avoid making the same mistake, check the custom functions on your digital SLR or point-&-shoot cameras and make the appropriate settings.

Ice Photography – Part 2

In the March, 2008 website newsletter I  included some tips on finding and photographing ice patterns.  Here is a link to that newsletter: http://ianadamsphotography.com/?m=200803

A cold Ohio winter also provides the opportunity to photograph Lake Erie ice, as well as displays of icicles around the Buckeye State, and below I  share some additional tips and locations for photographing these winter  subjects.

Lake Erie Ice

Sunrise Near Marblehead Lighthouse, Ohio
Sunrise Near Marblehead Lighthouse, Ohio

In northern Ohio, along the south shore of Lake Erie, the most photogenic ice occurs in late winter, when the lake ice is breaking up.  Usually, late January through early March is the best time for Lake Erie ice photography.

Because this type of ice photography is done out in the open along the Lake Erie shoreline, early morning or late evening  on a sunny or partly cloudy day provides the best lighting. It can be bitterly cold along the shoreline at these times, so dress warmly. Make sure the ice is thick enough to walk on before you venture out on it, and be sure to wear Yak Trax or similar devices on your boots so you don’t slip on the icy surface. Since camera batteries deplete very quickly in subzero temperatures, be sure to bring several extra camera batteries, and keep them (and your digital cameras) in a warm place when not in use.

Good locations for Lake Erie ice photography in northwest Ohio include Crane Creek State Park in Ottawa County, the Lake Erie Islands, and the area around the Marblehead Lighthouse. In northeast Ohio, Lorain Lighthouse, Fairport Harbor West Light,  and the harbors at Eastlake, Conneaut and Ashtabula are my favorite places. In fact, virtually anywhere along the Lake Erie shoreline can be photogenic in winter if the ice conditions and lighting are optimal.


Icicles at Old Man's Cave, Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio
Icicles at Old Man's Cave, Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio

In Ohio, January and February, usually our two coldest months, offer the best conditions for photographing  icicles around the Buckeye State.  Because icicles form on steep cliffs, gorges with rock outcroppings are the best places for icicle photography.  My favorite icicle locations in Ohio include Cuyahoga Falls Gorge, The Cleveland and Summit County (Akron) Metroparks, Mill Creek Park near Youngstown, Stebbins Gulch at The Holden Arboretum, and the Hocking Hills in southeast Ohio.

Unlike Lake Erie ice, which can be photographed  on sunny days, icicles are best photographed on overcast days, when the diffuse light from the cloudy sky minimizes the contrast in gorges. The visual complexity of most icicle formations is not usually enhanced by direct sun, which creates bright highlights and deep shadows with a dynamic range that can be hard to capture, even with the latest digital camera technology.  The use of bracketed raw exposures and high dynamic range software, such as Photomatix, can be very helpful when photographing icicles, even on cloudy days.

Be sure to wear Yak Trax along frozen trails when photographing icicles, and remember that icicles can fall – don’t stand directly under them!

Good luck with your ice photography, and Happy Holidays!

Ian Adams

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