Crater Lake: It’s Raining Cloud Shadows

It's fun to play with the panoramic mode using my iPhone.

It’s fun to play with the panoramic mode using the iPhone. But when I see these kind of clouds, I run for my Nikon gear.

The Luxury of Time

I can’t really say there is a typical day at Crater Lake National Park. The luxury of time afforded by the Artist in Residence program allows me to follow my bliss.  One morning I woke up before sunrise and did some painting, another day I began with a period of meditation, and I often have an oil painting in progress.  Primarily I start the day with a good cup of coffee.

Today, while meditating, I spied the clouds in the sky.  I knew a storm was coming in and hoped for cumulus clouds over Crater Lake.  Since I don’t know the storm and light patterns up here in Oregon, I scout photography locations many times during each day.  Typically I use my iPhone when scouting and then return to the subject with my favorite camera gear and tripod. Unless of course, the light is perfect, then I take it all seriously and get er done.

A Double Tripod Kind Of Day


As Crater Lake’s current Artist in Residence I am experiencing the luxury of daily photography adventures along the rim.

I drove up to Crater Lake three separate times today.  My first mission was to set up my wide angle lens for a time lapse.  I really enjoy cloud shadows, and time lapse image making is the perfect way for me to capture a series of images.  The first location today was fun, and the time lapse of 400 images at 5 second intervals lasted 33 minutes.  I enjoyed a little walk while the photos were being made, but I also needed to stick close as the wind was gusting at 15-20mph.  I strapped my camera bag to the tripod to weigh it down.  While the time lapse was in progress, I set up my second tripod for more image making. Double fisted, three camera, kinda day.

I’m going with the flow, I feel charged up, inspired, and blessed to be gifted with this residency.

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Crater Lake: When the Water Speaks

When I drive an overpass, I often get out and scout what's under it.  In this case, it is Annie Spring.  Two hours later, it was "in the can". ©Kit Frost

When I drive an overpass, I often get out and scout what’s under it. In this case, it is Annie Spring. Two hours later, it was “in the can”. ©Kit Frost


Art Making in Crater Lake National Park

One of my missions while in residence at Crater Lake is to photograph the Lake while chasing the light.  My accommodations are three miles from the rim of the caldera.  So it’s easy to drive up there every few hours to see the color of the light, reflections and to talk to the park visitors.  I brought my bike for a daily workout and to access the park without the windshield in my way. But the healing process on my new hip is slower than I hoped, so I’ll be gentle.

What are the voices of the flowing water telling me.

What is the silence of the local stream telling me?

Today, as I stepped back away from the Lake, I explored a few of the creeks in the park, I connected with a beautiful stream adjacent to the Goodbye Creek.  After scouting, I plan to photograph at that location in morning or late afternoon light.  I prefer very little light on creek falls, as contrast can be a real challenge. It’s not impossible to photograph, but when faced with bright light of water against the darkness of the stream it helps to use a graduated neutral density filter in the field and underexpose.  Later, using Lightroom, I adjust the dark shadows to reveal their texture and beauty.  In this case, I am exposing for the highlights of the water and “developing” for the shadows.

Annie Spring

Annie Spring leads to one of the biggest creeks in the Park, Annie Creek, flowing along Highway 62 and the entrance to the Park. It’s very seductive to hear the creek and to follow it’s flow along the pullouts on the road.

“Take only photographs, leave only footprints”


Annie Spring is a trailhead leading up to the Pacific Crest Trail. I will hike up to the PCT before I leave.  Cheryl Strayed’s book, and movie “Wild” is about her thru hike of the PCT and I’ve hiked a bit of it in Lassen Volcano National Park and want to add a bit of my own footprints to it.

Stay tuned.

The Road to becoming an Artist in Residence

My first view of Crater Lake included making a time lapse sequence of 300 still photos along the rim of the Caldera ©Kit Frost

My first view of Crater Lake included making a time lapse sequence of 300 still photos along the rim of the Caldera ©Kit Frost

The Adventure Begins in Crater Lake

What an understatement! The actual path to these two plus weeks as the Artist in Residence began long ago.  As I retired from teaching, moved to Durango and built up my Chase the Light Photography Adventures, I planned and envisioned a life of travel, art, photography, and exploration.  One of the dreams I’m pursuing is to spend serious time in our National Parks, as a Resident Artist.  Many of our National Parks have an application process available to established and emerging artists. The program offers time and accommodations in the most beautiful places. These are not paid gigs in the formal sense, but a real opportunity to spend quality time and follow my bliss.

In 2013, I began the process of research and writing necessary to apply.  The first priority: establishing a timeline for applications, organizing site specific portfolios, writing essays and gathering letters of recommendation.

Here’s an online site listing all the National Parks offering art residencies.

After review of each Park’s program and taking a look at my motivations to be at a specific park, I set deadlines and began writing proposals. Each application is a challenge to write, demanding of time and is a huge commitment, requiring a thorough examination of my portfolio for the “right” kind of images to send.  Most of the applications require a 1-2 page statement of intent, a small sampling of  4-8 images, letters of recommendations, and curriculum vitae.  And all applications include a proposal for the project to be completed during the residency.

The residencies provide an opportunity to devote 2-4 weeks’ time in a cabin or other rustic accommodations, time devoted to making art, and sharing that process with visitors.  Artists chosen for this prestigious and competitive award are also required to make a public presentation while at the park, and to donate one piece of art within a year of their residency.

A list of current and past applications:It helps to be “thick skinned” and not take the application process personally.  Just as with juried exhibitions, there is a standard of excellence in the level of artists applying, and the “right” person for each residency, the right image to fit an exhibition theme. Some review committees will provide comments, while others just don’t have the time to respond to the more than 250 artists competing for a few residencies a year.  This process is highly competitive and responding to deadlines and following the procedures is imperative.  One reviewer told me that the additional letters of recommendation I submitted were cumbersome and too much for the committee to read. Other park’s do not respond other than a letter of thanks (no, I’m not calling it a letter of rejection)

I’ve applied to all the following:

  • Acadia NP
  • Crater Lake NP
  • Glacier NP
  • Grand Canyon NP
  • Great Basin NP
  • Great Smoky Mountains NP
  • Isle Royale NP
  • Joshua Tree NP
  • North Cascades NP
  • Petrified Forest NP
  • Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
  • Zion NP

And in 2015 I’ve been offered residencies at Crater Lake and Acadia.  I gladly accepted.  I have submitted 2016 applications to Joshua Tree, Durango Arts.org, and will meet the deadline for Zion in July.  In 2016 I was offered residencies at Bighorn Canyon in Wyoming, Glacier National Park, in Montana and Mesa Verde in Colorado.

I’ve posted some images and blogged about my experiences and inspirations while a visiting artist. Join me on this wonderful, creative, journey

Artist in Residence at our National Park

How to Apply for Artist Residencies in our National Parks

Late January and early February were quite busy.  I applied for eight Artist Residencies in our National Parks.  Each application was challenging to write, demanding of my time and a huge commitment, requiring a thorough examination of my portfolio for the “right” kind of images to send.  Most of the applications require a 1-2 page statement of intent, a small sampling of  4-8 images, letters of recommendations, and curriculum vitae.  And all applications include a proposal for the project I plan to complete during the residency. Most residencies offer an opportunity to devote 2-4 weeks’ time in a cabin or other rustic accommodations.  All offer a considerable chunk of time to make art. All require a public presentation each week of the residency, few offer a stipend, except for nominal travel, many require comfort in wild places.

The biggest challenge in the application process was to select a small sampling of images that speak to each park’s specific need. Some, like Crater Lake in Oregon, asked for projects that focused on Climate Change; many parks have a set of specific goals that the committee would like addressed in the application.

I chose to apply to the following parks as I would LOVE to spent time in each of them, increase both my time lapse and still image portfolios and since I love teaching, I submitted plans for “walks in the parks” to share with visitors my vision, techniques and suggestions for digital photography.

Part of the research involved googling each park and reviewing the artists chosen for previous residencies. It’s best to google the parks you’d like to visit.

North Cascades ………Not Offered a residency in 2014-2015
Glacier National Park ………Not Offered a residency in 2014-2015
Great Basin National Park ………Not Offered a residency in 2014-2015
Isle Royale National Park ………Not Offered a residency in 2014-2015
Acadia National Park  ………Chosen for 2015, June
Crater Lake National Park ………Chosen for 2015, May
Petrified Forest  ………Not Offered a residency in 2014-2015
Sleeping Bear Dunes  ………Not Offered a residency in 2014-2015
Great Smoky Mountains  ………Not Offered a residency in 2014-2015
Zion National Park ………Not Offered a residency in 2014-2015, Application pending 2016
Joshua Tree National Park  ………Not Offered a residency in 2014-2015

Results, so far

As you can see, just like submitting art for exhibition, it helps to get thick skinned and to keep plugging away at the applications.

Crater Lake National Park, Chosen as one of the Artists in Residence, May 2015
Here’s a sampling of the images and video clips I made while in Residence.

Acadia National Park, Chose as one of the Artists in Residence, June 2015, wow, was that some cross-country travel.  Oregon to Maine.  Here’s the portfolio I posted of my time in Acadia.  And some time lapse instruction on my blog.

Inspiration

I decided to research the Photographers and Artists who have been chosen in the past or are currently in our National Parks as Artists in Residence.

Rick Braveheart, Native American Fine Art Photographer (blog with link to his website too) Rick is currently At Zion National Park, writing a weekly blog about his residency.

Many of the artists, painters, who participate in Plein Air competitions in our National Parks also have experience as Artists’ in Residence.

Grand Canyon Celebration of Art
Grand Staircase, Escalante Canyons Arts Festival
Zion Plein Air Arts Invitational

Other Links for Arts in Our Parks, please let me know if you have a special event you like to attend or a Park you’ve applied to as Artist in Residence.

Perseid Meteor Shower coming up this weekend.

Its that time of year again! I plan to be outside this weekend photographing the star show and meteor shower.  Hoping for clear, dark skies on Saturday night.  Camping out to capture and enjoy the show!

Photographing the Perseid Meteor Shower

For viewing and photographing the The Perseid Meteor Shower, look for the constellation Perseus in the Northeastern sky.  Even though the show has already begun, the event will peak this coming Saturday night, Sunday morning, August 11-12.

The Perseids should be a spectacular event because the Moon is in its waning crescent phase, so the light reflecting off its lunar surface should not interfere with the meteors traveling across our night sky at about 60 kilometers per hour (37 miles per hour). The actual peak for the Perseids is estimated to be 2 a.m. on Sunday morning, August 12, 2012.

You can see the meteors any time before this date, as they have been flying across the sky since about July 23rd. And they will remain visible until August 22. The meteors within the Perseid meteor shower are material from the Swift-Tuttle comet, which has a 130-year orbit around the Sun.

 

Moonrise: August 11, 1:00am

Moonrise: August 12, 1:47am

Moonrise: August 13, 2:48am

Photographing the Milky Way

For the Milky Way, find a south facing low mountain or ridgeline, wait until the sky is truly dark, and let your eyes get accustomed to it by hanging out in your lounge chair for about an hour to really see the stars.  The Milky Way will be visible in the Southern Sky and the best time for the star show is during the new moon or approaching the new moon.  This month the new moon is August 17.  Maybe time lapse photo experiments are a great way to make use of your old 35mm or 50mm prime lenses.

  1. Frame your photograph really wide angle to include lots of the sky.
  2. Turn off EVERYTHING that is set for AUTO, including focus and Image stabilization.
  3. Shut off all noise reduction, and white balance.
  4. Shoot RAW if possible, or high res jpeg
  5. Focus at or near infinity.
  6. Set your aperture for the widest lens opening or next widest.
  7. Set your shutter speed for about 20-25 seconds.
  8. Choose the interval you prefer and set your interval timer, try 6-10 seconds, but if there are clouds, try 1-5 second intervals.
  9. Set your ISO for 3200-6400.
  10. Most time lapse Milky way images are about 5-8 hours.  Keep in mind the moonrise if  necessary.

The video below was photographed over a few days in 2010. Photographer, Henry Jun Wah Lee, posted this exposure information.

Timelapse video of the Perseid Meteor Shower and the galactic core of the Milky Way as seen from Joshua Tree National Park.
These were taken between August 12 and August 15, 2010.
For more photos and words: photography.evosia.com/2010/08/13/under-the-milky-way-in-joshua-tree-national-park/
Website: evosia.com
Facebook:facebook.com/evosiastudios
Twitter: twitter.com/evosia
Gear: 5D Mk II, EF 16-35mm L. Settings: f/2.8, 6400 ISO, 20 second exposures.
Music is Samskeyti by Sigur Ros

Joshua Tree Under the Milky Way from Henry Jun Wah Lee on Vimeo.

Just posted: Fall Southwest USA Photography Workshop dates

Join us for a few days of devotion to your digital photography.  Let us show you to our favorite locations in the Southwest USA.  We teach you how to capture photos that “sing”.  Learn how your camera works, how to properly expose the grand and intimate landscapes of Colorado and Utah.  Learn how to choose the best lenses, to explore and get comfortable with controlling depth of field, exposure compensation and to upload and review your images. And much more! We take great pride in teaching small group lessons in the field and in our studio in Durango, Colorado

Our current schedule of workshops includes: