2017 – The Year in Pictures

In keeping the tradition that Jim Goldstein started over 10 years ago, I’ve selected my favorite images released in the past year. These are not necessarily my best or most popular, but each holds a special place as a moment in time not soon to be repeated or forgotten.

Enjoy! And feel free to let me know your favorites. You can click on any image for a large view, to learn more about it, or share individually. I look forward to seeing your selects in the weeks ahead, and wish everyone a wonderful holiday and Happy New Year full of beauty, adventure and photographic possibilities.

-Russ


Lava flow entering the ocean at dawn, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
Lava flow entering the ocean at dawn, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
The Three Brothers above the Merced River in winter, Yosemite National Park, California
The Three Brothers above the Merced River in winter, Yosemite National Park, California
Winter sunset over Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park, California
Winter sunset over Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View, Yosemite National Park, California
Lush vegetation along the Kalalau Trail, Na Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii
Lush vegetation along the Kalalau Trail, Na Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii
Evening light in Manarola, Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy
Evening light in Manarola, Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy
The Milky Way over the Palisades, John Muir Wilderness, California
The Milky Way over the Palisades, John Muir Wilderness, California
Ke'e Beach from the Kalalau Trail, Na Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii
Ke’e Beach from the Kalalau Trail, Na Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii
Yosemite Falls after a winter storm, Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite Falls after a winter storm, Yosemite National Park, California
Lava flow entering the ocean at dawn, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
Lava flow entering the ocean at dawn, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
Northern elephant seals at Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery, San Simeon, California
Northern elephant seals at Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery, San Simeon, California
Sunset over the Na Pali Coast from Tunnels Beach, Haena State Park, Kauai, Hawaii
Sunset over the Na Pali Coast from Tunnels Beach, Haena State Park, Kauai, Hawaii
Yosemite chapel in winter, Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite chapel in winter, Yosemite National Park, California

 

©Russ Bishop/All Rights Reserved

Happy Holidays!

Winter sunset over Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California
Winter sunset over Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California

Happy Holidays and welcome Winter Solstice!

Midwinter, Yule, the Longest Night, Jól – the Winter Solstice is known by many names, but the shortest day of the year is the official start of winter and the perfect time to reflect on the past twelve months.

As 2017 comes to a close I’d like to thank everyone who has connected online and through my blog, clients new and old who have supported my work, and my friends and family who have joined me in exploring all the natural beauty that surrounds us.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and a healthy, prosperous New Year.

-Russ

The Latent Image

Fresh snow on fall aspens along Bishop Creek, Inyo National Forest, California
Fresh snow on fall aspens along Bishop Creek, Inyo National Forest, California

Twelve years ago after shooting film for over 25 years I made the switch to digital and never looked back. The year was 2005 and it wasn’t without a great deal of hesitation, but I knew I wasn’t alone and that the time was right. Not long before National Geographic had started accepting digital files from the Nikon D100, and if the quality was worthy of their hallowed pages then it was good enough for me.

The biggest concern for most outdoor photographers at the time was preserving that classic “look” of film that the world had embraced from the early days of Kodachrome and later Fuji Velvia. We were told that if you shot RAW files, profiles and presets could be applied that would mimic any type of film. At the time it was all Greek, but in the years since it’s become standard practice in post production. The lightbox and loupe were traded for hi-resolution monitors and software, but the holy grail of image making was still dynamic range.

Cameras have advanced at lightning speed since then delivering better resolution, wider dynamic range, higher megapixels and price tags to match! But one thing hasn’t changed – the powerful RAW image file. This digital negative can never actually be touched or manipulated, but utilizing RAW processing programs like Lightroom can produce files that match any conceivable style or vision by applying those magical profiles and presets all while retaining the highest image quality.

One of the best features of shooting RAW is the fact that software manufacturers are constantly improving the programs to better utilize all of the image data captured by the sensor. I recently revisited a selection of images from my archive that were made just shortly after I switched to digital. They were made on one of those early bodies, but because I had used a high-quality lens and created RAW files I was now able to create much finer images from those files than the original software would allow.

In a side-by-side comparison I was amazed at the clarity and definition that had been hiding in those images just waiting for a future application to release them. So if you’re still shooting JPEGs you might want to consider switching to RAW. Though each camera manufacturer makes their own proprietary file, Adobe, the creators of TIFF and PDF, developed the DNG (or Digital Negative) – a great format that preserves your RAW file and a JPEG preview eliminating the concern of proprietary files and software going the way of the 8-Track stereo and Betamax.

One thing is certain, change is inevitable and technology will continue to evolve. It’s a wonderful time to be a photographer and reassuring to know that the images we make today can not only be enjoyed long into the future, but like a fine wine will likely improve with age.

©Russ Bishop/All Rights Reserved

Backcountry Bliss

 

Backcountry skier under Banner and Ritter Peaks, Ansel Adams Wilderness, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California
Skier under Banner and Ritter Peaks, Ansel Adams Wilderness, California

Backcountry skiing in the Sierra Nevada is a perfect winter counterpart to the Desert Solitaire of Edward Abbey’s Utah. This popular and often crowded summer destination takes on another form during the shortest days of the year where deep in the wilderness that rare form of quiet is still plentiful.

Whether you want to ski your own private bowls or just enjoy the tranquility and unique photographic opportunities, it’s all there for the taking. Proper equipment and skills are obvious requirements and outdoor retailers like REI not only sell all the appropriate gear, but also offer classes in technique and safety. Enjoy the season!

©Russ Bishop/All Rights Reserved