Sunday, December 29, 2013
I'll let the viewer figure this one out. Mother Nature will often place a nice image directly in front of you, and the hiker will just step right over it.
To view a larger image, click on the above.
To view larger image left click on illustration
Friday, December 6, 2013
This snow was made for photography, and I took full advantage of it. When you live in the midst of such beautiful scenery, you often need to go no further than your yard, and that is how this image was made. I simply stepped out on the front patio and the composition could not have been any better. I then spent a full hour walking through the forest making one nice image after another, and there wasn't a bad image in the lot. This is one of my favorites. Oh yes, always use your tripod just to make sure the image is sharp.
This was a snow that stuck to everything it touched, and when the wind let up, it just got better. In all, we had just over a foot of fresh snow and this morning (two days later) the temperature was minus nine F. Make sure you keep your camera and battery reasonably warm. I keep my camera in an insulated shoulder bag, and after I have made my exposures, it goes right back into the bag. Sub freezing temperatures will drain the battery rather quickly so always keep a spare in your shirt pocket. Your body heat will prevent it from rapidly loosing it's charge.
I also like to work with a pair of insulated mittens, and having a finger slot in my trigger hand is most handy. You would be surprised at how fast your finger will lose it's sensitivity when the temperature is down in single digits or below zero. As you age, your hands become even more sensitive to cold weather. I will be eighty in a few weeks, and I can tell you for sure that my right hand started to hurt this morning, even after a few minutes of handling the camera and metal tripod. At least the temperature had gone up to zero when I went out after breakfast.
Never, ever misjudge the temperature when going out on a cold day. You could pay dearly for that mistake. I have been seriously making photographs in cold weather since the mid fifties. Ditto for a pair of insulated boots. Your feet can freeze up faster than you might believe.
To view a larger image, left click on the above image.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Of all the waterfalls that I have photographed over the years, this is my favorite. It was in a remote location and not too far off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Some of my most memorable back packing trips have been to this site. In fact, I often set the tent up about ten paces to the right of where I placed my tripod to make this image.
This photograph was obviously made during fall color, and yes, there were native trout in this stream. I used to grapple for them by hand and corner them under the rocks. I often counted on having at least one for dinner the first night out.
I was using a 35 mm film camera at the time, and this image was exposed on Ektachrome film. A few years ago, I scanned that transparency, and it is now in my computer, along with a number of other memorable images from the old days.
When photographing scenes such as this, I always preferred cloudy or slightly foggy days. This eliminated the many hot spots that often showed up on the final image because of direct sunlight. And it is obvious that I used a rather slow shutter speed to soften the water coming through the rocks.
To view a larger image, left click on the above illustration.
Saturday, October 26, 2013
I can still remember the day I made this image back during the early seventies. Shortly after chopping up and splitting some wood for the wood stove, a blizzard roared through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and it dumped at least a foot of fresh snow on top of what was already on the ground.
The seventies provided me with many fine winter images, but the winters were already in the process of warming up and the snow storms became less severe. Today, we use the term Global Warming. And it is a perfectly natural sequence of events which takes place between ice ages. Unfortunately, Homo sapiens is much to blame because we have been pumping far too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. I first noticed the change in temperatures when I was a young boy back in central Virginia. Now, it is starting to present a major problem as glaciers are rapidly disappearing and the Greenland ice cap is in the process of a rapid meltdown.
I've been repeating the same wood cutting process at our new home here at the 7,000 foot level along the Uncompahgre Plateau in western Colorado. We cut the wood with a bow saw, and the ax and chopping block still serve as the primary support props. Life is good up here in the high country, but the weather has also changed here. We have noticed the gradual changes since we moved to the Rocky Mountain area in 1997.
It's images such as you see here which bring back old memories and remind us of how different things were when we were much younger. I was well into my photographic documentary of the Appalachians when this image was made.
We had our first snow of the season a couple of weeks ago, and I have one posted on this blog. It was one of those nice heavy sticky snows that every outdoor photographer loves to capture.
To view a larger image of the chopping block, left click on the photograph.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
This image was made several days ago along a canyon west of Delta, Colorado. It was one of many canyons which can be found along the UNCOMPAHGRE PLATEAU. The last thing I expected was to find cottonwoods in full color, but this landscape justified a photograph. The touch of yellow simply adds that little extra color to an otherwise mundane image.
This is also one of those images which should be viewed at a larger size to fully appreciate the depth and beauty of the canyon and the cottonwoods.
To view a larger image of the above, left click on the image.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
I've never considered myself to be a serious wildlife photographer, but when the wildlife knocks on your door, it is difficult to turn the opportunity down.
We just happen to live in a wilderness location surrounded by many acres of BLM land, and as we were viewing our surroundings yesterday several deer strolled through the Juniper forest and made it rather easy for me to capture this image. Again, the camera was ready and this became a rather easy capture.
The location is somewhere along the eastern slope of the UNCOMPAHGRE PLATEAU in SW Colorado. A later Post describes our most recent move into this wilderness area.
Make a Google search for the Uncompahgre Plateau and you will find this to be a most interesting and very large land formation which is located in SW Colorado. The highest point tops out at about ten thousand feet.
To view a larger image, left click on the above photograph.
Monday, October 7, 2013
When you live right in the middle of a wilderness area, it becomes much easier to capture nice images. This was the case when we had an early wet snow last week. I had about an hour to grab my photography gear and walk the property near our house. The image above, was one of several nice photographs which I was able to make before the snow started to fall from the Juniper trees.
Always have your camera ready, because you never know when the perfect image will present itself. And, in a case such as this, when the lighting is low, always have a tripod ready to set up.
To view a larger image, left click on the above photograph
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
We left on September second and this was during the same time frame as the destructive flash flooding over along the front range of Colorado. We hit torrential rain just east of Grand Junction, and it followed us all the way through NW Colorado into Wyoming.
We were heading for Dubois, WY where my wife Pat would spend her week attending the Annual SKB Art Conference. I would explore the area and make a few photographs. Fact is, we added an extra week so that we might spend some time together along the back roads and trails. Instead, Mother Nature dictated otherwise, and the rain that followed us into the Cowboy state continued for the better part of two weeks. This is the first time that we have ever seen rain in Dubois, but rain it did, and I ended up spending the better part of two weeks in the trailer with our two dogs and Ringo the cat.
I managed to sneak out for an hour here and an hour there to make a few images of the mountain scenery, but every time I headed out the rain would turn on me. Next to the last day, I hit a sunny morning and this is one of the images I captured to the north of Dubois.
The hiker and his dog entered this photograph quite by accident, and I spotted them coming down the road and waited until they came within range before making this exposure. He had been camping for the better part of two weeks in the back country and when the storms arrived he had to hunker down and spend most of his time in camp. This morning he headed out with his dog, and he said that his food was running low so he had to get going. Fortunately the sky had cleared and he was heading back to his home in Sand Point, Idaho.
To view a larger image left click on the photograph above.
Sunday, July 7, 2013
Friday, June 28, 2013
Saturday, June 22, 2013
Last fall, we purchased a forty acre plot of land in a wilderness area with the idea of building a new house on the site and then making the biggest move that we have ever dreamed of. This land is located at about the seven thousand foot level, a third of the way up the UNCOMPAHGRE PLATEAU. Yet, we are only tem miles from our former home in Montrose, Colorado. Our land is surrounded by BLM land and for those of you who live back east, that means public land, or what you might be used to calling National Forest. We are completely surrounded by wilderness land and that makes for about the most peace and quiet that one can ever wish for.
The site was established and the construction began last December, and we watched the progress of the house until our move on June 1, 2013. Now, we are settled and getting used to a way of life that both of us have dreamed of for several decades.
I grew up in a country environment back in Virginia and we were in a place where I could step out of my parent's little cottage and disappear into the woods for hours at a time, and this is the peace and quiet that I have remembered to this day. Thanks to my wife Pat, we pulled this move off in grand style, but it was the toughest move we have ever made, and I am approaching eighty and it is not the sort of move a normal eighty year old would consider making. Heck, many people simply give up at this point. But, we are starting off on a fresh new adventure with lots of fun things to do yet.
Aside from setting up housekeeping and getting all of our stuff moved and in place, we are now working hard to clear the undergrowth from the surrounding forest. Trimming juniper trees and sawing up wood for the coming winter is our number one chore right now, and with the present drought and fire danger, it is best to get the dead wood down and away from our fire breaks. You have heard of the Black Forest fire near the front range south of Denver. More than five hundred nice homes have gone up in flames during the past couple of weeks, and more fires are being fought as I write this essay. This is likely the worst drought and fire season on record for Colorado.
One of the few images which I have had time to make since last fall is this photograph of our new home in the wilderness. We refer to it as our wilderness gallery, because many of our works of art are now hanging on the walls of this new home. Pat has her studio over the garage and with her wide picture window which faces the north, she is able to see for miles with the Grand Mesa in the background to the east of Grand Junction, and she is able to view sunsets that most people can only dream of.
So, that is where things presently stand with the Jeffers clan. In time, I will share a few more new images with you, but I will have to admit that the camera is pretty much taking a back seat to our present wilderness activities.
Click on the picture for a larger image.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
This image was made just off the Blue Ridge Parkway along the east side of the range, and I stumbled across it during a day hike along the Appalachian Trail. There was a small man-made pond just below the home site, and I used it to capture the cabin and fellow hiker in the red jacket.
There was just enough breeze to ripple the water a bit and that is what added the final touch to this image. And, by the way, the image was always presented upside down. From this negative, I printed a short collector's edition of sepia toned silver images for my growing collection of Appalachian originals.
To view a larger image, left click on the above image.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
I only made one silver print from this negative.
To view a larger image, click on the illustration above.
Sunday, March 3, 2013
During the early seventies, I documented quite a number of old grist mills along the Blue Ridge and Shenandoah Valley. This image was made in what was then known as Tyro Mill near Tyro, VA. This scene was just as I found it, and I never changed a thing. The lighting was coming through a window in the Miller's office and all I had to do was set up the tripod with my 2 1/4 inch film camera attached, and the rest was rather easy. The only trick here was to recognize the concept and then figure out how to execute it as you had previsualized it.
To view a larger image, left click on the photograph above.
Saturday, February 9, 2013
This plateau is just short of being a hundred miles in length and nearly fifty miles across. The highest point reaches a little above ten thousand feet with a full range of trees. In this area where we are standing, it is made up predominately of Juniper and a few scattered pinion pines. And as you gain altitude, you will encounter scrub oak, aspen and ponderosa pine, followed by spruce and lodge pole pine. The area also supports a full range of wildlife including deer, elk, bear, moose, mountain sheep, rabbits and so on. Oh yes, there are mountain lions and a few smaller critters that live in the Colorado high country environment.
I often use a touch of sepia in my black & white images. It adds just a bit of warmth which I find to have eye appeal.
To view a larger photograph, left click on the image. above.