Scott's Run Falls
I’m staying local (to me) for this post’s photo. This photo is of Scott’s Run Falls, a small waterfall at the end of Scott’s Run as it joins the Potomac River just a little downstream of Great Falls in McLean, Virginia. This is an attractive waterfall, even though small, and I’ve previously taken wider angle shots of it surrounded by the small glade it is in. Having been back to the falls several times, however, I finally decided that one of the things that attracted me the most about this set of falls is that even though it is small, there are enough rocks and interruptions to the falling water that the patterns made by the water are fascinating. So in this shot, I focused mainly on the water itself, with the surrounding rock primarily acting as a frame for the flow of the water.
I don’t think I can present this shot without noting the two general approaches to photographing flowing water such as rapids and waterfalls: using a fast shutter speed or using a slow shutter speed. A fast shutter speed freezes the action of the water, and (at least to me) can often convey a sense of power showing the spray flying into the air. A slow shutter speed blurs the water, and to me often conveys a sense of motion, essentially highlighting the path of the water as it flows through its channels. I think both techniques are useful, and have used both, although I tend to favor the latter. For this particular shot, however, I really wanted to show my favorite feature of this set of falls, the pattern of water flow, so I really wanted a long shutter speed to give that flowing look to bring out the patterns. The lines of flow can be very meditative, somewhat like a Japanese rock garden; this makes sense in a way as some consider these gardens symbolic of water. I’m currently working on a series of more abstract shots of water flow, and I think this will be the introductory photograph in the series.
Taken with a Canon 5D – two shot stitched panoramic.
This photo is available as a limited edition print. For more information, contact Bill.
WWII Memorial, Atlantic Arch
On the night of January 1, Patty and I spent some time photographing in D.C. The night sky was supposed to be clear, and this would be a good chance to catch the full moon rising over the WWII Memorial. Once we got down there, though, it turned out to be heavily overcast, with a few quick showers of freezing rain and sleet. One thing I will say for landscape photography however, is that the weather conditions help inspire creativity, having to deal with conditions you actually get instead of conditions you think you are going to get (or the conditions you would really, really like to have). Fortunately, the rain stopped, although the overcast kept us from ever even seeing where the moon was. Things turned out well, however – the heavy clouds reflecting the city light added drama to the memorial. I took this shot of the Atlantic Arch of the WWII Memorial; the clouds in the background reminded me of the “stormclouds gathering over Europe” descriptions of the events leading up to the war.
Taken with a Hasselblad H3DII.
This photo is available as an open edition print. For more information, contact Bill.
Bosque del Apache Sunrise (c) 2009, William Lawrence
It’s been a while since my last post – things have been hectic around here. In early December, Patty and I had a chance to take a workshop with Alain and Natalie Briot, photographing at Bosque del Apache and White Sands in New Mexico. I thought that today I would put up one of my shots from the first morning in Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is a favorite of bird photographers – thousands of cranes and snow geese winter over there. On the morning we went out, it was roughly 10 degrees – standing around in the dark waiting for sunrise was not fun, but it was a spectacular sunrise.
This sunrise was taken from the flight deck at Bosque – fortunately, the geese had already taken off, so most of the photographers had gone too. I focused on these three cranes standing on the ice; fortunately, all three lifted their heads at one time while the color was still in the sky. The sunrise coloring the sky and reflecting off the ice added glorious colors to the shot.
Taken with a Canon 5D, 100-400 lens, and every piece of winter gear I could bring to New Mexico.
This photo will be available as a limited edition print. For information, contact Bill
D.C. Skyline (c) 2009 William Lawrence
I thought I’d post something a little closer to home this week. I was working earlier on framing a larger version (matted to 24×36″) of DC Skyline, so I figured this would be a good photo to post. I took this photo in September from across the Potomac River from the DC monuments. One month in the spring and one month in the fall the full moon lines up nicely with the monuments for moonrise. This is always a popular time for photographers, and I was down there amidst a group of other people with tripods set up. I chose a day where the moonrise was early enough so there was still some color in the sky, and chose a spot so that I could catch a wider view of DC with the break in the trees showing a bit of the Potomac in the scene. It was a beautiful night – the sky obligingly had just enough haze to give the moon an orange tint – the color of the sky and the moon make this photo for me.
Taken with a Canon 5D.
This photo will be available as a print in open edition. You’ll be able to see it in person when Patty and I are at the Fairfax Holiday Show tomorrow and Sunday – stop on by! You can also e-mail Bill for more info.
Morning on the Playa (c) 2009 William Lawrence
I thought I’d post another photo from Death Valley this week. I had “Morning on the Playa” on my mind since one of the things on my “to do” list this weekend is to frame a large version of the photo; so I figured I’d make this the topic of today’s post. The photo was taken on the Playa at Death Valley – a large salt flat with pools of water on the flats. I took this photo in the early morning on a very overcast morning, catching some of the sky reflected in the water. The texture of the salt flats were amazing, and almost seemed to mirror those of the clouds, so I chose to put some of the salt flat in the foreground of the photo. If the sky looks a little threatening – it actually rained while we were at Death Valley! Probably not enough to give a measurable rainfall, but I was shocked to see rain.
I chose this scene for the cool colors in the clouds, interspersed with warmer patches of morning sky in the break between the clouds, gave a great cool feeling to the landscape. The wide expanses in Death Valley make the park a great place for panoramic style photography.
Taken with a Canon 20D, 5-shot stitched panoramic.
This photo will be available as a limited edition print. For information, contact Bill.
Zabriskie Dawn (c) 2009 William Lawrence
I thought I’d start the blog with Zabriskie Dawn, a new photograph that I will be displaying in print at shows soon. I took this photo at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley, CA, in December 2008.
As someone who spends most of his time on the Eastern seaboard of the US, the myriad textures of the landscape at Death Valley blew me away. At Zabriskie Point, the texture of the ridge in the foreground, almost looking like sand dunes carved into the rock, called out to me to be the focal point of this photo. The photo was taken shortly before sunrise, the sky was providing a lovely colored light that reflected off the rocks of the point.
I took the photo with my Canham DLC 45 view camera, taken on a Provia 4×5 transparency.
The prints look absolutely gorgeous. They will be available in limited edition printed on Hahnemuhle Photorag 308 gsm paper.
For ordering information, contact Bill.
Welcome to Lawrence’s View! Allow me to introduce myself – I am Bill Lawrence. I love to do landscape photography; you will see my work posted to this blog as time goes by. Some of you may know me from the Hankins-Lawrence Images website (which I share with Patty Hankins), and (very) occasional contributor to the Photonotes blog that she runs. It’s about time that I got a venue for my own photography, prompting this blog. You can expect to see my views on photography, and as someone interested in the grand landscape, expect to see my views on the landscape as expressed through my photographs.