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Looking Ahead to Spring… Are you ready?

March 2012.  We’re currently putting together some plans to photograph the spring migration of the sandhill cranes along the Platte River in Nebraska, from Grand Island to Kearney.  An estimated 500,000 sandhill cranes pass through Nebraska’s Platte River Valley migrating along an 80 mile wide flyway.  The numbers are an estimated 80% of the world’s population of the birds stopping here to feed on corn to fuel their bodies for the flight to breeding grounds in the north.

Spectacular photography can be achieved in special blinds in the early morning and evenings, along the rivers and cornfields.  Please let us know ASAP if you think you may be interested in joining us as we are finalizing pricing for the trip; blind and hotel reservations.

 

Squaw Creek and Snow Geese Migration

Dave Bryan and Dennis Chapman, ReallyClassGlass.com, will be going to Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, Sundays November 27 and December 4 for the spectacular migration of snow geese and bald eagles.  We would love it if you would join us, using the Nikon super telephoto lenses; 600mm F4.0, 400mm F2.8 and 300mm F2.8 lenses along with professional tripods and ballheads.  The cost is $25.00 per person.  Renting a Nikon D90 for the day will add $20.00.

Previous years migration totals counted as many as 350,000 snow geese and 200 bald eagles, as well as thousands of other ducks and geese species.  The mass number of birds will be there as long as the reservation does not freeze shut with super cold temperatures.

Squaw Creek is 45 minutes north of St. Joseph and less than a 1 1/2 hour drive from most of the Kansas City area.  Call Dave at 913-908-4879 or email at dbryan12@kc.rr.com to make your reservation.  Payment will be due one week in advance of your time slot.

Looking forward to seeing you there!!

‘Capturing’ The Right Camera

Photography is an art. Capturing love, laughter, and smiles that will last a lifetime is the passion that drives many photographers. The question everybody wants to know is; how did they get started? Whether you are a professional photographer or looking to take up photography as a hobby, all the information you need to know is right here.
With technology advancing with every passing day, digital photography is the wave of the future. You walk into the store and scream; “AHHHH!” there are so many options to choose from. Don’t fret, we can provide you with the basics of what to look for in a quality digital camera.

Megapixels are the first feature that you want to consider. Some consumers will argue that megapixels are not that important, but the truth is; they are lying! Especially as a beginner photographer, megapixels will offer you a clearer quality picture. The more megapixels you have, the more crystal clear photograph you will receive.

As a beginner, it’s safe to assume you may be a bit nervous as you get out there and start photographing. Well, don’t worry because the next feature you should consider is image stabilization. Do not let those shaky hands of yours get in the way of taking remarkable pictures. There are different levels of stabilizers such as electronic, optical, and sensor. We recommend sensor and optical. For beginners, these will offer the best results.

Last but not least, take a look at the camera’s view finder. When using your camera all day, every day, you want a camera that will automatically focus on what you are looking to photograph. Professionals may still prefer a camera with a larger view finder, but a smaller finder is adequate for an individual picking photography up as a hobby.

There are a wide variety of cameras on the market today. These are just a few tips to finding a quality digital camera that will work for you. Remember to consider what you will be photographing and that you cannot put a price on quality. The photographs you will take with your brand new digital camera will potentially last you a lifetime. How can you attach a price tag to memories?

For more detailed lessons on selecting the right camera and equipment for you, join us at one of our many workshops. Coming up in December, we’ll be traveling west to California to photograph the beauty that this wonderful part of the country has to offer. Check out all the details here!

We’ve Made a Few Changes…

As you know, we’ve been putting together a 2 week destination workshop where we will travel west photographing all of the beautiful sites we can take in between Kansas City and San Francisco. But, in response to some feedback we’ve been getting from our interested photographers and hobbyists just like you, we’ve decided to make some changes. Just to highlight the big ones; the trip will now be one week, we’ll be flying rather than driving and the cost of the trip has been cut drastically. Do these changes make you want to join us? If so, check all the details below and get with me, Dave Bryan (contact info below), ASAP to reserve your seat! Looking forward to seeing you there!

Workshop
Yosemite/ Monterey Bay/ Big Sur Workshop
Date: 12/06/2011 – 12/11/2011
Start Time:  Meet at noon December 6 at Yosemite, exact location to be determined.

End Time: noon December 11

Cost: $895.00 per person

Maximum participants, 8, and the minimum for the trip is 4.

Contact:  Dave Bryan, reallyclassglass.com, 913-908-4879, dave@timeless-images.com

Tentative schedule follows:

December 6, meet at noon in Yosemite.  Your photo destination adventure begins.
December 6-9, Yosemite
December 9, afternoon; travel to Monterey Bay
December 10-11, Monterey Bay/Big Sur

The fee includes the use of reallyclassglass.com professional Nikkor super telephoto lenses and Really Right Stuff, tripods and ball heads.  Lenses include the 600 mm F4.0, 400mm F2.8, 300mm F2.8 and 200mm F2.0

We will concentrate on always photographing during the golden hours surrounding sunrise and sunset.  Other photography time will concentrate on the hours around those key times.  We will post process images or travel during the other hours.

Workshop leaders will assist in all phases of photography to include lens selection, pre visualizing the image, filters and aperture and shutter speed selection.  Leaders are familiar with Adobe Lightroom 3 and Adobe Photoshop but do not consider themselves experts.  Little time will be devoted to classroom instruction in post processing.

Participants will meet at Yosemite at noon on December 6 and travel together in a comfortable van.
Destination Workshop Investment:  $895.00.  The fee does not include food or lodging.  Lodging choices during the trip will be national motel chains such as Super 8, Hampton Inn, Drury Inn, and Comfort Inns.  Doubling up is encouraged to save money.

Deposit:  A non refundable deposit of $300.00 is required to hold your spot.  The fee, though not refundable, can be used toward a future destination workshop should a family emergency cause you to cancel.  The deposit is due by November 21 and the balance will be deducted from your credit card on December 1.

All participants are required to sign a release of liability statement.

Local guides:  Reallyclassglass.com feels it is important to maximize time photographing and not in searching for the best vantage points.  Whenever financially prudent we will hire local photo guides familiar with the locations.  Mark G, who works for Really Right Stuff, will guide us in Monterey and Big Sur. We are currently searching for a guide for Yosemite.

Monterey Bay and Big Sur……Carmel, Pebble Beach, Cannery Row, sea lions, pelagic and shore birds, 17 mile drive scenery, Monterey Bay Aquarium…what more needs to be said.  The Weston Gallery in Carmel features the work of Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, and prepares us for Yosemite.  Mark G will guide us to some of his favorite photographic sites along Big Sur which stretches 90 miles south of Carmel from Point Lobos all the way to the Hearst Castle with 5000 foot mountains rising out of the Pacific Ocean.

Winter in Yosemite…special, quiet….beautiful.  Snow….amazingly different images.

And did we say that all participants may use reallyclassglass.com professional Nikkor lenses as part of the fee?

Yosemite National Park: Rocks, Glaciers, and Waterfalls, Oh My!

Every year, Yosemite National Park draws millions of visitors. This 12,000-square-mile tract of the Sierra Nevada was first set aside in 1890 and grows more popular every year. Yosemite Valley attracts the most tourists, but beautiful scenery throughout the entire park beckons you and your camera. This is why we’ll be including this scenic destination in our December trip! (See link at bottom for details)

Yosemite Valley made the big time during the California Gold Rush. The region was named after a battle with a band of Native Americans who were nicknamed “yohhe’meti,” or “they are killers.” This location has a rich history for the American West!

The half-mile deep Yosemite Valley was carved by glaciers and now features 3,000-foot high domes of rock and more waterfalls than you can count; talk about photo ops! Your first view upon entering the valley will be the Tunnel View, one of the most photographed sights at Yosemite. From here, you can experience the “classic view,” encompassing five of the most famous landmarks of Yosemite. Wouldn’t this make a gorgeous panorama!

Let’s not forget the rest of the park. Several trails meander through the meadows and forests. These trails will provide opportunities for beautiful photographs and teaching opportunities on reallyclassglass.com’s professional telephoto lenses. Mount Dana and Mount Gibbs, well-known mountains of red metamorphic rock, stand majestically in eternal poses. And the Mariposa Grove is filled with giant sequoias; nothing makes you feel tiny and insignificant quite like trees that measure 30 feet across at the base!

Providing more great photo opportunities are the many lakes and waterfalls of Yosemite. Yosemite Falls consists of upper and lower falls joined by cascades; the whole shebang drops nearly 2,500 feet – the highest waterfall in North America. Or you could stop at one of the many lakes scattered around. If frozen water is more your style, check out Lyell Glacier: the largest glacier in Yosemite.

The number of beautiful photo opportunities may sound a little overwhelming. But, we’ll be touring the park together and scouting the best locations for unforgettable photo memories! With such beauty in one place, it’s not hard to see why photographers around the world journey to this pristine wilderness. Getting in touch with nature can only be good for the soul – and the camera too!

Ready to join us? We’ll be departing Kansas City on December 1st, 2011. Start packing your bags today! (Click here for details)

Capturing the Grand Canyon and Sedona in Pictures

Budding photographer? Experienced pro? Either way, Grand Canyon National Park and nearby Sedona, AZ are great places to hone in on your photography skills. That is why we have decided to incorporate these destinations in our upcoming Destination Photography trip this December.

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon was first set aside as a Federal Reserve in 1893. The, was designated a National Park in 1919; an astonishing 44,000 tourists visited that year. However, these days, five million annual visitors can’t be wrong!

Before it was the tourist destination that it is today, the Grand Canyon was home to 11 tribes and ethnic groups for nearly 12,000 years. Along with tourists and photographers, archaeologists have had a field day sifting through the artifacts – just imagine photographing in a place like this!

But where to take pictures? Our professional guides will help us find the most breathtaking locations for beautiful photographs, including the South Rim (heading down a couple hundred feet also offers a new perspective).

Sedona

Just two hours away, Sedona’s stunning sandstones are calling for their share of attention. Located in northern Arizona, Sedona enjoys mild winters and summers; it’s no wonder why human snowbirds settle here. In the early days, the peach and apple orchards were all the rage. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the area began attracting tourists, vacationers, and retired folks.

Sedona has a multicultural history. In 1876, Anglo settlers arrived and forced the Yavapai and Apache tribes to move to a reservation 180 miles away… On foot… In winter. Some of them have since returned to the area and are able to maintain a distinct culture.

Now, Sedona is known as “Red Rock Country” for its sandstone formations. Surrounding the city are the whimsically-named monoliths: Coffeepot, Cathedral and Thunder Mountain. Who doesn’t want a picture of a Coffeepot that looks nothing like a coffee pot? Oak Creek Canyon, also just outside the city, is great for photography too.

Did this get your mouth watering? If so, contact Dave today (dave@timeless-images.com) to get starting booking your seat for December’s adventure west. While traveling with Dave, the Image Maker of the American West, you’ll capture some of the most breathtaking views that Arizona and California have to offer; nothing will beat this experience.

For more details, including the rest of the trip itinerary and information on booking your seat, click here.

Destination Photography: Monterey Bay

Given that California has many densely populated cities that often draw the attention of professional and amateur photographers, world-class locations such as Monterey Bay and Big Sur can sometimes be passed over by folks looking for a vacation that revolves around taking stellar photographs. In all honesty, it would be difficult to come up with a photography travel destination that is more spectacular and diverse than these two coastal gems.

Monterey Bay is a magical region that offers some of the best coastal views this fine nation has to offer in a laid-back city with a very mild climate. The region was inhabited by Native Americans until Spanish settlers arrived in the first years of the 17th century.

In this small city you’ll be able to capture images of determined trees growing from the sides of cliffs that have been cultivated by moist sea splash. Moments later, you’ll be photographing the entrance of one of the dozens of small caves that have been carved out by millions of years of high tides. Folks who strategically and patiently plant themselves on the shore may be treated to the breaching of humpback and grey whales less than a few hundred yards offshore.

Archaeological findings show that Native American tribes lived in Big Sur for thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers. In the late 18th century the area was colonized by Spanish explorers and remained that way until the gold rush of the mid-1800s. The completion of Highway 1, which tiptoes along the central coast of California, marked the beginning of an era for the region, as it was able to be accessed by automobile for the first time.

The common lure for all of the area’s many inhabitants has been the stunning views and the enthralling feeling that comes with living on the literal edge of civilization. Because of the ruggedness of the landscape, the large area is only lightly populated, meaning crowds and noise are never a problem.

In short, the region is a photographer’s dream. Rhythmic waves steadily splash against jagged rocks, creating one-of-a-kind, momentary works of art that can be captured forever with the flash of a fast lens. The Santa Lucia Mountains rise sharply from the Pacific Ocean, and watching the sun set over the salty waters exposes the even plain created by the Earth’s curvature, creating ten to fifteen minutes of photography gold.

Keeping all the mind, it is easy to see why we selected this destination as part of our first ever Destination Photography Workshop. Departing December 2011, our group will be traveling from Kansas City to Monterey Bay and Big Sur, stopping at a few beautiful destinations along the way! For more information on how you can join us, click here!

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