One of the things I do to keep sharp is give myself mini photo assignments. I really enjoy hiking and climbing near St. Mary’s Glacier in Colorado. I have been there multiple times throughout my life as I grew up. There are a group of trees up by timberline next to St. Mary’s Lake that always capture my attention while I’m there. Of all the places in Colorado I have been, this is one of the most bitter cold and windiest in the winter time. Those words really don't do it justice because it really is brutal!
I set out to shoot the area one cold morning after a snowstorm. I headed into the area to capture some winter landscape images. Winter landscape images are very compelling to me. Anyone can get out of a car in the mountains and take some snaps that will look good. Winter photography however takes commitment and a willingness to suffer. I don’t know exactly why, but I just love it!
After creating some sunrise images, I proceeded to the batch of trees I always visit while in the area. There is one tree that has stood in the face of the weather for years right at timberline. Brutal constant wind combined with extreme changing temperature throughout the seasons and over the years have given this tree a unique weathered character.
My mini photo assignment was to work this tree into many images from different perspectives. Many beginning photographers tend to camp out in one place after finding a decent place to take an image. I do this exercise to remind myself to walk completely around my subject to get different looks at it. I make sure to raise my tripod to its highest and lowest setting during the exercise.
Here are a few of the images taken during this exercise. Don't forget! With digital, once you own the equipment, shooting is free. You just erase what you don’t want. So take lots of pictures.
Nikon D800 body
Carbon Fiber Tripod