Capturing Light

Project 365 | 130119 | Evening Light

On a clear winter evening, just after the sun sets, there is something mesmerizing about the golden glow that the light makes through trees. It’s a look that you don’t get in the summer, as the light and color are mostly blocked by the trees leaves.

I envisioned it as an artistic, abstract scene, so I photographed it slightly out of focus with my 85mm f1.2 lens to help create that feeling.


Project 365 | 130119 | Evening Light | © Jay Moore Photography

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.


People In Nature | Yoho National Park

Yoho National Park is a beautiful part of the Canadian Rockies and has a several great locations to visit that are a quick drive from Banff National Park and the Lake Louise area. So, if you’re in this part of the world, I would suggest dedicating at least one day to explore Yoho Valley along Iceline Trail.

The image below was taken during the end of our hike when the shadows were getting a little longer. We came upon a person standing along the edge of one of the many alpine lakes that appear within the moraines during the summer months. I quickly composed the image to include the towering mountains in the distance and snapped off a few frames.


People In Nature | Yoho National Park | © Jay Moore Photography

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.


Half Dome Under Full Moon

I’m a big fan of photographing landscape images at night, as it gives a scene a completely different look then the day. Especially if you can combine it with a full moon, as it will give you enough light to properly expose the scene, while giving you a long enough exposure to capture the star filled sky.

What some people don’t realize is that if you photograph by the moons light, you don’t need to jack up your ISO or have super long exposures. For example, the image below of Half Dome and Royal Arches, is captured with ISO 800 at f/4 with a 30-second exposure.


Half Dome Under Full Moon | © Jay Moore Photography

So, the next time you have a clear evening on a full moon, wait for it to get higher in the sky, grab your camera and tripod and head out to your favorite landscape spot to capture a few images.

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.


Lake Louise Morning Light

Lake Louise is a wonderful place to visit most anytime of the day, but is especially beautiful during the sunrise. It’s the best time to soak up the lake and surrounding Canadian Rockies because during the morning hours it showcases some amazing light while you’re only sharing the scene with a handful of other folks, versus hundreds of people later in the morning. That is why I highly recommend setting you alarm clock early, grab a cup of coffee and get to this location a few minutes prior to sunrise … You’ll not be disappointed.

When I arrived on this particular morning, there was a red canoe in the lake paddling around. It was the only one on the lake and I thought it would work perfectly for some interest in the foreground. So, I found a spot along the edge of the lake quickly composed the scene to showcase the glacier and its reflection in the lake, made sure to include the rising moon and then waited for the canoe to move into the position I wanted, then I snapped off a few frames.


Lake Louise Morning Light | © Jay Moore Photography

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.


Antelope Slot Canyons

The antelope slot canyons is a beautiful place to visit in the Southwest, as your time wandering the small natural pathway through the sandstone is a very calming and spiritual experience. The color in this particular scene is exactly what you’ll see if you visit this special location, as when the sun is high in the sky on a clear day, its rays penetrate through the slots creating beautiful shades of yellows, oranges, reds and purples.

Depending on where you are within the slots will determine how much color from each shade is showcased, such as the image below where I’m somewhat close to the top of the canyons, giving the bright, warm yellows an opportunity to shine.


Antelope Slot Canyons #1663 | © Jay Moore Photography

And for those who’ve never visited the slots, the image below is roughly 20-30 feet from the ground to the top, with the path being just out of frame on the bottom. The image is taken on a full-frame camera at 27mm. I also shot it at f/16 at 1.0 secs, to give it maximum depth of field. As with most all of my photo experiences, my camera was mounted to the top of my really right stuff head and sturdy Gitzo legs.

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.

Continue to check back to see additional highlight images from my slot canyon series …


Antelope Slot Canyon

I bring you the first installment of my series from Antelope Slot Canyon. #1733 is one of my favorite images that I captured during my extended time within the canyon. Does this scene seem familiar? Just take a quick look at my blog header as it’s a slice of this particular image.

This spot is a beautiful place within the Southwest, located just outside of Page, AZ, and is a must stop if you’re visiting that part of the world. The canyons have amazing shapes and forms, with a strong spiritual presence that seems to be filled within the open space between the narrow rock walls. And the true magic begins when the sun is high overhead as the light creates different shades of yellows, oranges, reds and purples that seems to glow around you.

Antelope Slot Canyons #1733 | © Jay Moore Photography

Hiking / Photography Insight: If visiting the slot canyons, there are two different sections, upper and lower. We spent our time in lower because there are less regulations on how long you can spend walking the canyons, as upper is much more popular and you must stay within your group. The lower provides ample scenes for great images, however you will not get the iconic sun rays that come down onto the canyon floor, as those mostly happen in the upper canyon and only during certain months (late spring, summer and early fall). I would suggest using a tripod to help capture greater depth, but make sure you have flexibility with your tripod legs as there are very few typical set-ups within the canyon.

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.


Lake Louise | Sunrise

Lake Louise is a beautiful place to visit within Banff National Park. It’s a popular destination for tourists around the world and after you get a chance to see the area with your own eyes, you quickly understand why it’s become so crowded with summer vacationers.

One great way to see the lake is during the morning sunrise, as the crowds of tourists are diminished dramatically, but more importantly the mountains and glaciers face east, which puts a soft, warm light upon the scene. And on certain mornings, such as in the image below, the alpine wind hasn’t begun to blow, leaving the lake crystal clear for an amazing reflection of the surrounding mountains and glaciers.


Lake Louise | Sunrise | Banff National Park | © Jay Moore Photography

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.


Building Storm

Building storms can be fun to watch and experience when in a mountainous region. The large peaks and low valleys can create major shifts of cloud formations in matter of minutes when the storm is rolling in.

On this particular hike with my wife and good friends, the thick clouds were swirling around the mountain peak, hiding it from view and then making it reappear for moments at a time. The sun was also popping through those clouds, splashing light throughout parts of the scene. It was perfect for a black and white conversion to help showcase the drama that was taking place. So, I edited the image in Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2 to give the final scene more depth and contrast by deepening the richness of the blacks and giving a crispness to the whites.


Building Storm | Rockies | Glacier National Park | © Jay Moore Photography

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.


Moraine Lake Sunset

If you ever get a chance to visit Banff National Park in Canada, then you must make a trip to Moraine Lake. I would even suggest multiple visits at different times of the day to see the lake and surrounding peaks within different light.

This location quickly became my wife and my favorite area within Banff, as we enjoyed the scenery and the hikes around this amazing part of the world. We made the trek to this gem of a spot several times during our stay in the Canadian Rockies and one of the most dramatic times of the day is during the early evening, starting about two hours prior to sunset. The suns light enters from an opening of the peaks from the West, creating a dramatic directional light on the Valley of the Ten Peaks. It’s one of those areas that you can sit back, relax and just enjoy natures show. That’s what my wife and I did as we grabbed some cheese and crackers, and a bottle of red and pulled up a rock on the ‘rockpile’ and watched the light change from minute to minute.


Moraine Lake Sunset | © Jay Moore Photography

If you’re interested in how the location looks during the morning sunrise … CHECK OUT MY PREVIOUS POST

Photography / Hiking Insight: As said above, Moraine Lake is beautiful anytime of day to visit, but sunrise and sunset bring a special light to this magical place, giving it even more drama than usual. I enjoyed the morning light a little more than evening (August) since it touched on many of the Ten Peaks (was at location about 15 minutes before the scheduled sunrise). However, the evening light (as seen above) is very dramatic (at location about two hours before scheduled sunset for best angled light), but since the Canadian Rockies generate its own clouds throughout the day, we only had a few small windows to photograph the scene before the clouds covered the dramatic light.

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.


Canadian Rockies | Ordaray Mountain

The image below is another reminder that just because you have an unfavorable weather forecast, morning clouds, rain or a potential thunderstorm, to continue with your photography plans. For my wife and I, we were going to take the trip up to the Lake O’Hara region no matter what mother nature threw at us. However, the day before our big trip, to arguably one of the most beautiful places in the world, there was rain and thunderstorms in the forecast.

We woke that morning and stayed positive (unlike the night before when the photographer of the family was slightly cranky), caught the permit only bus up to Lake O’Hara and made our way up to the Alpine circuit. Because we got somewhat lucky and there were building clouds throughout the afternoon, some puffy whites and some storm, it provided for spectacular skies (even though we knew those skies could turn on us at any moment and cut our hike short). The sun kept popping from behind those clouds throughout the day, and when we turned one corner of our hike, we got an amazing view of Ordaray Mountain bathed in partial sunlight. I switched out to a longer lens (70-200mm) to compress the scene to showcase the mountain range against the amazing sky.


Canadian Rockies | Ordaray Mountain | © Jay Moore Photography

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.


Valley of the Ten Peaks & Larch Valley

Valley of the Ten Peaks and the Moraine Lake area have one spectacular view after another, including the stunning hike up to Sentinel Pass, which takes you through Larch Valley. The views begin to open up as you plod through the valley with grand views of Valley of the Ten Peaks showing itself as you entire into the alpine section.

My wife and I actually took the trail on two different occasions, as we both feel in love with it on our first ascent to the top of Sentinel Pass. So, on our last day in the Canadian Rockies we decided to take a side trip to Larch Valley after spending the morning hiking to Eiffel Lake. During our first hike through the area, we enjoyed the beautiful wildflowers and awe-inspiring views, however, I realized after the hike that I missed one particular image. I didn’t capture any scenes with the many calm, small lakes that dot larch valley. So, on our second trip up, I focused upon the reflections of the small lakes and after working the area, I found myself in front of a piece of wood and a few rocks with some of the best scenery in the world as the back ground.


Valley of the Ten Peaks | Larch Valley | © Jay Moore Photography

The image above is another reminder that you have to work the scene no matter where you are, keep moving your feet and try to find a slightly different image from the one you just took. It was roughly 15-20 minutes before I finished with the above scene. If I would have just taken one image of this small lake, it would resulted in just an average image, but with persistence I was able to capture a scene that ended up being one of my favorites during our time in the Rockies.

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.


Moraine Lake and Valley of The Ten Peaks | Sunrise

Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks is absolutely breathtaking. My wife and I recently visited this location for the first time when we were in the Canadian Rockies and it instantly jumped to the top of our ‘must return to list.’ We spent many days within the area hiking and soaking up the many amazing views. No matter if you’re a photographer, painter or someone who just enjoys natures beauty, this is a place that you must visit with your own eyes.

The lake is a gorgeous color of bright turquoise because of the glacier water and sediment that flows into and settles within the lake. That glacier sediment only reflects a small range of blues and greens, giving the water an almost unreal color. It sits directly below the Valley of Ten Peaks (seven of the peaks are seen within the image below), which are all over 10,000 feet and are between 4,000 to 5,000 feet above the waters edge, giving the area a dramatic look during any time of day.

I woke on one of the mornings to photograph sunrise from one of the iconic spots to view the lake, on top of the ‘Rockpile’ (which is just that, a massive rock pile that sits on one side of the lakes edge). I got to the spot I had scouted a couple days before, composed my image to include a foreground of trees and rocks and began firing my shutter when the sun first hit the top of the tallest mountain peaks. For the first 20-30 minutes the weather was pretty much perfect, as there was no breeze and the water was as clear as glass, which created an amazing reflection within its blueish hue.


Moraine Lake and Valley of The Ten Peaks | © Jay Moore Photography

Photography / Hiking Insight: As said above, Moraine Lake is beautiful anytime of day to visit, but sunrise and sunset bring a special light to this magical place, giving it even more drama than usual. I enjoyed the morning light more than evening (August) since it touched on many of the Ten Peaks (was at location about 15 minutes before the scheduled sunrise). However, the evening light was very dramatic (at location about 2-hours before scheduled sunset for best angled light), but since the Canadian Rockies generate its own clouds throughout the day, we only had a few small windows to photograph the scene before the clouds covered the dramatic light.

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.


Capturing Light | Building Storm

Most folks get upset when a storm begins to build while on vacation as sometimes it pushes you inside for cover, however, you have to try and stay positive because building storms can give you great opportunities to capture dramatic images. We were reminded of that recently when a storm began to build within Glacier National Park.

The image below is from the banks of Lake Sherburne looking back into Many Glacier as a massive storm rolled into the area. We stopped the car and I jumped out and was able to capture a few frames of the light dancing with the clouds.


Capturing Light | Building Storm | Glacier National Park | © Jay Moore Photography

Make sure to stop by over the next couple of weeks to see more highlight images from my time within Glacier National Park and the Canadian Rockies …

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.


Clearing Storm Over The Mittens

The Southwest is one of the most breathtaking areas of the United States that you can visit. If you’ve never gone and are thinking about it, do it … book your plans now and just go, you’ll not be disappointed in what you see.

And one area to make sure is on your agenda is Monument Valley, as it’s chalk full of exactly what you want to see when visiting this part of the world. The Mittens are one of the main attractions as they’re two large bluffs that are somewhat near each other and look as if they’re a set of mittens. Get there early and/or stay late to see the light and colors change when the sun rises and sets.

Below is an example of some of the drama that can be captured when a storm is clearing …


Clearing Storm Over The Mittens | © Jay Moore Photography

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.


Capturing Light

Light is king in photography. It creates shadows and highlights, thus creating depth, shape, texture and drama within a scene. And capturing that light is how you can translate a scene that you see into a photograph that’s worth viewing.

There are many ways to capture light and I don’t advise photographing into the sun very often, as it tends to give mediocre results. Plus, the light that the sun produces is much better photographed at angles. But, every now and again when the elements come together you can capture some dramatic images, such as the image below.

The suns light shinning brightly off the calm ocean water in combination with dotted backlit islands throughout gives the image some movement. Since it was pretty much already a monochromatic scene, I converted the image to black and white in post. Add in the lone boat in the sunlight positioned at a key 1/3 intersection and the scene becomes a photograph.


Capturing Light | © Jay Moore Photography

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.