All posts tagged “USA

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Project: Amtrak Subway Map, 2016

2016 Amtrak Subway Map - Small

Click on the image above or here to view a large version of the map!

One of my longest-running projects is a subway diagram-styled map of Amtrak’s passenger rail network, with the original version dating back to 2010. I always made sure to update it regularly over the years, adding and deleting stations to keep it current. In April last year, I attempted to update the design of the map as well, although I ended up trying a few too many overly-clever things with it – overlaying lines on top of each other just because I was in love with transparency effects being the worst offender. The final result ended up being less than satisfactory, and I shelved the project while I worked on other things.

Coming back with fresh eyes almost a year-and-a-half later, I was able to be ruthlessly objective about what worked and what didn’t in that 2015 draft. The confusing overlaid route lines definitely had to go, but the new typography – using the superb Fira Sans – and larger route designation bullets were huge improvements over the original design. From this starting point, I set out with some clear goals for improvement this time around.

First and foremost was more intelligent, harmonious spacing of stations. Previous versions crammed some sections in very tightly, while giving far too much space to other parts of the map. The chief offenders for closely-packed stations have always been the Keystone/Pennsylvanian routes running west out of Philadelphia, all the Michigan Service routes,  and the Missouri River Runner between St. Louis and Kansas City – so I paid extra attention to these sections, ensuring that the minimum distance between stops on these sections was the same as that defined elsewhere on the map. For the record, the gap between stations on the Northeast Corridor was used as the “building block” for the rest of the map, and it’s been much more faithfully adhered to in this version of the map.

More intelligent spacing also helped a lot on the west coast. Previously, I’d spaced these stations relatively evenly from Vancouver, BC all the way down to San Diego. This looks nice enough in isolation, but it caused the split route lines in the Empire Builder at Spokane to take up way too much space – the three stations on each of these two branches were placed much further apart than any other stations on the entire map. Eastern Washington state is big, but not that big!

In this version, I broke the west coast into a “Pacific Northwest” section from Vancouver down to Eugene-Springfield, and a “California” section from Sacramento all the way down to San Diego. These two sections were spaced as tightly as their Northeast Corridor counterpart on the east coast, with the connecting rural Oregon/California section on the Coast Starlight being more loosely spaced to fill in the resulting gap between the two regions. This improved the spacing and visual size of the Empire Builder branches immensely, possibly the single biggest improvement on the map. I’d always used a similar approach on the City of New Orleans route right from the first version of the map, so doing this actually made the design of the map more consistent.

I also reworked the trajectory of the Southwest Chief on this version. It’s a little twistier than before, but it puts the Colorado stations in a better location relative to Denver, which I think is a spatial improvement.

Keen-eyed readers will have noticed that there’s a new Amtrak service shown on the map – the Winter Park Ski Train that will start running between Denver and the Winter Park ski resort this January! It only has one return trip each Saturday and Sunday (and on the Presidents Day and MLK Day holidays) through to the end of March, but it’s definitely exciting to add a new line to the map, no matter how short it is! The new purpose-built station at Winter Park will not be served by the daily California Zephyr, which will continue to stop just down the line at Fraser instead.

This version of the map also shows two future Amtrak stations – Hillsborough, North Carolina (opening 2020), and Arcadia Valley, Missouri (potentially opening as early as Fall this year) – as well as the “suspended” section of the Sunset Limited between New Orleans and Orlando. I put this last bit in to show that the map is intentionally designed to accommodate it, just in case – by some miracle – it ever gets reinstated. The potential extension of Northeast Regional service to Roanoke is a little further into the future, so it remains off the map for now (although it would be quite easy to add when the time comes).

As usual, your thought and comments are welcome! Prints are now on sale in my online shop from just $27: there’s a version that includes the suspended Sunset Limited track, and another that just shows the current services.

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Project: Streetcars and Electric Railways in Portland, 1920

It’s safe to say that I’m fascinated with the rich transit history of my adopted hometown of Portland, Oregon, and it’s certainly something that I’ve explored before in a previous project. This new project started out with a very simple goal – to produce a route map of Portland streetcars at their zenith in 1920 that showed each line separately – but it quickly grew into something much more.

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Project: New York Subway Map in the Style of the London Tube Diagram

New York Tube Map - Small

 

 

Click here to view a larger version of the map

A little while ago, someone asked me on my Transit Maps blog whether I had ever seen a map of the New York subway system in the style of the London Underground diagram. Rather surprisingly, I hadn’t actually come across one, so I decided to draw one up myself. Having just completed my own reworking of the Tube Map, I was already acquainted with its design rules and requirements, so this project didn’t actually take that long.

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Alaska Basin Sunset

Camera: Canon 7D
Lens: Canon EF-S 15–85mm f/3.5–5.6
Exposure: 5 seconds
Aperture: f/16
Focal Length: 15mm
ISO Speed: 100

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Society6 – Prints from $18

The Alaska Basin is a beautiful sub-alpine meadow in the Teton Range in Wyoming, USA. Sitting at an altitude of around 9,600 feet, it’s an 8-mile hike with 2,500 feet of vertical gain from the nearest trailhead to even get here. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been given the opportunity to take this photo — with stunning sunset light striking the peaks above the basin — as the night before we arrived, there was thick cloud, freezing temperatures, snow, hail and sleet all night long!

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New Vintage Map: Bird’s-Eye View of Chicago, 1898

1898 Chicago - Large

I don’t normally give vintage maps that I’ve digitally restored their own blog post, but this one is just too amazing not to share in full detail. It’s an absolutely stunning bird’s-eye view of central Chicago in 1898 – just one year after the opening of the elevated Union Loop – and it has some of the most intricate detail that I’ve ever seen in one of these maps. Every building, factory, railroad station, streetcar, train, horse, tree and lamp post in the city seems to be shown with absolute precision and clarity.

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2015 Amtrak Subway Map – Revised Draft

2015 Amtrak Subway Map Revised Draft - Sml

Based on feedback from the first draft of this new version of my Amtrak as subway map, I’ve gone and made a few edits, additions and corrections.

The major revision is a reworking of the main section of the Northeast Corridor between New York and Washington to make things a little clearer. I’m still using overlapping “multiplied route colour” lines to indicate identical service patterns, but I’ve broken the routes down into smaller, thematically linked groups: the three “local” Empire Corridor routes (the Empire Service, Adirondack and Ethan Allen Express); the three “inland” routes (the Cardinal, Carolinian and Crescent); and the three Atlantic Coast/Florida routes (the Palmetto, Silver Meteor and Silver Star). These groupings are reflected in the ordering of the route designation disks at New York Penn Station, and the terminus dot for each group displays all three route colours.

With the help of readers, I’ve located and added another three stations: the North Carolina State Fair (which, like the New York State Fair station, only operates for the dates of the fair each year); Lexington, North Carolina (which is only open for one day each year — for the annual Barbecue Festival held in October); and Hillsborough, North Carolina, which is slated to open sometime in 2015. I also heard tell of a Charlotte Airport extension of Carolinian and Piedmont services, but can’t seem to find a solid construction date for it, so it remains off the map for the time being.

The Hoosier State is back on the map, which did require a change in colour for the City of New Orleans, as otherwise the red California Zephyr line would have been directly above the similarly-red City of New Orleans line, making it look as if one long route extended through Chicago. I appropriated the Palmetto’s orange line colour for this, and made the Palmetto a new silver-grey colour to tie in with the two other routes in its thematic group (the “Silver Service” trains).

On this version, I’ve also included the now long-suspended section of the Sunset Limited between New Orleans and Jacksonville, just so you can see how it fits neatly into the structure of the map. Restoration of this service by Amtrak is extremely unlikely, and I would not include this segment on any final version of this map.

As always, comments are most welcome! Almost there, I think!

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Draft: NEW Amtrak Subway Map for 2015

Amtrak 2015 - Draft

Check out the revised second draft of this map here!

At the end of April 2015, Amtrak’s Hoosier State service between Chicago and Indianapolis is scheduled to be discontinued — the first complete loss of a service since I created my “Amtrak as Subway Map” way back in 2010. Over the years, I’ve been pretty vigilant to changes to the Amtrak network — adding and deleting stations as required, extending the Downeaster Line to Brunswick and the Northeast Regional to Norfolk — but a change of this magnitude gives me the chance to take a completely fresh look at this project and rework everything from scratch, instead of just tweaking the old diagram again. Let’s face it – I’ve learned a lot of new skills and tricks in the intervening years!

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New “Highways of the USA” Map – Hawaii

Highways of the USA - Hawaii

Disclaimer: this was produced for April Fools Day and is not an actual product in the “Highways of the USA” print series.  

Pretty much as soon as I finished my monumental Highways of the United States project last year, people started asking me why I hadn’t included the two non-contiguous states of Alaska and Hawaii, both of which do actually contain federal highways in one form or another.

To be honest, after finishing the giant map of the lower 48 states and then splitting that up into all the maps of the different states and regions, I was pretty much exhausted and needed a break from the project. After two years of intensive research and design, can you blame me? Fast-forward to almost a year later, and I finally feel that I can revisit those requests for the two “missing” states. After a lot of thought, I’ve decided against doing Alaska, as my maps only show existing signed routes. While the Alaskan “A” Interstates exist on paper and in funding budgets, there’s not a single Interstate shield to be found along the highways of that state. Also, Alaska is freaking huge, and there’s no way I’m drawing/simplifying all that crinkly coastline!

Hawaii is a different matter, however, as its “H” Interstates – all on the island of O’ahu – are very definitely signed. There are three “major” highways: H-1 through H-3, and one three-digit loop highway, H-201. The major highways don’t follow the same odd/even numbering conventions of mainland Interstates, but are just numbered in the order that they were funded and constructed. Together, the four highways total just 55.4 miles (89 kilometres) in length, but feature some impressive (and expensive) engineering, especially along Interstate H-3.

And for all you people asking how the heck Hawaii can have Interstate highways when they clearly don’t travel interstate, hush. In this instance, “Interstate” refers to the method of federal funding and the minimum standards that the highway must adhere to. There are plenty of intrastate Interstate highways on the mainland: I-97 in Maryland is actually wholly contained within one county. More information on Hawaii’s Interstates here on the FHWA’s website.

The map uses the same design conventions and is drawn at the same scale as my other Highways of the United States maps, although I’ve introduced some appropriately tropical colours for each of the highways. To give a proper sense of scale, I’ve included the entire Hawaiian archipelago.

I definitely recommend that you click here to view a larger preview of the map in order to fully appreciate the majesty of the vast azure expanses of the Pacific Ocean surrounding these tiny islands.

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Project: Prototype U.S. Highways Shield (1926), Digital Recreation

Pre-1926 U.S. Highway Shield

While doing research for my recent 1947 Interstate Highways map recreation, I stumbled across some scans (PDF link – 0.3MB) of American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) road sign specifications dated from the 1920s. The very first page has a dimensioned drawing of the then brand new U.S. Highways shield that I find extremely interesting, as it doesn’t quite match the the shield as it actually first appeared on real world signage in 1927. Some further research seemed to reveal that this drawing is of a design prototype (of a theoretical Route 56 in Maine) that AASHO discussed in meetings during 1926. The drawing itself is pretty rough, with dimensions that don’t match the actual size of the drawing and completely different shapes for each side of the now-familiar six-point shield, so I redrew it accurately according to the given dimensions in Illustrator.

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Project: 1947 Map of Interstate Highways, Digital Recreation

1947 Interstates Map: Digital Recreation

Prints for sale from $27

Having found and digitally restored the fantastic 1926 map of the U.S. Highway system,  I started to look around to see if I could find a similar map from the advent of the newer Interstate Highway network. However, all my usual sources (the Wikimedia Commons, the Library of Congress and other online research libraries) came up with either nothing or only low resolution scans — certainly nothing suitable for reproduction.

So, what’s a map-obsessed graphic designer to do in this situation? Why, redraw the whole thing faithfully from scratch in Adobe Illustrator, of course!

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Project: 1926 Map of U.S. Highways, Digital Restoration

1926_USHighways_2500px

A recent article on CityLabs commemorated November 11, 1926 – the day when all the old national road trails were first renumbered as the U.S. National Highways System that survives pretty much intact to this day. The article also featured this great map that was produced at the time, and a link to a very high-resolution scan of it over on the Wikimedia Commons.

Being a subject close to my heart (as this highway system is the basis of not one, but two of my “subway map” projects), I downloaded the map and began perusing it eagerly; seeing where the system had changed and where it remained the same. As I looked, I began to see that while the quality of the scan was good, and the content of the map was fascinating, the map itself was in a pretty sorry state. Basically, it looks like you’d expect an 88-year old map to look — dirty spots, fold and crease marks, ink that had rubbed off on other parts of the map when the map had been folded, and so on.

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Project: McKinney Avenue Trolley Map (Dallas, Texas)

McKinney Ave Trolley - Current Service

Here’s a small project that was inspired by a message to my Transit Maps blog about the currently existing map for the McKinney Avenue heritage trolley line in Dallas, Texas. As you can see in the gallery below, it could use a little help. However, rather than review and criticise a map produced for a non-profit organisation (most likely by a volunteer or staff in their spare time), I thought that I would create a new, accurate, more user-friendly map instead. While produced as a design exercise for my own benefit, I’m hopeful that the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority (MATA) might consider adopting it as their official map.

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Mount Adams

Mount Adams

Camera: Canon 7D
Lens: Canon EF-S 15–85mm f/3.5–5.6
Exposure: 30 seconds
Exposure Bias: +1 EV
Aperture: f/13
Focal Length: 15mm
ISO Speed: 100

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Society6 – Prints from $16

A beautiful dusk view of Mount Adams taken from Tahklahk Lake in Washington state. My trusty 6x neutral density filter allowed me to extend the exposure out to a full 30 seconds for some lovely, rich colours and a beautiful reflection.

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St. Johns Bridge

St Johns Bridge II

Camera: Canon Digital Rebel XT (EOS 350)
Lens: Canon EF-S 15–85mm f/3.5–5.6
Exposure: 30 seconds
Aperture: f/14
Focal Length: 40mm
ISO Speed: 100

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Society6 – Prints from $16

A combination of a perfect gradient sky and some lovely light trails from traffic on the extremely photogenic) bridge through the 30-second exposure make this one of my favourite photos ever.

The shot was made possible by the use of a 6x neutral density filter, which allowed me to extend the exposure time, even in pretty decent evening light. The 30 second time is what allows the light trails to build up so nicely, although there were a lot of discarded shots where the trails weren’t anywhere near as nice – orange turn indicator lights blink on and off, creating a dotted line, rather than the smooth, flowing lights in this shot.

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Flight Attendant

Flight Attendant

Camera: Canon Digital Rebel XT (EOS 350)
Lens: Canon EF 70–300mm f/4–5.6
Exposure: 1/125
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 120mm
ISO Speed: 100

View on Flickr

I don’t do a lot of candid/street photography: it’s a very difficult discipline that requires quick thinking and flexibility. I prefer to take my time composing my shot and thinking about how different apertures, shutter speeds and focal lengths affects the final photo. However, when this flight attendant stepped into my otherwise empty abstract architectural shot, the opportunity was too good to miss. She provides a great visual counterpoint to the stark white airline terminal, with her dark, curved shape. The only down point is that her eyes are closed, but you can’t have everything, I guess!

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Lights on Mount Hood

Lights on Mount Hood

Camera: Canon 7D
Lens: Canon EF-S 15–85mm f/3.5–5.6
Exposure: 784 seconds
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 15mm
ISO Speed: 400

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Society6 – Prints from $16

13-minute exposure of Mount Hood from Trillium Lake, taken at around 3am. Originally, the exposure was meant to be much longer, but a huge bank of fog rolled in from the left and completely obscured the view.

What I find most interesting is the number of lights on the mountain itself. The huge cluster of bright lights at the treeline are Timberline Lodge, and it looks like the headlights of a snowcat just above that, descending down from the upper ski area. However, the rest of the little white light trails can only be riders coming down (at three in the morning!), or climbers heading up to the summit to be there for sunrise.

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Across The Gate

Across The Gate

Camera: Canon Digital Rebel XT (EOS 350)
Lens: Canon EF 70–300mm f/4–5.6
Exposure: 1/200
Aperture: f/11
Focal Length: 235mm
ISO Speed: 400

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Society6 – Prints from $18

One of my favourite photos, and one that always gets a positive reaction from viewers. The combination of the monumental size of the bridge compared to the traffic below and the softening effect of the fog really work well together.

People often ask how and where I took this photo: it’s actually not that hard to replicate. I was at the Vista Point lookout on the Marin side of the bridge, and just moved around carefully until I was looking directly down the bridge’s length. A long zoom lens (I used a 70-300mm at 235mm) allowed me to really get in close to the pylon of the bridge, even from this distance.

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Highways of the United States: Maps of States and Regions

Texas_01

In my post about the overall Highways of the United States project, I mentioned that the reason I made the map of the U.S. so big and detailed was so that I could break the map down into individual states and regions. Below is a gallery of all the maps available for sale. You can click on the “View Full Size” text in the gallery lightbox to see the largest preview for each map.

Posters from $27 in the Shop

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Lunar Eclipse, 2008

Lunar Eclipse, 20th February 2008

Camera: Canon Digital Rebel XT (EOS 350)
Lens: Canon EF 70–300mm f/4–5.6
Exposure: various
Aperture: various
Focal Length: 300mm
ISO Speed: various

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Society6 – Prints from $16

Composite image of the total lunar eclipse on the 20th of February, 2008 in Portland, Oregon. Photos were taken at five minute intervals from 6:13pm to 7:03pm US Pacific Time. Totality was achieved at 7.01pm. The yellowish tinge to the moon in the first few images is due to its proximity to the horizon at the time. As it rose higher, the yellow colour faded away, only to be replaced by the eerie blood-red of the eclipse.

Technical Details: The camera was tripod mounted with mirror lockup enabled (the bright moon can create a reflection on the mirror that can ruin the exposure as the mirror flips up) and a cable release to minimise camera shake. I shot RAW files to give me more post-processing flexibility. Exposures vary from 1/60th second at ƒ/11, ISO 100 for the first image to one second at ƒ/11, ISO 800 for the final image — the moon is a surprisingly bright object and doesn’t need long exposures if you want to retain surface detail in your shots. I performed some minor exposure and white balance adjustment in Adobe Lightroom before final composition in Photoshop.

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Sheet Metal

Sheet Metal

Camera: Canon Digital Rebel XT (EOS 350)
Lens: Canon EF-S 17–85mm f/4–5.6
Exposure: 1/125
Aperture: f/10
Focal Length: 68mm
ISO Speed: 200

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Society6 – Prints from $16

A detail shot of the exterior of the Frank Gehry-designed Experience Music Project (EMP) building in Seattle, taken back in 2006. What really stood out for me as I took this shot was the beautiful sinuous form of the metal cladding (especially the curve that runs through the middle of the composition), and the wonderful contrasting blue and gold colours.

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Fremont Bridge at Night

Fremont Bridge at Night

Camera: Canon 7D
Lens: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6
Exposure: 60 seconds
Aperture: f/16
Focal Length: 15mm
ISO Speed: 100

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Society6 – Prints from $16

Portland has no shortage of fantastic bridges to take photos of, from the industrial (and unique) Steel Bridge, to this one: the graceful arch of the Fremont Bridge soaring high above the Willamette River.

For this photo, I used the “bulb” exposure setting on my camera and simply tried to get the longest exposure I could in order to smooth out the water as much as possible. Trial and error played a big part — hooray for digital photography — until I came up with the settings used here: a full minute of exposure at f/16. The different temperatures of the various light sources (including a pretty bright reflected street light glow off the clouds) certainly makes for an interesting image!

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Folds

Painted Hills - Folds

Camera: Canon Digital Rebel XT (EOS 350)
Lens: Canon EF 70–300mm f/4-5.6
Exposure: 1/125
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 280mm
ISO Speed: 100

View on Flickr

Without a doubt, the Painted Hills in Central Oregon is one of my absolute favourite places to visit and explore photographically. I’ve been back multiple times: each time, the light and the way it interacts with the ancient folds of the hillside has been completely different.

This abstract shot — zooming right in with my 70-300mm lens to focus on the details, including animal tracks down the slope — is from my first visit in December 2008. In my opinion, this is the best time of year to visit, because the low, southern winter sun makes fantastic, deep, long shadows. As summer approaches, the sun moves further north and shines directly onto the face of the hills, rather than across them, making for smaller, less-form defining shadows.

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Grid

Grid

Camera: Canon 7D
Lens: Canon EF 70–300mm f/4-5.6
Exposure: 1/320
Aperture: f/5
Focal Length: 135mm
ISO Speed: 400

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Society6 – Prints from $16

An abstract architectural detail of the Sheraton Downtown Hotel in Denver. I love to use my 70–300mm zoom lens to pick out repetitive patterns like this in architecture. The longer focal lengths (135mm here) “flatten” the perspective, which works really well for subjects like this. I also chose to process the image in black and white so that the image is only concerned with texture and pattern – colour would be more of a distraction here.

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Cascades

Cascades

Camera: iPhone 5
Lens: iPhone 5 Back Lens
Exposure: 1/120
Aperture: f/2.4
Focal Length: 4.1mm
ISO Speed: 64

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Society6 – Prints from $16

Here’s a great shot I took out of an airplane window on a shuttle flight from Seattle to Portland last year. That’s Mount St. Helens in the foreground, with Mount Adams lined up perfectly on the distant horizon. A dusting of snow and some beautiful pinkish evening light round off one of my favourite photos.

Taken with a humble iPhone, this is definitely a picture I like to use to show that you don’t always need the most expensive camera and fancy lenses to capture really memorable images!

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Palouse Falls Moon

Palouse Falls Moon

Camera: Canon 7D
Lens: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6
Exposure: 15 seconds
Aperture: f/16
Focal Length: 15mm
ISO Speed: 100

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Society6 – Prints from $16

This stunning waterfall lies within the beautiful Palouse region of southeastern Washington, some five hours by car from where I live in Portland, Oregon. Fortunately, the State Park that surrounds the falls has a small campground, which allowed me to stay overnight and really explore the area photographically. I could shoot well into the evening (long after most visitors had left), as well as very early the next morning. Remember, light is almost always far more interesting early or late – it’s softer and more filtered, and the low shadows make for more interesting shapes within the composition as well.

This shot was taken at around 8:30pm, and the sky was almost completely dark at that stage. A steady tripod (it was a little breezy that evening!) and a 15 second exposure teased just enough light out of the scene to make this lovely image, with an almost full moon rising behind the waterfall as it plunges 180 feet to the pool below.

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Denver Museum of Art

Denver Museum of Art

Camera: Canon 7D
Lens: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6
Exposure: 1/125
Aperture: f/13
Focal Length: 15mm
ISO Speed: 100

View on Flickr
Society6 – Prints from $16

I travel for work quite a bit, and I always like to bring my camera with me if possible. Often, work deadlines mean that I don’t actually get a chance to get out and about to take photos, but it’s best to be prepared!

A free evening in Denver’s downtown meant a chance to go and explore the daring shapes of Daniel Libeskind’s Denver Art Museum, seen here cutting through the soft early evening sky like a scalpel blade. I always like to find unusual angles and perspectives with my architectural shots: here, I’m actually standing directly underneath the wedge-shaped building, pointing my lens almost straight up above me.

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Pier, North Topsail Beach

Pier, Topsail Beach

Camera: Canon 7D
Lens: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6
Exposure: 10 seconds
Aperture: f/22
Focal Length: 15mm
ISO Speed: 100
Other: Exposure Bias +1.33 EV

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Society6 – Prints from $16

The old SeaView Pier in North Topsail Beach, North Carolina is extremely photogenic, and photography businesses do a roaring trade in the summer months by taking family portraits underneath it. The good photographers do it right, and time their sessions for the hour or so before sunset, when the light is at its absolute filtered best.

This photo was taken in a quiet minute when the pier was actually empty, and uses the beautiful low light and my trusty neutral density filter to great effect. The exposure time of 10 seconds has a fantastic softening effect on the crashing waves, and also allows the colours captured to become more saturated and rich.

A final word of advice: when shooting on the beach, make sure your tripod is firmly positioned in the sand to prevent any chance of movement throughout a long exposure.

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Fog, St. Johns Bridge

St Johns Fog

Camera: Canon 7D
Lens: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6
Exposure: 2.5 seconds
Aperture: f/25
Focal Length: 44mm
ISO Speed: 100
Other: Exposure Bias +1EV

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Society6 – Prints from $16

The beautifully Gothic St. Johns Bridge in Portland has always been a photographic magnet for me, particularly from this viewpoint at the eastern end. This photo was taken on a bitterly cold, foggy morning in January 2013: the sun was trying its hardest to break through, which made for some lovely, subtle lighting.

My 6x ND filter allowed me to extend the exposure time and blur out the cars crossing the bridge, which always adds an extra ethereal quality to a photo. I also added an extra stop of exposure to compensate for the dark filter, which you often have to do in low light situations or the filter will give you underexposed shots.