Sureal Sunrise

Student Showcase: Shawn Vogt

Today, we want to show you some of Shawn Vogt’s work. Shawn attended our iHDR Semiar in Ohio last year, and he also joined us for workshops in Death Valley & Olympic National Park this year. We’ve been very impressed with his talent as well as his relentless drive to improve his photography.

We get great satisfaction from seeing our students capture stunning photographs using skills learned during our webinars and workshops… especially when they travel on their own. After attending our iHDR seminar and Death Valley workshop, Shawn visited Hawaii, West Virginia, and the Olympic Peninsula (just before attending our workshop there in June). His work from these trips shows his skill as a photographer.

Three words: light, luck and look (behind you!) I had scouted a location for sunrise along Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park the day before. When arriving at that location in the morning, it was my intention to photograph the mountains with the early morning glow on them. After a few photos of the mountains, I began to look for the less obvious. As I turned my head to look directly behind me, I noticed how the back-lighting on the trees gave them a surreal look and mood. Just minutes before and shortly after this photograph was taken, this scene returned to the ordinary. This has been the most challenging photograph to process to-date – achieving the right white balance and preserving the fine details in the trees and sky was tricky. In the end, I used 3 bracketed exposures and manual white balance to create the look and feel I had witnessed.

I’ve always been intrigued with capturing motion with the camera. On our first day on Maui I was presented with the perfect opportunity as we had stopped along the shoreline while driving the road to Hana. I had wanted something unique and when I noticed how the waves crashed against the rocks, I was inspired to experiment with it. Shutter speed and timing were critical to realize my vision. I used a long shutter speed to help convey a sense of time. Though this photo was captured nearly a year a ago, it wasn’t until recently that I was able to bring it to life.

On a trip last fall to Blackwater Falls State park [in West Virginia] to photograph the foliage, we woke up to an added spectacle of snow. After photographing the usual spots at sunrise, I was off to scout another location when I caught this scene in my rear view mirror. As I searched for a composition, I knew I didn’t have time to waste – the snow was melting quickly and it was important to keep the sun partially obscured by the trees. I found some leaves that made for a nice foreground, bracketed exposures, and applied iHDR. The result – a spontaneous scene of blending seasons.

Congratulation Shawn! You have a fantastic collection of beautiful images. Thanks for letting us share it on our blog.

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