Street life, people, dramatic landscapes, close from home & far away. Sometimes the light is just perfect ... but just for a few seconds. The essence of photography is to capture this very evanescent moment when elements get together in harmony.

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Chalk Cliffs, France Northern Seashore

Chalk Cliffs overlooking the English Channel South of Ault and the distant Lighthouse of Le Tréport. (Thierry Carlier)

Chalk Cliffs overlooking the English Channel South of Ault and the distant Lighthouse of Le Tréport.

It feels good to be back to photography after a long two years interruption fully committed to my MBA. We spent most of the summer in Europe visiting Switzerland, Italy and France. We stayed one week at Le Crotoy inside the famous Bay of the Somme on the northern seashore of France. While scouting the area we found this shore section south of Ault featuring gorgeous chalk cliffs facing the English Channel. We arrived there at the end of the afternoon when the light is at its best. We were also fortunate enough to find the kind of partially cloudy conditions that follow a rainy day when the wind finally clears the sky. We accessed the beach through the Bois de Cise valley where the cliffs descend to the level of the sea. My son Rémy and I had a great photography session while the rest of the family was harvesting mussels that we ended up eating for dinner.

This dramatic black and white picture features the cliff range looking toward the south of Ault. The sharp shape of the distant Le Tréport lighthouse should catch and hold your eye …

More Images of France Northern Seashore.

I created these images with my CANON EOS 5D Mark II, using my EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Lens. Focal length: 200 mm. Exposure parameters: iso 100, aperture value f/22.0, shutter speed 1/30 s, underexposed by 1 stop. I have balanced the sky exposure by using my 3-Stops Soft Graduated Neutral Density LEE Filter. I have used my GITZO GT3531 Mountaineer Carbon Fiber Tripod. It required some processing using Adobe Lightroom 3.

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Lac Sacacomie en Hiver

Lac Sacacomie au début de l'hiver. (Thierry Carlier)

Lac Sacacomie au début de l'hiver

I went back to school for 2 years last May so I had and still have very few opportunities to get out there with my gear and get back with great images. I got such an opportunity last week as we were back to the Hotel Sacacomie in Quebec to spend a few days for Christmas and my birthday. As usual we really enjoyed the place. This time was our first time in winter time. Every season yields different kind of beautiful landscapes and enjoyments. We hiked with snow rackets, did some cross-country skiing and enjoyed the cold beauty of wildlife. Back at the hotel early in the evening after sunset we also enjoyed very much the fireplace and the restaurant.

I took this picture from the hotel terrace at the end of the afternoon on Christmas Eve, after a day of hiking in the cold (as low as 6°F). I like the light, the flatness of the frozen lake covered with snow and the pattern created by the snow unevenly covering the trees in the background.

I’ve captured the following image that same afternoon a few seconds before sunset. Despite the low temperature, this part of the lake was not yet fully frozen at this time of the year.

Lac Sacacomie en Hiver - Coucher de Soleil (Thierry Carlier)

Lac Sacacomie en Hiver - Coucher de Soleil

More Images of Domaine Sacacomie, Québec.

I created these images with my CANON EOS 5D Mark II, using my EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens. Respective Focal lengths: 23 mm / 27mm. Respective Exposure parameters: iso 100 / 100, aperture value f/22.0 / f/22.0, shutter speed 1/15 s / 1/6s overexposed by 1 stop. I have used my GITZO GT3531 Mountaineer Carbon Fiber Tripod. It required limited processing using Adobe Lightroom 3.

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This Fall is Higher than Niagara

Taughannock Falls, Finger Lakes, Upstate New York (Thierry Carlier)

Taughannock Falls, Finger Lakes, Upstate New York

We traveled to the Niagara Falls this year for spring break. I was not overly eager to see the falls as I knew that they were located in the middle of a urban area, surrounded by casino’s, and therefore not very attractive from the point of view of nature, great spaces and wilderness. In the meantime we couldn’t have lived for so many years at driving distance from this highly visited spot, without paying it at least a quick visit. We left for a short spring break trip and combined the visit of the famous falls with a few days in the Finger Lakes area, Upstate New York.

Amazing Satellite View of the Finger Lakes

The Upper Taughannock Falls, a few miles away from Cayuga Lakes (the longest Finger Lake), feature a nice thin 215 ft (65.5m) drop. This is actually  48 ft (14.5m) taller than the Niagara Falls. It can be observed from the top of the cliff like in this picture or by following the river in the bottom of the gorge. Both scenes are stunning and worth the hike.

The scene is challenging to photograph at this time of the year for the lack of foliage and bright colors. To work around these less than ideal conditions, I decided to go for a black and white long exposure image. The combination of the long exposure and the high contrast post processing that I have applied to the image nicely highlights the falling water flow within the cliff background. It is certainly a place where I should go back at the end of the summer to capture a very different scene.

More Images of the Taughannock Falls.

I created this image with my CANON EOS 5D MarkII, using my EF 16-35 f/2.8L II USM Lens. Focal length: 35 mm. Exposure parameters: iso 100, aperture value f/22.0, shutter speed 25 s. I have darkened the scene by using my Neutral Density LEE Filters in order to get a long exposure. I have used my GITZO GT3531 Mountaineer Carbon Fiber Tripod. It required limited processing using Adobe Lightroom 3.

Explore all Images by Thierry Carlier Photography.

Lac Sacacomie, Québec

Lac Sacacomie à la fin de l'automne. (Thierry Carlier)

Lac Sacacomie à la fin de l'automne.

We drove north to Québec for Thanksgiving. We stayed at the Hotel Sacacomie where we spent 3 days hiking in late fall landscapes. This place is great to get some rest in the middle of wildlife. The hotel is entirely built in wood. It is sitting on the hillside just above the lake. At night, after hiking the entire day in the cold, it’s just great to read a book sitting in one of the wide leather sofa’s just next to the fireplace in the lobby … a sense of happiness. The dining room features a great view on the lake and the surrounding hills covered with forest. The cook prepares local meals with duck, trout, deer, berries. Every morning offers a different scene: foggy one day, sunny the next one, windy, stormy, we even got the first snow episode of the season. This place is home to a wide variety of wild animals, black bear being the most famous one, also wolves (very hard to see), moose’s (even harder), beavers (easy), bobcats, deers and an infinite variety of birds. It’s just hard to leave that place and head back to work the next Monday.

I took this picture from the hotel terrace one morning just after breakfast. Sky was overcast but light has been briefly generous. I like the slight purple tone of the naked trees grey areas. I like the patterns formed by the entanglement of broad-leaved trees and spruce trees that remain green. The stillness of the lake surface fills souls with great serenity.

More Images of Domaine Sacacomie, Québec.

I created this image with my CANON EOS 5D Mark II, using my EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens. Focal length: 35 mm. Exposure parameters: iso 100, aperture value f/22.0, shutter speed 0.3 s. I have balanced the sky exposure by using my 3-Stops Soft Graduated Neutral Density LEE Filter. I have used my GITZO GT3531 Mountaineer Carbon Fiber Tripod. It required limited processing using Adobe Lightroom 3.

Explore all Images by Thierry Carlier Photography.

Spirit Island

Spirit Island - Lake Maligne - Jasper National Park (Thierry Carlier)

Spirit Island - Lake Maligne - Jasper National Park

I have struggled to get back with this image of one of the most famous views of the Canadian Rockies. This place is gorgeous but is relatively remote and not easily accessible if one wants to avoid the touristic 90-minutes scenic boat cruise. It requires hiking off the posted trails and the distance is well over 10 miles – one-way – from the extremity of the lake. It therefore requires backpacking … in bear country. Paddling is another option but it is not necessarily much easier. Nothing that can easily be improvised on the spot. We therefore ended up purchasing 5 tickets for the boat cruise, well over $200, which makes this picture my most expensive ever. The weather was really rotten. We had to stay inside the boat during the entire journey. Once arrived in front of the small island, we were granted no more than 15 minutes to scout the area. My son Rémy & myself rushed to the shore frenetically, trying to figure out the best spot and further setting up our tripods, cameras, filters, etc. We helped each other to protect the gear from the heavy rain and started framing. The boat horn soon called us back aboard, a bit frustrated by the very limited time we had to unleash our creativity in front of this iconic view. My image is certainly far away from the usual standards for this view but it features a different sense of aesthetic, a more sophisticated cold beauty: the breakthrough of bright light disrupting the dark clouds, the shape of the spruce trees in the background, the turquoise reflections and the distal part of the lake that looks so perfectly flat.

Maligne Lake – Jasper National Park – Alberta, Canada.

I created this image with my CANON EOS 5D Mark II, using my EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens. Focal length: 31 mm. Exposure parameters: iso 100, aperture value f/16.0, shutter speed 0.6 s, stopped down by 2/3. I have balanced the sky exposure by using my 3-Stops Soft Graduated Neutral Density LEE Filter. I have used my GITZO GT3531 Mountaineer Carbon Fiber Tripod. It required limited processing using Adobe Lightroom 3.

Explore all Images by Thierry Carlier Photography.

Horseshoe Bend Sunrise by Jean-Christophe Pourbaix

 

Jayline - Photographies of Jean-Christophe Pourbaix - http://jayline.smugmug.com (© 2011 Jean-Christophe Pourbaix)

Jayline - Photographies of Jean-Christophe Pourbaix - http://jayline.smugmug.com

Please have a look to this stunning image by my colleague & friend Jean-Christophe Pourbaix.

Jean-Christophe took that picture a few minutes after sunrise. I of course like the glow of the rising sun at the top of the image but I’m even more thrilled by the dark color of the water, the reflection and the green area at the bottom of the cliff.

I have struggled to take an image at that same location during my trip to the Southwest back in 2010. It requires to get extremely close to the edge of the 1000 feet cliff to frame the entire scene. It is quite of a nightmare for me who is afraid of height. Obviously, Jean-Christophe came back with a more accomplished image.

I encourage everybody to go through the other images that Jean-Christophe created during his trip to the Southwest:

Southwest USA by Jayline, Photographies of Jean-Christophe Pourbaix

There are several ones of the iconic Antelope Canyon that you’ll really like, as well as an awesome one of Fiery Furnace under a dark thunderstorm sky in Arches NP, Utah.

Fiery Furnace under thunderstorm sky in Arches NP, Utah

I’ll keep publishing images created by friends on this blog. I’m really willing to promote others photography creation among the community of this blog followers

“You should go to the Canadian Rockies” …

Mount Rundle Reflection in Vermilion Lakes - Banff, Alberta, Canada. (Thierry Carlier)

Mount Rundle Reflection in Vermilion Lakes - Banff, Alberta, Canada.

I met professional photographer Jon Cornforth in Death Valley National Park last year during our spring break vacation in the Southwest. My family and I woke up very early that day. We drove about 40 minutes, hiked another 20 and casually met Jon at the top of the Mesquite Sand Dunes. We both were there, waiting for the sun to rise, with great expectations as to capturing a dramatic desert landscape image at dawn. Light ended up being very poor that morning. We chatted for a while about our common passion, our respective gear, the kids, etc. I remember very well Jon saying “You should go to the Canadian Rockies” …

We didn’t schedule any long vacation this year at spring break. We had been dreaming about Yellowstone for a while and decided to keep our budget and few vacation days to head to Wyoming during the summer. We booked flights to Seattle for the end of August. We were planning to visit the Pacific Northwest city and further drive along the scenic road through Montana, Idaho, visit Yellowstone and fly back from Salt Lake City. We were really exited by the idea that we would soon come over the geysers, the canyon, the falls … and wildlife: grizzly bears, bisons, and maybe even mooses.

We were disappointed when we had to reschedule our long waited Yellowstone trip under short notice for professional reasons. There was no way to rebook accomodation in the park earlier in the summer. We basically had to find another destination.

My wife Valérie had long kept in mind Jon’s statement about the Canadian Rockies. A friend French family from Philadelphia had spent 3 weeks over there last year during the summer prior to moving back to Paris and they really enjoyed it.

On July 29 we were on Board Southwest flights 725 & 1429 bound to Denver, Las Vegas and Seattle, on the eve of a 2 1/2 weeks trip through Washington State, British Columbia and Alberta.

I will never forget the beauty of the Canadian Rockies Landscapes … this place is genuine and you can feel that wilderness is still prevailing despite human activity. We have been amazed by how often one can see wild animals: black bears with cubs, grizzly bears, huge elks, foxes, white tail deers, mountain goats, bobcats, etc. Wolves and mountain lions are not easily seen as they very much avoid human presence. Canadian Park Rangers even told us that the bears use to be wilder in Canada …

I like the pastel tones of this picture as well as the shape of the pine trees. This is one of my first “reflection” image and I’m really amazed by the result. I also started using Graduated Neutral Density Filters to balance the sky exposure … I’m now convinced that there’s no way around the use of such filters and will no longer rely on post-processing only.

Still dreaming about the Canadian Rockies, we will now head to Yellowstone …

I created this image with my CANON EOS 5D Mark II, using my EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens. Focal length: 35 mm. Exposure parameters: iso 100, aperture value f/22.0, shutter speed 0.5 s. I have balanced the sky exposure by using my 3-Stops Soft Graduated Neutral Density LEE Filter. I have used my GITZO GT3531 Mountaineer Carbon Fiber Tripod. It required limited processing using Adobe Lightroom 3.

Explore all Images by Thierry Carlier Photography.

Philadelphia Dramatic Skyline at Twilight

 

Philadelphia Dramatic Skyline at Twilight, captured from South Bridge. (Thierry Carlier)

Philadelphia Dramatic Skyline at Twilight, captured from South Bridge.

My son Rémy and I set up on South Bridge at the end of the afternoon early March. We had recently acquired new gear, including a tripod for me. Our goal was experimenting the newly acquired equipment and capturing long exposures of the skyline at dusk. It was very windy and it has been a challenge to stabilize the whole set up. The sky was overcast and the light not really impressive. At some point, the gusty winds managed to briefly clear a portion of the sky behind us resulting in this nice glow of sunlight reflecting on the buildings, just before sunset. We both came back home very exited by our session and started post-processing.

Resulting image by my son Rémy.

The six tallest skyscrapers of Philadelphia can easily be seen on the picture: from left to right, the Bell Atlantic Tower (dark one at the extreme left of the picture, in the back), the Blue Cross-Blue Shield Tower with its glowing back-lit Blue Cross logo, the 973.5 ft high Comcast Center, inaugurated in 2008 and currently the highest building in the city (14th in the US), the BNY Mellon Center, and Liberty Place One & Two (respectively 945 feet and 847 feet high). Prior to the construction of Liberty Place, there was a gentlemen’s agreement not to build any structure in Center City higher than the statue of William Penn on top of Philadelphia City Hall. This tradition lasted until the completion of One Liberty Place in 1987.

I created this image with my CANON EOS 5D Mark II, using my EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. Focal length: 105 mm. Exposure parameters: iso 100, aperture value f/11.0, shutter speed 0.8 s. I have used my GITZO GT3531 Mountaineer Carbon Fiber Tripod. It required limited processing using Adobe Lightroom 3.

Explore all Images by Thierry Carlier Photography.

Joshua Tree – Death Valley

Joshua Tree under snow storm in Death Valley NP, CA (Thierry Carlier)

Joshua Tree under snow storm in Death Valley NP, CA

We ended our 2010 Spring Break Tour throughout the Southwest in Death Valley. We have enjoyed the place for the diversity of its landscapes: sand dunes, canyons, badlands, saltgrass, mountain ranges, etc. We have even been fortunate enough to come accross an area covered with fresh-blown desert flowers resulting from unusal amounts of rain earlier during the winter. Death Valley is definitively not a dead place but rather a paradise for landscape photographers and wildlife lovers.

“A Land of Extremes”. Death Valley is the hottest, lowest and driest place in the United States. Temperatures as high as 134°F (56.5°C) have been recorded. Badwater Basin at 282 feet (86m) below sea level is the lowest spot in the Western Hemisphere. Eighteen miles accross the valley, Telescope Peak rises to 11,049 feet (3,368m). Located within the very northern part of the Mojave Desert, accross the border of California and Nevada, Death Valley National Park is also the biggest one in the lower 48 states; a 3,396,000 acres (13,743 km²) area, greater than the state of Connecticut and more than twice the one of Delaware.

Death Valley National Park Official Web Site

We left our hotel at Panamint Springs early that morning, admired the Panamint Sand Dunes at dawn from the road and made a stop at Stovepipe Wells Village to have breakfast. Our plan prior to heading back to Vegas at the end of the day was to keep driving northeast beyond Scottys Castlle and the Ubehebe Crater, exit the park at Gold Point and join US95 back to Vegas. The road conditions were pretty bad and we struggled to find the junction to Gold Point. At some point we had that strange feeling that we might be lost, with not enough gas to head back to the visitor center at Furnace Creek … we had no other option than keep progressing northbond. We suddenly came accross that Joshua Tree while in the same time that snow storm was building up above the range in the background. I knew that I potentially had a great picture with this combination of early afternoon light scattered by the stormy sky and the clean lines of the tree. We finally made it safely to Gold Point.

I created this image with my CANON EOS 5D Mark II, using my EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. Focal length: 105 mm. Exposure parameters: iso 400, aperture value f/16.0, shutter speed 1/320  s, stopped down by 1/3. It required minimum processing using Adobe Lightroom 3.

Discover the entire Death Valley Gallery featured in Thierry Carlier Photography Portfolio

Explore all Images by Thierry Carlier Photography.

Hoodoos Glowing at Sunrise

 

Hoodoos glowing at Sunrise - Bryce Canyon, Utah (Thierry Carlier)

Hoodoos glowing at Sunrise - Bryce Canyon, Utah

We woke up very early that morning to get to the rim of Bryce Amphitheater before sunrise. I started framing a very wide view of this majestic landscape. While the sun was rising up I was appealed by the nice glow on these hoodoos formations near the bottom of the amphi. I immediately zoomed in and took the shot. I like the glowing light making the rocks on the left of the frame look translucent and featuring a very subtle range of sandy coral tones all over the image. I also like the ground wavy patterns combined with the vertical structure of the hoodoos. Our early wake up efforts have definitively been rewarded that morning. We further headed back to the lodge where we shared a very decent American breakfast in a cosy warm atmosphere, next to the stove. We experienced that early birds sweet feeling like if we had already been hiking for half a day while it was actually not even 8:00am yet.

Bryce Canyon Official Web Site

Bryce Canyon is located on the Colorado River Plateau, in Southern Utah. It is embedded in one of the most spectacular regions in the world. Within a 250-mile radius lie 12 national parks, 14 national monuments, 7 tribal parks, 17 wilderness area, 7 state parks and 6 national forests.

I created this image with my Canon EOS40D, using my Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS. Focal length: 134 mm. Exposure parameters: iso 400, aperture value f/5.6, shutter speed 1/80  s, stopped down by 2/3. It required minimum processing using Adobe Lightroom 3.

Explore all Images by Thierry Carlier Photography.