ND Filter vs. No Filter

ND Filter vs. No Filter

Photography Tips and Tricks

Have you ever really wondered what an ND filter really does? Does it really make that much of a difference when it comes to taking a landscape photo? Well, my friend, I conducted a test for you guys so you can see what a 10 stop ND filter looks like in comparison to no filter at all.

Yes, I hiked 7+ miles one way just to conduct this test for you ;)

ND Filter vs No filter Landscape Photography Tips and tricks by Bessie Young Photography Landscape Photography.jpg

So let me start off with saying why I love my 10 stop ND filter. It is pretty amaze balls for when you are trying to do a few things:

  1. Photograph in the harsh light

  2. Photograph waterfalls or moving water

  3. Wanting to take a long exposure

I particularly like to use the 10 Stop ND Filter when I am wanting to have that nice smooth water effect, but I cannot have a long exposure. The Filter allows me to crank my shutter speed to 20” and lower during the middle of the day. How cool is that?!!

A Neutral Density filter allows a photographer to control the exposure in an image very easily. The filter stops light reaching the camera sensor, therefore allowing us to leave the camera with a higher aperture for a longer amount of time.

This blog post is strictly to show you the difference between using a filter and not using a filter. We will get into how to use an ND filter and what they are all about in a different post. So stay tuned!

When do you find yourself using a ND filter? Comment below and let me know :)

10 Stop ND Filter vs. No Filter:

Side by side comparison:

These photos were taken at high noon at about 10,000’ elevation with all the glare imaginable due to the granite backdrop and the water.

Photograph with No Filter:

Settings: ISO 64 | f14 | 1/60”

ND Filter vs No filter Landscape Photography Tips and tricks by Bessie Young

Photograph with 10 Stop ND Filter:

Settings: ISO 64 | f14 | 20”

ND Filter vs No filter Landscape Photography Tips and tricks by Bessie Young Photography

So there you have it. The 10 stop ND filter vs. No filter. I thought this would just be a fun comparison and help you see the difference between using a ND filter vs not using one :)

Wishing you nothing but a beautiful day!

Bessie

 

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Backpacking Dinkey Lakes Wilderness - Landscape Photography

Backpacking Dinkey Lakes Wilderness

Landscape Photography

I am just now finally posting about my backpacking trip back in August! Man where does the time go? Seriously though, just crazy. Anywho, lets get to it!

Hike to Cliff Lake - Base camp Day 1

There are two ways to get to Cliff Lake (two different trailheads). This trip I decided to take the trailhead out of Courtright Lake. The reason being that it is a paved road the entire way and the hike is about 1.5 miles shorter.

The Hike Details from the Trailhead to Cliff:

Distance: Approximately 5 miles. - everytime I hike to this lake my tracks shows a different number. Once it showed 4.75 miles, once it showed 5.5 miles, so I am averaging it out to be about 5 miles.

Max elevation: 9209’

Lowest elevation: 7979’

Trailhead elevation: 8363’

It ultimately took 2.75 hours to get to Cliff Lake from the trailhead.

Day 1 Sunset

I always have a few photography goals when I am out backpacking:

  • Document the trip

  • Get a few time lapses

  • Star shots

  • Sunrises for that nice soft water at the high mountain lake with the beautiful reflection

  • Sunsets with all the beautiful colors

After finding the perfect camping spot setting up base camp the sun just started setting and it was the absolute best sunset of the entire trip. I set up my camera for a fun time lapse and also got some amazazing shots!

Hike Around Cliff Lake - Day 2

Backpacking Cliff Lake - Dinkey Lakes Wilderness - Landscape Photography by Bessie Young - California Hiking Trails

Funny enough I have never hiked all the way around Cliff Lake. I have been here a handful of times but never actually have I hiked around it. So I decided day 2 was going to be a rest day just enjoying the beauty of the wilderness. During this time, I figured it was the perfect time to take a lesurely stroll around the lake.

For the most part the lake is easy to get around during the summertime. There is a nice trail that meandures around the lake and it is mostly flat. Then there is the cliff side of Cliff lake. Yes, where the cliff runs into the water. Now this is no joke, and definitely not easy to get around especially when you have a little dog. It doesn’t look too bad from the other side of the lake, but believe me it isn’t very easy. Now, it is definitely doable, especially if you didn’t have to worry about your Boston Terrier, but with Yota, it made it a little hard. I do have to say I ended up scooting on my booty with my dog in my lap a couple of times to make it to the other side :)

The walk around the lake took about an hour, but then again it took me much longer than it should have because of Yota and those steep rocks. It is definitely a must because the southerly side of the lake is the only spot that you can see Dog Tooth Peak from.

Day Hike to Little Lake - Day 3

On Day 3 I thought it would be perfect to hike to a lake called Little Lake. This lake is deep within the Dinkey Lakes Loop and rarely traveled to. It is about 2.3 miles from Cliff Lake to Little Lake. It is probably one of my favorite lakes for multiple reasons.

  1. There are always cute tree frogs

  2. It is the only place that I have seen Grouse

  3. It has pretty much the best view of Dog Tooth Peak

  4. There is never anyone here

  5. It has the best fishing of all the lakes

Hike Details:

The hike from Cliff to Little and back is not the easiest. Basically you go up a mountain and down the other side to reach Rock Lake. Then you continue downward to reach Little Lake. Now when you think about it, that means it is mainly uphill back to Cliff Lake.

Distance: 2.3 miles

Highest Elevation: 9961’

Lowest Elevation: 9081’

Elevation at Little Lake: 9493’

Round trip from Cliff to Little to Cliff: 4.6 miles

The Stars Came Out - Day 3

As I said previously one of my main photography goals is to get some awesome star photos. I loooooovvvvvveeeeee getting start photos of these beautiful high mountain lakes. It changes the perspective and makes it look like a completely different world. It is seriously awesome!

If you are interested I did make an entire blog post on How to Take Night Photos. Make sure to head that way for all my tips and tricks on how to get amazing shots like these ones!

The Last Day - Day 4 the hike out

The hike out is always the saddest time. It means that the trip is coming to an end. It means that reality is just around the corner. To remedy these post backpacking blues, I always make sure to pack a beer in my car for when I get back. This way when I am loading everything up I can enjoy it with a nice cold brewskie. I also make sure to pick a really yummy place to eat, because after multiple days eating dehidrated food, you really want ice cream or a big ole burger. This time I decided that my food of choice was going to be something from the Hungry Hut in Shaver Lake. (Yes I got a burger and a big ole berry shake. Amazing)!

I hope you all enjoyed this blog. Make sure to watch the video at the beginning to see a bit of the behind the scenes and how I got the shot.

Wishing you nothing but fun adventures, beautiful sunsets, and amazing memories.

Bessie

 

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Do you take the time? Landscape Photography Tips and Tricks - Sunflower Fields in Sacramento

Do you take the time?

Landscape Photography Tips and Tricks

Sunflower Fields in Sacramento

So if you don't know by now I absolutely freaking love road trips! Growing up, that is what we did.... we took road trips. We saw some amazing things, made some of the best memories, and had the absolute most fun. Since going out on my own, I continue to road trip. It is like it is ingrained in every inch of me, it is part of my gypsy soul. To be honest, I crave road trips.

The Story

This past weekend I ended up taking a road trip up to Washington. On the way home it was late. I mean late late late. I was in Redding at about 3 in the afternoon which meant hitting Sacramento during the worst portion of the day, rush hour. This would then have me arriving around 10pm.

So I decided to stay in Redding for awhile in order to avoid traffic (i hate traffic). I went to a local brewery which was absolutely amazing called Fall River Brewery. Then I stopped at my go to out food, Chipotle. Finally, it was time that I could head on down the road and not hit crazy traffic in Sacramento.

As I was passing through Yolo there was this amazing sunflower field. I had to decide, do I stop to take some pictures, or do I just keep rolling because if I stop I am going to get home crazy freaking late...

Landscape Photography Tips and Tricks - Sunflower Fields in Sacramento by Bessie Young Photography

Do you stop to take the time?

So it was decision time... do I stop or do I continue? Obviously I ended up stopping, but it really got me to thinking.

There have been so many times that I have been on a road trip and didn't want to stop to take the time to take a photo. I regret each and every one of those times, but for some reason I still have that little voice inside my head saying that I don't need to stop, that it isn't a big deal, and that I am on a schedule.

Now am I really on a schedule? No not really. So why is it that we get so caught up in the have to get there right now kind of mentality? Why is it that we feel guilty for taking the time to stop? Why is it that we put a time schedule on E V E R Y T H I N G?

You see, it is difficult to schedule seeing the sunflower fields bloom especially when you live over 4 hours away. So why was I struggling so hard? Honestly, I do not have an answer for you, but I figured if I am struggling with this, then maybe you are too.

Take the time to do what you love

I wanted to encourage you to take the time. Take the time to do what you love. Yes, it might put you back 10 minutes or even an hour, but guess what... at least you took the time to get some epic photos.

We really need to stop rushing ourselves. We really need to stop and enjoy the roses, or sunflowers in this instance. Maybe you have no idea what I am talking about, maybe you think I am crazy for struggling with this, but maybe, just maybe you needed to hear this. I am hoping that I can encourage you to take the time for you. Take the time for what you love. In the end you will not regret it, you will only regret what you didn't do.

There have been way too many times that I regret not stopping. I missed out on some epic shots, but I am learning. I am growing, I am trying to get better, trying to quiet that silly voice inside my head.

You see, if I wouldn't have stopped I would have missed getting these epic shots:

 

This is my little message to encourage you to keep doing what you love, to stop and take the time to do what you love, and to not feel freaking guilty about it.

I hope you enjoyed this blog, and the video. Do you struggle with this? Leave a comment down below. I would love to chat with you!

Until next time my beautiful friend,

Bessie

 

 

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Things don't always go as planned - Backpacking Devils Bathtub Graveyard Trailhead

Things Don't Always Go As Planned....

Backpacking Devils Bathtub

Landscape Photography by Bessie Young

Earlier in July I set off for a 4 day 3 night backpacking trip into the Ansel Adams Wilderness. The Graveyard trailhead starts at Edison Lake in Fresno California. The original plan was to stay at Devils Bathtub for a night and then head over to Graveyard lake for the remainder of the trip. Well let me tell you, things don't always go as planned.

The Trip to Devils Bathtub

The trip started off hot. The weather was calling for highs of 70 and lows in the lower 40's. The first day was a tad bit warmer than expected, but I started in the late morning so it wasn't too hot. I hiked from Edison lake to Graveyard Lake having to take quite a few stops to let Yota, my Boston Terrier, take a breather and cool off. We made it to the lake with plenty of time to enjoy the evening, set up camp, cook dinner, and just relax.

That night seemed incredibly warm, but I didn't think much of it. I didn't have my thermometer on, so I thought it was just my metabolism being heightened from the long walk in and the big pasta dinner I ate that evening.

Devils Bathtub Hike Details:

Distance: 4.5 miles one way

Elevation Gain: 1,551 feet

Trail Type: Out and back

Lake Elevation: 9,167 feet

 

Things don't always go as planned - Day 2

After packing up all my gear I headed off to Graveyard lake as planned. The day was getting hotter and hotter and with that I was getting a little concerned that Yota would be able to finish the hike.

About halfway to Graveyard I decided to take a break. You see Yota is a dog that will definitely out walk me, but not on this day. She wasn't panting hard, her tongue wasn't large, but she kept laying down every time I would stop. This was just weird. She is always out in front chasing lizards along the way. The break was the moment that I needed to make a decision. Was I going to head back to Devils Bathtub or continue on to Graveyard. As I sat there contemplating my day, Yota kept falling asleep. She was just so tired.

The Decision

I knew from the moment that I decided to take a break I was going to carry Yota. I might be overly cautious, but I couldn't imagine if anything happened to her. 

My choices were to hike to Graveyard which was all uphill, or head back to Devils Bathtub which was all downhill. Now Yota is 22 pounds and adding 22 pounds to an already 35ish pound pack is quite a big deal for me. So I decided to go with the flow, take it easy on myself, and head back downhill to Devils Bathtub.

Backpacking Devils Bathtub Graveyard Trailhead - Landscape Photography by Bessie Young Photography - California Hiking Trail

Ultimately it ended up being a really nice day after accepting the fact that I wasn't going to be able to see all the pretty lakes that I wanted to see.

When I got back to Devils Bathtub I ended up taking a nice long swim in the lake and then relaxing on the beach for the afternoon. After my lazy afternoon I set up camp and started to scope out my area in order to get ready to take some pretty sunset images.

That night I made sure to turn on my thermometer to see how cool it got. It ended up only getting down to 58, mind you it was supposed to be in the low 40's. Ya, so much different that what was forecast.

So, the moral of the story is to really just go with the flow. If I wouldn't have gone back to Devils Bathtub I woudn't have gotten some really pretty pictures and early morning shots. I also wouldn't have been able to just relax and enjoy the moment, the breeze, the fresh mountain air, and just being in nature.

I hope you all enjoyed this blog. Have you been to Devils Bathtub or Graveyard lake? If so leave a comment below . I would love to hear about your trip!

Wishing you nothing but amazing adventures and pretty pictures!

Bessie

 

 

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How to Photograph Waterfalls - Glenn Alpine Waterfall South Lake Tahoe

How to Photograph Waterfalls

Glenn Alpine Waterfall South Lake Tahoe

Landscape Photography

If you don't know by now, I am completely obsessed with waterfalls. I love going to new places and searching for waterfalls. They are so much fun to photograph and just amazing to be around. The rush of the river, the sound of the water, and the creative touch that you can add to each photo is beyond awesome.

So a few weeks ago I just so happened to find myself in South Lake Tahoe for an amazing Destination wedding. You guys, it was freaking awesome! I ended up going up the night before, and like I always do, I had to get out of the hotel and find a pretty landscape image. I am always saying "take advantage of where you are".

I have been to South Lake Tahoe a bagillion times; however, I have never been to the Glenn Alpine Waterfall near Fallen Leaf Lake. To be honest I didn't even know it existed. So off I went to catch a pretty waterfall landscape photograph during sunset.

The drive took about a half our from the boarder of California and Nevada. The road was pretty much a one lane road and quite rough, but the waterfall was beyond beautiful!

Let me tell you, I could have stayed here all night just sitting by the water, but the mosquitoes were out in force. They weren't your average mosquito either. They were like pterodactyl mosquitoes. So unfotunately I had to leave before I became one big mosquito bite.

If you get a chance, make sure to stop by the Glenn Alpine Waterfall along the Glenn Alpine creek in South Lake Tahoe. It is right off the road only about 200 feet and totally worth the trip.

How to Photograph Waterfalls:

  1. Use a low shutter speed for smooth water
  2. F 6.3 - F11 for a good depth of field
  3. Keep your ISO low (like always)
  4. Shoot when there is soft light (best at sunset or sunrise)

These steps will get you a nice smooth beautiful waterfall image.

Have you ever been to Glenn Alpine Falls or are you also obsessed with shooting waterfalls? Leave me a comment. I would love to hear about your trip and see your tips for shooting wateralls :)

Wishing you nothing but the very best!

Bessie

 

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