“Capture the mood!” says photographer Michael Frye

by Scott Loftesness on June 7, 2014

In street photography, it’s mostly about capturing gesture – along with great light and color. In landscape photography, things shift – there’s no “person of interest”, no gesture to catch our eye. So we need to try something different.

Landscape photographer Michael Frye suggests we try to capture the mood of the place – a similar concept to gesture in street photography. Gesture is tricky to capture – and so is mood, perhaps even more so. The difference is that gesture demands a “decisive moment” while you can take your time to capture that special mood in landscape photography. They’re both great fun – just different – and challenging in different ways.

This week I took a landscape photography workshop with Michael way up in Del Norte county in northern California. He’s a master teacher of landscape photography – and, along with eleven other colleagues, we had an amazing week together learning from Michael. We explored the redwood forests in the early morning fog and the beaches with their sea stacks in the late afternoon and evening sun. A favorite spot was the Damnation Creek Trail in the Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park which we visited twice during the week.

We stayed together at a wonderful B&B (The Requa Inn) and shared our meals – and who we are – together. There’s something very special that happens at workshops where you’re together all the time – sharing meals, carpooling together, and shooting together out in the field.

I first met Michael several years ago when my son and I spent a day with him shooting special places in Yosemite – where he had lived for many years. In 2012, my good friend and photo buddy Doug Kaye and I took Michael’s Eastern Sierra fall workshop. We both agreed it was best workshop we’d ever taken – wandering with Michael in the beautiful fall colors of the aspens. This week was even better – slowing down to see images in the clouds and fog of the redwood forests and along the gritty ocean front of the northern California coast.

Michael’s wife – Claudia Welsh – spent several years growing up in Menlo Park. When we’re together we have a great time sharing some of her experiences as a young girl in Sharon Heights where her parents built their home and where she wandered and explored around Sharon Park and beyond. She’s such a great partner for Michael at his workshops – a joyful person who shares her world through the images she takes on her iPhone. She’s the editor of the book Yosemite Meditations for Women – a special book of Michael’s images and quotations that she’s collected.

A Michael Frye workshop is a very special time – attend one and you’ll come away seeing the world through new eyes.

My Flickr album from this week’s Mystic Forest workshop
Michael Frye’s blog – a great resource for landscape photographers
Michael Frye’s ebook – Landscapes in Lightroom 5: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide

Redwood Light - Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park - 2014

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