Alex Mody Photography

Washington, Workshops

WORKSHOP ANNOUNCEMENT – May 18-20, 2013 – Olympic National Park, Washington

02.05.13 | Permalink | Post a Comment

Location: Forks, Washington
Dates: May 18-20, 2013
Tuition:
$895
Instructors:
Joseph Rossbach and Alex Mody
Group Size:
Limit of 10 participants
Rec’d Lodging: Forks Motel

Click here to register!

For more information, click here.

Join Joe and I for a weekend of fun, exploration, and learning amongst some of the most diverse and incredible scenery in the Pacific Northwest!

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Overview: Referred to by many as being three parks in one, Olympic National Park is an incredible and diverse place. 95 percent of the park is designated wilderness. In this wilderness, one can find three drastically different ecosystems which exist in perfect harmony: thousands of acres of lush temperate rainforests – complete with massive old growth forests, over 60 miles of rugged coastline, featuring sea stacks and picturesque rocky beaches, and layers of jagged, glaciated mountain peaks that stretch as far as the eye can see. There is nowhere else in the contiguous US where all of these ecosystems may be found so close to one another, and it makes Olympic National Park a dream destination for a nature photographer of any skill level.

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Throughout this workshop, we will photograph as much of what Olympic National Park has to offer as we can in three full days. We will have sunrise and sunset shoots along the coast, including but not limited to locations such as Second Beach, Rialto Beach, and Ruby Beach. We will venture up to Hurricane Ridge at least one afternoon, in search of wildlife and scenic alpine vistas, and during the day, when the light is soft, we will photograph lush, jurassic-esque scenes of mossy trees and gigantic ferns deep in the rain forests.

Joseph and Alex will teach a variety of techniques—both in the field and in the classroom—that will allow you to advance both your technical skills and artistic vision. We focus on a number of professional field techniques to help you create dramatic and powerful nature images, including:

• Working with dramatic light, including sunrise and sunset
• Using less-than-dramatic light to your advantage
• The fundamentals of powerful compositions
• Abstract techniques for creating artistic photographs

We’ll also teach you a number of professional “digital darkroom” secrets as well. Our hands-on intensive seminars – held during the middle of the day when the light is not conducive to successful photography – will teach you the fundamentals of image processing, and allow you to master important techniques including:

• Working with adjustment layers
• Layer masking and image blending techniques
• Making difficult selections
• Color management
• Special effects techniques used for artistic expression
• Exporting, sharpening, and saving images for optimum web presentation

 For more information, click here.

Questions? Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

 

Workshops

WORKSHOP ANNOUNCEMENT – May 25-26, 2013 – Rainforests of the Columbia River Gorge

11.01.12 | Permalink | Post a Comment

Location: Hood River, Oregon
Dates: May 25-26, 2013
Tuition:
$695
Instructors:
Joseph Rossbach and Alex Mody
Group Size:
Limit of 10 participants

Click here to register!

For more information, click here.

Join Joe and I for a weekend of fun, exploration, and learning amongst some of the most incredible scenery in the Northwest!

misty,metlako,falls,eagle,creek,columbia,river,gorge,oregon,101,foot,flow,elegany,rainforest,foliage,dense,fog,momeny,af                      

The Columbia River Gorge holds some of most beautiful and lush scenery in North America. Featuring the greenest temperate rainforests in the Pacific Northwest, as well as 115 officially-named waterfalls, the Gorge is an amazing destination to create extraordinary springtime images of rainforests, waterfalls, and streams. Over the course of this workshop, we have the possibility to photograph over a dozen picturesque waterfalls, jurassic-esque forest scenes – complete with mossy trees and four foot tall ferns, streams with moss-covered boulders, and beautiful views across the river and into the mountains. Hood River, Oregon will be our base camp for this adventure.

verdant,passage,gorton,creek,columbia,river,gorge,oregon,usa,afternoon,light,fresh,neon,green,spring,forest,oregon,gorto

Joseph and Alex will teach a variety of techniques—both in the field and in the classroom—that will allow you to advance both your technical skills and artistic vision. We focus on a number of professional field techniques to help you create dramatic and powerful nature images, including:

• Working with dramatic light, including sunrise and sunset
• Using less-than-dramatic light to your advantage
• The fundamentals of powerful compositions
• Abstract techniques for creating artistic photographs

                      

We’ll also teach you a number of professional “digital darkroom” secrets as well. Our hands-on intensive seminars – held during the middle of the day when the light is not conducive to successful photography – will teach you the fundamentals of image processing, and allow you to master important techniques including:

• Working with adjustment layers
• Layer masking and image blending techniques
• Making difficult selections
• Color management
• Special effects techniques used for artistic expression
• Exporting, sharpening, and saving images for optimum web presentation

punchbowl,falls,paradise,eagle,creek,columbia,river,gorge,blast

Click here to register!

For more information, click here.

Oregon, United States, Washington

Wildflower Season in the Columbia Hills, Oregon/Washington, USA

05.15.12 | Permalink | 1 Comment

Each year, from the end of April, through the middle of May, an amazing springtime bloom occurs alongside Oregon and Washington’s Columbia River. Brilliant yellow Balsam root and blue-purple lupine blossom for miles across the meadows, hillsides, and oak-dotted ravines of the Columbia Hills. Being a somewhat recent transplant to the Pacific Northwest, I was very eager to try my hand at capturing these vast, beautiful scenes that did not occur during last year’s very odd spring season.

Springtime on the Dalles Mountain : Prints Available

This month, I was fortunate enough to spend a week or so photographing these areas by myself, with friends, and with a few private workshop clients as well. The wildflowers were amazing this year – with balsam root blooming in slightly higher numbers than the lupine – in the areas I managed to visit, at least. Unfortunately, favorable conditions seemed hard to come by. For all but a handful of shooting sessions, the wind was very intense, with sustained speeds of 15-25 MPH. To my dismay, these windy days happened to coincide with much of the better light, which made for some very challenging focus bracketing and depth of field blending.

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Dalles Mountain Morning : Prints Available

Out of all the areas I scouted, I found the most profuse blooms within Dalles Mountain Ranch State Park, and Columbia Hills State Park, both near Dallesport, Washington. Due to this, as well as the oak-decorated ravines I came across, I chose to focus the majority of my efforts on these two locales.

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-Articles-, Oregon

Temperate Rainforests of the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon, USA

03.11.12 | Permalink | 3 Comments

Spring is just around the corner, and I can’t help but catch myself drooling yet again over the endless photographic possibilities that will soon unfold within Oregon and Washington’s Columbia River Gorge. Home to 115 officially named waterfalls – and many more unnamed, off trail, and/or ephemeral falls, this 85-mile stretch of river boasts the highest concentration of waterfalls in the world!

The area boasts an impressive average of 70-90 inches of rainfall a year, and some pretty hefty snowmelt to boot. All of that water has to drain somewhere, though. Thanks to gravity, and an average wall height of 1500-3000 feet on the south side of the gorge, that water has cut dozens and dozens of deep valleys, gorges, and streams into the walls of the gorge. Thanks to historical volcanic activity in the area, these slopes consist of basalt, a rock that is not easily eroded by water. As the area’s many streams and creeks try to erode their way into the gorge, they are forced to flow over the basalt they cannot effectively erode, thus creating a enormous quantity of tall and spectacular waterfalls.

Thanks to the damp and cool weather of the Pacific Northwest, there is no shortage of moisture in the area, making for an impossibly lush and beautiful temperate rainforest ecosystem in the gorge. You can’t beat that setting – each and every stream or waterfall is strikingly gorgeous. With vegetation covering everything in sight, this place truly feels like a scene out of a dream. Spruce and Fir trees tower hundreds of feet above, vine maples sprawl across the forest floor, five-foot-tall ferns evoke a prehistoric, primordial feeling, and the thick coats of moss and epiphytes covering every possible surface bring about a certain feeling I can’t say I have found anywhere else.

From a photographer’s standpoint, this place is almost as good as they get! Photographing picturesque streams, huge waterfalls, insanely lush greenery, and a host of amazing birds and mammals, one could keep busy for days on end in the gorge, as I know I have.

Information regarding access to the many waterfalls of the gorge is very readily available, by a quick Google search and/or purchase of an area guidebook, such as Waterfall Lover’s Guide: Pacific Northwest, by Gregory A. Plumb, or Day Hiking Columbia River Gorge, by Craig Romano. Most areas in the gorge may be accessed without any visitor fees, but some locations require purchase of a NW Forest Pass to park at the trailheads.

 

-News-

Red Fox Running in Snow to be featured in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

02.11.12 | Permalink | 4 Comments

I am very pleased to announce that my images, Red Fox Running in Snow (pictured below,) and Frosted Aspens II, have both been featured as “highly honored” in the wildlife and plant life categories of the Windland Smith Rice International Awards – a prestigious annual contest/exhibition run by the wonderful people over at Nature’s Best Photography. Red Fox Running in Snow has been selected for exhibition in the Washington D.C.’s Smithsonian Museum of Natural History later this year. My work has been featured in this exhibit once before, when I was awarded Youth Photographer of the Year in 2009. I must say that it is every bit as large of thrill for me this time around! I’m very excited. The exhibit will run for approximately six months, beginning on March 30th.

Red Fox Running in Snow : Prints Available

Oregon, United States, Washington

Snowy Columbia River Gorge, Oregon, USA

02.07.12 | Permalink | Post a Comment

The grey, drizzly skies of the winter season here rarely loosen their grip upon us Northwesterners. The sun remains hidden behind the clouds, and temperatures are generally not cold enough for much snowfall to accumulate in the lowlands.

Just two weeks ago, however, a blast of arctic air made its way down into the region, and along with it came a massive low-pressure system. Depositing over a foot of snow in Olympia, this storm quickly shut down much of Western Washington – I had no electricity in my home for five days! So, with classes canceled for the week, I set out to make some wintry images of some generally not-so-snowy locales. Braving the downright terrible roads, I headed to the first area that came to mind – the Columbia River Gorge, along the Oregon/Washington border.

The Columbia River Gorge is an area renowned across the globe for having one of, if not the highest concentration of beautiful, photogenic waterfalls in such a small area. Most images one might see of waterfalls in the gorge are typically taken in spring, summer, and now and then, fall, but wintry images are quite uncommon, because wintry conditions rarely occur there.

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Frigid Spirit : Prints Available

To make this image, I slowly trudged for two steep miles off-trail, with 12 inches of snow underfoot until reaching these incredibly picturesque falls. It was fairly difficult terrain, with rope being a necessity in one particular location, and a lot more slipping and sliding than I would like to admit. After far too long spent perched atop mossy, slippery rocks, struggling to find the right composition while managing to keep my front element dry in the snow and sleet, I came away with this photo.

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Dry Creek Winter : Prints Available

These falls are located at the end of a steep and narrow 4×4 track, which was a total blast maneuvering in the snow. Photographing image, I chose a simple approach. I set up a very similar composition to the one I had shot last time I visited these falls, but this time around, the fresh snow brought out an entirely different dimension to the photo, and I am quite pleased with the end result.

I’m not sharing any particularly groundbreaking advice here, but I’d just like to remind you all that when abnormal or unseasonal conditions occur, it can be pertinent to use them to your advantage – because you never know what new photographic opportunities they may afford. So, next time you’re thinking of going out to shoot in the snow, and that little, lazy voice in your head suggests otherwise, ignore it!

-Articles-

Eleven from 2011

01.19.12 | Permalink | 4 Comments

Looking back upon 2011, the first thought that comes to my mind is just how extremely busy and interesting this year was for me. Between becoming more comfortable and rooted in my new home, awesome times photographing the grand northwestern landscapes (as opposed to the mid-Atlantic,) being enrolled full-time at the Evergreen State College, traveling the continent with my band, my experiences in the Autumn, traveling and teaching photographic workshops with Joseph Rossbach, and the personal growth I feel I have achieved over this past year, quite frankly, it is completely beyond me how I had a single ounce of time to sleep – or breathe!

Photographically speaking, it seems 2011 has really marked a year of transition for me. In 2011 I found myself photographing less wildlife than ever, and I truly do not regret it. I came to the realization that I will never be able to focus on both landscape and wildlife photography the way I would like to, and I chose to continue following what I feel really beckons to me.

Anyhow, these eleven images, my personal favorites from the past year, were chosen for a whole slew of reasons. It was a bit difficult to choose just eleven, and to be honest, I don’t think I could have said that at the end of any previous year. These photographs are not in any particular order.

Autumn Sunrise from Bear Rocks : Prints Available

 

Into the Abyss : Prints Available

 

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Forbidden Passage : Prints Available

 

Triple Falls at Sunset : Prints Available

 

Painted Sunset : Prints Available

 

Short-eared Owl : Prints Available

 

sunrise,mount,rainier,national,park,washington,first,ray,sunlight,mt.,rainier,foot,over,fog,valley,seasonal,alpine,wildf

Sunrise over Mount Rainier : Prints Available

 

Fire, Wave, On, Fire, Valley, Of, Fire, State, Park, Nevada, USA, Mody, Low, Receding, Pressure, Sunset, Light, Valley,

Fire Wave Fire : Prints Available

 

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Archangel Cascades : Prints Available

 

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Fall Fogliage II : Prints Available

 

New Life : Prints Available

Utah

Subway Hike, Left Fork of North Creek, Zion National Park, Utah, USA

11.17.11 | Permalink | 1 Comment

The Left Fork of North Creek is one of the most beautiful canyons, and certainly one of the most most popular day hikes within Zion National Park. The canyon carved by the Left Fork is home to many picturesque waterfalls and rapids, but the most memorable section of the canyon is called “The Subway,” an incredible, tubular, half-mile stretch of slot canyon that, well, resembles the shape of a round subway tunnel!

The Subway is most easily accessed by a 9.5 mile round trip hike, from the Left Fork Trailhead, in the west side of the park. It is not hard to reach, by any means, but the hike is fairly time consuming due to the fact that once you descend the 400 vertical feet of switchbacks into the canyon, there is no official trail along the rest of the way. Hiking, wading, bushwhacking, and scrambling up and over gigantic boulders and river banks for four miles each way can take hours, and be downright exhausting at times – despite presenting little to no physical challenge to the average hiker. It is worth noting that the National Park Service issues a quota of 50 daily hiking permits for this area, to control erosion and other damage to natural resources. So, to complete this hike, you must pick up a permit from the park office in Springdale. They can be reserved online here.

In the autumn, when the cottonwoods and box elders are changing colors, many trees drop their leaves into the creek upstream of the Subway. These leaves, trapped in the Subway’s many shallow pools, swirl around in eddies indefinitely until water levels rise enough to push them further downstream.

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Subway Swirls : Prints Available

Just a few hundred yards downstream of the Subway, the Left Fork has cut a narrow fissure into the sandstone, creating the famous and aptly titled, “Crack.” In the autumn, many leaves are blown from trees, and stick to the wet rocks that surround the Crack. I took it upon myself to re-arrange them in a slightly more photogenic manner. Some people may frown upon this, including myself at times, but in this situation, I just couldn’t resist the urge.

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The Crack : Prints Available

Additionally, a few hundred more yards downstream of the Subway and Crack, are the 30 foot-tall series of cascades that tumble over layers of sandstone, combining to create Archangel Falls. This waterfall, located underneath a massive sandstone enclave and surrounded on both sides by cottonwood and juniper trees, is an amazing sight to behold – especially in the autumn. I can see how a waterfall in the Utah desert could be a bit of a strange concept, but the stark contrast between the rushing water and red sandstone is a feast for the eyes!

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Archangel Cascades : Prints Available

Utah

Hidden Wonders, Kanarra Creek Canyon, Utah, USA

11.05.11 | Permalink | Post a Comment

In the desert of Arizona and Utah, slot canyons come in many shapes and sizes, but very few offer colorful red sandstone, brilliant reflected light, and are fed by a perennial spring – with multiple waterfalls along the way. It’s always a treat to find photogenic water features in an otherwise arid desert, but to find a mile-long slot filled with rapids and waterfalls is just incredible. If we had visited a week or two earlier, during the apex of the fall color action, we would have been able to throw striking yellow foliage into the mix as well. It’s all good, though, as I will save that for one of the many more times I plan to visit!

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Chamber of Light : Prints Available

On a blustery 35-degree day, my friend Chris Kayler and I set out to hike, wade, and climb our way into the slot, photographing along the way. After being abandoned by the deceivingly warm sunlight, it was far from comfortable in the dark canyon, even though we had armed ourselves with multiple layers of synthetic clothing, and chest waders to keep dry. There were a few waterfalls we were able to easily scramble over and around, but particularly memorable, was this slippery ~20-foot high log ladder (photo found on Google) toward the bottom of the canyon, that we very gingerly stepped our way up.

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Kanarra Flow : Prints Available

Almost like a pint-sized version of the Virgin Narrows in Zion, Kanarra Canyon’s tall, wide, openings allowed for strong, unhindered sunlight to shine in and bounce from wall to wall, naturally creating the brilliant red-orange glow seen in these photographs. When this saturated, vibrant natural glow is juxtaposed with shaded canyon walls, cool blue water, and even foliage, truly magical things can happen. The subtle beauty of this intimate canyon has had a lasting effect on me, and has easily been one of the highlights of this autumn journey I am on.

Hidden Beauty : Prints Available

North Carolina

Autumn Foliage on the Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina, USA

10.28.11 | Permalink | Post a Comment

Before making my way out west to Arizona and Utah, I made a brief visit to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Having just had such great conditions in West Virgina, and wishing to squeeze what I can out of this (seemingly rare) stroke of good luck, I figured it would be a good idea to head down the Allegheny and into the Blue Ridge Mountains, in western North Carolina. Just as had been the case in West Virginia, most of the foliage reports proclaimed “past-peak” conditions for all of the the high country, yet conditions were incredible all over the region, save for the absolute highest elevations in the area. I think from this point forward, when planning autumn photo trips in the east, I will simply aim for mid to late season, and try my best to remember that many foliage reports or updates are just flat out wrong.

fall,foliage,fogliage,colorful,maple,fog,foggy,autumn,forest

Fall Fogliage II : Prints Available

Anyhow, those of you familiar with photographing fall foliage may know just how magical it can be in a brilliant, autumn-hued forest on a foggy, misty, or drizzly day. I was lucky enough to have an entire day and a half of near-perfect conditions for photographing waterfalls and forest scenes; bright overcast skies, with a (usually) light mist falling from the clouds, patchy fog, and relatively calm winds. The bright overcast skies allowed me to keep my shutter speeds reasonably quick, while the precipitation brought water levels up considerably, and allowed my polarizer to do its job eliminating glare from wet and colorful leaves. On top of that, the intermittent pockets of fog provided an extra degree of dimension to many of the scenes I photographed, adding layers to otherwise flatter-feeling compositions.

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Autumn’s Boquet : Prints Available

I finally made my first visit to the Glen Falls, a spot in the Nantahala National Forest that I have wanted to visit for years. I was initially a bit disappointed by this fallen tree, and the way the deep green rhododendrons had come in and choked out many of the other plants growing alongside this stream, but as soon as I looked through my viewfinder, and that light fog blew in, I was absolutely elated. Sometimes I can be such a baby!

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Autumn Glen : Prints Available



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