Jeff Berkes Photography: Blog http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog en-us (C) Jeff Berkes Photography jeff@jeffberkesphotography.com (Jeff Berkes Photography) Wed, 11 Oct 2017 16:23:00 GMT Wed, 11 Oct 2017 16:23:00 GMT http://www.jeffberkes.com/img/s2/v53/u67665865-o728609644-50.jpg Jeff Berkes Photography: Blog http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog 120 80 VERMONT FALL COLORS 2017 | DRONE TEASER http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2017/10/vermont-fall-colors-2017-drone-teaser Here is a quick teaser video from this past weekend chasing the fall color in Vermont. My wife and I brought up our 22 month old daughter to see this amazing state in peak fall foliage conditions. Vermont has never let us down, especially in 2017. 

 

This was all shot in 4k with the DJI Phantom 3 Professional quadcopter. This video is the 1080p version.

Fall Foliage inVermont From Above

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jeff@jeffberkesphotography.com (Jeff Berkes Photography) . aerial colors drone england fall foliage landscape leaves mother mountains nature new photography pond space storm trees vermont video weather http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2017/10/vermont-fall-colors-2017-drone-teaser Wed, 11 Oct 2017 15:57:58 GMT
2017 DESERT SOUTHWEST Photography Workshop | A Look Back http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2017/4/2017-desert-southwest-photography-workshop-a-look-back My third Workshop of 2017 was my "Desert Southwest" Photography Workshop which ran from April 1st - April 4th 2017. Participants had the option to combine the March 28th-31st Tour in Arches and Canyonlands with this one and received a added discount as well. Four of the six participants from Arches continued on into southern Utah and Northern Arizona with me. Our First Stop, Monument Valley.

We met at before sunset and had a bite to eat at Goulding's Lodge before our night out with the milky way, as you can see, it was a great first night out.

Dinner took much longer than anticipated and we all raced back to catch the last light on the mittens in Monument Valley with only minutes to spare. 

The west mitten casting it's shadow on the east mitten at sunset

One of the great things about parks and photography is that you always meet some interesting people along the way, most people that you will see will have the same passion and love for nature and the outdoors.... sometimes all of that excitement can lead into a series of backflips at Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

As the sun disappeared below the horizon the stars began to come out. We experimented with a few shots and went over some ideas for our milky way shoot early in the morning. We went over how to create star trails in 3 different ways and view a couple timelapse samples that I have created in years past.

This is a 2 image panorama taken at 50mm with my Nikon D4. We used the moon to illuminate the foreground in these shots.

We regrouped a few hours later to create some star trails and a panorama of the Milky Way over the valley. This is  7 single  vertical exposures stitched together to create this stunning panorama at Monument Valley Tribal Park. No moon was present.

Dawn begins to break as the clouds begin to develop to our east

After our Milky Way session, we waited for the sun to rise with hopes of a beautiful dawn. Overnight, the temps dipped into  the low 30's, and with the dewpoints in the low 30's as well, we started to get condensation and frost on our equipment. That meant we had enough moisture in the air to get some fog and mist in the valley that morning for sunrise. We waited and were blessed with some moments of photo heaven!

As the morning evolved the light got even better.

Then we saw mother nature in one of her most unguarded moments, this is why we do what we do. This is single exposure with a Grad. ND Filter.

Nikon D4 | 17mm @ f/8

 

After Sunrise we got some breakfast and planned to meet up in the afternoon in Page, AZ for our Night Shoot in Upper Antelope Canyon.

I arrived in Page, AZ earlier than anticipated and went to scout out a location that was on our list for the last night shoot. To get there you take  an unpaved road, so I wanted to see how it has changed since my last visit. 95% of the road was fine except for a 80 foot section which could possibly cause some issues for some of the drivers with large ruts and very soft soil.. The last 2 nights were mostly cloudy with rain, so we wouldn't have been able to shoot there at night with clouds and rain, the road also turned to soup.

The 2nd night shoot was postponed until the following night because of rain and clouds. The forecast for the following night had clearing, so we switched it around to make it work at the Canyon with better weather and to hopefully capture some stars.

 

The next morning

We got a good rest and met up in the morning at Lower Antelope Canyon, some decided to take a walk down to Horseshoe Bend for sunrise while a few storms started to roll in again.

 

The rain began shortly after leaving Horseshoe Bend and continued for the rest of the day.  Despite the clouds and rain, we spent a couple of hours in Lower Antelope Canyon. After all, these canyons were formed by powerful flash floods, it was nice to capture them in the light that they were created in. The colors in the canyon are typically best on sunny days when the color temperature is all over the place, but as you can see, cloudy days aren't that bad either.

You can see here by adjusting your color balance (WB),  you can change the appearance of the color tones in the canyon and the overall feel of the photo. It's personal preference to what color palette you like the best

Lower Antelope Canyon - Page Arizona

"Rocky Mountain High" |  Lower Antelope Canyon

Lower Antelope Canyon is narrow, but I feel has the best photo opportunities and is less crowded.

Detail Shots Galore!

After our tour of Lower Antelope Canyon, we took a break to dry off, get a bite to eat, and download our images. Since it rained all day long we decided to meet up for a few hours and review our images at a hotel in the area. We had a great time checking out the shots, talking about post processing and putting some panorama's together from our  previous shoots. After our post processing session, we went out to dinner to a nice Italian joint before our 2nd attempt at photographing Antelope Canyon at night.

We arrived there at 8:45pm with rain and drizzle still going on. The forecast was so wrong, all week, but we can not control the weather. We went on with it regardless and spent a few hours  light painting the canyon. Around 11pm, we went outside with some steal wool and had little fun with our guide Roman. At that point, the clouds began to clear and the stars began to shine. A couple of us ran back in the canyon to get a couple shots looking up at the stars before we left. There wasn't many, but there were some.

I would like to thank all of the participants who attended the Arches and Desert Southwest workshop. Many of you joined both, and it was a pleasure and an honor to spend so much time with you in so many amazing places. Workshop Alumni can receive 20% on all future workshops with me as a small thank you for your interest and support. It is very much appreciated!

If you would like to attend a Workshop in the Page, Arizona area, please contact me and let me know! Hope you enjoyed this short blog about our adventures in the Desert Southwest and hope to return in 2018! Keep check back for as I will update my galleries in May 2017 and hopefully adding images from the participants as they come in that were taken during these workshops

Thanks and Never Stop Exploring!

www.jeffberkes.com

 

 

 

 

 

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jeff@jeffberkesphotography.com (Jeff Berkes Photography) antelope astrophotographer astrophotography canyon fireworks landscape lower monument navajo night page park photography sky steel storm tribal upper valley wool http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2017/4/2017-desert-southwest-photography-workshop-a-look-back Mon, 17 Apr 2017 15:14:25 GMT
2017 Arches National Park Night Sky Photography Workshop | A Look Back http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2017/4/2017-arches-national-park-night-sky-photography-workshop-a-look-back My 2nd workshop of the year was a "Milky Way Madness" workshop in Arches National Park. There was many bumps in the road towards our departure dates. The Park announced that they would be closing the park  from 7pm to 7am Sunday thru Thursday Nights sometime in March or April. aMy notice of this was about 1 month before our departure. This is a major issue considering that I had planned this workshop around the moon phases and the fact that week days would possibly have less people in the park. It turned out to not work the way I had hoped and how the customers had hoped for. That goes for most things in life though... it's called life, and things do not always go the way you want them too. In the end,  it is how you move forward to overcome and adapt to situations that are placed in front of you.

I hit the ground a day before the workshop started and took a long drive up from ALBQ to Colorado the first day. Weather wasn't the best in Bisti so I continued to move north and west toward shiprock while expecting the weather to clear up some... Which is did... in a way. Storms surrounded Shiprock gives some dramatic light to the landscape.

Here is a short timelapse of the sunset.

As the Sun set and the colors vanished, I made my way into Colorado and spent the night in Cortez.  The next morning I made may way through some snow enroute to Arches to get ready for the workshop that evening. Since the park was closed Tuesday through Thursday Nights, I told the participants I will extend the workshop 1 night at no additional cost to give us a shot at getting into Arches for at least one night. I made arrangements in Canyonlands and at Dead Horse State Park to host our night sky activities while Arches was closed and it worked out just beautifully.

 

 

 

Setting up for the first night shoot!

 

Our first night out was cold and windy, but we had crystal clear skies which what we all hope for as night sky shooters. I personally do not mind some clouds or "weather" in the shots, it makes it more interesting at times and gives it another dimension. This is Wison Arch, located about  25 miles south of Moab and outside of Arches National Park. When I heard of the closures, I knew this Arch would be a great replacement for some of the spots in Arches that we could not get to because of the nightly road closures.

After some time at Wilson Arch, we moved to a new location so we could get a wide variety of photos on the nights that we had clear skies. This is a short drive from Wilson Arch overlooking the Lasal Mountains while dawn begins to break the horizon.  This is where we had some practice with panorama's in between the passing headlights from cars.

After capturing some panoramas, we waited patiently for Arches to open so we could catch the morning light in the park. This photo (above) is looking through the North Window with Turret Arch in the background. 

You have to hike through the Arch and climb up the cliff (Above) on the other side in order to capture this series of shots with Turret Arch in the window 

Looking Through the North Window at Sunrise

The photo above had a polarizer on it, which it didn't need one. When the sky is super blue bird and you are in high elevations, the polarizer can make the sky suffer. After I took this photos, I removed the polarizer since it was hurting the shots.

We took a quick swing by Turret Arch too!

Detail shot (above) of the hole (below)

Someone offered to take my photo so I couldn't resist. 

Walking around with a big camera attracts attention at times. A couple of older ladies wanted a photo of them jumping in from of the Arch and asked me to take a photo for them. I always say yes, so I took some shots for them but didn't know other people were watching this happen. So I ended up taking pictures for 6 other people while they jumped in front of the Arch. It was pretty amusing.

After our morning hikes, we regrouped back up at Dead Horse Point for our Sunset and Night Sky Shoot which went very well. The photo above is from sunrise the following morning after a long night out under the stars.

 

We set up in Dead Horse after sunset and used some light painting to illuminate our foreground.

 

 

Here is the result from one of our light painting shots.

Each photo can, and usually does give you different results, that is unless you put your light source on a stand, don't move it and keep the light power the same.

 

It was a great night out with a few wispy clouds floating by at times.  While everyone was shooting their panoramas I walked down the trail to find some other interesting shots to try out, and I found one standing on top of a cliff.

This panorama was made in Dead Horse State Park. You can see light pollution from the town of Moab, UT just east of the park.

Some very subtle light painting on the tree does enough to bring out the detail in the shadows while maintaining a natural look.  

Earlier in the night we set up a 1hr 45min startrail. While our camera's worked, we relaxed, talked and enjoyed the beauty of the night sky. (Below) is one of the results from our Star Trail Shoot. Photo by workshop alumni Rob Akans Photography.

1 hour and 45 minute star trail taken on our 2nd night out by Workshop Alumni, Rob Akans Photography

We even enjoyed a faint comet... Can you see it in the photo above? The little blurry green fuzzball over the big dipper?

The Comet's closest approach was a few days later on April 1st, 2017

All in all it was a fantastic trip. Even though we stayed an extra night to try and get into the park on a Friday night, it was cloudy and rainy the entire time. We all managed to get some amazing shots in Arches, Canyonlands as well as in Dead Horse State Park.With a series of low pressure systems sipping down into the 4 corners regions, we were in and out of the weather the entire time, but we made it work.  We saw alot locations during this workshops like Delicate Arch, Landscape Arch, Mesa Arch, any others. I had a lot of fun with everyone and can't wait to share some of their images with you in the near future.

This was the first leg of the trip... The 2nd leg consisted of Monument Valley, Lower Antelope Canyon, Upper Antelope Canyon and a few other places.. Those pics will be up under the Blog post for my "Desert Southwest Photography Workshop" soon!

Sunset at Dead Horse State Park

 

 

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jeff@jeffberkesphotography.com (Jeff Berkes Photography) astrophotographer astrophotography berkes explore jeff landscape moab nature night photography sky space utah weather workshop http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2017/4/2017-arches-national-park-night-sky-photography-workshop-a-look-back Sat, 15 Apr 2017 22:38:03 GMT
2017 Death Valley National Park Photography Workshop | A Look Back http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2017/3/2017-death-valley-national-park-review My first workshop of the year kicked of in one of my most favorite places, Death Valley National Park. The weather was perfect camping with daytime highs in the 70's and lows in the 40's. Some nights in the mountains went down into the 20's overnight.

BADWATER BASIN

i arrived a couple of days early to scout things out, see what has changed since last year and to look for new and interesting features to photograph with the group at night. My first stop was Badwater Basin (pictured above). I have been here several times and have never seen so much water out there. The salt deposits were hard and did not crumble , but mini rivers were flowing through the salt flat.

(Photo Above) Badwater Basin on February 27th, 2017. It shows a flowing stream of water running through the basin about 1 mile out from the parking lot. It made for some nice images. Totally new from my previous experiences there, that is why I love to revisit areas over and over again. You will always see the place in a different form and light.

JEEP AT NIGHT

We went out to the Racetrack Playa for one last run and had yet another incredible time there. The low's overnight went into the mid- upper 20's. The elevation is about 3,600 feet above sea level. There is a campground a couple miles south of the Racetrack where you can camp. DO NOT drive on the Racetrack with a vehicle at any point and please do not walk on the playa if the surface if it is wet. You will seriously damage its beauty for many many years.

FOOTPRINTS ON THE RACETRACK

California has been getting some much needed rain and snow. Maybe too much in some spots, but the desert does get it rain. Death Valley typically sees most of its rain during the winter months from November to February. The Racetrack itself was completely dry when I arrived except for one small portion near the parking area. Everyone should practice a (Leave No Trace) mentality where you leave things they way you found them. This is obviously a good example of someone who does not have enough respect for nature to be out here in the first place just to leave footprints all over the place.

RACETRACK PLAYA | DETAIL SHOT

The photo above was taken at the Racetrack, a detail shot of the surface. The color temperature has a very cool blue hue to it because of two reasons. First, it had to do with my color temperature setting and also the fact that I was the shadpws during the blue hour.  The color of the surface itself is really a tanish color. I would  have had to adjust my color balance from 5200k to 8000k to match the true color of the racetrack as you will see in the next photo.

MOVING ROCKS | RACETRACK PLAYA

This image was taken before the sunset over the mountains to my west. Sunlight was still hitting the playa at this point. It was very hard to find some good rocks with trails this time. It all had to do with people coming and taking the rocks from the Racetrack. We would see a track without a rock at the end numerous times. It was very frustrating because I wanted to revisit some rocks I had photographed in years past. This needs to stop before we end up trashing yet another magical place. With that said, we did see other moving rocks and a few nice ones at that.

SISTER & STARS

The photo above is a single exposure taken on February 28th, 2017 while the slender crescent moon was setting in the western sky with Venus close to its side.

(Photo Above) At the Racetrack taking pictures of the Zodiac Light and the Milky Way!

ZODIAC LIGHT

(Above) Zodiacal Light from the Racetrack Playa | February 28th, 2017

STAR TRAILS AT THE RACETRACK

Doing some longer exposures at the Racetrack with the North Star for a nice "Pinwheel" effect.

Making a quick stop for a photo op!

RACETRACK REFLECTIONS

Reflections in the ice. When the Sun went down at the Racetrack the temps dropped quickly and ice eventually formed here overnight. It made for a few interesting shots before the official workshop began the following night.

The first night of the workshop we spent capturing some nice still images as well as star trails. We saw numerous meteors the first night including a couple fireballs. The participants camera's were set up facing north to capture the "Pinwheel" Star Trail at a favorite location of mine.

A camera running a long exposure for "Pin wheel" Star Trails.

This is the result of a 45 minute star trail. A car drove by during the exposure as seen streaking through the photo.  We used the setting moon to illuminate our foreground will giving us a lot of stars in our exposure.

Longer star trails like this one needs 1 - 2 hours to produce results like this. I had a nice reflection in the water too.

Moonset Panorama over Badwater Basin

After the night shoot we met back up to shoot the Milky Way rise above the horizon and catch Sunrise at Zabriskie Point. (Photo Above)

ZABRISKIE POINT AND TELESCOPE PEAK

Zabriskie Point with a Snow Capped Telescope Peak in the background (Photo Above)

Taking in the beauty of the morning light in Death Valley

Getting some reflection shots with the Milky Way in Death Valley for our 2ns Milky Way Shoot. I have never seen this much water in Badwater Basin in my life!  Some spots were 3" - 6" deep. It was an incredible sight and it made for some one of kind photo ops for the group. Standing in freezing cold water for 3 hours wasn't the most ideal thing to do for most people, but we managed and pulled away with a huge score and kudos to everyone for sticking in there!

One of my few photos from that night at Badwater Basin with the Milky Way.

All in all, the workshop was a huge success and I met some great people and had an amazing time with everyone. You can see a attendee enjoying the beauty of this park and the night sky just before the dawn started to break.

KISS OF DEATH

Here is a panoramic of the Milky way over Badwater Basin with the Amargosa Range in the background. The light pollution from Los Angeles (a 280 mile drive south) can easily be seen here. It's low on the horizon but it is there. It also adds an interesting splash of color to to photograph. There are very few times I welcome light pollution, this was one of those time. I call this photo (Kiss of Death) because the reflection of the mountains in Death Valley are shaped like a pair of lips. It's like the desert was trying to kiss me.

 

We ended the workshop on a high note with an incredible  sunset and a nice warm breakfast the final morning. Again, I thank all of the workshop participants who came out and spent time with me in one of my favorite places. It was a pleasure meeting you and I hope you have as much fun with me as I did with you. I look forward to returning again in 2018 too! If you are interested in joining me next year, shoot me an email, and follow with 2018 workshop schedule. It will be update in May 2017.

#NeverStopExploring 

 

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jeff@jeffberkesphotography.com (Jeff Berkes Photography) astrophotographer astrophotography badwater basin california death desert landscape landscapes national nature night parks photography playa point racetrack scenic sky storm valley weather zabriskie http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2017/3/2017-death-valley-national-park-review Tue, 14 Mar 2017 19:51:10 GMT
Winter Storm Niko | February 2017 http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2017/2/winter-storm-niko-february-2017 Here are a couple photo's from the snowstorm this week.

 

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jeff@jeffberkesphotography.com (Jeff Berkes Photography) 2017 blizzard february landscape nature niko northeast snow storm weather winter http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2017/2/winter-storm-niko-february-2017 Sat, 11 Feb 2017 23:23:48 GMT
SHENANDOAH NIGHT SKY WORKSHOP 2016 http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2016/12/shenandoahnightskyworkshop2016  

We started off the workshop with some bad weather which is never a fun thing. I typically have a headache all week long leading up to a workshop simply because I am checking the weather forecasts every hour. We all want perfect conditions and most of the time we get them. Sometimes we do not.

I arrived at our meeting location only to find myself in a cloud, literally. Our elevation here is over 3,500 feet, so we are no longer in fog, but in the clouds. The weather can change rapidly in the mountains, that goes for precipitation, winds, and temperature.  After speaking with the group members, I decided to cancel the first night. It's a very tough decision to make, but it ended up to be the right one. 

I went to an overlook and said goodnight to my wife and to check the forecast again and with tons of clouds and more rain on the way, I felt comfortable with the decision I made for the group. Forty Five minutes later then rain started back up again just minutes after I set up my tent. It then rained until midnight, then off and on the rest of the night ending around 4:00 am. The winds picked up overnight to increasing from 20 mph to over 50 mph. The photo above is my campfire burning in the rain at Big Meadows Campground taken from inside my car.

 

The winds were gusting over 50 mph at times overnight and the temp's were in the mid 30's Friday night. I'm glad I brought my Marmot tent and zero degree mummy bag, without it I would have had some terrible sleep. I woke up early, and ventured out to the Meadow. The clouds were still pretty thick and the Sun didn't peak out until about 9:00 am. The clouds were  dense which created some nice contrast at times in the western sky.

This tree has always been a staple for me in Shenandoah. I discovered it in the late 1990's while on a camping trip with some friends. I was fresh out of high school and determined to explore the US and this park was one of my first real National Park experiences. After 20 years of visiting the park, this was the first year I saw the tree toppled over. The last time I was here was about 2 years ago, and the tree was still standing.

Just walking around.

We all met back up Saturday Noontime for a hike in Big Meadows to examine our shooting locations for the night session. Scouting out your locations ahead of time during the day helps you visualize your shots for at night. This makes you much more productive when out at night. You know what you wants, where you want it, and when need to shoot. It takes a little planning and a little research, but your efforts typically pay off nicely.

The clouds were moving quickly and changing the color of the landscape by the minute. One of my favorite things about Shenandoah National Park is that every trip is different, and the park offers something new and unique each time I visit. This time I saw some new weather in the form of 50 mph wind gusts which last 48 hours,  participants got a few nice shots of double rainbows over fall colors which is a rare treat as well! We also had wind chills in the teens and 20's all weekend which made us all realize that winter was on its way. It was hard to remember the 70 degree and 80 degree weather we had the week before the workshop started. The warm weather slowed down the color progression which was good in some cases and bad in others.

The above shot is just me playing around with dragging the shutter and moving the camera while I take the picture.. Try it, you can get some interesting results shooting around 1/10 sec.

After our daytime hike and photo sessions, we met back up at sunset. With the winds still whipping up to 40 and 50 mph, we set our tripod low and widened the legs to eliminate camera shake from the wind. It worked very well too.  We also had a nice magenta / purple glow during sunset which was very unique as well. I typically will see that purple hue in the southern coastal areas, but not often up north.

We took a short break in our cars to warm up and get ready for the first night shoot location. After getting everyone dialed in, we began to use some light painting techniques to illuminate the foreground. My flashlight broke the day before the workshop and I couldn't get a replacement in time, so I used a participant's flashlight and diffused the light / color corrected it with a plastic trash bag from Wawa ( an awesome store) Sometimes things happen on the road and it was a nice way to show everyone how to improvise in the field. It was super windy that night and light painting didn't seem like a great option for some of the shots so I brought out my off camera flash at times and used that to illuminate some shots, freezing that action, and not letting the wind blur the trees and grasses in the photos

We continued on to the next location and did more experimenting with light painting and got some nice shots here. This is the same tree we scouted out during our daytime hike ( pictured above)

It was hard to even see a cloud Saturday night, unlike Friday night,  but around 10:30pm a few "wispy guys" started to pop up near the milky way which isn't a problem for me. I actually like how clouds can add to a photograph during the day and at night. Weather makes great shots, the more weather / nature in the photo the better!

 

We continued on to a few other spots and witnessed a lot of awesome meteors including one fireball around midnight.

Here is the group shot (-2) Taken at Big Meadows. I used a Nikon SB-800 Speedlight to taken this shot on my Nikon D4.

After a long night out in the cold, I caught up on some sleep and warming in my tent before heading back home Sunday morning. I had a great time seeing some workshop alumni and meeting some new friends. What a great group, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to meet them and share my passion for night sky photography during the NPS 100 year anniversary!

 

 

 

 

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jeff@jeffberkesphotography.com (Jeff Berkes Photography) astrophotographer astrophotography landscape milky mountains nature night october photography shenandoah sky space storm virginia way weather workshop http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2016/12/shenandoahnightskyworkshop2016 Wed, 28 Dec 2016 15:48:21 GMT
Philly Engagement Shoot | September 17th, 2016. http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2016/9/philly-engagement-shoot-september-17th-2016 I had the privilege of photographing and awesome couple the other weekend, Leslie and Adam. For their engagement session we visited a bunch of locations in the city after meeting at City Hall at 4:30pm sharp. Some locations included, City Hall, Broad Street, Rittenhouse Square, and Elfreth's Alley. Enjoy! It was great meeting you and I wish you two nothing but the best! 

 

 

 

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jeff@jeffberkesphotography.com (Jeff Berkes Photography) http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2016/9/philly-engagement-shoot-september-17th-2016 Tue, 27 Sep 2016 22:49:14 GMT
Newborn Session with Jess and Brett and Presley http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2016/9/newborn-session-with-jess-and-brett I don't BLOG often and it's something I want to try and keep up with in 2017. I photograph many things besides landscapes, extreme weather and the night sky. I shoot a select number of weddings each year, professional sports, corporate work and real estate among others.  I had the honor spending a few hours with Jess, Brett and Presley last week for a 2 hour newborn photo session. Presley and I share the same birthday only 36 years apart.

Here is a just a few random photographs from our shoot. 

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jeff@jeffberkesphotography.com (Jeff Berkes Photography) Newborn Shoot http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2016/9/newborn-session-with-jess-and-brett Tue, 13 Sep 2016 18:19:51 GMT
STANDING UNDER A TORNADIC STORM AND FUNNEL CLOUD http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2015/7/standing-under-a-tornadic-storm-and-funnel-cloud

Today was quite an insane day. A few storms developed south of the warm front in SE Pennsylvania and ignited some storms across York, Lancaster and Chester Counties in PA. This one particular storm was headed right for me with clear rotation and there was no severe thunderstorm warning or anything associated with it.

The above photo is the SuperRes Velocity screen capture of the storm entering Chester County, PA . No T-Storm or Tornado Warning but the storm is already rotating.

The Supercell is now 2 miles from me with a clear couplet signature due West of my position. The picture (below) is from ground View.

BELOW is the video of the Tornadic Storm spinning out of control! The funnel literally went directly over my head! Watch the video!

Tornadic Storm Unleashes Funnel Cloud Over My Head

Here are some other shots taken with my phone as the storm rolled in.

 

Some incredible weather and the 5th Tornado Warning in the last 7 days.

 

Stay Safe Out there!

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jeff@jeffberkesphotography.com (Jeff Berkes Photography) astrophotographer astrophotography cloud funnel landscape night pawx pennsylvania photography severe sky storm thunderstorm tornado weather http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2015/7/standing-under-a-tornadic-storm-and-funnel-cloud Wed, 01 Jul 2015 04:17:23 GMT
Storm Chasing June 23rd, 2015 | Mammatus Spider Lightning http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2015/6/storm-chasing-june-23rd-2015-mammatus-spider-lightning A tornado Warning was issued for my hometown yesterday and things got insane. In the wake of the destructive winds, the most beautiful skies that I have seen in a long time filled the sky for hours well into twilight. My GoPRO captured an amazing Mammatus Sunset Spider Lightning, it was the only strike of it's kind.. I'm so lucky to have witnessed that, let alone record it.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

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jeff@jeffberkesphotography.com (Jeff Berkes Photography) astrophotography bolt landscape lightning motion nature night photography severe sky slow storm strike tornado weather http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2015/6/storm-chasing-june-23rd-2015-mammatus-spider-lightning Wed, 24 Jun 2015 17:55:53 GMT
CLOUD-LAPSE 1.0 | A short timelapse from some recent trips http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2015/6/cloudlapse-a-short-timelapse-from-some-recent-trips Cloud-Lapse 1.0Just a few timelapse clips from the last couple of months.

I have tons of time-lapse footage and never find the time to run through all of it. I decided to put a few together and make this short clip for you. Took me about 15-20 minutes from start to finish, enjoy!

 

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jeff@jeffberkesphotography.com (Jeff Berkes Photography) beautiful california clouds colorado extreme landscape milkyway nature ocean relaxing stars storm storms timelapse water weather http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2015/6/cloudlapse-a-short-timelapse-from-some-recent-trips Sun, 14 Jun 2015 21:41:02 GMT
NEW WORKSHOPS ANNOUNCED!! http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2015/4/new-workshops-announced We have 2 new workshops added to the 2015 Schedule! A Milky Way Madness Photography workshop on an island in Maryland and the other in Philadelphia.

Check them out and I hope to see you there!

ISLAND NIGHTSISLAND NIGHTS

Workshops, Portfolio and Prints | www.jeffberkes.com

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jeff@jeffberkesphotography.com (Jeff Berkes Photography) astrophotographer astrophotography camera landscape maryland night philadelphia photo photography sky space tour workshop http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2015/4/new-workshops-announced Wed, 29 Apr 2015 04:18:39 GMT
NEW WORKSHOPS TO BE ANNOUNCED IN 2 WEEKS! http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2015/4/upcomingworkshops I'm happy to annouce that I will be opening a couple photography workshops around Philadelphia in June, July and August. A couple in Philadelphia and Extreme Weather Workshop. Stay tuned for more information!

 

SUPER TUSCAN LIGHTNING STORMSUPER TUSCAN LIGHTNING STORMFiano, Tuscany, Italy, 2014

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jeff@jeffberkesphotography.com (Jeff Berkes Photography) camera city clouds extreme lightning night pennsylvania philadelphia photo photography sky storms weather workshop http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2015/4/upcomingworkshops Thu, 16 Apr 2015 03:51:02 GMT
Comet LoveJoy (C/2014) HD Timelapse http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2015/1/comet-lovejoy-c/2024-hd-timelapse Here is a short timelapse of Comet LoveJoy (C/2014) Q2 sliding through the southern skies after sunset. The milky way timelapse was shot in October, but the other footage was shot on December 26th, 2014 with the Nikon D4. Comet "Q2" is now easily visible through binoculars and looks amazing through the telescope. Q2 has definitely been spreading the love this holiday season. Observation should improve of the next week as the moon moves towards it's "New" phase.

Comet Lovejoy (C/2014) Q2 Timelapse

 

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jeff@jeffberkesphotography.com (Jeff Berkes Photography) astrophotographer astrophotography comet december landscape night photography q2 sky space timelapse http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2015/1/comet-lovejoy-c/2024-hd-timelapse Thu, 08 Jan 2015 03:07:40 GMT
"Christmas Comet" of 2014 is here! http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2014/12/-christmas-comet-of-2014-is-here I love all things space and especially Comets! I was very young when Halley's Comet came around and thought is was the coolest thing ever, so I guess you could say my interest in space started with that comet in 1986.  I have witnessed many other including  Halle Bop, McNaught 2007, Holmes, Swann and more.

The photo above, was taken last night near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Comet Lovejoy (C/2014) Q2 is now easily visible with binoculars and with off the shelf consumer DSRL cameras.

Comet Lovejoy is rising in the southern sky a few hours after sunset. The best times to look are between 10pm and 2am.  At this point, "Q2" is above the horizon and making it's way out of the lower levels of the sky where light pollution and hazy and obstruct your observations and imaging. If you are lucky enough to have dark skies in your backyard, you will not have to worry about that!  Q2 is now in the constellation Columba moving into Lepus, just under the constellation Orion. Below is a finder chart.

Every night the Q2 will be positioned a little higher in the sky as it passes through the solar system. Mid January Q2 will be higher in the sky and possibly even brighter, we will have to see. The Moon will start to cause interference next week, so if you want to catch a glimpse I would do it this weekend. If you would like monitor the comet from home visit|   The Sky Live |  ( http://theskylive.com/c2014q2-info). Meanwhile, I hope that Q2 will look just as good or even better a month from now.

 

Some tips to see it and photograph it

- Sturdy Tripod

- DSLR and a lens between 50mm and 300mm

- Cable release to eliminate camera shake

- ISO 800 - 3200 , f/1.4 to f/4 @ 3"-30"

- If you want to eliminate star trails because you exposure is to long... increase your ISO and shorten your shutter speed.

- Take some test shots in the vicinity of the location of Q2

- Our camera will be able to see way more than us, so take those test shots and then check your LCD for a fuzzy little green ball

- Download Google Sky Map, It's FREE!! and will help you find any constellation or active meteor shower! Look between Columba and Lepus

 

Below is a photo of Comet Panstarrs in March of 2013. The comet got so bright that it could be seen in the sunset sky. Comets are unpredictable and I think that's is why I like them. Who knows what Q2 will do over the next month, I guess we will have to wait and see.

Comet Pan-Starrs and Telescope March 14th, 2013Comet Pan-Starrs and Telescope March 14th, 2013

I also had a chance to photograph some other beautiful objects like the Orion Nebula through the telescope. If you can't find the comet, you can always find Orion's Belt!

(Above) The Orion Nebula taken the same night through a telescope.

 

Portfolio | Prints | Workshops : www.jeffberkes.com

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jeff@jeffberkesphotography.com (Jeff Berkes Photography) astrophotographer astrophotography comet december how lovejoy milkyway night photography q2 space startrails to http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2014/12/-christmas-comet-of-2014-is-here Sat, 27 Dec 2014 22:30:00 GMT
Geminid Meteor Shower 2014 http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2014/12/geminid-meteor-shower-2014 The last few months we have been pelted by fragments from Comets that spark these annual meteor shower. The end of the year brings the best opportunity to view these showers. Since August we have had the Perseids, Orionids, Taurids, Leonids and now the Geminids!

ISLANDS IN AUTUMNISLANDS IN AUTUMNNamed one of the "Best Space Pictures of 2011" by National Geographic Magazine.

The Orionids of October only produce around 20 meteors per hour, but some can be bright like this one over French Creek Sate Park, PA in 2011. The Geminids can produce between 60-120 meteors per hour under optimal view conditions at dark sky locations. Unlike most meteor showers this Geminids can be viewed just after sunset into Sunday morning.

The radiant (point of origin) will rise above the horizon shortly after sunset near the constellation Gemini. This is also the best time to look for earthgrazers. Earthgrazers are meteors which skim across the atmosphere leaving very long trails in the sky. As the radiant moves higher in the sky the meteors will appear shorter and faster. Think of it like skipping a rock across a lake. Skipping a rock across water will travel further than throwing it directly down into the water. Make Sense? I would start my observation by 6pm a hour after sunset.

(Picture Above) Geminid Meteor Shower in December 13th,2012. Their are five Geminid Meteors in this 60 minute exposure taken at French Creek State Park, PA. I started this picture around 7pm and it ended at about 8pm. Around 1am on December 14th, 2012, a fireball exploded directly overhead turning night into day and left a trail in the sky for several minutes, EPIC! You never know what you will see so I suggest making a night out of it. I usually stay up all night, because I never want to miss a meteor.

Here are a few tips to capture a Geminid with your digital camera!

1.) Have ALL of your batteries Fully Charged!  Long exposures drain your battery much quicker,add the cold of winter and they will drain even faster, especially with older batteries.

2.) Use a sturdy Tripod and a cable release to minimize / eliminate camera shake.

3.) Shutter Speed |  Between 15" - 30"second  exposures

4.) ISO | I use the highest ISO my camera can be set at without sacrificing image quality. MY D70 was about 400 ISO, my D4 is about 3200ISO

5.) F/stop |  Shooting at night we need to let is as much light as we can, so I tend to stick with F/1.8 - f/2.8... Depending on the consitions I may shoot F/4 sometimes.

6.) Focusing | can be tricky... set your lens to infinity or focus on a distant light or ever the brightest star/planet... When the moon rises you can use that a focus point for the sky.  If you are trying to focus on the foreground use your flashlight to illuminate your focal point.

7.) Light Painting | I never use LED for light painting. The blue light kills the pictures and to my knowledge there isn't a White Balance setting for LED. Use a regular halogen flashlight.

8.) White Balance |   This is personal preference. I have kind of fallen towards the bluer / cooler side of things.. Set you WB to Incandescent (Tungsten Lighting) If your camera has the manual WB setting try between 2900k and 3500k.. I have even found out using the fluorescent setting at night can add some magic... So my tip is.. once you get your exposure set, cycle through ALLL of the WB settings and see which one you like the most.

9.)  Find a location away from city lights with a clear view of the sky, this is really increase your chances at witnessing them as well as capturing them with your camera!

 

 Have fun and dress warm, Good Luck!

 

 

ONE NIGHTONE NIGHTWashington State

ONE more TIP!!!

 

I have been shooting the night sky for 20 years now. You best chances to capturing these meteor is to NOT point directly at the radiant, but off to the side. If the Geminids rise in the east, I would aim my camera to the southeast or north / northeast... don't forget to look behind you, meteors are appear in any section of the sky.

 

 

 

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jeff@jeffberkesphotography.com (Jeff Berkes Photography) 2014 Geminid astrophotographer astrophotography comets exposure falling landscape long meteor meteors nature night photography shooting shower sky space http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2014/12/geminid-meteor-shower-2014 Fri, 12 Dec 2014 15:56:23 GMT
Yankee Girl Mine | Northern Road in 1080 HD http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2014/11/yankee-girl-drive I have explored New England for fall colors the last 12 years.. I've camped in the backcountry, in campgrounds and out of my car but I have never made my way out west for the colors until this year. The aspens in Colorado have been on my list for quite some time now. I'd really happy I had the chance to head out with a few friends of mine.

I left for Colorado in late September with above normal temperature's and warm sunny days. That quickly changed when a cold front clear the area while dumping snow in the high country. I slapped my GoPRO HERO3 on the truck for a few drives and this is one of them.

The Yankee Girl Mine was established in 1882 and used to produce gold, silver ore and copper. The mine  produced an estimated $8 million dollars in it's time. Here is the drive to the top after a fresh coating of snow. The Yankee Girl Mine can be found near Ouray and Silverton, Colorado.

 

 

Thanks and hope you enjoy the video! #nofilter

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jeff@jeffberkesphotography.com (Jeff Berkes Photography) Colorado backcountry colors fall foliage ghost girl mine mountains ouray road silverton snow town yankee http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2014/11/yankee-girl-drive Sat, 29 Nov 2014 00:45:24 GMT
FINE ART PRINTS 20% OFF!!! 8/24 - 8/31/2014 http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2014/8/discountprints 20% OFF Fine Art Prints between August 24th and August 31st, 2014

 

DESERT NIGHTDESERT NIGHTNevada with Las Vegas in the distance.

Thank for all of your support over the years, I wouldn't have been able to try and do what I love to do for as long as I have without you!

 

Portfolio and Prints: www.jeffberkes.com/portfolio

*** COUPON CODE: bday2014  ***

 

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jeff@jeffberkesphotography.com (Jeff Berkes Photography) autumn code coupon discount landscape photography prints sale storms winter http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2014/8/discountprints Sun, 24 Aug 2014 18:06:38 GMT
A Taste of Spring http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2014/4/ataste-of-spring Well today was a nice reminder that storm season is here. I wasn't expecting much to happen today as far as weather, but Mother Nature swung some storms my way this evening and gave me my first lightning attempt this spring. Enjoy this short timelapse preview!

Approaching Shelf Cloud - April 2014A severe thunderstorm warning was issue for penny sized hail, 60+mph winds. The storms were moving near 50mph with very interesting cloud formations.

 

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jeff@jeffberkesphotography.com (Jeff Berkes Photography) http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2014/4/ataste-of-spring Wed, 23 Apr 2014 03:05:30 GMT
WINTER STORM MAXIMUS - HiSTORIC ICE STORM http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2014/2/winter-storm-maximus---historic-ice-storm The ice has been continuously falling off of the trees onto the crusted snowpack which currently at a depth of at least 12 inches. It's been so cold and snowy that I haven't seen grass since Christmas. Over the last week, day and night, the sounds of cracking, falling and breaking ice have echoed throughout southeastern Pennsylvania. With over 1/2" of ice accumulating last Tuesday Night and Wednesday Morning it's made for some tremendous photo ops. I wanted to share this timelapse movie I shot last night of the moon setting behind the trees. The Audio is from only a 40 second clip. With over 750,0000 in the dark including 90% of my county, it's been a rough week. The tree damage is worst than from Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. Just remember to respect the snow, and fear the ice.

Falling Ice from Winter Storm "Maximus"Cripple Ice Storm Dumps .6" of ice on top of 12" of wet snow. Seven days later the ice is still falling and the sounds have been spectacular. see for yourself!

Have a safe winter everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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jeff@jeffberkesphotography.com (Jeff Berkes Photography) 2014 audio breaking chester county falling ice maximus pennsylvania sounds storm timelapse tree winter http://www.jeffberkes.com/blog/2014/2/winter-storm-maximus---historic-ice-storm Wed, 12 Feb 2014 03:36:28 GMT