Joseph Roybal Photography: Blog en-us (C) Joseph Roybal Photography (Joseph Roybal Photography) Fri, 20 Jan 2017 05:16:00 GMT Fri, 20 Jan 2017 05:16:00 GMT Joseph Roybal Photography: Blog 55 120 A Week on the Ice: Eric Larsen Polar Training Over the next ten days I will be documenting Polar Explorer, Eric Larsen's Polar Training in northern Canada from trip prep to gear prep and check with the final challenge: trek across the ice on Lake Winnipeg over five days in polar temperatures and extremes. I am incredibly excited to be along for this journey with what is truly one of the world's last true explorers of his kind. Follow my Instagram, josephroybalphotography where I will post images as they happen and this post for images and the story that I will be putting together upon my return. 

Photo: Eric Larsen

Photo: Eric Larsen

Photo: Eric Larsen

Photo: Eric Larsen

]]> (Joseph Roybal Photography) Advice Antartica Canada Eric Larsen Extreme Joseph Roybal News Photography Polar Explorer Travel Fri, 20 Jan 2017 05:12:23 GMT
Instagram - Follow & Photo Essays For those of you who have and use Instagram I invite you to follow my travels and photos essays there! Each week I aim to provide all of my followers fun and relevant content with each day having a different theme, which are constantly evolving, but it helps keep me active and focused in posting and more enjoyable for all of you. Simply click the photo and you'll be directed to my page where you simply click, Follow. Please, give me a follow over there, I will greatly appreciate all of your support!

]]> (Joseph Roybal Photography) Advice Inspiration Instagram Joseph Roybal News Passion Photo Essays Photography Portrait Portrait Photography Travel Sat, 24 Dec 2016 18:20:59 GMT
Happenings - Keeping up to date in 2017 Hi All! I have been pretty terrible about posting keeping everyone updated and will aim to do a better job! This is not a New Year's Resolution, but it is a resolution of speak. 2016 has been a great year filled with adventures, travel, personal and professional growth. If you have not, please sign up to my Newsletter, I would love to keep you all apprised of what's new and happening in my world. I promise I won't spam or over-email. I typically send out just a couple of newsletters per year and you can unsubscribe at any time. Thank you!!! 

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]]> (Joseph Roybal Photography) 2016 Advice Happenings Joseph Roybal News Newsletter Sign Up Techniques Tips Travel Wed, 21 Dec 2016 21:06:36 GMT
Joseph Roybal Invited to Instruct at 2015 Colorado Photography Festival! Great news! I have been invited by Grant Collier to instruct for my second year in a row at the Colorado Photography Festival! This workshop will be held in the gorgeous setting of the Flatirons in Boulder, Colorado. We will meet in the early afternoon and set out to work on photographic techniques, concepts and shoot some amazing scenes throughout the day into the evening catching sunset there as well. We will wrap up the day with dinner for those who would like to stick around chat about the days experience. Following this link will direct you to the website where you can read about each workshop offered and access the sign up forms.

I invite you to join me and am looking forward to meeting you! We have just a few spaces left in this workshop as well so hurry and sign up!



]]> (Joseph Roybal Photography) Advice Awesome Photography Best Colorado Landscape Photographer Best Colorado Photographer Best Denver Landscape Photographer Best Denver Photographer Current Events Inspiration Joseph Roybal Lowepro Lowepro Storytellers News Passion Photographic Inspiration Photography Shoot What You Love; Love What You Shoot Top Landscape Photographer Top Landscape Photographers Top Ten Landscape Photographers Travel What's Hot In Denver Fri, 19 Jun 2015 19:55:04 GMT
Follow Joseph Roybal Photography on Instagram and 500px! Please follow Joseph Roybal Photography over at 500px and on Instagram for new images as they come available! My main website gallery I typically reserve for my best images and on these other social media platforms I like to post images that are lighter and fun. 

I hope you all are having a great week and I look forward to seeing you at these two platforms!


Joseph Roybal

]]> (Joseph Roybal Photography) Advice Awesome Photography Best Colorado Landscape Photographer Best Colorado Photographer Best Denver Landscape Photographer Best Denver Photographer Current Events Inspiration Joseph Roybal Lowepro Lowepro Storytellers News Passion Photographic Inspiration Photography Shoot What You Love; Love What You Shoot Top Landscape Photographer Top Landscape Photographers Top Ten Landscape Photographers Travel What's Hot In Denver Thu, 18 Jun 2015 21:52:52 GMT
Joseph Roybal joins Lowepro Storytellers Team! I am beyond excited and honored to be offered a spot on this great team of awesome photographers from around the globe. Please follow me/us for monthly Missions on the Lowepro Blog where we are given a theme from Lowepro and asked to create imagery that depict this. So far this has been an incredible success. Add it to your browser favorites for sure!

]]> (Joseph Roybal Photography) Advice Awesome Photography Best Colorado Landscape Photographer Best Colorado Photographer Best Denver Landscape Photographer Best Denver Photographer Current Events Inspiration Joseph Roybal Lowepro Lowepro Storytellers News Passion Photographic Inspiration Photography Shoot What You Love; Love What You Shoot Top Landscape Photographer Top Landscape Photographers Top Ten Landscape Photographers Travel What's Hot In Denver Thu, 18 Jun 2015 21:03:23 GMT
A Photographer's Guide to Photographing the Winter Landscape "Morning's Star"Sun rises over the landscape of fresh snow; Colorado National Monument, Grand Junction, CO



There are certain times of the year we may find more challenging to get outside and shoot and it is those times pushing ourselves can be most rewarding. Winter is a time I look at as being incredibly challenging to get outside for photography as it is cold, can be dark especially when photographing sunrise or sunset and hard to read the landscape. But, this is one of the seasons I believe we can create some of our strongest images with a few tips and ideas.


“A Day of Scouting”


The importance of scouting your location early cannot be stressed enough. Winter and snow photography transforms the landscape into an ocean of white and merely getting out before the sun comes up is not sufficient. Though you can still come home with a keeper or two, you will be working at an increased stress level which can affect a clear head and vision. I like to think of this time to scout as a time to get away from everything and immerse yourself in the location and moment. Try seeing the landscape differently than you normally would. When photographing during winter I like to get out and meditate on the silence and stillness in the air.


“Tread Lightly”


This could also be titled, “Watch Where you Step”, as looking where you walk is so important to not interfere with any potential images. I have seen countless images ruined by footprints in the snow, but otherwise could have been incredible from great light and color. It is so easy to walk into your scene without realizing it. Think of scouting your location similarly to how an animal finds its prey: it approaches with caution and intent focusing on its subject while also aware of its surroundings. It may also move from side to side paralleling it to get an idea of obstacles and its best means of approach. Ultimately, it waits for the perfect moment as should we when setting up our shot. Taking our time to inspect our scene and deliberately look for the ideal angle will allow the scene to unfold naturally.




When approaching a winter scene I like to try and have an idea of what I want the image to look like before I even leave my house/bed/tent/sleeping bag. I tend to base my outings on weather: If it is going to be snowing and a storm is on the radar, I am looking at cloud cover percentages hoping for around 60% - 80% at sunrise the following morning. I am thinking: Sunrise, Clouds, Snow = Awesome. I also need to know what time and which direction the sun is going to rise and set giving me options and also necessary info as color happens approximately 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset. I always try to be in position with the shot lined up about 20 - 30 minutes ahead of time just in case in need to make adjustments or shoot from a different location. I will have time to calmly move and recompose. 


“Finding the Line”


As aforementioned, photographing in the snow is incredibly challenging it covers the landscape in a blanket of white. It is incredibly difficult to see lines, shapes, etc. in flat light especially if scouting during a storm. It takes practice as well, to train the eye to see in these conditions and the only way to get better is to get out and practice. It is also a blessing because it can transform what would normally be an impossible landscape to photograph into a gorgeous scene. A way to think about this is to walk slowly pausing every few meters and observe the landscape looking for ridges or shapes in the snow that you can later accentuate in your post production. Ideally, getting a nice crack or ridge in the snow can add a lot of interest and lead the viewers eye into the frame. Get your camera out and hold it up to your eye; this helps reduce what your eye sees and reduces the landscape into a 2D environment. It can really help.




You are already working in ideal situations to simplify your image, take advantage of these settings and work extra hard isolating a subject or creating a focal point for the viewers eye. Find a shrub or tree or a rock - anything that will help create interest and strength to your image and incorporate it into the overall scene. In the image above, I knew I wanted to find a means to utilize the small pine and crack in the snow to lead the eye into the frame and knowing the sun would be rising in the same direction, I was able to have the perfect scene unfold. 


“Wait for the Light”


It goes without saying that in landscape photography you just have to be patient. There is nothing short or long about this rule and the better you are at it, the stronger your images will become. I realize arriving to the location you had scouted the evening prior to before sunrise and standing in wind/snow/rain, etc. is not fun or ideal, but you can be prepared for it: carry extra layers in your bag such as a down jacket to put on while waiting; pack a pair of goggles to put on and wear if the wind is howling; before setting out from camp/car insert toe warmers into your boots to prevent frostbite; carry an insulated thermos of hot or warm water to sip on to keep your core warm. There are many things that you can do that will work for you to keep warm. The only way to truly learn what these are is to get out and experiment. 


“In the Bag”


You have done the research, have your gear ready with charged batteries, empty memory cards, tripod, bags are packed with warm gear, snowshoes, gloves and extra layers. Now all you need is to get out and get that winning shot and with these pointers I wish you the best chasing the light!

Tags: Landscape, Landscape photography, Tips, Advice, Inspiration, Passion, Zenfolio, Lowepro, PeakDesign, Vanguard, Tripod, Nikon, SanDisk, Colorado, Winter, Snow, Sunrise, Sunset, Joseph Roybal, Tourism, Clouds


]]> (Joseph Roybal Photography) Advice Clouds Colorado Inspiration Joseph Roybal Landscape Landscape photography Lowepro Nikon Passion PeakDesign SanDisk Snow Sunrise Sunset Tips Tourism Tripod Vanguard Winter Zenfolio Wed, 25 Feb 2015 02:01:52 GMT
Joseph Roybal to Instruct & Present at Colorado Photography Festival 2014!  


I am proud to announce that I have been invited to present and instruct at next years Colorado Photography Festival located in Golden Colorado. I will be alongside some of the top photographers in their field such as Dan Ballard, Grant Collier, Mike Berenson, and several others. Please take a look at the schedule and consider signing up. 

Hope to see you there!

]]> (Joseph Roybal Photography) Advice Colorado Denver Golden Joseph Roybal Lecture News Photography Presentation Workshop Tue, 29 Oct 2013 23:10:23 GMT
Joseph Roybal Photography Partners with Lowepro A Double Rainbow Appears Over Machu Picchu, PeruA Double Rainbow Appears Over Machu Picchu, Peru

This past year has been such a fun and exciting year for me and my photography. I have been blessed with some fantastic trips, working with wonderful clients and now have the honor of being partnered with a leading name in the industry. Lowepro has been great to work with and I thank them for their endorsement. 

]]> (Joseph Roybal Photography) Inspiration Joseph Roybal Lowepro News Photography Shoot What You Love; Love What You Shoot Travel Mon, 23 Sep 2013 21:10:34 GMT
Susan G. Komen: A Celebration of Life The celebration of life is so incredible. Recently I have been blessed with the opportunities to surround myself with individuals who's appreciation and perspective of life has been heightened and changed. These individuals have said the air smells sweeter, grass is greener; tomorrow should never be taken for granted. 


A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by Susan G. Komen's Denver chapter to photograph a Breast Cancer Survivor's Fashion Show at the Four Seasons. This event was to commemorate life and honor 250 strong and amazing women in the community. Being in a room of nearly 300 individuals, 250+ being survivors accompanied by husbands and children, was a feeling like I have never experienced before. The joy and laughter all around me was intoxicating and made me aware, once again, that in life it is the small things that matter and being able to wake up in the morning and get out of bed, make a cup of coffee and share a laugh with a loved one is what I should be most happy about. Why sweat the small things? That cappuccino that ended up a latte...


These women are a reminder that life is a celebration and everyday is a gift. Let's take a moment to reflect on what's truly important to us and when doing so, smile. Life's a gift, unwrap it every day.



]]> (Joseph Roybal Photography) Cancer Four Seasons Joseph Roybal Love News Photography Support Survivor Susan G. Komen Wed, 18 Sep 2013 21:07:43 GMT
Joseph Roybal Photography Featured: Lowepro Product Spotlight Recently, Lowepro Camera Bags sent me a couple of bags to test in the rugged and harsh environments of Patagonia and Machu Picchu. Here you can read my take on one of their smaller and lighter bags, the Photo Sport Sling 100AW.

]]> (Joseph Roybal Photography) Advice Color Joseph Roybal Lowepro Machu Picchu News Passion Patagonia Photography Travel Vanguard Mon, 16 Sep 2013 22:09:09 GMT
Joseph Roybal Photography Adds Vanguard Tripods to His List of Partners! I am proud to announce that I have officially partnered with Vanguard the makers of fantastic tripods and ball heads for photographers. Check them out. 

]]> (Joseph Roybal Photography) Ball Heads Joseph Roybal News Photography Tripods Vanguard Wed, 11 Sep 2013 19:55:34 GMT
Life, and So Much of It I was recently sent on assignment with the theme Women's Health and looking to highlight Susan G. Komen in the particular issue. All I knew before heading out on location was I would be photographing two women dealing with breast cancer. This type of story was a first for me and before the shoot I had to think hard on how I wanted to portray them. Thoughts crossed my mind to go for a stark feeling to the images, or black and white...I had several ideas before I landed on one: Life. Why would I want to showcase anything different when this can be such a warm and uplifting theme?

This story, already emotionally moving in scope, was augmented when I learned they met exactly one year prior to when these images were taken while in chemo and dub themselves the 'Chemo Amigos'. Incredibly, in this short period of time they have become a support network for one another and their emotional bond incredibly apparent. As I photographed them I was amazed at how much these women laughed and smiled; they made the energy around me so light and peaceful which is what I am typically trying to do as the photographer. They were so full of life and laughter that when I left the location I had to take a few minutes and reflect about what life is to me and what are we really most thankful for? Of course the answer to this is subjective; however, when it comes down to it, life is its own joy and being filled with love, laughter and friendship is so truly important. I am so thankful that I was able to meet these women and wish them continued happiness and joy on their roads to recovery.


]]> (Joseph Roybal Photography) Friendship Inspiration Joseph Roybal Life Love News Passion Photography Susan G. Komen Wed, 14 Aug 2013 17:22:04 GMT
International Photographic Expedition: Paris and the French Alps


Join professional photographers, Joseph Roybal and Dan Ballard on an eight day adventure through the magical country of France. Itinerary is to include a couple of days in Paris exploring the magical City of Lights and taking in the sight, smells and culture of the city. We will look to visit famous landmarks such as the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, Montmartre, les Marais or "Old Paris", etc. We will also enjoy some of Frances finest cuisine eating at various brasseries and restaurants while in the city. Joseph has spent several years living overseas and two of those were in France where he draws inspiration from the culture and vibrance of the city. He has also guided professionally for Adventures Cross Country, North America's No. 1 Outdoor Adventure Company located in Mill Valley where he was in charge of the French trip that lasted over one month. He is fluent in French and will also answer any language questions you may have. Joseph is also partnered with Zenfolio as one their Pro Team members, Lowepro camera bags and Vanguard tripods.

Dan Ballard is an internationally known and respected landscape photographer located in Denver, Colorado. Dan is partnered with some of the largest and most respected names in the industry such as Black Rapid, SanDisk, Zenfolio and ThinkTank, to name a few. Dan's work has been featured on the Smithsonian Channel on "What Makes a Great Photograph" and his clients include National Geographic, Travel Channel and many more. Dan's ability to guide and lead a group are some of the best I have ever seen.

Join us on this adventure! Email either myself or Dan for more information or to be added to our mailing list for updates on this incredible adventure.

Joseph: or simply from my Contact tab on my website


]]> (Joseph Roybal Photography) Advice Black Rapid Inspiration Joseph Roybal Lowepro News Passion Photographic Inspiration Photography Travel Vanguard Zenfolio Wed, 31 Jul 2013 19:36:38 GMT
Image Blending Made Easy  


This summer during my photography workshops that I instruct I have been blessed with a lot of travel and photo opportunities

that have also given me the chance to try out some new techniques. The primary technique of interest has been image blending

and has also been one I have been apprehensive in giving a shot due to the inherent risk of messing up an opportunity. Should

you improperly expose, bump your tripod or a list of other mishaps you will have a very difficult time later in post, if you can even

salvage it at all. In this posting I wanted to focus on Image Blending which can help create an awesome and totally useable image

out of one that may have otherwise been thrown out. One afternoon while hiking the Narrows in Zion National Park with my

good friend, Dan Ballard, I decided this was as good of a time as any to try out the technique. 


On this particular day the wind was terrible making any long exposure photograph useless. I wanted to soften the water and

create a smooth and silky effect to contrast with the hard rock and canyon walls in the scene. What made everything so

frustrating was the inability to simultaneously soften the water and capture the trees sharply due to wind. Every photo over two

seconds had terrible leaf and tree shake that ended up looking like a blur of green in the photo with the soft water effect I

envisioned. At a certain point I thought that it might be time to employ the technique of image blending to come away with even

something remotely useable and salvage the days photographic efforts.


Jumping into it, I would like to state that I had no prior experience with image blending. The only concepts I knew at the time

of capturing the images were: 1) Use a tripod and DO NOT adjust camera angle at all, 2) Keep ISO, White Balance and Focal

Length the same in every photo, 3) take a long exposure using my B+W 10x ND filter to soften the water, 4) a subsequent fast

shutter speed photo to freeze all motion in the trees and grass and 5) TAKE SEVERAL SHOTS OF EACH IMAGE. Ok, so

now that I have laid out the basic principles of image stacking and blending which apparently worked, let's jump in and see if we

can make sense of all of this. 


The first image I took I shot at ISO 400, f/13 @ 30 seconds. I used f/13 for hyperfocal distance to keep everything in the shot

sharp from the log up close to the trees and waterfall in the distance. I chose ISO 400 because I prefer shooting in Aperture

Priority and 30 seconds is the longest exposure time without having to go into Bulb mode. I simply enhanced the camera’s

sensitivity to lightby increasing ISO.  The image below is basically how it came looking out-of-camera. The only adjustments I

made were selecting Auto White Balance later in Lightroom as it was a little brown out-of-camera. Sometimes filters add a color

cast to your images which can be a nuisance though generally are not a deal breaker as long as you're sticking with a high-quality

filter. I love my B+W and use it all of the time as its color shift is so subtle and easy to later correct in post AND it's hundreds of

dollars less expensive and easier to get your hands on than a LEE Big Stopper. You can see from the histogram I am not clipping

on the shadows so I knew I could pull out any and all detail from the shadows in the image later in post process. Pay attention to

your histogram and don’t let it clip on either side and you can pull out shadows and control highlights to get your shot.




This is the same photo with nothing more than increasing my Exposure to +1.10 which you can see in the right-hand column in the Develop Module within Lightroom:



The next photo I removed my filter and shot at the same ISO and Aperture, though I increased my shutter speed to 1/20 second to freeze all motion within the frame and also increased my Exposure by +.75 later in post to get the two images to look similar: 



We are now ready to take the two images from LR and import them into Photoshop. The two image files we will be working with are _DSC0367 and _DSC0368. What I should mention at this point is before opening them in Photoshop, make sure each image you are taking out of LR and into PS look as close to the same as possible with respect to Exposure and White Balance. We are trying to achieve a seamless look later down the line and that will be impossible if you have one image darker, bluer, etc. To open in PS simply right-click with your mouse over the image and select Edit In from the options and your installed version of Photoshop should be listed in the options available. If not, you will need to adjust your settings of external file handling programs. There are many resources on the internet that explain this and I prefer the Lightroom Queen. She has pretty much every topic covered and if not, send her an email and she typically responds in an incredibly timely manner.


This is the fast shutter speed image (0368) after opening in PS: 



And here is the slower shutter-speed image (0367) with the soft and silky water: 



Now that they are both open in PS we can overlay, or stack them, with a couple simple clicks of the mouse. What we need to do here is remember that the image we are looking to "keep" (0367) is the image with the soft water and only take the sharp leaves and grass from the other image (0368). So with that in mind, we will need to Duplicate a Layer on the Soft Water image by simply right-clicking with the mouse on the Background Layer:



This will pop-up the following window where you will now need to choose which image you want the image to be duplicated and applied to. Choose the image file of the other, or 0368 in this example, and click OK:



After clicking OK you will now go just above the images to where the tabs to your images are located and click on the secondary image that you applied the Duplicate layer to. This would be the fast shutter speed image in this case, or file number _DSC0368. The output will now be a layered composite of the two images with only the blur being visible. You can see in the right-hand column that you now have the Background layer and also the Background Copy. The Background Copy is the copy you sent over from your original image you "want" to keep:



We are now almost ready to begin the magic of making these two images come together to achieve the master image we envisioned in the first place. With your Background Layer still selected move over to the Tools column and choose your Eraser tool from the list. In the picture below it is almost exactly half-way down and is the one selected:



Here is a tighter crop so you can see what the tool looks like up close:



With the Eraser tool selected, move out to your image and now right-click anywhere in the frame and adjust the size of your Eraser and also its hardness. I wanted a larger eraser size so I chose one of 900 pixels with hardness set to zero. This will vary from photographer to photographer and situation. Perhaps you are wanting to image-blend 5 photos that you focused at various focal points throughout the frame and want to erase the soft areas away. In my case I simply wanted to eliminate the blurry leaves. 



After applying your settings you are now ready to erase away the undesired part of the image. You can see that I have done just that when looking at the tree leaves in the following two images:





Now that we have removed the undesired portion of the image we are now ready to save the image back into Lightroom and make our edits there. On a Mac the keyboard shortcut is Command+S, on a PC: Control+S, and this will save the image in a .Tiff format back into your Lightroom Filmstrip: 



Once the image is back in Lightroom this is where we want to make our adjustments to the saved file out of Photoshop. You can see many of the adjustments made in the right-hand adjustments panel are with Exposure, contrast, etc. One thing I would like to point out is at NO point in this workflow did we touch our Saturation slider. All of the color and depth comes from Dodging and Burning and working with our sliders in the Develop Module here in Lightroom. 



This image below is the final product that I uploaded onto my Zenfolio site:



I hope this post has been helpful and has given some insight into how we can stack and blend in Photoshop and Lightroom. With a little trial and error you will be able to use this technique to make some great images out of a challenging situation and once you try it I think you will agree the results are worth the effort it takes. 


Thanks for taking the time to read this post and I wish you luck out in the field when trying to employ this technique. 

]]> (Joseph Roybal Photography) Advice Color Image Blending Image Stacking Inspiration Joseph Roybal Lowepro News Passion Photography The Narrows Travel Utah Vanguard Water Zion National Park Tue, 30 Jul 2013 21:50:25 GMT
Joseph Roybal Joins ZENFOLIO PRO TEAM!

This past year has been filled with challenges, growth and support from some of the greatest names in the industry. I recently have been offered a position within Zenfolio's PRO TEAM and am incredibly humbled and grateful that a company with such credibility and industry-wide respect has offered to partner and back me in my photographic journey. 

I would like to thank Zenfolio for this incredible opportunity and to all of the photographers and friends that support me, thank you. 



]]> (Joseph Roybal Photography) Growth Joseph Roybal News Photographic Inspiration Photography Pro Team Zenfolio Sun, 28 Jul 2013 23:19:56 GMT
Listening to the Sounds: Patagonia, Part II

Well, Patagonia is here and gone with some incredible memories, gorgeous fall colors and dramatic light that could satisfy the most critical. It was an epic adventure that really tested our strength mentally and physically with inclement weather and strenuous hikes on the daily. As I wrote in my first post we were based in the small village of El Chalten situated at the base of Fitz Roy in Glacier National Park. Our days were spent hiking for several hours in and out of the back-country exploring high and low looking for new and unique angles. We wanted to come away with something different than what we always see from the area. Even for a Colorado guy, hiking and playing in nature really became something that I am now craving almost as much as shooting.
Our time in El Chalten was a bittersweet experience: I loved the area and spending hours each day exploring just to see what was on the other side of that ridge, discovering hidden lakes from atop a small mountain (anything larger than a hill is a mountain, right?) we decided to bushwhack up for the fun of it and finding a small brook just by listening to the silent morning sky and following its quiet roar. The challenging aspect was more of a mental one: just a couple of days after we arrived a storm set in and shrouded the peaks for days. Each morning started with a 4am alarm followed with the thought, "will we be coming home empty handed again?" It was tough to hike for hours each morning and put in so much work to come home without taking a shot. What I did take away with me more than ever before was learning to sit and relax and enjoy natures show. There was no predicting the weather, no 'on/off' switch that I could use to magically make the storm move on. The sooner we can learn to sit back and appreciate Mother Nature's beauty the sooner we can begin to appreciate why we're out here in the first place: to enjoy and get away from it all.
When we arrived in El Chalten, we were blessed with a couple of days of great weather with clear skies and no wind which were incredibly rare. The photo from Post I is from our first morning: talk about being lucky! Man, did the weather change on us. After the first few days we were introduced to the real Patagonia: steady wind pushing 80 mph for hours on end, rain and cold. Our daily routines went from gorgeous hikes into the back country to forced (and appreciated!) reading days powering through more pages of written text than I have had the pleasure in months. We also had the small world encounter of meeting Marc Adamus in a bar and sharing a beer and stories with him one afternoon. My mind was blown; I know Dan's was too, to meet who can arguably be coined as today's supreme landscape photographer. He shared with stories of recent travels, where he was planning to look for his new body of work which will be breathtaking and how fortunate he is to be able to spend time in such a gorgeous setting. It was funny to meet him as people are never what you build them up to be: he is not the large, rough voiced 6' mountain man I had envisioned. He is shorter in height, a small frame and a very humble and soft spoken guy. It was really a great experience and made me wonder if he realizes how insanely good he is..? Maybe not.
As the days went on, we started becoming nervous: was the light going to work out?; were we going to get a gallery photo? We didn't know and our spirits were beginning to take a turn to the negative. We kept hope and continued pursuing our end goal of looking for the unique and new with the intent to inspire. We were down to one morning with a second storm setting in: wind was raging, rain falling and clouds filling the sky. Our hopes were crushed, but we hit the trail and made the 2+ hour journey from our warm beds into what we were sure was a pointless and cold mission. Along the trail we ran into Adamus again and had a quick chat before moving on to a previously scouted location with a back-up location should the peaks be covered. I had been quietly hoping for plan B as it was the awesome little brook that I mentioned finding above. As we sat there watching the clouds swirl and grip onto the peaks like smoke from dry ice it became clear that this was not going to work out in our favor and clear. 
I'm always amazed at how nature will speak to you and if you listen, she will not let you down. The brook was there and after I let myself sink in and observe for a while and shoot I ended up getting a pretty great shot. In the end, Patagonia was an incredible learning experience teaching me more about photography, myself and my comforts than any trip to date. I came away with so much more than self-motivated attempts to acquire gallery images; Patagonia gave me a renewed sense of self and how to better handle uncontrollable challenges we are presented with daily. 
]]> (Joseph Roybal Photography) Buenos Aires Color Inspiration Joseph Roybal News Passion Patagonia Photographic Inspiration Shoot What You Love; Love What You Shoot Travel Sun, 14 Apr 2013 22:24:19 GMT
Dramatic Light: Patagonia, Part I

What feels like ages ago already, I set out on a photographic expedition with a great friend and stellar photographer, Dan Ballard, scheduled to last for several weeks starting in Patagonia and ending in Machu Picchu. I can't say this trip has been without its hiccups up to this point as I don't truly believe any trip goes as smoothly as planned. Our departure from Denver was nearly postponed by a couple of days due to formalities imposed by the Argentine government and we barely got through security the morning of our flight. Thankfully the nice ladies working American helped us out and got us back on track in time for our departure. 

Upon our arrival to Buenos Aires we caught a taxi and sped off to a friend-of-a-friend's place that had agreed to put us up for a night. Staying with her was exceptional as it allowed us to really get into the city and immerse ourselves in the culture. We rented bikes and rode around the city taking in the sights and experiencing cars passing us as we rode, locals zig-zagging in the streets in front of us and witnessing several Catholic Easter Processions closing down city streets. Buenos Aires has to be one of the most exhilarating cities I have had the opportunity of visiting and absolutely loved it. This trip to the city was too short as it lasted for less than 24 hours before catching our flight south to Patagonia. 
Dan and I arrived in El Calafate midday and made our way to the small mountain village, El Chaltén, where we have planned to base ourselves over the next several days, to weeks, to work and scout the area. What makes this so hard is we are truly at the mercy of the weather. We are getting some of the nicest clear blue skies you could wish for though this is my least favorite time to shoot. Empty ski and no weather make for less than interesting photographs. Also, our bodies are a wreck. After several mornings starting around 3am and returning to town easily after 2pm and adding occasional evening hikes to boot. These  hikes are not entirely that technical it is the repeated treks and their grade that makes them a challenge when carrying so much weight around your neck. 
One of the mornings so far has opened up to us unveiling this areas potential regardless if you are capturing an image or simply watching the beauty unfold - which we have pretty much done the latter of daily. We left our hostal at 3am and set out to find a trail of which we only had a faint idea of its trail-head location. We didn't have enough time the previous day to scout its pick-up and were sort of shooting in the dark, no pun intended :-) Finding the trail-head was only slightly difficult in the dark, though the hike was the more challenging aspect. After several hours going what seemed like straight up we arrived at the area we wanted to shoot from; however, as the sun began to rise, we realized it was not as good as we had originally thought. A quick reassessment later showed us our only option: another mountain in the distance and realized what we must do to make this possible: continue the upward motion and I am glad we did.
This is a quick processing and will re-post a higher quality image after I return home from this journey. 
]]> (Joseph Roybal Photography) Advice Color Inspiration Joseph Roybal Lowepro News Passion Photography Shoot What You Love; Love What You Shoot Snow Travel Vanguard Winter Zenfolio Tue, 02 Apr 2013 21:17:33 GMT
Joseph Roybal featured in BlackRapid Ad-Campaign Last year one of my trips took me to majestic Alaska on a back-country photo-expedition with a couple of great friends. One of our excursions was a heli-tour that took us to the Columbia Glacier area about an hour into Alaska's nothingness. This image (7' x 12')  is of me photographing the Columbia Glacier outside of Valdez and is the image BlackRapid is running for their current ad-campaign. I love their straps and am stoked to have this image up with such an amazing company!

Photo: Dan Ballard

]]> (Joseph Roybal Photography) Alaska Ballard Blackrapid Dan Featured Joseph Roybal News Photography Snow Winter Mon, 04 Mar 2013 19:43:56 GMT
Simplicity, simply: Emptying the Frame  

The reason I keep coming back to this topic is because it is a fundamental concept that I feel cannot be stressed enough. So many times I see images that are cluttered and “messy” and distract the viewer from what is important within the frame. We are the storytellers here and we must remember this when putting our work out there to be seen. Our images are our voice and represent who we are, what we enjoy and ultimately how we see the world. Whenever we post an image online be it Facebook, Flickr, 500px, G+, etc. these images are seen, critiqued and ultimately, the photographer is judged before he or she has a chance. Make this judgement a good one and leave the viewer wanting more.


Before jumping into the images critique below I would like to elaborate a bit more on emptying the frame. We see the world in real time and 3D. Our eyes act as a wide-angle lens allowing us to take in so much and process it instantly. What we don’t realize without practice is how this scene would look when we freeze time and hit ‘pause’. This is what we must learn as photographers: stop and think about everything going on when taking your picture and choose what you are trying to say with your image. Remember your initial vision and if the main element to your frame is the human element, photograph the scene in a way that emphasizes that person. If you are photographing a mountain peak, look for only the elements that will draw the eye to your intended focal point. You have complete control to include and exclude what you want.


In the images below I am wanting to showcase their strengths and weakness’. Both photos were taken in Rocky Mountain National Park during a winter workshop I was working. Myself and the lead instructor were asking the participants to work with leading lines on the frozen lake to lead the eye toward the magnificent peaks in the distance. The first image is a horizontal that shows so much natural beauty we might jump to this image to be our “one”. What do you think? Is this image strong enough to make it into our main gallery? Sure, it’s a good image: strong elements, beautiful location and  great light. The main issue here is that it is showing too much. There is too much going on to make this image as strong as we would like it. It is not simple enough.



Now take a minute and think, “how would this image look as a vertical?” While shooting this scene I was going back and forth between horizontal and verticals knowing I wanted to have as many options once I returned home as possible. After working both in Lightroom the winning image for me was clear. I knew I wanted to keep things tight with the focus in the center of the frame and that the most interesting element within the frame was not the trees or mountains to the left and right of the main peaks. It was also not the ‘ocean’ of ice in the foreground. The strongest element in this photo was the amazing peaks bathed in gorgeous light shrouded in dramatic clouds. The means of drawing the eye here was to utilize the cracks in the ice to their fullest potential. 


Snow and Ice; Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado


Ultimately, when choosing what to include within the frame try to keep in mind what it is you are truly wanting to show. Work from the inside out and evaluate each element within the frame one at a time. Determine how each piece of the puzzle will ultimately fit together to produce the end result that reflects your initial vision. Keep pushing and working and make each image count.


]]> (Joseph Roybal Photography) Advice Inspiration Joseph Roybal News Passion Photographic Inspiration Photography Wed, 27 Feb 2013 22:17:00 GMT