Selection of May 2017: Funnel Factory by Alex Noriega

Jun 06, 2017 19:03

Funnel Factory by Alex Noriega

I had read about this area in an old book, and I had seen images of this type of rock from a favorite artist of mine, Guy Tal. I also knew the area from a road trip I did several years prior, so I had been looking at maps for years and I was enamored with the geology. The formation was actually large enough that I was able to find and plan my composition on Google Earth. 
I chose to use a telephoto lens to isolate the part of the mesa that made my planned symmetrical composition. I shot before sunrise at twilight to get soft light accentuating the features of the mesa, so I believe it was a 30-second exposure. I can't remember if I shot a panorama or if I simply cropped the full image to make the 2:1 ratio.
For processing I opted for a very cool white balance to give the twilit rock a silvery look and homogenize the color. I allowed my favorite boulder in the scene to remain red so it would stand out. I made the shadows cooler blue and the highlights more silvery and luminous.
I learned that my favorite images are often of the incredible geological patterns of the desert - no sky, just the earth and time.

Selection of April 2017: Northern lights in Norway by Isabelle Bacher

Apr 09, 2017 11:36

Northern lights in Norway by Isabelle Bacher
I live some driving hours away from Andenes and went there to take a shot of Bleikøya. I really hoped to get Northern Lights on the sky during the periode I was there. Bleik with the Bleikøya in Vesterålen is a district and archipelago in Nordland county, Norway.
I wished to get a shot with the aurora over the top of Bleikøya. On the second night the Northern Lights danced over this island like in a dream. It was a beautiful clear fullmoon-night in january during the magical dark season with its beautiful light. 
​I took several times before a similar picture on the same spot, the same perspective, composition, focal lenght ... just with different weatherconditions and at different seasons. Its a wonderful beach and a perfect spot to take sunset pictures.
I processed my picture in Lightroom. 
I wished to get this shot for a series I make with monochrome pictures of my favorite mountains in Northern Norway. Bleikøya is one of them and especially a shot with Northern Light fits into this series.
I am happy with the shot. Its absoloutly a place to come back again and again...during all seasons, but  at the moment I am pleased with the aurora over Bleikøya.

An Interview with Hengki Koentjoro by Beata Moore

Apr 09, 2017 11:15

Hengki Koentjoro is a Californian-educated fine art photographer. He takes minimalistic photographs of the Southeast Asian landscapes. He is driven by the desire to explore the mystical beauty of nature and to capture textures, lines and forms in perfect harmony. His images, complex, yet minimalist are very atmospheric and spiritual. Hengki’s work is widely published, he has taken part in countless exhibitions and received many awards, amongst them, Hasselblad Master 2014, 1st Place Winner in Landscapes/Nature category, IPA Photography Awards 2014 - 1st Place in Nature/Aerial Category, PX3 Paris Photo Competition 2015 – 1st Prize in Nature Category/Animal and PX3 Paris Photo Competition 2015 – 1st Prize in Nature Category/Water.

Read the interview

Selection of February 2017: Dragon by Julien Delaval

Mar 12, 2017 11:49

Dragon by Julien Delaval

The north of the Spanish coast is renowned for its impressive cliffs and very special rocks. One of them, the beach of Barrika is certainly, as for many, the most attractive of the coast.

This picture was taken in December 2015, a 5-day trip from the south of France. Barrika was photographed hundreds or thousands of times by a significant number of photographers. My wish was to bring back at least one « good » image of this enigmatic place. It took me practically 3 sunrises and sunsets to get the picture I wanted. I was very lucky with the weather during my stay. Many strong and full skies. I knew by going there at this time that the level of tides and water would not always coincide with the sunrise or sunset light. But my aim was not necessarily to bring back brilliant colors.

I marked on this beach a lot of compositions and different framing with sticks, photo tests during a whole day to be ready at the right time. This photo was taken on the 3rd day in the late afternoon, the sea was quite restless and the sky quite menacing and textured. What I wanted above all, in addition to a precise composition paying homage to the place, was a sky similar to these rocks, with special lines. I was able to get it through a long exposure.

At the processing level, I first posted this photo in color version because I never post in black and white. But there are images that are even more colorless and I think this is the case. I didnʼt spend a lot of time on treatment, a bit of dodge and burn here and there, but neutral density filter and graduated filter already did a lot.

Selection of January 2017: Land of Ice by Pierre Besnard

Feb 11, 2017 08:10

Land of Ice by Pierre Besnard


The snow has been falling for the past 3 days, covering the summits. The end is looming with a lull in the middle of this Sunday afternoon 16th January. As this year begins, the conditions seem to be in place to hope to see the summits around Chamonix plastered by this snowstorm. I have been trying to be there at the right time for several years to immortalize those rare moments where the tops go white. This reveals new lines, of great purity, that we can observe only briefly.
Once in position, when the storm is still swirling around the summits, there is a long period of observation that begins. The eye gazes the elements on the lookout for a sign, an opening through those turbulent clouds. Then comes the time when the sky breaks up and allows us to see the peaks.
That is when everything speeds up and I start shooting anything that catches my eye.
The Mont Blanc mountain offers a multitude of compositions according to the angle. Initially, I had the Drus in mind, once that done…
On that picture named « Land of Ice », there are summits of the Chamonix needles, a little set back from the Blaitière needle that I wanted to highlight ( its lower part can be made out on the left side of the picture). Among others you can find the scissors, the mad, the Lepiney point needle.
For a question of definition, this picture is an assembly of 3 vertical photos of 300 mm to offer maximum detail.

On that type of picture where different textures mingle, the black and white choice was obvious to me. The contrast that comes out of that type of treatment brings out the details. It also accentuates the « hostile » side of the summits, where elite alpinists take their chance. I have added contrast and labelling to focus the gaze on the needles.
Finally I used a cooling filter to keep the freezing atmosphere that prevailed that day.


An Interview with Charlotte Gibb by Beata Moore

Jan 14, 2017 19:48

Charlotte Gibb is a landscape photographer based in Northern California. Her keen eye for capturing a moment in nature is rooted firmly in her passion for the outdoors, especially Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Charlotte studied graphic design and earned her BFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She has exhibited her work in several solo shows throughout California. Charlotte has won a couple of photography contests and became a new judge in 2016 USA Landscape Photographer of the Year. Frequently symbolic, her images strive to communicate the sublime beauty of the natural world with an eye oriented towards the subtle and sometimes overlooked elements of nature.

Read the interview 

Selection of December 2016: Ruska by Antonio Fernandez

Jan 03, 2017 08:04

Ruska by Antonio Fernandez


In September we decided to photograph the autumn season in the north of Finland. The colours at that time of the year are awesome and last for just a few days at their best. This landscape is called “Ruska” by people in Finland.
The day before we had gone up to the top of the mountain to take some pictures at the sunset. On our way back it started to snow and luckily it kept on snowing all night long. The following day, we got up early and drove to the base of the mountain. We started to go up again surrounded by snow. When we reached the top we were amazed by the beautiful valley we had opposite us: it seemed like a  white canvas  full of colourful  brush-strokes. Undoubtedly we had been very lucky, an amazing and natural watercolor painting was waiting for us.

It was the perfect moment to look for different compositions and perspectives. I got many diverse shots: pictures with many more trees, a range of mountains under a white sky, but I chose this image because it was a closer frame and the perfect abstract image of the extraordinary beauty  that surrounded us. The shot was taken with my 80-400 mm lens and I rather wanted to show a simpler detail of the valley full of colourfulbrush-strokes. This is a picture that could make us wonder what it is and what is happening and at the same time let us imagine the beauty of that vanishing instant.

The post processing was very simple. I did it with Capture NX-D, I slightly modified the level curves to gain contrast and also the colour temperature as my main objective was to reflect that feeling of colourful brush-strokes over a very clear and white canvas.

I think I was right when I chose that natural detail in a very wide landscape and I´m very satisfied with the result. It shows my evolution in my continuous process of nature photography learning where I always try to capture simple images that make the observer wonder or ask themselves about the nearby landscape.

Selection of November 2016: Spring Impressions in a Poplar Fields by David Frutos Egea

Dec 03, 2016 21:53

Spring Impressions in a Poplar Fields by David Frutos Egea

This image has been mainly the result of chance.
I went there with some colleagues to see if that place could suit a promotional video of a company. While they were checking the place I went to see the surroundings with my camera in hand. I then noticed the special way in which the light was on the poplar trunks. To me, the set of hues could fit well into an image.

It was not the first time I was in that place and in the surroundings. But that morning that particular place was the only one that matched what I had in mind without even having tightened the camera trigger. It was then the time to choose the parameters of the camera. I do not remember exactly what the initial settings were, but I do know that I had to put a three-stop neutral density circular filter in the lens to get a shooting speed low enough to run a vertical sweep.
I made several attempts – maybe ten or twelve but was satisfied with only two of them. The goal I was pursuing was very clear. I wanted an image that showed plasticity, and to some extent, to lead the viewer to see an impressionist image, in which there was no clear detail but that our brain could clearly interpret.
The final decision between both images was made before the computer when I saw them in large. The post processing image was very simple. I only applied curves and general levels to gain contrast and slightly modified the white balance.
To this day this image is the most laureate of my personal portfolio. It has won two contests and also has been selected as a featured image in several specialized internet websites.



Selection of October 2016: Duetting by Alain Baumgarten

Nov 01, 2016 18:10

Duetting by Alain Baumgarten

Some subjects seem so familiar to us that we cannot resist… For several years, on almost a daily basis, I passed by that “cow tree”, isolated in a pastureland on a hill in my Lorraine countryside, without ever ignoring it, and each time telling myself: “ one day, I will take your picture”. I waited patiently…

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An Interview with Theo Bosboom by Beata Moore

Oct 24, 2016 14:17

Theo Bosboom is a Dutch professional photographer with a great passion for nature. In 2003 he made his first pictures of landscapes and wildlife during a long trip to Namibia and Tanzania. In the years that followed...

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Selection of September 2016: The Blue Land by Jean-Paul Soujol

Oct 05, 2016 13:11

A dreamlike journey in the blue...

The Blue Land by Jean Paul Soujol


This photograph was taken in the Haute Provence Alps, on the right bank of the Verdon gorges. I arrived the day before in order to scout the place, I had focused on more eastern views which staged the high cliffs of the gorges with the river down below.

The following morning, I arrived at about 5 am, and I got installed and waited for the lights, then ...

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An Interview with Hans Strand by Beata Moore

Sep 17, 2016 09:25

Hans Strand is a Swedish photographer specializing in aerial photography, spectacular vistas, as well as more intimate landscapes. He lives and works near Stockholm, Sweden. After a nine year career in mechanical engineering he decided to become a full time landscape photographer. Hans travels all over the world to capture his images; he is famed for his work on the wilderness of Iceland and Arctic Countries but also on rainforests...

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Selection of August 2016: Lines by Ales Komovec

Sep 09, 2016 23:27

When the lines meet the colors...

Lines by Ales Komovec
 I took this shot in Southern Moravia, where I went with a couple of friends in the beginning of May, when all the rape fields were a mixture of green and yellow. The main goal of the trip was to visit some well known landscape spots and maybe find some new, undiscovered ones.
We were returning from the morning shoot, when we spotted this location. The light at that time of the day was not good, so we decided to return in the evening.
It was a totally different story when we came back. I was shooting directly towards the sun, so it was pretty hard to take a picture without lens flare. I decided to take more shots when the sun was gone. The light changed completely from warm sunset orange, to colder evening light.
The post processing was minimal here. The main task was to get the colors and light how I wanted.
The biggest challenge for me when creating this shot was to capture a view that wouldn’t look like an ordinary field.


An Interview with Dino Lupani by Beata Moore

Jul 10, 2016 11:16

Born in Casale Monferrato in the North West Italy, where he lives and works as a lawyer, Dino Lupani is a self-taught photographer passionate about nature and landscapes.

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Selection of June 2016: Bassenthwaite by Paul Sanders

Jul 10, 2016 11:03

A Composition Outside the Common Rules

Bassenthwaite Dawn by 
Paul Sanders


I was in the Lake District in Cumbria and didn’t want to miss the chance to shoot some images while I was there. I got up before dawn and my hotel was shrouded in thick fog. 
So in many ways this was an opportunity image as I parked the car opposite the lake, walked over the road I saw the tree from a little way off and thought it looked like a possibility so went along the edge of the lake and sat for a about half an hour enjoying the silence and the calm. I took two frames one just before the sun rose filly above the hill and one about five minutes after. 
As I only took two frames the choice was limited to this one just before the sun fully rose over the hill or the one about five minutes after - I just preferred this version. My main concerns when shooting are does the image reflect my spiritual and emotional connection with the location. I’m unfussed by the technical side of photography I think it’s a distraction from the creation of the image. I use Fuji cameras because they are small and don’t get in the way and with the aid of an electronic viewfinder what I see on screen is exactly what I will get on the print. I’m really happy with this image because it matched exactly the sense of space, calm and connection moment I felt as the sun rose on that beautiful morning.

I usually know which image is the one I like before I put the camera away, my method of working is shoot less see more, feel everything - which sounds a bit new age but I find that the cameras and other people generally get in the way, so when I take a frame in solitude I usually only take one perhaps two at the most, then I just enjoy the moment afterwards. 

This image reflects exactly what I felt on the side of the lake, it is so calm and peaceful. I leaned that each day brings new opportunities and that you should take them.

An Interview with Alexandre Deschaumes by Beata Moore

Jun 15, 2016 17:15

Alexandre Deschaumes is a French evocative landscape photographer. He is based in French Alps, between Chamonix, Annecy & Geneva. 

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Selection of May 2016: Winter Storm by Thibaut Guérin

May 21, 2016 09:31

A Touch of Cherry

Winter Storm by Thibaut Guérin


Passionate about mountains and living in a mountain chain with various landscapes, I went out during one of the first winter storms in 2015. This picture was taken in the Vallée de Chaudefour, located in a region called Auvergne, right in the centre of France.

The weather conditions were not the best for taking photos - the snow was falling horizontally, so I had to clean the lens between each shot (equipment used: Lumix G7, +45-200). Through this photo, I wanted to convey the harshness of the elements for this tree. I have post processed the photo in Adobe Lightroom in order to emphasize the colour contrast and light.

An Interview with Cole Thompson by Beata Moore

Apr 29, 2016 17:58

Cole Thompson is a photographer based in Colorado, USA. His early inspiration comes from photographs created by Adams, Weston and Bullocks...

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Game of Raw

Apr 20, 2016 17:14

A Terra Quantum Innovation

At Terra Quantum we believe that photography is neither a simple and faithful representation of reality nor a total transformation of it. The interpretation may be sober or exuberant, simple or complex. But an individual creation has no limit because it comes from our own vision and personality.
How better to show the talent of the photographers of Terra Quantum than to give them the opportunity to exercise their art on a rough image? This image will be the same for everyone. For that occasion, Michel Thibert has kindly agreed to lend some of his RAW files to Terra Quantum. 

Take this opportunity to show your talent of interpretation! 

Show us your work, be published and have an interview!


Selection of April 2016: Lu Monferrato by Dino Lupani

Apr 19, 2016 19:17

A Graphical Emergence, a mystic vision by Dino Lupani

Lu Monferrato by Dino Lupani

In the small village of Lu Monferrato in Piemonte region, province of Alessandria, north-west of Italy. From the top of a hill I saw the fog to open the valley and discovered this icy landscape. I photographed with Canon Eos 40D, 200 mm focal length (Canon 70-200 F4L) with a Hoya circular polarizer and Cokin GND4 P series, from RAW development without any other postproduction, excluded square format.

Selection of March 2016: Autumn Symphony by Daniel Paravisini

Mar 13, 2016 15:30

The Fusion of Gold, Silver and Copper

Autumn Symphony by Daniel Paravisini

Autumn is probably the season that I am really looking forward to. I go in the hautes Alpes each year like a pilgrimage. My intention is to capture the beautiful colors before the winter comes. It is important to be responsive as the winter may come sooner than expected. 
I decided to stay 3 days on the spot in order to increase the opportunity of having good conditions. I had already come here and knew the area pretty well. A lot of viewpoints can be found along the river that runs in the valley. I stopped at a place where there were large golden larches and where the river was deep. I set the time exposure in order to have interesting effects. I made several trials in order to get artistic and strange shapes in the water. 

The post processing was quite classical. My concern was mainly about the importance of restituting the autumnal colors.


The Selection February 2016 : Nature's Canvas by Francisco Mingorance

Feb 17, 2016 19:23

The fusion of Art and Nature, An aerial view by Francisco Mingorance


‘‘Natural acidity and hundreds of years of mining have created this canvas - the famous ‘painted river’, the Rio Tinto, in Andalusia, Spain. Mineral ores (especially iron ore) oxidize when they come into contact with the air, staining the water and the land shades of red, orange and brown. Francisco has devoted more than 25 years to photographing the river, walking its length, diving in it, flying over it and exploring the mines. He took this aerial image of its copper-tinted waters from 500 meters (1640 feet) above the ground. It’s a sight that he considers to be the perfect fusion of art and nature. ‘I had to measure light, adjust the camera settings and compose images in fractions of a second, all the while fighting nausea and clinging to my camera in the strong wind.’ Just normal post processing has been used. The extraterrestrial impression may not be just artistic licence: astrobiologists think that the bacteria here live in conditions similar to those found on Mars.
This image is part of a photo essay of Rio Tinto from above.’’


A view of "Graphical Winter Storm" of Zsolt Kiss, written by Beata Moore

Jan 27, 2016 17:14

" I found myself drawn to this image not because of its light, but its rather bleak but nevertheless fascinating mood. One glance and the photograph connected me immediately with the subject of a severe winter in a pristine location. The place is completely detached of human element increasing the feel of the severity of winter. The trees in the foreground, covered by snow and battered by freezing wind convey a feeling of dynamic tension. The choice of placement of all trees in the panoramic frame is superb – a single tree on the left, severely bent to the right seems to stretch its branches to the group of taller trees on the right, as if in a silent plea for a shelter from the natural elements. Soft background gives the trees’ dark trunks the necessary contrast and stability. As the background is devoid of any distracting elements, it enhances the image and emphasizes the foreground. Softer shades of black and greys bring the best out of this winter scenery graphic qualities. The raw beauty of the scene captivates viewers and connects immediately to this seemingly remote place, despite that the view is not a grand vista. Still, thanks to the precise composition and careful exposure, it works on emotional level well. It creates the tension so needed for an unforgettable visual experience and indicates a strong connection of an artist to nature."

Want to make sure your photographs stand apart from the crowd? Make a series, tell us a story!

Dec 17, 2015 12:06

How do we distinguish ourselves when so many images are produced in the world each day?
How do we discover our own photographic style and find the best way to express it?

You can now submit series on Terra Quantum!
At Terra Quantum we believe that the artist’s visibility is enhanced if he or she is able to build a signature. This can be done by publishing a series— several pictures that are linked together because they share a common theme.
Today, being recognized for just single pictures has become more difficult than before. We are overwhelmed by millions of pictures. The same spots and same subjects are extensively photographed. That’s why it becomes crucial to distinguish ourselves from other photographers—to create a truly original vision. That’s why series are becoming more and more essential.
Series are interesting because they force photographers to define themselves and their work. If making a picture remains a fundamental step of creativity, making pictures in a series—as a whole—inspires a very personal approach. We can see many pictures that are very similar, especially in the well-known spots. But it is nearly impossible to observe two series that would be similar. 
The definition of a series is broad. The common feature may be the color, the subject, the light conditions, etc. There is no limit to what a subject may be. However, a series is not just a collection of beautiful pictures even if they are about the same subject. A series is a story, a whole. Its images go together better than alone.
Terra Quantum can now offer you this fundamental feature in addition to the current format of individual photographs. The submission of a series can be done with the same process as before, except that you have to choose « Submit a series » instead of « submit a single picture ». Then select within your files between 3 and 5 pictures that compose the series, with the condition that the images have to be taken in the same country.  The jury will review the submitted series as a whole. This is why it is crucial that you ensure that you have a coherent series. If selected, the series will appear in the menu « Galleries / Series of the World ».

What the Jurors say 

“Series are like the fingerprints: they allow us to recognize the work of one artist from another.

Making one great image - or many- can be a challenge but making them working all together and accordingly to the artist’s sensitivity is even more challenging. Being able of such a work is a great find for every photographer.”

Johannes Frank - Juror


“I think the series concept is a must for fine-art photographers. It shows the depth and consistency of work, and gives much insight into style and vision.”

Meredith Mullins - Juror


“Not all stories can be told in a single frame. A series is the chance to go beyond. With a subject carefully chosen, each image powerful, and on top all of them well connected, non-redundant, fitting by style: that gives to a series its power.”

Arved Gintenreiter - Juror


“A series is a group of terms that follows a law. Each image that composes the series may be seen as an element of a sentence,  a more or less complex sentence that adds meaning to the images.”

Simon Guibert - Juror


Image of December: Cole Thompson

Dec 14, 2015 19:34

This month Cole Thompson talks about his black and white image "Harbinger No. 1", a  spectacular image that we have decided to feature.

In his refreshing style, Cole explains: 

"Several summers ago my son Jem and I were taking a road trip through the western states, it was meant to be both a photography trip as well as a father and son trip. We were in Utah and it was about 150 degrees (or so it felt) when I spied these great mud hills off to the north. 

Sensing a good image, we hiked to a vantage point where I could photograph this set of wonderfully symmetric hills. I loved the dark mud and the deep blue sky, but the image was lacking something. I wanted to stay longer to see if I could solve this photographic riddle, but my son had other ideas.

Photographing with a child is a real challenge for me. I go into “working mode” which means that I withdraw into my own world and want to be left alone. My son on the other hand goes into “bored child mode” which means he repeats the following, interspersed with loud sighs:
  • It’s hot.
  • How much longer?
  • Can we go now?
  • You said 5 minutes…5 minutes ago!
  • Can I go back to the car and watch a movie?
  • Are you almost done?
Given the mediocrity of the image, the oppressive heat and my son chipping away at my stamina…I gave up, packed up and headed back to the truck.  

But once back I spied this single cloud moving very fast across the horizon. I could see by its trajectory that in about a minute it would pass right over those mud hills that I had just been photographing.

This was a beautiful little cloud that was heading towards a wonderful setting…when suddenly I realized that this could be my “Moonrise, Hernandez” moment!

I told my son that I was going back for one more shot (he let out a loud and exaggerated groan) and I ran just as fast as I could. I quickly set up my gear and was able to get a single shot with the cloud perfectly situated above those mud hills.  And that is the image above.

As I looked at the image on the camera’s screen, the name "Harbinger" immediately came to mind.

When I would show this new image to people they would ask: “are you going to do a series of them?” I honestly didn’t think I’d ever find another solitary cloud like this one and would tell them that while I would love to, I doubted it would be possible.

But over the next couple of years something interesting happened.  Being sensitized to this concept, I started to find other Harbinger opportunities until I had created small collection of them."

Terra Quantum meets Michel Thibert, pilot photographer

Nov 26, 2015 14:42

A unique and singular testimony of a pilot photographer in the True North: Michel Thibert

Michel Thibert has been flying and photographying the Canadian Arctic for many years. He gives to Terra Quantum an exceptional testimony.

My photographic art is striving to visually extract and isolate a part of nature, using my concept of forms, to unravel a significant and relevant perception of this part of the world. That world is the Canadian Arctic, also named True North or Nunavut.
My two passions are inter-dependant. I need to be a pilot to gain frequent access to inaccessible Arctic destinations year round. I also need an artistic outlet to share the feelings evoked experiencing some of the most rarely seen landscapes from the farthest corners of the Canadian Arctic. I still have the chance to fly all around the True North where very few if any, have stopped to capture the moments.
My selected portfolio to be presented to Fotofest 2016 offers to unravel some of the mystique of these distant places. Several works took over six years to properly capture their essence. I would like to celebrate the beauty and the loneliness of such a remote region. Together we can relate to a common perception of our True North, a still whiteness, a time before the disappearance of this vast territory.
I must respect the general route of the aircraft. The baseline sequence is the one where I have to anticipate, construct the scene and adjust the aircraft path to capture the scene. Sometimes, I wish I could have stretched time to revisit a scene over. On the ground, we can compose and wait for the exact light and subjects, but at 230 km per hour in my aircraft, the scene is always evolving. Aircraft routing, final destinations and current weather set the mood of my scenes.
Few visitors can afford the remote Arctic destinations and frequency of my visits. The trip of a lifetime is for me a periodic exchange with companions in the Arctic region and the communities visited. Some strive to eliminate surprises and maximize comfort. My agenda is better filled with those unscripted moments of pure excitement. My competitive advantage is the frequency of my presence in the True North and the prolonged stay in local communities. Generally speaking, we are more comfortable in our predictive environment than dominated by nature. For me, it’s the opposite.
Through my photographic signature, I invite the viewer to experience with me areas that one may otherwise never see.  My profession as a pilot in the Canadian Arctic allows me around 15 days a month in my preferred territory.  



Nunavut, a unique territory and one of the most remote in the world 

Nunavut is definitely a unique territory in the world. From its sheer size of 2,093,190 km2 (808,190 sq. mi), the size of Nunavut represents 21% of the total surface of Canada (9,984,670 km2). True Canadian North also has its unique cold climate. Short summers and prolonged winter nights make it a harsh place to live. This Canadian territory goes by a couple names, often called Nunavut, also named Canadian Arctic or True North. It has a definite influence on the temperature at a global level. Just imagine a territory that is so vast that it constitutes the fifth-largest country subdivision in the world, as well as the second largest after Greenland. 
Even if the world knows much more about the ice conditions than a decade ago, its harsh climate with an average temperature of -36 Celsius in winter time, and prolonged hours of darkness, make it difficult to access. The gigantic territory is not serviced by any highway or railroad. Air is the only regular transport in and out of Nunavut. Because of the ever-changing ice conditions, boats might come only once a year in certain towns/ hamlets. 
The Canadian True North is one of the most remote, sparsely settled regions in the world; it has a population of 36,687 (2014), of which 84% are Inuit. The density of the population is 0.02/km2 (0.052/sq mi). Most of the inhabitants only regroup in one of the 28 communities / hamlets, which make it a very lonely place.
Global warming is no longer just a question mark; it’s a current and future reality regarding climate change with severe consequences. Only the sources and amplitude might be debatable. Notwithstanding, the True North is playing a role in the stabilization of the global climate, oceans having deep currents linked to the North Atlantic, it is without hesitation that we admit that the world’s attention is going to turn toward this wild region.
Inhabitants and locals observe a deep change in the landscape and the profound current and foreseen impacts it’s having on our planet.
The current True Canadian North will never be the one we have observed over the last centuries.

How to photography in hard conditions 

A few professional photographers have proposed the ‘’compose and wait staging’’ for the elements to fall into place. For that foreseen moment you have in mind. Solely depending on the amount of control that you have over the aircraft path of flight, the aerial photography can also be steered with that precept of photography. Even if you treat the picture as a descriptive object of reality or as an interpretation of your own feeling with that specific scene, the control that you have over the aircraft plays a major role. 99% of the aircraft follows an imposed and repetitive flight path. But the variables like the time of the flight and the seasons will affect the mood of the captured scene. There is no difference from other landscape photography, shooting in the golden hours is a plus and the weather sets the mood. Anticipation and chance are your best allies, the aircraft won’t stop mid air for your picture. (Except for helicopter!)
Can you afford to have the door removed and control the aircraft? If not, select a seat with an unobstructed view (rear or front aircraft... but you might still see the wings). In the front, you also have less combustion gazes from the engine. Use a lens as wide as possible below or around 50mm and over 20mm (longer lens tends to capture the elements in the air and the scratches on and in between the windows), use around F8 and over 1/250. Take a picture at 60% of the height of the subject, with a flat angle; increase the distance to the subject to keep 2/3 horizontal that will fit the width of the whole subject. Reduce the speed of the aircraft in the approach and departure speeds (120-160 knots). Also, to reduce the light reflections from the inside of the cockpit to its inner glass and to diffuse that light within that glass or plastic, you should select and angle of the aircraft accordingly. The objective is to have more light intensity outside the aircraft and less light intensity within your shooting environment.
The surfaces close to your lens will probably send some reflections to the windows. Use a black velvet cloth to reduce the reflections coming from your shooting environment. A graduated soft edges neutral density of 2 to 3 stops is recommended. The humidity in the aircraft would generally condensate in the windows and sometimes it will freeze. Helicopters require an increase in the shooting speed due to the numerous shaking parts that will be transferred to your body. You most likely will have to recompose the scene in Photoshop. Certainly a bigger sensor will be more useful, as you might have to decide to remove or not some of the aircraft’s components.
Horizon is hard to forget when flying. It sets the scene; it sets the proportions and the dimensions of respective objects. It is very rare that it doesn’t have to be corrected flat. Watch for those cameras who allows a 9 x 16 panorama look, edges might be curved and dull. Look for any combinations of light reflections that create erratic and short living shapes. The scene will last less than 15 seconds.
My camera is always on stand-bye mode and ISO are adjusted to the light intensity and the aperture is close to F8 and not below F5.6.  Being closer to the stars for 800 hours a year and in front of the cockpit, I have the chance to capture about 1000 pictures a year. I generally keep less than 50 and my favourite involves clouds in the Canadian Arctic.

Some examples 

Below are examples that I especially like because they illustrate some of the specificities of the aerial photography on a technical or artistic point of view.
1. Using the aircraft wing as a targeting arrow
The first one seems simple at first glance but it is actually extremely challenging. It consists in playing with the wing and putting it into the composition as an element of the scene. The main difficulty comes from the high degree of precision that is required in such scenes.
As the aircraft attains its cruising altitudes, my attention is more relaxed and is now focussing on the scenes a few thousand meters below. Anticipation is my key attitude. Flying at such high altitudes gives me the opportunity to recompose my knowledge of that specific area. When you are within a scene and so close to the subjects, we all try to generate very similar scenes that are most likely a product of mass media and education. But when looking at an area from high above, it allows you to recompose our common standardized images. I travel from a known surrounding to a sum of confusion and new knowledge resulting from such a perspective. The product is most of the times a diminutive of the complex 3D spaces, textures and lights enveloping the aircraft and myself.
Cooperation of the passengers is the key to the foreseen scene. When I carry passengers they must share what I will be capturing. That is in a conceptual and a practical sense. In this capture close to Grise Fiord, I wanted to integrate the left wing into the picture. My intentions were to use the black wing to guide the observer into the wilderness of high Canadian arctic and to present the multitude of textures. The matching lines captured help to plunge the eyes of the observer and share the cyan lake and the surrounding of this melting glacier in 2015 summer time.

2. Catching the “whiteout”
In this caption of the runway 33 of True North of the hamlet of Igloolik my intention was to illustrate the weather phenomenon named a “whiteout”. This term refers to this particular situation where there is no visible separation between the sky and the ground. In the critical phase of the initial aircraft acceleration we have to consider the forward visibility and the right and left side references. In this whiteout the conditions varies from a ½ mile to a little bit more. You will note that the centreline of this gravel runway was covered with snow and soaked with a blue colorant. The left wind was somehow obscuring the forward visibility by throwing the dried up snow. It could be intimidating and the lost of references is a threat to aviation. This particular picture was sold to an industry magazine.

 3. A brief moment between the summer and the winter
Every season has its unique signature of clouds in the True North. In this capture on Aaugust 21th, the fall season is coming in the Hamlet of Taloyoak in Nunavut. Its length may be extremely brief but offers unique photographic moments.
This scene was captured around 500 meters in the initial aircraft climb, with the intention to seize the numerous clouds layers. The unique weather in True North reflects a large spread in temperature that allows condensation of the surrounding lake’s humidity into a unique blend of clouds. Very often, in True North and elsewhere probably, the sun rays are the first to light the scene with gentleness. It is only when the clouds remove themselves from mother’s nature robe, with the help of the wind, that we allow ourselves to capture its magnitude.
In this confusion for the horizon search, we are striving to establish our emotions with such a push from the northern wind. With no obstacle to stop this powerful breath from mother nature. This unique moment lasted less than a minute, as the aircraft climbs at 800 meters a minutes to a dormant altitude were the elements are more stable."

Arved Gintenreiter joins Terra Quantum's jury

Nov 04, 2015 16:39

We are pleased to announce that Arved Gintenreiter has accepted to join Terra Quantum’s Jury. 
Though being connected with photography since childhood, as a first career Arved Gintenreiter opted for studying business economics and taking three years of formal journalism training on top of that. After several years working as a reporter and editor for the German news agency dpa in Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg, Brussels, Vienna, and other hot spots, he decided it was time to follow his real passion: photography. So from one day to the other he quit his job and started his own photography business.

Arved’s photos first were distributed by Corbis, Alamy, and European Press photo Agency network member dpa picture-alliance, published in newspapers, magazines, travel guides, and corporate publications (e.g. Lonely Planet, Stern, Die Zeit, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, BILD, German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, German Parliament, Deutsche Telekom, Dumont, Travel House Media (Merian, Polyglott), Russian Look, Ltd., Vatican Magazine).

Lately Arved has been concentrating on personal exhibition projects. Starting with« Venice Moments Monochrome », a series about the fading local Venice in contrast with the modern touristy face of town, shown first at « Venice MOB Art », he is currently focusing on a nature project shot in Iceland.

For this new nature project, not public yet, Arved is taking a very slow and decisive imaging approach. Due to shooting a technical camera with digital body (Phase One, Alpa, Rodenstock), rather than taking dozens of « backup » photos in a spot with varying angles and subjects, he is restraining himself to just one single capture at each place. This limit makes him fully focus on the perfect angle and timing, as he says. A photo can take days or weeks to be captured.

In general the fortune of growing up in foreign countries like Pakistan and Turkey has influenced Arved’s view on the world and photography. On top of that his journalism career taught him how to take a stance and to focus on his topic of interest.

Arved presently lives in Venice, Italy. He has  also been running photography workshops for many years. Beyond making his clients just shoot beautiful pictures of a destination, with his intuitive approach of tutoring Arved focuses on improving their shooting style to more intentional photography: taking less photos but with higher quality (creative, technical, storytelling).

More details can be found on Arved's page.

Our photographic choice for this month "Final Destiny" from Pere Soler

Oct 10, 2015 07:13

After Volker Birke (“Menindee”) and Shenshen Dou (“Latourell Falls”), we have chosen to feature the photographer Pere Soler and his picture “Final Destiny”, an extraordinary aerial scene over Icelandic rivers. 

As Pere explains:

“This is an aerial picture taken in the north of Iceland, over a delta of a river coming from the biggest central glacier. The idea was to search shapes, contrasts and impact with only a few elements.
Aerial photography is my passion and I think it reflects the best the way I express the world. My family sometimes says to me: "In another life you must be a bird..."
Before flying, I always prepare the trip carefully. I look for interesting locations with an artistic potential, such as marshes or estuaries. This photo was taken in that state of mind. Before taking off, I already knew what I wanted to do and I asked the pilot to fly over such areas.
That day I was fortunate as there were many geese flights. I took something like 20 photos, some pictures with birds, others without. I finally chose the best I found by its composition and color contrast. I chose the title "Final Destiny" to relate the sad tale of these three birds arriving to a deserted island after a long trip, where there are no food, no trees and nothing to do.
I used a tele-zoom lens (70-200mm) combined with Canon 5D Mk III. The most important tip of this kind for pictures deals with the speed. You need a fast shot to catch the exact moment. I usually shoot up 1/500 second with continuous shutter as well without glass in the plane. I didn't use any filter polarizer though they can be sometimes useful to avoid water reflections.
The post processing was quite simple, with only basic adjustments like contrast, levels and focus to get a natural view. I am not fond of unreal colors. My motto is "live the moment" in situ, not at home but I respect all ways.

In 99% of my pictures post processing is very soft. I don't have Photoshop installed on my computer. I only use Lightroom with basic edition and don't need more, perhaps in future...”
This  picture has been awarded twice : “ Winner in "Inspired by Nature" Montphoto – 2014” and “ - Gold Medal FZS in "NATURE", International Contest NARAVA - 2015 (Slovenia)

The Strange Disappearance of Mister Pik (Part 1)

Jul 26, 2015 14:05

There once was Mister Pik who used to come to a wonderful place to take wonderful pictures. He was very happy with his pictures. It must be said that the place was indeed wonderful: a wonderful waterfall forming a wonderful river flowing on a wonderful mountain. What a magic spot!

So, each morning, just before dawn, when all the inhabitants were still asleep, Mister Pik came to the place, chose a good spot and installed his tripod, waiting for the light to come. And after many hours and many clicks from his camera, Mister Pik came back to have a rest. “How was your day? Did you take good pictures?” the inhabitants asked to him. It was always the same question so Mister Pik always gave the same answer: “Well, I hope so”.

Of course, Mister Pik perfectly knew that there were other worthy photographic places. The world was so big. But he couldn't resist the pleasure to take pictures of his favorite spot. And he always found a good reason "One day, I will explore the world that is for sure, but not now. I have all the time in the world". Above all Mister Pik was looking for even more beautiful pictures of his spot: he was a perfectionist.

As the time was went by, Mister Pik noticed that more and more people were going around his favorite spot. At the beginning, he was quite happy to meet some interesting companions with whom he was able to talk about photography. But after a while, he became a little bit annoyed. It seemed that everyone with a camera was taking the same pictures he did! Furthermore, with the increasing crowd, the place began to lose its quietness.   

So Mister Pik thought it was maybe the time for him to go and explore the world. “I am going to take some pictures over the whole Earth!” he said. He was very excited. He rushed into a shop to buy some memory cards to run his fantastic project. “How many cards do you need?” the man in the shop asked.

How many cards to shoot all the Earth? What a question! Mister Pik had absolutely no idea about it. He quickly tried to estimate it, taking into account the radius of the Earth (6400 km), the number of pixels of his camera (20 Mpx) and the needed resolution to make a good print (330 dpi).

“Hum… I need… hum, hum… something like … two thousand billion of 16 Go cards” Mister Pik answered. He was a little bit scared by the result he just found and was also anxious with the idea that it would probably cost him a lot of money.

The seller had a look at his computer to check his current stock. “I am afraid I will not have enough cards. But you will certainly find some on your way. When will you be back?” Mister Pik tried to estimate how long it would take to get pictures of the whole Earth. When he realized that it was going to take 6 billion years to cover the Earth, he decided to quickly leave, so quickly that he forgot to tell anyone where he intended to go!

And from that moment, the inhabitants of the region are still talking about the strange disappearance of Mister Pik.

Although we don't know either where Mister Pik has gone, we hope to have news from him.
We will let you know as soon as we get some.

All the best,
Terra Quantum's Team

Meredith Mullins joins Terra Quantum's Jury

Jul 15, 2015 17:15

We are very pleased to announce that Meredith Mullins joins the Jury of Terra Quantum.

Just as Meredith Mullins calls two continents home (Paris, France and the Monterey Peninsula, California USA), she is also at home with several photographic genres.
She appreciates the beauty of the planet not only through the strength of the land and power of nature but also through a connection to people and the things that bring us together (or tear us apart) as humans. She believes in digging beneath the surface to find the spirit of a place and its people—finding the scenes and characters that are part of the unfolding story.
She has captured layers of life in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa and has had more than 50 solo and group exhibitions of her fine art photographs. Her work is in museum collections in the U.S. and France and in private collections around the world; and she is the winner of several photographic prizes, including the Grand Concours sur Paris, PX3, The Worldwide Gala Awards, Center for Photographic Art, and the Julia Margaret Cameron Award.
Meredith is the author of the award-winning photography book, In A Paris Moment, and has contributed work to National Geographic educational projects, as well as several magazines and print/cyber publications.
She is currently a photography instructor in Paris and feeds her passion and commitment for the discovery and support of new photographic talent as co-founder and director of the International Fine Art Photography Competition (Grand Prix de la Découverte), a program dedicated to the recognition and support of talented photographic artists.
Her philosophy can be summed up in one phrase: "Vive la photographie!"

More details can be found on her Jury's page:

Best regards

Terra Quantum's Team

How are the photographed countries mapped with the photographers of Terra Quantum ?

Jun 28, 2015 17:33

As of end of June, 36 photographers, having loaded pictures from 19 countries, were registered. These figures are growing each week.
Some photographers have chosen to submit pictures revealing iconic parts of the world. Others have opted for maybe more « intimate » landscapes, not particularly representative of a specific area. All are beautiful images.
America and Europe continents gather most of the images, especially the USA and Iceland. 
We are looking forward to seeing more pictures.
The graph below shows the links between the photographed countries and the photographers.


Terra Quantum has been launched!

May 17, 2015 12:08

We are pleased to announce the launch of Terra Quantum, the project that aims at gathering the most beautiful pictures of our world. 

For this occasion, we have chosen to highlight the photographer and artist Tom Till. Beyond his sense of art and his photography's level, Tom wonderfully represents this precious quality of curiosity and effort in discovering the world and its incredible beauty, being concerned by its fragility. He has been travelling and photographying for decades and many of the famous spots of the West America that are photographied today were totally unknown before. Tom has never tried to keep these treasuries for himself but has alsways shared them with others. We are proud and grateful that Tom has accepted to be part of our Jury's members.

The Earth is around five billion years old but Terra Quantum is much younger! The Earth has not been totally discovered and the same for Terra Quantum! So, we apologize in advance if you discover some still undiscovered bugs. We would be grateful if you report them to us. We will do our best to fix them as soon as possible. We are working to improve the current functionnalities and putting new functionnalities in place. Should you have any suggestion, we will be happy to discuss them with you.

Terra Quantum's Team