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Special Live Chats on AOL


Guest: Joe Lange
An award-winning photographer

Topic: Photographing National Parks

May 13, 1998

Moderator: Davinder Khanna


GSTDKhanna: I am pleased to welcome you to our chat series "Parks & People Live". Our guest tonight is Joseph Lange (JoeL2292), an award winning photographer. Joe will answer your questions on photographing and visiting our national parks. Please join in by introducing yourself.
Joe Lange, we welcome you to this forum.

JoeL2292: Hello to all the participants. I'm glad to be here to answer your questions.

Fstop1269: Hi Joe. Welcome to cyberspace. It's Doris from NJ

MESOZOIC1: hi Joe - glad to be here.

GSTDKhanna: Joe, when did you start photographing national parks?

JoeL2292: My first experience with the National Parks was when I was 10 yrs old - 47 years ago. I lived in the Chicago area at the time. The Parks made such a big impression on me that I moved out west at the age of 18 and have been there ever since.

GSTDAda: Joe, I know you were a geologist why the career change? 

GSTDKhanna: Where do you live now?

JoeL2292: I live in Grand Junction, CO. To answer Ada's question - I was downsized out of the oil business.

ADELE 1703: I have spent many happy moments at Yosemite and Sierra Nat'l Parks. Watching the firefalls and singing of the Indian Love Call at The Ewana Inn at Yosemite.

Chuck76029:Hi Joe, what format do you use for your photography?

JoeL2292: I use primarily 35mm for my photography although I have dine some 2 1/4.

GSTDAda: What is your film of choice?

JoeL2292: I use Fuji Velvia for all of my landscapes and a higher speed film such as Sensia or K200 for wildlife.

GSTDKhanna: There are currently over 370 units in the US National Park System, how many units have you photographed? Name few of your favorites.

JoeL2292: The major National Parks and Monuments get most of my attention. Arches, the Tetons, Bryce, Glacier and Capitol Reef are some of my favorites. 

ADELE 1703: GSTDAda, May I congratulate you on your beautiful Photos of Grand Teton & The Arches?

GSTDAda: Thanks

GSTDAda: Joe, some parks are better for am shooting some pm can you tell us which parks?

JoeL2292: The best for AM are Glacier, the Tetons. Some of the best for PM are Capitol Reef and Yosemite. Some are good at all times of the day except the middle. 

GSTDAda: If you could only visit 1 park, which would it be?

ADELE 1703: All photography is so moving and exceptional, makes me want to pack my bags and go!

GSTDToddC: Do you do any Digital Photography?

JoeL2292: Our company is Dramatic Light Nature Photography. We run 15 photo Workshops during the year. I don't do any digital photography. Maybe someday.

Chuck76029: You mentioned wildlife, any particular type?

JoeL2292: I have been to Africa 11 time. The Arctic for Polar Bears 9 times, but a lot of interesting wildlife can be found in the US - mainly the west, Florida, and Alaska.

GSTDAda: Joe, I know you have a book coming out soon. Can you tell..

JoeL2292: The book is entitled "How to Photograph Landscapes". Its published by Stackpole and should be out in August or September. 

Pk rnger: Hi, Owen Hoffman here.

GSTDKhanna: Hello Owen, thanks for joining us.

Fstop1269: Hi Joe. Dois from NJ wants to know how Bonnie is?

JoeL2292: Bonnie is fine, Doris. Thanks for asking. How is Jerry?

Fstop1269: He's doing much better now. Thanks. Thanks for all the great times I had on your trips.

GSTDAda: I'm not going to let you off the hook. Your favorite park?

JoeL2292: ARCHES

GSTDAda: I knew that answer. But why?

BillDorie: Is 500mm better than 300mm for wildlife?

JoeL2292: A long zoom lens is MUCH better than any fixed focal length lens. My big lens is a Canon 150 to 600mm L.

JoeL2292: Form and Color

Chuck76029: Good choice, Joe

ADELE 1703: JOE and BONNIE LANGE, Thank you for the beautiful photo trips on this site.

Stephkinn: Hi, Steph here. Does anyone know about Mesa Verde?

JoeL2292: We're running a trip in October that includes Mesa Verde

Stephkinn: I'm going to Mesa Verde next week with my school, and I want to know more about it.

JoeL2292: To learn more about any Park, contact the Park HQ.

Russparks: Joe, hi, Zion is my favorite; have you done much photography there?

JoeL2292: I've photographed in Zion over 50 times. It's great but I like Bryce better.

ADELE 1703: JOEL- In Calif?

Pk rnger: Just about sunset from the top of Angel's Landing looking west is perfect. The West Rim Trail offers great vantage points.

BillDorie: Do you just shoot 35mm or larger format??

JoeL2292: Mostly 35

Chuck76029: What about Colorado Monument in your backyard?

JoeL2292: Colorado Nat. Mon is at our backdoor. I go there in winter after fresh snows and when fog is present.

Russparks: Joe, if you had only two trails to choose in Yellowstone for photography, what would they be

JoeL2292: They would be in the Geyser Basins.

ADELE 1703: Has Any one hiked and photographed the John Muir Trail?

JoeL2292: Parts - in Yosemite.

Russparks: I've taken more photos in Acadia than any other park; have you exposed a bunch of film there

Chuck76029:I'm planning a trip to Acadia next year, any helpful hints?

JoeL2292: I have never been to Acadia. I'm an expert on the WESTERN Parks.

Russparks: Chuck, yes--Acadia climbs: Acadia, Penobscot, Pemetic Mtns; Bubble and Jordan Ponds, Ship Harbor and Wonderland trails; Schoodic Penin.on mainland, height autumn color: tage end Sept thru Oct 10.

GSTDKhanna: Russparks is Russell Butcher from AZ, a long time advocate for our national parks.

Pk rnger: Hi Russ, nice to see you after knowing of you for years.

GSTDKhanna: "Pk rnger" is Owen Hoffman from TN, a formerly from NPS

Pk rnger: Zion, Yosemite and Crater Lake.

GSTDAda: Joe as a geologist can you explain the colors of Bryce a few words?

Pk rnger: Iron oxide

JoeL2292: The colors are due to impurities. Iron causes the reds and oranges. Manganese causes the purples. 

ADELE 1703: GSTDAda- Will you be taking another photoshoot trip soon?

JoeL2292: Ada will be coming with me to ARCHES and vicinity next week. 

Fstop1269: Are there enough opportunities for photographers that cannot maneuver rocks and rough terrain.

JoeL2292: Yes. Most of the photos in my book were taken either near the car or within a mile. 

GSTDAda: How about the fumeroles, paintpots and geysers of Yellowstone? What causes them?

JoeL2292: Thermal activity is caused by a thin spot in the earth's crust that brings magma (steam etc) to the surface. 

GSTDKhanna: Joe, beside photographing national parks what else you enjoy in the parks?

JoeL2292: Solitude - which is becoming harder to find. 

GSTDKhanna: What concerns you the most about our national parks?

JoeL2292: There are several. Over zealous Rangers are a problem as people who don't respect the Parks. 

GSTDAda: What filters do you use most often?

JoeL2292: With COLOR film - a polarizer and enhancing filter.

: Do you use an enhancing filter on red rock. Does it make it to red with Velvia?

JoeL2292: Its especially effective with Velvia because Velvia has a Cyan cast without it. 

Chuck76029: Joe, Glacier & Rocky Mountain, which do you prefer?

JoeL2292:GLACIER - even though I once lived in Denver - close to Rocky MTN. 

Russparks: Joe, from N Rim Grand Canyon, what's best filter to cut too-frequent pollution haze?

JoeL2292: POLARIZER. That's easy. 

GSTDKhanna: GSTDToddC is NPS Ranger and also a good friend of the parks.

Chuck76029: Joe, which side of the Grand canyon do you prefer & why

JoeL2292: Both are great. The north rim is only open 5 months of the year. 

GSTDAda: I've heard you're not an "equipment" person. What camera system do you use?

JoeL2292: I use Minoltas for scenery (Manual focus with zoom lenses) and Canon for wildlife. 

GSTDKhanna: Joe, it's rare to have your wife be a photographer as well. How did Bonnie get into doing as well? :-)

JoeL2292: She's my Second wife. I picked her carefully. 

Fstop1269: Do you do a lot of teaching on your workshops? I agree, you picked well.

JoeL2292: I do a lot of teaching on Composition, Lighting, Exposure, and Closeups. 

Russparks: Joe, I've enjoyed Minolta and a couple of Olympus, including a zoom lens. Have you used Olym

JoeL2292: No. But any decent SLR will do a good job. Its the eye behind it that matters. 

GSTDKhanna: Joe, any plans for creating your own web site?

JoeL2292: My brother - the cyber expert - is doing it now as time permits. 

GSTDAda: How come you don't lug around a camera bag like the rest of us?

JoeL2292: I don't carry a lot of equipment. I can get all the zoom lenses, filters, film, batteries, etc. in a photo vest. 

GSTDAda: Give us an idea of what you carry on a general shoot

JoeL2292: 2 Camera Bodies, TRIPOD, 3 lenses, filters, etc. 

Russparks: Joe, do you shoot exclusively in color, or b & w, too

JoeL2292: I used to do a lot of B&W in the 70's. Nature lends itself more to color that B&W. 

GSTDAda: What lenses do you carry as a rule.

JoeL2292: 24 - 35, 35 - 70. 70 - 210 for scenery. 200 - 400 and 150 - 600 for wildlife. 

GSTDKhanna: Joe, what's your top most advice to an average person who loves national parks and would like to preserve them for generations to come?

JoeL2292: Advocate the USE (without abuse) of the Parks. They belong to ALL of us - not just the hiker and bikers. 

Russparks: Joe, have you photographed in other nations? A favorite?

JoeL2292: South Africa, Canada. 

Fstop1269: Do you sell your work through a stock company?

ADELE 1703: JOE, Have you filmed Hells Canyon at the Snake River/Oregon/Idaho border?

JoeL2292: I sell for stock. I haven't filmed Hells Canyon. 

Chuck76029: Joe, What is your least favorite park for photography.

JoeL2292: Many of the newer National Parks and Monuments do not have the scenic values of the older and more traditional Nat Parks, but they're taking urgently needed funds from them.  

Pk rnger: What's a scenic value?

JoeL2292: A scenic value is something that is outstanding and unique. I can point to a lot of parks that don't qualify in my opinion. 

GSTDAda: What advice would you give the fledging photographer? (Besides taking one of your workshops)

GSTDKhanna: Joe, tell us a little about the workshop you offer to people.

JoeL2292: We run 15 different Workshops during the year. Anyone interested, call me at 800-2074686 for a free catalog. 

GSTDToddC: Do you have a web site for your catalog?

JoeL2292: No web site yet. Try snail mail. 

Russparks: Joe, any tips for photographing in subdued lighting, as in Redwoods and Olympic rainforest?

JoeL2292: Overcast skies to reduce contrast. TRIPOD, Velvia with NO enhancer. 

ADELE 1703: Few travelers go there they say. Hells Canyon shares it's secrets grudgingly-rough trip.

Barb82843: We are thinking of visiting Yosemite in the fall is that a good time.

Russparks: Barb, October in Yosemite can be fantastic--the oaks in the Valley!

GSTDAda: When is the best time to visit Yosemite in your opinion?

JoeL2292: Yosemite has some nice color in the fall but the waterfalls are a trickle. 

Russparks: May is a fabulous time at Yosemite Valley-waterfalls and birds singing, flowers blooming.

JoeL2292: May is when we ran our Workshop in Yosemite. However Glacier Point and Tioga Pass may not be open. 

GSTDKhanna: Well, the scheduled time with our guest is coming to an end. Please send in your last question or comment

GSTDAda: You don't get the vivid colors out west in the fall as we do in the east, correct?

JoeL2292: We don't have as many reds, but the aspens are fantastic. We also have great mountains to serve as a center of interest in the picture. 

Fstop1269: (Doris) Thanks for the visit, Joe & Bonnie. Thanks also for all the good information.

Barb82843: Is Yosemite all they say it is, don't want to make a trip if it's not.

Russparks: Oh, Gads! Yosemite is phenomentally world class!!!

JoeL2292: Its great but don't go in the summer months. Too many people. 

Chuck76029: Joe, will we be able to get info on your book at that 800 #

JoeL2292: Yes, please call me. 

Barb82843: Are the waterfall not good?

JoeL2292: Waterfalls are good in summer, but TOO MANY PEOPLE. 

GSTDKhanna: We thank you Joe for taking the time to join us tonight. Thanks also to everyone for your participation.

GSTDAda: Thanks to Dave Collard for all his help.

GSTDKhanna: Dave Collard, thank you!

Barb82843: Thanks for all your answers

Chuck76029: Joe, Thanks for sharing with us. You have the best job in the world.

JoeL2292: It was a pleasure to chat with all of you.

GSTDKhanna: Good night everyone!


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