Cornforth Images

Popular Photography January 2016 Cover

Popular Photography January 2016 Cover

Posted by Jon Cornforth on January 26, 2016

I’ve been behind on my photo editing, blog posting, and social media-ing, so hopefully in the next few weeks I will get back on top of it. To start it off, I want to share my walrus image that graced the January 2016 cover of Popular Photography. I photographed this behemoth last June while co-leading a small sailboat expedition around Norway’s Svalbard Archipelago with Tony Wu. I cautiously waded into the shallow water with my polecam outstretched and quickly shot some images before he let me know that my presence was unwelcome. I created this image using my Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera body and 15mm fisheye lens inside my Aquatech 5DmkIII housing with an Aquatech 8″ dome port and remotely triggered it on the end of my monopod. I processed the RAW file using Adobe Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC 2015, and Nik Software’s Color Efex 4‘s White Neutralizer filter.

Poolepynten Underwater Walrus 3

Poolepynten Underwater Walrus 3

Posted by Jon Cornforth on November 5, 2015

I want to start sharing some of my incredible new images from my spectacular Svalbard expedition that I co-lead with Tony Wu this past June. I have been hesitant to publish what I consider to be some of my best work ever given the fact that publishing photos is not what it used to be, not to mention that a lot of my work gets used without compensation by copyright infringers. However, I can not be afraid of holding back my new photos forever.

This is an underwater walrus image that I created while standing in the Arctic Ocean, holding my polecam, and waiting for a walrus from the nearby colony to swim up to me. Eventually, this very curious walrus took interest and swam directly at me as I nervously stood my ground with my polecam held under the surface in front of me. I blindly fired away as this extraordinary encounter unfolded. After the walrus grew tired of staring at its reflection on my dome port, it gently settled into the shallow water in front of me and proceeded to scratch itself for what seemed like an eternity. It was truly an unimaginable experience as both of us were just relaxed and hanging out at the beach while enjoying each other’s company. I created this image using my Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera body and 15mm fisheye lens inside my Aquatech 5DmkIII housing with an Aquatech 8″ dome port and remotely triggered it on the end of my monopod. I processed the RAW file using Adobe Lightroom 6 and Photoshop CC 2015, and Nik Software’s Color Efex 4‘s White Neutralizer filter.

Sport Diver October 2015 Cover

Sport Diver October 2015 Cover

Posted by Jon Cornforth on November 3, 2015

One of my false clown anemonefish images was published on the October cover of Sport Diver! I photographed this clownfish while visiting the Misool Ecoresort located in Raja Ampat, Indonesia in March 2011. (Man, was that trip really almost 5 years ago?) I had always wanted to photograph these charismatic fish ever since watching Finding Nemo a thousand times with my older daughter when she was little. When I returned from the trip, I recall one of my good dive buddies telling me that clownfish images were a dime-a-dozen and I would never publish them. Surprisingly, I have proven him wrong and published them widely. I created this image using my Canon 5DmkII and 100mm f2.8 macro lens in my Ikelite 5DmkII housing with dual Ikelite DS160 strobes set on TTL. This image required minimal processing using Aperture 3 and Photoshop CS5.

Bugaboo Snowpatch Spires Reflection 2

Bugaboo Snowpatch Spires Reflection 2

Posted by Jon Cornforth on October 21, 2015

I have been fortunate to photograph the dramatic mountains of Patagonia, the rugged fjords of Alaska and Svalbard, and the incredible scenery of South Georgia Island, but these places are all far off and cost a lot to visit. Closer to my home, yet with equally world-class scenery is Bugaboo Glacier Provincial Park in British Columbia. I tried to climb some of the easier routes back in the 90’s and only visited once with a camera in the very early days of my photography career. I had wanted to return for many years and finally did this past September. My buddy and I drove the long, windy dirt road from the Columbia Valley up to the parking area, and then hiked the short, but steep trail up to the Kain Hut. This image is from the first morning of our visit from a tarn located above Applebee Dome. It required a 45 minute hike uphill in the pre-dawn light to reach. The conditions were much more wintery than I was anticipating, but as the clouds parted with the early morning light illuminating the spires, the wind died down allowing for an almost perfect reflection. I created this image using my 36MP Sony a7R camera body with a Metabones Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX lens adapter, Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS lens, and Singh-Ray 4-stop Soft Graduated Neutral Density filter. I processed the RAW file using Adobe Lightroom 6 and Photoshop CC 2015, and Nik Software’s Color Efex 4‘s White Neutralizer filter.

Vermillion Lakes Sunrise 4

Vermillion Lakes Sunrise 4

Posted by Jon Cornforth on October 20, 2015

Banff National Park in Canada is one of my all-time favorite travel destinations. I was only 15 years old the first time I visited and its relative proximity was one of the main reasons that I moved to Seattle over 20 years ago. I try to return as often as I can, but it had been several years until my recent visit in September. My buddy and I started off our week-long trip by getting snowed on at Bow Summit and hiking in Bugaboo Glacier Provincial Park. On our return to Calgary, we photographed this incredible sunrise over Mount Rundle from the Vermillion Lakes near the town of Banff. We’d both been here many times before, so we knew where to place our tripods, but we literally jumped out of the car and started shooting just as this spectacular light show unfolded. While cars and trucks whizzed by on the Trans-Canada above and behind me, a solitary bull elk was bugling just to my right. It was a beautiful morning to be out in nature. I created this image using my 36MP Sony a7R camera body with a Metabones Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX lens adapter, Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS lens, Singh-Ray LB Warming Polarizer and Singh-Ray 4-stop Soft Graduated Neutral Density filter. I processed the RAW file using Adobe Lightroom 6 and Photoshop CC 2015, and Nik Software’s Color Efex 4‘s White Neutralizer filter.

Hvitserkur Sunset 1

Hvitserkur Sunset 1

Posted by Jon Cornforth on September 3, 2015

I photographed this dramatic seastack known as Hvítserkur on Iceland‘s north coast this past June. Tony Wu and I had experienced several days of horrendous weather before we finally read a forecast that looked promising up north, so off we drove with this destination in mind. Hvítserkur is an old basalt lava plug that has withstood the erosion by the sea. Legend has it that the rock was a troll who forgot to retreat from the light and was turned to stone at sunrise. It is one of Iceland’s iconic landscapes, so we were surprised to have it all to ourselves the one night that we photographed it. Nothing all that memorable was happening in the sky until this cloud suddenly burst into flame. We were also very fortunate to unintentionally arrive during a low tide, so I was able to compose this wide-angle image with sand patterns in the foreground. I created this image using my 36MP Sony a7R camera body with a Metabones Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX lens adapter, Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS lens, Singh-Ray LB Warming Polarizer and Singh-Ray 4-stop Soft Graduated Neutral Density filter. I processed the RAW file using Adobe Lightroom 6 and Photoshop CC 2015, and Nik Software’s Color Efex 4‘s White Neutralizer filter.

Latrabjarg Atlantic Puffin 36

Latrabjarg Atlantic Puffin 36

Posted by Jon Cornforth on September 2, 2015

As I mentioned in my previous post, this was my third visit to Iceland, but Tony Wu’s first. As part of his pre-trip incentive to live out of a van with me for two weeks, I had promised him that I would take him to see Atlantic puffins. The bird cliff at Látrabjarg is among the best locations in the world to photograph them, but in order to get there it requires a long drive along some awful roads.

Our goal was to spend two days and nights photographing puffins, during which we were rewarded with ideal conditions. We kept an Arctic summer schedule by sleeping during the day while most of the puffins were out at sea fishing, anyway. By the time the light starting getting good in the early evening, the puffins had returned. The sun barely dipped below the northern horizon after midnight, so we simply stayed up and prepared for another round of fantastic light. I enjoyed photographing the puffins and observing their comical expressions, but I told Tony that I do not think I ever need to drive all the way out to Látrabjarg again. I created this image using my Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera body and Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM II lens + Canon EF 1.4X III Tele-Extender. I processed the RAW file using Adobe Lightroom 6 and Photoshop CC 2015, and Nik Software’s Color Efex 4‘s White Neutralizer filter.

Kirkjufell Sunrise 1

Kirkjufell Sunrise 1

Posted by Jon Cornforth on September 1, 2015

This past June, I traveled to Iceland for the third time in my photography career. Tony Wu, my good friend and photo tour business partner, joined me for two weeks of driving around in a van, sleeping in obscure locations, eating whatever happened to be left in our non-functioning refrigerator, and chasing photographic opportunities. We had a great time together before co-leading our first sailing expedition in Norway’s Svalbard. I’ll share more about that incredible trip soon.

The weather in Iceland is always extreme, but I found it to be especially difficult during this trip. Before leaving home, I vowed not to drive from one end of Iceland to the other as I had done during my previous visits because the distances and roads often require 6-10 hours to drive between locations. However, once the weather continued to be uncooperative, I spent a lot of time checking the forecast for various parts of the island and adjusted our plans to chase the light no matter how much driving was involved.

One of the locations that we abruptly made a decision to drive to was the iconic Kirkjufellfoss waterfall located across from the witch-hat summit of Kirkjufell mountain. I was vaguely familiar with photos of this beautiful setting and only knew that it was located on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Since I was driving around in the middle of the night with limited internet access, we initially drove to the end of the peninsula thinking that the famous name-sake volcano must be the the correct location before realizing that we had to turn around and drive back in the opposite direction.

Fortunately, the light this far north and lack of tourists on the road at 1am made it easy for us to find it, park, and stroll up to the falls in plenty of time to set up for this dramatic sunrise. I had expected to have to scrum with other tripod-toters to shoot this composition, but was pleasantly surprised to have this beautiful setting all to ourselves. As the colors in the sky started to explode, I coached Tony on how to use his filters and in general how to photograph a landscape, since he is usually underwater when he pushes the shutter release button. I have been intentionally avoiding photo “hot-spots” the last few years, but I am pleased that I allowed myself to indulge in photographing this graceful scene. I created this image using my 36MP Sony a7R camera body with a Metabones Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX lens adapter, Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS lens, and Singh-Ray 4-stop Soft Graduated Neutral Density filter. I processed the RAW file using Adobe Lightroom 6 and Photoshop CC 2015, and Nik Software’s Color Efex 4‘s White Neutralizer filter.

Puu Pehe Sunset 1

Puu Pehe Sunset 1

Posted by Jon Cornforth on April 2, 2015

I have previously shared a number of sunrise images of Puu Pehe located on Lanai‘s south shore, but photographing this iconic location during a dramatic sunset has eluded me. The weather in this part of Hawaii tends to be some of the sunniest and driest of the entire state. This is great for tourists who come to enjoy beautiful Hulopoe Beach, but not so much for impressive landscape photography conditions. After dozens of attempts over many years of visiting Lanai, I was finally rewarded with this stunning image. Not only did the golden sunlight illuminate the rugged lava shoreline, but the sky was full of puffy, glowing clouds. I am also enamored with the beautiful, warm colors reflected on the wet sand. I created this image using my 36MP Sony a7R camera body with a Metabones Canon lens adapter, and my new Canon 16-35mm f4 IS lens, and Singh-Ray 2-stop Hard Graduated Neutral Density filter. I processed the RAW file using Aperture 3, Photoshop CC 2014, and Nik Software’s Color Efex 4‘s White Neutralizer filter.

Humpback Whale Breach 236

Humpback Whale Breach 236

Posted by Jon Cornforth on April 1, 2015

Because I have photographed so many humpback whales breaching during my career, I have become very specific about the type of photograph that I am searching for. First off, I prefer to be very close to the surface of the ocean so that the cetacean emerges well above the horizon line. This is only possible while working from small boats. Secondly, the animal needs to breach pretty close by, because I use a medium telephoto lens. Thirdly, since I use such a short focal length, I like to line up the whale with a dramatic backdrop in order to give a better sense of place. In this case, I used the dramatic sidelight illuminating the north shore of Lanai with dark clouds in the sky above as my background. Finally, the direction and rotation of the breach are very important, and the further the leviathan comes out of the water the better. I love how in this photo the enormous whale is momentarily suspended above the waves with its back perfectly arched and its pectoral fin out to the side as water is being thrown off in all directions. Awesome! I created this image using my new Canon 7DmkII and Canon 70-200mm f2.8L IS II lens. I processed the RAW file using Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CC 2014.