Archive for the ‘Rivers and Streams’ Category

Living Color – Autumn Scenes East and West

Gold Standard, Steamboat Springs, CO 2008

Since much of this country is exhibiting Autumn colors this time of year, I have re-visited one of my classic landscapes entitled Gold Standard. Stopping along a very long drive to Steamboat Springs in Colorado, this snow-capped mountain rose up behind a golden strand of Aspen trees creating a scene that begged to be photographed. Not being near a landscape with changing colors this year, I re-post this image to remember what I am missing and to look forward to seeing it again next year and for many years to come.

Rocky Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 2009

Remembering days gone by growing up in Long Island, NY, raking fallen leaves and jumping into the piles, Rocky Road contrasts the eastern orange and red leaf colors that I remember to the west coast Aspen golds. This image was captured at Rock City Gardens near the border of Tennessee and Georgia, outside Chattanooga, TN A spectacular place to visit during the Fall when the winding rock paths are framed by, and then covered with, the beautiful turning leaves. The 140 foot waterfall at the end of the road captured both my heart and my umbrella when I leaned too far over the railing to get the right angle for another image. Well, better the umbrella then my camera equipment…or me.

Water Down – Wild River Scenic

Wild River, Rocky Mountains, CO 2010

One more cascade image to go with the flow… of the last two posts. After an exceptionally harsh winter season in the Rocky Mountains, the runoff from the melting snow made for some powerful rivers and waterfalls. I captured this image from a bridge that was right in the path of the thunderous cascade, just before being ordered off by some Park Rangers (justifiably) concerned for my safety.

A tripod was necessary to capture the detail of the trees and rocks and to make a long exposure emphasizing the flow of the water. The key to an image like this is an overcast sky to avoid overexposure of the smooth water and carefully composing the scene while maintaining secure footing. The idea is to get the shot, without losing any equipment…or your life.

“Inverrary Falls” Included in Feature Shoot’s ‘Hometown’ Group Show

Inverray Falls, Lauderhill, FL 2011

For the second week in a row, one of my waterfall images has been chosen for exhibition, this time for the on-line group show on FEATURE SHOOT entitled ‘Hometown’ In stark contrast to the epic grandeur of the previously posted image ‘Niagara’ (juried into Exhibition at the Photo Center NW, Seattle by legendary collector, W.H. Hunt), Inverrary Falls (which is re-posted here) is actually a man-made water feature located at the entrance to the Broward County, Florida residential community named Inverrary. Formerly known for the late comedian Jackie Gleason’s Inverrary Classic Golf Tournament (now the Honda Classic currently played in West Palm Beach), my wonderful parents also lived there for many years. If you look closely at the image, you can see the white PVC piping of the lighting system towards the top and in between the two waterfalls. I captured this natural looking scene using a tripod on a cloudy day, which allowed me to blur the water with a slow shutter speed, as cars zoomed by in all directions behind me.

Feature Shoot is run by photo editor and curator Alison Zavos and showcases work from up-and-coming photographers alongside established photographers who have completed a project or whose work has taken on a new direction. The site covers commercial and fine art photography, and is a resource through which photo editors, art directors, art buyers, and people with an interest in photography can discover new talent. Established in 2008, Feature Shoot has an archive of over 1,000+ international photographers. In 2011, Feature Shoot was selected as a winner of’s 2011 Photo Blog Awards: ‘the Web’s 20 most compelling, most consistently insightful and surprising photography blogs.’

As an aside, recently I have been asked for advice from followers about how I have created a professional and well received photo blog. Although I will take credit for the imagery and the basics of the blog, a major factor behind the creation and social networking of Adventures From Behind the Glass has been Alison Zavos, who is available as a consultant in these areas and can be reached through the Feature Shoot website. In addition to running Feature Shoot, Alison is an active member of the broader photography community. She has reviewed portfolios for organizations such as ASMP, the Advertising Photographers of America and The Art Directors Club and has spoken on various panels discussing topics such as the impact of new media, marketing, press and photography blogs. In the summer of 2010, she curated Sea Change, a group show as part of the Wassaic Summer Festival, which featured work from 25 New York photographers. Zavos is also a regular contributor to PDN’s Emerging Photographer magazine. From my personal experience, she is extremely well versed in her areas of expertise,  always seems to be ahead of the newest trends and is a pleasure to work with.

“Niagara” Juried into Exhibition by Legendary Collector W.M. Hunt

Niagara, 2006 © Barry Steven Greff 2012

Forgive me for posting my signature image Niagara again, but the fact that it has been juried into a gallery exhibition by the legendary collector, W.M. Hunt, is too important not to re-post. Niagara has previously been juried into exhibition by Joyce Tenneson, considered one of the most prolific photographic artists of our time and the image has been recognized by numerous luminaries of the photography world. This exhibition will be at the Photo Center NW in Seattle, Washington from August 3-September 18, 2012.

W.M. Hunt is a champion of photography, a renown collector, curator, consultant and dealer. He was a founding partner of the prominent photography gallery HASTED HUNT (which is now in Chelsea, the heart of the photographic art world in New York City. He and his collecting have been featured in The New York Times, Photo District News and The Art Newspaper as well as on PBS. He is a professor at the School of Visual Arts and on the Board of Directors of the W.Eugene Smith Memorial Fund and The Center for Photography at Woodstock, N.Y., where he was the recipient of their Vision Award in 2009. He also served on the Board of Directors of AIPAD (Association of International Photography Art Dealers) and as chairman of Photographers + Friends United Against AIDS. His recent book The Unseen Eye is based on his forty years as a collector Hearing him speak at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre, he is also a captivating speaker, having been an instrumental player in the history and recognition of photography as an art form.

Having my work juried for exhibition by Joyce Tenneson, Chris Pichler of Nazraeli Press, Susan Spiritus, Aline Smithson, Karen Irvine and Hal Gould, amongst others, has been a great honor. Now being recognized by Bill Hunt is (to use a common metaphor), some serious icing on an already outstanding cake.

Happy Earthday Mother Re-Posted for 2012

Mother Earth, 2011

(For best viewing, watch on You Tube at full screen, 720p resolution, depending on your system. If the video doesn’t play correctly, choose a lower resolution. All selections are bottom/right.)

      If, for any reason you have trouble viewing, here is the direct link. 

A year ago, when the blog was still new, I posted this three minute video to celebrate Earth Day. Now that I have a much larger viewership, I am re-posting the video (and the accompanying text) for Earth Day 2012…

By now, I hope it is clear that my landscape images seek to capture the spectacular natural beauty that still exists on Earth. To further that goal, and celebrate Earth Day, I am posting a 3 minute multimedia piece entitled: “Mother Earth.” This compilation of some of my sea and landscape images is accompanied by the hauntingly beautiful music track: “Willow and the Light” by gifted musician, Kevin Macleod. If possible, throw on some headphones and/or turn up the volume to fully appreciate the sounds of nature as well as the ethereal music… popcorn is optional.

In this presentation I emphasize the striking beauty that still exists on Mother Earth, the urgent need to conserve and protect her, and the dire consequences of failing to do so.

It is my hope that you enjoy the piece, and in some small way, it shines a light on the critical choices we need to make to protect and preserve the planet…and that we choose wisely.

Composition – Disregard the Photographic Rules

Niagara, 2006 (c) Barry Steven Greff 2012

One of my signature images, which was used to launch the blog, Niagara depicts how a unique composition can be extraordinarily powerful. The line of tourists on the bottom of the image were in Canada viewing the thundering falls in New York. The flying bird to their right was a (purposely) added bonus.

The composition of a photograph is just as important as the lighting, sometimes even more so. As can be seen from this image, as well as my last post (you can always click on the Blog Title to view all images), the photographic rules of composition were made to be broken. When I create an image I compose it according to what I feel about what is in front of me. The juxtaposition of the main subject, to the background and to anything else I choose to include. There needs to be a complete balance within the frame, every part of the image has to contribute to the whole picture, so to speak.

Often, this involves a great deal of negative space. If used improperly the image will seem imbalanced. When done right, you can create something unique, an image that goes against long standing photographic teachings, that violates the rule of thirds and often results in something very special. Sometimes I will shoot a scene utilizing varying compositions, the best of which is not always readily apparent in the viewfinder or LCD screen. Then, when editing the images, the most impactful composition becomes clear and it is usually the first one I saw which was also the most extreme variation from the norm.

So, the moral of the story is shoot from your heart, not your head. Experiment and disregard the traditional rules. Done right, you just might create and unexpectedly, powerful image.

Rainbow Sunset – Everglades City

Rainbow & Dock, Everglades City, FL 2009

Heading south from Naples, Florida along the southwest coast, one of the last populated areas (1,000 residents in 2011) is Everglades City. Known for stone crabs and environmental touring of the area, it is the northwest entry into Everglades National Park. On this particular summer evening I interrupted a casual waterfront dinner to capture this rare combination of rainbow and sunset.

  Sunset at the Docks, Everglades City, FL 2009

Rainbows come and go within a matter of minutes and are best captured as soon as they are seen (and preferably with a polarizing filter to bring out the colors). Additionally, the fleeting magic hour (actually sometimes just minutes) following sunset, often provides spectacular lighting for creating beautiful land and seascapes, but is also soon just a (hopefully recorded) memory.

River of Grass – The Florida Everglades

River of Grass, Florida Everglades, 2009

Having shown a darker side of natural Florida in my last post, here is an example of the extraordinary beauty that exists in the state.

Named by writer, journalist and environmentalist Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, Florida’s River of Grass flows through the heart of South Florida providing vast landscapes and a home to numerous species of wildlife. With a topography that is so flat, a good vantage point to shoot can be achieved from a manmade rise or observation tower (although Big Cypress’s Clyde Butcher creates B & W images with his 8 x 10 camera while standing waist deep in the swamp). I have tried that, but I find myself paying too much attention to what might be coming towards me, rather than what is in front of me.

While alligators periodically swam by, I shot this scene from the safety of an air boat that was briefly standing still after a noisy (ear plugs mandatory) ride, hovering above, and across the sawgrass.

Life and Death

River of Fallen Trees, Yellowstone, MT 2010

In mid to late October, Yellowstone National Park often sees its Autumn rust colored grounds dusted with the first snow of the coming winter season. The ever-changing cycle of the seasons is a constant reminder of the circle of life that is a constant in nature. This image, River of Fallen
Trees, captures the essence of the changing landscape colors as well as the felled trees that eventually return back into the Earth to re-start the growth process all over again. At the left-rear of the image you can also see some of the steam from one of more than 10,000 thermal features that constantly spews from the ground in the Park, as it has for thousands of years.

Just prior to shooting this image, I had run into a couple of photographers at Old Faithful who had recently spotted a fairly large bear not too far away. With this information fresh in my mind, I spent as much time framing this scene in my camera, as I did looking over my shoulder. Luckily, my day was uneventful, other than temperatures in the 20’s and snow that closed the interior park roads. Sometime after this image was made, a hiker was actually killed by a Grizzly in Yellowstone, which is a very rare occurrence (and often a result of a perceived threat to a mother’s cub).

Hence, both that incident and the continuous cycle that exists in the natural world, reminds me of the ongoing inevitability of…life and death.

Fall Fall

Autumn Cascade, Chattanooga, TN 2009

Having come across this beautiful autumn scene in harsh mid-day light, I knew that a return visit later in the day would be necessary to create a great image. To kill some time we drove up-river a bit until we came across an area of white water rapids wherein several kayakers were practising their craft. Standing next to a proud Dad on the bridge over the troubled waters, I learned that his son below was a champion at this popular Tennessee sport. The young man really knew how to rip himself around as his kayak went through serious white water that roared through this narrow gorge. It was a perfect spot to train because the specific area of powerful water let out to a calmer side allowing the kayakers to enter and exit the white water. Shooting a long (400 mm) lens from numerous vantage points as the kayak rolled over and over through the white water (see below) was an enjoyable diversion for me while I waited for softer light to return to the waterfall scene.

After capturing some cool kayaking action shots we made our way back to the cascade. Upon our return, the light had shifted allowing me to not only smooth out the water, but get some great detail and saturation. With a bit of patience and respect for proper lighting, I was able to create these two images that could both be described as a…fall fall.

White Water Run, Chattanooga, TN 2009

The Real Thing

Granite Flow, Boulder, CO 2008

After previously posting a manmade waterfall scenic, here I get back to the real deal. One of the most relaxing sounds on the planet is that of a cascading waterfall. This one, just outside of downtown Boulder, Colorado was exhibiting the significant run-off of the prior heavy winter snow season. This image was made under overcast skies which is always conducive to a tripod assisted slow shutter speed for silky water. Created during a light rainfall, the wet rock emphasized the structure of the hard granite against the soft flow of water.

So, unlike the image in my prior post, sometimes it takes a bit of exploration to find a scene like this, but it’s worth it to see and capture…the real thing.

There’s No Place Like Home

Inverray Falls, Lauderhill, FL 2011

As a photographer seeking exotic waterfall locales, one can travel deep into the Amazonian Rainforest, or in this case… a few miles from home in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Although man-made rather than natural, this particular entrance display leading into a South Florida residential area is as good a replica as I have ever seen. Several waterfalls cascading down beautifully landscaped rock features creates a peaceful tropical oasis, just feet from a busy intersection. Just goes to show you Dorothy, that when it comes to making a great scenic photo… there’s no place like home.

BSG Featured in SHUTTERBUG Magazine

SHUTTERBUG Magazine has long been a trusted resource for everything photographic, in print and on-line This month’s print magazine cover (October issue) features a portrait by renowned photographer Steve McCurry which he shot on the last roll of Kodachrome film ever manufactured. Inside the magazine, there is a monthly column featuring select photography web site profiles. This issue’s article entitled: “Exploring Global Villages: Inspiring Images and Image-Makers” features my site Written by Joe Farace who is a widely published Colorado-based photographer and author of more than 30 books and 1900+ magazine stories, I have taken the liberty of re-printing it verbatim here:

“Barry Steven Greff’s photography is showcased in an elegantly designed website from Foliolink ( The site appears one way on my desktop computer and another, better I think, incarnation on my iPad, where captions and other
information appear as well. Images are arranged in four portfolios and Atmosphere displays images representing the majesty of nature, especially his monochrome image of Niagara Falls photographed like you’ve never seen it before. It’s a quiet allegory of the power of nature vs. the insignificance of humankind. It’s one of his few images that have people and here they are infinitesimal in size compared to the roar – you can almost hear it while looking at the photograph – of the falls.

Most of these images are in powerful black and white but when Greff uses color, it’s to make a point. The Classics portfolio may contain some of his classics but never fails to dazzle with understated yet inherently graceful attempts at depicting nature. Unlike the previous portfolios, Spirit & Light contains a few urban images made in New York City and, while wildly incongruous next to his nature images, are appealing in a completely different way. His image made through a car window could have easily been a still image from the film Taxi Driver, with all the connotations that come along with it. In Of the Wild, Greff has created portraits of all kinds of animals from eagles to peacocks to gorillas. This represents an entirely different body of work, separate from his landscapes, that nevertheless shows how a talented photographer confronted by a
different genre rises to the occasion. He’s created insightful works of great authority and style. “

Over the Edge.

Dark Descent, Niagara Falls, 2006

As the continuous torrent of water flows over Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side of Niagara, the powerful nighttime spotlights illuminate the cascade as it disappears into the mist. This image, Dark Descent, was chosen for first place, outstanding achievement in the 2010 Black & White Spider Awards. It was shot with a tripod mounted 400 mm lens from 2 miles away to capture this angle. The image was created to take the viewer…over the edge.

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