Explore Yosemite and more on DVD
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Good ideas are contagious.
When landscape photographer Michael Reichmann caught worldwide attention with a photo magazine on DVD, fellow landscape photographer Steve Kossack caught the bug.
Kossack's first on-location DVD, "Yosemite in Winter," was videotaped at Yosemite National Park in California.
The video disk isn't a travelogue; just as Reichmann does in his DVD magazine, Kossack takes the viewer along as part of the photo-taking team.
You're not simply looking at Yosemite; you're sharing the trails and vistas of this spectacular national park with Kossack and his companions as if you were there with them, in the brisk winter light, with your own camera, taking the same pictures your guide is capturing. It's all simply stunning.
Reichmann's DVD magazines - I've viewed several issues - are slick and polished. Kossack's first DVD effort is a little rough-edged at times - he needs to be more relaxed and look at the camera more often when he speaks to the viewer, for example - but the videography is stunning, and Kossack's advice on photo techniques is invaluable.
"Yosemite in Winter" is especially fascinating when Kossack and his Yosemite seminar participants set up a telephoto shot of Horsetail Falls, one of the most scenic sights in the park. Horsetail Falls is the Yosemite equivalent of the Stonehenge monoliths; only at rare times will the sun's direct light radiate in just the right way to turn the falls into a supernatural apparition.
Kossack holds you in awe as the winter sun climbs into a magic triangulation of rock, water and shadow at the cliff face, where the falls plunge into the lower reaches of the park.
I had to play that portion of the disk three times before I could escape the suspense Kossack was putting me through.
"Yosemite in Winter" is a standard video DVD that can be played on any DVD player or computer with a DVD drive and playback software.
The full title of the series is "Steve Kossack: Photographing the Great American Landscape." The "Yosemite in Winter" DVD costs $25 and can be ordered from the photographer's Web site, stevekossack.com.
You'll find more information on Reichmann's DVD journal in my review at http://www.technofile online.com/texts/tec060505. html.
Al Fasoldt's technology column appears here weekly and is available online at http://www.technofileonline.com. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or in care of Stars, P.O. Box 4915, Syracuse, NY 13221.
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