Archive for December, 2009

31
Dec
09

12/31/2009

Salt Ice on the Salt Marsh

Last Pic of the Day for 2009! Parson’s Beach, Kennebunk ME. We had a cold snap night before last: 2 degrees, climbing to about 25 at the high yesterday. Cold enough to freeze salt water, or at least turn it into rime. Cold enough to freeze a thin layer of rime over the marsh grasses as the tide fell.  We also had a flood tide, so areas of the marsh that are rarely wet were under water. The combination created some interesting effects.

I took many shots of the patterns formed by the grass and ice, and then a few like this one, from ground level looking across the frozen marsh.

Sony DSC H50 at 31mm equivalent and macro. F5.6 @ 1/640th @ ISO 100. Programmed auto.

Blackpoint to the right in Lightroom. Added Clarity and Vibrance. Sharpen Landscape preset.

From Around Home Kennebunk ME.

And here is one of those pattern shots.

30
Dec
09

12/30/2009

Winter Surf

Taking a break from the Desert Botanical Gardens and AZ…back to Maine for a winter surf shot, the day after a major storm passed off-shore. It is way the light interacts with the water that caught my eye. I took a dozen or more shots of the surf, trying to catch what I was seeing. This is at least close.

Sony DSC H50 at 465mm equivalent. F5.6 @ 1/2000 @ ISO 100. Programmed auto.

Blackpoint to the right in Lightroom. Added Clarity and Vibrance. Sharpen Landscape preset. Cropped from the bottom for composition. I also had to deal, in this extreme shot, with some Chromatic Aberration showing along the out-of-focus  horizon. The Lightroom CA control took care of it easily.

From Around Home Kennebunk ME.

29
Dec
09

12/29/2009

Spines and Light: what I see in the desert

One of the things that fascinates me most about the desert and cacti is the things the light does to the spines and convolutions of the plants. I was at the Desert Botanical Gardens early on my last visit (I am there early on every visit…a necessity any season but winter, due to Phoenix heat…and preferable even in winter), and the light was still oblique enough to provide interesting effects. This cluster of Organ Pipe cacti is a case in point.

I moved in close at about 75mm equivalent to crop just this section of the tall plants, because it is the light effects, not the cacti themselves, or the desert landscape that contains them, that I am interested in.

Sony DSC H50 at about 75mm equivalent. F4.0 @ 1/200th @ ISO 100. Programmed auto.

Punch and Sharpen Landscape presets in Lightroom. >> Clarity and > Vibrance.

From Desert Botanical Gardens 09.

28
Dec
09

12/28/2009

Cacti Filling Frames

Okay, so this is maybe cheating a little bit because this is not a pic of the day, it is three pics of the day rolled into one. Sort of. I took these images seconds apart, without moving more than a step and a half turn. There is is a display of native cacti just below the Terrace Restaurant at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. The sun had gone behind a momentary cloud…just enough, and just long enough, to provide some filtration for these shots…a softening of the light that brought out the patterns. The first two were shot at about 180mm equivalent for framing. The third was taken from the same spot, but I zoomed up to almost 300mm equivalent to frame a slightly more distant clump. They form a kind of triptych study of the way light interacts with these spiny shapes.

Sony DSC H50 at 180mm and 300mm equivalents. F4, F3.5, F4 @ 1/125th, 1/60th, 1/40th @ ISO 100. Programmed auto.

Punch and Sharpen Landscape presets in Lightroom. >> Clarity and > Vibrance.

And here they are, actually arranged as a classical triptych panel.

Cactitrip2

27
Dec
09

12/27/2009

Padded Cell

Happy Sunday!

Early light, winter colored prickly pear profusion at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix Arizona. I really like cacti. I like the forms they take, and the display they make as the light changes. I like the subtle colors, which often, as with the Prickly Pear, vary with the seasons. I like to fill the frame with the pattern of them, to the exclusion of all else. What can I say? I like cacti.

For this shot, I used the zoom on the H50 for framing and to flatten perspective. I intend to publish a piece on Point and Shoot Landscape on just that…using the zoom as a framing tool. The one purple/red fruit/bud on the left adds a “where’s waldo” effect that I like.

Sony DSC H50 at about 80mm equivalent. F4.0 @ 1/60th @ ISO 100. Programmed auto.

All presets in Lightroom: Punch, Landscape Sharpen, >> of Clarity, and > of Vibrance. 4 seconds total editing time.

From Desert Botanical Garden 09.

26
Dec
09

12/26/2009

So Red!

So red it hurts. Red or Baja Fairy Duster, a native plant of America’s Southwestern Deserts, is certainly red. The more common variety is shades of pink and bit easier on the eye and the camera sensor. This specimen, in full early morning sun at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix Arizona is about as red as anything I have seen in nature. This was taken in wide angle macro mode from centimeters away.

Sony DSC H50 at 31mm equivalent and macro. F4.0 @ 1/200th @ ISO 100. Programmed auto.

Sharpen Landscape preset in Lightroom. Added Clarity. I generally add some Vibrance, but not to this shot!

From Desert Botanical Gardens 09.

Here is an alternative view, and one with an Anna’s Hummingbird. The plants attract hummers, especially late in the season when they are one of the few plants blooming. I was just too late to get the bird at a flower…but it is still an interesting image.

 

25
Dec
09

12/25/2009

Winter Beach

A Christmas Eve day walk on the winter Parson’s  beach a few miles from home. There is a definite December solstice look to the sky and that deep winter slant to the light of late morning.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Sony DSC H50 at 31mm equivalent. F5.6 @ 1/500th @ ISO 100. Programmed auto.

Added Clarity and just a touch of Vibrance in Lightroom. Recovery for the clouds and sky. Sharpen Landscapes preset.

From Around Home Kennebunk ME.

And here we are: My wife (right most) and two of my 5 daughters. You can see the one on the left (Sarah) takes after her dad, photographically at least. She has a blog…mostly about books…but she posts some images and some travel adventures, at What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate.