Archive for the 'fog' Category

22
Oct
10

10/22/2010: hidden cove, Acadia

I am certain this spot has another name, but to us it is Hidden Cove. It is off the Park Loop road in Acadia National Park, and only marked by a small parking area across the road from what, if you are looking closely, is the head of a set of stairs that promises to lead down to the ocean. The stairs put you on that pebble beach. Walking the “ready made” trails out to the north of the stair head takes you to one of the points that frames the cove, and I took this shot from there. As you see it was still a foggy day and the vista is limited by the moisture in the air. At the same time, the moisture brings out all the rich tones in the rocks at my feet.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent, f4.0 @ 1/160th @ ISO 80. Landscape program.

Fill Light in Lightroom for the foreground and to bring up the detail in the evergreens, Blackpoint right for intensity, added Clarity and Vibrance, and Sharpen narrow edges preset.

This is the view from the beach looking out to the point from where the first image was taken.

Similar exif and processing.

21
Oct
10

10/21/2010: Cadillac cloud event

Our most recent trip to Acadia was not Cadillac Summit weather. We had mostly rain and mist and fog, and then fog and mist and rain. It was beautiful, of course, and we enjoyed it as much as any trip so far. But it really looked like we would finally make an Acadia visit without a drive up the winding road to the summit of Cadillac.

The last day there, after hiking in the heavy fog around Jordan Pond, and a pop-over lunch at the Jordan Pond House where our daughter who works there got to wait on us (lucky her) and we got fully fed, we started for home and suddenly, just before the Cadillac turn-off, drove right out of the fog and into sun. Looking up we could see the summit, standing out clear against a blue sky. Who could resist?

As we drove up though, it became obvious that we were racing the front. The fog was literally boiling up the south flank of the mountain on a strong wind ahead of the mass of fog and cloud that closed the whole south east horizon like a wall, and already hid the mountains behind us. The first wisps were crossing the summit as I got out of the car. It was the strangest thing. A clot of cloud would tear of the front of the cloud mass, which itself was moving so fast you see it come, and race on ahead of the mass across the summit like a living thing…boiling and rolliing, twisting into a thousand shapes as the irregular mass of the summit and its complicated air-currents caught it and tossed it every which way as it passed. The wind was so strong I could barely stand to take a picture. I tried to catch several of the cloud things (cloud beings) as they passed, but this (above) is the best I could do.

I finally turned, just ahead of the on coming mass of cloud, for the car…grabbing this shot as I passed. In less than 30 seconds I was in cloud where I stood.

I am sure it is not all that uncommon an occurrence on Cadillac summit…but it was the first time I had experienced it. My only regret is that I totally forgot to shoot some video of it!

Canon SX20 IS. Post processing in Lightroom.

19
Oct
10

10/19/2010: otter cove with Birch

Otter Cove is a deep tidal inlet between on Mount Desert Island in Maine. The Park loop road crosses it on a causeway bridge about 1/3 of the way in, producing what looks like a lake on landside at high tide, and leaving a landlocked mud fat at low tide. Most of our days on our last visit in September were misty, rainy affairs, with distances fading off into fog. I did a lot of experimentation with HDR to see if I could capture the effect of the vivid foreground, the few early bright fall trees, and the persistent fog, but this is a straight on Landscape program shot.

Of course, what I like here is the sharply defined birch and the brush underfoot, the touches of color on the sides of the inlet, the glisten of the light on the mud and water and the more colorful hill in the background shrouded in fog.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. F4.0 @ 1/100th @ ISO 80. Landscape program. Processed in Lightroom using Recovery, Fill Light, Blackpoint, Clarity, Vibrance, and Sharpen. Cropped slightly for composition.

14
Oct
10

10/14/2010: jordan pond in fog

I have photographed Jordan Pond and the Bubbles in all weathers. It is the one hike (walk?) we never miss on any trip to Acadia National Park, partially because of its proximity to the Jordan Pond House, and a pop-over lunch (and where we generally have at least one daughter working), but mostly because it never fails to delight. This last trip we had a foggy early fall day to work with, and it was still beautiful.

Canon SX20IS all at 28mm equivalent, f4 @ ISO 80, Landscape program, and 1/200th, 1/400th, and 1/320th respectively.

Similar processing in Lightroom including heavy Recovery to restore transparency to the fog, Blackpoint right slightly, added Clarity and Vibrance, and Sharpen narrow edges preset. The last shot, with the lens of the camera tipped well down, required some distortion correction to bring the water horizon back somewhere near level.

04
Oct
10

10/5/2010: Quoddy Head Light

These are my last shots from Quoddy Head. The light as seen from the south in the heavy fog. I took a bunch of shots trying to catch the lamp lit and toward me, but the real trick was matching the color balance of this shot and the one at the foot of the blog. The fog, when zoomed in like this, really messed with the color, and cast everything blue. It took a lot of trial and error in Lightroom, working with Color Temperature and Hue to get the two images somewhere near balance…and then, for this one I needed dualing Graduated Filter effects…from the top to darken, from the bottom to brighten and increase contrast…in order to reproduce something like the natural look of the scene.

Canon SX20IS at about 100mm equivalent. F4.5 @ 1/500th @ ISO 80. Landscape Program.

Besides the dualing GF effects and color adjustments above, some Recovery, Fill Light, Blackpoint well right, added Clarity and Vibrance, and Sharpen narrow edges preset.

The second image is taken from the same spot, but at 28mm equivalent. F4.0 @ 1/400th @ ISO 80. Also Landscape Program.

Similar treatment in Lightroom, without the GF effects and color balancing. This one requires a larger view.

I am publishing this early since I have to be on a flight to Georgia at 6AM tomorrow morning.

Smile

04
Oct
10

10/4/2010: Green point, quoddy head panorama

This needs to be viewed as large as your monitor will allow. Click the image and use the size controls at the top of the window that opens.

The fog never did lift during my visit to Quoddy Head State Park. I hiked as far down the coast as Green Point. This is a panorama of 4 28mm equivalent shots, looking south, assembled with PhotoShop Elements Panorama tool, and processed in Lightroom (Fill Light, Blackpoint, Clarity, Vibrance, and Sharpen).

This is the standard Canon SX20IS wide angle view north from the other side of Green Point. This has to be the epitome of Maine’s rock-bound, fog-bound coast!

 

02
Oct
10

10/2/2010: Peat bog!

Saco Heath is one of my favorite photographic destinations in Southern Maine. I have used several images from there as Pic of the Days and I have a gallery on Wide Eyed In Wonder dedicated to it. Saco Heath is a remnant peat bog…the southern-most in Maine, and, as such, provides a sample of an environment that I would otherwise not have access to.

While at Quoddy Head State Park last Saturday, I visited their peat bog…tiny compared to Saco Heath, but totally, awesomely alive. It is obvious, having seen the bog at Quoddy Head, how the bog at Saco Heath struggles for survival. Even in the fog, and even as fall comes on, the Quoddy bog is vibrant and beautiful. At a guess I would say there are more pitcher plants in a 3 yard square of Quoddy than there are in all of Saco. And the variety of mosses and lichens and stunted trees is simply amazing. Truly a beautiful little gem of a bog!

For today I preset the bog in the wide view. Tomorrow you will see some of the detail. The top shot shows a section where the moss still rules, and the second shot, from the back edge of the bog, shows how the trees have pushed out into the bog, where they live a life in miniature. The fog, in both cases, and imho, only adds to the atmosphere of the place.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. Both at f4.0 @ 1/100th @ ISO 80 and Landscape program.

Recovery in Lightroom for the overexposed fog, some Fill Light and Blackpoint right, added Clarity and Vibrance, and Sharpen narrow edges preset. Since the fog in the distance was completely white and somewhat distracting, I used a Graduated Filter effect on both images to darken the sky, which had the added benefit of making the fog more transparent.

30
Sep
10

9/30/2010: Fog on the Cliffs of Quoddy Head

Fog is difficult to photograph, since the scattered light within the fog itself makes it photographically bright, though it has the opposite effect to the natural eye. A bank of fog almost always comes out as a white indistinct mass in an image. If you expose for the fog, to keep it natural, then the landscape under it goes dark and muddy. Seems like an ideal situation for HDR…kind of. I tried several shots on the cliffs of Quoddy Head to test the effect. As always with HDR, I’d have done better with a tripod…especially as the base exposures all had show shutter speeds due to the overall low level of the light. I did get a few shots that worked though, like the one above.

A secondary problem, if you go the HDR route, is Photomatix’s inability to blend exposures where fine detail masks an open sky…trees against the sky are particularly difficult for the app…and you almost always get a light halo around limbs and leaves where the lighter exposure shows through. Changing the smoothing setting can help in making this less obvious but in this image it still shows somewhat in the trees in the upper right.

The other way to work the fog is to use Revovery and Fill Light in Lightroom, along with some filter trickery. This shot is not HDR, but I was able to extend the range and keep the fog semi-transparent, by using heavy Recovery, which reduces the highlights in an image without effecting the rest of the tones. Fill Light for the foreground allows me to move the Blackpoint right to increase color depth and contrast. Finally, in this case, the fog in the upper left corner was totally blown out and distractingly white…so I went in with a Local Adjustment Brush, set large with maximum feather, and brushed in an adjustment area in that corner. I used to to reduce exposure and brightness selectively there, producing a more natural grey where it was white. If the area had not been so oddly shaped I would have just used a Graduated Filter Effect pulled down from that corner, but LAB worked better for this image.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent.

From Quoddy Head and Lubec ME.

29
Sep
10

9/29/2010: Birch

Birch bark has always fascinated me. As a boy I kept a collection one summer, of the best scraps I had found, pretending, if memory serves me right, that they represented some kind of wealth. This snippet is from a foggy morning at Quoddy Head State park, and you can see the moisture saturating the bark…in both the natural and the photographic sense. Backing away a bit…and a bit further

You can see that even at these moderate distances you begin to see the effect of the fog…though it does not diminish the beauty of the birch.

Canon SX20IS at 1) 400mm equivalent @ f5.0 @ 1/30th @ ISO 200, 2) 170mm equivalent @ f4.5 @ 1/50th @ ISO 200, both in Landscape Program, and 3) 28mm equivalent @ f2.8 @ 1/125th @ ISO 160, Programmed Auto.

In Lightroom, a small amount of Recovery, some Fill Light and Blackpoint right, added Clarity and Vibrance, and Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From Quoddy Head and Lubec ME.

28
Sep
10

9/28/2010: Quoddy Head Forest

The forest at Quoddy Head is a typical northern coastal forest…full of moss and lichen…and, on my visit, made even more mysterious by the fog. I love this kind of landscape, but experience has proven that it is very hard to capture what I see there in an image. This one comes close. And so does this.

Both Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. 1) F2.8 @ 1/30th @ ISO 100. 2) three exposure HDR using auto bracket.

In Lightroom, some Recovery for the fog, a bit of Fill Light and Blackpoint right, added Clarity and Vibrance, and Sharpen narrow edges preset. Processing of #1 was more extreme than #2 as I was working from a single exposure.