Archive for the 'fog' Category



27
Sep
10

9/27/2010: Quoddy Head Light

Quoddy Head Light, while not, perhaps, one of the more attractive Lighthouse in Maine, has the distinction of being the eastern-most Lighthouse in the United States, standing on the eastern-most point of land in the United States. It is so far east that my cell phone claimed it was in another time zone.

The other thing that distinguishes Quoddy Head is fog. Beside the light is the fog horn, and it goes part or all of most days. Certainly, while I had hopes according the National Weather Service, it never stopped sounding during my visit, and the fog never lifted more than a few feet off the ground. Maybe the NWS is not in charge of the weather in that time zone?

Still, you can’t visit Quoddy Head without photographing the Light, fog or no fog…so…

Though I tried this shot as an HDR, hoping for better light on the Lighthouse, I like this single shot version better, as I was able to maintain, and even emphasize, detail in the foreground grass…maybe I would have done better with the HDR with a tripod.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent, f2.8 @ 1/640th @ ISO 125. Programmed auto.

In Lightroom, recovery for the fog, Blackpoint right, added Clarity and Vibrance, and Sharpen narrow edges preset. Then I pulled a Graduated Filter effect up from the bottom to increase brightness, contrast, and clarity on the lawn (to bring up the fine details) and one down from the top to darken just a bit, increase contrast considerably, and add a bit of saturation.  Finally, I used the vertical distortion control to straighten the house and Light.

And here it is from the other side:

26
Sep
10

9/26/2010: Orange River Marsh

Happy Sunday!

I am in Machias Maine this morning, having brought daughter #4 up to visit daughter #3 at college on Home Coming weekend. Yesterday, despite heavy fog over the coast, I drove up to Quoddy Head State Park to explore and to see what I could find to photograph. On the way up, while still on Route 1, I passed an Atlantic Coast Conservancy pull off for Reynolds Marsh, and a few seconds later crossed the marsh (or river…it is the Orange River) itself. It looked so promising that I had to turn around and go back.

It was actually raining lightly when I got out of the car, and I had to work with one hand covering the controls of the camera all the time, and trust to my lens shade to keep water off the lens. There was a short walk down through the woods to the marsh, and I no more than stepped beneath trees than two Ruffed Grouse shot up in front of me and beat away among the spruce. The trail led to a canoe launch on the edge of the marsh.

The challenge with fog is getting enough light on the foreground so it looks natural without turning the fog into a bright white nimbus that blanks out the top 2/3rs of the image. And of course it is the contrast between the saturated wet colors close by, particularly rich in the diffuse light, and the grey encroaching atmosphere, that makes a foggy morning so interesting photographically.

I tried a few three exposure HDRs, and I am pretty happy with the results. I find that, using Photomtix for the HDRs, I still have to envision what I will be able to do with the image in Lightroom, and adjust the tone mapping in Photomatix with that in mind.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. Three exposures separated by 2EV with the center of the range moved down –2/3EV using exposure compensation. ISO 125.

Photomatix tone-mapping, and then a bit more Recovery in Lightroom, some Fill Light, and the Blackpoint moved right…added Clarity and Vibrance, and Sharpen narrow edges preset.

And, being Sunday, I think about the parable potential of the image as well…

The fog that obscures the distance (future?), should not lessen your enjoyment of the rich saturated colors of your life close at hand…and, in fact, the contrast is, often, what makes life interesting. Or so say I.

One more from the foggy marsh. This one is not an HDR, but I was able to balance the exposure using Recovery and Fill Light in Lightroom. Taken in wide (16/9) mode.

09
Jul
10

7/9/2010

Fog Early Along the Coast

A typical August weather report, here in July. Flood tide on Back Creek, behind Parson’s Beach in Kennebunk, Maine. Trying for a sense of depth, even with a closed horizon, by including the few scraggly roses in the foreground. The passing seagull was just a bonus.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. F4.0 @ 1/60th @ ISO 80. Landscape program.

Heavy Recovery to add some transparency to the fog, a touch of Fill Light for the foreground. Blackpoint right for intensity. Added Clarity and just a tiny amount of Vibrance. Sharpen narrow edges preset. Finally, I used a Graduated Filter effect drawn down across the top 2/3s of the image to darken the fog so it appears more like it did to the eye.

From Around Home 2010.

21
Jan
10

1/21/2010

Fog in the Valley, Snow on the Mountains, Sunrise, Vegas

A Twitter friend was apparently watching the weather channel and saw the report of a rare fog in Las Vegas and twittered me to ask if I was photographing it. I had not yet opened the drapes of my 18th floor room overlooking Vegas and a corner of the strip. When I did, the sun was just rising…the mountains behind Treasure Island were covered with snow and the valley was indeed filled with fog. I took many shots.

This one required a good deal of perspective and distortion correction in PhotoShop Elements using the Camera Distortion filter…after my normal processing in Lightroom: Blackpoint right, Fill Light, Clarity and Vibrance, and Sharpen Landscape.

Sony DSC H50 at 31mm equivalent. F2.7 @ 1/20th @ ISO 100. Programmed auto.

Not your usual view of Vegas.

From Las Vegas 2010.

04
Oct
09

10/4/2009

Hidden Beach Again

Hidden Beach Again

Happy Sunday!

A second view of Hidden Beach at Point Lobos, CA. (see 9/29) This time from actual beach level using the H50’s flip out monitor and the super macro ability to create an image with maximum depth. Because of the fog I did not have to worry about a sharp horizon in this shot.

Sony DSC H50 at 31mm equivalent. F5.6 @ 1/320th @ ISO 100. Programed Auto.

In Lightroom, just added Clarity and Vibrance and Sharpen landscape preset. Blackpoint just to the right.

From Monterey Bay 09.

03
Oct
09

10/3/2009

Fog over South Point and Cypress Grove

Fog over South Point and Cypress Grove

Like I said…no such thing as a bad day at Point Lobos. Even the fog is epic! This is a shot from the Sea Lion Point trail looking back at South Point and Cypress Grove. One of the classic views at Point Lobos. The blowing fog, moving in across the point, adds some mystery and drama, without detracting significantly from the view.

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

Recovery in Lightroom for the fog effects. Recovery, as I have mentioned before, reduces the highlights in the image. In the case of fog, a lot of what you are looking at is scattered light. Recovery removes a layer of that so that you see deeper into the fog, and increases the contrast between light and dark areas within the fog so that it looks altogether more transparent….as it does in real life. Added Clarity and Vibrance in the Presence panel. Blackpoint just right. Sharpen landscape preset.

From Monterey Bay 09.

01
Oct
09

10/1/2009

Off North Point

Off North Point

Perhaps the only drawback to Point Lobos is that, because it is so popular, it has to be closely managed. You walk on the paths, and the paths, where there is any question, are set off by cable guides. It makes for a “stand here, shoot this” kind of experience at the really good vistas…but then…they are really good vistas! and they have done a good job of putting you where you need to stand to see them to best effect.

However that means that if you shoot wide or try for an alternative composition, you are likely to get a cable guide in the frame. No way around it.

For this shot I backed away to the far side of the path to catch the frame of the lichen covered tree skeleton branches. I am tempted to go into Photoshop and clone out the cable…but then…it is part of the scene too…part of the experience of Point Lobos today. So it says in this time. Maybe later I will change my mind.

And now that I have called your attention too that obtruding cable, I am really hoping that the overall strength of the image will keep folks from noticing it until it is too late to spoil the image for them…if it spoils the image at all.

Sony DSC H50 at 31mm equivalent. F5.6 @ 1/800 @ ISO 100. Programed auto.

Recovery in Lightroom to bring out the light in the fog. Some Fill Light for the foreground branches. Added Clarity and Vibrance in the Presence panel. Sharpen Landscape preset.

From Monterey Bay 09.

30
Sep
09

9/30/2009

Point Lobos Fog

Point Lobos Fog

There is no such thing as a bad day at Point Lobos…not even a bad day for photography. When I got there on this year’s visit, the fog was already blowing over the point, and was actually quite heavy at Cypress Grove. Still the scene had its charm.

Compositionally this is a challenging shot. Normally I would not have put the upright tree trunk so near center, but it was necessary to put the fog bound tree on the offshore rock where I wanted it…at the power point (rule of thirds). The result is that the eye is drawn past the upright trunk out into the fog to the tree on the rock…which is what I was after. Only then, after exploring the details in the fog, does the eye come back to the strong shapes in the foreground. Works for me. How about you?

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

Cropped slightly from the right in Lightroom for composition. Recovery for the fog (brings out the inner light), added Clarity and Vibrance in the Presence panel, Sharpen landscape preset.

From Monterey Bay 09.

29
Sep
09

9/29/2009

Hidden Beach

Hidden Beach

I walked a section of the south trail this year that I had somehow missed last year, and one of the rewards was Hidden Beach. Just down a short set of steps (nothing like the China Beach or Gibson Beach runs), it is a pebble beach deep in one of the coves…a little hidden gem.

Sony DSC H50 at 31mm equivalent.  F5.6 @ 1/640 @ ISO 100. Programed auto.

Recovery in Lightroom for the sky and rock highlights. A bit of Fill Light for the shadows. Blackpoint slightly right. Added Vibrance and Clarity in the Presence panel and Sharpen landscape preset.

From Monterey Bay 09.

28
Sep
09

9/28/2009

China Beach in China Cove: Point Lobos

China Beach in China Cove: Point Lobos

Okay…so yesterday I spent 4 hours back at Point Lobos. I stopped on the way down for some wildlife shots with the new PhotoScope, so it was 10:30 by the time I got there and the fog was already rolling across the point. Still, there is no such thing as a bad day at Point Lobos. It is just too scenic…too photogenic. The fog offshore and showing at any distance, certainly closing the horizons, was off set by the bright sun where it got through, lighting the foreground of shots and creating a somewhat more intimate feeling.

And, as a bonus, they have repaired the stairway down into China Cove to China Beach. This area was closed last year when I visited, so, of course, I climbed down. I have several keepers from beach level. This one, with the variety of shades and colors in the water, the fog visible against the blue sky, the stark cliffs, and the red and green vegetation, captures at least one essence, new to me, of China Cove.

Sony DSC H50 at 31mm equivalent. F5.6 @ 1/400 @ ISO 100. Programed auto.

Recovery in Lightroom to bring up detail in the fog blanket and darken the sky. A bit of Fill Light for the cliff shadows. Added Clarity and Vibrance brought up the texture, and especially the colors in the water. Sharpen landscape preset.

From Monterey Bay 09.