Archive for the 'grass' Category

21
Feb
11

2/21/2011: pampas?

Not really, of course, since this is north Florida. A few miles east of Titusville on route 50 there is a major conservation area, practically unmarked, between the road and the river: Canaveral Marshes Conservation Area. I’d never heard of it, but I saw the sign on my way back from an abortive trip to Orlando Wetlands (still closed for hunting, apparently, even in January) and turned around to go back for a look. It was late afternoon, with storms coming on, but I took a nice, if lonely walk back in from the road for a mile or so. There was nothing much doing…just acres of open grassland with tree cover and small patches of swampy forest along what was apparently and old road.

This small stand of mixed grasses along the way struck me as somehow exotic, like something from a savanna or the pampas, hence the title. Of course I have never visited either, so it is no more than a feeling based on who knows what set of impressions from film, tv, magazines and books. Until I went for the title, I didn’t even know I knew what a pampas was. 🙂 And I had to google it to be sure. Argentina? Okay.

Of course what really caught my eye was the mixture of textures, curves, and subtle colors, built up around those darker feathery heads. I used a medium long telephoto setting on the SX20IS zoom to frame an interesting pattern, and then cropped in Lightroom to eliminate some distraction at the top.

Canon SX20IS at 380mm equivalent field of view, f5 @ 1/400th @ ISO 200. Landscape program.

Processed in Lighroom for intensity and clarity.

And a happy Presidents’ Day to you!

27
Dec
10

12/27/2010: Snow on the Little

As I post this snow-storm image from last week, we are in the middle of our first real blizzard of the winter in Maine. It is not light enough to see the damage yet, but the wind is howling around the house and there is snow stuck in the window screens. It is not scheduled to pass off until late afternoon. Should be interesting. 10-18 inches of snow. Watch this space!

This shot, however was during a much more gentle storm, as you can see from the snow built up on the branches. This is one of my favorite views at Rachel Carson NWR, where the Little River makes it’s classic “S” bend on its way to the sea. It is an all weather view, just as attractive here in the snow with snow closing the horizon, as it is in full summer with a dramatic sky.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent, f2.8 @ 1/200th @ ISO 80. Landscape program.

Processed in Lightrooom for intensity and clarity, and adjusted for brightness.

22
Dec
10

12/22/2010: first snow on the marsh

As I mentioned in a previous post, it has been a long dull season between fall foliage and first snow this year in Maine, so, of course, I had to run out at the first actual snow on the ground and get a few shots. This snow was gone by noon, melted back into a relatively warm earth (though we are promised more flurries today and tomorrow, and maybe a significant storm on the weekend).

This is a three exposure HDR. I am backing off a bit on HDR, but here it works to bring up the detail and extend the range in what is still dull light (it was still snowing). Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent, three exposures, auto bracketed at –2/3rds EV. Assembled and custom tone-mapped in Photomatix Pro, and processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom.

And, for interest, here is the same shot, processed in Lightroom to Black and White, using the Green Filter preset. It has a strength and beauty of its own.

12
Dec
10

12/12/2010: Wide-eyed

Happy Sunday!

I went out yesterday morning, while waiting for my new laptop to arrive, looking for some images…without a lot of hope. It is the nothing season, long this year, between fall foliage and snow. The trees are bare. Even the oak leaves are down. The grasses are brown. The air is cold. There is a sense of waiting: waiting for something to happen to move the season along.

And yet, there were things of interest out there. The light on this little patch of frozen marsh, and the texture of the frost. The contrasts of white birch and evergreen. The hint of red in the brush on the left.Delicate, but, I think, beautiful.

And, of course, the lesson here is that every season has its beauty…if you have the eyes to see it. One of my favorite scriptures is Luke 11:34, here from the Message Bible: Your eye is a lamp, lighting up your whole body. If you live wide-eyed in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light.”

And that is my ambition. To live wide-eyed in wonder and belief. To fill up with light. And that’s a good Sunday thought, and enough to go on with any day.

Canon SX20IS @ 45mm equivalent, f4 @ 1/320 @ ISO 80. Landscape mode.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom. 


 

24
Sep
10

9/24/2010: Back Creek iPhone HDR

Early morning light along Back Creek where it meets the Mousam River. This is an iPhone 4 HDR. With the 4.1 upgrade to iOS, HDR is now built into the iPhone camera, but, though very fast, it is pretty mild compared to the effects that you can get with the dedicated ProHDR app. The built in variety is great for opening shadows in difficult lighting, but for dramatic landscapes ProHDR is the app you want.

I am learning where HDR is appropriate and where it is not. This shot, for instance, did not benefit all that much from the HRD treatment, and I probably could have achieved the same results with a standard exposure and post processing…and there are a growing number of excellent post processing apps for the iPhone.

In this case, I straightened the horizon, sharpened the image, tweaked the color temperture, and adjusted shadows and highlights in PhotoWizard. The tools (filters) in PhotoWizard will be familiar to anyone who has worked with any variety of PhotoShop or most other dedicated image processing applications.

This version, with a bit more sky, made more of the HDR treatment.

09
Sep
10

9/9/2010: Earl’s footprints

The storm surge from Earl, on the high tide, was not over a foot in Maine, but it was enough, and carried enough extra energy, so that where the water was sucked back out to sea over the marsh, it left a track of grass swirled, combed down, and left all akimbo. Add the low, early morning sun on the heavy dew, and the heather along side, and you have a study in texture and light. I used a moderate zoom setting to frame.

Canon SX20IS at 60mm equivalent @ f4.0 @ 1/640th @ ISO 80. Landscape program.

A bit of Fill Light in Lightroom. Blackpoint right. Added Clarity and Vibrance. Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From Earl Passes By: Kennebunk ME.

18
Aug
10

8/18/2010

Cotton Grass

(Still in Germany)

On the bog in August, about the only thing blooming (or looking like it is blooming), is the Cotton Grass. These tuffs of cottony fiber with their attendant spears dot the marsh and provide contrast with the blueberries that make up the mass of the surface vegetation. I got down low, using Macro on the SD4000IS for this shot (really missed the swing out LCD on the SX20IS!).

Canon SD4000IS at 28mm equivalent and macro. F2.8 @ 1/640th @ ISO 125. Programmed auto.

In Lightroom, Blackpoint right, added Clarity and Vibrance, and Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From Saco Heath.