Archive for the 'landscape' Category

22
Feb
11

2/22/2011: Flood Tide on the Mousam HDR 1

While I am not done with the digiscoped birds from Merritt Island, I, for one, need a break. Yesterday morning we had fresh snow, and as the front passed away out to sea in the afternoon, some spectacular skies. Add as high a flood tide as I have ever seen along the coast here and you have the makings of some HDR landscapes, or sea-scapes, or river-scapes…some-scape with a lot of water and sky.

This image walks a fine line, to my eye, between natural and over-the-top. It presents a reality that is there, but that, without the emphasis of HDR and tone-mapping, many people would not see. It is the reality a painter records when painting such a landscape…an image built up in the mind over time, as the details and the colors catch the attention one by one, as the shadows and reflections on the water burn in to the awareness. It is not what you see at a glance or in the moment, and therefore perhaps strikes the eye as not strictly photographic. It is something between a painting and a photograph. I don’t, in fact, know if any such space exists, and, even in my own mind, the jury is still out on HDR and tone-mapping…but I do know that I like this image. I like the drama of it…the vivid world it portrays…the intensity. It is just so alive on an lcd monitor, with the light behind it. I like it.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent field of view. Three exposures centered around –2/3 EV, assembled and tone-mapped in Photomatix, final processing for intensity and clarity in Lightroom. Some distortion control and a bit of noise reduction (generally needed in HDR) as well.

Advertisements
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!

12
Feb
11

2/12/2011: Welcome back to ME

That is Maine in the title…and I am back from a week of business meetings in Virginia. Though this pic was taken a week ago, it still looks like this in Maine. The snow is a bit more compacted, but there is still plenty on the ground. That is 5 foot snow fence. I still have a number of digiscoped shots from Florida to share, but, for today, I am back in ME.

Canon SX20IS at about 45mm equivalent field of view, f4 @ 1/1250th @ ISO 80. Snow Mode.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom.

05
Feb
11

2/5/2011: Great Hill from Parson’s Beach, Kennebunk

A break from the unrelenting diet of birds, birds, birds of the past two weeks, and a return to my current reality…snowy, snowy Maine. We now have, after another foot fell on Wednesday, and taking into account settling and melting (sublimation actually, since the snow is going directly from ice to vapor without ever being water) about 3 and a half feet of snow standing in our front yard. What you see here is a healthy stand of beach rose. The tallest of those plants tops five feet. This is a perspective shot taken at moderate telephoto. Great Hill with its houses is about an eighth of a mile behind the dune and snow buried rosehips in the foreground, on the far side of the Mousam River.

Canon SX20IS at about 70mm equivalent field of view, f4.5 @ 1/1250th @ ISO 80. Snow Mode.

Processed in Lightroom for intensity and clarity.

15
Jan
11

1/15/2011: boardwalk in the snow

When this first posts tomorrow morning, I will be, most likely, at Newark Airport, between flights, on my way to Las Vegas (working trip…which is the only way you will ever get to Las Vegas!).

This is Saco Heath again…the boardwalk under snow. There is as much snow on either side, but the blueberry and rhodora bushes hide it well. We got another 16 inches or so the day before yesterday, so it might look different now. :).

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent, f4 @ 1/800th @ ISO 80. Snow Mode. The camera was resting on my glove on the snow and I used the flip out LCD to frame.

Processed in Lightroom for intensity and clarity.

06
Jan
11

1/6/2011: Baston Brook Buried

Emmon’s Preserve fills a bow in Baston Brook (river?) where the stream descends over rock ledges on its final run to the sea. The little falls, swirling rapids, and quiet pools there have given me a lot of entertainment over the years.

When I hiked in the other day after our December blizzard, I don’t know exactly what I expected, but it was certainly not to find the stream all but buried in snow.

For contrast, here is a very similar view from last March.

I was standing slightly further to the right in the top shot, simply because I did not know, after the blizzard, where land stopped and water began under the drifts, and I was not about to find out the hard way.

Today’s shot, Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent, f4 @ 1/250th @ ISO 80. Snow Mode. March shot much the same but 1/125th and Landscape Mode.

Both processed in Lightroom for intensity and clarity.

02
Jan
11

1/2/2011: Tracks in the drift

Happy first Sunday of 2011!

Some brave soul drove down this road at Laudholm farm after the December blizzard, which was nice for me, since I could not have made it out this far without snowshoes or skis through unbroken drifts. This is the road after the tracks stopped, and that snow is waste deep.

I love, again, what wind and light can do with snow.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. Both f4 @ 1/1000 @ ISO 80 and Snow Mode.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom.

At it is true in spiritual terms too. You can get further out if you flow the tracks of same brave soul (especially one in a high powered, high clearance vehicle with 4 wheel drive!) but what makes it worth the effort at all is the unbroken snow (spiritual ground) at the end of the beaten track. You may only be able to stand and look, but what flows back to you from that place you can’t go is the stuff that fills your soul and sends you back home along the beaten track satisfied. Or so it did me.

Smile