Archive for the 'marsh' Category

24
Jan
11

1/24/2011: Osprey! at Viera

Viera Wetlands is one of my favorite digiscoping and birding destinations and I always try to get down there at least one day on every trip to the Space Coast Birding Festival. It is a 30 minute drive straight down 95 from where I stay in Titusville. I got a late start yesterday, due to a long day of travel from Las Vegas on Saturday, but decided, given the busy schedule of the coming week, to do Viera anyway. Viera is now, officially, the Rich Grissom Memorial Wetlands at Viera. You may remember from posts from last year at this time that it is a “improved” waste water treatment plant…one of a growing number where the settlement ponds have been converted to small lakes and marshes ideal for migrant and resident birds…and, in a truly enlighten move, basic facilities (portapodies, viewing platforms and towers, and several miles of good dyke roads) provided for visiting birders and the curious public. Yesterday I would estimate that while I was there, there were about 100 other visitors driving the dykes and observing the birds. While at least half were serious birders or bird photographers, at least half were the curious public variety…from young families with children to retired folks. There were even a few walking the dykes, jogging, or bicycling. Viera is wonder, and I, for one, and sincerely thankful to the foresight of the folks who conceived of and funded its conversion.

This Osprey, who was busy with a meal, was the first bird to great me from the dyke (or at least the first I pulled out the scope for and set up).

Canon SD4000IS behind the 15-56x Vario eyepiece on the ZEISS DiaScope 65FL for the equivalent field of view of a 3000mm lens. 1/1000 sec. @ ISO 160. Programmed Auto. Effective aperture of f8.5 (computed).

Processed very lightly in Lightroom for clarity and sharpness.

And here is a second shot, this time at something closer to 4500mm equivalent field of view.

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30
Dec
10

12/30/2010: Drift!

Bright sun on snow! Always an exposure challenge, but who could resist the wind sculpted shapes of this drift (any drift you don’t have to drive through for that matter). We are along the edge of Back Creek where it flows into the Mousam River in Kennebunk ME…where the fields meet the fall to the marsh…and the high winds of the blizzard of the day before (continued into this day) dropped the snow into graceful folds and impossible shelves, half burying the Beach Rose in the process.

And, actually, with today’s best P&S cameras, Snow Mode does an amazing job of simplifying the exposure problem. The shots I took this day in unaltered Snow Mode are among the best sun-on-snow shots I have ever recorded. The shots where I second guessed the exposure system…not so much!

And here we are closer in: notice the plume of blowing snow off the top. The wind is not done with this drift.

Take a look at this one as large as you monitor will allow.

Canon SX20IS in Snow Mode. 1) 70mm, f4 @ 1/1000th @ ISO 80. 2) 250mm, f5 @ 1/1000th @ ISO 80.

Processed in Lightroom for intensity and clarity. These shots could only stand a very slight amount of black-point adjustment. Both were cropped for composition and interest.

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.

25
Dec
10

12/25/2010: Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! May joy find you today!

Walking down paths at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters during a snowstorm, where mine were the first footprints, I discovered that someone with a Christmas spirit had been there before me (and before the snow). I was blessed. I am hoping you will be too, especially on this most blessed of days (or on the day we celebrate such a blessing).

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent, f2.8 @ 1/250 @ ISO 80. Landscape mode.

I did my usual processing for intensity and clarity in Lightroom, but I wanted the wreath to stand out more than it did in the original exposure. I boosted the saturation and the luminance of of the greens and yellows using the spot HSL control, but even then the wreath was too dark. I resorted to the local adjustments brush, with which I painted over the green of the wreath, increasing brightness, contrast, and clarity. And all of that just to present something closer to the feeling of the place, so that you can, hopefully share in it. 🙂

Merry Christmas!

23
Dec
10

12/23/2010: Snow on the Marsh 2

Another shot from my snowy morning walk. You might recognize this unnamed creek from previous views, in other seasons. Here the tide is at flood, the marsh is lightly snowed, and we even have some floating ice. It is the leaves in the water in the foreground that adds a dimension for me. You can see the streaks of the close snow that was still falling, and the white dots in the air further out.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. f3.5 @ 1/60th @ ISO 80. Landscape mode.

Processed in Lightroom for intensity and clarity. This shot took more than usual fill light to bring up the green in the trees.

And, in the spirit of experimentation, here is a B&W treatment, using the green filter effect in Lightroom. I quite like, for this kind of shot at least, what the green filter does for B&W.

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.

19
Dec
10

12/19/2010:

Happy Sunday!

A classic layered landscape for Sunday…peaceful, but with enough going on to draw you in (imho:)). A homage to the quiet places and the quiet times in our lives…all too few these days. I have to make myself take the time to find the places, or find the time to find the places, but it is always worth it. I always come back refreshed and restored. Not a very original thought, or a particularly original experience…but then that is one of the things that affirms for me the fact that we are all children of the same creative spirit…the fact that there are few of us so dead that we can not be refreshed and restored by a peace we have not made…that in fact we can only break and not better…makes me more aware of the family I am part of, of the heritage we share. This is a good thing. And, given the befinits of the experience of peace itself, it comes as an extra bonus too. What a deal!

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. f4 @ 1/640th @ ISO 80. Landscape program.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom.