Archive for the 'reflections' 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.

11
Feb
11

2/11/2011: Big and easy, GBH

A fellow wildlife photographer posted a Great Blue Heron on his Facebook page yesterday with a comment to the effect that “sometimes you have to take the easy shots.”

Always! Always you have to take the easy shots. I don’t believe in a vindictive fate, like “if you don’t shoot the easy shots when they are offered, then you won’t get anymore!”, but I do believe in embracing the gift when it is right there in front of you. It would be ungrateful to ignore such generosity.

So here is yet another Great Blue Heron shot. (And GBHs do figure in a surprising number of the gift shots…go figure 🙂 …big and easy bird that it is…always seemingly posing.) In this shot, of course, it is the light and reflections on the water behind the bird, and the play of light across the bird, the molding, and the light caught in the eye, as much as the bird itself, that holds interest…that makes the shot.

Canon SD4000IS behind the 15-56 Vario eyepiece on the ZEISS DiaScope 65FL for the equivalent field of view of about a 2800mm lens, 1/200th @ ISO 125, effective aperture of f7.5.

Processed for clarity and sharpness in Lightroom.

And the more pulled back, contextual bonus shot at something closer to 1000mm equivalent field of view.

19
Jan
11

1/19/2011: Vegas segment 2, reflections

Vegas is a city of illusions, and reflections are the stuff of illusions…as in smoke and mirrors…the stuff of Vegas. The architects who designed the newest hotels were obviously well aware of the power.  The color contrasts and textures are no accident.

Canon SX20IS at about 240mm, f5 @ 1/320th @ ISO 200. Programmed auto.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom.

26
Dec
10

12/26/2010: Mousam Full of Light

Happy Sunday! Happy day after Christmas. Happy Boxing Day.

After our brief snowstorm last week, the sky lightened and the light grew as the sun peaked out off and on, and the world, just for a few moments, glittered and sparkled with what seemed an inner light. With temperatures rapidly rising to the upper 30s, the snow on the trees came literally and figuratively raining down. I attempted to find a spot to catch the light before it passed.

We are having unusually high tides the past week, with the full moon, coastal runoff, and onshore winds, and here we see the lower Mosuam River filled brim to brim. Where I stood to take the image, you generally look out over a relatively dry marsh to the river which runs, in perspective, not far in front of the trees and houses on the far side. The trees at the right are generally 300 yards from water, even at high tide.

But, of course, what really caught my eye was the sky and the light in the water, the silvery blue expanse, full of texture and movement, running back under that strong diagonal mass of cloud…and the highlight behind the bare trees on the right.

To capture this range of light with my Canon SX20IS, I resorted to HDR, three exposures centered around –2/3 EV, then assembled and tone-mapped in Photomatix Pro from within Lightroom. Final processing for intensity and clarity, some sharpening, and a bit of distortion adjustment for the horizon, produced the result above.

The Sunday thought?…in less than an hour we went from the quiet beauty of falling snow and misty light, a soft intimate world where even the sounds are muted…to this splash of glory, noisy with light and drama…as overfilled and overflowing as the banks of the Mousam. And that is a metaphor for the well developed spiritual life. From the babe in the manger to the transfiguration and the assentation, and all in-between, all part of our experience, coming in waves along the stream of time. All we have to do is to be open to all of it. There is beauty in every moment.

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.

13
Dec
10

12/13/2010: wading deer (mammals on Monday)

Deer in the water wading among the ducks  is a slightly incongruous sight. As usual at Bosque del Apache, at least during the Festival of the Cranes in November, someone was already stopped and taking pictures of this group of Mule Deer crossing one of the irrigation channels. I pulled up behind and grabbed these shots with the Canon SX20IS out the window. As the deer came up on the dyke between enpondments, they showed so little concern for the gathering crowd on the road (for, of course, two stopped cars attracts a third, and three a forth, etc.) that I got out and digiscoped them (see Mule Deer).

Canon SX20IS at 560mm equivalent, f5.7 @ 1/200th and 1/400th @ ISO 200. Programmed auto.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom (see page link above). Both are cropped form the full frame.

04
Dec
10

12/4/2010: Bosque morning

Time for some straight up Bosque del Apache scenery. Mid-morning layered landscape HDR. The temporarily flooded fields are a Bosque feature, a way of managing where the geese and cranes feed. The geese, in particular, love to feed on the seeds and roots that flooding makes available. In this case either the field was newly flooded and the geese had not discovered it yet, or it was flooded long enough already that the geese had eaten everything they could find. Still…it adds the mirror layer to the landscape.

Three exposure HDR, Canon SX20IS at about 70mm equivalent, autobracketed around –2/3 EV exposure compensation, assembled in Photomatix Pro using the Lightroom plugin and final processed in Lightroom.