Archive for the 'storm' Category



Cape Arundel Pano

I have quite a few pictures of this house. It was featured as the exterior in a well-known movie. The light of a summer evening in Maine, after 7PM, and the remnants of a stormy day moving off-shore and north, add some drama, and some warmth. This is 4 shots at about 40mm equivalent stitched in PhotoShop Elements Panorama tool to cover an angle of about 120 degrees. I am finding that using a zoom setting near normal focal lengths, rather than a the wide-angle end, gives a very natural looking perspective…so that the result, though super-wide, does not look like a conventional panorama. Ocean panos are always difficult because of tendency of the water to move 🙂 but except for one little glitch (which you might be able to find if you look hard enough), this is pretty good. Especially good as, yet again, I was without a tripod.

Clearly, to appreciate this image you will need to view it as big as your monitor will allow. Click the image to go to Wide Eyed in Wonder and use the size controls at the top of the window.

Canon SX20IS at 40mm equivalent. F3.2 @ 1/400th @ ISO 80. Panorama mode.

Stitched, as above, in PhotoShop Elements Panorama tool using the auto setting. Processed in Lightroom 3 after stitching: Recovery for the sky, Fill Light and Blackpoint right, added Clarity and Vibrance, Sharpen edges preset (used to be Sharpen landscapes). Applied the distortion profile from a Canon Powershot G series (which works until I get my set made for the SX20IS). Lightroom 3 is brand new, and I am going to have to learn the controls again, as everything is subtly (and not so subtly) changed.

From Around Home 2010.



Much Ado About Nothing

This is about a close to a picture of nothing in particular as you can…but I still like it for its undeniable (to me) drama. A little corner of meadowish ground behind the parking lot at Wells Harbor in Wells, ME,  some second growth trees forming a corner, the single pine standing lose, that bushy beach-rose on the bottom right with its orangey tones, the light of early morning lying flat out in front of me and picking out all the interesting variations in the grassy vegetated carpet…oh, and of course, the sky above with clouds streaming in from some point stage-right and far behind on unrelated business of their own. Move along, nothing to see here…and yet the eye pauses to appreciate, the heart hangs waiting for revelation, and the mind for resolution.

Or is that too much to make of it. Much ado about nothing. 🙂

All I know is I want a print of this for my wall, because I could look at it for a long time. Look at it as large as your monitor will take.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. F4.0 @ 1/800th @ ISO 80. Landscape program.

In Lightroom, Recovery for the clouds and sky, Fill Light and Blackpoint right for drama in the foreground (delicate balance there to preserve detail in the shadow on the right). Added Clarity and just a tiny amount of Vibrance. Sharpen landscape preset.

From Around Home 2010.



Daff Looking Up after Rain

My wife Carol and I are in Florida for a week, but we flew in late last night so I am still working on the shots from last week around home in Maine. In that same interval of sun between the storms on Sunday, the Daffodils in the yard were fully open but bowed over and  hanging down almost to the ground. I flipped out the LCD on the Canon and got this from ground level looking up.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent and Super-macro. F3.5 @ 1/250th @ ISO 80. Programmed auto.

In Lightroom, Recovery for the sky and for the yellow highlights. A touch of Fill Light. Blackpoint slightly right. Added Clarity and just a smidge of Vibrance (had to be careful or the yellows would have blocked up). Sharpen landscape preset.

From The Yard: Kennebunk ME.




It rained most of the day yesterday (and the day before for that matter), but just before noon we had an interval when the sun broke through. We drove down to the beach for a walk while it lasted. The contrast between the sun on the beach grass and the storm sky was striking, and I took several shots to try to capture the effect. Click on the image to view it larger. The white speck, if you blow it up big enough, is actually a seagull. This shot is at about 100mm equivalent. It was cropped from the bottom for composition.

Pulling back to 28mm equivalent makes the sky the real subject. Again cropped in Lightroom for composition.

Zooming in to 180mm equivalent gives this view, with the gold of the grass emphasized but less of the drama in the sky.

Three different views of the same phenomenon…each with a strength of its own. 

All three with the Canon SX20IS and Landscape program. 1) F4.5 @ 1/1000th @ ISO 80, 2) F3.5 @ 1/250th @ ISO 80, 3) F5 @ 1/800th @ ISO 80.

All received similar processing in Lightroom. Recovery for the sky detail. Fill light for the foreground and to allow the Blackpoint to more right. Added Clarity and light on the Vibrance. Sharpen landscape preset. In the wide shot, enough Blackpoint for the grasses brought out too much blue in the clouds and I had to adjust the saturation of the blue channel.

From Around Home 2010.



Higher Up and Around the Bend

The new section of trail at the Cabrillo Tide Pools takes you up across the face of the steep slope via log steps and some actual stairs to new overlooks further north. This a view I had not seen before.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. F4 @ 1/500th @ ISO 80. Landscape program.

Recovery for the sky and Fill Light for the foreground. Blackpoint right. Added Clarity and just a bit of Vibrance. Landscape sharpen preset.

From San Diego 2010.



Knob with a View

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! I’ve enough Celt in me to be happy.

And maybe it is the Celt in me that feels the pull of this image. So many lines and layers, interesting textures, the splash of green for color, and the drama of the clouds and sea. Down low with the flip out LCD for this, placing the rock so that it breaks an otherwise unfortunate horizon line in the middle of the composition. The rock pulls the eye and focuses the whole, giving it, to my eye, a dynamic that keeps me looking past the first glance.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. F4 @ 1/500th @ ISO 80. Landscape Program.

In Lightroom, some Recovery for the sky, and Fill Light for the foreground. Blackpoint to the right. Added Clarity and more than my usual Vibrance (for the Canon), to pick up the green. Sharpen landscape preset.

From San Diego 2010.



Past Pools and Rock to Strom

Another image from the rainy day visit to Cabrillo National Monument’s Tide Pool area. The storm moving over the coast certainly provided drama in the sky, and the wet rock and surly ocean echoed the mood. This is definitely a “from under the umbrella” shot.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. F4 @ 1/500th @ ISO 80. Landscape Program mode.

Recovery for the sky and Fill Light for the foreground. Blackpoint right slightly. Added Clarity and just a touch of Vibrance. Sharpen landscape preset.

From San Diego 2010.



Ornamentals over the Pacific

Happy Sunday

This shot is appropriate to the day. It is a rainy Sunday in Maine and this was taken on a rainy Sunday in San Diego exactly a week ago. An I am not letting the rain dampen my spirits today either!

An ornamental hedge that surrounds the Visitor Center at Cabrillo National Monument. I sat the camera more or less on top of the hedge, using the flip out LCD and Super Macro,  and shot across the top to frame this cluster of  blossoms against the stormy Pacific sky. I would have used Exposure Lock and Program Shift for better depth, at 1/250 I had plenty of room for a slower shutter speed and smaller aperture, but it was raining and I did not want to risk the camera out from under cover for more than the time it took to grab this shot.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent and Super Macro. F2.8 @ 1/250th @ ISO 160. Programmed auto.

A bit of Recovery for the sky in Lightroom. Fill Light for the foreground. Blackpoint right. Added Clarity and some Vibrance. Sharpen landscape preset. Cropped from the bottom to eliminate out of focus foliage and for composition.

From San Diego 2010.



Tide Pools Area: Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument sits at the point of Point Loma, overlooking San Diego Harbor on one side, and the Pacific on the other. There is a lighthouse there, and little pocket park, with some of the best views of the coast you are likely to see. You have to drive through a section of the Naval Base and the National Cemetery to get there, so access is limited to 9 to 5 (when the military gates are open these days) but it is always worth a visit, in any season and any weather.

The day I had available dawned, as promised, with rain, and I debated going at all. I did get out, and had about 3 hours there, shooting from under my umbrella and in brief intervals in the drizzle, before a steady driving rain drove me off the point and back to the hotel.

This is the Tide Pool area, which is reached by a well paved and graded road that serves both the modern lighthouse and a water treatment plant. They have been working here in the last year, making improvements on the short trail system, and I enjoyed exploring further from the parking lot than I have ventured in the past.

The challenge in this weather is, of course, to capture the authentic drama of the rainy coast, cliffs and ocean. The contrast and exposure (EV) range is surprisingly broad on such a day, dull as we might think it, as the lighter sky tends to dominate the dark, rain soaked, landscape. More on that in a Point & Shoot Landscape post (coming soon).

I took a couple of different shots of this view before I got the balanced rocks where they needed to go. This image required some creative work in Lightroom…or maybe I should say, a bit more work than my usual 1 minute adjustments.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. F4 @ 1/250th @ ISO 80. Landscape Program. (For more on Landscape Program see the P&S piece mentioned above.)

In Lightroom, Recovery for the sky, Fill Light for the foreground. Blackpoint right. Added Clarity and Vibrance. Reduced Brightness overall. Reduced Contrast. Graduated Filter effect pulled down diagonally from the top right corner across the top half of the image to reduce exposure even more for the bright area of clouds. Sharpen landscape preset.

From San Diego 2010.



Little River Marsh in Winter Dress

I am hoping this particular view, dressed as it is, is soon a memory I won’t have to revisit for at least 6 months…and of course, this particular combination of storm clouds, snowy landscape, snow frosted trees, and cusp of spring light is unlikely to ever occur again. This is another shot I took too off. The other view is at the bottom and I can’t really decide which I like best. Though they are the same exact vista, the are very different images. To my eye at least.

Canon SX20IS at about 85mm equivalent. F4 @ 1/250th @ ISO 100. Programmed auto, biased just slightly for the sky.

Some Recovery for the sky, and Fill Light for the foreground. Only a touch of Blackpoint right. Added Clarity and a tiny amount of Vibrance. Exposure increased slightly for the snow.

From Around Home 2010.

And here is the other view.

This one is at 28mm equivalent, F4 @ 1/250th @ ISO 100. Programmed auto as above. Processing as above. In this one the sky is more the subject than the land.