Archive for the 'tree' Category

01
Feb
11

1/2/2011: GBH on a palm, viera Wetlands

I could not resist this Great Blue Heron on the palm top, among the fronds of neighboring palms…even though I knew it would be a soft image at best…the wind was blowing so hard and the magnification needed to fill the frame was so high that despite my best efforts there was going to be some softening due to camera motion. It was just such a classic composition. You can see what I was dealing with in the video below. I had to put the video through the heaviest level of image stabilization in Sony Vegas at that.

Canon SD4000IS behind the 15-56x Vario eyepiece on the ZEISS DiaScope 65FL for the equivalent field of view of a 4700mm lens, 1/1000th sec. @ ISO 125. Effective aperture f13.

Here it is pulled back to about a 3000mm equivalent.

And here is the video. I left the sound in, just for effect. 🙂

GBH on a Palm and in the Wind.
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05
Jan
11

1/5/2011: Snow Hat for a shroom

Emmon’s Preserve is a little slice of riverside (brookside in most seasons) preserved by the Kennebunkport Land Trust. I have posted pics from there in the past, as it is one of the rare little parcels of forest and stream in Southern Maine with public access. And a nice little parcel it is too. This is on the trail in from the road to the stream a week after our December blizzard. Others had been before me with snowshoes and skis, so, despite standing snow on all sides and drifts that had certainly closed the trail, it was a pleasant hike, even in boots.

For this shot I used the flip out lcd on the Canon SX20IS to get low and shoot up under the fungus on side of the birch, since it was the contrast between the texture of the growth and the snow-cap that interested me, both set against the textures and colors of the trunk with its patches of lichen, and then the shapes of all three.

Canon SX20IS at 280mm equivalent, f5 @ 1/200th @ ISO 200. Snow Mode.

Processed in Lightroom for intensity and clarity.

19
Oct
10

10/19/2010: otter cove with Birch

Otter Cove is a deep tidal inlet between on Mount Desert Island in Maine. The Park loop road crosses it on a causeway bridge about 1/3 of the way in, producing what looks like a lake on landside at high tide, and leaving a landlocked mud fat at low tide. Most of our days on our last visit in September were misty, rainy affairs, with distances fading off into fog. I did a lot of experimentation with HDR to see if I could capture the effect of the vivid foreground, the few early bright fall trees, and the persistent fog, but this is a straight on Landscape program shot.

Of course, what I like here is the sharply defined birch and the brush underfoot, the touches of color on the sides of the inlet, the glisten of the light on the mud and water and the more colorful hill in the background shrouded in fog.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. F4.0 @ 1/100th @ ISO 80. Landscape program. Processed in Lightroom using Recovery, Fill Light, Blackpoint, Clarity, Vibrance, and Sharpen. Cropped slightly for composition.

29
Sep
10

9/29/2010: Birch

Birch bark has always fascinated me. As a boy I kept a collection one summer, of the best scraps I had found, pretending, if memory serves me right, that they represented some kind of wealth. This snippet is from a foggy morning at Quoddy Head State park, and you can see the moisture saturating the bark…in both the natural and the photographic sense. Backing away a bit…and a bit further

You can see that even at these moderate distances you begin to see the effect of the fog…though it does not diminish the beauty of the birch.

Canon SX20IS at 1) 400mm equivalent @ f5.0 @ 1/30th @ ISO 200, 2) 170mm equivalent @ f4.5 @ 1/50th @ ISO 200, both in Landscape Program, and 3) 28mm equivalent @ f2.8 @ 1/125th @ ISO 160, Programmed Auto.

In Lightroom, a small amount of Recovery, some Fill Light and Blackpoint right, added Clarity and Vibrance, and Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From Quoddy Head and Lubec ME.

30
Apr
10

4/30/2010

Ancient Dunes: Live Oak/Palmetto Forest

Once upon a time the ocean levels along the Florida coast were considerably higher. When they receded they left a pattern of ancient dunes well inland. Over time, vegetation conquered the sand, mostly Live Oak, Bay Tree, Palmetto, and in the troughs between the dunes, Cabbage Palm and Slash Pine. You see this habitat at Ft. Matanzas National Monument and, as pictured here, at Anastasia State Park (among a host of other spots). Add the inevitable Resurrection Fern and Spanish Moss and you have a truly tropical look.

In a shot like this, for me, it is the variety of shapes and textures that capture my eye…and, of course, the way the light plays over it all. I have taken more than a few shots on every visit to this kind of habitat. They rarely work. This one, I think, manages to hang together and capture something of the experience of being there.

One of the limiting factors in these shots is always exposure. It is very difficult to capture the range of light…from sky visible between trees, to the shadows under dense vegetation. I make no claim to special skills in this area. I have come to trust the auto exposure in most modern compact digital cameras to do a better job of balancing exposure than I could…at least getting it close enough so that the image can be post-processed to bring both highlights and shadows back in range. The SX20 on Landscape program certainly handled it well, with enough balance so that a little extra work in Lightroom brought it up to something quite close to the naked eye impression.

Canon SX20IS at about 48mm equivalent. F3.5 @ 1/80th @ ISO 80. Landscape program.

In Lightroom, fairly heavy Recovery for the backdrop of skylight. A touch of Fill Light for the foreground shadows. Blackpoint slightly right. Added Clarity and a smidge of Vibrance. Sharpen landscape preset.

From St. Augustine FL 2010.

14
Apr
10

4/14/2010

Park Ave at 39th South

Though I still have a stock of recent Maine images to share, I am in NYC for three days. I am training staff at B&H Photo and Adorama in my real job. I was pleasantly surprised to see the full length of Park Avenue in bloom when we came up out of the tunnel and headed for Grand Central. It was a gloomy day, but still, the trees are beautiful, and somehow more beautiful in this setting. This is, as the title says, Park Avenue looking south from 39th Street.

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

Because of the distortions of the Canon zoom at 28mm setting, and the perspective of the shot….looking up….the first step in processing had to be opening the image in PhotoShop Elements and correcting for both perspective and distortion. Mostly perspective. The Correct Camera Distortions filter works wonders and is both quick and intuitive. Then, in Lightroom, I used Recovery for the sky, thou there was not significant detail there, and then Fill Light for the foreground, with added Clarity and Vibrance, and the Blackpoint to the right just slightly. Sharpen landscape preset. Finally I cropped slightly from the bottom to include as little pavement as was practical. Still had ot leave the man in the lower left room to stand. 🙂

From the so far brief set of NYC 2010.

10
Apr
10

4/10/2010

Red now…will be oak…

Back to the macro mode. I was struck by the color of the bursting acorn, beginning to sprout in the damp spring, especially in contrast to the fallen leaves and the lichened stick. I saw several after this one, but none arranged so nicely.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm and macro. F2.8 @ 1/250th @ ISO 100. Programmed auto.

Blackpoint right in Lightroom. Added Clarity and Vibrance. Sharpen Landscape preset. Cropped for composition and to eliminate some out of focus area in the lower left.

From Around Home 2010.