The Way I See It

Archive for November 2011

Gyalthang

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Stupa

Stupa

Gyalthang, also known as Zhongdian or Shangri-la, sits in the ancient Kingdaon of Kham, on the Tibetan Plateau. Geographically, it is located in northern Yunnan province, almost on the border with Sichuan. Although under Chinese rule, the region is predominantly Tibetan, with a small population of Han Chinese and other ethnic minorities.

Had things gone according to plan, I would have spent today flying home from a visit to Gyalthang. But the trip was canceled at the last minute and I ended up being able to spend Thanksgiving at home, something that I am extremely thankful for. These images are from September, on a prior trip.

Pilgrims

Pilgrims

Photog Notes
I made these images under some pretty difficult lighting conditions. Stupa was taken in the afternoon, under a bright blue sky with puffy white clouds and strong directional light. The shot was made in the shadow-strewn square, resulting in a bright sky and dark architectural details. In processing, I applied a generous amount of lightening to bring out the beauty in the colors and decorative details. Pilgrims, on the other hand, was shot under a gray, overcast sky right after an afternoon storm. The dull lighting resulted in a rather flat image. To counter this, I applied a teeny bit of Orton effect to give the tones a kick as well as to add a bit of depth. Overall, both images took a bit of work but I’m pretty pleased with the results. They help reflect the colorfulness and vibrancy of life in Gyalthang.

 

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Written by xinapray

November 27, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Autumn Reflections

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Lakeside Birches

Lakeside Birches

While the fiery and majestic maples are often the superstars of the Fall season, there is just something about the elegant simplicity of the common Birch that I find so endearing. I love how the dainty golden yellow leaves dance at the gentlest hint of a breeze. I am mesmerized by the stark paper-white barks; they often seem to emit a glow of their own. And what I like best is to gaze upon the stands of Birches that adorn the shores of our rivers and lakes. To be able to witness their beauty adjacent to and on the gently undulating water, that is Autumn magic.

Photog Notes
I shot this at 1/3 of a second, f/38, ISO 200. This image is pretty much straight out of the camera. In processing, I boosted the contrast and saturation a little bit to compensate for the fact that I was pulling the colors off the water surface. But more than anything else, it was a combination of experimentation and good luck that allowed me to capture the definition, textures and tones in this image.

 

Written by xinapray

November 22, 2011 at 7:13 am

Sunlight Through The Trees

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sunlight through the trees

sunlight through the trees

In my evolving feelings about photography, I’ve been making a fair number of interpretive and abstract images. I shot this the other day, as I was trudging around amidst beautiful fall colors. The sunlight was piercing through the brilliant greens and golds immediately in front of me, creating gorgeous speckles of Autumn. It would have been ideal if there had been a breeze also but since there wasn’t, I decided to introduce some movement of my own. My more documentary pieces of this season’s colors can be found here, and here.

Photog Notes
I debated long and hard about posting this image. In my heart of hearts, I like landscape and nature photography that is calm and peaceful, which this image certainly isn’t. But ultimately, the draw of the movement and colors won out and so here it is. 😉 I shot this with the camera set to ISO 200, tripping the shutter at 2/3 of a second with the aperture at f/19.


Written by xinapray

November 20, 2011 at 9:24 am

Fall 2011, Part 2

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After The Rain

After The Rain

A few more images from the prior weeks. These are straight documentary images, pretty much right out of the camera. Hope you like ‘em!

Autumn Afternoon

Autumn Afternoon

Maple, Two Ways

Maple, Two Ways

 

 

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November 18, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Moss and Bones

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Moss and Bones

Moss and Bones

I made this image in the arboretum the other day. It was a reasonably-warm afternoon so there were lots of people out and about, toting lots of equipment. Too rush hour for me so I folded up the tripod and started shooting with the little camera.

Photog Notes
I made this image with a Canon G12. The ISO was set at 400 and the frame exposed for 1/40 of a second at f/3.5. The color JPEG was then converted to monochrome in Capture NX. The processing was pretty straightforward – I applied a green filter during the conversion (the digital equivalent of screwing a green filter onto the front of the lens) to get the light-toned leaves, then finished the image slight toning to simulate a platinum print.

 

Written by xinapray

November 11, 2011 at 10:11 pm

Fall 2011, Part 1

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Golden Shower

Golden Shower

We had a very mild summer this year, followed by an indecisive fall. This has resulted in our trees becoming confused; some have completely shed their leaves, while others are just starting to turn. These are some images that I made early in the season.

Green Bubbles and Red Star

Green Bubbles and Red Star

 

Untitled

Untitled

 

 

Written by xinapray

November 6, 2011 at 1:21 am

Misplaced Sunset

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Misplaced Sunset

Misplaced Sunset

I think it’s no secret that I dig shooting abstracts. I made this image during the summer of last year. Always liked it, but somehow never got around to posting. Then today, while looking for a photograph of a friend, I ran across it and so here it is, my misplaced sunset.

Photog Notes
The main challenge with making images such as this is that in order to get the rich colors and cool reflections, one has to wait until the light levels are pretty low. This invariably leads to difficult ISO vs shutter speed vs depth of field choices. I usually end up having to crank up the ISO, leading to graininess and potentially muddy colors. In this case, I lucked out. The light levels were high enough to allow me to make an exposure of 1/125th of a second with an aperture of f/9.5; the ISO was set at 400.

Written by xinapray

November 3, 2011 at 9:20 pm

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