The Way I See It

Archive for December 2011

Happy New Year! Tashi Delek!

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Ringha Prayer Flags

Ringha Prayer Flags

Happy New Year, everyone! The Tibetans have a greeting, “Tashi Delek”. It means auspiciousness and wellness. I wish you many Tashi Deleks. May 2012 bring you much laughter, prosperity and health.

Photog Notes
1/10 second, f/27, ISO 400. I made this image at the Ringha Monastery, one of the most sacred places that I’ve ever been to. We arrived in the late afternoon. It was deafeningly silent, save for the gentle whispering of the wind in the trees and the flapping of the prayer flags, as they released their messages to the heavens. To help convey the feeling of the place, I decided to try to capture the motion and whirls of colors about me.

Written by xinapray

December 31, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Somewhere Between The Cake and The Eggs

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Christmas Eve, 2011

Christmas Eve, 2011

My last two errands on Christmas Eve were to pick up the cake for the party, and the eggs for breakfast on Christmas morning. While heading to the cake shop, I saw that beautiful clouds were beginning to form on the horizon and surmised that with the current conditions there was going to be the chance for a decent sunset. After picking up the cake, I headed down to the water. All I had with me was the Canon S100 point-and-shoot but no matter, I had been wanting to try out it’s low light capabilities anyway.

Photog Notes
This image is a composite of two images, one exposed for the sky and distant water, the other for the foreground. Without the big camera and filter set up, I knew going into this shoot that the game plan would entail multiple exposures, then blending them in post processing to create an even exposure across the frame (aka a high dynamic range composite, if you will). Luckily, I had my regular tripod with me – this sturdy setup allowed me to set up in the water without any movement or change in position between frames.

In post processing, I converted the RAW files with Canon’s Digital Photo Pro, then built the composite in GIMP. Both images for the composite were shot in manual exposure at ISO 80, f/8 to allow the sensor to capture the most detail. I exposed the foreground image at 3.2 seconds to allow the water surface to glass over. The distant scene was exposed at 1 second to preserve the colors and patterns in the clouds. As expected, the S100’s sensor-lens combination performed like a champ when satisfied with the proper amount of light.

 

Happy Holidays!

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Seasons Greetings Seattle Style, 2011 Edition

Seasons Greetings Seattle Style, 2011 Edition

I made this image this evening at the International Fountain at the Seattle Center. This time of year, the center comes alive with festive activities such as the seasonal ice rink and the Nutcracker ballet. But the synchronized-to-music fountain continues to be a major draw with kids (of all ages), who laugh and giggle as they play chicken in the unpredictable spray.

Photog Notes
I shot this with the D300 set at ISO 200. To capture the motion of the water, I set the shutter at 20 seconds, with the aperture at f/16. This long shutter speed also allowed me to isolate the fountain and Christmas tree from the children who were running in and out of path of the water.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!

 

Brrrr!

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winter style

winter style

We’re pretty spoiled in Seattle. Our geography and proximity to the ocean (currents) provide us with mild weather all year round. Wet maybe, but definitely tolerable. December, however, blew in with some attitude. I made this image earlier this week on a morning when the frost was thick on the ground.

Photog Notes
This is another image from my ongoing test of the Canon PowerShot S100. I made this exposure at 1/200 second with the camera set at ISO 400. To control the depth of field, I shot the lens at a wide-open f/2. What I like most is the cool tones that the auto white balance imparted. In processing the RAW image, I tried a variety of settings but nothing came as close to reproducing the light and color that day as the in-camera white balance.

 

Potpourri

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Potpourri

Potpourri

For the past several weeks, I have been testing Canon’s new S100 point-and-shoot camera. I made this image while walking around Green Lake (our local urban lake). I had stopped at a local fishing spot to survey the fall colors that fringed the water and discovered this scene, undulating gently at my feet. As I leaned toward the surface to take a closer look, the sweet, earthy bouquet of maple rose to greet me. What a pleasant surprise gift of nature.

Photog Notes
I made this image at ISO 400, exposure set for 1/30 second at f/8. What you see is the full frame. The details and clarity speak to the sharpness of the lens and it’s superior integration with the sensor and electronics. The from-camera JPG was beautiful and eminently usable but I decided to process the RAW file to correct for a bit of blueness from the auto white balance. I also applied the tiniest bit of tone mapping to bring out the wonderful gradations in the scene.

Written by xinapray

December 10, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Colors and Lines, Beijing Hilton Style

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zeta bar

zeta bar

A couple of images from the archives – I have liked them since I made them but just have not had the chance to properly process the files. I shot these at the Hilton Beijing (the Third Ring Road location, near Sanlitun) last year. It was my last morning there. Had an hour to kill so I wandered around the common areas and found some nice themes and lines.

Photog Notes
These images are pretty much straight out of the camera. The one care that I took in making these shots was to line up the horizontals and verticals so that I could use as much of each frame as possible (i.e., with minimal cropping). Even with doing so, one tweak that I had to make in processing was to compensate for the converging lines due to lens barrel distortion. A modest cost of modern zoom lens technology.

self-portrait on 2

self-portrait on 2

 

 

Written by xinapray

December 3, 2011 at 9:52 am

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