The Way I See It

Archive for the ‘seasonal’ Category

Stragglers and Dilly-Dallyers

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before the rain

before the rain

I’ve been in the tropics for the past couple of months and missed most of the change in the seasons. Home now and did some strolling this past week. I was fortunate to catch these scenes. Thank goodness for stragglers and dilly-dallyers 😉

1/1250 second at f/208, ISO 1600. Nikon D600 + Nikkor AF-S 70-200 f/2.8 (before the rain, above).

 

stars

stars

1/320 second at f/6.3, ISO 1600. Nikon D600 + Nikkor AF-S 70-200 f/2.8.

 

evening light

evening light

1/50 second at f/8, ISO 1600. Nikon D600 + Nikkor AF-S 70-300 f/4.5-5.6.

 

forest floor

forest floor

1/40 second at f/14, ISO 3200. Nikon D600 + Nikkor AF-S 70-300 f/4.5-5.6.

 

fallen leaves

fallen leaves

1/3 second at f/18, ISO 800. Nikon D600 + Nikkor AF-S 70-300 f/4.5-5.6.

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Written by xinapray

November 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Spring Arrives

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blossoms

blossoms

It looks like we are finally into Spring. As the weather warms, one of the popular gathering places is the quadrangle (“The Quad”) at the University of Washington, which boasts a 60+ year-old collection of carefully curated Yoshino cherry trees that always seem to bloom in unison. When this happens, residents and visitors alike descend on campus; on sunny days, it reverberates with excited oohs and aahs, joyful giggling and delighted shrieking.  Most people see the quad experience as a celebration of the season. I see it as a celebration of life.

kids in trees iuntitled

kids in trees i

This year, while most people focused on the beautiful pale-peach blossoms, I decided to concentrate on the people, for it is the people who give this spring ritual life. I made these images in sunshine, clouds and rain, conditions that are typical of spring in the Northwest. If you are one of the people featured here, do drop me a note. I’d love to get a print to you.

pink

pink

Photo Notes
A major impetus behind the creation of these images is my ongoing evaluation of the Sony NEX-7 system. As such, these images were made with the 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 (SEL1855) and 55-210 mm f/4.5-6.3 (SEL55210) “kit” lenses. When proper technique, the JPG images that came out of the camera were very, very good. Nontheless, I chose to process the RAW files in Lightroom to get more familiar with both ARWs (Sony RAW files) and Lightroom. Coincidentally, the resulting images look very much like the out-of-camera JPGs. 😉

love

love

Sunset, 20120304

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untitled

untitled

One of my favorite activities is catching sunset by the water. It allows me to decompress and recharge; a gorgeous blue hour keeps me in good spirits for days. But the confluence of weather and work this winter has offered me relatively few opportunities to participate in this favorite activity.

Sunday evening brought the potential to make a few frames. I arrived with lots of time to spare but as the big orange orb edged it’s way towards the horizon, the anxiety began to build. It used to feel like I ran through each sunset shoot as if on autopilot. But today, I struggled with composition and finding the right technical settings. And as quickly as the sun was racing past the horizon, so my window of opportunity was closing. I hurried through several frames. This is one of the images that I was able to capture. Shooting seascapes is about relaxing and making a good memory. On this day, it felt like just really hard work. 😉

Photog Notes
f/13, 1/4 second at ISO 200. To help tame the dynamic range, I applied a 2-stop hard-edged graduated neutral density filter when I made the exposure. But the histogram and on-screen blinkies confirmed that I still had blown highlights (where the sun had just dropped below the horizon and in the clouds directly above), so I snapped an exposure just for those areas and manually blended them into the overall image.

Written by xinapray

March 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Prelude

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Lindera obtusiloba

Lindera obtusiloba

It has been a really mild winter. I’ve been seeing signs of the trees coming to life and decided to stop in at the arboretum to take a look around. I made this image under a Japanese Spicebush or Lindera obtusiloba. A mature specimen that may actually have seen more days than I, it is one of my favorites of the collection. I’ve spent many a spring or autumn afternoon under it’s brilliant foliage, absorbing the magnificence of the sea of yellows and greens, and bathing in the spicy-sweet fragrance. On this day, it was just awakening from it’s winter slumber.

Photog Notes
f/11, 1/10 second at ISO 400. I shot this on a relatively calm afternoon but these shoots were so thin and delicate that even if I moved a little too quickly, the air would stir just enough that the camera was able to pick up the slight movement. I thus chose to shoot at a higher ISO than I’d have preferred, and underexposed a teeny bit to get a usable shutter speed. In processing, I bumped up the exposure ⅓ stop, and applied a bit of selective dodging and burning.

 

Written by xinapray

February 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Fall, Remembered

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Fall, Remembered

Fall, Remembered

I was looking through the archives, looking for an image for a friend when I came across this interpretive piece, which I made during the fall. I’ve liked this image since it popped up on the back of my camera, just haven’t had the chance to process it until now.

Photo Notes
f/32 at ISO 280, handheld at 1/10th second. A lot of interpretive intimate landscapes involve moving the camera vertically – most commonly to accentuate the pattern of tall grass and/or tree trunks. In visualizing this piece, I wanted to preserve the pattern of the dark trunk against the bright golds of the foliage; this is the premise that dictated how I manipulated the camera.

Written by xinapray

February 12, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Night’s A-Fallin’

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Night's A-Fallin'

Night's A-Fallin'

I made this image a couple of weeks ago. Contrary to the title, the sunset actually led to a spectacular blue hour but I like the ominous tones so much that I left well enough alone.

Photo Notes
1 second at f/22, ISO 200 on a Nikon D300 + Tokina 11-16. I did very little by way of post processing – just applied a teeny bit of tone mapping to bring out the richness in the sky and reflections. IMO, the key to getting this shot was the rubber boots. They allowed me to set up in the middle of the creek. 😉

 

Written by xinapray

January 29, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Snow Days

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雪天

雪天

We’ve had snow on the ground for the past several days. Not terribly unusual for Seattle, but interesting nonetheless because we get so little of it each year that the most people stay home and a lot of businesses, government offices and schools either shut down or have abbreviated hours. I made this image on Sunday, after the first snowfall.

Photog Notes
1/200 second, f/5.6 on a Canon Powershot S100 point-and-shoot set at ISO 200. I love how snow days make everything so monochromatic. This image is very much what came out of the camera. In processing, I applied a teeny bit of spot tone adjustment to compensate for the somewhat uneven lighting. No typical copyright watermark on this one – I decided to apply a Chinese-style stamp to reflect the art and other things that inspire me these days.

 

Written by xinapray

January 20, 2012 at 3:41 pm

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