The Way I See It

Posts Tagged ‘seasonal

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

Roundabout

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Roundabout

Roundabout

It’s been a long dry spell for sunset seascapes. The past several afternoons that things looked promising, the clouds would eventually either completely obliterate the sky, or everything would blow away, leaving nothing but blank blue.

I made this image this week. When I checked the sky, the forecast and the tide tables, I discovered that things were aligned for the potential of a reasonable sunset. Made it down to the water, set up, and as the sun began to drop below the horizon, the incoming waves started to pound ashore. For the first time in a long time, I ended up hastily retreating to higher ground (so as not to get completely drenched) while temporarily abandoning the camera and tripod. This was the last image that I was able to make before the gear got so wet that it was not wise to continue shooting.

Photo Notes
I had a really hard time controlling the dynamic range during this shoot. As usual, I shot with a graduated ND filter, but the difference was so great and things were moving so quickly that I ended up going with two exposures – one for the foreground, the other for the sky. By default, this two-image solution meant some substantial post-processing. In this case, I spent a lot of time dodging and burning to get things to look the way that I wanted.

Written by xinapray

April 29, 2012 at 9:01 am

Sunrise in the City

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Kerry Park, 20120205

Kerry Park, 20120205

It’s been a sunny, warm, weekend. I have some gear that I’ve been testing so I got up early yesterday (Saturday) and went over to Kerry Park on Queen Anne Hill, to the quintessential “sunrise over Seattle” viewpoint. Got there with plenty of time to spare, picked my spot, and set things up. “Uh-oh,” I thought to myself as the sky began to lighten. On the horizon hung a thin band of thick clouds. They lessened as one glanced upwards and finally petered out at 30-35 degrees from horizontal. Clear blue sky overhead at Kerry Park and over most of Seattle but where it mattered most, the vital first rays of the new day would likely be completely obscured. I hung around nonetheless, hoping that a break would form. 7:08 a.m. came and went. Still only dull grays and blues. Oh well. At least I got in a nice chat with a gentleman named Craig, who was visiting from Oregon. “I’ll probably be here again tomorrow” said he. “So will I, most likely” I replied.

This morning rolled around. I’d gotten up a bit late and hurried over there. “Morning” said he. “Good morning.” He pointed towards the horizon with his chin. “Doesn’t look good.” I concurred. Again we hung out, chatting about photography and life, hoping but not uttering the hope that somehow, good fortune would intercede. Not on this morning. We bid our adieus. As I drove home, I thought about how fortunate I was to be a sunset photographer. Before deciding to head out, I have the luxury of seeing the Western sky (from whence most Seattle weather originates) out my front window. From the city, there is a live webcam that I also check. Finally, there are the doppler radar readings. Sunrise photographers have almost none of these luxuries. They have to be ready before the first light hits the skies. They are essentially at the mercy of whatever that light reveals. I wondered if I could ever make sunrise photo shoots a regular habit.

And what of the image? It is from a more fortuitous outing not long ago. That’s the Space Needle and downtown Seattle in the foreground. In the back rises a snow-clad Mount Rainier.

I rationalize these past two mornings as putting in my time, as payback for the numerous 1-for-1 mornings with which I have been blessed. Or perhaps they are a deposit paid on some future jaw-dropping sunrise. 😉

Photo Notes
f/8, 1/15 second at ISO 200. For this image, I decided to expose for the liveliness in the sky, while leaving the structured forms of the buildings in near-silhouette. This image is very much what came out of the camera…I only applied a bit of tone mapping to accurately reflect the variety of colors that I witnessed that morning.

 

Written by xinapray

March 25, 2012 at 6:54 pm

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

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