Grass reflections, Bare Island Lake, Sierra National Forest, California 2009
1/250 sec at f/9, focal length: 145mm, ISO 800, Aperture Priority, +2 Exposure Compensation - August 2, 2009 at 2.34pm PDT. Photographed with Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EF 70-200mm f/4L, Tripod Mounted
*UPDATE: Due to a special request, here is a link to a larger version. Enjoy!
Just a quick update with a new image from my recent camping trip to Iron Lakes. This was made at one of the higher lakes, in the middle of the day. Don't buy into the idea that you should only take the camera out at the "golden hours". If you're aware of the light, and take the time to look, good images can be made at any time. Always carry your camera!
As a side note, this image was processed 100% in Lightroom 2. This is pretty unusual for me, as my goal is always the absolute best quality, I find that every image needs fine adjustments that can only be done in Photoshop. But, for now, I'm quite pleased with the results that I've achieved from Lightroom. I'm sure that if I decide to pursue this image as a fine print that I will end up taking it into Photoshop. At this moment though, I can't find a reason to.
Sun rays at first light, Sierra National Forest, California 2009
0.6 sec at f/16, focal length: 17mm, ISO 50, Aperture Priority - August 15, 2009 at 7:47am PDT. Photographed with Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EF 17-40mm f/4L, Tripod Mounted
Funk. It happens to all of us. If someone tells you that it doesn't happen to them, then they've either lost their wits or are liars and you'd be best not to keep such company. So for the rest of us that can be honest enough with ourselves to admit that, from time to time, we wind up in a funk, what do we do?
I've been in a creative funk this summer and have not been very productive. Some of you may have noticed this, with the drop off in posts. Maybe it's the heat, maybe I've become too busy with other matters and life gets in the way, maybe I've had to focus on the business side of things more, or maybe these are all excuses for not finding motivation.
That's right, it's up to us to find our own motivation to create and to actively push ourselves to do so. If you think that inspiration and creativity are miraculously bestowed upon you while sitting around waiting for the second coming then you've lost your wits just as much as our good friends, the liars, previously mentioned and we can no longer be friends.
anything by Radiohead, except for maybe 'Pablo Honey'.
These should get you going but you should also be visiting museums, studying artwork of different mediums, and reading anything more than magazines and web sites. You could also try writing. Blogs are free and trying to create content is definitely going to motivate you. I've learned and grown a lot since starting this blog only just 1 year ago as a direct result of pushing myself to create for this outlet. You should find an outlet that will force you to do the same.
Now if you're still with me and are interested in knowing just a tiny bit more about the image above, here you go.
I made the image this weekend close to home in the Sierra National Forest. My Dad was visiting for the weekend and wanted to practice his HDR technique so we got up before sunrise and headed for the forest. This was a perfect situation for HDR. The image above is only 3 exposures blended together using Photomatix. I could've gotten a smoother blend using 5-7 exposures but I'm still happy with the results I've gotten here (hard to tell at this size, but viewing larger I can definitely tell it would've benefited from more shots). The original shot, seen below, had some pretty strong convergence due to using a wide angle lens and aiming up to get more of the trees in the frame. If I'd had a T/S lens, this would've been the time to use it, but I have a new baby on the way, 2 more already here and a wife that I love so much that I'd rather her not leave me. So no T/S lens for me. Instead I corrected the perspective, quickly, using the crop tool in Photoshop. Just make sure that 'Perspective' is checked and then you can drag each individual corner of the crop to correct. In this case I drug the top left and right corners in, while holding shift to keep them going straight across horizontally, towards the center of the frame until the outside edges ran parallel with the tree trunks. Hitting enter then pulls the corners out to the edges and fixes the perspective. Not bad for no T/S. You do loose a bit of resolution up in those corners so it's not ideal but you've gotta make do.
Which do you prefer?
The image below is one that my Dad took that morning and I think he did a fantastic job. So much so, that I had to 'bury' it way down at the bottom of the post so that he didn't steal my thunder. Sorry Dad, but it has to be that way.
Rock Reflections, Iron Lakes, Sierra National Forest, California 2009
0.6 sec at f/16, focal length: 200mm, ISO 50, Aperture Priority - July 29, 2009 7:07pm PDT. Photographed with Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EF 70-200mm f/4L, Tripod Mounted
Still not much time to really write a proper post, but just enough to post another image from a recent adventure into the high country of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
By the time this post goes "live", Bill and I will be well into another one of his private workshops. These have been going very well and have been gobs of fun. My favorite parts have been the critiques. There's always so much to learn from some one else viewing your work objectively. There's also a lot to learn from hearing someone else critique another person's work (which is where I benefit during these workshops!). Check it out here. If any thing, it's a great excuse to get to Yosemite National Park (we're only 30 min from the south entrance).
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Sunset Reflections, Iron Lakes, Sierra National Forest, California 2009
0.4 sec at f/22, focal length: 98mm, ISO 50, Aperture Priority - July 29, 2009 6:47pm PDT. Photographed with Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EF 70-200mm f/4L, Tripod Mounted
Last week, some friends and I made our annual camping trip into the High Sierras. This was taken from the shoreline of one of the many alpine lakes surrounding our camp site. The lakes are surrounded by peaks filled with iron that blaze with red, orange and golden tones at sunset. Truly an amazing place. My friend, Bo, has also posted an overview shot from above our camp site. Take a look on his blog, A Moment Preserved.
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