Archive for the ‘50D’ Category

The Quarry at Halibut Point

Ever since I saw the way this shot came out, I’ve decided I want to get into panoramas more and more. This past summer when I visited the Northeast with Tucker and Andrew, I had a few opportunities to put my tripod down and do some work, and so far I’m liking what I’ve been able to put together. This one comes from Halibut Point, a really nice little state park I visited with a friend in Rockport, Mass. I started the shot with what I thought was plenty of time but it turns out that the sun was just on the cusp of setting as I started. However, I was pleased with the result, as the changing light ended up creating a slow changing gradient from orange to blue. Anyways, enough with the words. Take a look for yourself:

I started shooting just as the sun began to set, on the left side of the image, so by the time I got all the way over to the right side (probably only 5 minutes later) everything was blue. Also I’m still conflicted about the two people who made it into the image near the bunker. My friend insists they may in fact be the ‘punctum’ of the image, and therefore absolutely completely critical.

Piedmont Park shot from bygone days

Andrew and I found this picture while looking back through some of the pictures we’ve taken and I honestly have no idea why I didn’t post it then. Probably we all had great shots from that day (I mean, look at those clouds), and so I worked on something else. Anyways, I reprocessed it to see what I could make of it. Enjoy!

The lake has a great view of the downtown skyline, and we were lucky enough to have beautiful clouds in the sky to complement the view.

 

 

On the beach

A brief reminder that winter does come to an end. At the end of last summer, I went to visit a friend’s beach house on the Georgia coast, and brought my camera out on a walk one day. Hopefully the sand and the sea can help ward off any winter chills…

 

A lonely conch shell in the sand. Many of the ones I saw had little inhabitants, but they were all too shy to let me take pictures of them

 

Unfortunately I didn't have my tripod, so I couldn't shoot a bracket. However, I liked this boat enough to do a single-shot process on the photo. I especially like the name, "Rip Tide"

Australian Wildlife

One of the things I miss most about my time is Australia was the birds-every day when I was outside, I could constantly hear or see at least a dozen different species of birds, from lorikeets to cockatoos to curlews. At times, they could be quite annoying (especially the curlews-their call sounded like someone screaming bloody murder and they would call at night seemingly outside my window) but as soon as I got back I missed their livelihood and diversity. Australia had a lot of awesome animals, and fortunately I had the chance to go to a wildlife sanctuary that was near the University I was studying at and see lots of them up close. Here are some of my favorite shots from that trip – all 1 shot HDRs because most of the animals moved too fast so I didn’t bother trying to use my tripod with them.

I'm not sure what kind of bird this one is, but I only saw one in the whole sanctuary. It looks kind of like a small ibis...but it's not. Hmm

The scariest animal I saw in Australia, in my opinion. The salties could live in salt or freshwater, and swim in the open ocean...AND GO ON LAND. NOWHERE IS SAFE. Ok, I guess they move pretty slow when its cold, but they can lunge like, 6 feet in the air and are ridiculously good at hiding in the water.

Definitely the cutest bird I saw. These little ducks are about the size of a shoe and make a delightful little whistling sound (which explains the name). I even got them to eat out of my hand.

Fire on Mount Stewart

Although I was mostly unsatisfied with many of the HDRs I tried to take in Australia, there is one glaring exception. First, I should explain. Part of the reason I was unhappy with many of my pictures from Australia was the fire control practices there. The Australians prevent massive, out-of-control wildfires by continually doing small controlled burns that partition the unburned land into small harmless fuel deposits. This results in a constant haze and smoke in the air, which made me dislike all the pictures I took (kind of like in another city I know). On to the exception: the very last night I stayed in James Cook University, where I was studying, my friends and I decided to stay up all night and go for a hike. That very night, the controlled burns were raging in our very back door, on the slopes of Mount Stewart which overlooks the university campus. When I realized this, I knew this was a rare opportunity so naturally I busted out my tripod and camera. Here’s what I saw.

The red lights on the left side of the picture are the lights of the radio towers on the top of Mount Stewart shining throughout the blazing inferno that raged below. Alright, the fires were not as out of control as I make them sound. But spectacular nonetheless, especially when the long exposure makes them look like such towering walls of flame.

Otago Peninsula

So while I was still in New Zealand…Andrew and I saw some stuff. I’m actually in Australia now, but I still have shots left over from NZ that I wanted to post. I’m still working on the panorama…(I hope I can work something good enough to post with it ever)… I think I lack Andrew’s finesse with the panorama stuff (I guess that’s his specialty). One of the things I CAN do, however, is 1-shot HDRs and the standard type. Andrew and I went around the Otago Peninsula, which is near Dunedin, and saw/photographed some awesome wildlife, including sea lions, penguins, and albatross. We were spectacularly lucky to see this pair of sea lions playing together at Sandfly Bay, which we later learned from a local were a male/female pair. Then, we went to the end of the peninsula at Taiaroa Head and saw two Royal Albatross within minutes of each other, which we later learned was a fairly rare sight. Next we went to a penguin reserve and saw this juvenile yellow-eyed penguin, which uniquely was unafraid of humans, unlike normal yellow-eyed which are extremely shy. Overall, we were exceedingly lucky and fortunately were able to take some pictures of this amazing wildlife.

 

Hopefully Andrew will post some of the stunning video footage we got of these two playing...We didn't realize how fortunate we were to see them until later when we learned that there are only approximately 20 sea lions living in the entire Otago Peninsula area.

I admit freely I processed this somewhat heavily...I really wanted to focus on the penguin and the somewhat epic pose it was in. I was fortunate enough to steal a few shots with Andrew's 70-200 f/2.8L IS, which I discovered is an awesome lens. Perfect for this kind of wildlife photography where you don't want to get close but still want to get a close up kinda shot.

Traveling around NZ

So it’s been a while. But I finally got out of Atlanta, so I no longer have to endure the haze and heat. In fact, I now have to put on extra sweaters and stuff. I’ll be studying abroad in Australia for the summer, but before that, I came to New Zealand to visit Andrew since I’ll probably never be closer, or have such a convenient place to stay/guide person/fellow photo enthusiast with me. Anyways, we’ve been driving all over the South Island and doing all sorts of crazy things (We went skydiving during an earthquake, for example, not on purpose I suppose, but still) and so much so that I’ve hardly had time to take any pictures of all the places and things we’ve seen. After we went skydiving, we hiked around Queenstown and got a good view of the area, and naturally took some pictures. Also, Andrew is showing me how to make some of those awesome HDRamas he’s been posting, so I’m trying to get that looking good as well and should eventually post it.

 

We hiked up Queenstown Hill to get this view across Lake Wakatipu. It was an OK view...although I had just seen Queenstown rushing toward me from 12,000ft just a few hours earlier, so I may be a little biased. I decided on a 16x9 crop because I felt there was a little too much dead space in the sky above those clouds.

On Set HDR

I’ve been busy, and I will continue to be in the coming weeks, working on several film projects that some of my friends are doing. Although I too frequently have my hands full on set, sometimes I can find the time to get a few brackets in between scenes. As Andrew has said before, it’s fun to take pictures on set. I think so because firstly there is plenty of light around, but secondly and more interestingly, I like seeing how video lighting and photo lighting are different. Maybe its because I’m not taking pictures from the perspective of the camera shooting video (I like the more “behind the scenes” type stuff) but either way I think its cool seeing where all the light comes from and how it strikes things that were not intentionally lit.

This particular location we were shooting at was plain freaking awesome, and you wouldn’t have expected it at all either. The house from the outside looks like a standard 1-floor square house, but once you take a look at the landscape you see that (like most of Atlanta) the house is draped over a steep hill. Thus, to keep the first floor level, the house sits on a tall oddly shaped basement. The dirt floor followed the contour of the hill, sloping upward steeply to the front of the house and giving us a very cool cave-like set for our film. The basement also contained a seemingly random assortment of completely indecipherable items dating from the early 1900s. I also felt like trying out some B&W HDR on this first picture, just to see what it would look like.

 

That mass of dangling arms on the left side of the picture turned out to be a seriously old school hair curler, which we only found out by looking up the patent number on it. If I remember correctly, it was made in 1906!

 

There was also this random pipe outlet in the wall, maybe part of some old ventilation system? Who knows...

 

 

Back to the Park

It’s been a while since any of us has posted content from Atlanta…maybe we’ve just gotten tired of the place.

Ha, as if. I love Atlanta, but it’s not always the best place to take pictures. However, the other day Tucker and I were driving around and commenting on how spectacular the clouds were, and within 5 minutes Andrew (who’s back in the ATL) texted us about the same ridiculous meteorology that was occurring. We decided it was time…to take some pictures. So we went back to Piedmont Park, which we somehow have not been to for shooting in literally a year. Last time we were there we had no idea how to take HDRs and looking back on our attempts I am glad how much we have learned since then. Anyways, here’s one of my favorites from the shoot there. Tucker and Andrew have other content to post but this is what I want to show off right now…

The Downtown skyline seen from one of its best angles, in my opinion

Water Life

I’ve had a few pictures floating around that I’ve been working on the flow of, and I think I’ve gotten all the ripples out. Whew, ok, d’you think I killed the water metaphor enough yet? 😉 I took the water lily picture at the Botanical Gardens, always a good source of flower photography, which although not the most original, is not overdone without cause (flowers are pretty!!! yay). The mallard came upon me as I wandered around Lullwater Park at Emory University, probably expecting bread crumbs or something. I had no such gifts to offer, which probably explains the indignant look he is giving me. Oh, and, both are single-shot HDRs. Admittedly, I exaggerate the HDR processing on single-shot HDRs, or else I don’t feel like I’m getting enough out of the picture. Too much? Either way, thanks Photomatix 4!

A water lily blooms in on of the ponds in the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

A Mallard glares at me after I don't give it anything to eat. He left shortly after.

More from the Gardens

While the season still lasts (which it does here in Atlanta, at least), I should probably post these Fall-themed shots I took at the Botanical Gardens. They had the trees decorated with glass fruits and a lot of glass sculptures interspersed with the actual fruits and veggies in the gardens, which was an effect I really enjoyed (especially since the glass fruits make cool pictures).

They had a huge cornucopia set up, filled with glass pumpkins and squashes. It was pretty sweet, and shiny. Which I like.

One of these apples a day would send you to the doctor extremely quickly. I don't think you'd make it past the first day, actually. But they looked nice, even if you couldn't eat them!

Halloween!

In the spirit of the season, here’s a 1-shot HDR from the Botanical Gardens. The gardens were all dressed up for Halloween when I went a few days ago, and yielded some cool pictures. More to follow…

A scarecrow dozes on his perch at the Botanical Gardens

Sport HDR Photography

I’ve been holding back on some of these pictures I took at the Palio because how much extra work single-shot processing generates…between exporting out, noise reduction, and my computer slowness (which crops up randomly despite the SSD I installed). Well, as you may have heard, Photomatix 4 is kind of a game changer in terms of 1-shot HDR processing. I feel like the ease of its workflow would legitimately allow for Sports HDR, with RAW format images and Photomatix’s batch processing capabilities. However, most of the single-shot HDRs I’ve processed have less of the surreal feel to them, and look more like really well lit pictures. Which is great. Most people would probably prefer just having their pictures look better without looking strange, which is now super easy. For example, it would be (nearly) impossible for me to shoot a bracket for this picture, but now I was able to process this in less the 30 minutes…

The rider from Torre dashes by

Falling down the Falls

Andrew and I had originally planned to hike to North Dome our first day at Yosemite, figuring the ~8 miles wouldn’t be that bad. I mean, we could run a mile in less than 10 minutes, so walking it shouldn’t take more then a few hours, right? Wrong-o. We started hiking around 1pm because we planned to get to get there with plenty of time for sunset…but…3 hours later we were only halfway there and already flagging to say the least. Which is why we eventually decided to stop and give The Pedestal its name. Halfway there was at Yosemite point, which had a nice overlook down Yosemite falls and of course the excellent pool which Andrew and I paused at for a good few. We only really dropped by the overlook, but while there I held my camera over the edge to snap a few handheld brackets. I’ve been struggling with this picture for a while, since there was a lot about it I didn’t like, but since it is down the falls and catches some of the cool sprayinbows, I’ll put it up.

It was actually difficult for me to take this picture, because I'm pretty afraid of heights. Fortunately there was a really solid steel railing for me to cling onto for my dear life or else I wouldn't have even gotten close to the edge...

Hidden Gardens

Unfortunately, we’ve all been busy, because we still have a lot of great material to post. Back at Yosemite, while Andrew and I waited for sunset to happen at the Pedestal, I wandered off for a bit and looked at the surrounding area. In this foreste

d area behind and above the Pedestal there was a lot of awesomeness to be seen. However, I realize now it was harder to photograph than it looked. I’m still working on some of the other shots….I haven’t gotten them many of them in a state I like yet…but here’s one I have:

Yosemite was far too full of hidden beauty to be covered in the scant 2 days Andrew and I were there...