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.
So I am suffering from “lack-of-new-material” syndrome again, which means you get to see more Atlanta skyline! In my ideal world, I’d be able to post a picture every day from a different shoot, basically exactly what Trey Ratcliff does… unfortunately I do not make a living traveling the world taking HDRs, so I must make do with what I have. Speaking of Trey Ratcliff, I have recently become a part of his spinoff-website, HDRspotting. It is, as you might guess, a community for people who like creating and looking at HDR in all forms. Members can upload one HDR a day, and editors review the submissions, essentially admitting everything, but choosing to “feature” some and even designate some as “editors picks.” If you want to see a TON of HDR (both good and bad…) check it out, its well worth browsing. The editors seem to favor church interiors, as literally ever single one that gets submitted ends up being featured, if not an editor’s choice. Maybe they are afraid of provoking divine wrath if they do not show their adoration for houses of worship….? No church interiors for me, but you can see what I have submitted here.
Anyway, these are from a few weeks ago, shot from the ever popular location of Paul’s roof. I had posted a cityline HDR taken with the 70-200mm zoom, but from a different location. Usually, HDR does not work well very low light (ie, night) like this because the long exposure ensures that most areas of the shot are exposed, but with a city there are so many different light sources that it actually works pretty well to get tone in the sky and from all of the artificial light. Using the 200mm lens allowed me to really pick a part of the skyline and, well, zoom in on it… but this can make composition hard. I prefer the 16-35 for HDRs, but occasionally, different can be fun! I’ve been seeing a lot of black and white HDRs on HDR Spotting, so I decided maybe I’d give it another shot. There are also a lot of great HDR panoramas, but I haven’t yet found the perfect scene to attempt this feat… perhaps when I am in Hawaii for Christmas break I will be lucky enough to find just the perfect place.
That odd line in the fog to the upper left was really there, it is not an artifact of the process! I was tempted to remove it but I kinda like its oddness.
The black and white version of the same image. I like this one better, it reminds me kinda of something out of Sin City.
I have been asked to do a few websites recently, and I had a shoot with one of these people tonight to get some portraits and usable banner shots, etc, for their site. He lives on top of one of the condos on 10th street and asked if I thought the roof would be a good place to get some shots. Roofs + night + cityline + a lucky awesome sunset = yes, I told him that would work well. After getting some shots with him (I ditched the flash/reflector setup in favor of the tripod/bracketing approach 😀 ) I stayed up there for an extra 2 hours just taking HDRs of various angles of the cityline as the sun set, changing lenses every once in a while. I have been really exploring HDR with the 70-200mm, and this is one of those. It is admittedly at 70mm; the ones taken at 200mm weren’t as compelling but I do have some 200mm ones from Paul’s apartment the other night that will make it up here at some point. There were also some fun wide shots from tonight as well, but this one stuck out as the one that needed to be processed immidiately.
It's really fun to go in close on the windows and see the same cabinents, light, and pictures in room after room...