May 032008
 

You have seen these mountains yesterday, and I’m afraid I’ll have to come back to them time and time again. This particular image is from yesterday late afternoon. I have used split ND filters, and while I liked what I saw on the camera’s LCD, I did not like what they did to the histogram. On the positive side, there is a lot of detail in the snow on the mountains, but this is outweighed by the negative effect on the top of the sky. I try using – and liking – them every once in a while, but compared to the elegance and flexibility of curves with gradient masks, they are a blunt instrument.

Or not so? I suspect that I expect too much. Maybe I need to use them more subtly, only going for part of the effect, using them as a means to get better material for the real work in Photoshop.

With this image I am quite satisfied. It has 13 layers, one group and seven distinct masks, and some of the layers are controlled by reduced opacity. The result is entirely artificial, I have completely re-modeled the tonalities, but it looks natural to me. Well, at least I have been guilty of worse atrocities to nature in the past 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Time And Time Again” from the 1993 Counting Crows album “August and Everything After“. See them live on YouTube.

347 – Always The Sun

 Nikon 18-200 VR  Comments Off on 347 – Always The Sun
Sep 262007
 

Every year, when everybody else already wears warm clothing, I pretend that summer is not yet over. Well, yesterday may have been the last day this year, that I’ve been able to do so. It was warm, sunny, with patches of harmless clouds, and I was swimming. Today it seems to be over.

This image is from yesterday afternoon. I was on my way to the lake when I stopped for a completely different image, an image that turned out to be nothing interesting at all, and when I just wanted to stow away the tripod, I looked into the sun, saw the curves, the clouds, and then I knew what image I wanted to take.

I used the Nikon 18-200 at 18mm and f11, from the tripod, with mirror lockup, remote control and Lee split-ND filters.

Had it not been for the filters (I have no adapter for the 72mm thread, so I had to hand hold them), the tripod would not have been necessary. On the other hand, without tripod and mirror lockup you simply can’t use a long lens to its full potential. Not that it would matter at this focal length and size, but for some other images I shot at the long end, and especially when peeping at pixels, the difference is obvious.

Always The Sun” is a song from The Stranglers’ 1987 album “Dreamtime“. Hear the song on YouTube.

Jun 232007
 

We already had Eddi Reader’s album “Mirmama” some days ago, and today’s Song of the Day is one of the finest on that album: “What You Do With What You’ve Got“. Are that wonderful lyrics or what?

I took this photo yesterday evening. Days are long now and this is from 9:20pm. I had already had some wine, didn’t want to drive elsewhere and was still in need of an Image of the Day. I took my tripod, two Lee ND gradient filters (I got a set of them yesterday), went into the garden and shot this image with the Sigma 10-20 at 10mm and f11. Exposure was for seven seconds, that’s what makes the blur on the tree to the left. Afterwards, in Photoshop, I have cloned out some distractions and warmed the image up a little.

Using filters is tedious, but I’ll try that more often now. Let’s wait and see what I do with what I’ve got now 🙂