Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Soul of the Pacific

The Soul of the Pacific by right2roam
The Soul of the Pacific, a photo by right2roam on Flickr.

As eyes are windows to the soul, looking through this natural arch is like peering into the churning depths of the Pacific.

This weekend I was playing host to my friends Annie and Ori, who convinced me to take a break from my studies and make the jaunt down to Big Sur with them. If you've never had the pleasure of cruising down California's Highway 1, be sure to add it to your list of things to do before...

I'd been down that road dozens of times, but they were right to twist my arm and tease me about taking my homework a little too seriously that day. The weather was fantastic and this time of year the Santa Lucia Range bathes in a softer glowing sunshine than during the more intense Summer months. And a day shared with friends at the edge of the Western World should never be missed.

Post processing of this image was minimal. I set up two blended layers, one to bring out details in the overly dark foreground, the other to increase contrast and vibrance in the sky.

Canon EOS 5D
Focal Length: 22mm
Aperature: f/17
Exposure: 1/2 second
ISO 50

You may also enjoy revisitng this photo, timed for the effect this arch famous for.

Fireworks at Pfeiffer

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon

This will be the last post from my Iceland trip last December. Normally I'm pretty decisive when it comes to processing and sharing the color or black and white versions of my photos, but this one gave me a little trouble. In the color version I find an appealing softness and subtlety in the tones while the black and white version has a nice level of contrast and plays more on highlights, shadows, and texture. What do you think?

Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon B&W

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Crystal Twilight

Crystal Twilight by right2roam
Crystal Twilight, a photo by right2roam on Flickr.

On the beach at the mouth of the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon in southern Iceland you can find a large number of icebergs stranded on the volcanic black sand. In Winter at this latitude the sun barely peeks above the horizon, then just hovers for a few hours providing a lingering period of light with an almost magical quality. Then the light slowly dwindles into an ethereal twilight, and if you're lucky will give way to the ghostly glow of Aurora.

This photo was simple enough to capture... just my handheld G10 at ISO 400. Yes, I had my SLR and tripod with me on this trip and certainly would have prefered the better equipment. I had spent the two previous hours working the icebergs at the other end of the glacial lagoon. This was my first real test of photographic equipment in cold weather. And its very true, lithium ion batteries just don't hold their charge in the cold.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Jökulsárlón Blue

Jökulsárlón Blue by right2roam
Jökulsárlón Blue, a photo by right2roam on Flickr.

I was on the hunt...

... for Northern Lights. Jokulsarlon is the largest and probably best known of a number of glacial lakes in Iceland. Not the easiest Winter destination to make; at several points along the Ring Road, strong winds gusting down from Vatnajokull nearly blew my tiny rented 4x4 off the icy roads. In making the drive I had hoped to try my hand at adding to the already large collection of iconic shots featuring the eerie green glow of the Northern Lights reflecting off of this lagoon's frigid water between icebergs. With only one day and evening to photograph the area, I got a few presentable images, but only saw a faint glimmer of Aurora Borealis. Now having seen the lagoon in the dead of Winter, and having done a little more research on Aurora patterns, I would advise making this trip in Autumn or Spring when the road conditions are better and the lake isn't so choked with ice. If I'm so fortunate to be able to make this trip to chase the Northern Lights again, I would go this Fall with more time on my hands. Read why here...
I would also keep an eye on this website which could help increase chances of being at the right place at the right time to make some breathtaking images.

And just for fun, check out this video taken from the International Space Station.
Absolutely amazing!

Canon EOS 5D
Focal Length: 105mm
Aperature: f/13
Exposure: 1/6 second
ISO 125