Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Fringe

The Fringe by right2roam
The Fringe, a photo by right2roam on Flickr.

Here's to cup of coffee #2 on a rainy Sunday morning.

Taken on the South Shore of Point Lobos, just south of Monterey California, with barely a glimmer of light on the horizon. I had written off this experiment as a complete loss, but for some reason didn't delete. In the original file the bright sky overpowers a too-dark foreground, and this long of an exposure at such high ISO resulted in some unappealing pixelated areas. The editing process was too drastic for my usual taste, but I think the experiment was worth a try. I made extensive use of noise reduction filters and blended layers trying to smoothly balance the sky with recoverable details in the foreground. I don't often indulge in such hedonistic photo editing, but something about this frame just screamed "dodge me, burn me". What are your impressions?

Canon EOS 5D
Focal Length: 23 mm
Aperature: f/20
Exposure: 30 seconds
ISO 400

Friday, April 27, 2012

Egret and Natural Arch

Egret and Natural Arch by right2roam
Egret and Natural Arch, a photo by right2roam on Flickr.

A popular location revisited. Here's my favorite take from the famous natural arch at Santa Cruz.
Snowy Egrets can often be seen in Winter wading along the shores and tidal flats of Monterey Bay.

The day I posted this to Flickr I showed it off to a few colleagues and got some interesting feedback. Several thought that this was a composite image, that I had added the egret in Photoshop. I'm not a huge fan of HDR, and the only time I combine images is when stitching together panoramas. This is a single shot, only subtly processed in Photoshop using two blended layers. I used one layer to bring out some detail in the water, another layer to slightly brighten the sky and recover some cloud detail.
I must have 20 shots of this scene, with egrets and without. There were half a dozen birds striding through the shallow waves as the sunset faded into twilight. This is the only frame where an egret stood still long enough for me to capture the movement of the water flowing around its feet.

Canon EOS 5D
Focal Length: 55 mm
Aperature: f/22
Exposure: 1.6 seconds
ISO 50

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Great Blue Heron at Elkhorn Slough

Enough landscapes for now, right? How long has it been since I posted any wildlife photos?

Earlier that morning I was down on the tidal flats at Elkhorn Slough photographing shore waders in some amazing early morning light. I decided to make my way back to the car along a different path that takes you through an area of tall grasses. That's where I found this guy.

Canon EOS 5D
Focal Length: 500 mm
Aperature: f/11
Exposure: 1/500 second
ISO 320