Monthly Archives: July 2009

7/31/2009

Flood Tide and Fog

Flood Tide and Fog

A different mood at Rachel Carson NWR. The east coast is seeing inexplicably high tides this summer and this flood tide was the highest I have seen at Rachel Carson. Subdued light, reflections, misty distance with interesting play of light, and the gentle curve of the stream…that’s what I see in this image.

Sony DSC H50 at full wide. F5.0 @ 1/250th @ ISO 100. Programed auto.

Cropped slightly from the bottom for composition. Recovery for the sky and mist. Blackpoint moderately well to the right, a touch of fill light for the trees, added Clarity and Vibrance.

From Around Home Kennebunk ME.

7/30/2009

Happy and Foamy by the Sea

Happy and Foamy by the Sea

A spike of Meadowsweet among the reeds a few yards from the rocky edge of the ocean. Looks cheerful to me.

This is one of those where I flipped out the LCD and held the camera at arms’ length to frame the shot with wide-angle macro.

Sony DSC H50 at full wide and macro. F5.6 @ 1/500th @ ISO 100. Programed auto.

Just the basic added Vibrance and Clarity and sharpen in Lightroom.

From Around Home Kennebunk ME.

7/29/2009

Elephant Head?

Elephant Head?

I don’t actually know if Elephant’s Head is what these tiny flowers are called. Tiny? The open blossom is less then 1/4 inch across. This is another shot from Rachel Carson NWR, taken along the mile loop of trail…a loop that rarely disappoints photographically.

I took this shot from ground level, using the flip out LCD of the H50 and pointing the camera up under the blooms. From above the large pistol of the plant is not obvious, but from this angle it dominates.

Of course the bokeh is almost as interesting as the plant itself.

Sony DSC H50 at full wide and macro. F2.7 @ 1/40th @ ISO 160. Programed auto.

Cropped from the right in Lightroom for composition. Added Clarity and Vibrance. Landscape sharpen. I used some Recovery for the background.

From Around Home Kennebunk ME.

7/28/2009

Little River Marsh

Little River Marsh

Another classic Rachel Carson NWR view, and another touched by the magical light of that afternoon. The reflected light in the river, the highlights in the foreground foliage…along with amazing sky make this another view of this spot that I will be a long time equaling.

Sony DSC H50 at full wide. F5.6 @ 1/500th @ ISO 100. Programed auto.

Recovery for the sky in Lightroom, a touch of Fill Light for the shadows. Blackpoint to the right slightly, added Clarity and Vibrance and Landscape sharpen.

From Around Home Kennebunk ME.

7/27/2009

Vista: Rachel Carson NWR

Vista: Rachel Carson NWR

I have stood in this spot and taken maybe 150 shots of this view over the past 15 years. It is never the same (or rather I don’t bother on the days when it is the same). This is the first shot I have gotten with the sun in the foreground leaves. What a difference! Of course the sky helps too. I suspect I will be taking this view as long as I last.

Sony DSC H50 at full wide. F5.6 @ 1/500th @ ISO 100. Programed auto.

Cropped from the right in Lightroom. There is a tree there that in this light, had gone completely black, and it was detracting from the effect. Had to go. Some Recovery for the sky. A bit of Fill Light to open the shadows. Also my usual added Clarity and Vibrance and Landscape sharpen preset.

From Around Home Kennebunk ME.

7/26/2009

Angle at St. Annes

Angle at St. Anne's

For Sunday…just a little angle in the stonework at St. Anne’s Church, Kennebunkport, ME. Posed on the edge of the sea, above a rocky shore with generally crashing waves, the rugged stonework of St. Anne’s Church is particularly picturesque. The stonework was restored about a year ago. Worth the effort!

Sony DSC H50 at about 85mm equivalent. F4.0 @ 1/250th @ ISO 100. Programed auto.

In Lightroom, some Recovery for the highlights on the stone, blackpoint to the right slightly. Added Clarity and Vibrance. Landscape sharpen preset.

From Around Home Kennebunk ME.

7/25/2009

Storm Surf

Storm Surf

Taking a break from out coverage of the Coastal Main Botanical Gardens…

Last night my wife and I and youngest daughter went for a walk on the beach. It was the end of close to 24 hours of petty steady rain from a classic noreaster gale, and the ocean was muddy brown in the late light and the clouds still impressive. And, of course, this being Maine, the surfers were out. To be a surfer in Maine means you haunt the edges of storms and surf in a wet-suit even in July and August.

I did not take my H50. I have a new little HD camcorder with a 10mp CMOS sensor that also takes stills. It has a 16×9 wide screen mode at 7.5mp, and I am still experimenting with it as a pocket, all purpose, always on me, camera.

I have taken a few shots with it in better light than the evening offered which have showed promise…so…

If you blow the image above up to full size so you can peek at the pixels it begins to break down. It is, in fact, more like a painting of the scene than it is a photo. That is undoubtedly the result of over-agressive noise reduction which kicked in to compensate for the light levels. Even though the exif data says ISO 50, the sensor was clearly starved for light, and the camera did its best to overcome its limits.

Still, at normal screen resolution, and even in a 5×7 or possibly 8×10 print, it is a dramatic image. I could have gotten better with my H50, but the only camera that counts is the one you have with you.

Sanyo VPC CG10 at about 190mm equivalent. F4.2 @ 1/400th @ ISO 50. Auto.

Recovery for the clouds in Lightroom. Added Clarity and Vibrance. Blackpoint to the right, and added Contrast. Landscape sharpen preset.

From Around Home Kennebunk ME.

And just for fun…the video:

[flickr video=3754151483]

7/24/2001

Jack

Jack

A small stand of Jack in the Pulpit at Coastal Maine Botanical Garden. Getting late in the afternoon. Plants in shadow  but with sun on the ground and plants behind them. Not an easy shot. Also they were deep in a bed with a boarder, so I could not get very close.

This shot was taken right down on ground level with the LCD flipped out and at full zoom to frame the single bloom. This had the advantage of throwing the background well out of focus and creating some interesting bokeh. A shot like this is only possible hand held due to the H50s excellent image stabalization. It is not that the shutter speed was too slow for hand holding…it is that with the long zoom and bending low for the shot…I am just not that stable.

Sony DSC H50 at full zoom (465mm equivalent). F4.0 @ 1/200th @ ISO 100. Programed auto.

Clearly a shot like this with high dynamic range and the light behind the subject is going to take both careful exposure and some post processing. I have come to trust the H50′s auto exposure system to the extent that I rarely second guess it…and then too, I know what I can do in Lightroom. I used heavy Recovery for the highlights behind the flower, and added Fill Light to bring up color and detail in the bloom itself. Blackpoint to the right to bring out the intensity. I had already used the Punch preset which adds Clarity and Vibrance. Landscape sharpen preset.

The result is even better than I envisioned at the time. I think anyway.

7/23/2009

Daisy Riot

Daisy Riot

From the serenity of the Azalea garden to the riot of the massed Daises.  This low angle shot emphasizes the riot.

To take it I actually submerged the camera in the patch (gently gently so as not to bruise a stem) and used the flip out LCD for composition. This is right a the edge of the acceptable depth of field, with foreground flowers going just a bit soft, but the eye is pulled up to the dancing flower in the center and the image works overall. I think.

Given another chance at it I would have used program shift for a smaller aperture, but since the H50 only goes to F8, at this distance, it probably would not have helped much.

Sony DSC H50 at full wide and macro. F5.0 @ 1/1000th @ ISO 100. Programed auto.

Cropped from left and right in Lightroom for composition. Punch and Sharpen presets.

A higher angle view…but in my opinion, it lacks the energy of the low angle.

Daisy Riot from Above

Daisy Riot from Above

Still from the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden gallery.

7/22/2009

Iris Against the Fall

Iris Against the Fall

The Azalea garden at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is the oldest part of the grounds. Built in 2001, the plants on the terraced hill are just coming into their own, and were well past bloom when we visited. The water feature however is one the most stunning landscape sculptures I have ever seen.  Water cascades down over a number of ledges and then sheets off a final carefully placed shelf in a rippling curtain of water that is surely designed to catch the light in a million different ways. There is then a short run to a lily pond, surrounded this season with Iris. Beautiful.

I used moderate tel on the zoom to frame this shot from a distance, and Program Shift to select the smallest aperture (greatest depth of field) and a slow shutter speed for the falling water. It was cropped from both the left and right in Lightroom for composition.

Sony DSC H50 at about 120mm equivalent. F8.0 @ 1/50th @ ISO 100. Programed auto with program shift.

Punch and Landscape sharpen presets in Lightroom. Recovery for the highlights. The rock at the bottom right was still too bright, so I used the Local Adjustment Brush to paint a mask and reduce brightness where needed.

The alternative view…

Iris And the Fall

Iris And the Fall

For this, I zoomed in to about 300mm equivalent, and then cropped in Lightroom to come in even tighter, and to place the Iris on the power line (rule of thirds). No Program Shift here. I let the camera set moderate aperture and a faster shutter speed.

F4.0 @ 1/200th @ ISO 100. Programed auto.

Only Punch and Sharpen in Lightroom.

From Coastal Maine Botanical Garden.