Sunday, July 29, 2012

Secretary Bird in Nest

Secretary Bird in Nest - 1D4, 70-200 II @ 115mm, f/4.5, 1/800s, ISO 100

It was near the end of an evening game drive when I made this image.  We didn't have any significant photographic opportunities that evening but after encountering a Secretary Bird perched atop its nest, we paused to photograph for a few moments.  Though I also had the 500 with me, I chose to work with the 70-200 instead, opting to get a wider view of the scene including the nest and some of the fluffy clouds above.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Nerdy Monkey

Nerdy Monkey - M9, 50 Noct., f/0.95, 1/125s, ISO 400
I try to photograph my daughter Maya as often as possible, largely because she seems to do new stuff at a rapid pace and its amazing the things I will forget she did if I didn't have the photographs to remind me.

Afternoon Nap - M9, 50 Noct., f/0.95, 1/125s, ISO 250

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Flooded Meadow

Flooded Meadow - M9, 50 Summilux, ~f/6.7, 1/1000s, ISO 160
I made this image on an early morning while driving home from the Eastern Sierras.  It was a spring after a winter with a lot of moisture so there was still a lot of water left in Tuolumne Meadows.  The deer was just a bonus.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Lookout

The Lookout - 1D4, 500, f/5.6, 1/1000s, ISO 400
The Giraffe and Oxpecker have a symbiotic relationship.  There are many parasites like ticks and horseflies on the body of the Giraffe that the Oxpecker feeds on.  This Giraffe was someone close but at the time I was shooting with the 500mm lens and saw the Oxpecker looking out in the other direction, so I quickly framed my composition and went for it.  The image however has sat unprocessed  for the last year and a bit because I wasn't a fan of the colors, it just didn't feel right to me and I figured I would probably try and make a black & white.  However, after getting a chance to work with the image a little yesterday I ended up with a color image which I like.  The colors on the Giraffe are natural and I like the contrast of the patches.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Classic Scene

- 5D2, Zeiss 50 Makro Planar, f/11, 0.4s, ISO 100
It seems that I just can't get tired of viewing this class scene.  T.A. Moulton barn in the front, a stream, bison and the Grand Tetons under some cloud in the background.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Leopardess in the Rain

Leopardess in the Rain - 1D4, 500, f/6.3, 1/500s, ISO 1600
I made this image on my last game drive in Tanzania last year.  This Leopardess would keep walking up the tree stump, pose for a moments then walk back.  It then started to rain, but she wasn't fazed by the rain and just kept doing her thing.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

El Capitan in the Morning

El Capitan in the Morning - 5D2, 24 TS-E II, f/13, 1/6s, ISO 100
I made this image on a winter morning last year and unfortunately that weekend there wasn't a lot of snow in Yosemite.  Since I didn't get a lot of interesting color from the sunrise a black and white treatment seemed most appropriate.  I tend to use a tilt shift lens a lot in my landscape photography and thats usually because I try and avoid perspective distortion (unless its something I want, in which case I exaggerate it).  I took this image from close to the road by El Capitan and with a regular 24mm lens you would have to tilt the camera up but with the TS-E I applied a little shift and the result is the trees stay pointing straight up.  With the benefit of Live View, I can verify not only the composition but that depth of field is sufficient and that the amount of shift is ideal.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Tidepool Sunset

Tidepool Sunset - 5D3, 17 TS-E, f/18, ISO 100, 3 exposure blend, 4 stop soft grad, c-pol
So many new tools were used in making this first.  First, note that I used filters with the Canon 17 TS-E even though the 17 has that bulbous front element and doesn't have any filter threads.  I adapted a spare 17mm lens cap and glued a Lee 82mm wide angle adaptor ring to it, as described here.  I managed to get a few millimeters worth of shift and managed to get a few degrees of tilt without much vignetting (the vignetting you see in the image was added by me in post).  I also managed to get multiple filters without vignetting.  The lack of ability to use filters was the biggest complaint I had with the 17 TS-E.  Though, this solution isn't perfect (there is heavy vignetting if more than a few mm of shift) its definitely does help a lot.

The second new tool used is the newly announced Nik HDR EFEX Pro 2.  There has been some major changes to the user interface in this new version I like how I can get non-destructive tone mapping with their Photoshop plugin.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Upper Multnomah Falls

Upper Multnomah Falls - 5D3, 40mm, f/14, 1s, ISO 100
Yesterday I said that I wasn't sure that the new Canon 40mm was going to work out as a landscape lens.  However, I'm finding that with some careful sharpening in post this lens really can deliver, though there are some traces of lateral CA on some high contrast edges.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Snow, Trees and Clouds

Snow, Trees and Clouds - 5D3, 40mm, f/5.6, 1/1000s, ISO 100
As impressive as the new 40mm is, its probably not going to cut it for landscape photography when the focus distance is at infinity.  Even when stopped down the corners don't have the kind of resolution that some folks will demand for making large prints.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Color Me Surprised


Canon managed to make a lens with no major optical issues (i.e. its sharp, good colors, no severe lateral or axial CA), with quiet reasonably fast auto-focus and is also light as a feather, ridiculously small and cheap.  I certainly have faith in Canon to produce superb optics, but its those last three things that really surprised me, or I should say, given the price and size I'm surprised at how good the lens is.


Now I just need to find a good use for this 40mm f/2.8 lens.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Evening Storm over the Snake River

Evening Storm over the Snake River - 5D2, 24 TS-E, f/11, 0.5s, ISO 100
You get out the Grand Tetons hoping for a beautiful sunset and what you get instead are the clouds of a passing storm, so what do you?  Slap on some serious graduated neutral density filters and go for a dramatic black & white.