Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gentoo Penguin at Undine Harbour

Gentoo Penguin - 5D3, 400 f/2.8 IS II, f/2.8, 1/1250s, ISO 200
I made this image of a Gentoo Penguin pretty soon after we landed at Undine Harbour.  I knew that if I got close to the ground I could get enough separation between the Penguin and the background to make it more pleasing.  It was pretty cloudy so there's not a lot of color in the background.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Trees in Morning Light

Trees in Morning Light - 5D3, 70-200 IS II @ 150mm, f/13, 1/10s, ISO 100
Almost exactly a month ago I was at the Grand Canyon South Rim for some sunrise photography.  There was a brief moment after all the gradients and color in the sky had finished where a line of trees were being lit by the warm sunlight just as the sun was about to clear the peaks.  I knew instantly the kind of image I wanted when I saw this happening and quickly composed my image.

Also, G+ Photos has a great new pan and zoom feature in the lightbox.  If you click on the image above, it will take you to the image in the lightbox and all you have to do is roll the scroll wheel to zoom (or swipe up with two fingers).

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Rocks and Water, Evening Light

Rocks and Water, Evening Light - Alpa STC, IQ 180, 48mm, f/22, 0.5s, ISO 35
Having the day off, on Monday I joined +Josh Haftel +Dave Cohen +Eric Chasanoff and +Nate Koenig on a long exposure photo walk at Point Reyes.  Though others were there for a sunrise as well as sunset, I joined them at lunch only for the sunset.  I've never been a big long exposure photographer as I prefer the patterns formed by water when photographed at shutter speeds of around 1 second.

Google+ has a great new pan and zoom feature that lets you zoom in on the details.  The version here is resized to 2048, but if you view the image in my album you can see a downsized 50 megapixel version (the original 80mp version can't be uploaded because it exceeds the current size limit).

Sunday, January 20, 2013

March of the ...

Penguin March - 5D3, 24-70 f/2.8 II @ 24mm, f/10, 1/60s, ISO 200 
On our first morning in South Georgia at Right Whale Bay I spotted a group of King Penguins walking back and forth near our landing site.  Behind them was a stream and behind that lots of snow and mountains.  I had already walked out there and photographed pairs of loafers and was making my way to the main colony by way of the landing site.  I sat down some distance from these guys close to the edge of the stream and within a few minutes, they came in my direction and the entire group walked right by.  I didn't move the entire time and was fortunate enough to have my 24-70 on one of my bodies ready to go.  This kind of wide angle landscape featuring King Penguins is exactly the kind of image I went to South Georgia and it was awesome getting it on the first morning.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

First Light

First Light - 5D3, 70-200 IS II @ 70mm, f/13, ISO 100.
I made this image in the first couple of minutes that the sun was getting high enough to light up the peaks on the opposite side of the Grand Canyon.  I knew that I wanted to capture the warm light as well as all the intricate detail in the valley before the sun got high enough to get harsh.  The entire scene could have been captured in a single exposure but my using multiple exposures and fusing them with HDR software, there is detail in all the tones, which is what I was after.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Black-browed Albatross Portrait

Black-browed Albatross Portrait - 5D3, 400 f/2.8 IS II, f/11, 1/400s, ISO 400
A closeup portrait of the Black-browed Albatross.  I hope this image conveys why this avian is named as it is :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Deep Blue

A Deep Blue - 5D3, 400 f/2.8 IS II, f/4, 1/1600s, ISO 100
I never to cease to be amazed by the incredibly deep blue color of icebergs.  One may wonder why icebergs have this blue color but your ice from the grocery store or snow remains white.  The reason is air.  Water itself has high absorption in the red end of the visible spectrum, however in snow and regular ice there are lots of tiny pockets of air and all those air/water interfaces causes light to get heavily scattered and hence reflected back.  However, glacier ice being under a lot of pressure has a lot of those air bubbles squeezed out and so the light can travel deeper without hitting air bubbles resulting in more of the red end of the spectrum absorbed, which in turn to us appears blue.  And if all that is confusing, forget everything I said and enjoy the pretty picture :)

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Dust and Clouds

Dust and Clouds - 5D3, 24-70 II @ 24mm, f/6.3, 1/160s, ISO 100
A dust storm rages in the distance under some really interesting cloud patter.  I made this while we had a lunch break up in the Chilean Andes.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Red Rocks Under Snow

Red Rocks Under Snow - Sony RX-1, f/5.6, 1/500s, ISO 100
On the way back from a sunrise shoot in Sedona, I stopped off at an overview of Oak Creek Canyon.  It had snowed fairly heavily in this area the past couple of days so the mountains were dusted in snow, including the distinctive red rocks.  I overhead a local telling folks that snow on the rocks wasn't a very common sight so I ask any Sedona locals, is this true?

Friday, January 04, 2013

Sutro Baths Sunset

Sutro Baths Sunset - 5D3, 17 TS-E, f/22, ISO 100, long exposure
I was out this evening with +Amy Trang +Josh Haftel +Dave Cohen and many many other photographers as a part of the San Francisco Bay Area Long Exposure Photowalk.  Sutro Baths was the location and though I had some difficulty in finding a composition I was happy with eventually, this image which was the last set of frames I made before leaving is something I'm happy with.  The photowalks will continue for the rest of the weekend and though I unfortunately can't participate, if you are in the area, I highly recommend checking it out.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

San Francisco Sunrise

San Francisco Sunrise - 5D3, 24 TS-E, f/11, ISO 100.
Got up pretty early this morning to drive up to the Marin Headlands in the hopes of catching a nice sunrise with +Josh Haftel+Vincent Mo and +Scott Jarvie.  We got lucky and there were some clouds, giving us some nice color.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Staghorn Cholla and the Superstitions

Staghorn Cholla and the Superstitions - OM-D EM-5, 7-14 @ 2mm, f/5.6, ISO 200
On Sunday, I went out to Lost Dutchman State Park outside of Phoenix in the hopes of photographing the Superstition mountains against a spectacular sunset. It had been pretty cloudy that day but since this was the only opportunity I'd get, I went out anyway. Once we got to the park, it looked like things might work out for the sunset as the clouds appeared to be breaking up. Sadly, about 30 minutes before sunset, the cloud cover intensified and we didn't get any sunset colors. I had to get creative and in addition to finding some black & white compositions, I played around with some extreme wide angles.

One of the reasons I love shooting hand held is that it allows me to quickly explore interesting perspectives and angles which is exactly what I did here.  With the swiveling screen of the Olympus EM-5 I could frame the shot without getting on my belly.  With the on screen level, I made sure to be level on the horizontal axis and with sensor based image stabilization and high FPS, I could hand hold all 5 frames of this HDR.

I took a lot of cameras with me on my recent trip, so that I could shoot with them all to get a good feel for all of them and to see how the image quality holds up.  In this case, the image quality holds up very well.  I have a 16x20 print I just made of this image and the results are simply outstanding; it could hang in a gallery.  The only criticism I would have is the excessive lateral chromatic aberration on the 7-14 which required quick work in Lightroom and then further masked desaturation in Photoshop.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

New Year Changes


Happy New Year and welcome to 2013!  Being the start of a new year, I am going to make a change to the way my images are made available.

Several months ago, I got rid of all watermarks on images, its time to take it another step.  All my images from now on will have full resolution versions available for download.  These images also being made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.  What this means is that anyone can take any of images and do pretty much what they want with it (with some  conditions) without permission from me.  There are only two basic requirements with this license, you can't claim the image to be your own, i.e. its still mine (thats the "Attribution" part) and second if you make a derived work then it needs to be made available under a similar license (thats the "ShareAlike" part).  Thats about it, everything else is good to go.  Its going to take me a while to make the originals available for download on the www.akimagery.com site (mostly due to the way its set up) but if there is an image that someone wants just ping me and I'll make it available right away.  All newly posted images from now on Google+ will also be at full resolution and freely available for download.

Second, I won't be posting updates to the Facebook fan page any longer.  No issues with Facebook, just that it doesn't get same kind of interaction that this blog does or that I get on with Google+.

Third, for the first time in several years I don't think I can claim I'll be shooting more in the coming year.  I suspect 2013 will see less photography from me.  I am not planning on doing any major trips or expeditions and will probably be busy with work and family.