Saturday, September 26, 2009


The Eastern Slopes

Every season of the year has its qualities and for me fall has to be my favorite season of the year. With that in mind, I have been getting out with my cameras more lately than at any other time of the year. Of course its really about the light. Forget going out shooting photos when the sun is high in the sky, as the colors will just not come alive. The early morning light or the late afternoon light will enhance your photos because of the warmth of the low angle of the sun. If including the sky on cloudy days, use graduated neutral density filters and if a blue sky is part of your photo, a polarizing filter will darken it. If you have not used a polarizing filter before, be aware that the polarizer will do its best work when used 90 degrees to the sun. A enhancing filter may also be used to enhance colors, although much the same effect can be achieved in post processing on your computer. I always do my best to capture the best image that I can when out in the field, then will tweak the image if required in Photoshop. Remember though, If you do not put a effort in-to the capture of the image, then trying to fix it in Photoshop will not work if the photo is lacking in color, composition, and sharpness. Also remember, when shooting landscapes, to keep your photo as simple as possible,as this will give you the most dramatic photographs. Also, don't be afraid to bracket your compositions, even so slightly. That way when you pre-view your photos, you will have more choices from which to choose. However if you are like myself, you need to edit your images or you will find that your hard-drives are filling up. I find that it is best to separate myself emotionally from my photos when editing them, so that I can make the hard choices needed to separate the good images from the bad. I bring up each photo on my computer screen and consider sharpness, exposure, contrast, color and whether the file format and size are appropriate. Also evaluate the composition, the impact and uniqueness of the image. This is where you get rid of duplicates and similars. Now that I rattled on way to long, lets get out and shoot some photos.

The Heart Of It

This photo was challenging to capture to say the least. I was on a back country road that crossed this creek on a rather quaint one lane bridge, and noticed that there were possibilities that a photo-op awaited me. After pulling my truck over, I grabbed my camera and tripod and made my way down to the creek below the bridge. The creek and its surroundings had potential, but there were deep shadows mixed in with extreme bright light that I realized would be a challenge to overcome. After firing several test shots, I realized that the answer to taming the light were filters. Leaving my camera and tripod set-up, I trekked back up to my truck and returned with a polarizing filter and a 3 stop graduated neutral density filter. This allowed me to get several captures that I knew I could work with. Oh - How dark were the shadows in this creek bottom you ask? - I used a exposure time of 6 seconds!

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