I woke up very early to get up to the top well within time. I actually arrived 50 minutes ahead of the sun rising. It was 28 degrees where I was so I went back and forth from the tripod/camera to my car. I would bring my camera with me to keep the batteries warm. I went through 2 batteries as they do not keep their charge when it is cold. The trick is to take them out of the camera and hold them in your hand to warm them up (providing your hands are warm). Once placed back into the camera after it registered dead, I had a half charge left. Just a quick tip!
I was shooting long exposure in bulb mode of up to 2 minutes long. It is amazing what the camera can pick up with this long exposure as my eyes could see nothing on some series.
For this particular shot, the sun was rising so their was a fair amount of light being produced, enough so that my exposure was not that long at all. I noticed off to my left, that the clouds were racing toward the sun. I knew that if I waited until the clouds reached the sun area, and because I was using my 16 – 35 lens, it would produce long stretched out clouds, exaggerating the already gorgeous layout that was being produced. And they were fast moving so if you drag your shutter, you get motion in your clouds. Another trick is to use a neutral density filter to slow it down even more. But when you do this each frame will have severely varied cloud movement, this will require you to hand-blend (layer mask in PS) one frame of the sky in.
I ended up making 3 exposures for this image. Then once my RAW adjustments were made in LR5, I moved them into PScc as layers. I then hand-blended using layer masks to pull in the dynamic range from each respective frame. I like to blend images in this way as you don’t stack noise like you do in Photomatix and you end up with a more realistic image, in my opinion. I use photomatix, and when used properly, it can be a great tool, but I don’t like to finish the image in it, only to establish a starting point, a base, then stylize from there in other products.
But this image worked better to hand-blend in PS. You have more control with layer masks and once you get that hang of it you can do it quite fast.
Thanks – Deb
Majestic Morning with a Young Bull Elk –
What a perfect way to end the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway Drive in the very early hours! Shot at the Oconaluftee Visitors Center just as the sun started to rise and began to throw color all over the sky as the fog lay gently in the field. Captured Oct 21, 2013 around 6:45 AM.
So I planned to arrive at Cades Cove by 7:45 on this morning. I am not upset that my efforts were thwarted by this Fella!!! Captured at the Oconaluftee Visitors Center around 6:45. I spent about 45 minutes with him and then the 6 x 6 Bull came out for a few minutes before he ran off into the river. Check my facebook page for that shot!
My heart was pounding and I kept thinking to myself, check your composition, check your settings, check around you…last time I found these guys, I was so excited and was very disappointed to find my setting were not good and I did not capture them in the way I wanted to… I made sure if I encountered again I would concentrate on that part along with enjoying the moments. It was cold, foggy and my feet were frozen right through my hiking Keens. It is amazing how you don’t feel any of that until afterwards… Living in the moments my friends, living in the moment!
Mature 6 x 6 Bull Elk – This fella came out towards the end of my time spent with the above Younger Bull. I spent about 45 minutes with this guy and Had a blast. It was so amazing to just be within the same space with him as he grazed in the morning fog. What an honor!
I am honored and proud to have been selected as one of the finalist for this years Appalachian Mountian Photography competition for “Veils Of The Valley”
As I completed my morning shoot on the Parkway, I caught the sun filtering through just a I like it to… Pulled over for one more! Moral of the story – make the U-turn. If your gut is telling you to stop or turn around… do it! Taken on t
I just L O V E the sun rays beaming through the trees in the fog just after the sunrise! Caught this on my way back home. I hope you like! I call it “I stand Before You”. This will most likely make it into the Calendar for the Blue Ridge Parkway 2013.
3 bracketed shots @F13 ISO 100 47mm (Ef240105mm F4 IS USM) on a Canon 5D MKII
One Beautiful Morning overlooking Asheville, NC. The fog just started to settle in as I was taking some predawn shots. How lucky was I? The Sun just started to peak over the mountain range it nature displayed it prettiest colors. Better have your finger on the trigger because it changes fast and lasts only about 10 minutes for these types of shots. It literally changes almost every second!