With an overcast sky and light snowfall in the air, you just can’t beat heading out of a little icescapes. Today, begin a Saturday, it was quite busy, everyone wanting to see and capture the ice. I got my usual shots and then headed down for several low angle, on the rock shots. I bit tricky today with the ice (be careful), but positioned myself in several good locations that I was able to stabilize my tripod. I used my variable 9 stop neutral density filter and really cranked it up, shot a few brackets and then dialed it down to allow more light to come in for a quicker shutter speed because their were so many people walking in and out of the shot. Thats a good trick… when you have to shoot fast enough to not have people walk into your shot, but slow enough to produce the silky water, having a variable neutral density filter really helps you to be able to tweak and customize you settings to suite your creative and reality based needs! I shot with my cable release and fired off a few in each area. Of course batteries don’t last more then 25 minutes or so. Trick is to keep another one on your body and then when you see it getting low, take it out, put the fresh one in, and put the older one close to your body where it is warm. In no time, it will recharge. I also shot some amazing close-ups of icicles, so go to my Facebook page to see more and while you are there, if you like what you see, why not like the page? I share all of my tips and tricks and have giveaways all the time! Thanks for you support!
Field shot of Deb during the shoot!
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
Sept 27 2013 – Sunset Workshop at Craggy Gardens – showcases another amazing sight!
I believe we all had a great time watching the amazing fog and clouds roll in to the area while we photographed the amazing sights our eyes held, during my workshop, last night up at Craggy Gardens. Here are just a few shots I have developed this morning. Thank you for all who attended!
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
Click here to see my latest image of Soco Falls in the Summertime
The first week of April 2012 revealed a spectacular display of flowers as the Biltmore Estate in know for. People come from all over to view the festival of flowers. I happen to catch the tulips in full bloom before heading off to the conservatory for orchids and lilies.
In my opinion, we have had a very early spring. I know from my own garden that everything has bloomed much earlier then last year. We had a warm February and March, which no doubt contributed to the early onset. I suspect everyone in US may be experiencing the same thing.
Enjoy the gallery, my first of several I will post this Spring!