Crazy colours and textures in this wild storm!
The Saskatchewan sunrises and sunsets are incredible. This goes without saying. But time is of the essence. These moments of great light are fleeting and often within a few minutes they are gone forever! Never to be seen again. I guess the lesson is to make the most of the time we have been given; to enjoy and actually live in the moment we are in. This is the miraculous aspect of Photography. It has the ability to freeze time and memories. It gives us the opportunity to return to those fleeting moments and remember them.
When I saw the sun raking across the clouds this morning, I ran back in and grabbed the camera! 😎
It is Cold.
We’ve been in our own veritable Tornado Alley these past couple of weeks. Crazy summer storms have been unbelievably violent, but the clouds have been equally beautiful as well, in their own sinister way. I’m fortunate that our house borders open pasture land so I can get sweet views of the sky without having to travel very far. 😎
Went out tonight for some landscapes that I’ve been neglecting for too long. There’s lots of water around recently with all the rain which means for a bit of a speedier creek. I wanted to test the X100s on slow shutter speeds for water effects. It has that sweet, sweet little built in 3 Stop ND filter. I LOVE that feature. It comes in super handy for dragging the shutter into glorious smooshy water. I also had the D800 in tow with my Genus 8 Stop Variable ND Filter. See if you can tell which shots are which. 😎 Also, I nearly got attacked by 2 killer beavers. But they let me go unscathed. 😉
The other morning was beautiful with “hooker frost” all over the place! 😎 Ok, Ok, it’s really hoarfrost, but I couldn’t resist! No matter how you slice it, it was better looking than Julia Roberts. I was out visiting some parishioners and stopped to nab a quick HDR of their barn, as well as a couple of other cool winter shots. Gotta love it! And of course, my favorite little snow bunny too. 🙂
I took advantage of the mad rainfall we had today (it put a damper on my deck repair plans, so I might as well take photos!) I’ve been wanting to test my ND filter on some running water. By killing the ambient light with the ND sunglasses, I was able to take some really long exposures 8-13 seconds long at f/22. 😎 It’s a really artsy look and gives the water a surreal, ethereal look. So I toddled down to Workman’s dam (it’s really more of weir) with my trusty tripod in tow. I nearly sank my Sub-Compact, Fuel Efficient, Off-Roading Toyota Echo in the rhubarb though. The road in was pretty wet and nasty. Fortunately for me, a family was fishing nearby so I knew that if I got stuck on the way out, someone would be there to gimme a tow. hehhehhe… 😉 Anyways, I really enjoyed the end results tonight with the long exposure water shots and I’ve been wanting to try this aspect of photography for literally years. Hopefully this summer in our travels I’ll get to try it on some waterfalls. 😀
I finally got a minute to run out to the dam and try my new variable ND filter in a landscape scenario. But of course, the water at the Dam was nearly glass anyways. Just my luck… But I took the kids and did a few long exposure setups in an effort to really blur the water and make it look dreamy. Many of the photos were shot at f/22 and upwards of 6 seconds! Not too shabby. We’ll have to try it again on a day where there is mucho waves. Thinking ahead though, I threw a little flash setup into the truck last minute. Actually it was my beastly new C-Stand and Photoflex NXT Octodome – I love this new stand! I was able to put the light right over head of the kids and blast ’em without worry of the thing tipping over. It’s so sweet! Even though it was a bicep buster hauling it up and down the bank at the dam. My favourite image of the night is the one I put at the top of this blog post. Ethan was facing opposite to the light, but it captured the fun of the evening!
Quick walk out back with the dog today, try out the new lens in some light. I really dig how it handles color. All the oil pump photos aren’t edited at all (save the watermark). It renders the sky magnificently! 😎 The one of Ethan I plain screwed up the exposure. Left it on a previous setting and it blew out the rest of the shot except for him! Works as a high key black and white. hehehehehe…. 😉
I went for a bit of a relaxing photo walk today with the dog. He’d been cooped up for days on end and needed a run and I hadn’t snapped any shots for a couple of days and I didn’t want to lose my edge. Fall colours and textures are a plenty down in the Oak tree ravines just behind our place. I went out to see if I could find a picture of two.
I was out and about the other night when the light was gloriously saturated and golden. I had a specific idea for a landscape photo in mind that involved a single tree on the horizon. It was already super yellow with the dappling of fall all around us and I wanted to nab it when it was side lit in golden light. I started out through the pasture that had become thick with latent clover seed that grew into giant plants. As I walked towards the tree, a herd of cows stood up in the clover and scared the you know what out of me! 😯 So I backed up and tried to make my way to the tree but the cows kept coming towards me. Must have been some protective moms in the crowd because they didn’t back away or run. So I skirted the top of a ravine and made my way over to where I wanted to take the shot. I also, oddly, decided to use only my 70-300 – not my usual landscape lens, but I wanted to see if I could get some more compression for the valley in the background. The cows provided some sweet serendipitous shots as they were back/side lit. Another good reminder to be open to whatever comes along in the photos. I tried to get a composition with the oil well, the cow and the valley to symbolize all the local industry. How symbolic of me! 😀
The last few mornings the fog has been thick off the river. Maybe a reminder that fall is coming?? Shudder! 😮 I hope not. Let’s hold onto summer as long as we possibly can. For now, enjoy the foggy fog! 8)
Nearly nobody will deny that good timing is super important in life. Baby falls from a burning building, the fireman reaches out at just the exact moment to catch that little bundle of joy and save the day! Photography is much the same, especially if you are taking a picture of said falling baby. A second too soon or too late equals a blown shot and missed opportunity. I’ve got a whole stack of images that are like that. “Ah! If I’d only waited a millisecond more I would have had the shot! Doh!” 😦 But when everything lines up, and the timing is right, it’s magically great! 8) Thinking about Light in the same way is critical to getting good shots too. Light at different times of the day is radically different. Ok, Ok, the photons aren’t any different, but the mood, colour and direction of the light ARE different. I took these two shots with exactly the same camera settings. (ISO 200 f/8 200mm). The first one was at 8:36AM and the second at 1:11PM. Just look at how radically different the shots look and feel.
The light is much more golden in the early morning. The direction is low and from the side which gives detail to the pump jack head and the drilling rig in the background.
In contrast, the light at mid-day is flat and boring. It just doesn’t have the same pizzaz that the early morning shot does. Or, that a sunset has. This is the key to how good landscape photographers get awesome photos. The locations are great and the timing of the light is everything. Time it well and your photography will be at least 17% better. 😉
Last night after another magical slow cooked dinner we decided to have a fire. After we got the s’more pit going, I looked up and noticed a
gaggle pride flock band murder of crows. I know why they call them a murder.They make so much obscene noise you want to murder them all! It was a toss up between the camera and a gun on this “shoot”. 😉 My theory is that there was something dead nearby because they and two hawks kept swooping in and out of the trees behind our house. Anyways, it was golden light and everything was rich in colour. Love it! Can’t beat it ever! I grabbed the 70-300 and nabbed a few shots before the light slinked away behind the horizon. It’s gyp that the sunsets aren’t lasting as long as they did even a few weeks ago. All of these shots (except the fire pit) are with the 70-300. You can see how longer glass gives you added compression and photo num nums. The power/telephone poles show this in the pics of the family. Even at f/5.6 0r f/8, they look compressed and bokehlicious. 8) And the shots of the lone yellow clover blossoms have sweet sweet bokeh at 300mm. That’s the added benefits of compression in images. If you’ve ever wondered why the vast majority of portrait photographers use that magical 70-200 lens, this is why.
It will never ever be August 1st, 2011 ever again. Savour each moment, every day! 8)
Saskatchewan has an abundance of wind. Almost all the time. It’s not any real surprise to prairie folk to feel the wind and see it’s effects as it blows through leaves or crop or grass. But to capture it with a still camera is tricky. It’s much like capturing water as it moves, you use the same technique. Setting your camera to either Shutter priority mode or Manual, you can slow your shutter speed right down and capture the motion blur of the wind. The slower shutter speeds capture the blurred motion, giving the picture the look and feel of movement even though it’s a still photo. Another useful tip is to stop your lens down. Way down. As far as it can go to restrict the amount of light getting into the camera on a bright sunny day. This will give you the luxury of getting slower shutter speeds. Also, dump your ISO down as low as it will go. The shot above was taken at ISO 100 f/32 at 1/15 of a second on a very breezy/sunny day. 8)
Challenge of the Day: Landscape.