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post #31 of (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 04:07 AM
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btw check some of this guys photos:


https://www.johnpricephotography.ca/


This is one advantage climbers have over us hikers; they get to photograph from "above" giving that dramatic sense of adventure and unique angles. This photo for instance:


https://www.johnpricephotography.ca/...re/i-SfCp6ms/A


This is Ha Ling above Canmore, very ordinary mountain with highway-like hiking trail in the back popular as Grouse Grind. One would think "What can I photograph there that is cool???". Well, there you go
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post #32 of (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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btw check some of this guys photos:
https://www.johnpricephotography.ca/
This is one advantage climbers have over us hikers; they get to photograph from "above" giving that dramatic sense of adventure and unique angles.
I like looking at other people's photos to see how they take these shots and learn from them. I've been following this guy for a few years. He goes on backpacking trips into remote areas. https://www.marcadamus.com/gallery/new-work/ His photographs is all about the light and good composition.
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post #33 of (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 02:01 AM
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I like looking at other people's photos to see how they take these shots and learn from them. I've been following this guy for a few years. He goes on backpacking trips into remote areas. https://www.marcadamus.com/gallery/new-work/ His photographs is all about the light and good composition.
These are fantastic. Lots of Patagonia. These guys are artists. Lots of work goes into single high-end image - from work in field, to non-trivial amount of editing. I'd also like to talk to them & learn. But it's also practice & experience. In the beginning I couldn't produce that silky waterfall thing even if I knew all the theory, till it just 'started' happening. So you must also enjoy what you are doing (which applies to most other things, not just photography)

Some people are very protective, which I could never quite understand. I.e. local hot spots to take a photo. I am always quite happy to share such knowledge, even if it ultimately might mean less income.

Another local guy, which you might have heard off, is Paul Zizka. He is quite famous, he has studio in Banff, gallery & does workshops. (Have a look at his gear list, lol)

Last edited by zeljkok; 06-30-2019 at 02:04 AM.
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post #34 of (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Pierce Lake Trail
Nikon D800, iso 100, f8, 1/45 sec, 18 – 35 mm Nikkor lens @ 18 mm
It appears that this Nikkor lens gives the sharpest performance of f5.6 to f8 but I still needed to add sharpening when I viewed the background at 100%. Some pros don't worry about every single part of the photo being in focus as long as the foreground and middle ground are sharp and the background is reasonably sharp.
A single raw shot processed with ACDSee Pro 8
It's not often that I enjoy photographing on sunny days. I think that rolling fog or clouds produce a lot of drama. By the time I reached the rockslide, the clouds had lifted but I figured that it would roll in again so this gave me time to set up the tripod and find a good composition of rocks and a rather concave shaped foreground. I took the shot when the clouds rolled in from below and lifted upwards and complimented the shape of the foreground.
I find that the best time to take photographs inside forests is early morning when the wind is normally calm and on cloudy days when the light is diffuse. When it's sunny, reflected light works well as long as the sun is not shining directly into the forest to create bright spots here and there.
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Forest, Lindeman Lake Trail
Nikon D90, iso 320, f11, 0.625 sec, 11 – 16 mm Tokina lens @ 16 mm.
Polarizing filter, focused using hyperfocal distance
A single raw shot processed with ACDSee Pro 8
Reduced noise and added some sharpening
I've passed by this area many times but either during bright sun penetrating the forest or on a cloudy day with diffuse light; nothing interested me in taking a photo until this hike when I saw the reflected light on the tree trunks. The sun was still low enough not to penetrate the forest but it did light up the rockslide nearby which threw the light into the forest.
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Old Growth Forest, Pierce Lake Trail
Nikon D800, iso 100, f11, 1.5 sec, 18 – 35 mm Nikkor lens @ 22 mm
Polarizing filter; focused using Live View; used sharpening; used 2 sec timer for shutter release and 1 sec exposure delay to avoid camera shake and mirror vibration.
A single raw shot processed with ACDSee Pro 8
What I learnt about taking shots inside the forest is to try and avoid including parts of the sky as it shows up as bright spots in the photograph which is distracting. I usually walk around for a better vantage point such as looking down in the forest or having a steep hill in the background. I sometimes keep the angle of the camera low and use a longer focal length although this does cut off the height of the trees.
According to the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), an old growth forest is not all about large trees but a forest with different diameter trees in various stages of development. Old growth forest is complex and includes fallen trees and other debris.
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post #35 of (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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Evening light on Needle Peak
Nikon D800, iso 400, f11, 1/15 sec, 18 – 35 mm @ 22 mm
2 stop ND Grad filter (soft); manual focused using Live View
A single raw shot processed with ACDSee Pro 8
I had lots of time to find a composition before sunset. Where the creek flows out of the tarn and down the bedrock, I used the flowing water to lead the eye into the photograph. The exposed rock here and there broke up the dark areas of the foreground and middle ground. Previously, there was a nice layer of cloud over the mountain ridge but most had dissipated. I've noticed that pattern a lot where a cloud layer during the afternoon slowly disappears during the late evening and thus reduces the possibility of having a nice fiery sky.
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Morning light on Flatiron
Nikon D800, iso 100, f11, 1/8 sec, 18 – 35 mm @ 26 mm
2 stop ND Grad filter (soft); manual focused using Live View
A single raw shot processed with ACDSee Pro 8
I thought the morning light would hit the north end of Flatiron first so I had set up my composition with the creek flowing through a moss covered bank looking up to Flatiron. However, the light had first struck between the north and south end. The water at the north end of the tarn was more calm than elsewhere so that's where I took this shot. I'm not to keen on the foot path being in the photo. I think it's a bit visually distracting and although I had taken a couple of shots elsewhere, a slight breeze prevented a good reflection.
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Snow ripples
Nikon D800, iso 200, f16, 1/90 sec, 18 – 35 mm @ 25 mm
Manual focused using Live View; exposure set with histogram; used a bit of sharpening in the final image. A single raw shot processed with ACDSee Pro 8
I had climbed up the north end of Flatiron when I saw this snowbank near the edge of the drop-off. What caught my eye immediately was the nice ripple pattern. This is one of those days I didn't mind the bright sun lighting up the snow and since its angle was still low it cast some shadow to prevent the photo from looking flat.
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post #36 of (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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When it comes to post-processing most of my raw images, I usually don't need to add color or saturation even though the raw image is dull (flat) to begin with. By brightening the image and adding some contrast, the colors usually appear saturated enough in most cases. A lot of times, it is too easy to get carried away with adding too much contrast & saturation which makes the photograph look unnatural but trying to get it right is often difficult. I often look at photographs from pro photographers and many add way too much color saturation and even contrast. Although the scene looks very vibrant and eye-catching, it doesn't look natural because I've never seen those colors that saturated in the real world.


Mt. Hozameen from Skyline II
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Nikon D800, iso 280, f13, 1/90 sec, 18 – 35 mm Nikkor lens @ 25 mm
Manual focused using Live View; exposure set with histogram; used a bit of sharpening in the final image. A single raw shot processed with ACDSee Pro 8
I used a polarizing filter (PL) to reduce haze and reflection & this is especially effective when shooting 90 degrees to the sun; this helps boosts saturation but a PL filter doesn't work well for wide-angle lenses on a sunny day as it selectively darkens a portion of the blue sky. I don't find this a problem on cloudy days. The only thing I wished for was a bit of light to hit Mt. Hozameen.


Castle Peak from Skyline I
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Nikon D800, iso 200, f11, 1/250 sec, 18 – 35 mm Nikkor lens @ 18 mm
Manual focused using Live View; exposure set with histogram; used selective sharpening in the final image; 2 stop ND Grad filter (soft)
A single raw shot processed with ACDSee Pro 8
I always liked starting my hike from Strawberry Flats as it bypasses a nice meadow although there wasn't too many wildflowers around mid-July. There is a high point which gives nice commanding views of the Cascade mountains from Castle Peak to Mt. Hozameen.
Sometimes getting a clear shot of the mountains is not necessary as long as the spindly trees aren't too obstructing; I think it adds to the photo. The day started out clear but clouds moved in on my hike up which I was hoping for. I've been up there many times to know that the sun can be a problem. When taking this photo, I waited around until the sun poked through the clouds and lit up parts of the landscape. I think the light and dark shadows creates a more depth for a more defined look. I only wished the clouds lifted enough to see the peaks of Hozameen.


Frosty Mountain
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Nikon D800, iso 280, f9.5, 1/90 sec, 18 – 35 mm Nikkor lens @ 18 mm
Manual focused using Live View; exposure set with histogram; used selective sharpening in the final image; 2 stop ND Grad filter (soft)
A single raw shot processed with ACDSee Pro 8
Corrected some barrel distortion.
I hiked up to the meadows, from Frosty camp, to photograph Mt. Frosty sunset. It didn't go exactly as I wanted because there was too much clouds in the sky and the sun doesn't set too far north-east anymore. I had to wait for this shot and was lucky to have some light for the foreground flowers and also light hitting the trees in the background at the same time. Light is everything in a photo but not too much of it.


Castle Peak from Frosty Pk I
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Nikon D800, iso 140, f8, 1/30 sec, 18 – 35 mm Nikkor lens @ 28 mm
Manual focused using Live View; exposure set with histogram; used selective sharpening in the final image; 2 stop ND Grad filter (soft)
A single raw shot processed with ACDSee Pro 8
I started hiking by 4 am, from Frosty Camp, hoping to catch sunrise on Mt. Frosty but when I got to the meadows I saw too much clouds on the east horizon so I continued up to the summit. I didn't have to wait long before the sun starting breaking through a thin cloud layer. The light was soft enough, due to the low sun angle and thin cloud layer, that there wasn't any harsh contrast. I could have taken the shot of Castle Peak anywhere along the mountain ridge but near the top and going down about 25 feet a nice tarn comes into view. I included some foreground rocks of Frosty, the middle ground (tarn) and background to create a nice depth of field.


Frosty II
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Nikon D800, iso 140, f8, 1/20 sec, 18 – 35 mm Nikkor lens @ 18 mm
Manual focused using Live View; exposure set with histogram; used selective sharpening in the final image; 2 stop ND Grad filter (soft)
A single raw shot processed with ACDSee Pro 8
I think this shot works well with the shadow and light areas to create a nicely defined knife-edge up to Frosty II.


Flora Peak, Chilliwack Valley
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Nikon D800, iso 280, f11, 1/180 sec, 18 – 35 mm Nikkor lens @ 18 mm
Manual focused using Live View; exposure set with histogram; used selective sharpening in the final image; 2 stop ND Grad filter (soft).
A single raw shot processed with ACDSee Pro 8
When the weather doesn't look good, that is the time to head out and start photographing. There was a lot of drifting low clouds and showers at times. The clouds were constantly on the move and mostly covered the entire peak. It was just a matter of waiting for some clearing. What I find invaluable on rainy days is an umbrella and a large baggy to cover the camera.


Cloud reflection, Blue Heron Reserve, Chilliwack
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Nikon D90, iso 200, f8, 1/200 sec, 17 – 70 mm Sigma lens @ 17 mm
Auto focused; 2 stop ND Grad filter (soft)
A single raw shot processed with ACDSee Pro 8
I often come here throughout the year for a nice walk & to photograph. One doesn't have to travel far to enjoy nature and photograph. I actually debated about taking my camera but thought that maybe there might be some mushrooms to photograph due to the current damp weather. Instead, I sat on a bench and looked at the clouds drifting by.
One advantage of using a tripod is that I can have the camera set up and just wait for the right time to photograph. In this case, I had to wait for the wind to die down for a nice reflection. I took quite a few shots at the same location with different cloud formations but I think this photo is the best as I like the pattern of these clouds.
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post #37 of (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 02:12 PM
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When it comes to post-processing most of my raw images, I usually don't need to add color or saturation even though the raw image is dull (flat) to begin with. By brightening the image and adding some contrast, the colors usually appear saturated enough in most cases. A lot of times, it is too easy to get carried away with adding too much contrast & saturation which makes the photograph look unnatural but trying to get it right is often difficult. I often look at photographs from pro photographers and many add way too much color saturation and even contrast. Although the scene looks very vibrant and eye-catching, it doesn't look natural because I've never seen those colors that saturated in the real world.

That is so true (I am first who is guilty). But it also stems from personal taste -- some like rich colors even if it might look a tad unnatural, while some prefer stripped down, unpolished look. There is also sensor factor -- Canon sensors are known for vibrant colors while Nikon sensors have more 'metallic' feel. Or at least this is how it looks to me


Great stuff as always. Snowbank pic on Flatiron is amazing, so much detail. It is a shame, shame, shame CT is what it is nowdays, we could all learn a lot from these examples and discussions.
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post #38 of (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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There is also sensor factor -- Canon sensors are known for vibrant colors while Nikon sensors have more 'metallic' feel. Or at least this is how it looks to me
Different imaging sensors for sure. Also, the lens has a lot to do with it and how the light rays hit the sensor. I don't use the most expensive lens but it's good enough for me.


Quote:
It is a shame, shame, shame CT is what it is nowdays, we could all learn a lot from these examples and discussions.
The only ones 'really' interested in photography (on this site) is you and me. That's okay; it's nice discussing with you even if it's just one person. I always feel, it's nice to know the thought process of taking a photo. I've seen and learnt from different pro photographers on YouTube describing how they take the photo when they are shooting outdoors.
When I go hiking/backpacking there is no one else around during the evening or early morning doing photography. Most hikers are there for the outdoor experience which is fine but the way I look at it, when I have the ability to go out into the mountains where the scenery is awesome, I want to make an effort to try and capture the beauty of the area as well as being amongst nature. Years from now, my photos would bring back good memories and I'd rather look at a nicely taken shot rather than a poor image which won't reflect the experience I had.
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post #39 of (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 03:16 PM
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When I go hiking/backpacking there is no one else around during the evening or early morning doing photography. Most hikers are there for the outdoor experience which is fine but the way I look at it, when I have the ability to go out into the mountains where the scenery is awesome, I want to make an effort to try and capture the beauty of the area as well as being amongst nature. Years from now, my photos would bring back good memories and I'd rather look at a nicely taken shot rather than a poor image which won't reflect the experience I had.

Well that's the thing. What is the priority, hiking or photographing. Then it is also not always easy to be at certain place at optimal time. I just got back from 2 nights 3 days backpack in BNP backcountry. I even tried to organize the route so that I'm in certain places when sun is (what I thought would be) in optimal position, but it doesn't always work. Then it's the question of carrying the tripod and SLR. When you cover 30km+ in a day with overnight backpack this extra gear adds quite a bit. I will post a report, but there was this one spot with peach of a waterfall cascade thumbling down the cliffs several 100s of meters to emerald lake below. Begged for 7pm and tripod; but I was there at 1pm and handheld only. Did best I could but I know it won't be as good as it could. Or one of most amazing back-country lakes I've seen that same day, but I had sun directly above; I knew I needed to be there 9 or 10am instead of 5pm. etc etc. So it is sometimes also about scouting the area and identifying these "killer" places, best time to be there and all the logistics. That is also fun, almost like engineering project.


Edit:



Waterfall pic; you can see the potential here. It's not bad, but...
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The lake. Sun is in upper right. But ~9 or 10 am it will be far left and that whole rock wall will be lit. Note the waterfall too. Very few people have been here btw
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Last edited by zeljkok; 07-24-2019 at 06:33 PM.
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post #40 of (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Then it is also not always easy to be at certain place at optimal time.
This happens all too often and for me it's usually not being able to hike to a location on time when doing day hikes.
Quote:
Then it's the question of carrying the tripod and SLR. When you cover 30km+ in a day with overnight backpack this extra gear adds quite a bit.
For sure. I need to go ultralight as a 3 day backpack puts my pack weight somewhere between 34 to 36 lbs which for my body size is too much. My tripod and camera weighs in at 6.5 lbs but I can't see wasting money on a more smaller compact camera. I figure the Nikon D800, which is 7 years old, will last me a lifetime and since the shutter is usually the first part to fail at around 200,000 the count on my camera is close to 59,000 only.

Quote:
I will post a report, but there was this one spot with peach of a waterfall cascade thumbling down the cliffs several 100s of meters to emerald lake below. Begged for 7pm and tripod; but I was there at 1pm and handheld only.
You did amazingly well handheld for that waterfall. It almost looks as if taken with a tripod.

Quote:
So it is sometimes also about scouting the area and identifying these "killer" places, best time to be there and all the logistics. That is also fun, almost like engineering project.
My preference are hikes/backpacks that take you there and back not a loop. This way, I like to set up base camp and scout the area then prepare for an evening and morning shot. Sometimes, I use this sun calculator to see where the sun will rise and set for a particular month and time of day. https://www.suncalc.org/#/51.925,-12...5.04/20:22/1/3
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post #41 of (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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One thing I noticed is that the photos I post on this website don't look as good with a white background.
I see more detail with a dark border; I guess it's because a lot of my shots are taken in low light.

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Mushrooms, Trans Canada Trail, Chilliwack Valley
Nikon D90, iso 200, f16, 6 sec, 17 – 70 mm Sigma macro lens @ 62 mm
Manually focused through the viewfinder; 2 second timer shutter release.
Two raw shots focus stacked in Helicon Focus software. The resulting Tiff file was processed with ACDSee Pro 8.
These mushrooms ranged in height from one-half to just over one inch. They are easily missed which is why I sometimes take a relaxing stroll in the woods and spend a lot of time looking around.
The Sigma macro zoom lens is not a true macro lens but it does go down to about ½ life size (1:2.3). A true macro goes to 1:1. Sometimes a macro lens is not required to take photographs of mushrooms. As long as the lens is capable of zooming in and focusing close. What I like about the lens is the focusing ring offers very little resistance to turn. This comes in handy when focus stacking as a stiffer ring increases the chance of camera movement during focusing of subsequent shots.

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Name:	Greendrop Lake hike july 24 2019_DSC0036.jpg
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Mossy Forest near Greendrop Lake
Nikon D90, iso 320, f16, 1/3 sec, 11 – 16 mm Tokina lens @ 11 mm
Auto focused; 2 second timer with 1 sec shutter delay to avoid camera shake. I use to have several infrared remote for shutter release but kept losing them. I find the next best alternative is to use the timer delay for slow shutter speeds.
A single raw shot processed with ACDSee Pro 8; increased exposure, added some contrast, increased white balance more towards cool.
I love taking photographs of vibrant moss and this year with the wetter and cooler than normal July, the forest looks more colorful with rich green moss, vegetation and even the dirt and debris on the ground. What I liked about this composition is how the moss tends to follow the outline of the roots.

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North face of Raft Mtn, Caligata Lake Provincial Park (south of Trophy Mtns)
Nikon D800, 220, f8, 1/20 sec, 18 – 35 mm Nikkor lens @ 18 mm
Manually focused through the viewfinder; used Live View to adjust histogram; 2 stop ND Grad filter (soft); 2 second timer shutter release.
A single raw shot processed with ACDSee Pro 8
Sometimes it takes a bit of sacrifice to get the shot I want. The plan was simple; wake up before sunrise and visit the calm pools of water for a nice (reflection) composition. The problem; the gauntlet of wet bush, wetlands, bogs and fens. I had visited this park before, years ago, and remembered just how marshy the area had been even during a dry year. I was still bushwhacking through the tangled mess when I saw the sun had already lit up the mountain so I rushed through. The price I had to pay for this shot was getting soaked, scratched and a waterlogged boots and socks but it was well worth it.
I had underestimated the time to get through the bush therefore couldn't set up my camera before the sunlight hit the mountain thus I was initially disappointed with the shot as I wanted the light to just hit the upper part of the mountain. This would have left the ridge of trees, to the right, in the dark but the more I looked at the shot I had taken I felt that this is the better photo because it looks more balanced with the light hitting the forest.

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Trophy Mountain Meadows
Nikon D800, iso 200, f16, 18 – 35 mm Nikkor lens @ 18 mm
Took 3 exposures; 1/350 sec @ -2.67 ev, 1/20 sec @ -0.33 ev, 1/20 sec @ 1.00 ev
Manually focused through the viewfinder; used Live View to adjust histogram; 2 second timer shutter release. Combined 3 exposures in Photomatix using Exposure Fusion then processed the Tiff shot with ACDSee Pro 8. I could have gotten away with a single shot but the clouds would have been blown out.
Walking up the trail, I immediately saw potential for a nice shot with a cluster of wildflowers in the shade and the contrast between light and dark. The clouds in the background adds a bit of drama.
While the Trophy Meadows flower display was quite extensive, I find it difficult to photograph from the trail. A longer zoom focal length would work well in compressing the floral display. Often times, it's easy to go too wide and try to encompass a wider angle of view when tighter intimate shots are best.

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Plateau of Lakes, Trophy Mountains
Nikon D800, iso 200, f16, 1/180 sec, 18 – 35 mm Nikkor lens @ 35 mm
Manually focused through the viewfinder; used Live View to adjust histogram; 2 stop ND Grad filter (soft); 2 second timer shutter release.
A single raw shot processed with ACDSee Pro 8. The raw shot was underexposed by -0.67 ev to prevent the cloud highlights from being blown out even with the ND Grad filter. The shot was difficult to process properly since there was considerable difference in contrast between the clouds and land.
I always prefer a mixture of clouds and sun for photography and I wasn't disappointed on that particular day. The clouds really add drama to a photo and helps fill in the otherwise bland looking blue sky which would have occupied a lot of negative space in the landscape.

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Long Hill & Plateau of Lakes, Trophy Mountains
Nikon D800, iso 280, f16, 1/90 sec, 18 – 35 mm Nikkor lens @ 21 mm
Manually focused through the viewfinder; used Live View to adjust histogram; 2 stop ND Grad filter (soft); 2 second timer shutter release. A single raw shot processed with ACDSee Pro 8.
The mix of sun and clouds allowed parts of Long Hill to be lit up. What I liked about this shot is the pastel look to the landscape, the dappled light on Long Hill and the foreground rocks which appear to point towards the background.

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Name:	Monck Park july 28 2019_DSC4551.jpg
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ID:	269010
Weathered Ponderosa Pine, Monck Provincial Park
Nikon D800, iso 100, f6, 1/180 sec, 18 – 35 mm Nikkor lens @ 25 mm
Manually focused through the viewfinder; used Live View to adjust histogram; 2 second timer shutter release. A single raw shot processed with ACDSee Pro 8.
I had visited this park on several occasions and had seen weather beaten remnants of Ponderosa Pine trees here and there. On this day, I didn't mind the sun shining as it accentuated the orange color.
The composition was simple; vertical for a tight shot and place one tree lower and the other higher so that the eye moves in a diagonal line from one tree to the other.
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post #42 of (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solo75 View Post

Attachment 269004
Trophy Mountain Meadows
Nikon D800, iso 200, f16, 18 – 35 mm Nikkor lens @ 18 mm
Took 3 exposures; 1/350 sec @ -2.67 ev, 1/20 sec @ -0.33 ev, 1/20 sec @ 1.00 ev
Manually focused through the viewfinder; used Live View to adjust histogram; 2 second timer shutter release. Combined 3 exposures in Photomatix using Exposure Fusion then processed the Tiff shot with ACDSee Pro 8. I could have gotten away with a single shot but the clouds would have been blown out.

That's first thing I thought when seeing the photo without reading the write-up: hard to balance overexposed sky with low light foreground, specially tree leafs in center. Even now tree is still on the dark side.


What I do in such cases if I don't want to mess with multiple exposures and later exposure blending in post-processing: expose for the sky (+1/2 a stop maybe), then rely on dynamic range in post-processing to bring up the shadows. So in Photoshop on a background layer:

1) Adjust --> HDR Toning (this now brings up parts of image, but parts -- that were properly exposed will be overblown and generally poor)

2) Select All -- Copy to Clipboard -- Undo HDR toning (this now restores your original background layer, but you have HDR copy on clipboard)

3) Edit -- Paste -- Paste in Place. (This now superimposes HDR layer on top of original background layer and HDR version is what is visible as top layer hides the background bottom)

4) Mask top HDR layer. Image now looks like original since you have just spilled 'black paint' on top HDR layer

5) Use white brush and paint on HDR layer mask, revealing parts of image you want -- in this case it would be tree, perhaps bit of meadow as well. Always do this on a 100% zoom and small brush radius, as it is easy to paint otherwise where you didn't want & make image unnatural.


After you are satisfied merge the layers. Perform any other editing you want (color, contrast, split toning, etc.)

End result is now image that has parts of it original, parts 'HDR toned'. HDR toned parts might have bit too much grain. So as the last part:


-- duplicate layer (cmd + J)
-- filter -> reduce noise (or even gaussian blurr) on duplicate

-- mask duplicate, then painting with white brush again reveal only HDR bits thus making noise reduction only in these parts

This technique works really well & is something I actually developed myself (i.e. didn't read the tip somewhere on YouTube)
-------------


Lots of fantastic stuff in the rest btw, you should write a book :=)

Last edited by zeljkok; 07-30-2019 at 09:15 PM.
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post #43 of (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeljkok View Post
That's first thing I thought when seeing the photo without reading the write-up: hard to balance overexposed sky with low light foreground, specially tree leafs in center. Even now tree is still on the dark side.
Now that you mentioned it, the tree does look a bit dark. I could have lightened it up a bit. What I also noticed is that photos with a black border look better without the computer screen light on a white border which I find distracting. Also, when viewing my photos in a dark room I can see the dark details more clearly. Thanks for the discussion; really appreciate your input.
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post #44 of (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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There is no doubt that light is one of the most important elements in a photograph however too much sunlight (ie. full sun) makes conditions very challenging. I like to opt for something in-between full sun and overcast days such as fleeting light caused by a moving clouds or unsettled weather. These conditions can produce dramatic light on the landscape and transform a dull photo into a lively one.
One of the problems I find with taking long hikes is finding good composition along the way and waiting for the light. There is always that urgency of continuing up the trail, covering distance and hoping that the light will be better at another place rather than waiting it out where I already set up for a shot. The only time I really wait it out is when I stop for lunch. However, looking back, I have gotten better over the years in being patient enough in getting one good shot rather than rushing through at different locations and ending up with poorer shots that end up getting deleted.
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Name:	Needle Pk trail aug 3 2019_DSC0106.jpg
Views:	50
Size:	663.1 KB
ID:	269508
Coquihalla Rec. Area, Needle Peak Trail
Nikon D90, iso 200, f16, 1/20 sec, 16 – 85 mm Nikkor DX VR @ 16 mm
Auto focused, 2 second timer plus 1 second shutter delay.
A single raw shot processed with ACDSee Pro 8.
I'm always happy to see sun and clouds when I drive to a location because I know that when the sun pokes through the clouds, it will light up certain parts of the landscape but it's always a waiting game to have the light hit where you want it. What could have made this photo better is light hitting Yak Peak but that never did happen.
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Name:	Manning Park july 16 2019_DSC4437.jpg
Views:	51
Size:	668.3 KB
ID:	269510
Skyline I, Manning Park
Nikon D800, iso 200, f11, 1/90 sec, 18 – 35 mm Nikkor lens @ 18 mm
Manually focused through the viewfinder; used Live View to adjust histogram; 2 second timer shutter release. A single raw shot processed with ACDSee Pro 8.
The light was rapidly moving across the landscape along Skyline I when I took this shot. I positioned the camera so that the ridge would be framed between the trees.
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Name:	Heather Trail aug 8 2019_DSC0019_20_21_HDR.jpg
Views:	39
Size:	663.6 KB
ID:	269512
Heather Trail, Manning Park
Nikon D90, iso 200, f11, 1/40 sec, 16 – 85 mm Nikkor DX VR @ 16 mm
Auto focused, 3 shots bracketed using in camera function and 2 sec timer. The old version of Photomatix, which I have, does not do a good job of blending raw exposures with Exposure Fusion so I used the HDR function & processed the Tif file with ACDSee Pro 8. Exposure Fusion only works well with jpegs. When processing the Tif file, I tried to avoid the HDR look.
Walking along the trail, I immediately saw the light cutting across the landscape; it's diagonal line producing a dynamic and dramatic image.
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Name:	Heather Trail aug 9 2019_DSC0046.jpg
Views:	53
Size:	704.8 KB
ID:	269514
Heather Trail, Manning Park
Nikon D90, iso 200, f16, 1/25 sec, 16 – 85 mm Nikkor DX VR @ 28 mm
Auto focused, one raw shot processed with ACDSee pro 8.
One problem with certain sections of the Heather trail is that it is so expansive and featureless and even though there are lots of wildflowers it's not practical to take a good photograph. Another problem is going too wide with a wide-angle lens. Although 28 mm is wide-angle, the composition is tighter compared to the same focal length using an FX lens and camera.
I came across this dried creek bed with flowers growing around. I processed a tighter composition without the flowers but I think they add to the photo. What I liked about this shot is the lighting, the contrast between cool and warm colors and the different layers of topography.
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Name:	Heather Trail aug 9 2019_DSC0085.jpg
Views:	49
Size:	660.3 KB
ID:	269516
First Brother Mtn from Heather Trail
Nikon D90, iso 250, f14, 1/50 sec, 16 – 85 mm Nikkor DX VR @ 16 mm
Auto focused, one raw shot processed with ACDSee pro 8.
I liked the way the land sweeps around to First Brother Mountain but more importantly the soft lighting along the cliffs and mountain ridge that clearly define the landscape. I waited a long time, perhaps just over an hour, for the best lighting which was changing constantly.
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post #45 of (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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Tamron Telephoto SP AF 180mm f/3.5 Di LD IF Macro Autofocus Lens is built for FX (full-frame) cameras although I have used it on the Nikon D90 DX camera body without problems. It's not the type of lens you would take on a long day hike since it weighs a little over 2 lbs. It's a specialty lens which delivers high quality macro images and surprisingly doesn't appear to produce any noticeable chromatic aberration due to its low dispersion glass. The lens, at 180 mm, produces a good working distance which is important in not scaring away the subject. The lens also makes a moderate telephoto lens. The drawback to the lens is its stiff focusing ring which makes camera shake apparent when focus stacking and also the lack of built in vibration reduction. Therefore, I always use mirror lockup or the equivalent when taking a shot.
The two shots of the spider below was taken at 1:1 (true life-size) and I set the timer for 2 sec shutter delay plus 1 sec exposure delay to eliminate camera and mirror vibration. The Nikon D90 is an older camera which doesn't have mirror lockup but it does have Exposure Delay which delays the shutter until about 1 second after the timer counts down and the mirror is raised. The only problem with this setup is that I cannot rapid fire multiple shots in quick succession.
I initially took shots without the flash but found that I couldn't get fast enough shutter speed without having blurred image due to slight movement of the spider and web from a very slight air movement. Since the flash fires at 1/60 sec, it was enough for a sharp image. Also, using the flash darkens the background and isolates the subject which I like since the background had a lot of distracting elements. I could have used a smaller f-stop, with a higher shutter speed, but when focusing down to 1:1 the depth of field is so shallow that even at f22 the legs of the spider (at the very end) is a bit out of focus when viewed at 100%. However, the most important part to focus on is the head.
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Name:	Blue heron reserve aug 11 2019_DSC0015.jpg
Views:	55
Size:	446.6 KB
ID:	269574
Spider waiting for a meal, Blue Heron Reserve, Chilliwack
Nikon D90, iso 400, f22, 1/60 sec, Tamron Telephoto SP AF 180mm macro 1:1 lens
Manual focused using Live View, Built-in flash fired at 1/60 sec, one raw shot processed with ACDSee pro 8.
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Name:	Blue heron reserve aug 11 2019_DSC0018.jpg
Views:	35
Size:	349.9 KB
ID:	269576
Spider enjoying a meal, Blue Heron Reserve, Chilliwack
Nikon D90, iso 400, f22, 1/60 sec, Tamron 180 mm macro 1:1 lens
Manual focused using Live View, Built-in flash fired at 1/60 sec, one raw shot processed with ACDSee pro 8.
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Name:	Blue heron reserve aug 11 2019_DSC0052.jpg
Views:	42
Size:	625.4 KB
ID:	269578
Blue Heron, Blue Heron Reserve, Chilliwack
Nikon D90, iso 400, f5.6, 1/100 sec, Tamron 180 mm macro lens
Auto focused, one raw shot processed with ACDSee pro 8.
I have used the Tamron 180 mm fixed focal length as a telephoto lens before and it works pretty good but due to the lack of Vibration Reduction, I cannot rapid fire shots in succession without having blurred images. However, subjects like the blue heron is easier to work with since it hunts its prey by stealth and doesn't move around too often. I got away with using a small f-stop since I wasn't using the lens as a macro. I had to clean up some noise; even at iso 400, the D90 doesn't produce a clean shot.
It's not too often that I can get away with photographing a blue heron at about 15 feet away. Most of the time they tend to fly away when I'm about 4 times that distance. I stayed with this one for about 20 minutes and took many shots but this is the best. The other shots had the head blend in with the background since there wasn't enough contrast. I don't find the green grass encroaching on the right too distracting since my eye naturally gravitates to the bird.
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