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post #76 of (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeljkok View Post
I won't try to talk you into shooting F8 instead of F16 anymore
Next time, I will take several shots from f8 to f16 and compare them for sharpness and diffraction just to see which f stop gives the best results. If there was no wind, I would rather prefer the smaller f stop and focus stack; that should give the best results.
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post #77 of (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 12:30 PM
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It's just that lens usually are told to have "sweet spot" at F8. When you shoot some far reaching landscape i.e. across Burrard strait to Van Island from Cypress then ok, can justify >F8, but in the reasonably enclosed environment i.e. forest definitely no need for low aperture.

One more comment in regard to shadows vs highlights, exposure bracketing, messing with F stops etc. When not out specifically for shoot, i.e hiking and having just pocket camera, I find Sony Rx HDR mode works great. This is pic I took the other day:

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Obvious challenges in terms of lightning; top half of frame much brighter. Had only pocket camera + definitely no time to mess around in middle of rail track (trains are passing here regularly!). But HDR mode equalized things to fairly satisfactory level. There are obvious imperfections & can not be compared to what one would be able to get with SLR and proper technique, but not too bad either. Pic got sold on Adobe within 24 hrs of upload
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post #78 of (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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I think people are looking for simple shots like yours. The composition is good with the tracks leading the eye into the photo with a backdrop of nice mountains which is more defined with a light dusting of snow. Your Sony built-in HDR is able to shoot 3 shots in rapid succession. I wonder if you could have adjusted the ev value to expose more for the highlights. I'm able to do that when using HDR. My D800 has an HDR mode but it shoots only 2 shots however the EV values can be adjusted from 1 to 3 EV. Too bad it only shoots in jpg and thus I hardly use HDR function. I would prefer 3 shots in RAW but even then I usually use ND Grad filters because Photomatix sucks. I tried a trial version of Oloneo HDR software and it produces better results.
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post #79 of (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 01:26 PM
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Yes; RAW would be better, also for panos which also saves as JPG only. For panos you also can't chose ISO which leads to unacceptable noise in low light as in-camera software automatically bumps ISO up. But at the end there is only this much you can reasonably expect from in-camera modes, specially pocket cameras. Even Canon FF SLR does in-camera HDR as JPG only. Interesting enough, Sony in-camera HDR is vastly superior to Canon in-camera HDR, which I find a bit odd.


btw I think Rx is shooting only 2 not 3 for HDR. I clearly hear only 2 clicks. Maybe there is some setting menu that overrides that, but I'm happy the way it is. It saves original (i.e no HDR) and then "equalized" (HDR) so you can compare right away, which I find very useful too.
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post #80 of (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zeljkok View Post
btw I think Rx is shooting only 2 not 3 for HDR. I clearly hear only 2 clicks. .
I assume you have the RX100. If so, there is an HDR auto mode that shoots 3 shots. http://docs.esupport.sony.com/dvimag.../02/17/17.html
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post #81 of (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 01:56 PM
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Yes, Rx100. You are right it says 3. Maybe I should read manuals a bit more I am quite sure I hear only 2 clicks; I'll pay close attention next time, it doesn't really matter though.
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post #82 of (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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I have been taking macro shots at this time of year since most of the leaves have disappeared and there is nothing really scenic to photograph. I've noticed that with the Tamron 180 mm macro, I can get away without focus stacking for a single mushroom with a button head by with using an f stop from 16 to 32. A wide cap or more than one mushroom requires focus stacking. I've noticed that macro shots are more difficult to focus stack than landscapes since with smaller objects, mistakes are greatly magnified. On the computer screen, the image may look sharp but at 100% the image appears soft which made me wonder if the lens was sharp. However, I think it's due to the difficulty in focusing at small increments while trying to avoid camera shake. It's also hard to determine how far to advance the focusing ring during a complex macro shot and ensure some overlap from previous shots. The more shots one takes, the greater the chance of camera movement especially if the tripod is positioned on soft moss. More than once, I thought I had a good image after processing with Helicon Focus (HF) 7 but noticed a halo around the mushroom which signified camera movement. What I don't like about the final image from HF are the huge tiff files (207 MB) produced. Regardless if two or more shots were focus stacked, the final tiff size is the same. The large file during post-processing slows my computer down to a crawl.
The best settings I found for HF software is Raw-in-DNG-out Loader and Adobe RGB color space rendered with weighted-average.
Note: I've mentioned this before that my images appear desaturated on this website compared to my computer screen. So what you see isn't what it should appear to be.

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Name:	Chilliwack valley oct 28 2019 07-17-25 (A,Radius8,Smoothing4).jpg
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Location: Trans Canada Trail, Chilliwack Valley
Nikon D800, iso 100, f16, 15 sec, -0.33 ev, Tamron Telephoto SP AF 180mm macro 1:1 lens
7 images focus stacked, all with the same technical info, and processed through Helicon Focus 7. The tiff file was minimally processed.
There is a small fly on the larger fungi and I was thankful it didn't move when you consider that during exposure and focusing the time exceeded 105 sec. I focused through the viewfinder rather than Live View because the latter appeared quite dark although I could have boosted up the brightness by adjusting the in-camera settings. However, I noticed that with the cold weather there seems to be about a 30% to 40% drop in battery power after taking only 64 shots for the day when using Live View frequently.
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Name:	Chilliwack valley oct 30 2019 14-44-13 (A,Radius8,Smoothing4).jpg
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Frozen water-drops on grass, TCT, Chilliwack Valley
Nikon D800, iso 100, f16, 1 sec, -1.00 ev, Tamron Telephoto SP AF 180mm macro 1:1 lens
15 shots focus stacked with the same technical specs
I used Live View to manually focus.
The grasses were located at ground level, there was no wind and the drops were frozen therefore I didn't have to worry about subject movement. Also, the ground was frozen and therefore provided good support for the tripod. I focused from front to back in small increments and used adequate depth of field to adequate overlap. I think a remote shutter release would come in handy as it appears that the force required to push the shutter button can induce some camera movement.
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Name:	Chilliwack valley oct 30 2019 14-47-50 (A,Radius8,Smoothing4).jpg
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Mushrooms near Angel Wing Pond, TCT, Chilliwack Valley
Nikon D800, iso 100, f11, 6 sec, -1.00 ev, Tamron Telephoto SP AF 180mm macro 1:1 lens
5 shots focus stacked with the same technical specs
I used Live View to manually focus.
The forest was dark therefore I used f11 during manual focus because I couldn't see too well at f16. Focus stacked from the closest mushroom back to the furthest away.
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Name:	Chilliwack valley oct 30 2019 14-51-03 (A,Radius8,Smoothing4).jpg
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Mushrooms near Angel Wing Pond, TCT, Chilliwack Valley
Nikon D800, iso 100, f11, 4 sec for first shot, 6 sec for rest, -1.00 ev, Tamron Telephoto SP AF 180mm macro 1:1 lens
5 shots focus stacked, Live View to manually focus.
One thing I find difficult when photographing a single mushroom is that it may not fill up most of the frame and there is a lot of negative space. I could shoot vertically but the lens/camera weighs 4.5 lbs which the tripod head won't support in that position. The good thing about this photo is that the fallen mushroom helps fill the frame.
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post #83 of (permalink) Old 11-28-2019, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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I haven't been photographing much lately even though I still head outdoors. Since the weather hadn't been that great for photography, I leave my camera at home and have done some trail clearing instead until my foldable saw fell apart. The recent cold spell and dump of snow in the mountains had me hit the trail to photograph the old growth forest up the Pierce Lake trail. I certainly enjoyed the snowy scenery and find the rather monochromatic color easier to photograph. The trees stand out more against the white compared to the green foliage.
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Name:	Pierce lake trail nov 26 2019_DSC6322.jpg
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View from the rockslide
Nikon D800, iso 100, f16, 1/20 sec, 0.67 ev, 18 35 mm Nikkor lens @ 28 mm
A single raw shot processed with ACDSee pro 8
I estimated the hyperfocal distance.
I didn't bother with an ND grad filter as it's too much of a hassle setting up in the cold and it would fog up.
I used Live View histogram for correct exposure but upon checking the histogram after I've taken a shot that it didn't represent what I saw before the shot. Prior to taking the photo, the histogram was exposed far to the right but after the photo the histogram appeared more centered so I adjusted the exposure compensation which gave me a slower shutter speed to allow more light.
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Name:	Pierce lake trail nov 26 2019_DSC6333.jpg
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Nikon D800, iso 200, f16, sec, -0.67 ev, 18 35 mm Nikkor lens @ 21 mm
A single raw shot processed with ACDSee pro 8
I estimated the hyperfocal distance.
I didn't bother using Live View because it doesn't seen accurate anymore so instead I estimated the exposure compensation and took a shot then looked at the histogram. From there, I just adjusted the exposure compensation if needed. I was glad for the relative lack of wind and the fact that the sun was low in the sky at this time of year thus did not reach the forest.
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post #84 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2019, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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I have this habit of visiting the same areas throughout the year in attempts to get a photograph which I am satisfied with. Although I liked the previous shot of the winter landscape at the rockslide on the Pierce Lake trail since the lighting was good, I prefer some drama to my shots in order to distinguish it from the 'usual' photograph. Thus, I headed out on a showery day and was fortunate to have calm winds. I didn't know what to expect but hoped that there would be some clearing and good lighting. When I reached the same area as on my previous trip, I saw that a clearing of the clouds occurred so I hurriedly set up my camera.
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Name:	Pierce lake trail dec 14 2019_DSC6441.jpg
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Nikon D800, iso 140, f16, 1/30 sec, 0.67 ev, 18 35 mm Nikkor lens @ 28 mm
Estimated the hyperfocal distance.
Back button focused
Used Live View to composed the exposure with a 2 sec timer delay for shutter release.
Checked the shot through Live View for sharpness.
There is only a few good places which give unobstructed views and allows me to compose a balanced shot with the slope on the foreground left with the dark mountainside on the right.
I liked the way the clouds appear in this shot and the bit of light from the sun which adds some warmth. Scenes like this don't last long with the clouds constantly moving and blanketing the mountain. The clouds never did clear afterwards. To date, this is my favorite photograph of this area.
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post #85 of (permalink) Old 02-01-2020, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Name:	Chilliwack valley jan 10_2020_DSC6825.jpg
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CAMERA SETTINGS:
Nikon D800, iso 400, f16, 1 sec, -1.00 ev, 18 35 mm Nikkor lens @ 22 mm
STEPS:
Waterfall compositions are straight forward. I normally exclude a lot of landscape at the top of the photo since the waterfall is the center piece of attraction then have the creek flowing obliquely out of the frame. I've read the use of lines in photos years ago from the Canadian photographer Freeman Patterson. Photographing creeks makes it easier to present the creek as a diagonal line which are considered dynamic in nature.
Estimated the hyperfocal distance.
Back button focus
Circular Polarizer to reduce glare
2 sec timer shutter release plus 1 sec shutter delay.
I checked the histogram after taking the shot to make sure there was no blown highlights.
POST-PROCESSING:
The first step I do is to remove chromatic aberration before lightening up the photo. I usually don't have to add saturation but if the colors are dull I add a bit. I add some contrast and sharpening.
COMMENTS:
On one of my exploratory trips, I saw a small waterfall on an unnamed creek in Chilliwack Valley but it was down in a small canyon which I managed to carefully descend despite the slope being steep and slippery. Not far behind me the creek dropped to form another waterfall so I scrambled back up and was successful in finding another way down to photograph this one. The wider angle of view that I used was to compensate for being close to the falls since there was a lot of fallen debris behind me. I visited the same waterfall after it snowed and although I did take some shots I wasn't too happy with the results. There was less water flowing and a breeze caused too much movement of the ferns near the falls so I couldn't get them in focus without using a faster shutter speed but then the water wouldn't have that nice 'silky' look. In addition, the snow along the slopes made the waterfall blend in whereas in this shot the contrast between light and dark is defined and the flowing water really stands out.
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Name:	Chilliwack valley jan 20_2020_DSC6951.jpg
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CAMERA SETTINGS:
Nikon D800, iso 400, f16, 1/3 sec, -0.33 ev, 18 35 mm Nikkor lens @ 26 mm, AP Mode
STEPS:
I set up the composition with the waterfall centered and the creek flowing away at an oblique angle. I gave a little more weight to the slope on the right since it had the most ice. I usually start from the widest angle at 18 mm then zoom in to 26 mm where I thought would provide a tighter composition that brought the columns of ice on both sides closer.
Estimated hyperfocal distance
Back button focus.
Polarizing filter to reduce water glare.
Used mirror lockup and 1 sec exposure delay.
POST-PROCESSING:
Started by reducing the chromatic aberration. Since I used a higher iso, I had to clean up the noise then sharpen the photo. I had to reduce contrast and use the software light equalizer tone bands to add detail to the snow. There was a slight purple tint to the snow which I removed. It's funny that when I import the raw shots, all lot of contrast is added and the picture darkens. Maybe it's the software.
COMMENTS:
I had gone back to the unnamed creek and waterfall as in the shot above but explored further. I found another waterfall downstream which took a bit of effort to get to since the slope into the canyon was snow covered, a bit steep and slippery. Also, I could only access it about 30 feet downstream and had to head upstream through deadfall and some devils club. Where I took the shot, the space was restricted from a couple of fallen trees that lay at an angle. There was just enough room to stand under them without the trees interfering with the shot. The difficultly photographing the falls was the drifting spray onto the lens and the close proximity of the ice to my right. I had to constantly wipe the lens. I tried to focus stack two shots but the second shot would have water smudges due to the length of time the lens is exposed to drifting spray so had to take a single shot. I wasn't worried that the vegetation above the falls being a bit blurred since it's not the main subject. I took 9 shots and this one here was the best since it was more sharper throughout and only has 1 water drop smudge hidden in the dark shadow.
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Name:	Chilliwack valley jan 30 2020_DSC7092.jpg
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ID:	272848
CAMERA SETTINGS:
Nikon D800, iso 800, f11, 1/10 sec, -1.67 ev, 18 35 mm Nikkor lens @ 29 mm, AP Mode
STEPS:
I set up the composition to give weight to the tree in front, a little offset from center, so that the eye can gravitate to the trees to the left and the one on the right background. To retain the highlights, I had to adjust the exposure compensation to the left. A polarizing filter reduced the light by 1.5 to 2 stops, so I used a higher iso because a little breeze was blowing at times.
Estimated hyperfocal distance.
Back button focus.
2 second timer delay with l second exposure delay.
POST-PROCESSING:
With the raw file, I had to open up the shadows and surprisingly I didn't need noise reduction. I added a bit of saturation and contrast. The photograph looked pretty sharp so I didn't bother to sharpen.
COMMENTS:
There are quite a few areas in Chilliwack Valley that has nice moss-covered trees. This particular forest I had discovered at the beginning of January and have visited the area quite a few times. However, this is one of the few days in which the sun shone. At this time of year, it just manage to crest the mountain ridge and provide nice light into the forest. Light is everything. Without light, there wouldn't be the contrast and depth of field.
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post #86 of (permalink) Old 02-15-2020, 04:47 PM
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Solo, I am so impressed and love those artistic creations of photography you put up here. Really fantastic.

K
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post #87 of (permalink) Old 02-15-2020, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Solo, I am so impressed and love those artistic creations of photography you put up here. Really fantastic.

K
Thanks Karvitk. It doesn't come easy though.
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post #88 of (permalink) Old 02-29-2020, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Name:	Chilliwack valley feb 14 2020_DSC0008.jpg
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Nikon D90, iso low 0.3, f18, 1/2 sec, -0.33 ev, 16 - 85 mm Nikkor lens @ 16 mm, AP Mode
The composition was simple; set up the foreground with the creek and with approximate equal weight given the the forest on the right and left side with the mountain in the background.
Polarizing filter
Estimated the hyperfocal distance.
Through the lens focus.
2 second timer delay with l second exposure delay.
This old lens which I had for about 10 years shows only a small amount of chromatic aberration. The lens is pretty sharp so I didn't need to sharpen the photo. The raw file was dark to retain highlights in the clouds so I brightened it up and added some contrast. Didn't need to add color saturation. I had to slightly crop the shot because of an encroaching branch on the left.
Location is Slesse Creek, Chilliwack Valley. For more than one year since I've first visited this place, a huge fallen dead tree lay right along the banks but it appears that a heavy rainy spell must have swollen the creek and the tree floated away. On my previous visits, I had to take the photograph of the mountain from a different perspective because of the fallen tree but the photograph lacked drama. On this particular visit, the tree was gone and clouds hung around the mountain. During winter, there is still some dead leaves on the trees which gives the tops a nice subtle color.
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Name:	Chilliwack valley feb 26 2020_DSC0014.jpg
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Nikon D90, iso 200, f16, 1/13 sec, -0.33 ev, 16 85 mm Nikkor lens @ 65 mm, AP Mode
A zoom shot of the mountain up Slesse Creek. I just wanted to make the mountain the focal point with low clouds swirling around. The sun was positioned in the upper right corner so I waited until it was cloud covered since the light shone directly onto the lens which is very prone to lens flare.
Polarizing filter; didn't really need it but its a hassle taking it off and on.
Auto through the lens focus.
The clouds were shifting rapidly so I did away with timer delay shutter release.
Post-processing was simple. I exposed for the clouds so I had to brighten up the shadows in the forest at the bottom. There was some noise I cleaned up. Slightly sharpened the photo. This cheap old lens controlled chromatic aberration quite well. I could have converted this to black and white but the muted colors of the trees looked nice.
This is the same mountain as in the previous photo with the creek except taken on another day. I always look forward to going out when the weather is less than ideal for taking some dramatic shots.
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post #89 of (permalink) Old 02-29-2020, 10:45 PM
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Looks nice. Not easy on grey day. Very moody too.


Would be interesting to see amount of noise in bottom part of lower photo, despite cleanup. But that waterfall upper right look really cool, totally missed it on first look, obscured by low cloud.
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post #90 of (permalink) Old 03-23-2020, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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One advantage of hiking and photographing solo is that social distancing becomes the norm. This is especially true when I head off trail into the bush. Unless there is a complete lock-down, I still plan on heading outdoors. Any outdoors person can only spend so much time indoors before going crazy.
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Name:	Chilliwack valley mar 4 2020_DSC0033_4_5_tonemapped.jpg
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Nikon D90 with 16 85 mm Nikkor lens @ 16 mm, AP Mode
3 exposures combined in Photomatix Pro 3.2:
iso 200, f11, 1/160 sec, -1.00 ev
iso 200, f11, 1/640 sec, -3.00 ev
iso 200, f11, 1/40 sec, 1.00 ev
I have visited this pond in Chilliwack valley on numerous occasions throughout the year. In setting up the composition, it was just a matter of waiting around for a nice cloud reflection. I used a vertical format to get the clouds in and eliminate a lot of pond debris that I saw in horizontal view. The clouds worked out well since its U shape mimics the U shaped slope of the trees which frame the mountain. Without clouds filling out the sky, there would be too much uninteresting negative space.
This old version of Photomatix didn't work well for Raw files in Exposure Fusion so I had to use HDR and tonemapping function. I post-processed the tiff file by eliminating the chromatic aberration, add minor sharpening, added some contrast, corrected white balance more towards cool and darkened the clouds a bit.
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Name:	Chilliwack valley mar 16 2020_DSC0017_8_9_fused.jpg
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ID:	274100
Nikon D90 with 16 85 mm Nikkor lens @ 28 mm, AP Mode
3 exposures combined in Photomatix Pro 3.2 using Exposure Fusion:
iso 200, f11, 1/15 sec, 0.33 ev
iso 200, f11, 1/60 sec, -1.67 ev
iso 200, f11, sec, 2.33 ev
Estimated the hyperfocal distance.
The D90 does not have a back button focus so I auto focused by depressing the shutter button half way flip the switch off auto to manual before pressing the shutter release.
I have visited this moss-covered forest many times but it's always challenging to take photographs. Now that the sun is rising higher over the mountains, it lit up a fallen moss-covered tree that is normally in the shade. Since the moss is backlit, the light really enhanced the shape of the fallen tree. The tall trees around it provided dark shaded areas which contrasted nicely with the brightly lit tree.
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Name:	Pierce lake trail mar 9 2020_DSC7366_7_8.jpg
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ID:	274102
Nikon D800, 16 - 85 mm Nikkor lens @ 35 mm, AP Mode
3 exposure combined with Photomatix pro 3.2
iso 200, f16, 1/60 sec, 0.67 ev
iso 200, f16, 1/125 sec, -0.33 ev
iso 200, f16, 1/20 sec, 1.67 ev
I put the camera on continuous high speed.
Estimated hyperfocal distance.
Location: Pierce Lake Trail
The initial composition was set up to shoot the sun shining through the trees. I could have gotten away with shooting one shot a bit underexposed to compensate for the bright area but there would be visible noise. I did away with delayed time shutter release because conditions changed rapidly. I had noticed that later in the morning as the sun warmed up the tops of the snow-covered trees, the snow would fall here and there. When dry snow falls, the individual ice crystals scatter all over. When this happened in front of where the sun was in the forest, I rapidly fired off three shots. Here you can see the sun with the ice crystals flying across. I converted the photo to B&W because there wasn't much color. Thus, I didn't bother removing any chromatic aberration. The only thing I didn't like was the tree at the bottom right which blocks some of the beam of light.
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