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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Default Photos from my outings

For what it's worth, I will revive this dead section of the forum.
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Name:	Chilliwack valley april 21 2019_DSC3334.jpgCT.jpg
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Chilliwack Lake from Flora Lake Trail (April 21, 2019)
Nikon D800, iso 100, f11, 1/125, focal length 22mm
1.2 (4 stops) ND Grad filter (soft)
Raw photo processed with ACDSee Pro 8
I waited until the sun lit up part of the foreground and slope on the left since it was in dark shadow.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 07:35 AM Thread Starter
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Name:	Golden ears park april 24 2019_DSC0028_29_30_fused.jpg
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Evans Peak (left) and in the clouds, Blanchard Needle and Edge Peak from the East Canyon Trail.
A 4 stop ND Grad filter wasn't enough to prevent the clouds from being blown out so I combined three shots of different exposure value (0.33, -1.67, +2.33) using Exposure Fusion in Photomatix. The image has a more natural look than using HDR.
*Nikon D90, iso 200, f11, 19 mm
*This Nikon camera is 11 years old & only has 12 MP but still enough detail.


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Blanchard Needle and Edge Peak from Evans Peak
Nikon D90, iso 200, f11, 1/100s, 11 mm
1 raw photo processed with ACDSee Pro8
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 02:16 PM
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*This Nikon camera is 11 years old & only has 12 MP but still enough detail.

There is technique I learned last yr called "superresolution" that increases spatial resolution capability of any camera. Besides that, it also reduces / eliminates grain, really brings out details, etc. It narrows down to taking burst of hand-held shots then averaging in post-processing. Hand-held is important because small variation of pixel displacement is necessary for technique to work and it will not be possible if camera was on tripod. Technique is not suitable for moving objects because pixel displacement is too big, but works really well for landscapes.



Downside is that it takes quite a bit of time, but end results can be amazing. Here is full step-by-step primer:


https://petapixel.com/2015/02/21/a-p...ith-photoshop/
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Name:	Campbell lake trail May 1 2019_DSC3464.jpg
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Western Red Cedars on the Campbell Lake Trail.
Nikon D800, iso 140, f16, 1/3 sec, -1 EV. Focal length 21 mm
Single raw photo processed with ACDSee Pro 8
I've passed by these trees many times but was never able to take a good shot until now. In the morning, the front lighting wasn't good so on my way back the sun moved west and side-lit the trees. In addition, the light was diffuse from cloud cover.
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Name:	Chilliwack valley may 3 2019 15-24-27 HF.jpg
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Sword ferns & Red cedar in Chilliwack Valley
Nikon D90, iso 200, f11, 0.625 sec, -0.33 EV, focal length 19 mm
Raw photo processed with ACDSee Pro 8
I used a technique called focus stacking; I took more than 1 shot with different focus points (near and far) and merge them together in Helicon Focus. This gets the foreground of newly emerged fern shoots and background trees into focus.
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Name:	Blue heron reserve may 2 2019_DSC0052.JPG
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Abstract: water ripples on pond at Blue Heron Reserve
Nikon D90, iso 400, f11, 1/160 sec, focal length 85 mm
Single raw photo processed with ACDSee Pro 8
Picked a windy day for ripples to form then zoomed in to photograph using burst mode. Converted photo to black & white since there was little color to the original.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 09:13 PM
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Great shots!


Want to comment on focus stacking. This is such an invaluable technique. Recently I took this shot:


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All appears good when seen like this in image viewer, but individual birds were at different depths and all did not focus. I really did not have time because those toucans would not like wait for me so I just took auto-focus and hoped for the best. Camera focused on bird in lower right, and that one is sharp at 100%:
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But look at the one in the back; unfocused and blurry (100%):
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So essentially the shot is screwed, which is really the shame because you don't get such opportunity often. I think you need to develop instinct for this kind of situations and react FAST -- focus 1 <click> , focus 2 <click>, focus 3 <click>. For still landscapes it is easy because you have all the time in the world, but for living beings not so.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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All appears good when seen like this in image viewer, but individual birds were at different depths and all did not focus.
I guess the only way to take that shot is to use f16 and increase the iso for faster shutter speed. But you are correct, focus stacking only works for still objects.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 01:34 PM
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It was shot at f 5.6 at 252mm focal length, 1/125 sec exposure and ISO 400. It was reasonably dark, thus higher ISO & aperture. I don't know how much lower aperture would help, but exposure time would then screw things up likely.


Point is this is quite difficult to get right. I still think focus stacking might have worked with little luck, birds were reasonably static if I had instinct to react fast and burst couple of shots each focusing on different bird. If not, then some different photoshop techniques with layer masks (instead of aligning which focus stacking does), but this is different topic.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Name:	Wells Gray Park may 6 2019_DSC3520.jpg
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Helmcken Falls
Nikon D800, iso 200, f16, 1/20 sec, focal length: 30 mm
Single raw photo processed with ACDSee Pro 8. With a lot of my raw shots, I usually don't have to add color saturation but just some contrast and bringing out the shadow detail.
For this shot, I opted to take it during the evening when the falls would be front lit. The soft lighting was due to the sun being mostly behind some clouds. Some of the best viewpoints are not from the platform but on the trail to Gattling Gorge which skirts the rim of the canyon.
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Name:	Wells Gray Park may 8 2019_DSC3564.jpg
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The lonely grouse
Nikon D800, iso 140, f11, 1/60 sec, focal length: 35 mm
Single raw photo processed with ACDSee Pro 8. There was some noise in the background which I cleaned up.
It's not often that a wide-angle lens (18 35 mm) can be used for close-ups of wildlife but that was the only lens I have for the full frame camera. Also, I didn't have to chase after the grouse...it came to me. I had slept in my car at the Pyramid Campground and got up before 5 am. In the dim light, I saw this grouse at the entrance of my site so I opened the car door and it immediately started walking towards me. For a while I didn't bother to attempt taking photos since the light was too dim but instead watched it and wondered why it was so friendly. When the light improved a bit, I got within 2 and feet and used the camera flash hoping it wouldn't scare the bird but it didn't even flinch.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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The two photos are examples where I used hyperfocal distance to ensure the foreground and background remain sharp. There are charts available and complex explanation about what hyperfocal distance means. I don't bother with charts but use a simple method by estimating the distance from the camera to the closest foreground object as seen through the camera viewfinder then I double that distance from the camera and choose that point from which to focus. After I took the shot, I would use Live View and check the sharpness of the foreground and background objects.
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Name:	Chilliwack valley TCT may 18 2019_DSC0006.jpg
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The meeting of two streams along the Trans Canada Trail (TCT), Chilliwack Valley
Nikon D90, iso 200, f11, 2 sec, Tokina 11-16 mm @ 16 mm
A single raw photo post-processed with ACDSee Pro 8.
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Name:	Flora lake trail may 18 2019_DSC0059_60_61_fused.jpg
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Chilliwack Lake, Flora Lake Trail (third hike)
Nikon D90, iso 200, f11, 1/100 sec, @ 16 mm
A 4 stop ND grad filter (soft) could not retain the blown highlights (clouds) so I had to bracket 3 exposures and use Exposure Fusion in Photomatix Pro 3 (outdated & obsolete). This gave me a 70 MB tiff which I post-processed with ACDSee Pro 8.
A simple composition of a fallen tree which leads the eye into the photograph. Focus stacking probably gives better results but when there is a breeze and movement in the trees and bushes a single raw shot is preferred.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 12:56 PM
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Nice photos; I could get into lot of technical comments, but this thread already goes into discussion of 2 individuals. I'll just ask about F11 which seems to be preferred aperture throughout your photos. Why F11? Much has been said about "golden F8" for sharpness and good depth of field in landscape photography. I'd happily use F8 for Flora lake above. But, for creek shot --assuming you had tripod, or something to steady camera-- I'd use lower aperture F16-F22, to get as much silkiness in that water as possible (more than 2 sec, 4-5 sec at least).

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post #11 of (permalink) Old 05-19-2019, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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I had read that the sharpest aperture for a particular lens lies between 2 and 3 f stops from its widest aperture which would put most of my lens between f8 to f16. The most popular f stops for landscapes lies between f8 and f11. In the film camera days, some pros would leave their lens at f8 all the time. I've always chosen f11 just for that little increase in depth of field (from f8) especially since I was quite close to the bush along the creek compared to the other shot. I didn't have my polarizing filter to get a slower shutter speed however there was a slight breeze at times so I didn't want too long of a shutter speed. I have on occasion used f16 for landscapes but I notice lens diffraction occurring and I usually have to sharpen the photo. I have also been experimenting with different shutter speeds when taking photos of waterfalls and creeks and have avoided too slow speeds as I sometimes get tired of that silky effect. If the water was very turbulent with nice rapids, I would prefer somewhere around sec or 1/8 sec to capture more water movement which is lost with longer speeds.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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Name:	Golden ears park may 28 2019_DSC3606.jpg
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Sunrise on Edge Peak, Golden Ears Park
Nikon D800, iso 140, f11, 1/8 sec, @ 18 mm
4 stop ND grad filter (soft)
Manual focused using live view with exposure to the right.
Single raw photo processed with ACDSee Pro 8
I always make an effort to arrive on scene before sunrise as I can scout the area for composition. I like the soft light on the mountain and the composition that includes foreground, middle ground and background.
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Name:	Golden ears park may 28 2019_DSC3614.jpg
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Edge Peak & Golden Ears
Nikon D800, iso 140, f11, 1/250 sec, @ 23 mm
4 stop ND grad filter (soft)
Manual focused using live view with exposure to the right.
Single raw photo processed with ACDSee Pro 8
Taken at a high point just before Panorama Ridge which is the best location to include both mountains. The low clouds adds to the photo and the foreground snow compliments the snow on the mountain.
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Name:	Golden ears park may 29 2019_DSC3632.jpg
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Lower Falls from West Canyon Trail
Nikon D800, iso 100, f11, 1/10 sec, @ 26 mm
Manual focused using live view with exposure to the right.
Single raw photo processed with ACDSee Pro 8
I experimented with different shutter speeds and I think this photo shows enough turbulence. A slower shutter speeds makes the water look too tame while a faster shutter didn't look right. This is by far, the best location to photograph the falls compared to the East Canyon Trail which is also more difficult due to drifting spray.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 02:51 AM
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Very interesting; I like Golden Ears & Edge shot from Panorama the best.

You are old school; ND grad filters have faded away in favor of various digital post-processing techniques. Hard to say like this, but was 4 stop a bit too much? Think I can spot some shadow on peak top, thought "this is grad filter" even before reading your spec. These shots are not easy when top of frame is considerably more exposed than bottom. I do exposure bracketing, then try to work it in Photoshop, but it doesn't work always
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
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Think I can spot some shadow on peak top, thought "this is grad filter" even before reading your spec.
I had noticed that too and with the software that I use to post-process it's not the best to get it right. Photoshop is beyond me; too damn expensive. Lee filters, which I use, are not really that color neutral which is a pain trying to correct. I was thinking about Breakthrough ND glass filters which are color neutral. Exposure bracketing works when there is no movement of trees and bushes and like yourself I sometimes find it hard to process at least using Photomatix. I tried another software once (free trial) and it worked better. Such are the challenges of photography. I wonder how pros do it. I think they expose one shot for the sky and the other for the land and blend in Photoshop.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 01:34 PM
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I wonder how pros do it. I think they expose one shot for the sky and the other for the land and blend in Photoshop.

Yes, exactly. Take several not just 2, then play with it. PS has great feature called 'layer masks'. You stack frames on top of each other like deck of cards, mask them, then paint with white brush for parts you want to be visible. Nice part is that this editing is non-destructible, so if you don't like it you simply remove the 'card'. My workflow is always to have separate layer for contrast, separate for color enhancement, etc. I often use color filters in PS. So you can decide to warm up the rock, cool off the water, add emerald green to the forest. etc. These are just very basic things. You can do tons of other stuff, i.e. for sky problem if it is either beyond repair, of bland -- you can replace entire sky with something you saved from before. I.e:

Name:  Screen Shot 2019-06-01 at 11.27.08 AM.png
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Cathedral is St. Andrews in Vic -- vertical stitch of 3 frames because couldn't get it all in single frame -- but sky is from Thetis Lake! You can't tell even if you zoom 100%. If I see great sky I will take a shot of it & save. I have separate folder of all kind of great skies just for this purpose.


May I suggest you look into getting PS? I can't post anything specific on public forum, but there are different ways of going about it. You really enjoy your photography and it would bring whole new level to it. Most important thing will always be what comes out of camera of course, but you open whole new area of possibilities.
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