November, 24, 2014

July 28, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

November, 24, 2014

Ahhhh, the holidays, my favorite time of year. Not just for the actual holidays but for the seasons. I love this time of year. Fall, is a time when the country is filled with color! From shore to shore, color abounds. I am so fortunate to live in California near places such as Yosemite, Hope Valley and the Inyo and Mono Valley's, to the San Francisco Coast.  I have been busy making changes to my site, upgrading and adding new photos.

My latest photos are from fall in the Sierras. I took a trip on Sunday, October 13, 2014 and again on Nov. 1, to Hope Valley, over to Markleeville and across Monitor Pass- hwy 89, to hwy 395 and down to Mono Valley. It was a beautiful drive. I left at 4 am and returned to Jackson by 11pm. The color was amazing. Golden aspens and poplar abound. The dry weather has given us some beautiful color this year. 

When shooting fall color, I find a circular polarizer and amazing tool to make the color pop. Turn it just so to the warm tones and the blue skies and orange, yellows and red leaves come alive. 

The aspen grove along hwy 89 - Monitor Pass was incredible. The light was behind the grove and illuminated the leaves to a florescent brilliance. Standing among the grove was like being surrounded my Mother Nature's golden aura.

I find that along with a circular polarizer, a gradient ND (neutral density) filter is a must. It helps to even out the exposure between the bright sky and the darker foreground. It helps to hold the detail and exposure of the sky back while you adjust to the often darker foreground. There are different densities or darkness of filters. Some are so dark you can shoot long exposures in broad daylight. You will lose a few stops, so make sure you have a tripod handy. I use a tripod for 90% of my scenic work. and 100% of my evening and night photography and for fun with time lapse and to of course keep from getting a blurry shot in low light.

Lens: I have a lot of lenses, but I seem to use two of them the most. I love the dramatic sweep of my Sigma Gold 10-20 mm fisheye. I used it to capture the long autumn shadows the aspen cast due to being backlit by the sun. The other lens is the 18 - 200 mm IS, kit lens that came with my Canon 60D. It is a very versatile walk-around lens.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. See you again soon.

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Well, lets see. I have never had a blog. However, I have the perfect subject for my first one.

I recently learned how to use my camera, the Canon Rebel XTi, ( my professional grade camera died and, well, I can't afford a new one.) with a programmable shutter release cable. Wow the world is my oyster with that little baby. I have been having a blast.

This is a 12 mile drive that loops around Butte Mt. Road to Clinton Road. I taped my camera to the hood of my car and set my cable to 2 second intervals, with the camera set to P with an ISO of 1600. I then drove about 20 mph around the loop. I then used Proshow Gold to put the frames together into a short film. This is the result. The song is from You Tubes Audio Swap. Not even sure what it is called.

My first attempt at time lapse with my cable is here. This is my home in the sierra foothills of California.  My first attempt at time lapse without a cable was not so great. I will post that next so you can see how much difference a programmable shutter makes.

ISO 1600

This is the time lapse without a programmable cable. I had to sit here for 6 hours clicking the shutter over and over again. Not a great result but it was interesting to do. ISO 1600. I have heard if you lock the mirror it helps reduce movement. I did not do that.

And here is a zucchini flower opening. It is a very fast opening flower so I only had to wait a few hours with this one.  I set up my tripod in the garden and used a 50mm lens. I programmed the cable for 30 second intervals and let it do its thing. Again I used the P setting on the rebel xti. My ISO was set to 1600. It wasn't necessary but it made sure that it was fast enough to not blur if the wind blew. Higher ISO is great in the daytime for fast moving subjects and to make sure you can stop action. You will not experience noise because it is light out. The noise comes into play when the scene gets dark. You will notice it in the darkest areas. However, the noise can be removed with a noise reducing program like Photoshop.

There are so many things you can do with time lapse photography. Capture the rising moon or the setting sun, waves lapping on the beach, wind blowing a field of wheat. Tonight it was suggested I photograph me sleeping so I can see what I do at night. I think that will be interesting. I have to make sure to wear Pj's :-) I tried to film a tomato ripening but it takes days and my camera is not set up with a good auxiliary battery. I think I will try to create a short film of some kind using people and have them move and interact doing something. It will end up looking a bit like those old stick man drawings in the corner of books that you used to flip through and watch them move. Ok Now I am dating myself because those are really old. You can see an example here.

So this is my first blog and my first time lapse attempt. I hope it helps someone. I have a lot to learn but as I learn it I will post it here.

Please feel free to post techniques you know so I may learn as well.

Thanks for looking.

Have a wonderful day everyone!






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