Serenity

Once again I find myself together with my camera out to get the shots I want when the day is going towards an end.

There is something very special with the time when the darkness falls upon us. I like how everything falls to rest and how the light is more crisp. Where I live in Norway the autumn and later the winter brings the darkness rather early in the day. It is a perfect place for photographers loving that time of the day. In the summer it doesn’t get really dark and such photos require you to be up really late, and still it isn’t the same.

With me I had my primary camera, Canon EOS 1D Mark IV, with my most used lens, Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L. As well as my tripod, from Benro, and the Lee filter Big Stopper.

When I work I first find the motive I want to shoot. I shoot at ISO 100 or 50, and get the lighting correct for the shot.

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This is shot with  1/60s f/14 at 24mm

It gives an idea of how the photo should be. I then wanted to freeze the water, or even out the motions of it. So I placed the camera on the tripod. Focused correctly, measured the lighting again, placed my lens on manual focus. When I place the Big Stopper filter on the camera will not be able to focus and autofocus is no use. I also block out the back of the camera to avoid getting lighting trough there.

I use a remote to take the photo, it is important to reduce all the options for unnecessary motions.

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As you can see on this photo my tripod has no legs extended. The reason for this is that I want a low angle of approach into the photo. This requires me to sit on the ground when the photo is taken.

Using my cheat sheet I have found here makes it easier to calculate the shutter times.

I calculated this shot to be 8 seconds shutter, but after seeing it and looking at the histogram, I decided to increase the shutter time. I ended at 13 seconds before I was happy. What is also important to remember is that at this time of the day, it gets darker rapidly, which means that shots taken later on will require more light.

I am happy with the turnout of the shot. I experience I captured the essence of the moment and retold it as i wanted to do.

Seeing this photo few will be able to understand that it is taken in an metropolitan area with around 1,5 million people.

At the foothills of the Adirondacks

When traveling to see other places of the world there are several things that are important to consider:

  • Equipment, what should I bring
  • What do I plan on photographing. This dictates or is being dictated by the equipment I bring.
  • Bring a good rucksack for equipment, that also enables you to carry water, food and some clothing.

As I was going to visit the love of my life and she knows I enjoy being out in nature, hiking and taking landscapes I decided to specialise on that. For camera I brought my Canon 1D Mark IV with only Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L lens. I brought the tripod in the suitcase, as well as some filters. Lee Big Stopper, Little Stopper, a pack of gradient ND filters as well as a coloured sunset filter pack. In other words a light little package, that is specialised towards taking landscapes, but offers the versatility to take other photos, like generally holiday photos as well.

She took me to a Summit called the Sleeping Beauty. Not sure where the name comes from. It is at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. The Adirondacks is a massive mountain range north in NY state.

We had a great walk trough forrest terrain first at a dirt road, later on steep single track. I carried everything in a durable Norrøna 45L rucksack. I like this as it provides both good carry comfort and enough space to have with whatever needed. It has been a travel companion of me since I bought it in 96.

After close to two hour walk upwards being much alone in the forrest, seeing chip-monks and some different birds we came out on a clearing that was the summit. The view here was both surprising as well as fantastic. A tight layer of forrest in many different green colors, and hills upon hills as long as the eye could see.

As there where a few clouds I decided to go for a long time exposure both with the Lee Big Stopper and the Lee Graduate ND filter, chose the 0.9 version and took this shot at ISO 50 with aperture of f16 for 25 seconds.

Took a panorama with my iPhone to get the feel of the landscape as well.

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After rain comes calmness and clouds

The last two days it has been raining here. rather heavy after almost two weeks with sun. Sun is nice, but sun often entail no clouds. Clouds give pictures more life.

As the rain stopped I wanted to capture some of the beauty and drama that was out there.  I put my camera on the tripod and took the shot. The photo under was shot at 24mm @ 4s, f18, ISO 50

This is a great landscape with amazing contrasts and colors. I wanted to take it further. So I put on a Lee Big Stopper to see if I was able to really draw movement direction of the water and clouds together. I first tried to do it with the same aperture, this however required an exposure time of around 20-30 minutes, closer to 30, if the light had been constant. However as it got fast darker it would have to be something for another time. I readjusted the aperture to 3,5 and shot a photo at on 125 seconds instead. This would also ensure that the moon that was up wouldn’t drift to much in the frame. I am pleased with the end results.