Photo Tips and Stories (Page 3) RSS Feed for Photo Tips and Stories

 Tuesday, January 24, 2023

The Yellow Mounds make all the Badlands National Park top photography locations lists. They are beautiful, intriguing, and worthy of their position on those lists.

However, creating great images that include these mounds is not easy. Of course, lighting changes everything, and dramatically reducing the image quality challenge on this day was natural spotlighting that, incredibly, illuminated the feature highlights of this scene.

As is often the case, the Canon EOS R5 and RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM Lens combination was outstanding for this landscape photograph. The RF 24-105 is relatively compact, has an excellent general-purpose focal length range, consistently produces impressively sharp images, and was my primary lens for over two weeks in this park last year.


A larger version of this image is available here.

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Post Date: 1/24/2023 11:57:32 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Sunday, January 8, 2023

I took a little time out to finish off another moose photo waiting in the to-process queue.

The Canon EOS R5 and RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM Lens are a fantastic wildlife combination and take credit for this picture.


A larger version of this image is available here.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
300mm  f/5.6  1/400s
ISO 1600
8192 x 5464px
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Post Date: 1/8/2023 12:00:00 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, January 3, 2023

During last year's Rocky Mountain National Park instructional photo tour, we spotted this bull elk from about a mile away. The size of the antlers was an easy reason to go after this animal, but there was another good reason.

While a great subject is paramount for a great image, a primary wildlife or portrait subject often fills a relatively small percentage of the frame. Elk are large animals, and this one fills the composition enough to leave just-comfortable breathing room at the top and bottom. Still, most of the frame is background.

The full Sony Alpha 1 image measures 8,640 x 5,760 pixels, yielding 49,766,400 total pixels. Cropping the image to fit only the elk results in 3,499 x 4,729 pixels and 16,546,771 total pixels. Dividing the smaller total pixels number by the larger one indicates that the elk consumes only 33% of the frame.

Therefore, the background is a vital part of the image. Blurring the background is a great option for emphasizing the subject and removing distractions. While a 600mm f/4 lens can blur the background stronger than most others, the size of the elk pushes the focus distance long enough that the background details remain discernable. Thus, the background still needs to be supportive.

A reason for pursuing this opportunity was the evenly vegetated meadow background. The meadow provides a complementary color and a sense of the location without competing for attention.

A bull elk standing in bright sunlight is an easy scenario to produce a sharp image in, and a fast framerate is unnecessary, right? Not so fast.

That bright sunlight creates heatwaves, and telephoto-focal-length-magnified heatwaves blur the image. The background is already blurred, but the eye must be sharp. Heatwaves move fast, and high-speed continuous shooting often results in some eye-sharp images among the blurred ones.


A larger version of this image is available here.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
600mm  f/4.0  1/800s
ISO 125
8640 x 5760px
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Post Date: 1/3/2023 1:38:29 PM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, December 29, 2022

Their day job primarily involves harassing the herd bulls, but the satellite bulls will also fight each other. These two young Rocky Mountain National Park bulls seemed to be sparing vs. having an all-out battle.

To keep the eyes of both bulls in the sharp plane of focus, a side-on position was taken. A low shooting position gives the elk a larger apparent stature and increases the background distance, letting it go strongly blurred.

This fight took place early in the day. With limited light, an all-action-stopping shutter speed required a very high ISO setting. I opted to shoot with a slow shutter speed to avoid the high noise levels. This decision reduced the keeper rate, but often a small number of great images is better than many mediocre ones, and I had a nice quantity of sharp images from the fight.

That said, the ISO 4000 setting yields a noticeable amount of noise. Subject detail, such as hair, hides noise better than evenly colored areas, such as the smoothly blurred background. Strong noise reduction destroys details, but it is especially helpful for removing noise from a blurred background.

So, this image was processed once with weak noise reduction and once with strong noise reduction. The two images were loaded into photoshop layers, with the subject-selected mask hiding the strong noise reduction layer. The subjects retain details (and noise) and the background appears similar to a low ISO setting. A similar tactic can be used in Lightroom.


A larger version of this image is available here.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
600mm  f/4.0  1/200s
ISO 4000
8640 x 5760px
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Post Date: 12/29/2022 8:00:00 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, December 28, 2022

A wind storm hit Death Valley National Park the previous day, leaving Mesquite Flat Dunes filled with untracked ripples. It was the kid-in-the-candy-store scenario.

The Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens on a Canon EOS R5 was an optimal choice for the dunes. While focal lengths outside this range had compositional opportunities, the 24-70mm angles of view enabled emphasis on the close subjects while keeping the background details relatively large in the frame.

Of course, the 52mm focal length selected for this composition is not optimal for keeping near-to-far details in focus. The R5's focus bracketing feature was the solution to that problem.

With focus bracketing enabled, the smallest increment specified, and the number of shots set far above what was needed (the camera automatically stops at infinity), the R5 proved itself foolproof, automatically delivering the complete required range of sharp focus bracketed images at nearly a 100% rate (except when I impatiently picked up the tripod before the stack was finished to hurry on to the next composition).

With that strategy implemented, my task was easy. Walk up to a scene, select the composition, position the focus point on the closest subject (the closest sand), and press the shutter release with the 2-second self-timer enabled.

My first focus stacking pass for this image was in Photoshop. This process is easy. Here is how to focus stack using Photoshop:

  1. Open the set of images with sharp details covering the entire depth of field as layers in Photoshop. To do this using Bridge, select the images (click on the first image, and shift-click on the last image), then menu > Tools > Photoshop > Load file into Photoshop layers.
  2. Select all layers in the Layers panel (click on the top layer, and shift-click on the bottom layer).
  3. Menu > Edit > Auto-Align Layers, select Auto in the dialog, then click OK.
  4. Menu > Edit > Auto-Blend Layers, select Stack Images in the dialog, then click OK.
  5. If the result looks good, select all layers in the Layers panel, and press control-E to consolidate the result into a single layer.

That mindless process usually works great. However, I wasn't satisfied with the result in this case, so I manually stacked the images using layers masks.


A larger version of this image is available here.

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Post Date: 12/28/2022 10:49:00 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Saturday, December 24, 2022

My family and I wish you a very Merry Christmas! As always, we hope that your Christmas season is filled with great meaning, great memories, and of course, great images.

The Christmas tree is a core of our family's traditions, and it seems that our Christmas tree adventure always has a story.

After putting the tree up, I always vowel to get a smaller tree the next year. By the next year, the tall tree issues are forgotten, but the space available for the tree is remember, and the girls pressure to go big. After getting away from carrying the tree behind the SUV, moving it to the roof, hitting things alongside of the road are no longer an issue.

However, hitting the garage door when returning home is a concern. That risk didn't materialize, but making the tree stay upright was a real concern.

This year, the girls picked a tree with about 4 or 5' of the bottom branches trimmed off (likely sold for greens, such as for wreaths). That meant I couldn't clearly discern the tree's height above the bare trunk. And, it seemed to grow a couple of feet on the ground.

When trees get that tall, the trunk becomes thick, which equates with heavy. With help, I managed to get the tree upright and moved into position.

Hours later, my daughter said "Oh!" "Oh!!!" OOOh!!!!! The extra exclamation points reference the decibel level of her exclamations.

Yep, the tree fell over. Fortunately, no decorations were yet attached. Unfortunately, about 2 gallons of water dumped onto the floor. Fortunately, a large piece of plastic caught a lot of that water.

The tree you see here is tied to the wall with fishing line. It is 20lb test line for those of you who are fishermen. It is also about 20 years old, probably the same age as the tree.

Our Christmas tree represents a huge amount of work (mostly for my girls), and the results of their effort deserve preservation in a high-quality image. After photographing the annual Christmas tree in the same location for over 25 years (I unsuccessfully lobbied for a new location this year), I have a few go-to shots dialed in.

An ultra-wide-angle focal length usually gets the selection. In addition to fitting the tree and surrounding space in the frame, this angle of view makes the room appear big, creating a more dramatic look.

There seems to be an outstanding ultra-wide-angle lens choice introduced each year, and I seldom capture the tree photo with a lens previously used for that task. The Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Lens got the call in 2021. Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM Lens captured the Christmas 2020 tree, the Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens captured the 2019 tree, and, going a bit narrower for a different look, the Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM Lens took in the 2018 tree.

I didn't look at my lens choice from prior years before choosing this year's lens, had the new Sony Alpha 7R V to work with, and the Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Lens was the perfect match for this year's job.

At this time of the year, I know that I need to take pictures between 5:15 and 5:25 PM to have a touch of dark blue sky color showing through the windows with the exposure balanced for the Christmas lights inside. No, I can't remember this time from year to year, but a calendar item reminds me (and EXIF information from the prior year's photos can be referenced).

F/16 images from any current digital camera, and especially from cameras with ultra-high pixel density, show a slight softness due to diffraction. However, I like the starburst effect that narrow apertures, such as f/16, create from point light sources, such as the candles in the windows. Because the a7R V pixel density is so high, I opted to open up to f/11 this year. The FE 14 still creates nice diffraction spikes from the point light sources at this aperture, and the a7R V produces noticeably sharper details at f/11 than at f/16.

With only the tree and other decorative lights on, the exposure needs to be long — 25 seconds at f/11 and ISO 100. The exposure duration means that only a few images can be captured during the perfect deep blue sky time.

Long exposures also mean that the tree ornaments must be still to avoid motion blur, and the floor vibrates when walked on, making the ornaments swing. One person walking across the room at the wrong time could eliminate one or two exposures from that short period. Thus, the photo day is (usually) selected for when I am home alone at the right time.

The vertical lines in the windows (or sometimes a wall unit) on the right side of the frame look best when running parallel to the edge of the frame. Thus, a camera position leveled for both tilt and roll is usually selected. In this case, the Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Lens especially impresses with its lack of geometric distortion (no correction was applied to this image), rendering the vertical lines straight.

I am fortunate to have a range of tripods to work with, and holding the Sony Alpha 7R V and FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Lens combination steady indoors is not a support challenge. However, when shooting on carpet, I prefer a tripod with some weight (or spikes) to press into the carpet fibers, decreasing movement. The Really Right Stuff TVC-34L Mk2 Tripod and BH-55 Ball Head handled this job nicely.

With that, another Christmas tree photo is in the archives.


A larger version of this image is available here.

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Post Date: 12/24/2022 8:56:23 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Let me introduce you to your new favorite event, portrait, and indoor sports lens, the Canon RF 135mm F1.8 L IS USM Lens.

There are several reasons for this prediction.

The first is the focal length. The 135mm angle of view is narrow enough to encourage subject distances that create pleasing portrait perspectives, even for full-frame headshots. This angle of view also keeps the lens out of their personal space, staying distant enough for subjects to remain comfortable.

The ultra-wide aperture is another reason for this lens to be a favorite. The F1.8 aperture combined with high-performing image stabilization keeps shutter speeds up and ISO settings down for sharp, low-noise results. F1.8 combined with the medium telephoto focal length can create a strong background blur that makes the subject stand out from an otherwise distracting background.

If those two reasons are not sufficient for you, the image quality delivered by this lens will be. Even the preproduction lens produced outstanding image quality.

This mariachi band member performing at a low light event was a perfect subject for this lens and the Canon EOS R6 Mark II behind it.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
135mm  f/1.8  1/125s
ISO 1250
5464 x 8192px
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Post Date: 12/21/2022 11:14:10 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, December 19, 2022

Sharing a favorite image from my late summer and early fall elk photography here. The colors in this image are right out of the camera using Lightroom's default settings — I didn't create this 7x7 bull's unique orange antler color during post-processing.

The great lighting (and water drop streaks) is curtesy of a rainy day. When photographing wildlife, I always keep a LensCoat rain cover on my camera and lens. With a quality rain shell on me, moderate rain does not hinder the pursuit, and it often enhances the photos.


A larger version of this image is available here.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
600mm  f/4.0  1/200s
ISO 1000
9096 x 5760px
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Post Date: 12/19/2022 8:00:00 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Sunday, December 4, 2022

Usually, heavy cropping of a full-frame image is required to fill the frame with the moon. Not so when using the Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens with an RF 2x Extender behind it.

At the magnification provided by 2400mm, keeping the moon in the frame (without a tracking mount) is problematic. The moon must be led by the right amount to be centered in the frame after the vibrations settle out.

Fortunately, it is easy to precisely center the moon during post-processing – as long no edges are clipped. The black border is easy to extend on any side.

Is this full-sized image sharp? Not especially so. The wide-open f/16 aperture has some diffraction impact, 2x extenders magnify aberrations, and worse is the atmospheric distortion.

Would I buy a $20,000 lens to photograph the moon? While the 2400mm focal length is difficult to obtain otherwise, no, I'm not that serious about photographing the moon. But if you have the lens, the moon makes a fun subject.


A larger version of this image is available here.

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Post Date: 12/4/2022 7:00:00 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, November 29, 2022

I've probably purchased a Canon 24-105 F4 L IS Lens a dozen times. This series of lenses, including the Canon RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM Lens, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens, and Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens, are professional-grade, high-performing, relatively compact and lightweight, and affordable. That combination, along with the versatile 24-105mm focal length range, make these lenses ideal for many uses, including family, travel, and hiking.

So, why do I keep rebuying them, aside from the new models becoming available? Well, I try to keep the kit trimmed to the gear that is most important to me. I sometimes shoot moving subjects in low light, such as at indoor events, and in these scenarios, an aperture wider than f/4 is desired. Thus, there is always a 24-70mm F2.8 L lens in the kit.

With a significant general-purpose focal length range covered, it seems that 24-70mm lens should be adequate for all needs. When there is some time space since the last 24-105 F4 need, the 24-105 gets sold to finance seemingly more important needs.

Then, a need arises that reminds me that I really do need that lens, usually for its size, weight, and focal length range, and I re-buy it. And, the story repeats – more often than it should.

The second Canon RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM Lens arrived in my kit earlier this year. With some long hikes on the schedule, the need for this lens again became apparent. I bought it to keep this time (unless I forget the reasons again), and it performed impressively.

One location that the RF 24-105 was perfect for was Badlands National Park.

Few elements make a prairie more photogenic than a good storm with a rainbow, and the first thing I grab when a rainbow shows up is a Breakthrough Photography circular polarizer filter.


A larger version of this image is available here.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
61mm  f/11.0  1/80s
ISO 100
8192 x 5560px
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Post Date: 11/29/2022 1:00:17 PM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, November 24, 2022

I added a new turkey image to the collection this year. While exploring Badlands National Park with a workshop group, we found a Merriam's gobbler strutting in a tree.

The unusual behaving turkey cooperated long enough for everyone to shoot him.

For that small thing, I give thanks, and today is the day that those of us residing in the USA are celebrating our "Thanksgiving" holiday. As you probably guessed from the name, we set aside this day to give thanks for our abundant blessings (and eat lots of food, often including turkey). While thankfulness should be a perpetual state of mind, this day can give that spirit a significant boost.

Always near the top of my thankful list is you. The support you have provided over the years has made developing this site possible and for that, I'm very grateful.

My family and I wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving!


A larger version of this image is available here.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
500mm  f/7.1  1/640s
ISO 2000
6344 x 4232px
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Post Date: 11/24/2022 8:00:00 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Sunday, November 20, 2022

The big super-telephoto lenses deliver the ultimate wildlife image quality. The Canon RF 600mm F4 L IS USM Lens and Sony FE 600mm F4 GM OSS Lens are my favorite wildlife lenses, and they are my easy first choices for photographing elk.

However, there are times when wider would be helpful — a wider focal length and a wider aperture. In those cases, the Canon RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens and Sony FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS Lens become my first choices. Unfortunately, flying with and managing two big lenses in the field is challenging.

This year, I opted to take on that challenge, taking a lens from each class to Rocky Mountain National Park.

The Pelican 1615 Air Wheeled Hard Case was the primary solution to the mentioned challenge. When flying, the camera bodies were unmounted, the big lens hoods were reversed, pads were added, and additional lenses were included in the case — up to the airline-checked bag weight limit. The case was locked and checked.

In the field, the configuration shown below worked great. With the Robus monopods removed, the Pelican case closed, enabling easy and safe transport to and from my room.

Pelican 1615 Air Wheeled Hard Case Loaded

As pictured, both lenses in their LensCoat covers were immediately available for roadside opportunities or for the long stalk.

This bull elk, fresh out of the wallow, was proud of his muddy (and smelly) coat and looking for cows. When photographing wildlife, predicting behavior correctly delivers the ultimate shots, and I guessed this one right.

Seeing the relatively short working distance available for the potential water crossing, the Canon RF 400mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens got the call. This lens's angle of view was just wide enough to fit the elk in the frame, and the f/2.8 aperture strongly blurred the background, which is not easy to do while fitting a large elk in the frame.


A larger version of this image is available here.

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Post Date: 11/20/2022 6:30:00 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, November 8, 2022

This day was spent at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center, a US Olympic & Paralympic training site, and the BMX stunt bikers were delivering incredible stunt after incredible stunt. While it was tempting to just watch the impressive action, images create a longer memory, and I had a job to do.

Fortunately, the Canon EOS R6 Mark II and Canon RF 135mm F1.8 L IS USM Lens made capturing peak BMX bike stunt action easy.

The camera position for this image provided a beautiful blue sky background, and the camera angle took full advantage of the circular polarizer filter's effect. Despite the polarizer reducing light, the ultra-wide f/1.8 aperture allowed an action-stopping 1/1250 shutter speed at ISO 100.

With all focus points selected, the R6 II would pick up the stunt rider entering the frame and track them for the extent of the burst. The R6 II's 40 fps continuous shooting rate ensured that the perfect moment of every stunt was on the card.

While it was fun to shoot the stunt riders with wide-angle lenses on the ramp, the mid-telephoto 135mm focal length was ideal for keeping the rider large in the frame at the peak of the stunt, while still showing the ramp for perspective.

Note that a preproduction R6 II camera and RF 135 lens captured this image.


A larger version of this image is available here.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
135mm  f/1.8  1/1250s
ISO 100
6000 x 4000px
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Post Date: 11/8/2022 11:22:33 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Sunday, November 6, 2022

It seemed awkward to show up for dinner with a tripod, but I did take a camera. Then the balance of the hotel lights with the blue hour sky called.

Until this point, most of the R6 II photo opportunities involved fast action that stressed its outstanding AF capabilities and high-speed frame rate. This subject was going nowhere, but the light was dim. While the ISO settings could be increased, a clear blue sky makes high ISO noise readily apparent.

Squatted down with a Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens set to 27mm and mounted to the Canon EOS R6 Mark II, The R6 II captured mostly sharp 1-second exposures and a solid number of sharp 2-second exposures (even with ADD kicking in before a second of holding the shutter release down). While a tripod would have been the optimal support for this shot, IBIS did the job remarkably well.

The capabilities of IBIS are extremely valuable, adding versatility to the kit. The value of adding image stabilization to your current non-stabilized lenses (including EF models) is huge.

Note that a preproduction R6 II captured this image.


A larger version of this image is available here.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
27mm  f/5.6  1s
ISO 250
6000 x 4000px
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Post Date: 11/6/2022 7:00:00 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Sunday, October 30, 2022

The fall foliage timing aligned with the weather forecast on this day.

The beech trees in the canyons at Ricketts Glen State Park were in their peak yellow color, with some early leaf drop adding color to the ground. The latter is sometimes as important as the prior.

The weather forecast? Cold, windy, and very cloudy, with snow and rain expected. That combination meant few people to work around and perfect lighting. It was one of those clear-the-schedule scenarios.

I went to RGSP with three specific images on the hit list. This image of Triangle Falls was one of those priorities. Triangle falls is always interesting, and the beech trees in the background were bright yellow. Moving in close to the relatively small falls made it large in perspective, and the white water leaving the falls created leading lines.

The Canon EOS R5 and RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens were selected for this image. That combination was mounted on a Really Right Stuff BH-40 Ball Head and TVC-24L Mk2 Carbon Fiber Tripod.

Sometimes the picture does not tell the full story. What you don't see here is that the rock I'm standing on is as slippery as ice and the tripod is in the fast-flowing water. A lighter or less-rigid tripod would not have created sharp images, and once I caught the camera, lens, and tripod being washed away by the current. There's nothing like an adrenaline rush to keep one going after a long day.

A Breakthrough Photography circular polarizer filter and light rain are responsible for this image's deep saturated colors.


A larger version of this image is available here.

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Posted to: Canon News   Category: Photo Tips and Stories
Post Date: 10/30/2022 7:00:00 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Sunday, October 23, 2022

The foreground lighting in this Badlands National Park Milky Way image is courtesy of a pair of Simorr Vibe P96L RGB Video LED Lights on Manfrotto Befree Advanced Travel Tripods.

Even at their lowest intensity settings (1%), half the light face required gaffer tape to bring the overall light balance down to Milky Way levels.

Post-processing of this image primarily involved peripheral shading correction and increasing the contrast of the foreground and background independently.


A larger version of this image is available here.

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Post Date: 10/23/2022 7:00:00 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, October 18, 2022

The key to photographing at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park is knowing when and where to point the camera. Fortunately, there are so many good options that it is easy to get some of them right.

The simplistic and distinct erosion features seen in this image held my attention long enough to create a selection problem. Today, it was time to pick one and move on. Well, that is at least until I decide it is time to pick another one.

This scene is looking into the rising sun, with reflected light creating a warm color temperature.

While a telephoto lens may not be an obvious first-choice landscape lens, the long focal lengths often provide easy compositions even in locations with limited beauty. The Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens is an outstanding choice for this purpose (and Zabriskie has unlimited beauty).


A larger version of this image is available here.

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Post Date: 10/18/2022 9:41:20 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, October 17, 2022

It is my favorite time of the year — Fall. The landscape is taking on spectacular colors, and I feel the need to make the colors last by photographing them.

However, I frequently encounter beautiful trees in full fall color with uninspiring surroundings. The challenge is to capture the beauty without including unsupporting subjects, especially power lines, in the composition.

As the relevant example for this image, our local high school grounds have a border of large maple trees that get extraordinary color each fall. While the school property and nearby neighborhood are nice, the buildings, streets, wires, etc., are not what I'm looking for in a nature picture.

In this case, the simplest tactic is often to get out the telephoto lens and isolate a portion of the tree.

The timing of this year's peak fall leaf color coincided with the Tamron 50-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD Lens review. This lens has the perfect range for isolating leaves (and the excellent image quality necessary to make the shoot worthwhile).

A large tree can offer many compositions, but after moving around to figure them out, I typically come back to a small number of favorites. To find these, try zooming out to the widest focal length and then zooming in as the composition is adjusted until nothing extraneous is in the frame, and the remaining limb lines and leaf clumps are balanced. Lock the tripod head, take that shot (perhaps several if the leaves are moving in the wind), create some variations, and then zoom in further to get a different look. Then, start over, perhaps after moving to a different position.

This maple tree's foliage was not solid, meaning some background showed through. The best options were to fill the foreground tree's holes with sky or, as shown here, with a background tree across the street. Note that the horizon and other orientation-identifying subjects are not discernable in this image. In this case, it is OK to tilt the camera slightly to adjust for the available details (I keep telling myself that).

This image was captured just before the sun set. The bright red leaf color lit by warm light made the red channel the one to watch for exposure. A Breakthrough Photography circular polarizer filter reduced the reflections on the leaves, further saturating the primarily red colors.


A larger version of this image is available here.

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Post Date: 10/17/2022 11:41:36 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Sunday, October 16, 2022

This handsome bull elk is watching his herd of cows from the forest's edge on a rainy afternoon in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Does rain keep you from your pursuit? While heavy rain hinders visibility, light rain is often not a problem. Wet foliage appears saturated, and the rain clouds create even (though dim) lighting. That combination, along with the raindrops, adds diversity to the portfolio.

Put a LensCoat rain cover on the camera and rain gear on yourself, and go out shooting.

Images captured on cloudy days or in the shade often benefit from warming the color balance — add red and subtract blue. A slight increase in vibrance brings out the colors.


A larger version of this image is available here.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
600mm  f/4.0  1/640s
ISO 2500
9621 x 5928px
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Post Date: 10/16/2022 7:07:41 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, October 12, 2022

This is a case of the big being ideal for the small, the big Canon RF 1200mm F8 L IS USM Lens was perfect for capturing a small eastern chipmunk.

After we placed many large rocks around the house, the local chipmunk population grew significantly. These cute little animals are frequently scurrying around, and they often sit on the rocks to watch for danger and whatever else chipmunks find interesting.

The chipmunk was doing exactly what I wanted it to do. Having finished its constant chirping (what alerted me to the photo op), it was sitting on a rock in the morning sunlight doing nothing.

It gave me time to grab the RF 1200mm already mounted on an EOS R5 and a Wimberley WH-200-S Sidemount Head on a ProMediaGear TR424L Carbon Fiber Tripod and head into the front yard.

The super long focal length meant I could move into tight framing distance without spooking the chipmunk, and the still chipmunk permitted many test images (438 to be exact) from the lens.

Upon getting a solid number of images at one position, I'd move slightly to align a different background. Eventually, a rose bush added some color to the background (the 1200mm angle of view doesn't require a large background).

A sudden itch apparently prompted a quick scratching session, and that was the end of the shoot. The chipmunk left to find more breakfast.

Long shutter speeds with image stabilization were being tested when the scratching happened, meaning there was no time to change the shutter speed. However, the motion blur created a fun variation of the otherwise still-posed chipmunk.

Captured on Sabrent. Are you familiar with this company? They recently introduced CFexpress Type B and SDXC memory cards and readers. I've been working Sabrent's cards and readers into the workflow with no issues, and the low prices are especially attractive. Find these cards and readers at B&H.


A larger version of this image is available here.

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Post Date: 10/12/2022 11:31:58 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
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