Tokina 17-35mm f/4 AT-X Pro FX Lens Sample Pictures

Tokina 17-35mm f/4 AT-X Pro FX Lens
Sand Fence at Island Beach State Park, NJ Sand Fence at Island Beach State Park, NJ

Even though beautiful, it sometimes takes effort and creativity to find interesting photo compositions at a beach. At Island Beach State Park (near Seaside Park, New Jersey), I was exploring when I discovered this sand fence creating great late-day shadows in the nearly undisturbed sand. The undisturbed sand on the unrestricted side of the fence is not easy to find. The late day sun is of course often available.
I captured many compositions of this scene, but for this shot, I angled the camera and aligned the sun so that the fence was blocking most of it. This in combination with a narrow f/16 aperture allowed a bright starburst effect that helps set off an already attractive image.
Always be looking for one more way to improve your image.

17mm  f/16.0  1/40s  ISO 200
Harrison Wright Falls, Ricketts Glen Harrison Wright Falls, Ricketts Glen

If you been around this site much, you likely already know that Harrison Wright Falls in Ricketts Glen State Park is a favorite subject for me. Simply show up on a cloudy day in mid-late October and this picture is an easy capture. That statement of course minimizes the effort required, but ... this falls is definitely worth the effort.
As with a high percentage of my waterfall and other landscape photos, a circular polarizer was used to cut reflections and increase saturation.

25mm  f/8.0  .5s  ISO 100
Lone Pine Tree in Hickory Run State Park Boulder Field Lone Pine Tree in Hickory Run State Park Boulder Field

After driving through seemingly normal Pennsylvania mountains into and through Hickory Run State Park, this incredible 400 x 1,800' (120 x 550m) boulder field appears just past the end of a parking lot.
While extremely interesting, getting good pictures of the rocks is challenging. This lone pine tree may be the only non-rock in the entire field if not counting the humans that are typically throughout the rocks. Another obstacle to getting good images here is the graffiti that inconsiderate people have left behind.
I solved the people problem by shooting late on a weekday and solved the graffiti problem with the clone stamp tool.
The lower the position you shoot from, the less you see of the distant rock field. Here I was compromising the tree in the sky with the field visibility. I should have shot from a very slightly lower position to allow a small amount of sky to show between the bottom tree branch and the background trees.

17mm  f/11.0  1/60s  ISO 100
Mowhawk Falls, Ricketts Glen Mowhawk Falls, Ricketts Glen

The first named waterfall encountered after parking at the Lake Rose Trailhead parking lot in Ricketts Glen State Park and hiking the Ganoga Glen trail is Mowhawk Falls. There are many photographic opportunities here, but the very-exposed tree root always captures my attention.

24mm  f/16.0  1.0s  ISO 100
A Boat Picture A Boat Picture

This picture is yet another example of how a circular polarizer filter can be used to make the colors in an image pop. The dark blue sky and deep red boat colors are specific examples of the filter at work. The strange coloring in the tinted windshield is a less-desired side effect.

35mm  f/11.0  1/80s  ISO 100
Boulders at Hickory Run Boulders at Hickory Run

Clear skies can be beautiful, but they are not often what photographers prefer. Especially at the time of day when a great sunset could be lighting up clouds in the sky. What to do with the clear sky becomes the question that must be answered. And removing the sky from the frame is one possible solution.
When all of the rocks look the same, move in close to emphasize some of them and give the viewer a sense of presence.

17mm  f/11.0  1/40s  ISO 100
Moon Over Barnegat Bay Moon Over Barnegat Bay

The moon rises as the sun sets over Barnegat Bay near Seaside Park, NJ. This is an HDR image (see the Tips section for simple instruction on this technique). Basically, I wanted a longer exposure to create some motion blur in the bay. Because the water was not as bright as the sky, I could use a longer exposure without blowing any color channels. The brightness of the water capture was later reduced and composited with the shorter sky image exposure.

17mm  f/11.0  6s  ISO 100
Kitchen Creek, Ricketts Glen Kitchen Creek, Ricketts Glen

While the named Ricketts Glen falls get the most attention, Kitchen Creek offers many opportunities for photographers.
If you want fall-colored foliage in your images, mid-late October is typically the time to go to Ricketts Glen State Park. If I had to pick a date in advance, the Oct 18-20 timeframe has been reliable. Note that the beech tree leaves in the deep ravines typically change later than the higher altitude trees in this park.
I was shooting in the rain at times on this day. The rain offers a couple of advantages. The first is that other hikers tend to stay home. The second is that there is no harsh sunlight to deal with. And yet another is that the wet leaves and rocks become very saturated when a circular polarizer filter is used.
If it rains hard enough, the steams and falls flow more strongly.

17mm  f/16.0  6s  ISO 100
Path from the Beach Path from the Beach

With mostly white sand and grasses in the landscape, a more-leafy plant stands out. By moving in close, this plant becomes emphasized in the frame – due to perspective. This particular framing of this scene delivers the clean frame edge I am often looking for.

17mm  f/16.0  1/40s  ISO 160
Log in Cayuga Falls Log in Cayuga Falls

Logs are frequently encountered in the deep valleys of Ricketts Glen SP. This one in Cayuga Falls has been there a long time.
Notice how your eye is drawn to the area of strongest contrast in the photo.

35mm  f/11.0  1s  ISO 100
Hickory Run Boulder Field Hickory Run Boulder Field

To get the boulder field to fill a higher percentage of your frame, shoot from a high position. When shooting from a higher position, the foreground rocks are not emphasized in size relative to the more-distant rocks.
Once again, I was dealing with clear sky. In this case, I chose to only show enough to give the frame a clean blue border.

17mm  f/11.0  1/30s  ISO 100
Wild Rose at Island Beach State Park Wild Rose at Island Beach State Park

Sometimes, taking your wife to the roses is better than taking the roses to your wife. Remember that.
I employed the "Rule of Thirds" for this composition (in a not-too-strict fashion). I allowed the green color to run through the frame about 1/3 of the way down from the top and centered the rose bush at about 1/3 of the way from the right. A clean top and bottom edge of the frame are often welcomed.

17mm  f/11.0  1/40s  ISO 100
Hickory Run State Park Hickory Run State Park

This little pine tree is very likely the most-photographed tree in Hickory Run State Park. It is the only tree growing (or trying to grow) in the massive boulder field.
When you or your gear is going to cast a shadow in your frame, attempt to shoot from an already-shaded location.

17mm  f/16.0  1/30s  ISO 100
Little Piles of Rocks Beside Kitchen Creek Little Piles of Rocks Beside Kitchen Creek

Beech tree leaves fill in around the little stone piles built along Kitchen Creek. With a circular polarizer in use and clouds filling the sky, I was able to get a 2.5 second exposure at f/11, plenty long enough to blur the water flowing in the creek.

17mm  f/11.0  2.5s  ISO 100
Color Over Kitchen Creek Color Over Kitchen Creek

In mid-late October, the beech trees provide the color for Ricketts Glen photographers. If possible, visit this park on a cloudy day (ideally, just after a rain). Then use a circular polarizer filter to knock down the reflections.

17mm  f/11.0  1.6s  ISO 100
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