April 2010 Archives




I have been aware of the photographic technique of panning the camera while using a shutter speed long enough to blur the image for several years. I have seen it used to create beautiful images by Karen Mesick and Tony Sweet but until last week never made a serious attempt to do it myself. I really like the result achieved in Forest 1. The fresh greens of the spring forest with the tree trunks receding into the distance. I'm not sure how many people would recognize what this is an image of without an explanation but feel it does unique job of representing the  forest. There are several other "Swipes" in "Smokies 2010" gallery but this is my favorite.





The Smokies are full amazing streams and rivers, their water flowing down picturesque cascades and waterfalls. Most any road you drive down will have water flowing beside it. The beauty of these bodies of water can be captured in many different ways. The grand view,  fluid motion, abstract details ... ... ...

"Cascade" uses a shutter speed long enough to capture the waters motion, and short enough to show a distinct texture. When photographing water it's important to be aware of the shutter speed you are using and the effect it will have in the image you capture. I make a judgment as to what the shutter speed should be by taking a shot at about 1 sec,  looking at the result on my digital cameras LCD, then adjusting the ISO and aperture increasing or reducing  the shutter speed to achieve the effect I'm looking for. Awareness of the shutter speed is not the only important aspect of this "Cascade". I spent a good bit of time "working the scene" to find a composition conveyed a serenity  and relaxation.  I hope "Cascade" inspires you to go to the Smokies!





Peak-Showing.jpgThe trees here in the Great Smoky Mountains are in the green of spring. When illuminated by the sun the intensity of the greens are incredible.  Not one shade of green but many. Fresh red leaves are part of the palette too. This blog image attempts to capture the "Smoke" in the Smokies along with the spring color. I think it's a great combination. This shot was taken on Newfound Gap Rd.  at 70mm, 1/80th Sec., at f11

Waves of Color





"Waves of Color" was created shortly after arriving at Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee today. I'm here with fellow Baltimore Camera Club Members Karen and Chuck. After the nine hour drive to get here (Chuck Drove) it felt great to get out and take some shots. Good company and great scenery should make for a great week here.

"Waves of Color" is a shot of moving water in Laurel Creek showing color from the creek and sky. It's shot at 200mm, f29 at ½ sec.





Ruffles is a shot of a  Cattleya Orchid taken using a 180mm macro lens with a 25mm extension tube and Live View. I always enjoy looking for abstract images to shoot but in general haven't had much success finding them in flowers. This is at least in part due to the fact that making a careful choice as to what to keep in focus for good composition was difficult while looking through the viewfinder using depth of field preview button. In most cases depth of field preview made the image too dim for me to judge  what was in focus. Live View helps overcome this problem. Pressing the depth of field preview button while Live View is active gives a brightened  image on the LCD that can be zoomed to 100% allowing a clear view  of what is in and out of focus.  I really look forward to continued exploration of  the possibilities Live View provides.

BTW, I was turned on to using Live View by reading an article on the subject by Ian Plant.


Big Dark Cloud

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Big Dark Cloud was taken at the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge  Nov 27th 2009. Karen, Annette, Chuck  and myself went to Bombay Hook in search of Snow Geese. 2009 didn't reward us with the massive number of Snow Geese we witnessed and photographed in 2008, but we certainly had dramatic skies! I feel tremendously lucky to have Bombay Hook and the many other State and national parks within such reasonable driving distance from where I live.

Big Dark Cloud is a 4 shot panorama stitched together in Autopano Pro. In many cases the ability of the camera with the correct choice of lens and isolate and simplify the subject is the way to go. At other times though, the ability to get the grand view with a multi shot panorama is the best choice. In addition to Autopano Pro Adobe Photoshop CS3 and CS4 have excellent multi shot panorama stitching capabilities. Go ahead give it a try.