Distant Landscape In Setting Sunlight

When we were walking out of Longwood Gardens after photographing Christmas displays, I noticed in the distance, the setting sun casting interesting sun rays in the clouds on some homes. I liked the “warm” light and the opening in the clouds for the sun to cast the rays. Because my subject was quite distant, I shot at 95mm with my 14-140mm m43 lens for 2 images to combine in a panorama. If I just zoomed out I would have too much dark clouds above and too much foreground below so it would have lost some of the highlighted sun rays impact on the image. Using Adobe Camera Raw enabled me to pull even more detail and tones from the raw digital file.

Cloudy Morning Sunrise

Another sunrise with heavy cloud cover. This time I used a Sigma 12-24mm and shot @22mm. This was shot a while ago and I finally got around to working on my images from that day. Work sometimes gets in the way. Again this was taken at the Celery Farm Natural Area in Allendale, NJ.

Meeting House At Night 4 Image Blend

My second version of the Meeting House Image. This time a 4 image blend exposed for different sections, then combined in Photoshop. All at 24mm. I also tried 12mm, but the Meeting House looked too small in the frame. First I exposed for the brightly lit building. Then an exposure for the darker trees and foreground lawn. Then 2 exposures for the few stars that were visible at this angle. I used a technique of greatly over exposing the sky on one of these, then using levels in Photoshop to pull out a few more faint stars so they stood out more. Then combining those two layers. I also made a reverse mask of the bright building so I could replace the area around the building steeple with the dark sky with stars and darker trees. Then I manually layered and masked my layers to where I liked all the elements of the image so they looked like it was somewhat balanced.
The exposure for the stars was 30 seconds, the longest time so not to show movement. But being in NJ, I had to try a few times because a jet would fly through and leave a streak of light from the lights on the wings. Which in some ways looked interesting, but not what I was after. But it is New Jersey with constant planes going overhead, so maybe I will add it later.

Meeting House 4 Image Verical Panorama

This is a 4 Image vertical panorama of the Meeting House in the condo community we live in now. It is a multi-use building for the whole community and it reminds me of areas I used to like to photograph in New England when our children were small. They liked Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts among others. I tried a variety of ways to photograph this building to see which way I liked it best plus it gave me an opportunity to practice or try different effects and combinations.

For this image I shot 4 images, handheld, vertically at 24mm. I used a lot of overlap on each image because I was shooting at 24mm (vertically). It helps having a lot of overlap in the images when using a 24mm, it seems like Photoshop handles it better and you get less “distortion” in the combining of the separate images.

On this version the clouds were amazing, so I continued up to include a lot of clouds & sky.

It seems like the more you do of these panoramas the more you learn and have a higher success rate. Also if you are just walking around and traveling “light” with just one lens, it gives you more options for photo subjects.

Dandelion Closeup Image Stack

Very closeup images of Dandelions going to seed remind me of fireworks! One of my favorite setups for this is a m43 Panasonic Camera body with an old Canon FD 200mm f/4 manual focus macro lens. So with this setup I can go to 2x macro without extension tubes, plus I have a great working distance. It is sort of equivalent to a 400mm  macro on a 35mm format. This lens seems to work great on m43 bodies. Plus it gives a great working distance to your subjects. These are image stacked from 4 to 7 images at different focus points and combined in Photoshop.

C_Dandelion 4stk img 4aDandelion Natures Fireworks v2 7img stkDandelion stk 5 img a1E_Dandelion stk 4img v2F Dandelion stk 4img v1G Dandelion stk 4imgH Dandelion v1 6img 200mmI Dandelion 6img stk v3

Sunbeam Through Opening In Clouds

While I was working on files from a previous visit to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge, Maryland, I came across this image of a sunbeam shining through an opening in the cloud cover. I used a 400mm lens to isolate the beam so it was more prominent in the image. With a wider view, the sunbeam did not seem to stand out as much. I think the beam as is, is prominent enough against the clouds and I did not want to enhance the beam to make it stand out more, opting for a more natural look.

Early Morning Rays v1 BWR_43G0370

Double Sunbeams, 400mm f/4 with 1.4x Teleconverter 

Blackwater Early Morning Sunrise

An early morning sunrise from last year at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. This is a view from along the Wildlife Drive. 2 image exposure blend to bring out shadows and maintain the colorful glow of the sunrise. Shot at 24mm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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